Friday, December 7, 2012

Sleep??? Yes Please!

All new parents have experienced sleep deprivation and varying levels, depending on the little ones eating/sleeping patterns. What gets interesting is the things we do when we are deprived of sleep for weeks and things start to show up where they are not supposed to be. What do you mean diaper cream doesn't go in the fridge?

I asked friends of mine what they have done when up late at night with feeding's and diaper changes. Most of the answers where very similar, misplaced items. Milk in the cupboard and cereal in the fridge, diaper cream in the fridge, making something to eat and forgetting about it and going back to bed or forgetting to put a diaper back on the baby (that would be a mess).

Personally I haven't misplaced anything in my fridge, yet, but I did misplace a item. My husband went downstairs to switch out Knox's laundry to the dryer and came back up washer going again and a diaper in his hand. Ryan walked up to me with a neatly bundled up used diaper, I'm thankful I close them up tight, and a big smirk on his face. In the middle of the night I managed to throw the diaper in the wash, instead of in the diaper genie. I have now learnt to open the lid of the diaper genie before commencing a middle of the night change, as to remind myself which basket I need to throw the dirty diaper in. I am still being teased for this.

You start to learn tricks to make things go quicker or easier for you. I have a jug of water and a glass on my kitchen island, so that I can grab a drink on the way by to do a diaper change. Snacks are also readily available on the island, breastfeeding can leave you hungry and thirsty in the middle of the night. Everything I need for middle of the night changes, including new outfit, is out on the change table ready for me.

I've gotten really good at games on my iPhone and have almost mastered most things with one hand; its amazing the things you can get done while breastfeeding.

I am hoping to in the near future be less sleep deprived and aim for bigger than 2 hour sleep chunks. But until my little guy decides he likes sleep better then food, and he loves to eat, I will continue to fumble my way around at all hours of the night getting bye on little sleep. I cant say that I really mind our 3 am mommy, Knox snuggles.

If you've been down this road before share with us your mishaps in the wee hours of the night. What has ended up in fridge or washer?

Lotsa Love,

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Our Miracle

What do you do when a dream becomes reality? When something you thought for so long wouldn’t, couldn’t happen and then it does? In my scenario I cried, I cried the moment they placed my baby boy on my chest and I heard him for the very first time.

Our dream for the longest time was to have a baby and after over 5 years of trying and being told IVF was our only option we were crushed. Knowing that we would probably never be able to afford the only way we could have a baby together was heart wrenching and drug me through a very sad time. Luckily The New HOT 89.9, an Ottawa radio station, decided to hold a contest called Win a Baby. I entered despite my hubby saying we would probably never be chosen, I had a feeling and was going for it. Then we found out we made top 5 and we were ecstatic but being so close to winning the IVF treatments was beyond nerve racking.  Finally after what felt like the longest week EVER, HOT 89.9 brought in all 5 couples on October 11 2011 and made an announcement that changed all of our lives… We all WON!

I think because not a lot of people know about fertility treatments and movies make IVF look like a 1 day process everyone thought the baby would be instantaneous. But it is a process, and can be a long one at that. We met with our DR at the Ottawa Fertility Centre (OFC) in November and it was decided that I should lose some weight to increase my chances of success. Let me tell you, the best exercise and diet motivation for me ever.  I lost 20lbs and started my round of IVF in January and finished in February. We were lucky enough to meet and stay in contact with the other couples from the contest and went through it all together, an amazing support. Finally in came to the day where we took our pregnancy test at the clinic, I was beyond nervous, but my family and friends had all decided already that it had worked and I was pregnant. Well they were right, I received a very excited phone call from one of the nurses at the OFC and from that moment on our dream started coming true.

Nausea, exhaustion, hip and back problems, nerve issues, months of non-stop Braxton Hicks and sleepless nights couldn’t bring me down, I was having a baby! Every pain or discomfort just made the pregnancy so real for me and every ultrasound brought tears to my eyes. Our little guy was a mover from the get go and I got to feel his flutters fairly early, flutters didn’t last long and pretty soon my belly was dancing all over the place.

To say that we loved our little man before we even knew he existed would be an understatement, but nothing could prepare us for what we would feel as he and my belly grew or for the day we met him.  We were hoping that after so many Braxton Hicks that I would have a quick labor…lol NOPE. My real Contractions started at 5am Thursday morning and he was born Sunday at 11:51am. The nurses all laughed at what a good mood I was in and all made comments about the fact I was smiling in between contractions; even when the 4 different types of drugs we tried wore off and would no longer work. My answer was simple “I’m happy because I know this means I finally get to meet him”. To me every contraction was a step closer to my boy and I was so ready to meet him.
Just a few hours after Knox was born.

The moment finally came where my sweet Knox was born and they placed him on my chest. I was flooded with emotions as he let out his cry and the nurses dried him off. Then we got to do skin to skin and he reached his little hand towards my face and raised his head and opened his eyes… I was done. I couldn’t hold back everything I was feeling and our sweet little man brought momma to tears. No one can prepare you for what you will feel the day you meet your baby.  He’s a week and a half old now and he still brings momma to tears.

It’s amazing to think how many people took part in helping us through our journey. Our amazing family and friends who no matter what were always there for us through the good and bad. The new HOT 89.9 who created such an amazing contest and decided that they couldn’t just choose one couple, thanks to that decision there are now four babies in this world that would otherwise not be.  The Ottawa fertility centre who took such great care of us and helped create our miracle.  And all the absolute strangers and followers who through the contest or this blog came to know our story and supported us through every turn.  We will never be able to thank everyone enough, how do you say thank you for giving us the greatest gift of all?
Knox Ian Napoleon Derouchie

So now Ryan and I are exploring a new chapter of our Fairy Tale, Parenthood. This should be interesting! Can’t wait to share it all with you!

Lotsa Love,

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Pea soup kinda day

When it's cold, gloomy, damp or just plain miserable out what makes your day? Something you think of that means instant comfort?

Now that the cooler weather is upon us and slippers are out, comfort items are a must! I personally am a pea soup and fuzzy blanket kinda girl. When it's one of those days the soup goes on and the couch calls my name.

What works for you? Could it be snuggles with a pet, a comfort food or maybe a hot cup of tea?

I like when the icky days fall on one of my hubbies days off, this means sleeping in, cuddles and a day of comfort food! Even before I was pregnant food has always been at the top of my comfort list, now even more so.

So I kind of look forward to the days where you don't want to do anything and baking warms your home and your heart. Imagine if everyday was perfect and sunny we would constantly be busy and never get to enjoy a rainy day on the couch.

So maybe we can see a miserable day as an opportunity to stay in, get cozy and recharge. Bake those cookies you've been planning on for weeks, watch a movie with the family in the middle of the day, bust out a board game or just veg. Take a queue from mother nature and use a day to recharge and unwind.

Lotsa Love,

Thursday, October 25, 2012

2 Week Countdown

What do you do when the one thing you've wanted more than anything in the world for so long is just around the corner? When all that you've hoped, dreamt and wished for is almost in your arms?
12 weeks

Well after over 5 years of trying, a radio station contest, 1 round of IVF and 38 weeks we are almost there. Our little guys due date is coming up just around the corner and we couldn't be more excited!

Its been a bumpy road, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Even though I may have complained along the way, the struggle has made me appreciate every little moment. From the nausea and exhaustion in my first trimester, to the hip and back pain in my last; its all made this experience so real and every symptom and sign has reassured me along the way that I haven't been dreaming.
24 weeks

We are absolutely ready to meet our little miracle and I cannot wait till the day finally comes where my labour is real and I get to meet him; one false labour and a ridiculous amount of braxton hicks have me prepared. The nursery is done, bags are packed and he has a amazing amount of people who cannot wait to meet him.

We are so beyond grateful for the support we have received from family, friends and complete strangers. It has been sometimes overwhelming, but always welcome.

36 weeks
Getting to watch my sweet niece grow over the past 5.5 months has made me even more ready, excited and anxious to have our little one in our arms. If our little guy is anything like our hilarious little Harper we will be doing great!

Knowing that even if he goes overdue in less than a month we get to meet our little man is almost more than I can handle! So until he decides its time or the Dr decides he's overstayed his welcome I will continue to dream and wish for him.

Lotsa Love,

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A difference a month can make

What a crazy busy month it has been, so busy that I unfortunately had to let my writing slip. Well i'm hoping that things will settle a bit (lol) and ill have a bit more me time.

I have made it to my third trimester and am now just over 7 months. The baby is moving like crazy all the time, i'm not sure when he sleeps, but I love it. I'm hoping that what they say is true, Happy pregnancy Happy Baby.

Ryan and I had a blast picking out our baby registry at Babies R Us. It took us 2 hours and we were both overwhelmed by the end, but had a great time picking everything out. Hopefully our little guy is happy with mom and dads picks.

I've been busy working with the Ottawa Fertility Center and the other committee members planning out the Expressions of Infertility art competition starting August 23rd. Knowing what struggling with infertility feels like, this contest means a lot to me and I cannot wait to see how it takes shape.

We started working on the nursery and I cannot wait to see what it will look like all together. Ryan has started painting and our furniture is finally in. We are lucky enough to have a best friend as a designer Diana from Indulge Interiors is helping us make sense of my jumbled visions of my nursery. 
Everything is slowly coming together and I couldn’t be happier. November feels like its just around the corner.

Ryan and I had an amazing holiday together and celebrated 6 years married. This year we celebrated with the baptism of our God Daughter, what a great way to celebrate love. It was an amazing day filled with family and friends. Its exciting to think that next year our little guy will be here celebrating with us.

Its crazy to imagine that in just a few short months story time will be Ryan and I reading to our baby and not my belly. That we will finally get to hold him in our arms. Give him tons of kisses and love. I cant wait to meet him and to have him meet all the great people in our life.
With art competitions, baby shower, planning my maternity leave and everything else that life throws at us, I'm sure November will be here before I know it. Until then my dreams will be filled of the mystery that is, who our little man will be.

Lotsa Love,

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Taking time

In the busy lives we lead today how many of us actually take the time to appreciate the people in our lives that make things great? Most of us are so bus, wrapped up or ignorant to how great we actually have it. I think in a society that always wants more its easy to look past what we have that is so amazing, the great people in our lives.

There will always be things that we want to change, things we can complain about or things that may just suck, but on the other side there will always be good that can be focused on.

I have always believed that I am incredibly lucky when it comes to the amazing people in my life, but there are moments when I take a step back and get to truly appreciate how lucky I am. You hear stories of awful in-laws, mean siblings, untrustworthy friends or people who just don't have any kind of support to be seen. When I hear these stories or when I share some of my stories is when I get a glimpse of how great I really have it. I not only have the people in my life that celebrate the good, they are around 24/7 no matter what the mood. Through my struggles, strengths, most joyous moments or epic fails they are always around to cheer me on. When I speak about my wonderfully supportive husband, crazy loving family, generously warm in-laws or fantastically special friend's people tell me how amazing that is and I believe them.

Coming into incredibly unknown territory, parenthood, I am not nervous or scared, I know the kind of love and support that I get will guide me through all the interesting moments that my new adventure will take me. Knowing the kind of support I get makes me incredibly grateful each and every day.

I think everyone should take time to really take it all in, really appreciate all the people in there lives that make it what it is. I think far too often the people get overlooked and we can tend to focus on the things instead.

So take a moment and take stock of the fine people in your life. Who makes you laugh, smile or is willing to share a cry?

Lotsa Love,

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Who will our baby be?

As my pregnancy progresses I cant help but ask the question, who will he be? I'm sure that I'm not alone in this, that every parent to be has the same question. The absolute wonderment of the little human you are creating and will soon meet.

I wonder what he will look like, what features he will get from me or Ryan. Will he have Ryan's nose or my smile? Seeing as Ryan and I both have dark features, I'm assuming the baby will be the same, but then again who knows.

More than features I'm curious about who he will be, what his personality will be like. Will he be funny, kind, gentle, warm or serious? Will he like trucks, dolls, worms or tea parties?

After waiting so long to get pregnant and have our very own baby the wait of meeting him seems just too long. Even though time has been flying, I just can't wait for the day my little boy is in my arms and we finally get to meet the angel who picked us as parents. I'm sure the day will be here before we know it and ill be wondering where the time went, but until then I get to enjoy all the moments of pregnancy.

I have been lucky enough to feel him move fairly early on and now frequently. He's a mover and that makes me wonder if he will be once he's out. The ultrasound tech, at our last appointment, warned me that if he moves half as much as he does now when he's out ill be in trouble, ill be running lol. I fear that she may be correct. I'm not quite sure when he sleeps; all I know is he sure likes to move.

So until the day that he decides its time to meet us and I get to learn who he is first hand; I can day dream, hope and wonder.

Lotsa Love,

Monday, June 18, 2012

And it's a.... Boy or Girl?

Nearly at the half way mark of my pregnancy we finally get to have the big ultrasound, the ultrasound where you get to find out if your baby is a boy or girl, if baby cooperates. Now not everyone wants to find this out, as they like the surprise. My husband and I on the other hand never wait to give gifts and cant stand waiting for news. We decided right away that we wanted to know what our little bundle of joy would be and have been counting down ever since. 
All guesses are in and most people are saying that our little bundle will be a boy, with the few that are standing by the girl prediction. We get asked all the time if we have a preference either way and most people don't believe us when we say that we don't. After waiting for so long and never knowing if our dream of being parents would come true for us a baby is the greatest gift no matter what the gender. We are so excited to find out the gender so we can decorate and shop, shop, shop. Time seems to be flying by and before we know it our little bundle will be here.
So did baby cooperate? Are we thinking hues of blues or pinks?
Our little bundle is a… . Boy! We are over the moon excited and are now talking baby names, nursery themes and planning out are shopping excursion for our little man. He more than cooperated and was moving around non stop. Even the ultrasound tech said he he's like this when he comes out I'll be running lol. 
Getting to the half way mark of my pregnancy flew by in a flash, I am very much so enjoying being pregnant, but cannot wait for the 2nd half to fly by so I can finally meet my precious little angel that we have been waiting for, for oh so long.
Lotsa Love,

Thursday, June 14, 2012

What pregnancy has taught me... So far!

We all learn from every life experience we have or at least we have the opportunity to learn. I try to take something from my experiences to keep growing as a person. Some deep and some fluffy.

Being pregnant for sure had its ups and downs, but for me so far it has been a fantastic journey. I'm 19 weeks pregnant, almost at the half way point and being my first time I'm learning a lot.

I learnt that maternity clothes are my best friend, they are built for growing bodies and are super comfy.
Not to take everything seriously I read online, my dr laughs at me pretty regularly.
Ask ask ask, always ask if your wondering, better ask a question and know for sure then not know and always be worrying or cause harm.
Find a comfy bra and buy a few when you do!
Bio oil and other creams are wonderful.
What you think are the most amazing things easily get replaced by a heartbeat, picture from an ultrasound or a kick.
Write everything down because your easily distracted.
Share your experiences with your partner to make them feel included.
Tums calcium is wonderful, always have on hand.
Get properly sized at a maternity store, walking in can be overwhelming and they are there to help.
Enjoy every minute of it, cuz time flies.

I feel so lucky that I get to experience the wonder that is pregnancy. All the good, bad and hormonal; I wouldn't trade in for anything. To know that in a few short months I get to meet the baby I have been dreaming of for over six years, feels surreal to me. I am also incredibly lucky to have an incredibly supportive and loving husband who kisses, talks, listens and loves the baby in my belly non stop.

When it all comes down to it I've learnt how much you can love someone you've never met, an idea, a dream. How much the people around you can get attached and invested to that dream. I am loving this journey and cannot wait to see what I get to experience next on it.

Lotsa love,

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

First flutters

There are a whole whack load of changes you go through when your pregnant; physically, emotionally and mentally. Some difficult, not so fun and some magical.

I'm thankfully now in my 2nd trimester of pregnancy and loving it. I've made it through the 24hr nausea and exhaustion. Now I get to experience the fun.

Feeling the first flutter of my babies movements was an incredible moment, one made even more special because I was snuggled on the couch with Ryan and he was rubbing my belly. It was like that fast flutter was the babies way of saying hello to us. Seeing as I'm only 4 months the flutters are not very strong or frequent yet, but I still get those special moments a few times a day where my baby says hello. I cannot wait to have Ryan feel the movements, but that's still a little bit away.

I definitely have to say that pregnancy is one crazy and amazing adventure. What our bodies go through and can feel is incredible. I thank the lucky stars, the ottawa fertility clinic and hot 89.8 every day that I get to be apart of this adventure. I only hope that anyone who wants to experience this kind of blind love gets to some day.

Lotsa Love,

Saturday, April 28, 2012

I'm a dreamer

I have often wandered what my dreams mean, do they come from a fear, desire or from the creative part of my brain. There are tons of books or sites that will tell you what your dream meant, but can a dream just be a dream?

Lately all I dream about is food, I then wake up and crave the food I have dreamt about. Now do I have some sort of fear or obsession with food, does food represent something else? Or is it simply because I am three months pregnant and hungry all the time?
Thankfully my dream food cravings have all been very healthy; like berries, Greek salad, tomato sandwiches, v8 or fajitas. I think my cravings have actually made me eat healthier then I did before I started dream craving lol. I thankfully have yet to have a weird or crazy mixture craving like i've heard so much about, so far my food groups remain separate lol. Oddly enough meat seams to be the only thing that i've periodically had aversions to, I normally could live off of meat, every once in a while I will think about what to make or walk past the butcher section of the grocery store and get completely turned off, however this normally only last a day or so and I'm back to normal.
This has been a new occurrence in my pregnancy, id say within the past few weeks. I've heard about pregnancy cravings before but never ones that came in a dream…lol  Maybe it's the babies way of telling me its hungry even when I'm sleeping or my brain planning out my next days menu. Either way I am finding this comical and interesting, going with the flow and seeing where it takes me.
So while everyone else dreams of work, some sexy actor or monsters, I will be in food dream land with piles of strawberries or big platters of Lone Star Fajitas all around me. MMMM I think my dreams are better…lol What will you dream of tonight?
Lotsa Love,

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

How your world can be taken over by something so small

When going through anything new or big it's hard to focus on anything else. Hard to talk about, read about, relate to or or even shop regularly.
On Saturday I will be 12 weeks pregnant and seeing as I went through IVF I know every detail and minute of how my pregnancy started. So i have had some time to allow this to creep into my mind. My mind that was once filled with all kinds of things is now filled with baby facts, books, apps for my iPhone, drs appointments, my next ultrasound date, baby names, will it be a boy or girl, how should I decorate the nursery and you get the point lol.
Mine and my husbands world has been flipped and we couldn't be more excited. We know we still have quite the journey ahead but cannot wait to meet our little one. Thankfully Ryan's sister is do any time now and the prospect of her little girl coming into this world has me a little distracted.
Because everyone knew we were going through IVF and knew when we were going in for our blood work; everyone found out with us that the round took at just over 4 weeks. So our families and friends have had lots of time to celebrate and now they start to shop lol.
It seems like as my tummy starts to grow and my scar tissue painfully stretches I am becoming more and more accepting of the actual fact I am pregnant lol. The things I look forward to now are maternity shopping, ultrasound dates, when I can hear the heart beat again and getting stuff for our little miracle. My brain has become mushy with baby lol.
Time seems to be flying by and I can't believe that three months are already almost here and gone. Maybe my hormonal brain will let me think about something else in the near future, but until then I'm enjoying swimming in the happiness that is being pregnant.
Lotsa Love,

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The sweetest sound

There are not many sounds that I can say stop me in my tracks, bring me to tears and warm my heart all at the same time. Just this past week I got to hear one of those sounds for the very first time, the sound of my babies heartbeat. One perfect, fast, loud heartbeat, that stole my heart.

After years of struggling and disappointment, no matter what your trying to achieve, after a while I think you become more used to the disappointment and not the positive. So even though the bloating, exhaustion, nausea and very small baby bump remind me every day that I am pregnant, there are days when I don't really think its sunk in. Then I go to my first Drs appointment and I'm told not to get my hopes up that you cant always hear the heartbeat at ten weeks. So I lay waiting, not getting my hopes up until I heard the most perfect sound I will ever hear, the heartbeat of my baby.
My husband was unable to make it to my appointment, of course one of the only appointments he missed throughout our whole IVF process. Fortunately my Dr allowed me to record the sound on my phone and I was able to share the wonderful sound with my Husband and our families. I think he has now listened to it over 30 times.
Its crazy how sometimes even though you know something to be true it takes a whole lot of proof for it to sink in. I may be in the delivery room before it has fully sunk in for me…lol. Luckily I have my husband who very lovingly gives my belly kisses goodnight, every night, to remind me.
So I guess what I need to learn is to accept the good in, without undeniable proof. The enjoy the good times and to just go along for the ride. We cant control everything and sometimes we just need to go with the flow.
Lotsa Love,

Monday, April 9, 2012

Big Little Announcement - IVF update

 For those of you who don't live in the Ottawa area or listen to the New Hot 89.9, you may have missed our BIG little announcement. After years and years of trying, entering and winning the Win a Baby contest and going through one round of IVF my husband Ryan and I are extremely excited to say that we are expecting our first little bundle of joy. I AM PREGNANT!!!!!

Words can not express how excited we are. There are days when I wake up and its not until the nausea and exhaustion kicks in that I believe that im really pregnant.
We are expecting our little one on November 10th and I know its still far away, but I cannot wait to meet the baby I have been dreaming of for so long. Every night my husband says goodnight to the baby and kisses my tummy goodnight, I fall asleep and dream of what he or she might be like, what features of mine or Ryan's it may have or if it will be a girl or boy.
A year ago I wouldn't have guessed that this is where I would be today. After struggling for so long a part of you looses hope and stops dreaming all together. Its nice to be dreaming again.
The day we got the phone call from the clinic giving us the amazing news is a day we will never forget. I have to give the highest praises to the Ottawa Fertility Centre for their amazing care. From beginning to end, they were absolutely amazing to us.
I cant wait to share this amazing new journey with all of you.
Lotsa Love,

Monday, March 26, 2012

Babe Lessons - Stark Naked

Who as a child has not taken part in the freedom of escaping the diaper change and running off wild with not a care in the world?  From my mom’s recounts of my own childhood, to siblings and cousins and even friends parents reliving embarrassing stories about stark naked runners all have the same key idea; no shame or body issues. Shame and body image issues are things that are taught and observed, not something you are born with.  Could you imagine as a child standing waiting for your bus in your neon tight biker shorts and tank top looking at your friend and asking “do these shorts make me look fat?” or avoiding playing because it would mess up your hair “sorry I can’t play ball with you, I just did my hair”; your probably laughing at the image right now because of how absurd the idea is. I cannot ever remember worrying about what I looked like as a child; I was too busy being a child! In most of my family’s pictures of me I am most certainly looking dishevelled but I also look like I’m having the time of my life and smiling from ear to ear in every picture. So at what age do we stop striping down because we are hot and want to run through a sprinkler butt naked or when is it decided that we have to worry about our weight and appearance? I am not an expert in child psychology, nor do I know the answer to that question, what I do know is that it is way too early and children are not coming up with it on their own. Could you imagine “OMG Janet is by far the fattest grade two there is, what is she wearing?”?

Children are incredible observers, they hear and absorb more than most people give them credit for. Simple learned habits that children pick up from people in their lives and with media being focused on the super thin and perfect it’s a scary fact that it is almost inevitable that children will grow up with insecurities. I’m not saying that we should all drop our clothes because we feel like it or become obese because we don’t care; I am however saying that moderation and self-love and not loathing are key ingredients.  Teaching and demonstrating that beautiful isn’t a mould and that there is more to a person then the outer shell.

We need to realize that nobody is perfect, so to strive for constant perfection is like striving for constant failure. Your body is yours for life, so get used to it, yes be healthy and make smart choices, but do not fall a victim to pressures that set people up for failure and possible addictions and disorders. It breaks my heart when I hear a child make comments about their weight or being fat or teens talking about how they haven’t eaten all day on purpose because they want to lose weight. I have been a witness to amazing people falling victim to eaten disorders because of twisted views of being perfect getting out of control and that person ends up being lost to the disease that is far from pretty or perfect.

We cannot ever dream of trying to fix other peoples views until we fix ourselves and that is when I think we can take notes from babies and small children who have yet to be tainted by unrealistic standards. We need to not only take steps but giant leaps and bounds back to our earlier year views of ourselves. When is the last time you looked at yourself and were completely happy with what you saw? When is the last time you walked around naked or even were naked in front of another person without hiding in the dark? If we all had a person who followed us around all day with an airbrush then I would say sure your expectations to look like someone whose job is to always look like that and has been touched up by magazine editors is completely justifiable, but until then we need to step back and take stock in what’s real.  To me and many others I have talked to about similar topics someone who is happy and smiling and secure is way more attractive then someone who is so done up that they are afraid to move and are obviously incredibly insecure with themselves.

Am I always super secure with myself, no, I have my bloated hormonal hard on me days like most people do. But do I starve myself, do I cut other people down to make me feel better or have unrealistic goals of how I should look? NO! I like who I am and I know that no one is perfect, I think that people’s imperfections are what makes them unique, we have all seen the movie step ford wives and that does not end well…, sure I feel like I could lose a few pounds, but I know I will never be a size zero, my love affair with food would never allow that… nor my 5’11 body frame.

Let’s make positive changes with our own views of ourselves and what beautiful is so that someone day there will be a generation of children who will never be upset about their being butter on their bagel or counting the calories of everything they eat and will never have to know what an eating disorder is. Take this lesson from the babes and learn to love you and everything about you.

Start by not caring if someone is watching you and have fun instead of trying to look like you’re having fun; as a child I never cared if someone was watching me, I was far too involved in whatever story I had created for myself in my make believe world.

Leave the house without make up, I promise there is not a force field preventing you from doing so.

Go one day without thinking a negative thought about your appearance, do it I dare you, see if you can.

Idolize someone for the person they are and not their perceived outward perfection.

Start by taking these baby steps in the shoes of babes and learn to unconditionally love yourself all over again, it’s a love affair you won’t want to miss. 

Lotsa Love,

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


When's the last time you had a good belly laugh? I mean the kind that leaves your abbs hurting, eyes watering and some occasional snorting? When you didn't care who around your heard this outburst of insanity?
I have been told many a time that my laugh is identifiable. People saying "I knew it was you, I could tell by your laugh". In the past this has sometimes bothered me depending on the tone in which the comments where said, then I realized isn't better to have a big booming laugh that people recognize, then having one people never notice?
One thing that is great about a big laugh is that it is normally infectious, so I'm rarely left laughing in tears alone. So I guess if there is one thing I could spread, laughter and happiness would be it.
Our lives are so busy, fast paced and serious as adults; if you cant answer when's the last time you peed your pants laughing... Then we've got some issues, the grown up world and snatched you up.
Next time you hear someone full out laughing, instead of judging try joining in. Try to release some of the control over yourself and allow the healing power of a laugh to overcome you. Laugh so loudly that people have no choice but to notice your fantastic laugh. Because life is far to short to take too seriously.
Lotsa Love,

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sometimes the wait is the hardest part - IVF update

You'd think the hormones, side effects or constant poking and prodding would be the hardest part of IVF. Not for me! For me the hardest part has been the excruciating two week wait after the embryo transfer. The wait to find out if our dreams have come true.
You think of two weeks as nothing, a very small amount of time. But what if that two weeks was tick tocking away at a super slow rate. So slow you can almost here the ticking as the time goes by.
For a lot of women they have no idea they are pregnant till a missed period or some blatant pregnancy signs start to emerge. Not many people get to know the exact date the embryo was created. So when you do get to know the exact date and you have to sit by in wait, while the whole time thinking "did it work?".
You'd think it would be pretty easy to be able to figure out that your pregnant. But what if your ovaries are swollen and crampy, your on estrogen and progesterone and every symptom could be pregnancy, the beginning of your period, your body trying to return to normal or stress? How do you decipher? Well I think you'd drive yourself crazy trying. Now I'm not saying I don't have moments in my wait were I'm swayed one way or the other, but for my sanity I've tried to do my best not to read into every sign. It's a nearly impossible task.
With a great round of IVF, a great retrieval and our embryos sticking around to day 5. Everything has been looking up for us. We transferred an excellent quality embryo (our little super embryo) and were able to freeze four. We really couldn't of asked for more.
We're coming close to the end of our two week wait and as the day draws closer my nerves get thinner. I managed through the first couple days without any worry, but as the ticking gets louder my worry gets bigger. I think a lot if it is from trying for so many years without a positive outcome. Always being told no or seeing that negative sign makes you start to believe that that is always the way it will be. So my big challenge has been to silence the negativity, the voice inside saying it can never be and replace it with the voice of hope. Telling myself that yes it can be, we could be pregnant.
It's not easy to silence the negativity, especially when the voice has been around for a while. But you can always make a change, always make a difference and always alter what the voice is saying. Make your voice a positive one, one that will guide you to your dreams.

Lotsa Love,

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Retrieving Hope - IVF Update

Near the end of a round of IVF your tired, emotional, sore and all around played out. After days, weeks or even months of hormones your ready for the round to be over, or at least I was.

 Nearing when my retrieval was supposed to be I was growing anxious about what the magical date would be, when would the clinic be retrieving my eggs? Day after day I was told "not yet, come back tomorrow, you're so close". Even though I understood why I had to wait and that the outcome should be better for me, I was feeling the effects of the hormones and felt like I had enough. So again we went back in and thankfully we had waited because we went from 7 viable follicles to 15-20 in one day! That's why you listen to your doctors... Lol

 Having a number to focus in on and knowing that my retrieval would only be 36 hours away, I felt like I could hang on to my emotional sanity a little longer. My month and a half round was definitely wearing me down. Everyone at the clinic was so amazing and supportive thought the whole process, telling me I was doing great, that we were on track and that there was tons of possibility. So we were very positive going in to the clinic for our retrieval appointment.

 As usual we were greeted by big smiles and were brought into the recovery room to get me prepped. While Ryan was off at the lab I was given a wonderfully relaxing shot and prepped to go in. What's neat about your IVF treatment is that you will get to meet most over the Drs. and get to be be a part of an almost communal environment. I cannot say enough how much I adore the staff at the Ottawa Fertility Center or how fantastic my care has been. Oh ya... So I'm dopped up and wrapped in a warmed sheet when Ryan comes back into the room giggling as he can instantly see how "relaxed" I was. We are informed that Dr Haebe will be doing our retrieval and I get brought into the procedure room. Now I've had my share of hospital visits and this room is nothing like you'd imagine, instead of being cold and bright, it was warm, with dim lighting and music on in the background. I got to meet my nurses and embryologist. Everything is explained, more drugs are administered and in comes my Dr. Now you are not in the most comfy position, your very exposed and have a needle that's going to be poked into your ovaries, what could be a uncomfortable situation was made anything but. Every detail was explained to me, the Dr joked about how evil he was for causing me pain and the nurse held my arm and helped me breathe through the worst parts, all my Ryan beside me held my hand. We got to watch the entire procedure on a monitor directly above me and were already in awe when the embryologist counted out our first egg retrieved. Because the embryologist has to sort through fluid etc to count the very tiny eggs they are always behind the Dr, so when we left the room we were at 12 eggs retrieved... An amazing number. After the nurse gets me to my recovery recliner I get wrapped in warm sheets and she goes to get the final count. She comes back in big smiles telling us they had retrieved 18 eggs, Ryan and I couldn't believe it! So much potential, so many eggs. At that moment I knew everything else that I'd been through in my round was to create those 18 eggs, 18 potential babies.

 Waiting to get the call the next day to find out how many fertilized was crazy. We finally got the call and again were amazed. 17 of my eggs matured and 13 fertilizer creating us 13 embryos and giving us a day 5 transfer. With so much incredible potential Ryan and I got this surge of hope and knew this was the closest to our dream we had ever been. We are almost there!

 So what did I learn from this, other than to listen to your Dr? I learnt that when you feel like you are done, your not. When your tired and feel like there is nothing left in the tank, there is. And that sometimes you have to wait longer then you'd like for what you want, but the wait is part of the journey and makes everything else so much sweeter!

 Lotsa Love, Natasha

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Brighter Side - IVF update

When going through something hard on you, emotionally, physically or mentally, it can be easy to forget the brighter side of things! The reasons, the who, how, why or even our attempted outcome. One thing IVF is teaching me is to see the brighter side.
Going through a round of IVF has it fair share of fun side effects, varying by protocol and by the patient. Some only feel mildly different, where as others feel the full range of hormone side effects.
I can attest that when in pain or uncomfortable it is easy to get lost in that and forget why your doing it all. Being nauseous or dealing with migraines, pain or the fact that your ovaries are now the size of small oranges can definitely take its toll, not to mention the emotional roller coaster your on because of the surge of hormones. But when you put in perspective the why, it makes everything else seem small.
The other day after hot flashes, weeks of nausea and migraines, needles and back pain I was feeling done, tired and worn out. Then I had my first ultrasound to monitor my follicle growth and I was amazed. I was smiling from ear to ear and had a renewed sense of why.
Now every two days I go in and get to see my amazing progress, see the follicles growing and definitely feeling the changes. But now it's almost as I appreciate being uncomfortable knowing that it's a good sign, that I'm tired because my body is working over time to produce a lot of eggs. So it still sucks feeling like poop all the time, but it is absolutely worth it.
By the end of this week I will have my retrieval and the magic of IVF and the talent of the amazing staff at The Ottawa Fertility Center will take over and hopefully help me and my hubby get pregnant. We are over the moon excited right now and I have to say our hopes are very high.
Going through anything tough is always made better by the people who you surround yourself with. Those who just rub your back as your sobbing and don't know why, those who help you with your injections, who listen to you, make you laugh, let you vent and try there best to understand. I am lucky enough to have all that and an amazing group, my fellow Win a Baby couples, who understand and have created this great community where IVF is something that is easily shared, compared and taken in together.
So when your going through something tough, share. Talk to someone who can understand or even just let you vent. But in the end try to remember to look for the brighter side, look for something to help bring you through until you yourself are right there with it.
Lotsa Love,

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Win a Baby "Couple A" Update

A couple of months ago I had convinced myself that ivf, that having a baby of my own may not be possible. A couple of months ago I had almost given in! Then came the contest Win a Baby from The New Hot 899 and now I am at the beginning of a round of IVF. How things can change… J

Ryan and I are now embarking upon our first and hopefully only round of IVF. We are optimistically realistic coming into this process, but we are beyond excited.  My original plan was not to get my hopes up, you here of it taking multiple rounds and how that can wear on a person; however now that I am here it is hard to contain my excitement. In just a few short months and a crazy roller coaster ride I went from having to face maybe never having a child to being at the clinic where it can all happen; picking up my injection kit.

Now that our dream is within reach its hard not to picture our little boy or girl, hard not to talk about names and a future; where before I wouldn’t dare let myself go there. 

Even though the process is beyond not fun, the nausea, headaches, acne and soon to come hot flashes and mood swings; it is more than worth it. My hubby was stressing coming into this process, knowing the toll that a round of IVF can take on someone.  It plays havoc on your body, strains you emotionally and pushes the boundaries of your relationship.  So when January came and even though I knew exactly what I was facing; I still had a smile on my face, was super positive and excited about starting hormones…I knew I was ready.  

So when the day came; I made the phone call, one simple phone call that can change our lives forever, I called in to start our round of IVF. Writing down all the details, appointments, the do’s and don’ts I couldn’t help but just beam (and maybe do a little happy dance). At a recent appointment to learn about the injections I will be soon starting and how this whole process works, I was watching my next few months being mapped out.

I’ve been on a pill for a few weeks now, next is a daily injection that lowers my estrogen levels (similar to menopause) to trick my brain into not paying attention to the multiple eggs I will be growing. After a few weeks I get blood work to determine that my estrogen levels are low enough (starting at a base line) and if they are at the magic number I start a second daily injection that will increase my estrogen levels and create multiple eggs instead of the usual one. After a couple weeks of this and multiple blood work and ultrasound appointments they will be able to tell us when we can have them removed, A trigger shot is taken to tell the body to release the eggs and the procedure is booked. From then on out you hope for multiple healthy eggs and you hope that you get many healthy viable embryos.

This process has a lot that needs to line up and even if everything goes perfect we have a 50% chance at the end of the day. I don’t think I have ever been so excited to inject myself with a needle…lol

No matter how this process turns out, we are and will forever be beyond grateful to the mazing people at the new hot 899 for making this happen, for giving us and four other great couples a chance at making our dreams come true.

Because if you never take a chance, if you never try, you will never know!

Lotsa Love,

Monday, January 16, 2012

Baking Lessons

When I think of myself as a cook, I think bbq meat, awesome stir fry’s and yummy pasta’s, not an awesome desert. I can get by with baking, but where I really excel is having fun with different savory dishes in the kitchen, sauces, oils and spices oh my! This month I have had a lot more free time then I normally do and have become addicted to Pinterest, so while viewing all the deliciousness that everyone pins, I decided to explore the world of baking a little bit more. 

Delicious Home Made Artisan Bread!
One thing you have to know about me is that I’m not a very  patient person, this could be why baking and I have never hit it off… you rush baking and usually end up with disaster. This year instead of making New Years Resolutions I made goals or a state of mind that I wanted to have entering this crazy year, one was to be patient.

Since I’ve been exploring the realm of baking, my patients has been tested and rewarded. I have successfully made delicious artisan bread, monkey squares, cinnamon sugar pull a part bread and this week has a whole new world of possibilities waiting for me. I’m thinking lemon squares; maybe a different type of bread and seeing as it’s my sister’s birthday this week, who knows what else I will create!

One thing January has been teaching me (other than I’m not a Tylenol fan and I miss you Advil!) is that if you slow down and look around there is a lesson or room for growth in every moment. If I rush the recipe it will fail, just as if you rush certain life moments you’ll miss the sparkle in them. There is something therapeutic about spending a day with great company or alone, getting your hands dirty baking!

So maybe it won’t be baking for you, but try and find something that tests and teaches patience. Because I’m sure that is something that most of us could use a lot more of. Slow down, take a step back and enjoy the moment (or the fresh bread you just made).

Life fly’s by in a flash, so hit the pause button and just relax!

Lotsa Love,

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Things that make me HAPPY!

In the process of creating a list of blog posts ideas, I was baking, sipping on coffee and spending a lazy day at home alone with my poochie Bailey. This struck me as an amazing idea for my blogging peeps to get to know me better (cuz I don’t share enough…lol). So I decided to write a little bit about a few of the things that make me happy!

Date nights- getting together with my peeps (usually mid-week), to enjoy each other’s company. This tradition has evolved over the years, but is still a welcome constant in my life.

Babies- The idea that I could be a momma in less than a year! 

Preggers- My sister in law Charly and a bunch of our girlfriend's are expecting little ones themselves. 

Food- Cooking it, exploring it and of course eating it!

Bailey trying to get her cuddle on,
soaking wet after a swim in the lake!
My Cottage- No matter what’s going on in my life, I get to my cottage and my whole body just relaxes. It’s like my brain is trained that the cottage is a place of happy relaxation.

Writing- When I get into the zone, doesn’t seem to matter what else is going on around me. My fingers start typing and even if it’s a verbal hot mess, it’s all mine… J

Photos- Looking back on all the good times had!

Family pets- I lova the poochies! Sorry kitties I’m allergic!

Knitting- Seeing something created from a ball of yarn.

Family and friends- The peeps that keep me sane.

Ryan- The person who I chose to spend forever with and who chose me right back!

There a probably a million more things I could put on my list like coffee, olives, Christmas lights and wine(when I’m allowed to drink it), but they would be secondary to my list I’ve created above.  I may not have a ton of money or the best of luck (sometimes) but I am rich in many ways that I know that some aren’t as fortunate in. Because you may be able to buy a bigger house, but you can’t buy better peeps than I have.

So why don’t you share a bit about yourself and tell me what makes you happy!

Lotsa Love,

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012 Resolutions

Our society seems very attached to making resolutions every year on New Year’s day, but do we keep them? The giant life changing resolutions that we all create for ourselves in hopes that this year will be the year we lose the weight, read 50 books or meet the one. My belief is that is you’re not ready or you aren’t in the right mind set no matter how many resolutions you make you’re going to break them. So even though I don’t believe setting one day a year aside for setting resolutions, I absolutely believe in setting goals and working towards a better change or aspiring to something new and great.

This year I asked my hubby if he’d made any resolutions this year, he replied without thought “no and neither should you, because you never keep them”. At first I was taken back… how dare he say that… and then I tried to think of a resolution made on New Years that Id actually kept and I honestly could not think of one. I have reached many other goals in my life and I aspire to many great things, but to say I’ve completed a New Year’s resolution…I could not.

I think my dreams for 2012 are a little big and can’t really be obtained by resolving to do so. So instead I’ve decided to enter into 2012 with a mindset of how I’d like things to work out, a positive outlook.  Seeing as 2012 will be spent going through ivf and possibly pregnancy Ive told myself that there is a certain way I want to go through it.

I want to be brave and strong, entering into something new and scary. I want to be patient and understanding, knowing that things don’t happen overnight. I want to be aware of me, with hormone injections it can be easy to slip into bought’s of emotions or solely focus on ivf, I want to remain aware of me throughout this process to stay sane J . I’m going to be creating a board that I can put up somewhere visible in my house as my mantra for 2012.

2011 ended on such a high note for Ryan and I, we just want to keep riding that wave. I’ve lost 15lbs and have been eating well, exercising and overall feeling great. My energy is up and I feel overall very positive about what’s to come. Ryan keeps laughing at me, saying “I’ve never seen someone so excited to start injecting themselves with needles.”; this means to me that I am ready to face all that 2012 can throw at me with Ryan by my side. January should be an interesting month with the start of our IVF round, but I like interesting…

So even though I have a ton of things that I would love to accomplish for 2012, resolving to do so has never worked for me in the past. So instead I plan on having a strong and positive outlook and by doing so may be able to achieve more in my year.

Lotsa Love,

Do you make yearly resolutions; If so what where they for this year? Post a comment to let us all know.