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Friday With Friends!

Hi all!

Lisa over at Amateur Nester interviewed me for a blog post recently, and it’s posted today!

Please stop on over to visit, read, and show Lisa some love – and be sure to follow her blog!  She’s a fantastic advocate for the infertility community, and you might just learn something while reading her beautiful and informational posts!

Enjoy, and Happy Friday!

 

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Resolve to Know More: Guest-Blogging and NIAW!

I’m so excited to be a part of the COOLEST blog link-up this week!

My friend Lo at Our Crazy Ever After suggested this badass idea of having non-infertility bloggers host infertility bloggers during RESOLVE’s National Infertility Awareness Week, and seriously?  What a great idea!

I was in from the get-go, and was so happy to be matched up with Carolyn over at life, love & puppy prints.  I’m so thankful that this opportunity for sharing our stories is being made possible by Lo and her fantastic idea, and by bloggers like Carolyn who are advocating for we Infertiles by allowing us to share with their readers!

I’m like hyped-up-cheerleader-on-meth excited about this, guys.

Please give Carolyn a visit today, check out my guest post, and show some love to all the other bloggers who are hosting Infertiles this week, too!

OMG.  This is like Infertiles’ Semester Abroad.  I kind of love it.

Hooray, advocacy!  🙂

 

For more information on the disease of infertility, please visit RESOLVE’s website: http://www.resolve.org/infertility101

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An Opportunity To Give

Hi guys!

I am so excited today.

Why, you may ask?

I’m super amped because my friend Jaclyn approached me recently and asked if I would be willing to host an online party for the natural makeup line she promotes called Younique.  I’ve been really interested in making whatever “natural” changes in my life that are possible lately, so makeup seemed like the next step, right?

Right.

Well then she hit me with this awesomesauce:

She wants me to host the party, and she wants to donate her entire commission to RESOLVE to support other women suffering with infertility.

How amazing is that??

Pretty frickin’ amazing is right.

Jaclyn is a mom of three adorable kiddos, and is a fighter and a survivor herself.  She says that she’s been on the receiving end of help from others, and that with her business, she is now able to reach out, help others, and give back some of what she’s been given.

She’s an amazing person, promoting an amazing product, making an amazing offer.

And so, here I am, telling you all about this amazing opportunity that we all have (did I mention that it’s amazing?):

For the next five days, if you visit this page right here, buy some goodies for yourself and maybe a Christmas gift for your girlfriends, you will not only be getting some incredible products that are totally natural, but you will also be making a donation that will directly help others.

It’s as simple as that.

Buy stuff, get stuff, love stuff, make a difference.

No offense to the makeup counter at the mall, but this is way better.

Please take a peek, maybe buy a thing or two, and enjoy these products knowing that you’re directly impacting people living with infertility today.

Please also feel free to share, invite others, and generally social media the hell outta this link.

The more we buy, the prettier we look, and the more we can help the One in Eight!

3D Fiber Lashes and Philanthropy… They’re a perfect match.  🙂

Start shopping here!

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Everyday Miracles

When the husband and I relocated to the Toledo area two years ago, I found myself living in a brand new city, surrounded by strangers (and some built-in friends and family), and starting a brand new job.

The very first person I met on my first day of work was my new boss, Lisa.  I could never have known that day how much she would impact my life, or how much her life had already been impacted itself.  I could tell immediately that she was a wise soul, but I wouldn’t know until later how much her life had been touched by infertility, loss, illness, and struggle.

Lisa became so much more than just a supervisor to me; she became a mentor, a friend, a confidante.  She was someone with whom I could be completely honest about my personal struggles, and someone who really understood and sympathized because she had been through it all herself.  She was an amazing support system for me almost instantly, which is one of the reasons why it was so easy for me to make time for fertility treatments while getting established at a new job.

After time, I found out that Lisa was sick.  She was suffering with a chronic illness called gastroparesis, which caused her debilitating nausea and excruciating pain on a daily basis.  She missed chunks of time at work, and was hospitalized almost weekly, sometimes for days or weeks at a time.  Her life was hell, and she was a complete angel to me…

It was incredible to me that a person who had suffered for years to conceive her daughter, and then received that miracle only to be thrown immediately into chronic illness had enough compassion left in her for other people, but Lisa was one of the sweetest people you’d ever met.  She had a smile for everyone, and was well-known for her shopaholic tendencies.  I began to rely on her to keep me afloat on days when I just wanted to curl up and die; I knew that I might be having a little sad-uterus pity-party, but that she was struggling with pain and illness and somehow still had it in her to encourage me to get up and try again.

I think that if it hadn’t been for her, I would have run out of determination a year ago after the miscarriage.  Lisa talked me through that whole process, and was one of my biggest cheerleaders as I returned to work and took the world by the balls.  She was my inspiration as I tried to get my head  and body right, to get myself ready to fight again, just like she did every day.

One day though, things for Lisa got worse.  She would be out of the office for a week.  Then two.  Then she’d be back for a day or two, and then she was in the hospital for three weeks or four.  Her doctors recommended not one, but two completely experimental procedures to attempt to alleviate her symptoms, but though they helped for a short time, nothing was working…

By early this year, Lisa was no longer working.  She was sick and in pain daily, and in and out of the hospital with regularity.  The doctors were not optimistic about her chances at controlling her illness, and things were looking bleak.

At Easter, she landed in the hospital while visiting some out-of-town relatives a few hours from home, and was soon in the ICU.  At one point, Lisa was being prayed over by the hospital chaplain.  Things were dire.

This is when a doctor she had never met decided to run a very common test, just in case something basic had been missed in the past.

That doctor’s intuition was right, and it literally saved Lisa’s life.

Her chronic illness had been misdiagnosed. 

She had her gallbladder removed immediately, her body began to heal itself, and she is a completely different person today.

I had dinner with Lisa last week, which never would have happened when she was sick because she couldn’t actually eat food, and it is still amazing to me to see the transformation in her.  In the past year, she had gone from a hopeful, colorful person, to a deflated version of herself, and back again.

She’s almost as good as new today, and that, my friends, is a miracle.

Lisa’s story gives me hope, perspective, and the courage not to give up.  It’s also an excellent example of why we should always advocate for our own health, even with the doctors and professionals who are supposed to do that for us, and who are only human as well, and therefore may also make mistakes from time to time.

Lisa never gave up, and now she has her life back.  She is back to shopping, and laughing, and spoiling her miracle baby rotten, but one thing hasn’t changed:

She is still keeping hope alive for everyone whose lives she has touched.

If you want to read more about her story in her words, you can visit her new blog here.  I promise you’ve never met a more spirited, determined, and joyful person, and that all comes across through her words.

Miracles don’t just impact the recipients… Sometimes just being in their presence can change the lives of those who experience them, the same way my life has been impacted by Lisa’s miracle.

If you’re struggling – whether it’s fear, depression, infertility, illness – don’t give up.

Don’t ever, ever give up.

 

 

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Review: Teamotions Brand Loose Teas

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I’ve been meaning to do this for a while – starting a series of reviews of products or services I’ve used for the benefit of others who may be researching whether they will be a good fit in their infertility journey, or in life in general.

Here we go!

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Can we take just a minute to talk about the power of tea?

Yeah.  You heard me.  Tea.

It’s amazing, and I love it.  Black, green, white, red – just steep it and serve it!

There’s something comforting about drinking a hot cup of tea (or a cold glass of iced tea, for that matter!), and there’s something I can’t describe – the comfort of a special morning routine, maybe – about having that moment to yourself to breathe in the steam and aromatics from the beverage you’re brewing just for you.

It’s peaceful, and some days it’s the only peace I can find for myself; having a moment of peace each day can be vital for someone who is struggling with infertility, loss, and the everyday stresses that come along with TTC.

Anyway, not being a coffee drinker, I’ve loved tea for a long time, but last year after my miscarriage, I discovered this company, Teamotions.  They have created specific teas and herbal blends that help assist your body and mind in recovering from different types of stress – grief, loss, tension, exhaustion, etc.

The teas contain adaptogens, which are non-toxic, natural substances that create a nonspecific response in the body.  Basically, they assist your body in doing what it naturally should be doing, and they do it without medication or hormonal treatment.  Adaptogens are our friends!

Besides being an amazing company that participates in many charitable events and whose foundation came from the devastating loss of two dear babies, the teas themselves are well thought out, and most importantly, DELICIOUS.  My favorite is the Achieve Clarity, which is a vanilla Earl Grey (that, sadly, I can’t have right now because it’s caffeinated.  Boo.), and the husband loves the Enjoy Rest, an apple cinnamon chamomile.As far as ease of use, I will say that these are loose teas – not your grocery store tea bags.  If you want to brew a proper cuppa, you’ll need to have a tea strainer or small pot with a straining insert.  You can also buy reusable cloth tea bags in your local home goods store or online, if you want to simplify your life a bit.  As for me, I am a loose tea user from way back, so I have several pots at home.

Here’s my routine:

When I get up in the morning, I fill up my electric kettle and get some water boiling, which only takes a minute or so.  I choose my tea (I have them all.  I’m that obsessed.), and scoop the recommended amount into my tea strainer.  Once the water is hot enough, I’ll pour it over the tea and fill the pot, put the lid on, and let it steep while I get ready for work.

Just before I leave, I pour the hot tea into a big metal travel mug that will keep it hot for the better part of the morning.  Sometimes I add a teensy bit of honey or a splash of almond milk, but the teas themselves are really delicious on their own, too.

That’s it!  Not difficult, and well worth the extra three minutes of effort every morning.  If you’re unsure about brewing your own loose tea, there are directions on every canister and on the Teamotions website.

And if you’re concerned that you may not have the right equipment, everything you need can be purchased on their website, in your local Bed Bath & Beyond, or in a specialty mall store like Teavana (that place is like heaven…).  You don’t need an electric kettle if you have a glass measuring cup and a microwave, and you don’t even need a special tea pot and strainer if you have a fine mesh sieve.  Just place the tea in the bottom of a bowl, pour the hot water over top, let steep for a few minutes, and then strain through the sieve into your mug of choice.

I should mention, and I hesitate to even include this, the only factor that may be a detriment here:  the cost.  These teas are slightly more expensive up front than what you may be used to paying in a grocery store.  For example, a box of twenty Tazo green tea bags goes for around $8 on Amazon.com, which means you’re paying roughly $.40 per cup.  With Teamotions, a canister costs around $15 and brews 32 cups, costing you around $.46 per cup.  You will also probably pay for shipping to get the tea to you, and you may choose to invest in products with which to brew the tea, which would add to the cost overall.

The nice thing about loose tea is that you can usually get two brews out of one teaspoon of loose tea.  I don’t usually have time to do this during the week, but in the evening and on weekends, I frequently brew a pot of tea, drink it all, and then pour another pot of hot water over top of the once-used leaves to brew them again.  It’s a slightly weaker pot versus the first one, but still good nonetheless.  If you do this, you can stretch that canister of loose tea so that it’s a less expensive option in the long run!

Teamotions costs significantly less than loose tea from Teavana, and far less than loose tea from Republic of Tea, even if you factor in the shipping cost.  It may be pricier than your grocery store Lipton bag, but really you’re getting what you pay for here (and for what I’ve gotten from this brand, the price is extremely reasonable).

If you’re looking for something special to add to your daily routine, a way to relax in the evening, or just something yummy to drink that’s not terrible for you, I would highly recommend checking out this brand.  You won’t regret it!

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Stuff and Things

Hidee-ho there, neighbor-inos!

…Don’t judge me.  We’ve been discussing old TGIF programming at work lately.

Speaking of which, did you hear about THIS??  Awwwww yisssss!

Anyway, back to the Stuff and Things for which this post was created…

Firstly, the Stuff:

So, remember that one time when this little ol’ blog was nominated for a big honkin’ award?

Oh right, that’s NOW.

Today, July 17th (until midnight), is the last day to vote!  If you’re so inclined, please hop on over to the RESOLVE page and vote with every email address you have.  Please also read the other nominees’ posts, as they are fantastic entries!

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s discuss the Things:

If you’ve been in the Infertility Game for a while, you probably know all about the different online resources available for education and support.  I have a few of them singled out on my Infertility Resources page, but there are many others out there as well.

One of my favorite resources is FertilityAuthority.  The site has great informational articles, blog posts by real women with real feelings and real snark who are on this rollercoaster with us, and a really nice resource for locating a doctor or clinic in your area.  The best part about said resource is that you get connected with a real live person at FertilityAuthority, and they can help you find the best medical match in your neck of the woods.

This isn’t a sales pitch.  I hope it doesn’t sound like a sales pitch… Although if you are interested in utilizing said service, there’s a  widget in the sidebar that will notify someone over at FertilityAuthority to get in touch with you, and you can get the ball rolling right away!  So… sales pitch over, I guess.  🙂

I just love that there are organizations out there to help women going through the frustration of infertility, and FertilityAuthority is one of the best, in my opinion.

They also have a forums site called FertileThoughts, which is a great place to connect with others who are in exactly the same boat as you.  I’ve been a member for quite some time, and I’ve met some great people there!  If you’re interested in joining, there’s another badge in the sidebar to the right, and a link on the Infertility Resources page, that will link you right over.

Okay, so I told you all of that, to tell you this:

FertilityAuthority is going to be featuring this little ol’ blog as their Blog of the Week in the newsletter they put out called The Daily Shot!

WOO!  I’m excited to be featured, and even more excited to have this connection with an organization for which I have so much respect!

If you want to receive The Daily Shot newsletter (and read the Blog of the Week entry – I’ll be featured the week of July 23rd), you can click here to sign up, and to read the archives which contain a wealth of information and some fabulous featured bloggers.

So there.  Stuff and Things.  A little of this and a little of that, and a few links for good measure.

I hope there’s some information here that helps you!

 

Do you have any go-to websites for information, support, or blogs that we should all be reading? 

If so, please share them in the comments! 

 

 

 

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Nominated!

Guys.

Something has happened.

..No.  Not that.

Something else, though.

Something amazing.

Like bacon-dipped-in-Nutella amazing.

But maybe even better…

Do you remember back in April, when RESOLVE released its National Infertility Awareness Week theme for 2013, Join The Movement?

Every blogger and their infertile brother wrote a post (or posts) on their interpretation of said theme, including yours truly.

Well, the lovely folks at RESOLVE have been reading through those posts since early May, choosing their favorites and narrowing down their top five.

Top.  Five.

Out of over 130 other blogs submitted.

And guess what?

This blogger right here has been chosen as part of that group.

I am one of the top five nominees for the Hope Award for Best Blog!

I can’t even believe how amazing that is!

I’m just a girl who rants about her busted plumbing on the interwebs… I’m no one!  Nothing!

I’m just one of the barren masses!

I’m one in a whole slew of other women (and men!) doing the same thing, albeit they are expressing themselves more eloquently than I could ever aspire to do myself.

Apparently though, someone over at RESOLVE liked what I had to say… And I’m not arguing.

I’m honored and humbled and just plain happy about it.

Thank you, RESOLVE!

Now here’s the fun part, the part where you come in.

The winner of the Hope Award for Best Blog is chosen by the number of votes they receive from the public.

Voting opens Wednesday, July 10th, and one vote per email address is allowed.

Voting ends on July 17th, and the winner will be announced in August.

The winner of the Hope Award for Best Blog will win a trip to New York City to the 16th annual Night of Hope dinner in November, where they will be presented with their award in front of a big, fancy, dressed-up audience!

In New York!

An awards dinner, y’all!

Isn’t that just so fancy-schmancy you could die??

Needless to say, I’m pretty excited to be nominated, though I know that the competition is quite stiff.

The other nominees are inspiring bloggers and writers (one of them has written a book!), and I’m honored even to be on the same list with them.

I won’t pretend to be confident about my chances at this thing, but I know that I also won’t ever forget the realization that what I wrote meant something to someone; someone who thought it was worthy of sharing with the whole Infertility World, and possibly worthy of winning an amazing award.

That’s pretty terrific, right there.

And so, I am asking you, my friends, my family, my sisters of the busted pipes…

Will you vote for me?

Click here to go to the voting site, and be sure to read the other bloggers’ entries, too!

One vote per email address is allowed, and sharing of this link on social media is encouraged – any publicity for the infertile masses is a good thing, and these blog posts are the cream of the advocating crop!

Thank you all – so much – for your encouragement and support…

…And for your votes.

Because you love me.

Don’tcha?  😉

Nomination Badge

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Happy ICLW!

This is my first month participating in ICLW (International Comment Leaving Week, or IComLeavWe if you’re nasty.), and so far it has been an eye-opening experience.

First of all, I literally had no idea that so many infertility blogs existed.  It makes me sad and angry and warm and fuzzy all at the same time.

And second, I am learning so much about the different paths available to women with fertility issues.  By the time my appointment with the RE rolls around in June, I should be the most educated patient they’ve ever had.

Doctors love that.  Right?

So, if you’re visiting me for the first time–Welcome!  And thank you for stopping by!  I hope you find something you like that brings you back again soon.

If this isn’t your first visit, then you know the drill:  TMI, snark, over-punctuation, and too many ellipses…

Happy Commenting!  🙂

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Details Within

April 18th, 2011.  CD23.

Still no ovulation.  I think my ovaries hate me.  I know my wallet does, because springing for two boxes of OPK’s in one month is a bit excessive, even for me.

So there’s that.

Also, I have a new Adventures in Baby Making post up over at The Fertility Blogs.  It’s about ketchup. Really.

Okay, well part of it is about ketchup.

I hope this photo used in the post wasn’t misleading:

Also, fun factoid for the day:  Did you know that Heinz Ketchup has a custom label program?

Now they tell me!  I would have totally rethought the theme of my wedding if I had known this three years ago…

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Summertime Sadness

A safe space where I discuss the racing thoughts in my head, personal struggles, and day-to-day activities while struggling with mental health and mood disorder issues. My personal goal is to reduce the stigma that comes with mental health and mood disorders, by talking more about it.