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Archive for the category “Health and Nutrition”

11+ Weeks

My little guy is now 11+ weeks old, and is growing stronger and bigger every day. I swear he goes to bed one size and wakes up even larger – it’s remarkable! He has also changed a ton – his hair is lighter (kind of a strawberry blonde, like my dad), his eyes are getting darker (but still a beautiful grey color), and he has such a happy and lovable personality ;-). As for sleep, he is slowly starting to sleep a little longer – between 3 and 4 hours at night and napping for 1-2.5 hours during the day – which means that I am getting a little more rest. I am also starting to pay more attention to his sleeping habits – how long it takes him to fall asleep, how he falls asleep, and how long he sleeps – so we can get into a little more of a routine. I also want to begin a more regimented night routine to help him fall asleep more easily.

I have been back to work now for 2 weeks, and he’s adjusted well to having someone other than mommy take care of him. Thankfully, I primarily work from home, so I get to spend time with and feed him often – yay! I am sure the harder adjustment is on my end, but I am managing. I don’t really know how I would do it if I didn’t work at home, however. I have an almost 2-hour commute to my office, so I would barely see him awake during the week, which would be awful.

As for development, little man is starting to really pay attention to people’s faces and expressions. He also loves his hands. It’s so cute to watch him lay on the bed and get so much joy out of discovering his fingers. He’s also ‘talking’ a lot more and giggling a ton. His little voice is my favorite sound – it literally makes me instantly happier!

Life as a mom is even better than I imagined it would be. I am so very lucky to have a wonderful and loving hubby to share parenthood with.

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5 Tips to Stay Happy and Sane while Trying to Conceive

This is a great article about Trying to Conceive. As most of us know, the whole TTC process can be daunting and overwhelming at times. This blog offers great ideas to keeping the crazy-feelings at bay. 
ENJOY!

5 Tips to Stay Happy and Sane while Trying to Conceive.

Mud Run Fun

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After the mud run!

Day 23 — Productive!

Today’s intention is to visualize myself pregnant with a healthy baby.

Today, I feel productive! I was super busy from the moment I woke up yesterday to the time I fell asleep. I cleaned the entire house, did 4 loads of laundry, ran to the grocery stores (1 is never enough), and got a great workout in. I also ate very healthy and feel great. I weighed myself this morning, and my weight looks great — thanks Perfect 10 Diet. I am on track to hit my target weight before we start IVF — go me! I added some grains back into my diet, but have continued to avoid refined sugar, caffeine, and, for the most part, gluten. I also have to schedule an appointment with my accupuncturist this week so we can get my body ready for IVF. I also want to discuss the protocol with her leading up to the retrieval and after the transfer. A lot of research supports accupuncture and shows that it helps increase IVF success rates. It also helps with stress, which is important during all of this.

Tonight, hubby and I have to go through all the documents and consent forms in preparation for our IVF consult next week. There are so many things to think about before we start the cycle, and the consent forms force you to have those conversations — conversations that I wouldn’t even know to have unless the forms were included in the pre-cycle packet. Fun, fun!

I am grateful for my health; great doctors; IVF; my loving hubby; my wonderful family and friends; Spring weather; and, my puggle, Kahli.

I love and accept myself!

Day 22 – Tired

Today’s intention is to catch up chores — laundry, cleaning, etc.

Today, I am feeling tired. I got plenty of sleep last night, maybe too much. We went out to dinner with a friend, and then came home and basically fell asleep. I got 10 hours of sleep, more than normal, and still feel tired. I have been fighting a cold all week, so maybe it’s just my body’s way of trying to heal itself. I also didn’t workout yesterday, so maybe I am feeling tired because of it. I would usually have a cup of coffee as a pick-me-up, but am avoiding all forms of caffeine, especially that in coffee since it’s been linked to reduced IVF success rates.

On the bright side, it’s going to be a beautiful day and weekend! I refuse to waste the day away because I am tired. Maybe once I start moving, I will wake up. I am going to take my pup for a walk and then head off to the gym and grocery store. I also have plenty of chores to get done, which will get completed before the end of the weekend. We have a fun event to attend this evening and will hopefully get to play golf tomorrow! Yay :). It will be a great weekend!

I am grateful for time off; beautiful weather; my wonderful hubby; supportive friends; great family; my loving puggle; and, my health!

I love and accept myself!

Day 20 — Up to the Challenges :-)

Today’s intention is to be positive!

Today, I am feeling up to the Challenges. I had a great workout last night, and like it always does, it really helped me to relax and put things in perspective. I am grateful to have a world-premier fertility doctor and insurance to cover our very expensive medical bills. I really don’t know how someone can afford 15-20k per IVF cycle?!?! It’s crazy to me that insurance doesn’t cover infertility — it is a disease — but that’s a whole other blog conversation…

Yesterday, I was feeling overwhelmed by the process — the appointments, the injections, the retrieval, the transfer, etc, etc. I was worried that I wouldn’t be strong enough to get through everything and, on top of that, I have to figure out how to manage my work, our very busy schedules, and our social calendar. I am fine with changing as many things as necessary to make this work, but I still want to have some normal in my life. The normal parts of my life will help me get through the craziness — they ground me in a way that makes the crazy not feel that awful. Yesterday, I was focusing too much on the details instead of on the big picture. I will be pregnant soon with a very healthy baby — and in the end, that is what matters! I am a strong person who has accomplished many great things, and because of this strength and perseverance, I will get through this. Plus, I am not in this alone. I have a wonderful and loving husband, a very supportive and strong family, as well as amazing friends who have supported me every step of the way. I know that everyone wants us to be successful and that they will do everything they can to help us through this journey. One of my weaknesses is that I am not good at asking for help. I am typically the one helping everyone else. But this time, I need the support because I know that I will not be able to do this alone. Maybe this is a lesson — sometimes you need other people to help you through the struggles, and that’s okay. 🙂

I am grateful for wonderful friends; my super hubby; my amazing family; a wonderful doctor and supportive nurses; my health; my puggle, Kahli; and sunshine!
I love and accept myself!

Day 17 — Impatient

Today’s intention is to be open to constructive criticism.

Today, I am feeling impatient! I just want my period to come so we can get everything started already. As anyone who knows me would tell you, I am a planner. I love details especially when organizing events. It makes me happy to make things perfect :). For our wedding, I planned every little thing from the music to the gift bags we gave to our guests as well as having itineraries for every member of our wedding party. I wasn’t a bridezilla, but I like having structure and I enjoy planning for big events.

IVF doesn’t exactly work that way. I feel like there is a lot of hurrying up to wait and waiting to hurry up. My period has never been regular — thanks PCOS — so I can’t exactly pinpoint when our next cycle will begin because I have to wait for my period to start. I know it’s coming, but it could be here tonight or the end of the week. While waiting, there isn’t much to do except read, read, and read more articles about IVF, but since every cycle is unique to the woman, I don’t really know the details, and won’t until I meet with the doctor. It’s quite annoying to have no control over any of it. Our first real IVF meeting won’t happen until I get my period, and then I will be able to make a more clear plan and feel more in control over this process.

The other hard part in all of this is the not knowing what to expect. My hubby and I are always busy –we go to a lot of charity events, out with friends, to alumni events, and play summer sports. Since I don’t know exactly when this cycle will begin, what the protocol will be, and/or if I’ll be pregnant in May/June, I am putting a hold on lots of stuff. Today, I bowed out of dragonboat racing in June and July — an event I have enjoyed participating in for the last 3 years — I won’t feel comfortable participating if I am pregnant or in the middle of a cycle. I also declined a fun mudrun at the end of the month and may have to miss a trip to Pittsburgh for Mother’s Day. Don’t get me wrong, the goal of having a healthy baby makes all of these decisions easy, but I always feel a little sad having to miss out because of my fertility.

At this point, I must focus on what I can control (and not on what I have given up) — my diet and fitness! I am following the Perfect 10 diet again and love it! It’s nice to eat real food and feel great. I just know that it is helping me to balance my hormones. I have cut out gluten (not too hard since I really never added it back to my diet) and will of course remove alcohol and caffeine — again not too hard since I rarely consume either. I am also back in the gym 5-6 times per week with walks 2-3 nights per week as well as fertility yoga every day. I will cut back on the cardio once we start the cycle so it doesn’t stress my reproductive organs and will just focus on walking and yoga for stress relief. All of this activity helps me to feel like I am doing something in my pursuit of having a baby. It’s easy to feel somewhat helpless through all of this, so I do my best to make positive choices that will positively impact our chances to have a healthy baby 🙂

I am grateful for my health; great friends; a loving hubby; an amazing family — parents, brothers, and sisters; love, laughter, and happiness!

I love and accept myself!

 

Almost home

We are in the Frankfurt airport heading home from our awesome European vacation. We had a 650am flight from Venice this morning, so have been up since 3am this morning. We got less than 4 hours of sleep and I was awake every 30-45 minutes because I was nervous we would somehow sleep through the wake-up call and alarms. So far, the voyage home is going well. We had an easy trip in the water bus to the airport and the first leg of our trip from Venice to Frankfurt went smoothly. We grabbed a bite to eat and some caffeine and will be boarding our flight to Newark soon. Yay! I am excited to get home – we will land in Newark around 230 in the afternoon and are going to pick-up our puppy on the drive home. We have a ton of laundry to wash and I would like to get to the grocery store and make a dent in the hundreds of work emails in my inbox – returning from such a long vacation is always a bit hectic, but we’ll make it work.

It will be nice to be home and back to my regular routine of working out, eating healthy, and getting plenty of rest. It will take a couple days to adjust to US time, but at least I will be doing so in my own bed. I should get my period in the next few days, and it’s back to the doctor to check my hormones, do a quick ultrasound, and plan for our next cycle. For the first few weeks, I will be on birth control – seems a little counter-productive, but it allows the doctor to time the cycle. After the bc pills, I start the heavy hormones to stimulate my ovaries to produce a lot of healthy eggs that will be used to create embryos. We originally planned to do PGD to check the embryos before implantation, but our insurance company doesn’t cover it – it’s experimental :-(. It’s an additional $6,000 so we are going to skip it this go-around and think about it if necessary in the future. We are paying through the nose for our insurance, so I was definitely disappointed that they don’t cover this testing, but it is what it is. After all, it only takes one good embryo to get us a baby 🙂

Home sweet home, here we come!

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Day 15 – rested

Today’s intention is to enjoy every minute of our vacation.

Today, I feel rested. We decided to sleep in this morning to recover from our day of travel from Paris to Venice. The trip was actually uneventful, which is always a good thing. We took a train from Bayeaux to Paris and then the subway to the airport. The hardest part of the trip was figuring out how to check-in at the airport. The flight was easy and the boat trip from the airport to the hotel was a piece of cake. Our hotel is right next to the water bus stop and is surrounded by magnificent and very expensive shops. After we got in, we went to Harry’s bar – the very same one where Hemmingway used to write I had a Bellini, which has its origins at Harry’s. After the cocktails, we stumbled on an amazing restaurant. The owner was very nice and appreciated my attempts to speak Italian. The food was sensational and he gave us free dessert wine and champagne. Needless to say, we left a very generous tip. We returned to the hotel and drifted to sleep quickly.

If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I rarely drink and only eat healthful foods. I have continued to eat healthy while traveling, but have also made a conscious choice to enjoy everything this adventure has to offer including wine and dessert once in a while. I can’t imagine that a few sweets and a few glasses of wine will negatively impact IVF. In fact, I am sure that this trip and enjoying myself will positively impact our first cycle. This vacation was a much-needed break from life and is exactly what the doctor ordered to prepare for our IVF cycle. I refuse to feel guilty about enjoying myself and am so very grateful to have this opportunity before getting and staying pregnant.

I am grateful for my family; my in-laws; fabulous vacations; good food and excellent wine; love, life and laughter; great friends; and, a wonderful husband.

I love and accept myself!

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Day 13 – Renewed

Today’s intention is to live well and laugh often.

Today, I am feeling renewed. The beauty of the French countryside accompanied by beautiful spring weather has given me a renewed sense of self. There are so many colorful flowers blooming and at least 8 ducks, and 2 swans roaming around the chateau – the new life gives me hope. Hope is such an important part of my fertility journey and having it renewed and feeling such a strong sense of life can only put me in the right mindset for first IVF cycle.

Last night, we had another delicious and plentiful dinner followed by a night out in town with our sister and brother-in-law. We enjoyed out time out drinking and laughing – it was great to get out and just be normal!

Today, we are heading to Mount Saint Michelle to visit the town and your the sensational cathedral. We have one more night with our family and have a nice dinner planned with them. In the morning, we head back to Paris to catch a flight to Venice!!

I am grateful for this time of peace, reflection, and relaxation; for my wonderful and loving husband; my very funny and caring sister and brother-in-law; my very generous and loving parents-in-law; and the beautiful spring weather!

I love and accept myself!

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