I am NOT, but thank you for thinking about me.

Hi guys!

I’ve been getting comments and DMs very kindly/gently asking about how the “two week wait” went. 

Basically, am I pregnant? In short, no. And I really thought I was, so it was depressing to find out. I just allowed myself to be bummed out for a few days…but now, I’m getting my mind focused again.

What really helps are reading comments of your inspiring stories, like the ones in this post here. It seems for some of us, perseverance is the key.

I opened up here to discuss this process because I know there’s a good deal of people going through some fertility issues (small or big). It helps me to feel like I’m not alone. After reading some of your comments (and especially DMs for those of you that felt it was too personal to write openly), I appreciate knowing it helps some of you, too.

I’m still hopeful for all of us. I’m gearing up to start all over again. Now, off to get celery juice. I’m hearing it helps. With everything;) And Hayden and I have a mommy/son date this morning. This precious child… We’re already so blessed to have him and Huck. Reminding myself gratitude is a great place to start.

I posted a simple “prayer” on instagram stories last week: Lord, show me how to trust your timing and not my own. No matter what we are all going through in life, this is worth reading.

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Lady In Waiting: the two week wait

If you’ve come here to this post and don’t know what I’m referring to, my guess is it won’t be that interesting of a read for you. If BBT reminds you of Big Bang Theory and not TTC, this post wasn’t written for you! (Unless you’re a man and your wife is going through this… might be beneficial? Just saying. lol)

I’m talking about the journey of trying to conceive. The time between ovulation and celebration. Or disappointment….sometimes devastation. 

It doesn’t start that way… the first, say, several months are so promising and exciting! You’ve made the decision to have a baby! The adrenaline from just that process can carry you for a few months. But some point, that adrenaline wains and you want to see results. Maybe you were just “trying to see what happens.” But now find yourself clocking your cycle in apps or consulting doctors, doing bloodwork, getting ultrasounds, acupuncture, taking herbs, taking medications, taking your BBT (basal body temperature)… etc.

This photo was 3 years ago at our little make shift photo shoot when I was pregnant with Hayden.

This photo was 3 years ago at our little make shift photo shoot when I was pregnant with Hayden.

For those of you that have never gone through this arduous process for one reason or another, it most likely seems foreign and possibly crazy. Perhaps you conceived your children easily, or adopted, or chose not to have children. Some of you tried for a long time to get their miracle baby, or came to terms with not having biological children.   

When I was 38, I got the feeling from doctors that I was going to have trouble conceiving. I thought it would take me a very long time. I was almost mentally prepared for the process to take  6-12 months. But, it happened quickly. We were blessed. 

This time around has been different. Yes, I know I’m older , so there’s that issue. I try not to put pressure on us or myself, but I know  it must be there. The pressure, I mean. I posted on instagram right at the new year talking about using an ovulation test. I started using those because the first several months of trying, nothing was happening for me.  After consulting with a doctor, I was told to track my cycle. I got hyped up and excited thinking it would work miracles within months, like it does for many couples.

This is when it starts to get difficult. I discussed the topic in this post here. I got some great advice in the comments last time I posted about this, so I wanted to continue being open about fertility. I found an acupuncturist. It’s not cheap and the herbs taste terrible and you’re suppose to de-stress, change your diet and have frequents sessions with the acupuncturist. It’s just one step that some women take during this process. I also am taking a break from hot yoga (that I LOVE) because you’re not suppose to do that right now. I should be going to regular yoga, but I don’t like it as much. I appreciate those of you that commented and shared your experiences. I instantly felt less alone and more supported. For those of you wondering, there’s a decently large group of us out there around their 40s wanting to conceive as naturally as possible, or any way possible. 

How many of you are in or have recently been in this two week waiting period time and time again? (I can’t help but laugh at this phrase. It gives “lady in waiting” a whole new meaning.) I want to run to the store and get pregnancy tests but my doctor says it’s too early and would only create more stress for me to think that way. I just need to be patient. UGHHHH. And my question is: do you feel supported? How are you getting through it? Do you go on forums or have people to talk to? Of course we have our DH (dear husbands in the TCC community) or partner that may or may not totally understanding. I’m also TRYING to remember that I need to be supportive of my husband during this time, too. So, I’m learning it’s unfair of me to expect him to understand this emotionally charged time. I try not to vent too much or stress out to him about this topic (hence my venting here— wondering if he gets this far in the post-lol). Of course, Joel and I are in this  together. It’s our family. Our triumphs. And our stress. That strengthens us. (eventually;) 

Anyone out there feel this way? Fertility in 40s.

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Anyone that frequents this blog knows we are trying to have another baby. Sometimes I say “discussing” it or “considering expanding the family” in posts and such. I think I do that to take the pressure off of us, make it seem like we are okay no matter what happens- baby or no baby. 

And, of course, we are. Hayden and Huck are amazing blessings straight from God. When I walked into Hayden’s room this morning (bright and early cause he needed to go potty) he said, “I’m so excited to see you, Mommy. I had a good sleep.” I mean, just so precious. And Huck never forgets to say, “I love you,” when he leaves to go to his Mom’s house. We have the family I prayed for long ago.

I haven’t talked about this openly much, if at all really. There’s still a strong feeling we are not done. We have been trying. There were a few months I felt for sure I was pregnant. It must have been psychosomatic feelings. Anyone that has gone through this process knows the disappointment every month when you see a negative on the pregnancy test, or your cycle comes. 

I know it can take time. It just happened quickly with Hayden. I also was pregnant with four of my closest friends. This time it feels different for us. I shouldn’t speak for Joel, but I feel more alone going through this process at my age now. 

However, from what I’m reading, I am not at all alone. According to a recent study, the only female age group that saw an increased birth rate was for women 40-44! The percentage of millennial women having children is at an all-time low! The surge is mostly women my age, so I’m wondering how many of you out there are in the same boat? There’s got to be some!

I don’t want to dwell too much on anything negative, but it is a very depleting, anxiety inducing, crazy making process at times. It’s hard not get down on ourselves. We’re suppose to relax and let stuff go, yet my instinct is to be proactive. 

So, I am trying to be as proactive as possible. Cutting way down on the following: caffeine, sugar, wine, processed food and Diet Dr. Pepper. I’m not being crazy about that list, but trying very hard. No hot yoga (ugh, I love it, but I can do every other kind of yoga). I started seeing an acupuncturist that gave me the most disgusting herbs I’ve ever tasted to drink everyday. (She suggested three times a day). I’ve only seen her a few times, so I’m thinking I should increase the frequency. Thoughts?

I never froze my eggs. I haven’t tried any fertility methods. I’m absolutely supportive of all of that, I just haven’t done it….yet.

I’m seeing my doctor (OBGYN) today. Gonna drive over the hill in the pouring rain later. 

I would much rather write all this as post-journal success story. I’ve been waiting for that. But, that’s not our journey right now. I believe it will be. We don’t seem to talk about this stuff much. I understand why, but I wish we did discuss it more. So that’s why I’m writing this stuff here. This is a personal blog about lifestyle, fun, food, family, style (sometimes!) and it makes sense to find out if there are more of you out there feeling the same way I do? What steps are you taking? My hope is to make us feel more connected and less alone. If you have success stories- please share! 

HAPPY NEW YEAR! a little note of reflection and gratitude

These last few days have me reflecting on 2016. I know so many people want to rid 2016 goodbye forever and never look back. But, a great deal of good happened that fills me with hope and inspiration. It makes me want to work harder, contribute more, volunteer more. 

For instance, I loved hearing that volunteers in India planted 50 million trees in 24 hours. The first solar powered plane circumnavigated the world. Strides were made in finding a treatment for ALS... the list of reasons to smile and have hope goes on.  

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Personally, my husband and I started a family. It's been the most rewarding journey of my life to become a mother and a step-mom. I've loved getting to share these moments with my own parents, friends and family. And speaking of friends, I'm blessed to go through this journey of parenthood with several of my best ones that also welcomed little angels this year. 

It's also been wonderful to have this blog. I've thoroughly enjoyed getting the opportunity to have this outlet to share ideas on fashion, motherhood and work. Your support through this past year has meant the world to me. Thanks for following along my journey through pregnancy, my baby shower, the characters I've played this year for work (the GH fans are amazing!) and becoming a mother for the first time. I'm working on my list of resolutions for 2017 (I know, I better hurry!). I'd love to hear your thoughts on 2016 and your resolutions for the year ahead!

 

 

STEPPING UP and VENTURING OUT 39 WEEKS PREGANT!

At 39 weeks pregnant and counting, I debated if I had the energy to venture out today, but some things are worth the sacrifice. Step Up Womens Network is one of them (read more about the event and see other pictures here!). I went back to my trusted, comfy tank dress (that comes in tons of colors- I'm wearing an XS-- I wore the purple version - and a few other styles HERE). Plus, I add in extra support and confidence with maternity spanx.  I wore these heels only on the red carpet (pictured below) and then quickly slipped into my fold up, go to flats that fit in my purse and save my feet, completely worth the money. 

Charming Charlie was one of the main sponsors of the charitable event... Ali and I sported a few of their pieces. Ali's wearing one of their maxi dresses (under $35) and several pieces of jewelry-- and I love her purse/clutch. It's only $25! I think I'll be ordering that one. I was excited to wear these fun (incredibly affordable) earrings!

 Ali (32 weeks pregnant here) and I took a few pregnant pictures together in the press line.

 Ali (32 weeks pregnant here) and I took a few pregnant pictures together in the press line.

I just started timing my contractions on the way home with my girlfriends...(more on that here). My husband is texting me demanding I get my hospital bag together! I can't believe we're in the last days.... better go get it together. 

 

JUMPSUIT? Pregnant?! Um... YES! Read WHY!

JUMPSUIT? Pregnant?! Um... YES! Read WHY!

No baby news, yet. He's still content in my tummy. So, I'm trying to stay relaxed at 9 1/2 months pregnant.  This jumpsuit I'm sporting in the picture (read more to see the lookbook of high to low pricing options) must be the most comfortable thing I've ever put on... better than PJs. It'll be added to my list of staples for the next pregnancy (eek! Lord willing, but, I know, let's get through this one first!)

Read More

The LIST Part Two

The list of my pregnancy staples is growing, so I'm breaking it down into parts. Read Part One HERE -- and scroll down for more!

5) Crisp White Shirt

Don't we find this on EVERY list of staples? I swear, InStyle magazine has this as a must have for every season, every year. 

Well, there's a reason it ends up on so many essentials list. The white shirt (I'm wearing in the picture for this post) by IsabellaOliver keeps an outfit modern, fresh. It's incredibly versatile. Works over leggings, jeans, skirts.  Wear it with leggings and converse or with jeans (see Part One) and booties. You will look put-together. And let me tell you, being this pregnant, it's hard for me to feel put together.  

 6) Leggings

I've live in leggings in general... yoga pant type leggings. I didn't subscribe to needing a pair of maternity until recently, though. Once I hit the 3rd trimester, my girlfriends kept telling me how much I'd love real pair of maternity leggings. Ali Fedotowsky loves hers and preached how much I needed a pair. I must say, once I put them on, I was sold.  Leggings are a must have. 

7) Face Wipes

The further along I get into pregnancy, the more I'm less likely to be diligent about my skincare. At the very least, I've promised myself to remove all my makeup, pollution, sunscreen etc. So, I keep facial wipes with me in my car and by my bed. Most of the time, I enjoy the full nighttime routine of taking off the day and preparing my skin to relax. But, just in case I'm about to fall asleep (happening more and more), I can at least do something.  I have a feeling these will be on my "new mom" list of survivals, too.  I also have stocked up on THESE and the ones below.

EMBRACING CHANGE: body, life, work!

Dressing room shot after work March 8th- at 29 weeks

Dressing room shot after work March 8th- at 29 weeks

I haven’t openly talked about this yet.  By “this,” I mean the growing baby inside me.  I knew it would be the biggest change my body has ever gone through, but what’s surprising me is the inner journey I am experiencing. There is so much change. (Grant it, I am going through a lot of external change in life in general!) But, I’m being forced to learn some big life lessons quickly. 

For instance, acceptance.  I’m having to learn to relinquish so much control.  The obvious loss of control: my body changing.  The less obvious: the unknown. Right now, so much of life is up in the air. And the only thing I know for sure is —  for sure more change is coming.  

Some days, most days, I feel good and inspired and grateful for this experience. I like the days I get to work (update HERE).  The day I took this "dressing room selfie,"  I had just wrapped scenes with the talented Lexi Ainsworth for General Hospital. Some fun, shocking material.  Lexi's character, Kristina, is going through some big life changes trying to find, or possibly redefine herself.  Although my personal stage of life couldn't be more different, they are not entirely dissimilar. We are both attempting to embrace change.

And a special thanks to the wardrobe department for making me feel so comfortable in my "condition" of 7 months pregnant. I believe the words Shawn Reeves, head wardrobe designer, used were: "Embrace your bump!"  I loved the jacket I wore that helped me hide....er...embrace it! And I've worn the same pair of jeans for every episode! I own them in (non-maternity, too - on sale here), so I just graduated to maternity when I needed.  I love that Paige Denim designs for this stage of life.

I'm realizing how important it is staying focused and feeling productive. The days I tend to have more going on, the better I feel.  But, I have to remember balance.  My energy levels are completely different than normal. And they are harder to predict. I have to be ok with some downtime and not categorize downtime as “laziness.”  The more I push myself, the more I pay for it later. (I literally fainted at a coffeeshop my first trimester! Eek!) Type A, anyone? If you’re reading this and pregnant, I’m probably preaching to the choir.  Any advise? Thoughts? Please share! And stay tuned...