When $20 makes you angry….

Bridesmaid dress shopping

So I’ve been thinking about this post for a week now…. Let me first tell want you that this might be a trigger for some of you. Then let me you I don’t take this post lightly. I don’t think I’ve ever been more angry about $20 in my life.

Let me begin….

Last Thursday was my DREADED dress fitting for my sister’s wedding. Now when I say dreaded I mean AWFUL. No one postpartum wants to be in a formal dress fitting at some bridesmaid dress boutique 8 weeks after having a baby. Let alone someone who gained 75 pounds in that pregnancy and still having complications from the delivery.

However, I was feeling pretty good that day. The scale showed 2.8lbs lost over the last week and well, I had to do this thing so might as well TRY to be okay with it.

When we arrived, the nerves set in. I just wanted to get in and out as soon as humanly possible. The lady doing my fitting was super nice. She gathered all the dresses for me that my sister had chosen and told me this was the ONLY size for each of these dresses. She didn’t tell me the size but talk about a RED FLAG. Instant worry. She told me that if the dress didn’t fit right that she would clip it for me if it was too big. 😂 I told her that’s probably not going to be necessary. I mean, she had to have known I wasn’t going to fit in the dresses but she was doing her usual thing and saying her usual stuff.

Sooooo, I got into the fitting area. I looked at the size of the dress – size 10. I’m usually a 10-12 but even my sister said the sizes ran small so I KNEW we were in TROUBLE. Like BIG TROUBLE. I tried putting on the first dress by stepping into it – uh that didn’t work. RED FLAG #2. I managed to wiggle it over my head and into my body. But it definitely didn’t fit right. I took one look in the mirror and I looked like an Umpa Lumpa. I told my sister she had to get into the fitting area because there is no way I’m looking into a mirror again or fitting into the rest of these dresses. She had to help me take the dress off. 😭

We tried on the second dress – the one she thought might be more flattering on me and it didn’t go past my shoulders. 😭 I literally had to hold it over my head so she could MAYBE see if it would work on my body 4 months from then. And it’s no slam at my sister, she was very kind and trying to keep me calm by reminding me I won’t look the same in 4 months but I couldn’t help but feel humiliated when she asked if they had bigger sizes. It just sucked. I knew this was going to happen. I was over it.

We were given a dress that was slightly bigger and similar style and it LOOKED HORRIBLE. We decided that she would have to pick the dress and hope to God that it would look good on my body come her wedding day.

Now, it was time to get measured. 😭 I survived that but then the lady had to tell me what size to order based on my measurements. My bust was sized 18-20 and the rest of me was recommended at a 20-22. 😱 She recommended the 20 since I’m actively trying to lose weight. I just had to suck that conversation up. It just sucked.

Side note: I want to be clear that the losing of the baby weight is important for me. The wedding definitely motivates me but for me to feel healthy and comfortable, I like being in a certain weight range. I may or may not make that by the wedding date and I’m okay with that as long as I’m trying and doing what I can, it will be what it is going to be. I’m thoroughly enjoying my activity and I feel overall it helps me be a better mom (once I get past the major tired). 

So because Madison needed to eat, we hung out and I decided I might as well order the dress while we wait. It’s not something I wanted to do so if I left without doing it I would probably forget as it’s not exactly on my priority list. I go to order the dress online and not only did I have to pay for the dress and taxes, I was being charged an EXTRA $20 for being PLUS SIZED!

Now let me tell you, I was fuming!

Here’s why: I’m most likely going to lose somewhere between 30-50 lbs between now and the wedding (hoping 50lbs but let’s try to be realistic 😉) so that EXTRA $20 might not be necessary. And in fact, I’ll be cutting some of that dress off in alterations so it’s like I’m paying double!

Side note: If I ordered a size 18 it would still be plus size. I would have had to move down to a size 16 to not be charged and I frankly wasn’t comfortable with that considering their sizing. 

Another reason and really the most important reason I was fuming was because WHO DOES THAT!?! Maybe it’s common practice at places and because I’m not normally plus sized I haven’t experienced it but what the hell is wrong with the clothing world?! Seriously, who charges people EXTRA for being a certain size?! Or charges people LESS for being the “right size”?  That’s just plain inconsiderate, horrible, and frankly discriminatory. And I know some of you are thinking, well extra fabric… Extra fabric my ass. It’s just plain dumb and no wonder we have eating issues in this country. Seriously.

To the women who have experienced this or experience this on a regular basis, I am SORRY. I am sorry the clothing world doesn’t value you the same as those in the “right size”. I am sorry that you were ever made to feel like you’re extra and needed to pay extra. I am sorry if you were ever made to feel so different for being YOU.

I have never been so appalled in my entire life.

Rachel

Fantasy vs. Reality

Accepting change

Over the last 3 or so years, I have been seeing a counselor. Sometimes consistently and sometimes not. Usually when I am not seeing her consistently is when I really should be – funny how that works. In actuality, it’s really not funny. It’s actually pretty stressful for me when I take breaks for extended periods of time. Anyway, my counselor has been key in helping me sort through many of my life changes. I don’t know if it’s HER or if it’s just the fact that I have someone outside of my life to talk to; an objective person helps so much. If you haven’t tried it, you should!

Fantasy vs. Reality is a hot topic in our sessions. Fantasy – what you think or dream up to be in a given situation. Reality – the actual situation at hand. Some people can just roll with whatever happens in the reality even if it’s different from what they thought; whereas, others (**cough, me, cough**) have a harder time coping with the change. I’ve generally had a harder time adjusting to given changes in my life ever since I can remember. As I have gotten older, I’ve coped with some changes and have had harder time with others. I mainly struggle with the ones that have drastically changed from what *I thought* would be how life would work out.

For example, one thing that I thought would be easy would be having children. Isn’t this what we all think? At least, what we all think when we don’t have any perceived medical diagnosis, anyway? You get married, buy a house and have children. After all, it’s the “usual way” people do things. Now, I realize not everyone does this in that order and that’s totally fine. But this is what I thought it would be for me and my husband.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t that easy. Actually it was the exact opposite. About 3 years into our marriage and 2 years of no baby, I became suspicious of a possible issue. Nick and I were open to having kids but it wasn’t an intentional act of trying and tracking; however, I felt something wasn’t right. In the summer of 2014, after finally convincing my husband of doing some tests, we found ourselves at the Houston Fertility Institute at their Sugar Land, Texas location. We were told in our initial consultation that couples have a 25% chance of conceiving in their first year of trying (that’s WITHOUT any perceived issues) and then after that the numbers drop significantly: down to 5% per year and it lowers every year after that. Talk about a punch in the gut! We were in our second year of being open to children and BOOM, a scientific kick in the pants.

We went on to do some testing. I was having feminine issues with my cycle anyway and during “that time of the month” having a lot of pain. Anyway, the results from my tests weren’t good. I had stage 3 to stage 4 endometriosis. According to Mayo Clinic, endometriosis “is an often painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside your uterus. Endometriosis most commonly involves your ovaries, fallopian tubes and the tissue lining your pelvis. Rarely, endometrial tissue may spread beyond pelvic organs” (http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/endometriosis/home/ovc-20236421).

I don’t think I could have been more devastated. This is not what I dreamed up, remember? This is not how it was supposed to be for us. This made our chances of having a baby even less. Unfortunately, if we wanted to do any fertility treatments it could and would make the disease worse as it feeds off estrogen in your body; so, if we did do anything, we would be taking the risk of making this worse for us. We just weren’t ready to take that risk. In fact, we were actually trying to avoid it as much as possible. I was 25 years old – this shouldn’t be happening. 

Nick and I opted for me to undergo surgery to remove as much of the endometriosis as possible so we could possibly try to conceive on our own. Here’s the deal: endometriosis grows microscopically so anything they could see and remove, they would but it didn’t mean I was necessarily in the clear. It’s constantly growing. So following the procedure, I would have monthly injections that would essentially put me into menopause to try to reduce the legions as much as possible. I wasn’t too excited about it. Surgery, in general, is usually pretty rough for me – I’ve had a few in my life to know the general gist of what would happen post-op. My body takes forever to get rid of the anesthesia.

The laparoscopic procedure was slated for 90 minutes. The doctor would blow my stomach up with air so they could see the organs and be able to manipulate them to burn off the legions – hopefully without damaging any other organs. The worse part of it was that my ovaries had huge cysts on them. Taking those out wouldn’t be easy and in fact, it would be so important for the doctor to be precise as to not damage my ovaries further. Every time they take a cyst out, they would be taking part of my ovary (not enough to cause permanent infertility but that was definitely a risk). Then, there’s the whole we “really don’t know what it will be like until we are in there” uncertainty and you always hope it’s better than the doctors expect. 

Little did I know this 90-minute-you’ll-be-back-on-your-feet-in-3-days procedure, turned into blowing my stomach up a second time and a 3 hour procedure. Of course, I didn’t know any of this until I woke up from the surgery. The whole 3 days back on your feet was a LOAD OF CRAP. It took me well over a month to feel “normal” again. You know that fantasy vs. reality thing I was talking about before – yep, I was not happy. In fact, I was angry. Well, let me take a step back – I was very glad the doctor took her time – I had such a bad cyst on my fallopian tube that had she not taken her time, I could have lost it or woken up with a cut open abdomen. So, I am very thankful that. But I was still mad. I was so uncomfortable for weeks! Have you ever had gas pumped in your stomach for any procedure, IT IS AWFUL! Again, this is not what I was expecting. And I had a very hard time accepting that.

Honestly, this whole time I had a hard time dealing with the reality of what was happening and how this was my fault. My body’s fault. Nick, in no way, made me feel this way – this was something I was personally dealing with. In fact, he was amazing during this process. I think if you are the one with the diagnosis in the relationship, it’s normal to have these feelings. But it still sucks, to say the least.

By September 2014, I was on those menopause shots. Okay, again – totally not fun. Talk about a wild roller coaster of emotions, literally. But this, again, was our best chance to combat the endometriosis from growing back quickly and to potentially start trying when all this was over. A medically induced menopause at 25 years old – that was really hard to wrap my mind around it. I wasn’t supposed to have a cycle while on this medicine…..until I did. THAT WAS AWFUL. If you’re a girl, you know an unexpected period isn’t fun at all. Nope. Not at all.

After 3 months on the shots, I had an ultrasound in December 2014 and I was devastated. The cysts had grown back. Not as big but they were there which meant the shots really didn’t help. Maybe they did a little bit but the cysts were there. THE CYSTS WERE THERE! SERIOUSLY WHAT THE HELL! I was screaming inside on that table. I felt like I had put my body and my mental health through absolute torture the last 6 months! For what!?!

Nick and I ended up right where we didn’t want to be…..

Facing the biggest personal and financial decision of our lives…..

Here’s to everything in between (including the crap),

Rachel