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December 2017

Babe In My Heart, Blogs

Surviving The Holidays With Infertility

December 14, 2017

Written by Katie O’Rourke, guest blogger

I have a lot of titles in my life and I look forward to the day when I can add “mom” to the following list. My name is Katie and I am a wife, dog mom, daughter, cousin, sister, auntie, sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, friend, and speech pathologist from the Dairy state. My husband and I have been on this insane journey to add to our family for 27 months. I have been through a few holiday seasons with infertility hanging over my head so I wanted to share with you a few tips and tricks for not losing your sh** in front of your loved ones while focusing on your current family and looking forward to the future.

1. SEND THE HOLIDAY CARD

I used to look at holiday cards and think how perfect other people’s families were and that my family wouldn’t be perfect until we had children. But I have more recently learned to appreciate my current family of 3 (yes, including my dog) and know in my heart that someday I will look back and wish I was more grateful for my little tribe. We have made an effort to have our family pictures taken each year and put them into an adorable holiday card for our friends and families to hang proudly on their refrigerators. Send the card. Your family is worth sharing with those you love!

2. START TRADITIONS

Traditions you pass on to your future children start with you and your hubby anyway so why not get a jump start?! Pick out that tree together, hand make ornaments, or watch cheesy Christmas movies for a whole day in your footie PJs. Document the experiences and put them in a book to show your kiddos some day. DO SOMETHING SPECIAL that you and your hubby enjoy and know your future children will love as well!

3. PLAN A DAY OR LITTLE GETAWAY FOR YOU AND HUBBY

Whether it’s a day trip or an AirBnB kind of trip, book it. You and your hubs are going to need some down time after the insanity of the holidays. Take some time to unwind and do something with your little family. Bring the cat or the dog with you. TAKE PICS to document your fun! You will want to show your kids some day 🙂

4. LOOK HOT!

Sometimes I think I will only look complete and beautiful with a baby in my arms. This is another lie I made up in my head! Get your hair did, shellac those nails, buy the new dress, wear heels, meditate, workout, polish that beautiful, very expensive diamond you have from your love; MAKE YOURSELF FEEL BEAUTIFUL! Because you ARE…baby or not.

5. FUN-AUNTIE

Spoil those kiddos in your life. Be the FUNTIE (fun-auntie). Buy them each a little something they will love. It will fill that void of toy shopping for kids around the holidays and you get to see their smiles light up because you thought of them.

6. SPOIL YOUR PET

Every year, I put up a stocking for my fur baby, Tucker. My husband and I go shopping for him and pick out a toy and a treat for him to have on Christmas. It is fun to watch him get so excited about his gifts. Again, document this time. You will want to look back on this and see how much your holidays change year to year.

7. YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF THE CONVERSATION!

This my most important tip for the holidays. If you have been open about your journey thus far, you will have family and friends that ask you about it. Presume good intentions, ALWAYS. They are asking because they care about you and want to be there for you. This mindset will help you keep your cool in times of stress. Answer their questions how you want to. Short answers to avoid follow up questions are okay, if you do it with a smile and a positive spirit. If you want to indulge in the details with someone, that is okay, too. YOU ARE IN CONTROL. If you have been more reserved about your journey, you might have people asking you “when are you going to have kids?” or something along those lines. Again, presume good intentions. They want to see you procreate. That’s a compliment 🙂 Answer how you want. YOU ARE IN CONTROL. “Oh, we are waiting until after our trip.” or “We are working on it!”. Paint a picture you want people to see. Again, you are in control of the conversation!

8. Finally, REFLECT.

You and your hubby (pets too) are a beautiful family unit that have a lot to be thankful for. The fact that you have each other to lean on during the hard times and to celebrate with in good times, is a blessing in itself. Take time to write a list of things you are thankful for or take pictures of those things and make a collage. Hang it up to remind yourself every day of how lucky you are. That is what this time of year is all about. Celebrate your life and look forward to the future!

 

Babe In My Heart, Blogs

4 Reasons To Switch To #FertilityFriendly Body Care

December 12, 2017

Written by Chiemi Rajamahendran, Miss.Conception Coach Founder

When it comes to fertility, what you put on your body is just as important as what you put inside it. Choosing toxin-free skin care that’s safe is critical to ensure you maximize your chances of the healthiest pregnancy possible.

Here are four life changing reasons it’s important, more than ever, to be conscious of what you’re putting on your skin when trying to conceive, especially while experiencing infertility issues. Toxic-free ingredients ensure you’re not exposing yourself to hormone-disrupting chemicals through skin care.

1. We absorb over 60% of the ingredients we put on our skin.
Our skin is the largest organ in our body, and it’s permeable. This means that when we apply something to our skin, it doesn’t just sit on the surface. Rather, it penetrates through the skin and into the blood, where any toxins present in the products can contribute to hormone disruption, lowered immunity, allergies/intolerance’s and toxin overload.

2. Your baby is absorbing what you put on your skin.
If our bodies are absorbing what we put on our skin, it makes sense that our babies are also taking it in. Studies show toxic chemicals are routinely found in the umbilical cords of babies, and when researchers screened for more than 400 chemicals, 287 toxins were detected within the umbilical cord blood of newborns. Of these 287 toxins, 217 were neurotoxins and 208 are known to damage growth development or cause birth defects. The toxins included BPAs and synthetic fragrances found in skin care, cosmetics and personal care products.

3. Toxins in skin care may contribute to infertility.
One of the key ingredients commonly found in skin care products are perfluorinated chemicals, better known as PFC’s. Contact with PFCs has been attributed to causing a variety of infertility issues. Women with higher-than-normal levels of PFC’s have a 60-154% higher risk of infertility than those who have normal levels. PFC’s can also affect male fertility by decreasing the volume, overall health and motility of sperm.

4. Chemicals found in skin care are endocrine disruptor’s.
One of the main reasons toxins in skin care affect fertility is that they mimic natural hormones, creating endocrine disruption and hormonal imbalance. Many of these toxins are termed xenoestrogens as they have the ability to bind to our estrogen receptor sites, disrupting the function of the endocrine system.

Here is a relaxing way to boost your fertility health naturally:

 

Want to nourish your skin with toxic-free skin care? You can win a Renew Body Wash bundle from Bloom Essentials Fertility Body Care + Wellness! To enter, LIKE/FOLLOW Bloom Essentials on Facebook AND Instagram, then tag a friend. Good luck babes!

Babe In My Heart, Blogs

Conquering The Unknown

December 7, 2017

Written by Vanessa Tully, guest blogger

As a child of just 6 years old, you clearly don’t comprehend the enormity of having one ovary and fallopian tube removed due to gangrene until twelve years later when you’re 18 and it’s happening yet again. Over the last 15 years, I’ve had a lot of time to ask the “whys”, I’ve been angry and sad, and I have learned how to deal with the menopause (those darn hot flashes!). But nothing worried me more than how I’d tell my future husband that I couldn’t make him the father that I knew he deserved to be quite as easily as others. Luckily, this man has never faltered from my side. Even when the sadness and anxiety kick in, he’s always there to remind me that I’m not completely alone in this journey.

Choosing a donor was probably the hardest thing for us at first. We joined 8 different agency websites to maximize our options and to say that it was strange, is a huge understatement. We spent days that turned into weeks trying to find someone who resembled me, had the same blood type etc., and when it became too much, we had to step away for a bit.

Eventually, the search became easier and after a couple of months, we found and even met our donor! We wanted to thank her for the selfless gift she was bestowing us with and we left that meeting with a great sense of peace, one that we hadn’t felt in a long time. She told us “We are all in this together and we all want the same outcome” and we knew we had made the right choice.

During this process, I’ve gone through feeling so low that shopping for baby shower gifts caused anxiety attacks in the middle of a store and watching Huggies commercials made me break out into tears. But I have also felt excitement during our donor’s retrieval and optimism after our embryos went through genetic testing. I’ve gone through bouts of feeling alone because no one really understands these ups and downs unless they’re in “it”.

All in all, it’s the fear of the unknown that scares my husband and me the most. We have no control over how this story ends (or begins). Yet here we are, 6 days away from our transfer date with embryo #4. We still have so much hope that we will be parents one day, whichever direction this path chooses to take us.

 

Babe In My Heart, Blogs

Praying For What Will Be

December 5, 2017

Written by Mary James, guest blogger

My husband, Brandon and I have been together for twelve years, married for 2 of those years. On the first day we met, at ages 18 and 19, we knew we loved each other. We always promised to make each other happy and worked hard to get to this wonderful chapter in our lives. Our plan was to graduate college, get married, buy a house, and then have babies. So far, we have accomplished everything on our list, but are still waiting on the babies.

Last August, I found out I was pregnant. We were so very excited and couldn’t wait to share the news with our family! We had a big family dinner and announced the great news! It was a beautiful moment where everyone cried and hugged! But, the excitement would soon fade.

Weeks later at a doctor’s appointment, blood work had shown my HCG levels were not where they needed to be. A week after that, my levels had declined significantly. My doctor sat down with me and suggested I prepare myself for a “spontaneous abortion”.

I was devastated.

I didn’t know how to tell my husband or my family. On the drive home from the doctor’s office, all I could think about was everyone else. How was my mother going to take it? What about my poor husband? And my sister? I did not take the time to think about myself and process my emotions. I felt like I failed and could not figure out what I did wrong to deserve this. I was so excited to begin this journey of motherhood, and suddenly, it was all gone.

As a nurse, it is our nature to care for others, often forgetting that sometimes we need to be taken care of, too. The next step for me was to get healthy and focus on self-care. I completely changed my diet, lost weight, switched from night shift to day shift, exercised, and started practicing yoga. By making the decision is take care of me, I began to notice the difference in my mind and body and felt great!

Today, Brandon and I are happy and healthy. We have a supportive family and a tremendous love between the both of us. We often pray for a child and wonder where we will be the day we find out we are pregnant. We wonder who our child will look like? who will he or she act like? What will he or she be when they grow up? We can only pray that this child will come when the time is right and know deep in our hearts that one day we will be parents. So for now, we just pray… and consider this time in our life a journey.

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