Our Journey with Infertility, Miscarriage, and Ectopic Pregnancy

For some reason I always had this feeling that it would be really hard for me to have children.  When we got married, we had every intention to wait at least a year before having children.   However, unexpectedly only 3 months later we had discovered that we were expecting our first baby. We were so excited!!  My husband LOVES children and is so good with them and was ready to be a daddy.  Children have always been my main focus and my life ever sense I was very young.  So even though it was not expected… we were so ready and so excited!!

levi and i

A couple weeks later we were out of town and we saw a yard sale with this PERFECT crib and changing table that was basically brand new and at a ridiculously low price.  So we set up our nursery!!  I sat in that room often- completely filled with joy!!

Soon….  that room changed from a room of joy and hope… to a room of sadness.   I went to work just like any other day.  But that day was different.  I left work, went to the hospital, and there found out that we were miscarrying.  I don’t even know how I drove home that 30 mile drive… I was a complete mess emotionally and in a lot of discomfort physically.

It was a really a hushed thing.  I didn’t want ANYONE to know!!  I hated that we had to tell our parents.  I hated that I had nobody who understood.  Miscarriage is so taboo…. nobody talks about it. Or if it is brought up– the subject is quickly changed.  I was so confused.  I didn’t understand how it could have happened.

I grew really close to my husband the next couple of months to follow.  But he didn’t struggle with it quite like I did… he just struggled with seeing me hurt.  But I knew how much he wanted to be a dad!

We wanted to try and have a baby as soon as we could.  But tried for months and never had any success…   After MANY doctor visits, and the doctors saying that “you are still young– you have plenty of time”  I became more and more frustrated because nothing was being done to make this happen.    Finally after a year we found out we were expecting again!!  I was so THRILLED and so ready to finally give my husband a baby.

However… something seemed “different” with this pregnancy.  I thought that maybe different was a good thing.  But then I started to have sharp pains on one side and started to spot.  I knew that this “different” couldn’t be a good thing.  I figured I was miscarrying again and had no desire to even go to the doctor.  But for some reason I had the feeling that I needed to go in.  I headed to the hospital where they then ran some tests.  The nurses said that the test was now negative and that I miscarried….   however the doctor came out and said “something is off, we need to get you in for another ultrasound”.   In I went…   usually only 1 person does my ultrasound.  This time there were 3.  Next, they had the person over the ultrasounds come in followed by my doctor.   There I lay wondering why there were 5 people discussing my ultrasound.  At that moment I had wished so much that my husband was there with me as I sat there in confusion.  They announced that it was ectopic and could become life threatening.   Back into the doctors office I went where they discussed what was going on and the action we would take.   He asked if I wanted to enjoy my thanksgiving (the following day) and I told him that nothing would change what was already going on…

So….  they started to give me a type of chemo shot (wish I remembered what it was called) to stop the cells from developing and bursting my Fallopian Tube.   I was very sick and tired for that thanksgiving.  But more than anything… I was embarrassed.  I hated that the family knew and there I was.  I felt like I was this pity bulls eye and nobody knew how to even talk to me or act around me.   I faked a smile every day.  I pretended like I was okay but emotionally I was not.  I couldn’t let myself cry.    Every other day I would go in to get more blood drawn for lab work.  Week after week I would go in for another chemo shot.  After about 5 weeks of this process, I went into the doctors office for more testing and another shot.  This time I said to my doctor “I just don’t know how much longer I can be positive through this”.  He told me I didn’t have to be…    For the first time I broke down and completely sobbed.  I released a full years worth of pain right there in the doctors office and on my drive home.

Time passed and we were ready to try having a baby again.  Month after month I had a negative test and would cry and wonder why it wasn’t happening for us.  After many doctor visits, getting on chlomid, and many more months of negative tests we finally conceived 2 more times… which again ended in miscarriage.

With each miscarriage, I began to hate my body more and more. I hated that it wouldn’t do what a women’s body should do.  I hated that I couldn’t give my husband any children and wished he would leave me to be with someone who could…   I started to hate if my husband touched me.  I hated if anyone talked to me.  I avoided people.  I often avoided my husband.  I hated who I was.  I didn’t care to exercise or eat healthy.  I figured my body was failing me anyway so why bother.  I felt unworthy of love and emotionally distanced myself from the person that loved me most.  I spent many days in that little baby nursery in our home wondering if and when I should just throw it all away.

Then… out of nowhere… we were asked if we wanted to take in a sweet little 5 month old.  We immediately said yes without hesitation.  For the first time, I became a mommy and my husband became a daddy!  Picking him up was one of the happiest days of my life!!  I had no idea that the 18 months to follow would be yet another emotional roller coaster.  We wanted his birth parents to make the changes necessary to bring him back home… but at the same time we wondered how on earth we would ever be able to give him back.  I spent many nights holding him wondering how I was going to do it.   We had so much love for that sweet little boy.  When his sister born, I was so ecstatic.  We went to the hospital to pick her up and bring her home.   We immediately fell in love with her too!

1 month later… we got positive test. I was SO HOPEFUL and just knew that it was finally time!  I knew that If did have children easily  we wouldn’t have been open to the opportunity of taking in two very small foster children and wouldn’t have been able to give all that love to our boy and girl!  So I knew that now that we had them– it was time to finally have a successful pregnancy.  Yet, we then again at 10 weeks miscarried.   I had a 2 month old little girl, and a 16 month old little boy that I had to be strong for!  I was so hopeful just to be disappointed again and it really, really, hurt this time more than ever before because I let myself hope.

After that point– I couldn’t let myself hope anymore.  I figured we would just have to give our kids back to their birth parents. I figured I would never be a permanent mommy to a child.  I figured I would never be able to allow my husband to be a daddy.  I was so sick of the scene and had no desire to ever try again.  So we stopped going to doctors, we stopped caring but didn’t take any action to prevent us from having children.

Six months later we were completely taken away when we went to court and found out that our little boy and out little girl were going to be forever ours!  We finally were going to be able to adopt our sweet little babies!  We didn’t have to worry about giving them back anymore… they were finally ours!

adoption day

I remember holding my sweet little girl and realizing that I needed to work on ME emotionally, mentally and physically.  I didn’t want her to learn from me how to hate her body… how to be a quitter… how to never hope for great things… and how to feel unlovable.  I had to change for her!!  I wanted her to feel beautiful! I wanted her to love herself!  I wanted her to reach for big dreams!

So I started on a journey.  I started working on my health and fitness instead of neglecting my body that I hated.  I started doing nutrition and fitness groups through Facebook with friends  (and some wonderful people I didn’t know but who are such great friends now) where we would help keep each other motivated and accountable every single day! You can do these free groups by applying here -> https://callred.wufoo.com/forms/r8o3oli1xcz244/
I also started to do daily personal development to work on myself mentally, spiritually and emotionally.

Month after month, my life began to change!  My STORY CHANGED!  I went from “I am unlovable”, “I hate myself”, “I don’t deserve to be a mom”, “I am the worst wife ever”, to the following story–>  “I deserve to be a mom”, “I take care of my body and am happy about what it CAN DO”, “I am LOVABLE!”.   I felt confident for the first time sense 4th grade.  I felt happy instead of faking a smile.   And I  liked ME for the first time!
1 year transformation

Now, almost 2 years later and 7 1/2 years of struggling with infertility and failed pregnancies,   I am now 32 weeks pregnant.  I am overwhelmed with the blessings in my life.    We got on progesterone, lots of natural folate, and Enoxaparin Sodium shots.  I also have continued eating healthier, exercising every day, working on my mindset, and drinking Shakeology (over 70 superfoods to provide the best nutrition for me and baby possible).   Some days it seems so surreal that this is actually happening!!    Soon we will be a mommy and daddy to 3 beautiful children…  I went from believing I would never be a mom to soon being a mommy of 3 (ages birth to 3).   Every week goes by and more stress is relieved as I get closer to our due date and knowing that we are closer to our sweet little boy being in our arms!

32 weeks

It has been a hard 7 1/2 years… but I wouldn’t change it!!  I finally became stronger, healthier, more confident and the wife and mom I need to be.  All of the disappointment, all of the pain, all of the emotional roller coasters, helped me to take ACTION to finally invest in myself and change my life.  I finally made a COMMITMENT, and CHOICE to change!

If you are struggling with any of these things, don’t loose hope…   Find JOY in the JOURNEY!  While you are hoping for things… don’t forget to notice what is going WELL right now!  Find joy in something now.  Do something that gives you purpose.  For me– that was getting a degree.  That was finding joy in learning how to play the violin.  That was spending lots of quality time with my husband. That was becoming an online coach and helping other people emotionally, mentally, and with their health and fitness journey.  Find what gives you purpose.  Keep a gratitude journal that you write in each night so that you are focusing on the things that are good in your life instead of the heartache and the things you wish you had.  And lastly, take CARE OF YOU and know that you are never alone in the journey!

change

Back to School Organization

August

School’s in session! With changing routines and schedules coming up, here are a few tips for staying organized as you make the transition into a new school year.

1. Be well rested: Don’t wait for the night before school starts to get into your new bedtime routine. Spend at least a week (or more) getting used to new bedtimes and waking up earlier. Since school hasn’t officially started yet, use that extra time in the morning to go on a walk, hike, or family bike ride while the temperature is cooler.

2. Check Supplies: Not just pencils and paper…use this time to get water bottles and hand sanitizer for the kids and for yourself! Also, check to see if any of your athletic shoes are worn out and need to be replaced.

3. Pack your bag: Will you be working out after you drop off the kids in the morning? Are the kids headed to dance or football practice right after school? Avoid the stress of not being able to find what you need when it’s go-time by packing a gym bag the night before that has all of your equipment you’ll need (music, hand weights, water bottle for mom; uniform and gear for kids).

4. Meal Prep: After school nights get pretty crazy with activities and homework, now is a great time to organize your meals. Healthy crockpot recipes are great for dinner and it’s always a good idea to have quick and easy healthy “on the go” breakfasts and after school snacks. Check out my recipe index full of snack and meal ideas.

The back to school season is a great time to start new healthy habits or revive old ones that slipped away during the summer months. Use this season of change to try something NEW for you! I have a new 30 day challenge group starting on August 29!

countryheatgroup

A challenge group is a private virtual group, so you can literally live anywhere and participate! In this group I post a daily health challenge for you to complete, daily nutrition and fitness tips, meal prep ideas, recipes, and am here to be your personal fitness coach! Everyone in the group will post about their workouts, nutrition, struggles, and successes. We laugh together and we cry together! You will find that you become lifelong friends with the others in the group. This group gives you support and motivation while being held accountable. Why? You have to answer to everyone else in the group each and every day. We motivate each other daily to NEVER GIVE UP!

I’d love to have be a part of this group or give you more information about it. Send me a message with any questions you might have! Or to sign up, use THIS LINK

Who’s Your Buddy?

Today’s post goes with last Thursdays post I wrote on having F.I.T. Relationships. You can read it HERE.

partner

It’s easier to commit to a healthy and fit lifestyle if you recruit a buddy to do it with you. Having a workout partner makes it easier to commit to a program and make healthy decisions. You’re more likely to show up for your workout if you’re meeting someone to get it done. You’re more likely to choose healthy food options if you know you are accountable to someone else. This is why my challenge groups are so successful! We’re a group of people who may not live near each other, but are accountable to each other through daily online check-ins. Studies have shown that when you have consistent accountability, you’ll enjoy the actual exercise more and do it more often.

And an article I read from Intermountain Healthcare  goes perfectly with last week’s topic on having a healthy relationship with your spouse. Why choose between date night and working out? Working out together makes the perfect date night! There are so many benefits to having your spouse (or someone else in your household) as your workout buddy!

partnerspouse

 

Your spouse knows you–so they know an excuse when they hear one! Your live-in buddy won’t let you get away with cheating on nutrition or skipping workouts! It’s also a lot easier not to be tempted to eat unhealthy meals if you’re both eating the same thing and have similar nutritional goals. You can even take turns cooking new healthy recipes for each other.

13445470_912689895507611_1805082329019166322_nA workout is usually a lot less expensive than dinner and a movie–and your location for your workout can change! Use the track at the high school, a hike in the mountains, or the front lawn of your own home!

Take turns choosing the workout, enjoy the friendly competition, and don’t be afraid to try new things! Go swimming, go dancing, stream a new workout online, and invite other couples to join in with you! A fun group date could be bringing a healthy picnic to the local park and playing a game of volleyball afterwards.

 

 

Interest vs. Commitment

Time?!?! Who has time for everything they need or want to do?

You only do the things that you have VALUE on!

Value the life you have been given. Take care of your body— it is the home for your spirit. As you take care of YOU, you will find you energy, focus and productivity increases and you will get more done!

committed

13501560_922126297897304_733908349544374976_nToday was one of those days that I felt that I REALLY didn’t have time for my workout. However I am committed to 60 days of this program and determined to take care of me and this pregnancy!

I have decided to commit to a new program for 8 weeks!! My challengers and I have always gotten the best results when following a full program. They work!!! So why not do one while pregnant and just making adjustments and modifications where needed?! Instead of jumping from workouts with no real direction. I want to be healthy for my baby and I want toned legs and arms 😉 So I am committed to sticking to good nutrition for me and baby and sticking to the TurboFIRE program for 2 full months!! I will be making a few adjustments for my pregnancy and adding a bit of PiYo, water aerobics and walking. But I am so excited to do this program and determined to get through it while also listening to my body.

☆Decide☆Commit☆Succeed☆

Message me if you want in our next challenge group with programs that provide results and to get motivation and accountability to help you reach your goals!

The Secret to Change

Do you ever think…. “If I could just be skinny I would be happier… or more confident?”.

That is how I used to think. I struggled really bad with my self-esteem and had very low confidence. I was also very unhappy…

I would try to lose weight all the time! Just fail time and time again. I would become desperate and try to find solutions that were quick fixes so that I could love myself. Just to become frustrated… quit… and hate myself even more.

socrates

Little did I know I was doing it all VERY WRONG!!! Those quick fixes will NOT bring happiness. The results are also only very short term.

It is all about overall HEALTH and getting the best nutrition possible and exercising. That is it! Yes it takes time— but it also lasts a lifetime and the rewards are so much greater! Many of you know that for 7 years I could not have children…. for the first time we are carrying a sweet little baby! I know that I HUGE FACTOR in that is the weight I lost (the healthiest way) and the lifestyle change that has come into my life!

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It is through the PROCESS, the journey, that you find joy and learn to love yourself! NOT the end result. As you can see— my end result is much, much, different than I had expected!!

 

Yesterday, I started a new round of the 21 day fix with shakeology with my challengers. This is the program that has completely changed my life! I learned how to eat right. I learned the importance of counting nutrients that I put into my body instead of calories. I learned how to eat healthy without ever feeling deprived. I learned how to love exercising! AND most of all– I learned to love myself!

We start another group soon, and I want you to join us!! I want you to be able to create a lifestyle change that helps you to be happier and healthier for life! Comment below if you want more info or send me a message if you’re ready for change in your life!

These are the kinds of things I LOVE hearing from people in my challenge groups

  • “I am learning to eat healthier and don’t feel bloated anymore”
  • “I never thought I could even lose 10 lbs…. now I have lost 40!”
  • “I went from a XXL shirt to finally being able to just wear a Large!”
  • “I will forever love you and appreciate what you have done for me and my family!”
  • “I have always HATED exercising and now I love how it makes me feel and refuse to miss a day”
  • “I dont get migraines all the time anymore!”
  • “I have so much more energy and finally feel like a good mom and enjoy being one!”

–> THIS is why I coach!!! I do it for all of THEM!! ^^^^^

I also do it for me and my children because it helps me to also be healthier and happier, a better mom, and helps me to to contribute financially to our family.

If you have nutrition and fitness goals you want to reach. Please send me a message! I would love to help! We have another challenge group starting soon!

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A Little Closer than Yesterday

closer

If you missed my post on motivation, you can read it here. Today I want to discuss the other two components to a successful lifestyle transformation: dedication and patience. These components, along with motivation, make achieving your goals possible, give you realistic expectations, and make for a lasting change instead of just a quick fix.

Think of your fitness journey like a hike to the top of a mountain. At the end of the hike you’re promised a truly stunning landscape to behold. You start hiking and after a while you’re disappointed because you don’t see any beautiful scenery. All you see are rocks and brown dirt. You start to have doubts about this hike and wonder if it’s even going to be worth it. After a few more minutes you decide this hike definitely isn’t worth it and turn around and go home –If you wanted to look at rocks you could do that from your own front yard. You head home, feeling like the hike was a big waste of time. Sadly, if you had just kept going a beautiful mountain lake set in a meadow full of vibrant wildflowers with majestic mountains surrounding it was just around the next bend.

I once saw a quote that said something like, “One burger isn’t going to make you fat just like one salad isn’t going to make you skinny.” This is so true and applies to so many other areas of healthy living. For instance, one workout isn’t going to suddenly make you strong. You can’t give up because you tried something for a few days or a few weeks and aren’t happy with the results—your big moment of transformation might be around the next corner!  For most of us, it took months or even years to acquire our unhealthy habits and there’s not a quick fix to change those habits in one big leap. Once you invest in changing your lifestyle, don’t cheat yourself by giving up before you see the efforts pay off. Be Patient. Stay dedicated. It’s not going to happen overnight.

As a fitness coach, I can help you figure out changes to your diet or exercise program to help you start seeing results. Our challenge groups are also there to help lift you up when you’re feeling discouraged and keep you accountable for your daily exercise, water intake, and nutritional goals. New challenge groups start each month, and I’d love to have you join us!

challenge

Getting the Most out of Challenge Groups

challengeOne of the things I love talking about with people is the power of accountability in their fitness journey. It really does make all the difference! If you’ve been thinking about joining a challenge group, or even if you’ve done one in the past, I want to spend some time today talking about how to get the most out of challenge groups.

First off, what is a challenge group? My challenge groups are hosted online (usually through Facebook, but they can be through email too). These groups bring people together from all over who have a common goal: they want to live a healthier life. Throughout the day on Facebook participants will check in and share healthy recipes, motivational quotes, and encouragement and praise for each other. It’s way to feel connected to other people who share your same goals and are on the same journey. Challenge groups also keep you accountable for your daily workout, water intake, and healthy eating habits. It’s a great motivator on those days you just aren’t feeling it, knowing you have to check in with the group that night.

So how can you make the most of your challenge group? I can sum it up in one word: PARTICIPATE! For some of us, we need to shake off that shy or uncomfortable feeling of putting yourself out there. We won’t bite! Don’t be afraid to jump in  and share your story with us. Don’t be afraid to post a motivational quote that really touched you or a new healthy recipe you discovered. Don’t be afraid to admit that you had a less than stellar day and didn’t quite meet your goals. It’s okay! Others in the group will rally behind you to lift you up and give you that encouragement to try again tomorrow. Likewise, don’t be afraid to comment on another person’s post in the group. You can be a cheerleader for someone else. You can tell someone else miles and miles away that you can relate to their struggle or success story & offer praise or encouragement. The more you participate in the group, the more you’ll see your own attitude about health and fitness changing. The challenge group will become something you look forward to seeing when you login into your Facebook account. I know I do!

Besides the public posting on Facebook, there’s another important way you need to participate during the challenge. Privately, participants need to send me goals at the start of the challenge group. These goals are your main focus during the duration of the challenge. How can you meet your goal? How can I help you meet your goal? Your goals are private between you and I. You’re also asked to send in body measurements throughout the 30 day challenges. Again, these are private between you and I. Some people tell me they really hate sending in the measurements. And believe me, I totally get it! It’s sometimes  hard to see the numbers. But it’s so important! When I started my journey to a healthier lifestyle I hated seeing the numbers too. But I needed to confront the reality of it. I couldn’t be in denial about it any longer. And on a positive note, sending in the body measurements was helpful for me to see the numbers change and to know that my efforts were paying off and my body was changing. The measurements can also be an indicator telling you that something is off. Are your skimping on your healthy eating? Are you doing your workouts  halfheartedly? The measurements can help us evaluate the changes that need to be made. Don’t brush off sending in those measurements! They are another way of participating in the group and keeping you accountable. After all,  we’re more likely to follow through and hang on to healthy habits when we’re asked to be accountable and show progress. (and remember, it’s progress we’re after, NOT perfection!)

I have new challenge groups starting & I’d love to see you join us! To join this month’s challenge group, contact me through Facebook or crystalallredfitness@gmail.com.

nevergiveup