How to Get over a Breakup

0

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I love. Please read my full disclosure here for more information.

We’ve all been there.

Whether the breakup came out of nowhere or we saw it coming a mile away, whether we initiated the breakup or not, breakups still inflict tremendous pain and suffering.

And yet, even though this is one of life’s darkest moments, it is also one of life’s greatest opportunities for growth.

In this article, I’m going to explain how to get over a breakup – the right way!

Here we go…

1) Do not contact.

This is the most difficult – and yet the most important – rule for breakup recovery!

There are several reasons for this.

First of all, it allows you both to contemplate the causes for the breakup. Sometimes, you were not given a reason by the other person, and this is the most heart-wrenching situation of all. Nevertheless, it is good to ponder and to examine your own behavior.

Second of all, it gives you both a chance to miss each other and see if the relationship has any potential for reconciliation. It gives the initiator of the breakup a chance to contemplate the decision – and gives room for regret.

Third of all, it preserves your dignity. The most pathetic thing in the world is begging someone else to love you and give you attention. You deserve more than that!

The next question that arises is – when should I break no-contact? If you were not the initiator of the breakup, it is critical that you are not the one to break no-contact. Let the other person approach you.

Let me repeat that.

If you were not the initiator of the breakup, it is critical that you are not the one to break no-contact.

As agonizing as it is to stare at your iPhone hour after hour, day after day, hoping for a text from the other person, it is vital that you do not break this cardinal rule of breakup recovery.

I’d recommend a great book about this topic, Ignore the Guy, Get the Guy: The Art of No Contact, by Leslie Braswell and Brittany Goodwin (see below). This book is short but packed with great tidbits and breakup encouragement.

2) Exercise

Exercise is a terrific outlet for stress and will help you get over the breakup. Not only does it allow you to work out much of the tension stored in your body (especially in your muscles), but it also triggers the release of endorphins – our “feel good” hormones.

It also helps you get in shape in order to attract your next relationship, which may come along sooner than you think!

3) Delete the other person from your social media.

This rule is controversial.

You may say, “But this is my only way to keep tabs on this person, especially if I’m not contacting him or her!”

It is still very important to de-friend and unfollow the person on social media.

Why?

First of all, you will constantly be tempted to check his or her Facebook or Instagram page. This makes no-contact much more difficult.

Second of all, it also makes moving on impossible. You are not in the correct frame of mind to attract another (likely better!) partner if your mind is filled with thoughts of the other person. You need to clear this person out of your mind, and constantly seeing his or her posts on social media will sabotage those efforts.

Third of all, if you want the other person back, you need to keep him or her guessing about what you are up to. Mystery is a powerful attractant.

Fourth, the last thing you need right now is to see pictures of the other person with a new partner filling up your newsfeed. Talk about heartbreak!

4) Socialize.

I’m asking you to do quite a lot of difficult things!

Socializing is the last thing you want to do after a difficult breakup.

Yet, it is one of the most important to help you get over the breakup!

Even if you don’t feel like doing this, it is vitally important that you “put yourself back out there.” Force yourself. DO IT AFRAID.

Even if you do not meet a new love interest immediately, you will in time – and will also quickly make new friends, which will take your mind off unpleasant things.

5) Date again ASAP.

This one is also controversial!

But bear with me…

Many, many people have met the love of their life shortly after a brutal breakup. (I’m one of them!)

If you have examined your own behavior prior to the breakup, and do not feel you need to work on any major issues in your own life (such as alcoholism, for instance), please do NOT turn down a date with a new person just because you are mourning the loss of the old relationship.

You have to look out for yourself and remember that the initiator of the breakup is probably dating again too. Why should you stay at home eating ice cream and crying over them – when they are probably out having a grand time with someone else?

Also, if you have any aspirations to re-attract the initiator of the breakup, you must appear in demand. There’s a wonderful book about dating – The Rules by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider – which I’d wholeheartedly recommend. It’s a classic! This book (link below) will also show you how to date properly next time, so as to better protect yourself in the next relationship.

6) Take a Big Trip if you can.

You must enjoy life during this difficult time.

Taking a big trip is a fabulous idea!

Go with a friend if you must.

Planning the trip will give you something fun into which you can invest your energies. It will keep your mind off the other person. The cherry on top is that you will be making memories to last a lifetime!

Taking big, once-in-a-lifetime trips is not something you can do very easily once you are married, so you need to do this while you are single. Trust me on this one!

7) Invest in self care.

Now is the time to get that massage, pedicure, etc. you have always wanted. Go shopping at your favorite store. Go to that football game. A breakup, even if it is amicable on both sides, is traumatic; now is the time to pamper yourself. The goal is to feel good. This places you in the correct frame of mind to move forward from the relationship and get over the breakup.

8) Start a new project.

The goal here is to begin a project that you are passionate about – something that you have been wanting to start for a long time but have been putting off for whatever reason.

Start a blog, write a book, start your own business.

These types of projects will give you something positive on which to focus your energies and emotions. They are also things that are much harder to do (although not impossible) if you are dating or married.

ONE FINAL WORD…

Many people follow the rules above after a breakup and eventually get back together with the person who broke up with them or with whom they broke up.

These rules give you both some space. But the most important thing is – you first have to let the other person go. If they come back to you, then you know it was meant to be.

If not – there is always someone better suited for you out there.

Top 5 Self Help Books of All Time!

0

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I love. Please read my full disclosure here for more information.

We all love a good self-help book! They help us to organize our lives and motivate us toward greater success in all areas, including love, career, and finance!

Once in a while, you stumble across a self-help book which completely changes your world view and impacts your life in ways you could not have imagined.

In this post, I’m going to detail my top 5 self help books of all time, books which have opened my mind and caused me to question conventional thinking.

1) How to Win Friends and Influence People

This was the first self-help book I ever read. It is iconic for a reason. Probably the most jolting (and most important!) takeaway from this book is that most people do not care about you – they care about themselves. This book shows how to achieve success in all areas of life by recognizing this fact. For example, when having a conversation with someone, you will establish more rapport (and achieve more leverage) by taking an active interest in the other person and his or her life. Use the other person’s first name (if appropriate); a person’s own name is the most beautiful sound in the world to him or her. Smile. Allow the other person to save face if a mistake is made (we are all human!). Be a good listener. Many public figures praise this book for teaching them the people skills which enabled their rise to the top. Dale Carnegie is the author.

2) The Rules

In the age of feminism, this one is controversial. However, it is time-tested, and it works! In a nutshell, this book demonstrates, through numerous anecdotes and observations to which all women can relate, the ancient truth that men like to hunt. Men are also visual creatures; a slim figure and long wavy hair are two of the most potent mating calls to men. These features may not win a man’s heart, but they will draw him over to you for a conversation. He will never have a chance to fall in love with your loving heart, brilliant mind, or winsome wit if he is not first visually attracted to you! These are harsh truths, but truths nevertheless. For years, I had impeccable makeup. However, I never attracted dates until I lost weight and grew my hair long. In addition, men flock to sought-after women; despite what politically correct talking points proclaim, relationships do have a better chance of long-lasting success if the man pursues the woman first. This book is also a potent protection for women against dead-end relationships; if a man does not want to work hard for it, he was not that attracted to you to begin with (and the relationship has no potential)! The Rules was co-authored by Sherrie Schneider and Ellen Fein.

3) Wheat Belly

This book revolutionized my health 9 years ago. It helped me drop around 30 pounds within a few months and keep it off for a very long time. Packed with eye-opening information about the food industry, it reiterates that the bread we are eating today is not the same bread that our parents ate. Instead, it is genetically modified poison, and it is probably what is making us all fat. By eliminating or, at the very least, minimizing sugar and wheat products, losing weight is far easier. It demonstrates that the best diet for human beings is one rich in lean meats, vegetables, and fruit (in moderation). This book was written by Dr. William Davis.

4) The Secret

Although I’m not fully decided on all the tenets of this book, I’ve included it on the list because it has truly revolutionized my appreciation of the power of positive thinking. This book proposes many intriguing metaphysical principles, including assertions that thoughts impact reality on a strictly material level. While I cannot attest to that on a scientific basis, I do believe, when we have a vision in our minds as to the life we crave, and we cling to that vision, we are subconsciously arranging our actions to align with that goal, thereby increasing our chances of bringing that dream into existence. What we think and speak does have profound implications upon our lives. Even the Bible argues this fact. What we fear most is what often appears in our lives, and this book demonstrates why that is the case. This book is written by Rhonda Byrne.

5) Rich Dad, Poor Dad

I’m ending this blog post with perhaps the most explosive book in the bunch – and the only finance book. We’ve all heard the conventional, often-parroted wisdom for all high school and college graduates. Go to college, graduate school, and beyond. Find a good company to work for. Save as if your life depended on it. Work hard so that you will have a lot of money when you retire, and then you’ll have money to burn during your 10-15 year retirement before you die. We’ve all heard it. Robert Kiyosaki (the author) shatters these cliches. He shares the secrets of the ultra-rich – the “rich dads.” Among the countless provocative revelations in his book, he contends that the rich buy assets, not liabilities. Liabilities are purchases that quickly depreciate in value – such as clothes, luxury cars, golf clubs, etc. Assets are purchases that continue to make money over time, such as rental properties, stock, bonds, or intellectual property (royalties). He has some fascinating critiques about education. He does not disparage college, but he believes that advanced education as a whole creates debt slaves (a fact!) and should encourage entrepreneurship. I only wish I’d read this book in my early 20’s. I would probably be a millionaire by now – but it’s never too late to apply these concepts!

Pumping at Work Tips (How-to Guide and Must Haves!)

3

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links and codes, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links and codes, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I love. Please read my full disclosure here for more information.

INTRODUCTION

Breastfeeding (if one chooses to do so) is one of the most challenging – but rewarding – aspects of motherhood.

For full-time working mothers, pumping is a dreaded necessity. It is essential in order to maintain supply while women are away from their babies.

It is also important to note that employers are legally required to allow mothers reasonable time to pump while at work – in a private space other than a bathroom – for one year following delivery.

I’m going to compose a step-by-step guide for pumping at work!

TIMING / FREQUENCY

You will need to pump – on average – at the same intervals (more or less) as you would normally breastfeed your baby. My first pump session was usually between 9-10 a.m., the second was during the lunch break, and the third was usually between 4-5 when I was wrapping up my work for the day.

LENGTH OF PUMP TIME

This varies from woman to woman. Some (lucky!) women are able to pump quite quickly – in as little as 10 minutes. For others, it takes longer for the milk to flow and for their breasts to empty fully. Personally, it took me 30 minutes (including setup and cleanup) to pump each session.

METHOD

A pumping bra (allowing mom to remain hands-free) is essential in order to complete work tasks while breastfeeding. Multitasking is key! It will help you avoid that rising feeling of panic that comes from getting behind on work while pumping.

STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

1) In the morning…place each phalange (with attached parts) in a separate gallon size ziploc plastic bag. You will place these 2 plastic bags in your breast pump bag, along with a sharpie pen, breast milk bags, and your breast pump + cord.

2) When you are ready to pump…attach each phalange to each breast via hands-free pumping bra.

3) Pump!

4) When finished, you will need to pour the milk collected into the pre-sterilized milk bags stored in your pump bag; you will use the sharpie to label the time, date, and amount of milk pumped.

5) Store milk in a refrigerator.

6) Clean pump parts (suggestions for this below).

7) Repeat at next pump.

8) When done for the day, take milk and pumping bag (containing pump parts) home, and immediately store milk in the freezer upon arrival.

9) Clean pump parts thoroughly with Dawn and water; allow to air dry on a paper towel or drying rack overnight.

CLEANING

This is probably one of the most challenging aspects of pumping at work. For many, who have only a cubicle for their work space, finding a place to wash (and dry) pump parts is daunting. It takes time to wash pump parts, and finding a place to allow them to air dry can be difficult as well.

When I was pumping, I used to place my pump parts in a plastic bag in the refrigerator in between pumps in order to avoid washing pump parts between pump sessions. Although I did this successfully with no issues for both my children, the CDC now recommends washing between sessions regardless. Therefore, I do recommend washing the parts between sessions, per official health agency recommendations, in order to avoid bacterial contamination. The quickest way to do this is to employ special breast pump part cleaning wipes (more on this below, in my “Recommended Products” section).

RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS

1) Baby Buddha Breast Pump – I used Spectra for pumping with my first child since it’s one of the pumps which most insurance plans cover. With my second child, however, I used the Baby Buddha Breast Pump. It was a complete game changer – it helps with portability, milk output, increasing supply, and hands-free pumping. I was able to dramatically increase my pumping output at work with this pump! Plus, the pump itself is the size of an iPhone and hangs around your neck with a strap. It is not covered by insurance, but it is worth every penny! (Often times, you get what you pay for, and this is certainly the case here!) Although this pump is listed at $249.99 on the website, it is often on sale for $189.99. You can get a 10% discount when purchasing this pump at the website with this code – MAKEUPDIVA10. Please read my full review here.

Baby Buddha Breast Pump

2) Hands Free Pumping Bra – As stated above, a hands-free pumping bra is a must-have for pumping at work. It allows multitasking in a way which is impossible otherwise. I personally used the hands-free pumping bra from Motherhood Maternity (featured below).

3) Cleaning Wipes – Obviously, cleaning with Dawn and water is ideal, but, if time and space are lacking, these quick cleaning wipes from Medela are a Godsend! I also love cleaning baby toys with this as well.

4) Breast Milk Bags – These milk bags from Lansinoh are iconic, and for good reason. They rarely leak or burst, and they are easy to use. It’s not recommended to store more than 180 mL of milk in these bags.

5) Pump Bag – Having a good pump bag is essential. It allows you to store your pump and parts, as well as accessories such as breast milk bags and “the sharpie.” I used this one below, and it served me well.

6) Milk Storage Bag – While some pump bags (such as above), do contain a compartment for breast milk, some don’t (in which case you will need to find one such as below).

Hope this was helpful!

Related: Baby Buddha Portable Breast Pump Review (with 10% Special Discount Code!)

Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Look

1

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a small commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I love. Please read my full disclosure here for more information.

Charlotte Tilbury has become the face of feminine sophistication and catwalk glamour! As “makeup artist to the stars,” she has perfected this magical combination. Her makeup comes with a hefty price tag, but, in most cases, it is 100% worth it!

I have created a Charlotte Tilbury look below! While not every product used in the look is from Charlotte Tilbury, it does feature many of her most iconic creations, particularly in the “Pillow Talk” line:

Foundation: Tarte BB Tinted Treatment 12-hour Primer (Shade “Fair”)

Powder: Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder (Shade “Fair”)

Blush: Charlotte Tilbury Blush (Shade “Pillow Talk”)

Undereye Concealer: Anastasia Beverly Hills Magic Touch Concealer (Shade 1)

Lipliner: Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Lip Liner (Shade “Pillow Talk”)

Lipstick: Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick (Shade “Pillow Talk”)

Eyeshadow (Lid): “Rose Gold” shade topped with “Sparkle” shade (from the Charlotte Tilbury “Exaggereyes” Palette)

Eyeshadow (Outer Lid + Crease): “Red Brown” shade (from the Charlotte Tilbury “Exaggereyes” Palette)

Eyeshadow (Brow Bone + Inner Corner): “Ivory Cream” shade (from the Charlotte Tilbury “Exaggereyes” Palette)

Eyeliner: Charlotte Tilbury Rock ‘N’ Kohl Eyeliner Pencil (Shade “Barbarella Brown”)

Brow: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Pomade (Shade “Medium Brown”)

I hope you have enjoyed this look! As Charlotte would say, have a wonderful day, DARLINGS!

Charlotte Tilbury

Best Hair Tool for Fine Hair – Revlon One Step Volumizer and Styler!

0

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a small commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I love. Please read my full disclosure here for more information.

I don’t know about some of you, but I have always struggled with my hair! Makeup is my expertise, but hair is my Achilles heel. I’m that girl who will watch over 100 “easy bun” tutorials but who is never able to actually construct the bun – mostly due to my fine hair. (The bun usually ends up looking like a rat’s nest!)

All that changed 2 months ago when I found this life-changing product!

The Revlon One Step Volumizer and Styler is a one-stop-shop device – by far, the best styling tool for fine hair.

It simultaneously dries and styles the hair. The ease of this product is what is so impressive – it practically styles itself into a Kate Middleton style blowout!

I’ve illustrated in the pics below how I like to do this.

First, I recommend holding the styler as close to the root as possible and drying for several seconds before pulling the brush straight upwards through the hair to the tips (see below); you will employ this technique all the way around your head. This adds lift and volume! See sequence below:

The final (and most important!) step is to take a front section of hair and wrap it forward over the styler – this adds those lovely waves which frame the face. See this step below:

Below is a before-and-after which shows the final product:

And, just to demonstrate that this sort of result is not a fluke, I’m including a second before-and-after pic:

Until next time!

3 Naked 3 Mini Looks (Plus Review!)

1

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a small commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I love. Please read my full disclosure here for more information.

As a mega-fan of the Original “Naked 3” Palette from Urban Decay, I was thrilled to hear about the “Naked 3 Mini” – and it has not disappointed me!

This little gem of a palette is compact – in fact, it could fit in your pocket! Thus, it is a perfect palette to pack while traveling:

These colors are in the rose gold family similar to the original “Naked 3” shades; however, these shades are unique enough to differentiate them from the namesake palette.

SHADES:

  1. “Glassy” – This shade is a gorgeous champagne, which is ideal for placement on the browbone or the inner corner. It is also perfect as an all-over wash to the lid.
  2. “Public” – Stunning rose gold. There are no words to describe the beauty of this shade. It provides subtle glitter, with no chunkiness.
  3. “Laced Up” – Matte dusty rose. This color is the quintessential crease shade.
  4. “Stolen” – Shimmering dusty rose; ideal for lid application.
  5. “Right Time” – Dusty purple/mauve; excellent for crease application.
  6. “Spiced” – Very deep eggplant purple shade with pinkish sparkling specks. This shade dials up the drama and anchors the palette. It is perhaps the most versatile – as a liner, deep crease shade, or suitable lid color on a date night.

I have 3 separate looks utilizing this remarkable palette:

LOOK #1

LOOK #2

LOOK #3

Related:

5 Urban Decay Naked 1 Looks

5 Urban Decay Naked 2 Looks

Urban Decay Naked 3 Review

5 Urban Decay Naked 3 Looks

Urban Decay Naked Basics Review

Best Portable Breast Pump Review (with 10% Special Discount Code!)

3
Baby Buddha Portable Breast Pump

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links and codes, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links and codes, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I love. Please read my full disclosure here for more information.

If you are a mother who has been following the baby formula shortage on the news, you have undoubtedly been struck with compassion for those affected.

Although many women are unable to breastfeed (for multiple reasons), it is more important than ever that those who are able to do so receive the support they need.

I strongly believe that the Baby Buddha portable breast pump is one such critical tool for nursing mothers.

It is the best portable breast pump – and the best breast pump PERIOD.

As a currently breastfeeding working mom, I can affirm that an excellent pump is absolutely crucial for success. For many of us, work demands limit us to a brief 15 minute window to pump; suction must be strong in order to maximize milk output and to minimize pumping time. A huge plus is portability, especially for those of us with an older child to tend as well.

Before I launch into my explanation for how the Baby Buddha fulfills both of these vital criteria, I would like to share my own breastfeeding journey.

With my first pregnancy, I was determined to breastfeed. I knew so much about the benefits to the baby. However, as with many first time mothers, my nursing journey had a rocky start. My first child did not latch, and I was forced to resort to a standard insurance-covered pump, the Spectra, and to supplement with formula. My milk output did not accelerate as I had expected, and I was disappointed. The Spectra simply did not extract the milk I needed; my body definitely seemed to recognize the difference between a baby and a pump! At 3 weeks old, however, my firstborn finally learned to latch, a development that rescued my milk supply. I was able to establish a respectable (although not bountiful) freezer stash, which allowed me to breastfeed my son until 14 months.

Fast forward to my second pregnancy…this time, I researched pump options extensively. More and more, I was contemplating the need for portability, as I would now have a 2-year-old to chase around the house in addition to the newborn. Sifting through the pump options covered by my insurance, I was less than enthused. There were rumors that most of the other portable pump options on the market have weak suction.

After researching YouTube videos, I decided to give the Baby Buddha a whirl.

Listed below are some standard facts about this beautiful little gem of a pump:

1) Size and Portability – The Baby Buddha is a small pump, the size of an iPhone, attached to a strap which you can hang around your neck. The lightness of it allows a pumping mother, when the pump parts are secured in place by a pumping bra, to fold clothes, put away clean dishes, care for an older child, and complete numerous other household chores while pumping. This is essential, and it made life far easier than when I was pumping for my first child. The small size of it also allows for easier storage in a pump bag.

I’m including a picture below (obtained from the Baby Buddha website) of the complete setup:

2) Versatility with Pump Parts from other Brands – One other huge plus of the Baby Buddha is that you can attach the pump parts from another standard (free and insurance-covered) pump to the Baby Buddha. For instance, I used the Spectra pump parts with my Baby Buddha, and it worked like a dream. I simply attached the Baby Buddha tubing directly onto the Spectra parts. The Baby Buddha website actually includes some neat little infographics (see example below) about how to attach parts from the most common breast pumps (Spectra, Medela, Ameda, Evenflo) to the Baby Buddha. Although the Baby Buddha website offers its own pump parts, I much preferred to attach the pump to my Spectra parts, with which I was most familiar. This pump can also attach to Freemie cups.

Spectra pump parts attached to Baby Buddha pump

3) Powerful Suction – It is not an exaggeration to assert that I obtained twice as much milk from the Baby Buddha, especially during the first few months when milk production often peaks naturally. This soon led to an enormous freezer milk stash, such as I had only seen on Pinterest or heard about (with envy) from over-producing moms. I could not believe it. With my first child, I had a decent stash – but nothing like this wealth of breast milk! It became a bit of a joke in our family – I was able to fill our freezer to brim as well as that of my parents-in-law. I produced so much breast milk that my in-laws told me not to bring any more milk since they did not have any more room in their freezer! Ha! Truly – it was and is a wonderful problem to have.

This is exactly what my freezer looks like!

A few other thoughts…

This breast pump, while not quiet, is certainly not loud either.

The only 2 drawbacks to this pump…

  • I did seem to have to replace the pump parts more frequently; the strong suction of the pump seemed to wear out my Spectra parts sooner. However, I did not have to replace them more than once per month, and that is actually the official recommendation for pump part replacement.
  • I personally did not care for the Baby Buddha pump parts (flanges, etc.). I would recommend attaching the Baby Buddha pump to those pump parts for which you are most familiar.
  • This pump is usually not covered by insurance. However, an application for insurance coverage is provided on the website here; prescription is required.

OVERALL…

This pump, quite simply, changed my breastfeeding journey. I wish I had had this pump during my first pregnancy. This pump will fill your freezer in no time!

DISCOUNT CODE

  • Although this pump is listed at $249.99 on the website, it is often on sale for $189.99. You can get a 10% discount when purchasing this pump at the website with this code – MAKEUPDIVA10. Simply enter the code MAKEUPDIVA10 at checkout.*

*Please note this discount code can be applied to the Baby Buddha pump itself, not the Baby Buddha pump parts.

Related: Pumping at Work Tips (How-to Guide and Must Haves!)

Now Available on Audible.com!

2

My Revolutionary War novel, Cadence to Glory, is now available in audiobook format on Audible.com! (Link included below)

Special thanks to Catherine Odom Lewis, my friend and narrator!

https://www.audible.com/pd/Cadence-to-Glory-Audiobook/B07WZQ8RS9?qid=1653163341&sr=1-1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=83218cca-c308-412f-bfcf-90198b687a2f&pf_rd_r=CGFXB8N2SY6ZESBV091A

Our Molar Pregnancy Story

4

Our first pregnancy began as most such happy journeys begin.

I vividly remember my heart’s flutterings as the second line slowly emerged on the pregnancy test, in the early Saturday morning hours while my husband still slept.

We had been trying to conceive for 2 months. I had approached our attempt at pregnancy with some apprehension, as my mother had struggled with 10 years of infertility and I had long feared to share her fate.

You can well imagine, therefore, my disbelief and subsequent euphoria to behold the positive pregnancy test on my bathroom vanity.

I screamed, “I’m pregnant!” My husband, roused from sleep by my exclamation, rushed into the bathroom and hugged me; we both wept for joy. This revelation was followed by a flurry of Pinterest-worthy pregnancy announcements to our parents and relatives. This would be the first grandchild on both sides, a longed-for prospect.

Our first ultrasound appointment was met with a small amount of trepidation, but all doubts were silenced by the cheerful ultrasound technician, who exclaimed, “We have a heartbeat!” We paid less attention to her subsequent statement: “The baby is a little on the small side. It’s measuring 6 weeks, when it should measure 8 weeks. You probably ovulated late.” This seemingly innocent remark would later assume ominous overtones in retrospect.

I felt exceedingly well. I counted myself fortunate to have avoided the dreaded morning sickness suffered by so many expectant mothers and deduced that all must be well. We were so confident in the success of this textbook pregnancy that, at 11 weeks, we proceeded to post a social media announcement, featuring our dog standing in front of a sign which read the following: “Mom and Dad are getting me a human for Christmas!” We spent hours coaxing our puppy into the proper position for the perfect shot. We gleefully posted it on Facebook, basking in the subsequent flood of well wishes.

Our 12 week appointment arrived. Given my lack of symptoms, I was so convinced that all was well that I gave my husband permission to miss the appointment. I invited my mother-in-law instead, who wished to hear the baby’s heartbeat. The seminal moment arrived, and we followed the same cheerful technician into the ultrasound suite. I waited with bated breath to hear my angel’s heartbeat once again.

This time, instead of rapid-fire reassurances, an eerie silence cloaked the dark room. The ultrasound technician finally uttered in hoarse tones, “I should see arms and legs by now.” She switched the ultrasound mode from transabdominal to transvaginal. She quietly asked, “Have you had any spotting?” I whispered, “No, I haven’t.”

The silence in the room deepened. My mind began to race as the unthinkable took shape.

The technician ultimately shook her head and bemoaned, “I am so sorry; I cannot find any cardiac activity.”

I was never before – and have never since – been so utterly crushed as in that moment. The ultrasound suite was a tomb, where my dearest dreams – past, present, and future – were buried.

I underwent a D&C, and subsequent test results revealed our baby had been a boy. We also learned that he was the product of a molar pregnancy. A molar pregnancy is a fluke of nature, 1 in 1000 pregnancies. It most often occurs when 2 sperm fertilize the same egg, leading to a non-viable fetus. It carries more danger than an average miscarriage as there is a small risk of cancer (gestational trophoblastic disease, or choriocarcinoma). In a cruel twist, I not only mourned the loss of my baby but now faced the potential specter of cancer.

As is custom in molar pregnancies, we were instructed to wait a set number of months to conceive again, to ensure that my HCG level dropped to zero – and remained there.

During those months, I wrestled with demons of jealousy. Seeing other young mothers around me was a daily torment. Through tears, I smiled for them. I could hardly bear to see young children, as thoughts of my little lost love were all-consuming. I wondered if this mystical gift of motherhood would ever visit me again. Looking back, I am not proud of my emotions during that bleak period, but they were natural and unavoidable. Even then, I realized that only a second pregnancy had the power to cure this bitterness.

I marked the day on my calendar when this agonizing wait would end and met that day with caution, hardly daring to hope.

Two months later, I had another positive pregnancy test. And yet, this result was received with far greater forbearance and gravity. No Pinterest-worthy announcements this time; in fact, no announcements at all.

Each doctor’s appointment provoked intense anxiety, and I came as close to a panic attack as I ever have at my 8 week visit, when I was again forced to enter the dark room of death, as I saw it then – the ultrasound suite. This time, the technician reassured me that the baby was measuring 7 weeks and 4 days – consistent with expected size.

Each doctor’s appointment allayed my fears by small increments. Only at the anatomy scan, when my baby’s organs were painstakingly examined and pronounced to be free from defect, did I begin to relax and somewhat enjoy the journey.

Our firstborn, a healthy baby boy, arrived on July 27, 2019.

Our second son was born two years later.

Our great trial taught us many lessons. Only in the rain can we begin to appreciate the sunshine that follows. God taught us the value of trusting Him. Particularly inspiring was the song, “By Faith,” by Keith and Kristyn Getty; it was our theme song, our ballad of faith, during those dark days.

We named our molar baby, “Andrew.”

Even though the lyrical laughter of children and the patter of small feet infuse our home with warmth and delight today, we will never forget Andrew.

We know we will meet him again one day.

To all women who have suffered pregnancy loss, and particularly to those who have endured the protracted nightmare that is a molar pregnancy, we hope our story inspires hope for brighter days. You are not alone.

Homecoming/Prom Makeup Look!

0

It’s that time of year again!

Below, I have created a sample (universally flattering) homecoming/prom look for high school girls.  Special thanks to my lovely cousin, Madison Pinke, for serving as my model!  🙂

Before (left) and After (right)

 

FACE PRODUCTS USED

Foundation — Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1

Powder — Coty Airspun Powder in “Naturally Neutral”

Blush — Bobbi Brown “Pale Pink”

Contouring Powder — Inglot HD Sculpting Powder 504

Highlighter — Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in “Champagne Pop”

Undereye Concealer — Mac Studio Correct and Conceal Duo in “Pale Pink / Pale Yellow”

Lipstick — Sephora Luster Matte Long-Wear Lip Color in “Fig”

EYE PRODUCTS USED

Primer — Mac Paint Pot in “Soft Ochre”

Lid — Makeup Geek foiled eyeshadow in “Grandstand”

Crease — Makeup Geek eyeshadow in “Cupcake”

Outer Corner — Tarte eyeshadow “Power Plum” in the Energy Noir Clay Palette

Inner Corner — Makeup Geek eyeshadow in “Shimma Shimma”

Eyeliner — Bobbi Brown gel liner in “Black Ink”

Mascara — Lancome Hypnose Drama in “Excessive Black”

Brow Gel — Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in “Medium Brown”

Hope you enjoyed this sample look!

Until next time 😉