Monday, August 1, 2016

Cycle 1

Flowers from Aaron :) This color fits my blog theme so perfectly!
(Costco, can you believe it?!)
Sometimes you really, really think something is going to happen. You have this vague feeling that life is going to fall in line the way you want it to. It isn’t a feeling given to you by God, but more or less an excitement you convinced yourself is real. You plow through because the end state is happiness. The smile that comes easy, that reaches the corners of your eyes – that is genuine. It can be so easy to convince ourselves something is real that once you've convinced yourself, you start convincing others.

Then when everything you've worked out to be something greater turns out to be just another failed attempt, you slip a little further down that rope you are clinging to, further into hopelessness. And it’s that much harder to climb back up the next time.

That end state I’m referring to is pregnancy, my greatest idol, my biggest failure, and my ultimate cause of anxiety and sin.
That is what happened this cycle. Finally, after more than 50 days of injections, of doubling doses, of dealing with medicines and signs and pain and being uncomfortable, you take a quantitative hCG “beta” test, and it comes back negative. BFN (big fat negative) is how they refer to it in pregnancy forum world. I am not pregnant. The first round was a failure. It was so unexpectedly expected. Everything was so timed out and perfectly implemented by doctors and nurses, but it still didn't work. With all of those thoughts whirling through my head, I can't help but thinking, if it didn't happen this time, how is it going to happen the next? What can the doctors do differently? At want point did it fail? There are so many pieces of the puzzle that the doctors can’t pinpoint what to change in future cycles. What can I do differently? Was I too stressed? Too excited? What lesson am I being taught?

Have I elevated biological children above my Father?
At times, I’m sure I have. I don’t pray enough, I don’t meditate over scripture enough. I, at times, can’t believe that my God would move mountains for me. Me, who cares more about a biological child than advancing his kingdom. Me, who cares more about pregnancy than being patient and kind towards my husband. Me, who feels sad and disheartened instead of rejoicing with expectant mothers and newborns around me.

During my first cycle, I had 55+ injections, sometimes 2 a day. I had 75+ vials of medicine. I had 15 lab draws and 12 ultrasounds. That’s 60+ days of not being able to travel, 60+ days of turning down important work trips, 55 days worth of bruises and a sore stomach, 34 metro or car rides to Walter Reed (which equates to 21 hours of transportation), 48 hours of sick leave, 1 friend who came to an appointment with me, and one tired and worn out girl Cycle 1 lasted a total of 73 days. So much for the average 28 day cycle!
The day I was born without a functioning pituitary gland, I gave up a life of medical ease. The day Aaron chose to marry me, so did he.

Amazingly (and this is where I see God more than ever), I am looking forward to cycle number two. 

Thank you for reading, your comments, as always, are very much appreciated!
-R

Friday, July 22, 2016

Anxious Minds

I want to talk about stress. I honestly can’t believe it’s taken me this long to broach the subject. Stress is one of those nasty feelings that takes a grip on a lot of our minds – it thrashes us around, leaving us with tight chests and empty breaths. Stress is a natural part of life, and at one point or another we all experience it – fits of anxiety, plagues of worry, or just downright freaking out. I wish this wasn’t the case. I wish without thinking or trying we could ward off stress and anxiety (or maybe you can, I don’t know!). I wish that it would naturally and blindly be given to God without worry of how things will close or what will become of the cause along the way.
I hate to say it, but we need to take our control issues and catapult them to the nosebleeds at a baseball game because, really, isn’t that what all this anxiety comes down to? Wanting to know and control the outcome of a situation?
WE DO NOT AND WILL NOT HAVE CONTROL OVER OUR LIVES.

Okay, now that I’ve pounded that into my head, I’ll forget it in five minutes. I’m stressed a lot. I stress about medical issues, baby stuff, work stuff, writing this blog, my dog jumping over the gate and setting off the motion detectors on our alarm system (he did), our new couch fitting up the stairs (it didn’t), our car getting spray painted (I wish it didn’t), or our tires getting slashed in our gentrifying neighborhood. Running out of MIO water enhancer, getting home on the metro alive, getting home on the bus alive, traffic, whether or not I’m finally going to find out who A is on PLL (spoiler alert: I can keep a secret), my dinner tonight, and finally, whether or not my pants will still fit after said dinner.
Okay, obviously I was exaggerating a little, but now you understand. My mind moves about a mile every 30 seconds, and those are literally all of the things that just went through it. In all honestly, though, I do get anxious. I worry about what my days will be like years from now when all my medical conditions get worse. I worry for just how long I’ll be able to work a full time job, or if having a child will take all of my energy. But these are not things I should worry about. These are all things I should be giving to God.
For me, worrying, stress, anxiety – all of those words cause me pain. Literal pain. You don't believe me? The next time I have something big coming up (like my wedding perhaps), just ask me how many ulcers I have in my mouth. The answer for that specific situation? NINE. All at the same time. Anxiety for me = pain.
I can’t just sit on this; I have to do something to lessen the stress in my life. And honestly, so do you. You may not get ulcers in your mouth, but you may crumple into pieces on the floor. You may cry hysterically until you can’t breathe. It may prevent you from working and living because it consumes every facet of your being. Stress is a sin, and just like any other sin, letting it fester will only pull you further from God.
Giving my burdens to God is hard. I wish I could just run to the doctors every time I get a few ulcers, take some steroids, and say goodbye. I wish that was fixing the actual problem, but it isn’t; it’s just masking symptoms of a bigger and more powerful issue in my life. Instead of running to medication to fix my pain, I should run to God.
Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
I am far from good at giving my requests to the Lord. I am slowly learning to share these burdens – not even with God, but with my husband and my close friends. It is hard to tell others where you are failing. Anxiety is my biggest sin, and I continually battle for the Lord to surface among it. He will… if I let him. He can provide peace in our stressful and anxious lives. If he cared enough to send his only son to die for us on the cross, surely he cares enough to lift our anxiety and spare us the pain and sickness that covers us. It just takes faith. A LOT of faith.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

It's the little things

I am so far behind in my blogging. Again, I could apologize, but I have a slight inkling that this will be happening more throughout the summer. It is hard to keep up with traveling, visitors,  and trying to unpack our house! August is slowly approaching and I'd really like to have some sort of house warming event!
Spiritual Growth Hormone is about finding hope despite medical maladies, battling chronic pain despite its overtaking of mind and body; therefore, I share my medical journey and my hope in Christ often. But I don’t want you to think medical issues are all there is to me… quite the opposite, in fact. I like to think I lead an eventful life. Naps are eventful too, right? I want you to see the Riley behind all of those things, the little things that I find joy in, the Riley beyond the complaints, the pain, and the frustration of medical issues. These are just a few fun facts about me: what I like, what I’m thankful for, and places you can find me during my much needed free time.
Friends in far off places: I like to think I’ve done a decent job of keeping in touch with friends in other places, but I could do better. Shout outs to my MOH Becca in Findlay, OH, Carrie in Charlotte, NC (lovelysuddencircus.blogspot.com), Rachel in Columbus, OH, and so many others. These people have encouraged me in my aspirations to write this blog, and for them I am thankful!
Bayou Bakery - Great for breakfast
AND coffee
Coffee Shops: Living in Washington DC has grown my love for coffee shops. At Miami University (of Ohio) there was Kofenya, which is where this particular love story began. DC itself is full of charming, rustic, and friendly coffee shops. I hope I find some new ones through my adventures in Anacostia.
Breakfast: I just LOVE breakfast foods. I always have. I’m one of those people who believe breakfast foods needn’t stay at breakfast. Bring it on, anytime, any day – I love it! I’ve been known to eat almost an entire box of cereal in one sitting. Now that Honey Nut Cheerios are gluten free, my obsession has reached a whole new level. I try to stray far away from that row at the grocery store.


Baskets: I love baskets! I use them for a lot things, especially storage and decor. I find my them at World Market and Target. They can be cute and functional. Aaron says I always buy things that are cute rather than practical, but this is one area I think he is wrong! Now if we are talking about clothes, then yes, many of my coats are cute and not necessarily warm… layers, people!


Walter Reed Reproductive Endocrinology (WRRE):
 
As much as I hate going to the doctor, the staff doctors of the RE clinic at Walter Reed have been wonderful. They know me; they call me, share emotion with me, answer my endless amount of questions, and one even hugs me on good news days! It is always nice to have doctors who know your name before looking at your 500-page chart. WRRE has been this for me. I guess I can use this little plug to sneak in an update: I’m basically in a holding pattern with frequent appointments, blood work, and ultrasounds. My doctor has mentioned starting me on oral estrogen because my levels still aren’t quite what they are looking for.  It’s interesting because in an individual with normal pituitary function, estrogen can’t be supplied orally; it would decrease the amount of LH and FSH in the body. However, because my Pit doesn’t work, we bypass it all together. Therefore, supplementing estrogen shouldn’t hurt. Another day, another guessing game. On day 49 of injections, my doctor did mention the longest they've seen someone on Menopur was about 70 days. Here's to hoping for less than 70!


The Night Circus
Novels: If you don’t read, you’re missing out. I am in a book club with several other Navy wives. All of our husbands are friends, so why can’t we be also?! A few books I’ve enjoyed lately from book club are: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell, Still Alice by Lisa Genova, Me Before You by JoJo Moyes, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls,  and Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple. In my own time, I’m reading A Court of Mist and Fury, the second book in the ACOTAR trilogy a by Sarah J. Mass. I previously read all her Throne of Glass books. I can’t wait for more in September! Love it! I'm also listening to Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I was thrilled when I began listening to it and after two words recognized Jim Dale as the reader. He read the Harry Potter series! What books have you been reading or listening to?
Target: Why we women feel the need to walk the aisles of Target alone is beyond me. I was just there this week. (We don’t need to talk about how much I spent.) Sometimes it is just fun to rummage through the end caps and find that perfect table runner at 75% off or that perfect shade of Essie nail polish (another little joy). I like meandering Target, and most of the time, I even come out spending less than $50, that magic Target number we all love!
I hope you enjoyed my post on a few of my little joy's in life. Sometimes I just need to feel quintessentially normal. Reading a book, or meandering the aisles at Target can help with that. Next week I'll be talking about stress and how my medical conditions have played a part.
Views from the Navy Yard. :)
Have a great week,
-R

Friday, June 10, 2016

Never Give Up


Sunrise Photo: Standing in the Lincoln Monument
I haven't updated you in a while. I've been busy, which really is no excuse. I told myself I was going to make this blog a priority, and I did for almost 5 months. I guess maybe a break is a good thing? Now that my little sabbatical is over, I can offer you an information dump! I owe you a few things. So in no particular order, these have been my last few weeks:


NR Dining Out: Over a year ago, I complained mentioned to Aaron's section head (bosses, boss) that I wanted to be a "real Navy wife"...  Not "real" by way of deployments, long hours, continuous TDYs (Temporary Duty), or sea excursions for months at a time... But "real" in the “I'd like to attend events, meet other Navy wives, make fun of our husbands together, start a bunko group (is that a thing?)” kind of way. Never in a million years did I bargain for PLANNING such events. I guess since I started this whole mess, I should be the one to clean it up.
Well it happened. After a year of saying when, now I'm  asking "what did I get myself into?" I can tiredly happily say that last Friday was the culmination of basically planning a second wedding. Over 220 people joined together for dinner, dancing, skits, pranks, music videos, and A LOT of laughter. I am truly amazed at what some of these engineers do every day for the Navy, but I'm more amazed at their ability to entertain a crowd. My stereotypical picture of engineers not being able to socialize faded a little. My husband essentially ran the whole event, wrote many of the skits, and planned many of the pranks! I'm starting to wonder why he didn't help out more with our wedding… The 4 star Admiral stayed until the very end, even offering to help with clean up. It was an incredible display of camaraderie that Naval Reactors has not yet seen, and the best part? Everyone is already asking about next year! Maybe it's time to pass the torch.



HOUSE: For the 7th and hopefully final time (at least while living in DC), I am moving! We are officially HOMEOWNERS! I iced my hand, signed the papers, and we wrote the big check. Everyone keeps saying what a big milestone this is, but honestly, compared to finding a place to rent, this was almost easy. Plus, next year, I don't have to pack all over again! It will be strange staying in a place longer than 10 months (I think that's my record in DC). We have slowly begun moving in over the last several days. Mowgli seems to enjoy the new backyard. So far he has only seen it once, but he bounced all the way to the back of it to, well, take care of some business. Really, Mowgli? Actually, we take this as a good sign. He is pretty particular about where he will go #diva 


Infertility: After Tuesday's appointment, I can't decide if I'm relieved I didn't tell you about my excitement after my previous appointments or upset that I didn't tell you so that you could feel my sadness alongside me. Tuesday was a bittersweet appointment. Bitter because this is over 30 days on Menopur injections. Bitter because after 6ish (I've lost count) ultrasounds and a  month of doctors being noticeably excited that one particular follicle was already 12mm in size (20mm is what they are looking for), they discovered that it was actually outside of the ovary and not even a follicle but a paraovarian cyst. Bitter because I'm sick of ultrasounds already, and bitter because I thought things were progressing quickly for once in this journey. All of that said, this appointment was also sweet because it actually makes sense. If I really had a 12mm follicle, the follicle should have begun producing estrogen, and it hasn't. Sweet because I don't have to keep worrying that only part of the response is happening. Sweet because the ultrasounds are getting easier for the doctors, which means the menotropins are increasing the size of my ovaries (a good response), and sweet because I still get to have hope for having a child. It's been a wild 30+ days’ worth of shots, doctors, blood tests, ultrasounds, and more shots. This week my RE has me injecting an additional 1/2cc of Menopur with a follow up next Monday.

It is so hard to imagine the women that go through years and years of infertility treatments and never achieve pregnancy. I'm so thankful that some response is happening and that each appointment I am able to continue. So until the day they tell me no, I will push forward through the painful injections, the long drives to Walter Reed, the uncomfortable tests, the bruises, the days of missed work, and the anxiety it all brings. I'm just fortunate to be here at all!


-R

Friday, May 13, 2016

me of little faith

Lets all just pretend this was posted Thursday night like it was supposed to be…
I thought this post was going to be short, primarily because I just spent the last fifteen hours at work. Let’s just say my compensatory time this week has earned me a day off! But you aren’t here to listen to me whine about my extended work week, you want to know the important stuff; the baby stuff.  
I know you’ve waited three months to hear about my infertility, believe me, i’ve been waiting right along with you. Before I get into the current situation, I’ll start with a little recap of where this all began.
This is the formula for how it all started: Me + Congenital Hypopituitarism = Congenital Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism or secondary ovarian failure – essentially this is a condition in which the ovaries produce little or no sex hormones due to a secondary cause. We all know, in my case, it is the pit. The core of me. Wait, is that how the pituitary acquired this name? Nevermind, I’m too tired to think about that right now. #welearnsomethingneweveryday #nowiamthinkingaboutavocados
Anyways, That was simple (rolls eyes), right? Now, for the hard part. What my reproductive endocrinologists (RE) is going to do about it. The intricate phases of our body that cause one to get pregnant is mind blowing. How all these systems, hormones, and functions come together to grow that perfect little bundle of joy is a miracle all in itself! If I am able to conceive and sustain a pregnancy, God will have brought this miracle full circle. For reasons unknown, before I was born, my pituitary gland failed and now that same pituitary gland will fail to support my own pregnancies.
Rooted in faith.
The first time I heard it would be very difficult for me to have children of my own was when I was seventeen years old. My doctor noticed something may be wrong in addition to my thyroid and growth hormone problems. At that age, I shrugged it off. I thought nah, by that time, they will have figured me out and developed technology to help all people have babies. I knew I wanted kids, but I wasn’t really worried about it. Obviously, the older I got the harder it became. I’ve shared a few posts about infertility so far, about the geneticist who shattered my hopes, the diagnoses that lead to infertility, and about Aaron, and the relationship we’ve shared. 
Now for all the good stuff!
In January a team of doctors from NIH and Walter Reed presented my case at an NIH conference to determine the best course of action moving forward.  In February they informed me that my uterus was far too small to support a pregnancy and that my lining was far too weak to allow for an egg to implant. A crushing blow to the timeline I had set for myself and the journey that I wanted. That same day, I started taking estrogen supplements. I was upset and had little faith in God’s plan during that time. I did hours of research after that appointment; dug through NIH medical reports, googled infertility blogs and “growing a uterus”. I found nothing that used those terms except for one tiny comment on some little known blog that mentioned her doctor using estrogen to increase the size and lining of her uterus. Did God want me to find that? A sliver of light in a mind filled with darkness? This reminded me that I needed to have faith in God’s will for my infertility journey, so I stopped researching  and just prayed the medicine would do its job.
My appointment was last week. I texted a few people about it and asked them to be praying for me as I went in for my ultrasound. Before I knew it, those friends had reached out to other friends and I had several text messages, encouraging me with bible verses, songs, and prayer. My old roommates called, they prayed with me on the phone as I left for my appointment.
I wish faith was so clearly reflected
in me as the clouds are in this water.
It was nerve wracking. I started thinking research and knowing things about hormone therapy would pave my path. That the more I knew, the less I needed God’s steadfast love and intervention over me. I thought it was all about my knowledge and once again failed to understand my Father and his hand in the situation. It doesn’t matter how much research I do, how many blogs I pour over, how I try to rationalize a doctor's comments. Everything has already been decided and I still am continuously of little faith.  
After the ultrasound, my doctor left the room with no comment, no brief hint of emotion besides, I think you have a cyst on your left ovary.  When she came back into the room I truly believed that was the end. Just like that, she said my uterus had doubled in size and the lining had grown substantially. (Did I hear it right?) That everything looked good and hopefully the cyst on the left ovary caused by the hormones would go away on its own. She said I would take the estrogen a few more days and then begin gonadotropin injections (LH & FSH in the form of Menopur) to prepare follicles. That I could move onto the next step of preparing my body for pregnancy!
I wanted to jump up and down. I couldn’t call Aaron fast enough! I was (and am) more joyful than I have been in some time. I am of so little faith. I did not trust God to provide. I know that this doesn’t mean I will necessarily be able to have children, but it is a step in the right direction. Right now, I am hopeful.
#CHOCOLATE!
I began the injections Monday evening. So far, I haven’t experienced any crazy hormonal side effects; like throwing tissue boxes across the room, uncontrollably crying at doggy adoption commercials, demanding chocolate on a hourly basis (well maybe this one) or growing an extra arm. The injections do burn, but I suppose (said dramatically) I can live with that. Injections are nothing new to me. I imagine it can be somewhat of an adjustment for someone not used to being stuck with a sharp pointed object. I definitely don’t recommend it if it can be avoided.

The RE thinks it will take around 60 days to “wake up my ovaries” and spur them into creating follicles. That being said, I don’t have to wait 60 days to go back to the doctors. I will be monitored on a weekly basis with blood work and ultrasounds. Once follicles reach a proper size, we can talk about the trigger shot, IUI, IVF or natural. We are hoping for the latter. This will depend on how many follicles could implant. With my medically issues, twins aren’t really an option for me.
Little faith. Why do we fall back on thinking our own abilities are enough? Why does it take God showing up in big ways, unimaginable ways, to drive our hope and faith in him for a little while longer. I long to trust God effortlessly, not because it should be easy, but because that trust is my second nature. I have been able to watch my faith grow over the course of this journey and my self assurance lessen, but that faith still is so small compared to a mustard seed. I want to go into every future appointment just as I came out of this last one. With the unwavering belief that God is good and faithful. That my trust for him be built upon my knowledge of God and not the knowledge of the internet and my own mind. That his will become my only prayer.
He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:20

-R

Thursday, May 5, 2016

mr. ackerman

When I started this blog a few months ago, I told you that three months down the road I would begin the next piece of my journey through infertility. These months have at times seemed like years, but at others felt like seconds. I can't believe it is here!

Before I start my infertility journey with you (next week!), I want to tell you about my husband, Aaron. If you have read any portion of my blog, you have probably heard about him, weaved in and out of my stories, always there for me in the biggest ways. Aaron is the only man I have ever opened up to about my life and my health. For so long, I hid the things I felt and experienced from relationships around me because I thought I was different. I thought I was the one that no guy would marry because my medical issues would be far beyond their capacity. I think in some cases this is true. But relationships also ended because I feared I could never receive the spiritual, mental, and physical support I would need from them.

Aaron changed that for me. He is the most intentional person I have ever met. He was the first guy I felt like I could talk to about my health, the first person who understood  that even though it is a big aspect of my life, it is not the only aspect of my life. Aaron didn’t see my health problems when he looked at me; he saw a girl who loved to laugh. A girl who loved to smile and bring joy to others in doing so.



But I felt so guilty. How could I expect someone to carry my burdens with me? Yes, I wanted to get married one day, but my heart just wouldn’t let anyone in for fear of rejection, fear of myself, and fear that one day someone would just decide they couldn’t handle it anymore. What I didn’t understand was that wasn’t my choice to make. If I let someone in on my list, then it was up to them to decide if the person beyond that list was who they wanted. I had to trust that they would stay by my side. It takes a mature man to see past a list like that. Mature in their life and in their faith. A man who trusts God in all things, who can be selfless in many situations, and who can take on the burden of being my emergency contact.



I think the hardest thing for me, as for many women, to talk about was children. I couldn’t wait until Aaron fell in love with me to tell him my secret, what a geneticist had told me that shattered pieces of my future. I couldn’t hold back the fact that I may never be able to have biological children, especially when I knew how intentional Aaron was in dating me. I had to tell him early on so that he could make the choice. Before I was in deep enough to be broken by the situation. The thing is, before Aaron, I never got deep enough, so there was never a hole to climb out of. I cut things off at the first sign I thought someone couldn’t “handle” me. I never gave anyone a chance to make the decision. Maybe I should have, but then again, I think Aaron was my path all along. Something was different about Aaron, and I knew he just might be the one. So it was hard because I was already in the hole.
 
It isn’t an easy conversation, kids, especially for someone like me. Someone who had hidden her medical life from so many - but Aaron is gracious. Aaron is loving. When I told him, while sitting on the front porch, a house full of friends inside, laughing about this, that, and the other, he lowered his head and just smiled. He said, “You know Riley, I’ve always pictured myself adopting.”

I cried.

I had never let my guard down so much. I had never let myself cry in front of a man pursuing me for the purpose of marriage. I cried not because I was sad; I cried because no matter the situation, no matter the medical diagnoses, the struggles, the pain, no matter where the relationship went, I knew I could trust him to be there for me in big ways. That conversation was worth every bit of discomfort it caused in me. In that moment, every bit of fear I’d held close and every past relationship I had hidden from was melting before my eyes as this man before me began to show me he would never let me do this alone.
We’ve been walking the infertility journey since the day we were married, and in some ways, I was walking it alone long before that. I’ve said before that I’m scared of what the future holds, but I trust in the Lord to provide and give our family what it needs. I have no idea how long the physical aspects of infertility will be experienced, and I only imagine it will become harder and harder as time moves forward. I do know that it is out of my hands, and I can only give the fear, anger, anxiety, and questions to the Lord because it is only He who can withstand their weight. Not even Aaron can do that… though he tries :-)


"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30



Friday, April 29, 2016

Dry Skin, Lotion, Birch Box & More!

I'm sorry. This is a wimpy post. At least at the beginning anyways. It isn't that I'm out of things to talk about; really, I have a lot more to say to you. It's just that I expect the next month to pick up the pace a bit and there may or may not be some heavy things to write about. So out with April and into May with a pathetic writing escapade. 
Y’all (yes, I say y’all) I have dryer than dry skin. It flakes, it peels, and it cracks. It feels gritty and gross. Just ask my maid of honor about the time I used one of those Clean & Clear Oil absorbing sheets. I wiped that silky sheet all over my face, multiple times. Nothing came off, zilch, nada, negative, zero - it’s one of those things you don’t believe until you see - I totally get it, but it’s true!
I’ve read a few blogs here and there about products and the last thing I want SGH to turn into is a lip-stick adventurer, blush explorer, lotion hoarding, (I am totally a lotion hoarder), nail polish tester,  product reviewing, links everywhere blog. Don’t get me wrong, I like those blogs too!
Lotion hoarding is appropriate though, it directly relates to my medical issues; hypothyroidism and Sjogren’s syndrome to name a few.
What do you readers with dry skin use? Any suggestions, thoughts, lifesavers, tips?
I could probably just end the blog here.... Your thoughts are appreciated greatly!
In the meantime, I will mention two lotions that I have grown to like.

It's cute though, right? #origins




1. Origins Ginger Soufflé

I like this lotion, I love the smell, but I do find it a tad bit oily. This could be that my skin is so dry I am just not accustomed to any natural oils or otherwise. I really love anything ginger though! The whole set is really lovely - the oil spray is pretty light too - sometimes I actually prefer it over the lotion itself!






Because I'm weird and took a bad
photograph of my lotion...


2. CeraVe Moisturizing Cream &  Lotion

A dermatologist recommended CeraVe cream to me about 5 years ago. It definitely helps! But I feel like nothing zaps the itchiness completely and that is what I’m hoping for. I’d also love to try the CeraVe suntan lotion I’ve seen in stores. It is all pricey but probably worth it for sensitive skin issues!



Fun! Rifle Paper Co. was giving away
free "Notes" books in this box! 


Another idea I’ve bought into recently (I know, I’m behind the curve) is Birch Box. It’s nice that you can fill out your preferences, skin type etc. So far, my first box included some pretty awesome hair conditioner and leave in conditioner (I also have dry hair). I won’t complain about this however, because it allows me to go 5 days without washing it. Sometimes I can even get a workout in without washing my hair! (GROSS!) I love that part.



That is all I have for this week. We will call this "lazy blog week". I have a number of ideas to post and blogs I’ve been working on, but we are coming up on my next visit to the Reproductive Endocrinologist – I can’t believe the three months are almost up! I began this blog about three months ago! Thanks for joining this ride :-)
The next post you see from me will be about Aaron, my husband, and our story regarding our first conversation about children. If all goes as planned, I will be at the doctors the second full week of May. I won’t promise I’ll be able to write about what they tell me then, but I hope to, regardless of the outcome. Over the next two weeks, can I ask you to pray with me? To calm my nerves, to give wisdom to the doctors, for peace in decisions, and clarity for next steps?
Thank you for reading about my story thus far, I truly appreciate your texts, comments, and emails.
-Riley