5/22/2017

Infertility Changed Me

We walked into the clinic and sat in the waiting room.

It was quiet.

Dozens of women and couples sat next to us.

No one said a word, but they didn’t need to.

The air was thick with anxiety, and none of us wanted to be there.

A nurse called my name and ushered my husband and me back through a hallway into a brightly lit office. She smiled, told us to take a seat. The doctor would be in shortly.

The sun beamed in through the windows. It felt strange. Our lives seemed a far cry from sunshine and blue skies.

A hand gently knocked on the door.

“Good morning!” She was delighted to see us, but I can’t say we felt the same about her. After all, who wants to find themselves sitting across from a fertility specialist?

Her brown, shoulder-length hair draped over a white lab coat. She had coffee in one hand and a stack of files in the other.

As she pulled up her chair, she put on a pair of dark-rimmed glasses and began flipping through pages of our medical history. Lab results, baseline blood draws, ultrasounds, semen analysis reports. It was strewn across her desk like a million-piece puzzle that couldn’t fit together.

My husband’s knee restlessly bounced up and down. My heart raced. I’m sure my chest was blotchy. The nerves were getting the best of me.

Then she said it.

She took off her glasses, put them on her desk and said the words no one wants to hear: “You have unexplained infertility.”

I slunk into the chair. My chin quivered, tears glossed over my eyes. My husband’s knee stopped bouncing. He stared out the window into the sunshine. It was a beautiful day for everyone, except for us...

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5/17/2017

When Comparison Almost Steals Your Joy

I was happy for her. I genuinely was. I love when good things happen to good people, and she’s certainly a good person.

But after I hung up the phone and corralled my toddlers, I sighed.

Why can’t my life be perfect?

I could feel the envy start flowing through my veins.

I was knee-deep in dirty diapers and sippy cups. My hair was dry-shampooed yesterday. And I had oatmeal all over my pants.

My thoughts began spinning into a cycle of comparison.

I wish I didn’t have to deplete my savings account for a chance at becoming pregnant. In fact, I wish I’d never had to stare at a negative pregnancy test or be diagnosed with infertility in the first place…I wish I didn’t have a credit card bill…I wish I could be reimbursed for continuing my education…I wish I could pay off my student loans…I wish I wasn’t tens of thousands of dollars in debt from the adoption process…I wish I had a new refrigerator…I wish our minivan didn’t need $1,500 worth of repairs...

I became busy counting and wishing for her blessings instead of being grateful for my very own.

Comparison. It’s a dangerous place for the mind to wander, and it can be a hard thought process to escape.

I sighed at what my life had become — in that moment, I felt similar to the crusty, dried oatmeal flakes still stuck on my pants from breakfast with my daughters.

Her View From Home Contributor


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5/03/2017

Finding Joy in the Fleeting Moments of Motherhood

This post is sponsored by Holiday Inn brand. As always, thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that make this blog possible!

I remember waking up to the smell of pancakes on a hot griddle. My sister and I would excitedly stumble downstairs in our nightgowns. We'd run past my my grandpa sitting in his recliner listening to the morning news at an unspeakably loud volume and head straight to the kitchen where my grandma had been flipping pancakes, anticipating we'd be hungry when we woke up.

Her pancakes were cooked just the way I liked them: a thin center with a crispy rim along the outside of each one.

Maybe it's because she made them with so much love, but to this day sharing breakfast with my grandma brings about a sense of nostalgia.
Breakfast - Spillville, Iowa
Breakfast in Spillville, Iowa.
The mornings I'd spend pouring syrup over those homemade pancakes flipped and fried on the farmhouse kitchen griddle have become distant memories.

Now decades later, it's almost like it's come full circle -- watching my mom become much like her own by carving out time to create memories with her granddaughters; memories that will undoubtedly bring a similar sense of nostalgia for them as they grow up.

I think as mothers we can become so busy creating memories with our children, that we often forget about ourselves.
Fleeting Moments of Motherhood - NYC GetawayPerhaps that's why I was so excited to get away with three generations of my favorite moms -- my grandma, mom and twin sister. 
Holiday Inn Hotel - Downtown Brooklyn
We checked into our home away from home -- the Holiday Inn Hotel in downtown Brooklyn.
Holiday Inn Hotel - Downtown Brooklyn
Staff at the hotel insisted we couldn't visit New York without snagging a slice of Juliana's Pizza.
Juliana's Pizzeria - Brooklyn, NY
This pizzeria is considered to be one of the best in the US, hence the 50-minute wait for a table.
Juliana's Pizzeria - Brooklyn, NY
Once inside, we filled up on fresh mozzarella, coal-fired deliciousness.
Juliana's Pizzeria - Brooklyn, NY
After lunch, we strolled through the Dumbo neighborhood (short for "Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass") and took in stunning views of Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge.
Brooklyn Bridge - NYC Getaway
We hit up some touristy spots, then called it a night.
Holiday Inn Hotel - Downtown Brooklyn
And as if waking up to this view after a good night's sleep wasn't enough, we had this delicious breakfast cooked to order for us in the hotel's restaurant.
Breakfast - Holiday Inn Hotel
It was a breakfast none of us cooked but all of us thoroughly enjoyed, and it was the perfect start to a fun-filled day of sightseeing in the city.
Central Park - NYC
As the sun went down we made our way through Times Square to Broadway.
Times Square - NYC
But before our breath was taken away by the unbelievable talent and beauty of The Lion King, we had dinner at Ellen's Stardust Diner.
Ellen's Stardust Diner - NYC
This 1950s-themed diner is known for its world famous singing wait staff. In fact, many of them have gone on to perform in Broadway casts and national tours in shows like Wicked, Jersey Boys and Mama Mia.
Ellen's Stardust Diner - NYC
The food (especially the homemade cheesecake!) and energetic atmosphere were an absolute blast.
Lion King - Broadway
After dinner, it was time to hit up our bucket list: It was show time at Minskoff Theatre!
Lion King - Broadway
It's hard to describe what it was like seeing a musical on Broadway, let alone getting to experience it with three people I love so dearly. It was truly extraordinary.
Finding Joy in the Fleeting Moments of Motherhood
The next morning while I was packing up my suitcase, I couldn't help but smile. Not just because I knew there'd be a delicious breakfast waiting for us downstairs (much like those nostalgic breakfasts I anticipated with my grandma years ago), but because I realized that while motherhood is full of fleeting moments, the memories shared between a grandmother, mother and her daughters will never fade.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Holiday Inn. The opinions and text are all mine.

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