Mantra Monday #5

It's #MANTRAMONDAY again! 

 

If you’re too comfortable, it’s time to move on. Terrified of what’s next? You’re right on track.
— Susan Tales-Hill

I was scrolling through Pinterest, as one does, and came across this quote and it just resigned with me. The reason why I felt like I wanted to share this quote this week is because every month I go through these stages. One day I am crying because I am not pregnant and I want to be pregnant so bad and the next day, I think "oh crap, what if I'm pregnant. Then I have to go through all of these changes and my life will never be the same" - I now know that these thoughts are very honest, raw and most importantly, normal.

There is a girl in my support group that got pregnant two months into trying and she shared with the group that she sometimes is afraid because she got pregnant quickly, just got married, doesn't know if she is ready, etc etc and that reminded me of the moments where I have similar thoughts except for, I'm not pregnant yet.

Wouldn't you think that having these feelings before getting pregnant is a good thing? Like maybe we can prepare for whats to come? Last month when I thought I had a faint positive, I went through all of these emotions again and then they disappeared because I was so excited to actually be pregnant. In a way, I think that has helped me with this cycle because I no longer feel afraid (at the moment).

Anyway, I thought that it was such a great mantra to share and now you know why I shared it!

Make sure to follow me on Instagram so you can view, like and repost the image for this mantra! I also discuss it a little bit on my podcast! This week I have fertility and mommy blogger, Kate Meaks on the podcast and this episode is so great. It's worth a listen!

And I will be doing "Fertility Friday" which is my newsletter! I have worked so hard on my newsletter and what I've decided is that it will be a weekly newsletter with all of my posts, content and news for the week. I also hope to have some giveaways coming soon and subscribers will get early access! Sign up below.

Mantra Monday #4

Welcome back to another #MANTRAMONDAY on Dreaming of Diapers & Dimples! If you listen to my podcast then you have already heard what the mantra is for this week. But I still plan on writing a blog post about it so I can go a little more in depth about why I chose this mantra.

The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.
— William James

The reason why I chose this mantra for this week was because this is actually a quote that I go back and forth to whenever I am feeling stressed or anxious. I suffer from anxiety and have suffered from depression in the past so I am someone who has to really go out of their way to no longer feel those things. But of course, that is easier said than done. I love this mantra because the thought of choosing one thought over another is so simple. I am not an expert at it but knowing that I have the option to think about something else - oddly helps me.

So along with describing why I chose this mantra for #MANTRAMONDAY I also want to share with you how I put one thought over the other. It's not healthy and I know that but I love to watch Netflix because I can binge watch commercial free shows and take my mind off of whatever is bringing me down. Again, I know it's not healthy but it works like a charm. Another thing that I love to do is listen to music, which is a lot healthier than watching TV. My husband and I are huge into music and have seen how it can help you when you are feeling "low" or "down in the dumps" which happens a lot while trying to conceive. 

I hope that you feel a connection to this quote and if you suffer from anxiety - especially while trying to conceive - you are not alone!

Head over to my podcast next, if you're looking for something to distract you! :)

 

FOLLOW THE LINKS BELOW TO LISTEN ON A MEDIA PLAYER AND SUBSCRIBE!

APPLE PODCASTS | STITCHER | GOOGLE PLAY SOUNDCLOUD

Remedies for Getting Rid of Period Cramps

Now that I am in the middle of my period - I thought it would be a good time to share some of my remedies for getting rid of period cramps. Ever since I can remember, I've struggled with period cramps and they are often so painful that I have to miss work. When I was younger, I would have a hard time at school because I was in so much pain. Now that I am trying to conceive, my period is not only a time of physical pain but also emotional pain and I hate when I have a bad period because mentally I just feel all over the place - like maybe I am being punished or something. I'm sure most of you reading this understand that.

As I've gotten older, I've learned a few tips and tricks for getting rid of these bad boys but not all of these will work for everyone and I know that but maybe one or two of these will help you! Comment below what remedies work for you so I can try them!

Recently, my go-to is Icy Hot. Yes, you read that right. I'm a huge advocate for Icy Hot. I think that the product works great for backaches and even headaches. I'm not 100% sure if it's fertility safe (any fertility specialists out there let me know) so I try not to use it during my two week wait but during my period I always use it because well, I'm not pregnant so I can do whatever I wish. And just to add a note since I already mentioned that I use this for headaches too, I will rub some on the back of my neck (hair up in a bun so it's not as messy) and I take a little on my index fingers and rub some of the product on my temple. Try it and you can thank me later! It's a miracle drug.

Another thing I do is use my trusty heating pad. Maybe I am an old soul or something because I don't think a lot of women (that I know) use a heating pad for period cramps but I honestly cannot live without mine. I think that the way you are suppose to use the heating pad is by only using it 20 minutes at a time. I am not a rule follower and sleep with mine on and use it for hours at end - but don't take my advice on the timing portion of this.

Drink a ton of water. I swear by this too - stayed super duper hydrated softens the blow. When I worked in the medical field, I would draw patients blood and always tell them to drink a lot of water. One of the reasons being, when your body is well hydrated you are actually less likely to feel as much pain as you would if you were dehydrated. I honestly don't know the science behind that other than the fact that you feel a little less physical pain when you are hydrated and I've always drank a lot of water but around my period - I literally drink 10-12 bottles of water a day. You should at least drink 6 twelve-ounce bottles of water a day.

Do not, I repeat, do not sit down! Going for a run, exercising, walking around, etc are all things that help with the physical pain of period cramps. Again, I don't know the science behind it but it works. I have a desk job so sometimes this is a little hard for me to do but I will make extra trips to the bathroom, printer, kitchen, check up on agents in the office, etc so I don't sit on my lazy butt all day complaining about my stomach pains.

I can't prove this by I swear by it, drink hot peppermint tea.  I have Googled this a few times and can't seem to find if this is real or not but if I drink peppermint tea the day before Aunt Flo is suppose to arrive and continue to drink it through the first two days  of my period - my period cramps are either super mild or nonexistent. Anyone else?

Take a hot, hot, hot bath. This may be a favorite of mine. it only helps with the period cramps while you are in the actual bath but it is so relaxing! I love taking really hot baths and while trying to conceive - I can't take as hot as I would like (because my body temp gets above 102.2) so since I am on my period and obviously not pregnant, I turn that heat up up up!

And last, obviously, a pain-reliever. My favorite is Midol. I put this last because I don't think it's the BEST and HEALTHIEST option for your body. Also, inflammatory medication aren't great for your liver and kidneys so for that reason, I try not to take them. But sometimes they do the trick! I've tried just Ibuprofen and nada but Midol works like a charm for me. The trick is to take it the night/morning/few hours before any bleeding actually starts.


Well, there you have it! My secrets to not having horrible period cramps. I am so curious to know what works for you! Please comment below, or comment on social media to let me know - I would love to try new things and add rememedies to the list!


GET SOCIAL WITH ME:

LISTEN TO MY FERTILITY PODCAST: 

 

APPLE PODCASTS | STITCHER | GOOGLE PLAY SOUNDCLOUD

The End of Cycle Nine

As I am writing this, I am on cycle day two of my tenth cycle trying to conceive. Every month, it gets harder and harder to say what cycle I'm on but I will do everything that I can to stay positive but I'm not going to lie to you - the past few days have been really hard for me.

Monday, April 2nd, I took a cheap Easy @ Home pregnancy test. I was told that these are not very accurate and actually didn't show a positive until 8+ weeks pregnant which really scared me but since learning this, I had so many tests left over that I was basically just peeing on them constantly in an attempt to get rid of them (and not totally waste them). Well, I took a test around 8 p.m. on Monday and swore that I saw a SUPER faint line. So, I took a photo and used my special app to give the photo the "negative" filter. If you don't know, this can help clarify if there is in fact a line or not. IT SHOWED A FAINT HIGHLIGHTED LINE. My heart literally sank and I felt this feeling that I haven't gotten the opportunity to feel yet - excitement.

Although it was difficult, I did everything I could to not freak out and learn how to be patient. The next morning, I would run by Walmart before work and buy a pack of First Response Early Response pregnancy test. And I did just that. I wanted to use my first urine of the day but I woke up at 5:30 a.m. to get my husband's lunch ready for the day and I wasn't going to leave the house for another 2 hours so I did what any other crazy (potentially) pregnant woman would do and poured the urine in an empty water bottle and brought it to Walmart with her around 7:45 a.m.

I tested with the FRER and again, saw the faintest line. Looking back, I honestly don't know if it was my eyes or if there was a line. It's honestly hard to know and for the life of me, I couldn't get a decent photo because I was always in bad lighting or I was shaking from anxiety. I saw a faint line on at least 2 tests that I took but took 4 tests total. 

Aunt Flo was set to come today, actually, but she arrived yesterday afternoon. I had taken a FRER that morning and didn't have a darker line - I'm honestly not even sure that a line was there at all. I had looked at so many tests at this point so my eyes were probably seeing lines everywhere. I went to the restroom at work and when I wipes, there was a small amount of pink on the toilet paper. I put my head in my hands and started to cry because I knew what this meant and even though I tried so hard to NOT get my hopes up - I started to plan my life based around the two tests that I thought I saw a faint line on. The spotting started very slow and was only when I wiped but a few hours later, it was very clear that Aunt Flo had arrived.

I cried all afternoon and that's hard for me to admit because I do everything I can to stay positive since starting this blog because I meet women who are dealing with much more than I am so I feel that my problems are small but this cycle - I let it all out. I cried to my husband for maybe the second time since we started trying to conceive and his response lifted all of the weight from my shoulders. I understand that our partners won't understand as much about this process because they aren't the ones truly experiencing the stress other than timed sex and knowing there is a negative test at the end of the cycle so in the past - I've kept my feelings to myself because I don't really know how to explain it. But I got both of our hopes up this month (another thing I feel horrible about) because I explained to him that a faint line was a positive and that it should get darker over the next few days. And that didn't happen. I cried and cried over what I thought was going to be our month and after taking some time to dwell on the fact that I'm not pregnant, I've picked myself up and we are gearing up to try again.

I bought a bunch of stuff off of Amazon and am coming up with my plan for the month. I have to keep my head up because being negative and upset does nothing but slow me down. I can do this, I can do this, I can do this.

Thank you for reading this long blog post - I wanted to explain why I didn't update you all sooner. 

I have some great blog posts coming up this month for you! Also, if you weren't already aware, Dreaming of Diapers & Dimples is now a PODCAST! I put all of the links below, click on which you'd like to listen on (or go to my PODCAST page on my website) and please subscribe, download the episode and leave a nice 5-star review so I can get some really great guests for you!

APPLE PODCASTS | STITCHER | GOOGLE PLAY SOUNDCLOUD

Thank you, Dreamers! Have a great weekend.

Mantra Monday #3

Welcome back for another #MantraMonday! I am loving the feedback on this weekly segment and hope that you ladies are enjoying it.

Here is my mantra for the week:

Stand tall, wear a crown, and be sweet on the inside -
Just like a pineapple
— diapersanddimples.com

I saw this mantra twice, both were a little different than the other so I combined them and created this mantra. I love the meaning behind it because it's relatable to trying to conceive. Pineapples are known to be symbolic in the #TTCcommunity but did you know just how much you are similar to a pineapple?

Make sure to follow me on Twitter & Instagram if you're not already following, this is where I share my weekly #MantraMonday and you can easily share and retweet it!

 

My Top 5 Favorite Books of All-Time

Growing up, I was a huge book nerd. I always read books that were above my grade level (humble brag) but I actually wasn't a very good student. I didn't live in the most loving or happy home growing up so as I have gotten older I have looked back on that obsession and thought that maybe I really like escaping to "another world" which I felt these books gave me. 

I've decided to make a list of my all-time favorite books, these are books that I go back to read over and over again because I just love them that much. 

I'm three days past the end of ovulation and I feel myself trying to find any distraction I can with this cycle. Honestly, I'm feeling oddly positive (even though I have felt this positive before) and I don't really want to get my hopes up but I find myself thinking about it often this cycle. Normally, I'm not too crazy during the two week wait because well, I've done this eight other times and ended up disappointed. We used Pre-Seed this month, baby danced a few more times than we normally due, used OPKs, I drank pomegranate juice every day the week of ovulation and am eating pineapple every day after ovulation so I am doing literally all I can at this moment. This is probably the most that I've done in any cycle. With that, I need to be distracted. I LOVE tv so I watch a lot of shows, movies, etc but I also love to read so I find myself re-reading my favorite books lately. I thought that it would be a great list to share with all of you in case you need a new book to read, love these books too or are into trying new things! 

Please leave a comment on this post if you've read any of these books or if you purchase them! I'll add an amazon link below for you to maybe sample the book or purchase the book. You won't regret it! :) 

HERE ARE MY TOP 5 FAVORITE BOOKS OF ALL-TIME:


1. THE PACT by Jodi Picoult:

This story caught my eye when I was in high school. I still remember reading it for the first time and I literally bawled my eyes out with every page it seemed. This story is about two childhood friends that grew up as neighbors and naturally started a romantic relationship. Without spoiling the entire book I will tell you that they had a suicide pact that went horribly wrong. You learn about both main characters memories of each other throughout the book as it jumps back and forth in time. One reason why I love this book is because it made me think a lot about the saying "don't judge a book by it's cover" and if you read the book - I think you'll get why. I've linked the amazon link below - you should be able to get a sample of the first few pages. This is also a Lifetime movie BUT I honestly, whole-heartedly think that the book is x500 better.


2. SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson: 

I think my husband is a little tired of hearing me talk about this book. My original copy of the book is literally falling apart because I've read it so many times. TRIGGER WARNING: This book is about a girl in high school who was raped and basically lost all of her friends and popularity as a result. She attended a party where there was underage drinking and was raped by an older "hot" popular guy, freaked out (naturally) and called the cops because she didn't know what else to do. A lot of students were arrested, given tickets, grounded by parents from her calling the cops so no one spoke to her in the following school year. This book is an inside look into her mind as she copes with the aftermath of the sexual assault. It's a heartbreaking but oddly beautiful story. This also was a Lifetime movies that starred Kristen Stewart and it was a great movie. I do recommend reading the book first because the difference is that you get to read her thoughts, it's time stamped and a bit more emotional on paper. I've linked the amazon link below - you should be able to get a sample of the first few pages


3.  BEST OF ME by Nicholas Sparks: 

Please tell me that some of you read this book before seeing the movie? Both are incredible works of art. The story is so different compared to what Nicholas Sparks has written in the past and it truly makes you think about what is "meant to be." This is such a beautiful love story and it's not one that ends the way you would expect, which makes it that much better in my eyes. I've linked to Amazon below! 


4. WHO WILL CRY WHEN YOU DIE by Robin Sharma:

If you are a returning reader of my blog, this will now be the second time that I've mentioned this book. This is unlike the others on the list because it's technically a self-help book but it's not how you're imagining it. It's not telling you how to change your mind and how it thinks - it helps you see things from a different point of view which ultimately helps you train your mind to view things from all angles. I would bet my life that every person that reads this book, loves it. I had to buy an electronic copy because my original copy was falling apart. I suffer from anxiety so when I feel anxious or like I can't focus on the positive - I read a few chapters of this book. I don't have enough good things to say about it. A few of you have reached out to me telling me that you bought it from my last post and that so far, you love it! It's so great to hear. I'll link to Amazon below!

 


5. UNQUALIFIED by Anna Faris (with a hilarious foreward by Chris Pratt) 

As I've gotten older, I've loved non-fiction books. The same with movies, documentaries really inspire me and I get kind-of sucked in quick. This book is touching, hilarious, and sad. Anna Faris is easily one of my favorite comedic actresses. Her comedy is so different than other things out there. Not to mention her (now ex) husband played one of my all-time favorite TV show characters, Andy Dwyer. Something I learned from her book is that she actually met Chris Pratt on the set of Take Me Home Tonight which is a brilliantly funny movie. You should check that out too. I'll link to the Amazon book before but she recorded her own Audio Book so I really recommend you purchase that instead. Please forgive me, this is the most expensive book on my list at $16.


I would love to hear your opinions on these books if you've read them! COMMENT BELOW with your favorite book so I can also give it a try.

 

Mantra Monday #2

Welcome back to #MantraMonday! It was a success last week so I hope that you have all used this mantra for the week and just repeat it to yourself every morning.

The mantra message for this week is:

“Be gentle with yourself, you’re doing the best you can.
— Unknown

I love this quote because well, it couldn't be truer if it tried. We are all doing the best we can and it's important to remember that whenever you have a tough day feeling like you're failing, losing, not getting what you want out of life, etc. 

If you follow me on social media, you'll see that I leave comments on some profiles that are similar to this. When women post or message me that they are having a hard day where everything is going wrong, or they're upset because they aren't pregnant I always tell them to take the day to feel sad and defeated, eat their favorite foods (especially the ones you won't be able to eat when you are pregnant) and try again tomorrow. You can't be so hard on yourself all the time! 

What do ya'll think of this mantra? What's your favorite mirror message this week, if not this one? COMMENT BELOW! 

Whoa baby, ovulation is knocking on the door

Ya'll ovulation is in FULL FORCE and I am not complaining. I'll try to make this update short but I feel oddly optimistic and positive because well, we are doing pretty good with our "timing" in my opinion. We are definitely trying a little harder this month, we push through even when we are tired because we REALLY want this so we are doing everything we can to make it happen.

Last week, a girl in my Facebook support group announced that she was pregnant. This particular woman has been having a lot of stress and trouble getting pregnant and her doctor (and many other doctors I believe) told her that it probably wouldn't happen naturally. She was determined to make it happen and gave it another month. When she told the group that she was pregnant she mentioned that something she did differently was listen to her body. She checked her cervical mucous, took her basal body temperature, etc, etc. I even think that this was the first month she did those things to the extent that she did. She said that if we just pay attention to our symtptoms, it can help a lot.

This inspired me.

For the past almost ten months, I've used OPKs four of those months. I've tracked symptoms but I had a month where I had a cold, then the stomach flu, then my husband having to work out of town, blah, blah and so maybe I didn't listen to my body the way I should have. After reading her post - I was determined to do the same thing she did.

So here is what I've done differently prior to ovulation. I've drank at least eight ounces of POM pomegranate juice (sometimes I mix it with water in a water bottle). From my research (and as always, please tell me if I am wrong) you should drink at least eight ounces of pomegranate juice daily during your follicular phase, which is the time your period ends up to ovulation, to strengthen your uterine lining and (I think) strengthen the quality of your eggs. So, because of that research - I have been drinking a crap ton of pomegranate juice! I also have not had a sip of coffee since my period ended. Coffee is acidic and can actually thin out your cervical mucous and make it acidic to sperm meaning that it could potentially kill sperm. Again, I read this online but it was enough to scare me away. And I LOVE my coffee so it's been a bit difficult.

I started taking OPKs on cycle day ten. Here is what my readings were:

  • CD 10: NEGATIVE
  • CD 11: NEGATIVE
  • CD 12: NEGATIVE
  • I skipped testing on CD 13 because I took the OPK on CD 12 at night.
  • CD 14: I first tested in the morning before my husband left for work around 5:45 a.m. and it looked like maybe it was a little darker than other tests but definitely not as dark as it was going to get. I assumed that it would be a few more days. But then when I tested in the afternoon - PEAK!

 

On cycle day fourteen, after having a slight change of color on my OPK, I went to work and around 11 a.m. I started to cramp. I went to use the restroom sometime after and checked my cervical mucous ( I know, gross, I'm sorry) and it fit the description of everything I read online! I just knew that I was ovulating.

When I got home from work around 5:00 p.m. I took another OPK and it was 100% surge positive. The lighting in my photos doesn't show it perfectly but it was definitely as dark as the control line if not maybe a little tiny bit lighter. We baby danced using Pre-Seed so I am hoping we caught our timing!

SIDE NOTE: I've used Pre-Seed every time we have "tried" this month and last month. This is only my second month using it.

I took another test this morning, cycle day fifteen and I still have the surge! Thinking that we should baby dance today too to just give ourselves the best odds. This baby making process is super tiring - mostly for my husband since he works a really physical job. 

One thing that has happened this month is a lot of tension headaches. I've had four headaches in maybe 14 days and they have been rough. I take Tylenol because that's the only thing thats safe when pregnant so I am trying to treat my body like it's pregnant and Tylenol just doesn't work for my. On cycle day twelve, my headache was so bad, probably the worst it's ever been. I was also very nauseous which isn't like me. I was so confused by how I was feeling that I took a pregnancy test to make sure we didn't conceive last month and I just didn't realize it. Of course, that is not the case. After reaching out on social media, I learned that a lot of you actually suffer from tension headaches or headaches in general around ovulation. So, that's a new symptom for me. I did take Excedrin for two of the headaches and I feel absolutely horrible that I did that but I needed relief. The only information that I have been able to find is that it interferes with implantation BUT I hadn't even ovulated yet so I doubt it can negatively affect this month.

Thanks for checking in on my ovulation update! I hope that my #CycleSisters are gearing up for the horrible, long, annoying two week wait. I guess we shall see if all of this effort is worth it and I get my big fat positive! 

Oh, I really hope so.

Introducing... Mantra Monday

Welcome to the first ever, Mantra Monday by Dreaming of Diapers & Dimples! I was working on a post with a master list of my favorite quotes, mirror messages and mantras and it dawned on me that I should make this a weekly thing that way you ladies can focus on one mantra at a time. I mean, that makes the most sense. 

My favorite way  to use mantras is to recite them every morning when I get up. I know it sounds silly but hey, it works for me. My routine is normally get out of bed, brush my teeth, blah blah and after I brush my teeth - I look at myself in the mirror and recite my mirror message a few times until it sounds like I really believe it. Fake it 'till you make it - right? 

The #MantraMonday Mantra for this week is:

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes it is the quite voice at the end of the day saying “I will try again tomorrow.” 

- Mary Radmacher

I love this quote so much. On days where I feel like I can't give this trying to conceive thing all of my attention, I always think - I will try again tomorrow. We are only human and sometimes we are tired. Both physically and emotionally, so we put off baby dancing another day and wonder if we are messing up by doing that. Look - all we can do is our best. In order to be a good mother, father, parent in general, we have to take care of ourselves too. Take the day to feel sad, defeated, tired and drink a glass of wine and maybe even pair it will your favorite sushi roll - you are doing the absolute best you can. 

What's your interpretation of this quote? Let me know in the comments below! 

Share your #MantraMonday on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and make sure to tag me so I can share it on my page too! :)