6 Things to Shift While Trying To Conceive

I remember feeling totally empty and broken when we learned we had lost our second consecutive pregnancy. I had spent 2 years re-balancing my body, my hormones, and my cycles, and STILL, I wasn’t able to stay pregnant. Defeat.

After allowing myself some physical and mental space, I decided I was ready to explore some new ways of healing and re-balance. After just 4 months of adopting some new things consistently, and letting others go, we gave it another shot. And, wouldn’t you know, we not only became pregnant, we’re still pregnant, and eager to meet this little one in March 2019.

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Things I Let Go Of:

 

Inflammatory Foods

Inflammatory foods are different for every {one} body. Through some thoughtful planning, educating myself and really tuning in to my body’s cues, GLUTEN became my #1 enemy. It wreaked havoc on my digestion, my cycles, my skin, and my mind. So, I ditched it 100%!

Inflammation is essentially like a little flame, that sometimes turns into raging fire. It is the body playing a mean game of defense. Ya know how if you fall and scrape your knee, it puffs up, swells, and sometimes oozes? Imagine THAT happening on the INSIDE of your body. Identifying inflammatory triggers for your unique body is essential!

Saying Yes

This was soooo hard for me! I have always been the queen of, “YES, I’ll be there, YES, I can help, YES, I can volunteer, YES, I will cook, YES, I will host, YES I’ll plan the event,” etc.

What I learned is that politely declining not only allowed time to focus on what was most important in this season of my life, but decreased my stress tenfold, and opened up more time to just BE. This was such an imperative step, as the body cannot heal (or make babies) in a stressed state.

Focusing on the Outcome

For the longest time, the goal was a healthy pregnancy. What I learned through this process is the outcome (the baby) was something completely out of my control. What WAS in my control was the day-to-day. So instead of asking myself, “when will we have a healthy pregnancy?” I ask myself, “What can do TODAY to positively impact my body, and my future baby? I still ask myself each day.

Things I Adopted:

 

Warmer Foods

Ditch the ice in your water? Yup! Traditional Chinese Medicine believes in a concept called “cold uterus,” which essentially means that your blood flow to the uterus is stagnant, therefore not an optimal warm, cozy or welcoming place for a baby. By ditching the ice in my water, eating more warm/cooked foods vs cold/raw, and even keeping my feet warm, I increased blood flow and created warming energy to catalyze the process, and create a warmer, cozier, more welcoming space for a baby to thrive.

Acupuncture

Ever heard the saying “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it?” There is a reason acupuncture is still a well known and widely used practice after nearly 4500 years! It increases blood flow, circulation and energy, allowing the body to most literally heal from the inside, out. I attended sessions with an acupuncturist board certified with the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine (ABORM) weekly, for 3 consecutive months leading up to our healthy pregnancy, and weekly throughout the first trimester.

Gratitude

Ahhhh the power of gratitude. It’s really easy to get stuck in a victim mentality when life is hard. “Everyone else is getting pregnant, or having healthy babies, and woe is me. “ You know, the idea of life happening to you, not for you.  But here’s the thing -- no one on the planet was in control of those thoughts and beliefs, but ME. By shifting those shitty, negative thoughts to empowering thoughts, I was able to keep my mindset positive, which positively impacted my stress, my mood, and my relationship with the VIPs in my life. That, my friends, is a win.

Sooooo, did it work, or was it a bunch of hocus pocus?

These changes positively impacted my life and my relationships in ways well beyond our journey to baby. They truly changed my life.

Just before we were ready to try again, my midwife said, “Sarah, it is an absolute miracle that there are as many healthy pregnancies and babies as there are. SO MANY things need to happen right, and seemlessly, and still an average three of four end in healthy pregnancies, and healthy babies." 🤰🏻👶🏼

So, perhaps the healthy pregnancy followed by these changes I made were coincidence.

Miracle nonetheless? Certainly.


Resources

Implement nutrition, mindset and lifestyle changes that will positively impact your life, and your fertility HERE.

Find a board certified ABORM acupuncturist in your area HERE.

Learn more about Traditional Chinese Medicine and what you can begin to implement today to positively impact your fertility HERE.

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Miracle After Miscarriages

Oh Heyyyyyyy 20 Weeks! 👋🏼👋🏼

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It's wild to be here. I remember so clearly walking into my midwife's office back in May and asking, "What do you think, are we ready?"

After 2 pregnancy losses in the months leading up to this conversation, my midwife said, "Sarah, if you both FEEL ready, then yes, you are ready. To be honest, it is an absolute miracle that there are as many healthy pregnancies and babies as there are. SO MANY things need to happen right, and seemlessly, and still an average three of four end in healthy pregnancies, and healthy babies." 🤰🏻👶🏼

That was it. That moment. It was freaking miracle that I was sitting in that room. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US -- We move, we breathe, we engage, we think and grow and learn. We love, we embrace, we mourn, we HEAL. We are miracles. 🤩

And even though it had seemed maybe the odds were stacked against us, that maybe my body was different, that maybe something was different than before, I treated my body like the miracle that it is--I allowed myself space, leaned in, slowed down, was open to some new ways of being and doing, stayed consistent, let go of what other's thought.. and when we were ready, trusted in another miracle. We're half way there! 😍

So whatever it is -- the healthy pregnancy, the relationship, the energy, the job, the vacation, the opportunity, the confidence, the courage, or figuring out what the heck it is that YOU need in this season of your life...start by treating your body and mind like the miracle that they are. And allow yourself to be supported. When you believe that anything is possible....it is ❤️ !


Uncover what becomes possible for you! >>

If you are ready to take action, step into your power and make changes.  If you value support, guidance and accountability. If you are  a go-getter with an unstoppable commitment to heal your body & put yourself back in the driver's seat. I invite you to book a complimentary call!

*If you are not truly ready to take action, a 60 minute call with information is meaningless.  

I look for women who are willing to do something different to get something different while simultaneously creating a lifestyle that affords them to be PRESENT and ENGAGED in their life, with the people they love.

If this is you, BOOK YOUR COMPLIMENTARY CALL!

 
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The Wait for Rainbow Baby

Yesterday, Ziggy was angry. When I asked him why, he shouted, “because I want a baby!” 😳

Chris immediately shot me a look.

“Nope. Haven’t said a word to him since I was warming him up to the idea during the last pregnancy. Promise.”

I pulled Ziggy into my lap, where he went on to share that he wanted a baby because he was tired of playing alone. “ I want a kid to play with.”😭

I explained that we would love to give him a baby, but that it would take some time, because I would have to grow one in my belly.

The next obvious question was, “well how does a baby get in your belly?” 🤣

Wellllllll, mommy and daddy do a special baby dance, make a baby, and then I grow the baby in my belly. 🤷🏻‍♀️

“Oh!!! I know a great baby dance. It’s
Called the rainbow baby dance!!!” 😍🌈

 

 
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My eyes immediately welled up with tears as he leaped out of my lap to show me the moves.

“The rainbow baby dance?”

“Yeah!! It goes like this....”

💓 heart explodes 💓

And just like that, the insight and intuition of a 4 year old to voice his desires reminds me that our ray of light is just around the corner.

🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈

 

 

It’s been a long few months. I struggled for a while to see the positive intention through all of the loss.. but what I’ve found as I tread on the other side is a journey to healing a lifelong struggle with a warped body image.

It’s not easy to look at the reflection of your postpartum body after 2 pregnancy losses without a baby.

And for the first time in my life, I was faced with the hard reality that in order to truly heal and move forward, I had to learn to embrace, love and celebrate my body NOW, in this moment.

Because if I was honest in reflecting, prioritizing getting back into that size 4 wasn’t going to heal shiz. 💩

It definitely hasn’t been easy, and some days are easier than others, but I feel a huge weight lifted.

The mental weight of obsessing about what I did or didn’t eat.

The weight of guilt because I ate “too many” carbs, too much fat, or enjoyed an ice cream with my family.

The weight of refusing to buy new clothes that feel good on my NOW body because I’m too busy squeezing into what I currently have and crying daily.

The weight of allowing the number on the scale to determine my mood.

The weight of all the negative things I’ve told myself for years still creeps in, and I am still learning, still listening to my body every day. And, compelled & driven to help others learn how to listen to theirs. 👂🏼

If you’re sick of obsessing, like you've tried everything...if what's always worked is no longer working or you know that deep down if you don’t address this you’re going to miss out on the next great thing in your LIFE...

Allow yourself be okay with not doing it alone!! 👯‍♀️ (TRUST ME, I know how hard this is)

The space where SO much of my healing is rooted—June foundational group coaching program—kicks off so soon!!

Enrollment is OPEN through next week only and limited to only a few spaces. We're #bettertogether 👯‍♀️

Schedule your complimentary session to see if it's a good fit:
❤👇🏼

 

 

Self Acceptance After Pregnancy Loss

I spent my entire life judging & comparing my body to others, obsessing about food and exercise and never feeling like my body was “good enough.”

I was constantly thinking about what I did or didn’t eat, what I was “allowed” and “not allowed” to have.

My pant size was never small enough, I was never happy with the scale, and I was constantly checking my reflection to make sure clothes weren’t pinching to “make me look bigger than I already was”. 🤣

 
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Gah I’m exhausted just talking about it.

 

It took peering back at the reflection of my “postpartum” body after 2 back to back pregnancy losses for me to realize that in order to truly heal and move forward I had to learn to embrace, love, and celebrate my body NOW, in this moment.

 

Because if I was honest in reflecting, attaining that size 4 wasn’t going to heal shiz 💩

So, I stopped trying to be superwoman and allowed myself to be supported. 👯‍♀️

I gave myself grace. 🙏🏼

I opened up space to FEEL. 🙌🏻

I began to slowly talk to myself like someone I love. 💛

And to gain some awareness around the beliefs that I was not worthy, not good enough, not thin enough or not deserving enough. ✋🏼

Do I have it all figured out? Nope.

 

That negative shit still creeps in, and I am still learning, still listening to my body every day. And, compelled & driven to help others learn how to listen to theirs. 👂🏼

 
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If you’re sick of obsessing, like you've tried everything...if what's always worked is no longer working or you know that deep down if you don’t address this you’re going to miss out on the next great thing in your LIFE...

Allow yourself be okay with not doing it alone!! 👯‍♀️ (As someone who wears all the hats and does all the things, TRUST ME, I know how hard this is)

 

I’m opening up my schedule next week for complimentary sessions!! I PROMISE That you have the power to release judgement and shift to PROGRESS vs streamlined perfection. 👊🏼

These are on a first come, first serve basis, and will fill up fast!

And girl, #bettertogether
❤👇🏼


Connect with me HERE!  

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The Truth About the BMI Chart

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You know how they weigh you at the doctors office, then put you in a tiny room placed right in front of the BMI chart? 🤣

You know...that little chart that doesn’t account for muscle mass, water retention, changes?

...The one that stares at you as you sit on that crunchy ass paper, in the silence of that space, reminding you that you’re “not good enough, not thin enough, and that you should really do something to change.” 😭

 

 

 

According to that BMI chart, I’m one tier away from being considered overweight for my height. 🤷🏻‍♀️

According to the scale, I’m 8 pounds heavier than I was this time last year. ⚖️

According to my pants, I’m a size 8. 👖

According to society, I’m short and curvy. ➰

According to my 4-year-ago-self, I’m “so fat.” 🤯

According to my son, I am the most perfect being on the planet. 🌍

According to my husband, I’m sexy AF. 😏

According to my present self, this exactly where I’m supposed to be in this season of my life. 🌱

And it’s funny to be reflecting from this space, because when I created my vision board with goals for this year, a weight loss goal was on the list.

I hit print.

For a moment I reflected, realizing that the the weight loss goal wasn’t in alignment with other goals for our family this year. I went to grab my copy off of the printer to toss into the recycling.

It didn’t print 🤷🏻‍♀️

So, I went on the edit my vision board, removing the weight loss goal, and replacing it with “practice self love, honor body,” and hit print.

It printed.

There are subtle messages throughout our day, guiding us. We miss them if we’re not listening. Tune in! 👂🏼

And just so you know, you are not a number. Don't let one define you. ❤️


To honoring your body, feeling alive, and staying inspired in the skin you're in! 

Let's connect >>  Click here << 

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Empowering Lessons After Miscarriage

I did something empowering this week.  This is going to sound really silly, so please, bare with me.

I bought new pants.

This isn't important because I'm celebrating the smallest size I've ever been in, or even my ideal size.  This is important because I walked out of that store with a pair of pants that fit my NOW body. 

I'm celebrating because, after 2 back to back miscarriages, I am finally in a place where I am loving the skin I am in.  This didn't happen overnight, and requires a little backstory..

After Ziggy (now 4) celebrated his first birthday, for the first time in my life, I began a journey to self care.  Growing a human from scratch, birthing him and sustaining his life is no small feat. And as someone who spent the bulk of their adult life as a yo-yo dieter, negative self talker, who dealt with stress by way of alcohol and cigarettes, this was the start of a really important journey.  

In a nutshell, the last 3 years looked something like this; 

Began prioritizing self care, taking time for self daily 

Started building my health coaching business while teaching full time 

Weened Ziggy from breastfeeding 

On and off of birth control, trying to find one that didn't make me cray 

Quit smoking after 19 years 

Quit taking birth control. That shit is cray 

Train for first half marathon

Run first half marathon 

Resign from teaching job, commit to my Health Coaching practice full time

See dozens of doctors as I search for an answer to missing cycles, irritability, brain fog, skin conditions, chronic digestive discomfort

Get no answers

Take a stand for self and health.  Research like a mad woman.

Identify gluten as food sensitivity for my body 

Period returns for the first time in 7 months

Digestive discomfort resolves

Begin studying Holistic Health 

Take actionable steps daily to reduce stress

Begin slowly gaining weight

Hair and nails start growing again

Train for first half trail marathon

Run first half trail marathon

Become pregnant! 

Lose pregnancy

Celebrate Christmas and ring in the New Year

Become pregnant again!

Lose pregnancy

...........

My body has most literally been on a hormonal roller coaster since Ziggy was born. It's effected the way my body responds to stress, my moods, my metabolism, my cycles, my weight, and my pant size.  The emotional and physical weight of it all can be a real mind f*ck.

Feeling like you have a postpartum body, with no baby, sucks.  It sucks to feel like your body is broken.  It sucks to look in the mirror at your naked body and feel like your body failed you.  Twice. It sucks to feel like you're just left with the "leftover" physical and emotional weight of what could have been.

And to get from this place, to where you make a choice to proudly step into the bigger pant size, was a long journey.

Self love is a tricky thing. 

 

It requires some deep inner work.  It requires the right support.  The right questions.  The right care.  The right reflections. 

Especially after years of defining yourself by a number (on a scale, in a pair of pants...) and defining a big part of your self worth around your physical body.  It feels SO.FREAKING.EMPOWERING to truly embody MY body and all that it can do.  

This body creates miracles daily.  It picks up my baby body.  It embraces the people I love.  It allows me to think, and learn, and grow.  It runs marathons.  It BREATHES and MOVES.  It creates life.  It sustains life.  It heals. It grows.  

It is a miracle to have a body!

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So today, as I proudly wear these bigger pants, I say f*ck the numbers.  And I mean it. I will not let any number define me. I am done feeling like my body is inadequate and is letting me down.  

You are not a body. 

YOU HAVE A BODY.  It is beautiful.  It is powerful.  It is unlike any other body on the planet.  It is yours. <3


This is where it all begins, and incredible things begin to unfold as you begin to step into this space!   If you're ready to embark on your journey to self love, let's connect.  Find me HERE.  #bettertogether   

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Environmental Toxins and Our Health

It's obvious that we eat effects our health, but did you know what goes ON your skin, goes IN your body too?

Yup.

We're talking lotions, deodorants, make-up, detergents, as well as environmental substances that we touch and breathe, like cleaning products.

So, the more natural, the less synthesized, the better.

This is a continual work in progress for me personally, but is something I am becoming more and more aware of as I seek out new products.  I continue to make more and more changes as time goes on and I learn more.  This is especially important as I continue my journey to creating an optimal state for baby!

But here's the deal.  Just like making positive changes to our diet, it is easy to allow yourself to become so overwhelmed with an overhaul that you put yourself into a state of stress and overwhelm.  #aintnobodygottimeforthatshit  

START WHERE YOU ARE! 

Little changes, layered in over time will make a BIG impact! 


Below are some of my family's favorite products and recommendations.  I have linked each product, and contacts for some as well!!  

Home

Charlie's Laundry Soap

We started using this soap when we started washing our own cloth diapers.  Turns out is pretty awesome stuff, so we continue to buy it in bulk.  Go Charlie's! 

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Wool Dryer Balls

These were another thing that changed in our laundry routine when be began washing cloth diapers, and something that we continue to use!  A few drops of essential oil on them make any load of laundry smell fab! 

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Good old white vinegar & water

CONFESSION:  When I started my business, cleaning was the first thing that I outsourced!  Aside from basic surface cleaning/straitening and running the vacuum, I don't do much.  We keep a spray bottle of vinegar and water in bathrooms, and the kitchen to spray/wipe down surfaces, and it works like a charm!  Mix 3 parts vinegar, 1 part water.

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Baking Soda

Baking soda is an odor neutralizer and deodorizer.  We store ours in the fridge to keep things smelling so fresh and so clean clean.  It is great to freshen a load of funky laundry, pet odors, and as an exfoliate for tile, grout, sinks and tubs. Add 1/4 c to the recipe above for these added benefits! 

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Body 

Apricot Kernal Oil

I love this is a carrier oil with my essential oils!  For a night time face moisturizer, I use Apricot oil + Frankincense + Melaleuca, and it makes my skin feel amaze.

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Alba Botanicals

Amazing full body lotion.  I've used this for Ziggy since he was a babe as well! 

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Apothecary Muse Adventure Skin Care

Local to Pittsburgh, PA, and specializing in providing natural, safe and environmentally-friendly body care products that support outdoor recreation throughout the seasons.  A MUST try!

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Tom's Toothpaste

Tom's remains a reputable all natural brand--we love their toothpaste, for kids AND adults! 

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Native Deodorant

It took me a while to get on the natural deodorant train, yall!  And I'm going to be honest, I now wonder what took me so long to get on.  Native is online only, works better than any traditional deodorant I've ever used, and smells amaze.  Get some.  Use this link for a free travel size with your first order!  

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All Purpose

Coconut Oil

I have a jar in my kitchen, and a jar in my bathroom!  For body, use it as a moisturizer, on a pregnant belly, on baby's skin, as a carrier oil for essential oils and salves...use orally to pull toxins, or as a hair mask, too.   A must have staple to any home. 

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Doterra Essential Oils 

I've only been using essential oils for about 15 months, but am falling more and more in love!  There is SO much to learn, and my guru, Stephanie of East End Oils, is always there to support me and guide me on my essential oil journey.  If you are not currently working with a guru, click the link above to get in in touch with her! 

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Dr Bronner's Castile Soap

Chris tried to get me on the Dr Bronner's train when we first met, and I told him I didn't want to smell like a hippy.  LOL!  This soap is a-maze, all purpose in the shower, perfect for cleaning or laundering just about anything.  Treat yourself to a bottle, and learn about all of the ways to use this amazing soap right on the label.

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Norwex

Sooooo, I can't speak for the surface cloths because I don't do much cleaning, BUT I LOVEEEEE the body cloth!!  I use it daily to wash my face--perfect for in or out of shower, and travels well!  If you're not working with a Norwex guru, and want to learn more, contact my friend and guru Brie by clicking the link above! 

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Rae Marie Fine Soaps & Textiles

A sister owned company, committed to creating products that clean effectively while maintaining a balanced eco-system while supporting your overall health.  Shop home & body!

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I also had soooooo many other great recommendations shared on social media!  I ran them all by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Skin Deep App to see how they ranked, am including some more recommendations based on what I learned below!

 

EWG Verified Brands 

Beautycounter

Everyone

Avalon Organics

EWG Score of 3 or Below

Eminence

7th Generation

Primal Pit

Blue Lizard 

Shea Moisture

Jason (mineral sunscreen)

Every Man Jack

Aveda (Shampoo and make up remover)


Learn more about the EWG HERE!

Have a favorite product that's not listed here?  See how it rates on EWG, and SHARE here!  


 I'd love to hear from you!&nbsp; Contact me  HERE.

I'd love to hear from you!  Contact me HERE.

Love the Skin You're In: Healing Tinea Versicolor

Not your average #transformationtuesday

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The photo on the left popped up in my memories, and was a reminder to how far I’ve come.

See, about 2 years ago, my skin was dry and I developed a condition called tinea versicolor, 👈🏼 which reaps the pigment, creating blotches of varying skin tones. It’s not uncomfortable or contagious, but it doesn’t look pretty and makes you feel gross. 

 

 

My nails & hair became brittle and frail. I began to experience chronic mouth sores, deep boils on my face, as well as extreme digestive discomfort. My periods stopped.

On top of it all, I was an emotional roller coaster. There were days that I was debilitatingly exhausted, which I chalked up to being a working mom who was building a business in the background.  

I saw my PCP, my midwife, dermatologist, an ER doctor and spent 4 months with an endocrinologist. After it all, I was referred to a reproductive endocrinologist, at which point I decided to take an alternative route.

I feverishly read and researched.

I made changes to my diet.

My hair stopped falling out. My digestive symptoms eased. The cold sores and boils stopped. My period came back.

I began a supplement regimen.

I made changes to reduce stress.

 
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My nails started growing again.

And while I can't reverse the sun damage from my teens and twenties #hellofreckles, my skin has regained health, which is a sign that my body is not only being properly nourished, but is absorbing those nutrients.

This is what I've learned; Even foods that are deemed as healthy are not healthy for every one {body}!

All bodies are different.  All bodies change. That food IS in fact medicine. That bringing it back to what we know is REAL food has the ability to heal. There isn't one cookie cutter approach.

I was eating the wrong foods for MY body!

 

It didn't matter that I was eating whole, clean foods, in the right portions or staying active every day. It didn't matter that I drank tons of water, and limited alcohol.

Do I have it all figured out? Nope. I am still learning, still listening to my body every day. And, compelled & driven to help others learn how to listen to theirs.

s many of you know, I work with women to uncover the food and lifestyle habits that are holding them back, and am opening up my February schedule.

If you're struggling with unexplained skin conditions, digestive discomfort, irritability,  mood swings or even missing irregular cycles/infertility... 

if you feel like you've tried everything...

if you're lacking energy and don't know where to start...

if what's always worked is no longer working...

or you know that deep down you are missing something in regard to your health...

please, let’s connect.

The gap between where you are and where you want to be can sometimes feel so big that it feels impossible to fill that gap.  It takes courage to explore something new.  It takes even more courage to stick with it. 

Let's work together to uncover the foods and lifestyle habits that are holding them back from living a VIBRANT life. You deserve a vibrant life!

 

xoxo sarah

Back to Back Miscarriages; Journey to Healing

*This blog post contains TMI for some people.  If you are easily offended by personal woman stuff, or feel strongly that things like this should remain personal, now is an excellent time to close your browser.*

In January 2017, after nearly two years of missing and irregular cycles, dozens of doctors appointments, bloodwork screens, emotional turmoil and tears, I was referred to a reproductive endocrinologist. At that moment I had a choice. I could follow through with the referral, or I could take some time to navigate this on my own.

I chose the self-guided approach, becoming my body’s best health expert. I learned how to listen to my body’s cues in response to food. I learned to manage stress, and get enough sleep. I learned about the importance of a positive mindset and gratitude. Through this time, I came to learn that our bodies are talking to us, and it’s up to us to learn how to listen. 

Slowly but surely, my cycles began to regulate, and for the first time since before Ziggy was born in 2014, I began ovulating again. And, in November 2017, we were elated to learn that we were expecting a baby.  

From the moment you see the two lines on that stick, you start to think about when and how your life will change. You pull out your old baby books to reminisce and compare how this pregnancy is different. 

You plug into all of the apps, get daily email updates, you make your first doctor's appointments.

You start putting away clothes that you know you are going to grow out of soon as your body changes.  You tell a couple of your closest friends.

You tour the new birth center, start asking Ziggy how he would feel about being a big brother.  You buy tee shirts for him to wear on Christmas to announce to family that he will be a big brother.  

And as quickly as that all changes, it can all change again.


I started spotting on a Sunday afternoon before Christmas.  My OB and midwife were not overly concerned, "Bleeding in the first trimester can be normal.  Are you in pain?  Any cramping?  Are you bleeding heavily?"  They shared words of encouragement, and as long as nothing changed, wanted to see me first thing Monday morning.  They encouraged me to go to the ER if anything did change.

That evening, I made the trip to the ER. 

I learned that my HcG levels (the hormone that is present when you are pregnant, and doubles every 48 hours in a healthy pregnancy) was low for being nearly 8 weeks.  They sent me home Sunday without any definitive answers, but I knew in my heart the prognosis wasn't good.  I was devastated.  

I visited my OB first thing that Monday morning.  She ordered another HcG screen for Tuesday (48 hours) to see how it was trending.  She assured me that I did nothing wrong, that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage.  It is just our body's way of detecting that something isn't quite right, and doing the right thing by terminating the pregnancy early.  

My mom laid in bed with me while I cried.  And cried.  It's so weird, because you already have this attachment to this little person.  I felt totally broken. 

My bloodwork came back that Tuesday showing my HcG levels had dropped significantly, as I suspected.  The following week, they were below 5.  It was good in the sense that my body took care of this on its own, and I did not need any intervention.  

In the weeks following, I immersed myself in the healthy 3 year old baby boy in our life, and in the joy and wonder of Christmas.


In mid January 2018, my period has still not returned.  I took a pregnancy test to learn that we were again expecting! (omg!)  We weren't quick to get too excited, but again, you cannot help but think when/how your life will change when this person arrives. 

You, again, begin making appointments with your doctors, treat your body like a temple, and this time, aren't as quick to share the news with anyone.

On Sunday evening, just shy of 6 weeks, I thought to myself, you know, I feel really good.  Like, almost too good.  My energy is super high.  My boobs don't really hurt.  I wonder if I really AM pregnant?  

I took another test to settle the gut feeling I was experiencing to confirm that yes, I was pregnant.  

The following morning, I was shocked to find I was bleeding again.  I called my doctor and midwife in tears, "I just experienced this.  Why?  What is wrong with my body?"

After a few phone calls, I dropped to my knees in the kitchen, and prayed (and I don't pray) "oh please, give me the strength.  Please give me strength."


As I shared the story of my first loss with friends, many opened up and shared stories of their lost babies. 

Some early in their pregnancy, others later.  Some lost a heartbeat before losing their babies.  Others lost one of their multiples, while others delivered their babies, who never took a breath.  

For every four pregnancies, ONE ends in miscarriage.  This emotional and physical heartbreak isn't something that we talk about.  There are women and couples everywhere, every day, that are going through this silent trauma.  

To those of you that have lost your baby, I see you.  I see your strength. 
To those of you that have lost your babies, I see you.  I see your strength.
To those of you that are still waiting for your baby, I see you.  I see your strength.  
To those of you that have held your baby, I see you.  I see your strength.
We are not alone.  

I believe there is a positive intention in everything.  I'm still really struggling to find the positive intention here, but am staying open to receiving answers.

 
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When I was in the office awaiting my bloodwork panel, this reminder popped up in my phone.  The timing was perfect.  I took a screenshot.  I do believe in miracles. 

For now, I stay immersed in gratitude for the support system I have built into my life. For our 3 year old miracle, Ziggy, who keeps joy and wonder in every day.  For feeling reassured that after 15 months of missed periods and irregular cycles, that I CAN get pregnant again. 

I believe there is healing in transparency and shared life experience. 

I believe we are only faced with what will contribute to our inner & outer strength.

I believe in miracles.

MAY YOU, TOO, BELIEVE IN MIRACLES.  

 

 

 

Now, to embark on the next chapter of the journey -- healing, continual learning and self discovery.


I would love to hear from you.  A supportive tribe of women, good thoughts, shared experiences and healing vibes are so crucial.     <3

 

 

xo sarah

 

6 Week Fertility Workshop: Working from the Inside Out

Much like a garden that needs the right balance of nutrients and care to thrive, our bodies need the same care in order to create and sustain life.  

 This group program is designed to provide education around the foods and lifestyle practices that create a thriving environment for both you and a baby, provide a platform for mindful patterns around your health and create a foundation for long term, sustainable lifestyle change.

 I know what it feels like to feel your body is “broken,”or that the family you picture is only a dream.  I understand the emotional ups and downs of this journey, and I am here to guide you as you tap into your own intuition, gain tools and resources and listen to your body.

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 In the spring of 2013, my husband Chris and I decided we were maybe ready to start a family.  Fast forward about a week after we made that decision, and I became pregnant.  We weren't in any hurry to grow our family after Ziggy, but I felt certain that all we would need to do to make it happen is make the decision.

I was wrong.

In January 2017, after nearly two years of missing and irregular cycles, dozens of doctors appointments, bloodwork screens, emotional turmoil and tears,  I was referred to a reproductive endocrinologist.  At that moment I had a choice.  I could follow through with the referral, or I could take some time to navigate this on my own.

I chose the self-guided approach, becoming my body’s best health expert.  I learned how to listen to my body’s cues in response to food.  I learned to manage stress, and get enough sleep.  I learned about the importance of a positive mindset and gratitude.

 
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Slowly but surely, my cycles began to regulate, and for the first time since before my son was born in 2014, I began ovulating again.  For the first time in 4 years, I know that my body is capable of doing what I once thought was impossible!

Through this time, I came to learn that our bodies are talking to us, and it’s up to us to learn how to listen.

I’ve paired my certification in Holistic Health, studies in plant-based nutrition, and personal experience into a proven system that has the ability to heal, and create a thriving environment, inside and out!   Even if you feel depleted, defeated, or like you’ve tried everything.

 
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This 6 week workshop may be a good fit for you if you are:

  •  Thinking about getting pregnant
  •  Currently trying to conceive
  • Curious about a Holistic approach to health
  •  Feeling confused about the best foods for your body
  • Interested in releasing judgement and comparison as you enter into this chapter of your life, and into a place of self love
  • Ready to adopt mindful patterns around your health
  • Open to improving your overall emotional and physical health and wellbeing
 

What's Included:  

  • (1) 1:1 60 Minute Coaching Session with Me. This session is designed for you to get crystal clear on your goals, what is holding you back, and actionable steps for you to begin taking to radically improve your health (and your family’s!)

 

  • (5) 60 Minute Live Group Coaching Sessions With Me. I will share customized coaching exercises that are guaranteed to accelerate your results and help you achieve major breakthroughs so you can see transformation in your body – and your life. These coaching sessions are designed to create a place of community and trust.

 

  • Emergency Email Support Between Sessions. Monday- Friday, expect a personal response from me within 24 hours.
  • Customized, Done-For-You Materials Such As Checklists, Recipes, Handouts And More; This group program doesn’t exist to give you MORE information; it exists to give you CURATED information. What that means is that what you can expect is information that is relevant, practical and actionable, so you can stay out of overwhelm and in action!!

In order to give you the best possible coaching experience, space is limited! Applicants will be considered on a first come-first serve basis.  We begin the week of March, 5, 2018.

 

FAQ:

What is Holistic Health?

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Holistic health takes a WHOLE body approach to health and wellness, taking into account emotional and social factors, as well as incorporating whole foods and movement.

 

 

 

 

What are your credentials?

I began studying plant based nutrition in 2009, and started my online Health Coaching practice in 2015. I have worked with hundreds of clients, helping them to reach their health goals, and live an overall vibrant life!

I studied and earned my Holistic Health Coach certification through Health Coach Institute, and am currently working to complete my Life Coach certification. I also hold 3 levels of Mat Pilates Certification, have 10 years teaching experience around the city of Pittsburgh and hold BA and MEd degrees in Education.

What makes this program different?

I hold the belief that my clients are their own best health experts. I see my role as providing resources, and opening up the avenues for YOU to tap into your intuition! My personalized coaching experience enables women to access tools to the right foods for this season of life, maintain a balanced mood with increased energy levels, and live an overall vibrant life, even through the ups and downs! These personal improvements are especially important during the different life stages our bodies go through.

When are sessions held?

Initial 1:1 session is held over the phone.  Weekly group sessions will be held live via webcall, and recorded.

 
In order to give you the best possible coaching experience, space is limited! Applicants will be considered on a first come-first serve basis.

Food is Medicine: My Journey to Reproductive Health

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In the spring of 2013, my husband Chris and I decided we were maybe ready to start a family.  Fast forward about a week after we made that decision, and I became pregnant.  It happened so fast, I wasn't ready, I cried.  A lot.

If I knew what a positive impact this little person was going to have on my life, I wouldn't have cried so much.

He's taught me that my body is powerful, resilient and strong. He reminds me daily to celebrate life, and that laughter is the best medicine. He's retaught me that the simple things are the most special; the sunshine, new experiences, people we love. 

He reminds me to be fearless, to immerse myself in the people and things that bring me joy, to find passion and excitement in each day. The true meaning of patience, and the power of a good nights sleep. 

He's the drive behind my health coaching business, my health journey, and my vision for the future. He's the reason I continue to push outside of my comfort zone.  He is truly the light of our lives.

 

We weren't in any hurry to grow our family after Ziggy, but I felt certain that all we would need to do to make it happen is make the decision.  It turns out I was wrong.

I waited until he weaned from nursing, around 1 year postpartum, to begin taking birth control again. I had always done well on the pill, and figured it would be no different postpartum.  It turns out a lot changes hormonally after growing a human from scratch.  I was an emotional roller coaster, and experiencing a string of strange symptoms.  My skin was dry and itchy and my hair was falling out in clumps.  There were days that I was debilitatingly exhausted, which I chalked up to being a working mom who was building a business in the background.  

In December of 2015, I had a root canal, with an antibiotic to follow.  My existing symptoms worsened, and I began to experience chronic mouth sores, deep boils on my face, as well as extreme digestive discomfort.  It was time to see a doctor.  All of these symptoms had to be linked together in some way.


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My dermatologist recommended a topical cream for my dry, itchy skin.

My PCP tested my thyroid.  When the test came back normal, she recommended counseling, and also offered antidepressants as an option.  

An ER doctor prescribed me stool softeners for my digestive discomfort.

No one seemed to think that any of my symptoms were related to one another.  So, in February of 2016, I decided to stop taking birth control, hoping that my symptoms would subside, or at least lessen.  But instead, another was added to the list...


March passed, and then April, and my period never returned.  I went to see my widwife for my annual check up and expressed my concern.  She wasn't overly concerned about my missing cycle, as it can sometimes take a few months for a woman’s cycle to re-regulate after birth control..  

So, I didn’t stress about it, until May passed, and then June.  Still no period.  My midwife ordered a blood panel, to find that my estrogen was low.  

 
Low estrogen  no ovulation  no period.  
 
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She, again, prescribed time, suggested that we retest my hormone levels in 6-8 weeks, and I waited.

While I waited, I thought about the possibility of our family being complete.  Maybe this was it? Just 3 of us.  Maybe another baby won’t be an option for us.  I’m not sure how I envisioned it, but it certainly had to be by choice.  I began to question the positive lifestyle changes I had made--maybe I should just go back to smoking a pack of cigarettes and decompressing with a half a bottle of wine again every other day--I seemed to be healthier when I was doing those things!  Wtf!

 

 

 

 

August came, and I had my bloodwork run again only to find that my estrogen was moving in the wrong direction--it had lowered.  I was referred to an endocrinologist, and made the first available appointment in early October.

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By this time, I was feverishly researching my symptoms.  Even though the doctors I had seen didn’t seem to see a connection with my symptoms, I was certain that there was.  I spent hours reading cited articles, blog posts, medical publications.  I watched YouTube videos and listened to stories of others that had similar symptoms.  

 

And, while I waited for my first appointment, decided to do a 21 day elimination diet. During the process, my period returned for the first time in 7 months.

Slowly but surely, my other symptoms began to dissipate.  The mouth ulcers stopped.  My skin cleared up.  My hair stopped falling out.  My skin regained moisture.  I had energy again.  I didn't have pain and bloating after eating, and my digestion re-regulated.   

The chronic fatigue, the ups and downs, all of it. 

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When I saw the endocrinologist in October, I explained everything, and told her that I believe I had found food to be the underlying cause to my issues. She didn't seem convinced, so ordered a full metabolic panel of bloodwork, as well as hormones.  

For the first time since it all began, my bloodwork showed that estrogen was back to a normal level.  The numbers indicated that I wasn’t only just having a cycles again, but that I was also ovulating.  Regulating everything continued to be a work in progress, but every day was a step closer.


Hell.  Yes.


So, what have I learned through all of this?  That all bodies are different.  That all bodies change.  That what's always worked won't always work.  That food IS in fact medicine.  That bringing it back to what we know is REAL food has the ability to heal.   

My hope is by sharing my story, ONE person will get closer to finding their answer. 

 
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Here's the thing, guys. You have to do you. And YOU know your body better than anyone.  Without you, nothing else happens.  It may require work, and it may even require giving up things that you love (pizza and beer, OMG!)  but I promise it is worth every ounce of your energy. It's just about having the courage to start.

I always believed in the power of food as medicine.  It has the ability to make or break us; the power to be used as preventative medicine, or even as a tool to reverse adverse effects on our health.  If this resonates with you, please, reach out.  Creating a community of women who support one another on this journey is instrumental to our progress and healing!

 

xo sarah