Est. MMXIV

Saturday, January 28, 2017

TTC Baby Ribeiro

*Before I get started please feel free to skip this post if it doesn’t interest you. After speaking to a group of ladies on a trying to conceive group some asked to hear my story on TTC our much wanted Baby Ribeiro.


In summer 2008 aged 15 I met my now husband, it wasn’t love at first sight nothing like in the movies or how you imagine it. We became very good friends and a few months later started dating in October 2008. It was never a big secret that I wanted a huge family. For me it was always a question of “when” I’d have children. Infertility never crossed my mind, it was never a question of “if”.
At aged 15 the last thing on my mind was getting pregnant, a visit to the GP I started birth control (pill). There was no way I was prepared to have a baby. We had spoken about getting married and in April 2010 he popped the question. We started planning the big day, a few stressful days and late nights lead to missed pills. I never thought anything of it because it wasn’t the first time and we never had a pregnancy scare before. When I had my 7 day break from the pill my period never arrived. PANIC! A few pregnancy testes later we was expecting our first baby. After coming to terms with the fact our plans would now include a beautiful bundle of joy, I sadly had a miscarriage. Heartbroken. But we both agreed to put it behind us and everything happens for a reason. (Fast forward five miscarriages, I still don’t know the reason! No couple should have to go through such a heart breaking experience.)
August 2012
We had our dream wedding in front of 180 close friends and family.  After we got married, sitting in our honeymoon suite we decided we would start trying for our first baby.

September 2012
In our first home together we binned the pill and started TTC. Never in a million years was I prepared for the next 20 months, after all I had gotten pregnant after a few slip ups on the pill. Late September my period is LATE, na├»ve I assume I’m pregnant. I had a stash of pregnancy tests by this stage. I take my first test while “trying” BFN. My period was still late a week later, another BFN. Trip to the GP I had convince myself I had every pregnancy symptom in the book.

October 2012; 
3 weeks late, GP finally sends me for a blood pregnancy test and a hormone balance check. By this stage I had already over 10 BFN pregnancy tests. Blood test came back negative. With a note to book in to discuss other results. A few days later me and John go for my appointment to see what was wrong. Doctor says there’s an imbalance but not to worry as it was most likely from the pill and it could take 3 months to leave my system.
(For anyone that doesn’t know me, I’m a worrier. I straight away was heartbroken and knew there was a whole different reason why my period was late. This wasn’t a case of pill withdrawal)

December 2012; 
Still no period and no sign of it coming anytime soon, I went to the GP again told to just “wait”. I gave in and booked a private scan for that very same day. By this stage I had put on a good stone, I wasn’t eating more I was still exercising and trying to keep healthy. £140 later I get diagnosed with PCOS, I had no signs apart from cysts around my ovaries. Off to the GP with scan results, finally get referred to see consultant.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.
Symptoms:
  • Irregular Periods – which means your ovaries don't regularly release eggs (ovulation)
  • Excess Androgen – high levels of "male hormones" in your body, which may cause physical signs such as excess facial or body hair
  • Polycystic Ovaries – your ovaries become enlarged and contain many fluid-filled sacs (follicles) which surround the eggs (it's important to note that, despite the name, if you have PCOS you don't actually have cysts)

January 2013; 
Period finally arrives, I have never been so happy to see my period. Appointment finally arrives.

March 2013; 
Sister in law announces baby number 2 will be arriving in December. Hearing how it just “happened” straight away for them left us heartbroken to say the least.

April 2013; 
Appointment day I get told to diet and try drop 10% of my body weight, they gave me metformin. (Metformin is a drug used in diabetics, doctors do not know what causes PCOS but know it is linked to insulin resistance)  I was to start taking 500mg once a day and work my way up to 1000mg.

May 2013; 
Period arrives on time for the first time since we began TTC. Also managed to loose 2lbs since starting medication. Things are looking promising. But I wasn’t managing to eat much or keep it down thanks to metformin.

June 2013; 
John’s birthday, my period was late again. BFN. I didn’t drink just in case. (I kept avoiding everything that would be harmful just in case) Trip to the GP told to up metformin to 2000mg. I couldn’t bare that dose, spoke to consultant on the phone. He said 1500mg a day.

September 2013; 
Marked one very tearful heart aching year of trying to conceive our much wanted baby. Off to the GP as instructed by them if it hadn’t happened before this stage. John gets sent for male fertility tests.

Semen analysis, also known as a sperm count test, analyses the health and viability of a man's sperm. Semen is the fluid containing sperm (plus other sugar and protein substances) that's released during male ejaculation. A semen analysis measures three major factors of sperm health: the number of sperm, the shape of the sperm and the movement of the sperm, "also known as sperm motility"

October 2013; 
We are both called in for results, Johns results are in they aren’t looking good. Low sperm count with mobility. They order his testes to be repeated to make sure. While we waited for results we would be referred to Hammersmith Fertility hospital. His results are back the next day they looked worse.

We both left that doctors room without saying a word to each other, I think we was both completely shattered emotionally and physically. I remember getting home and just crying and thinking why us? It seemed to just happen for everyone else. John didn’t take it very well, but he kept saying for me to go easy on myself. For over a year I had blamed everything on the fact that I had PCOS never did it cross my mind that he could also have something wrong. Johns family couldn’t understand how he had fertility problems as they were all super fertile. Hearing them say this just made things 100 times worse for us.

November 2013;
We both start eating better and exercising together we join the gym. John also starts taking vitamins.

December 2013;
It’s baby month. For the past 9 months we’ve been through hell in silence. John’s sister gives birth to a baby boy a few days before we are due to go on holiday. We met our beautiful nephew that very same day, it was much easier for me then I thought emotionally. One day before our trip I have a call from the hospital. They have had a cancellation and can bring our appointment forward to 3rd January. We decide to bring it forward. We go on holiday and look forward to starting the New Year.

Sperm Count. 40 million to 300 million is the normal range for the number of sperm per millilitre. Counts below 10 million are considered poor; counts of 20 million or more may be fine if motility and morphology are normal.

January 2014; 
We have our first appointment with our fertility doctor. More tests… Started to lose hope, this isn’t how it’s meant to be. It no longer felt natural and more like a chore. Metformin upped to 1750mg a day. No carb diet.

February 2014; 
I find out I have skin tumour and it needs removing, off I go to surgery. A few weeks later results come back and they have managed to remove it all. And breathe again. Appointment for our follow up arrives for May.

April 2014; 
We bought our puppy. By this stage we both thought if we aren’t having a baby we will buy a dog. One Sunday morning my husband woke up and said let’s buy a dog, four hours later we got Roxy. Gave diet up, I had managed to lose my 15% of my body weight and was back to a “healthy” weight range. John made a few changes too bought different style underwear (loose fitting they recommend for low sperm count) avoided baths, ate foods high in Zinc. 

May 2014; 
We had our follow up, the testes were all the same. Doctor turns around and says we will need IVF. A lot of tears later doctor sent us off. I need to have an X-ray of my womb HSG and John he’s testes need repeating. I left that appointment so angry and heartbroken I got home and binned everything, prenatal vitamins, Metformin and gave up. After all it wasn’t happening without IVF. I went for my HSG one week later. (I was internet obsessed researching peoples stories and experiences. It seemed so many people would get pregnant after this x-ray. Somewhere deep down I must have held on to that fact and that there was still hope. The doctor could be wrong.) I was dreading having it done there was so many horror stories online. It was an uncomfortable experience but I wouldn’t say painful. I had prepared myself for much worse.

A hysterosalpingogram or HSG is an x-ray procedure used to see whether the Fallopian tubes are patent (open) and if the inside of the uterus (uterine cavity) is normal. HSG is an outpatient procedure that usually takes less than 5 minutes to perform.

After my x-ray I was to start taking antibiotics to avoid any possible infection. John needed he’s sperm testing again. We went that same day to Hammersmith to get it all out of the way. Tests done. We both decided that was it we were emotionally drained, no more trying for a baby. I deleted every tracking app off my phone and we would now wait for our next appointment to discuss treatment plans.

June 2014; 
It’s John’s 25th Birthday, we have a party and I have my first drinks in 20 months. A few days later I am hit with sickness. I put it down to a virus I must have picked up from my nephews, it was going around. I started dreaming I was taking pregnancy tests and they were positive. The sickness wasn’t going away. It got worse, my boobs were aching like they would every time I was due my period. Because I wasn’t tracking I wasn’t sure when I was due. No two months we’re the same. It had been 33 days since my last period. The next day on Wednesday, 10th June at 5.30 in the morning I took my last pregnancy test. By the time I put it down it was positive! MY BFP. I ran into the bedroom screaming and crying saying I was pregnant. John couldn’t believe it. He asked me for the box so he could read the instructions! Doctor confirmed that very same afternoon we was indeed expecting our rainbow baby.

July 2014; 
We have an early scan 6 weeks 2 days I needed to see it to believe it. We saw our baby and heard the heartbeat everything looked good. At 9 weeks pregnant I started cramping I couldn’t even walk the pain was so intense. Emergency scan showed everything was fine and baby was measuring perfectly to my dates. They put it down to growing pains.

August 2014; 
It’s my 21st birthday and we have our 12 week scan. Everything looks good Baby Ribeiro is due 16th February 2015.


At 16 weeks we have a consultant appointment things are all going well, we have a scan and find out we are expecting a baby girl! We were both over the moon. John and his family we’re beyond excited, our baby will mark the first girl in the family in over 30 years!

September 2014; 
20 week scan everything is on track, baby Ribeiro is still a girl! We move house and start getting ready for baby.

What is an anomaly scan?
An anomaly scan, also known as a mid-pregnancy scan, takes a close look at your baby and your womb. The person carrying out the scan will check that your baby is developing normally, and look at where your placenta is lying.


February 2015; 
I gave birth to our miracle, Emma Louise was born on the 8th February, 8lbs 11oz and 19inches of perfection.


Even miracles take a little time. – The fairy godmother.
^^^
Now to remember this while we try and conceive baby number two.

During my 20 months of TTC I cried endless tears, my heart shattered with everyone's special news, and spent more money on pregnancy tests then I care to remember. Remember be nice, you don't know the struggle that goes on behind closed doors. 

*BFN- Big Fat Negative.

 BFP- Big Fat Positive. 
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Friday, January 20, 2017

Embrace your flaws


“Once you learn to accept your flaws, no one can use them against you!”


We live in a society where everyone expects perfection, it’s so difficult to accept who you truly are and come to terms that no one is perfect. Growing up I’ve never truly accepted who I was. There was always something I wasn’t happy with; my weight, my skin, my hair you name it. It scares me so much that I’m bringing up my daughter in a world that revolves around how someone looks. I just hope that she never doubts how beautiful she is.  

This is probably one of the hardest posts I’ve written. It’s no secret that I’m not comfortable in my own skin, especially after having Emma. I really struggle with the fact I’m no longer that size 10 teenage girl my husband fell in love with. For so long I have questioned how he can love me, if I don’t love myself. What does he see that I no longer see? The fact is that neither of us are the same person we were 9 years ago when we first started dating. But when I look at him I see a future and I still see the person I fell in love with all those years ago, if anything I love him so much more. We have shared so many precious moments and shaped each other into the people we are today.  

(This photo is heavily photoshopped I have stretch marks covering my whole

I swapped my skinny jeans for maternity leggings.
My high heels for flats.
A flat tummy for a mummy tummy covered in tiger strips (stretch marks)

This was the change that has probably affected me the most in my life. You see me and my husband come from a family that is obsessed with weight and looks. I was expecting to just “bounce” back. Walk out of the hospital in my size 12 jeans, when that didn’t happen I didn’t expect it. I haven’t for the past two years. Instead I’ve had crash diet after crash diet only to find myself comfort eating with a chocolate cake and shitty T.V.

I promised myself that 2017 was the year I’d learn to love myself again with every flaw. You see flaws are just flaws, they make us who we are they make us different and special in our own little way. 


1.      You deserve love.
I’m a strong believer you have to fall in love with yourself first. Once you love yourself you become indestructible.

2.      Somethings you can’t control.
In life there are some things that are beyond your control, stop stressing about them and learn just to embrace it. For me stretch marks always bring me down, I seriously hate my stomach. But I’m slowly coming to terms they aren’t going anywhere. They tell a story of their own and to be honest if I was to do it all again I would. Emma is so worth every single scar.

3.      Other people love that flaw you hate.
When someone compliments you believe them. I always struggle to believe people and think they are just saying it. But the truth is 99% of the time they aren’t and they are being honest. Just because you hate it, doesn’t mean everyone does.

4.      It’s okay to be different.
It’s what makes you, you. Imagine a world where we all look the same. Same nose, eyes, ears. This is what makes you who you are.

5.      No one is perfect.
There is nothing no such thing as perfection. No one is perfect, that person you think is has their own flaws they are working on.

I’ve still got a long way to go, I believe those 5 points are a good place to start. If something is making you so unhappy change it. No one is in control of your happiness. The sooner you realise that only you can change the way you think towards yourself.  Remember you are beautiful.

xxx




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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Glossy Box January 2017



I cannot believe we are a few weeks into 2017, I swear time just keeps passing by in a blink of an eye. I’m pretty excited about 2017 and what it holds for me. I’ll admit the first weeks haven’t been great, I’ve not been feeling the best. I’ve also closed a door with some family members and old friends who no longer do me nor my own family any good. Since becoming a mother I’ve realised I want strong people around Emma. People who I think will make a difference in her life. I never want her to doubt how much she is loved by anyone. I’m a strong believer of Family isn't always blood. It's the people in your life who want you in theirs. The ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile, and who love you no matter what.”
But like every other thing in life when one door closes another opens, when you remove toxic people from your life it makes room for the greatest things. Anyways back to my first box of the year

Nip + Fab Kale Fix Moisturiser RRP £19.95- 


When I saw this in my box I was pretty pleased, I discovered NIP + FAB a few months ago and I love their Glycolic Fix Pads and Dragons Blood Fix Serum. I can’t wait to try this, I think I’m going to use it in the evenings to start off with.

The Balm Meet Matt(e) RRP £34.00 (Palette)- 


This is one of the eye shadows you get in the palette “Meet Matt(e)” I got the shade Matt Moskowitz. To be totally honest it’s not a shade I will get much use of. It also feels very chalky but I’m going to give it a go anyways. I’ve never bought anything from “The Balm” but there’s a few things I’d love to purchase this year.

Unani Illuminate Milk Cleanser RRP £14.00-


I haven’t used this yet but I’ve looked online and seen good reviews. I don’t like swapping a lot of products when it comes to skincare because I have super sensitive skin. I currently use Clinique and really like it.  I’ve never heard of this brand either.

Manuka Honey Face Mask RRP £3.99-


I love getting face masks in my boxes because it’s something I use once a week for a little pamper me session when Emma is in bed.

Deep Pore Cleansing Facial Brush RRP £6.99-


Okay, a face brush? Really? I don’t see the point in this. I knew I wouldn’t use it so after I took photos I passed it down to my brother’s girlfriend. I personally use cleansing brushes. I really want to purchase another Clarisonic, mine broke a year ago and because I was pregnant with Emma I didn’t repurchase one till a few weeks ago but I bought a cheap Avon one. It’s good but not amazing.




January box was created around super foods and the New Year. So many of us make the resolution that we are going to be healthier, I think this box really focuses on skincare.  I can see the theme throughout the box and they even put a little quote on the inside of box which I thought was really cute. I haven’t been too impressed with my boxes, I’ve ended up with a draw full of sample size products. I’m trying not to buy any beauty/skincare products so I can use up what I have.



xxx
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Monday, January 9, 2017

Review: Violet Voss Holy Grail



For so long I have tried to get my hands on this palette but it’s constantly out of stock. Back in December when I saw it was back in stock directly with Violet Voss I couldn’t part with £90 for a palette it didn’t make any sense. (This palette would come to £90 with postage and custom fees) Especially as it was previously available to buy from beauty bay for £45.00. I contacted beauty bay to check if they would be restocking it and they sadly told me they weren’t. From my understanding there has recently been a problem between the two companies. I was seriously left in two minds about parting with the money and just ordering it, but right before Christmas I decided to give it a miss and maybe next time. A few weeks later they announced a UK stockist and when my husband said he’d buy it a present from my 21 month daughter I was over the moon!  

  Is it worth the hype?
OH MY GOD YES!
BUY THE DAM PALETTE LIFE IS SHORT
(Now that’s off my chest back to the review)


(Please ignore the damage to cranberry splash it happened after I decided to put another palette over it!)

The Holy Grail palette is filled with 20 eyeshadows in metal, matte and satin finishes. From looking at the pictures you can tell it’s a warm toned but I think anyone into eyeshadow will find something they personally love. It comes in a cardboard box the packaging has been changed recently. I personally liked the old matte black more. I think it made it look that little bit more expensive and classy. I’m a sucker for pretty black clean packaging.

Swatches: 


My favourite shades are, Ploof, Awesome Sauce, Bestie, Toffee, How U Doin, Bat My Eyes, So Jelly, Teddy Bear, Glamping and Cranberry Splash.

How Cute are the names of each shadow also?

I’m super impressed in a palette of so many shades there’s not one I dislike and wouldn’t work on me. I personally think if you have blue/green you can’t go wrong in buying this. I always find these are the sort of colours that make my eyes pop. Overall I’m so glad I got this under the tree.

Have you tried it?
Or do you plan on buying it?


xxxx
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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

eBay Unicorn Brushes



Back in November I was strolling through Instagram before Sunday lunch, when I came across these brushes on Debra Bow’s account. When I read they was under £10 and from eBay I couldn’t stop myself from ordering them right there and then. I’m a terrible impulse buyer, this year I’m trying to save money so that’s definitely something I want to work on!  

If I can remember correctly they took what seemed like forever to arrive, I think it was two weeks or close to it! When I opened the padded envelope it was love at first sight. They are absolutely gorgeous to look at. They felt very soft. I went for the 7 piece set which included 4 face brushes and 3 eyeshadow brushes. They cost me around £8.00. I wanted to test these with different products and wash them so I could give you an honest review.


It’s a very stunning set of brushes and sure to catch anyone’s eye sitting on your dressing table. They are very light in weight, and feel slightly cheap. Which I guess they are! I always worry when brushes feel ‘too soft’ I find they don’t do their jobs well.

I’ll start with my favourite brushes which are the eye ones, I find they do a good job and pack the colour and blend very well. I don’t use the foundation brush, as I prefer a different style. I find your classic foundation brush gives you a very cakey finish in general. The powder and blusher brush I don’t like I’ve tried it a few times and they have always felt like they weren’t doing anything they are too soft if that makes sense.  

They wash well with minimal shredding on the first wash. I don’t know if you can see but two of the brushes have stains from products I tried my best to try get them clean without damaging them.   
Overall I think this is a great starter set for anyone, or makes a great gift. They look very pretty in a brush holder next to my spectrum ones! I do love an eBay bargain.
Have you got any eBay makeup bargains?

xxxxx



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Monday, January 2, 2017

2017 Goals

Happy New Year,
I always feel like the New Year is a good time to change, put the old behind you and move forward. When you let go of all the bad things it makes room for all the good stuff that’s just around the corner. A few days ago I posted a blog post rounding up my 2016. There was a lot of good moments and our fair share of not so good. It has helped us grow so much and really focus on what’s important. If you want it read more about it click here.
 I think by making my goals public I’m probably most likely to stick to them (or so I’d like to hope!)


Stop focusing on the number on the scale. For those that truly know me they know this is a massive issue. I want to be able to get healthy this year, last year was such a roller-coaster. I’ve got around 30lbs to loose.

Save, save, save. I’m a hard core shopper, this is a big one for us this year. We have so many goals within the next two years. I just need to focus and save. (I can save when I want to, we managed to save for our dream wedding in just 7 months!)  

Have more date nights. After we became parents, we stopped “dating”. We’ve already started date night once a month which includes the whole afternoon and evening to ourselves. Just want to keep it up.

Blog more and learn more about photography. I’m so excited about this one. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know my husband got me a camera for Christmas, he went all out and bought me everything I could possibly need! (lights, backgrounds, tripod the boy did good!) I love blogging so I want to focus more on it and be 100% happy with what I put out there. I want to have posts ready and at least 2 saved to put up all the time.

Travel. We’ve been talking about holidays, though we want to save everyone deserves a break. Work hard play harder. I would love to take Emma to Disney Land and then fly home for Christmas.

Learn to control my diabetes. This one is probably the most important one this year. I’m so bad at remembering to take insulin and keeping records of my readings. This one goes hand in hand with losing weight.

Learn to take time out. I am a MASSIVE stress head, I need to learn to say no, ask for help and mostly have time out to myself. Life can get a tad bit too much.

Find an eyeshadow primer. Beauty wise this is a big one, I hate my oily eyes.

Use more colours. I want to start experimenting with eyeshadow colours and lips to get out of my comfort zone. I’ve been given beautiful palettes for Christmas so I can’t wait to start playing! 

 Switch off from the internet. This is a personal one for me, I need to take some time out and be able to switch my phone off and enjoy family time. Emma is growing up too fast and we spend too much time with our phones glued to our hands.  

Go back blonde. And stay blonde Tania Alexandra!

Keep up with skincare routine. I cannot believe I have been sticking to my skincare routine for the past 30 days or so! I really want to keep this one up.

Grow on social media. I want to improve my content, gain more followers, follow more bloggers, read more blogs and comment more on other people’s amazing work. No one realises the time that is spent on a post. I know it takes me a good two/three hours editing pictures, writing and making sure it’s perfect. I do not get paid for this I do it because I love it!

Love more. Say I love you more often, show more affection, and just be happy.

There are a few personal goals me and my husband have. But if 2016 has taught me anything is that you should keep the best to yourself. There’s too many people who would do anything to see you fail. Remember as long as you’re happy who cares what anyone else thinks.

Life is too short.

I hope 2017 is your year…

xxx



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