When I was told at the age of 23 that I was in pre-menopause, I felt like my world crashed down around me. My husband and I had only been married a year plus a few months when I first started to experience symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and infertility. We were told that the longer we’d wait to try to conceive, the less likely it would happen because my labs were very abnormal for a 23-year-old. Pre-menopausal. At 23 years old.
I’ve had a lot of conversations with my daughter Zoey about infertility and loss. These conversations span years, but the last seven months have been the most difficult. Many conversations are filled with tears. Whether at bedtime before prayers, or on the couch because something on TV triggered her, or even at church… we’ve talked a lot. Today on Still Standing, I’m sharing five things that I tell her as I walk her through grief.
Today, I’m honored to share an interview I had with Lisa over at Amateur Nester. Lisa has collected some beautiful and heart-wrenching stories from the infertility community and has started to share them on her blog. Reading these interviews breaks my heart, but it is also a beautiful reminder that none of us are alone in our journeys. There are other couples who get it and women who are walking in our same shoes.
Please check out my interview with Lisa here: My Infertility Story on Amateur Nester
Be sure to follow along and read the other interviews she has collected. If you have ever felt alone in your infertility journey, these stories will help you.
In case you didn’t see my announcement on Facebook and Instagram, I’m now writing monthly over on Still Standing Magazine about infertility and miscarriage. Stepping out to write for Still Standing was an act of bravery for me. I’ve been a long-time reader of Still Standing, and when they put out a need for some additional writers, I swallowed my fear and applied.
Today, my first post is live. I would love if you would head on over there, read it, and maybe leave a comment if you feel led to do so.
Image used with permission by Samantha C. Photography
Disclosure: This post sponsor – life’sDHA® – educated me on the importance of nutrients – including DHA omega-3 – for all stages of life. This is a sponsored post for which I’ve received compensation, but the opinions are 100% my own.
I started taking prenatal vitamins as soon as I got married. I was always told how important it was to get key nutrients in your body well before pregnancy so that your body is better prepared to welcome pregnancy when the time comes. I took prenatal vitamins the entire time I was trying to conceive my daughter, while I was pregnant, and have continued since.
Last fall, a good 8 years into taking prenatal vitamins, I did some major research and decided for myself that it was time for a switch to a vegetarian-sourced vitamin. I should note that I don’t live a vegetarian lifestyle. I eat lean, hormone-free meat and fish daily! But as someone who struggles with non-genetic PCOS and infertility, I worry about how sensitive my body is to artificial agents that can potentially affect hormone levels. I strive to limit exposure to synthetic vitamins, supplements, and even body care products as much as possible. As such, I felt like if I am going to take a vitamin every day and expose myself to something regularly, I should choose one that is plant-based.
Throughout most of my pregnancy with my daughter, I also took a DHA omega-3 supplement to assist with her brain and eye development. After she was born, I naively stopped taking it thinking my relationship with DHA omega-3 was done. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered how important DHA omega-3 is for growth and development throughout all of life’s stages (maternal health, infant health, children and adult health). I thought it was just mainly for the 3rd trimester of pregnancy when significant brain growth occurs!
Research shows that DHA omega-3 supports brain and eye health throughout life, and it’s also great for your heart. As someone who has been trying to conceive a second child for 4.5 years, I should have been taking a DHA omega-3 supplement this entire time. Especially now that I know that DHA omega-3 plays a possible role in helping with maintaining normal triglyceride levels and blood pressure. I often struggle with high blood pressure associated with having PCOS (163/93 is not okay). The stress of trying to conceive under infertility doesn’t help with that blood pressure.
Since I take vegetarian-sourced prenatal vitamins, I started researching plant-based DHA omega-3 after hearing about life’sDHA®. I had no idea that plant-based DHA omega-3 was even an option, to be honest. When I realized how important DHA omega-3 is for maternal nutrition before, during and after pregnancy, I knew I had to get my hands on some. And then felt kind of guilty for not taking it the last 6 years since Zoey was born, especially the last 4.5 years we’ve been trying to conceive again.
life’sDHA® is a high-quality vegetarian source of DHA omega-3 sourced from algae! Yes, algae! I never would have thought that algae was such a great, natural source of DHA omega-3. When I heard about the algae, my first thought was “oh no, this stuff is probably going to smell (and taste) like swamp thing.” I ordered a bottle to try and I was pleasantly surprised! It doesn’t smell bad at all, and it’s so easy to swallow. Additionally, I only have to take 1 life’sDHA® tab each day to get 200mg of DHA omega-3
Between my vegetarian-sourced prenatal and now my DHA omega-3, I feel better prepared for pregnancy, whenever the time comes. I want to provide the best possible environment for a baby to form and grow – between eating healthy, exercising, and taking good quality prenatal vitamins and DHA omega-3, I feel so much better about welcoming new life in my womb.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for which I’ve received free product and/or compensation, but the opinions are 100% my own.
I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but starting in August, I’ll be a soccer mom! Zoey came to me in March and said that she wanted to play soccer. Up to now, she hasn’t been involved in any extra-curricular activities outside of church, but we had been discussing putting her in something, whether it be dance or an organized sport. In June, we registered her with the local city league, and she starts in August!
She has no idea how to play soccer.
Neither do I.
The good news is a dear friend bought her a soccer ball for her birthday, so she has been practicing kicking it around, running as fast as she can, and trying to not trip over her own feet. I not only worry about her coordination (or lack thereof), but as a mom, I also want to make absolutely sure her body is ready to take the hits that come with playing soccer.
Starting this month, Zoey officially started taking L’il Critters™ Gummy Vites™ vitamins to make sure her body is strong for this new sporting adventure she is about to embark on. We’ve never been much of a sports family, but if she falls in love with soccer, I not only want to support her as her biggest fan, but I also want to make sure we fully support her body to handle it with enough nutrients. We want her to be the best she can be.
So, why did we choose L’il Critters™ Gummy Vites™?
- They have no high fructose corn syrup and no synthetic (FD&C) dyes.
- They are gluten-free, and are made with natural fruit flavors and colors derived from fruits, vegetables and plants.
- They are easily available at most major retailers, including Walmart, Target, Costco, Walgreens, and CVS. We purchased ours from Walgreens.
- They are the #1 Kids Gummy Vitamin brand and give kids the essential nutrients they need to go on to do big things.
- They have been supporting children’s nutrition for nearly 20 years and contain essential nutrients without any chalky aftertastes or hard-to-swallow pills.
Did you know that to meet the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables, moderately active children would need to eat 1.5 cups of fruit and 2-3 cups of vegetables a day?* As a mom, it is important to me to make sure Zoey is eating healthy, and she already does a wonderful job at eating anything we offer her, but it’s nearly impossible for our little bird to eat that much. Also, sometimes a busy on-the-go lifestyle (or having a child who is a selective eater) makes it difficult to ensure he/she has received adequate nutrition. L’il Critters™ Gummy Vites™ help establish healthy habits, provides essential nutrients, and tastes great.
So, what’s the verdict? Does Zoey like L’il Critters™ Gummy Vites™?
Yes! She absolutely loves them and feels like a big girl because she has always seen mommy and daddy taking vitamins, but has never had any of her own until now. Plus, now she has gummy vitamins just like her daddy. 😉 She’s so excited to be extra healthy and strong for soccer, and looks forward to her L’il Critters™ Gummy Vites™ every evening at bedtime. So far, they have been a great option for our family.
If you are interested in trying L’il Critters™ Gummy Vites™ for your own l’il critter, there is a $1 coupon available on GummyVites.com, so be sure to check it out before purchasing. You can also follow them on Facebook for product updates and more information.
So what about you? How do you ensure your own l’il critters live the healthiest life possible? Let me know – do your children take multivitamins? Leave a comment for a chance to win a $100 Visa Gift Card!
This is a sponsored post for which I’ve received free product and/or compensation, but the opinions are 100% my own.
*SOURCE: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. Fruits and Veggies More Matters® April 2016. Available here.
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Today’s guest post is provided by the founders of FertilityIQ.com, a new website with real patient reviews designed to help couples find a good infertility doctor. Read more to find out how you can find the best doctor for your own personal care, as well as how you can help others in their search. And please, consider submitting a review of your doctor. All of the reviews on the site are patient-driven and are not provided by doctors trying to market themselves.
My wife, Deb, and I had good jobs and a predictable life here in San Francisco. We gave all of it up to see if we could bring the field of fertility treatment into the sunlight. As patients, Deb and I went to multiple doctors, in multiple states, and after we spent over $75,000 in treatment, we never found care the care we deserved. After my wife’s egg harvest at our last clinic, the nurses made a medical error and we rushed in a panic to the closest ER. When we tried to let our clinic know what had gone awry, they could not have cared less. “Someone should do something about this,” Deborah muttered under her breath. And one day we woke up and thought “we’re somebody” and maybe we should try and help.
Today, I am pleased to share a guest post provided by OvulationCalculator.com. I know that sometimes the most difficult part of our infertility journeys can be the actual act of ovulating. A lot of us need some sort of medication to help our bodies in that process. But if you do ovulate, with or without medication, and even if it’s late ovulation, these 12 signs might help you identify when your fertile window is open!
12 Signs of Ovulation You Might Miss
Do you know when you are ovulating? If you are like most women, the answer to that question is no. But this does not have to be the case for so many, especially when you are trying to conceive. Once you know the signs and symptoms of ovulation, it becomes easy to track. And if you experience some of the symptoms, they may be hard to ignore once you know what you are looking for. Let’s first start with some of the lesser-known symptoms of ovulation. If you experience any of these, you may have noticed but probably did not realize they were linked to ovulation.
Today I am guest posting on WithGreatExpectation.com and sharing my thoughts on gratitude in infertility. Logan asked me to provide a guest post while she is visiting family over Thanksgiving, and I was honored to get to share my heart (and my confessions) on her blog. Please check out the post and leave it some love! If you’re not following Logan regularly yet, you should. I love her blog and look forward to her posts every week.
I’m going to be completely transparent with you: I often find it difficult to see anything “grateful” in my infertility. It’s easier for me to see the grief of my circumstance and to throw myself a pity party. I didn’t ask for this. I didn’t want this for myself or for my husband. And I definitely didn’t want this for my daughter, who is rapidly approaching 6 years old and asking us daily for a sibling.
But you know what?
Life is so much more than my infertility, and for that, I have gratitude.
Today on Fertility Authority, I am sharing on the five stages of grief and how to forgive yourself when fertility treatment doesn’t go as planned. This was a hard topic to write on, but it flowed from the heart. Please check it out and consider sharing it on social media. These posts are helping me earn extra funds to cover the twice-weekly follicle ultrasounds I’ve been having. Every page view adds up!
The Five Stages of Grief and Learning to
Forgive Yourself When Fertility Treatment
Doesn’t Go As Planned
It was my 23rd day of Follistim. I had just finished my 5th ultrasound of the cycle, and was still waiting on my 6th estrogen lab results. Things weren’t looking good. My three leading follicles were gone, and my lining decreased from 10mm to 4mm. The long walk from the ultrasound room, to the elevator, to the parking lot, to my car… was sad. I think I held my breath the whole way to my car, and I could feel my heart beat hard with every step I took on the cold, wet pavement. I felt like my lungs were about to burst. I could feel the tears welling up inside, and if they weren’t going to come out of my eyes as I held them back, they were definitely going to come out of every pore on my body. I got into the car, put my head on the steering wheel, and wept.