Guest Post: National Infertility Awareness Week

Did you know that 1 in 8 couples suffers from infertility? And many more struggle to add to their family without the official diagnosis. While infertility will always be unfair and frustrating it absolutely should not be isolating. The more it is discussed and stories are shared the better we can all come together to support those battling infertility – whether it be you, your best friend, sister, a coworker or daughter.

An Inside Look: Facing Infertility with IVF

Courtney Ruge @andthencomesbaby

Our story starts out like so many others—just a young couple with a simple dream to one day be parents. We were married a year before we began the (unknowingly long) journey to starting our family. We tried on our own for months to no avail and finally decided to take the next step with a fertility specialist. “There are few options,” he said. So, we started with the easiest one—intrauterine insemination (IUI). “You get three chances,” he said. We used them all, plus one. Four attempts later, our hopes and dreams of being parents dangled by a thread. “Would this ever actually work?” I thought to myself. “What if I never become a mom?” A few weeks after our last attempt of IUI, we met with our doctor. And that’s when he said it. Those three little letters. IVF. Chills ran through my body as tears filled my eyes. How could I ever do this?

Preparing for our Cycle

It took awhile for reality to sink in—for me to accept that our path to parenthood would be filled with strict injection schedules, multiple doctor visits and very, very little sex. But once I became acclimated with our new “normal”, it wasn’t so bad. The cycle started with 27 days on birth control—to calm and reset my reproductive system—and two rounds of antibiotics to prevent infection prior to retrieval and embryo transfer. And, I hate to admit it, but this was the worst part for me. The antibiotics were awful and so hard on my body. And I just mentally couldn’t get over the fact that I was taking birth control to prevent pregnancy—wasn’t that the idea here?!

Stimulation Phase

@andthencomesbaby: happy monday to me 🤣💉 #ivf #ivfjourney #fertility #ivfsupport

I survived the dreaded BCP and antibiotic prep and made it to stimulation phase. In short, my body pretty much became an egg factory. My husband would inject me with hormones every 12 hours for 10 days in an effort to produce numerous follicles in my ovaries. The more follicles, the more eggs…the more eggs, the greater chance you have at success. (Some women experience severe cramping and bloating, but I never did. Sure, I didn’t always feel like myself but the hormones weren’t nearly as hard on my body as I was expecting. Oh and the needles, THEY ARE SO TINY IT IS RIDICULOUS. You can barely feel them, I promise.) On the last day of stimulation, my nurse counted about 10-12 follicles and said we were measuring just perfectly. That night I was to take the trigger shot and two days later I would come in for the egg retrieval procedure. Continue reading

From The Toddler’s Mouth

 

Lately Leah has been cracking me up with all of the funny things she’s saying. She is also latching onto random details and then holding onto them for a few weeks before randomly asking about them again – which always surprises me, like where’d that come from? How’d you even think of that? Here are some of my favorites lately.

  • Leah’s highest compliments she can pay are to announce that you’re big and strong and have big muscles (Mike mainly receives this one), that you’re big and powerful (in my  opinion we could all benefit from hearing that on the daily), and one that’s been dedicated only to me over the last couple of weeks: you’re huge and heavy and big. HAHA! And it’s so cute because she thinks this is such a nice thing to say so I have actually been taking it as such. She also told the ladies at the gym daycare “My mommy is huge and my daddy has big fingers“.

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Stop hiding behind the camera!!

I love the movement encouraging moms to get in front of the camera more instead of hiding behind it. While creating a collage for my parent’s Christmas gift a few years ago my sister and I struggled to adequately represent our mom because the photos with her in them were so hard to come by! She was almost always the one taking the picture! Let’s face it, we’re usually the one who wants the picture taken, the moment saved forever, and it feels vain to ask someone to take it if you. But your kids need to be able to look back at these pictures and see that you were there. Really this article puts it better than I ever could, and the video below is guaranteed to make you smile.

Life Lately

My Day Off

Leah had been extra naughty a few weeks ago and I called my mom begging her to take her for a night so that we could all get breaks from each other – mainly Leah and I. My mom agreed (HALLELUJAH) and took her off my hands for a much needed day to myself. I got my hair cut (for the first time since August – YIKES), went shopping (without constant little person negotiations going on) and had a date night with Mike (another first in way too long). IT WAS AMAZING!!! I only have one kid but as one of my friends recently told me – sometimes you need more than an hour or two away from your kid/kids to recharge. Amen.

It also took a change of scenery for us all to realize Leah had an ear infection and I’m guessing that’s part of why she was acting up so much. It’s amazing how sometimes you are the frog in the pot of water slowly coming to a boil and don’t even realize it. As soon as I got some space I realized that I had been at the end of my mom patience, and a break to spend some time on myself was exactly what I needed to be a better mom and wife. Is that you right now? If it is and we live nearby CALL ME! I’ll watch your kids and if not call a sitter or a family member and get yourself a mom’s day. Not just a couple of hours – but a day at least. Trust me, you and everyone around you will appreciate it. Continue reading

Pregnancy Pillows – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Being a stomach sleeper one of my struggles both last pregnancy and this one has been getting comfy at night. Last time it seemed easier, I used a thick regular pillow between my knees for a while and after getting a prenatal massage I decided I needed the real deal. Between last pregnancy and this one I thought pregnancy pillows would be a good thing to review so I contacted Boppy and they sent me their pregnancy pillow to review. I was also given the Leachco Snoogle from a friend. So I’ve been diligently testing (aka trying to get comfortable) and feel that I can now provide a comprehensive review if you’re looking to buy a pregnancy pillow.

Option 1: The thick head pillow

Used as a buffer between the legs while lying on the side, it can help ease strain on the back.

Image result for bed pillow between knees

Pros:

  • Easy to roll over with and switch which side you’re laying on
  • You already have several of these
  • Takes up minimal room in bed
  • Use whichever pillowcase you like with it
  • Put it back on the bed in the morning and it’s not taking up any extra space

Cons:

  • Only cushions a small area

Bottom Line: Great for the weeks when you’re not quite comfy on your stomach, but you don’t yet have too much belly to put strain on your back. I successfully used this for weeks 8-18 when my back started to hurt during the night and I needed something more.

Option 2: Body Pillow

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Announcement

I know I promised you an announcement about a week and a half ago, but life has been crazy and so I’m sorry for making you wait but I’m finally following through on that promise!

Yep, I’m sure you guessed it – we’re expecting baby #2! I’ll be 20 weeks on Friday and am due August 11, so currently enjoying the blissful second trimester and all the sleep, full appetite and rapid expansion that goes with it! And no, we’re not finding out what we’re having – something I never thought I could do.

Here’s how I told Mike:

So to explain the video, since I told Mike I was pregnant with Leah via text message, I wanted to do something a little more fun this time. Continue reading

5 On Friday

Happy Friday! I feel like it’s been busy in our house and simultaneously a little boring as the weather can’t quite warm up all the way and winter always seems to stretch on just a bit too long this time of year. So I hope you have a great weekend planned!

one. Purl Lamb – I rarely splurge on special clothes for Leah and since she gets so many cute ones as gifts I hardly have to. But when I saw these on sale for $17 per piece  I thought they’d be perfect for St. Patrick’s Day and ordered 2 pairs of the matching organic sweats and one sweatshirt for some comfy cute play clothes and scored free shipping!

.Organic Stella HOODIE.Organic Mia SWEATS.Organic Stella SWEATS

  1. two. Books Lately – I’ve been reading and listening to a lot of books, ones I’ve enjoyed and finished recently are:

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5 on Friday

So it’s supposed to be in the 60’s this weekend and I feel like it’s a peace offering from above for every family with pent-up kids suffering cabin fever. WE WILL GET OUTSIDE THIS WEEKEND!!!! So happy weekend to you!

one. Valentine’s Day – We’re not huge Vday celebrators but we still try to make it feel special. This year we actually had an amazing Valentine’s Day. In the morning Leah and I met some friends at a local bakery to have breakfast pastries and play on the patio. It was so much fun and I highly recommend Deluxe Cakes and Pastries for anyone local to Iowa City. And while it’s pretty small inside, the outside area was great to relax and let the girls run around.

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5 on Friday

One of my favorite blogs, Carolina Charm always does a 5 on Friday. It’s just a quick list of 5 fun things each Friday. I can’t promise that I’ll do it every Friday, but I thought I’d do it today with my favorite easy breakfasts.

One. This morning I’m enjoying for the second day in a row a yummy fruit smoothie. Leah loves these too and on mornings when a heavy breakfast doesn’t sound great, smoothies (protein shakes as Leah calls them) are an easy breakfast.

Smoothie, coffee and a very unstaged glimpse at our morning…Leah’s watching her episode of Daniel Tiger and drinking her milk while I get some stuff done.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie: Blend together 1 banana, 1 cup strawberries (frozen work great!), 1/2 cup spinach or kale, 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder and 1 -2 cups unsweetened almond milk. You can also squeeze in a teaspoon of honey if you’d like. Continue reading

Random Thoughts for Monday

Well hey everyone! I think the cabin fever has officially set in as we work our way through February. It’s been a mild winter, but it’s still not warm enough to get outside and I’m really starting to look forward to Spring! But the good news is that hopefully warmer weather is a month or so away. I thought I’d bring you a few random thoughts if you need some reading material to get through another Monday.

New Recipe

sweet-potato-pizza-skilletWe had the best new recipe on Friday for dinner. I saw this on a friend’s Instagram (she is a health food blogger – check out her sight for great meal inspiration!) and immediately wanted to try it because Mike is obsessed with Pizza but also on a huge health kick, so I figured he’d appreciate the opportunity to indulge without going overboard. It was a hit and you have to try it! MY TIP: it says to use a spiralizer and I don’t have a fancy one – just a little handheld one that doesn’t really work for anything but zucchini. So I employed my food processor, using the setting you’d use for cheese grating; it worked great and so was much quicker.

Update on Us

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