Tuesday, October 25, 2011

IVF, Miscarriage and Moving On...

Last March, I wrote a blog called “No Babies for ME?.” http://annastinamakeupartist.blogspot.com/2011/03/no-babies-for-me.html 
It was probably the toughest blog that I have written to this day.  I have been going back and forth whether to write this blog and if I do…what direction do I want to take it.  “No Babies for ME?” was about my journey of having a baby…the complications my husband and I have had and trying to deal with it emotionally and physically. 
The reason I have been so quite lately and have not been blogging is because I started the IVF process.  In Vitro Fertilization is commonly referred to as IVF. IVF is the process of fertilization by manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish. When the IVF procedure is successful, the process is combined with a procedure known as embryo transfer, which is used to physically place the embryo in the uterus.  http://www.americanpregnancy.org/infertility/ivf.html
I have done the IUI process (Google IUI for more information) before, but never the IVF process, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  We decided that we were not going to tell anyone that I was going through this process, the only people who knew were my parents and a very few close friends.  The reason we kept it so quite was because we had no clue what we were about to experience and the first thing people ask are questions…questions that I didn’t have answers to. 
I am not going to go into the whole IVF process because it was a month long.  To give you an idea what an IVF patient has to deal with…here is what I went through…3 shots a day in my stomach, one large needle in my hip every other day, bottles of oral meds, daily blood draws and internal ultrasounds, my ovaries getting so big they felt like they wanted to explode, extremely nauseous, tender breasts, insomnia, bladder infections and just being an emotional mess and crying all the time.  If there is someone out there who is going through the process or about to and wants to talk about it, please feel free to email me.  I know I wish I had someone that I could have spoken with beforehand to know what I was getting myself into.  I didn’t have the best experience, but I know it wasn’t the worst either from other stories I have heard of.
So I am going to fast forward a month to the day we found out the results.  My husband and I have been trying for 4 years now to get pregnant, so this day was extremely nerve racking.  We had to go in 8am to get the blood draw and had to wait till 3:30 that afternoon to get the results.  At first the results weren’t great…it was positive but according to the doctors, not a very strong positive.  For another week we had to go into the doctors for more blood draws and finally after a few days we got the call that I had a strong pregnancy reading!  We were so excited…it actually felt very surreal.  I guess for 4 years always hearing no, finally getting a yes doesn’t seem real. 
We had to continue going to the doctor’s to monitor the HCG numbers.  For awhile it was going great…the numbers were going up and everything was looking good.  I don’t remember the day exactly but I went back to the clinic and I remember being really happy and feeling calm.  They took my blood like usual and I went home to wait for the results…again like every other time.  When I got the call I was feeling very positive, but when I answered I could tell the nurse was not happy.  My numbers had gone down.  The nurse was trying to remain hopeful but finally I asked her to be straight with me and I asked “Am I going to miscarry?” and her answer was “Yes.”
This was about one week ago.  The miscarriage happened pretty fast as I am still going through it.  I am very blessed that it happened early, since I know that there our women out there who miscarry later on.  Luckily, I knew it was coming so I could prepare myself for the physical pain.  What I am having a hard time with is the emotional pain.  I have a support system around me, but inside I do not know how to deal with it.  How am I suppose to grieve?  Move on when I still feel physical pain? 
I have already cried for myself, but I think the part I am having a really hard time getting over is that I was so excited to FINALLY give my husband a child, my mom another grandbaby, and my sister in law a niece/nephew.  I feel that if I cannot provide a child, am I good enough on my own?  What if we never have kids…am I enough?
I am in my early 30's, I know that I am not old, but I am not getting any younger either.  And I know that I need another year or two to get over this IVF process because it was very traumatizing, it was a year and a half ago that we did the last IUI.  This IVF made the IUI look like taking candy from a baby! J
And the financial part is not easy either.  To do another IVF or even adopt would be another $10,000.  We had to be creative to find the money to do this IVF.
Another reason I feel blessed is through all this pain, I am not angry at God.  On my good days, I still believe everything happens for a reason, but every now and then I have a bad day.  And on those days, I am not angry, just sad.  I was so close to having something that I have desired for so long and it was taken away very quickly.  These are the days I am struggling with…which I guess is normal right?  Again I have heard stories where women have really suffered and being through more pain than I have.  And if this pregnancy was not suppose to last, then I am happy it ended quickly.  And maybe if I got pregnant naturally and I miscarried early, it wouldn’t of been such a big deal.  But adding the IVF to all of this, you just ask yourself “why does it have to be so tough?” 
I am hoping by writing this that someone out there understands what I have been through or sees that they are not going through this alone.  I also hope that this helps me grieve somehow…that I can move on and keep creating my future with my husband.  That no matter what challenges we face, that we have each other along with our friends and family.
Again if this is something you have gone through, I would love to hear your story.  I always heal by hearing other people’s stories and how they got through tough times.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Once upon a Crimson night...MY EMMY RED CARPET REVIEW!

Was it just me last night or were you also see RED all over the Emmy Red Carpet?  Watching the red carpet of any award show is always a favorite past time of mine. This year, I loved seeing the different shades of red…very old Hollywood.  Here are some of my favorite REDS that I was loving last night….

I have been all over the entertainment news this morning looking at all the dresses and some of my all time non-red favorites were….
Heidi…at first I wasn’t sure about this dress and then I kept looking at it and decided I loved it, especially after I found out it was made by Christian Siriano (I love his work).  And I love this color against Heidi's skin.
Jennifer…this was her first red carpet appearance since her split with husband and Dexter co-star, Michael C. Hall…and I think she looked STUNNING in this Tony Ward sequined dress.  Love the neckline, color and slit down the dress.
Kelly…I loved Kelly in this burgundy J. Mendel gown.  I think it showed off her figure and color was amazing for her skin tone.  I also loved her hair and makeup!
Sofia…This dress was one of my all time favs…love the shape and the color but most of all I was drooling over her earrings!!!  She has such an amazing shape, she looks good in anything but really picked a winner in this Vera Wang gown!
Now to my personal WORST dress…

Paula…at first I thought it was just a bad camera shot, then throughout the night I noticed it was intentional…the top of her dress is crooked.  And when she was on the podium with Ryan Seacrest, I was wondering what she had been drinking.  She just can’t get it right.
Gwyneth…I think if this dress had been once piece throughout and not have the mid section, I would have loved it. I love the top and the bottom…the middle part just isn’t doing it for me.
Dianne…I feel she is too young for this dress…right when I saw it I thought it would look beautiful on Julianne Moore, but on Dianne, it does nothing for her body.
Julianna…my oh my…this morning when I woke up and started looking at other blogs it seems that this dress is a big hit.  Not my cup of tea…what is with the big crystals on her top and then it is too tight on the bottom with way too much fabric.  From the look of it, it needs to be 2 inches shorter.  I would trip on that in a heartbeat.
NOW one of my all time favorites and unfortunately I did not see her make it on TV…Kandee Johnson!  I mention her on my Facebook and even in my blogs…she is one of my biggest inspirations!  And last night she attended the Emmys and walked the Red Carpet…in Kandee style!  I love her style and her so much!

Who was on your BEST and WORST dressed lists?
I am looking forward to this year’s award season and cannot wait to see what the stars will be wearing at the Oscars!

Thursday, August 11, 2011


I found this great article in InStyle Magazine and thought it was very useful as to when we should throw away our makeup and creams.  I know that different experts have different ideas as to when we should get rid of old makeup, but I thought this article gave a good general suggestion on when to throw out the old and bring in the new…

Nail Polish: 1 Year
THE REASON: With proper storage, expect polish to last up to one year. "Start examining it after nine months for color fading or separation," says cosmetic chemist Ni'Kita Wilson. "That's when you can tell that it won't go on as smoothly."

Mascara: 3 Months
THE REASON: When mascara dries out or gets clumpy, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, says optometrist Jennifer Giermek of N.Y.C.'s Naked Eye Optical. Discard immediately if you get an eye infection. "Reusing the brush can cause recurrences," she says.

Sunscreen: 1 Year
THE REASON: Sunscreen is often labeled with an expiration date, but feel free to slather it on up to a year after opening, as long as it hasn't "separated, changed in smell, or become discolored," says Dr. Graf. "Trust your eyes and nose."

Face Creams: 1 Year
THE REASON: "If the cream is in a jar, your fingers can introduce bacteria, so toss it after six to nine months, 12 months if it's in a pump," says Wilson. "Be sure to keep alpha-hydroxy creams tightly sealed or they can get more concentrated and cause irritation."

Fragrance: 2 Years
THE REASON: "Each spritz lets more air into the bottle," says Roger Spain of Belle-Aire Fragrance. "This causes oxidation and slightly changes the scent—but it's still fine to use."



Thursday, July 21, 2011

Product Review...Benefit They're Real Mascara!!!

A couple weeks ago, I was in Sephora buying some products and I had enough points on my card to receive one of their free sample products.  One of them was Benefits new They’re Real mascara ($22)…and…I LOVE it!!!

The brush was very easy to work with. The tip of the brush makes it very easy to reach those inner lashes without smudging.  It delivered product evenly and made it very easy to apply mascara to the bottom lashes without making a mess. I like the length of the wand and made application easy.  I had no problem with clumping but I would recommend only applying a few coats.  
The mascara gives a lot of volume and length and I love the great curl it adds, which gave a very eye-opening effect.  I am very impressed by this mascara and plan on buying it again when I run out of my sample!  I wear it every day!  I would definitely recommend this mascara to my friends!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


I hope everyone had an amazing and safe 4th of July weekend!  Mine was exactly what I needed…fun and relaxing.
Recently I have been addicted to experimenting with bright colorful eyeliners.  I decided to try a couple different brands to see which one I liked the most and then was like…duh…PRODUCT REVIEW TIME!!!
I tried 3 different ones…Makeup Forever Aqua Liners, Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On, and Sephora Nano Liner.  I took some pictures of my makeup and forgive me, my camera is not the best, but it gives you an idea of how I wear them.  Here are my thoughts on all 3…

MAKEUP FOREVER AQUA EYES - $18…I bought this color in Gold 9L.  I love that this liner is waterproof and it stays on all day!  I didn’t have to touch up at all.  The pigment shows its true color and goes on very smooth.  It came off very easily with my eye makeup remover and I did not find anything about this liner that I disagreed with.  Worth the price!!!

URBAN DECAY 24/7 GLIDE ON EYE - $18…I bought this color in Flipside and I LOVE IT!!!  Turquoise is one of my favorite colors right now so maybe that is why I love it but this seemed to be my favorite one.  Goes on very smooth and colors are very bright and rich!  Again came off very easy at the end of the day.  I will be buying this one again…I wish I could get all the colors!
SEPHORA NANO EYELINER - $5…I bought this color in 20 Wild Spirit.  The liner goes on very smooth and is buildable.  I did find that it smudged throughout the day and need to be reapplied a couple times.  But you cannot beat the price, so if you can deal with some touch ups this is a good liner. 
My favorites were of course the Makeup Forever Aqua and the Urban Decay Glide On…I loved both of these and will buy more colors.  I love adding pops of colors to my daily routine especially for summer!
Here is a quote to leave you with…Know that most of the best things if life come after making the most difficult choices, and doing the hardest things, and taking the biggest risks.....HAPPY TUESDAY LADIES!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Get out of your COMFORT ZONE!!!

It has been a couple weeks since I last blogged.  Work has really picked up and I LOVE my job so that has been such a blessing.  Once a year, my mom and I take a trip together, and last week we went to Las Vegas for a couple days.  I might actually do a blog on Las Vegas soon, since I was married there and seem to go there quite often.  I always have people asking me what restaurants, shows and shops to go to...so I might just put it in a blog.  Let me know if that is something you’re interested in reading.

But between all the work and fun, the reason I have not blogged, is I have been trying to sort my thoughts out with where I want my career and dreams to go.  And with all the thoughts, I have been putting fear and doubt in my head.  Yesterday I think I finally had a break through.

I have a friend right now who is starting her own business and it has taken off and she and I are always trying to encourage each other.  And every time I am encouraging her I am getting mad at myself because I am not listening to my own advice.  It is so easy for me to encourage people but why can’t I encourage myself?  Why am I not putting my own advice into action?  I think putting words into actions is the most difficult task to do...stepping out of my comfort zone is not something I have had to do a lot.  But I think it is time and it is time to start practicing what I preach to all my friends.

So I decided that I am going to start my day with great intentions.  I am going to get past the fear that says that I am not worthy to have the life that I desire to have.  I have to remember that things and people don't come knocking on my door and what I can imagine I can conceive. I need to act on what is in MY head, believe what I envision and dream big.  Face my fears of success and failure and understand that both are used to mature me.

What advice do you have when someone has fears or doubts?  I would love to hear them!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Recently I attended a Get Motivated Seminar which had some great speakers...Colin Powell, Steve Forbes, Bill Cosby, Howard Putnam (President of Southwest Airlines, and some successful business leaders.

There were so many tips and lessons I learned but I think the most important one I learned how to position myself in my personal life, my finances and in my business.

Do you find yourself asking why you have not achieved the professional success that you desire?  Does it seem that peers, friends, and family members all around you are speedily moving in their careers and you remain stagnant in your own? You may often read the paper or listen to the headline news regarding the many deals and partnerships that corporations and small businesses gain on a daily basis.  If your personal brand is not making any headway, it is time to ask yourself if you are properly positioning yourself.  I learned that doing just one thing a day that advances your career will make a huge difference in a year.  Making a phone call, talking to a mentor, passing out flyers...it will all lead to the end goal...doing what you love and achieving your dreams.

My point here is this: deals are happening all over the place.  Opportunities are endless even in this economy.  Are you leveraging yourself enough to sit at the table to deal your hand of cards?  I read an interesting quote this morning from, a PR Guru, she said, “If you are in a room and no one remembers that you were even there, it is a waste of your face in the place."   I thought about that.  She made a great point.  How many times have we been in THE place and not made ourselves, credentials, skill set, or personality known?  How many times have we silenced our own voice because of intimidation and missed what could have been a great opportunity? 

Here is the art of the deal: If you don't believe in the product of you, it won’t sell and you will be just another person with great ideas and excellent skills that no one knows anything about.  Get your head out of the clouds and OPEN YOUR MOUTH!  I am talking to myself as well.  Look at your hand, pick your best card and get in the game. 

These Get Motivated Seminars travel around the country, if they are ever in your city...go to one!  The tickets are only $2 and you get to hear from the best of the best!