Friday, February 12, 2016

We're Pregnant!!!!!

The day has finally come!!  Today we had our very first ultrasound to confirm a little Baby Miano has been created.

Last Friday, we received our beta results (how much HCG I am producing) and got a level of 286.  I had broken down and started testing 6 days past my transfer but we waited to tell anyone close until we heard the news from Chicago IVF.  Hearing the nurse tell me, Congratulations, you're pregnant, was a feeling I can't even describe.

I have wanted to be a mom for so long.  I think when I first laid eyes on my first nephew and felt how much I loved him that I wanted it even more.  Nick and I have wanted kids for so long but I especially wanted to be able to carry our baby.  I wanted to feel the life we created inside of me.

I digress.......typical once the shock on Friday wore off, I started going every other day for blood draws to check my HCG levels.  HCG is the hormone your body creates when you are pregnant.  Look at me, like I know it all now :)

The level should normally at least double every 48 hours.  Monday my level was 534 and Wednesday my level was 836.  Since my level from Monday to Wednesday did not double as much as they wanted to, that is why we did the early ultrasound today.

And here is our little baby Miano!!!!

Since it is so early, they told me during the ultrasound it may be too soon to see a second sac.  The nurse will call me this afternoon with my levels and also to let me know what the other nurse thought of my ultrasound pics after her review.  As long as the levels keep going up, we will stay positive. We are also hopeful to hear the heartbeat soon!!

We still can't believe IVF worked on our first try!!  We are so blessed, beyond words!!!!

I am still on certain hormones that I will continue to take until there is a heartbeat.  I am exhausted, moody and tired.  And my boobs hurt.  Everyone says what I am experiencing is very normal for where I am at.  I am already 5 weeks and 4 days.  In the grand scheme of it all, I have barely been pregnant.  We were really hoping for 2 but as long as we have at least one healthy baby, that is all we could ask for.  We still have embryos frozen which let's us know if we only have 1 this time, there is still hope.

I have already received two presents that I haven't been able to put down.

I have been given great advice from friends and right now the one I am adhering to most is relaxing. The chores can wait.  My body is making a human and I am going to allow myself to get as much rest as it needs.  Plus I am enjoying the time just sitting back and accepting that this is happening.

Thank you for following us on our journey to Baby Miano!!!

Have a great day!! xo

PS-I do miss my makeup obsession and I promise I will get back to that soon!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Embryo Retrieval and Transfer Done!!

See these two embryos?  Magnified so we are able to see them?  The ones that are actually 1/20th of a size of a piece of hair cut in half?  THESE embryos are at home inside my uterus right now!!  And they have been since Monday.

Now how's THAT for starting a blog post!! Emotions are running rampant as I type this.

Let me get you up to speed.......

Last week Wednesday, January 20th, 7 embryos were retrieved.  6 were fertilized and made it to transfer day.

My mother got me the cutest egg socks to wear on this journey and I stuck them under my gorgeous hospital booties.

I was thankful to have the retrieval done.  I was so bloated and so over having Nick stab me in the abdomen, after 5 minutes of heavy breathing and anxiety and tears.  A whole new type of body shots, much different than my 20's!  Before the retrieval I was the most bloated I had ever been. Throughout this whole journey, I have gained about 10 pounds so far.  Perfect training for encompassing a human being inside of me.

The doctor said that since I am 35, and due to our TTC for our entire marriage so far and my history, we could either transfer 2 or 3.  It was our decision.  5 embryos were perfect and just where they needed to be and the 6th one was delayed a bit behind.

After a long deliberation, Nick and I decided to transfer 2!!  Double trouble and twice the love!!  In the end, we want a healthy child.  Two healthy children would be a miracle and a blessing.  With the support from our friends and family behind us, we feel we can conquer anything.  I know that sounds cheesy, but it is true.  We need more to hold onto then just hope.

On Monday, January 25th, the transfer was completed.  It went smooth and perfect.  It was the quickest procedure of them all so far.  And now 48 hours of bed rest, per the doctor.   So today I am back at work and exhausted, I am so tired, physically and mentally.

Our blood test will be Friday, February 5th at 7:30 am.  It is a lifetime away!!  I am supposed to be stress free and not think about the pending lives growing inside of me.  Sure, no problem..........there are lists of things to do online during the TWW (two week wait).   I just want to swear and scream at all of the ideas.  Thank goodness my work is a circus and I am constantly busy.  I just have to get past this one weekend coming up and then we will know before the next weekend if IVF was successful.

People say to expect the worst and hope for the best.....I don't have it in me.  I expect the best and hope for it.  Everything has fallen in to place for us so far.  And so far, our love is getting us through this.  I have to believe that means something.  And we did spend the $600 out of pocket to have the remaining babies frozen.  So we will have 3 more tries this year if it is not successful.

Yes, that does mean that our 6th little embie did catch up developmentally and we have 2 frozen, 1 frozen and 1 frozen.  So all 6 that were retrieved were fertilized and survived.  Pretty damn empowering!!

I really am going to try to wait to test with a home pregnancy test until my blood test.  But if the stress of wanting to test is too great, I will give in.  And I will just know that I cannot be certain until the blood test. This is the easiest way to describe what is going on inside me right now:

So again, I ask for the prayers and well wishes of all of my readers so that we can achieve our dream of being parents.  Also for our patience as we endure the TWW!!

Thank you again for following us on our journey to Baby Miano and now hopefully the Miano Babies!!

Have a great day!! xo

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Baby Miano IVF Update-Day 5-First Monitoring Appointment

Oh Happy Day All!!  I have been a human pin cushion for the past 4 days and I finally got to go for my first monitoring appointment today to see what is going on inside!

Let's back up......we were able to finally start the IVF meds last Saturday night.  This consists of shots to my lower abdomen every night.  Shots that are going to make my follicles (where the egg is produced) grow and multiply.  The more follicles the better, as when I go in for retrieval, we want as many as possible to fertilize.  This increases our odds of getting pregnant!

The shots have been rough, painful and bruising me.  My husband gives them to me.  He has been incredible.  Incredible!! He has gone to the store and gotten healthy foods, he has taken care of our pups when I feel horrible, keeping up with the house, rubbing my feet.....He is just the sweetest, kindest man.  He keeps telling me he loves me and is proud of what I am going through.  I can only imagine how great he will be when we get pregnant :)

This is possibly the hardest thing I have ever done.  Mentally and physically.  I am scared of needles, so the anxiety every night is pretty intense.  But today I got to find out if it was working.  And it is.  I have 2 small follicles on my left ovary and 2 small on my right.  But I also have 2 large on my right. One at 16 cm and one at 12 cm.  Estrogen is rising nicely at 572.  So now 2 shots in the belly for the next 3 days and off for labs again!

The retrieval of these follicles will be performed surgically next week.  Not sure on the exact date yet.  They will put me under and remove all the follicles.  We will then fertilize them and wait for 3 to 5 days.  The ones that fertilize and are the "best of the bunch" so to speak, will be implanted.

We want to implant two.  God willing, we will get two to implant.  The goal is to have a healthy child, not to get pregnant, so the battle has truly just begun.  But so far I have learned a lot about myself.  I have learned I will do whatever it takes to become a mother and my husband will do whatever it takes, too.  My mother has been my rock throughout this.  Her and my girlfriend Heather check on me daily and talk it all out with me.  Even looking up tips for me!  It truly means the world.  Because in between the mood swings, bloating, headaches, stomach aches and hot flashes, the end result is the most precious gift I could ever ask for.  I truly hope it happens for us this time.

Thanks for following us on our journey to Baby Miano xoxo

If you have any advice, suggestions or feedback, please let me know!

Have a great day! xo

Saturday, December 12, 2015

IVF Consult with Chicago IVF-Our Journey to Baby Miano

Day 1 of our IVF journey came on Wednesday.  I had been so so anxious all day, wanting it to be here and to be over at the same time.  I wanted our choice of IVF to be a unanimous decision with the center.

First of all the staff was incredible.  From the front desk, to the nurse, to the nurse practitioner.  They all knew this was a woman's last step after TTC for so long and took a lot of love, hope and courage to come in.

The consult was 2 hours.  It could have been longer if it were up to me.  I have a huge fear of needles and of course this process should help me overcome that quickly.  Lots of talk about the procedure itself and what we would have to do was done.  Once my period started, I would start birth control so we can completely control my cycle and ovulation.  But blood tests to see where all my levels currently are was the first step.  Roughly 15 vials of blood were drawn.....just the beginning!! There will come a time where I will go daily for levels to be checked.

We went over all the tests that will come up before my new insurance kicks in on January 1st, as that is when the treatment portion will be allowable under my new Illinois plan after the deductible of $3500 is met.  We may meet that alone with the medication.

So my period came Thursday, of course the next day, and when I called to let them know, we scheduled my sonogram for Tuesday and the consult with the head doc on Friday to go over those results.  The sonogram will be an ultrasound where they fill me with water and we will look at the exact spots fertilized embryos will be planted to make sure there are no issues.  If there are, we will deal with them when we speak with the doctor.  So they told me the results of all of my blood work were great but my prolactin levels were high.  Normal range for a woman not pregnant or lactating should be 1 to 23 and I was 34.  So I went back yesterday after fasting for a redraw.  My level came back 11.  So we are good.  Food or drink could have affected the first draw.

They also gave me prenatal samples to try so I have been taking those since Thursday and this morning I am about to start birth control.  Still humorous to me that that is the first step to getting pregnant.

I still have a lot of reading to do and Nick and I will need to go to a "teach" were we will learn how to administer the daily injections of hormones.  But we have a plan now and a plan is HOPE!!!  Giving us more hope than we have had in a long time.  If the insurance cooperates, as there will be a pre auth required for my class 5 fertility drugs and if my body does too, medications will start at the end of next month.  My grandmothers birthday is February 3rd so shooting for that day so she is with me. After the meds are completed, which will essentially turn me into an egg making factory, there will be a retrieval surgery and then we will choose the best embryos, fertilize them and another surgery to implant, letting us know if we are pregnant before the end of February.  THAT IS SURREAL TO ME!!!

I want to start looking for cute egg socks to be my lucky socks for these visits and I really want to start buying baby stuff but I know I have to be patient.....I think that's normal, right?? I already have a pinterest board for Baby Miano :)

Nick and I are trying to remain as hopeful and positive as we can and already are so thankful for all the support and prayers and love we have been receiving.  Thank you to those that are sharing your stories with me and helping ease my fears.  The plan has started and although the hard part that my body will physically go through has not begun, we have answers and goals so far.

Thank you for following us on our journey to Baby Miano.

Have a great day!! xo

Monday, December 7, 2015

Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24 HR Foundation Review

I thought Estee Lauder Double Wear could never be topped.  That it was my "ride or die" foundation.


I recently won an incredible giveaway on Instagram (all details to follow on a separate posting) and purchased the Lancome Teint Idole Foundation.  I had been wanting to try it for ages.  All of the reviews I have read were positive.  At a hefty price point of $46.50 I was really hoping this stuff would be flawless.

And it is!!!

I picked my shade on the web, and went with 210 Buff N-for light skin with neutral undertones.  This comes in a variety of shades to choose from....neutral, cool and warm.  So if you know if you are pink or yellow or a mix, you should be able to accurately "guess" when picking online.  Otherwise, I would suggest going to a Lancome counter and getting color matched and getting a sample.

Moving it comes in a glass bottle with a pump.  That was my number one peeve about Double Wear, NO PUMP! So I am spilling it all over with my eyes half open getting ready in the morning.  Lancome allows for a lot less wasted product with the pump.

I tried it with a beauty blender the first day I wore it.  It went on seamlessly.  It did not oxidize or move on me all day.  It did not rub on my clothes.  It did not FEEL like I was wearing foundation (as Double Wear can sometimes feel like that).  The finish is matte, but a light, it is your skin but better.  My skin is oily in the summer and combo (oily and dry) in the winter.  This leaves my skin looking great.  I do think the next time I pass a Lancome counter I will stop and see if I chose the color they think I should be, just to check :)

My mother has always loved Lancome products and I can still smell her wearing Tresor as I was growing up.  She told me today this was my grandmothers favorite too.  Makes me smile from ear to ear.  Lancome has won over another generation!!

Today when I wore it, I applied it with the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush.  It also went on just as smooth as the beauty blender application did.  I was able to work so quickly (running late as usual) but it still melted right into my skin.  So if I missed any spots, I surely couldn't tell!  Tomorrow I am going to try the Lancome concealer and we will see if I am converting over for good!

Update-I did try the concealer in light buff and I like it/ It goes on light and another great color match,but I don't think it is as long lasting as Estee Lauders double wear concealer.

Have you tried this foundation?  What are your thoughts??  Let us know in the comments below!!

Have a great day!! xo

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Our Journey for Baby Miano

I just wanted to write a quick blog post and let you all know that although I do a lot of beauty reviews (most requested by readers), my vision for my blog has always been to talk about whatever is going on in my life and what I love and share it with the world.  And the most important thing in my life, and my husband's, has been trying to get pregnant.  So going forward, I do plan on journaling our journey to making that dream come true.  I hope I do not lose any followers by doing so and in fact hope I gain some.  1 in every 10 couples have problems conceiving and I wish more people talked about it.  It took me a while to confide in people about the issues I was having and once I did it helped so much.  But support groups an forums can only do so much.  And while I know I have people in my circle, being able to write my feelings and my pain as raw as it can be sometimes helps, it has always helped.

The reason this is starting now is because my employer provided insurance plan (BCBS of Florida) never covered fertility treatment, only diagnostic.  And last year my gyne said that we would be a great candidate for IVF (In Vitro Fertilization).  We just found a plan through BCBS of Illinois that will cover fertility treatment (after meeting our large deductible) and will be starting the process in January.   Thank god for state mandated coverage.

Let me back up,  I was diagnosed with endometriosis before I was 20.  I was not worried about ever having children until I was married, so just went through the motions.  To date, I have had 5 surgeries for cysts, etc.....which has left me with a lot of scar tissue and I still have those cysts in my uterus. Those things have been making conception quite difficult.  I have been with my husband for about 9 years and we have been TTC for over 3.  Trying to conceive for over a year with no luck, gives you the medical diagnosis of infertility.  We go for our consult with Chicago IVF on December 9th and I am so anxious to get this started.  Although we have had all necessary testing done with my gyne, we will do them all over again so they are all up to date.  Then when all the results come back, we will meet with the doctor for a treatment plan.

On average, one round of IVF can cost $12,000 before medication and that can cost up to $5,000. Why don't we adopt??  Adoption can cost $10,000 to $25,000.  Without insurance, we never would have been able to even try.  And this plan will only cover 4 rounds annually. This is a huge investment, both financially and emotionally but it may be our only shot at ever having a child.  The good news is that at age 35, there is a 50% chance of pregnancy.

I am more nervous then I have ever been in my life.  I am scared of more failure and I am scared of success.  I am afraid of getting my hopes up and being excited and I am afraid of being too pessimistic.  I am a whirlwind of emotions and have been for the past 3 years.  It is an all consuming desire to become a mother and give my husband a child and my mother a grandchild.  It is always on my mind from the minute I wake up until I go to bed.  I yearn for what I was created to do and it is utterly taking every ounce of strength that I have to fight so hard for it.  But I will do whatever it takes, we will do whatever it takes.  And I hope that you follow us on this journey, get some information, provide insight and suggestions when you can and enjoy my ramblings.

Thank you and have a great day!! xo

Becca AfterGlow & Carli Bybel Palette Reviews

Here is the look I created using both the Carli Bybel eyeshadow palette and the Becca AfterGlow palette.  I wanted to glow while I was putting up the holiday decor!!

I wanted to get all the photos up first since the beauty of them each speak for themselves.  I can pretty much leave :)  The Becca afterglow palette comes with three highlighters and two mineral blushes.

From left to right, Moonstone, Rose Gold, Topaz, Wild Honey and Flowerchild.  I mean even those names are gorgeous!!  They are long lasting and of great quality, smooth as butter and the brush picks up so much so a little goes a long way.  My only complaint is I wish the pans of product were bigger. But for the price of $39.50, you get to try a bunch of best sellers.

The Carli Bybel palette is an amazing value at ONLY $12.50.  $12.50!!  Now I have only used a few BH Cosmetics brushes but have been pleased.  The eye shadow palettes also get rave reviews.  So this collaboration is a great match.  I love the matte shadows for the crease and outer v and the shimmer shades for my lid and inner tear duct.

Don't mind my hair, it's the weekend!! :) 

Both of these are great value for your money and would make great gifts for the holidays!!

Do you already have these or are they on your wishlist??  Let us know in the comments below!!

Have a great day!! xo

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