abortion, babies, blogger, Dayton, endometriosis, husband, illness, infertility, IUI, Kids, mama to be, marriage, married, Ohio, pageant girl, Pageants, PIO, Poverty, PUPO, reproductive health, thoughts, transparency, truth, Trying to Conceive, Uncategorized

What Are The Odds?

“Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart that you’re meant to do”.

 

Can we talk about the failed IUI’s we went through last year? For some reason they are on my mind. I’ve been thinking of why we aren’t pregnant yet. For those that are new to my blog I’m very anal retentive and I want things to happen the day I manifest a dream, or want something. I think back to that awful process of going into the room and going through all these steps while Dr. Karnitis administers the sperm as far in my uterus he could. It was a very uncomfortable feeling. Five minutes later I left the office and the dreaded two week wait began. But I feel like I am living a permanent two week wait. I have ovulation tests and pregnancy tests in bulk. Each month I know when we should have an idea or time frame we should try. When I start my period I know there isn’t a point to taking a test because my cycle started. Each time that has happened I just try to hide as much as possible.  I am continually going through a two week wait because after we try I try really hard to stay organized and busy because if I don’t I just wonder if every little symptom could  make me think I was pregnant. But waiting on the Lupron has been the worst waiting game. We all know I hate this medication but it’s my only option if we want to move forward with IVF. Once the injection happens I’ll be doing a 90 day countdown to finally begin IVF. We are getting there. We are getting so close but we are still so far away. I need to apply for the scholarships and grants. I know that things aren’t going to go the way I plan but I just hope we’ll be able to have children. I can tell you the yearning I have for a child continuously grows.  But one day, 90-ish, to be exact we start our IVF journey. Maybe I’m just in a funk because I’m having a flare up and I’m exhausted but I just have to keep pushing. The quote at the beginning is to help me see the big picture. When we first walked into Kettering Reproductive Helath, they said it would nearly impossible for me to bear a child. But at our last visit Dr. Karnitis said my AMH levels are very low but with all the meds my body is slowly improving and I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to have a few babies, freeze a few more and be able to have more children. I have a plan but as I’ve learned over the last two I’m going to go with the flow and work on my perfectionist personality. There are so many things I’m scare of and so many things I’d love to share bu right now I’m exhausted.

Until Next Tine

Angelica

 

Also, linked below is a girl I follow on Youtube, Instagram and Facebook. Her name is Carissa. She struggles with infertility. I’m glad to know I can watch her videos and completely 100% understand how she feels and what she is going though. We’re both in a club that we had no intention of joining and I wish I could change that for the both of us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Grief

Hello! Hello! Hello! Welcome to this week’s edition of I have endometriosis and we are no closer to finding a cure and we still do not have proper drinking water in Flint. All I’m saying here before getting into my blog is that some things take a while to figure out, however, the water situation is what worries me because I feel like there should have been able to come up with a  solution on it but instead we never hear about it. Any who, let’s jump right into this weeks topic: grief.

“Infertility is a loss of a dream. It’s the loss of an assumed future. And, like every loss, it will be grieved.” –Unknown

Today I grieved. I grieved alone because sometimes that’s what is best for me in the moment. I don’t always grieve alone but if I need to talk to Russell he is there and so are my friends. Without them as my shoulders to cry on I would have completely gone insane by now. Today started out just fine. I always get up last because Russell goes to work so early so I get to sleep in on my days off, which by the way is amazing, and I’m very thankful he lets me get the rest I need. I know he’s gone to work because he’ll give me soft kiss on the forehead and say I love you. Then off he goes. The girls and I get an extra hour and two to rest. Now I don’t always fall back asleep so we may catch up on Housewives, Scandal, HTGAWM, or put on a movie. After we are ready to get our morning going I feed the girls, brush my teeth, decide if I’m going to look like a crazy person or just a normal person with bad style. Today I opted for a pair of shorts with a sweatshirt (which I’ve always hated!) And for those that know anyone with endometriosis just getting dressed sometimes is a HUGE accomplishment. I don’t check my phone right away just because I know I’m going to have check my email and of course who can resist getting on their phone and NOT checking Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat? No one. I’m sitting down at my surface getting ready to see what happened since the Superbowl ended and it came out today that Matt Patricia is coming the Detroit Lions as our 43rd head coach! Can’t wait for a great year and hopefully some deep playoff runs and maybe a Superbowl?? Anyway, I’m super off topic now. So I’m scrolling through Insta and see that Kylie just gave birth to a girl (reportedly her name is Butterfly and I really hope its a joke). Then another news cycle posted a photo of Kylie and Khloe pregnant together. Then I see Chrissy Teigen and her adorable bump. Then I see Kelly Stafford with her twin girls. Lastly, I saw Tia Mowry-Hardrict flaunting that beautiful bump and more glowing than I’ve ever seen. And ya know Jessie James Decker and all her perfect bump pics just take the cake. I know Chrissy and Tia know what it’s like to have infertility issues. I just hope that each of these women understand what women like me feel like. I’m not sure how many people saw it but I posted on Instagram some thoughts that were running through my head. I was holding back tears like a pro and couldn’t believe I did it. This journey is so hard. I beat myself up daily about anything and everything. For instance, Russell and I were watching Tin Cup, one of our favorites, and he saw a shirt that Rene Russo happened to be wearing and it’s ironically back in style. He said you’d look so cute in that. I appreciated the compliment but I was like no I tried on something similar but it just made me look fatter than I already do. Of course being my husband he rolled his eyes. I’m self conscious, I hate the way my body looks, I’m terrified if I have to get in a bikini, I can’t wear crop tops because they hug the parts of my body that I don’t want accentuated. Today I realized I’ve lost myself. I feel like I’m asking for help but people are too busy to answer or call back. Most of my friends have kids so I understand they have to be home for them. My other best friend is in the middle of wedding planning and I know how much fun that was so I’m trying to allow her to focus on herself and her day.

One more quick story about how my day was just reminded of infertility and what steps you go through to get pregnant. We watch a show called the Good Doctor on ABC. It is phenomenal. One couple who is in their 40’s are trying to get pregnant but they can’t because there is an abnormality and they need another test. The husband starts blaming his wife for waiting too long because she wanted to open her own business and earlier he was traveling and teaching so they had no time. Plus, she made the point she was going to go raise a child with a nanny. When they went back to the doctor she said I’m sorry but your semen analysis shows a low count. I kind of had a feeling it was him because some men had more infertility problems than we can think of. During the couples  visit they were using terms only a couple who has gone to an reproductive endocrinologist would know those terms. I rattled off 10 terms and Russell was like they said everything we’re about to do. The only thing they didn’t mention was the Clomid and Ovidrel shots. Again, two not so fun medications. I turned to look at Russell and I said I feel their heartache and they’re just actors. But I feel them because we are living with this. He said I know but each day is going to be better than the last. I’m very grateful for him and hope that I can repay him for taking such great care of me the last few years that I’ve been sick.

So this brings me to my final point about being able to grieve. Several friends have said it’s okay to not be okay. The first time I hear that I was like who says that? I’ve realized I can only take so much. Some days are better than others but today was just hard. That feeling I have to be a mother crept back in and doesn’t want to leave. Part of me doesn’t ever want it to leave. May seems so far away but I hope these next few months can fly by so we can get this show on the road.

Until Next Time

xoxoxoxo

abortion, babies, best friend, black, blogger, body shaming, breaking news, Dayton, endometriosis, husband, I Am That Girl, illness, infertility, IUI, Kids, learning, Making a difference, mama to be, marriage, married, Ohio, PIO, PUPO, reproductive health, sex, transparency, truth, Trying to Conceive, TTC, Uncategorized, women, women's issues

Question and Answer Session

I wanted to change up the blogging aspect of this post. Lately it’s been about our journey towards IVF and I am so grateful to be sharing that with you but I wanted to see what questions you all had and I can answer them for you! So here we go!!

Q: What is Endometriosis? I’ve never heard of it.

A: Endometriosis is a condition where the layer of tissues that normally covers the inside of the uterus grows outside of it. Basically, when a woman has her period each month the lining is supposed to shed; it doesn’t and comes back to gets stuck to parts of our body that we need, like our ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other organs but is is very rare for it to spread to other organs.  There are also four stages of endometriosis, stage 1-4. I have stage 4. I am one of the unlucky girls because my endometriosis had spread to colon. More on that in another question.

Q:What symptoms did you have and how did you find out you had endometriosis? 

A: During my time of the month I would get really sick. So sick in fact that I would throw up for days on end, have a migraine so bad I couldn’t work, and the cramps were so bad in my back and pelvis that I couldn’t walk. Finally after trying to fight it off I went to the OB and he told me there was a possibility it could be endo (endometriosis) and the only way to detect it is through a laparascopy. I didn’t hesitate and two weeks later I went in for surgery. Each person also varies with their symptoms but most times they are very similar in each case.

Q: How do you find out you have it?

The only way to find out you have endo is through a laparascopy. It’s a laser guided by a robot to look through your stomach, uterus and surrounding areas. I found out I was stage 4 at the age of 26. I was also told that day after surgery that I was infertile. I was stag four because there was so much scar tissue some of the pictures were unrecognizable as to which organ the doctor was looking at. During that time they also found that my entire left side was non-functioning. Four weeks later I had another laparascopy because the pain isn’t getting any better. March of 2016 I had my entire left side removed. They also saw an anomaly. My color and uterus were fused together with scar tissue, So they had to take those apart and put them back where they belong.

On average a woman goes 10 years without finding out she has endometriosis because there is no current testing that we have to detect it early.

Q: Isn’t it just bad cramps? 

A: No. No. and No. I would take cramps any day than deal wtih endo. Endometriosis is more than just cramping because you are dealing with endo every day of the week, not just when you’re on you’re period. So no, endo is NOT JUST cramps.

Q: What are the stages of infertility? 

A: For me there are several ways to interpret this. But for me there is grief that comes along with being an infertile woman.  I think the five stages of grief fit perfectly with the stages of infertility.

  1. Denial: No woman wants to be told their infertile so they don’t believe it. They keep to their scheduled nights of having sex but after so long of not getting pregnant you wonder why and realize your in the stage of denial.
  2. Anger: I know I was angry for a long time. I wanted to know why this wasn’t found sooner, what could I have done to prevent it. But the reality is I couldn’t have done anything differently.
  3. Bargaining: You start to bargain with God or whomever you believe in. If you give me a baby I promise I won’t buy another puppy.
  4. Depression: This stage is the hardest. The is when everything is stating to sink in. You may never have children, Or depending on what parts work and what don’t surrogacy and adoption may be the only opions.
  5. Acceptance: I’ve come to accept my endometriosis. I’ve only been diagnosed for about three years. And in that three years I went through the stages of grief. My husband watched me on my weakest days say why me? why us? But I have to realize that when I can accept that I have an incurable disease I can educate others on how they can be supportive to those who don’t have children and want them to be happy.

Q: Why Me? 

A: I can not tell you how many times I’ve asked this question. So for anyone going through infertility, it’s okay to say why me? It’s okay to stay in your sweats and grieve a little. I know I have. Today I was having a rough flare up and started crying asking Russell for reassurance. But yes ladies, its okay to say why me and have a pity party.

Q: Why do we have to hide our endometirosis? And who projects this? Self or Others? 

A: This is a great question. I think because endo has to do with our lady parts and lady parts are a taboo subject we just don’t talk about it. We have our groups to be able to lean on our girls when when need it. I also think others are still ashamed of their diagnosis and they don’t want people to think less of them. I think part of endo not being normalized has to do with those of us who have the disease to talk to. I also think it’s others not wanting to talk about women’s reproductive systems because again they are taboo topics. But the more we talk about endo the more knowledge we put into the world.

Q: Why do we have to pretend to be strong? 

A: We only have to pretend to be strong if someone doesn’t know what you’re going through. If we are more open and unapologetic about what we are going through we don’t have to pretend to be strong. We are bad ass women who are fighting each day to get our bed and do simple tasks without getting winded or feeling like shit after. Today I told my husband I wasn’t strong today and he said it’s okay you need rest. The house can wait. We need support systems like that in our lives, not people who are going to bring us down.

Q: Is it normal to gain weight? 

A: Unfortunately, yes. Like I said previously I’ve known about my endo for two years. We have been working with an IVF specialist since last year and I was put on all these different types of medications. I’d say the weight is gradually coming on but its there. I weigh 135 pounds because of the endo and all the treatment. I know I’m going to have to put in the work and gain the weigh if I want a baby but it still sucks.

Q: Does pregnancy fix endo? 

A: Yes and no. Yes because when you don’t have a period you can’t shed the lining of your uterus, which means scar tissue can’t get stuck in places it shouldn’t. But there is always a chance for smaller pieces to get stuck so there is that. Plus once you give birth your body is taking time to get used to having a human come out, get your hormones situated and then think about what to do. Pregnancy can definitely help lessen that chance for endo resurface. Endomtriosis never fully goes away. But we are hoping that once we are able to get pregnant the flare ups and back pain will go away.

Q: Have you thought about a surrogate? 

A: No. My uterus is healthy (a little tilted) but can carry multiple babies. I am not worry nor have we even though about surrogate. In my mind thinking of using donor eggs, surrogacy, etc is like me saying I give up, which I refuse to do.

Q:How has this affected your relationship? 

A: Russell and I have been married for 14 months. He has become my care taker. He makes sure I’m comfortable. He makes sure I have ice and heating packs when I need them. But going through this has made us better communicators. We talk so much about our future plans. If being diagnosed with this disease has taught me anything its like is too short to do something you don’t love. We plan on traveling more. Having babies and just doing what we want to do. We want to experience other cultures, build businesses and most importantly, be happy. There have been tough times too though. When we did the two IUI’s and the test came out negative I thought I was going to have a break down. After the second one we decided IVF would be the next step because IUI’s are too expensive and I want to spend my money on actually making babies. We have had bad days when we can’t agree on a decision. We have bad days when i can’t seem to get out of my funk and constantly ask ‘why me’? But in the end the good days out outweigh the bad.

Hers’s to hoping 2018 brings the Lions a Playoff Win, less pain, more happiness, and a couple of little humans to add to the Young household!

Let me know if you like Q&A. I’m thinking doing another one!

Until Next Time

xoxoxo

 

babies, best friend, black, blogger, breaking news, Dayton, endometriosis, growing, I Am That Girl, infertility, IUI, learning, lies, life, Making a difference, mama to be, marriage, Mary Kay Cosmetics, modeling, Ohio, pageant girl, PIO, PUPO, race, reproductive health, sex, thoughts, transparency, truth, Trying to Conceive, TTC, Uncategorized, women, women's issues

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

 

babies, best friend, body shaming, breaking news, Dayton, endometriosis, infertility, learning, life, Making a difference, marriage, Ohio, reproductive health, sex, thoughts, transparency, truth, Trying to Conceive, Uncategorized, women, women's issues

Through the looking glass…

Have you seen the movie Alice Through the Looking Glass? Ya, I haven’t either. LOL But what I can gather from the title of the film is that Alice is going back to Wonderland to help the Mad Hatter. “Through the Looking Glass”, to me, is portrayed as looking at things or people from your own eyes. Have you ever just looked at someone and caught them at a very raw and vulnerable moment? To me, that is a through the looking glass moment (Now I could be totally wrong on how I’m using this phrase so please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong). This very thing just happened before going to sleep. I was going back into the living room to write and forgot I left the surface in our bedroom. I was being really quiet and I went in our bedroom to retrieve the surface but I see Russell eyes close, fingers laced together, praying. I can’t tell you what he’s praying for because he wasn’t saying anything out loud. But what I can tell you is I know he prays for me. He prays for our marriage, for our friendship, for our life together, for us to continually be as happy as we can be. For a baby. I know he prays for me to have peace because he knows there are plenty of times when I want to cave and just cry. There are moments when I’ve told him I don’t know how much more I can take. But looking at him in that moment was all the strength I need to keep pushing forward. Seeing him sending out positive vibes into the universe and praying for us to have our miracle baby, makes my heart so full. Knowing that this man is asking, begging, pleading for this month to be different gives me hope. He gives me the drive I need to keep going because there are so many days when emotionally I am not okay. I can’t tell you enough how much having him by my side has put many difficult and unexpected moments into perspective. The times when I’d ask “why?” or “when is it going to be our time?” or ” am I worthy enough to be a mother?” or ” am I being punished for something I’ve done?”. These questions are hard for anyone to answer let alone your spouse. The fear. The doubt that creeps in. All the negative emotions and thoughts that creep in every now and then are why I need him by my side. Seeing him take the time out of his day, even just for a moment to pray for us…. there are no words to describe that sight and feeling.

Going through infertility changes a woman…I’ve said this a million times before and I’ll keep saying that infertility changes everything about you. Infertility changes the way a woman looks at another with children, it can change the dynamic of a relationship, it can ruin friendships. Infertility has so many dark moments that seeing moments like Russell praying brings light into a very dark room. If there is one thing infertility has done it has brought us closer together. I feel like Russell and I are stronger and more connected than ever. I am glad I had this through the looking glass moment of watching him pray.

Keep stopping by for more updates on whats to come on your journey towards Baby Y!

Until Next Time

xoxo

best friend, black, Dayton, fashionista, fitness, life, make up lover, Making a difference, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Ohio, pageant girl, Pageants, Shoes

An open letter to my best friend

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Caitlyn

To say I’m proud of you would be an understatement. Your hard work, persistence, and never give up attitude landed you in the Top 15 of Miss Ohio USA. Watching you last night on stage was one of the highlights of my year. This journey hasn’t been easy for you ( but how boring would it have been if it was?!) but you pushed hard, made sacrifices, and knew that with God on your side you could do anything you set your mind to. Preparing for a pageant is more difficult than anyone can imagine. You worked harder than ever; working out, practicing, and even watching what you eat (btw I hope your enjoying a donut as you read this!) to make sure your body was in top shape, and you looked amazing!

Caitlyn, you are one of the kindest, sweetest souls I have ever met. You show me day in and day out what it means to let God show your way. Throughout this entire process you have known all along that God has a bigger plan for you than you can imagine. I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing that is. Watching you grow and become more confident in yourself has been such a joy.

I am so grateful to have you in my life. Thankful for all of our conversations. Thankful to have a pageant sister like you that goes to the end of the earth for her bestie, even if we do live 3.5 hours away from each other. I am in awe of your grace and how much your give of yourself. I am so thankful for the friendship we share and can’t wait to see where your path will lead you.  Thank you for being the role model, an inspiration, and more importantly for being a strong woman of God.

With love

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