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How I Overcame Second Time Infertility in 3 easy steps

I’ve been debating writing this post for months, it’s personal and uncomfortable for me to open myself up this much, but I’ve ultimately decided that if my story has the chance to help someone then it’s worth it to share.

The first time my husband and I decided to try for a baby it was easy. I originally got pregnant a few months after going off birth control, which I’d been on for 10 years. That pregnancy actually ended up being a blighted ovum, meaning the gestational sack formed but there wasn’t actually an fertilized egg that had developed. I was devastated, logically I knew there was never a baby, that I hadn’t really lost anything, and that even if there had been an embryo that most miscarriages happen because there was something wrong with the embryo anyway. I knew all of this, it all made sense to me, but I couldn’t stop uncontrollably crying for days. Every time I thought about it I’d burst into tears. My poor husband who’d probably never seen me cry more than a couple times now had this highly emotional wife. He was so supportive, but I knew he didn’t get how I was feeling, hell, even I didn’t understand it. Looking back I was mourning the loss of possibility. I’d imagined what the baby would be like, how our lives would change, what kind of parents my husband and I would be, and in a blink of an eye it was all taken away, just gone. I’m grateful for that experience, it brought my husband and I closer together, gave me a new perspective and helped me find my amazing midwife who is infinitely better than the original OB group I had gone to. It’s estimated up to 75% of women will have a miscarriage in their life, knowingly or not, that’s a sobering statistic, and one that should help other women realize this isn’t uncommon, it shouldn’t be taboo to talk about, and you’re not alone going through it; most of us understand and have been through a similar situation.

Luckily at the end of that year; just a few months after the first time, we found out we were pregnant again, and it was the perfect pregnancy and we have a healthy, happy and thriving daughter. We were surprised by how easy it was to get pregnant, we’d expected it to be a long hard road, after me being on birth control for so long and possibly having endometriosis and/or poly-cystic ovarian disease (PCOD).

Flash forward to my daughter being 18 months old, we decided we were ready to try for another baby. All my friends with kids her age were already pregnant again, it was so easy the first time we never thought this time would be any different. Oh how wrong we were. It took us an entire year before we got that positive test. It was an emotionally draining and confusing year. After doing a lot research on what could be causing this I found out that 25% of mothers have problems getting pregnant a second time. 25%! That’s crazy to me, my husband and I had been able to get pregnant to easily the first time, what had changed? I’d been doing natural family planning with no success, I had bought a pack of cheap ovulation test strips from but couldn’t read them at all (Friends have recommended these ones if you’re interested in tracking your ovulation with the sticks), and used preseed (which i swear helped the first time). My OB kept telling us to give it more time, or we could try progesterone to stimulate an egg to release. I didn’t want to take any medications, I knew my body could do it by itself. So after 9 months of negative tests, and lots of research I decided to try my own fertility fix. Obviously I’m not a doctor and I’m not saying this will work for you. But here are the steps I took that helped me finally get pregnant again.

  1. Took a 3 month break from trying. I couldn’t take another month of anxiously waiting for the right time to take a pregnancy test, get my hopes up all for it to be negative…again. I needed a break emotionally, and people are always saying “it will happen when you stop stressing and trying”. Take a break, relax, lower your stress, enjoy life and stop worrying for a few months. My husband believes this is the main thing that worked for us. Also, the next steps take about 3 months to take effect and make the other changes your body might need.
  2. Fertility Diet.  I stumbled upon this blog and podcast talking about a diet for IVF patients that had such great success rates I decided to try it. It was surprisingly easy to do, I never felt like I was dieting. This super simple “diet” is just keeping your Carbs <40% and your Protein >30%. That’s how easy it is! Less carbs, more protein.
  3. Pregnitude. This supplement is supposed to increase the quality of eggs, regulate ovulation and menstrual cycle. I had somewhat irregular cycles (were off by about week or so), and have been told by multiple Dr.’s that I likely have PCOS or endometriosis. This supplement is supposed to help all those issues, and has amazing reviews. Honestly I think it did help (along with the diet and break), but I wasn’t great about remembering to take this everyday.

The FIRST month after taking these simple steps I was pregnant! I’m now 35 weeks along and can’t wait to meet our sweet boy.

I hope these tips work for you or my story at least makes you feel less alone in your journey.

How to get rid of that nasty smell coming from your front-load HE washer

It’s been a while since I posted.  Honestly this blogging thing is a lot more work than I thought it would be.  I’m a pretty private and quiet person, and even though I know this is mostly anonymous it still makes me feel like I’m putting myself out there and it’s really uncomfortable.  I also feel pretty unoriginal and redundant since there’s a million mom blogs out there with a lot of the same information.  But hey, here I am, trying again, so bear with me while I try to make this work and find my voice.

Anyways, getting to the real purpose of this post.  I have a LG front-load washer that’s about 6 years old.  It works great, but a few months ago it developed the nastiest smell, as many front-loaders do.  Of course I searched pinterest and came up with tons of posts with the same problem.  So I know this stench is from a moldy gasket, and most people suggest running a cycle with bleach or vinegar to get rid of the smell.  I can not tell you how many times I ran the “tub-clean” cycle with bleach, vinegar, by itself, emptied the filter, left the door open, cleaned the inside of the gasket.  I even took tweezers and removed all the dog hair between the gasket and the inside of the machine (which was pretty vomit inducing and while it helped I would not recommend because it was DISGUSTING) .  Nothing I did helped the awful stench.  After months of trying everything and not wanting to spend the money on a new washer, I finally called the repair man to replace the gasket itself.  Luckily I went through a small local company and talked to the actual repair man who gave me the secret to fixing the smell with out having to spend any money at all.  Now are you ready for this top-secret fix… USE LESS DETERGENT.  Yes, seriously it is that simple.  He said the smell is from a build up of old detergent and told me to use Affesh, washer cleaner that is made to break down the old and moldy detergent (If you have a Kroger grocery store in your area I actually think their generic home brand works better).  After running 2 tub clean cycles with the washer cleaner, it still had a slight smell to it, but was much better.  I started using lowest line on the caps that come with the detergent instead of the lines in the washer itself.  Only using about a TBS. of detergent per load, and it been months now and magically there’s still no gross smell, its amazing that it’s such an easy fix that was 100% user error. Once I’m done going through the rest of my liquid detergent I’m going to switch to a powered one so I don’t have to worry about it at all anymore.  Molly Suds  and Rockin’ Green are all natural powder detergents that have great reviews.  So there it is, the secret to a fresh smelling washer is using only about 1 TBS. of detergent (yes, even if it’s a large load).  I hope this simple trick work for you as well as it did for me.

Gift Ideas for Kids

Buying gifts for kids is always a challenge.  It’s hard to know what they have, like, will play with, etc. Instead of buying the newest fad toys that they’ll get bored with in a week, try to stick with the classics, toys that will keep their attention and spark their curiosity.  Here’s some great ideas and brands for all ages and interests that kids (and parents) will be ecstatic to receive and gets lots of use out of! (this post contains affiliate links)

ART SUPPLIES
  When it comes to kids, you can never have too many art supplies, from crayons to glue to pom poms and pipe cleaners kids can spend endless hours exploring their creativity.  Crayola isn’t just the cheap markers we all grew up with anymore,  they offer a huge variety of art supplies for the tiniest tots to the serious artist.  

Infants and Toddlers
: Mess Free color wonder stamps, markers and coloring books are a great option  because the ink only shows on the special paper, so you don’t have to worry about them coloring everywhere.  Finger and bath paints are also fun at this age to let them experiment with making a mess and playing with new textures.

School Age Kids:  Crayola has endless toys and fun art supplies for school age kids.  From slime making kits, stamper markers, clay, chalk and art kits for every interest from dinosaurs to fashion design, you’re sure to find something that will spark their creativity and keep their interest.

Teens: Crayola isn’t just for kids anymore their signature series is marketed for older, more serious artists and includes oil pastels, acrylic paints, blending markers, as well as intricate coloring books.

EDUCATIONAL TOYS-
Shop Unique Toys from Fat Brain ToysI’m not even going to make suggestions on this one because Fat Brain Toys does that so well.  Fat Brain has toys for every age range that are so fun and promote learning and growing.  My daughter spends more time playing with her Fat Brain Toys than any other ones we own, she can’t get enough of her SPIN AGAIN.  For older kids they have robots to build and toys you can learn to code on.  This site is seriously amazing and you can’t go wrong with any toys they offer.  Good luck deciding which ones to buy.

MELISSA AND DOUG-

 This is  an awesome brand that creates all their toys with the goal of  inspiring open-ended thinking and encourage free play, creativity, imagination, learning and discovery.  They offer tons of toys for newborn through grade school, as well as a genius way to search for toys on their website.  You can search by the usual type/category method or click on the discovery link and it lets you search by age, price, room, theme, experience, skill, special needs, and benefits of play.  My top picks are the Water WOW pad (great for road trips and when your restaurants),  play food, reusable sticker pads, musical instruments, and they have the best kids shopping cart on the market.  Check them out, I’m sure you’ll find a great gift for kids of all interests and abilities.

DRESS UP CLOTHES AND COSTUMES are another gift you can’t go wrong with.  Melissa and Doug have costumes for almost anything you can imagine.  There’s no better gift to encourage imagination than costumes and a dress up box.

ANTSY PANTS BUILD AND PLAY-

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is probably one of the coolest toys I’ve seen.  It’s a pack of poles and connectors that you can put together to build play houses, pirate ships, food trucks, market stands, ect.   You can get covers to make your creations come to life.  This is the ultimate toy in creative play, while teaching kids how to read and follow directions and build a structure.  It’s available exclusively at Target.

SHOES-

It might not be the most exciting gift for the child, but parents will be very appreciative of the practical gift of shoes.  Kids grow out of shoes so fast, and needing new boots in the winter, and sandals in the summer, the cost adds up quickly.    My daughter has super chunky feet and stride rite is one of the few brands that actually fit her.  They have  a huge selection of adorable styles for every occasion and season.

I discovered Bogs last winter and they are the BEST winter/rain boot for kids.  They’re made of  neoprene so they’re completely waterproof, have a thin, fuzzy lining, are machine washable and have special biotechnology in them that prevents odors (whatever it is seriously works, my daughter wears these boots almost everyday, even in warm weather and they have never had a stinky feet smell).  They’re super versatile and can we worn in snow, rain or chilly days without being too hot.  They’re incredibly easy to get on, my 2 year old puts them on by herself all the time. These are by far her favorite shoes, she insists on wearing them all the time, even on warm days.   Plus they have tons of fun patterns available to choose from. They can be expensive when not on sale but are totally worth every penny you’ll spend on them.

HANNA ANDERSSON-

If you’re looking for matching family jammies this is the place, they also have adorable, simple clothes great for matching family picture outfits.  If you’re looking for socks to stay on your baby, try Hanna’s slipper moccasins.  If you need a backpack that isn’t bigger than your preschooler, the “smallest backpack” is the perfect size for toddlers, unfortunately they usually only have backpacks in stock right before the school year starts, but they come out with new cute prints every year.

WORLD MARKET-
Shop World Market
 World Market probably isn’t the first place you think of when you think of buying presents for kids, but they have a cool retro toys section.  How fun would be for kids to get to experience the same toys we grew up playing with.  Sea Monkeys, View finder, Mini Pac-Man and Frogger are just a few of the fun throw backs you can find.

ADEN + ANAIS-

 If you need a baby shower gift you won’t be able to find better swaddles than the aden + anais silky soft muslin swaddles.  They are big, light weight, and can be used for so many things from covering a car seat, nursing cover, traditional swaddle, ect.  they also have great burpy bibs that fit perfectly on your shoulder as a spit up cloth that won’t fall off and has a snap that makes it a bib.  The silky soft dream blanket is also amazing, I wish I had one in adult size, my daughter has to have hers every night to sleep.

EXPERIENCES-

Instead of buying a toy, give an adventure they’ll remember.   I guarantee parents and kids will both appreciate the opportunity to get out of the house and experience something new and fun instead of more stuff.  You can’t go wrong with something as simple as day pass to the museum or zoo; or expose them to something new with a trip to a local farm or orchard.  The options with this one are endless, a manicure or pedicure, tickets to the theater or concert, a train ride.  Think of places you loved to go as a kid and share that.

 

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