IVF

A Friendly Reminder to Love Harder, Be Kinder and Plan On...

No Guns.png

Brideys, I was going to do a funny and educational throwback today, but after absorbing the enormity of the news and attempting to explain why people do the crazy shit they do to my seven-year-old daughter, I thought I’d go a bit deeper and remind you how important it is to embrace perspective while planning your wedding. And not that a school shooting or people needlessly dying is a direct correlation, because it doesn’t even begin to touch that kind of emotion, but it IS a direct correlation as to how you can go about planning your wedding day; with love, kindness and clarity. Clarity is key. You’re getting married, and therefore you should celebrate your love. But, do it with kindness. Do it with respect. Do it with tenderness.

Sadly, we’ve continually been reminded (over and over again) how precious life is, and how little control we have over our destiny. And I hate that it takes awful occurrences like a school shooting to readjust our thinking and for us to love harder and be kinder. I hate that I worked so hard to have my children (thanks to IVF), and now I live in fear every.single.day. for their safety. I’m afraid I won’t be able to protect them from a pissed off, deranged individual with a gun. I’m afraid that if I teach my girl to be strong and stand up for herself that she’ll have to answer to a bullet. I’m afraid that if I don’t, she’ll have to answer to a bullet. Honestly, I’m just afraid. 

Bridey, I want to make it clear that I am not minimizing how important it is to celebrate the union of two people who love each other. I know how stressful and expensive planning a wedding is. But, I also want to make it clear that it’s not the only hurdle you and your partner are going to have to overcome. Every day, it’s becoming more and more apparent that you are about to embark on a shaky future with no guarantees, and it’s important that your foundation as a couple is in tact so that when you have to explain that “not everyone is good” to your children, you can do it as a union. A solid, strong union. And on those days, those terrible, terrible days... You'll be grateful for the person, not the party.

Because your wedding? It’s only the beginning. And it doesn’t matter if you’re spending $5,000 or $50,000 or $500,000. Just remember that when the party is over, you are responsible for cheering yourselves on, even when it’s hard and sad and unbearable. I want you to look back on your wedding planning experience and your wedding day knowing that you made those around you, and involved, feel loved and respected. Because anything can happen at any time… So be kind. Be compassionate. Be strong. And plan on... Gently.

Image via The Liberty Block

***FLASHBACK*** Five Ways Not to be a Nightmare Disguised as a Daydream

Yup, I totally just stole a line from Taylor Swift, but why come up with another awesome line when one already exists? Right? Anyway, the point is, right now, so many of you are recently engaged, and while I truly believe that you don't think you're a nightmare, inevitably, the majority of you? Yeah, you're going turn into a fucking nightmare, and totally think you're a dreamboat. The fix? Well, leave that to me. Here are five ways to avoid turning into your very own nightmare disguised as a daydream:

1. Bridey, remember that just because you are getting married doesn't mean that everyone else is. All of your friends and family? Well, they're probably in different phases of their lives, and therefore it shouldn't be surprising to you that after the allotted "honeymoon" phase of your engagement, you will lose their undivided attention. Because some friends? Well, some are jealous of what you have, some are having babies, some are getting divorced, and some just don't give a shit about your wedding! So, bridey, remember that this is your phase, and not everyone is in it with you. 

2. Be a good listener. Those phases I just mentioned? Well, your friends and family will probably want/need some air time once you've finished talking about what's on your mind. Yes, bridey, you're newly engaged and dying to talk and obsess about every painstaking detail of your wedding day, but your friends have shit happening in their lives too. So, listen! And care! Give them the floor once in a while. Breathe. It's not about you all of the time...

3. Uh-oh... The P word! Um, I'm talking about perspective!! Yup! You're wedding is one day out of your entire life, bridey. One.fucking.day. And there's a ton of shit you'll probably have to overcome with your partner after that one day. Personally? I dealt with nearly losing my hus to pulmonary embolisms (less than a year after we were married). And then there was the whole IVF journey. What a shitshow... (Yeah, you spend all of your 20s trying NOT to get pregnant, and when you're finally ready, you can't! WTF?) And then several ups and downs thereafter... So, while I look back at my wedding day fondly, I usually find myself reflecting on the marriage, and our concrete foundation, not the day.

4. You don't know shit. You are new to this whole wedding planning bit, so quit pretending like you know everything. Do your research. And, no that doesn't mean "pin" your research, I mean really do your research, bridey. Research your wedding as if you're going to spend the equivalent of a down payment for a home on one day... Oh wait... You are! So, own it bridey! Own the shit out of your wedding! Know what you're getting yourself into. Make a point of understanding what things cost in the industry. Hire professionals to help you do so. Either way, educate yourself, and do it honestly! Act as though there was a price tag on every pin. 

5. Be fucking nice... to everyone. Because, bridey, in my world? You are a nightmare first, and then, if you're lucky, you become my daydream. And, if you're nice and genuine? Then people (inside of the industry and out) will genuinely want to help you plan your wedding. They will care about the details, they will care how you feel about the linen or food or wedding cake, and most of all, they will care about you! But, if you treat everyone like crap, then you will get crap in return. 

Got it?

Image via magic4walls

Infertility & IVF... It's a Struggle, Not an Accident

As you know, I write about weddings and weddingy things, so this is quite a departure from my typical articles about wedding behavior and perspective while planning. But, as a topic that is close to my heart and soul, I thought that maybe, just maybe, I could make some positive change simply by sharing my perspective, story and goal with you. Because, frankly? It's fucking exhausting sitting on it all by myself. What is it? Well, "it's" a common "problem" that is so taboo, and so, dare I say, scandalous, that nobody discusses it; nobody talks about it. In fact, it's so scary that network TV won't touch it or produce a show about it because of how they will be perceived by doing so. 

It, is IVF. In vitro fertilization. Being infertile. Feeling broken. Something that affects millions of people both emotionally and physically on an annual basis. It’s becoming so commonplace that in 2014, CNN reported that there is a record number of women using IVF to get pregnant. And yet, we still can't discuss it openly and honestly? C’mon! I mean... Should I whisper it? ivf. There, was that more comfortable? Well, fuck that! And fuck not talking about it! It's time to blow the lid off of this popsicle stand... Because pretty much everyone I know has gone through it, is going through it or knows someone who is going through it. Not being able to get pregnant or stay pregnant or having one too many vaginas or one too many penises is a thing, and IVF is a solution. Usually. 

Because infertility doesn't discriminate. It doesn't care about color or race, or who you love or who you sleep with. It doesn’t care how much money you have or don’t have. It doesn’t care if you’re famous (Google all of the stars who have gone through IVF); it's an equal opportunity for all. And, I never thought it would happen to me… Well, to my hus and me. Seriously, I spent all of my 20s trying not to get pregnant (little did I know), and too much time in my 30s trying to get pregnant. And now? Because of IVF, I am a mother of two “test tube” babies. I went through a hysterosalpingogram (HSG), round after round of IUIs (inseminations), egg retrievals (they put you under for that shit), and finally, several rounds of in vitro. I stumbled my way through self-injections, mind-altering hormone pills, and what felt like exhibitionism considering how often I was naked around strangers, all to finally have what most couple have accidentally after a drunken night at a bar.

It seemed so unfair. We live in a world of baby bumps and showers and when you’re dealing with infertility it’s not only heartbreaking, but frustrating too. Because people are pretty fucking stupid about unknowingly diving into your personal life when they ask questions. I mean, they are so completely unaware and dense to reality when they ask when you’re having a baby or when the next one is coming or or or…  Nadirah Angail sums it up perfectly in her article seen on Huffington Post, called Mind Your Own Womb (also on NadirahAngail.com). But, people don’t mind their own wombs. A simple and seemingly innocent question has made me cry in front of a stranger, or lash out publicly.

I felt incredibly alone, and kept wondering if this was a sign. Like, maybe we shouldn’t be parents. And, there were days I actually believed in that bullshit. There were days that I wanted to give up. There were days I wanted to scream, “fuck it”, we’ll get a dog, move out of the burbs and into a place in the city, have more money and travel. Sounds good, right? But, I didn’t give up. I kept going, and tried laughing more, and giving a shit less. Even Daniel Tosh has an opinion about infertility. He did a hilarious bit about it (yes, I said hilarious), and although it was totally crass, it was honest and real and awesome, and he had the balls to talk about it. To LAUGH about it!! To make fun of it! And I respect that, because a lot of the time, I forced myself to laugh my way through the process because the alternative was way too depressing.

Because, I couldn’t talk about it to anybody. And, considering that I’m not one for being at a loss for words, this was a whole different world for me. I would have LOVED to feel comfortable talking about what I was going through, openly, without watching people squirm as I uttered the words infertility or IVF, and then seeing the pity spread across their face. And it sucked because on top of all of the procedures and borderline obsession, what nobody knows, is that IVF, etc. is fucking time consuming. Blood draws and ultrasounds (yeah, the lovely internal ultrasounds, aka: the wand!) every other day usually BEFORE work. Stabbing myself with needles filled with hormones; drugs that made it nearly impossible to be nice and civil in even the most mundane situations (considering I work with brides… Totally brutal.).

And yet, I’ve been told that an educational reality show about IVF is too female skewed and too earnest for TV. Wow. Seriously? We live in a world where shows like Duck Dynasty exist, and a reality show about IVF is too earnest? Are you fucking kidding me? When I got that news, I literally said, “shame on the networks”, something my mother would totally say. Because, infertility and IVF is a “people” problem, not a “woman” problem. And, if there was an outlet with real people dealing with real fertility problems (ranging from getting pregnant, to staying pregnant, to surrogacy, etc.) I think it would just be an “earnest” show for “all” people to turn to when they feel like they’re dealing with it alone.

So, if you’re going through IVF or dealing with infertility, just know, that I went through it too, and it sucked, and it forced me (and my hus) to be stronger than I ever could have imagined. It’s 100% worth it in the end, but the road is bumpy as hell, filled with disappointment, loss and most of all, courage. Maybe one day I will be able to share my whole story and that of others with you. But, for now? I need you to know that you can get through it too.

Image via Name Bubbles

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ Bridey, Five Ways Not to be a Nightmare Disguised as a Daydream

Yup, I totally just stole a line from Taylor Swift, but why come up with another awesome line when one already exists? Right? Anyway, the point is, right now, so many of you are recently engaged (ahem... Christmas), and while I truly believe that you don't think you're a nightmare, inevitably, the majority of you? Yeah, you're going turn into a fucking nightmare, and totally think you're a dreamboat. The fix? Well, leave that to me. Here are five ways to avoid turning into your very own nightmare disguised as a daydream:

1. Bridey, remember that just because you are getting married doesn't mean that everyone else is. All of your friends and family? Well, they're probably in different phases of their lives, and therefore it shouldn't be surprising to you that after the allotted "honeymoon" phase of your engagement, you will lose their undivided attention. Because some friends? Well, some are jealous of what you have, some are having babies, some are getting divorced, and some just don't give a shit about your wedding! So, bridey, remember that this is your phase, and not everyone is in it with you. 

2. Be a good listener. Those phases I just mentioned? Well, your friends and family will probably want/need some air time once you've finished talking about what's on your mind. Yes, bridey, you're newly engaged and dying to talk and obsess about every painstaking detail of your wedding day, but your friends have shit happening in their lives too. So, listen! And care! Give them the floor once in a while. Breathe. It's not about you all of the time...

3. Uh-oh... The P word! Um, I'm talking about perspective!! Yup! You're wedding is one day out of your entire life, bridey. One.fucking.day. And there's a ton of shit you'll probably have to overcome with your partner after that one day. Personally? I dealt with nearly losing my hus to pulmonary embolisms (less than a year after we were married). And then there was the whole IVF journey. What a shitshow... (Yeah, you spend all of your 20s trying NOT to get pregnant, and when you're finally ready, you can't! WTF?) And then several ups and downs thereafter... So, while I look back at my wedding day fondly, I usually find myself reflecting on the marriage, and our concrete foundation, not the day.

4. You don't know shit. You are new to this whole wedding planning bit, so quit pretending like you know everything. Do your research. And, no that doesn't mean "pin" your research, I mean really do your research, bridey. Research your wedding as if you're going to spend the equivalent of a down payment for a home on one day... Oh wait... You are! So, own it bridey! Own the shit out of your wedding! Know what you're getting yourself into. Make a point of understanding what things cost in the industry. Hire professionals to help you do so. Either way, educate yourself, and do it honestly! Act as though there was a price tag on every pin. 

5. Be fucking nice... to everyone. Because, bridey, in my world? You are a nightmare first, and then, if you're lucky, you become my daydream. And, if you're nice and genuine? Then people (inside of the industry and out) will genuinely want to help you plan your wedding. They will care about the details, they will care how you feel about the linen or food or wedding cake, and most of all, they will care about you! But, if you treat everyone like crap, then you will get crap in return. 

Got it?

Image via magic4walls

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ Getting to Know Bitchless Bride... My Life After My Wedding

By the time you read this, I will be 37 years old. Wow... Could I be more dramatic? But, seriously, I feel like I just got married, and my trip down the aisle was ten years ago! TEN FUCKING YEARS! Oh my God! I was 27!! And maybe I'm still obsessed with weddings because I'm in "the industry", and all I do is eat, breathe and sleep it, or maybe it's because I eloped and never had a wedding to call my own, but no matter what, it still feels like my "wedding" was yesterday. The only difference? My perspective is completely different than it was ten years ago. And you know what? I lucked the fuck out.

Why am I so lucky? Well, see the pic? That's the card my hus got for me for my birthday (along with these...). And when I met this guy, I wasn't ready at all. Like... AT ALL!! Fast forward fourteen years later (we were together four years before he proposed)... Dude is the father of my child, responsible for several (almost painful) belly laughs and putting up with my bullshit. When I really think about it, we are light years away from where we were on our wedding day. And for some reason my birthday got me thinking about how different life is now, than before even having started with a solid foundation before we said "I do."

I'd say that the absolutely scariest part of my marriage was when my hus nearly died less than a year after we got married.