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Babe In My Heart, Blogs

Think Before You Clean

September 20, 2017

Photo: Glamour.com

When I was trying to get pregnant, my body was a TEMPLE. I didn’t drink, ate all of my veggies, got my 8 hours of sleep and didn’t clean the house. Just kidding. Kinda. Researchers have found a link between organophosphate flame retardants (PFRs because that’s a mouthful) and a decreased success rate in IVF patients. Unfortunately PFRs are’t just found in cleaning products. Check out this article and learn more about what exactly PFRs are and how to avoid them other than just not cleaning your toilet. Photo: simplehomemaking.net

And check this out if you’re interested in information about how to clean up your cleaning products (who knew baking soda wore so many hats?).

Babe In My Heart, Blogs, Uncategorized

Hedgehog Healing

September 19, 2017

Written by Nicola Salmon, guest blogger
As I was sat across from my doctor the most unexpected words came out of her mouth, “You’ll never be able to have children.” At 16, I just thought that my irregular periods were down to growing up but after three years and several different investigations, I was given the diagnosis of PCOS (a metabolic and hormonal disorder), given the contraceptive pill and sent on my way.

It’s funny where life takes you, after suffering from PTSD later in life, I had acupuncture and it turned my life. I decided to study acupuncture as it intrigued me so much and as I was studying I learnt about lots of different ways I could look after my body. Not just with medicine, but with food, movement and other natural remedies. Throughout that journey I made tiny shifts and tweaks to my lifestyle, which over time improved my health and menstrual cycles.

My 3 lifestyle tweaks

I switched away from drinking tap water after I found out that it contains small amounts of oestrogen. With my hormones as imbalanced as they were, I decided to help it out by trying to reduce external sources.

This also led me to choosing organic grass fed meat and dairy when I could afford it as cheap cattle and other animals are pumped full of antibiotics and growth hormones which again affect hormones in our bodies.

The third biggest shift I made was reintroducing fat in my diet. I was absolutely shocked to discover that fats are the building blocks of hormones. Being on a low fat diet since I was about 13, it was no wonder that my body struggled to create the right amounts of each hormone. Healthy fats such as dairy, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado and nuts are such a great was to eat healthy and tasty food.

My story has a happy ending.

We had no troubles conceiving our 2 boys despite my constant worry and fear that having children would be so difficult for us.

In the end it was those tiny tweaks and shifts that helped my body heal. It wasn’t a complete diet overhaul. I didn’t suddenly start running marathons.

The problem is that these tweaks won’t work for everyone. We all have unique bodies, environments, histories and mindsets which means that you need to find your own tweaks to your optimal health. Sounds really hard right?

I promise it is really simple. All you have to do is listen.

Your body has all the information. Every sign and symptom is a sign post to tell you where to look. You can start right away by grabbing a pen and paper. Write down:

  • your sleep (when, how much, what was the quality)
  •  your food and drink (no calories counting! What you ate, when you ate and how you feel)
  • your energy throughout the day
  • your mood throughout the day
  • your movement throughout the day
  • where you are in your cycle right now
  • anything else your body is telling you (aches, pains, dizziness, dry skin etc)

Then the fun begins. Over time you’ll start to notice patterns. You’ll notice how your sleep affects your mood, or if you have a coffee after 3 you’re wired til midnight. Maybe you’ll notice that you get bloated 3 hours after eating bread or that when you don’t drink enough water your eyes get sore.

Really get curious about how your body works and you’ll be amazed by what you find. Then you can experiment. Start trying to do things a little different and notice how your body responds.

If you want a quick guide to get started with fertility journaling, you can download my free 7 day nurture fertility journal here.

Babe In My Belly, Blogs

The Stork Brings A Stark: The Test

September 14, 2017

I would love to start this out by saying the month I found out I was pregnant was different and I “just knew,” but the reality is I “just knew” every month. One month we were on vacation in Nashville and I was so positive I was pregnant, I made my husband take a picture of my (nonexistent) bump infront of the Nashville skyline. I also ate for two that trip (my jeans haven’t fit the same since) and I didn’t drink, because well, baby. Another month I had a meltdown because my (false) due date was the week of my best friend’s wedding and obviously I couldn’t travel across country 40 weeks pregnant.

I would take pregnancy tests in the afternoon because if they were negative I would make myself feel better by saying, “maybe it’s just because it wasn’t first thing in the morning pee,” and it gave me another 12 hours to hope that I was actually pregnant. I had this mind trick down pat. So, on a rainy Monday afternoon in April, I did just that. I stopped and got lunch (a salad with goat cheese), ran home and before I took a bite of my salad I took a test. I swore I saw a line. But I could always find a line if I wanted to, so I took another. Sure enough, another very faint line. 

Obviously I threw my salad in the trash as quick as you could say unpasteurized cheese (eye roll, first time mom, am I right?) and headed to the store to buy supplies to tell my husband. I had run so many scenarios through my head, how I would tell him, where I would tell him, what his reaction would be. I got pink and blue balloons to spell DAD and hid them in our guest bedroom. That night when we both got off work I called him into the bedroom where this was displayed. Josh is probably the smartest person I’ve ever met. His random knowlegede, vocabulary and mathematic skills blow me away daily. However, I will admit,  this day was not his sharpest. He stood in the doorway repeating “Dad…” and would look at me and say, “I don’t get it.” Bless his heart. After what felt like two years, he figured it out as we held eachother tight and cried tears of joy, excitement, fear and hope. And that is when we found out the stork was bringing a Stark.

Babe In My Arms, Blogs

Seven Nights In The NICU

September 12, 2017

Written by Nadine Bubeck, guest blogger

As I sit here 33 weeks pregnant with my third child, I can’t help but picture where I was at 33 weeks pregnant with my first.
I was in the hospital. On bed rest.

It’s kind of weird for me to mentally reminisce, as now my first born is going on four years old- an active, handsome, healthy young boy. I want to press pause. More so, I kind of miss his hectic arrival into the world, as emotional and stressful as it was.

At 20 weeks pregnant with Nicholas, I was diagnosed with complete placenta previa. My Gynecologist told me I’d likely have numerous bleeding episodes (horrifying), be placed on hospitalized bed rest (monotonous), and birth a preemie- all of which happened.

Nicholas arrived the morning after my third bleed. He was six weeks early, 4 pounds 11 ounces- skin and bones. Granted, not anything compared to micro-preemies born every day, but still, in my mind, I had birthed a little doll.

Luckily, he was born healthy. A fighter. Didn’t have any major issues. Could breathe on his own. Clearly living up to his name, meaning, “victorious.” With that being said, he was still quite premature, and so began our stay in the NICU.
I didn’t have a clue what to expect when they rolled my c-sectioned body into the NICU- I thought NICUs were for sick babies…Nicholas wasn’t sick. He was small, but fine. And like any new mom, I wanted to bring him home.

However, home wasn’t an option. As a preemie, Nicholas had to reside in the NICU for an undisclosed amount of time- or in other words, when doctors said it was okay to bring him home.

The NICU was much more welcoming and accommodating than I thought. The area was lined with pods, and we joined a pod that was shared with another family.

We had our own corner complete with a bassinet, changing station and rocker. Our compact area could be enclosed with a screen, granting us privacy to bond with our newborn. There was also a whiteboard, documenting Nicholas’ information and screens with a handful of wires that were hooked up to Nicholas. The wires triggered beeps measuring his heart rate among other things.

That’s what I remember. The beeping. Constant beeping. And when the beeping became irregular, my heart would also skip a beat.

Upon giving birth, every ounce inside of me changed. Like most new moms, I was gifted true purpose- my heart was full- and life before my son was only life leading up to him. Yet, the element of his early arrival took quite an emotional toll on me- I didn’t leave that pod, surrendering my hospital room and the recommended sleeping recovery of a C-section. I also became obsessive-compulsive. I wouldn’t take my eyes off visiting friends and family, concerned Nicholas would break. Truly, I didn’t want anyone breathing on him. That hasn’t changed…nearly four years later.

Nicholas couldn’t keep his temperature up to normal, so he was constantly bundled in clothing, hats and fleece sleep-sacks that he seemed to drown in. (The influx of “preemie fashion” hadn’t seem to hit the market.) I held him and sang to him as much as I could, but mostly sat in the rocker glued to his bassinet, attached to wires and those UV lights that keep babies warm.

It wasn’t until day two (I think?) that a kind nurse asked me if I wanted to kangaroo. My first response was natural- WTF was kangarooing? But then she explained the common NICU term.

Kangarooing was skin-to-skin contact between mom and baby or dad and baby. While I snuggled him as much as I could, I truly hadn’t had that OMG bonding moment with my son, so I welcomed the idea.

The nurse helped set me up, undressing Nicholas to his diaper. She handed me my nearly naked skin-and-bones doll, and closed the curtain. I laid Nicholas on my bare chest, covered us both, and started rocking. And that’s when the tears came. Unstoppable new mom tears. Tears that I prayed would reach any God to look after my baby. I was simply overcome by the magnitude of motherhood that it all overflowed.

That is the most vivid memory I have in the NICU.

We remained in the NICU for seven nights. We had up days and down days. Days when doctors were optimistic we’d be released, and days when doctors insisted we stay. It was an emotional roller-coaster, but even a bumpy journey can be a beautiful experience.

The nurses were amazing. It was as if I had a team of teachers showing me new baby how-to’s. They held my hand along the way. They talked to me. And they sincerely cared for my son.

I never want to claim our story compares to the many preemie-NICU stories I hear so often. Babies born super early, fighting for their lives. Babies who can’t breathe on their own. Families who spend months in the NICU. Babies who don’t make it due to premature birth. In comparison, our story was a breeze. Just a quick stay in the NICU. But to me, it was seven days that changed me forever.

Nicholas, now embarking on four years old, is a kind, compassionate soul. Sweet. Caring. Calm. Peaceful. The flurry of his arrival only resulted in the strong yet sensitive little boy who ultimately stole my heart.

As I sit here, wrapping up this short recap of our stay in the NICU, I can’t help but wish I could spend one more quiet moment kangarooing with my four-pound first born. In a month, I’ll be a new mom again, kangarooing with my healthy third child. But that memory of me and Nicholas will always be at heart, as he’s my first, and the person who made me a mother.

Nadine Bubeck is a TV personality, fashion designer, author and blogger. She documented her first pregnancy in her candid book, Expecting Perfect: My Bumpy Journey to Mommyhood. Compelled to pay it forward, she also launched a clothing line that benefits March of Dimes. 50% of each item sold goes to the foundation. More here: www.mamabdesigns.com

Babe In My Belly, Blogs

Sixth Times A Charm

September 7, 2017

Written by Tiffany Johnston, guest blogger

Growing up I was always one of those gals that just thought pregnancy happened, it was something to be cautious of as it was a huge responsibility. When my mom got sick, I felt the responsibility even as a teenager to help raise my two younger sisters. I knew the sacrifice of children and was cautious to ensure that I didn’t find myself a parent before I was ready.

My husband and I met in 2000 just a few days before we started high school. I wish I could say that we figured out what we meant to each other early on, instead of taking us ten years to even go on a date. I definitely can’t say that we rushed. We both went to college, dated others and did a bit of living before we rediscovered each other in the hustle and bustle of life.

It wasn’t long before the man of my dreams asked me to marry him and my perspective quickly changed. In less than a year we had formed the all-American dream. We got married, bought our first house, I found what I thought was the perfect job, adopted two dogs, and decided to start a family. Unfortunately, we tried to conceive for a year and when that led to nothing, we started interviewing fertility clinics. It took weeks upon weeks to find a clinic that we could both trust with the future of our family and had the knowledge around chronic pain problems associated with my fibromyalgia and the medications involved. Upon picking a clinic, we jumped right into testing and were promptly told that we both had some issues with fertility. They elaborated that with time it could be possible for us to get pregnant with help, though they tried to keep us very grounded in the length of time and finances it would take to achieve this goal. At the time I had no idea how infertility could change a person, or a couple for that matter.

For us, infertility has affected our dreams, ambitions, hope, peace, positivity, and happiness; it’s as if after each failed round of insemination the frost gets thicker and the storm gets stronger. We’ve spent countless nights curled together as I crumbled in frustration and exhaustion, with my husband simply trying to be strong. Anxiety creeps in like a dark and cold snow storm that slowly begins to blanket the valley with a glistening and frigid layer of snow. Infertility is a lot like that. No one knows it’s coming until you are traveling down the road of life trying to make your family, and seemingly all at once you are stopped by a giant obstacle – the storm that is infertility. It tests every aspect of your life, sanity, marriage, health and determination. Each of you go through completely different emotional processes while simultaneously experiencing the same exact events.

During our first experience with infertility we miraculously became pregnant on our very first round of IUI over 3.5 years ago, and were blessed with a little man we named Kian (which is Irish for “blessing”). The next three or so years were a blur: the pregnancy was wonderful as I wasn’t in any fibromyalgia pain for over nine months! Trust me I know what you’re thinking: one round! And for those of you that are deep in the infertility struggle, I understand your frustration with this moment of bliss, but our fertility journey was far from over with the birth of our son. When we became pregnant with Kian we had just begun our infertility journey. We were still bubbling over with hope, dreams, and faith in our future.

Several years later when we began trying for our second baby, things went much differently. We went through an insane amount of vitamins, probiotics, Femara, Follistim, Pregnyl, acupuncture, massage, chiropractic care and testing, missing out on coffee, alcohol, and public events (for fear of those dreaded germs). I can truthfully say that we have given this journey every ounce of fight we had in our bodies, hearts, wallets, and souls. We have learned that in the haze of infertility, the “ease” of getting pregnant with our IUI baby #1 and within the monthly, recurring, and unending two week waits; it’s been easy to catch myself daydreaming about what things would eventually be like once our positive result finally materialized. The first three rounds of IUI we did in just over six weeks. The flow of hormones cascading into my system was overwhelming and so hard on my body.

Needless to say, between the hormones and all of the feelings of failure, I hadn’t had the time to process my emotions, feelings of loss and disappointment. It got so bad at the end of round three that I was thinking very horrible thoughts about myself, about my worth, and truly just wanted to crawl in a hole and be buried alive. It was at that point I knew we had to make some changes because obviously being on our fertility journey and only using Western Medicine was not working this time.

So we made an appointment with a fertility counselor and she was amazing! She helped me realize that though we were deep in the throes of one of the biggest storms of our lives, that our voices were still fully intact and that we were our strongest advocates for our families future. Second the counselor strongly suggested looking for treatments outside of Western Medicine so I quickly found an acupuncturist and started getting seen immediately; which was amazing! The last thing she suggested was filling my time with something that set my heart on fire. So, I took what had been a recreational love of oils and made it a lifestyle for our family.

I spoke with my infertility doctors and did some research within a Young Living fertility group and found out what had worked for other patients that had achieved successful results and started adding them to our daily life. Stephen and I both went on vitamins and began taking Ningxia Red daily, I did the cleansing trio and started using Progessence Plus (this was a game changer), and we started using Stress Relief and a mix called Peace & Calm daily. Between acupuncture and YL, two things major happened: the first being that my husband’s numbers doubled when we went in for our next IUI, and the second was that I wasn’t having moments of extreme emotions anymore, my stomach was so much happier on the hormones, and the biggest and most amazing change was that I had my first 28 day cycle in 10 months! To us that meant my body would get a full two weeks to adjust and recover after each round of IUI, which was such a happy and welcome blessing. By this point we were already halfway to the stage where our fertility clinic was ready to usher us off to IVF land, needless to say every month was leaving me sicker and more depressed.

The cold hearted truth behind infertility is simple: no matter how many times someone tells you “it will happen” or “be thankful for what you have”, hearing those words just doesn’t get any easier. But, when you take a step back after each failed attempt, is there a possibility that they may just be right? Could there be an underlying blessing in infertility? Through the struggles of fertility I have learned that almost everyone goes through some type of life-altering series of events. However, out of those events, they would be given two choices if they found the strength to arise from the darkness and turn on the light, these people would arise with more compassion, love, empathy, patience, and kindness.

By day 23 of round #5 I was convinced we were pregnant. I was having a whole cluster of exciting and telltale symptoms. That night I started having chills, nausea, and what I would later realize was a fever. For my system, a fever is 99 at the highest and the last time I had a fever over 101 I was in elementary school. So this hit hard! I had a 101.5 fever for a full 24 hours and boy was it miserable. Even with my entire arsenal of oils, homemade bone broth and vitamins. Just as quickly as it appeared, the fever was gone, it’s only evidence of existence was me feeling left tired and groggy. On the 24th day of our cycle I awoke to what can only be described as pure and utter heartbreak over another failed IUI. I tell you all this to explain what happened next: after the start of every new cycle we must contact our fertility doctors and decide if we are continuing and give them an update on what has been happening. So I did just that. I told them that I swore I was pregnant and I was convinced that we had lost the pregnancy because of the fever. We followed up with blood work to check on several things: why my hair was falling out, why I was having kidney pain and what my hormone levels could tell us. Truth be told, through all of the testing and multiple doctors, we only found out we were pregnant but my system could not fight the fever and maintain a pregnancy.

I was heartbroken, mortified and angry; a level of anger that I am not sure I have ever experienced before. There is nothing easy about losing a child no matter how far along you are or why you lost them. We have eaten, slept, and breathed the best practices for fertility for months, gone through many failed attempts at pregnancy, countless amounts of money, depression, heartache, and now side effects from the hormones. By the 5th round my kidneys were suffering from the hormones, my hair was falling out in handfuls, and my weight was plummeting from the nausea. My husband and I debated doing a 6th but after discussing it with our acupuncturist we decided to take a month off to give my body a chance to heal a bit before starting again. By this point we had begun discussing that we may not be able to keep trying if my health continued to diminish. I thought, “what kind of life was I giving Kian if my health was so poor that I couldn’t give him all of me?” More and more my heart screamed that this was it, our last shot, and my body’s last chance at giving us another child. I was physical falling apart in front of my husband’s eyes. We followed our hearts and decided to give it one more try. But what if people are right? What if there is some underlying blessing in our fertility journey? For the first time in several months I believed wholeheartedly that we had been blessed beyond measure. Just when I thought I was not strong enough to arise from the ashes, we got pregnant. We are capable of being pregnant. It left us with a renewed sense of knowing that we could succeed, we would succeed, and at least for now we would NOT stop fighting. It’s as if someone turned on the light at the end of a long hallway just to remind us of what we were fighting for, and who we were fighting for.

Round #6 found us the miracle and positive results we had been waiting for. However, two and a half years ago when we did our beta test with Kian, I remember bursting into tears, sitting next to Stephen in the car when we finally received the secondary results and all I remember feeling was relief and gratefulness. This time it was different. There was an overwhelming monsoon of emotions that washed over me even though the news was awesome. I started crying; I felt as though I couldn’t breathe and my heart had stopped. I hadn’t been truly sure that we would ever hear those words again. For weeks after I caught myself saying well we won’t know for sure until the second beta test, or until the ultrasound, or until we hear a heartbeat. For months we have spent every month on a 28 day hamster wheel you become so used to disappointment, it’s really hard to suddenly let yourself celebrate the joyful moments.

I know in my heart that it takes time to get over the trauma that is infertility. You have struggled, been heartbroken and felt a profound and unwavering loss. But I come bearing good news: with every day that passes, whether you ever successfully receive a BFP or not you will become stronger and feel less traumatized. As someone that has experienced PTSD, I know that painful feelings will always be a scar on our lifeline. However, my solace in this journey is that no matter the heartache endured we have persevered to the next stage of our journey! I am hopeful that everyday our infertility scars will fade just an increment more and that someday down the road we will find that we have more anticipation, joy, and less reservation for the life growing in my belly. I know as each successful day of this pregnancy comes to a close and we become one day closer to meeting our new bundle of joy. That our hearts will open and be just a little less guarded than the day before. We know that we will never be able to take this pregnancy for granted or be completely worry-free, but we do have every intention to treasure and celebrate everyday that we are pregnant and we will celebrate this miracle!

Babe In My Belly, Blogs

All In

September 5, 2017

Written by Elizabeth Lantry, guest blogger

It’s still a little hard for me to believe I’m pregnant and I’m sitting here writing about my SUCCESS story. My initial motivation for sharing my story was more selfish than anything. I needed the support and over time, it helped me through infertility. During our first two cycles, we didn’t tell anyone except my parents and a close friend. It was a really lonely and scary way to go through IVF. I didn’t realize how many people go through this process until I shared.

I am 35 in and I’ve always wanted kids, but I started to doubt if it would happen when I hit my late 20s. Tom and I met at work when I was only 20 and an intern right out of college. We became close friends right away and were best friends for years before we started dating and celebrated six years in April. Tom has two kids from his previous marriage and to have kids together was a HUGE topic for us when we first started dating. He was done (his kids were almost grown)and had a vasectomy several years back. I can still remember standing on our deck, having a drink, when he agreed to have babies with me in September of 2012…

Year 1 of Infertility: Vasectomy Reversal & Trying to Conceive

In January of 2013 Tom had his vasectomy reversed. We tried to get pregnant until October before we were concerned something was wrong. We each saw our doctors and found out that the surgery worked fundamentally (flow of sperm) but he had built up antibodies in the time while the vasectomy was in place. Getting pregnant naturally just wasn’t going to happen for us. IVF with ICSI was our only option. Luckily, as we completed rounds of testing in November and December, we found that I was good to go! Doing IVF should be a slam dunk for us. Or at least that’s what they thought…

Year 2 of Infertility: 3 full rounds of IVF
I planned our first IVF cycle around a due date of November 10th, to match my dad’s birthday. Aside from the obvious anxiety of starting a process we weren’t familiar with, the cycle went smoothly and I found out I was pregnant 5 days after my transfer. Later, we would start to understand that the results from that cycle were less than ideal, but I was blissfully unaware at the time. We only got 7 eggs and the embryo that resulted from the cycle was low quality. As a result, I miscarried some time between 5 and 6 weeks and I was devastated.

We took a break and started round two mid-summer. We went into the cycle hopeful but cautious. And still especially uneducated on the topic. I knew everything about how to do my shots, what the calendar looks like, etc. But I was completely unaware of critical pieces of information such as success rates of clinics, embryo quality, average expected number of eggs and fertilization rates for someone my age. We knew that the doctor was planning to adjust my medication to try to get more eggs and we got started. At retrieval, we were notified that we got the same number of eggs (seven). Then, we found out five days after our retrieval that NO eggs fertilized to a day 5 blastocyst and our transfer would be canceled. I was devastated again.

It was at this point that we started to suspect something was off with me. They ran a bunch of additional tests, including an insulin check and an AMH test. The AMH result confirmed what we thought, my egg reserve and quality was low for someone my age.

This was when I went into research mode. Who is the “Mayo Clinic” of infertility? How does my doctor compare? What do all these test results mean? What should I be seeing? This is also when we started sharing our story on social media. This was when we discovered Dr. Schoolcraft in Denver. It only took one phone consultation with him to know that we needed the “Mayo Clinic” of infertility and he was it. We decided to travel to Denver for our next round of IVF, despite the fact that the entire cycle would be out of pocket (previously, insurance covered quite a bit of our cycles).

We did our 3rd retrieval in Denver at Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM) in November. I won’t lie, the process was intense. We had to do a bunch of repeat testing and some new tests I had never done before. The medication protocol was also much more involved. And there were so many rules (i.e. no caffeine or alcohol for either of us!)! But when I woke up from my retrieval and heard that we got 13 eggs, I was thrilled! Almost double. This was it. This was going to get me my baby(ies).

Six days later they called with the blastocyst results and once again, I was devastated. We got ONE. Only ONE potential baby. And that was IF it passed genetic testing (something we hadn’t done before). I still regret diving right into transfer at this point. I wasn’t ready emotionally and life was too stressful (we were moving and building a house). But the ONE blastocyst passed genetic testing so I dove in and we transferred the first few days of January. I took pregnancy tests at home every single day and they were all negative. The blood test 9 days later confirmed… BIG FAT NEGATIVE. Once again, devastated.

Year 3 of Infertility: A Break

After my negative result, we regrouped with Dr. Schoolcraft and he said the words no girl really wants to hear… “It’s time to start thinking about egg donors.” Yes, I realize an egg donor baby would still be “my” baby and I would love him/her just as much. Just like I would if I adopted. But what’s so wrong with wanting a baby that was made from me? I just wasn’t there yet. Anyone who has done IVF hoping for a baby made from their own DNA will understand. It certainly didn’t stop people from advising me to move on to adoption or egg donors. And it hurt every. single. time.

I pushed back a little on Dr. Schoolcraft and asked if there was ANYTHING we could do. Was there any hope? He said that the embryo we got certainly “could” have made a baby. So we weren’t totally out of the game. But in his opinion, the only way I might be successful would be to do something called Family Building. Basically 3 IVF retrievals back to back to bank up eggs that are fertilized to day 2. Then after the 3rd retrieval, grow them all to day 5/6 and biopsy them and freeze them. Then genetic testing and then see what we get. I’ll let you look on their website to see what it costs, but it’s more than a starter home in my town.

We let him know I’d have to switch to Tom’s insurance (so at least some of that house would be covered), which we couldn’t do until the following year. Could we wait that long? Would that ruin my chances? Of course, the older I get the worse my eggs will be and he confirmed. But if I was going to do that, he’d like me to try a vitamin protocol. “It’s mostly voodoo,” he said, “but I’ve never had someone patient enough to take it for a full year, so let’s give it a try.”

So I spent the year traveling, drinking, crying sometimes, playing and whatever I could to take my mind off of things. We still hadn’t decided for sure we were going to do the Family Building process. It was going to be SO much work. Could my body or soul take it? By summer the decision was overwhelming me. I started seeing a counselor to help me work it all out. It only took a few sessions to know I had to try.

On September 1st, I started prepping my body for this difficult process. No drinking, no caffeine, diabetic diet (no, I’m not diabetic, but insulin is bad for fertility), lots of exercise, and acupuncture. On November 1st, Tom started prepping too (no drinking, 1 cup of coffee a day, etc.).
Year 4 of Infertility: Family Building (3 Retrievals & a Transfer)

At this point, you have to remember I’m really smart when it comes to IVF retrievals. I can practically read the ultrasounds myself. I know what sizes my eggs should be each day and I even got to the point where I could tell when they would tell me to trigger or change meds. I did my best to just go with the process and not stress over the details. I didn’t do very well at that.

The three retrievals went something like this: 1 period cycle of priming (estrogen primer) and 1 period cycle of stimulation and retrieval. Then start all over again. January 18th, March 10th, and May 1st were my three retrievals. I stuck to the no drinking, no caffeine, exercise and acupuncture all 3 retrievals. I was on a strict diabetic diet my first retrieval, a loosy-goosey diet on my second retrieval, and for the 3rd retrieval I decided to go ALL IN with Whole 30. I knew the impact the diabetic diet was having on my fertility (which is basically centered around avoiding simple carbs and sugar and focusing on whole grains, protein, and real food). Whole 30 just stepped that up a notch to eliminate dairy and whole grains. It was worth a try! Keep in mind at this point that I was also still on the vitamin protocol prescribed by Dr. Schoolcraft. Another huge change we tried during the final retrieval was to use the growth hormone, Saizen. It was wildly expensive and I had a lot of concerns and doubts, but we went for it. Remember: ALL IN.

After the first retrieval, I cried when I woke up and found out we only got 11 eggs because the whole time I had been seeing upwards of 16 eggs on the ultrasound screen. I was thrilled with retrieval #2 because I got 14 eggs. And when I woke up from retrieval #3, I about fell out of bed when they said I got 21 eggs. We got so good at retrievals by the end that we were traveling home (driving) immediately following the surgery…not advised and literally against the rules, but man I just wanted to be home!

Fast forward to May 1st… And now, we wait. The torturous 5-6 day wait to find out if any of my eggs and 8 months of hard work would give us any viable embryos.

I will remember this phone call forever. We were sitting in our Four Seasons room by the lake when they called. Right away, the nurse said “Are you ready for this?!” And then… “ELEVEN!!!” I about died. I made her give me every single detail. I was certain she called the wrong patient. We got 2 blastocysts from retrieval #1, 2 from retrieval #2, and 7 from retrieval #3. (Details on quality of each can be found on my blog, along with a million other details.) I spent the entire day going up to anyone who would listen and saying “Do you know what?! I got ELEVEN embryos!!!”

They sent the biopsies off for genetic testing and 9 of the 11 passed.

This time, I was smarter going into my transfer. I took some time off between the retrievals and the transfer and enjoyed life and relaxed. It was easier knowing how many embryos I had waiting for me. I was excited, but knew it was better for my babies and for my heart if I was “ready.” I prepped for transfer for 2 months (diabetic diet/Whole 30, exercise, no caffeine, no alcohol, acupuncture). We transferred two of our highest quality embryos (ironically both from the final retrieval) on August 26th and found out we were pregnant on September 4th. On September 21st, we had our first ultrasound and saw TWO heartbeats. Later that day we were able to find out they were both girls (via the genetic testing results). I don’t have to tell you what this news felt like. You can picture it. I literally cried out loud when the ultrasound tech saw the two heartbeats on the monitor. After years of never making it to this point, the feeling of seeing actual hearts up on the screen was unexplainable.

I’m now 30 weeks pregnant as I type this blog. I keep posting my story as much as I can and I’ve even worked with several women going through this process for one reason: to give them hope. There is nothing wrong with hope. It’s going to hurt no matter what if it doesn’t work. But hope makes it bearable. I am also a big advocate of going ALL IN. Do your research, find out what could help and then do ALL OF IT. Both of my babies are from my all in cycle. I literally gave it everything I had and it paid off. If I had half-assed it and it didn’t work, I never would have forgiven myself.

I’m still not sure what happened between the first 3 retrievals and the second 3. Part of me has to rely on faith to a certain extent and assume that these girls were just meant to be my babies. Sometimes I like to look at the science of things and take comfort in the idea that I had some control over the outcome because of all the extra work I put into the last three rounds. Then common sense takes over and I remind myself I was 2 years older for the last 3 rounds and I still did better. Back to faith. At the end of the day, all I know is I went from getting 2 blastocysts from 27 eggs to getting 11 blastocysts from 46 eggs. Oh and did I mention…I’m having twin girls.

Babe In My Heart, Blogs

To Donor Sperm, Not To Donor Sperm. That Is The Question.

August 31, 2017

Written by Becca Lang, guest blogger

My husband Mike and I met in medic school in 2010. We sat on opposite sides of the classroom, were never placed together in a group scenario and had limited interactions. I was one of three women in a classroom of 25. It wasn’t until almost two years later that we ended up doing our internship for the same ambulance company. I was excited to be working with a familiar face, we finally spent time together outside of the classroom and it was then that our relationship began to grow. We were great friends who would eventually fall in love. I remember we would leave little notes of encouragement for each other in the back of the ambulance for the other person to find at the start of their shift. He was one of the smartest people I knew, his compassion and drive to help others and serve his community was what I loved about him the most. It was after the completion of our internship that we started dating. We spent almost every day together that summer and it was one I will never forget.

Mike and I got married in February of 2015, it was that August that we decided to start trying to grow our family. I always knew I wanted to be a mother and I was excited to think now was the time to make that happen. As a young woman, I had struggled with reproductive issues for years. I was officially diagnosed with endometriosis at the age of 19 after battling my own body for what had seemed like forever. I would frequently develop ovarian cysts, some would pass of their own but others had to be laparoscopically removed. It was at my third and final surgery that my doctor said my left ovary was not functioning properly and was doing more harm than good. They would eventually remove it at the age of 22.
Fast forward to 2016, it had been 7 months of trying and nothing had happened yet. Mike and I decided to make an appointment with my OBGYN but were told we needed to wait until at least a year before we could be seen. Five more months had past, I had spent month after month getting my hopes up every time I would take a test only to ever see one line. Every month came the same emotional rollercoaster. Grief, sadness, blame and confusion as to why this wasn’t happening for us. I was stuck in a state of frustration with my own body. “Just relax”, “It will happen when you stop thinking about it”, “stop trying so hard” were some of the things we would hear repeatedly. A year had past, and we were finally seen by a specialist for our fertility trouble.


One test. A simple semen analysis was all it took to finally get the answer we had spent the last year trying to figure out. I had spent all this time blaming myself and battling my own body just to be told that Mike most likely had some sort of block seeing his count came back at zero. We were referred to a fertility specialist and had an appointment booked within just a few weeks. Unexplained severe male factor infertility was the diagnosis we were given. The staff at our clinic was amazing. Both Mike and I felt like we were finally in the right place. They were welcoming, compassionate and sympathetic to the frustrating year we just had. A plan was put into place at our very first appointment and that is where our journey to parenthood began.
Donor sperm or no donor sperm? Such a fun topic of conversation, am I right? To get that answer Mike would have to undergo a procedure called TESE (Testicular epididymal sperm extraction) I may be biased, but he handled it like a champ. Twenty-four pokes later we left the clinic and patiently waited for our results. Out of the 24 areas they extracted from, 22 had viable sperm. We knew that although we had a long road of IVF in front of us, we could genetically have our own children, and for that we were beyond grateful.

That brings me to today. I am a week into the start of my medications, the injections themselves seem to be getting a little bit easier every day but the symptoms keep growing. Our protocol includes fertilization with ICSI, and PGS screening for a frozen embryo transfer. To be given this opportunity to do IVF has been such a blessing. We are lucky enough to have an amazing support system from our family and friends and to say we are thankful would be an understatement. I hope this brings awareness to those struggling with infertility. Male factor especially, for such a simple test I don’t believe there should be a regulated time frame that you must endure just to get an answer. Infertility is a battle in itself and can be extremely detrimental to some relationships. Let’s speak up, have uncomfortable conversations and make this process easier for those who are struggling. Thank you for taking the time to read about our story. For those of you who are battling infertility, I hope our story gives you encouragement, strength and determination to keep up the fight.

Babe In My Arms, Blogs

Do You Believe In Miracles?

August 29, 2017

Written by Shelly Blanco, guest blogger
My husband and I are high school sweethearts. We met when we were 16 years old and I knew instantly he’d be mine forever. We married in our early 20’s and spent the first 5 years of our marriage building a home and traveling the world together. It wasn’t until we turned 28 that we decided to begin our journey to be parents. After only 6 months of trying, I had a feeling something wasn’t right.


We were referred to a fertility specialist where we were both put through the barrage of testing. The testing revealed I had what they called “low ovarian reserve” and my husband had low numbers. For some reason, since both of us were “broken” in the Doctor’s eyes it made us bond together to prove them wrong. We started the grueling fertility treatment journey. Ultrasounds, injections, blood work, appointment after appointment, acupuncture, Chinese herbs, wheat grass shots, we were knee deep in this fight! We started our first IVF cycle in February 2008. To our surprise it was canceled as soon as it began, I didn’t produce any follicles that cycle. The morning we had the ultrasound to tell us there was nothing, we had to fly out to be at my nephew’s baptism, we were his Godparents. I felt like it was God’s way of helping us cope, to realize we had a family that loved us and needed us. While on that trip, I got a call that one of my best friends was pregnant. Isn’t that how it always works? While we are in the midst of a struggle we seem to see everyone else who ISN’T struggling? It was just so easy for everyone.
We started our second round of IVF as soon as the Dr would let us. Again, it was weeks of injections, blood work, ultrasounds, “samples” (someday my hubby should write about his experience!), etc. This time it worked and we had 2 beautiful embryos! The day of the transfer they gave us a picture of them, I rode home laying down in the backseat staring at these two babies that were now in me trying to “stick”! My husband brought me 2 roses, one for each embryo and we waited. I started my period before the dreaded 2-week wait was up, I knew, it didn’t work.
It was at that point I gave up. I met with the Dr after the second failed IVF cycle and he sat across from me telling me our chances of conceiving naturally were less than 1%, he talked about using donor eggs and that because of my husband’s numbers we were not candidates to try IUI. After spending over $20K and hundreds of hours at the fertility clinic, I was done. I physically felt a huge burden be lifted as I prayed to God that He take control, I couldn’t do it anymore.
Around this time, my husband decided he would get a surgery that would potentially help his numbers. It was not a simple procedure and I watched my husband suffer through it so he could help our chances of being parents. We also attended a fertility support group through our church which was probably the best thing we did during this entire ordeal. We sat in the room listening to testimonies and as we listened we realized these stories ended with almost everyone in that room having a child in one way or another. I looked over at my husband and saw him wiping tears away, it was then I realized the toll it was taking on him too.
6 weeks after my husband’s surgery, I realized my cycle was late. Of course, I didn’t believe it. So, I waited. And waited. I took a pregnancy test at 6am on September 11th, 2008. I didn’t see a line so back to bed I went, this was nothing new. But then my husband came storming into the room, “There’s a line! It’s faint, but it’s there!”. Unbelievably we were pregnant, naturally, miracle #1. A month later, my husband had a follow up appointment with his urologist, so of course we took him cookies and took a picture with him as a thank you for this miracle. It wasn’t until a week after that appointment when we got the results of my husband’s post-surgery sample that we realized the surgery did nothing to his numbers, they were exactly the same.
On May 1st, 2009 our son Isaac was born. He was conceived with no medical intervention. We loved on him and spent the first year of his life in utter disbelief he was ours. We told our story to anyone who would listen. I was blessed to be able to nurse him for 13 months. Then, one day after I weaned him from nursing, on May 28th, 2010, we found out, by the grace of God, we were pregnant again. Our second son, Xavier was born on January 11th, 2011, again he was conceived with no medical intervention, our miracle #2.
We lived the next 5 years watching these babies turn into boys, watching brothers play and fight with each other. I felt done, I knew the odds were against us, I was tired too, but my husband felt a pull. He kept saying he wanted a daughter, he could envision himself walking her down the aisle at her wedding. A few years after my 2nd son was born, my husband has his numbers tested and once again his numbers were very low, the same as before. So, in November 2015, after we had “not not tried” for the past 5 years, I got tested again. The Dr called and said, your eggs are “fair” and scored a 3 out of 10….30%, my eggs failed the test. We were grateful and content with our life so we let it be what it was.
One month later, December 30th, 2015, it happened again, miracle #3, we were pregnant. I was certain it was another boy, it was all I knew! On September 7th, 2016, our daughter Valentina was born.
A few things struck me as we were going through all of this, especially during my last pregnancy. I had almost every person I told ask me if we were trying to have another child. It was such an odd question for people to ask me. I know I was older and my boys were older but these people didn’t know our story and didn’t know how hard we had tried to have these children. Every day I realize how we have truly experienced miracles and I am forever grateful for the chance we have had to be parents. It’s hard for me to hear others going through struggles to conceive, I want to reach out to them however I am sensitive to the fact that I have children now and they don’t. But, I do pray that my story will in some way provide a ray of hope to those in the trenches!

Babe In My Arms, Blogs

About A Boy

August 24, 2017

Written by Wendy Garafalo, guest blogger

This is a story about a boy, his diagnosis, and the way LOVE can shift everything….

My son Luca, has autism. It still feels strange to write it, but it’s our truth and it’s something we’ve embraced and learned to love. Luca was an amazing baby, slept well, ate well. He had an incredible way of letting me know when he was done and ready to move on to the next phase. At about 5 months, he took out his pacifier and threw it across the room. I couldn’t ever get it back in his mouth. At about 15 months, after nursing one morning, he rolled off and said ‘bye bye boobie!’ And never asked for it again. He was very verbal, speaking full sentences just after his first birthday. As new parents, we didn’t know any different. We simply thought he was special. And indeed he is!


Luca has a little sister, Aviana. They are about 20 months apart. When Aviana turned 2, She began talking more and she and I started having conversations. Not many people could understand her, but I could and there was definitely a back and forth happening that had never happened with Luca. At the time, Luca was almost 4 and we had recently moved to Carlsbad. He was extremely particular about things. He always had to push the light switch or the garage door button. And if he didn’t get to push it…. Explosions, tantrums, etc. I talked with other moms and they reassured me that this was normal 3-year-old behavior. So, I brushed off my concerns many times.
Until one morning, when my husband approached me, eyes red and puffy. He said he had been on the Autism Speaks website and he was really concerned that Luca might have autism. I froze, I couldn’t handle that thought. I didn’t know much about autism, but there was no way my little boy had it. I put on a happy face and went downstairs to start my day with the kids. Those were probably the hardest couple of days. Watching Luca and feeling the questions start to build in my head.


My husband and I agreed to have him evaluated. And a few months later, we heard that word… autism. And it hit us hard. How could this have happened? Why didn’t we see it sooner? What did I do wrong when I was pregnant. On and on the questions came thru my head. On our way home my husband said to me, ‘he’s still the same boy we’ve always known and loved’. And yes he was, but now we needed to let go of our expectations of how we thought his life might turn out and simply meet him where he is. We needed to work our way thru the blame, and we needed to give ourselves a little space to mourn, to accept and to figure out ‘now what?’ Luckily, where we live offers a lot of help and resources. Right away we got Luca into a special program. We found a therapist who he loved, and we started our journey into the world of autism.
We decided early on that we wanted to share what we were going thru. Day by day, we were realizing that the diagnosis wasn’t a curse, a weight to bear, but rather it gave us a jumping off point. We had been treading water for a while, and now we were provided a platform and could choose a direction to go. At the time of his diagnosis, Luca was obsessed with letters and fonts. It was hard to take him to the grocery story as he wanted to stop and look at each package and try to determine the font. Keep in mind he’s 4 years old. He was incredibly intrigued by words written on glass doors and windows. It frustrated him to walk on the other side and see the words in reverse. His little mind simply couldn’t grasp it. After asking me about it at least a hundred times, he finally seemed to accept it.
A few weeks later I noticed Luca drawing with chalk on some planter boxes we have in the back yard. I watched as he wrote the word LOVE completely in reverse. I came out with a rag to erase it and help him write it the ‘right’ way. He stopped me and said, “I wrote it that way for the plants to read from the inside.” I looked at him, and he went back to drawing. I walked back inside and sat down, my heart exploding, and I cried. I cried because I felt I was just given a little glimpse into how his amazing mind works. His reasoning for love in reverse was simply brilliant. Why would I need to read it, when it wasn’t meant for me?!
I knew I had to share this story, so I wrote it out and shared it on social media. It was our way of telling the world what we had been going thru and how it wasn’t as scary as you may think. This story illustrated it all for me. Luca’s mind works differently, and he’s here to teach me about compassion and love. I felt the need to get this message out, beyond my social media reach. So, I started a company and we started making feel good items that have a message of love in reverse. And we donate to local charities who help kids with autism. The thought is, when you wear the hat, the shirt, the jewelry, Luca’s message of love in reverse is constantly being delivered in to your soul. It doesn’t matter what you wear, or how you look, or your age or your weight. All that matters is the love you feel on the inside. That’s what Luca taught me that day. And now my mission is to share his story, to create awareness around autism. And to remind everyone to stop judging, stop comparing and start loving! It’s all that matters, it’s all that will ever matter.

iam-love.org

Babe In My Heart, Blogs

The Best Laid Plans

August 17, 2017

Written by Rachel Roth, Guest Blogger

Alright, I admit it: I’m a planner. Have been my whole life. I plan my outfits for the week. I plan for a party months in advance. It should come as no shock that I’ve had my life as a mother planned for as long as I can remember and had my kids names picked out since high school (thank goodness my husband loved the names too!)

My husband, Jon, and I married in 2008 and the talk of kids began at our wedding. We played a famous game at our reception called “The Shoe Game” where Jon and I sat back to back, traded shoes and held up the shoe of the person we thought best represented the answer. My brother, who emceed, asked “Which of you is looking forward to having kids more?” We BOTH held up BOTH shoes. See? Excited for kids. However, we wanted to wait until I finished my master’s degree and we moved into a house. Both of those things happened in April 2011. Happening in the same month? That was some sort of sign we were supposed to start trying for kids immediately, right?

I began to calculate when I needed to conceive based on the amount of maternity leave I had. I worked as a teacher and since I would get the summer off, I knew I wanted to have my leave flow right into the summer to maximize my time at home. I had a conversation one day with my mom explaining my thought process behind these conception plans and she held up her hand to stop me.

“How do you know that you’ll get pregnant the first time you try?”

I didn’t have an answer to that and it should have been a warning bell to at least be prepared for that possibility and in our case, eventuality. 8 months into trying for children, we were sent to a fertility doctor for what at the time seemed like just a male factor issue.

My husband needed surgery to fix a varicocele. He healed wonderfully and came back in better shape than before. But we still were having issues. After more tests, they found I was also part of the problem. Apparently, my AMH hormone level was low which meant I had fewer (good) eggs than other women my age. Apparently my biological clock had hit the danger zone early. So that added a new dimension to our problem. And doctors in the same practice couldn’t seem to agree on a plan.

One doctor said we could conceive naturally and just needed help with timing. A second doctor said we had “less than 1% chance of conceiving naturally” and said if I was his daughter, he’d automatically recommend IVF. I was beginning to get frustrated that no one could seem to agree on OUR specific infertility problems and what to do about them. I felt like a science experiment or some number on a chart, instead of a real person trying to conceive a child.

I started with clomid and letrozole (oral stimulating meds), progressed to Follistim (injected stimulating med) then did 4 rounds of IUI. Everything failed, month after month. However, our first IVF in April 2013 was different. The plan was to come to the office two weeks after the IVF transfer for a blood test for pregnancy. I got antsy, took a home test and it turned out positive! Two years of trying and we were finally pregnant!
Well of course out came the plans! I calculated my due date, researched how to decorate the nursery, and even started compiling a guest list for my baby shower. (I know, I know. I can hear you shaking your head. I deserve that)

The fertility clinic continued to monitor my beta numbers and even though they seemed to fluctuate a bit, the doctor told me that the next time I came in, we would be able to hear the baby’s heart beat!

Jon came with me to that next appointment because we both wanted to hear our child’s heart beating for the very first time. So exciting! After the normal blood draw, the ultrasound tech seemed to be moving the wand around a lot and not saying much. After two years of ultrasounds, I knew something was wrong.

Turns out, as the doctor would tell us afterward, there was nothing on the ultrasound. No heartbeat. No baby.

I was DEVASTATED.

I held it together for the rest of the meeting, but when we got to the car, I broke down in tears. My dream was crashing down around me. To go from expecting to see the heartbeat of your child to being told there wasn’t a baby at all was excruciating and confusing. We took some time to regroup and a few months later we did IVF #2 and #3 back to back. Both were failures.

It was in the days, weeks, months that followed that I started to withdraw.

I had been hit with a huge dose of reality. We had been trying for nearly three years. Even three attempts using the most advanced fertility procedure, the one with the highest chance of success, didn’t help us conceive. I started to isolate myself to protect my heart. I replied “no” to every baby shower invitation, including my two nephews. I didn’t want to be the elephant in the room during what was supposed to be a happy time for someone else. I even avoided my friends. I knew I couldn’t be a good friend to them with what I was going through and didn’t want to feel like a burden. I hit rock bottom. All my plans hadn’t worked to get the one thing I’d always dreamed of: children. Was I the failure? Was I being punished for planning? For assuming we would get pregnant quickly?

We took the next 10 months to just be a married couple again. We had one more frozen embryo so we needed to do one more IVF attempt, but with everything we had been through physically (I stuck myself an average of 34 times per IVF cycle) and emotionally (at that point, I had gotten 29 months of negative pregnancy results), we needed a break.

Finally, in September 2014 we did our IVF #4, which we knew financially and emotionally had to be our last. We didn’t have high hopes after all we had been through but the nurses called me after my blood test ecstatic to tell me I was pregnant! We were thrilled.

Unfortunately, our celebration didn’t last long. Same as before, there was no heartbeat. No baby. I miscarried the exact same day I did on the first IVF.

This time, I wasn’t devastated.

I was BROKEN.

We often heard people tell us “just adopt!” And absolutely, it was and is an option. But two important things: 1) we felt we needed to mourn our fertility journey and the biological children we wouldn’t have. We needed to heal. 2) We wanted to be sure we should adopt, not just move forward with it as a last resort. We wanted our hearts to be pure and intentional as it affects a lot of people. We prayed, discussed and decided we were being called to adopt. We were scared, to be honest, as adoption is something neither of us knew a lot about. But sometimes the best things in life are the ones that scare us initially.

After some research, we settled on an adoption agency and chose infant domestic adoption. The adoption process, like the fertility process, is NO. JOKE. It is a ton of stress and is a challenge emotionally and financially, just in very different ways. We got through the mountains of paperwork, the hours of interviews, the classes, the physicals, the clearances, and hours creating a profile.

On December 18, 2015 we officially became available for birth families to connect with us!

On December 19, I found out I was pregnant. Naturally.

Is that your jaw hitting the ground I just heard? Yeah, I can STILL feel mine dislocating from shock. I took two tests because we just didn’t believe it. We made sure to get the ones that have the words instead of the lines because if anyone could screw up reading the results, we figured it would be us.

Despite both tests saying the same thing, we were VERY cautious throughout the first few months, even refusing to say the word “pregnant” aloud to one another. We referred to my pregnancy as “our situation” for the first trimester as we spoke about our future plans. We knew firsthand how quickly pregnancies can change.

But our fears were assuaged. On August 15, 2016, our son Benjamin Shane was born. Healthy, happy, full of life, definitely not part of our plan. No one was more thrilled to be wrong than us.

What about the adoption, you ask? Never fear. We fell in LOVE with adoption and are excited to adopt. Our agency required us to pause and wait until Ben is a year old before “unpausing” our journey. We’ve already started the ball rolling again and are just waiting to meet with our adoption agency to update our home study since a lot has changed in two years.

I often reflect upon what I was supposed to learn from my fertility journey. I never want my experiences to be for nothing so I try to find something to take away from it. I realized that there is so much in this life that is beyond our control. I love to plan, but sometimes plans don’t work out. I can’t control the weather. I can’t control how someone else reacts. I can’t control my fertility. My journey taught me that with so much beyond my control, I could either continue to struggle against it, only to be met with heartache. Or I could find peace in the chaos and learn to enjoy the moments, the life I have because life is fluid and fleeting.

Don’t worry – I haven’t given up my planning ways completely. There’s still a first birthday to plan, after all. And while I do, I’m enjoying every moment until then.

What The Fertility

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