Why We Won’t “Just Adopt.”

I first want to disclaim that I think adoption is one of the most beautiful things ever. EVER. I have friends and family that have been blessed with adoption and it truly is remarkable. However, I cannot stand the phrase “just adopt.” It makes my blood boil.  First, if you think about asking the question “why don’t you just adopt?” Please know that I have been asked that questions 100000000000000000000000000000 times and frankly, it doesn’t need to be asked.

When someone asks “why don’t you just adopt?” It makes the adoption process seem like a last resort. It makes it seem not special. It also makes it seem like it’s the end all be all cure for our struggle.

Wrong.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Adoption doesn’t cure infertility. SHOCKER! It doesn’t cure the pain, the struggle, the heartache, or the grief.  Adoption is not a band-aid that you can just put over your life to make it better. It’s honestly insulting that people think that way. Adoption is a serious decision. It’s also not any of your business. Chances are, the couple you are asking has thought about it a million times. They probably think about it 24/7.

I want to make it very clear that adoption has NEVER been off the table for Josh and I. I also want to make it clear that there is nothing wrong with wanting to have your own biological child. There is nothing wrong with wanting to experience the feeling of a baby growing inside you. NOTHING WRONG. There is also nothing wrong with wanting to adopt your entire family. How you choose to create your family is between you and your partner. So no, we won’t “just adopt.” We will create our family the way we want. If we decide to adopt, it will not be “just because.” It will not be to mask our struggle. It will be because we decide to take that leap. Infertility sucks no matter which way you slice it and starting a family will be difficult. Whether we decide to continue with treatments or adopt a child into our home, it’s a struggle that we have been given and will not be void of pain or heartache.  Period. There is no cure. It’s going to be hard. But it’s something we are willing to do because we want to be parents. However we decide to be.

 

Future parents right here 🙂

49056765_10155936915623513_7190204797478240256_n

 

 

 

 

You’re Allowed to be Happy

We spent this Thanksgiving in New Hampshire with my husband’s family. It was wonderful! It was big and loud and full of laughter; just how Thanksgiving should be. As I sat, surrounded by family and friends my heart felt like it was going to burst! I felt genuinely happy.

After we stuffed ourselves with turkey and wine, I scrolled through my instagram. Post after post was about how sad it was to be  infertile on Thanksgiving or how it was ok to not be happy that day. I get it. I really TRULY do because I’ve been there. I would be almost 8 months pregnant right now if we hadn’t lost our pregnancy. I would be hanging an ornament for our unborn baby or decorating the nursery. If I think too hard about those things, I can spiral into a black hole. But this year, I chose to be happy. I chose to focus on the fact that I have such a strong support system. I chose to focus on the fact that I’m going to have a brand new baby nephew soon. I chose to focus on the things in my life that are going well. It’s easy to focus on what isn’t going well but I promise you will feel 1000% better if you focus on the good.

I was a little offended that my instagram feed was making me feel like I had to be sad on Thanksgiving because I’m infertile. I decided to leave instagram alone for the rest of the night. So here is some positivity on your feed.  You are allowed to be happy on the holidays.  Infertility does not have to equal perpetual sadness.  Remember that although it feels like there is a lot going wrong, there is also a lot going right. Also,

You are a goddess.

xoxo Kat

gn%kA6NqTZWSZQUbg2yFlg

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!!!

Video

 

fullsizeoutput_c02

 

 

 

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.

 

never-lose-hope-hope-quote

 

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

kWvA3hsiRcquyASu6jo0ow

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….

fullsizeoutput_c44

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!

f7nUqlaxSeGcb%Q5q0TU3Q

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.

f+IA8BEBQ+68%PbQr4lNsQ

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.

a2GBMwATT+ybuZ4E2iNfjA

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.

Idc2aeYUR4mBMED3pJl0BQ

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.

MIJekyXAQYOvasOT+sougw

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.

HQCRtR94Q9+GNKshw+iCtA

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.

fLReGMxgQ0eR9Pa2R6SrFw

 

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.)

32960610_10160879362735355_5223102749343744000_n

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.

902504_10151375661583513_1002242092_o

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.

14034708_10157810462595355_5884320015433057847_n

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.

26166596_10155166070598513_6614457955666380689_n

 

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.

16997661_10154345330798513_9196055568123090768_n

 

When Things Don’t Go As Planned…

For the first time in a couple of months, I’m actually feeling like myself. If you struggle with infertility, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  There are times when you feel so disconnected from your body, that you don’t even recognize yourself. I recently learned that when you are going through hormone treatments your scent changes. When this happens, you literally can’t recognize yourself.

It sucks.

Recently, we introduced injections to our round of medications.  I was not ready for the whirlwind of emotions that ensued shortly after my first injection.  I had already been feeling pretty crummy. March is not ever a good time for me for several reasons. This past March we had 3 Nor’easters back to back. For those of you that don’t know what a Nor’easter is…look it up. It felt like Winter would never end. March is also the month that I lost one of my best friends, so I haven’t been on the best terms with March in several years. On top of all of this, I had a major change at work. It was a great career change for me, but required a lot of training and time. I was emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausted.

When my doctor told me we would be adding injections to our round of treatment from now on, I was numb.  It was just another medication to add onto the pile of meds I’ve been taking for almost a year and a half. She showed me how to inject the medication and told me when I would need to do it.  She administered it to me since it was the first time, and sent me on my merry way. “Baby dust to you!” She shouted as I left the office. They are always so positive.

That night I woke up at 3:30 in the morning and couldn’t go back to sleep. As I laid there in the dark I told myself this was going to be the month. I had recently had several friends get pregnant on their first round of treatment. Why should I be any different? I kept telling myself that if I would just think positive, it would happen. The month had started off rocky, but out of nowhere took a positive turn regarding my fertility. It had to be a sign I told myself over and over.  I obsessed about this for the next two weeks. I swore I was pregnant. I had done everything I was supposed to. I stopped drinking caffeine, and started eating lots of fruits and veggies. I kept calm and didn’t get angry even when I felt nauseous and tired from the injections.  Two weeks after the shot, I took my pregnancy test.  I waited the longest two minutes of my life and then….

img_3227

 

Negative.

I burst into tears. I had been telling myself for weeks that this month wouldn’t be any different from the past 15 months so I shouldn’t be upset. They had only added one extra med to give me a boost. If it didn’t work, I would try again the next month. I sat on the bathroom floor and cried for a good 20 minutes. I was so angry I pounded on the floor. I had been feeling so sick, I was sure that I was pregnant. However, it was just a side effect of the combination of medications  I was taking.  After this day, I lost myself for a bit. This has happened since we started this journey, but this time was different.

The self-loathing began to creep in.

I felt like not only had I let myself down, but my husband and family.  I felt like such a failure for not being able to do the one thing that is so easy for everyone else. For weeks I left my phone on Do Not Disturb. I ignored phone calls, texts, and invitations to go out. I didn’t want to be around all the happy people.

It wasn’t until I started my period that I felt better. I wasn’t pregnant, and AF was a huge reminder of that but it also gave me something that I haven’t had in a year and a half…

My body was working.

It hit me like a load of bricks when I realized it. My body was working! My reproductive system was waking up and realizing it had work to do! I shook off the fog of self-loathing and depression and stepped on my yoga mat. (Surprised?) I reconnected with myself on the mat, and showed my body the gratitude and love it needed. Finally, I began to feel like myself again. The weather warmed up and so did my heart.

I know that I don’t normally share my personal journey too much on here, but I felt like someone needed to hear this. It’s easy to let negativity, depression, and self-loathing take over when things don’t go as planned. It’s easy to be bitter and angry. But it doesn’t change the fact that my body doesn’t work like a normal female’s.  It doesn’t change the fact that I can’t get pregnant without the help of science. It doesn’t change the situation, it only makes it worse.

To my sisters and brothers struggling with infertility:

It’s okay to be angry, to be depressed, and to be sad. But don’t let it take over your life. Although it sucks and is unfair, life is so beautiful. There is so much to be thankful for.  Remember to love yourself and when life is hard, love yourself even harder.  Find the good in your day and celebrate the small victories. Because even though things don’t go as you planned them, they always work out the way they’re supposed to in the end.