I can’t believe it’s already 2018! The past year and especially the past few months have been a whirlwind. I definitely fell behind on blogging towards the end of 2017 so I wanted to dedicate this first post to sharing what’s been happening in our busy lives. I recently did an Instagram on poll on what kind of content you guys wanted to see more of and most of you said “personal” so here goes:
We finished up our home renovations at the end of November! It was a 4.5 month process where we lived in construction, without a kitchen and poured over every design detail. We hired a good friend’s dad as our general contractor but designed and picked out everything ourselves. This was a learning but rewarding experience. It costed and took a bit longer than we wanted but we are incredibly happy with how everything turned out and happy to finally feel “at home”. I will be doing a separate post on our home renovations shortly with some fun before and after photos. Although we are done with the renovations, the fun decorating (a.k.a. Joanna Gaines) part has just begun and I’m hoping to carve out some time to get everything done!
I know it’s been a while since my first fertility post. We started our IVF in November and since then, it’s been one life/work event after another. First of all, I want to say that we are incredibly moved by all of the love and support by EVERYONE has shown us during this difficult time. It is not an easy process but having a community rally around us has made us feel so loved and very hopeful of what’s to come. After my post, so many women reached out to me sharing similar struggles. Thank you to all these women for your honesty and I hope I was able to provide some support to you in return.
So what’s going on with us right now? Well after 12 days of injections, I went in for the egg retrieval right before Thanksgiving. We were nervous but excited at the same time. I was honestly just glad to be done with the injections (the last few were brutal). I was surprised how fast the retrieval was – I was in and out of the surgery center from check-in to recovery in less than 3 hours. I was given general anesthesia and I totally knocked out during the whole procedure. Shortly after, our doctor told us he had retrieved 15 eggs!!! He said it was 3x as many as he anticipated when we first started because of my endometriosis. We were elated but we also knew there would be a significant drop off in the next few days and we had to wait to see how many would actually fertilize. The next day, we found that 14 of the 15 eggs had fertilized! This was also good news but we would have to wait another week to find out how many would become embryos. With Thanksgiving just a few days away and family coming in, we were glad we would be busy with family while anxiously waiting for the news. We hosted both families for Thanksgiving this year in our new home and I’m incredibly thankful everyone helped out as I had to take it easy post retrieval. After Thanksgiving, we met with our doctor and found out that we had 4 embryos!!! This was around the number we were hoping for (although more would have been awesome). We opted to do Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS) where they do genetic testing on the embryos to see if they have a normal chromosome number (my doctor would not transfer any abnormal embryos). My doctor advised that PGS testing can increase implantation success and decrease the risk of miscarriage so we decided to spend the extra money for the testing (yes we are paying for everything out-of-pocket). We were willing to do it if it could save us from possible heartache. So that meant we had to wait a few more weeks to get the results of the PGS testing.
After a few weeks, we found out that 3 of the 4 embryos were normal!!! And get this – they are ALL boys! Yes we would love a girl (I mean just think of all the mommy & me outfits) but we are now focused on having a healthy baby. So with 3 normal embryos, we may have a good chance of one of the transfers being successful! In my case, only 1 embryo would be transferred at a time due to the health risks of carrying twins to both the mother and the babies. I have been taking some medication the past few weeks to help treat my endometriosis. Due to the timing of some traveling and all the work in going on in January, we decided that the end of February would be the best time to do the transfer. I want to be in the best possible physical and mental state for the transfer and give our family the best possible chance of a positive outcome.
So that’s where we are at folks! Honestly, I have felt less stress since we started IVF than the past 2 years of trying. I am definitely scared there’s a big chance it might not work (I think IVF only gives you a 40% chance of getting pregnant), but I no longer have the stress of waiting and wondering every month if I ovulated and whether or not I was pregnant. I have been able to focus on myself these past 6 weeks, with a clear plan ahead and it’s provided me a lot of relief and hope. We feel blessed we have the opportunity to go this route and we are hoping for the best!
The year ended on a high note for Morning Lavender. We had a Company record breaking Black Friday Sale Weekend and in December, we opened our 2nd brick-and-mortar location right here in my hometown of Tustin. If you been following @morninglavenderoc, you know we took on a huge undertaking and renovated the building from the ground up to create a dream retail-concept space. I will blog about this experience in a separate blog post but I just wanted to take the time to thank my husband and team for rallying, meeting shipping deadlines, being amazing to our customers and helping get the new store open just time of the holidays! More is coming soon and we can’t wait to share all that we have planned! If you want to join our fun team, WE ARE HIRING!
Don’t do it if it doesn’t make you happy.
Don’t do it to get a reaction out of others.
Don’t be too hard on yourself.
Never say never.
Success takes time.
Somethings (and people) are worth the investment.
When things get hard, remember why you started.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
It’s ok if it doesn’t go as planned.
So much happened at the end of 2017 that we took 10 days off (sort off) to spend time with family, re-group and just enjoy our new home. It went by rather quickly and I’m excited to get planning for 2018 going! We have an incredible amount of work to accomplish in these first few months so I always take the first few days to make budget, goals and spreadsheets to keep me focused, centered and inspired. It might be my accounting background, but I love making spreadsheets and writing down everything that we have to accomplish and how to get there. I wanted to share with you a few of my personal and business goals for this year:
1. TRUST OTHER PEOPLE. It sounds easy enough right? Well for a Type A personality like me who loves being in control, this is actually really hard to do. From the beginning of Morning Lavender, I’ve had my hand in everything and it’s been a slow road for me to let go and delegate so many areas. At one point last year, I broke down with stress and made a list of all the things I did each and everyday for the business. The list filled up a whole page (with 2 columns) and I knew at that moment I was doing too much and it was taking too much time away from the things I was really good at. But then things got busy and I felt like I didn’t have time to hire and train more staff. So my goal for this year is to take a bunch off my plate and INVEST in people. I know I’m not good at everything so why am I doing everything? It’s time to trust in others so I can focus on what I do best.
2. EAT HEALTHIER. The 2nd half of 2017 was really bad for us in terms of eating healthy. Without a kitchen for 4.5 months, we ate out ALL THE TIME. And when you are running your own business, hours in the day will pass by before you’ve had a bite to eat or a glass of water to drink. And when you finally remember to eat, you need to eat something quick a.k.a. fast food. When we did #sheddingforthewedding 4 years ago, I remember having so much more energy because we were watching what we were feeding our bodies. Today is the end of the bad eating for me (ok there will be a few In-N-Out and Korean bbq cheat meals) but despite how busy it will get in the next few weeks, I plan to make time to meal prep and make a bigger effort to seek out healthier options. This is also perfect timing as I have about 6 weeks to go before the IVF transfer!
3. GET MASSAGES REGULARLY. Yes that sounds overindulgent but I have to make time for ME. And massages are one of those things that makes me really happy and keeps me really relaxed. It’s important to take care of yourself so you can take care of others. If we want to make this baby happen, I know I have to slow down and take care of myself.
4. GET AND STAY ORGANIZED. People always tell me “I don’t know how you do it all”. And we really don’t. You know what suffers when we are busy?! Our organization or lack thereof! Jason and I are hoarders. We love stuff and we hate getting rid of stuff. It’s only been 6 months and every room in our 3,200 sq foot house is filled. How? Why? Well I’m Asian and I like free stuff and I think throwing away stuff is wasteful. Soooo my mission is to declutter and get organized this month and hopefully stay that way.
5. NO PHONES AFTER 11PM. Does that sound late? We sleep around 12-1am so that’s not bad right? Well when you own your own business, you never really turn off work. We are always checking our emails, messages, social channels, etc… It’s constant and you feel like you always have to have a pulse on what’s going on with everything. And really you don’t. Or I need to tell myself we don’t. I should apply this rule to laptops as well. Gah I miss the days of working 10 hours a day in accounting but then getting to go home, sit on the sofa, eat cereal for dinner and watch The Bachelor with my roomie. Ok so maybe no phones after 10pm. We will work on refining this goal.
6. BE A BETTER WIFE. My husband is incredibly patient and supportive. He has put his own goals and needs aside to help me fulfill my dreams and take care of me. He takes care of almost everything in the house, oversaw all of the construction of our OC shop and does everything with the calmest demeanor and constant respect and gratitude towards others. He’s simply AMAZING. I mean this man pretty much got OC opened by himself as I was sick the whole week of the opening. He’s also been to every fertility appointment with me, been there every time I cried over our disappointment, and been the strength for our family. I’ve been so focused on getting pregnant and growing our business this past year that I know I haven’t been the best wife to him. It’s easy when you work together to mistreat the other person and being the bossy person I am, I am certainly guilty of that. If you are reading this babe, I promise to put you first! I promise to be more patient, understanding and stop being so ambitious so we can enjoy life a bit more ;).
Ok so I have a bajillion more but I’ll stop here. Thank you for taking the time to read another lengthy blog post. IF you like these kinds of posts, show me some love in the comments! Thank you! I will be sharing more about the business and home soon!