Monthly Archives: April 2016

friday favorites!


1. Here is something that’s true; Korean beauty products do not fuck around. Here is something that’s also true; Belif Aqua Bomb is one of my favorite things I’ve ever put on my face. It’s beyond moisturizing without being heavy or greasy. And it doesn’t have any sulphates, phthalates or parabens. Lucky you they apparently have it at Sephora now so you don’t have to go traipsing all over the internet like my dumb ass did. 

2. This baby blanket has all the coolness of a Mexican serape, without the Itchy and Scratchy show. The serape blankets I have feel like they have only a slightly higher thread count than burlap. This is super soft and is Sherpa on one side! I found mine at Granola Babies in Costa Mesa, but the one I hunted down on Little Messengers shop looks almost exactly like it! I just think these are so special. I love the colors and how sophisticated and not babyish they are. 

3. I’ve had this app since the day it came out, but I’ve really only been playing around with it recently. It can truly take your photos to another level. I’ve always been jealous of people with Instagram pages that look all cohesive and lovely. I some day hope to get there, possibly right after I find time to shave my own legs. But for now I’ll just smurf around and have fun with it. It takes a little bit to master and really grasp the full genius of this editing app. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very user friendly. I think at first glance it seems like just another filtering app, but the subtleties are where it’s at. I think the key is to play around with filters at very low percentages, don’t over do it. One of my favorite things is that on the A Color Story Instagram page they post user photos with the “recipe” of how they created the look so you can replicate. 

4. I always thought I hated abstract art. But recently I started looking for something to hang in the space above my kitchen table and wanted to think outside the realm of what I typically pick. I realized one day that literally every piece of art in my house is either a portrait of a person or an animal. Landscapes are a big snooze-fest, so I started looking into abstract art. It turns out I still pretty much hate it. BUT, what I don’t hate, I LOVE. It’s very polarizing, but that’s super neat.  I happened upon this artist named Mari Orr in my quest and her stuff is a tiny bit of magic.  I could get lost in her brush strokes, which she highlights singularly sometimes on her Instagram.

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National Infertility Awareness Week


It’s National Infertility Awareness Week and I’ve decided it’s time to make my blog public, whether I feel it’s ready or not.  Being on the other side of a 4 year struggle with infertility I still have a hard time finding words that may be helpful to those still in the thick of it.  But I desperately want to help. 

I’m a Buddhist and I have this app on my phone called Chant Buddy that’s really used to log minutes of chanting, but it also has a daily encouragement section that has a different quote every day from Daisaku Ikeda. Somehow, every time I open the app and see the quote of the day, it happens to go along perfectly with whatever I’m going through.  Every. Time.  I laugh with my mom because she had a book of guidance from Daisaku Ikeda that she used to open up to a random page every time she needed help and it was always perfectly suited as well.  Aaaaaanyway, I opened it up today looking for something helpful to guide this post and this is what it said. 


I mean, come ON.  Yes, precisely, Mr. Ikeda.  EXACTLY ūüĎŹūüŹľ this ūüĎŹūüŹľ right ūüĎŹūüŹľ here

I remember part of the pain I felt when having a baby was nowhere in sight for us was that desperate feeling of all this time being wasted.  Years were passing, and even if I could convince myself that it would happen for us one day, I felt bitter that these were years we were missing out on with our child. 

What was really hard to see then that is so obvious to me now it that those years added SO MUCH to who I am as a mother.  They strengthened the bond with my husband and put things into perspective in a way that makes me enjoy being a mom more than I would have without them.  

I’m not saying that people who go through fertility issues first love their children more.  I’m not saaaaying that. (this is me winking and nudging you under the table)  But there’s definitely  a heightened state of something.  It’s magic when you look at your baby after knowing you never would.  Sometimes I have to pinch myself, well I did, now my sadistic baby does the pinching.  But even when he’s simultaneously biting my face, screaming, and pulling out wads of my hair, deep down I’m like, “if this isn’t heaven, I don’t know what is.”

I’m not going to say never lose hope.  I lost hope about 50 times actually.  But the important thing is that I got it back and I didn’t give up.  I didn’t know if I would ever have a baby for sure, but I didn’t give up on being happy one day.  After all, rising above our challenges is where true, unshakable happiness comes from.  We need our obstacles, they make us strong.  And no matter your outcome, that strength will be your asset.

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Our Favorite Rocker!


One of my favorite stories my MIL tells about my husband’s childhood includes him jamming out on his rocking horse to “The Curly Shuffle” on repeat on his little record player. ¬†I knew for River’s first Christmas I wanted to get him a record player and a rocking horse to pay homage to his dad’s days of being a little rocking weirdo. ¬†I did this massive search (as I always do) because I wanted to find something cute, comfortable, and something that would last.

I came across these rockers from Rockabye.com and knew I had found it!  The trouble was choosing which to get because there were so many cute ones.  I just thought the motorcycle was hysterical, and I love the colors.  The gages play sort of 70s Rock sounding educational songs, THE CUTEST!  You can just feel the wind in your hair and the open road around you.

These are some of my other favorites.  The airplane, peacock and butterfly are TDF.

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Friday Favorites!

I’m starting a new feature where on Fridays I’ll be posting a few of the items I’m currently crushing on! ¬†There’s always some new thing for babies or my home or beauty/health and wellness that I’m obsessing over every week. ¬†This week they all come from Etsy shops because I’ve been cruising my Etsy app at night after the child goes to sleep. ¬†(TBH probably a lot of these posts in the future will come from there because this bitch loves her some Etsy)

1. ¬†Neon Plant Hangers! ¬†I ordered this yellow gem from¬†The Vintage Loop¬†because I LOVE pops of neon in a room and I’ve been looking for a cool plant hanger. ¬†They come in lots of colors but the neon yellow, hot pink, and bright blue are the COOOO-LEST.

2. ¬†I ordered these sweet little snake socks ¬†from¬†Hady’s Closet¬†because, I mean, COME ON! ¬†Are these the cutest ever or what? ¬†I’ve been looking for knee socks for River that weren’t too girly. Now that he’s crawling and the weather is warmer, I wanted a way to keep his fat little baby legs protected on our hard wood without him having to wear pants all the time. ¬†Knee socks make diaper changes so much easier than pants, and I just couldn’t pass ¬†up these ssssweet sssssilly sssssnakes!

3. ¬†I found these Fox Socks on¬†May Cutie Boutique¬†while on the hunt for River’s snake socks! ¬†They were oh so cute, but far too girly for Bruiser, so I just had to get them for my niece.

4. ¬†Ok, this Rainbow Highlighter from¬†Bitter Lace Beauty¬†might seem a little out there, and it actually is, but it’s also truly magical! ¬†A girl in one of my Facebook groups posted about this and it was so gorgeous on her I wanted to cry. ¬†It’s subtle enough to not look crazy, just like the light is hitting you perfectly and your unicorn ancestry is shining through. ¬†Also, she said it smells like cotton candy! Sadly, do to high demand they are currently out of stock, but you better believe I have my email on their list to be notified when they get more in.

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Is IVF more boy-friendly?

We did genetic testing along with our IVF treatment, so we were able to see the sex of all of our embryos. ¬†We didn’t WANT to know before transferring because we wanted it to be a surprise and we made that clear to our doctor. ¬†He forgot.

We had 11 eggs that fertilized, but only 5 made it the 5 days after insemination to the testing day. ¬†We found this out the morning of our embryo transfer, 6 days¬†after egg retrieval/insemination, but it came with some bittersweet news. ¬†First of all, our dumb dumb Dodo doctor came in that morning and exclaimed that he had some “great news.” ¬†Out of 11 eggs, we were left with 2 healthy embryos. ¬†Both male. ¬†2. ¬†We were super excited because we both wanted a boy, but there was also that twinge of sadness from finding out much earlier than (and not how) we wanted what the sex of our baby would be, and also knowing that we didn’t even have the option of having a girl from this round of IVF.

Even more concerning was that 3 of the 5 embryos were abnormal, and ALL FIVE were male.  We had no female embryos that made it to testing.  Which of course raises the complex question; What the fuck?

I actually don’t think we got much information at all about the genetic testing. ¬†I’m not even sure if we got a physical report about their findings, we were just told that day that 3 of the 5 were “abnormal.” ¬†I don’t know if they even know more than that or not. ¬†I’d be interested in hearing from any of you fellow IVFers who also did testing if you ever got any more information than just normal/abnormal. ¬†It seems sort of vague to me. ¬†Could “abnormal” be anything¬†ranging from minor to severe? ¬†Who knows? ¬†But it does make the prospect of trying on our own that much more daunting.

It would seem something is going on with our female embryos.  So while I was thrilled with the outcome of the IVF and ACTUALLY BEING PREGNANT!!  I was also quietly mourning the possibility that we had just been handed yet another obstacle and told yet another thing my body cannot do; make a female baby.

I’ve since read that IVF can be tough on female embryos, which are more fragile. ¬†Especially with genetic testing, having to last outside the womb for 5 days is not an easy task (I can relate). ¬†But this seems to only account for a very small margin, about 1-2% in favor of male embryos.

BUT, there’s another factor that I think is terribly overlooked when it comes to male favorability in IVF. ¬†There are are many different protocols and techniques to¬†IVF. ¬†Over the several years of researching it and actually going through it myself I’ve spoken with¬†many¬†other women who have also gone through it. ¬†None of us had the same exact experience. ¬†One technique which can differ is the use of ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) vs the dish method.

In the dish method an egg is introduced to a petri dish of sperm, the same way it would be inside the womb, so nature can take it’s course. ¬†In ICSI, under direct microscopic vision, an¬†embryologist chooses a single sperm and injects it into the egg. ¬†ICSI is typically used for male infertility, when there are few sperm or the quality of them is low. ¬†Our IVF clinic uses ICSI across the board, we did not get a choice in whether or not to use it. ¬†I believe this is because of the genetic testing.

Fertilization in a petri dish, just like in natural insemination, requires interaction between the sperm and cumulus cells that surround the egg.  There is a need to remove these cumulus cells in order to perform preimplantation genetic screening (PGS), and therefor it is left far less capable of being fertilized spontaneously.  Hence the need for further intervention (ICSI).

ICSI does have a higher pregnancy success rate, but you are also eliminating natural selection to some degree.  Eggs have ways of determining the best sperm and keeping those that have defects from passing through.  In ICSI, you have an embryologist basically eyeballing sperm and hand selecting one, and forcing it into the egg.  I believe they look for things like size and swimming strength, which could be why there is a higher occurrence of males?  Just a thought.

I’m totally fascinated by the science that brought us our baby, and I’m so grateful for it’s existence! ¬†I could happily read about IVF all day, if I wasn’t busy chasing around the product of it in the form of my 10 month old who is faster on all 4s than I am on my 2s. ¬†I would like to know the reason we had all male embryos, but it’s more due to my curiosity and thirst for knowledge when it comes to this stuff than anything else. ¬†It would also be nice to know that the cause is not an indication of something unhealthy that I may be passing down to my son. ¬†I would LOVE to have a daughter some day, but am perfectly happy being a #boymom forever.

 

 

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