After 18 months of trying to conceive we have finally done it. I'd like to say that it all took place the good old fashion way after a night of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries but the reality is we had help. After a year of not being able to get pregnant I found a reproductive endocrinologist via a referral from a few different people and had tests done (on both myself and my husband) to show Intrauterine Insemination might help increase our odds of getting pregnant. Shocking that we conceived our son without help but secondary infertility is not something brand new to see happen. For those not completely familiar with IUI it is basically where the man's sperm is put into a machine where it is washed and filtered to get the best quality swimmers and then inserted into the woman via a catheter up to her cervix right around the time of ovulation.
We tried 3 rounds of IUI with the first attempt ending in miscarriage but the third attempt being a success. I will admit getting blood draws, ultrasounds, taking progestone and clomid, and having my husband stick me with a needle of ovidrel were not on my To Do List of ways to conceive but the medical world is so advanced and getting more and more precise in helping couples who have fertility issues. I also made my husband start taking 500mg of Vitamin C and a supplement called FertiliAid and I think the perfect storm of right timing, fertility meds, and him taking vitamins all helped us achieve our goal of getting pregnant.
I'll also tell you that after my miscarriage I felt desperate and read up on other more natural approaches to help increase fertility and a vegan diet and juice cleanse were both steps I took that I think ended up helping me. The idea is that meat and other processed foods increase a woman's estrogen levels which can cause a hormone imbalance and reduce the length of your luteal phase, or the window of time for implantation after ovulation. Even though my hormones were not believed to be causing our infertility I wanted to give my body a chance to provide the perfect environment for fertilization.
While IUI is considered the "less expensive" route for infertility it also isn't cheap. Especially when you factor in all the doctor visits for monitoring of hormone levels, sonograms to check follicle size (which is believed to relate directly to egg quality and quantity), and medicine. I'll estimate just the relatively short amount of time we were under the care of our RE we spent well over $3,000 out of pocket which was not covered under our insurance. But knowing IVF attempts start around $10,000 we shouldn't complain.
As I type this I'm extremely nauseous and tired, but so very thankful for modern medicine and this little bean growing inside of me. If everything continues to go well our son will have a brother or sister come early December...or earlier if this one is anything like him.
I'm always fascinated when I learn about how businesses get their start and Joah Love is one of those businesses with an interesting story. Even the name of their business is cool; the collision of 2 of the founders names, Joy and Ahyoung. And Ahyoung, who is Korean, says that when you say Joah in Korean it means you really like something. The guiding principals of this company are formed around the idea that brotherly love breaks down barriers and opens the doors to wonderful collaborative opportunities. Maybe that is why they focus on only producing their clothing in the USA, because they want to live by their support those around you philosophy. But in that same line of thought after 1 year of being in business Joah Love joined fronts with OmniPeace which is a humanitarian brand bringing change and hope to Africa. Joah Love is also a proud supporter of Casa Hogar Orphanage in Monterrey Mexico.
At the end of the day I like to think that businesses want to help the community, build relationships, and spread positive messages and I'm happy to call Joah Love our favorite Hipster Baby Brand not only for their styling but for their heart!
I am reading a book called No More Perfect Moms which has really opened my eyes to a lot of things. We and society put pressures on ourselves to put on a facade that everything is great. Checking Facebook or Pinterest all you see are beautiful people, wonderful vacations, and crazy expensive parties decked out in theme. Of which I am guilty of all points (minus the being beautiful part- I'm not that egotistical). I would love for people to be more real and find that I always connect with people who make sure their "realness" sneaks out. It's called being in touch with reality. Nobody has the perfect kid, perfect husband, perfect wife, perfect life. In fact life as we know it would be all too boring if perfect really was possible. It would also be really depressing if everyone was always in a negative state and had a can't do attitude, so where is the happy medium? Although as I type this I'm thinking about how adorable all the kids are on Hipster Baby but I really do try to keep the real kid look as much as possible. You can see that via the snacks and toys we let the kids play with during our photo shoots along with the sad or grumpy faces we capture from certain little guys. I also think that little ones in general are just beautiful and adorable no matter what their state is.
So lets all try not to get caught up in the unimportant- reach out to others when you are going through a tough time, share a secret with a friend, try and be more open to those important in your life. Nobody will think less of you for doing so and realness in fact can be very freeing. Nobody has the perfect home, perfect body, perfect child, or perfect family. I urge you to post something via social media that is "real" and see what happens.
Feeling anxiety was never something I experienced on a consistent basis until I became a parent. And now that my son is a toddler in the truest sense it has only widened the gap even more. He jumps off of everything, never stops moving, and is always doing. I am grateful he is active and healthy but maybe I just need a little more grace to soothe my soul (although sometimes I think maybe just a few glasses of wine might do the trick). I've often been told how athletic and agile little hipster is but with that comes this tremendous amount of fear one of his crazy stunts will take us to the emergency room. Although I might have a calm demeanor I often feel I'm at my boiling point and wish my child would be quiet and still. Of course children all come in different shapes, sizes, and personalities but I didn't know how wild mine would be! I honestly can't just blame his quirkiness on him being a boy as I think he is extremely high energy and maybe even a little too smart for his age (which often is the problem because he knows what he can do with little effort).
We are all dealt different hands and so far our recent journey has been tumultuous. And although every day I am exhausted because my child doesn't nap or refuses to go to bed at a reasonable hour and NEVER STOPS MOVING, I know that he is a sweet guy at heart and has a free and inquisitive spirit that we all need. So sprinkle on a little bit of life, and despite your own uncertainties, have faith and enjoy your little man.
Well as we all know kids are tough on their shoes and being a mother of a boy, boys shoes just aren't all that fun. I've found myself searching for new types of shoes but always seem to come back to a few great brands; Toms (thank you Blake Mycoskie), Vans, and Reefs. Our Hipster has worn many types of shoes including the not so fashionable but oh so wearable Crocs, and dress up Sperry Top Siders. I found that Converse are cool looking but a major pain to get on a little one's foot and Pedipeds are just practical for the learning to walk stage since they are soft soled. I LOVE the look of Livie and Luca and would definitely splurge on a pair but honestly the classic slip on Vans in black and white checker or the high top black Vans with velcro strap are the go to shoes for us. See Kai Run is another great brand we have thought about purchasing but just haven't gotten around to it yet. Around Christmas time I tried to find a pair of cool moccasins but had trouble finding his size. I know for Fall I'm definitely investing in some little guy moccasins for Hipster Baby to sell because they seem versatile for moms of boys and for the little ones themselves. And since spring/summer is almost here the only sandal our guy will be wearing is the Reef's Grom Leather Sandal (that comes with an elastic back for little ones) or the not so cute classic Crocs in dark blue or black. What are your go to shoes for your little one?
Early on as a new parent you crave sleep and can snooze just about anywhere anytime, but at least for me it seems like I can function so much better on limited hours of sleep now that our guy is older. Maybe parents learn how to cope or adapt to what gets thrown their way or maybe we all become just a little bit crazy from our deprivation.
As I have mentioned we are currently seeing an RE for infertility and while we've been on this journey for baby#2 for 15months it really starts to feel like an eternity. Thank goodness Little Hipster is becoming so much more independent and verbal that he keeps us uplifted through it all, focusing on the joys of toddlerhood, exploration, and constant learning. While I have mentioned that infertility is a topic not often spoken about I find myself eagerly wanting to discuss what is going on with my friends, but at the same time not wanting to weigh them down with sad news, another month gone by of us selfishly wanting to have another child. Clomid, Ovidrel, and Progesterone are becoming my new norm. Doctor visits are weekly, checking hormone levels, ovulation, and potential pregnancy. Through it all I'm so thankful for my sweet little guy and the person he is becoming. I also appreciate that he has started going to bed earlier! While I can cope with limited sleep in the end I'm still pretty grumpy without some shut eye.
Well we finally did it and signed Little Hipster up for preschool (just one day a week because hey it's not cheap!). I felt like he needed more socializing away from me even though we did lots of playdates, music class, and gymnastics class on a weekly basis. Also with the growth of Hipster Baby Mom of said Little Hipster needed time during the day that wasn't just limited to nap time or "go watch PBS kid shows" time. Inevitably he would get into trouble doing something he shouldn't be doing…even when I was in the same room! So after a tour of the preschool I was contemplating putting him in we were ready to start. I bought a comfy camp nap mat and lunch box and pulled out his toddler size Quiksilver bag from our daycare days and that was about it. I made sure to include him with me on our Preschool tour so he could become familiar with the new setting while I was there and know who the director was (who also happens to have a candy stash should things get tough).
The night before I made a cool kid bento lunch filled with an Elmo face sandwich (courtesy of the Sesame Street cutters from Williams Sonoma I bought I Amazon for his 2nd birthday party), fruit, chips, and a TJ version oreo. I also made sure to have a chat with Little Hipster to make sure he knew I would drop him off at preschool and would only stay a little while and then would come back after nap.
As expected on his first day little one cried after I walked away but his teachers assured me it was very short lived and he did great. Also I was surprised to be told "he talks a lot" so I guess that has to mean he feels comfortable there. Little man also loved that the potty they have in class is his size and so far after over a month of classes he hasn't had an accident! They do music class, spanish class, and even chapel (which always makes me wonder if he has unveiled his sign of the cross). I must admit seeing a toddler pray is adorable- no matter what religion!
Little Hipster is sure growing up quick. His Little Man outfits are always a hit and they always make me smile.