Infertility Explained By Ross Geller

When you see the latest pregnancy announcement on Facebook

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Then your friends/family ask if you’re okay

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When someone tells you for the millionth time to “relax and you’ll get pregnant”

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When you’ve just been probed at the doctor’s for an hour and have to go to work

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When all the fertility treatments hit you at the same time

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When you’re in your fertile window 

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When another month passes and you’re still not pregnant

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Then you have to deal with the period hormones

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When you see all the pregnant women at the Doctor’s office

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Or when everyone at work is talking about their kids and you try to be apart of the convo 

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When you’re trying to make it through your friend’s baby shower

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When family/friends tell you “once you stop trying it will happen”

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When someone says “maybe it’s not meant to be”

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When you try the latest thing sworn to make you conceive

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When it’s been a long time, but you realize you’re a badass woman that is still amazing without a baby. 

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The Importance of Self-Care

Have you ever found that it’s so easy to take care of other people, but super hard to take care of yourself? Well don’t be because it’s pretty common.  I think that society has taught us that self-care is considered selfish. It’s selfish to think about yourself when there are others that are struggling.

THIS IS FALSE.

Have you ever flown on an airplane? What do the flight attendants tell you about the face mask? Put it on yourself before you help other passengers.

Self-care is especially important when going through infertility and the treatments that come with it.  Infertility is stressful, emotional, and draining in all aspects.  It is CRUCIAL that you practice self-care during this phase of your life.  For me, self-care means doing things that bring my soul happiness and peace. I have put together a list of the things I do to practice self-care.

 

  • Listen to show tunes ALL THE WAY UP
  • Take long baths
  • Practice Yoga
  • Binge Watch FRIENDS or Supernatural (or both)
  • Blog
  • Meditate
  • Go to the beach
  • Put on a full face of makeup (weird I know, but it seriously makes me happy)
  • Bake
  • Drink a glass of wine on the porch with my super hot husband
  • Read a book in bed

 

 

What ways do you practice self-care? Leave a comment below!

 

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You’re Allowed to be Sad

I have found that in the infertility community, people can be NASTY. Not nasty in a gross way, but nasty in a mean and hateful way. There is this unspoken bar that is set that the longer someone else is infertile, the less validated you are in your sadness. I found this out when I joined a PCOS support group. One sweet woman shared that she had been trying for 6 months and recently was diagnosed with PCOS. Obviously she was sad and wanted support to prepare herself for the journey in front of her. Unfortunately, someone took this opportunity to shame her. The woman that was shaming stated that she hadn’t been trying long enough to experience real pain. “I’ve been trying for 3 years. You have no idea how it feels.”

Ok…..

I had a lot of feelings towards this post and eventually just left the group. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the first time I had seen something like that in an infertility forum/group. I have seen this on facebook pages, instagram pages, blogs, etc. I was so upset that someone took this opportunity to have, what my father would call, a “pissing contest.”At least that’s how it seemed.

Here’s the thing. Infertility SUCKS. It just does. It doesn’t matter how long you have been trying. It doesn’t matter if you just found out 5 minutes ago. When you hear those words, it’s devastating. Something inside you breaks. Something you didn’t know existed shatters. When I was diagnosed, my doctor acted like it wasn’t a big deal but I felt like I was having an out of body experience. My world seemed to slow.

“It will be difficult for you to get pregnant.” Who wants to hear that at 25?! No one.

I’m going to tell you something that you won’t see on your facebook “support groups.”

You’re allowed to be sad.

You’re allowed to grieve

You’re allowed to be angry

In fact, you should feel these emotions. Really feel them. Let yourself feel so that you can begin the healing process. I’m still feeling these myself, but I’m not sorry about it and you shouldn’t either. It took me awhile to get rid of what I call “infertility guilt.” Infertility is hard. It’s like having another full time job. But you don’t have to cut off your emotions because of it. I highly recommend talking to a therapist when you are diagnosed with any kind of reproductive issue. In the long run, it will improve your mental health and overall mood.  And as always, I’m here if you need a friend. 🙂

xo Kat

 

 

18 Months Later

I decided to post my first YouTube Video for this post.  Here I talk about Josh and I meeting the 18 month mark of our infertility journey and the most important thing that has happened to me since the beginning. I debated on what I could talk about and the one thing that stuck out to me the most was the community of women I have found on this journey.  Tap the link below and enjoy!!!

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When to Ask For Help

In the beginning, I was positive. Well, for the most part I was positive. Obviously, when I was diagnosed with PCOS I was sad. I cried a lot, but for the most part I felt positive. I started this blog and began talking about it. Talking about it helped. It validated my feelings.

Then a year passed and we still weren’t pregnant.

I felt the depression slowly creeping in. I stopped wanting to hang out with friends. I would come home from work and go straight to bed.  After my miscarriage, it got even worse. I felt numb. I didn’t care about anything. I hardly picked up my phone and never called or texted friends and family back. Thankfully, I started to see a counselor strictly for my infertility. It has changed my life.

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for women to suffer from depression when going through infertility.  In fact, one study equated the depression to the type of depression one feels when they’ve been diagnosed with cancer. When I read that I was skeptical. However, after reading article after article and blog after blog, it became more believable. It’s a pain and sadness that can’t be described in words. It’s an emptiness that feels like it will never be healed. It’s something I’ve described as feeling on the soul level. It goes past mental and physical pain. It’s a pain you feel in your soul.

Not only does the pain of what is happening make one feel depressed, but the side effects of all the medications can do it. If you think about it, you’re pumping tons of hormones into your body that you don’t naturally have. Of course it will take a toll! I remember the first time I took my fertility medication. I felt so detached from myself. I remember crying to Josh and telling him I didn’t even recognize myself. It scared me and for a while I questioned if this journey was worth it.

Then I found a fertility podcast. It’s called “The Fertility Podcast” by Natalie Silverman. Look it up! Natalie is amazing! She interviews women from all around the world about reproductive health and infertility. She is an IVF mom and I hope and pray I can meet her one day.  She encouraged her listeners to seek a counselor as soon as they are diagnosed with infertility. I took that to heart and sought out a counselor the next day.

I uncovered so much emotional damage that was gripping my infertility with an iron fist. I found my triggers, and I found tools to help ease the mental and physical stress.

For those of you reading this blog, ASK. FOR. HELP. Do not be afraid to see someone. Infertility is sad and depressing. It ruins lives, marriages, and confidence in yourself. When do you ask for help? As soon as you feel the sadness and the heartache. It’s ok to be sad, but it’s also ok to be happy and feel joy. Even when life hands you a crappy hand.

 

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My Foundation Routine For Hormonal Acne

One of the symptoms of PCOS is adult acne. This is because of the hormonal imbalance going on in the body. For me, I have a high level of testosterone which makes it not only difficult to lose weight, but difficult to have a clear face. This obviously makes me feel less feminine. However, one of the things  I LOVE is makeup! Makeup not only makes me feel beautiful and feminine, but I love learning the different techniques and artistry that comes with it. Although buying expensive makeup can be fun, and make me feel fabulous, I have put together an affordable foundation routine that is quick and easy. And saves you $$$. I bought all of these items, minus the DERMA-E products, at WALMART!

Prep the Face

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As you can see, I have some serious scaring from the years of battling acne. It’s important that I wash my face before I put on makeup. ALWAYS. This will clear my pores and also smooth the scars. I use DERMA-E Very Clear Acne cleanser. This cleanser is a GOD SEND! It’s cruelty free, vegan, and doesn’t have the harsh chemicals that can dry out your pores. And you may not believe it, but it’s made my acne better. After my miscarriage, my hormones were insane and my face was worse than what is pictured above. It’s a process guys….

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Next, I moisturize.  Again, I use DERMA-E because they use essential oils and we all know how much I love essential oils!  You can use any moisturizer that you want, as long as it doesn’t clog your pores or make your face oily. That is key!

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Finally, you NEED NEED NEED to prime the face! If I have learned anything from the 1000’s of hours I have put into watching makeup tutorials, it’s that priming the face is key to having a flawless look. For acne, blemishes, or redness using a green primer will reduce it’s appearance. I know it sounds weird but I promise your face will not look green once you put on your foundation.

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Makeup Time! 

If you watch Beauty Influencers on Youtube, you know that most of them do foundation first and then put concealer on the areas they want to highlight. Recently, I found that if I put a full coverage concealer on my blemishes, it help reduce the redness and makes them practically invisible once I put my foundation on top of it.

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After the concealer, I use the foundation. It is IMPORTANT that if you have redness or acne, when buying foundation you look for FULL COVERAGE. This is what will cover your blemishes the MOST. Using light to medium coverage will look like a film covering your pimples.  This month, I have been using a combination of two different full coverage foundations to get the texture and color I want.

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How you put on your foundation also influences how your face will look once you’re finished. I would recommend a beauty blender, or a brush.  Personally, I like using a brush. I have found it gives you the most coverage without looking cakey, and it allows you to blend the best.

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Now, you will need to add a powder. I know that it sounds weird, however using a translucent powder will keep your foundation locked onto your face.

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After the powder, add bronzer, blush, and highlight as desired. I will warn that if you suffer from acne, you will want to go easy on the highlighter. Highlighter will just “highlight” your flaws. When I’m having a particularly bad breakout, I use highlighter sparingly. Below, you will notice I put it up higher than I normally would.

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Finally, set the face with a nice finishing spray.  It will lock in everything and your foundation will not go ANYWHERE!

 

If you have any tips or tricks on how to combat hormonal acne, leave a comment. 🙂

 

xoxox Kat

 

 

 

 

 

Fluff Break

I’m a nerd. A HUGE NERD. Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Supernatural…those are my peeps. Fluff is a term in the fanfiction world that basically means sweet, little plot, no angst, etc.  So today I am taking a fluff break from all the anger, grief, and sadness of infertility. Today I’m going to talk about this guy…. (not a caveman.)

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This is Josh aka my boo thang, aka my ride or  die, aka my hot husband. He’s pretty stellar and without him I would be a WRECK. More than I am already. But I digress.

Josh and I met in college and it was NOT love at first sight. Obviously, I thought he was cute. In fact, I remember texting my friend a few minutes after I met him saying”Damn I just met the finest looking man.” However, he has a big personality. If you have ever met Josh you know he lights up a room the minute he walks in and he owns it. It’s one of the things I love the most about him, but the 20 year old introvert that met him was scared by it.

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We became friends quickly and would hang out every.single.day. The longest I’ve been away from him since the day we met is a month. And that entire month we were on the phone or on skype 24/7. He quickly became my best friend. I never anticipated it growing into more because I was so self conscious. I had the biggest crush on him but never in a million years thought he would like me back. I mean look at that face! HOT. STUFF.

However, one night he kissed me and told me he had feelings for me. “Deep feelings.” To quote him.  Instantly, going from friends to more felt natural. Like breathing. It wasn’t awkward or weird. It felt like I was home.

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Josh and I were engaged quickly and married even more quickly. This year, we’ve been married for 5 years and they have been the greatest of my life. Although we have been through a great deal in the past 5 years, I believe we have grown stronger and loved even deeper through it all. We have lost friends and family tragically, moved across the country, changed religious idealizations, lived pay check to paycheck, and now suffered through infertility and a miscarriage.

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Life is hard, but without Josh I honestly don’t know what I would do. He has made my dark days bright, my tears of sadness tears of laughter, and my struggle seem worth while. Through the hormones, weight gain, weight loss, tears, anger, bitterness, self-loathing, he has been my rock. My light in the dark. If infertility has taught me one thing, it’s that Josh and I can get through anything together. I would literally live in a box off the land with him and be content. He’s my favorite person in the whole world, and I feel extremely blessed to call him my husband and *future* baby daddy.

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