Monthly Archives: October 2012

IT’S LIKE SUGAR & SPICE

Oct 31 2012

… but with winter white!  <–if that makes sense?!

It’s that time of year again!!!

Loving my fav’s over at Petal Boutique… you might recall last year, leading up to our big ‘Sip & Shop with a Stylist‘ event – I went through and highlighted the gorgeous store and some of my favs.

Last year was a blast (check the post here), but we are even more excited for this year… many more giveaways and discounts too (yippee!).

This year the shindig is set for November 29th, details + invite to come (everyone welcome).  We’re super excited.

In the mean time, as I did last year… I’ll bring to you some of my Petal favs… and this preppy little number happens to be one of them.  Oh and that coat – yummm yeah it’s $108!

ps ~ my brides might recognize my lip color… Twig – all time go to!

{What I’m Wearing} Coat : Petal {$108}, Dress : Petal {not online yet, but if you call the store I’m sure they’ll hook you up – $74}, Clutch : Petal {$54}, Fur Stole : Petal {$28}, Boots : Fry, Socks : Madewell, Ring : Vintage, Bracelet : Petal, Watch + Shades : Michael Kors {old}

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MY FAUX ON FUR

Oct 30 2012

Seriously, it feels like forever…

Hi blogger friends!

Happy Tuesday!  I’m back… feels like a decade since I last blogged and I’ve missed y’all!

First off, I feel like I owe y’all a big fat hug for all the sweet words from my post a few weeks ago (regarding the bebe situation).  The hubs and I were so incredibly touched by all of your sweet words and inspirational stories.  There was a reason I decided to share our journey, although at the time I thought I was a total-nut-job for putting myself/ us out there… the amount of *hope*, support, stories and tips was well worth the initial worry.  I love you guys!  Just as a follow up… we had an appointment with REACH and we’ve decided to go the IVF route, but not until after the new year.  In the meantime, we’re going to enjoy the holidays, our friends, a besties wedding festivities (omg – I’m a MOH), friends new babies, travels, my 30th (eeeek!) and making Be Pretty even better!  Oh, and each other!

I’ll admit, I’ve been a bit MIA lately… wedding season is kicking bums (in a good way!) and my focus has been makeup + hair, makeup + hair and (guess what?) makeup + hair.  I’m loving every minute of it… in-between photoshoots, weddings, being a friend and wifey I wore this number.  Totes proud of this little F21 jacket/ vest – for a steal of $34!

Happy Tuesday, y’all – thanks for being my bloggy-besties!  xx

ps… sending thoughts to those who are dealing with Sandy!

{What I’m Wearing} Pleather Pants : F21 $10 {also worn here in burgs}, Watch : Michael Kors {old}, Blouse : Petal, Pearl Necklace : F21, Sunburst Necklace : Banana {old}, Fur Vest : F21 {just purchased, not online}, Booties : Saks {the brand, purchased last year}, Bracelets : Petal, Shades : Tory Burch {available in store only}

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BE PRETTY VIDEO PROJECT!

Oct 15 2012

I’m so excited about this new Be Pretty project ~ inspired by the two fabulous sisters over at Two-Delighted.   They’ve blogged a spooky Halloween vid and a wedding via the super-cool Super8 app.  I was left totally inspired.

 I’ve decided to take vid clips of my clients this past week… and I had so much fun with it!  I love seeing my clients so happy!  I will continue this video project each month… so, all you Be Pretty clients, get ready for a camera in your face! 🙂  Oh, and the “sound fading”… I’m still learning that… try not to pay attention. 😉

For those that *didn’t* already know… I adore what I do, with all of my heart!   I love you girls!

xx, LRT



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OUR BATTLE IS TOUGH, BUT OUR LOVE IS STRONG

Oct 11 2012

The thought of becoming a mother is probably the most exciting thought that’s crossed my mind.  While it is exciting, it’s also never felt so far away… and although it’s not my fault, at times, I feel like I’m failing – tremendously.

For the past 21 months we’ve delighted ourselves in the thought of our very own miracle.  We’ve fought a hard battle and I’ve mustered up the courage to share our story.

Our journey actually started years before we said “i do”… my sweet husband and I have been talking about life with kids since our first date.  We had names selected (middle name included), before exchanging “i love you’s”.  We started building a home together within the first year of dating… just so we could play “house”.  The home fell through, but our love continued to flourish.  Gifts were given to one another from our future kiddos “To: Daddy / Love: Elle”.  For those that know, John, know that he’s been dreaming of the day he could be a father… he’s a natural with little ones and has a heart that is indescribable.  Let’s just say that babies have always been a strong topic in the Thorne household… even before we were “Thorne’s”.

After our first year of marriage we were ecstatic to embark on the next step in life… a baby… finally!  Being the perfectionist that I am, I thought  I could control the timing and birth of our little one.  Month one we were full-foce, we didn’t have the attitude “if it happens, it happens”… Oh, it was happening.  We used ovulation predictor kits, followed a calendar and did everything by the books.  That same month we received a our first negative, but we were ready to take on the next month.  This is fun.

Months passed.  My cycle remained at 28 days and normal as can be.  It wasn’t until my annual visit in August of 2011 that I addressed not being able to conceive.  My doctor started routine blood work, paying special attention to my day 22 progesterone levels.  My numbers were a little low, but I was still ovulating, just as the predictor tests were showing.  Around that time I went into Presby Hospital for my first HSG, an X-ray of the uterus and fallopian tubes.  Another month passed and still no positive.  My doctor said it was in our best interest to seek advice and guidance from a Reproductive Endocrinologist at a local fertility clinic.  I wasn’t ready for that next step, I felt there was so much more that could be controlled within the doors of my OBGYN’s office.

“Unexplained Infertility”, at that moment, early on, we were diagnosed with those two words… the meaning of nothing… two words leaving our hearts empty. 

A girlfriend referred me to her doctor (he’s awesome!), and within my first visit he had me scheduled for another HSG, but this time at CMC Hospital.  He was eager to help us.  That next week I had the procedure and X-rays came back normal.  In mid-February I started my very first round of monitoring (day 13 ultrasounds + blood work) to determine the size and number of developing follicles.  I would then follow the visit by giving myself a lovely $130 shot.  We would “try” and then call him back with the good word… or when the “B” makes her arrival.

It’s so fun to look back on these times… to reflect… the love, the joy, the”it’s going to happen” attitude, sure does brighten today to think about.  I remember feeling overwhelmingly blessed during that month.  We had a doctor that was determined help us, I had follices that were of good sizes and I was able to use the “trigger” shot to help me ovulate at my fullest potential.  We thought we had the world in our hands… until we got another negative.

Back to the docs we go…

In March I started a moderate dosage of Clomid from cycle days 3-7,  my routine ultrasounds + blood work on day 13 and then gave myself the “trigger” shot on day 14…  With each visit we felt closer and closer to our hearts desires, but month by month we continued to receive the big fat negative.

By the end of April, my glimmer of hope began to fade and starting a family with my husband never felt so far away… I remember feeling helpless.  I started to feel alone, I was ashamed and so confused.  The medicines were weighing heavy on my sanity and my emotions were unstable.  Poor John.  On top of the emotions we were faced with the bills… infertility isn’t covered by insurance, well, what “is” covered is minimal.  By this point we were spending $800+ out of pocket each month on checkups, medicines, etc.  Not too mention my 2 HSG procedures were each $1200.  I know nothing could never put a price on the gift of life… and we’ve continued that outlook… even today.

There were a few hiccups along the way… naturally with any female cycle.  I continued with my monthly day 13 ultrasounds, bloodwork, injections, oral medicines (alternating between Clomid and Letrozole) and continued monthly dosage increase. Still nothing.  Our hope was strong and our love that we shared for our future baby was even stronger… we couldn’t give up.  In May I was faced with the scare of a 30mm mass in my ovaries and lots of small pearl like cysts (PCOS).  They appeared out of nowhere. My doctor continued me on fertility orals, but added Metformin in the mix to decrease the size of those masses.

During these monthly checkups it wasn’t important to me that John was there.  The appointments were so quick and it meant more to me to keep him at his work (who pays the little insurance that covers infertility).  He wanted to be there (believe me), but I put on a “I’ve got this” attitude… I finally caved.  I needed him.  At my June appointment, he was by my side, but this was all new to him.  Our situation became even more real when John saw the monitor during the ultrasound.  The lights were off, the screen was on, the woooshing sound filled the room.  The only thing missing was a little peanut on that screen.  I looked over at John and his eyes glassed over.  Strong, Lindsey.  You are a strong.  Don’t look at your husband.  Put that hard hat on.

He explained to me after we left the appointment that he always imagined seeing a little guy on the screen for the first time… instead the doctor reinforced cyst after cyst {6 total} along with the same size mass that has now traveled to my right side from the previous month.  A sign of a baby at that very moment seems lightyears away.  No follicle in sight.  How is this possible?  We want this so bad.  At that point, unfortunately our care was out of our wonderful doctors hands… we needed to be seen by a specialist.  Reproductive Endocrinologists are experts in infertility and their expertise needs to be considered at this point.  Thankfully he had wonderful relationships and success stories with two different RE’s at different clinics.

As we left the office, in the long grey corridor, John and I had a moment.  I was between emotions, saddened that nothing has happened with all of the guidance and medicines.  At the same time, thankful and excited to make this new move.  We were ready to face this new road to get our precious baby.  We hugged, we both cried and we quickly turned the sadness in our hearts to happiness… one step closer.  After leaving that appointment I turned to God.  Asking him not necessarily for a baby, but to continue to show us the light to get one step closer to our baby.  I’ve always prayed, but my prayer at that very moment changed… a greedy, “I want a baby” to “guide us in the direction, if a baby is really what our heart desires, show us a sign of life, some hope so we can continue to trust the love that resides so deep in our soul, a sign that someday we will get our chance as parents”.

We decided to meet with both RE’s at the different clinics… John’s work schedule didn’t allow him to attend either, but I was anxious and didn’t want to waste time… so there I marched, solo-style, while couples filled the rooms at the clinics.  I’ve got this… Team Throne is about to dominate these two meaningless words – unexplained infertility.  That first visit didn’t go as expected… the doc was very professional, but basically wanted to start all over so he could analyze my levels during these different cycle stages.  He insisted that I undergo a laparoscopy, which in itself takes a month of heal time.  We were looking at about 2 months before moving forward.  I left confused and mad… I’ve been through 17 cycles of trying “by the books” and with medicines and monitoring… start over?  Are you kidding me!  That following Friday (July 13th) I had another consult with Dr. Katz at REACH… I let my emotions simmer knowing that there was another doctor I needed to meet.

I’ve heard so many stories about REACH, some good – some bad… it’s funny how the bad always stick with you.  People told me it’s treated like a sperm bank… not as personal… long lines… long spans before hearing from your nurse.  My vision going into my initial consult was a little cloudy.  On Friday the 13th at 3:00pm everything changed…

I was escorted to Dr. Katz by his nurse Melissa.  She was in her late 40’s and had the sweetest southern voice I’ve ever heard.  I was a little taken back when I entered his office.  He sat amongst stacks of papers, total disarray.  Pictures of babies all over the place.  His office was dark and small, but homey.  Dr. Katz was wearing a yellow faded polo and khakis.  Unlike the other RE, he wasn’t wearing a lab coat, a suit, tie or polished loafers.  He was real.  He smiled.  He told me about his 16 year old daughter that loves hair and makeup… before we even began the “baby” talk.

And then a sentence I’ll never forget…

“I will help you and your husband make the baby you deserve and I will get you pregnant, it’s my promise to you.” 

I lost it.  For the first time in a long time my heart was lifted.  Right in his office, I hugged him.  Those simple words : baby, you, your husband, deserve, pregnant, promise.  Those words, they simply changed my life, my outlook and my excitement was soaring.  I can remember the emotion vividly that overcame me while sitting in his office.  I fully trusted the position we were in and I was thankful.

We decided that IUI (insemination) would be our next step, coupled with Letrozole and the “trigger” shot.  It’s funny how timing works out… I just happened to be on day 3 of my cycle – which means everything in the world of infertility and because of where I landed in my cycle, we would have the opportunity to proceed with IUI in 10 days!  Talk about total eeeekkking!  Day 3 is when a baseline ultrasound and bloodwork is preformed to prepare you and the doc’s for IUI.  It’s also the specific day in the cycle when you begin oral fertility meds.  Dr. Katz sent me up to the lab for blood work first… I had a moment in the elevator… no tears, but I’m pretty sure I ran in place, texted my group of friends, called my husband and hugged myself hard.  It was going to happen!  After bloodwork I went back down to a patient room where Dr. Katz preformed the baseline ultrasound.  I was a little scared, not even two weeks ago I had several cysts and that large mass.  I said one last prayer and away the wand went.

This is where miracles do happen and prayers are answered.

No cysts.

No large mass.

Just a handful of happy little follicles ready to take the stage and grow, grow, grow… into what we hoped would  be our baby.

I knew deep in my heart is was going to happen.  I just knew it.  I trusted.  Although my husband couldn’t be at that appointment, he felt exactly what I felt.  We hugged long and hard that evening, we cried.  This was finally happening.

Those 10 days flew by and we were also preparing for a break ourselves… we were going to Jamaica later in July, to the same spot of our honeymoon.  On Monday, July 23rd I went in for my day 13 ultrasound and bloodwork… I had two follicles (twins???).  That evening I was to give myself the “trigger” shot and return on Thursday for the IUI procedure (insemination).  Tuesday morning I took an ovulation test and sure enough that little test was smiling back at me!  I was ovulating (prime time).  So I called my nurse… she asked that I come in the following day (Wednesday) for blood work.  Wednesday morning I had a little shoot with Richard.  Right after that shoot I went in (11am) for blood work… came home and was nestled on the sofa answering emails from brides.  At 2:00pm I received a phone call from nurse Melissa.  ……..“your progesterone levels are at 2 which is the most promising for IUI, we don’t want to miss this opportunity, we need John in the office within 15 minutes”.

John actually drove himself to work that day… not sure why, normally he takes the train and I met him at the clinic.  Oh little John got to bypass the other couples, I slapped his tush and wished him good luck as he set off to “make his magic”!  We were able to go home and return at 4pm for the procedure.  We hugged and we sang our hearts out to some Bob Marly… because not only was “this” exciting, but we wear leaving in 4 days for Jamaica.  I wish I could explain the feelings that were surrounding us.  The love.  The hope.  We were beyond thankful.

At 4:00pm we were back in the procedure room (of course taking pictures along the way).  Without sounding too cheesy or over the top dramatic, this really was an unbelievable feeling.  As crazy as that may sound, but after 18 months, this was the most hopeful we’ve even been and the closest we’ve ever felt to our goal.  It was very emotional for the two of us as well.  Dr. Katz broke the emotion by announcing “this is going to take awhile, John you do have 29 million swimmers on your team”… we all lost it!

And like that we were done.  Days later we were laying on the sandy beaches of Jamaica… little did I know what was happening inside of me.

A week post-procedure I woke up at 3am to tinkle… was this because I was staying hydrated in the heat or because of a growing embryo.  Towards the end of our trip I felt some other body changes.  I’ve never felt any of these before.

We returned the following Saturday… and we both had Sunday and Monday off of work.  On Monday evening (two days before my period) we decided to take a test!  We were scared, scared of what it could be, scared of what we’ve seen so many times, scared that our hearts have been lifted so high.  We also knew deep down what the results would be… and it’s everything we ever hoped for. I took two tests, neither of us looking at the results until we were standing side by side… and then, like that, I flipped them over… before our eyes, our prayers were answered.  We were having a baby, I was pregnant.

I wish I could describe those feelings… and it’s too hard to look back at that moment right now.  All I can say is I floated, we cried , we sat speechless for hours.  I downloaded all of the preggo applications on my phone, read about where our embryo was in this stage!  Gosh I can remember pinning nurseries that night… the excitement was overwhelming and at 11:00pm on Monday (late) evening, I called and left a message with REACH… I’m pregnant!

On Tuesday I went in for blood work (HCG levels), hours later they came back as they should… nice and high.  It was confirmed by the doctor that we were having our very own sweet little baby.

It happened!

Because bodies like me are fragile my doctor had me come in every other day for blood work, to ensure my levels were increasing.  By Friday they had doubled.

On Sunday I wasn’t feeling myself… a whirl of emotions taking over.  Where was that happy Lindsey?

Monday morning I went back in for blood work.  Met a client at the mall, shopped with her for several hours and by 4:00pm I thought it was strange that I didn’t hear back from nurse Melissa.  The second that thought crossed my mind, the phone rang.  I was driving home.  “Lindsey, I’m so sorry, we were so close, but you are no longer pregnant”.  My world stopped.  I was only 4 weeks and 4 days, but after all this time, all this prayer and all this hope we finally got to our hearts desires.  To have it all taken away.  It was a precious developing life that made it all the way to the size of an orange seed… that my husband and I finally created.

That evening was a blur, I emailed my friends that have been by my side through our journey.  We told our families.  A bestie came over and we cried together.  I didn’t sleep that night and at  3am on Tuesday morning, “it” passed and I had my period again.

In that one week I cannot explain the amount of positive-loving-uplifting emotions we were swimming in.  Brining a little one into the world truly is the greatest gift of all.  Although it was only a week and although I was only 4 weeks and 4 days it was still all worth it.  I was pregnant.  I would never take any of that back… I floated.  In that week I grew to love my Johnny even stronger and harder.  I also realized there’s much-much more to life.  The life of someone else… that’s yours.  That you made.

The next day, I embraced the beautiful outdoors and ran… I was lost in my run, I cried, I sang, I prayed and I danced with a butterfly.  Running down Morehead by the gorgeous Presbyterian church, I was in full stride as a small buttercream colored butterfly danced around me like a child.  I stopped and so did it… right on my shoulder.  At that very moment I realized what was happening.  A sign sent by God or even a coincidence, it made my world feel so much better.  Closure.  That childlike butterfly gave me the hope I needed to move forward in a positive light.

From there it felt like I was back in the clinic (REACH) everyday… to ensure my levels were decreasing, that everything did pass and to begin monitoring all over again.  We decided to give it another try and jump right back into IUI.

Here’s the thing… my hormones were off balance.  I went from this extreme amount of fertility hormones from my medicines, to getting pregnant and fighting all new hormones, to the loss of a pregnancy and all of those emotions and now I was moving back into fertility hormone medicines… this time I was on 5 different oral medicines, 1 injectable and 1 suppository.  I was an emotional mess and miserable.  I cannot believe John is still by my side.  It felt like there was a war going on inside of me.

On August 30th we went through our second IUI procedure… two weeks later I got my period.

We started monitoring and medicines again in September in hopes that it would happen during our third and last try.  My body has been through a lot since February… and Dr. Katz only performs 3 back to back rounds of IUI and medicines before you have to allow your body a few months, medicine free to bounce back.  Statistics also prove that if by now, in our game, with the help of medicines and procedures like IUI that if we can’t conceive… it’s in our best interest to seek more advanced treatments.

So, this was it, our last try.  On September 24th (two days before celebrating our wedding anniversary) we went through IUI.  We were excited and hopeful… just like before.  Third times a charm.  We had prayers surrounding us from near and far.  John and I were in a good place, this has to happen.

That brings us to the time of the pictures, exactly one week ago today John, myself and our dear friend (and photog) Kristin hiked Crowders Mountain to capture some pictures of John and I.  It was two days before finding out if this last round of IUI worked.  I didn’t expect our emotions to go in the direction that they did… but it was out of our control.  The images speak for themselves.

I got my period, we are not pregnant, but we are now faced with new decisions.  Never in a million years could I ever imagine going through IVF… our doctors recommended next steps for us.  We accepted that right now, it’s not our time.  Together, John and I have stuck by each others side, supported and loved each other… we’ve fought so hard together, we’ve given it our all.

We have no regrets.

When the time is right, we’ve accepted that unless we are blessed (which is possible) with a miracle we will take the next road.  The next road of IVF.  We are not emotionally or financially ready for IVF just yet, but when our time does come, we are very excited.  We don’t know why it’s not “our time”, we don’t know why we’ve been faced with “unexplained infertility”.  There is not answer.  Deep down, under all the pain we know and trust in God that it will happen… when the timing is right.  We’ve learned that life is a gift, not a science… but a miracle.

My body has been through the scientific process and here we stand today.  When we get our chance with our very own miracle I will cherish each and every one of those moments.  Sleep depravation, hearing the first heart beat, a growing belly, morning sickness, 3am feedings, first smiles, first giggles… whatever the occasion is, I promise you, I will treat it as a joy… as a gift… and I will be forever thankful.

Thank you friends for the outpour of love and uplifting words from Kristin’s post yesterday.  I’m speechless and I’m not sure how to thank you for the sweet messages… the shared stories… the inspiration of hope… you all have touched me so dearly.  Thank you!  Without my husband and my sweet girlfriends love and support I would never be the strong cookie that I am today.  Thank you.  And, Kristin, words can’t describe the amount of emotion that John and I shared during those few hours on Crowders Mountain… I’m thankful for the moments that you captured, I hope one day we can look back at these pictures with our little one and show them the fighters that we are… How nothing will ever come in our way of the love that we feel for them.  Thank you so very much.  xoxo

Our happy past, which has given us so much hope for our future. 

Now onto our captivating photos by our friend, Kristin.

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