When Life Gives You Lemons

I think the saying is “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” or something like that.  Sharing our journey is another way that I can help turn a negative into a positive.

One in eight couples struggle to build a family.

My husband and I are one of those couples.  I share our story in hopes that it can help someone else.  No two stories of infertility are alike, but in sharing our story I hope that someone else out there doesn’t feel so alone in this fight.

And while I wouldn’t wish this battle upon my worst enemy, I also recognize that  experiencing this provided me with a deeper insight into what is truly important in life, and a far greater appreciation for the gift of a child.  Every ordinary little thing can just seem fantastic.  Max could just watching Moana, eat a popsicle, or pick nose with no shame, and tears will well up in my eyes because I think it is amazing that I finally have this little baby who is growing into a little boy, and yes, sometimes he may unabashedly pick his nose and smile.

The best advice I can give to anyone going through this journey is to find a community to support you.  Find others who can relate to what you are going through.  Whether it is a supportive on-line fertility group or a friend of a friend, find someone that can relate to what you are going through.  Find someone else who speaks the language of medical jargon like HCG, HSG, follicle, AMH, embryo transfer, Menopur, FHS, IVF, IUI and Beta.  If you aren’t up to talking with someone (because sometimes it just seems too emotionally exhausting), there are on-line groups and books you can check out as well.  You can find support and kinship all around you.

My husband and I are hard workers, always able to accomplish most things we set our minds to, but it seemed that having kids was a whole new roller coaster of which we had absolutely no control.  We were several years into our IVF journey and though I felt like I couldn’t give up after all this time, as there was nothing I wanted more, I also felt like a fool for continuing to try when all I saw was failure after failure.  People start to ask if you will adopt, they ask when you will accept that you might not have children, to just enjoy what you have. While you want to tell them why they are wrong, inside you secretly wonder if they are right and doubt your choices.

While licking my wounds from yet another failed embryo transfer a few years back, I didn’t know what we should do next, if anything, and one morning I saw an interview with Jimmy Fallon on the Today show about the birth of his daughter, in which he was exceptionally candid in sharing his family’s own experience with infertility.  He captured so many feelings my husband and I shared about our own journey, and how hard it was seeing others so sad and disappointed for you.  But his excitement about his newborn daughter was simply intoxicating, and he encouraged those going through the journey to build a family to keep trying, and eventually, somehow, you’ll get there.  He said, keep trying! I promise, “it’s the most worth it thing…” That video will still make me cry if I watch it today.  In the darkest days when I felt like giving up, I would go back and watch how his eyes sparkled when he spoke and how amazing it all was in the end.  I saw that they got there eventually, and it was so helpful to know someone else had been where I was at that point.

An increasing number of celebrities are publicly sharing their infertility journeys, and more news stories are making it out there on national media outlets, disseminating information about new advances in the field.   Bobbi Thomas, a fashion and style guru on the Today Show, features her IVF experience on the program, going so far as to show acupuncture and fire cupping procedures on-air.  At that point in my journey, acupuncture was about the only thing I had not tried so despite some apprehension, I tried it anyway.  After two months of treatment with acupuncture and my amazing fertility team, I was finally able to conceive and carry our son.  Had she not shared her story, maybe I wouldn’t have tried acupuncture, and maybe THAT last embryo transfer wouldn’t have worked… but it did.  I’m so grateful she shared her story.

After my initial round of IVF treatment, I reconnected with a college friend who had was an IVF girl herself, and she recommended I join a Facebook infertility group that she was already a part of.  Over the next few years, I was lucky enough to have the support, love and understanding of those ladies.  I formed close friendships with several women I met on the board, and though many of us have not met because we are geographically far away, they remain sources of strength and love for me.  Whether in Ireland, Israel or Philadelphia, these ladies had my back.

Along the way I formed a bond with my friend Jen in Washington, who I met as part of the Facebook group.  Shortly after I suffered a miscarriage she sent me a note one morning.  She said that the night before she had this vivid dream the two of us were together in Orlando, pushing our baby boys in strollers around EPCOT.  She reminded me of this dream from time to time, and how vivid it was – she was sure it would happen somehow.  Not terribly long after her dream, Jen would get pregnant and have a baby boy named Daniel, and shortly thereafter I had my son Max.  Last week Jen and I finally had the chance to meet in person for the first time when she was in Florida for a family vacation, and it was every bit as sweet as I thought it would be.  Watching our sons high five was just the best, like, “Yay moms, we did it!  We are finally here! Woo hoo! Thanks for not giving up on us!”

If you are also one in eight, know that you are not alone.   We are out there.  We are on TV, on the internet, on Facebook, at work, in your neighborhood.  I share my story in hopes that it helps you not feel like you are in this journey alone – there is a whole family of infertility warriors that have your back.

If you would like to learn more about my personal story with infertility, please check out a Q&A session I recently did for INFERTILITY OUT LOUD, a website and blog created by licensed counselor and a fellow infertility warrior, Liz Strong.   Realizing that people often feel isolated and alone in this process, she started her site in hopes that through sharing and reading the stories on her site, other couples would find it to be a place solace and support.



5 Practical Tips for Decorating Any Nursery

Decorating a nursery can be lots of fun, but at times it can also be a little bit overwhelming. It is a room that you will be spending a lot of time in, and for me it was very much a labor of love for my child.    In this post, I wanted to share my top five practical tips that I picked up along the way that are helpful for decorating any style nursery.


Look for inspiration on sites like Instagram, Pinterest and Houzz, or just save screenshot photos in a file on your phone.  You may discover something new that never occurred to you.  Originally I thought I wanted to go with clean light neutrals,  boho accents and a wood wall. Then I stumbled upon nurseries with royal blue and navy walls with white accents, which I simply adored.  For weeks I waffled back and forth with these two seemingly  opposite idea.  I played around with a photo collage app on my iPhone to create an inspiration board.  Soon I realized that there are no steadfast rules – I could have the best of both worlds. Being able to play with the colors and textures together helps you have confidence that you will be happy with the end result.



At first I was dead against getting a glider for the room, but my husband talked some sense into me and I’m so glad he did.  There are a lot of chair and gliders out there today that are equal parts stylish and comfortable. I found this amazing glider at Land of Nod, and still fall asleep in it almost every night when I rock Max before bed.  In a few more years, I can repurpose it for another room without it looking out of place.  You are going to to be spending a lot of long nights in that chair, and it will be a place where you make lots of sweet memories with your little one.  Find one that you will love spending time in for the long haul, it’s totally worth it.  (I’m still obsessed with this striped rocker from Land of Nod too!)


While you are set on creating the perfect nursery for your little ones, remember in the not too distant future that they will want to express their own style too – like a bright red race car bed in the middle of the room.  In addition to buying traditional baby furniture like crib and comfy glider,  I tried to incorporate other items in the room that we can repurpose later in other rooms.  Instead of a changing table that has a limited shelf life, consider putting a changing topper on a waist high dresser or hutch.  We used West Elm dresser for Max’s changing table. (For extra safety, we recommend anchoring any items that could become top heavy to the wall and permanently securing the changing pad on the dresser.) I use lots of baskets for storage, a wooden shelf as a diaper organizer, a puff instead of the glider footstool, and a funky little tree stump side table.  Another favorite is this fun print from Gray Malin’s Parker Series, incorporating our favorite furry little friends at the iconic Palm Springs hotel.



While some decorating professionals may cringe, one option is to consider at least a semigloss paint.  Satins may be prettier to some, but eventually sticky hands, food, crayons and other ooey gooey things will end up on these walls, and a glossier type of paint will be a bit more durable and easier to clean.  Whether or not you go with a semi gloss, I always suggest making sure you buy a bit more than you will need so that it’s no big deal to clean up a rough patches that may show up from time to time.  (And make sure to keep the name  of the color and brand of paint.)



I’ve used Etsy to find shelves, pillows, paintings, signs and curtains for our house.  I think Etsy is a great option to find one of a kind pieces for your child’s room that don’t have to break the bank.  And it seems that no matter what your style or theme, there will be a shop that offers what you are searching for.  One of my favorite Etsy finds are these happy furry friends hanging out in Max’s room by Water In My Paint.




Hello Mr. Rabbit

We had lots of bunny rabbit shenanigans over the last week getting ready for Easter, and we didn’t even have to leave Winter Garden.

Last weekend Max did a great job with his first Easter egg hunt, even if he was a little bit bashful with the furry man of the hour.

He gathered so many eggs in his basket!

There were definitely no photos at first, but later someone got a little bit curious after all.

I hear the bunny may be hiding some eggs at our house tomorrow…

Last night we braved coloring eggs with an eighteen month old, which was certainly more difficult than I expected.

It took all four grown up hands here to wrangle the toddler and 5 cups of dye, and though there were a few spilled cups and tears, we finished them after all.  So very glad we decided to do everything outside!

Tonight after dinner stopped by a local house that had some of the cutest little bunnies to meet.

Max did a great job being gentle for the most part and did lots of soft pets, but we may have had to rescue a bunny or two from being cuddled too much.

They were absolutely adorable and he just adored them!

Now time for mommy and daddy to help the Easter Bunny get ready for the big day tomorrow…

National Infertility Awareness Week, April 23-29th

National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) will be recognized from April 23-29th this year.

I am one in eight who have experienced infertility challenges.  We have had many losses along the way.  We are IVF parents.  These facts don’t define us, but they will forever be woven into the fabric of who we are.

How lucky am I that I get to see smoosh this cubby cheeks against mine every morning, fight with him to pick the sticky graham cracker crumbs from his face after he eats a snack, and chase him around the playground like he is a human roomba?  There are no words to express the gratitude.  Some days little tears of joy will start trickling down my face as I watch him snooze when I rock him to sleep.

Yet other days I can still get sad, longing to be the mommy waddling uncomfortably through the park with a big baby belly, chasing after my crazy toddler.  I tell myself that anything else that happens for us is a bonus, we already won.  It works most of the time. 

If you know someone going through this now, it can be pretty difficult to know exactly what to say or do sometimes.  I found this article about Infertility Etiquette on the NIAW website to be helpful and wanted to pass it along to folks.

If you still aren’t sure what to say, just let them know that you love them, and you are there to support them no matter what.  ❤️