Thursday, August 23, 2018

Georgia June - 18 Months

Wow, I have a 1.5 year old child.  I cannot put into words how mind boggling it is to say that; how incredibly sad it makes me that so much time has passed already, how I can't help but scroll back through my photos taken over the last 1.5 years and wish so badly that time would slow down.  I know it's impossible, but I never ever understood the concept about how quickly time moves until I became a mother.  We now have an 18 month old daughter, we have been married for almost 7 years (9/24), we have been together for over a decade! 

Georgia's 18 month birthday happened to fall on the FIRST EVER Rainbow Baby Day which I thought was pretty special.  As most of you know, we suffered 2 chemical pregnancies, one in 2014 & one in 2015 before we got pregnant with Georgia.  We are so thankful for her every day; she certainly is the rainbow after the storm in our lives.

Speaking of storms, that word would be a good way to describe Georgia's current personality.  A little storm.  Or maybe a hellion, or a sour patch kid??  Georgia has 100% become a toddler.  She is VERY strong willed, very stubborn, and very independent.  She is not shy and has no fears whatsoever.  I know one day that these personality traits will help her become a powerful, strong woman who holds her own and takes on the world, but right now, she's campaigning for mama to be the mayor of Crazytown. 

Her likes include food, food, and more food--seriously this girl is a bottomless pit like her dad and eats constantly!  It's insane the amount of food she eats & she likes it ALL.  She loves her kitty and her puppy, she loves to play outside, she loves bath time, she loves to explore everywhere we go, and she loooovvvess her daddy most.  I'm very thankful to Joe for being super involved and helpful with her, especially right now when she is awful to me.  Joe gets Georgia dressed in the mornings so that I can get ready which is super helpful, he also takes her in the evenings down to the basement and they listen to old records on our record player and watch music videos on YouTube which gives me time to cook dinner & take care of the house.  She absolutely loves the time she gets with daddy which is so wonderful for us ALL.

Georgia is really starting to try to communicate which is so cute but also I think frustrating for us all too sometimes.  She can say lots of words such as kitty, potty, frank, open door, close door, hi, bye, shoes, banana, pouch, milk, bath, blankie, mama, daddy, & more.  She has lots and lots of her own words which she will say constantly but we never know what she's saying.  The girl never shuts up sometimes but we honestly have no clue what she's talking about. 

She's started to climb ALLLL the furniture, literally climbing onto the wooden trunk I have behind our couch and throwing herself over the back of the couch  (insert face palm emoji here), she can open doors, and she can run & move fast.  We definitely have to tag team when we take her out to eat because sitting in a highchair at a restaurant does not  interest her at all unless there is food in front of her. 

Overall I think we are dealing with totally normal toddler behavior.  Despite all the challenges she presents to us regularly, she is also such a sweet and smiley little girl who makes us laugh constantly.  I'm guessing she is about 25 pounds now and probably about 31-32" tall.  She is just now making her way into 18m clothing, but she can still fit into 12m especially in bottoms.  She is in a size 4 diaper.  She's still wearing about a size 4-4/5 shoe, her feet are so tiny.  She had her first hair cut on August 9th & she did great once we gave her a sucker! 

Lately we have been dealing with what we believe to be eczema and have worked on treating it but not much is helping.  We have tried Eczema Honey Co, Cetaphil, and Aveeno, nothing seems to be working real well, but it's not as bad as it was before we started to treat it.  We are also working on cutting out dairy or at least cutting back.  We have switched her off of as much dairy as possible, but girl loves cheese!  We have an appointment with her pediatrician soon so hopefully we can get some answers then. 

Lots going on inside that tiny little body and it's truly amazing to watch.  Although she has been a little harder these last couple of days, I try to remind myself that she just doesn't know how to communicate & express herself yet.  I know she's getting angry and frustrated and doesn't know how to deal with those emotions yet.  For anyone else who might feel at a loss or that they're really struggling with how to deal with their toddler, a good friend of mine recommended this book The Whole Brain Child which I haven't started yet, but definitely need.  I've never parented a toddler before, this is my first go-around, so I'm just pretty much winging it right now and trying not to mess up my kid too much.  If anyone else has anything they recommend, please leave it in the comments below too so that I can try it out and also share it with others!

Happy 18 months to our sweet peach!  We love you to the moon & back!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Donor/Recipient Relationships

Recently, a fellow DEIVF sister reached out me with some concerns she had about the way I referred to our egg donor in a recent post that I had written for Chelsea's "What it's Like Series".  It sparked a little debate between us and I really felt compelled to write about it because I do understand that others may feel similar to the way that she feels.

I will say that this girl and I have been connected for several years, we've both used donor eggs successfully and I value her input, her opinion, and her friendship.  She was an amazing support to me when I started through the donor process always answering questions and helping me feel like I wasn't alone.  There is nothing wrong with respectfully disagreeing with someone, it's one of the beauties of free thinking.  I'm glad that she reached out to me instead of taking offense to what I said and not speaking up about it. 

In my post I wrote this:
What I love about our open donor relationship is the ability for Georgia to really know her roots and her history, to know that she has biological half siblings and a mother that she can one day meet.

What bothered her about this statement is that I referred to our donor as her "mother."  (I should have referred to her & her children as "genetic siblings and mother", but I feel like the words "biology" and "genetics" are often looked at as having similar meanings.)  I can certainly understand her reasoning behind why this bothered her.  I agreed with a lot of her points and the things that she said, however, I also stated in my original post for Chelsea that Using a donor, whether it be an egg or sperm donor, or even a donated embryo is a very unique situation.  There are so many different scenarios and so many different relationships between donors and recipients that there will certainly be a difference in how we define those relationships in each situation.  For example, someone who used an anonymous donor may never want to know anything about the donor other than what they can obtain from their clinic.  They may never want their child to even know they came from a donor (not recommended), then there's the other side of the coin, those of us who have a strong relationship with our donors (say a friend, a sister, etc.) and our hopes are that our children do know their donor on a more intimate level.  There are even more sides to this coin, but for time-sake I'm not going to elaborate any further.

As mothers of donor egg babies we are considered biological, but not genetic parents.  Our donors have no legal obligation at all to the offspring of their donation, they aren't responsible if we decided to drop them on their doorstep one day, and my choice to have a friendship with our donor and refer to her as Georgia's "mother" is my choice.  That doesn't mean that I consider myself to be any LESS of her mother, it just means that I consider another strong, beautiful, selfless, gracious, influential woman in her life as one of her "mothers".  I may refer to some of her aunts and my friends also as her mama's, I know a lot of us who have our "second moms" and we have them because they have done something great for us, or they love us, or they helped raise us, or we looked up to them.  This is my hope for Georgia and Amy.  I hope that Georgia can love and appreciate what Amy did for us and maybe be inspired by her to one day become a nurse or do something selfless for another couple, and I really don't think there is anything wrong with referring to her as one of her "mothers" for that reason. 

Like with many other choices in the world of infertility, this is a deeply personal choice and because light was brought to what I said, I am taking it as a learning opportunity to maybe share more about my relationship with our donor.  Not everyone may agree with it and that is totally fine.  I feel like we are very lucky to have this open relationship between donor and recipient.  I love Amy and her family and I know that she feels the same about us, we have had the conversation before and I know that our situation is unique and most people don't have the opportunity or even the desire to have an open donation that is totally fine too!   I respect that and that was once my thinking as well!  That was actually our plan before we received Amy's selfless gift.  Anonymous donation was going to be the path we took and then the Universe decided to place something else in front of us and I am thankful for it every single day and would not change it for anything. 

I hope you can all understand and respect my thinking here.  There was a time when I never considered the fact that I'd be writing a post like this, there was a time I never thought I'd be writing an egg donor post, and a time I never thought I'd be writing an IVF post or a miscarriage post, or the fact that I couldn't get pregnant naturally.  Now here I am, still blogging 6 years later and writing about some pretty heavy stuff.  Again, I felt like this was an amazing learning opportunity for my readers and for anyone who may not understand our donor/recipient relationship.  If anyone ever has any questions or concerns about my writing, I'd urge you to reach out to me, I am always happy to answer questions, even the tough ones.

Friday, August 03, 2018

Final Beta

Unfortunately I am not here to share good news.  I had another beta yesterday and my number was 63 so it has already began to drop pretty quickly since Monday.  Honestly, I wish that it would've just been negative right out the gate than to have to wallow around in agony waiting to know what way it would go.  Although I had heard many stories of betas that didn't go up at all or beta's that slowly went up like mine were, I didn't expect it to be the case for us and it wasn't.

We are saddened by this news.  I don't really have much else to say about it but that.  Although everything looks perfect, it doesn't always mean things will work out and more than likely that embryo had some sort of abnormality that the embryologists aren't able to identify without further (and extremely expensive) testing that isn't typically done on donor embryos.  Luckily, we still have 4 embryos in storage in Georgia and we are planning to head back down once my body has rid itself of this pregnancy.  I need to have a period and my level needs to drop to zero before we can proceed again.  We also need to make sure we can financially commit to another cycle being that it costs us around $5000 all out of pocket now that we lost our infertility insurance coverage.

We are so thankful to everyone who has continued to support us and cheer us on at the sidelines.  Between our amazing friends, family, and all of our loyal and generous followers we have felt so much love and compassion, not just now, but over the last several years sharing our journey.  We also take this time to remember that we do have so much already and that we ultimately have Georgia who is our grand prize that we were always fighting for.  She is the apple of our eye and more than we could've ever hoped for or dreamed of when we started trying for babies. 

Again, I wish I was sharing better news with you all, but unfortunately this pregnancy is over about as quickly as it began.  We will not let this stop or slow us down and we will continue on our pursuit of growing our family.  We cannot thank everyone enough for all of the messages, comments, love, support, vibes, thoughts, prayers, gifted meds, care packages, and monetary donations towards our next cycle that we have received in the last few days.  It is all sooo greatly appreciated.  I will hopefully have an update soon with our plans for our next cycle!

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

A Timeless Accessory with Jord Wood Watches

You guys know I'm not really a fashion blogger of any kind, so when I do post about fashion related items, you know it's got to be good!  Don't get me wrong, I totally LOVE clothes, purses, shoes, and accessories and I have packed closet to prove it, but I've never considered myself an "expert" in the field.  Sometimes though, a product comes along that you just can't help but share with everyone.  I'm going to give you a quick breakdown of why I absolutely love Jord (pronounced Yoad, like Toad, but with a Y) Watches.

They're Classic. 
Simply put, watches are timeless.  People have always worn and continue to wear watches every day.  Some people use them more as an accessory than an actual time piece, but no matter why you're wearing a watch, they will always be a classic staple that everyone should have least one of!

They're perfect for any season.
When I look at my Jord, I start thinking, this is a perfect fall transition accessory.  It's got those warm, chocolate, wood tones with that seriously stunning rose gold face and it makes me think of all things fall!  But at the same time, this watch (and any from their collection) are perfect for wearing all year round! Maybe that warm wood and rose gold remind you of a summer sunset.  Any way you look at these watches, they're appropriate year round, however I could definitely find one to coordinate with all the seasons! Here are a couple of my favorites  Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter.
They're quality made down to every detail.
These watches are all hand-crafted from multiple types of wood including bamboo, ebony, koa, maple, walnut, zebrawood, sandalwood, and more!  The sapphire glass they use is considered definitive in the industry.  Each watch comes with a cleaning oil to specifically care for your wood watch along with a cleaning cloth.  You also have the ability to customize your watch size and also have it engraved.  Some watches have beautiful Swarovski crystal markers, while others have a unique glimpse into the mechanics of the watch.  Plus, each watch is automatic meaning, no finicky battery required.

They can be engraved.
There's really nothing I like more than being able to add a personal touch to something such as a watch.  These watches will be my go-to for anyone who is in the market or anyone who is looking for a special gift for a friend or family member.  Including a personalized engraved message makes it even more of a unique piece.  How special would an engraved watch be as a gift to a groom from his bride on his wedding day or an amazing Mother's Day gift for mom with a special message from her children?
They're packaged perfectly.
I am a sucker for packaging and Jord's packaging is flawless. There are so many creative ways to package something these days with fun envelopes and fillers, I was so impressed with how my watch was sent to me.  It came packaged in a black box which I opened only to find a beautiful wooden box which contained my watch.  Inside were my cleaning cloth, wood oil, watch, and extra links.  It's definitely something you could order and have directly shipped to your recipient without stressing over how it would be delivered.  
I am beyond impressed with my Jord watch and I am excited to announce I will be giving away a $100 credit towards a watch of your own!  You can enter now by clicking below.  The giveaway will end on September 2nd at 11:59pm.  All entrants of the giveaway will receive a 10% off discount coupon code so everyone is a winner in this contest! 

Watch c/o Jord - Photo Credit Capture by Lauren

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