Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 in review

I woke up made myself a coffee and crawled back into bed to enjoy my lazy day at home. As I was sitting there I wished my peeps a happy last day of 2011. After sending out my wishes my mind started to wonder back to the start of 2011 and as I traveled back through my year in my head, I didn’t even believe all that had happened. So I figured why not share my crazy year in review with my blogging peeps!

I woke up to 2011 in Costa Rica, realizing that instead of having a nap my mom, sister, aunt and I had slept through New Year’s Eve. While in Costa Rica I challenged pretty much ALL of my fears and phobias. I rappelled down 350ft waterfalls, zip lined 750ft over the rain forest, hiked up a volcano, played in the rainforest with frog’s snakes and all other types of creepy crawlies.  I got stung by jelly fish and almost got tackled by a giant lizard sliding down a hot tin roof. My 15 day trip in Costa Rica challenged me and opened my world up even more then I could ever imagine.

As if Costa Rica wasn’t enough, March brought us Boston and the running of the brides. Running of the brides is a yearly even where all the designers send their dresses to a giant convention hall at crazy discounted rates. Women line up overnight to wait to all rush in to grab there perfect dress; you run, wrestle, barter and sometimes fight for that perfect dress.  We lined up at 3am for my girlfriend pam and we were some of the first in line, we fought our way to her dream dress and by 11am it was all hers. We explored Boston, visited Harvard, did a photo shoot and partied the night away for my girl Keeks birthday!

With my year being a roller coaster, starting up up up and then eventually racing down it bring us to April and our first appointment with our fertility specialist. We were told after years of trying, tests and emotions that our only options were for me to have surgery or for us to go through IVF. I had a follow up appointment with our DR in May after he got a hold of my medical records and the surgery was taken off of the table because of safety concerns for me. We were left with only IVF, which is a 10-15 thousand dollar procedure with (for us) a 50% chance of success.  We were devastated.

The summer was a blur of  anger, denial, tears and finally acceptance. Accepting that maybe children were not in our future was a hard pill to swallow and clouded what is normally my favorite bright sunny summer season.

Finally in comes the fall!

On one special shopping day in the states, my sister in law asks me if I can keep a secret. She’s pregnant and (other than her hubby no one else knows). This news made me so happy and brightened not only my day, but my cloudy world. She is currently 5.5 months pregnant, everyone knows and she and their soon to be baby girl are doing amazing. (I am feeling her kick as I write this post lol)

In comes my phone call from my mom and sister that has forever changed our lives. The New Hot 899’s Win a baby contest; put us through another rollercoaster of emotions. Entering and Ryan trying to make sure my hopes weren’t too high (to avoid another range of emotional consequences), passing the top 5 qualifying deadline and assuming we did not make the top five, waking up the next day to hear that the top five had yet to be chosen, making top five, voting and then finally finding out that all top five couples had won. We had all won up to 35,000 and up to 3 rounds of ivf. We got our baby hopes back and made some amazing connections through this process. Our family friends, friends of friends and complete strangers stepped up to support our dream of having a baby of our own. Oh and on the same weekend we won the win a baby contest…I turned 30. J

Since then it has been a blur of planning out our treatment, signing forms, media interviews, media profiles and me prepping for hormones and a hopeful future baby. I’ve lost 15lbs and have been trying to mentally prepare myself for what’s to come in the New Year.  We are excited, nervous, elated, anxious and ready to explore 2012. We’re hoping that Charly’s baby girl will have a cousin to play with by Christmas.

Not to mention all the weddings, party's, job changes, accidents and other daily craziness thats fills our lives.

So 2011 was like a girly movie for me, started exciting and happy, had some dark low points and then finishes on a high. Hopefully 2012 is less girly movie and more a baby story.

After over a year of blogging, thank you for following along with me in my crazy life and cannot wait to share all that’s awaiting me in 2012.

Lotsa Love,

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Infertility Profile

With the win a baby contest through The New Hot 89.9, this year has definitely been a crazy whirlwind of interviews and press requests. We had to be selective with who we wanted to share our story and lives with, some requests we declined and others we gladly accepted. One in particular, Kelly Kent, won me over and ended up creating a profile on me and infertility for her school project at Algonquin college. After meeting with me and talking to my family friends she created a wonderful profile that brought tears to my eyes. I thought I would share her amazing work with you, my peeps. Hope you enjoy!

Kelly Kent  

 Thanksgiving is a time to get together with family and friends to relax, laugh and stuff yourself full of good food. It is supposed to be a time to treat yourself, to gather your thoughts and to recharge before the long and stressful Christmas season.

 This was not the case for Natasha Derouchie and her family this past Thanksgiving weekend.

 No, for them it was a weekend spent texting, calling and emailing friends, family, friends of family and friends of friends. It was spent behind some sort of screen, desperately posting links and spreading the word. Each member of the gathering was totally engrossed in a laptop or a Smartphone, voting over and over again for Couple A. 

The fact that it was also Natasha’s 30th birthday weekend did little to calm nerves or cut tension and only a small amount of celebrating took place. 

Each member of Natasha’s tight-knit group of supporters was nearly sick to their stomach with anticipation, anxiously awaiting an announcement that could change their lives forever.

 Finally, on Tuesday, Oct. 11 the past-due broadcast was made.  Local radio station, Hot 89.9, broke the news that Natasha Derouchie, 30, and her husband Ryan Derouchie, would be given the chance they have been waiting for since they first met eight years ago—they would be given the chance to have a baby of their very own.

 That was the day Natasha and Ryan discovered they were one of five lucky couples to receive the grand prize of the controversial radio contest: Win a Baby. Each couple will receive up to three in vitro fertility treatments, valued at over $30,000.

 For Natasha, Ryan and their families, it was a dream come true. 

Natasha and Ryan met in October eight years ago on Natasha’s 22nd birthday in the elevator of the apartment building they unknowingly shared. Although they only met briefly, Ryan decided to ask Natasha to come down to the bar he was working at at the time. 

It took her a while, but in January Natasha headed over to Ryan’s work, accompanied by her best friend, Caitlin Delaney. 

Caitlin said she knew right away that Ryan meant something to Natasha because she seemed shy around him when she was normally so chatty and outgoing. 

Natasha and Ryan chatted the whole night and Ryan said he was constantly looking for a good opportunity to ask her out for coffee, but Caitlin was always hovering not far away. 

Finally, when the two girls got up to leave, Ryan saw the chance he had been waiting for all night and made his move. 
“I remember running around the horseshoe bar,” said Ryan. “Like, sprinting. And then when I got outside I tried to act all cool and casual.” 
Natasha agreed to meet him for coffee and the two have been together ever since. 

Eight months later, on Natasha’s 23rd birthday and one year from when they had first met, Ryan proposed. 

“I was shocked,” said Caitlin. “I had to sit down on the sidewalk. It hadn’t even been a year.” 

Despite the quick engagement, everyone who knows Natasha and Ryan can see they are perfect for each other. Ryan himself describes Natasha as his love, his life and his everything.

 “They absolutely beam around each other,” said Natasha’s mother, Edna (Eddie) Sinclair.

 Ryan says he knew he wanted to be with Natasha for the rest of his life after she started to laugh at a funny part in a movie one day when the two of them were sitting on the couch. 
“I could just picture our little girl laughing like that,” he said. “That’s when I thought to myself ‘I want to have kids with her.’”

 Ryan and Natasha got married after a two-year engagement and they have been trying for a baby ever since. 

Having a baby, though, would not be an easy journey. When Natasha was 16, she needed surgery to remove her appendix, which had become inflamed. The surgery went well, but a few months later she started getting sick.

 “She was having the same symptoms as before so I took her back to the hospital,” said Eddie.
 Natasha needed to have an organ wash this time around to deal with toxins that had leaked from her appendix before the first surgery and had remained in her body. She was put on antibiotics afterwards and was sent home.

 However, the infection from the toxins managed to stay in her system and Natasha needed a third surgery.

 Luckily, the infection was healed after that third surgery, but it created a problem that would stay with Natasha for the rest of her life. 

As a result of being opened up so many times, adhesions—or scar tissue—fused Natasha’s fallopian tubes to her bladder, making it impossible for her eggs to travel to her womb and for Natasha to get pregnant naturally. 

Adhesions can sometimes be removed, but in Natasha’s case, because of where they formed, removing them could be fatal. 

So it was a botched surgery in her teens that has made it almost impossible for Natasha to have baby. 

“When people think infertility, they think of an old, lonely woman. What they don’t understand is it can happen to someone as young and loving as Tasha,” Caitlin said.

 In fact, infertility affects over 8.5 per cent of Canadians—or over a quarter of a million Canadian couples, according to the Royal Commission for New Reproductive Technologies. It is defined as the inability to conceive a child after a year of regular, unprotected intercourse or the inability to carry a baby to term. 

Eddie says Natasha has always wanted and loved kids. She is the oldest of three children and has always doted on her siblings.

 “I don’t remember her lugging dolls around,” she said. “It was probably her siblings she played with.” Eddie was 16 when she was pregnant with Natasha, and after she was born Eddie was told she wouldn’t be able to have any more children because of complications from surgeries.

 Eddie says Natasha didn’t understand why she couldn’t have any more siblings and was always asking her mother for “just one” brother or sister. 

“She really wanted a sibling,” said Eddie, laughing. Natasha loved the idea of siblings. When Eddie was pregnant with her third child, Natasha would read stories to her mother’s belly and talk to her unborn brother every day.

 Eddie says when Dakota was born and the nurses took him away to be weighed and measured, no one could get him to stop crying—until Natasha began to talk to him. 
“I guess her voice calmed him,” said Eddie. “Because when he heard her voice he turned to look at her and stopped crying.” 

Natasha’s mother-in-law, Nancy Derouchie, says Natasha seems to have a special bond with all children. “She lights up like a Christmas tree when she see them,” she said. After trying for a baby for two years, Natasha and Ryan decided to go to their family doctor to see what was going on. After several tests, their doctor referred them to an OBGYN, who in turn referred them to the Ottawa Fertility Clinic. It was there that they were told they would need in vitro fertilization treatments to have any hope of having a baby of their own.

 One treatment of in vitro fertilization can cost upwards of $10,000.
 “We didn’t know how we were going to pay for it,” Natasha said. Natasha and Ryan are so deserving of children that people in their community were going to hold fundraisers to collect money to help with the cost of IVF. Natasha’s mother was even going to mortgage her fully-paid for home to pay for the treatments if all else failed.

 “They have so much love to offer,” said Eddie. “I couldn’t imagine a life without (Natasha) being able to have a child.”

 Cue Hot 89.9 and Win a Baby. It was Eddie who heard the blurb on the radio advertising a Win a Baby contest that was to begin on Labour Day. 

Natasha says her mom called her and excitedly told her she was going to win a baby and explained how she was to sign up. “We needed to write a bit about why we deserved to win a baby, in 100 words or less,” said Natasha. Ryan says Natasha didn’t say much about the contest right away; she just said they were going to win a baby. Ryan was skeptical about the contest at first, because he believed they had no chance of winning and he didn’t want Natasha to be disappointed, but she eventually convinced him to give it a shot. 

The top five couples were announced right before Thanksgiving weekend, and Natasha and Ryan, for confidentiality reasons, were Couple A. 

Thanksgiving weekend was spent in a state of numbness, at the same time hoping for a win and preparing for a loss. 
“I almost fell off my chair when we heard we had won,” said Ryan. “I almost still can’t believe it.”
 The contest has given Natasha and Ryan new hope of having a family of their own. “Win a Baby has given us an amazing opportunity,” said Natasha. “We’re so grateful.” Natasha starts the in vitro fertilization treatments in 

January, and if everything goes well, she could be pregnant in February. Natasha’s sister-in-law is expecting a baby currently, and the two hope to share the new-baby joys together. 
“We’re hoping to have two little ones by Christmas next year,” Nancy said.      

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Remember when a work week ended on a Friday and was only 35-40hrs? I don’t…lol Somewhere along the line people have adapted to being ok with working more than they do anything else in their lives. How did this end up being ok? How is spending the majority of your life at work what any of us want?

There are many types of people, reasons and work environments that call for crazy work schedules. Everyone’s life, home and work situation is different so therefore the crazy workaholics all have different reasons for working the hours that they do.

For the love of the game- Some people (company founders, athletes, creative minds) throw themselves into their work because it is there passion…it is who they are. These people live, breathe and eat work, working crazy hours does not bother them because they are doing what they love.

Show me the money- Some people are money hungry or have an OCD about money. These people do not necessarily care what they’re doing, but will work just so they can have the dough rolling in.

I need the money- Some people are in a situation where one or two incomes is just not enough and they need to work 2+ jobs just to make ends meet. These people rarely enjoy when working and tend to resent the whole situation.

Means to an end- Some people have a goal or a target that they are working crazily, for a short period of time, towards. They have a light at the end of the tunnel, with their goal date in mind can usually plug through the madness.

Don’t want to go home- Some people throw themselves into work because it is better than the alternative of being at home and dealing with whatever they are hiding from; the stress of working crazy hours seems more appealing than dealing with whatever they’ve been avoiding in their personal lives.

How did this happen- Some people get into a situation where its believed to be temporary and years later they look back and wonder where has my last few years been spent…oh ya behind my desk. This is when they usually have their aha moments.

In my particular situation both of my jobs are quiet from January till February, so to ensure that I am working enough in the slow months, I need to keep both and am consequently working a lot right now. But I have a light at the end of my tunnel and every week it gets brighter and brighter.
I have learnt through years of work and open communication with my hubby that you need to make time for the things and people in your life that you’re working for. The dishes will still be there tomorrow, but will the people you are neglecting? With how much I have been working there are some things I have had to either put on hold or do less of, so that my time with my husband is not affected. Figuring out the give and take is the hardest part of balancing hectic and full schedules.

Remember there are only so many hours in a day, week, month or even year. As I get older I cannot get over how fast time flies, things change and what you can miss being chained to your desk. If you’re at a point where you are tired and frustrated, you need to decide why it is you are working so much, is it worth it and what are you trying to achieve or avoid. Sometimes the answer or solution is easy and right before your eyes, sometimes it’s a hard decision or realization.

Life flies by faster than we know it, so if at the end of the day we are not happy, then what are we doing wrong? Make choices that benefit you and your loved ones and remember life is more than a pay check and a desk to work behind.

All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.
Henry Ellis

Lotsa Love,

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Do it for you!

When in a couple, when dealing with family and friends; sometimes we start making choices based on what other people like and not what we like. So how do we know when to make choices to make everyone happy and when to make us happy?

Being married for over five years now most of my decisions are our decisions, which is perfectly fine with me. I know that Ryan is the person I will spend the rest of my life with so of course I want to do things and make choices that make him happy.

But a part of me remembers the girl I was before; that made choices on a whim, chopped, colored and styled her hair however she wanted. Dressed for her and only her; and decorated/painted however she felt like.

Bangs For me! lol
As part of a mature couple you have to submit your major decision making to the couple, these big life decisions are made as a unit. And for the most part most of my decisions are a we thing. However, no matter how much Ryan may protest, I still cut my hair, get the occasional bangs (which he hates), dress for me and occasionally add in a girly throw pillow or two.

I hear “I can’t do/wear/say that I’m a mother” or “I love those shoes, but I don’t think my husband would approve of them.”. Absolutely our roles are incredibly important, Husband, Mother, Daughter, Brother, Friend; but don’t forget that you are you as well… a man or a woman. So even though I’m incredibly proud to be Mrs. Derouchie, I also remember I am Tasha as well.

I’m not saying to ignore your parents, partner or friends on major decisions or even the minor ones. What I am saying is to remember when hearing everyone else’s opinions to take yours in to account as well. If you see a cute pair of loafers you know everyone else but you would dislike, get them you’re the one wearing them… If you love yourself in a bob but your honey loves your hair long, every once in a while indulge yourself and chop that hair, it grows back. You’re out shopping with the guys and you see something that would make the man cave complete, pick it up as a treat to you…how bad can it really be?

In life it can be easy to get caught up in pleasing everyone else, that sometimes we can forget that in order to make everyone else happy we need to be happy. So go ahead…Get happy!

Lotsa Love,