valentine’s day

Ah, love. L O V E love. {please tell me someone got this Friends reference}. Yesterday was Valentine’s Day! Irwin and I have never been huge V-Day people, but something about all the red and pink really gets me.

I only work until 2pm each day, which gave me lots of time to prep for our nighttime festivities. I ran over to target first to pick up a brand new nice pillow for Irwin. I love pillows – but for looks only, so I tend to buy the cheapest ones stores have. I don’t sleep with a pillow, so Irwin kind of suffers at the cost of a cheap pillow. He started hinting at wanting a new pillow a few weeks ago, and this was a good excuse to go spend the money. After my Target run, I headed home to clean up around the house a bit and get everything ready for that evening. We managed to keep things pretty low key, and played a board game and had some snacks via candlelight and I cooked up a fancy dinner complete with lobster. Irwin even got me flowers – but not the cut ones that die in a few days. He actually bought me a planted tulip plant, which is so fun because I’ll be able to plant it outside in the spring.

We are back to the grind this morning, but tomorrow is my lining check for our frozen transfer. I am actually feeling a little bit of nervousness and hoping everything is where it needs to be to move forward. It’s super odd going from a cycle where you are so closely monitored and then just nothing for like 3 weeks. Tomorrow is almost going to be a comfortable thing for me, just because I like to know how things are working. We are tentatively scheduled for a transfer on the 23rd, and I already let my boss know I’ll be working from home that day, or whatever day the transfer ends up happening on. They typically do these procedures in the afternoon, so I figured I could clean around the house and set up an acupuncture appointment before heading to the hospital. I’ll be there for about 2 hours between the prep and relaxing afterwards, and then I just want to be able to head home to let that little baby burrow into my uterus. I think we’ll have a beta like 10 days after that, but you all already know I’m going to be testing like a mad woman. I’m going to try and keep it to one box of tests, so I may start testing around day 8. Eeee… we are SO close.



Womp womp.

It’s Monday again. I think we can all agree that weekends need to be longer.

Can I be honest with you all for a second? I am bored, like just in general, with my life. I feel very stagnant in a lot of what I do every day, and I cannot decide if it’s because I am actually bored, or if the greyness of February is just getting to me and I need some sunshine in my life. Even yesterday as we were sitting in our church service I was thinking about how I needed to get out and do something or I was going to lose my mind. Funnily enough, I think God heard my thoughts during service because before I even took off my coat when I got home, my dad called and ended up having an extra ticket to the home and garden show, so I got to have a little daddy-daughter date yesterday. I know I have a calling for hospitality, and lately, I’ve been wanting to do more with that but I’m not entirely sure what that means. I used to do planning on the side, but my day job has sort of taken over my life and doesn’t really make that possible anymore. I’ve thought about getting more into the design side of events as well, which is where my passion truly lies. I like pretty things – can you blame me?

In other news, I am about a week into taking estrace and yesterday I could actually feel my brain telling my mouth to reign it in because of how mean I was being and it was completely unintentional, just hormones apparently. I actually cannot imagine what I am going to be like in a few weeks when I have this, the progesterone, and God willing pregnancy hormones coursing through my veins. I am just going to apologize in advance for anything I may say during that time and hopefully, it won’t be as bad as I am anticipating. After all, if that is truly the case at least I’ll have our little one hanging out in my uterus and we will be closer to bringing him or her home. I have my lining check on Friday and then we will be able to confirm and schedule the transfer date. I am tentatively scheduled for next Friday, but we will see what this week brings.



the me date

So about 6 years ago, I unknowingly started a little tradition I like to call the “me date”, because everyone needs a little self love, amiright?

Irwin and I didn’t actually end up spending a Valentines Day together until after we were married only because I was still away at school, and when I finally came home to finish my undergrad, Irwin had a job that kept him out of the state for 300 days a year. By the time February hits, I am usually sick of being cooped up in the house and I suffer from the winter blues almost every year, and it just so happens that all those cheesy movies that Irwin has no desire to see come out right around Valentines Day. So every year around this time I take myself out to see a movie – and Mitchell’s Ice Cream. {Side bar – I’m all for following rules, but sneaking an ice cream sundae into the movie theater is the greatest thing you’ll ever do for yourself, promise}.

Tomorrow just so happens to be my annual date day and I am excited. I will be seeing the new Fifty Shades movie, because what else would I see and I am going to pick up some ice cream from Mitchell’s before heading into the theater. I’ve both seen and own the two previous Fifty Shades films, and I know they are not what you would call “cinematic art” but for what it is, I enjoy them. And let’s be real, anything with Jamie Dornan gets an A in my book.

So how about you? Do any of you take yourself out to movies, dinner, or even the spa to have some “me” time? I couldn’t possibly be the only one who enjoys doing this…


unexpected night of prayer

This week in Cleveland has been CRUMMY. Lots of snow, really cold – basically it’s February and nobody wants to ever leave their homes. Because of this, I’ve been watching a lot of movies lately. Irwin had worship team practice for church last night and I turned on War Room. I’d been wanting to rewatch this movie for awhile now, but hadn’t had the chance. Having a night to do nothing though finally gave me this opportunity.

Now, I don’t know about you, but it’s rare for me to actually sit there and watch movies. To me, watching a movie is a great time to get a to-do list or my meal plan for the following week written. Last night was no exception. I turned on the movie, watched like 5 minutes, grabbed a snack and my notebook and started meal planning for next week.


However, something weird happened last night. I’d say about a quarter of the way through the movie, I had switched over from looking up some new recipes to looking at bible verses and “how to pray for your future babies”. I can’t even really say this was my intention, but I guess subconsciously the movie really got to me and I ended up writing out two full pages of scripture and prayer for our little snow babies and my little family. I felt so refreshed after I stopped writing, like I had given the biggest thing in my heart over to God, and I felt a lot of peace afterward. I also had an overwhelming sense of positivity come over me. I’m kind of hoping to continue to spend an hour or so each night with God, even if something is going on in the background, it’s really nice to just spend that time in his presence not worrying about anything and casting out all my fears. God’s got us in this and in everything, we just need to trust him.

four week wait

Back in 2016, I joined this group of ladies called the four week wait-ers. It actually started earlier in the year as the “two week wait” but crept up to four weeks. Anyone who has ever struggled with infertility will totally get this – it’s not the two weeks after ovulation that is the longest, each cycle is long in totality. You wait for your period to end, wait for ovulation, wait for two weeks and a positive {which usually ends up being a negative anyways}, and if that test is negative you’re waiting for your period again so you can do it all over again. Hurry up and wait. This could honestly be my life motto for these last two years.

For those just joining – yesterday began my frozen transfer cycle! The doctor has me on estrace tablets from now until eternity, or my 11th week of pregnancy – whichever comes sooner. I have my lining check scheduled for a week from Friday, and they will call later today with a tentative date for my transfer. Sometime between the lining check and transfer, we will be starting the progesterone in oil shots. For some reason {not at all relating to my obsessive internet research, I’m sure} these freaked me out. I have heard they hurt, and not just when injected, but for awhile afterward too. Over the last few days, I’ve been feeling better about these though. I’m sure it will still hurt, but I can do it. We can all do anything with Christ’s strength, and honestly, if it gets our little babies here, I’m willing to suck it up. It’s just like 56 more injections. I can handle that.

In other news:

  • I am on day two of no coffee for like the third time in 2018 {why do I do this to myself} and I feel like I’m dying. Of course, we stayed up to watch This is Us last night too, so I’m feeling extra Monday-ee today.
  • Work is going to be slow this week, outside of Saturday, which is my busiest one in probably a year.
  • I also kind of can’t believe it’s already the 5th of February. This month might as well already be over.
  • I’m taking myself on a “me” date this weekend to see Fifty Shades Freed. I am well aware these movies are not everyone’s cup of tea, but I like them, so let me live my life and sneak Mitchell’s ice cream into the theater.

Happy Four Week Wait!


It’s the final countdown

Anyone else singing this? No? Just me? Maybe I’m just letting the Super Bowl Justin Timberlake hype get to me.

It has become kind of a tradition to host a super bowl party every year. Irwin likes football, and I like parties, so it works nicely. In the past few years, we’ve had a totally packed house, but this year we had a larger guest list and more space. I love having a bigger home. The mortgage payments aren’t my favorite, but entertaining and hosting is my calling and it’s hard to do that when you don’t have space to put friends. Obviously I was really only paying attention during the half time show, but it warms my heart having a home filled with friends and family. I’m also really just here for This Is Us afterwards.

In other news, I started my frozen embryo transfer cycle today! It’s still surreal that we have eight little snow babies waiting for us at the lab. This cycle already feels like it’s going to last forever, but in about a month we’ll know if we are going to be parents! I am currently on an oral estrogen pill and I’ll have to give the fertility clinic a call tomorrow. They will schedule me for my lining check and tentative transfer date at that time *grins uncontrollably*. I’m back off of coffee for the time being and will be scheduling another acupuncture appointment for the morning on my transfer. I really kind of like this new lifestyle I was somewhat forced into, I’ve even contemplated not drinking coffee even after having our baby. I guess we’ll have to see.

I suppose it’s time to let everyone get back to their super bowl parties, and I’m logging off so I can go cry through watch This is Us. That may just be what tomorrow’s blog post is about. Good night, and go eagles!

the one with the blastocysts

Anyone else just love the show Friends? I remember watching the final episode live with my mom, and she was crying when it was all over. Some shows, even if they are comedies, will do that to you. Friends is probably my “most watched” show on Netflix {but really, I don’t want to know how many times I’ve watched the series} and to think, Irwin didn’t even like this show when we first started dating. Now it’s become this bedtime ritual for us to watch a few episodes before we head off to dreamland.

Why is this important?

Because today, we got the email from the IVF lab that we have EIGHT little blastocysts frozen in the lab. This doesn’t sound like much because they typically have two per vile so we may be down to six after our first transfer, but I know God is in control and I know that soon we will be holding our baby in our arms.

Where do we go from here?

I have my medications ready to go for our frozen cycle so I am now just waiting on good ole aunt flow. Fortunately, it’s just a couple oral medications at first, and the intramuscular injections don’t begin until closer to the actual transfer date. And then it’s just one a day until 11 weeks. It is seriously insane to think how close we are to a pregnancy. The little blastobabies are just in vials right now, but I already have such an attachment to them. I cannot wait to carry them and be a mom, and I know Irwin is so excited to be a daddy too. For those who went through a frozen transfer, any advice? I’ve read lots of avocados are good, and an order of McDonalds fries right after transfer works like a charm.

big news guys

… my jeans fit again!

I know you all were probably hoping for an update on our little embabies, but alas, nothing yet. Nothing except myself totally having anxious thoughts. If you hear beating, I can assure you that is my heart.

Fortunately, we are getting to that point where my work is picking up again and since we’re still in engagement season, my calendar has been full of tours. Last year, I accepted a new position at a new building literally the day after I spoke to my old employer about long-term plans for the company and my role in them. This time last year, I thought I would’ve worked there for the rest of my life. As much as I loved my role there, my mental health is so much better than it was last year and I give a lot of credit for that to my current employer. 26731010_1842215272469541_5567366478738464901_n

Last year was weird for me, not only personally, but in my work life as well. When I first started my current job, I was new person on the totem pole and learning the ropes, but there was really no direction given as I was the first full-time employee they had in this position. I felt like the staff that I was responsible for didn’t care for me and the structure I brought to the company. We’ve now lost a few employees and gained some new ones who I care for deeply. I’ve also been able to strengthen my relationships with those employees who have stuck it out through the transition. Now that I feel like my head has been screwed on properly again, I’m excited to see what 2018 has in store. I’m hoping we see more color this year, and more flowers. I know eucalyptus is gorgeous, but if one more person tells me how original they are being with their gold and eucalyptus decor, I may lose it.


a list

We finally made it to day 5 post egg retrieval and I am finally feeling like my normal self again. Today I wanted to write a small list of what helped Irwin and I get through our first IVF round and why I felt each of them was so beneficial.

  1. Prayer. Lots and LOTS of prayer. Even still it is a rarity to catch myself not thinking about God and our little miracles in the lab. Before Irwin gave me my first injection two weeks ago we prayed. I prayed each morning, each night, at every appointment, every time I was in line at Starbucks after my appointment. Before, during, and after each injection. I was able to remain pretty calm through the whole process and my only explanation I have for that is God. If not for Him, I would’ve been a nervous wreck.
  2. No Coffee. At the beginning of January I started a fast that required no caffeine and for the first time since I was probably eight years old, I wasn’t drinking coffee. Once I got past a couple of days of caffeine withdrawal headaches, I felt so good. Like I would’ve never thought I could function without coffee but here I was, dare I say it – thriving.
  3. Acupuncture. {I know, I know. Typical “my body is a temple” stuff}. I swore I’d never do this when we first settled on IVF. I wasn’t buying into the hype. THEN as we inched closer I find myself researching acupuncturists in the Cleveland area. I reached out to a few, found one that made me rage angry and stopped looking for a bit. Then I found my perfect match. I’ve only done two sessions, and my next one won’t be until the morning of our transfer but I really feel like this helped me to relax. She also acted as a counselor which I really appreciated.
  4. Not being so hard on myself. Guys, I have forever struggled with self-worth and body image. Even when I used to be thin I saw myself as someone who wasn’t good enough. But when I saw those follicles growing and my levels rising, I felt something I had never felt before – I was proud of my body and all it could do. I decided from that moment if my body was craving something (like a Dairy Queen twist cone with crunch coat) I would allow myself to have it. I wouldn’t overindulge, but just enough to satisfy that want. It was one thing I allowed myself to not stress about and being easier on myself made it easy on everyone around me too.

I could go on and list every single one of my family members and friends who knew exactly what we were going through, and everyone who has been praying with us along the way, but I don’t want to keep you here forever. When we first started dealing with infertility I think we thought nobody cared and this was our burden to bare. This is a topic that is never spoken about but there was never a better feeling then when I was able to share my story with others who are going through infertility as well, to be able to pray with them and for them, to have those prayers sent back our way. We are fervently praying for our little miracles, and that healthy happy babies are what results from this, but to know we have such an amazing team of support is so comforting in the event this doesn’t work in our favor.


seventeen and counting

Phew, what a weekend!

My egg retrieval procedure was Thursday morning bright and early on the other side of town. I was definitely tired {thank goodness I’m a morning person} but even more so thirsty since you can’t drink or eat anything for twelve hours prior to surgery. Once we met with the financial counselor and paid for all of this, it was time to go back to the OR. We did have a couple of nurses I’d never met, a doctor I never met, and an anesthesiologist team I never met either and to say I was a bit nervous was an understatement. However, I’ve said this a few times and I’ll say it again, the Fertility Center at University Hospitals employs the best hospital staff I have ever worked with. It also helped me that both nurses said they had needle phobias and everyone was seriously SO EXCITED for us. It totally calmed me down. I changed into my gown, Irwin got a cup of coffee and snacks {lucky bastard} and the nurses came into the room to go over my medical chart and prep us for the procedure. One of our mentors and great friends called us to pray with us at this point in time and I was so happy the nurses allowed him to finish before they started with all their info.

It was finally time for the iv and my arm is still a little sore because I’m a bit of a baby so I’m not going to talk much about this. But for anyone going through this, or anything where you need an iv, listen to the nurse. They know where is best to start it and it will save you needle pokes if you aren’t stubborn like me.

I walked into the procedure room and they got me all settled up on the bed. I literally remember them asking me to put my arms and legs in the stirrups and that’s it. I’m pretty sure I confirmed my date of birth and name for like the 300th time that morning, but after that I was out. I woke up about an hour later to the sound of fixer upper which was on the TV in the recovery room. It was at this moment that Irwin told me for the first time how many eggs they were able to retrieve: a whopping 30!!! And that morning I was concerned we’d only have like 5. I proceeded to ask him and the nurse a few dozen more times how many eggs we got because anesthesia and shock got the best of me. It was at this point I was able to drink something and have a snack {I had a sip of ginger ale, water, and goldfish crackers for those wondering} and about an hour and a half after I woke up, we were given the okay to leave.

When they triggered me, it was a mix of HCG and Lupron to ward off any severe OHSS, but they told me there was still a chance I would develop it which is why the transfer was pushed back. I’m pretty sure I ended up with a mild case of it, as today is the first day since Wednesday I am not in pain from bloating. It wasn’t anything severe and I never vomited or caught a fever so we self treated. I do know OHSS can be a yo-yo though so I’m going to continue to be careful. Fortunately once my next cycle starts this will disappear.

Now to the good part, numbers:

30 eggs retrieved on Thursday

22 of those were mature

17 fertilized

AND… drum roll please…

ALL 17 embabies had divided and continued to grow as of yesterday. We will get an email on Wednesday with how many they were able to freeze! This is truly an incredible number and way more than Irwin and I were expecting. God is so amazing, am I right?

We are currently planning to move forward with a frozen embryo transfer next cycle, so I’ll keep you all posted on how that progresses and, of course, with the final number of babies we have frozen. This whole month seems to be a little bit of a blur, but I am so in awe with how amazing this turned out and I am so excited to see what else is in store.