Pregnant or Not…the IVF Verdict from this week (Dec 24th, 2014)

Thanks to everyone for your support, prayers, and well wishes over the past few months. As you know, I restarted infertility treatments in an effort to add baby #2 to our family. Since our infertility journey was far from easy the first time around with ovarian hyperstimulation, numerous failed cycles, surgery, etc; I was bracing myself for another drawn-out series of In Vitro Fertilization. Since we had several frozen embryos I was relieved that we would be able to skip the stimulation cycles; but, I was also concerned that our chances of success would be fairly low (less than 25%) with the frozen cycle. Our cycle was delayed by my need for surgery and then my need for higher levels of estrogen. Finally, transfer day came 2 weeks ago. I was devastated to hear that the embryo thought to afford us the best chance at getting pregnant didn’t survive the thawing process. The next two embryos did survive, but the quality wasn’t top-notch. The transfer went smoothly, and I’ve continued to load my rear with countless intramuscular progesterone shots.

Last weekend I was devastated to see that I was spotting, crampy, and surely not pregnant. Every other failed cycle had started the same way. My mind began to race with what our next step would be. Another frozen cycle? Should we go directly into a fresh for better quality and higher success rates? What would all of this mean for our finances, time off of work, child care…??? I even called my reproductive endocrinologist to inform her of the situation and to start discussing the game plan. She graciously helped me map out what the next few months would look like, but then reminded me that we shouldn’t even be having the conversation until my blood work came back. I agreed with her but then reminded her that I was 99.999% sure that I wasn’t pregnant.Attractive surprised young woman wearing sunglasses on checkered

The next day (Christmas Eve) the phone rang with my blood work results and the words in my ear gave my stomach a zillion butterflies. “Emma, you’re pregnant!” Seconds before I had just complained about getting up early to give myself shots and having to leave the house before 7am on Christmas Eve to have blood work drawn. Yes, I said give myself shots. I had traveled home to spend some time with my family during the holidays. My husband wasn’t able to meet me until a few days later. So, I had been giving myself my own intramuscular injections:) Talk about an awkward position! Thank goodness that Pilates has afforded me some impressive flexibility. Anyway, the shots were worth it after all! couple, pregnancy and love concept - close up of woman and man h

I repeated the blood work the day after Christmas just to make sure that the bHCG was rising appropriately. Well, friends, it’s still incredibly early…but it is official. I am definitely pregnant. Now, I’m praying for a healthy, full-term pregnancy! I would usually keep pregnancy results quiet this early along, but what’s the point? You already know the good, bad, and ugly about my struggle toward motherhood, why not loop you in now? If something bad happens, I’m sure I will be blogging my guts out about it, and you will be the first to know (God Forbid). Oh, and I’m open to name suggestions! Leave a comment with your favorites!



Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake with Buttered Caramel Sauce…an English Tradition that Should Never Be Abandoned!

Sticky Toffee Pudding isn’t your typical pudding. In fact, it isn’t anything like American “pudding” at all. Instead, it is one of the best moist cakes I’ve ever tasted covered by an ooey, gooey, toffee sauce. I first tasted Sticky Toffee Pudding when visiting Oxford, England. My English road trip turned from a sight-seeing vacation to a Sticky Toffee Pudding taste-testing trip! I’ve tried several different variations on this recipe, but the simple version from has been a winner every time.


1 3/4 cups pitted, chopped dates

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup boiling water

1/3 cup butter

3/4 cup white sugar

2 eggs, beaten

1 1/8 cups self-rising flour

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup butter

2/3 cup evaporated milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extractSticky Toffee Pudding

How to Create England’s Best Dessert:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish.

2. In a small bowl combine the dates and baking soda. Pour enough boiling water over the dates to just cover them.

3. Cream 1/3 of butter with the white sugar until light. Beat in the eggs and mix well to combine.

4. Add the flour and date mixture (including water) to the egg mixture and fold to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.

5. Bake in the preheated oven until a tester (toothpick) comes out clean, 30-40 minutes. Let cool slightly and prepare the sauce.

6. To Make the Caramel Sauce: In a small saucepan combine the brown sugar, 1/3 cup butter, and evaporated milk. Cook over medium heat and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour the sauce over individual servings of warm cake.





Rice Pudding Baked to Perfection

Having grown up surrounded by amazing family friends who made gourmet Greek food, I was spoiled by their delicious baked rice pudding each holiday season. Creamy rice pudding sprinkled with ground cinnamon and stirred with dried cherries or raisins is the epitome of holiday comfort food. Give me a spoon…or two…I’m okay with double fisted eating!

What You Need to Bake this Perfect Dessert: 

1 cup of cooked white rice

2 1/2 cups of milk (I’m not going to lie here…whole milk does make a difference)

3 large eggs lightly beaten

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup of dried cherries (or raisins)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamonRice pudding in the ramekin closeup

How to Get Your Comfort Food Baking: 

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Farenheit. Lightly grease a 9 inch glass baking dish. Stir the first 7 ingredients together in a bowl (everything except for your cinnamon and nutmeg). And, please note that you cooked your rice ahead of time! Spoon this mixture into your greased baking dish. Place your glass dish directly inside a larger baking pan (center it) and pour water into the larger pan (the one without your pudding mixture) so that the water is about 1 inch in depth surrounding your pudding pan. Make sure that none of the water goes into the pudding mixture. Carefully slide this set of pans into the middle rack of the oven and bake for 1.5 hours. When it comes out of the oven sift your nutmeg and cinnamon (mixture) over the pudding to lightly cover. DELICIOUS!




Baileys Chocolate Fudge…in 8 minutes

Last year my sister and I were looking for some new holiday fudge recipes. We wanted something quick but delicious….and what can be better than Baileys chocolate fudge that you can throw together in 8 minutes! We stumbled across this great recipe from and decided it needed to be on our MUST MAKE holiday baking list each year.


1/3 cup Baileys Irish Cream (or Baileys Chocolate Mint Liquor)

3 1/2 cups chocolate chips (either milk, dark or semisweet…you choose your favorite)

.83 lbs of sweetened condensed milk (approximately 1 can) Baileys Irish Cream And Mint Chocolate Liqueur

How to make it: 

1. Line a 12 x 6 bar pan or slice pan with baking paper/parchment paper

2. Heat the condensed milk (be careful not to scorch) on the stove top in a sauce pan

3. Melt your chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring after each 30 seconds until fully melted and smooth. Then add the chocolate to the condensed milk. (or you can melt your chocolate using a double boiler on the stove top. Stir frequently.) Next, mix in your Baileys Irish Cream.

4. Pour this mixture into your lined bar pan and set aside.

5. Leave to cool at room temperature or if it is really warm you can even throw it in the fridge to speed things up. (My one caveat is that you may need to let this set overnight before cutting it into squares just to keep things from being too gooey.)

6. Cut into bite size pieces once it has fully set/cooled.

Perfect as a quick Christmas gift…or for your own little tummy!





The Best Shortbread Cookie Recipe Ever…SHH…It’s a Secret!

Shortbread is a must have cookie for every holiday. And, with Christmas only a few days away, and Valentines just around the corner I decided to share the best shortbread recipe ever!!

Ingredients for These Scrumptious Delights: 

1 lb of butter

1 cup of brown sugar

3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

1/2 cup of rice flour

1 jar of maraschino cherries

Wax paperFresh shortbread cookies on a baking tray

How to Bake the Best Shortbread Cookies…Ever! 

Some of the best recipes are simple but sweet! Set your butter out to soften. Then mix all of your dry ingredients and your softened butter together with large mixer. Pull your dough and knead it with flour on a lightly floured surface such as your counter top. Tear off a decent size of wax paper and form your dough into the shape of a log. The ends should be flat. Next roll your dough log up in the wax paper and set it in the freezer for 25-35 minutes. You don’t want it to actually freeze, but you do want it to become firm (not so firm that you can’t cut through it with a knife). Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Farenheit. Next grease your cookie sheets. Pull out your cookie dough log and unwrap it from the wax paper. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into cookie rounds approximately 1/4-1/3 of an inch thick. Place each sliced cookie onto the cookie sheet and add a maraschino cherry to the middle (either sliced in half or whole). Bake for 25 minutes or until just lightly brown. Remove from oven and place cookies on cooling rack. Store in air tight container when cool. DELICIOUS! I’m about to pop some in the oven right now!!!




7 Tips About Car Seat Safety That NO PARENT can RISK missing!

I picked up the phone expecting to hear my father’s cheery voice. Instead, I felt the wind being knocked out of my chest with each word he spoke. There had been a car accident. He hadn’t made it. He had suffered severe head trauma; and even with the best neurosurgeons fighting for his life, they had been unable to perform the miraculous. Who else was in the car? Who else was hurt? My mind was racing. Her tiny toddler frame had suffered several fractures, but she was going to be fine. My mind buzzed. He wasn’t even 10 years old. How could life be so fragile?

Some moms have called me crazy for my car seat paranoia. “What are the odds of getting in a severe car accident in the first place? What are the odds of something bad actually happening to your child?” Unfortunately, the odds are greater than you might think. In fact, motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of death for children living in the United States according to the CDC. I know first hand what it is like to lose someone you love in a car accident. In fact, three funerals for three different children from three different families have solidified my paranoia that car accidents CAN hit close to home. Standing over countless bodies in the trauma bay, bloodied and disfigured from motor vehicle accidents has only further cemented this scary and gruesome fact in my mind.Melancholy And Sad Young  Woman  At The Window In The Rain

Car accidents DO HAPPEN. And, while preventing all of them in the first place would be ideal, the reality is that even with concerted efforts to eliminate texting, drunk driving, distracted driving, reckless driving, and poor judgement calls (all of which are paramount efforts); 100% prevention is impossible. So if we can’t prevent all motor vehicle accidents, apart from doing our best to drive safely, what can we do?

We can do our best to protect the little ones that we love by making sure that their car seats, booster seats, and seat belts are doing their jobs. Again, 100% protection is not a guarantee, but by paying attention to the safety resources and recommendations that we do have, we can significantly decrease the risk of injury and even death. According to the CDC, properly using a car seat reduces the risk of infant death by 71% and toddler death by 54%; and, the appropriate use of booster seats reduces the risk of serious injury for children aged 4-8 by 45% compared to just using a seatbelt. These numbers alone prove the importance of child passenger safety efforts.Toy Cars Crashed

Here are 7 Tips You NEED TO KNOW to make sure that your child has the maximum protection while in the car:

1. Choose a Safe Car Seat

-Make sure that your car seat has a label that says that it has been rated by the NHTSA. These all meet federal safety standards and strict crash test ratings.

-Make sure that it has the label with the Model number and the Manufacturer date

-Make sure that you register your car seat in case of recalls (which do happen!). Simply click on the highlighted link to register.

-If Choosing a USED Car Seat:

If you are choosing a used car seat you MUST know the HISTORY of that seat. Do not use a car seat that has been in a previous moderate to severe crash. If it doesn’t come with instructions, do not use it. If it lacks a safety label, model number, or manufacture date, do not use it. Contact the manufacturer and check to make sure that its specific make and model have not had any recalls issued before you use. Make sure that there is not obvious damage or missing parts-this could make it structurally unsound. Make sure that it is not more than 6 years old or expired. If you are missing even one piece of the history…move on and find another car seat.woman choosing child car seat for newborn baby in shop supermark

2. Choose Your Car Seat Based on Age, Height and Weight: 

Make sure that your child is buckled in an age and size appropriate car seat or booster. You can double-check the age, weight, and height restrictions of your seat in the owner’s manual and sometimes it is even labeled on the seat itself. You can find a more detailed chart from the CDC and from Healthy Children detailing appropriate seats based on age, height, and weight at the highlighted links here. Or, use this helpful calculator to determine the appropriate seat for your child. The general rules are as follows:

Infant to 2 years: Rear Facing Car Seat (this recommendation has recently changed. Previously parents were advised that if their child met the weight and height regulations they could be turned around after only a year of age. The recommendation now is to keep your child rear facing until at least 2 years or until they meet the maximum height and weight restrictions for their rear facing seat. This is the safest position to prevent and limit severe injury.

2 Years to At Least 5 Years of age (or they outgrow the weight and height restrictions)-Forward Facing Car Seat

Age 5 Up Until a Seat Belt Fits Properly: Booster Seat

3. Use Your Manual to Install Your Seat and Get Your Install Double Checked

Make sure that you take the time to review your car seat owner’s manual and even your car owner’s manual. Car seats are not all the same, and all cars are not the same. Simply clicking and tightening doesn’t ensure a safe installation. The location, the angle, and the latches are just a few things to consider. Click HERE for some helpful install tips and then follow your owner’s manual installation instructions step by step. When you have finished installing, make sure to have someone double-check your work. You may consider yourself an expert, but studies show that 90% of car seats are not used correctly! Yes, that was 90% according to Johns Hopkins. Many hospitals have staff that will double-check your car seat before you head home with your newborn, but it is always best to get your install double checked by a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician several months before your baby is expected to be born just in case your little one decides to come early and your hospital doesn’t offer this inspection service. If you are able to get it checked in advance or if you are simply changing car seats, most fire stations or public health departments will also offer install inspections free of charge or at a minimal cost. To locate a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician in your area, click HERE.Portrait Of A Cute Toddler Boy

4. Choose the Safest Spot in the Car!

Car Seats should ALWAYS be placed in the back seat of the vehicle. If for some reason this is not possible (your car consists of only one front row of seats), and you do not have another transportation option, then you must make sure that the air bags are turned OFF in the front seat especially if you are using a rear facing car seat. If your child is in a car seat in the front and an airbag deploys, it could cause severe brain damage or even kill your child. So in general, the rule stands…PUT YOUR CHILD IN THE BACK SEAT OF THE CAR. Again, all vehicles are not set up with safety latches in the same locations, nor do all cars have the option for a middle seat (in the case of vans with bucket seats), and if you’re installing more than one car seat then the middle will not be an option either. But, if you are able to safely install your seat in the rear MIDDLE or CENTER SEAT, it is the safest spot in the car for your child according to current research. While placement of a car seat in any rear seat position does provide excellent protection if installed correctly (decreasing the risk of injury by 62% compared to front seats), the center rear position has been shown to reduce the risk of injury for children an additional 43% compared to the rear side seats, according to evidence published in the Journal of Pediatrics.

5. Rear Face Your Car Seat As Long As Safely Possible.

As I mentioned above, the safety recommendations on how long to rear face a car seat has changed. The longer that you are safely able to keep your child rear facing the better! Previously the recommendations had allowed for turning the car seat around (for convertible seats) or switching to a forward facing car seat at 1 year of age as long as the minimum weight and height requirements were met. Today, the American Academy of Pediatrics urges parents to keep their child rear facing until they are AT LEAST two years of age unless they have outgrown the height and weight recommendations for their rear facing seat (some small children can stay in a rear facing seat well past the age of 2 years). We now know that the rear facing position is the safest for protecting the head, neck and spine in infants and toddlers.In Troubles - Unhappy Woman In Car

6. Secure the straps properly

Double check your car seat straps each time that you put your infant or child into the seat. Often times they will have loosened when you take your child out of the seat. The straps should be snug and leave no room for slack! If you can pinch the strap, then it is too loose. Grab the strap at shoulder level. Try to pinch the harness from top to bottom. If you can pinch a fold then the harness is too loose. It should fit snuggly like a hug. You want it snug not overly tight…you do want your child to be able to breathe! The shoulder straps and the lap belt should all be securely fastened. All 5 points of the restraint system should be used every time! The chest clip should be secured at the mid-chest level. Double check that it has not slid down lower (which often happens when previously removing your child from the seat). If your child is old enough to buckle himself in, make sure that YOU still double-check the security of the latches and the tightness. For more on safely securing boosters and seat belts check out this link.

7. Avoid Puffy Coats, Snow Suits, or Extra Padding or Positioners

Winter is a tricky time for car seats. As parents we often bundle our little ones up before we trek through the cold out to the car. The problem with this scenario is that bulky coats, snow suits and layered or bulky clothing could actually be putting our children in danger and limiting the protection of our car seats and safety restraints. Bulky clothing does not allow for safety restraints to be tightened appropriately. As parents we may have a false sense of security that they straps are tight enough, when in fact they may not be secure. In the case of a motor vehicle collision, bulky clothing often compresses leaving extra slack in the harness which could allow an infant or child to be ejected from the car seat, or it could allow for more severe neck or head injury. Instead of using bulky winter wear, simply put your child in a thin winter coat and hat, warm up the car ahead of time, or drape your child with a winter coat or a small blanket over their lap.

Additionally, extra positioners for the head and neck (or any extra positioners that do not come with the car seat) are not recommended. These positioners have not been safety tested with all car seats and could interfere with the safety features of your car seat.

This list is not meant to be an all-inclusive safety lesson on car seats, nor is it meant to substitute for following your owner’s manual or your pediatrician or family physician’s recommendations. For more resources check out the highlighted links throughout the article. As parents we want to protect our children. Knowing that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death from injury for young children should motivate all of us to take extra precautions each time we put our child in the car. We can never be too safe or double-check too many times!

As always, I love to hear from YOU! Please leave a comment with your questions, experiences, or concerns.



Help Me Pick…which is your favorite picture?

I need your help! Which is your favorite picture? I’m trying to get my media packet together and need some feedback. They’re all starting to look the same to me:) I’m thinking the first one or the last? Leave a comment with your vote…please!
0066 0067 0068 0070 0071

WOW! This post is looking a little conceited! I promise I’m not this self-absorbed! Let me throw in some family photos too! Then maybe it won’t feel so weird! I need a favorite family shot too!

photo 3 photo 2 photo 1004300600079 copy0084

Photography: Angela Talley Photography

Ayla’s Outfit: Turqouise Dress-Tutu Du Monde, Silver Shoes-See Kai Run, Feather Headband-Tutu Du Monde, Flower headband-Avry Couture Creations, Pink Swan Princess Dress-Kate Mack, Pink Jeweled Headband-Enchanted Shimmer Designs

Emma’s Outfit: White and Grey tiny floral print dress-Banana Republic, Silver Bangle-Tiffany & Co., Diamond Earring Studs-Kay Jewelers, Neutral Heels-Discount Shoe Warehouse (DSW)

Dave’s Outfit: White Dress Shirt- Brooks Brothers, Tailored Sport Coat-Carven, Jeans-Banana Republic, Tan Shoes-Cole Haan

Don’t forget to VOTE!!!!! Leave a comment with your favorites! 



Our Infertility Journey (1.14): There’s Nothing Pretty About Puke or Debt!

I couldn’t comprehend why God hadn’t made our first embryo transfer work. I would be a great mother. I would love and care for my baby. On a daily basis I saw children in my clinic who were neglected, verbally mistreated, sometimes physically abused, and often unloved. I heard harsh words from parents and from pregnant mothers stating their frustration at having so many children or at being pregnant once again. All I wanted was one child to call my own. Why wouldn’t God answer my request? I felt more broken than ever, but I was still determined. Again, I wanted a game plan.Beautiful woman is doing injection herself. In home.

My body was starting to feel akin to a lab rat experiment gone wrong. Why was I responding the way that I was to the medications? I was incredibly frustrated and determined to make things work. There must be a solution. There must be a different way that my body would prefer to get mature, great looking eggs without hyperstimulating. I was discouraged at this point but not broken. I was, however, incredibly broke.Money in syringe

We had used all of our savings, my bonus, and most of my incoming salary to pay for the last two cycles. Desperate, we turned to family and loans. Although our families did their best to be generous, their contributions barely put a dent in the ticket price for another full cycle of IVF. Our only other option was to take out a loan. Loans! Oh, how we hated the thought. Four years of med school times two means a lot of student loan debt! By a lot, I mean more than half a million dollars. In addition, I was taking out additional student loans to fund my MPH at Hopkins, which turned out to be just as pricy as medical school. I had been picking up some extra hours working through lunch, and we had been putting any and every extra penny into our IVF fund. Still it wasn’t enough. A loan was the only way to proceed. What other choice did we have? After already having spent almost 20 thousand dollars with nothing to show, we were nervous to dish out more that wasn’t even our own. It was worth it we decided.Golden Egg

With our funding in hand, we were ready to start the process again. Our reproductive endocrinologist was awesome. She spent more than an hour on several occasions discussing options over the phone. She had trained at Harvard and had some experience with different IVF regimens that included a medication called an antagonist. The idea behind the antagonist was that after starting the stimulating medication, I would wait until the ovarian follicles reached a certain point, and then put on the “brakes” with the antagonist. This would allow the process to continue but without the huge spikes in my hormones that we had seen before. I decided that it was worth a shot. What other option did I have?

This cycle was like the other cycles. It started and ended with a lot of shots. By now I didn’t care. Pelvic ultrasound probe exams were as routine as brushing my teeth. Blood draws were as standard as a daily shower. I was hoped that this cycle would be different. I still felt somewhat bloated from the previous cycle, and the steroids that I had taken for the last procedure had added at least a pound to my figure (I’m being very conservative in my estimation here). Comfort eating was actually very comforting to me. Ice cream was an all time favorite. I didn’t care that all my hard work to stay fit and trim was sliding down the toilet. I was pumping myself full of hormones in a last-ditch effort to become a mother. I needed as much comfort as I could get. (Don’t judge!)

My friends were encouraging and hopeful. However, they still couldn’t empathize with how trying the process was on my body, mind, and spirit. My prayer life improved significantly. I think that’s usually the case when you’re desperate. You remember that there is a God who can change the unchangeable. I was so used to working hard and then seeing the prize. I had sacrificed a lot to be a physician; I had put in the hours. Because of my hard work, I had achieved my goals. That was usually my approach to most things. Unfortunately, in the case of infertility, there was nothing that I could do better. I couldn’t work harder. I couldn’t make my body comply. I could only trust my doctors and pray that God would hear me and show me some mercy.Woman Having Eggs Removed As Part Of IVF Treatment

This cycle went much better than the rest. Although I still had higher numbers and tended toward hyperstimulation, things were manageable, and my ovarian follicles looked promising. I was ecstatic. Finally the time came for the egg retrieval. I took my benzo, drank my water, and headed to the procedure room in the hospital. I was nervous, but who wouldn’t have been. I was back into my patient gown, legs in the stirrups, ready for the discomfort that would result in success. The pain was real. The follicles toward the ovarian walls were always the most uncomfortable to retrieve. But, when all was said and done, we had a nice number of eggs. They were whisked off in the incubator, and Dave was asked to contribute his 50% of the equation. I was wheeled off to recovery one more time. Again, I stayed until nightfall. Those pain meds did me in!

When I awoke, I drank my sips of Canada Dry and felt ready to leave. Walking was always uncomfortable, and the meds made me a little tipsy, but the hospital required that I go down in a wheel chair anyway. I had changed into a pair of scrubs and a long-sleeved t-shirt, since none of my pants would fit due to my grapefruit sized ovaries. Dave decided to be a sweetie and ran ahead to pull up the car. The transporter said that she would bring me down to meet him.

The nurse who had been taking care of me was very sweet. She knew Dave and actually went to our church. It was a large church so it wasn’t strange that we hadn’t met there before. As I spoke to her I was somewhat relieved to have some sort of connection with her, but I also felt a little like my privacy was being violated. It wasn’t her fault. She was just doing her job, and she was great at it. It still felt hard to let anyone who was something of an acquaintance know our struggle. I still felt a label on my forehead.

As we wheeled down the hallway, I felt like I was in a dream. Arriving at the elevators, I closed my eyes willing the motion to stop. The transporter spun me around, backing me into the elevator. As we exited the elevator heading toward the main hospital entrance, the nausea grew from an uncomfortable sensation into an imminent warning that I was about to puke! I opened my mouth to warn the transporter, but before I could utter a word, I was vomiting profusely in the main hospital hallway…all over my lap. I begged her to quickly take me to the nearest bathroom. Unfortunately, the vomiting didn’t stop along the way. I’m sure I was quite a sight as I left something of a Hansel and Gretel vomit trail behind me in the main hallway.Site view of a voimiting woman in the bathroom in the morning.

Completely soaked and literally sitting in my own vomit, I calmly instructed the transport to push me into the Handicapped stall. She was unsure of what to do. I don’t think that it was her first day, but it was definitely her first time dealing with a vomiting patient in route. “We probably should have brought an emesis basin for the ride,” I quipped. I don’t think that she found my humor funny. I told her to leave me in the bathroom and to go tell my husband that he needed to park the car and come help me find some new clothes. I’m not sure why she thought it was a good option, but she suggested that we put a towel over the seat of the car instead of cleaning me up. I informed her that was not an option. I was going to get changed before I was going anywhere. After what seemed like an unfortunately long time she returned with the good news that Dave would be there in a minute.

You know that feeling that you get when your jeans get wet and stick to your legs? That yucky stickiness was magnified by the vinyl wheelchair seat and the rank aroma. As Dave entered the women’s restroom, I was flooded with relief. He didn’t get too worked up about much, and vomit didn’t scare him; he even made the fact that he was standing in a women’s handicapped stall with a wife covered in puke seem a little less tragic. He simply said, “Are you okay? Let’s get you into something clean.” As he slowly pushed my wheelchair back to the recovery floor, I was reminded that we were in this together. None of it was ideal, but we did have each other to lean on. Baby or not, we were a family. Dave used his badge to swipe us back into the Same Day Recovery Unit. The nurses were horrified that they hadn’t sent a barf bag with me. “Ah well, par for the course,” I said with a laugh. If we had to do a retrieval again…which I prayed that we wouldn’t…I would be prepared with a bucket in hand.




12 Things Parents Say That Could Be Putting Their Children In Danger…have any of these slipped from your lips?

When I hear comments like these on a routine basis from good intentioned (but unfortunately naive) moms and dads, I can’t help but cringe. Infant and toddler car seat safety is NO JOKE! This time of year (and anytime of year) with slippery roads, holiday traffic, and countless distractions…making sure that your little ones are safely secured in the car could SAVE THEIR LIVES!

In Troubles - Unhappy Woman In Car

12 Things Parents Say That Could Be Putting Their Children in Danger: 

1. “Turn it around sooner if they are crying!”

2. “Does the middle seat really matter that much?”

3. “What are the odds that my child is actually going to be injured in a car accident?”

4. “Do the straps really have to be that tight? I don’t want to crush her!”

5. “A new car seat is too expensive. I’m sure the one I grabbed from the garage sale is fine, right?”

6. “Do I really need to register a car seat for recalls?”

7. “It’s too cold to take off her coat in the car, and I never have time to warm it up before we leave. It should be fine, right?”

8. “I don’t have time to read the instruction manual. I can figure out how to install the car seat on my own.”

9. “I don’t need to have someone double check my car seat installation. I know what I’m doing!”

10. “I need to use extra positioners to keep him safe in his carseat.”

11. “I always make sure that she is bundled up in a fluffy coat or snow suit before I put her in her car seat. I want her to be extra warm in the car.”

12. “I’ve always just ignored the long strap on the back of the car seat. Buckling into the side hooks seems to secure it just fine.”Toy Cars Crashed

If any of these statements sound familiar…Click HERE for more detailed information on Car Seat Safety Recommendations.


This list isn’t meant to bash you upside the head, but it is meant to raise your awareness on some common car seat safety misconceptions. As a parent, protecting your child is always in the forefront of your mind. Make sure that you are doing all that you can to protect your child if a car accident were to happen. Your child is your most precious cargo…handle with extreme care!




Our Merry Christmas Card…a little bit of gold…a little bit of glam…a whole lot of cheer!



Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas! Hostetter-12 Hostetter-13 Hostetter-14 Hostetter-15 Hostetter-16 Hostetter-17 Hostetter-18

May Faith, Hope, and Love Light Up Your Holiday
Hostetter-19Merry Christmas!!!!

Photographs by Hannah Hilliard Photography.

Ayla’s Outfits: Red and Gold dresses, gold cape, and star headband –Tutu Du Monde, Pink Cape and gold shoes-Joyfolie, Knee High Gold Heart Stockings-Ry and Rue Kids. Gold Star Crown-J.Crew.

Emma’s Outfit: Gold sequin and multicolored metallic dress and matching belt-Anthropologie, Bronze Metallic shoes-Kenneth Cole.

Dave’s Outfit: Brown Velvet Sport Coat- Banana Republic, White Dress Shirt-Brooks Brothers, Tan Shoes-Cole Haan from Nordstrom.