Sunday, September 16, 2018

Can we talk?

Pretty sure you feel in trouble now, huh?

I truly wonder when you stop feeling like you're in trouble when someone says that to you. At what age does one feel adult enough to be like "yeah, we can talk" without saying in your head "oh crap, what did I do or say wrong?"

I recently watched an interview of a woman who was a news anchor on TV in England, who like me had gone through years of infertility, failed treatments and finally got her miracle baby via IVF. She spoke about how even at the IVF/fertility clinic she felt this need to put on a brave face and suffer in silence. She also spoke about the unspoken desire to keep the hope alive in the waiting room, despite how of all places it would be there in the waiting room of a fertility clinic you should be able to lose your mind and have everyone in the room 100% understand how you felt and be able to empathize with you.

Obviously that short five minute or less video resonated with me and got me thinking. If not there, if not at church, at work or even amongst friends then WHERE?

I've written a ton about how I was very vocal about our struggles and why I was so vocal. It still kills me when I hear or read about friends or acquaintances who have suffered a loss or are struggling and how alone they felt or feel unable to talk about it because it's such a taboo subject. Friends, 1 out of every 8 couples struggle to conceive and 1 of every 4 women will experience a miscarriage. Let me repeat that... One of every EIGHT couples struggle to conceive and one in every FOUR will experience a miscarriage. Do the math, that's a ton of your friends, family, co-workers and congregation. SO WHY AREN'T WE TALKING ABOUT IT?

I am not saying you personally have to jump on facebook, instagram or shout it from the mountains but what I am saying is why aren't we as a society, church or work environment talking about it. Why aren't there more books, movies, blogs or conversations around this hard stuff. Its grief, real raw, ruin your week, marriage and finances type shit. (sorry mom, but uh let's be real here the word stuff just doesn't do this subject justice)

I worked two jobs, which was totalling more than 50 hours a week, picked up every babysitting job I could to pay for our fertility treatments since our insurance didn't even cover testing. I rode the rollercoaster of emotions every 28 days, watched as we went from debt free to maxing out a credit card or two.. and put on my brave face to attend countless baby showers for friends and then crying the entire drive home. Held my breath every time I went to the bathroom because maybe, just maybe this would be our month only to see blood. Cried every time I heard our pastors talk about how fertile our church was. It was awful. 

My body is quite literally being plagued by a chronic illness that our society and culture have deemed taboo. More often than not I am in pain, I feel exhausted and my symptoms almost unmanageable. It took 15 years to get the diagnosis of endometriosis, far too many doctors and ER visits. I am still working on getting a new treatment plan as everything has changed so much in the last two years with pregnancy, breastfeeding and weaning. My desire to have more children is impossible to ignore. I dread and yet look forward to trying to grow our family more. We have three frozen embryos with no guarantee they will take. I dread the medications and the symptoms that they come with.Anyone who has struggled to conceive or struggled with miscarriages knows how you truly have to prepare yourself emotionally and physically for all that come with infertility treatments and the waiting game. What I wouldn't give for a surprise pregnancy. 

My hope and prayer is that we can start talking about this all more. The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. So NOT TODAY satan. Not.Today. In the wise words of Ali Wong "I have suffered enough".

P.S. Can we please stop asking twin moms things like "were they conceived naturally?" its rude and invasive regardless of how they were conceived. If I wanted you-stranger in the grocery store to know if my husband and I had sex or not I'd tell ya....

Monday, August 20, 2018

How to help a friend walking through infertility

Maybe I should have titled it "Shit to do and not do when your friend can't get pregnant"

sorry for the language mom ( and grandma!)

I should say I feel like I was one of the lucky ones though. Overall my friends were incredible in those years of trying. Partially because some of them were also unfortunately struggling. But seriously my friends loved me so well when I was the least loveable. So here is my advice if you have someone you love struggling to get pregnant

Call her. When your entire life revolves around timed sex, waiting for your period and appointments and test you already feel so lonely and invisible to the world. You feel forgotten and in this dreadful waiting for whatever comes next. She needs wine, laughs, good friends to tell her they love her with or without a baby or working uterus.

Make her get out of the house and live. Again she is living in this waiting period and every ounce of life is being drained from her, she needs to be dragged out of bed (or bring the fun to her) and back out into the world.

Remind her that this doesn't define her. I am forever thankful for my friends who would remind me of who Mollie is. I worked HARD to figure out who I was before this all and infertility redefines every aspect of life including your personal identity. You feel like YOU are broken, barren, incomplete and not a real woman. I know my identity comes from God, who sees me as whole, perfect and healed, so remind her that this isn't her fault or who she really is.

Be mindful of when you tell her your good news. Is she in the two week wait post ovulation? 24 hours or less before she undergoes a major procedure for IVF? Did she just miscarry? Headed to the doc? if you're answering yes, maybe just wait a little. There is no perfect time to tell her duh, but there are definitely better times.  Her reaction to your news is truly NOT a reflection of how she feels about you or that sweet babe. It is however a reflection of the season she is in, give her the space and time to process it all how she needs. I 100% of the time just needed a little time before my tears of pain became tears of joy for my friends.

When you do tell her, just tell her. Don't make it a joke, into some big discussion or anything. Don't walk on eggshells with her. She needs to feel like she isn't a child or even more of an outsider. Keep her in the loop, don't let her be the last to know, be honest with her about it all. She is still your friend so treat her like it.

Celebrate the little things with her. Every day that she is pregnant or every time she gets good news is worth celebrating. She is worth celebrating.

When its finally her turn LIVE IT UP! I have never felt so loved or supported more in my life then I did in our infertility journey and pregnancy. Which just made it all that much more survivable and incredible. My babies were prayed for and loved long before we knew their faces. ugh. I'm not're crying...ok. fine. I am crying.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Packing a hospital bag for twins

If you are anything like me and have this need to plan and pack then this post is for you...
I read as many blogs as I could get my hands on about packing a hospital bag for twins but I had to search to the end of the internet for them, sadly there aren't many. The few I found were more overwhelming then anything but I did find some helpful that were written by other twin moms who were going in to be induced with the hopes of a vaginal birth but knew to keep in mind the possibility of a c-section.You will want lose fitting clothing and highwaisted pants just in case you need a c-section so keep that in mind when packing clothes for yourself to leave in. I read to bring black underwear so you don't have to wear the mesh ones they give you, but I freaking loved the mesh undies they give you. and ummm hello  less laundry so why not just use them. I also took home as much as I could as far as the pads and personal care products they give you. Once we got home I started using the  cheap black underwear I got so that I wouldn't ruin my normal stuff. So I packed my bag following their advice, along with the advice of a few friends. Obviously this list can totally be used for a singleton mom as well as only a few items are specific to twin moms.

Here is what I packed that I used...

-Nursing jammies.
the hospital gowns are awful and not very nursing friendly so I got these cheap nightgowns from walmart, they have built in pads, which is super helpful get them HERE. I wore these the entire hospital stay after the babies were born, I never felt exposed but was able to be exposed when the nurses came in for checks, easy access for nursing and lightweight for sleeping. Plus c-section recovery friendly.

-a lightweight robe.
I got mine from pink blush (HERE) it was so nice to have a little something more when people came to visit or if I got cold and for pictures. I lived it for months and still live in it all the time.

-Your pillow from home.
hospital pillows are literally the worst, so bring yours and one for hubby if you are nicer than me and think of him.

my friend suggested this, something salty, something sweet and something hardy. I brought gold fish, sour gummies and trail mix. I only ate the gold fish but was thankful I packed other stuff just in case, plus my hubs ate my trail mix when he was hungry while i was sleeping, saved a trip to the over priced cafeteria

-make up. 
I brought all of mine, used none but wish I would have at least put on mascara and filled my brows for pictures and when people came to visit.

-shower stuff.
I was so thankful to shower with my own stuff, I just felt so refreshed and like myself a little more.

-twin z pillow or whatever pillow you plan on nursing with.
I brought a boppy but honestly wish I would have brought my twin z, it was nice to have something while I figured out nursing but if you plan on tandem nursing you'll want to learn with what you will actually use.

-going home outfits for babies.
These don't have to be anything super fancy just something cute for them to go home in that you will cry every time you see ha!

-Hats and/or bows.
to help people and you see who is who and keep them warm and a little cuter then the ones the hospital give.

-chapstick and nipple cream
your lips and nips will thank you.

And here is the list of stuff I wish I would have brought with me.

-Jammies for babies.
I only brought going home outfits so my poor babies had to wear those awful wrong sized weird straight jacket things under the hospital swaddles.

-cute swaddles.
forgot these every picture of my two they are wrapped in the hospital issued blankets and had to be double swaddled because again I forgot jammies.

-body lotion.
my skin was so dry after delivery and I was dying for some good lotion or a body butter.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

How I thrive with twins

I get asked ALL.THE.TIME how do I survive twins, or told how my hands must be full.  And while pregnant I read a ton of blogs with titles like "surviving twins" "getting through the first year with twins" but here is the truth, you adapt and learn just as quickly as you would if you had one or ten babies. People are always willing to help you, you learn to say yes often and it all becomes normal to you.There is just double the stuff and diapers. But I did put in some work with my babies to get them on the same feeding and sleeping schedules. Like a lot of work! I would wake up one of the twins if the other woke up to eat, I make them nap at the same time and they go to bed at the same time.

I read babywise ( I had also nannied many families who followed the babywise method) and grew up with one of the co-authors sons in church-who side note is also our pediatrician! I did and do modify it though because hello twins!! But from day one in the hospital I started these two on the eat-awake-sleep schedule during the day and worked on getting them sleeping through the night. B and E started sleeping 5-6 hour stretches by six weeks and would go no shorter than eight hours by 10 weeks. So if you are desperate and ready I highly recommend trying it. It is some serious work but clearly worth it.

But the real MVPs here are without a doubt are Rock n plays, swings, bumbos, the twin-z nursing pillow and ergo carriers. I couldn't have live without any of those during those first few months and still use some today to help make my days easier.

Here are my top must haves for twins:

First up is the Rock 'n' play, guys E literally slept in this for naps until she was like 7 or 8 months old. this bad boy makes them feel snuggled, sits them up just a smidge so if they have any tummy issues it helps a ton and it vibrates! I got one and then quickly realized we needed a second. Game changer.

A swing is 100% guaranteed necessary for one baby but even more so if you have other children in the house. Every baby loves them and they are off the floor and safe. Who wouldn't love that. This is the one we have and loved it.

We also had a mamaroo but E didn't like it so we only used it for B. Still on the list though because it was so much more of a space saver.

The Twin Z pillow is my all time must have. They slept in it forever, it's amazing the support it gives you while breastfeeding, you can feed them both bottles at the time easily, double tummy time and it's the perfect place for sitting up practice. I gave one to my sister in law for her twins and she always tells people she wishes she had known about it while nursing her two older kiddos years ago.

This stroller is incredible. It folds seamlessly, fits in every trunk like a dream and is lightweight. We have the chicco key fit 30 seats and they fit right into this stroller with the seats folded down without any adaptors or extra pieces which is key with twins. less stuff and easy.

Which brings me to my next item(s): these seats are the best. They have an amazing safety rating, lightweight, infant inserts come with it and they are a great price for what you get,

Carriers will be such a life saver with twins, we love our ergos. They are usable for so long because they hold up 45lbs, so you wont regret spending the money on these.

When my twins were tiny I loved my wrap carrier, I truly regret not putting them in it at the same time. So I highly suggest trying it with your twins. I have a moby brand which is great but they are LOOOONG, some of my friends love the solly wrap so I am linking that one HERE

Bumbos!!! We got some with trays and because my two are on the smaller side they still uses them as highchairs. They are so portable and easy to clean.

Last but not least are the velcro swaddles, these are magic! I transitioned my twins out of them by getting the swaddle sleep sacks once they started rolling and giving them an arm and then eventually both arms out. MAGIC!! No joke, it was easy and cheap because I only bought two types of swaddles. Here are a few of my favorite sleep sacks and swaddles


swaddle sleep sacks:

sleep sacks for summer:

My twins shared a pack 'n' play until they started rolling over in the night, they started out in a double bassinet pack n play until they got too long for it, moved to just the pack n play and then eventually their own cribs. I found that they slept better together because they would find comfort in being close and read that twins do better together. In fact research shows twins when sleeping together have increased oxygen levels then when apart. So freaking cute, right? I also never took the crying twin out of the room while the other slept, they slept and still sleep through each other all the time.

While this post is geared more towards twin any one of these items can be used for a singleton baby. I am keeping all of my stuff for the next baby which will hopefully be just one :) Hope you found this helpful, these are all great items to help start your registry or if you need a twin gift for a friend!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018


As cheesy as it sounds I am a big HUGE fan of self care. And I believe it looks very different for everyone but I as a stay at home mom and extrovert I believe for most women it looks something like a spa treatment and time with friends. Now I say spa treatment and realize that sounds way more fancy or boujee than it is. what I mean by spa treatment is anything that is skin, hair or nails related. So that could be an at home face mask, getting a manicure at your fav. nail salon or even a blow out. I mean who doesn't love getting pampered? But in all seriousness sometimes my self care is literally remembering to put on my face cream before bed or styling my hair more than once a week. Or even putting on clothes and leaving the house just to wander around homegoods by myself after the babies are asleep and Stefan has come home.

I shared the other day on my instagram (click HERE to see) a new mask and pore strip I'm obsessed with. And I wanted to share a few other my favorite self care go to's in hopes that you might try them or remember how important it is to fill your cup.

The Tony Moly I'm real sheet masks
the avocado one is my all time favorite
the link to get it at ulta is HERE

The L'oreal pure clay mask 

I got mine at Target HERE

Essie Nail polishes might actually be my love language 

HERE it is in my all time favorite color

My Current face cream 

I am obsessed, one stop shop for day and night. get it HERE

My go to mango margarita recipe:
makes 3-4
-a bag of frozen mango chunks 
-3 oz lime juice 
-one can of lime la croix
-5 shots of your favorite tequila
-3 shots of orange liqueur 
pour all the ingredients into a blender and enjoy!! But BE CAREFUL, honestly you wont be able to taste the alcohol much so these are a leeetle dangerous 


Hope you are able to slow down this week and enjoy some self care and maybe this blog post will inspire you to try something new or do what works for you, you deserve it. TREAT YO SELF :)

Monday, April 23, 2018

Survivors guilt

Ironic isn't it, feeling guilty for finally making it out of the trenches?

I know I'm not alone in this either. Time and time again i've read or heard women say things like well it wasn't as long as most people or as bad..ummm it's still a struggle, less time or money spent doesn't make it any easier in that season.

Our round of IVF was ridiculously smooth. My pregnancy was the same. Thank God. I injected myself twice a day, took every pill, felt every symptom they warn you about...especially those 15 pounds..rude. the bloating, bruises, weird homormal crying and roid rage as i liked to call it. It was all weirdly peaceful, all those symptoms. It was like my body was telling me it got the message, that it was reminding me it was working.

Before IVF I was put on two different medications to help ovulation ( turns out I didn't need them as I was ovulating on my own), we did IUI's which are ridiculously timed inseminations, we are talking down to the minute here folks. We would do IUI with ovulations meds and HCG shots post ovulation to increase progesterone, which is the hormone you produce post ovulation to help sustain a pregnancy. And while all those meds "worked" they never resulted in a pregnancy. Once we started doing more tests with the IVF doctor we very quickly found out why. The misdiagnosis of PCOS and treatment wouldn't have ever worked for me. I had far too much scar tissues build up around my ovaries and all around the outside of my uterus that was completely blocking the eggs during ovulation from ever making their way back down into the fallopian tubes. Hearing the doctor say that honestly allowed me to breath. It was the explanation I needed. Because every month on those medications I would have 3-4 healthy mature follicles, everything would look PERFECT. But every month it would all fail.

I promised myself a few things, one was that during the two week wait for my period to start (or not) that I wouldn't take a pregnancy test until it was late. I also was told not to because the shots would give me a positive test.But I just didn't want to become even more obsessed. I was apart of a few facebook groups for those trying to get pregnant and no offense to those women but multiple times a day women would post a picture of a obviously negative pregnancy test asking for someone to "see" the second line. Now I can't blame them, every month you become more and more desperate to see two pink lines, so I get it but I just couldn't let myself go there.

The second thing I promised myself was not to buy baby stuff until I was pregnant. This promise was just like the last, I knew it would consume me even more if I were to let myself dream too much. I bought very early on into our journey a framed quote that said "baby makes three". That quote is from an old song called blue heaven, the line goes "just Molly and me and baby makes three.". I dreamed of being able to surprise Stefan with that and a positive pregnancy test. Obviously that never happened. In Fact I've never had a positive home pregnancy test, I waited for the blood test from the IVF doc and never felt the need to pee on one while pregnant. Weird, but I honestly get sad to think i've never had my own positive pregnancy test.

I don't know if this was a subconscious decision or what but my entire pregnancy I only ever bought each baby one piece of clothing just because. Most pregnant woman once they know they are pregnant at least buy a few things because they can and then again once they know the gender. But not me, I finally bought them something when I was over 7 months pregnant and it was because they were on sale. I remember that day vividly, I was walking around target to waste time before meeting friends and finally let myself wander into the baby section.

So back to this whole survivors guilt thing... when I speak to other women who have either walked through infertility or who are in thick of it I always have this internal fight with wanting to play off how hard and consuming our journey was because I don't want to discourage them or make their struggle feel worse. Just because this round worked doesn't mean the next will or that all those feelings have completely disappeared. I still worry a little all.the.time that this is it, that those perfect frozen embryos wont take, that things will take a turn for the worse with my endometriosis and I'll never carry another baby. I still cringe at pregnancy announcements, now remember just because I cringe doesn't mean I am not happy or don't like you, its just a PTSD reflex, nor does it happen every time.

I guess what I am really trying to say is don't downplay your journey. It sucks when it's not easy or "normal". You need to grieve that, let yourself. without Jesus my marriage and sanity wouldn't have survived. Or without my incredible, forgiving. patient and thoughtful friends who would bug me until I called them back, came to see me when I just needed a shoulder to cry on, sent text messages to make sure I was alive when I would be wallowing in my sorrows. Guys we had friends support us in every way possible, financially, emotionally and physically, find you those kinds of friends. And trust me when I say that finding a doctor that puts you at ease, has amazing success rates and you trust is key. So tonight have that glass of wine, get a devotional or book that reminds you that this does not define you and talk about the hard stuff with those who love you.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

It has been awhile

I have neglected this bad boy for far too long. This has always been more of an outlet for me than anything else, so while going through IVF you would have thought I would have utilized it more, but obviously I did not. Ooops.  

So let's just get to it shall we? IT WORKED!!! IVF worked, not only was the egg retrieval successful in getting 13 eggs (10 of which were mature enough to be fertilized), all 10 grew into day 5 embryo blastocysts. Which is just medical mumbo jumbo for healthy and growing babies! We begged our doctor to let us put back two embryos as a fresh transfer, he agreed thankfully. The morning of our transfer we did had 10 (prior to starting meds we had to sign a ton of legal paperwork, one of which was an agreement for what we would do with any extra embryos or in case something were to happen to us. Stefan and I agreed we would eventually implant however many we had and trust Gods plan for us.) scary thought of having 10 kids but we had to let go of fear. Our doctor normally freezes the remaining unused embryos on day 5 but wanted to give five of the 8 unused embryos another day just to see how healthy they were. The following day those five had not continued growing so he did not freeze them, so unfortunately we will not be on TLC any time soon :) So he froze the remaining three unused embryos.

About two weeks after the transfer we got the call we had been waiting over two and a half years for...WE WERE PREGNANT!! I decided to wait and follow the doctors orders and not do a home pregnancy test and wait for the blood draw. Stefan took the day off of work to be with me as I had the day off. We decided to go to the movies as a distraction. less than 10 minutes into the second movie of the day my phone rang, my heart just about came out of my chest while I ran into the hallway to answer it. The nurse barely got the words out of her mouth before the tears ran down my face. "Congratulations, you are pregnant!!" There I was standing in the hallway of the same movie theatre where we got engaged sobbing because FINALLY it was my turn, FINALLY it worked, FINALLY I was pregnant. Because I was only four weeks we wouldn't get an ultrasound or find out if both embryos took or not until seven weeks into the pregnancy.

 Just before christmas we had a first ultrasound, not sure I stopped crying from the moment we walked in and the receptionist told us congratulations until well after we left. we saw the first healthy baby with a strong heartbeat, then the second and to our surprise a third sac.It was scary and overwhelming the thought of triplets but the third never became more than just a amniotic sac thankfully and had no negative effect on the twins. My pregnancy was incredibly smooth and outside of morning sickness (aka puke all day everyday for 20 weeks) that subsided eventually. I was obviously quite uncomfortable around 24 weeks and spent many hours in the doctor's office with my million appointments as a twin pregnancy is considered high risk. I made it to 38 weeks and was induced, at 38 weeks they will almost always induce with twins as at that point the risks outweigh the positives of  two weeks they might continue to stay in for. 

My delivery was insane. Bear was born first, he was head down from 16 weeks on so when it was time to push it didn't take long before he was born. My healthy 7.1 pound baby boy, full head of hair and calm as can be. Meanwhile Elliot had been moving around and sitting in every position throughout the pregnancy so as soon as Bear was born she moved even further up and went into the transverse position (her spine was along my ribs). for the next 40-45 minutes they tried to flip wonderful doctor warm elbow deep and the second doctor was pushing on my stomach with an ultrasound trying to move her down at the same time. Elliot is too much like her mama, she was going to come into this world how and when she my doctor got her down low enough in the breech position and i pushed a few times and our tiny 6.1 pound girl came out booty first, sunny side up with her legs folded to her ears. Lawdy. Stefan's eyes were the size of saucers just about the entire time. He was an absolute trooper, he was calm and supportive as he could be the entire pregnancy and whirlwind of a delivery. 

I know this is a long and word vomit post, sorry, long overdue. 

Those weeks during our round of IVF felt like I was holding my breath, waiting for bad news at every appointment and waiting for it to fail. Before the egg retrieval we had family, co workers and pastors at the church pray over me and pray for what was next. I was beyond anxious, hopeful and expectant. It was also healing in a way for me. To have it all work, without a hitch and so well gave me this hope that maybe just maybe all those other failed cycles and years of waiting were worth it. 

Looking back now I can without a doubt say it was worth it. We wouldn't have our Bear and Elliot, the timing (surprise surprise) was perfect. Jobs, housing, Levi and seasons were perfect. His plan was perfect. 

We get asked two questions more often then not. 1) do you want more kids? twins again? 2) why the names Bear and Elliot? 

We do want more kids, I want 100 more tomorrow. ha! No, but seriously we want more and have those three frozen embryos and in the near (ish) future we will implant ONE AT A TIME! while I love having twins and would do it all over again, but the pregnancy, breastfeeding and having two tiny babes while taking care of twin toddlers just sounds too hard. Now we could implant one embryo and have it split into identical twins still, however we have NO plans on having twins again. 

Bear was always Stefans pick. After watching Bear grylls on tv one day he became obsessed with the name. I joked and said sure long before we were even married and somehow it made the cut. I now can't imagine naming Bear anything else, it fits him perfectly.  His middle name is Michael, I wanted him to have the most normal and easy middle name in case he ever wanted to go by it. I had looked up the meaning of a few names and Michael means "who is like God". I also wanted him to have a name with some meaning so Michael it was. 

Elliot was my choice. I have always loved masculine names for girls and many moons ago decided i wanted to named my daughter Elliot. I also am obsessed with the tv show Law and Order: special victims unit, one of the lead detectives his name is Elliot Stabler. strange but true. Elliot's middle name is Joan, like Bear I wanted her to have a middle name with some more meaning and bit more normal if you will. One of Stefans closest friends mom Joan has been very influential in his life and helped him in so many ways over the years, she is such a wonderful loving woman. She has raised 5 beautiful  people who love everyone around them. Shes pointed to God in her own struggles and encouraged us throughout out years of waiting.  We wanted to honor Joan and naming Elliot after her was a no brainer. 

We are so thankful for every gift, prayer, congratulations and all the love we have received with these two. It may have taken us over two and a half years to get pregnant and over three years to finally have babies in our arms but we truly believe it was all worth it. Seeing God move mountains and show up in such extravagant ways will never cease to bring me to my knees. kissing my sweet miracle babies cheeks still brings tears to my eyes. 

Thanks for all the support and reading this and every other loooong and rambling posts I've written. maybe in ten years I'll finally get around to writing the real and raw post about IVF.