Ask Me Anything: June 2024

Jun 25, 2024

It’s the end of the month, so that means it’s time for a the June Ask Me Anything. Questions are sent in via my Instagram, and I answer a few here and a few there.

Would you take Ozempic? I’m considering it.

For me, taking a GLP-1 drug for weight loss feels like skipping a step, since I rarely work out and eat what I please.  If I was maintaining healthier habits and still had trouble losing weight, I’d be more apt to consider it for myself.  But if you’re thinking it might be the right solution for you, talk to your GP about it.

What is the women’s equivalent of khakis and a golf polo?

Either: 1) White pants and a chambray or linen shirt, or 2) a nice t-shirt dress.

How to tell a friend you’re pregnant when they struggle with infertility?

I saw a post on Instagram a few months ago about telling the friend via text message so that they have time to process the news on their own before you see them.  Your friend will likely be very happy for you but a little sad for themselves, and having that distance lets them work through their own emotions without an audience.  Then, when they see you, they’ll be ready to just be happy for you.

What to wear to a fancy bachelorette on the Mediterranean coast in your 40s?

This feels like a time for brightly colored caftans and raffia sun hats, I like to call it Palm Springs Widow Chic.  The best blogger to follow for that aesthetic is Grace.

My other suggestion would be to go all white and all linen.  This J.Crew sleeveless dress and this breezy long sleeve from Anthro are both a good place to start.  

Also, remember there tends to be a lot of walking in Europe.  So make sure you buy comfortable shoes.  These Cole Haan sandals come highly reviewed from a friend who just traveled to Positano.

What is your simple joy right now?

The first sip of a perfectly sweetened iced tea from Starbucks.  

Which sunscreen do you use for Sloane in the summer?

Our pediatrician recommended that we check out EWG’s list of sunscreens for children, so we ended up with this ThinkBaby one, which is available at Target.  We also apply it with these brushes so she thinks it’s more fun.

If it’s not too personal, I’d love the child care route you took as a working Mom.

Going into parenthood, we were on the waitlist at over 20 daycares and no one had an infant opening.  Eventually, we decided to cut back on some expenses and stop traveling for fun so that we could afford in-home childcare.  

Sloane’s nanny comes from 8:00AM to 5:00PM, M-F.   She is responsible for all things Sloane — her meals, her activities, her laundry.  She doesn’t do meal prep, cleaning (except Sloane’s room), or anything else for the family.  We use Poppins Payroll to manage taxes, payroll, sick days, etc.  

Having a nanny is our largest expense, but we’re grateful this is an option for us because it makes life a lot simpler.  We’ll adjust as time goes on and school starts, but this works for us for now.

On Sundays, we usually have a sitter come from 11:00AM to 3:00PM.  We use that time to clean house, mow the lawn, run errands, etc.  As a result, the time we spend with Sloane on weekends and evenings is real quality time.  For date night, we have a high school student who we’ve known since she was young, and she comes after we put Sloane to bed on Friday nights if we want to go out.

What’s your go-to chic plane outfit?

The last two trips I’ve worn olive cargo joggers, a white tank, and an ivory crochet sweater (size down) with sneakers.

How long do you hold onto your clothes when weight change, etc. is not an issue?

Until I lose interest in them to the point I haven’t worn a piece in a while or they fall apart.  I still have a couple of pieces I’m wearing from the early 2010s.  Wear the clothes you love.

Suggestions for setting makeup for those of us who live in hot places?

TIBAL was right, this setting spray is the best one.

Do you think IVF is really at risk?  It’s so hard to know what to believe.

Yes and no.  

In my opinion, what will ultimately preserve IVF access is that IVF is a multi-billion-dollar industry, and there are many powerful entities that have a vested financial interest in preserving access to fertility care.  As my husband often says, money is undefeated.  But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t threats.

The buzzword you hear right now from those who believe that life begins at conception is “regulation.”  They argue that the fertility industry is poorly regulated and that common practices like creating multiple embryos, pre-genetic testing, sex determination, etc. should all be stopped.  Many conservatives who I’ve talked to are poorly educated on the topic having never done IVF themselves, and they’re amenable to an argument like, “Hey, Italy does it this way and that works fine.”  But most fertility doctors will tell you that these types of restrictions make IVF less effective and more expensive because genetically abnormal embryos often don’t implant or result in miscarriage causing the need for more stimulative cycles, more transfers, and more cost.  

So what will ultimately happen?  I think it’s likely America winds up with a patchwork of laws that vary by state.  As a result, many couples will end up traveling to places where IVF is available and less restricted.  Which is why it’s important to lobby your state legislatures on this topic, since a federal solution for preserving access to IVF isn’t likely to show up anytime soon.  I fully expect that many red and purple state legislatures will see bills related to IVF next year.

Also, if you’ve done IVF or assisted reproduction, the best thing you can do is talk to people about your experiences.  I think the biggest issue I run into talking to conservatives about this topic is they don’t think they know anyone who has done IVF, but the numbers show they probably do.  The stigma keeps us from telling our stories and that allows people to believe this isn’t an issue that impacts anyone they know.

Beyond that, I think this discussion eventually becomes moot because sperm counts are dropping like a stone, and if that trend continues, assisted reproduction and fertility are going to become a “men’s issue” soon enough.

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  1. Anna says:

    I love that “X country does it this way,” is a valid argument when it supports one agenda, but when you make the same argument with healthcare or parental leave or so many other things, some conservatives act like you’re burning an American flag in their face.

    • Belle says:

      Hypocrisy knows no party. It’s maddening in both directions.

      • Anna says:

        Oh for sure, hypocrisy is definitely non-partisan. I feel like the dislike of anything relating to another country is more common on the right though.

  2. Jane says:

    We use Thinkbaby on your rec for my 2yo and like it, although I’m going to try the brush this summer, too. Thanks for your assessment of the state of IVF and reminding me that it’s so important to talk about personal experience. We were recently working on an IVF-related issue at work and I realized during discussion that only one of my colleagues had any understanding of the time, expense, pain, and prodding that goes into fertility treatment. It makes a difference.

  3. AmandaG says:

    I think your suggestion for the person who asked about breaking the pregnancy news to a friend suffering with infertility is a good one. While I have not been in that position, a close friend and I were both fiercely competing for the same position and my friend ended up getting it. They sent me a text when they were offered the job to let me know. I expressed my happiness for them via text and got to privately express my disappointment.

  4. Susan says:

    Thank you for the nuanced take on IVF and reproductive laws. There is very little nuance in political discussions these days. Or in any discourse really. That being said, I LOVE your comment that when it becomes a “men’s issue” that’s when the focus—and change will really happen. Longtime follower of the blog and LOVE your comments/IG stories as well that don’t necessarily involve the blog! Signed, an increasingly angry feminist that used to be pretty conservative in her younger days. Ha.

  5. FAN From boston says:

    So appreciate your thoughtfulness and willingness to talk about tricky things. Particularly in this post about GLP-1 medications [also IVF but others have already mentioned that so I thought I’d shout out this other piece too]. Thank you for all you do.

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