1. What made you decide to have Weight Loss Surgery?
My husband and I desperately wanted a second baby, but after years of trying to conceive, my research suggested weight could be an underlying factor. So I got PHI, waited the 12 months and had the sleeve. 4 months PO, I was pregnant. I now have a 3 month old baby and a 9 year old who is smitten! My pregnancy was healthy and I continued to lose weight throughout it.
2. What was your weight prior to your WLS? And what’s the goal?
SW 110kg Surgeons GW 84 My GW 75 Current weight 72
3. Did you get to the weight you wanted?
Yes! Even with a pregnancy I hit my goal 7 months post op
4. How do you feel now that you have had the surgery?
Physically, I’m the best I’ve ever felt. Back pain, plantar fasciitis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, all these things have disappeared. I’ve also come off antidepressants. Mentally, the surgery forced me to look into why I was using food to comfort myself, and so this year has been a huge journey of self discovery, awareness and healing. There have been hard times, exploring emotions I’ve kept bottled up for years, and times I even thought I would need medication again, but I have a great support system that didn’t exist in the beginning.
5. Were there any problems along the way?
I did have a longer recovery period. I couldn’t swallow soft foods for weeks after the surgery. My surgeon sent me for a CTscan which showed I was just a bit swollen but incidentally found a cyst in my pancreas. I fell pregnant shortly after the finding so we are still waiting to investigate. My biggest problem was my relationship with food. I went in thinking the surgery would fix that part of me, but of course it didn’t. Old habits crept back in as I was able to eat somewhat normally and I had to look into why that was happening. I’m doing a course on it now. I have mosaic Turner’s syndrome, which can affect weight, so I wondered if WLS would help me at all. Obviously falling pregnant so early isn’t recommended, but I didn’t believe it would happen so soon, after years of trying. Thankfully I was closely monitored and had a very healthy pregnancy and baby.
6. Would you do it again now that you know what you know?
I would sort out my mental relationship with food first. I would absolutely do it again, but I would focus on my mental health, and the relationship I had with food.
7. What are the inspiring things you can think of that you have noticed along the way?
There’s a page dedicated to pregnancy after WLS, and I think it’s such a wonderful side effect for women who have struggled to conceive prior to surgery. I truely believe the surgery is the reason we have our beautiful baby girl. I also love the group and the support others offer. I’ve been inspired to put myself first so that I can then invest into my children’s life in a more positive and present way.
8. Did you have some happy unexpected surprises?
9. What advice do you have for anyone preparing for WLS?
Don’t skip out on the psychological work. This is so important.
10. What is the one very best thing that has resulted from your surgery? What has been the hardest part of your journey?
Becoming pregnant has been the absolute best part of this. The hardest part is accepting my body as it is, 2 pregnancies and weight loss and gain and all the other things it’s been through. I still have a big tummy, an apron and stretch marks, and the hardest part is accepting that. I’m still not there yet.