Busy Bee


I'm totally down with what this cute, little pictures is saying; however, my work caseload is not. I'm a part time therapist currently treating a full time caseload. I've been super busy these past two weeks and  this week is no different. Any down time I've had has been used to either eat, sleep, or catch up with work. 

Because of all the work madness, I thought I'd let you all know I'll be resuming posts soon! I promise! 

I'm currently working on my post about our initial visit with the fertility specialist. 

Hope you all had a fabulous holiday weekend.


GIVEAWAY: Travalo Perfume Atomizer {CLOSED}

I'll be honest. A lot of times when I have an trip planned, I often stop by a department store or Sephora and ask for samples of a new perfume I want to try out when actually it's a perfume I always use. When traveling away from home, I still want to smell nice, but I don't want to pack a large, odd shaped perfume bottle - because let's be honest, perfume bottles these days are typically shaped like flowers, genie lamps, or Justin Beiber. No one has room for that in a carry-on - especially if it's over 3oz. #amiright

These bottles are the size of a lipstick tube and they are customizable in that they can be filled with your favorite perfume over and over again. They are durable, leak-proof (woop, woop), and aircraft approved. They can slip in a purse or a carry-on and you'll always have your scent with you without carrying a large bottle. I love practical solutions. 

Check out their website to get a look at all the different products and colors they offer.

So Travalo sent me a couple of bottles to try out and give away. I found them incredibly easy to use and in no time I had my favorite scent travel-ready. 

They offer a variety of bottles - some spray and some rollerball. 

Filling the bottles is quite simple. Just remove the spray cap from your favorite perfume bottle, place the Travalo onto the stem of the bottle, and then pump until you have the desired amount of liquid in your Travalo. You can get up to 65 sprays in one bottle!

Voila! Your favorite perfume is ready to travel to work, downtown, or across the country. 


I'm giving away a spray bottle and a rollerball - both in silver. 

To enter the giveaway, simply comment below whether you'd like to have the spray bottle or the rollerball

I will pick TWO winners TWO weeks from today. 

For additional entries: 

Please leave a separate comment for each additional entry so you increase your chances for winning. 

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Tweet about this giveaway including @linleyshea @Travalo and a link to this post



If you don't happen to win or you don't want to wait, Travalo is offering Dwelling and Telling readers 20% off! Just enter code DandT at checkout! 

EDIT // Congratulations Mallory and Meg! Winners have been contacted directly. 


Journey to Baby: Third Six Months of Trying


Technically I'm only covering five months, but I covered seven last post. So it's all good.

First Six Months of Trying
Second Six Months of Trying

January 2014
December ended up being incredibly refreshing. We were't worry about taking medication, charting temperatures, OPKs, or perfectly timing baby dancing - there was no stress. We enjoyed it so much (and forgot how great it felt) we decided to take off one more month. Then we'd get back at it.

February 2014
As mentioned previously, after you spend a while trying to conceive you become very aware of your body. About a week or so after I ovulated during this second month "off of trying" I noticed some menstral-like cramps. A few days later I began to notice light, quick cramping.

I tried not to read too into it just because I had made the mistake in previous months dissecting every little thing that was going on with my body and convincing myself it was different this time and I was possibly pregnant.

A few days later I noticed, out of nowhere, I had three ulcers in my mouth on the inside of my cheeks. I never get ulcers. Ever. So why would I all of a sudden have three? I immediately Googled oral ulcers early pregnancy. Some websites said they were possible due to your body's drop in immunity defense and other websites suggested poor hygiene (like I was a disgusting slob or something). I chose to go with the former. Give the unusual ulcers,  random cramping, and some exaggerated PMS symptoms, I was slowly convincing myself I should take a test; however, I was still a few days out from when I would start my next cycle.

A couple days passed and I decided to test.

I didn't tell Chris because I was expecting it to be like every other past month. Negative. However, this time... there was a line. And unlike last April, there was no need for squinting or perfect lighting. There was a very faint, but obvious line staring back at me.

I cried.

I'd been praying, hoping, wanting for so long. I could not believe it was finally our time.

I still didn't tell Chris. I waited and tested again the next morning. It was slightly darker.

It was a Saturday morning. I'd already tested before Chris was awake. Later that morning we were both sitting on the couch eating breakfast (yeah, that's how we roll on a Saturday morning - pajamas and all). I told him I had a positive test. I told him it was early. I told him I still wasn't past due for my next cycle, but there was definitely a positive pregnancy test sitting on the bathroom counter.

I watched a beautiful smile come across his face. I also saw the same reservations I was feeling. We both knew it was early, but we both also wanted to jump in the air. We decided to stay calm and see what tomorrow brings.

Tomorrow brought another positive test. No real change in the color of the test line, but still positive.

Then. Monday brought on fear. The line was lighter. And I knew. I hadn't had any pain indicating a miscarriage like last April, but I still knew. You just know.

I called my OB/GYN. Told the nurse we'd had a few days of positive tests, but today was lighter. I went in for blood work that afternoon. The following day I received a phone call confirming a miscarriage. The numbers were bad. HCG was 6 and progesterone was 1.4. And a few days later a new cycle began.

And just like that it was all over. Again. Emptiness.

My doctor encouraged us to avoid trying this cycle because my uterine lining needed a cycle to build back up. We also discussed that next time we will proceed with Clomid again and schedule an IUI.

March 2014
We got through the cycle following my early miscarriage - it was 44 days long. Forty four days!

I finally started a new cycle. I did another round of Clomid days 3-7 and began doing OPKs on day 9.  Because we were going to do an IUI, I decided to buy two different OPKs for variety and multiple testings each day.

Well, it didn't really work out as planned. Either one or both OPKs showed a positive from day 9-15. It was absurd and confusing. How am I supposed to pin-point ovulation when I'm getting positive OPKs for a week?

I called my OB on day cycle day 11 and told the RN that I was getting positives every day. She said it was too early, it must be a false positive, and to just keep testing. So I kept testing. Kept getting positives. I felt overwhelmed and confused. I had no clue if I already had or if I was about to ovulate. I didn't want to guess when I was ovulating and do an IUI at the incorrect time - they aren't free, ya know. I finally decided this month was a bust. Again.

This was our second planned IUI that just didn't work out.

Despite covering our bases, nothing happened this month. 30 day cycle. 

April 2014
We decided it was time to time to move on - no, not give up - it was time to see a specialist.

I love my OB/GYN and the aggressiveness she showed when I initially voiced concerns for infertility; however, I was becoming more and more concerned with the possibility of different things that could be wrong given both our inability to conceive and multiple miscarriages. I just felt like we were at the point where more testing, more digging needed to be done.

The previous month God put a new friend in my life - a friend that was also battling infertility and she shared with me a group that she was seeing and really voiced a love for this program.

I went to their website, looked at their Facebook page, and read as many reviews as possible. I never came across anything negative and decided we'd try them out. I scheduled our first visit with a specialist for May 6th.

May 2014
We aren't even half way into May, so there isn't too much to say for this month thus far. I will say we had our visit with the fertility specialist last week and it was a blessing. A weight lifted. We received so much information, we had so much testing completed, and we have a plan for my upcoming cycle.

We are ecstatic!

I'll soon be posting all about our initial visit with a fertility specialist.


Saturday Morning Playlist

This is my current dance-around-the-house-on-a-saturday-morning song.

 I dare you to play it and not move your body.



Journey to Pregnancy: Second Six Months of Trying

Click here for the first six months.

June 2013
This month I had my annual physical with my new OB/GYN. I finally got to discuss what had been going on the past seven months - our failure to conceive, my incident in April, and how I've noticed that my cycles were getting longer each month.

Much to my surprise, my doctor was immediately on the ball about things. From everything I had read, doctors don't really become proactive about infertility until after a year of being unsuccessful. She ordered blood work for the next cycle. And assured me I'd be pregnant by the end of the year.

July 2013
This was the month that the reality of infertility set in. This was the first month I cried about it all.

My first round of blood work was on day three of my cycle. It tested follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) which is responsible for ovarian follicular growth - basically my egg supply. I do not remember my exact number; however, I do remember the nurse telling me that that my particular number was great. I was ecstatic to hear positive news and I foolishly convinced myself - all these tests are going to come back perfect and we were just dealing with a timing issue.

Then the second blood test came a little later in the cycle. Progesterone. Just because your ovarian follicular growth is good great doesn't mean you actually ovulate those eggs. A good progesterone level is 10-12ng/ml. Mine was 1.2. I was in shock when she told me what numbers they wanted and what my number was; I don't even remember reacting. All I heard was you're not ovulating. Which created extreme confusion for me because a.) I obviously didn't ovulate this month, but b.) I obviously did ovulate back in April. I was devastated that as a woman, my body isn't (at least not consistently) doing what it should be doing. So I was prescribed Clomid for he next cycle (If you're wondering about Clomid, I have a whole post dedicated to it coming in the future).

Thankfully, I had that friend I mentioned in the last post that had been through this exact same thing. Low progesterone, not ovulating, and having to use Clomid. Although I was in tears telling her the news, she was so positive and helped me to see the positive in the situation. No, I'm not ovulating, but now we know that and thankfully there's a drug that has a pretty high success rate in helping with anovulation. So after a few days of crying with Chris and some close friends, I was ready to accept it and move forward. I was excited again.

August 2013
So now that we knew what was going on with me, my doctor wanted to make sure that this was our only barrier - so she ordered my husband to have a specimen analysis. His sperm count was fantastic (above and beyond what was needed) and his morphology was normal (no sperm with two heads), but his rapid motility (the ones that typically get down the fallopian tubes and to the egg) was only about half of what it should be.

So we both have issues going on - issues that are pretty vital to conception. An egg needs to be released and sperm need to get to that egg. Without these two things there is no conception.

My doctor's nurse informed me that while it is possible to get pregnant with his low rapid motility, we may need to look at possible IUI if nothing happens in about three months.

I started my first round of Clomid this month. When you start on Clomid, a progesterone 21-day test is ordered to make sure your prescribed dosage is working (re: you ovulate). If not, they up the dosage. Thankfully for me, Clomid turns me into a Ovulating Rock Star. Remember back in July my progesterone was 1.2? My first month on Clomid my progesterone was 52. Yeah, 52. And although that number was amazing, nothing happened. 29 day cycle. 

September 2013
Since Clomid worked so well for me, my doctor wanted me to continue with taking it. Progesterone this month was 47 - still amazing. But nothing happened. 29 day cycle. 

October 2013
My third month on Clomid. Since I was ovulating with Clomid and it was possible that we could get pregnant (but haven't the past two cycles), my doctor ordered me to have a hysterosalpingogram (HSG). This test looks at the uterus and fallopian tubes to make sure there isn't a blockage of any kind within the tubes; they need to be clear for both the egg and sperm to travel. I'll be posting a separate post about the HSG a little later (it deserves its own post). Ultimately, there was no blockage (thank the Lord!). So I did Clomid and I did the HSG, but still nothing happened. 30 day cycle. 

November 2013
After three cycles on Clomid and no baby, it was time for the first IUI. I was prescribed Clomid for the fourth month. Told to start taking OPKs immediately after my last Clomid pill and call the office once the OPK is positive and they'd schedule an IUI the next day.

Unfortunately, we were unable to have the IUI this month. The week I ovulated, we ended up driving to North Carolina as my grandmother unexpectedly passed away.

Even though we'd been working towards conception and pregnancy for almost a year at this point, I wasn't upset with having to miss the IUI. I know the Lord works in mysterious ways; ways we can't see and sometimes can't even understand, but I can't help but think that we missed that IUI for a reason. Maybe the IUI is going to work perfectly for our situation, but it just was not time. I don't know. Nothing happened. 30 day cycle. 

December 2013
When I started my cycle in December, I was already exhausted. We'd gone through four round of Clomid and been unsuccessful and I'd unexpectedly lost my only grandparent. I just felt heavy and worn down. I really wasn't looking forward to another month of trying.

If you've battled with infertility, you know that it's easy to become consumed with planning and timing. For December I had calculated my cycle and looked ahead to around the time I would most likely ovulate if we did another round of Clomid (since I'd been fairly consistent in the past). Ovulation was going to happen right on or around Christmas Eve. Because of this and pure exhaustion, we decided not to spend our Christmas holiday focused on anything besides Christmas. We both needed a break.

I spoke with my OB/GYN, we discussed the fact that the Clomid is working perfectly - I'm definitely ovulating, but we're still not getting pregnant. And I didn't want to do another month on the Clomid without being able to do an IUI (and since ovulation was going to be around Christmas, the offices would be closed anyway) and since we needed a break, we decided not to do Clomid this month. No IUI. Nothing. We will resume Clomid and hopefully be able to schedule our first IUI in January 2014. What a great way to start a new year!

It was a liberating month. Wanting a child and not being able to conceive weighs down on you - so December was a blessing. I felt like me again. I made a point to not pay attention to my body at all. It was hard and I'd be lying if I said I didn't, but it was the least I'd thought about it in over a year and it was wonderful.


Weekend Wear {On my Face}

Most weekends I catch up with my cleaning, to do list, and errands. I buy groceries, run to Target or Sam's, and try to squeeze in some leisurely shopping. I'm a jeans and a tee kinda gal on the weekends and I wear the makeup to match. So unless I'm going somewhere nice like out to eat or somewhere special with others, my face is easy and without any fuss. 

BB Cream: I find that bb cream is perfect for the weekend (and even some work days when I'm running late). It's not full coverage, but it definitely evens everything out and gives me a bit of color. I first tried a more expensive bb cream; I fell in love (love!) with the product, but not the price. So before I splurged to buy the full size tube, I decided to try a few drug store brands. Maybelline's BB cream was the first I tried and it was all I needed. I love this formula and I haven't felt the need to try any other brands. I know a lot of other brands I love make a bb cream, but I feel like if it ain't broke, don't fix it

Concealer: When the weekend rolls around I'm not trying to be super glamorous, but I'm also not trying to scare anyone. Because the bb cream isn't full coverage, there are still a few spots that need concealing - namely under my eyes. This particular concealer is lightweight, doesn't migrate, and covers well. 

Mascara: Whether I am going all out with my makeup or doing an easy, more natural look, I still want a mascara that's going to stay put and make my eyelash look fabulous. Mally is my go-to for this look. And most all other looks. 

Eyelash Curler: My eyelash tend to stick straight out like they are pointing at someone if I don't curl them before and after I apply mascara. So a curler is a necessity with any and all looks. 

Eye Shadow: My go-to eyeshadow isn't a particular brand or color - it's anything that's neutral with a bit of shimmer. I like the jumbo pencil style shadow because I just color it on, blend it out with a brush, and it's done. It's easy, quick, and looks great. 

Blush: In staying with an easy, non-fussy look, I typically use a pretty neutral blush. Nothing too bright, but something that still gives definition and color. 

And that's it. It takes about five minutes and I'm out the door. 


Journey to Baby: First Six Months of Trying

In my last post I gave you the preface to our journey. Since we now have 18 months to cover, I figured I'd break it down by every six months. Let's go.

December 2012 
I stopped my birth control this month. Didn't take it at all. We also weren't really expecting much as most of what I'd read (which wasn't really that much at the time) suggested giving the body a couple months to adjust coming off of the birth control. This also gives the female some time to get used to and be able to read her own body and the changes it goes through naturally each month. 31 day cycle.

January 2013 
Similar to December. I was still trying to read my body; starting to Google a bit more and read about the actual science behind conceiving. I was definitely noticing some twinges and pulls throughout the cycle, but still wasn't exactly sure about everything that was happening. I guess we kind of winged it; we tried, but we didn't try that hard. I was hoping we'd be one of those couples that comes off BC, barely tries, and boom, there's a baby. Nothing happened. 31 day cycle.

February 2013 
No one knew we were trying at this point except for a couple close friends at work. There was one that I'd opened up to that had battled infertility in the past. In a conversation she'd mentioned ovulation predictor kits (OPKs). I looked into them, did my research. They appeared to have their benefits, so I tried them for the first time. I knew using these and being extra attentive to ovulation would be all we needed. Nothing happened. 32 day cycle.

March 2013 
I used the OPK again this month. Continued to stay in tune with my body and the changes it went through during the cycle. Another month passed - and nothing happened. This was the month that the idea of infertility began to weigh on my mind. I considered the possibility, but wasn't ready to admit it. 33 day cycle.

April 2013 
A few months had past and I was able to really start picking up on my body and cycle. I was using an OPK - I'd also read about and started to utilize basal body temperature (BBT). Timing of every thing really seemed to line up this month. Around the time of my expected period I noticed some exaggerated PMS symptoms. I especially knew something was off when I found myself crying at a group of friends cheering to friendship on the Food Network. So I decided to buy a pregnancy test.

I took my first test Friday afternoon. Initially the test appeared to be negative. I went back to look at it a little later and there appeared to be a line. I had to squint and hold it just perfectly in the light, but something was definitely there. I'd read about evap-lines on pregnancy tests, so I remained calm and decided it would be better to test when I woke up the next morning.

Tested the next morning and the faintest of faints line was there. It was faint, but no squinting or specialty lighting was needed to see it. I couldn't believe it. I was excited, but something was holding me back. I knew I should be super excited (I could see a second line!), but for whatever reason I wasn't as excited as one should be when seeing a positive pregnancy test for the first time. I tested again Sunday morning. Faint positive. Then again on Monday morning. Faint positive.

I'd done my research. I knew HCG (the pregnancy hormone) doubled every 2-3 days. I knew these lines should be getting darker. Not necessarily every morning, but definitely between testing on a Friday and and Monday - but they weren't. In the back of my mind I knew what was going on.

Monday evening I noticed an intense, sharp pain running through my lower abdomen. The first time it happened, I blew it off - but then it kept happening. It went on for about 15 minutes. I felt the pain about 8-10 times. I knew it was probably not good.

Tested again Tuesday morning. The faint line that used to be there was gone. There was nothing. The next day verified everything and a new cycle began.

Although this month didn't go as well as hoped, I still considered it the silver lining for us. It was incredibly devastating to achieve conception and then immediately lose it, but it was a great reminder that this can happen. Your bodies are able. It's just not time yet. 35 day cycle.

May 2013
It felt like starting back at square one. I continued with the OPK, logging my BBT, and I even put an app on my phone to keep up with it all (mostly because my day-planner was starting to look crazy and I would have been mortified if I'd lost it and a stranger was reading all the details of my monthly cycle - however, as I type this, I realize I'm now sharing my monthly cycles with the whole world. My point is moot).

In the upcoming month I was due for my annual physical and I'd been seeing a gynecologist since moving to Alabama. I decided I need to start seeing an OB/GYN and asked around for some recommendations (working at the hospital really had its benefits). I heard about a wonderful OB/GYN that a couple nurse practitioners loved. So I looked her up and scheduled with her for next month. Nothing happened this month. 36 day cycle.