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Jun 30, 2017

Summer Vacation


Hey there!
Yes, I still write words outside of my fun little home and lifestyle posts.

She Has Good Genes will be taking a blog break for the duration of summer.

I am low on inspiration to keep up with posting on a consistent basis right now.
I am pretty sure this happens a lot in blog-land, and it most certainly happens to me on a yearly basis.

Obviously last summer we were waist-deep in IVF, helping our cat recover, and keep up with daily life. It was chaotic and overwhelming and difficult to breathe at times. And I always wished we were further along with time.

But this year is much different.

Life is good for me right now.
It's funny, after you have been through a period of grieving, I think you start to focus on all the small, wonderful little details that each day has to offer...instead of rushing to the next big event.

Like how content I am to watch the rain, and smell the warm, wet asphalt, while rocking on the porch-swing.

Or how excited Burn gets when he knows we're going for another golf cart ride to the river.

And how quickly my sunflowers are growing. They are all sprouting up rapidly and most of them are still thriving.

Or how closely I can walk towards the mama deer in our back yard as she lunches on flowers.

Or how grateful I am to be able to get up as the sun rises and go for a morning run before work.

How well of a team Mark and I are. Giving each other grace as we navigate this year has been so incredibly fulfilling....from grief recovery, to the letting the dishes pile up, to our next boating adventure, to our sour moments, to holding hands through an antique store, to fixing a leaky pipe, to folding the other person's laundry, to trying to out-do each other off the diving board, to dance parties in the driveway. Every moment has been treasured.

Saying yes to road-trips to visit with relatives, and welcoming new babies to the family. There really is nothing like smelling the top of a baby's head as she sleeps in the crook of your arm.

Staying up late and watching the bats circle overhead.

Cannonball contests in the pool.

Fireworks on Lake Michigan after a jet-setting jaunt on the boat.

Taking the extra (dozen) vacation days.

Being less involved with TV shows and social media and slowing. down.

And the list can likely go on and on.

There will be plenty of fun, pretty, hilarious, and inspiring stuff in the meantime on Instagram.
I am happy to have you follow along as we relish in these fleeting summer months!

Life is 80 Summers, my dear!
Live it up!! XOXO

Jun 28, 2017

My Supplement Routine For Better Egg Quality


In my quest to max out whatever eggs I have left in the ole' baby-making reserve, I started reading It Starts With the Egg.

I was blessed with old, poorer quality eggs, which added another hurdle to our pre-existing genetic issues. We went into 2016 without any knowledge of this, so to say it was an uphill battle trying to correct what I could, was an understatement.

I took what I learned from 2016 to leverage any future cycles as best I could.

I did extensive research along with my doctor's recommendations and used these supplements on a daily basis.

Obviously nothing is guaranteed, but I feel as though I am better prepared and more knowledgeable, in general, to year's past. So I thought I would share my extensive research and supplement list with you.

(disclaimer: if undergoing infertility treatments, please clear all of this with your Dr. FIRST. The amount that works for me may not be suitable for your body.)

The best part of my obsession with research is I have done all the hard work for you.

My goal is help inform those struggling to conceive as much as possible so I linked all the supplements I use.

All are available through Amazon and if you have Prime, you'll get them in two days!
I basically live my life through Amazon Prime. 
Who doesn't love skipping the store (and those dreaded lines) and instead, have a happy box of goodies show up to their front door?

Super B Complex // Vit D // DHEA // Prenatal // CoQ 10 // Myo Inositol // Red Raspberry Leaf Tea // Vit C

Super B Complex
For antioxidant support and energy, I take one pill per day. I swear this vitamin helps perk me up each morning and keeps me healthy! I buy two containers per year and take one each day even when I'm not cycling.

Vitamin D
My nurse said I was a tad Vitamin D deficient (damn Midwestern winters!) so I was put on 4,000mg per day. I found these at Trader Joe's originally, but always forgot to buy more when I was shopping. Enter Amazon for convenience! I take one tiny pill in the morning and one when I get home.

DHEA
My doctor recommended 75mg per day to improve egg quality and I swear by it. It upped my antral follicle count from 8 to 24 over a four month span in 2016! I take two pills in the morning (25mg each) and one in the evening. Give it 3-4 months for best results.

Prenatal
Duh. I find this one most cost effective. I would always laugh when the nurse reminded me I should be taking one...um yea! I have been taking a prenatal for six freakin' years, thank you very much ;)

Ubiquinol CoQ10
Highly absorptive. The pills aren't the smallest but I like this brand because of it's high ratings. I take 600 mg per day and my husband takes 400mg per day. That's two pills in the am and one in the pm for me. This container goes quick so sometimes I buy 3-4 at a time!

Myo-Inositol
I buy this in powder form and mix it in my raspberry leaf tea. My nurse recommended 4,000mg per day for egg quality. That's just over a tsp of powder per day. It's tasteless and mixes really well. The large container I buy easily lasts for multiple cycles. Give it 3-4 months for best results.

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
I drink 8oz every morning with my handful of pills. It's what I mix my myo-inositol with. A little agave nectar and I find the taste very appealing. It's supposed to help with menstrual support because these cramps are no joke. The link gives you a package of 6 boxes, and trust me, you will go through them all within 4 months at 8oz per day.

Vitamin C
To health and happiness, right? This horse pill keeps me from getting sick. My husband pops them when he's feeling run down and they help immensely. Just one a day in the am and the container lasts almost an entire year!

One final note, I found out while doing taxes that if prescribed (or recommended) by your doctor, supplements can be written off as a medical expense (and you know these get pricey, fellow IVFers!).

Keep those receipts and be sure to get written approval or recommendations!

So best of luck! Happy supplementing and Happy Eggs!! :)
Thank you so much for reading and supporting this blog. XO

Jun 23, 2017

POOL PARTY!

Swan Float // Adult Sippy Cups // Unicorn Float // Squirt Guns // Beer Pong // Red Solo Cups // Tiki Torches //
Outdoor Lights // Sunscreen // Citronella Bucket // Flamingo Float // Kiddie Pool //  Glow Sticks // Pineapple Float

HELLO PARTY PEOPLE! Summer is in full swing and I cannot be more excited!

If there is one thing Mark and I do best...it's pool parties.
No, not those Pinterest-perfect pool parties where everything matches and the men are bored....I'm talking about the ones your friends actually want to go to!  
Here are some essentials you'll need for a rockin' good time!

Pool Floats. They are, hands down, the hit of any pool party. Adults love sipping a beer in them and kids love fighting with each other on them. My favorites this season are the swan, the unicorn, the flamingo and the pineapple, obviously.

Tip: I nearly died trying to blow these damn things up with my mouth. 
Save yourself the trouble and get a quick fill air-pump. Problem solved!

Plastic drinkware is a MUST around a pool. These margarita glasses are safe AND they save your beverage after you've had one too many. They are literally adult sippy cups. You're welcome.

Speaking of adult beverages...inflatable beer pong is likely one of the best inventions ever. Sure you could use it as a pool float, but where's the fun in that? Don't forget your red solo cups!

While you're getting sloshed in the shallow end, throw some squirt guns at the kids and tell them to spray each other, NOT the inside of your house. (not that I know from experience)

Hopefully someone is less sober than you and can remind you to apply sunscreen
Cancer is no joke, son.

I have a few uses for kiddie pools
1. The obvious...as an extra large dog bowl, duh. 
2. For beverages. I'll fill up a kiddie pool with ice and throw the beer and sunscreen in it. 
I guess kids could use them too.... :)

When the sun starts to set, the mosquito's are in full force. I like to throw a bunch of tiki torches around the pool (sexy), and put out a bunch of citronella buckets on the tables. 
You will need tiki torch fuel, and this one helps deter those pesky mosquitoes as well.

These commercial-grade outdoor lights stand the test of time. We have had them installed in our back yard for four years and not one bulb has burned out yet. Do it.

At night, string a glow stick to everyone's bathing suit so no one gets lost. 
It's not like you're seeing straight. 
I think they look pretty swell in the deep end of your pool, too.

What else would you add to the party?
Thanks for reading! XO

Jun 21, 2017

Embrace What Makes You Happy

"It's fine being weird, you should try it sometime."
I think I heard that line a thousand times while TV was advertising the new season of Detour. 

Anyways, today I have compiled a list of things that make me weirdly happy.
Complete with gifs...obviously.



The stuff that makes me happy isn't hitting up the latest it spot, or dropping a ton of money on something temporary, it's the moments (ok yes, and a few smaller purchases) in this list...and probably a million more tiny things that I can't think of right now.

Enjoy...

Zoning out while driving to/from work: I'm not talking about when you start going down the rabbit-hole of your thoughts, only to arrive at your destination and kind of spook yourself because you don't quite remember how you got there (not that I haven't done that at some point)...I'm more talking about enjoying the drive.

I can get really, really worked up about driving and traffic and all the other idiots on the road.
I can't stand people who allow too much of a gap with the car in front of them because they are texting and distracted. 
(WHY do most of them seem to be driving Toyota Corolla's? Is this a requirement when buying one?)
I can't stand slow drivers, or drivers that ride my ass when I'm already speeding.
And when I get worked up, I will likely flip out on Mark when I get home...just because I'm mad at some stupid fleeting incident.

So....I try to just zone out. I focus on the stuff around me, but not really. I take advantage of an open highway as the opportunity arises, but just sort of....cruise....when stuck in traffic.

Details...my friends...details. Zooming around one car isn't going to get me to the finish line any faster when everyone and their mom is leaving for work at the same time.

If it's summer time...the windows will be wide open....hair swirling around my head...classic rock blaring on the radio....just cruising.



Reading Research: There was a period of time, when I was commuting via train, that I could easily get lost in a non-fiction book. But most of the time, I like reading research.

I know...so cool.



But I do. I like learning everything I can about whatever it is I'm going through in life...whether it's infertility, or pregnancy, or product information, or whatever other thing has been deemed super important in my life at the time.

I like research. I was one of those read the back of the shampoo bottle people while peeing, before cell phones were a thing, and I guess the need to learn a little something here and there is fun for me.


Listening to Gangster Rap: Oh Hi. Yes, I am probably the whitest white girl ever who knows all the lyrics to nearly every rap song that came out in the 90's.
Don't care.
Because I am basically TuPac's side bitch when I'm feeling sassy.
Mark is always thrilled with this.



Cleaning an entire room at lightning speed: Sometimes the need for me to clean something is so urgent, I would rather be late from work than step on crumbs one more morning.

Again...throw on some gangster rap and this white chick knows how to get down with her mop and broom.



Pulling my glasses down my nose when speaking to people:


I used to have a lady-boss that wore glasses. Whenever she would speak to someone she would pull her glasses down a bit and look over them, and it always made her look super bitchy.

And I loved it.

Without realizing it, I started doing the same thing.
The real reason is my eyesight for distance viewing is different than my glasses Rx, but let's just pretend I'm just putting off an air about me, m'kay?

Buying the good wine: I was a cheap date. There, I said it.
I used to be perfectly happy with whatever was on the bottom shelf at Trader Joe's.
And then I went through a year of fertility treatments and had to curb my alcohol intake.
And then I was lucky enough to sample some really good wine at a friend's house...and my thinking changed.



Now, I'm not about to drop $50+ on a bottle of wine for a Tuesday, but I have definitely allowed pricier options into my life. And I don't regret it one bit.

Hell, knowing it's more expensive has even curbed my consumption in general.
I savor it a bit more.

It's a win-win for my hang-over and my wallet

Living within our means:

Total dork here. Are you seeing a trend?
I get super giddy on payday....not to hit up the bar...but to pay bills for the month and drop money into savings. HOLLA 'ATCHA, SON.

Having debt gives me more anxiety and stress than I know how to handle.
We buy the big things when we can, and wait for the smaller stuff a lot of times.
I love not giving into my every whim...because there is always the bigger, better goal ahead.



Planning and budgeting towards the good stuff is my spice of life.

*it's worth noting that the cost of IVF and when and how they require payment is outside the immediate realm of living within our means. They are making a TON of money off our need to have a baby. 

Organizing my closet by Season and Color: Enough said.


Sincerely complimenting a woman:  Not like in Mean Girls


I mean like a REAL compliment. How another woman acts, how she carries herself, what an awesome job she did, what she's wearing...WHATEVER.

You may or may not have noticed that we women kind of, sort of have to work a lot harder for EVERYTHING we do (side eye times a million)...so when I see a lady rocking what she's got...I fucking tell her.

We have to lift each other up, yada yada ya. Girl Power, bitches. :)

Painting:
I forgot how much I love to spend a little bit of time creating something beautiful. Painting has always been fun for me and I've dabbled a bit more in it from time to time. It keeps me sane and level-headed during so many times of uncertainty.



Thinking I'm using a word correctly: Mark likes to point out that I use words in places they shouldn't be used. What he doesn't know, is that a lot of times I know I'm doing it and slyly grin when I can see his blood boiling. (and also I like to think I'm always right.)

ie..."I know! All that drama! It was like a chain connection or something!"





Do something for myself: This typically equals one of three things: Spending time in a hot epsom salt bath or pool (pending the season) with a glass of wine, hitting the gym at an odd hour (in lieu of my 5am normal routine), or sitting on my ass to watch a show only I want to watch, instead of what WE want to watch (and by we, I mean Mark.)

Apparently binge-watching Fixer Upper isn't something my husband is into.
Pssshh.



Hugging my dog:
When all else fails...I do this.
Like a really big, super squeeze-y hug that makes him squirm a bit.


He gets to lick my face and I get to snuggle a huge land manatee.

What are your go-to quirky happy times?

Thanks for reading!! XO

Jun 16, 2017

Gifts for the Infertility Warrior in Your Life

So your super awesome friend confided in you that she is having difficulty conceiving.

She finally feels confident enough to share her struggle because she is looking for support, but you quickly realize you have no idea what she's talking about.

She spurts out words like IVF, transfer, embryos, genetic testing, hormones, needles, baseline, low antral follicle, male factory infertility, etc, and you are left staring wide-eyed trying to make sense of it all.

It's okay, lady...you totally don't have to get it.

We infertiles are going through Hell and back trying to make a baby with science.
We have A LOT of hormones surging through our bodies, and worries about results, and pain from procedures for many, many days.
And through it all we are hoping to God that it's all worth it in the end.

And you...because you want to help, but don't really know how?
Fear not, for I have rounded up the best the very best gift ideas designed specifically for the gal in the wait.

Water Bottle // Believe Bracelet // Stress Fix Roller // Lucky Socks // Daily Affirmation Cards
Stress Fix Salts // Pineapple T-Shirt // Book - It Starts With the Egg // Book - Art of Waiting
A water bottle seems sort of....basic, right? I mean, who needs another water bottle. But I can assure you, after going through three retrievals, and two transfers, we require a lot of water before, during, and after the procedure. Gift her a cute one that isn't made of plastic. Her ovaries will thank you.

A mantra band is all the rage these days. Why not give her something she ACTUALLY wants to wear. A dainty rose-gold bracelet with a simple phrase....Believe. Sometimes we think that Journey song was written for us. ;)

My mom gifted me two items from Aveda, this stress oil roller and these lavender soaking salts. And they are literally the best things in my life. I keep that roller in my purse and use it at least twice a day, if not more. The smell really does calm your ass down when you're waiting for the next phone call from the nurse.

Lucky socks. There are tons out there. I took the plunge and purchased the "Retrieval Day" socks and could not have been happier. Those operating rooms are fairly cold and these babies keep those tootsies warm. Warm feet = happy embryos!

Sometimes we need a little extra pep talk. This deck of daily affirmations is the perfect desk accessory for the frazzled infertile. Super cute design and thoughtful words.

There are a ton of infertility-related t-shirts out there, but I just LOVE this t-shirt because it's allowing me to represent my infertility-warrior self without attracting too much attention.
Get what I'm saying?

Finally, books. We read. A lot. And a lot of times it's about stuff that is really relevant in our lives...like our egg quality or surviving the two-week wait. I love the feel of a real book in my hands and own both It Starts With The Egg and The Art of Waiting. They were very informative and appealing during different parts of my journey and a welcome distraction as the minutes slowly ticked away.

Happy Gifting! XO

Jun 14, 2017

To the Asshat That Questioned How I Bought My Car

I belong to a very small gym in my home town.
My schedule has always been roughly the same, and because of this, I typically see the same small crowd of people in the same small gym.

I don't talk to anyone because I hate most people.
I have never been one of those people that goes to the gym for social hour.
I am there to do what I have always done; try to keep this ass in check so I can keep up with my other love; sipping cocktails.


Par for the course, there is....that guy....at the gym.
You know the one...who feels like he JUST. HAS. to chat with everyone?
He makes small talk with most of the men, and for some reason....tries to with me.


It's worth mentioning that he doesn't bother talking to ANY of the other girls that show up at the same time.....just me.

Now, I'm not trying to act snooty, but I'm 100% sure he wouldn't even glance my way if his wife was around. Based on what I have noticed, he's a dad, mid-to-upper 40's, lives in the same town as me, he's probably a coach from one of his kid's sports teams, and seems like he would talk about grilling and mowing lawns a lot.

I have nothing against the guy.
I just don't feel like interacting with people, especially when I'm huffing and puffing on the treadmill.
I wouldn't even talk much to my own husband while at the gym...so you just know this guy is way lower on the totem pole.

My (second) all-time favorite interaction with him was when he...just happened to notice....that I didn't make it to the gym for a few months over the winter.

You know, because I was on exercise restriction due to pregnancy, and then grieving my miscarriage.

So...OF COURSE....on my first day back at the gym, he makes sure to run up and grab his jacket at the same time I'm walking through the door.

LOOKS LIKE YOU TOOK A BIT OF A VACATION FROM THE GYM OVER THE HOLIDAYS?!

I stare back at him, only able to mutter.....a vacation?!



No, not exactly....and I continue to put my stuff away and ignore him.

WELL...YOU TOOK SOME TIME OFF, AND THAT MUST HAVE BEEN A NICE BREAK.

oooohhhhh buddy.....if you only knew.


I have decided this lovely conversation is over and turn to start my workout.

Now, normally if someone blows you off like that, you would take the hint that maybe they don't want to talk to you.

But NOPE...not this guy.

I have done my best to not make eye contact...because I just know eye contact leads to a quick smile (on his end), which leads to some dumb fucking conversation about, well, nothing, and does nothing but waste my time.

I mean...for the record, this guy has never even bothered to ask my name, or any other initial formalities like you would when you meet someone new.

He always just starts talking like we were in the middle of a conversation already.
I find it odd.


So, a few months ago, I purchased a newer car to drive around in.
Mark and I are....car people.
And have a soft-spot for the Italian variety.
It's our thing.
You'll never see us running around in a Honda Civic.
We like unique looking cars with a bit of an edge.
And speed, for that matter.
Mostly speed.

We make a great team, because I'm cheap as Hell, and Mark does the research to find the best car for the best deal. It's a win-win for both of us.

So, this "new" car is ten years old, but was kept in pristine condition.
I loved the color combo and the mileage, and Mark loves the engine and the mechanics.

And it's now my daily driver.
Which I also happen to drive to the gym in.
Which Asshat has noticed, as is apparent in the next string of events.

So one random Wednesday morning, a couple weeks ago, I'm dying a slow death on the stair-machine, when good ole' Mr. Shitbag literally jumps into my line of sight and just starts talking.

His presence immediately annoys me.

My music is blaring, so I pause the stairs and pull the earbud out of my ear.

uhhhh....excuse me, what were you saying?

He squints his eyes and repeats himself slowly.

...How did YOU manage to buy THAT CAR?!

I actually think lasers darted out of my eyes at that point.
What the fuck did this ass bag just say?

As I, in no-way, have a poker face, I get all pissy and reply...


What the fuck does THAT mean?
I immediately throw my hand up


told him to


then turned around and continued my work-out.

I didn't want to make a scene.
But my heart was racing at that point.
All I'm thinking is....


What....because I'm YOUNGER than him?
BECAUSE I'M A GIRL?

What does he REALLY mean by that statement?
And WHY did he feel it was necessary to say it in the FIRST PLACE?

Is it so hard to believe that a WOMAN might be capable of working, buying, and DRIVING a "man's car"?

Is it so hard to believe that I ACTUALLY might be a GOOD driver and can handle it?
Is it so hard to believe that A MAN didn't GIFT me this car?
That I'm not just borrowing it?
That I'm not showing off?

That maybe, juuuust maybe, I deserve to drive whatever the fuck I want, just like everyone else is?

The way he approached this "conversation" was so ass-backwards, I couldn't wrap my head around it.

Why not start off with, "is that your car out there?" or "I like your car."
ANYTHING that doesn't sound back-handed and undermining.


But no....that's not what happened.
So here I am , confronted with yet another envious douche-bag, that feels it's appropriate to spout his two-cents and give me a piece of his mind.

So to the ass-hat that questioned how I acquired my car?

I bought it. Because I liked it.


And that's all I have to say about that.