Friday, September 27, 2013

Low Amylose Diet: Tips, Tricks and Tidbits

I have only been on the low amylose diet for a few weeks now, but here are a few tips, tricks and tidbits that I've learned so far:

  1. I'm always hungry. Not to the point of being uncomfortable, but it's been a big change from eating three meals a day that were large and made me feel full, to eating 6-8 small snack sized meals a day that keep me above starving, but never to the point of feeling full. 
  2. Preparation is the key to this diet. Since I'm eating 6-8 small meals, I have to bring a lot of food with me to work. Each day, I fill my insulated lunch box with cheese sticks, fruit, frozen edamame that I can steam at work, fruit mashes, fruit leathers, and more. Things like the cheese sticks and fruit leathers are easy because they come prepackaged, but depending on what else I bring, some preparation is needed. Say, for example, we buy a bag of grapes at the beginning of the week. I'll wash them all and then divide them in enough containers to last me the week. That way, I can just grab one when I'm preparing my food for the day.
  3. Even after just a few weeks, I can already see a change in my body. Not necessarily my weight or measurements, but how my body reacts to certain foods. When Keegan's parents were here over the weekend, we threw out the diet to make it easier on us all. While we didn't go crazy, we did make homemade pizzas and go out for frozen yogurt. Come Monday, I had some...digestive issues and horrible heartburn. While I hated to see my favorite foods cause so much discomfort, it was just more proof that this is what my body needs. 
  4. Personally, starting this diet slowly worked best. Instead of going cold turkey from all "bad" foods, I started by making small changes. Making smoothies for breakfast instead of muffins or toast. Bringing a variety of small snack sized meals to work instead of packing one big lunch. Hiding veggies by throwing in some spinach into my smoothies or chopping up a bell pepper to go into pasta sauce. Doing it slowly was a less shock to me, both mentally and emotionally. I'm pretty sure if I had done it all at once, I would have stopped after a few days because it would have been too many restrictions. Doing it slowly was like weaning myself off of the "bad" foods. 
  5. Be flexible. Doing any kind of restrictive diet is really really hard, especially with today's hectic lifestyle. I don't beat myself up if Keegan and I have to go out for dinner because we both work such crazy hours, I just try and make better choices than I used to. A salad is always better than a bowl of pasta. A quesadilla full of chicken and veggies is better than a fast food hamburger. Keegan and I will be traveling to two weddings in October, and I know that the food that is served probably won't be within my diet. If there is a buffet, I will try and load up on the salad and meat. If it's a prepared dinner, I will just have to shrug my shoulders and allow myself a "cheat" day. 
  6. Remember that tomorrow is a new day. Just because you caved and got a mocha instead of a sugar free coffee, or you have to eat a prepared dinner at a wedding, doesn't mean that you have to quit the diet entirely. My personal philosophy of this diet is that it's more about integrating healthier choices into your every day life, not making it so difficult to come up with a meal that you quit after one day. You'll make mistakes, but the point is to learn about what you're putting into your body and how to make better choices. 
Like I said, I'm still new to this whole thing, so I'm still learning and making mistakes. I probably won't post too often about the diet because I know it's not the most interesting topic, but I'll make periodic updates and perhaps post recipes if I find some I really enjoy. Thank you all for the good wishes on my last updates, they're a great motivator! If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment or email me. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Low Amylose Diet: The Food

We left off at my discovery of the low amylose diet which I was sure would be the death of me.

A review of the rules:
  1. Avoid all simple sugars such as candy, sodas, cakes, pies, ice cream, etc. These are almost pure forms of glucose.
  2. Avoid vegetables that are grown underground, corn, bananas, and foods enriched with maltodextrins or corn syrup.
  3. Avoid wheat, rice, rye, barley, and oats.
  4. Eat a minimum of 3 servings each of above-ground vegetables and fruits daily.
  5. Eat at least 6 ounces of protein every day.
  6. Avoid low fat foods.
  7. Don't count calories!
The first thing I did was go through and list all of the foods I wasn't allowed to eat...
Goodbye bread, cookies, pizza, soda, ice cream, potatoes, pasta, cake, candy...
but, that just made me depressed, so I started thinking about all the foods I could eat.
Woohoo broccoli....and apples....and nuts....can't forget about the cheese, I love cheese.....

I'll admit, the "good" list wasn't as exciting as everything I was saying goodbye to, but it did have some perks. We rarely purchased nuts because they're so darn expensive, but now they're a staple in my diet. I'm allowed to eat pretty much as much as I want, as long as the foods fall within the rules. I've always loved fruit, and now I'm able to eat it in many different forms (more on that later.)

Since I was already doing the low-ish carb diet, it wasn't too hard to cut out carbs almost all together. Instead of doing a few mini muffins with fruit for breakfast, I've started making smoothies. A cup of almond milk, a couple of cups of frozen fruit, and a handful of spinach makes for a surprisingly filling breakfast. This blog has many "green" smoothie recipes that are pretty tasty.

While trying to get my 3 servings of above-ground vegetables and fruits daily, I've taken to eating fruit in many different forms. I liquefy fruit into my smoothies. I try to eat one piece of fresh fruit daily. I love fruit leathers like the ones from Stretch Island Fruit Co. (the raspberry ones are my favorite.)

I also found out that I like fruit mashes. I found the Buddy Fruits Pure Blended Fruit pouches at our local Kroger when they were 10/$10. I picked up a variety of them and have found that their Apple & Cinnamon are my favorite. They taste just like applesauce, but are made up of only apples, concentrated apple juice and cinnamon. No preservatives to make them have an infinite shelf life. 

Unfortunately, getting veggies into my diet has been more difficult. I'll admit I'm a picky eater, and the only veggies I truly enjoy are carrots, potatoes and broccoli. Neither carrots or potatoes are allowed in my diet, and I only like broccoli when it's cooked, which can be difficult to do for lunches at work. I try to mask veggies with my fruit by adding a handful of spinach into my morning smoothie or getting fruit mashes that are a fruit and veggie blend. I'm not perfect by any means and I know I'm not getting my 3 servings of vegetables every day, but it's a learning process. 

I've also started to eat more nuts and dairy than I used to. They're both a good source of protein and are pretty filling. Since you're not supposed to count calories on this diet, I just take a bag full of nuts to work and snack throughout the day. I've also taken an entire bag of sharp cheddar cheese sticks to work and keep them in the fridge for when I get hungry.

Dinners have been the most difficult for us to transition. A mix of working too many hours, not being prepared, and my pickiness has meant that we haven't made the best choices when it comes to dinners, but we're better than we were. We've almost kicked pasta entirely out of our house and have replaced it with dinners of a vegetable (usually broccoli,) and a meat. Our biggest hurdle is the days, like tomorrow, when I work 9-5 and then have to come back to work around 6:00 for a performance. An hour is just not enough time for both of us to drive the 20-30 minutes back home, prepare and eat dinner, and then drive back to my work. Those nights, we typically meet up for dinner out, but we've been trying to make better choices on where and what we eat. A chicken quesadilla with vegetables and black beans with a side of fruit is much better than a heaping pile of pasta.

Now, my favorite part, dessert. Christina also has an awesome video on PCOS snack ideas and a few of them I've moved from the snack category to dessert. An example would be fruit (fresh or frozen,) with sugar free whipped cream. There is also sugar free Jello, pudding and ice cream. I've tried the sugar free Jello brand mousse, but I wasn't a fan. I looked for sugar free ice cream and found "no sugar added" varieties, but the list of other ingredients were so long and unpronounceable that I put it back on the freezer shelf. One of my favorite sweet treats that I've found are sugar free candies geared towards diabetics, mainly the Russell Stover brand ones. They're made with "sugar alcohol" which, according to the package is a "unique blend of sugar substitutes," whatever that means. I know it's not the healthiest treat, but one of these every so often won't completely derail my diet.

I apologize that this post was so long, but it takes a lot to makeover your diet. We've had some success along with some failures with new recipes we've tried that I'd be more than happy to share if there's interest.

Tomorrow I'll share some tips and tricks that I've learned that make this diet not suck as much.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Low Amylose Diet: The Discovery

Since September 2012, I've lost about 30 pounds by combining Metformin with a low (let's get real here, low-ish) carb diet. However, I noticed these last few months, that my weight loss has plateaued. I've been doing a dance in the 208-212 pound area, but haven't really lost any significant weight in about three months.

Yes, I just posted my weight on the internet. Yes, if you can do simple math, you can figure out how much I weighed in 2012. Be nice, ok?

One day, while searching around YouTube for stories from ladies who also have PCOS, I found Christina's  SubfertileFrugalista channel (she also has a blog.) After perusing through her videos, I found one titled "The PCOS Diet That Worked For Us."

The PCOS Diet That Worked For Us by SubfertileFrugalista

In this video, Christina talks about the Low Amylose Diet that was prescribed to her by her RE. Christina has PCOS and had been trying for 3.5 years to have a child. They had tried every treatment you could think of, and was on their last ditch effort when they went to an RE to do IVF. Christina's RE, "Dr. Miracles," suggested going on the Low Amylose Diet. If they weren't pregnant after three months, then they would do IVF. I believe on the fourth month, they conceived, but sadly lost their little girl. After another couple of months, they conceived again and had their daughter Wren. As an added bonus, Christina lost 11 pounds in the first month of following the diet and 20 pounds overall.

A diet that allowed her to conceive after 3.5 years of infertility?! Of course my interest was peaked. From what I understand, Dr. Miracles "invented" (for lack of a better word,) this diet, so I haven't been able to find much literature on it, but Christina spells out the rules during her video. They are:
  1. Avoid all simple sugars such as candy, sodas, cakes, pies, ice cream, etc. These are almost pure forms of glucose.
  2. Avoid vegetables that are grown underground, corn, bananas, and foods enriched with maltodextrins or corn syrup.
  3. Avoid wheat, rice, rye, barley, and oats.
  4. Eat a minimum of 3 servings each of above-ground vegetables and fruits daily.
  5. Eat at least 6 ounces of protein every day.
  6. Avoid low fat foods.
  7. Don't count calories!
At first I thought this diet would be impossible. Giving up sugar, candy, cakes, ice cream, soda, bread, corn, carrots, potatoes, and bananas would surely be the death of me! A little melodramatic perhaps, but this girl loves her some bread and butter.However, I convinced myself that I would start off slowly and see what happened.

Next I'll talk about foods that follow the diet and don't taste like grass....much.

*I am in no way a nutritionist. You should probably talk to your doctor about starting a new diet...unlike I did. Don't be like me!*

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Happy September ICLW!

Happy Saturday everyone! This will be a short introduction due to the fact that my in-laws are in town this weekend, but I'll try to come up with something more substantial later this week.

Let's see, Keegan and I are both originally from Missouri, but moved to Mississippi in May 2011 for Keegan's job. He's a metallurgical engineer and I'm an art gallery director.

We got married on August 4, 2012 in my hometown in Missouri. Looking back, getting married outside in one of the hottest months of the year was probably a stupid decision, but our wedding was wonderful.

When I say I'm originally from Missouri, that's somewhat of a lie. I was actually born in Canada, but moved to the States when I was young. I'm still a Canadian citizen, and this summer, I was able to show Keegan around my original hometown. You can read more about our vacation here and here

I showed him Niagra Falls
How to tube
and he tried to ski. 

Keegan and I also are the proud owners of two cats, 




On the baby makin' front, I was diagnosed with PCOS and insulin resistance on September 4, 2012 after my periods disappeared when I went off birth control in April. January 2013 was our first official cycle trying, and we haven't gotten a BFP yet. I've had an HSG in June which came back clear. I am currently on 2000 mg of Metformin per day, which has helped me lose about 30 pounds in the last year. After 9 cycles of ovulation but no baby, my doctor, Dr. B, has agreed to put me on Clomid for 3 or 4 cycles, after which, if we are not pregnant, he will refer us to an RE and suggest IVF. You can read more about each cycle in my "Our Journey" page above. 

Thanks for stopping by! 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday Funday

Woot it's Friday! Since my brain has the dumb, you get a life update via bullet points.

  • I apologize for the silence on this slice of the interwebs. Work has been crazy busy this past week, so my normal blogging time during my lunch break has disappeared. Of course, I could write when I get home, but my in-laws are visiting this weekend for the first time since we purchased our house, so my evenings have been spent cleaning. Nothing will convince you to deep clean your house and hang those pictures you've meant to hang for the last two years like a visit from your in-laws. 
  • Monday, Keegan and I got to see Tegan and Sara and Fun in concert. I've loved Tegan and Sara since I was in junior high, so they were the highlight of the concert for me, but Fun was really...well, fun, and energetic. I'm trying to convince Keegan to go with me to see the The Lumineers in October next. 
    • While in Tuscaloosa for the concert, Keegan and I had to stop by Men's Warehouse so that Keegan could get fitted for a tux for one of his best friend's weddings in October. We made it extremely clear that he was getting fitted there, but would be picking up the tux in Illinois. After checking out and paying, we looked at our receipt and noticed that it said our pick up location is in Louisiana. Please explain how one could confused Illinois with Louisiana. Keegan called to try and figure out the mix-up, but couldn't get a solid yes or no if the problem had been fixed. Guess we're going to be going to the wedding with our fingers crossed that the tux has been delivered to the correct place.  
  • I'm one or two days past ovulation, depending on how my temperatures continue to rise. We had pretty crappy timing this cycle, due to above mentioned working and cleaning, so we only sexed on the day that I believe I ovulated. I have little hope for this cycle and am looking forward to our first Clomid cycle. 
  • Along those same lines, we've been going back and forth about getting the laparoscopy done. At first I figured we'd do it if our Clomid cycles don't work, before we moved onto  IUI or IVF, but after reading the comments on my last post, I'm starting to second guess that. Many of you said that you didn't have severe symptoms, but still found Endometriosis. I would love to do the lap first, just to rule out the possibility before we start paying for medicated cycles, but I got an estimate from my hospital and the surgery would be over $8,000. I haven't spoken to my insurance companies yet to see if they would cover any of the cost, but I'm not expecting that they will. I would just hate to spend money on Clomid to then find out that it wouldn't have worked anyways. On the flip side, I'd hate to spend $8,000 to not find anything. $18 per round of Clomid is certainly cheaper than $8,000, but it's more than the money. I'd hate to spend the time of 3-4 cycles to just find out that it wouldn't have worked. So many decisions, and I hate that it looks like money will be the deciding factor.  
  • All of that being said, I've started the early process of looking into an RE. Dr. B has been great at getting us this far, but if we're going to start talking about IVF (as per recommendation from Dr. B at my last appointment,) I want the experience of someone who deals with this day in and day out, not just an OB/GYN who can prescribe Clomid. How did you ladies find your RE? Was he/she someone you were referred to by your OB/GYN or did you search for them yourselves?

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sunshine Award

Sarah over at Midwest Pillowtalk nominated me for the Sunshine Award! The Sunshine Award is given to bloggers whose posts brighten your day. 

Here are the rules: 
1. Include the Sunshine Award icon in your post
2. Link to the person who nominated you. 
3. Answer 10 questions about yourself
4. Nominate 10 bloggers to receive the award
5. Link your nominees and let them know they've been nominated. 

Here are the questions Sarah asked me: 

1. What is your biggest joy? I'd say my biggest joy is my family, both my blood family and my family I've gained through marriage and close friends. Sure, there are tough times, but I'm the happiest when I'm around them. 

2. What is one of your favorite memories? This is a hard question! I can't choose between the memories of going back to Canada and seeing my extended family, or the first few months of getting to know Keegan and his group of friends who would eventually become like family to us. 

3. What is your biggest fear? Ugh, another hard question! I think my biggest fear is not being enough. I'm definitely a people pleaser, so knowing that I've failed someone in some way is a horrible feeling. Of course, infertility is a big part of this; the idea of not being able to provide Keegan with a child, our parents with grandchildren, our siblings with nieces/nephews is something that eats at me. 

The less emotional answer to this questions would be falling. I'm not scared of heights, in fact, I quite like them, but the idea of falling scares the daylights out of me. I told Keegan that if we ever go to the Grand Canyon, I'll have to belly crawl (army crawl?) to the edge, just to ensure that I won't trip and plummet to my death.

4. What is your favorite thing about fall? Well, back in Missouri, my favorite thing was the newness of the season. It was the beginning of a new school semester, the beginning of a new football season, the leaves changed color and fell off the trees, we got a break from the heat, it was honestly my favorite season. Living in Mississippi, we don't really get a fall, so I guess my favorite thing is the idea of getting a break from the summer heat...eventually.  

5. What is your favorite thing to wear/wardrobe staple? If you had asked me this last year, I probably would have said my jeans. I've always been a jeans girl and I still love them and wear them frequently, but lately, I've been loving maxi skirts and dresses. They still give me the coverage of jeans, but they're more feminine and certainly cooler in the Mississippi summers. 

6. You're on a road trip...what CD do you play? Even though my car comes with a CD player and I have CDs in my car, 99% of the time, my Ipod is plugged in and playing away. I love having it on shuffle and having the ability to listen to a range of music. My music tastes change all the time and I have everything from rap to country to pop to hard rock to Broadway numbers on my Ipod. 

If I had to choose a CD, I'd probably choose Old Man Markley. I discovered them when they opened for Dropkick Murphys in Atlanta in March and I fell in love. They're "punk bluegrass" with some kick ass instruments and put on one of the best shows I've ever seen.  

7. Favorite quote? I don't really have a favorite quote. Recently, however, I saw this quote as someone's signature on a message board and I absolutely love it. "Well, I looked my demons in the eyes, laid bare my chest, said, "Do your best, destroy me." The quote is from Ray LaMontagne's song, "Empty," and continues with, "You see, I've been to hell and back so many times, I must admit you kind of bore me." 
I love this quote because I think it speaks to what I'm going through at this time in my life. Looking my fears in the eyes and telling them that I'm strong and they can't break me. 

8. Favorite thing to buy? We honestly don't buy a whole lot besides the necessities. I'm not a big shopper and I don't wear makeup. Lately, we've been spending a lot on fixing Keegan's '71 Vette because we're taking it down to the coast in October for a huge car show. Hopefully in the next year or so, I'll get my dream car, a '69-'71 El Camino, so I'm sure I'll love spending money to fix that up. 

9. Dream vacation is... My dream vacation would be Ireland and Scotland. My family has so much history there and I'd love to see where my heritage came from. My dad's side of the family also has a house over there that's abandoned and I'd love to see if we could buy that one day. I'd also love to visit some extended family in New Zeland. 

10. What's your favorite piece of advice? Sheesh Sarah, way to ask the hard questions! When I was in middle school, I was trying to make friends and running into some teasing from the "popular" crowd. I came home and told my mom what was going on, and she told me to just be me and I would slowly acquire friends who liked me for who I am. Guess what? She was right! It took a while, and I didn't make a solid group of friends until college, but I have some of the best friends a girl could ask for. Most of them are guys, but they're slowly getting girlfriends and wives who are just as amazing. They mean everything to me and are a part of my family. 

It doesn't say in the instructions to add 10 more questions, but Sarah did, so here are mine: 

1. If you could only listen to one band for the rest of your life, who would it be? 
2. What is the scariest thing you've ever done? 
3. Do you have any piercings or tattoos? If so, show them off! 
4. What's the best concert you've ever been to? 
5. What is your dream concert (musicians can be dead or alive.)
6. If you could visit anywhere in the world for a month with money being no worry, where would you go?
7. What is your favorite food?
8. What is your favorite way to de-stress? 
9. What do you think your best physical asset is? What would your significant say is your best physical asset? 
10. If you could live in any other time period, when would you live? 

The ten bloggers I tag are, 
3. Jennifer at Jennifer Juniper 
7. Audra at The Stumpy Giraffe
8. Mrs. E at TTCBabyE3

I also tag anyone who wants to answer the questions! Let me know if you do, I'd love to read your answers. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Well That Escalated Quickly

My thoughts and emotions are still trying to sort out exactly what happened at today's appointment, so I apologize if this post isn't the most coherent.

So, to get down to the jist of things, I have a plan, which is really what I wanted to get out of this appointment.

1. Dr. B agreed to do a few cycles of Clomid after double triple checking with me that I understood that my risks of multiples increased from about 1% to 8%. I asked him how many cycles he would be willing to do (knowing that most doctors cut women off at 6 cycles,) and he agreed that after 6 cycles, you are considered a "Clomid failure." However, since we are only using Clomid to boost what my body is already doing, instead of using it to get my body to ovulate, he said that he wouldn't feel comfortable going more than 3 or 4 cycles.

2. If Clomid doesn't work, he suggests doing a laparoscopy to check for Endometriosis just so that we can say we've checked on everything. He asked if I wanted to do that laparoscopy before the Clomid, but I declined since I don't have any of the symptoms of endo (painful periods, pain during sex, etc.) and I don't want to have unnecessary, expensive surgery.

3. I asked what our next move would be if the Clomid doesn't work, assuming he would say IUI, but Dr. B said that an IUI would really only be beneficial if our problems were on Keegan's end, but from his past SA, we know they're not. Dr. B suggested that if Clomid doesn't work for us, he would give us a referral to an reproductive endocrinologist and suggest IVF.

I about fell out of my seat.

I wasn't expecting IVF to come into question until we had exhausted ovulation drugs, IUIs, and injectables.

However, after having some time to digest all of the information, getting a referral to an RE is probably the best step for us. I trust Dr. B, and he has helped us immensely with these beginning steps, but if we're talking about IVF, or honestly, even IUI, I'd rather talk to a professional that is versed in these procedures. I was just hoping we wouldn't have to go the RE route since the closest one is probably an hour away and in no way covered by our insurance.

Unfortunately we were too late to do Clomid this cycle, so we're au natural for another month, but I have a prescription for 50 mg of Clomid CD5-9 as well as monitoring for the next cycle. Dr. B didn't say anything about increasing the dosage in later cycles, but I suppose we'll talk about that if this next cycle doesn't work out.

A few questions for you ladies:

1. CD 5-9 seemed really late to me, I've read that most women do CD 2-6 or 3-7. Any thoughts?

2. Dr. B said that Clomid will make you ovulate later in your cycle than your normally would, however, many ladies say they ovulate earlier. Any ladies who ovulate on their own and also take Clomid want to chime in?

3. I've heard that some ladies have better control of the side effects if they take Clomid at night instead of in the morning. Does anyone have experience of morning versus night side effects?

I guess our hopes are resting on the idea of Clomid working in the next couple of months, and if not, we're bringing out the big guns!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Back In The

When I had my HSG back in June, my doctor mentioned that he wanted us to try naturally for three more cycles since the chance of conception increased after the "flushing out" of an HSG.

Six days ago, my third cycle came to a close when everyone's favorite aunt came a knockin'.

I knew that I had to make an appointment with Dr. B to discuss our next steps, but it took me a few days to do so. In all honesty, these last three months have been somewhat of a nice break. Of course we were still trying our best to get pregnant with temping, taking OPKs, and sexing at the right times, but it was nice not having to go in for blood work and ultrasounds every few weeks.

Sometimes I wonder if the reason that I'm not getting pregnant is because I don't want it enough. Because I'm not excited about going back for blood work, ultrasounds, a stricter diet, and whatever our next steps will be. Because I'm not doing a no carb, no dairy, vegetarian, vegan, full fat diet while drowning myself in pineapple and pomegranate juice. Because I'm not working out 7 days a week. Because I'm not taking supplements and herbs and doing acupuncture.

If I wanted it bad enough, I'd be doing all of these things, right? But I'm not.

Lately I've been feeling somewhat lost on our TTC journey. I think its mostly because for these last three months, we've been kind of floating along, trying our best when it comes time, but ultimately just waiting until we can move onto our next steps, whatever they will be. I have an appointment with Dr. B on Thursday where hopefully we'll figure out what we're going to do next.

Typically, I like to go into appointments with a plan already set in my head, and it takes a lot for Dr. B to convince me otherwise. However, I'm not sure where I want to go next. Logically, ovulation drugs would be our next step, but the last time we discussed it, Dr. B was very much against them and more in favor of jumping to IUIs. As it stands now, I'm going to bring up ovulation drugs one more time, and if he's still not willing to go down that path, I may look into seeing another doctor. I just feel like jumping straight to IUI is too drastic, especially since as far as we know, there's nothing wrong with Keegan's side of things.

I'm sorry if this post is hard to follow. I'm having an internal debate about feeling like I'm not doing enough to get pregnant while not wanting to jump to fast into hardcore treatments. Hopefully after Thursday we'll have a solid game plan and I'll feel less like I'm just floating around, hoping for the egg to get frisky with the sperm.

Monday, September 9, 2013

I Dreamed Of You

Last Thursday, I had a dream.

I had a dream that I gave birth to the most beautiful baby girl. I felt everything, contractions and all. It was one of those dreams that just felt so real, you know?

In the early morning light, we swaddled baby girl in a deep magenta blanket and placed a pink hat on her head. We were debating having her middle name be Charlie. In my dream, I laid her little swaddled body down and went to sleep myself, exhausted, but extatic.

I woke up from the dream and reached over to make sure my baby girl was breathing, it was just that real. Instead of feeling her little chest rise and fall, I felt the fur of my cat curled up beside me.

And I started to cry.

Not because the dream was scary or I regretted having it, but because reality is scary. Not knowing if I'll ever have a little body to swaddle. Not knowing if Keegan and I will ever discuss names. Not knowing the worry of being a parent and waking up many times a night to make sure my little one is still breathing.

The not knowing is what scares me the most. If someone could tell me that in X amount of months or years, we'd be pregnant, then it would be easier to face the failed cycles month after month. But, no one can tell me, and that's what scares me.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

One Year

One year ago today, I sat in a room while my doctor explained that he believed that I had PCOS.

One year ago today, my entire world changed.

It's fitting that my period started today.

I could go into a long, emotional post about what this past year has meant to me (and I probably will!) but instead of sulking, today I want to celebrate.

I want to celebrate that even though this year has been one of the hardest of my life, it has brought Keegan and I closer.

I want to celebrate the fact that I've made friends with some of the strongest, bravest, most amazing women I've ever met. I'm so thankful for all of you.

I want to celebrate that this journey has made me more aware that everyone is fighting a battle and words  - positive or negative - can make the biggest impact.

I want to celebrate that I am wiser, stronger woman who is more willing to fight for what I want.

I want to celebrate that I'm overall more of a badass than I was a year ago.

What better way to celebrate than an a giveaway?!

This is the first time I've ever done a giveaway and I knew that I wanted to help out a fellow infertile in the process. I've mentioned them before, but Tasha from FrozenOJ makes these awesome paracord awareness bracelets in a rainbow of colors to represent all aspects of infertility from PCOS to infant loss.

Guess what, I'm giving away, not one, but two bracelets! That's right, two lucky ladies will win one of these awesome bracelets in the color of your choice.

Here's how it works: Follow, comment, "like" to your hearts' content, and on Friday, I will pick two winners. Those winners will then they will team up with Tasha to talk specifics like wrist size and colors.

Once again, I want to thank all of you for being one of my main sources of strength during this journey. I don't know what I'd do without you amazing ladies!

a Rafflecopter giveaway