Monthly Archives

October 2017

Babe In My Heart, Blogs

A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes

October 25, 2017

Going through the ups and downs of infertility (mainly downs if we’re being honest) is no small feat. So if you’ve got a friend who’s struggling to conceive and you’re wondering should I reach out? The answer is YES! Without a doubt! There’s nothing better than knowing you’re not alone especially when times are tough. A phone call, coffee date or thoughtful little gift may be just what the doctor ordered to brighten her day.

Our friends at our new fav online boutique www.shopbrookelindsay.com put together a comforting, uplifting gift guide for your TTC gal pal because, trust us, she could use a pick me!

 

Whether she’s given up all carbs completely or she’s exclusively eating chocolate these days, food related gifts are always a good idea. Take your favorite comfort food to the next level with this lavender sea salt. 

When in doubt, soak it out! These yummy sugar scrubs in a nice relaxing bubble bath will leave her feeling soft and oh so fresh – plus the scent smells like fresh baked cookies!

Our tassel pom pom throw in rosè is the perfect comfy blanket for the babe who deserves some serious cuddles, couch time and  a Netflix binge session!

 

A cup of tea really does make everything better. Share a consoling cuppa with your Best-Tea

A dream is a wish your heart makes. Package one of our wish gift tags with a hand carved heart shape bowl to remind her that she is loved!

The perfect refresh for a post infertility treatment. A quick spritz of rosewater mist can instantly lift spirits!

Our set of four stemless wine glasses is the perfect ‘Girl, I got you’ gift. Pair with her favorite vino and lotsa girl talk.

 

shopbrookelindsay.com is an online store featuring unique giftables, specialized beauty and delicate jewelry. WTF readers can enjoy 25% off any Shop Brooke Lindsay products! Use code WTF at checkout.

 

 

Babe In My Belly, Blogs

The Stork Brings A Stark: Second Trimester

October 24, 2017

I am beyond grateful to be pregnant. I thank God everyday for this tiny life growing inside me. However, pregnancy isn’t all strong finger nails, thick hair and glowing skin. Let me be clear. I’m not complaining about pregnancy. I totally get how lucky I am to be carrying a life. I’m just keeping it real because while it’s THE GREATEST GIFT EVER…pregnancy can also really difficult. I am documenting the ups, the downs and the “glow” (guys, it’s sweat), through my 40 weeks of pregnancy.

Read about my first trimester here.
If I could sum up the second trimester with one word it would be swellnausea. Ok two words- swelling and nausea. I took my first pregnant flight at 13 weeks, first week of the third trimester and basically waddled around and elevated the entire vacation. I wish I could say the swelling just magically went away like the nausea (hallelujah- 20 weeks later), but it’s still something I’m dealing with. I swell up through my calves, not just my feet and sometimes my hands. I very rarely am able to get my engagement ring on but my wedding band never leaves my sausage finger. And of course, staying off my feet or drinking a lot of water aren’t the magic tricks- spin class is.
I bought an at home fetal doppler early on and would try it out every night. It wasn’t until about 13 weeks I could find the heartbeat and find it consistently. It became my little nightly routine after dinner to go sit in the rocking chair in the nursery and listen to his heartbeat. It is the sweetest sound, like music to my ears. At my 12 weeks ultrasound my doctor mentioned I had a left anterior placenta and would probably feel kicking earlier than most. At 17 weeks I felt him and he hasn’t stopped (we’re thinking an athletic scholarship). The first few times I dismissed it as muscle twitches (in retrospect I don’t know why, I’ve never had a muscle twitch in my stomach?) because it did not feel like a “flutter”, which is how I had heard it described before. The twitches changes to kicks and then to rolls and my the end of my second trimester I felt like I needed protection he became so strong.
My absolute favorite part of pregnancy to date was the anatomy scan at 21 weeks. To see every teeny tiny body part of this mystery person you are growing inside of you is unbelievable. Everything checked out perfectly, he had 10 fingers and 10 toes and is (still) a boy. We lucked out, when the ultrasound tech finished she said the doctor may or may not come in to speak with us. Luckily he did and gave us another chance to look at our sweet babe. He also “razzled and dazzled” us (his words), and flipped the ultrasound to 3D for a few minutes. It was unbelievable to see our baby go from skeletor (but really the cutest skeletor EVER) to an actual human. That is a moment I will never forget and I will cherish forever.
I’m am sitting here thinking about all of the amazing aspects of pregnancy. It is truly a miracle that a woman’s body can grow and house a baby and all of the technology we have to SEE and HEAR the baby. However I have really struggled with body image and it hit me hard in the second trimester. I’ve always been very fit and taken pride in the work I put into my body. If my pants started to get tight I would reel in the eating and amp up the workouts and soon I would be back to where I wanted to be. Not having that control during pregnancy has been a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. I feel like an alien in my own body and at times don’t even recognize myself in the mirror. This is something I am learning to deal with as I go but is very much a work in progress. I know it will be worth it in the end and after 40 short (but sometimes SUPER LONG) weeks, I can start to get back to my old self. Oh and if you’re wondering, the boobs have continued to grow with no signs of slowing down (how… really. How?)
At 28 weeks my doctor ordered my gestational diabetes test. I had heard so much about this test and how horrible it was. I ate my low carb breakfast (turkey sausage) and headed to the gym before. Well apparently it was a little too much protein because I ended up sick as a dog BEFORE I took my test but after about an hour I felt like I might actually live and headed to the lab. I was given a choice of a few flavors, I picked lime and chugged away. Granted, it wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever tasted but I for sure favored it over a shot of fireball. I waited the hour, they drew blood and I was on my way. All in all it was pretty painless and not nearly as bad as I had been warned. Oh- and I passed with flying colors! And just like that, 12 more weeks until baby Stark is here!

Babe In My Heart, Blogs

Faith in Endometriosis

October 16, 2017

Written by Cassaundra Escandon, guest blogger

Hi There, My name is Cassaundra, I am 27 years old, married to an amazing man for almost two years, I am a follower of Christ, LOVER of coffee, and spend my days supporting individuals with developmental disabilities and mental health.

As I am sure for a lot of you endo warriors who experienced or are currently experiencing this process- It was tiring, relentless, and painful. In 2011 I had an ectopic pregnancy that was removed (tube and ovaries stayed put at that time). Fast-forward to 2015- my life was not going as planned. As any woman struggling with endometriosis I was in pain beyond functioning daily. I had exhausted all of my resources (GI specialist, upper scope, colonoscopy, family doctor, blood work, ultrasounds, ER visits ect). With all the tests, prodding and poking the only conclusion I got was “there is nothing wrong”. Well, as all you ladies know far to well- I MOST CERTAINLY knew something was definitely not right. I am not going to lie- at this point I was feeling pretty crazy! Mind you, I had always had horrendous periods since the age of 9. That is how it had always been, making it the “norm” for me. This reoccurring pain that I had gotten over many years of my life off and on, had now become 24/7. The pain that I experience other than awful periods where I am in bed for days on high doses on Tordol and Muscle Relaxants is pain along the left side all in to my bowels. The pain is debilitating and no amount of medication takes it away. I have to lie on my left side (as in apply pressure), ride it out and standing intensifies it largely. I was at a loss. I was becoming not well enough to work or function at all in society on a day-to-day basis.

After speaking to my best friend’s mother (whose previous situation seemed to resemble my current) I went to my family doctor and had a referral put in to a gynaecologist. Fast-forward and I got the appointment, went in with my long list of avenues I had already exhausted (colonoscopy, endoscopy, blood work, ultrasounds ect.) and all the results. By the grace of God the doctor didn’t believe it could be endometriosis but agreed to go in and have a look (basically to quiet me up). At this point I was more than ready. I could not continue on living, working, planning a wedding (9 months away), enjoy being newly engaged, or being 25 this way. My surgery date was set for a month, so I waited. I prayed. I felt crazy -“what if there is nothing wrong inside? will this pain ever go away? am I going crazy? is this from all those years I was anorexic? what will people think if there is still nothing medically wrong?” and on my brain spun. The Holy Spirit just kept bringing me back to a place of peace, trust, love, and strength.


My surgery day came and I was terrified. I came out not knowing much until my follow-up appointment two weeks later. I found out I was not crazy, I did in fact have stage 4 endometriosis, adhesions, and a ton of ovarian cysts (one the size of an orange). I had a lot of cysts off and on over the years leading up to this point as well. My ovaries, intestines, and tubes where all stuck together by webs of scar tissue. I began taking continuous birth control for the next 8 months (until the wedding). We were told to consider freezing eggs, chances may not be on our side and that we needed to start trying soon. This was a hard pill to swallow. Both Sean and I have always wanted kids, the devil would try to fill my mind with “you need to start trying now, you’ll never have kids, what if you miss your opportunity”. Sean and I remained focus on Jesus, his will, and trusting that if it is God’s will for us to have a child, it will happen on God’s time. Trying for a child before marriage was not a part of God’s plan for us. Sean and I both knew that and God filled us with faith, strength, hope, patience, and love. God put focusing on preparing for a Christ centered marriage on the priority list, and a child to come.

I was feeling a lot of pain relief from the surgery other than awful periods. I had some days of flaring pain (but not 24/7). Slowly the pain started coming back and within two years the pain was so unbearable that I had to take a sick leave from work for three months until my surgery date arrived. I could not work, sleep, eat, or cope. My surgery date came February 23rd of this year. My fertility specialist went in cleaned up all the endo, adhesions, and removed my right tube (where I had the ectopic in 2011). The pain has most definitely been decreased. PRAISE GOD!! I also strictly follow the endometriosis diet and have been for a while. It’s my life saver. Truly that’s how I keep my pain at bay most of the time. I have made sure to really be strict since this last surgery. One night I was not very strict (a few ciders, and sugar icing) …Let’s just say it took me a week to recover. I find the most relief and can manage my symptoms with being gluten free, dairy free, refine sugar, and soy free. I eat chicken and fish, but not pork, beef or lamb.

I pray for each and every one of you warriors battling this relentless monster ENDO. I write to help myself clear my mind, identify thoughts, feelings and to hopefully be helpful to others going through similar situations. Know that no matter where you are on this journey, that you are not alone and that all of us ENDO SISTERS have each others back. If fighting infertility you also are not alone and what brings me comfort on the darkest and most painful days is that Jesus would never put such a strong desire in our hearts and not fill it. That is a promise and fact. Now the other side of the coin is- Jesus is in control, it is Gods timing, and we must wait. Wait for God to reveal his plan. I know one thing and that is I will be a mom. I don’t know when, or how. I don’t know if Baby E will grow in my belly, or someone else’s. But I do know I will hold Baby E one day.

Babe In My Heart, Blogs

The Other F Word

October 5, 2017

Written by Jessie Bradshaw, guest blogger

Fertility Fertility Fertility…. At first this word scared me and consumed my life. I was embarrassed and I didn’t feel comfortable talking about it. All I could think was, why me? However, as time went on I realized I found comfort in sharing my story with people. I was tired of walking around with this secret. This was something real going on with my husband and me and I needed all the support I could get.

My husband and I just celebrated our two year wedding anniversary and these last two years have been one wild roller coaster ride. When I married Chad I gained a bonus child, Caleb. Man did I hit the jack pot with him. He is amazing. After watching Chad with Caleb I knew I couldn’t find a better man to raise a family with.

At first we started the whole not trying not to get pregnant. At about 6 months into this I started charting and doing ovulation predictor test. However, with no luck we were still not pregnant. Once the one year mark hit, it was time to seek help. I reached out to my OBGYN and they started me on clomid. Clomid affects everyone differently, for me it wasn’t so good. It makes me short-tempered, gives me headaches and hot sweats. It has gotten worse the more I take. During this time we did 3 rounds of Clomid and 1 round of Femara. I was reaching a point I felt like a number and not a priority at my doctor’s office. It wasn’t until a friend who had a similar situation and I got to talking. He told me if I was serious about having a baby I should see a specialist. I wasn’t even sure we could afford a fertility specialist. I heard it was expensive and insurance wouldn’t cover it. I felt selfish for wanting this. This could be money we could be saving for Caleb to go to college or take a nice family vacation. I went home that night and talked to Chad and he was on board. I was lucky to have married someone who wanted to have children with me and willing to do whatever it takes. I went ahead and made an appointment with our new doctor.

During these months I’m not going to lie, life was hard. I had many people ask if we’re going to have kids. At first we would tell people we would someday. I didn’t have the nerve to tell them we had been trying and I couldn’t get pregnant. I didn’t want people to feel sorry for me and I was embarrassed. It didn’t help every time I logged on to Facebook someone else was announcing they were pregnant. It wasn’t that I wasn’t happy for friends but I was sad for myself.

Our first appointment was in December and it was intense to say the least. That day they ran tests and went over our whole medical history. Our doctor told us our next step would be surgery. He had us schedule it before we left and I ended up having surgery in February. Over all it went well and wasn’t as bad as I expected. Once I woke up from surgery we found out I had a lot of scar tissue built up on my tubes and ovaries. We are still unsure to why I had scar tissue. My doctor said I could have had an infection when I was younger and was not aware of it. The doctor was able to clear one tube but the other was irrepairable. After I was recovered from surgery we started back on Clomid. The last 5 months we did 5 rounds of Clomid and added the HCG shot and had 2 failed IUI. The disappointment grew each month.Each month hit hard. Not only were we dealing with the Clomid crazies but also stress of marriage and fertility problems. During this time I felt like hardly anyone understood what I was going through. I felt like my world was ending and people just wanted to say nice things like it will work out, its timing, just relax, maybe you should stop trying so hard. When really all I wanted to hear was I know this sucks and it’s not fair. Most people would jump right into what about IVF or adoption. Both of these are definitely options for us. However, when you always dreamed of carrying your own child and the thought you may never get to experience, you don’t say, “Well you can always adopt.” We’re up for IVF. However, we can’t afford it right now. My doctor explains it best that IVF is like buying a brand new truck. The difference when buy a truck you get to drive it off the lot and IVF you aren’t even guaranteed a baby.

Chad and I finally reached a point that we weren’t going to let fertility run our life. We were tired of scheduling our life around our child who wasn’t even here yet. We try and focus our life on the things we can control. Suddenly life got easier for us. We still have our days of sadness and bitterness but this is the life we live and we can’t be sad all the time.

It’s been 5 months since surgery I really thought I would have been pregnant by now. It was finally time my doctor wanted to go back in and perform the HSG test to see if my tube was still open. We found out that both of my tubes were open. I think my doctor was just as surprised as I was. We decided to take a month off from meds. Which Chad was very excited about. He even thanked the doctor.

Here we are now 2 years since we started this whole journey and we’re still praying for our unborn child. I’m not sure what having a baby is going to look like for us or when it’s going to happen. However, I do believe with everything in my heart we will have a child come into our life and be a part of our family one day. We just need a little faith and whole lot of Jesus.

Blogs, What We Love

Harper Wilde

October 2, 2017

Hello lovely ladies of WTF community!

Jane and Jenna here from Harper Wilde. WTF is Harper Wilde, you ask?

Well, to make a long story short, about a year and a half ago, we started asking a lot of “WTF”s when it came to bra shopping. For instance, “Why-TF are bras so expensive?” and “Why-TF is bra shopping such a hassle and an invasive experience?”

We started looking into the bra industry, and instead of finding answers, we ran into more questions: why is the bra industry so over-sexualized? Why do bras have so many embellishments? Why is a product that is meant for us, typically marketed toward men?

This spurred a drive and a passion to create a better experience, better products, and a brand that women are proud to stand behind.

Enter: Harper Wilde. Harper Wilde takes the B.S. out of Bra Shopping. We make bra shopping as simple as possible with free home try-on and curated options, and make quality products at fair prices. Our mission is to empower women with our products and also by giving back to put young girls through school. We aim to lift up your ladies while helping to lift up the next generation of leading ladies (enter: “#LiftUpTheLadies).

We know that moms are the busiest women on this planet and bra shopping is the last thing on your minds. Who has time to spend 3 hours shopping for a bra? We want to give you that time back for the things that matter in life, and provide the most convenient online bra shopping experience. No stores, no measuring tape, no condescending sales associates. Just pick the bras you want to try for free, and they’re delivered to you at home, where you can try them on in your own time (whether that be in between nap & feeding times, work, etc).

We built this brand with one goal in mind – to help as many women and girls as we possibly can through our factory, supply chain, product, service, and donation. Education is so important for children, but can be difficult to access. We’ve partnered with Glamour magazine’s The Girl Project to help provide education to the 50 million young girls around the world who don’t have access to it.

We’ve read so many unbelievable stories on What The Fertility, and are inspired by all of you and this community. We’d like to give away a free bra to two amazing women of the WTF community to help save you some time, and make a difference while doing it. Head over to What The Fertility’s instagram to for a chance to get your ladies lifted! We will pick two entries on 10/6/17 and notify those two lucky ladies by email. Also, please head over to www.harperwilde.com to learn more about our mission and join our Wilde Women community to continue supporting women and girls everywhere. Thank you for supporting us in supporting you and the future generation of leading ladies! #LiftUpTheLadies

PS. Need a laugh? Check out our video, where we show what it would look like if men shopped for boxers the way women shop for bras!

What The Fertility

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