The Google Mother’s Day Commercial – the 411

I forgot to post the link for the national Google commercial I was asked to participate in regarding Becoming a Mom ! Please watch and share on your blogs and with others.



Ten Companies Which Cover IVF – the 411

1. Bank of America

Bank of America

Coverage: Unlimited

Bank of America is a winner when it comes to fertility benefits, providing unlimited services and no dollar limit on employees seeking fertility treatments. In all, around 2,500 employees, spouses or partners received coverage under the plan in 2016 alone. They were also one of the first to do so — all limits were removed from plans in 2011.

2. KKR


Coverage: Unlimited

Global investment firm KKR provides employees with unlimited benefits for fertility treatments. One note: In order to be eligible for the benefit, employees must have a consultation with an infertility support provider first.

3. Starbucks


Coverage: $20,000

Employees are limited to $15,000 medical, and $5,000 for fertility drugs. The neat thing about Starbucks is not necessarily how large the benefit is, but how widespread it’s distributed. In fact, all employees, including those who work part-time (at least 20 hours per week) are covered under the plan. According to company spokesmen Reggie Borges, Starbucks takes a lot of pride in providing its employees with fertility benefits.

4. Spotify


Coverage: Unlimited

The Swedish music streaming service is known for its great benefits and its fertility coverage is no exception. The company offers unlimited coverage of IVF, as long as patients can prove medical need.

5. Bain & Company

Bain & Company

Coverage: Unlimited

Bain & Company was called one of the best places to work by Glassdoor, and this may be why. The global management consulting firm provides unlimited IVF for females with male partners with medical necessity, reciprocal IVF for women without a male partner (When one woman undergoes treatment to create the embryos, while the other receives the embryo transfer) and donor sperm for women without a male partner, as well as coverage for egg freezing.

6. Facebook


Coverage: 4 cycles of IVF

The social media giant provides coverage for four cycles of IVF which covers both fresh or frozen cycles. They also cover pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGS testing) to genetically test embryos prior to implantation with IVF. The benefit is open to all employees (no pre-authorization required).

7. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation  

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation


Coverage: 4 cycles of IVF

In January 2017, the foundation began offering employees infertility treatment coverage. The company covers four cycles, and by the end of the third quarter more than three dozen employees had already taken advantage of the benefits at an average cost of $55,600.

8. Pinterest


Coverage: 4 rounds of IVF

Starting this year, Pinterest will offer its employees four rounds of IVF with no cap on amount, meaning each cycle is covered regardless of cost. The company will also cover the cost of egg freezing, and provide $5,000 for coverage of adoption and $20,000 in net benefits for surrogacy coverage.

9. Salesforce


Coverage: 3 cycles of IVF

Cloud computing company Salesforce provides three cycles of IVF to their employees with no maximum cost limit. They also provide coverage for PGS testing. Salesforce waives pre-authorizations and makes IVF benefits available to any employee, meaning it doesn’t have to be medically necessary for employees to be eligible.

10. Chanel


Coverage: Unlimited

Fashion mega-company Chanel provides its employees with unlimited access to IVF if employees demonstrate a medical need. Fertility IQ also ranks Chanel as the best within its industry in terms of fertility coverage because while a number of tech companies offer unlimited coverage of IVF, Chanel is one of the only companies in the fashion industry to do so.

Nine Months Old -The 411

My sweet girl is now thirty nine weeks old and officially nine months old !

Where does the time go?

She has gone from this 4 lb 10 oz little being that I was afraid to even change her diaper and dress her in fear of breaking those tiny arms and legs to this fluffy little baby girl who is as strong willed and indepedent as she was when I first brought her home.

It has been an amazing journey watching her grown and develop and watching her personality emerge.

She went from crawling to immediately pulling up and cruising.  I am waiting for her to build up the courage to take steps.  No rush !  She is already into everything she can reach.

This journey has been difficult due to my mother’s illness and recovery.  Of course this illness could not have come at a worse time.  It has robbed me of time I can not get back and at the same time, it has given my siblings, nieces and nephews and her uncles a chance to bond with the baby.

My daughter is talking more and more.  She startes with a simple HI.  Now she says Bye Bye, Bar Bar (my mom’s name is Barbara) and she calls me Val !  Yesterday she said Da da. She understands quite a bit as well.  She lifts her arms and reaches for us when we say Come… she will crawl behind me as well of I tell her to come.  She knows what NO, STOP, BOTTLE and EAT means.

She is very strong willed and has a mind of her own.  In typical kid fashion, she prefers to play with my real keys and remote instead of the toy ones which make noises and are bright and colorful.

She is now in a size 12 and 18 month and a size 3 shoe ! She is 20 lbs and her hair is finally starting to grow. She still has no teeth but is still teething. 

She loves being read to and loves to explore.  We are starting Mommy and Me swim classes.  I am petrified of dry drowning so I will be watching her like a hawk ! 

I am starting to put things together for her Safari themed 1st birthday bash in Orlando. We are going to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  

Well, I will update more later.  We are currently in Charlotte NC for my nephew’s graduation and we are about to head home. I dread the 6hr drive with this girl because she hates her carseat and cries bloody murder. Benedryl is our friend lol.

Fifteen Weeks Post Partum- The 411

Today, my little angel is now 15 weeks old ! 
She is growing , learning, and expressing herself.  She is responsive when she is talked too.She flashes a big toothless grin and she cooes, often emulating the sounds we make  make.   

She is now trying to stand up when on my lap.  She is quite independent too. The baby no longer likes lying down, she prefers to be sitting upright where she can survey her surroundings. A few weeks ago, I noticed that she tantrums and stretches out when she wants something and you are not moving fast enough and her little temper is becoming more apparent !  Yep, my child is definitely MY child ! Spoiled already ! She now has a preference and makes it known that she wants me and not whoever is holding her when she gets tired.  She will stop whatever she is doing when she hears my voice.  She also now prefers breastmilk over formula and will sometimes refuse the formula.

The baby and I spent the past few days baking Christmas cookies.  My sisters and their families arrived this evening for the holiday.  The baby chilled in her bouncer while I rolled out cookies and started the next batch. 

We baked Rice Krispie Cheese Wafers ,  Sausage Balls, Snowflake Imprinted Shortbread Cookies , Chocolate Chip English Toffee Cookies ,  Jack Daniel’s Holiday Fudge and my mom’s recipe Holiday Fudge . I ordered a large box of Snowballs from my friend’s bakery in LA. 

My family arrived last night so the annual pjs and dessert party on Christmas Eve will take place !

Since my brother in law has to fly back to CA on Sunday morning, we are having Christmas dinner tomorrow instead of Sunday.

I am livid that two gifts I ordered for my mom and my Godmother are not here ! One order is personalized, wooden tea storage boxes and they should have been here by Christmas and the other order was a new 12 inch IPad Pro for my mom.  I am hoping the IPad gets delivered today, but it’s not likely.  I don’t think Fedex nor UPS are delivering on Christmas Eve. I now have to go out to the mall to get a gift to put under the tree for  my mom.

I am super excited to be spending my first Christmas as a Mommy! Putting up two trees, baking cookies with the baby, and putting on her Christmas outfits have been a blast. My mom ordered her monogrammed pjs for Christmas Eve !  

Three Weeks Post Partum – The 411

Yesterday marked 21 days since I gave birth to my little angel.  It is so surreal and I still can not believe God entrusted this gorgeous, spirited little girl to me !

The past two weeks have been challenging with my mom being in the hospital and adjusting to waking up every 3 hours or so.  

I am struggling to wake up to pump.  My baby sleeps for longer spells at night. She wakes up around 11-12 and stays awake just looking around for a while.  Most nites she will go to sleep around 2 am and not awake again until 6 am.   I take advantage of her nap and I sleep.   I really should pump at midnight and then pump again at 5:30 am before she wakes up, but I am exhausted most nights or just plain lazy.  I prefer to stare at my baby’s beautiful face and sing to her or talk to her rather than pump.  

I have to pump exclusively since the baby can not incite let down.  She doesn’t suck long enough,  as she is used to the immediate response of the bottle.  

Hopefully in a few weeks, she will not tucker out so soon and will be able to nurse from the breast.

Last night, I went to sleep around midnight and didn’t wake up until 6 am.  I also didn’t pump since around 7pm, which only yielded 1 oz total.  

I woke up this morning and my boobs had hard lumps in them and were sore. I got up, hooked up the pump and relieved my breasts.

Six ounces ! Not bad !

I am amazed at the amount of weight I have shed! The day of delivery, because of the edema, I had blossomed 10 whole pounds in a week’s time.   After delivery, I retained a ton of fluid from the IV, but it collected in my hips, thighs and feet to the point that it was excruciating and still is although it’s going down.   I got on the scale yesterday and I am down … drumroll….  48 pounds !!!

  • I am smaller now than I was before I started stimming.  The only caveat, I have lost my bum bum ! Squats will be my friend 🙂

I still need to order a belly binder. The one the hospital gave me, I gave to my mom when hers was dirty.  I want a post partum binder with the Silicon cut out for cesarean.

Next week, the baby and I have appointments with my OB and her Pediatrician.  Due to my mom’s hospitalization,  we missed our two week appointment last week.

My mom got released from the hospital on Wednesday and is trying to get some rest.