|I had my
RNY gastric bypass
surgery on October 7, 1998. One of the reasons I had the
surgery was because I was infertile and wanted a baby. I was told
that only if I lost weight would I have a chance because the
Syndrome (PCOS), which was making me infertile, was
weight-based. So I took the chance. I was told I had to wait a year
before attempting to get pregnant. So during that first
post-operative year I took birth control. Which struck me as odd
because I was after all, infertile.
Well, one thing I have learned (and
surgeons can -- and should -- tell you this), fertility SKYROCKETS
after surgery. It is imperative that you take precautions to avoid
getting pregnant even in those situations where you think it is
impossible due to female-related infertility. My pregnancy dated
from October 20, 1999 -- 1 year and 13 days after surgery, but still
more than the year my surgeon recommended. I can't stress enough how
important it is to follow your surgeon's guidelines regarding
pregnancy. When dealing with this aspect, you are not just talking
about your own life. You are talking about a baby's life. Babies
conceived too quickly after surgery, are in danger of high rates of
miscarriage, birth defects, and lack of nutrition. Even if the baby
does grab all the nutrition it needs, the mother may suffer. So wait
the time your surgeon recommends.
My pregnancy was a normal
pregnancy. By that I mean it was not high risk. I progressed
normally and gained 18 pounds. If you wait the recommended time your
pregnancy will not be high risk because of the surgery. And most
post-op women, according to Bariatric Treatment Center, average a
weight gain of 15 to 20 pounds over the course of the nine months.
Compare that to the average weight gain of non-surgery patients,
which is 25-35 pounds for a healthy pregnancy.
A few things may be different for
your pregnancy. You may not be able to do the glucose test during
which you drink a sugar solution. You do want to avoid dumping.
However, you can request a fasting test, which is what I did. And my
sugar levels actually dropped after I ate.
You will definitely need to be
extremely vigilant taking your vitamins, no ifs, ands or buts. You
may lose weight during the course of your pregnancy and only in the
later months gain. Also, your tastes may change. I dumped before
pregnancy on cool whip but during my pregnancy sugar was one of the
few things that did not make me sick. I don't know why and no one
can tell me. It just happens. But then it also switched back again
after I gave birth.
When you do get pregnant, you must
switch your mindset. Losing weight cannot be your priority or even
on the list of things you are attempting. You must allow your body
to gain. Dieting -- something that should not be part of your
post-op life anyway -- should definitely not be in your vocabulary
while pregnant. You need to concentrate on doing what is right for
the child and that means gaining weight. During pregnancy, you will
see the scale go up. To avoid stressing about that, here is a tip:
get weighed facing backwards so you can't see the scale!
The point of this message is,
pregnancy after Weight Loss Surgery can be a joy and it can be easy.
But you do have to be smart about it. You have to wait until you are
finished losing and it is safe to get pregnant. You have to take
precautions to avoid pregnancy. You also have to take vitamins and
live healtfully, as does any pregnant woman.
As for delivery, every woman is
different. Mine was simple. I was in hard labor for three hours and
pushed for seven minutes before my darling healthy baby girl was
born. Then the fun began. This baby is now walking, climbing and
destroying whatever she sees. :)
BTC, Columbus, 10/7/98
Lost over 90% of excess and maintaining
Gained a beautiful daughter on 8/9/00