Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Regan's IVF Cycle

Hi friends! It was about two years ago when I first opened up and talked about my infertility journey on our blog. I shared that my husband and I were going to take the steps towards moving forward with trying our first in vitro fertilization cycle (IVF).  We were trying to save up money and it was our goal to start the cycle in the fall of 2016.

Well, God had other plans in mind, because two months later we found out that we were pregnant with Cal!  This was the first time we had ever gotten pregnant on our own, without any fertility meds/treatments. You can read more about my semi complicated/stressful pregnancy here.

Fast forward to January 2017 when we got to meet our miracle boy! Cal has been SUCH a blessing in our lives.  He's everything we could have ever dreamed of for a baby (but not, at the same time, if that makes sense - this is a perfect analogy that makes me tear up every time I read it and explains what I mean perfectly). Cal has a special light about him that even strangers comment on. He is the SWEETEST boy.  He hardly ever whines or cries, laughs all the time, learns new things every day, loves people, and is super social. He's been sleeping 10-12 hours a night since he was about 5 months old, and is honestly just a dream baby.

As grateful as we are that Cal was born and is doing SO well, we know he has a long road ahead when it comes to his mental, physical and cognitive learning abilities. He is so smart, and has made so much progress, and we will never put ANY limitations on him, but it's just a reality that things DO come much harder and slower for him than any other "normal" baby. Something as simple as going from the sitting position to leaning on one hand and on to all fours take a LOT of effort for Cal (as well as some assistance from us), and you can hear in his heavy breathing and grunting how difficult it is for him. 

My point it is, we know his life is not going to be a walk in the park, and that we, as his parents will probably never be out of the woods when it comes to Cal's medical and physical needs. 

We don't want to put another baby through what Cal has and will go through in this life, and to be honest, I don't want to put my body through any more miscarriages.  Cal is literally a miracle, and was born, even though I was only given a 3% chance that I would carry him to term.  Prior to him, I had 3 miscarriages due to the babies having the same chromosomal abnormalities he has. 

 So we decided to move forward with our first IVF cycle right after Cal's first birthday.  We did the egg retrieval, fertilization, and genetic testing of the embryos, and I want to share my experience for anyone interested, or going through something similar. 

I am only 26 years old, and I wanted to do my egg retrieval while I was still super young and had a high egg reserve and (hopefully) good quality eggs.

For 10 days I gave myself shots morning and night to stimulate my ovaries, and prevent ovulation.  I was super nervous about the shots. It took me about 20 minutes to give myself the first one, but after that I realized it wasn't too bad (although I hear frozen transfer shots are way worse - not looking forward to those!).

I have heard so many stories about other people who did IVF with PGD (genetic testing) for the same reason I did and not being able to get ANY healthy embryos.  We were spending so much money to do all of this, and I didn't know if we'd be able to do it again if it didn't work the first time, so I wanted to do anything and everything I could to help it be a success. My doctor sent me over his "Super Supplements List" and said he recommends his patients taking them all a month before starting IVF. 

I started taking them all 2 months before, haha. I've heard conflicting opinions on whether or not taking supplements makes a difference during IVF, but I didn't care.  It helped me to feel like I was doing everything possible to help get us our healthy embryos. 

The supplements below are three that I really liked, and ordered through Fairhaven Health

The first is one my husband took.  No shots and only one supplement for him...guys have it SO easy.

I get my prenatal vitamins from Fairhaven Health and LOVE them.  They never make me feel sick and somehow smell and taste good?!? They don't have that nasty vitamin taste :)

One thing I had heard about IVF that definitely proved to be true is that it makes you super bloated.  The two pictures below were taken the morning of my egg retrieval. My stomach looked and felt the same as it did when I was about 15 months pregnant, and it only got worse the following days after the retrieval!

I had my egg retrieval surgery on January 17th. The recovery was much worse than I expected.  I was super crampy and had to walk hunched over for about 3 days.  I didn't feel totally back to myself until about a week and a half after the surgery. 

The eggs were fertilized the day of the retrieval, and we got updates on how our little embryos were doing on days 1, 3, 5, and 6 after the retrieval. 

I had 30 eggs retrieved!!! We were so happy. 25 of them were mature, and 22 fertilized. On day 3, 17 of them were still looking good, and 11 made it to day 5 and 6, which is when they are able to take little biopsies to send to the lab, and freeze all of the embryos that made it to that point. Of the 11 that were sent for genetic testing, 4 came back healthy/normal.

So now we have 4 little frozen embryos waiting to be transferred until we're ready! 

Modern medicine and technology is truly amazing.  We feel so blessed to live in a time where this is all possible, and we are excited to grow our family and give Cal some siblings!  He is going to make the best big brother! As for right now, we are going to enjoy Cal being an only child until we are ready to try for number two.

I'd be more than happy to answer any questions for anyone going through something similar.  Feel free to comment below, or email me!


Friday, March 9, 2018

Insta Outfit Recap

Hi guys!  It's been way too long since we've done an outfit post.  I feel like we always say this, but our lives have been crazy, and we've just been linking outfits on insta as of late!

I finally had some time to sit down and put our last few outfits we've posted about on Instagram together in a post.  So here you go. Best part is, most of our outfits are on major sale now that spring is almost here!

Two fun weekend/date night looks.  Loving this mauve/pink color of Paige's sweater & in the print of Regan's top.  We didn't plan to pair these two outfits together for our shoot, but have to say, they coordinated pretty perfectly :)

This next look is definitely my (Regan) go-to.  Some high-waisted denim with a casual tee. You can find me in this outfit every. single. day. Loving the Sol Angeles x Anthrologie tees lately (even though they are a bit pricey for a t-shirt), and these slip on sneakers have been my absolute favorite during the "warmer" winter days here in Utah. I have them in two colors, and the black pair I'm wearing below are lined with fur (yasss).

These are a couple more cute, everyday looks that are a little more put together.  Paige's boots make such a fun statement and are currently on major sale!

This last look is all about the neutrals! Nothing better than cozy neutral sweaters that go with everything!

Now, time to bring out the spring clothes! Hello cropped denim, cute wedges, and lightweight jackets!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

CoolSculpting Results/Outfit Post

A couple months ago I went to Trilogy in Midvale and tried out CoolSculpting for the first time on these thighs! Haha. I documented the whole process on our stories on Instagram, but it takes a couple months to see the final result which is why I've taken so long to post about it!

If you're unfamiliar with CoolSculpting, it's where they apply a handheld device to specific stubborn fat areas on the body for about 30 minutes, which freezes the fat and your body gets rid of it over the next few months!

I did it on my inner thighs, and was told to expect about a 25% fat reduction on the treated area. Most people want 2-3 treatments over a period of 9 months or so, but I am pretty happy with the results and may just stop with this one!

Below is a before/after photo. I didn't use the actual ones they sent me because I'm in my lace underwear and my sisters thought it looked inappropriate to post! Haha but send me an email if you want to see them and I'll send them to you! Also, read to the bottom to find how to get a major discount at Trilogy Med Spa and for outfit details!

Sorry for the low quality of the before photos! They didn't have their camera at the time, so they were taken with an iPad. As you can see though, my inner thighs are slightly smaller which is exactly what I wanted!

CoolSculpting is not for major weight loss. It's for treating smaller, stubborn areas that you may not be able to get rid of with diet and exercise. I did not lose any weight from this process, but do love the result!

As for the actual process, it was super simple! I brought my laptop and got some work done while I was there, and was in no pain at all. It took about 30 min on each leg! It's very cold when they first apply the device, but then you just go numb and can't feel anything.

If you have any questions about CoolSculpting or are thinking about trying it yourself, feel free to email me or comment below! Make sure you DO YOUR RESEARCH before you get it done, because it makes a huge difference who you go to! I loved how knowledgable they were at Trilogy and highly recommend them.

If you DO end up going to Trilogy for anything (facials, botox, CoolSculpting etc.) make sure you mention us for a great discount!

Outfit linked below :)

Vest | Boots | Denim | Top | Necklace (similar)

Thursday, January 11, 2018

How to Throw A Puppy Party - Cal's First Birthday

Last Saturday we threw Cal a puppy party for his first birthday!  My husband and I have been debating getting Cal an actual puppy, but haven't been able to pull the trigger yet.  He loves puppies and so we decided to go all out with the puppy theme for his birthday. 

In Utah, there is a business called Puppies for Rent that used to actually let you rent a puppy for a day, or rent several puppies for a party.  My plan was to do that, but the company either shut down, or just stopped renting puppies temporarily right before Cal's party! I was desperately looking for at least one puppy to have at the party (haha), so I put an add on KSL (similar to Craigslist) asking if anyone would lend us their puppy for my cute son's birthday party. I got a ton of responses and decided to borrow a family's cute little boxer puppy for the day.  It was perfect!

If you search "puppy party" on Pinterest, there are a ton of really cute decoration ideas, invitations, and food, but I thought I'd share all my favorites and what we ended up using for the party.

First of all, I knew I wanted Cal's cake to be from Sweet Tooth Fairy.  Their cakes taste amazing, and they will customize any of their cakes to go with any party theme! I just told them we were doing a black and white puppy theme, then gave them free reign, and they created the CUTEST puppy cake and mini cake for Cal's "cake smash" (you know that's a must at any first birthday party). 

I honestly couldn't be happier with how cute (and yummy) the cakes turned out!

Pictures of all the details of the party are below, and at the very bottom of the post I'll share our menu, the recipe for the puppy chow (which was a huge hit and super easy), and a couple of how-to's!

"Pup-eroni Pizza" - ordered from Dominos haha but who doesn't love pizza?!
"Dogs in a Blanket" - the kids LOVED these
"Fruity Kibble" - we did watermelon and cantaloupe balls, strawberries, raspberries, and grapes
"Puppy Chow" - easiest recipe ever (below)
"Bones" - made sugar cookies using these cookie cutters
"Paw-tato Chips" - self explanatory ;)
Then we just had a basket of mini water bottles and juice boxes for the kids for drinks

Puppy Chow Recipe:
9 Cups of Corn Chex
1/2 Cup of Peanut Butter
1/4 Cup of Butter or Margarine
1 Cup of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 tsp of Vanilla
1 1/2 Cups of Powdered Sugar

1.In a large bowl place your 9 cups of Chex cereal and set aside.
2. In a medium size saucepan , melt the chocolate chips, butter and peanut butter on low heat until completely melted and smooth. Stir frequently to prevent the mixture from sticking. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
3. Pour the chocolate mixture over the dry cereal and stir carefully until it is completely coated.
4.In a large ziplock bag pour the cereal mixture inside and then slowly add the powdered sugar. Seal the bag and shake well until all of the cereal is coated.
5. Spread the mixture out on waxed paper until the Puppy Chow is completely cool and dry. Seal in an airtight container and place it in the fridge (if it lasts that long!)

Paw print balloons - HERE
Invitations found HERE
Tassel banners on table & high chair found at Target
Signs for the food were just printed on regular paper, and we used leftover invitations to glue the paper with the menu item to the puppy print on the back.

The mini stuffed animal dogs I found at Target! It was a lucky find and I can't even find them online.  They were like $4 each and the perfect little party favors for the kids to take home. 

Mini Party Hats - I made these using this tutorial. I used the print on the back of the invitations and printed it on to cardstock, then used the template to make the little hats.  They were so cute and pretty easy.  The kids all looked so cute in them!

All in all this party was pretty simple to put together (thank you Pinterest) and turned out so cute! Happy Birthday Cal! You are such a joy and bring light in to my life!