Classic camel coat (and an IVF update)

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J.Crew Factory coat 00 petite (unfortunately no petites this year; similar option in petites), Uniqlo tee xs (see the “brown” color on me), Banana Republic pants 00p,Tory Burch purse on sale!, Ann Taylor bow pumps sz 5  on sale! w/ code FRIENDS40

Before I get back to regular outfit posts, I wanted to say thank you. I read each and every comment, direct message, and email in response to my last post, and was so moved by your warmth, support, and openness. Even though I may not have replied directly, please know that each message was uniquely meaningful to me. Your deeply personal stories allowed me to feel and share in your own incredible triumphs as well as heartache, in a way that’s amazing for women connecting through a blog.

For those who are interested, I wanted to occasionally share more of the highs and lows of the journey as we go. After leaving off with IVF egg retrieval in my last post, the next steps were to wait and see how many eggs fertilized, and then how many survived to day 5. In our case, the embryos that grow to day 5 are frozen to undergo optional genetic testing, which takes several weeks. Each embryo that’s deemed healthy can then be thawed and implanted into the uterus, where it will hopefully “stick.” At every waiting point along the way, there is almost always a dropoff.

Our doctor was able to retrieve 21 eggs last week. I was admittedly on a high, and allowed myself to feel oh so optimistic! But only 9 fertilized, and then yesterday while in the grocery store parking lot, I was told only 3 embryos survived to undergo testing (which means perhaps 1 or even none could make it to implantation). I couldn’t help but burst into tears right there – I was prepared for dropoff, but not quite so much. I know it’s ok and even important to cry at times, but your messages helped me find strength and regain positivity, as we continue down this uncertain road. So thank you again, from the bottom of our hearts.

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155 thoughts on “Classic camel coat (and an IVF update)

  • Reply Anonymous November 7, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    Jean, you are a strong and wonderful woman. I pray that all three embryos will be viable and healthy for implantation, and soon you will be on the journey of becoming a mother. We are here for you. If it’s ok with you, please continue to keep us updated. Sending you lots of love and hugs.

    • Reply Anonymous November 8, 2017 at 12:57 am

      Keep believing!!!

      I had 14 retrieved of which only 2 made it to day 5. I didn’t even do genetic testing and today, I have two healthy babies. I pray that your day will come soon.

    • Reply Emily November 8, 2017 at 5:19 pm

      Jean I also recommend looking into IVF in nyc where I think Columbia Presbyterian is where my friends went after other IVF drs were not helpful. They tried six years. I say nyc also because there are lots of more experienced drs and cases here, as you are aware.

      • Reply Katie November 9, 2017 at 11:18 pm

        Boston has amazing treatment for infertility-likely better than NYC.

    • Reply Stephani Luecker November 11, 2017 at 8:53 am

      Reading your post made me want to reach out and hug you. Nearly two years ago today i got my positive beta from ivf… i literally had the same amount of eggs, similar fertilzation and number that made it to blast. We did pgs testing three were normal. We implanted one and now have our daughter. Its a long road but so worth it. Please hang in there. Your not alone. We had a failed attempt as well before we did pgs testing… and two embryos did not implant… it was so hard to continue but im so glad i did. One day at a time… everything will be ok!

    • Reply JG November 11, 2017 at 1:19 pm

      Thank you so much for writing this post about infertility and IVF. I am in my 50’s and my kids are in their early/ mid-20’s. Neither is married yet so having babies is in the future, but I really appreciate you coming forth with your story. I know both my 25 yo daughter and my son’s 22 yo gf both follow many lifestyle and fashion bloggers and take advice from them on what to wear, where to travel to and how to decorate their apts. It makes me feel good when you write such stories and open up about real life struggles and challenges. I trust that if they have such a struggle or challenge sometime in the future they will remember your words and your journey and know that they are not alone. We are very private people too, so I know it can be difficult to open up about something so private, but I know you will help many with your words.
      PS – also being petite, i love your style!!

    • Reply Paula November 12, 2017 at 2:47 am

      Three is good!!! Retrievals are the hardest part of this journey. I did 2 consecutive retrievals /5 day transfers that didn’t take. I then took some time off and transferred 3 of 5 embryos left. Sadly they ended in an ectopic pregnancy. I took a nother break and transferred the last 2 and we now have a beautiful 3 year old. This is by far the hardest thing I have ever gone through and I wish so many people didn’t have to go through this. Don’t give up it works the transfers will be easier that the retrievals. I felt so relaxed when I was going through the frozen embryo transfers. Wishing you a happy ending!!! In the end it will work!

  • Reply Anonymous November 7, 2017 at 11:28 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story. I wish you both the best of luck. I did 3 rounds of IVF and I read your blog every day during my two week waits and it always cheered me up. So thank you for what you do!!

  • Reply Sara November 7, 2017 at 11:35 pm

    It only takes one ❤️ That’s a mantra my IVF friends and I have chanted to each other many times. The waiting is so hard. I had a hanger on that was a late grower, which I only learned about when I went in for my second pregnancy. Keep the faith. I wanted to share this article about PGS. It can give you a lot of peace, but it’s also not the holy grail some doctors pitch it as. My friend who struggled through three cyclesbefore even getting an embryo to day 5, opted to not to do PGS when she finally got three. She’s due in April. https://www.thecut.com/2017/09/ivf-abnormal-embryos-new-last-chance.html

    • Reply Heather November 8, 2017 at 12:57 am

      Omg thank you so much for this article! Our doctor suggested that we do PGS since I had a few failed transfers and miscarriages. I was gonna do it but ultimately decided not to because of the cost and my moderate response. I’m lucky enough to live in a state where insurance covers IVF but I would have to pay OOP for PGS. And with my history of having only a handful of embryos that made it to day 5, I decided we should transfer all the survivors anyways. The end of the article was so powerful as they really would have thrown out that embryo! Somehow I’m also not sure if removing cells from a day 5 embryo would actually cause harm. Thanks again this article definitely made me feel good about my decision

  • Reply Amy November 7, 2017 at 11:40 pm

    Jean — thank you for sharing your story with us; I really respect that you chose to do so. In today’s day, it’s easy to think that every blogger lives an Insta perfect life. I was really touched that you would open up with us. As an Asian American, I sympathize with it being hard to open up about weaknesses. I hope you never feel ashamed about your body and what it is or is not doing. We’ll all be here along with you and Nick for this uncertain ride and I look forward to more updates, both good and bad.

  • Reply Anonymous November 7, 2017 at 11:48 pm

    Praying for your dreams of having a child to come true and for continued strength and peace in your journey. 💕

  • Reply Anonymous November 7, 2017 at 11:49 pm

    It is an incredible thing to share such a personal story. I believe that by doing so that you are giving strength and hope to so many of those who face the same obstacles. Thank you for being so genuine. I believe good things happen to good people, and that your dreams of becoming a mom are about to become your reality.

  • Reply Mizeats November 7, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    Thank you for the update, Jean. Constant love and hugs being sent your way! Praying for you and Nick that you’ll have success with this round of IVF treatment.💙 💙💙

  • Reply M November 7, 2017 at 11:57 pm

    Hi Jean, thank you for sharing your personal story and as I await for your news know hay God has a plan for you and Nick.

  • Reply kim November 8, 2017 at 12:03 am

    As someone who has been in your shoes and now has two healthy children, I hope that someday this painful process is only a memory for you. I remember seeing the quote “it’s always darkest before the dawn” during my fertility journey and it always stuck with me. I remember all those feelings of sadness and jealousy and failure but once you reach the dawn, none of it will matter. You’re on the other side and every pin prick and every needle (all 146 in my case) will have been worth it. I pray that your three embryos will be viable and that this is the end of your journey and the beginning of a new one, as a mother. 💕 thank you for sharing!

  • Reply Dawn November 8, 2017 at 12:03 am

    Keep sharing, keep crying, keep praying and just keep believing! We are here for the ups and downs, in our thoughts always!

  • Reply Shri November 8, 2017 at 12:04 am

    Sending positive thoughts across for you. I wish you the best in the upcoming testing and implantation.

  • Reply Jess November 8, 2017 at 12:07 am

    Thank you for the update. To echo many people’s sentiment- stay strong and positive! Crying is a huge part of this process and as you continue, there will be more ups and downs. But you ARE strong. Sending strong thoughts to your 3 precious embryos. It only takes one! Wishing them the best as they undergo testing. Again thank you for your openness. Sending much love your way.

  • Reply Kelly November 8, 2017 at 12:08 am

    Jean, your transparency is absolutely beautiful. I know that your journey you’re going through now will be an encouragement and testimony to other women who go through the same chapter. Please know that you’re not alone in this. Praying that you’ll be able to embrace, grow, and remain strong during this tough situation!

  • Reply Somewhere in SF November 8, 2017 at 12:09 am

    Thanks so much for sharing your personal story with us. I’ve known you from reading your blog these past few years and watching your videos and instagrams posts, although we’ve never met, it saddens me to see what you have been going through. Behind that happy face there is always a heartfelt story. Although I’ve been fortunate to have 2 kids, we also struggled along the way. Know that you are not alone and don’t give up hope. Stay strong and take it one day at a time! You and Nick will get pass this. It will happen….I truly believe that. Never let go of your dreams.

  • Reply Tiffany November 8, 2017 at 12:12 am

    A couple of years ago, a colleague tagged me in one of your insta posts, commenting on how much we look alike. I’m not as petite but our journeys are alike as well. A little behind you, but staying ever so hopeful for you… for us. Thank you for being so brave and allowing us to be vulnerable together. Xo

  • Reply Aykifen November 8, 2017 at 12:15 am

    Jean: You are brave and inspire so many of us to be strong as women. I broke into tears reading your last post and was truly touched by your strengthen and willingness to open up and let many of us know that we are not alone. Will keep you in our thoughts and prayers. You deserve what you work so hard for and I look forward to you next update on good news. Love your blog and love you for being so real! Hugs….

  • Reply Linda November 8, 2017 at 12:15 am

    Hi Jean,

    I rarely comment on your posts even though I’m an avid reader, but I wanted to post a comment because it really struck a nerve when I read your story. My husband and I are currently trying and going through the same up and down roller coaster every month. It is definitely disappointing every month especially after being so hopeful for 2 weeks. I wanted to thank you for your post and for everyone’s comments because it is comforting to know that I’m not the only one going through this. I wish you the best up luck in your ivf process and hope it is successful! ❤️

  • Reply Somewhere in SF November 8, 2017 at 12:16 am

    Hi Jean,
    Thanks so much for sharing your personal story with us. I’ve known you from reading your blog these past few years and watching your videos and Instagram posts, although we’ve never met, it saddens me to see what you have been going through. Behind that happy face there is always a heartfelt story. Although I’ve been fortunate to have 2 kids, we also struggled along the way. Know that you are not alone and don’t give up HOPE. Stay strong and take it one day at a time! You and Nick will get pass this. I truly believe this will happen so don’t ever let go of your dreams.

  • Reply Aykifen November 8, 2017 at 12:16 am

    Jean: You are brave and inspire so many of us to be strong as women. I broke into tears reading your last post and was truly touched by your strengthen and willingness to open up and let many of us know that we are not alone. Will keep you in our thoughts and prayers. You deserve what you work so hard for and I look forward to you next update on good news. Love your blog and love you for being so real! Hugs….

  • Reply EJ November 8, 2017 at 12:16 am

    Hang in there. I know keeping the hope alive is so hard and painful sometimes that you want to give up. I almost did after my three miscarriages, but I gave it one last try and I have a beautiful three month old daughter today. Sending so much love for your aching heart.

  • Reply Anonymous November 8, 2017 at 12:18 am

    Hi Jean,

    Sending you and Nick but positive vibes, hugs and love to you guys.

  • Reply Mai November 8, 2017 at 12:25 am

    Hi Jean,

    Can you tell me what is the sleeve length on the jcrew coat? Thanks!

  • Reply Anonymous November 8, 2017 at 12:25 am

    Hi jean, I will pray for your journey to a successful ivf.

  • Reply Alexandra November 8, 2017 at 12:27 am

    ☹️ sorry about the bad news and happy about the partial good news… I am glad u r sharing your story… our journey was a lonely one as we didn’t want to create expectations… but I think sharing like u is actually a better choice. We ended up with only one healthy embryo (I named it Nemo), that is now my daughter, her name is different 😄. I will be crossing my fingers and hoping everything goes OK. I know there are still more steps…

  • Reply Mikaela November 8, 2017 at 12:42 am

    You and your blog have always inspired me, but I truly look up to you for being so strong in this process and also so strong to share something so intimate with your readers. You and Nick will be in my thoughts because I could not think of better parents then you two 💓

  • Reply Krista Kim November 8, 2017 at 12:44 am

    Jean,
    I don’t have words to describe how thankful I am for your openness and honesty about your journey. As soon as I started to read your last post, I burst into tears. We have been battling infertility for 3 1/2 yrs and it has been the hardest, loneliest , and most soul crushing thing I have ever gone through. Knowing that someone I look up to, is fighting the same battle makes me not feel so alone. Seeing your strength and resolve has given me strength. You are such a gem and I look forward to further updates of your journey as they come. Whatever you do, please don’t give up hope. Keep pressing forward. You are doing everything right. You are in our prayers. God bless you both. With love and admiration, Krista

  • Reply Anonymous November 8, 2017 at 1:01 am

    Hi Jean – I fully understand and support you. I have been in the journey before. I have gone through 3 IVFs, no embryo made day 5. The doctor said that I will not have my own babies. Thank god, I was pregnant naturally after doctor announcement of my infertility. Now I have two kids. I think having day 5 embryos is so promising, more important I have full confidence that you will be a mom and have your own child. Sometimes there are unexpected challenges in our life, those challenges eventually make us stronger. God bless you both. Best wishes to you both.

  • Reply Pamela November 8, 2017 at 1:03 am

    Don’t worry, those numbers are about the same as what we got on our third try. I know how you feel though because I felt the same way in the beginning. Our first try we had 21 eggs and 0 made it to day five. We were devastated. Then to top it off I had severe hyperstimulation after egg retrieval which lasted two weeks. We had zero again make it to day five on our second try. We almost lost hope. I regrouped and did acupuncture for several months before trying again with a different doctor. Now we have two beautiful one year old boys. Don’t feel discouraged. It’s not easy but what we learned through it all was to just take it one day at a time while we waited for each result. It will happen for you guys. Believe, trust, don’t give up.

  • Reply Sincerely Ophelia November 8, 2017 at 1:09 am

    Wow… that’s a lot to take in. I hope it all works out! Keep strong. Love your battle look btw! 🙂 Take on any challenge head on with your lovely outfits!

  • Reply Melissa November 8, 2017 at 1:25 am

    Thank you for sharing your story. My husband and I went through a very similar journey a few years ago when I found through fertility appointments I had endometriosis. It all happened so fast – the tests, meds, failed IUIs, and then the start of IVF. We went through a 1st Dr appt to IVF in about 2 mos. and our lives were forever changed with research and terms and procedures. I also had around 20+ eggs and was hopeful. I got the call the next day that 6 fertilized and then 3 made it to day 5. I felt the same as you. Worried, surprised, but overall I prayed and prayed and was hopeful. We transferred the strongest day 5 embryo and froze the remaining 2. Almost 3 years ago our beautiful daughter was born and this past June our 2nd daughter was born. We have 1 embryo left. Trust your Drs and pray and keep the faith in your heart.

  • Reply Anonymous November 8, 2017 at 1:40 am

    Hi Jean,
    Thank you for sharing your experience. With every journey there may be tears, but keep your head up and press on. Keep believing in yourself and heart that this meant for you. All this pain will subside, but the strength you’ve gained will never dissipate. Keep fighting, we are all here fighting with you!

  • Reply Linh November 8, 2017 at 1:41 am

    Jean, sending you prayers that all 3 embryos make it! You are incredibly strong. Hang in there! It is difficult but you will get there. ❤️

  • Reply Deanna November 8, 2017 at 1:43 am

    My journey with IVF was a very hard journey with a trip to the emergency room so that I could get drained after the egg retrieval. I am so blessed to have a beautiful baby girl. The journey was amazing at the same time because it brought me so much closer to God that one day I was praying about becoming pregnant that I felt his presence it was spectacular. I pray for you and your husband as you go through your own journey. Not every journey is the same but yours is just as important . May God bless you !!

  • Reply Akanksha November 8, 2017 at 1:50 am

    Such a gorgeous outfit! Loved it
    About the IVF thing.. one question, might be stupid.. what if, two embryos stick to the uterus..? Then twins? 😛
    But anyway, good things happen to good people. My best wishes for you guys. Please be optimistic and start settling down – adoption as an option.. I know it is disheartening and absolutely ridiculous to not being able to conceive after all those menses and pain and the fact that we are women! But, sometimes, it’s better to go a different route than put yourself to the misery. And they say that after adoption or surrogacy, so many couples get pregnant!

  • Reply Betty November 8, 2017 at 1:51 am

    Hi Jean, I will pray for you through this trial time.

  • Reply Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life November 8, 2017 at 1:55 am

    So many hugs, Jean. I’ve had many friends battle fertility issues, a whole host of them, and it always reminds me how hard it is for women to conceive when the societal message seems to suggest it’s so easy. But it’s not that simple.

    As a fellow AA, I understand the feeling that you’re supposed to keep problems within the Cone of Silence but I found that sharing with people (online only, for me) who care is uplifting and bolstering. I hope that sharing gives you that extra level of support during this difficult time. I wish you all the luck with this round, I will cross everything crossable that that’s all it takes!

  • Reply tl November 8, 2017 at 2:01 am

    I’m a long-time reader of your blog, but I have never posted. I want to thank you for sharing your story, it takes a lot of courage. My husband and I recently went through the IVF process too– we ended up doing 4 egg retrievals in hopes of stockpiling some embryos since I was close to 35 at the time and we were discouraged by the low amount of embryos that survived day 5 and PGS testing. I know how sad/frustrating and scary it is during this waiting period. We definitely had our share of disappointment with the drop-off rate after retrieving a lot of eggs, but it’ll all be worth it. It’s so easy to dwell on the negatives and the bad statistics, but all you can do is hope for the best and try to keep a good attitude, which I know is easier said than done. But now, after our second transfer, I’m happy to say I’m now 21 weeks pregnant with twins! Sending you all the luck and looking forward to your future coverage of petite maternity styles!!

  • Reply Anonymous November 8, 2017 at 2:14 am

    Hang in there Jean! I had 18 eggs, 10 fertilized and only 3 that made it to blastocysts. Like you I was completely shocked to have so few. I opted to get genetic testing (ccs) and was even more devastated to find out that we had only one normal embryo…but one was better than none. That one embryo resulted in my 5 month old daughter. I would highly recommend genetic testing, it was definitely worth the extra cost and we paid out of pocket for everything. Stay positive, your journey isn’t over yet…it only takes one!

  • Reply Stephanie November 8, 2017 at 2:43 am

    Rooting for you and Nick and the three front runners!!!

  • Reply Cielo November 8, 2017 at 2:51 am

    Hi Jean, I also want to share my IVF story hoping you’ll be uplifted by your followers/readers’ experiences. I live in the home country of Nick’s Mom. In the first 2 or 3 years of marriage every time someone asks if we’re pregnant or makes a joke on why we’re not yet pregnant, I get irritated. I avoided contact with my school friends. Eventually that feeling faded. And it was just indifference maybe (so as not to get hurt) or que sera sera attitude. I get what you mean by getting stressed over trying to not get stressed.
    My husband and I married in 2006 and since that time we’ve had about 10 IUIs from 3 different hospitals & OBs (not a fertility clinic). We were stubborn (or dense?) in going through IUIs since we hoped to get pregnant as close as naturally as possible. Plus the cost of IVF and that time most who went through IVF would go to Taiwan or Bangkok since it’s cheaper there even with airfare & accommodation costs.

    I had my procedure here and the clinic that I went to only does minimal stimulation unlike what you do in the US and genetic testing is not yet available here in PI. And in this particular clinic, payment is by procedure done meaning if after egg retrieval nothing is viable then that’s it you don’t have to pay for the embryo transfer part. In 2014, I had 2 egg retrievals but only 1 embryo transfer which failed. My other egg retrieval did not produce any viable embryo. So in 2016 we tried again, my egg retrieval, my eggs were bad so we didn’t even reach the fertilized egg culture part. And in the second retrieval we got 3 eggs and 2 were fertilized up to Day 5. And now, I have 3 month old baby at 40 years old and after 11+ years of marriage. So hang in there Jean and Nick, continue to do your part in being healthy, having positive attitude and even rest in between procedures and pray for blessings since IVF can only assist up to a certain point.

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