Hello Ladies. I just finished a video on my youtube channel for my trying to conceive must haves, but if you’d like to read about them, then here they are.

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When my husband and I decided that 2016 would be the year we tried to start a family I was so excited. We said we’d start in the fall of 2016 and and see what happens. It took my sister over a year to get pregnant. They were actually talking to an IVF specialist when they got pregnant, so, I was not naive to think it would happen right away. When I went to my spring OBGY visit and told my doctor we were going to start trying at the end of the year, all she said was “Good Luck”. Good luck? This is one of the biggest decisions of our life and you aren’t giving us any information. I left feeling defeated and disappointed. However, at that time, I worked with a bunch of wonderful women and when I told them what happened they showered me with information. The first one being “You HAVE to read ‘Taking Charge of Your Fertility‘”. So I started to read it. This book should be read by every girl going through puberty. I almost feel embarrassed that they don’t teach us this in heath. Ugh, for 15 years I’ve been denied an education about how my own body works! So thats my first tip for any woman trying to conceive, try to avoid pregnancy, or just wants to know about her own body…read this book. You can find it here.

One thing you need for tracking your ovulation is an app and I have a feeling most women who are trying and/or just tracking their period have one. But which is best for you? My top 3 are Kindara, Period Tracker, and Ovia. I use them to not only track my period, but also ovulation, and my Basal Body Temperature. Kindara app is the best for charting for 2 reasons. 1 it’s so user friendly, and 2 you can upload your chart to the community and other women who are charting are more than happy to help you out if you have any questions. They also have  BBT thermometer that makes tracking your ovulation so simple. They pretty much take the guess work out of your ovulation cycle. You can check out the Kindara app and the wink thermometer by clicking here.

Everyone knows that taking prenatal vitamins is important when expecting, but it can be more so when you’re trying to conceive. Don’t forgot that a baby starts forming and cells start dividing right at conception. So, you want to take prenatal vitamins starting yesterday. I also started taking Milk thistle before I conceived because I did not want to get horrible boring sickness and all the research I did pointed to Milk Thistle. This is because it cleans out your liver of toxins. It worked for the most part, so I’ll keep taking it.

Yoga! Now this is personal preference, but yoga has a ton of health benefits, so why not just throw it into the trying to conceive pile. I did some research that said that Yoga helps get your blood flowing and relaxes you, and that helps with fertility. So, I’m just gonna say, “why not”.

Ovulation strips. These are nice to keep to make sure you’re really ovulating. However, some doctors question their reliability. But on the flip side, some women swear by them!

I hope these tips help on your journey to becoming a mother. Please note I am not a doctor, this is just research I have done for myself that I am sharing with you!

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“Hurry Up and Wait.” I’ve heard this expression my entire life. As a performer, rehearsals, dress rehearsals  and costume fittings can be a lot of “hurry up and wait.” My husband says that this saying should be the Army’s motto. But never has this expression made me more upset than this period of my life. Our waiting for a rainbow baby.

A rainbow baby is a baby born to a couple who has experienced loss or miscarriage. It’s the rainbow after the storm. Our storm was very difficult to navigate through, but we got there. But now, for us, we are standing in the mist, almost through, but not 100% through. We are in the process of waiting. We chart my Basal Body Temperature, we exercise, we eat healthy and we are actively trying. Then we wait 2 weeks for a positive pregnancy test…which we have yet to receive. But the waiting won’t be over when we get those 2 pink lines. Nope not for us.

 

You see, my husband and I are both carriers of a rare genetic disorder, Meckel Gruber. If passed to our children from both of us,  it will result in 100 % death either in the womb, or minutes after birth. We do have a 75% of having a very healthy baby, but unfortunately our first child had Meckel Gruber Syndrome, and passed away at 20 weeks.

So what does this mean for our next pregnancy? Well, we will have more extensive testing at 9 weeks to see if our next baby will have Meckel Gruber Syndrome. This is more waiting and more waiting. Waiting to get pregnant, and then waiting to see if that pregnancy will again result in loss has been a lot to take in. My husband says to not think about it, but I find it hard not to. I hope beyond hope that our next baby will be healthy and this waiting and worry will result in a rainbow, and the clouds will part, and the sun will shine, and we will see that rainbow we’ve been waiting for.

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Moving to a new city can be rough. I’ve done it before, but I always had a friend, and was thrust into a life of people my own age and who had my own interests. This time, moving to New York has been different. I have my husband, but you really have to make an effort to get out there and make new friends. Which, lets be honest, I haven’t done. I feel like theres this stigma behind social media and depression, like a “don’t share if your having a hard time, only share if you’re happy and everything is going well for you.” Mostly because I truly think people want to see the happy bits of life. But it can be hard, and down right depressing sometimes. I’m trying so hard to lift myself out of that depression, but something keeps happening to pull me back down. So, when I posted on Facebook I was having a hard time and could people send me their favorite NYC coffee shops, just to give me something to do, my friends did not disappoint. So I had my first coffee shop date with an old friend and I hit up some awesome fitness classes. Already I feel better and less blue.

I love a good fitness community with group classes and thats why i settled on doing a gym in Hoboken called The Fit Foundry.  Even though it’s a little different than what I’m used to doing at crossfit, the classes and instructors are awesome. I have met some great women and I hope to really get involved with the community there. (Thats me in the white, scratching my armpit)

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On Tuesday, I finally got to a silks class and even though the ceilings were lower than what I am used to, I learned so much. I had visited another place off of Lexington, but it was so far away and most of the classes I would have attended were during rush hour. So the other place I found, Body and Pole has every aerial/pole class you could ever want all day long, and I can walk there from the bus stop. Perfect!

IMG_0043Then my friend Mike was in town training for 305 Fitness and let me tell you what, whoa, what a class, what a workout! This place was awesome! I danced harder and sweated more than ever before and had a blast. If you like to dance, I highly recommend 305 Fitness.

 

This morning I met up with my friend from Orlando, Kalya and we had coffee at a place in Chelsea called Coffeed. It is such a cute place and it was so nice to catch up with her. I know Kayla because her husband, Joshian and I trained into 3 shows together almost back to back. Grinchmas, Nemo and Beetlejuice. They are such an amazing couple, but Joshian took a cruise contract and is out of the country. So Kayla and I caught up and talked about how missing your husband sucks, and how sometimes you just need a hug from them. I’m sending her lots of love and good wishes for her travels out to visit him next week. I hope to have more coffee dates with her and Joshian when he gets home, and hopefully more friends around the city.

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So, sometimes life can be lonely, but I’m proud of myself for getting out there, trying new fitness places, and meeting up with old friends. Next week should be fun as I get to visit The Met, Patek Phillipe exhibit and I’m going to see the musical “Beautiful”. Also fingers crossed and send happy thoughts that this month will be baby month! I have a good feeling. I’ll keep you updated on my Vlog.  Hope you had a happy weekend!

Ansley

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If you asked me what my childhood summer was like, this is picture would sum it pretty well. We went to go visit some friends who bought a house in the neighborhood I grew up in. My nephews started playing baseball with their Papa (my dad) while the ladies ohhhed and ahhhed over the Newkirks new puppy Rose. The sun was setting, the lighting bugs were glowing, and there was a rainbow in the sky. I know not every summer evening is as beautiful as what I described, but as I sit in my small apartment, not a blade of grass in sight, I long for all days to be like this.

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Summer, for me, as an adult was crush time. I worked many jobs, 12 hours a day, and I loved it. If I did have a night off I would have a drink with friends after work, but those were rare. The great thing was, I loved every one I worked with. I met my husband at Epcot when we headed over there after work one day for drinks at the Rose and Crown. So that was my adult summer. Work hard, play hard. 7 days a week.

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But, as a child, I remember kick ball games in the neighborhood, swimming all day in the lake or pool. Boating, dance camps, summer camps. I only hope I can give that to my kids one day. Summer days filled with family and friends and fun games all day.print_

I’m sure as we grow our memory gets skewed of visions of our past. I’m sure not every day was great. I do remember a rush to the hospital when my brother cut his chin open, multiple times during different years. But I would like to hang onto the memory of those iddilic days until they’re shattered by my own children having all day temper tantrums or what not. If only they could be like this forever.print_-10

A picture of a puppy because why not.

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Due dates can be ever changing and very rarely is your baby going to be born on the date the doctor gives you. When we first got pregnant I of course put the first date of my last period in my Ovia Fertility app and My What to Expect When You’re Expecting app and I got July 8. But, our first 9 week doctor appointment the said July 2. Then our third doctor appointment they said July 5. So we landed on July 4.

I love July 4. It’s such a fun holiday. Growing up we spent July 4 at Lake Lanier in North Ga. We loved boating, tubing, swimming and setting off fire works from the dock. As we’ve gotten older our summer vacations have been spent at Hilton Head Island. So my husband and I packed up our car, our 2 dogs and heading and started what would be a 16 hour drive from New York City to my family’s beach house.

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Not only do I get to spend time with my awesome nephews, but I also get to take some beautiful pictures of the southern shores! The sunsets can be beautiful, even on the east coast and we took advantage of the beach sunset after dinner at the beach club. I love this picture with little Harrison looking back at me!

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My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant again, and I was hoping that this trip we would find out if we were. I honestly thought I was. We went to the store and picked up a pregnancy test and I took it right away. Unfortunately it was negative and my husband held me as I cried. 2 days later I started my period so, that was that. I honestly didn’t know how I was going to handle July 4. Leading up to my due date I’ve been emotional, moody, and probably hard to be around. I struggled and had a hard time when it was upcoming, but now that it’s passed, I can focus on the next chapter of our life. I just need to stay positive and strong.

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Tomorrow is my family reunion with my moms side of the family where there will be tons of children. I always have such a fun time with my cousins and their kids. I’m looking forward to it. Then back up to New York where my husband will be starting his third rotation in his program. I can’t wait until this is finished and we find out where we will be living full time! The 6 month suspense is so hard! Happy fourth of July Week!web-16

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