Love and Live with a Whole Heart

I watched a movie this past Sunday called “Mary and Martha” about two women that meet in South Africa and bond over the death of their sons to malaria, a disease that kills nearly half a million children a year. The women band together to bring awareness to the disease and seek financial aid to help protect the children of South Africa. 

Photo Credit:

The main character, Mary, said she wanted to be “extraordinary” and I found myself wondering how I too could be extraordinary. What makes a life extraordinary anyway? I pondered this question through Sunday and it’s been weighing on my mind until this morning when I remembered the words of the elderly Noah in my favorite movie, The Notebook…

“I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I’ve led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough”.

Read these words again and again until they become a part of your soul and schema. THIS is how to live an extraordinary life…LOVE!

If you love others with all your heart, you are living extraordinarily! This love should also spark a passion for something outside yourself. Find your passion and be compassionate!

What’s your passion?

Help! I’ve been Robbed!

When I was in college I worked at a bar in downtown Dallas near the West End. Employees had to park blocks away from work, which left me walking to my car alone at three or four o’clock in the morning several nights a week. I started getting followed to my car by a group of Mexican gang members….

Eventually my manager made it mandatory that I ride to and from work escorted with one of the bouncers. Well, one night after work, these men followed me and the bouncer to a gas station and one man shot at my friend while the other man put a gun to my head through the car window and told my friend he was going to kill me. I looked into the man’s eyes and tearfully asked him not to shoot me. After what felt like an eternity they eventually drove away, shooting into the air, leaving me traumatized, terrified, and frantic.

Since this incident I don’t get gas at night (EVER). I get in my car and lock the doors while the gas is pumping, even during the day. I’m terrified of guns and actually cried at the gun range when my husband was attempting to help me face my fear. My heart pounds and I get a lump in my throat every time a car pulls up beside me at a gas station. Those men robbed me of my sense of security and my trust in people.

It may seem dramatic, but hear me out…struggling with infertility and pregnancy loss is not unlike this incident from my past. Infertility has robbed me of my security and my trust as well.

post op

I’ve been robbed!

When I found out I was pregnant the first time I was overjoyed! I celebrated immediately with my friends and family. I have my friend’s reactions to my pregnancy announcement on video. My girls gave me the tightest hugs and cried the most sincere tears and my friend’s husband laughed with genuine happiness for us. I won’t get those reactions a second time. I worry my friends and myself will be hesistant to be excited. Our joy will be accompanied by fear.

Chelsea Vail and best friends

My two best friends!


If I get pregnant again I’ll spend the first six or seven months wondering if I’ll make it to term and being terrified of another loss instead of planning showers and designing a nursery.

Nowadays when someone announces a pregnancy, my stomach tightens and I feel the corners of my mouth tremble. I’ve been robbed of the ability to feel excited for them…I get there eventually, but it’s rarely with a full heart.

Chelsea Vail with sister

Women without an infertility diagnosis can rely on love alone to bring a baby into their lives, but I’ve been robbed. I have to keep charts, use timers, remember meds, and visit doctors morning, noon, and night.

And, I always thought I’d be the pregnant chick at the gym every day, the easy going mom who’s ‘laxed about her new baby, but after my loss I worry I’ll be high strung and fearful. I’ve been robbed of my sense of security yet again.

Maybe enough time will pass that I’ll get over this feeling, but for now, I feel I’ve still got a little PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).

How do I get my security back?

I Heart the “Snot Sucker”!

Just like every other mom I know, I cringed the first time I saw the “snot sucker”. But, when you’ve got a new baby that can’t sleep ’cause it can’t breathe, or one that sounds like Master P while he sleeps (preventing you from catching any shut eye), you’re willing to give the snot sucker a second glimpse.

The “snot sucker” , more formally known as the Nose Frida, is THE best suction system on the market for getting pesky boogies and congestion from your new baby’s nose.

No, you can’t suck it’s brains accidentally.

No, you won’t get snot in your mouth (there’s a legit filter).

No, you won’t catch pneumonia or sinus infections from the bambino.

Yes, baby will sleep better!

Yes, baby will breathe better!

Yes, you will sleep better at night knowing your baby is breathing & sleeping! spotted the chicest moms I know, Victoria Beckham and baby Harper loving the Nose Frida! 

This lil’ baby had a booger so big we had to grab our resident pediatrician and use tweezers to get it out. I sure wished we had the Nose Frida that day!

mommymentor w hatcher

You can get the Nose Frida on Amazon, Magic Beans, or by typing WANT in the comments section of this post and it’s yours for only $15 and FREE shipping.

A Baby Will Not “Complete” Me

Take these pills, give yourself this shot, make this smoothie, drink lemon water, schedule your sonograms, go to the specialty pharmacy, pay the medical bills, slow down your exercise, eat salmon and avocado, increase your fluids, jump, sit, beg, bark, roll over…

Raise your hand if you know this feeling. Fertility treatments are extremely time Cloudy kissing Chelseasensitive; something few people can understand. Fertiles will say, “Just relax, don’t let it consume you”, but it’s completely impossible to relax when you’re given a chart and a packet full of instructions every month broken down by day and hour. This can take a toll on your life, but also your friendships, your faith and especially your marriage.

I’m a Christian, but I totally forgot what that means until a complete meltown last week. I was still trying to find my footing after my recent pregnancy loss and was crying (bawling uncontrollably) to my dad. I was really struggling with envy, anger, and self-loathing while watching both of my sister’s happiness, the oldest with her toddler and infant boy, the youngest pregnant with her first, and wondering why this hadn’t happened for me.

My little sister and I got pregnant at the EXACT same time! Why did she get to keep her baby and not me. I felt my baby was a boy and yet she’s having a boy? Why not me? Why? Why? Why? As I tried desperately to find answers I realized that “why” is a seriously dangerous word that can pull you straight down the rabbit hole. God does not answer “why”.

Skyler and Chelsea Christmas Cracker Crowns

After peeling me off the bathroom floor after what felt like an eternity, my father and big sister encouraged me to reevaluate where my focus was. Even though it’s damn near impossible NOT to focus on a baby when you’re entire life revolves around your fertility treatments, I remembered this verse:

1John 2:15-16 “Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world”.

first prayer as man and wife

I have allowed my focus to shift from the cross to what’s in the world, or more accurately, what’s NOT in my world. I cannot allow my want for a child to be what defines me, complete me, or gives my life purpose. Yes, I want a baby more than anything else in the entire world, but if I never become a mother, my life still has value. I’m a wife, a sister, a friend, a stepmom, a counselor, and a badass aunt!

Do I want to watch my child in their school play? Yes! But I can cheer on my friend’s daughter in her dance recital, too. Do I want to show my children the wonders of the world? Yes, but I can travel with my nieces and nephews, too. Do I want to raise servants of the Lord? Yes, but I can also model a servant’s heart for the children I serve as a counselor, too.

Reading to Evie at Christmas

I want a baby because I desire to see my love for my husband incarnate, because I think it’s our duty as Christians to “fill” the kingdom, and because I was loved so well as a child that I want to pass that love on to my child. I want a baby, but I’m not incomplete without one either. 

The ABCs of Femara

Well, my 90 day break from the fertility suckage is almost over. Although the calm and serenity I was seeking was very rudely interrupted by a pregnancy and loss, I still think taking a break was the best thing for myself, my marriage, and my overall health.

Chelsea Vail with nephew

My miracle worker, Dr. Silverburg, suggested I go back in injections with IUI, but…I’m thinking not. I mean, we’ve never tried anything since my septum removal and if that was one of the major obstacles, why go straight back to injections, the “big guns” without trying the lil things first? Injections were often overstimulating, they hurt like a bitch, they cost more than a new couch (which we need desperately I might add), and I hate carrying around a cooler everyday! So…femara it is.

I have a very, “let’s be real” approach to fertility because, let’s be real, if you’re going through it, there’s a moment each month (or each day) where playing in traffic seems like an awesome lunch break idea. So, here’s the ABC’s of Femara, for those of you taking this lovely pill.

Femara ABCs:

A is for appetite, which increases rapidly beyond cotrol.

B is for bloating beyond buttons on jeans

C is for cravings (today I wanted a donut sandwich).

D is for Don’t. Don’t drink, don’t run, don’t miss a pill, don’t do zumba, don’t…

E is for enlarged ovaries are at risk for twisting (Ouch!)

F is for the four letter word that all infertiles know well

G is for gonal is $1300, but Femara is only $12…winning!

H is for headaches. Feeling as though a midget is sawing my skull in half has become normal.

I is for injections suck, so let’s try pills

J is for jumping can also make your ovaries twist when you’re on femara

K is for the knot you tied with the person you love. Hold on tight to it.

L is for love. You’ve got to remember that you’re doing this to create a lil chunk o’ love.

M is for maniac. Anytime you’re taking hormones, there’s a good chance your alterego can take over and you start to resemble Charles Manson.

N is for nuisance. Be prepared for everything to annoy you on femara so take them at night to reduce the impulse to kill others.

O is for ovidril that releases the follicles when they’re ready. This is “go time”

P is for the pills you pat in your purse all day everyday to make sure you haven’t lost them somehow

Ironic this photo credit goes to “Conceive Easy”

Q is for umm…Q is for? Anyone? Bueller?

R is for rest, relax, recoop.

S is for sleep is a pipedream. I can never sleep well on femara.

T is for twins are likely! Whoop whoop!

U is for ultrasound, the critical moment when you find out the follicles size, readiness, and number that will be released

V is for the violins playing in the background when you finally break down

W is for wait two weeks after the pills are over to find out if they “worked”.

X is for XX…or

Y is for … XY, neither matters to me as long as he/shes healthy

Z is for zis is almost zee end of zee road. Zay ztrong and zour bambino will be here zoon.

I’d be lying if I said I’m always able to find the humor in this situation or that I have a lighthearted approach to the struggle. The struggle is real. It sucks. It’s hard. It’s isolating and nobody gets it, but us. However, it does help me keep my head together to make a few jokes about it every now and again and laugh at the suck.

Chelsea Vail, husband Cloudy

MamaDoo Kids: Vacation Saver

Meet the “Vacation Saver” aka The MamaDoo

The Smart Play Yard Mattress Topper turns Vacation into Baby Sleep Heaven


Millions of babies and toddlers will be sleeping in a play yard during vacation this summer. And their parents look forward to a resting, relaxing vacation. But these vacations often become nightmares because it turns out that babies and toddlers sleep much worse than at home! A way to avoid that is by using the Smart Play Yard Mattress Topper.

The Smart Play Yard Mattress Topper is a basic vacation item for families this summer. By placing the product on top of the play yard´s hard “mattress”, either in the bassinet or in the bottom position, the play yard will turn into a cozy crib and finally millions of families will be much rested and therefore vacations will be saved.

The firm, versatile Smart Play Yard Mattress Topper is the ultimate sleeping pad. Made in California, it matches the density and firmness of mommy´s or daddy´s chest, babies´ favorite place to sleep, and prevents plagiocephaly (flat spots on babies’ head) by keeping their head off the play yard’s hard-floor-board and onto the Mattress Topper.

Why is it so Smart?
Multiple uses!

1) Turns a play yard into a crib

2) Tummy time mat

3) On-the-go changing table

4) A portable pad for playing at grandma’s

5) Floor pad under baby jumper

6) Wedge to prop up a crib mattress or a toddler bed when folded

  • Folds easily for travel and storage.
  • Correctly sized: fits perfectly in all standard play yards.
  • Washes by simply unzipping the soft cotton cover.
  • Safe for baby & home, free of all toxic chemicals & flame retardants, exceeds all US safety standards.
  • Includes Travel/Storage Bag and a separate carrying handle.

Smart On The Go: light and ultra-portable. Great for hotels, grandparents’ house, camping, daycare…

Here is one of the many of examples of what people are saying:
“Vacation saver! My daughter absolutely hated sleeping in the pack and play from the day she was born. We had a trip planned to the beach and I was soooo worried about sleep!! Then I found this product. I am happy to say she slept through the night and took wonderful naps every day. Thank you thank you thank you for selling this wonderful product!!!!”, Nibsmom (

The Smart Play Yard Mattress Topper fits perfectly in all standard play yards: Graco, Chicco, Nuna Sena, Boppy, Eddie Bauer, Evenflo, Baby Trend, Safety 1st, Arms Reach Original, Aprica, Cosco, Combi, Boppy, Nature’s Purest Comfort, Bright Starts and more.

It is available in 3 colors, Blue, Pink and, the brand new color, Silver

MamaDoo®Kids truly sets the standard in the industry. It selects only high density and high resiliency foam: it can be used for a long time without suffering indentations, or losing its shape.

MamaDoo Kids products are available at,,,,,, and boutiques nationwide.

Contact: Ana Vega-Woller (818) 371-2234

Tell her “That Girl from Whole Heart” sent you!