It was the first time I was ashamed and embarrassed to smile, yet I didn't even fully understand why.
It was the fourth grade.
One of the popular boys called me a name... a name I didn't understand... but I understood the context and the snickers from his guy friends. A name that called out my full lips. A name that kept me from smiling that year for school pictures and instead, I held my lips in to make them look smaller.
That was the first time I can remember satan trying to steal my smile.
The second was 7th grade.
A girl in my choir class, who was supposed to be a christian, but never smiled or showed any enjoyment in life, called me out for always smiling.
Her words, still etched in my brain, "Tiffany, you should stop smiling all the time, you are going to get wrinkles."
That was the second time I remember satan trying to steal my smile.
Since then, there have been moments that I have been utterly crushed, my smile hidden by the wounds of a diagnosis, relationship issues, and real life woes.
But, I learned years ago, during an especially trying time, that my joy was connected to my faith. Joy and faith work together, a dynamic duo, two powerful forces that synergistically work together. To have one without the other is like having dynamite without a fuse. A gun without the bullets.
Why do you think satan is after your smile?
You can have some faith without joy... we've seen those Christians in the fight and we have been there before too. But you can't have a lot of faith without joy.
Joy is the cup of coffee to you daily to-do list. It will keep you going. It will keep you from giving up. It will keep you strong in the fight. It will be contagious and draw others into the Kingdom. It will make the fight and the journey do-able, memorable, and dare I say it... enjoyable.
You may be in the battle today. You may be fighting the good fight. You may be believing and standing in faith. The most powerful thing you can do to your faith is support it with joy!
Protect your joy at all costs. Don't let satan steal your smile.
"The joy of the Lord is your strength!" Nehemiah 8:10
Cheering you on,
Tiffany Jo Baker MA, CLC
Many of us choose to have children later in life. We wait until our careers have stabilized, we’ve traveled the world, or we’ve found the right person to share our lives with.
Unfortunately, our biological clocks keep ticking and our eggs aren’t able to let us wait too long.
Conceiving in your late 30s or your early 40s may present a few complications, especially regarding the quality and availability of your eggs.
Is now the right time to consider freezing your eggs?
To help you decide, we’ve answered some of the most common questions about egg freezing below.
When’s the Best Time to Freeze Your Eggs?
Freezing or donating your eggs is best done when you’re in your 20s or early 30s. Why?
Unlike sperm, eggs aren’t replenished. This means you’re born with all the eggs you’ll ever have. As we’ve previously mentioned, your egg count and quality begin to rapidly decline the older you get.
Therefore, the younger your eggs are, the healthier they’ll be and the less chance they’ll have of carrying any genetic abnormalities. Preserving these eggs while you’re in your “prime” can give you the reassurance you need if you decide you want children later in life. If you’re thinking about donating your eggs to help others build their families, this age range is often suggested by donor egg banks.
Should You Freeze Your Eggs?
Is having your eggs frozen the right decision for you?
Here are a few common reasons why you might consider freezing your eggs:
What’s Involved in the Egg Freezing Process?
Now you’ve decided to freeze your eggs, what can you expect from the process?
Thankfully, it’s quite straightforward.
To start, you’ll consult with a specialist to discuss your dreams/goals and medical history. This is the ideal time to ask questions and finalize your decision to freeze your eggs.
Then, when you’re ready, you’ll begin taking a course of hormones which help mature multiple eggs for retrieval. After administering a final trigger shot of hormones, these are removed under mild anesthesia using a fine needle guided into place by ultrasound.
How will you physically feel afterward?
You may feel the same cramping sensations experienced during your period, but this is often mild and soon eases.
Are Frozen Eggs Better, Worse, or the Same Quality as Fresh Eggs?
According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, frozen eggs are nearly the same quality as fresh eggs and boast similar success rates.
Women over 35 who choose to use frozen donor eggs to conceive eliminate the complications that may arise with older pregnancies.
When your uterus is almost ready to receive an embryo, your frozen eggs will be thawed, fertilized, and (after maturation) one or two will be implanted into your uterus as embryos. Then, you’re free to enjoy a pregnancy like any other, carrying and nurturing your baby as it grows.
Likewise, if you are a woman in her late 30s or early 40s who is using frozen donor eggs to conceive, the benefits of doing so can be immense.
You’ll not only be matched with a donor of your choice whose eggs have already been through a rigorous screening process to ensure her eggs are of the highest quality, but you’ll also be able to conceive on your own schedule. There’s no need to wait for your cycle to be synchronized with your donor’s (as there is with fresh), there’s no risk of donor cancellations and the entire process can often be completed in one to three months (instead of six or more with fresh).
A Future You Can Be Sure Of
Whether you want to freeze your eggs and donate them or safeguard your future choice to have a family, choosing to freeze your eggs may be the right step for you. From making sure you can still pursue that career you’ve always dreamed of, to giving you a chance to settle and find your motherly feet, you can beat infertility before it’s even had a chance to knock you back. And if you choose to donate your frozen eggs, you can help individuals struggling with infertility have the family they’ve always wanted as well.
Guest post from https://donoreggbankusa.com/
Tiffany Jo Baker is a 3x surrogate, speaker and Strategizer to help you birth your dreams.
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