5.21.2018

Our story of infertility.

Thank you so much for taking the time to watch  - turn it up! It's a great song:)
I encourage you to keep it in the small video box it's in or else it gets very blurry/pixelated.

It's not the best video ever made, and some of the images may not make complete sense without some backstory, so.. 

Here is a rundown of our fertility journey.

Mark and I tried on our own for about 5 months.  We had already been told our odds of conceiving naturally were very low, but with the cost of IVF and with both of our stubborn natures, we wanted to at least try.
It got old quick, but it actually went on for four years.  Any month that we weren't doing IVF, we still tried.  We had scheduled sex for four years.  Nice way to start a marriage eh..? And when we weren't, it's because we were cycling with drugs and appointments.
Anyway. We were both 33 years old.
IVF 1:  9 eggs retrieved.  4 fertilized w/ Marks sperm. By day 5, none survived. NO TRANSFER.  Biggest let down of my life.
--2 months later--
IVF 2:  7 eggs retrieved. 4 fertilized again.  None survived til day 5 AGAIN.  NO TRANSFER.  My depression was now the worst it's ever been.

--change clinics, a few months go by--

IVF 3: 26 eggs retrieved.  12 fertilized.  Of those, 2 made it to day 5 "Blastocyst" stage, which is the first stage an embryo HAS to make it to in order to hopefully have a chance at becoming a baby.  However, because they had done a different protocol and seriously pumped me full of drugs in order to get those 26 eggs, I had developed what's called OHSS (Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome), and it was recommended we freeze our two little blasts and do a FET (frozen embryo transfer) next month.  
FET 1: After what seemed like forever, the day was here.  We had decided to transfer both of our embryos.  During my acupuncture appointment right before transfer (I'd been doing acupuncture the whole time based on studies of it showing a significant increase in IVF success rates), I got a call from the Dr saying our highly rated embryo didn't survive the thaw, but our poorly rated one did.  I sat there with needles all over my skin, trying to stay calm and be optimistic about our one little blast, but of course we were devastated.  
We at least got to transfer that one, which was a beautiful achievement given what we'd already been through.  Days went by, and I started testing at home.  Negatives. Finally on beta day where they draw your blood for HCG, I was already prepared for the worst.  And it was negative.

IVF 4/5: (depends if you count a FET): This time I INSISTED that no matter what, we transfer ANY and ALL embryos we had on Day 3, getting them back into the womb and hoping it was the answer.  On day 3, we had three embryos and we put them back in.  
And OMG a week later I got a BFP (big fat positive).  
It was days before Christmas and it was the most amazing feeling ever.  Finally!!!  Maybe we'd have twins, or triplets, or even quads was possible.  We were so happy and so relieved thinking we were done with IVF.  But only a week or so later, I started bleeding and the cramping was HORRENDOUS.  I was miscarrying.  
My blood tests showed rising pregnancy levels, so the clinic kept reassuring me everything was fine, but I knew it wasn't.  I was gushing blood at that point, and having regular contractions that felt like the WORST period of my life, which is saying a lot since I have endometriosis and periods already feel like I'm dying.  
Eventually it was over, and the loss was confirmed.  Christmas and New Years were just a mess of emotions and depression.  I wanted to drink a bottle of wine to myself, every night, but I just never gave in to that sort of coping...I wanted to always keep my body as healthy as possible.  It was so hard, so trying to always be hopeful, and keep going..  So much money gone, so much time, and so many heart breaks.  Mark and I were really struggling.  Everything just seemed like a mistake...like none of it was meant to be and it was very hard not to question all of our choices, every decision we'd made and still had to make.
We eventually found the strength to keep going.  

IVF 5/6: This time some amazing things lined up and we were able to get 3 perfect embryos.  They were so perfect that we thought we would just transfer one this time, and hope for a sibling or two later!
Everything went great, but again, no pregnancy.  

We now had two embryos left and knew that we could not keep going much longer.  
I researched constantly trying to figure out what else we could do to increase our chances.  I found out about a test called an ERA (Endometrial Receptivity Assay), which consists of the patient doing a complete cycle with all the drugs and appointments, and then on what would be transfer day, instead of a transfer, the Dr takes a biopsy from your uterine lining (OUCH!) and sends it to a special lab to see if you're even receptive for an embryo transfer on the day they always do them.  My Dr agreed to do it, even though "I still wasn't technically a candidate".  SO DUMB.  Anyway, we did it, it was excruciating but quick, and the results showed I was receptive one day later than what 98% of other women are. 
We finally had a bit of an explanation and some hope for our last two frozen embryos. 
After an ERA, which is also called a "mock cycle", your next cycle must match the ERA cycle to a T, so that leads us to..

IVF 6/7/8: (depends if you count the ERA!): Transferred our last two embryos.  This was it.  We had to be done after this.  Emotionally, financially, it had to stop.

And I got pregnant. Just one baby, not the twins I'd prayed for, but that's ok...because at least I've STAYED PREGNANT.
So one little video, as touching as it hopefully is to you, just doesn't do it justice.  The words I've written here, don't even touch the insanity and isolation and misery our lives had become; spending so much time and energy on treatments.  It was our lives.  While watching SOO many others get pregnant, many without even trying.  It's a life most people can never understand.  God gave me this need to be a mother, and in His timing and in His way, is giving me that opportunity.  It is an absolute miracle, and this is a child that will never be taken for granted or unappreciated.  


9.14.2017

Top Design Trends 2017 - PART 1

I'm super excited about this post, mostly because for now,  it is as close as I can get to having my dream home.  You gotta start with a vision, right?
I've noticed certain trends have really come forward this last year or so, and while some facets of them may have been around for awhile off and on, the current mix of these trends combined makes 2017 a VERY good year in interior design, in my opinion. 
So in no particular order, here are my, Gianna Caputo's, non-expert and totally biased opinions on what's trending right now.

HORIZONTAL SLATTED FENCING:

POPS OF GREEN and SOFT PINK:

KILIM & MUDCLOTH PILLOWS:

BUTCHER BLOCK COUNTER TOPS:

GALLEY KITCHENS:

SO much fun design I can hardly take it!!!
However in the interest of sleep and it being 11:23 pm, I will have to conclude "Part 1" and get into bed.  I've been watching Friends reruns on netflix to try to fall asleep to.  I never used to like that show when it was actually on...but now it's like, just enough of a silly sitcom for me to zone out to.

Anyways, hope you enjoyed and return for Part 2, and maybe even 3!!!
You'll definitely notice some common themes.





8.28.2017

just some fun before & after house shots.

My style in a few too many words:

texture.
muted (colors)
bright (light and pops of color). 
happy.
bohemian.
mid century modern.
vintage.
diy.
green.
white.

As renters, we are limited in what we can change.
I would love to have bright white walls, updated windows and fixtures, a nice chandelier or modern fan, recessed can lights, etc.  It's a great home though, considering it's a rental, and I love adding and changing shelving, rugs, and lamps to make it more our own, until we buy.
Changing a rug often is probably the biggest way to make a dramatic difference in a space, in my opinion.  You can usually find me browsing rug websites (like this one) at least once a month. It's kind of a problem.
If not rugs, it's pillows. If not pillows, its side tables.  
Decorating is one of those things I will ALWAYS find time and energy for.  It's as essential to my well being as air, water, or sleep.  If that's possible, which I realize it isn't but that's just how I feel. :)
So here are some before and afters!
See sources under photos for product info




B E F O R E :

& A F T E R:




B E F O R E :

& A F T E R:


B E F O R E :

& A F T E R :



B E F O R E :

A F T E R :


B E F O R E :

A F T E R :


A N D  S O M E  EXTRAS:




So yeah, you could say I have a slight plant hoarding problem and also that I could possibly benefit from understanding minimalism more, but I guess sometimes more is more..?  I just like so many colors and textures, it's hard to edit, but that's what I'm working on now...taking a step back and removing something.  
Anyways, thanks for stopping by! That was a LOT of pics!!




{rug: rugsusa.com, coffee table: target, white crate shelves: joann fabrics; accent chairs: craigslist, slat coffee table: metro furniture (spokane); shelf under window: west elm; couch :dania furniture; white couch: ikea; patio set: target; black and white rug: rugsusa.com; cowhide rug: tandy leather (local)}

 

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