Things that are a Book Review: How to Cope with IVF

Tuesday, June 27

I was asked by Silvia, the author of "How to Cope with IVF: The Essential Guide for IVF First Timers," if I would write a review of her book. Silvia is located in the UK, and her book has done great there, and was looking for more outreach here in the U.S.. I was amazed at what detail went into the book, because there was a LOT more information that I found than doing just a regular search online.

This book offers support and guidance for IVF. How to take care of yourself with nutrition, meditation, exercises for the best chances at having a successful IVF cycle. It talks about things to do during IVF as well as the aftermath of IVF and what happens if your IVF cycle happens to fail.

These are some of the things that stuck out to me while reading it:
• Gives nutrition and supplements to take before and during IVF
• The best yoga positions for fertility
• Practicing mindfulness and visualization
• Lots of recipes to try - scrubs and smoothies to help with skin and boost fertility

"One of the other many benefits of meditation is that it works quickly and you can experience stress relief and feel a sense of calm within a few minutes. Meditation also does not require a big time commitment."  Even just taking a few minutes out of your day to breath in and out to a count of 8 can really help relax and rejuvenate you. I have been doing deep relaxation for the past several months, and have found this very beneficial and not sure why I didn't start it before. It would have definitely helped me undergoing IVF last July.

"I believe that if you prepare yourself properly for IVF by approaching your treatment in a holistic, practical and measured way, you stand a much better chance of coping. If you know what to expect then you can prepare yourself for it. You need to break it down into bite-size chunks, digest each bit as you go until you get the full picture." I agree with Silvia, trying to digest IVF in one go can cause panic and anxiety.

I think this book can offer guidance not just first time IVF-fers, but those who have done and failed a few IVF cycles. I learned a few things in the book (and I've done IVF twice now), and some of the smoothies sound delicious to try!

You can find and purchase the book on Amazon in kindle or paper edition.

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of the book in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions shared are mine and not influenced by the company in any way. 
Other places you can find me:
Instagram: @runningwithinfertility1
Pinterest: Running with Infertility
Twitter: @runwinfertility
Bloglovin': Running with Infertility
Facebook: Running with Infertility

Selfless not Selfish

Tuesday, June 20

I've gotta be real with you today. I've been dealing with these feelings for several years and have wanted to lay them out on the blog in hopes to help someone else who may be struggling. I want you to know that this doesn't change how grateful I feel for this pregnancy. I just felt led to express my feelings about this topic. 

For the past several years I have had this lingering question in the back of my mind of, "Do I really want to be a mom?" The past 10 years of being married have been great. Though there were plenty of ups and downs, our marriage has continued to grow and we've become closer, even with our infertility trial. I feel so blessed when I know there are many whose marriage struggle or even fail with this trial or other trials.

When we found out we were pregnant that question made me second guess myself a lot. And I had all sorts of questions pop into my mind: Do I really want this? Is this really what we've been waiting so long to have? This is going to be a big change for us, am I ready for that change? Am I ready for my body to change? Am I ready to have sleepless nights? Is our marriage strong enough for a child? Do I wanna be a stay at home mom? Do I need to continue to work after baby comes? And not only was I feeling overloaded with questions I also had a lot of fears pop up too. The main fear being; I'm scared to be a parent and having to be responsible for a little being that God put me in charge of. 

I remember feeling that 9 months seemed like such a long time to wait and my body was going to change A LOT. I wasn't so sure I wanted my body to change, to gain weight, to get stretch marks or grow a large belly. The memory of those countless pregnant women complaining at how hard pregnancy is and I was worried I might be the same way.

Over the past 9 months the one thing that growing this baby has taught me is that motherhood is a completely selfless act. From fertility treatments to pregnancy to birth to becoming a mom, we are putting our bodies through so much. Then after we become a mom, we are 100% responsible for this little baby who will grow up. For me this puts a lot of pressure on me to not screw up our kids, and to make sure our kids don't end up with the sense of being entitled.

For some women this is what they've been longing for their entire lives, but for me I still have my concerns, doubts and worries.

I was on Instagram the other day and heard about Dale Partridge. I have never heard of him before, but I really enjoyed what he said about kids:

What he said really spoke to me, and I was able to get that extra reassurance that it will all work out. Even though it may be hard at times and I am sacrificing a lot, it will all be worth it. We need great future leaders, and my generation is going to be the one to raise them great.

As Dr. Meg Meeker says "Great kids are raised, not born." So I have that hope that I can raise our son to be great, even though parenting is a huge sacrifice.

• Was there a time where you felt you didn't want to be a parent?

• What has helped you want to become a mom or a dad?

If you are a parent what gives you encouragement and hope?

Don't forget to check out the Keep Calm and Pineapple On Shirt in the Shop, or you can find it on Etsy.

Memorial Day 10k-5k-1 mile Race Recap 2017

Friday, June 9

I had completely forgotten about this race and I was reading through previous race recaps and remembered that I had ran this race before. You can read my previous race recaps here and here. I went online and sure enough it was free again and they were still putting it on this year too! YESS!

I asked Chase if he wanted to join me in the 5k and he said yes. I then got my friend Alli on board and she said since her hubby had been running he may want to do it too. I thought it would be a fun family thing to do.

The night before the race I slept horrible. I'm not sure if it was nerves or what. I mean I wasn't going to be running the entire thing, it was a free race, and so what if we happened to miss it or sleep in?!

We got up, got dressed, fed our dogs, I had a glass of chocolate milk and a banana. Then we headed out.

Since I was 36 weeks pregnant I wasn't expecting a PR. The only goal in mind was to finish under an hour. We were also pushing my friend's son in our jogging stroller.

We started towards the back of the pack and it took us a few minutes to get through the start.

The first mile or two my calves were burning. I haven't been walking/running in my altra's so my feet/calves weren't used to them. I have noticed my center of gravity has changed, so I'm sure that is another reason they were hurting.

Once I stopped focusing on my calves the race was more enjoyable.

At the point where the 10kers were meeting with the 5k group I wanted to start running with them and finish the race. It seemed like my heart was in it, but my body physically wasn't able to keep up with them.

After race photo

Chase and I ran into the finish at 52:11. What I thought was my longest 5k, but running the Dopey Challenge last year I ran a 5k in 1:01:52.  So no not my longest.

Pros: The race is free. You can purchase a shirt and a timing chip if you felt you wanted to be fast. Though there weren't any prizes awarded. The race supports our local Central Utah Veterans Home. They also had bananas and water bottles after the race. There were other fun things for the family to do after the race.
Cons: Because it was a free race you had to go off of your own watch/clock. I was surprised at how many people were there. Lots of strollers too (ours included).

Why me? But not her?

Tuesday, May 30

I don't know if there are others who feel this way, but I feel the need to share this question that has been on my mind for months now. Ever since we found out I was pregnant I have felt guilty:

• Guilty because my heart aches for my infertility sisters still struggling and waiting
• Guilty because I was pregnant but not my infertility sisters who have been struggling for just as long or longer
• Guilty for trying to feel happy amidst all the darkness of everyone's infertility struggles

After 7 years I understand that achy feeling you get in your heart. The wanting so badly to be happy for others, but sad for yourself. That achy hole that no matter what you do to try and fill it, it never fills.

My heart aches every time I go somewhere where there are a lot of women. I know that someone in the room is going through infertility, and I am most likely a trigger for them. I want to just shout to everyone and tell them what it took for us to get to this point and that they aren't alone, and to never give up.

I do try and share ANY chance I get and let people know that after 7 years of trying, we got our miracle baby. I want people to understand how grateful Chase and I both are for this miracle. It's been a long hard road with its many ups and downs and we are forever grateful. 

I'm now 36 weeks pregnant and I still feel guilty at times. Not as much as I did when I first found out, but it can still linger. When we first found out, we chose to not share the news, and I felt like I was hiding this dirty secret. The first 20 weeks I felt like I was in limbo. The reason being, I felt I couldn't relate to my infertility sisters but I also couldn't relate to anyone pregnant.  I was struggling with feeling happy for myself but sad for everyone still battling infertility. I battled with those feelings for months.

Chase recently told me I have what is called "survivors guilt." I survived through the trenches of infertility, but feel guilty now for surviving and getting pregnant. After much thought, I'm pretty sure I know where those guilty feelings are coming from, Satan. Thankfully I know God well enough that He wouldn't put a feeling of guiltiness in my heart, but that of gratitude in my heart. I need to put more trust in God, and I need to express my feelings of gratitude more often.

So the million dollar question... Why me? But not her? While I am still struggling with those feelings of guilt. I have to remind myself that everything happens for a reason. We all go through different trials for a reason. For now, I don't know the reason why, but I will keep praying and encouraging those still struggling and who feel they are alone.

Don't forget! I'm selling the "Keep Calm and Pineapple On" shirt on etsy! Check it out HERE

Other places you can find me:
Instagram: @runningwithinfertility1
Pinterest: Running with Infertility
Twitter: @runwinfertility
Bloglovin': Running with Infertility
Facebook: Running with Infertility

The Reason I Opened Up a Shop

Tuesday, May 16

Last September I opened a shop on my blog. Before opening, I kept getting this feeling that I needed to do something more than what I was currently doing with my job. I had seen a lot of shops on Instagram and Etsy who took the money from their shop and put it towards treatment, and that was something I was interested in doing.

When I first had the idea (well before opening the shop) I wanted to put the proceeds towards helping us pay for fertility treatments. After our nonprofit was created I decided to put 10% of my funds towards the nonprofit to help give back to others. I have a big heart and my desire is to help as many couples as I can achieve their dream of becoming parents. I felt that this was one way I could personally help give back.

After talking with Chase about my idea we decided we could invest $500 of our own income towards getting it started. I first thought I would start with selling 1 shirt, then once those all sold or I made the majority of my money back then I would add an additional shirt. I didn't want to use debt to grow a business or constantly feel the need to pull money from our own pocketbook to help fund the business.

In my efforts to start the whole process I was scared, but I still had that strong desire to move forward with my plan. I'll be honest, putting yourself out there trying to sell products, can be very scary. I don't have design skills, or a lot of business knowledge, but I do have a passion towards helping other, and that is what has kept me moving forward. 

Chase then helped me design the "Keep Calm and Pineapple On." I used this idea because I love pineapple, and I know there are a lot of Trying To Conceive (TTC) sisters who eat pineapple after IUI's and IVF to help with implantation and reduce inflammation.

Pineapple itself has such great benefits and I've talked about pineapple before on the blog.

I know there are many of you still struggling with trying to get pregnant/stay pregnant and my hope is to spread awareness and encouragement through these shirts.

I recently started selling the shirt on Etsy as well as here through my blog. And I hope to add in a few more designs in the next few months.

* Are there any designs you've seen online that you've loved? 
* Do you love Pineapple?
Other places you can find me:
Instagram: @runningwithinfertility1
Pinterest: Running with Infertility
Twitter: @runwinfertility
Bloglovin': Running with Infertility
Facebook: Running with Infertility