A Fat Girl’s Fertility Story

I spent my whole twenties thinking I wouldn’t be able to have kids.

Ever since the doctor sat me down at 16 and explained to me that I would be able to have children. I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and along with that diagnosis came the explanation for my acne, hairiness, lack of periods and extra weight. #everyteenagegirlsdream

So at 16 that’s who I became. A PCOS sufferer. That was my label. The consequences never really hit me at that age. I was just grateful not have to deal with having periods. But looking back now, I can see the real impact it had on me.

My grades began to slip and my confidence was shattered. I didn’t think anybody would love me. I hated my body and was constantly looking for new ways to lose weight or punish it.

Every relationship I had was a disaster waiting to happen. I subconsciously picked guys who might give me a second glance and proceeded to sabotage the relationship. I was so needy, desperate for any sign of affection to prove that I was lovable.

Yeah they weren’t so healthy.

I finally found a good guy with online dating, way before it was a socially acceptable thing to do. (I know right? Can you even remember a time it wasn’t the norm?)

We still laugh about an incident maybe 3 or 4 months into our relationship. I got very drunk on a bottle of rose and confessed to him that all I ever wanted was to have kids. Luckily he stuck around. And our relationship has been pretty smooth sailing for over 11 years.

My subconscious was obviously still trying find that love.

But a big part of my story happened a couple of months before we met.

I was living in a less than desirable part of London and I witnessed a gang shooting right outside my bedroom window. I suffered from PTSD. I struggled with nightmares, going to work, leaving the house.

I tried anti-depressants and CBT but nothing seemed to help until I tried acupuncture. I’d never had it before but after 6 weeks, I had started a new job and was feeling much more like my old self. I was so bowled over by acupuncture that I signed up to train as an acupuncturist.

It was in my final year of training that I got married. My husband and I decided to start trying 18 months later.

I was expecting it to be hard. My health had improved a lot whilst I was training as an acupuncturist and naturopath. It’s kind of a side effect of using yourself as a guinea pig. But I was still fat and my menstrual cycle was still very irregular.

I was beyond shocked when we got pregnant before we’d even really started trying. It did mean I was 10 weeks pregnant at Glastonbury Festival #notmyfinesthour but I was ecstatic.

I had no idea really how it had happened and I spent the majority of my pregnancy worried about what would go wrong. First I was worried that the pregnancy was going to be ectopic, then I panicked about miscarriage, gestational diabetic, pre-eclampsia, still-birth and problems in labour.

But in the end Sebby was a very happy and healthy little boy and my pregnancy was textbook.

We hadn’t even had the conversation about when I wanted another when I found out I was pregnant again. Still no idea how that happened either as we were definitely too tired to be having lots of sex.

Isaac made his appearance 9 months later and we were blessed again with another healthy and happy boy and a great (if a bit more exhausting) pregnancy.

My story is not your story.

If you’re reading this then you’re probably thinking, “well it’s alright for her, she just got really lucky…..twice!”

I didn’t struggle to get pregnant but I struggled my whole life with the idea that I might not be a mama.

I want to share this story, my story as a fat woman getting pregnant and going on to have healthy pregnancies and babies to show you what’s possible.

I am a fat woman. I have PCOS. I am a mama. Those things are all true and they can be for you too.

Written By Nicola

Nicola is a fat-positive fertility coach and author of “Fat and Fertile”. She helps fat folks navigate getting pregnant in a weight-obsessed world and advocates for change in how fat people are treated whilst accessing help with their fertility. Nicola uses her unique fat positive framework to support people in finding their own version of health without diets, advocate for their bodies, relearn how to trust their body and believe in their ability to get pregnant.

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