Motivational Mondays for Mombies

During our struggle with Secondary Infertility, one of the many difficulties was staying positive. As much as I tried to keep my chin up, negativity found a way to creep in. Those of you who also struggle with infertility can relate that there are a lot of days involved where it is hard to keep your head above water sometimes. With every up, there was a down. With every path forward there seemed to be a detour. With every step forward, we would take two steps back. Looking back, I wish I had some sort of infertility mentor or someone who had went through the journey that could have given me tips to help me stay motivated to stay positive.

Today, I would like to offer up some tips on just that. Being that I have been through SI, I have experience with the ups and downs and know what it’s like when the negativity takes over. Sometimes all you need is another person to say “me too” to be your warrior along with you. By practicing these healthy habits it will certainly help that uncompromising way of thinking that generates negative thinking with outcomes or circumstances that are beyond your control anyways. Triggers will be everywhere. It is how you handle them and what you do with your way of thinking that can make a really horrible situation just a little bit easier on yourself. Lets face it, infertility is hard enough in and of itself, so it is time to dismiss the negative Nelly that lives inside of you. You can do this!

10 Habits to Motivate You to Stay Positive While Struggling With Infertility

Keep A Daily Journal and write something in it everyday. This is such a great way to document your struggle and have a safe place to write any thoughts, feelings, emotions, opinions, questions, etc., that you have. Along the way you may have things that move you: a quote, a song, an act of kindness, progress in your journey. These are all wonderful things to write about as well. Writing is an amazing outlet.

Reward Yourself, Often. Taking the focus off what is causing you displeasure is the best medicine. Whatever point you are at in this struggle you are allowed to take time to laugh, relax, have fun and enjoy. The toll this takes on you emotionally, mentally and physically seems to be all consuming at times. You need a break. You could go to a comedy club, get a massage, take a walk, read a book, the possibilities are endless.

Seek Out Inspiration. Sometimes the best motivation to stay positive can be found through a daily devotional, inpirational quote, a blog, a friend who has walked a mile in your shoes, going to church, etc. Whatever gives you the ambition to stay positive continue to do those things, especially on your really down days.

Get Excited Again. Everything about SI can feel mudane and like a chore. Try to remember your end goal and get excited about the possibility that awaits you. If things, like your sex life, seem to feel more routine and like work, rather then enjoyable or exciting… make things fun again!

Find your “Me Too” Warriors. When you find another person or a group of imdividuals going through similar circumstances it can truly be a breath of fresh air. On one side you are pained that anyone else is going through a similar hell but on the other side you are relieved you have found a relateable person/people who understand and can fully support you how you need to be supported in those moments.

Become Aware of Negative Self Talk and try to omit these thoughts with positive ones. Believe that you are not your struggle and let go of the fact that some things are out of your control. Replace a negative thought with a positive immediately.

Acknowledge what you feel and allow yourself to feel what you are feeling. You are on the rollercoaster ride of your life and you are going to feel emotions all across the board. Don’t ignore them or let someone else try to minimize how you feel or tell you that you should or shouldn’t feel a certain way. You are human and it is the healthiest thing to feel and try to process.

Add Variety to Your Every Day. Breaking out of your daily routine or trying something new can create new or different experiences that can help take your mind off from the negative aspects bogging you down.

Ask For Help and know you are not a lone. No one can read your mind. It can be hard asking for help, but there is no shame in leaning on others. Be specific in how others can support you and be there for you in your time of need.

Keep dating your significant other. This is the key to a happy, healthy and thriving relationship through this struggle. In the midst of your heartache, a date night is a wonderful reminder of the reason you love each other and want to build your family. This hwlps keep things in perspective.

Sacred Sundays

Starting my morning off, before even hopping out of bed, I read a devotional and reflected. Today, I want to share the devotional I read with you and afterwards I hope you also can make time for some relection. Here is the link:

This devotional is a a great reminder on what being a friend is all about. In life, we need people who can go that extra mile for us and take the time to be fully present. Not only do we all need friends but it is also important to be a friend ourselves.

Blog Content

For my readers, this is just a quick update about my content.  I originally started this blog to share my Secondary Infertility journey with you all.  Not only that, but I wanted to share with you my journey being a mother.  After my struggle, we became pregnant through the amazing odds of science with IVF w/ICSI.  Eventually,  I also added content about pregnancy after struggling with infertility.  Now that my second child has been born, I also talk about my life as I now know it now.

Lately, I have been writing about a lot of random topics-basically whatever is floating my boat on that particular day and what randomly comes to my mind is what I write about and I just roll with.  My blog is motherhood, it is about struggle, it is about my life and what I think and feel.  It can be honest, emotional, raw and it can be opinionated, sometimes it can be based of of fact and sometimes not at all. All of these things and more is what you will get from me.

If you are looking for a blog centered around one specific topic, this is not likely the place for you.   I hope whoever stumbles across my blog finds something to take away from it.  If not, you will not hurt my feelings and no offense will be taken as I am aware that we are all different and like different things and we all compartmentalize things differently.  I know I don’t need to explain this to any of you as I feel most of you who follow me have accepted me for me.

However, it was a personal decision to put t his out there and I felt this is more so directed towards those individuals who may search for ‘secondary infertility’ and may stumble across my blog.  I never want you to be caught in the midst of finding a blog about so many other things as well and not be prepared for the things I talk about and share.  Depending on what point you are in your journey, I know that there could be things that trigger you (trust me, I’ve been there) and I wanted to forewarn you.  Triggering you is not my intent and I’m truly sorry if anything I write about makes you feel triggered.  I can not protect you from all the worldly triggers though, they are everywhere but this is one way to at least give you a heads up and try and safe guard you a little bit.  The journey is painful in and of itself and I know you don’t need anything else to make it more painful.

For everyone else,  I also wanted to let you know that in between all the randomness and all over the place topics, I’d like to try to offer you all some occasional regularity to look forward to.  This gives you the chance to look in on specific days you may be interested in checking in.  With that said, on days I don’t have something heavy on my mind to write about in particular, I will be trying to do weekly series. In other words, I may not do this specific series if I have something important to chat with you all about and will just omit the series on that day and go on with what I need to write about.  As you know, I may also not get to posting a blog everyday because my kiddos take up a lot of my free time and when I do have free time I’m not always able to blog either.  Anyways… here is what I am thinking for my weekly series:

Monday’s:  Motivation Mondays For Mombies-As a mom, some days can be hard, hard, hard and you just don’t have the energy or motivation to keep on keeping on, but somehow you manage to just suck it up and do it anyways.  On these days, I will try to offer a little motivation or tips on how to keep on keeping on.

Tuesday’s:  Aimless 20 Talk Tuesday-This day is designed around sharing 20 random thoughts swimming around my brain.  I consider it a day to brain purge!

Wednesday: Wondering On Wednesdays-Here I will be sharing things that I am wondering about.  Mid week is always middle of the week where I usually can have things piling on that I am pondering.  This will be a great day for back and forth conversation about a lot of questions I have or things I leave open ended.

Thursday: Three Facts and Truth Thursdays-Although I will share 3 random facts with you on this day, I will also share with you my thoughts and feelings about those facts! Beware!

Friday:  Fabulous or Fit Friday’s– Fabulous will be anything amazing going on in my life or really any fabulous thing that I want to share with you or I will share somethings about Fit which will be about health and wellness.

Saturday: Simple Saturday-Will be short and to the point.  I may share just a picture or I may share a recipe or I may share a joke…stay tuned!

Sunday:  Sacred Sunday’s-On this day, I may share a bible verse or a devotional or something sacred to me.  This day will be left for quiet reflection to calm you before the week ahead.  Enjoy!



Wondering on Wednesdays

On my mind lately has been my Antral Follicle count or (AFC).  During my time going through IVF, one of the many tests I had done was counting my Antral Follicles.   Honestly, I had never even heard this term until we had transferred from our clinic in WI to Advanced Fertility in IL.   If you ever go through this process, you can relate that new terms are popping up all the time and oftentimes can throw you for a loop.  This had been one of those things for me and you can betcha I went home and sat on google for some time trying to learn as much as I could about AFC.  I also inquired about it on my infertility groups on Facebook.

Since it was complete news to me that my Antral Follicle count was at the lower end of normal for someone my age, I immediately began to worry.  My doctor told me not to worry, however as it was still within the normal number for someone my age, he just typically sees it a bit higher.  First of all, I must not wear worry well because he tried to calm my nerves right then and there and secondly, trying to tell someone not to worry when they clearly are worrying doesn’t help ease up the worry in that moment any less.   Although, I have read that if the count has only been once, which for me it has, that it is not completely accurate as it is hard to count all of the follicles.  Apparently, it is also something that can change here and there with each cycle.

Backing up a bit, if you have not heard this term either and you are in the dark and have been struggling with infertility my advice to you is to most certainly ask your doctor about your AFC.  It is certainly a very important piece of the puzzle when dealing with infertility as it helps to measure your ovarian reserve or how your supply of eggs is looking for the future.  However, I also want to point out that the quality of eggs plays a very important role and to not worry so much about quantity of eggs.  I am a prime example of someone who did not have a lot of eggs retrieved during my IVF.  However, of the 4 eggs retrieved they looked to be of great quality overall, and obviously we had a positive outcome.  So, I would take the 4 I got any day.  Looking back though, in the moment, I was worried by the low number of eggs.  This could be because of my low AFC.

With AFC and mine being on the lower end of normal however, it has made me begin to wonder now what m future fertility holds?  It also makes me ponder the idea of my AFC although normal, being on the lower end of normal for m age range, how much this has played a role in our in our inability to conceive naturally the second time around?  We did have other factors on my husbands end too, as you may note if you again, scroll back in time to my past blog posts, which played a role too.  We never found a clear cut answer as to why we were going through secondary infertility, or what the cause was 100% and I think I’ve comes to terms with the fact we may never have an answer.  I really believe that in our case, there is more then one contributing factor making this difficult for us and this may be the only fact we will have to take to heart and roll with.

With that said, thinking about about baby #3 lately and knowing the time is now, I wonder what I can be doing to help my AFC, if there is anything or anything I can do to help improve my ovarian reserve.I feel like I could be making small changes and those changes may be beneficial.  Maybe not, but it sure is hell worth a try.  I have read that taking DHEA or CoQ10 and trying to go dairy free are all things that are worth a shot.  However, it all just makes me feel overwhelmed and it’s too early in the game to stress myself out.  I mean cripes, I haven’t even gotten my period back yet.

That is infertility in a nutshell though:  Overwhelming.

As my beautiful IVF baby is happily babbling in the background eating her pancake for breakfast, I feel so many emotions and I am beyond grateful for her.  I am reminded daily of how much we fought for her and what we went through to make her exist and I do not regret one second of anything we did, felt or went through.  She is amazing and makes my heart so unbelievably happy.  Yet, here I go again not feeling that our family is 100% complete yet.  I battle with this.  I beat myself up thinking that I am being selfish for wanting just one more.  Yet, I know the time is now and the clock is ticking.  I just want to beat the clock and do all I can to make sure my family is complete and my heart is content.  So here I sit thinking about my AFC and wonder if there is some magic answer to improve this one piece to our puzzle of infertility and can only pray for another positive outcome in our future.

Aimless 20 Talk Tuesday

  1.  I ran over a screw on Friday and my husband was kind enough to take the screw out and put a plug in it (Thank you Maynerd-Yes, I call my hubby Maynerd).  We were hoping this would  buy us some time before we needed to actually purchase a new tire.  We always have plans and God is laughing because on Sunday night as my family and I were going to fill our ice cream craving I ran over a thingymabob and again, it was stuck in and punctured my tire.  Lucky for me it was the same tire as Friday.  What are the odds of that happening?  Jeesh, some people have all the luck.
  2. My daughter has already decided she wants me to pack her lunches for when school starts instead of having to eat a school lunch.  School lunch plus one milk costs $2.35/day and an extra $0.35 for an extra milk.  This will add up to be $11.75/week.  I think, but am not certain, I can pack her lunches for cheaper.  However, I am certain packing her lunches everyday will get old.  What do you do for your kindergartner?  I am new at this and am not sure what to do.
  3. I better Pinterest the crap out of packed lunch ideas.
  4. We recently got a letter in the mail from a company that our insurance, as of this year, is no longer affiliated with.  We have an outstanding balance on our account that we have been making payments on monthly (leftover from K’s birth).  They told us that if we were to pay off our account in full by 8-20-17 that they would take 20% off our total that we owe.  This has never happened to us before.  In my mind I know it would be stupid for us not to pay in full due to the fact that we would get almost $500 off our total.  This money then, could go towards the last sum of money we owe Urology from when I had my kidney stones.  However, I’m wondering if we could barter with them some more and see if we could get them to go any lower.  I’m not good at this sort of thing so if you have any insight I’d greatly appreciate it.
  5. My parents stayed with us this past weekend.  It is always nice when they visit and especially when they spend time with the kiddos.  What is not fun is when they leave and my daughter is heartbroken over the fact that they have to leave and is crying legitimate tears of sadness.  It never fails to break my heart.  She sure does love her grandparents.  Distance sucks.
  6. Odd squad is on T.V.  My daughter loves it.  I don’t understand it, it’s so weird.
  7. A local photographer recently photographed triplets and posted a few of the pictures on Facebook.  SWOON!  It was a set of identical twin girls and then one boy. Talk about God working miracles.  There was just so much sweetness in one basket. I often think about how different our life would have been if our 2nd embryo would have taken too and I often wonder why it didn’t stick.  I also think about how lucky we are that one did stick.
  8. Do you use buy, sell, trade sites online?  I have a ton of stuff I have been trying to get rid of and the site I use most often is VarageSale.  I randomly sell stuff here and there but I’d love to see the rest of it go!  I did sell a couple items yesterday and made a quick and easy $10.  Yay me!
  9. I can not believe it’s 4 pm already.  Where did today go?  All we did was go to the library, go to my sisters house and then left to go to the park for a picnic lunch and some play time.  Then I came home and K just now fell asleep and I’m trying to get E’s paper work filled out for work and her fees paid online-oh, and then this blog distracted me so here I am.
  10. Did I mention how tired I am today?  No?  I’m freaking tired.  K was up a good fraction of the night and just wanted to nurse and my allergies are getting the best of me.  I even am sporting my glasses today because my eyes were so itchy.  Gahh, not fun.  When I woke up this morning I felt like I had a hangover as I had a faint headache, was foggy and running into things and stubby my toes.  I probably have about 20 new bruises on my legs because I was so clumsy.  This mama could really benefit from 1 full nights worth of sleep.
  11. Something smells like a dead animal in our garage.  My husband needs to figure that out pronto!
  12. A lot of wishful thinking happened when I created my summer bucket list blog post. We have done some of the things on there, but most have not.  This makes me sad.  Today is August 1st already, what the hell?
  13. E looks so adorable today in her french braid piggy tails.  I wish she could stay this little and innocent forever.
  14. K is napping right now on her belly, feet crossed and butt up in the air-another adorable daughter of mine.  I just love them both to pieces.
  15. It just rained and I’m actually happy about that because that means I don’t have to drag the hoses out to the gardens to water my vegetable plants.  Win!
  16. You guys, I’m seriously going to fall asleep sitting up.
  17. On the podcast I was listening to this morning they were asking hypothetically if you could ever have your sister donate an egg if she was willing and you needed one.  This is some serious shit to ponder.  However, I feel like I am the type of person that I would need to have an anonymous donor that I had no personal connections with.
  18. Proof my butt is dragging today-I only have about 5,000 steps in and it’s just after 4 pm.  Typically I’ve been my 10,500 step goal by now, which by the way I have excelled at all week.  Crap!  Tired or not, I need to get moving.
  19. Hopefully I can get to the Farmers Market this Saturday with my sister.  I realized that I haven’t even had any corn on the cob this summer.  It is not a WI summer without buttery sweet delicious corn on the cob.  MMM, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.
  20. My dog is giving me puppy dog eyes.  I need to take her for a walk.

Monday Motivation for a Mombie

What is the fastest speed you’ve driven in your vehicle? C’mon, be honest, this is a safe place.  For me, I can say I’ve gone 80-85 mph for many miles without even realizing my foot is heavy on the gas. Where I live, the highest speed limit is about 70 mph just to give you a clue of how many miles over the speed limit I have gone.  It typically isn’t until I see a speed limit sign, or a a police car checking for speeders , that I was reminded to check my speed and slow down. Sometimes, when I drive, I think I just get in a zone and will admit, I don’t even think or realize how fast I am going or even think that I am speeding.  Most days I set my cruise control though and I am good to go!

In life, as you well know, there is no cruise control button.  As a mom, we are pulled in several different directions from the moment we wake up until the moment we go to bed.  Most days fly by at what feels like a warped speed.  If you have really little ones, oftentimes, you are even needed throughout the night making this need for you 24/7. You feel like there is no time to hit the breaks and you keep speeding around, not only getting tasks done but taking care of everyone too.

Lets be honest and say that this can be down right exhausting.  Sometimes you feel like you are in a this zone catering to the needs of everyone in your family, multi-tasking to make sure everything gets done (or in my case, at least started) and never finding the time to slow down and take a two second breather or being able to take the time for a little self care along the way.  By the end of the day you may find yourself thinking, Where did the day go?  or I wish I would have had time to read a chapter in that book I got from the library or Man, I am so tired but there is still this to get done and that to do, or there’s no time to watch that favorite episode of your favorite show on netflix. Whatever it is you may think at the end of a very busy day there is one thing that holds true, not once did you think about slowing down because you are a super mom, you are what holds the glue together and if you don’t do it, nobody else will or your child just simply needed Mom today.  The problem is, is that you had no speed limit sign in your day and no police officer to pull you over if you were going to fast without stopping to take a break.

With that, my advice to you Mombies out there on this fine Monday, is to simply Slow Down.  This applies to driving and just in your everyday life at home.  I don’t have to tell you that speeding is illegal, dangerous and reckless.  It can also be an expensive mistake, if caught as well.  With speeding when driving, there are consequences.

Just like actual speeding, not slowing down in your every day normal activity can also lead to consequences.  You will find yourself burnt out, having lack of patience with whoever crosses your path, you may get physically sick, you can become easily stressed out, you can also become overly exhausted, etc.  Figuratively speaking, you may not have any posted speed limit signs throughout your day to remind you to slow down, or a police officer to pull you over when you get in this zone. There is, however, a point during the day where that nagging voice inside you is telling you it is time to take a break and slow down or when your body tells you it has exhausted its use for that day and knows you are ready for something more low key.  It is your job to start listening to your overall being and take that breath of fresh air.

To you speeders out there, on the road and in everyday life, please slow down.  As the occasional Mombie myself, I will leave you all with some simple ideas of things I do when I have exceeded the speed limit in my life and know it’s time to slow down.  It is my hope you will be able to use these tips or find ways in your own life to incorporate ways to stop and smell the roses:

  1. Have everyone pitch in to help out with a chore, any chore!  This is helpful at the dinner hour especially.  Instead of doing everything yourself, make this a family affair.  For example last night I could have easily dragged my tired body into the kitchen and submitted to making dinner, setting the table, and dishing up everyone’s plates while the rest of my family was lounging on the couch (which is what I obviously would have wanted to do instead) . Instead, I delegated the task and decided it would go faster and we may eat on time if everyone helped out.  As a mom, you shouldn’t have to do it all or be expected to.  There is a little piece of the dinner hour that each of your family members can be involved in helping with.
  2. Make meals ahead.  If you know your week is going to be busy, dinner prep the weekend before.  This has been such a time saver this summer, especially nights where my oldest had sporting events in the evening and didn’t get done with games until 5:30 or 6:30.  Instead of scrambling trying to figure out what to eat and what to make have a plan.  I never felt like cooking on these evenings as it got late and I was too tired, so this not only saved time but made things less of a headache.
  3. Plan in advance to do one thing YOU enjoy each day.  If you already have a plan about something you want to do before the day begins you have already given yourself that permission to slow down and take that much needed break.  It can be something as simple as reading a chapter in a book, or watching an episode of your favorite tv show or exercising when your husband gets home from work.  It can be something that takes 5 minutes or something that lasts an hour.  Whatever it is, do it, enjoy it and don’t feel guilty about it.
  4. Set aside time on the weekends to have time completely to yourself.  For me, this is Saturday and Sunday mornings.  I wake up and usually work out for about an hour.  I try to do this before anything else so as I don’t get distracted by all the other things I have to do or a child needing me and putting off doing so.  Lately, I have even just been mowing the lawn.  Some may see this as a chore, but it gives me time to slap on my ear buds and listen to a podcast or my favorite music, child free for 45 minutes.
  5. Focus on one task and do it from start to finish.  Nothing is more overwhelming then starting something and not being able to finish it.  I have always been a list maker and when I can cross something off that list, I feel so less stressed.  However, when I start something and can’t finish it I can’t cross it off my list and if I continue to go on without finishing it I just get overwhelmed because things continue to get added to that list.  Take the time to finish so you can move on to the next task stress free.
  6. Online Shopping.  I recently ordered all of my daughters school supplies online.  At first I was feeling so guilty about not giving her the in store experience and mother-daughter bonding time to do this together.  However, with the 2nd little one now and trying to find time to shop and shopping with them both can be a stressful nightmare.  I decided against the stress and headache and let me tell you, ordering online was easy, no stress and was delivered to my door in 2 days!  BOOM!
  7. Take a bath instead of a shower.  Soaking in a bath of bubbles and hot water is sometimes the best medicine for a busy and stressful day.  This forces relaxation.
  8. Put down the electronic devices and actually spend time with your family.  Play a board/card game.  Take a walk together.  Play in your back yard.  Talk to each other.  Whatever it is, eliminate screen time and spend more time with the people you love.
  9. Say No.  Simply stop saying yes to everything.  Don’t feel obligated to do things you don’t want to do, especially if it just will cause you more to do and cause you more stress.
  10. Keep the environment you live in clean.  If my house is messy/dirty I can’t relax and always creates me to do busy work. Doing the little things now to keep your house tidy, will eliminate a bigger cleaning time later.  Pick up after yourself.  Wipe down tables and counters after each use. Have your kids pick up their own toys after they are done.  Keep on a cleaning schedule.


Wondering on Wednesday?

Probably, by far, one of the most frustrating pieces of “advice” people gave me while going through infertility was to stop stressing, and it will happen.  When others would say this to me, it was like they alone had the magic answer to my problem.  If you know anything about infertility though, you know that stress alone is never the only contributing factor as to why pregnancy doesn’t occur easily.  I realize stress can play a role in this circumstance, but I also know that stop stressing and it will happen was not the magic answer to our prayers.

However, I did start praying that people would stop giving me unmerited advice and stop telling me to stop stressing.  Stress is a part of our daily lives.  Stress is something every single person has experienced. We know that there is both good stress and bad stress, that people handle stress differently and that stress can affect us physically, mentally and emotionally all differently too.

Knowing that I am a worrier by nature and stress easily, I do wonder sometimes how my stress played a role in our infertility.  However, that is the key to this…I know it had to have played a small role but I know it was not the bigger piece to our puzzle.  I feel like this is a question I will never know the answer to, but often wonder.

Most people are in denial about baby making.  We are taught when we grow up that we have sex and boom you can get pregnant when in fact, making a baby is a very complex thing.  We only have a small window of time each month where a baby can actually be made.  Everything has to be in sync for this to take place and this is right down to the right environment of the women’s uterus for an embryo to stick and for a baby to then start to grow and thrive.  Bottom line is, there are many factors to infertility and stress alone is not the main culprit for a couple struggling.

It truly saddens me every single time I hear that another person was either given this advice or I hear it being said in conversation.  It is truly cringe worthy and I’m having a harder and harder time keeping my mouth shut when I hear it being said.  I feel like I need to step up to the plate and educate people on what is the reality of someone struggling with infertility and the potential causes.

I am wondering also, why this piece of advice is given so often being the first thing someone says when the topic of infertility arises?  Do people actually think they are being supportive giving it?  I am going to caution you that it is one of the least supportive things you could say to someone struggling with infertility.  In actuality, upon hearing this from you, the person on the receiving end has shut down internally because all they really heard is “You think this is my fault”. Being a direct recipient of this advice myself, and if you are a person who has given it or gives it or is about to gives it or is even thinking it, I am going to forewarn and advise you to just knock it off! Stop saying this to someone struggling with infertility.  It is simply and awful thing to say.

For those of you currently struggling with infertility or have struggled in the past, I am wondering if you have been given this “advice” by someone (if you haven’t, I would honestly be shocked)?  If so, how did you interpret it?  How does it make you feel hear upon hearing it?  How do you handle it when it is said to you?  Also, what are your overall thoughts about how stress and infertility go hand in hand? I want to know!!!

In the meantime, check out this article on Mediation and Relaxation techniques posted on the website:

I’m looking forward to your thoughts on this middle of the week wondering Wednesday discussion!