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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

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Does money bring you happiness?

There’s an age old question that keeps coming up in mind. Does money bring you happiness? For most things I am going to say no because life is all about making the most of your moments with your family, friends and those who find comfort with. I think it’s important to acknowledge that when we don’t see our loved ones we tend to be less happy, but when we see them, even if it’s just for an hour you feel better, lighter and happier. There is a but to this answer though. Wanting a child is tough and requires money and a lot of it.  For me, money is going to bring me happiness in the form of babies! Tonight Russell and I talked for a solid hour about our future, our time frame and what it looks like. We are planning on staying track to begin IVF in July!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ya’ll this makes me so excited but I’m trying not to get too excited until there is a pregnancy to announcement. But the emotion of excitement overcame me and I just have this feeling that I’ll be experiencing that feeling more often in the near future. Having conversations with Russell about where we are in our relationship and our IVF journey are so easy. I mean talking to him is like therapy for real. We both just talk about what we want and immediately in those moments try to find and come up with a compromise if one of us wants one thing and the other wants another. I think that’s something we are really good at is being able to make the best decisions for us, our relationship and our future while being able to both get what we want too. I asked the question does money buy you happiness because there are those people that say yes, money brings me lots of happiness. But in my honest opinion those types of people have something else that doesn’t them happy. Not to mention money will be around when we die and we can’t take it with us so we might as well spend money on treating ourselves right. Take that weekend vacation with your spouse to reconnect because life can get so busy you may not always find time to sit down and recap your day or just have a conversation. I also think it’s important to have a girls trip every now and then because we do grow up and start our own lives. I want to make more of an effort in seeing them because that will help me with my emotions and re-establishing the friendships I have. Ya know I feel like I’m so open with you all and I’m able to share mostly anything about our journey. Money doesn’t bring me happiness, it pays bills and helps take care of the dog, every day things and fun things as well. But I don’t believe money can bring lifelong happiness but when it comes to IVF knowing what can happen then I believe money can bring you life long happiness. There are several reasons. 1. Being a mother and not being able to do that is heartbreaking. 2. Women who want it bad enough will explore every option possible before they get to IVF because it costs as much money as a car or a down payment on a home, a wedding, and many other things I can’t think of at the moment. Right now we are at the stage where we’ve been trying for over a year and half with not even one potential for a scare or inkling that I could have been. So it’s time and we are  ready. I’m so ready to turn the entire office into a nursery (okay okay that might be too soon but you get the gist of what I’m talking about). Finally to answer the question does money bring you happiness yes, when you are going for a goal that doesn’t seem obtainable or it is for a medical reason, like trying for a baby!

As always please feel free to keep sending those positive, prayers, texts, and calls because they are very uplifting for me and for Russell. The amount of support is overwhelming and we truly couldn’t thank you all enough for how wonderful you’ve been and allowing me to just talk to you about where we are in our journey.

Until Next Time

xoxo

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To My Mother In Law

Dear Debbie,

First, I want to say I love you. I know we’ve shared our ups and downs but we’ve come out stronger and closer because of them. Second, thank you for raising such a wonderful man, who happens to be my pretty awesome husband (no bias here). Thank you for raising a man who knows not just how to treat his wife but how to communicate with me when I’m being stubborn, spoiling the living crap out of me and loving me unconditionally. Thank you for raising your first born son to be the best man I know. Without you and your guidance throughout the years he would not have such a deep understanding of what marriage truly is.

Today was a hard day. I was looking forward to today for several reasons, one being that you got to see the amazing salon I have the privilege of going to and I wanted to show you that. I also wanted to pamper you too since this year has been a bit challenging. We had our day planned out and how everything would work. I’d go to my annual (which for those reading it was awful and very painful) and come get you and we’d go get our hair done together. While waiting for Dr. McCullough in those uncomfortable paper gowns I’m trying to center myself and keep the peace flowing within my mind. I kept trying to remain calm and mostly collected after the visit. After the exam Dr. McCullough started off with a sigh. I’ve known Dr. McCullough for a long time and I know when bad news is coming and let me tell you the news I received was heartbreaking. During my exam my uterus is tilted (which for me is normal) however there is no movement at the top or left sides of the uterus. This means those parts of my uterus are being enveloped in scar tissue. Naturally my next question was about doing a scope through my belly button to see how bad it is and address the situation. Without hesitation he said no because if we go in for surgery 5 there is a possibility I would lose my right ovary and tube. That’s not a gamble I’m willing to take. He apologized and said he hopes we are able to start soon and if we can’t we need to think about freezing my eggs so we have some banked. The scariest part was hearing that we have about three months to get this started. Three months is such a short span of time and we aren’t financially there quite yet.

Second, thank you for letting me have a complete meltdown in the car. I knew I was going to tell you how the appointment went because you know about all the appointments and how the end up. Each time I fight back tears because I  never want you to worry any more than you should and do. But today was different. I couldn’t hold it in. The reality of it all just came flooding down. The actual possibility that I may never bear children. I may never make your son a father, the one thing I want to give him most in this world. Sitting there driving I was trying to talk softer and explain what everything meant because the terms and way they describe things to me can be very confusing, add not having the disease and the knowledge gets lots very easily and things become confusing. I tried everything I could to avoid crying in front of you. I tried to hold back the tears and fight through them. But my anxiety took the best of me and it’s as if the flood gates opened. In that moment I was so thankful you just listened to me as I tried to speak coherent sentences. Thank you for just allowing me to grieve and cry. Moments like that are hard to be there for, especially when you know the disease is only getting worse from here. And I can’t thank you enough for telling me to keep having faith because I’m losing it. The more bad news we get, the less faith I seem to have. Debbie, thank you for always being there when I need advice on how to handle a situation or to simply listen. Thank you for always asking how I’m feeling and what you can do to help. Today was a tough day and without you there for comfort because I thought today was the day I’d have a panic attack and wouldn’t be able to get home. Today you saved me from going off the deep end. Today you did something most people forget by wanting to put their two cents in. You listened. Not many mother in-laws would just listen, they’d say “there’s always adoption or have you thought about a surrogate?” You’re the opposite, you speak the souls of our unborn children into the universe as if they’ll be coming any day. Your positivity, faith and love for our growing family are some of the qualities I not only love but cherish about you. Thank you for being such a wonderful woman and I thank the universe every day for allowing my path to cross with Russell’s. Thanks for being such a wonderful mother in law, I couldn’t have gotten any luckier to have you in my life, I love you.

Well friends that’s all I have for now and will continue to update as more things happen.

Until Next Time

xoxox

 

babies, best friend, black, blogger, breaking news, Dayton, endometriosis, growing, husband, illness, infertility, IUI, learning, lies, life, Making a difference, mama to be, marriage, married, modeling, Ohio, PIO, PUPO, reproductive health, sex, thoughts, transparency, truth, Trying to Conceive, TTC, Uncategorized, women, women's issues

Just When You Start to Feel Alone…

There’s this group on Facebook called Endometriosis and Me. I stumbled across the website and noticed that the women there seem so connected. And not in the everyone is connected on Facebook way, but that much deeper connection, is the type of relationship these women are in. At the time of me looking for a group to join I needed a group like this. For the last year I’ve been pretty quiet. I only ask questions that are really concerning or to get medication advice from these women.  I have never met any of these women but for some reason I feel like we are bonded and connected by this disease. This disease is awful and with doctors and big pharma it will continue to take on average 10 years before a woman is diagnosed with this disease.

And can we talk about these women? These women are some of the strongest women I’ve ever “met “in my life. They share their stories. They share when they’re having a tough day. They share when they can’t get out of the house and do something normal because when this disease grabs hold of your body it doesn’t let go. We make plans only to cancel them last minute because we don’t feel well or can’t seem to move out from our fetal position on the floor with the heating pad wrapped around our bellies. These women really, truly, understand what the saying ‘the little things matter’ means. Our little things are small victories like getting out of bed, showering, putting on real clothes, no leggings and a sweatshirt, real decent clothing. Our little things are getting through the day without feeling a stabbing pain at some point in your stomach, back, or pelvic area. For me my wins include putting makeup on on a day when I’m not working; cleaning the entire house without feeling like I’ve been hit by a train going 100 miles per hour. Small victories can get us throughout the day but not always.

There are some days when you’ve accomplished a few things but in your mind it’s not enough. That’s where having a person who supports you is so important. In the group, Endometriosis and Me I asked the girls to share their story of who their person is. A few girls said they are single and live alone so they don’t have a person. These women also mentioned how hard dating is with endometriosis, which I can’t even imagine since dating seems to be the worst thing to want to do right now, endo or not. But, Crystal’s story really got me emotional. She talked about her boyfriend and how much he has been able to get her through this. She said her journey has been especially hard. But he is there for her. He lays in bed with her and they do Netflix marathons, while snuggling and eating popcorn. She is going through the depo shot and I pray she doesn’t experience all the awful things I did. She mentioned how he rubs her feet, draws her relaxing baths, and goes to all of her appointments because he knows how bad her anxiety in doctor’s office settings are for her. There’s something that can happen along the journey of going through endometriosis. We as women start to think we aren’t pretty enough or good enough for our partners. Her story and testimony are why strong relationships exist. Her story is a true example of true love. When a woman is diagnosed with endo and their partner finds out there is a possibility they may never have children it’s scary. Don’t think for one second that I wasn’t telling Russell to never leave me. In fact, after my left ovary and tube were removed, during our engagement, I told him I would understand if he wanted to be with someone who didn’t have endometriosis, who could give him everything he wants in life. But he said he will always choose me and I am forever grateful for my husband and his decision to help me fight this. Every woman you talk to will have a different story on who their person is. But usually it’s the person who is there for them most and takes care of them. For me, my person is my husband because even though he’s sick right now he’s making sure I have enough pillows and blankets to keep me warm. He is my angel sent from heaven.

To all the girls out there who feel alone, like we all do at times, let’s connect! Leave a comment with your social media and we can be friends, even if it’s just the kind of friends to talk about who shitty endo is. And if you have a story to share of your person I’d love to hear about it! Connect with me on Facebook or Instagram or on here! And please remember your self worth and value are more than what this disease makes you think.

Until Next Time

xoxoxo

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Still having Hot Flashes…

This week has been filled with highs and lows. Needless to say I’m ready to relax tomorrow and forget the world exists. July 25 I went into the fertility doctor’s office and they gave me the shot. They said once week 12 hits I shouldn’t have hot flashes, insomnia, etc. I’m having the hot flashes and even worse the ever before. My ears turn bright red,  my nose turns red and my entire body from top to bottom sweats so much you’d think I Just ran a marathon.

It’s been a long week because there has been a lot to do. I had to schedule our second opinion. We’ve decided it’s best to go to Cincinnati. I already see a Nuerologist at UC Health. Dr. Vij. He’s amazing and the reason I keep going back to get my botox! I’m getting my last botox treatment until after we give birth. In order to get botox I have to count four months out on the calendar and know when we’re in the safe zone to conceive.  But I am excited to meet this new guy and see what he has to say. Everyone is going to be different but I hope he will hear me when I speak to him. We have a lot more reasons for choosing UC Health but getting the best care is what is most important to us, especially if I have to pay for everything then I’ll make sure  we are seeing the person we want to see. Not to mention our current doctor can’t see us until we are ready to begin IVF treatment. We feel this is the perfect time to get a second opinion. I realize all the costs that are associated with infertility but I am signing up to get pregnant.

But I’ve had such a down week. It all began at the beginning of the week because I was feeling awful. I had to cancel a few appointments I had with friends and with my doctors simply because I couldn’t get out of bed. I cried a lot and  said to the universe ” why is this happening to us? I’ve been a little unstable emotionally this week. Every little thing stressing me out. I’m noticing negative thoughts are entering my space. Thoughts talking about me as a mother, how do I deserve a child over someone else, am I ready, etc. All these questions are consuming me and for a split second earlier this week I thought maybe I’m being punished for something I did in a past life. But I’m coming around now.

Some days are better than others and I’m still learning how to deal with emotions that infertility brings.  As also, please hug a friend extra tight and let them know you’re there. Even if it’s just to text about their day. I have a very small circle of girlfriends and one of them has been so understanding of why I can’t do things when I did say I could do. She understands how much this takes out of me. I’m not ignoring anyone if they are trying to hang out!

Until Next Time

xoxo

 

Dayton, fashionista, fitness, life, Mary Kay Cosmetics, modeling, Ohio, pageant girl, photography, shoe addict, women

Official shoot as Miss Miami Valley Captivating

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Have you ever had that feeling that you are so lucky to have met someone? Well that has happened to me. Before pageants I had only known one photographer and while his work is amazing he lives an hour and half away from me which isn’t always easy, especially when he has other things he does. So one day I just happened to take the spot of a girl who couldn’t do a Mary Kay vendor event. That is when I me Beth. Oddly, it was like love at first sight, seriously. She is the most bubbly person and she is so just so cute and SO MUCH FUN! I am so thankful for her. Like I’ve said in my previous post Beth is amazing to work with She find these amazing places to shoot and I just always have a blast when I’m with her

The purpose of this shoot was to showcase me , officially, as Miss Miami Valley Captivating! I love every photo. The first photo you will see is my favorite because I was not paying attention. Beth was doing a few practice shots and this one made the cut. To me it is so stunning and elegant, everything a girl wants to feel 🙂 These pictures are so fun and so me and if you have a chance please follow Beth on instagram (@bethphillipsphoto) and see her work for yourselves!! Check out the link below to see my fabulous pictures!!

http://bethphillips.zenfolio.com/p259510470

Until next time!

xoxo

boudoir, Dayton, Mary Kay Cosmetics, modeling, Ohio, photography

Photography

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If you haven’t heard of Beth Phillips Blair, you are missing out on getting the best pictures you’ve ever seen taken. She is incredibly talented and I am beyond blessed to know her and call her my friend.

I met Beth a few years ago at a vendor event. I was filling in for a girl who couldn’t go. Beth approached me and handed me a Stella and Dot look book. (Everything is super cute) We stayed in touch through social media and when it came time to compete in my pageant last year I borrowed a few items from her. This year she decided she wanted to expand her portfolio and asked if I would be her model. Of course I said yes! Beth also did my official photos for Miss Ohio US International. We were outside in the cold, while it was raining, taking these photos and they turned out beautifully.

We went to studio one in Dayton. I had never heard of studio one but when I got there I knew it was the perfect space. We went with two outfits and did a mini boudoir session. I have always loved being in front of a camera and knew this opportunity would be fantastic. The session was super quick and so much fun! I was laughing and comfortable. Those are two things that are very important to me when I am modeling for someone. I want to be able to have a good time but most importantly I want to feel comfortable. I have always been a little shy and insecure but with Beth there is no second guessing. There is no thinking if I am standing at the right angle or look good in the lighting. Shooting with Beth was a dream come true. Her work is perfection and she takes it very seriously. There aren’t enough wonderful things I can say about Beth.

I hope you all enjoy the photos as much as I do because I never felt more amazing! For more information about Beth check out her website! http://bethphillips.zenfolio.com/

Until next time!

xoxo