REVIEW: ProfilePRO Customized Hair Care

For 40% off a trial size at ProfilePRO use code: DT40OFF

I've never been fussy over shampoo or conditioner. I don't have a go-to brand or type of product that I use on a daily basis. I've used everything - drug store brands like Tresemme and Herbal Essence to more expensive products like Bumble and Bumble, Paul Mitchell, and Wen. I've never stuck with one brand too long and I've never been against trying new brands. So when ProfliePRO asked me to try out their customizable products, I was happy to do so!

The Product:

Basically, ProfliePRO customizes and formulates it's products for your specific hair type based on a questionnaire you fill out prior to placing an order.

You answer these questions, customize the name of your own shampoo and conditioner, and then check out. Easy-peasy!

They've put in the work and done their homework. They've analyzed different profile results and tested them on the various hair types to make sure each custom profile works! Their products are made in a manufacturing facility for cosmetics and hair products in Italy. The products are sulfate free for a gentle clean.

The Review:

My initial thought when I read about this product was awesome. Most shampoos and conditioners I've used only consider one (maybe two) characteristics of hair (re: for blondes, thickening, or smoothing). So to come across a product that's formulated for my type, texture, behavior, and scalp - all in one - was pretty impressive and definitely got me interested.

So I customized my products. My hair is wavy, frizzy, and thick. It's colored. And my scalp is between normal and dry. I chose the Jasmine scent. And done. It was being made in Italy and soon would be at my door.

First off, the signature Jasmine scent is ahhhh-stinkin'-mazin' y'all. For real. It's perfectly pleasant. Some beauty product scents are just too much. Over-bearing and sometimes even overcompensating for the product itself. I'm sure the other ProflinePRO scent options are just as great, but I totally recommend Jasmine.

It took me a couple weeks to really use the product and feel comfortable writing about it. I wash my hair 1-2 times a week, so I wanted to get in a few washes before forming any opinions. Because I don't wash my hair daily, it's important for me to have a shampoo that really cleans the scalp. I use dry shampoo daily and between that and just being out in the elements, I get a decent amount of buildup  around my roots after a few days. So shampoo is crucial for me. I don't care about the brand, it just needs to cleanse and restore my hair.

I had just a couple issues with the shampoo. Each time I washed my hair, I found myself having to use excess amounts to cover all of my hair. The website states that the shampoo does not lather due to it being sulfate-free. I've actually used a couple of non-lathering shampoos that have been great. The problem I had with the ProfliePRO was that it didn't really distribute. Once I put the shampoo in one area, it was almost impossible for me to move the product elsewhere. It felt like it just disappeared into my hair. I subsequently had to use more and more of the product to cover my entire head. I do have a lot of hair, but I just found it annoying that I had to go back to the bottle multiple times per wash.

In addition to that, as I mentioned, I need a product that washes away the buildup and grime; however, my scalp didn't feel as clean as I wanted it following a wash - which could have just been a result of having a difficult time moving the product around in my hair. So that was disappointing. In contrast to that, the shampoo is marketed as gentle and if you're someone who washes daily, it would probably be perfect for you. I need a deeper clean because of my washing schedule.

I think if you wash your hair every day or even every other day you need to try this customizable shampoo and conditioner. If you only wash a couple times a week, you may find it to be too gentle for a really good cleaning. Either way, I highly recommend everyone giving it a try!

***For 40% off a trial size at ProfilePRO use code: DT40OFF***


One Year Later: Finding Out We Were Having Twins

I mentioned in a previous post that in the upcoming weeks and months one year anniversaries will begin to pass by. Since the last year (or so) has been a blur, I’ll be using these one-year markers to remember those moments – joyful and painful. I just want to put into words the memories and feelings those days possessed in order to remember and to share. Since beginning our infertility journey, it’s been incredibly important to me to share these moments – good or bad – in hopes that it could possibly be a small light for those in similar situations seeking some level of comfort in uncomfortable situations. I’ll be the first to tell you, when I need information, I hit the World Wide Web. So I pray that these posts will reach women, men, or families that need it.

So here we are.

One year ago, on August 12, 2014.

Last year on this day Chris and I walked into our fertility clinic and were placed in a small room with an exam bed and an ultrasound machine. I found out I was pregnant two weeks prior via a blood test. My blood work suggested a successful pregnancy with numbers increasing appropriately. Today was the day we would finally (finally!) get to see the life inside of me.

In the past two weeks we had briefly discussed and guessed how many babies we could possibly be expecting. Ultrasounds prior to our IUI showed I had three mature eggs. So we knew it was possible that there could be three babies. Or there could be one. Or two. Or even six if all three released, fertilized, and multiplied (whoa!) - as multiples do run in my family.

But it didn’t matter. God was in control and how ever many were in there would be a blessing and a gift.

In the forefront of my mind, I felt like there was one. Deep in a tiny, quiet and calm part of my heart, I knew there would be two. I knew. God had been preparing me for two. I could not deny that and it was an indescribable deep-in-my-gut-feeling. But no matter what I felt or thought, the answer to our question of how many (a question only those who go through fertility treatment are thinking at the first ultrasound) was going to be answered in a matter of minutes.

I was sitting on the exam bed. Chris was holding my left hand and my right hand was keeping the paper sheet in place that covered my lower body. It didn’t take long and in walked our nurse practitioner and the sonographer.

It felt like a matter of seconds that I was lying on the exam table and anxiously looking at the ultrasound screen. Before I could even cock my head to look at the screen straight on, before I could even make sense of the black and gray images constantly changing shape, before I could even take a deep breath in preparation for the news I was about to hear, I heard the words, “So how do y’all feel about two?”

“What? There are two? Twins?”

“Yes, there are two. You’re having twins! Congratulations!”

It was like confetti was flying across the room and a loud applause began. I wanted to shout in excitement! Scream! Cry! Jump! Do cartwheels! It was the #BestNewsEver

We squeezed each other’s hands. We exchanged a look that I won’t even attempt to describe. Chris leaned down to give me a kiss. I had faint tears in my eyes for the pure joy of the entire situation. I was really pregnant. It was no longer an hCG number or a double line. I saw my baby. I could see BOTH of my babies. I’d finally reached a point in my life that I had desired so badly. I was pregnant. Really pregnant. And there was proof on the screen. Nine beautiful months lied ahead. Life could not get better.

The NP went on to show us baby A and baby B in detail. I was five weeks and two days along. Baby B already had a heartbeat and we got to stare and gawk at the most beautiful and miraculous flicker. Baby A did not have a heart beat yet, but our NP assured us that the baby implanted after baby B and she was confident that A would have a heart beat next week. We trusted her. And sure enough, the following week both babies had strong heart beats in the 140’s.

We spent the rest of that day basking in the fact that we were expecting twins in the Spring of 2015. That our lives would inevitably be flipped upside down in a matter of nine months – but in the best way imaginable. Life was unfolding into something amazing and it was just getting started. We called our parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, and close friends.

That night we went to bed with smiles on our faces – we were glowing from the day’s joyous news.  Praising God for the two lives growing inside of me. Hands down, the best day of our lives.


A Year Later

A lot of days, and sometimes even weeks, seem to pass by at an unimaginably slow pace. It's like crawling through deep mud with no end in sight. Then, one morning, you wake up and an entire year has passed. My mother and grandmother both warned me of this: the older you get, the faster time flies. Not a literal truth, but the true none the less. And here we are. A year later.

A year ago today we found out I was pregnant. 

It was two weeks following our second IUI. Our second IUI last year was on our fourth wedding anniversary, July 17. We conceived on our anniversary. A beautiful thing to celebrate moving forward with each passing year. We obviously didn't know it at the time, but confirmed it after the fact.

I actually took a home pregnancy test before my blood work appointment that morning at 7a.m. and it was positive. The strongest positive I'd ever seen. I knew that it was possible for the test to be a false positive since I'd given myself a hCG injection several days prior, but I also calculated the half-life of my does and determined that it was unlikely that this was a false positive. But still possible. So I was hesitant to start the celebration.

On the drive to my doctor's office I felt happy. I had that feel-good feeling that only comes around when intuitively you know something great is about to unfold. I stopped by to get my favorite coffee drink before heading over to Montgomery. I went to my doctor's office, had the blood drawn, and then went about my work day. At the time I was doing home health, so I was in my car a lot during the work day. I remember it being a beautiful, sunny day. I rolled back the sunroof and listened to K-Love a little bit louder than usual. I just felt great. I knew.

Later that afternoon, around 3:30p.m. I received a phone call. It was a Birmingham number so I knew it was my doctor's office. This was it. All I needed to be considered pregnant was a hCG higher than 25. Mine was in the 70s. You're pregnant!, she said.

I feel it is a bit of a cliche to describe that day and actually hearing the words, you're pregnant, as surreal. But it was surreal. There's no other way of describing it.

Becoming pregnant a year ago closed our chapter of infertility. Perhaps once day that chapter will be reopened. Perhaps never again. I don't know. I don't even think of that possibility yet. I can't even consider doing all of this again. But becoming pregnant a year ago opened up a new chapter as well. A chapter that - in my mind-  had nothing but positive, joyful expectations. A beautiful, flawless story to share years from now.

The one year anniversary of our pregnancy rolling around means that in the upcoming weeks and months a lot of other one year anniversaries will be rolling around. Some that will put a smile on my face and others that will elicit tears and stir up emotions I wish to forget. But this is our story and our journey. I wouldn't have chosen it for myself, but I try to never question the plans God lays out for our life.

So I choose to embrace our beautiful storm.


A Necessary Evil: Going Back to the NICU

So I'm just going to get straight to it.

We're heading back to the NICU late next week. Sadie Ann is going to have laser eye surgery. 

Sadie Ann saw her retina eye specialist yesterday for her weekly eye exam yesterday. The previous week her doctor mentioned that surgery could be a possibility; this week the possibility turned into a certainty.

Her eyes are continuing to do well following the Avastin injections she received back in February. There hasn't been any signs of the ROP returning - which is great! However, the concern is that the injections cause the vessels to grow significantly slower than what they should (which is expected) and at her particular gestational age (which is late 40's) those vessels should have grown into stage three of the eyes and hers are still in stage two.

The injections are a fairly new intervention, but what the retina specialists who give the injections across the south-east have seen is that those babies who are around 50-weeks gestation and whose blood vessels are still in stage two of the eye later redevelop the ROP when they get to 60, 70, or 80 weeks gestation. At that time, the ROP moves quickly. There's a risk of significant vision loss if not immediately identified and treated. And typically around that time babies are too big to perform surgery in the NICU and too small to be in an actual OR, so they have to go to a different facility in a different city. Doing the procedure now is more-so preventative - and permanent. It eleminates the fear of ROP coming back.

Following surgery, there will no longer be a need for weekly retina exams - which, honestly, will be a relief. Each week that passes gets harder and harder for her eye exams. She screams louder. She fights stronger. And this mama is in the corner of the tiny room trying to block out those harsh screams for help. It's tough. I don't like it. It will be worth it to not have to hear her scream in pain and fear on a weekly basis.

Laser eye surgery isn't typically a big deal for adults, but it is for babies. She'll be completely sedated for the procedure as well as intubated and back on the ventilator. Which breaks my heart to even say. Occasionally I look back at some of Sadie Ann's first videos. In the background is the haunting sounds of beeps and dings that elicit this indescribable, gut-wrenching feeling I hoped to never feel again. While this particular situation is quite different, any trip to the NICU that involves your baby on a breathing machine is frightening.

As with any surgery, there are benefits and risks. In this particular situation, the benefits out weigh the risks. We are praying for a successful surgery without any complications. We are also praying that she recovers quickly, comes off the ventilator quickly, and we are back home in just a few days. The doctor says we could be in the hospital anywhere from two to seven days - depending on how the procedure goes, if we run into any complications, and her recovery.

The thought of stepping foot in the NICU other than to just visit some of our favorite people makes my heart sink to depths I try to forget about. But this has to be done. Time to put on my strong mama hat again, take a deep breath, and start preparing myself to walk back into NICU.


Beach Weekend

Friday morning we packed up and headed three hours south to Destin, Florida. This was our first time getting out of town in almost a year. Yeah, a year! It was much needed to say the least. It was also Sadie Ann's first long car ride, first time in a different state, and first time to the beach. 

We spent the weekend with Chris's parents and grandparents at their family condo. Since there were plenty of hands that wanted to hold, love on, and take care of Sadie Ann, we were able to relax and have some time together. 

We spent Saturday morning and afternoon on the beach - drinking cold drinks and taking in some vitamin sea (and D). Since it was early June, the beaches weren't cluttered and were fairly quiet. It was so relaxing to just stare at the water, listen to music, and not have a care in the world. However, as most parents know, we spent quite a bit of time talking about our Sadie Ann. 

After a few hours on the beach, we headed in for an obligatory post-beach and pre-night out nap. Once the sun began to go down, we took Sadie Ann out to dip her toes in the water for the first time. We all assumed she would not (yet) be a fan of the water and sand, but much to our surprise, she seemed to enjoy sitting in the sand and having the waves run up around her. 

Her great grandaddy decided he wanted to take a dip as well! 

So after introducing Sadie Ann to the ocean, Chris and I headed out for date night. Before getting on the elevator I said, "Let's snap a picture." This was the result. He's pretty notorious for having his eyes closed during pictures, 

We ate dinner at Dewey Destin's and it was delicious. We had the perfect seat on the top deck that overlooked the water. After dinner we walked down the boardwalk. We listened to some live music, did some people watching, and drank frozen beverages. 

It was a quick, but wonderful beach weekend!