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The Sourest Lemons Life Has to Offer

I feel sad. It’s a feeling I think I always have but I know when I can turn it on and off. For example, when I go to work it’s all about being happy to make sure my guests are taken care. I can flip that switch 99% of the time but sometimes I can’t. I’m human. Me feeling sad has to do with a multitude of things; infertility, money, stress, anxiety, myself, etc. I’m sad about our infertility struggles because there are more and more people who are getting pregnant. I’ve totally okay with it all but I really want to one day be at peace with her. Infertility has taken over my life in ways I never thought possible. I mean, I feel like I know a new language just from the words used in the infertility world. I’m sad infertility has changed me as person because if I’m begin honest, I’m not the same person I was two years ago when our journey began. I used to believe pregnancy would be easy for me and that I would have the best pregnancies but come to find out we can’t even get to the part of getting pregnant without science being involved. I’ve actually had two dreams of being pregnant and in each dream it is so easy and lovely. I’m just waiting for that dream to become a reality. I’m sad because we don’t have the money up front to pay for IVF. **warning shameless plug ahead** I had every intention of finding a way to pay for IVF without help but that has gone by the wayside. When they say it takes a village to raise a child, they should also say it takes a village to pay for IVF to take care of the child. And if you haven’t please go visit our GoFundMe page linked at the end of the blog and if you are able to donate anything we would be forever grateful!! Lastly, I’m sad because my anxiety has me stressed because we aren’t on the time schedule I envisioned. For those that know me know that I’m big on planning and when you tell me something’s not going to happen the way I had it planned I become very stressed, My anxiety is through the room and my depression has made a few unplanned appearances. As you can see infertility brings more challenges than not being able to conceive.

I’ve been listening to a lot of different blogs lately and I’m trying to understand how each woman’s journey is different. I was sent a link from my best friend Caitlyn about a woman named Desi Perkins. She put a vlog up about her journey towards pregnancy after a miscarriage. In the vlog she says she gave up trying and she even watched footage of herself taking a pregnancy test that was negative. Desi is so afraid of disappointing everyone around, most importantly her husband. And then she says something that hits deep within my should. She says this is almost embarrassing to talk about because she is suppressing her feelings when it comes to going to baby showers, seeing other people get pregnant before you and all the other things associated with talking about wanting a child and navigating the way through. One thing I noticed throughout the video is Desi’s strength and her faith. She believes the specialist she is seeing is going to be able to help her get pregnant. I wish nothing but the best for her because I hate seeing women in pain and struggling through their infertility struggles. I just feel for her when she says she’s worried she’ll get pregnant again only to have the same end result: a miscarriage.But she keeps her head up and keeps her faith and I know one day she’ll be able to hold a baby against her skin while they sleep. One thing Desi does say that is very important is it’s not polite to ask someone if they’re pregnant especially on social media. Not this applies more for her because she is a celebrity. But people shouldn’t ever ask if someone is pregnant just because you see a roll or two. So PSA if you see a women looking a little pregnant stop and think  long and hard before you ask how far along  a person is. For me endo-belly is no joke. Some days I look like I have a normal belly but then other days I wake up and my stomach is so full of inflammation that I look 5-6 months pregnant. It’s awful. I feel awful. And when those days happen I stay home because I’m afraid I’ll run into someone at the store and they’ll ask the dreaded question.

I’m still learning so much about myself while on this journey and I hope I keep coming across videos like this for me to watch. Not only are they education for me I get to learn more facets of infertility. I feel for Desi. I feel so lost not be able to give Russell children. Now I can’t say it’s embarrassing to have infertility because I’ve always been very  open about it but it’s still the hardest subject for me to talk about. One day I’ll be able to have my littles with me and show that no matter what life threw at me I conquered it. And that’s what I want all of you to do . Even though we all are connected by this disease I’m sure you’ll to find a way to take the sourest lemon life has to offer and turn into something resembling lemonade. If you can do that anything is possible.

Until Next Time

xoxo

https://www.gofundme.com/angelicamyounge.com/angelicamyoung)

 

Desi’s video is linked for those who may be interested in watching or following along on her journey.

 

 

 

 

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abortion, animal lover, anxiety, babies, beauty, becoming parents, best friend, black, blogger, body shaming, boudoir, breaking news, conceiving, conception, Dayton, depression, dreams, endometriosis, failure, faith, family, fashionista, fitness, growing, hope, husband, I Am That Girl, illness, infertility, influenser, IUI, IVF, Kids, learning, lies, life, make up lover, makeup, Making a difference, mama to be, marriage, married, Mary Kay Cosmetics, modeling, negative, new normal, Ohio, pageant girl, Pageants, parent, photography, PIO, positive, Poverty, PUPO, race, racial issues, reproductive health, resolve.org, sad, self talk, sex, shoe addict, Shoes, skincare, thoughts, transparency, truth, Trying to Conceive, TTC, Uncategorized, Volunteer, voting, white, wife, women, women's issues, womens rights

Are you seeing me?

I’ve been asking myself a lot lately if the blog posts are being seen. If you are seeing them can you answer a few questions and post your comments down below and we’ll get right into today’s blog!

1.) How did you find me? 2.) What keeps you coming back? 3.) Before reading about my blog do you or someone you know have endometriosis? 4.) What topics do you like most and what topics would you like to know more about? 5.) Before following my blog did you know what endometriosis is?

 

In today’s blog I’d like to bring to light another story that was shared with me recently. I wanted to share this story with you all right away but I simply didn’t know how to get through the blog without crying and being upset for a friend of mine.( Her name has been changed in this blog for social media privacy) So I decided to step back and think about how I wanted to share her story because some of the detail of her infertility are difficult to discuss. So last week I received a private message from my friend, Miah, telling me she now understands the pain that I’ve endured while going through endometriosis, the surgeries, and now IVF and everything that it brings. Miah continued by saying she had an ectopic pregnancy. For those that don’t know an ectopic pregnancy is when the embryo is in the fallopian tube traveling to the uterus. However, the embryo ends up getting stuck in the fallopian tube. The end result is a miscarriage because embryos can’t survive outside the uterus. Most of the time when people are trying they don’t realize they’ve created an embryo and women will often times go to the doctor with symptoms of pelvic pain, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, or pain in shoulder area. It is during the pelvic exam or ultrasound the technician or doctor (depends on who is doing your ultrasound) will see the embryo in the tube. However, there are serious health concerns that come from having an ectopic pregnancy. Unfortunately, Miah went through the worst with her ectopic pregnancy. Her fallopian tube ruptured causing her a lot of pain. She had to go in for emergency surgery to save her life. Within minutes of arriving to the hospital she was being prepped for surgery. I can’t imagine how stressful her situation was or even how scared she was.

When she came out of surgery she said she looked down at her stomach and she didn’t recognize it. I told her I felt the same when I had all of mine. Many days I still want to hide all my scars and never wear a two piece bathing suit ever again. It’s not that I feel anger or resentment towards them but if I’m being quite honest I liked my body the way it was before all the surgery. Right now I don’t like my body and the way it looks.I’d prefer to hide my body until I feel comfortable in my skin again. And that’s also another obstacle women have to go through after they’ve gone through a laparoscopy. The first thought is “what does it look like under all the bandages?” ,Second thought is “when will I get to see it?”, and after you finally see your stomach for the first time its complete silence. Do you know why? Because the image that we are looking at won’t be going away, they’re in places that can be hard to cover up if you wanted to show your stomach. I fully understood what Miah was saying when she said she didn’t recognize her stomach. Miah is so brave and so strong. The amount of pain from rupturing a fallopian tube has to worse than child-birth. I’ve had several cysts rupture and that feeling is one of the worst feelings a person can feel. I just wanted to give some love to Miah for being an amazing person, sharing her story with me and continuing to try to find the light during this dark time. I have so much positive energy for you and your family. Keep being positive, have faith and know that you may not have all the answers now but you’ll find them eventually. If there’s one nugget of advice I can give you it’s don’t give up. When you feel like you can’t get out of bed or you’re struggling with what has just happened and you’re slipping into a negative space say to yourself ,Don’t give up. I promise this made me feel better on days when I just wanted to curl up in bed and shut the world out. I won’t lie to you, seeing pregnancy announcements and bare bellies and all the pictures people post of their newborns is going to be hard. You’ll feel like you are going through this alone but you aren’t. I felt that way for a long time because I couldn’t find anyone I could identify with and once that changed my mindset started to change. I believe in you and I love you very much. I promise you are going to get through this and you’ll be stronger, more grateful for the life you have now, and more positive. This experience has tilted your universe and I know you’ll do great things by sharing your story!

 

Until Next Time

xoxo

abortion, animal lover, anxiety, babies, beauty, becoming parents, best friend, black, blogger, body shaming, boudoir, breaking news, conceiving, conception, Dayton, depression, dreams, endometriosis, failure, faith, family, fashionista, fitness, foodie, growing, hope, husband, I Am That Girl, illness, infertility, influenser, IUI, IVF, Kids, learning, lies, life, make up lover, makeup, Making a difference, mama to be, marriage, married, Mary Kay Cosmetics, modeling, negative, new normal, Ohio, pageant girl, Pageants, parent, photography, PIO, positive, Poverty, PUPO, race, racial issues, reproductive health, resolve.org, sad, self talk, sex, shoe addict, Shoes, skincare, thoughts, transparency, truth, Trying to Conceive, TTC, Uncategorized, Volunteer, voting, white, wife, women, women's issues, womens rights

Putting Our Pride Aside

As some or most have seen, Russell and I put up a GoFundMe account to help with some of the costs of IVF. I have no idea what’s going to happen with the outcome or how much we are able to raise. But at the end of it all I know whatever we do have we’ll use to go towards our total IVF payment. For those who have already donated, thank you so much. I’m not going to recount our story for the five thousandth time but I will let you know that we are getting stronger and stronger each day. Part it is from all the support we know we have and the other part is knowing we have each other to go through this with.

I like to think of this situation as our Mount Everest. It’s taking a long time to get to the top but we do get there everything we’ve gone through will be worth. The moment when we get to the top (aka conceiving a child) and everything just seems so surreal because the amount of patience you have to have is indescribable. But sometimes when we are going on big adventures you need help and guidance along the way. Russell and I never intended to put up a gofundme but we’ve decided to put our pride aside and see what happens. We have Plan A, Plan B and we’re working on putting together a Plan C. Clearly we all want Plan A but it may not happen. And can I take a second to bitch about how our healthcare system needs to be changed. It’s not fair that they’ll bill insurance thousands of dollars for a simple ER visit but going to the same hospital for treatment to have a baby gets no help. I’m over here like hello insurance companies, I know your business is sometimes shady and this is one of the areas I would deem shady. I wish women could have more coverage to take the stress of wondering, hoping, putting all you your extra effort into thinking of every little thing that could happen. I have many more gripes when it comes to women and men not getting coverage for infertility issues.

I wanted to keep this short and sweet because I really don’t know what else to say. If you are able to donate that would be great and if you can’t please keep saying your prayers for us. We appreciate everything everyone has done for us thus far! Link down below.

xoxo

https://www.gofundme.com/angelicamyoung

 

 

abortion, animal lover, anxiety, babies, beauty, becoming parents, best friend, black, blogger, body shaming, boudoir, endometriosis, failure, faith, family, fashionista, fitness, foodie, growing, hope, husband, I Am That Girl, illness, infertility, influenser, IUI, IVF, Kids, learning, lies, life, make up lover, makeup, Making a difference, mama to be, marriage, married, Mary Kay Cosmetics, modeling, negative, new normal, Ohio, pageant girl, Pageants, parent, photography, PIO, positive, Poverty, PUPO, race, racial issues, reproductive health, resolve.org, sad, self talk, sex, shoe addict, Shoes, skincare, thoughts, transparency, truth, Trying to Conceive, TTC, Uncategorized, Volunteer, voting, white, wife, women, women's issues

Where Did all my Friends Go?

I have asked this question to myself quite often lately. When a woman is going through infertility she is going through someone incredibly indescribable. When we are read bed time stories when we are little they all begin and end the same way; one per is usually in need of help from the Prince. After getting help they fall madly in love, get married and live happily every after. But in the real world that’s not how life works. And I believe the commonality between relationships and friends are the same. However, I’ve learned pretty hard who is there for me and who is not. I have three girls at work (Yen, Sam and Lizzie) that I am very close with. Without their support I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. They keep me sane and are always there when I need their shoulder to cry (literally). Finding girlfriends when you’re an adult is super hard and I’m glad that was able to invade their tribe and become friends with them. It also helps that we love makeup, babies, and we genuinely care for each other. There aren’t many women out there like them and I’m so glad to apart of the tribe. Then there’s Erin. I could write so many amazing things about Erin. She’s always calling to check on me and see if I’m doing okay. She is also a diamond in the rough. I wouldn’t trade out friendship for the world. And after all who would I share my twin stories with?! Caitlyn, my soul sister. Do I even need to say anything. Your guidance, love, prayer and hope for us during this time fills me with such gratitude. Emma, you live in an entirely different state and still check on me every now and again. Our friendship is immeasurable and nothing will ever break us. You are my person. Finally, Daniella, Marisa and Mom. You guys keep me on my toes. Even though Daniella and Marisa, you are my sisters you are also my very best friends. Sometimes I want to punch you but the bond we have could never be broken. I love you so much. And my momma. I call you a million times a day and hate when I go longer than three days from talking to you. I mean I love you so much and was so worried about you that I had the police check on you and it turns out you were still sleeping **that was a big oops**. You all are awesome and I love you more than you’ll ever know.

Now I’m sure you’re all asking yourselves “is she crazy she does have friends”? The answer is this. I used to have a lot of friends that were invested in me. Just checking in to see how I’m doing or asking how I’m feeling. Infertility does a lot to a woman’s mind. Not only does it make you think things that aren’t true, you just start to believe things that aren’t real (thank goodness for therapy right??) I had to learn from being diagnosed that things would change. My feelings were so fragile those first few months and it’s becoming more and more hard to deal with because my friends have distant themselves too. I say too because I have done the same. I haven’t want to be with anyone. I’ve wanted to be alone; just me, my bed, and my thoughts. I don’t want to socialize because I don’t want to be asked how treatment is going, which is so crazy because I’m an open book when it comes to my blog. But sometimes a girl just needs a break, ya know?

I just want to get to a point in my journey where people aren’t uncomfortable inviting me to baby showers (which I politely decline but still send a gift and am working on getting the strength to go), or first birthday parties, recitals. Not being invited makes me feel even more alone. It’s all about balance and once I master that I know I’ll be able to function much better.

Until Next Time

 

Please feel free to share your stories on how your friendships have changed through you finding out you have infertility.

 

abortion, animal lover, anxiety, babies, beauty, becoming parents, best friend, black, blogger, body shaming, boudoir, breaking news, conceiving, conception, Dayton, depression, dreams, endometriosis, failure, faith, family, fashionista, fitness, foodie, growing, hope, husband, I Am That Girl, illness, infertility, influenser, IUI, IVF, Kids, learning, lies, life, make up lover, makeup, Making a difference, mama to be, marriage, married, Mary Kay Cosmetics, modeling, negative, new normal, Ohio, pageant girl, Pageants, parent, photography, PIO, positive, Poverty, PUPO, race, racial issues, reproductive health, resolve.org, sad, self talk, sex, shoe addict, Shoes, skincare, thoughts, transparency, truth, Trying to Conceive, TTC, Uncategorized, Volunteer, voting, white, wife, women, women's issues, womens rights

Therapy Part One

Throughout this journey I’ve been very open about my mental state and how I’m feeling about infertility, the emptiness that I felt when I kept getting negative pregnancy tests, the trying and getting a period and the disappointment that followed and just the downward spiral I felt I was going down. So after many talks and lots of thinking I decided that if I wasn’t going to go on medication I’d need to seek counseling from a third-party… because let’s be honest, there is only so much your family, friends and spouse can say to calm you down in a time of need.

Through my insurance I was able to find a therapist who is in my area but I was disappointed because she isn’t taking any new clients until August. So I went with my second option. And let me tell you that was a disaster. Keep in mind I’m big on first impressions. Like if I don’t get a good vibe from you in the first five minutes (really more like two minutes) I’m most likely not going to vibe well with you. I will not disclose the person’s name or location but I was not impressed. Walking into a cluttered space was overwhelming. So overwhelming in fact that I became even more anxious. Then I walk into the therapists office where they work and to my dismay it was even worse than the waiting area. I mean I was so distracted because the office was not what I had in mind. Correct me if I’m wrong but shouldn’t a therapist’s office be a neutral, yet inviting space to be in with plants and calming feel? All I could think about was the amount of things in the office, like a floor fan, humidifier, the crooked wall hangings, the magazines everywhere, and just the overall clutter. Not to mention they took a phone call in the middle of me answering a question! I felt like I couldn’t focus on the questions being asked because of the chaos I felt I was in. We all know we don’t go to therapy to be distracted, we go to find ways to cope with our issues. Needless to say I left more overwhelmed than I went in.

And can I mention the advice I was given when I was told them why I was having anxiety and depression. I was told when I’m anxious I need to breathe deeply through my nose and out my mouth three times. The second task I was instructed to do was to create a story from a happy time in my life and remind myself of that happy time to get out of a funk. To be honest, I was disappointed. I thought for my first session I’d go in and tell them what was going on and what events had led up to me seeking treatment. Now, I do understand that everyone has a different approach but I just didn’t feel this person was a right fit for me. So now I’m back to square one. I am doing my research and seeing who is covered under my insurance so I can see someone else.

But last week when I wrote my last blog I told you all that I’ve give you some pointers on what to say and what not to say to someone going through infertility because it’s a tough topic to talk about, especially if you aren’t familiar with what that person is going through and want to offer advice but don’t quite know how. So below are the What to Say and What Not to Say to someone going through infertility. I’ll just list them and give a quick explanation (if you have any questions please feel free to ask and remember this is just from my point of view)

What to Say:

*Let the person dealing with infertility know you are there

*Listen…sometimes we just need to vent

*Connect us with other women/couples going through infertility so we can share our stories, offer advice to one another and be cheerleaders for them. It helps more than you can imagine.

*Tell us when you’re pregnant

* I’m sorry you’re going through this

*Send us inspirational quotes or bible versus relating to infertility, i.e. Sarah and Abraham’s story

*I hate that you’re going through this

*I love you

*Asking how we are doing or if we need anything

*If you’re feeling down and need me to run and errand for you please don’t hesitate to ask (Shout out to my bestie Erin for ALWAYS saying this to me)

*I’m praying for you/praying for your strength and hope during this time

What Not to Say:

*It’s not the right time

*There’s always next month

*Have you thought about adoption (this has to be at the top of the most awful questions to be asked)

*Maybe it’s not in God’s plan for you to be a mother/parent

*Has your husband switched to boxers?

*Trust me you’re lucky you don’t have kids

*You must enjoy your sleep

*Just get drunk and have sex that’s how most babies are created 

*You’re too stressed and that’s why you can’t get pregnant

*Whose fault is it? Yours or His?

*It’ll happen when it’s meant to be

*Don’t keep anything baby related from us. That’s the last we want because we still care about our friends and family babies and taking that next step in their journey. Just talk to use like you always do. 

Just a few things I wanted to share because I’ve been told by a few people in my inner circle that they don’t always know what to say. So I’d thought I’ve a little sight (again as my opinion) about what will make it easier to transition into conversation.

Until Next Time

xoxo

Angelica

abortion, animal lover, anxiety, babies, beauty, becoming parents, best friend, black, blogger, body shaming, boudoir, breaking news, Dayton, depression, dreams, endometriosis, failure, family, fashionista, fitness, foodie, growing, husband, I Am That Girl, illness, infertility, influenser, IUI, IVF, Kids, learning, lies, life, make up lover, makeup, Making a difference, mama to be, marriage, married, Mary Kay Cosmetics, modeling, negative, Ohio, pageant girl, Pageants, PIO, positive, Poverty, PUPO, race, racial issues, reproductive health, resolve.org, sad, self talk, sex, shoe addict, Shoes, skincare, thoughts, transparency, truth, Trying to Conceive, TTC, Uncategorized, Volunteer, voting, white, wife, women, women's issues

We weren’t chosen…yet

Hello my darlings. It’s been a little bit since we’ve last seen each other. I decided to take a little hiatus from blogging to really work on me and center myself more. Now before we get  into this week’s topic I wanted to share a quote with you that I came across that is so powerful to me.

“You were given this life because you’re strong enough to live it” –Unknown

This quote isn’t extremely long, it’s just to the point and lets us all know that no matter what we have going on in our lives we are strong enough to take it on! I actually needed to see this quote because the last few days have been really hard. Friday I received the first email from one of the companies giving away grants to deserving couples who need the money to help fund their IVF treatment. The email started off great and they said our story was powerful and were one of the finalists, however, they chose another couple to get the $10,000 reward. Unfortunately, I have no idea about the couple who won, what their situation is like, how long they’ve been trying, how much money they’ve put into their journey or anything. I just hope and pray that they get their wonderful little baby they’ve always wanted. The bright side is that this grant company is ongoing, meaning even though we weren’t chosen now doesn’t mean we can’t be picked in the future. Since our names and story are already in the system we will automatically be re-entered into the next giveaway. Today I received a second email. This one’s tone was much more grim. Baby Quest is the one company I knew would be a long shot. They receive a ridiculous amount of applications and the more people hear about them, the more applicants they get. The email basically stated that at this time there are unable to gift us with a grant. They did encourage us to re-apply for their fall grant but it’ll be too late by then.  Right now we are going to regroup, think about everything and plan out the next few months.

The last blog I posted was about ten days ago. In that ten days a lot has happened. I had my first anxiety/panic attack, I broke down to Russell basically telling him he can do so much better and give him the family he always wanted, stayed up late thinking about my future and stressing the hell out of myself when I know that’s the last thing I want; especially since stress causes wrinkles and I don’t have time for wrinkles honey! So not being chosen has put me into this corner that I’ve not wanted to come out from. In these situations I don’t want to go anywhere, I don’t want to see anyone, I don’t want to get on social media for fear of seeing someone’s perfect little belly and wondering what that feels like. Some days I can’t function because the depression takes over my body making me sluggish and exhausted. Having endometriosis isn’t just not being able to have children, it’s having depression, chronic fatigue, anxiety and constantly crying. I honestly can’t tell you everything I feel on a daily basis because I could be super happy and the next thing I know Russell’s asking me if I’m okay because I’m crying. And let me remind you it’s the ugly cry face. I think I get so broken and all I want to do is snuggle up to my husband while he reassures me for the 500 millionth time that he isn’t going anywhere.   ** If you don’t already know I need constant reassurance from my husband that I’m not given a Razzie for being the Worst Wife of 2018.** I’m tired. I’m drained. I have little left to give and I feel like I am stretching myself beyond what I can handle and a breakdown is coming. There are certain things I can feel and a mental breakdown is one of them. Thankfully I start therapy Monday and maybe my breakdown will happen in her office so she can help me better understand how to control my feelings. It’s to the point I don’t want to be around my nieces and nephews because they are the reminder to me that I’m the black sheep in the family. Looking at their beautiful faces reminds me I may never have sweet mom moments when they want to snuggle, give you a kiss just because and watch them grow from babies to toddlers, taking their first steps and celebrating major milestones. (Please do not think I don’t love my nieces and nephews because I love them very much. What I am trying to convey is that because a few of ours are babies..my step sister has a little baby and my brother in law and his wife have a toddler; to me watching them create family moments and firsts together is very hard for me to watch…just to clarify) Most of the time my heart can’t do it. And the times we do go to functions I end up crying when we get home because I’m so heartbroken over our situation. I’m slowly getting better in some areas but most of the time I just pretend like I’m okay. Russell is so wonderful, rubs my back, listens to my crazy talk, and still wants to continue to be married to me. Throughout all of this I have learned a lot about myself but also my partner. He is understanding, patient, compassionate, sympathetic and loving. I’ve also learned there are many ways to love a person and he shows me each and every day how much he loves me by doing something so simple like telling me we are going to parents and we are going to be okay. Those little moments create big moments and those big moments help to continue building the foundation of our strong relationship. If there is anything I’ve learned it’s that something will always go on in life and I have to find a way to find the beauty in the toughest parts because I know there are a lot of women that feel like me but may not know how to talk about it or express their emotions.

Next week’s blog post will be dedicated to those caring for loved ones with an incurable disease and infertility. I’m going to give you some talking points to soothe a loved one when they are in need of some advice because someone who hasn’t gone through infertility doesn’t know exactly what to say without making the situation worse.

Until Next Time

xoxoxo

anxiety, babies, beauty, becoming parents, black, blogger, body shaming, Dayton, depression, dreams, endometriosis, failure, family, fitness, foodie, growing, husband, I Am That Girl, illness, infertility, influenser, IUI, IVF, Kids, learning, life, Making a difference, mama to be, marriage, married, negative, Ohio, pageant girl, Pageants, photography, PIO, positive, Poverty, PUPO, racial issues, reproductive health, resolve.org, sad, self talk, shoe addict, thoughts, transparency, truth, Trying to Conceive, TTC, Uncategorized, wife, women, women's issues

Negative Self Talk and Doubt

At what age does negative self talk begin? Is it when we are integrated into school with children who come from different backgrounds and just simply don’t know how to ask questions in a positive way? Is it when we are bullied in front of others? Is it when girls start being mean to one another for no reason other than to bring someone else down?

A few days ago I had a beautiful friend of mine write a post on Facebook saying, “I don’t understand how anyone could stare at the that is me.” Naturally, those of us who know her know this is not true. She was flooded with comments saying she was beautiful and shouldn’t think otherwise. I told her to continue being the queen she is and keep slaying; not only did I mean that but I think this girl has got to be one of the most beautiful women I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. So this whole conversation got me thinking. We ALL talk negatively about ourselves, the way we look, how small or big our boobs are, the our feet look, the angel of their nose when they a specific direction. I want to do two things: 1. Share my struggle with self talk and 2. Encourage you to say one positive thing about yourself every morning for 21 days. Why 21 days? It takes three weeks to form a habit that will stick and last. So be kind to yourself because I can tell you when you’re kind to body it is kind to you in return.

We all know I struggle with my weight. A few months ago I was having another appointment with Dr. Karnitis to which we were discussing our IVF treatment options. I brought up my weight and how I wanted to lost 10-15 pounds before I get pregnant. Dr. Karnitis said absolutely not. He said I need to stay my weight if not gain more to help keep my uterus happy for a baby or two. I understand wanting to be at the perfect weight when getting pregnant but I don’t want to feel and look overweight before we have children, because let me tell you I’m getting to the point of no return. By that I mean if I don’t start something soon I’m just going to continue gaining weight I don’t want. I’m not gonna lie I feel uncomfortable talking with friends about my weight because they think I’m crazy for being uncomfortable at 136 pounds. (Yes I said it, no I don’t think it’s taboo lol) My entire life up until the last three years has been me eating whatever I wanted and not gaining a pound. Then pageant prep happened and I made HUGE goals happen. I mean I was able to walk on stage, strut everything I had in front of strangers, oh and my dad, so I was feeling myself that night. But every night since then I cringe looking at certain pictures because I can see a fat roll. The girls at work don’t understand why I’m complaining because they think I’m a small person, but I certainly don’t feel it. I’m uncomfortable with my body because right now I’m getting ready for the biggest day of my life and that’s transfer day. My body needs my uterus to be loved right now and according to the doctor that’s eating oatmeal or some sort of high protein breakfast every morning. I get oatmeal in 5 times a week so I think that’s a win in my book! There are also day I go to take a self to post on social media but I think I look like a cow or I tell myself I’m ugly. WHY?!?!?!?! This is maddening to me. I have vowed to start doing light, not a lot of back movement workouts, but something that will interest me and calm my mind and that’s yoga. So tomorrow I start my yoga journey!

Whew…that was longer than I thought it would be. I just wanted to hop on here and give encouragement to my friends who are struggling with anything. I’m still sitting here trying to think of an age when we would start to negatively talk to ourselves. And then going through some confusing times, like puberty, how does that affect the self-awareness, how do you build confidence in yourself? So many questions are running through my mind right now and I’d love to hear from you all! IVF mommas out there what were so things you did to prep your body for IVF because I just know we are having a baby/babies. I call myself mama even when talking to the doggies. I refer to Russell as daddy for the girls so there are some things I am doing to get ready to get ready to have a child(ren). If I don’t keep this mindset I fall apart and it doesn’t take much for me to have breakdown. So here’s to less negative self talk, more loving self talk and remembering we are all always a work in progress.

Until Next Time

xooxoxox

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Opinion Time!

Hello there! It feels like forever since I last wrote about anything, even though it’s only been a week. I decided to share with you all some huge news about the bracelet special we ran the last week. I had a goal of selling 20 bracelets. Twenty-five percent of the proceeds from each bracelet sold went to Resolve. Each year for Advocacy Day they want to bring light to issues those of us going through infertility face. They also talk about infertility in ways people don’t always think of, for example, male infertility and secondary infertility. Often times when we think of infertility we think of just women and they’d like to break that stigma and way of thinking. So many times women will get pregnant easily the first time and then have trouble when it comes to their second and third pregnancies. There are many factors and diseases that can cause secondary infertility, like PCOS (poly-cystic ovarian syndrome).  So I wanted to do something that could impact others or give others a meaning for buying something. I mean how often do you go into a store and spend a ridiculous amount of money only to realize you didn’t need what you bought? I also try to give back to other charities as much as possible. I thought it would be a great way to have something that others can not only pass along one day, but get to know Resolve too. There aren’t many organizations out there dedicated to providing information about infertility or providing information about support groups. I love that Little Words Project and their staff were able to help me with this mission. I also love that they let me personally pick the word, the color of the word and what beaded bracelet it would go on. The experience was amazing and I can’t wait to see what we were able to donate! If you didn’t get a bracelet, hold tight because we bring it back for an additional week sometime soon! For everyone who purchased one, again I can’t thank you enough for your kindness and generosity! I’m very humbled and overwhelmed by your love and support of me.

I feel like this is a safe space to share experiences that happen in my life. I haven’t been able to get something that happened to me out of my mind. An incident occurred a few weeks ago on social media. One of my best friends posted a status asking an opinion about something because she was trying to settle a debate she and her husband were talking about. I commented but didn’t use the right phrasing. Not even five minutes later I received a private message about how my opinion made me a hypocrite because I stated that I notice certain things about people having to do with outwardly appearance. The comment that was made in the private message was what had me confused. The person who sent it said I should know what it feels like to be judged since I’m a former beauty queen and it’s hypocritical of me to say that because I’ve been judged on my appearance in the past. I’m bringing this up for several reasons. I wanted to bring attention to everyone is entitled to their opinion. I also wanted to talk about how just because I’m a former beauty queen doesn’t really mean I don’t notice things about people. If anything being in the industry has given me a way better appreciation for the tribe of people I have to make me look and feel beautiful, special shout out to Ebony at Bombshell Beauty Bar for always making me look and feel amazing! I guess my question for you all is, should I not have commented on the post or can I say things that like. My friend was merely asking if people notice/judge others for the way their eyebrows look. She told her husband she needed to get hers waxed and he said do people even notice. In my comment I said I do notice/judge but I also did say judge has a negative connotation to it and I don’t judge someone in a negative way. Again, my comment was not to be malicious  but to simply say because of my background in the beauty industry it’s something I will probably always notice. My next question is, should I be more aware of how I say things because people are always going to be able to reference my time as Miss Captivating and I feel like I’m going to put on a higher standard than others who haven’t competed and won a title. I know there are times when I won’t always say the right thing and I learned a very valuable lesson through this conversation. I just didn’t know how any of you would have handled the situation any differently. Let me know because this is still on my mind about a week later! I just remember being bullied and called horrendous names while competing because others thought I wasn’t good enough. In the moment of commenting I wasn’t thinking about how the comment would come across to others.

Lesson learned: be careful how you use your words on social media.

 

Until Next Time

xoxo

 

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Happiness

I feel like a lifetime has passed since the last time I wrote on the 6th. So much has gone on, yet so much hasn’t. Currently, I am still on Lupron. My back hurts every. single. day. Something that is concerning enough for me to have a visit with Dr. Karnitis on Monday. I’m sure we’ll talk about whats going on and how I’m feeling. At this point I am going to choose to move forward with getting the last two doses of Lupron because I feel it is better to have hot flashes and no sleep, than a cycle that literally reaks havoc on my body for days. I’m sure some of you want to know about our IVF journey and where that is taking us. One grant we applied to we were not selected. I was a little bummed but so many have applied so I understood we were likely not going to get selected. We also have one other application out and being reviewed by a board. We will not hear anything from them until mid June. There is one last grant that we actively applying for that is in our area. This one is a little special than the other ones. I’ve taken the reigns on all of the grants. Making sure the medical information is right and getting all the details down. I even wrote our bio for that grant. But this time Russell said he wanted to have more to do with the process and I was very happy to hear that. (Please don’t take that negatively because he’s been amazing throughout this process. He has a lot going on so to hear him say that was a genuine shock to me). For our grant that is local I am happy to say that Russell will be writing our biography. When it’s available I’ll probably share bits and pieces of it. This part is hard because we are now playing a waiting game with the other grant. Sound familiar? It’s like the dreaded TWW but waiting months. I’m impatiently waiting and stalking my email for any updates.

Russell and I actually had a conversation tonight that helped put some of my fears at ease. IVF is not guaranteed to work. You go into IVF blind, no knowing how many embryos you will get, how many will last, how many will stick and make it through a pregnancy. IVF is a numbers game and the numbers have to be on your side to work. This topic came up because we haven’t been as involved in our younger nieces and nephews lives lately. He said he doesn’t want people to think we aren’t around just because there is a baby there or I overhear conversations only mothers can relate to. I was honest and so open with him and said yes that’s part of the reason I dread going to places with family or anyone with small children. They are celebrating milestones that are amazing but deep inside I’m feeling guilty, sad, anger, and frustration because I never thought I’d have endometriosis. I never thought I’d have this disease that blocks me from having children. I want to be apart of those conversations. I want to know what it’s like to be so tired but so happy you get to watch this little human grow up right before your eyes. After I told him, without crying might I add (that’s a HUGE win for me!) he said our lives will go on together and we will find a new dream to create. Our ideal dream would be to leave everything behind but the girls and go to live in Hawaii.

My main concern always will be and always has been happiness. Will I be happy if I find out I’ll never be able to bear children. I’m not religious so I don’t pray. I don’t necessarily believe in God, but I do believe in a higher power in the Universe I just don’t know who or what that is. I think I’m on a path I’m meant to be on. I think I’m going down this path for a reason. But I wish I knew if this path would definitively lead me to motherhood because it’s all I’ve ever wanted.

If you have any questions please feel free to comment down below! I see we’ve added a few followers so my next blog will be a little get to know me!

Until Next Time

xoxox

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Desperate Times Call for Faith, Hope and Trust

Have you heard of Abraham and Sarah? Did you know they were the first couple documented in history to have fertility problems? I have been doing a lot of research on their story because I want to understand how they were able to have their miracle baby Isaac. Sarah was promised by God that she would give birth, but he never told her how long it would take her. Their journey would take them through years of heartache and trying to hold onto as much faith as they could. During their marriage Sarah realized she may not be able to ever bear a child and wanted her husband to have an heir, so she told their slave Hagar to sleep with Abraham. Hagar had Ishmael and things didn’t get any better. The relationship between Hagar and Sarah became so strained Hagar ran away. During this time Sarah lost all trust in God, she lost her faith, disbelief, doubt and fear all crept in during this time. But the amazing thing is, God waited for her to come back to Him. She was ready to try again. The following year Sarah returned to God and restored her faith, she bore a son named Isaac. Abraham was 99 and Sarah was 90 when she gave birth and the heir to their family.

I take so much away from this story. Even though I’m not entirely religious, I still believe there are many lessons to be learned in this story. Faith is everything. As long as you have faith anything is possible. Talk to yourself negatively is going to diminish your faith. Perseverance is another lesson I take away from this story. Sarah is strong and she persevered through some of the toughest moments any person would have to go through. And finally, trust. Trust is an important factor in this story because without trust she would not have been able to stick with God’s word. He said they were going to bear a child and he would become their heir. They didn’t know when but God knew their plan.

When you are in the middle of struggling with infertility I can tell you first hand it is very easy to lose faith in everything. It is hard to have patience because you see a woman leaving the office with a huge smile on her face because she’s a little farther in her journey that I am.  Jealousy takes over because you wonder women and men take parenting for granted. I just don’t think they’ll ever be able to comprehend why women are so desperate to have a child. When I’m having a bad day, or can’t a hold of anyone I think back to their story. I think about how Russell is older than I am just like Abraham is older than Sarah. I think about how they have waited for the right person to have a child. I think of the sacrifices Sarah was willing to make in order to please her husband. I also think about Sarah’s unwavering faith in God. During a time like this it is so hard to not have faith. It’s hard to think that you were forgotten and your path isn’t clear because He doesn’t know what to do with it. However, I remember Sarah was 90. I hope I’m not that old when I have children because that’s just a bit too old for me. But I also realize I used to have dreams of becoming a young mother. Not like teenage young but just early twenties young. I wanted a large family, 5 maybe 6 kids. Plus the dogs running around. I wanted that picture perfect family. I know one day I’ll be blessed with a baby(ies) and I can’t wait for that day to come. Instead, my brain won’t shut off at 3am and here I am pouring my heart out again. The one thing I do know is we are in this season of life for a reason. We are going to get through this because we have each other.

I am still asking everyone to keep their fingers crossed for our grant! I’m not sure when they’ll notify the candidates but I sure hope we are chosen!

Until Next Time

xoxoxo

 

Website I was able to locate information about Sarah and Abraham’s infertility story: http://in-due-time.com/faith/sarahs-infertility/