Empty Womb Syndrome

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There are so many things in my life to be thankful for…a loving husband, two wonderful, silly dogs, parents, grandparents, siblings, a nice home, even pretty great in-laws.  Still my life seems lacking.  Try as I might, I just can’t seem to get over the need to have a child.

Since I can’t fill my womb, I’ve switched focuses and started filling my house.  I have never been a big shopper but that is all I feel I have been doing lately.  While I normally loathe the mall and avoid it at all costs, I’ve found myself there several times a week for the last few weeks,  To put things in perspective, I live about 5 minutes from the mall but prior to this month I hadn’t been there since January.

My sudden interest in clothing and makeup are making my husband a bit concerned.  Last month I signed up for a Ipsy subscription and even though I had myself 100% convinced I had no interest in Birchbox I signed up for that this month as well.  It’s half price for June!  I bought 3 dresses and a new blazer two days ago…oh and like 4 shirts for him.  In fairness, at least some of these items are things we needed but if I really examined my motivations it would seem that I am trying to fill a void.

Clearly possessions are not going to make me happy, or at least won’t keep me happy.  The logical part of me knows that no amount of possessions can fill the void but when it comes to having a family logic sometimes goes out the door.  Fertility is a matter of the heart.

Being only 28 when this conception journey started, I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around the situation.  Statistically, conceiving in your late 20’s there is about a 20% chance of getting pregnant every month.  For all intensive purposes I should have been pregnant months ago.  But alas, it does not seem this is going to be an easy journey for us.

When I put my thoughts on paper, or whatever the modern day equivalent is…have you heard they are no longer teaching kids cursive in school?  Literally, children go straight from printing to typing…

I digress.  What I meant to say is I can see how crazy it is to think Coach bags, cute shoes and subscription boxes can make up for the lack of baby cuddles, and smiles, and hell, even dirty diapers.  But at least knowing that I’ll have packages to open on my doorstep when I get home gives me something to look forward to.

 

Why do we do the things we do?

Ever wonder where those strange wedding traditions originated from?

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1. Not seeing each other before the wedding

The custom dates back to when arranged marriages were common.  The idea was the groom first saw the bride at the wedding ceremony when it was too late to change their mind.  Since arranged marriages are no longer common, this tradition is carried out in modern times by not allowing the groom see the bride in her wedding dress before the ceremony.   Although many couples are now foregoing this tradition and often take wedding photos before the ceremony.

 

2. Wearing a veil

There are several accounts on how brides wearing a veil came to be.  One, like not seeing one another before the wedding, is tied to the idea of an arranged marriage where the groom did not see the bride until he lifted the veil after the wedding ceremony was fully performed.

The other account dates back to ancient Rome.  It is believed that evil spirits were attracted to the bride’s happiness and the veil helped to shroud and protect her from the evil spirits.

 

3. Having something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue

Something old represented the bride’s family and her life before marriage, while something new represented the new life she will have with her husband.  Something borrowed generally came from a friend that already has children, it was sort of a fertility good luck charm.  The blue item represents faithfulness and loyalty.

 

4. Rain on the day of the wedding

Rain on your wedding day is supposedly good luck because rain symbolizes cleansing and fertility.

 

5. Carrying the bride over the threshold

The superstition began in Medieval Europe when the bride was thought to be extra susceptible to evil spirits through  her feet.  In order to avoid bringing the spirits into the home, the groom would carry his new bride inside.

 

The first three were all traditions I carried on in my wedding.  I really wanted the first time my husband-to-be seen me in my dress to be the moment the doors opened to the chapel and I walked down the aisle towards him.  In fact, the only picture I cared about that day was my groom’s face when he caught his first glimpse.

I never in a million years expected myself to wear a veil.  I really thought them too virginal for my taste but I never felt like a bride until I put on a veil while I was trying on dresses.  It took me about 3 seconds to fall in love with veils.

I left my “something old, something new…” up to my mother.  I had really wanted to incorprate some of the lace from her wedding dress into my wedding somehow but she was really reluctant, and rightfully so, to let me cut up her wedding dress.  She surprised me by wrapping the bottom of my bouquet with lace from her dress as my something old.  She also bought me beautiful pearl chandelier earrings for my something new, which were promptly stolen out of my hotel room but at least not until after my wedding!  My grandma let me borrow a bracelet from her, which if the fertility superstition is true I should be in good shape as she had 7 children.  My something blue was a little blue charm attached to my bouquet.

One of my favorite parts of weddings is hearing what the bride choose for her something old, something new, etc.  I’d love to hear yours!

Our Maybe Baby: Nutrition & Diabetes

Taking Control of my Health

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Two  and a half years ago I went to the doctor after years of just not feeling well.  I wasn’t exactly sick but I was constantly tired no matter how much I sleep I got the night before.  After eating  I wouldn’t feel like doing anything.  I felt sluggish and generally unwell but not necessarily sick.  I suppose most people would go to the doctor at this point but it took me several years of living like this before I gave up and went to the doctor.

There are a couple reasons it took years to get me into a physician’s office.  To begin with, nothing major appeared to be wrong with me besides being tired often.  I attributed a lot of my problems to being over-weight and living an under-active lifestyle.  I also had a series of low paying jobs that had terrible insurance and the thought of spending most of the little money I made visiting a doctor made me just about as ill.

But life started looking up for me.  I moved to a new city and got a new job with pretty awesome insurance.  So I made an appointment for a yearly physical and talked over my concerns with my primary care physician.  After a few blood tests I had my answer.  Diabetes Type 2.

At the time I was terrified because I really didn’t know much about diabetes at all.  Fortunately, over the next month or so I was able to meet  with a dietitian and a diabetes education counselor and learned a lot more about my condition.  Like the fact that the body essentially turns carbohydrates such as potatoes and bread into sugar so they are just as important to control how much you eat of as cake.

At first I did so well with cutting out soda and fast food.  The first medication that was prescribed to me made me even sicker and didn’t  help control my blood sugar very well.  The next prescription worked very well for me and I became really lax with my diet and started slipping back into my old ways.  Before I got married and started to plan for having a family I didn’t care much what I put into my body.  I wanted cheap, I wanted easy, and that usually meant fast food.  But once we started preparing for conception I really got my life and diet in order.  It wouldn’t be just myself I’d be hurting if I didn’t commit to living a healthier lifestyle.

With dietary changes and medication I was able to lower my blood sugar levels to a 6.0 A1C, which is what the specialist recommended, in just 6 months.  I was so proud of myself and incredibly excited to be cleared by my doctors to start trying to make a baby.  I made additional cuts on alcohol, caffeine, and medications you’re not allowed to take while pregnant (like  Advil).  But after nearly 6 months of trying to conceive without success I find myself slipping back into my old ways when, in reality, it’s probably even more important to have a healthy diet when conception is not coming easy for us.

As a first step of getting back where I need to be I am challenging myself to:

1) Cut out soda again

2) Commit to eating a small breakfast everyday (I usually skip breakfast)

3) Eat more fruits and vegetables

4) Eat smaller portions of the carbohydrates I love

5) Have healthy snacks around (like low-fat string cheese and nuts)

 

I would love to hear how you are overcoming your nutritional/dietary struggles.  Maybe I will even find more inspiration to keep up with my healthy changes 🙂

 

10 Lessons Learned in College

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1.  Making friends will never be easier.  Finding the time to go out for a drink, or a movie, or a game night is so much more complicated when you have a full-time job, a spouse, children, etc.  Plus there are all sorts of clubs and organizations to find people that are interested in the same things you are.

2. Go ahead and take a class or two you “know” you’ll never need.  I took History of Modern Art and thought I would never get any use out of it but it sounded interesting.  I loved the class and I get such a kick out of recognizing a certain work or artist when I see it in the media or at a museum.

3. Those big, bad Greek organizations are actually pretty awesome.  I learned so much from being part of a sorority, and yes, I mean more than just how to play beer pong!  I had tons of leadership opportunities in my sorority and on Panhellenic Council which was great to talk about in my job interviews!  It also taught me it’s important to volunteer my time to worthy causes like raising money for autism research and awareness and to give back by becoming an adviser to my chapter after graduation.

4. Don’t be so judgey.  College is a time to learn and grow and that means people will make mistakes.  You will make mistakes and wouldn’t it be nice if people gave you a break?

5. Don’t be so self-conscious.  Seriously, people don’t pay attention to you nearly as much as you think they do.

6. Go ahead and change your major when you realize you’re never getting a job in that field.  I just got my degree and got out.  I wish I wouldn’t have been too afraid to start over even though I had half my requirements for the major done before I realized the job prospects were super bleak.

7. Get in the habit of writing “thank you” notes.  Not only is it polite, but you will eventually need the skill.  It’s important to send thank you notes for job interviews and gifts for weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, etc.

8. That friend that talks crap about everyone, does the same about you when you’re not around.  Guaranteed.

9. Let’s get lunch sometime does NOT mean let’s get lunch sometime.  If you actually wanted to see them you’d make an effort and commit to putting something on the calender.  It’s taken me awhile to learn it’s ok to not keep up with every acquaintance I made.

10. If you’re not happy with yourself you’ll never be happy with anyone else.  It’s so cliche but it’s absolutely true.  If you can’t spend a quiet Friday night at home  by yourself once in awhile and enjoy it you need to work on your life.  And a boyfriend or girlfriend will never make you happy if you’re not content with your life.

Our Maybe Baby: Volume 1

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Five months ago, my husband and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary which marked the beginning of us trying to conceive.  At that point I was excited, hopeful, and optimistic about our family’s future.  But after five months of trying and no pregnancy it is hard to be anything but frustrated.

Sometimes frustration seems like too mild of a word to express what I feel about the whole conception process.  I try to rationalize something that has no rationalization. Fertility has nothing to do with your station in life, even though many of us work hard to put ourselves in the optimum position in life.  I wanted to graduate from college, travel a bit, start my career, get married, buy a house and then have a baby.

In between all that real life has kicked in.  I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and had to work much harder than the average person to get myself in a position where I am healthy enough to have a baby.  Which I am very proud to say I did.  Months of watching what I eat, taking prenatal vitamins and extra folic acid, consulting my primary care physician and a specialist, etc.  Everything leading up to the big moment when both life and the doctors gave me the green light to start trying.  And then nothing.  Well nothing but hurt, anger, and frustration.

The worst part is feeling like everything is just so far out of my control.  Like I can’t make any plans because I don’t know if I ‘ll be pregnant or not.  I have about a million things I could be paying down or paying off with the money I’ve saved for a baby but there is always the chance that this month will be the  month.  I feel like I am going out of my mind.

I’d be happy to hear from anyone else that has/had experience with conception frustration and how you are/have dealt with it.

My Newest Obsession

Sometimes I get obsessed about the absolutely most stupid things.  Lately, that thing has been subscription boxes.

About a year ago I heard about BarkBox, which seemed like a cool idea but seriously $29/mo to send me a box of stuff for my dog?  No thanks.  But since we have gotten a second dog we are finding ourselves spending a lot more money on toys and treats, especially while our new puppy is young.  We have been going through training treats like crazy!  And don’t even get me started on how expensive chew toys can get.  So I started getting a little creative.

On the BarkBox website you can get a much better deal if you sign up for a longer subscription, they have options for monthly or 3, 6, or 12 months which can bring the cost from $29/mo to as low as $18.  You can also find some other deals, sometimes as much as 15% off if you search online.  Or you can use a link from another subscriber you get $5 off and their pup gets another box.  That’s a win, win!  We ended up lucking out during March Madness and they had an amazing deal which made each box around $10 a month for a 6 month subscription.

Our first box turned out to be pretty cool.  Two good sized bags of treats, a new squeaky toy, a frozen smoothie treat, and bully stick.  All in all, I think the value of what we got totaled about $30 so it turned out to be a really good deal for us.  While doing all this research I learned about tons more subscription boxes both for pets and humans!

It was suggested to me recently, that I find a way to have a more professional appearance…Yes, my boss straight out told me I should be wearing make up to work…well his exact words were more like “I’m not telling you you HAVE to wear make up and jewelry but that would help..”  Always super nice to hear from your MALE boss.  Inappropriate anyone?!  But it did get me thinking that if I want to take the next step in my career I really do want to be seen as a professional.  So I upgraded the wardrobe a bit, bought a couple basic pieces of jewelry I wear on a daily basis and invested in a little bit of make up.  But after years of wearing nothing but clear lip gloss, a little under eye concealer and occasionally some mascara I really didn’t know where to start.

So I got to thinking, maybe I would benefit from a beauty subscription box.  I’d get to try some new things, at a reasonable cost, maybe find a few products and/or brands that I love.  The problem is there are so many!  It’s overwhelming trying to choose one to try and with a recent influx of vet bills I really need to limit it to just one box for the time being.  I’ve read tons of reviews from beauty bloggers and looked at so many sample boxes and in the end I choose Ipsy to try.

I can’t really speak yet about whether Ipsy is worth the cost or not because when I went to subscribe to their service I was told that I would be put on a waitlist.  In order to get off the waitlist immediately you have to jump through a bunch of hoops including liking Ipsy on Facebook and getting a friend to subscribe though your link.  Personally, I think it’s kind of a shady business model to only serve people that bring you more business but from all the boxes I’ve seen they seem to have the most products I like at the lowest cost.  So I will give them one more month and if they don’t send me the June bag I am moving on.

P.S. If anyone feels like trying out BarkBox you can use this link for $5 off and my fur babies will get another box

https://barkbox.com/r/O1B9SE5NV2

Does anyone subscribe to a beauty box that they love?  If so, which one(s)?  I may need a back up soon…