leni monroe at six months

I know how fast time goes when you have a newborn. But I think I forgot just how fast it really feels. It’s been years since I’ve had a new baby and these past 6 months have been some of the sweetest I’ve had. A few things about Leni right now…

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swim lessons for beau

We started Beau in swim lessons this past week. He already loves the water so I thought he’d definitely enjoy it. I was more afraid of him not listening to his teacher. He’s such a good boy, but he is wild and of course, 3 years old, so sometimes taking direction is rough.

The first lesson was my fear realized. He was so excited to swim with no floaty that he didn’t listen to anything the teacher said. At one point I had to chase him around the pool and drag him back to his class. I looked like an awesome mom to say the least! I was counting down the minutes until it was over. He got out and was so proud that he went to swim lessons because he felt so big. It was pretty sweet. Even if I was certain we’d be asked not to come back again.

We had a long talk about listening to your teacher and that he could drown in the water. So the entire next day he couldn’t stop talking about being dead if he didn’t listen to his teacher! I felt a little bad scaring him. He wasn’t that excited to go back because he thought he’d for sure be dead! But my scare tactic worked because he did so good at his next lesson. Afterward he told me he wasn’t dead and that he “listened better” to his teacher. I’m so proud of my sweet little swimmer. He is full of energy and never stops moving unless he’s sleeping. And while he wears me out and can push all my buttons, he is my quirky dream boy and I love who he is.

Hawaii part I

Last month my family and I escaped the cold and got away to Hawaii. We stayed at the Aulani Resort in Oahu and it was incredible. We swam in all the pools, rode slides and the lazy river, and had plenty of beach time. A week in Hawaii is not enough! Although I don’t think any amount of time is enough when it comes to Hawaii. It was Leni’s first vacation and she did so great. I think 3 months is a perfect age to travel with babies. Here comes an overload of photos…..

Sandy baby beach buns are what dreams are made of.

Leni didn’t actually love the beach so much. She was much more comfy hanging out in the shade by the pool. But she looked like the cutest beach babe ever.

My parents don’t even age. I’m telling you they’ve looked like this for like 20 years. She’s 55 and he’s 70……I know. what?

our family

These are some of my most cherished photos. These were taken only about a week or so after Leni was born. My dear photographer friend Angie came to our home and worked her magic, as she always does. It was the first time I had gotten ready since giving birth so I picked something nice and baggy to wear since I was basically still wearing a diaper. I can’t believe my tiny baby girl is already (almost) 5 months. I am so blessed to have two healthy children. With all the horrible things going on in the world it makes me hold a little tighter to my family. I hope you have a great weekend with those that you love.

xo, Sierra

photos: Angela Young Photography

our infertility story

I never really planned to write about our IVF experience. My hopes in sharing is to maybe help someone going through the same thing, or something similar. When I got pregnant with our first, Beau, it happened the first month I was off birth control. I just assumed it would be the same for all my children. I thought I was one of the lucky ones who never had to worry about not being able to get pregnant. When we were ready for baby number two I had it all planned out of when the baby would be born, how far apart the kids would be, the perfect plan. Month after month and still not pregnant we finally decided it was time for reproductive doctors to help us. We went to Dr. Heiner at Reproductive Care Center in Sandy. I love everyone there and would recommend it to anyone struggling with infertility.

It’s a slow process trying to get pregnant at a reproductive care center. They start out with testing the man’s sperm to make sure they’re doing their job, if that comes back ok (ours did) then they test the female on everything. Of course these are always more invasive and embarrassing. I can’t even tell you the number of doctors that have seen my business. I’ve had more vaginal ultrasounds than I ever want to have in my life. I’ve had dye shot through my fallopian tubes to make sure they weren’t blocked, an ultrasound while you’re on your period so you get to bleed all over the doctor while he checks your ovaries, hormone injections in the belly. All of it sucks, but the entire time you just think of the baby you hope will one day finally be in that uterus they keep prodding at.

While they determined my egg reserve was lower than it should be for someone my age (29 at the time), there wasn’t anything seriously wrong with us. They started us out with IUI (intrauterine insemination) Basically I take meds to up the number of eggs I release, like Clomid or Femara. Then they inject me with a concentrated dose of Blake’s sperm on the exact day I ovulate. You wait two weeks and pray it worked. We did this twice with no luck. Each time it didn’t work we were crushed and saw another month wasted. Time, money, Beau’s chance for a sibling, all of it gone. I even added in hormone shots and still nothing.

Blake and I were debating with doing one last IUI before moving on to IVF, or if we just skip IUI altogether and go straight to IVF. If we tried IUI one last time and it failed it’s like throwing hundreds and hundreds of dollars in the toilet. Plus the heartbreak of another failed attempt. We weren’t hopeful for it working. But after so much talking, going back and forth, and lots of prayer we decided to try IUI one last time. Right before my insemination they did yet another ultrasound only to find that my hormone shots overstimulated me and I couldn’t do the procedure. We were devastated. A complete waste of time, money, and meds. I cried all the way home.

That night my doctor called to see how I was, and if I would be interested in doing IVF the next day! He explained that while I had too many eggs releasing for insemination, he could take them out and do IVF instead. When things like this happen IVF is half the normal cost. We were beyond thrilled and knew this was an answered prayer. Had we decided to go straight to IVF we wouldn’t have saved so much money and my body from being injected with quadruple the hormones. The next day they were able to retrieve 6 eggs. After they fertilized them only 3 survived. When we went in a few days later we were told that our 3 embryos didn’t look great and to not get our hopes up. Once again we felt defeated and overwhelmed with sadness. They told us to come back in two days and see how they were doing. It was a long, sad two days of zero expectations and thinking we had just wasted thousands of dollars and would have to start all over again. Two days later we received a call that we had one embryo that survived and was ready to be implanted. Our doctor was very optimistic and gave us a 50% chance of getting pregnant! Our sweet, tiny embryo was implanted on Jan 10, 2017 and two weeks later found out I was pregnant.

We didn’t find out the gender until the birth which was an amazing surprise. Our sweet baby girl was our little miracle embryo that had survived even when doctors thought she wouldn’t. It was worth all the pain and heartbreak we went through for over a year. She was worth everything. I often hear tragic stories of infertility, miscarriage, or loss of a newborn and feel grateful that my experience wasn’t worse. So many couples go through far more than we did, and my heart breaks for them. For us this was the biggest trial we’ve yet had to face. But we got through it with support of family, friends, doctors, and Christ.

happy valentine’s day

Valentine edited-5

I have always loved Valentine’s day, but sure love it even more now that I have 3 Valentine’s of my own! These two really love each other, even if he loves a little too hard sometimes. I love a holiday where you can eat all the chocolate you want and celebrate love. Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you’re spending it with those you love most.

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before there were four

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So much has happened since I was blogging regularly. At the time I took a break I really needed it, however looking back I wish I would have kept going. Mostly because while it felt like I couldn’t write because I was in this horrible place. I think I could have maybe helped someone else going through the same thing. I have been working on this blog for almost 2 years. I felt like it was finally starting to get a little traction with people wanting to collaborate, and working on fun projects with different small companies. It was time consuming and hard work (blogging is so much more work than most people, including me thought!) but I loved it so much! And then when it felt like life got so overwhelming and painful with what we were going through I just stopped. I’m going to share in my next post details of everything and hopefully someone may just find it helpful or hopeful in some way.

These photos were some of the last ones of the three of us before we had baby girl. I’m so beyond grateful to be our family of four. But I will always cherish when it was just us three. Before Beau got his whole world flipped and had to share the spotlight!

welcome back, sierra

I haven’t blogged in ages. And for a while I didn’t even miss it. Life got so hard and stressful (I’ll get into this later…) that I just shut everything off. I went off everything social media related because I couldn’t deal with it or be distracted by it. I was doing too much comparing, too much feeling negative, and too much wishing I were someone else. Now that things have settled down I started to miss it. Everyone and their dog has a blog now, I swear. And I think it’s great! There is always room for everyone to share their story. I have nothing to prove. I’m not worried about followers and likes. Although I love both of those things, my perspective has just changed now. I tend to be more of a private person, but there are lots of things I want to share that may help others. Like our experience with infertility and IVF, my own struggles with body dysmorphia and eating issues, and OCD that used to drastically affect my everyday life. Plus I want to share lots of photos of my beautiful babies! Maybe even Leni’s birth story? So here’s to actually continuing on this blog I started years ago. I hope you enjoy. IMG_0669

happy baby days

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I couldn’t help but show these photos of my sweet big boy. He was particularly sweet and kept giving me huge smiles and giggles. Plus I just loved his outfit. Somedays his outfits come together just right and I can’t get enough. Most of this outfit is too small for him but I keep putting him in it because the shorts just get shorter, and I love a baby showing lots of thigh.

I haven’t been blogging lately, but we have been having lots of fun enjoying time outside while its been warm. We can’t wait for summer so we can swim every day and show baby thighs all summer long. Although summer coming means this boy will be three years old and I’m not quite ready for that yet.