Browsing Category

Blogs

Babe In My Arms, Babe In My Belly, Babe In My Heart, BFF, Blogs

From WTF Sisters: The Best TTC Advice

March 27, 2018

One thing (well, one of the many) that we love about the What The Fertility (WTF) community is the compassion towards others and willingness to share! Whether that means sharing stories, advice, tips, or just joining in on all the feels when someone is celebrating or needs a pick-me-up!

Last month on our Instagram and Facebook pages, we asked you: “What was the best advice you were given while trying for a baby?” And boy, did you answer! Here’s what some of our TTC sisters had to say:

About marriage while TTCing:

“I’ve learned to take the advice with love, no matter what. But in return, I give them the honesty of my journey. I was depressed. I’ve lost friends. But through it all, I lean into the love of my marriage more and more. That’s saved my soul.” – @bloomingwithcare

“Some of the best advice I got was to remember my husband through the process. Trying for a baby can be all consuming and feel very “mechanical.” Even more so when experiencing infertility! Take time for your partner, check in on their feelings, and remember that you are in this together.” – @laurenjbennett

No success on the actual baby making but just keep talking to your significant other…keep good lines of communication open because chances are they are struggling as much if not more than you are. Keep each other close, don’t let not being able to conceive get in between what brought you together in the first place LOVE. – Alexis

(Image credit: Scary Mommy)

On paying attention to your body:

“Be proactive, get your body checked out to see why infertility may be occurring so you don’t over look or not look at important aspects!” – @sexdoccarli

“Listen to your body. It knows what it’s deficient or nutrient rich in and if I can support you and a growing baby.” – @shreeberry

(Image credit: FertilityTips.com)

Taking the journey in stride:

“Some of the best advice that I received was try not to put so much stress on the process. Take your meds, relax, get a massage, and leave it in God’s hands. Once I really relaxed and put it all in God’s hand it worked. I was on my last cycle of IUI before IVF. Due later this year.” – @mrsnatvirture

“The best is for someone to listen to you and offer no advice.” – Carrie

“Get a support group and block out all the advice and lean on the ones who offer nothing but love- no advice no nothing but being there. And know your partner is in this too- and they might not reach out but they need a person to lean on too.” – Talia

Do you have TTC advice that you would like to pass on to others looking to start a family? Drop them in the comments below! And be on the look out for our next post from the WTF community around ensuring a successful embryo transfer!
Babe In My Heart, Blogs, Uncategorized

Share Your Surrogacy Story!

March 23, 2018

Written by Heather Holden Leddy, guest blogger

I’m a mom and Casting Producer in Los Angeles. I’ve worked on a ton of shows over the last decade which has kept me more than busy! I’ve helped cast everything from Shark Tank to even traveling to Samoa to help with the cast of Survivor a few seasons. It’s been fun and at times not as glamorous as it sounds…but I do get to meet a lot of interesting people and that is what keeps me going. I love hearing people’s stories and it’s always amazing to me how much we all have in common!

My new project has me on an exciting path – I’m working on searching for surrogacy stories with people who used or are planning on using a family member or close friend as a surrogate. This project has become extra special to me because I too have struggled with my own fertility issues. It was a long road for my husband and I and I’m happy to say that at 39, I’m now six months pregnant with our second baby girl!

(Image credit: SimpleSurrogacy.com)

Going through what we’ve been through really gave me a new perspective into the world of trying to get pregnant and made me realize that it’s not that easy for everyone. I have a much greater appreciation for the fertility journey now and know how lucky I am that we were finally able to conceive, not once…but twice.

And now, I’m turn to the What The Fertility community! My hopes are that I can find some inspirational and real stories about the process of gestational surrogacy – from you!

(Image credit: Center for Fertility and Gynecology)

This new docu-series focuses on people that are considering, have undergone, or are currently undergoing the process of gestational surrogacy – from both the prospective of intended mother and the surrogate. A lot of the women I have spoken with have extremely inspirational stories to share about how they have overcome the many obstacles they’ve faced. Family and friendship stories that dispel some of preconceptions of surrogacy are really important and we want to add elements of hope and female empowerment to our storytelling for this project.

So what do you say – will you share your story with us?! Help be the face and voice of hope for so many people who are longing to be parents!

If you have used a family member or close friend as a surrogate and would like to share your inspirational surrogacy journey, please SurrogateStories@gmail.com.

Babe In My Arms, Babe In My Belly, Babe In My Heart, Blogs

I See the Future of IVF and “It’s Finally Positive!”

March 20, 2018

By Tasha Blasi, guest blogger

I did ten rounds of IVF to have my children.  Hudson was round two and Mila was round ten.

When I share this party trick of mine, I can tell if someone has also experienced fertility issues by the next question that they ask me.

For those that have not needed fertility treatments to conceive, they ask, “Wow, how much did that cost you (in dollars)?”

For those that needed fertility treatment to conceive, they ask, “Wow, how much did that cost you (in mental health)?”  

It cost us tens of thousands of dollars.  Maybe $100K? I will never know. I know that we paid out of pocket in full for one round, and then had some insurance covering the other nine rounds, but I am not masochistic, so I carefully avoided adding up the overall total even though I had our IVF bills in one place.   

While the financial toll of IVF came and left quickly for each round (like ripping off a band-aid), the emotional toll of IVF came, never left, and just kept growing and changing (like an infected wound that you never uncovered to look at and just kept hidden under a band-aid).

At first, I was cocky. I was doing IVF in NYC. They had to be the best if they are in NYC, right?  Also, I was young and healthy, and our fertility issues were due to my husband’s low sperm count so we would have no issues creating tons of healthy embryos, right? Plus, I was successful at anything I worked hard at, so IVF will be the same, right?  

Of course, I was wrong about all of those things. Soon, my attitude changed from confident to hopeless.  I was not cocky anymore, I was afraid.

Watching round 6,7, 8, and 9 fail, without even a positive pregnancy test, unraveled me. It didn’t make sense. I had been pregnant before, so my body knew what to do, and I didn’t have any known fertility issues.  

I was confused and felt lost, but I was not ready to give up. For the last round, I made some hard changes. The first was changing doctors for the fourth time. I also worked on environmental and mindset issues that could be getting in the way of my success.  

I am proud of my path and my very pricey children.  I don’t have any regrets in my fertility journey. In fact, my only regret in life is not spending the money to see the original cast of Hamilton. 🙂  

But I don’t want anyone else to make my mistakes and go through what I did for those years.  

For this reason, I left my career and started the FU Project so women can go through their fertility journey so much easier, cheaper, kinder, and quicker than I did. My customized “Method to Motherhood™”  for women is simple and streamlined. I focus on the four elements that need to be solid for IVF success rates to get close to 100% (within two embryo transfers)* vs. the average 35% national success rates for IVF.**

The four elements are Science, Environment, Mindset, and Support.

Today, I work with one woman at a time.  Soon, my “Method to Motherhood™” will be incorporated into the top fertility clinics around the world.  They are already calling, but I am holding off on any partnerships for now.  I need more time to just focus on my program. I am just getting started!

If you would like answers to what is stopping you from getting or staying pregnant, please call me so I can help you.  I offer complimentary strategy sessions so women can learn what might be the missing link in their fertility journey that will finally make them successful.  

I am so grateful and proud to know that soon IVF will focus on more than just the woman’s uterus and ovaries.  And all women will go through a kinder, easier, and quicker IVF journey.

I see the future of IVF and ‘it’s finally positive.”

Tasha Blasi (@tashablasi IG, @thetashablasi FB) is a fertility coach and founder of the Fertilitites Unite Project (FU Project).  She offers complimentary fertility strategy session for some women considering or doing IVF so please take advantage of this opportunity.  You can apply for one at  www.tashablasi.com/connect.  

 

*FU Project’s Method to Motherhood success rates based on 100+ women.
**Source: SART.org

Babe In My Belly, Blogs

Not Letting Endometriosis Win

March 13, 2018

Written by Nicole Brown, guest blogger

Endometriosis is a term that I became familiar with in my teenage years when my mother had a full hysterectomy at the age of 37 due to complications from endometriosis. Throughout high school and college, I was on hormone therapy because of my irregular and very heavy menstrual cycles. But, I experienced none of the other symptoms that my mother suffered with.

In 2012, I married my best friend and we knew eventually after a year or so, we wanted to start a family, so to prepare I stopped taking my birth control pills. After a year of trying, we still were not pregnant but also not very concerned, so we tried for another year. But still, nothing. By year three we decided to track my ovulation via over the counter ovulation prediction kits. To my surprise, I was not ovulating regularly. I talked to my doctor who did not seem concerned at all because “I was young and had plenty of time to have children”.

Seven months later and with a high dose of Clomid, I became pregnant! We were so excited, we told our whole family, took announcement photos, etc. Around 8 weeks pregnant, I began to spot. At my next appointment, I had ultrasound and heard the baby’s heartbeat. My doctor reassured me that everything was fine. But at my 12 week appointment, we received the devastating news that our little baby did not have a heartbeat.

Not long after our miscarriage, I became sick. I was experiencing stomach pains, acid reflux, dizzy spells, sciatica, blood in my stools, and migraines. I spent the next year visiting doctor after doctor, having every possible test done and no one had any answers. I switched OBGYNs in 2016 and it was the best decision I ever made. He performed an exploratory laparoscopy, where he discovered stage 4 endometriosis and two large ovarian cysts. When I woke up, he told me that I was in surgery for 5 hours and it was the worst case of endometriosis that he had ever seen. My ovaries, intestines, stomach, and bowel were glued together by scar tissue. He told me that if we wanted to have children, we needed to strongly consider IVF.

After a year of many late night emotional discussions and breakdowns and one more surgery to remove a large mass and additional scar tissue, my husband and I took the plunge and decided to do IVF. On September 26, 2017, we transferred one frozen embryo and I am happy to say that we are currently 26 weeks pregnant with a baby girl. This pregnancy has not come without complications and I currently have another large cyst on my left ovary but I have a great team of doctors who monitor my progress very carefully.

Infertility is a hard and painful journey. Do not be afraid to get a second or third opinion. Advocate for yourself, trust your gut, and assemble a team of doctors who are knowledgeable about endometriosis. To my endometriosis warriors, DON’T GIVE UP!!!

Babe In My Heart, Blogs

That Moment When

March 6, 2018

Written by Brooke Papp, WTF Contributor

One of your oldest, best friends, someone you respect SO incredibly much for their good doings in life, someone whom you have been through so much with…

Tells you their pregnant when you’re struggling with infertility.

They tell you, and instead of hugging them and showing them ALL OF THE LOVE, you shake, crying [ sobbing ] uncontrollably.

It’s not that I don’t want this for her. I actually think she will be one of the best mommies I know. She has the biggest heart, an infectious smile, extreme intelligence. She’s warm and caring. She’s one of those people that LISTENS to you, instead of waiting for you to finish so they can talk. She remembers everything. We can all learn something from her.

Plus? Her and her husband are supes cute and are going to produce ridiculously adorable offspring.

It’s not and never will be that I don’t want this for her, or any of my friends – it’s that I want it for me, too. To go through this journey WITH them.

I left her with the feeling of guilt. I said to myself ‘I just don’t want to talk to any of my friends anymore’, ‘I never have good news’, I will just seclude myself so I don’t show hurt’.

‘I’ll talk to them when things improve’ when I’m ‘less hormonal’.

I called someone, pretty much the only one who knew what that felt like and she begged me to not go into hermit mode. Day to day, I can’t say that I am strong enough that I don’t want to do that. But I’m trying.

Each time I pull up social media I see a new announcement, a new baby picture. I saw S I X announcements on New Year’s Day. A year to the date we conceived last year. Ouch. It’s like a sting I’ve never felt before.

It’s been almost a year since my miscarriage and almost 10 months of trying for another little babe. We found out in November, that I don’t ovulate. Or at least not regularly, at all. So yes, we did get pregnant. But it’s going to be hard to plan and succeed without help.

I start my first round of clomid soon and I’m S-C-A-R-E-D, y’all. Have you ever read the side effects? Um…maybe you don’t want to talk to me for the next few months. Cause? Crazy lady walkin’.

But, with nerves comes crazy excitement. Time to try something new and the hope for the future is real.

Hope for a healthy babe, hope for not being overly crazy and hope for understanding.

I’ll keep you updated, until then…fingers crossed

Babe In My Arms, Blogs

Finding My Identify Through Infertility

February 27, 2018

Written by Lauren Bennett, WTF Content Editor

For a majority of my life, I considered myself a typical, normal girl who would grow up to be a typical, normal woman. I would go to college, start my career, get married, have a few kids, travel, and grow old with lots of grandbabies by my side.

I never thought much about how I identified myself, because I never had to. When everything about your life seems like nothing out of the ordinary, you don’t spend much time considering how you categorize yourself.

But, then life throws you a curve ball. Your idea of having it all under the roof of a cute house surrounded by a picket white fence vanishes, piece by piece as your dreams to your “happily ever after” fade. That curve ball for me was infertility. The beast of infertility can take the most joyous occasion for others and turn it into your nightmare.

After years and year of living the reality of infertility every single day, I started to consider that part of who I was. I was no longer just Lauren. In my mind, every thing I did, was done by Lauren who is fighting infertility. Lauren became synonymous infertility and sometimes in my mind, it was hard to separate the two. When I checked out at the grocery store, I was a shopper with infertility buying groceries. When I went to work, I did my job all while doing it with infertility. I slowly began to take this horrible diagnosis and I wore it like a badge of honor. I became vocal about our experiences, advocated for better access to treatments, tried to mentor others through it, and barely went a day without bringing it up, let alone thinking about it.

Then, 5 years after we started trying and years of being an “infertility warrior,” I became pregnant after undergoing IVF. Nine months later, I gave birth to the most wonderful human I ever laid eyes on. And just like that, even though I could finally call myself a mother, I felt a little lost, like I didn’t know who I was anymore. For the past half decade, I made it my mission to make sure I was open about our trouble with fertility so others would feel less alone. I commiserated with others who lived in this world of unsuccessful fertility treatments and heartache.

What now? I had my miracle baby, but I felt stuck between two worlds: infertility and motherhood. Throughout my pregnancy, I would still find myself feeling so sad and hopeless even though I carried my sweet baby in my belly. My heart would still ache hard as if I was still waiting for my miracle. I could no longer “identify” with my peers in the infertility community because I had my baby I waited so long for. But I also felt like I didn’t fit in with typical moms because my heart was so scarred by negativity and the fertility treatment process. Even now, I find myself with pangs of sadness even though I hold my son in my arms.

So who I am now that I’m not “Lauren dealing with infertility?” Honestly, I’m still working through that. But I don’t feel like I have to live exclusively in one world or the other. Infertility was part of my life for so long that it isn’t something that I think ever goes away. All the fears, anxieties, and feelings of bitterness, hopelessness, and jealousy are still so fresh in my soul.

And you know what? I hope they never go away. Because of infertility and feeling all the connected emotions so deeply, it also made me who I am. Living with infertility taught me so much: empathy, patience, perseverance, and humor, just to name a few. I sincerely believe I’m a better mother and human because of my experience. I’ll never forget the 5 years it took to get to my son and I want to make sure he knows all about the journey we took to get to him. Infertility is nothing to be ashamed of and by acting like it never happened does a disservice to not only myself, but my support system who was there every step of the way. So I’ll continue to wear it like the badge of honor I once used to.

Getting my happy ending doesn’t mean my infertility story is over. It has just evolved, like I have. Now, I am Lauren, infertility warrior and advocate, who promises to use her story and experiences to fuel change, bring awareness, provide support, and offer comfort to whoever needs it most. Because no one should have to do this alone, whether it is for the first, second, or third time.

Babe In My Heart, Blogs

What Should Be, Will Be

February 20, 2018

Written by anonymous, guest blogger

So the saying goes “First comes LOVE, then comes MARRIAGE, then comes BABY in the baby carriage”.  What this saying DOESN’T say is “Then comes a miscarriage,” or “then comes the dreaded 2ww with a negative result on the pregnancy test,” because lets be serious… then the saying wouldn’t be as popular and as fairy tale as it portrays. This saying comes off as something that is natural and easy – and should come at the drop of a pin, or at least that is my perspective on it. Which for some, it does come that easy, and those individuals are very blessed. But for many, the reality is that it takes a little bit more time, and some tedious calculations which you were never told about before.

Let’s back track to March 2017, when my husband and I got our first positive pregnancy test! Elated, shocked, and scared would be the 3 best words to describe the emotions we felt. It was the first time we tried, and it was successful! Or so it seemed. Fast forward a week and a half later, and I had a miscarriage. Cue a new flood of emotions: disbelief, depression, and shame. All I could ask was “What did I do wrong? Is this my fault? What could I or should I have done differently?” After talking to many, including my own mother who had 2 miscarriages, I learned this was far more “normal” than anyone ever cares to talk about and it was nothing that I could have or should have done to prevent this from happening. It just wasn’t our time.

We got the OK to try again from our doctor shortly thereafter, but I just wasn’t ready to move on yet. My Little Peanut was still in my heart and soul and I couldn’t bear the thought of trying again so soon. Mind you, in this time, I was asked countless times by family and friends if we were cleared and if we were going to try again soon. I know that it’s just because they care about us, but I often wonder why people think its ok to ask these questions! I’ve learned you never know what someone is going through, that’s for sure! Months and months passed, including my due date, and time heals. December came, we decided to try and also decided to keep this very much to ourselves. Until we have some good news to share, we decided not to share anything at all (hence some edited pictures and this anonymous post). And then comes along the DREADED two week window (2ww).

 

The 2ww, I have decided is the meanest, cruelest, and most irritating time period a woman encounters in life. I can’t remember a time when I have been more in my head then I have during this wait. I watch and wait for EVERY.LITTLE.SINGLE. inkling that I MAY be experiencing an early pregnancy symptom. If someone looked at my google searches during this time, I would probably be committed to an asylum. I, of course, try to eat as healthy as can be, drink tea, warm soups, the whole 9 yards to increase the chance for a successful implantation. No drinking, no medicine, try to stay active, and continue on with uplifting spirits and positive vibes, but the voice inside my head gets to me every single time. I look back on my “ovulated” days and I calculate when I should have implanted by. I look on my app countless times, and log/monitor every single symptom to see if I’ll have an update that tells me that this is a sure tell sign that I could be experiencing early pregnancy symptoms. And in the days leading up to either a big reveal, or disappointment I am probably the most irritable, anxious, and mean person to be around. My poor husband, I do feel for him.

I have the most regular cycle. It comes like clockwork, every month. So here is the day I should have gotten my period, and there was nothing. Took a pregnancy test, and…..negative. Wait until the next day – still nothing, and still negative. Well, my period ends upcoming 2 days late. And while I was disappointed, I was relieved in a sense, because now the cycle can start all over again.

UPDATE: Month 2 of trying has come and gone, except this time my period came 2 days early – with 5 days of spotting leading up to it. Sure that it was implantation spotting, elevated BBTs, sore breasts – you name it, I had it. While we will never know for sure, my acupuncturist strongly believes it was a chemical pregnancy. Talk about feeling defeated, and deflated. This journey is not for the weak.

This is the time that I try to pick myself back up, and indulge in a little self-care for just a few days. I have a horrible period, and let’s face it, when you get that negative test, for me it usually comes with terrible cramping and misery, so all you want to do is curl up in a ball, wonder why it wasn’t your time, and also wonder why every month is so excruciating. So I allow myself to eat what I want, have a glass of wine if that’s what I’m feeling, and when the worst of the period is over… I try to get excited to start what feels like an endless cycle all over again.

In ALL of this, I have learned that God will not give you more than you can handle. I have learned that for whatever reason, my Little Peanut that grew inside of me for a very short time, was not meant to grace us on this Earth. I have learned that this is NOT an easy process, and everyone has a very different and unique story to tell. And most of all, I learned that What Should Be, Will Be. Which is my motto that I tell myself every single day. And at the end of the day, that is what helps me through it all. “What Should Be, Will Be”.

Blogs

Can Baltic Amber Help With Pregnancy Symptoms?

February 13, 2018

Written by Jenn Sanders, guest blogger

With that joyous pregnancy comes symptoms that many times do not bring so much joy. Spending every day with your head over a toilet can get nerve wracking and time consuming. There were days I spent yelling at my husband, my kids, the dog…those mood swings were getting to everyone. Not to mention the constant headache I had that the doctor told me not to worry about. I worried about it along with everything else. What I worried most about though was how to treat all this without drugs that potentially could harm my baby.

What I found was that the fatigue, nausea, headaches and mood swings attached to my pregnancy could be alleviated with the healing properties of Baltic Amber. By wearing a raw Baltic Amber necklace close to the pain, its organic healing properties helped soothe my discomfort naturally. Why Baltic Amber? Baltic Amber is fossilized tree resin. Yet unlike other ambers, it contains succinic acid, a water-soluble substance used as a chemical intermediate in medicine. Succinic acid works effectively as an anti-inflammatory, reducing pain and swelling. In fact, Baltic Amber is used cross-culturally as an analgesic, since it aids various pregnancy symptoms. And it’s completely, 100% natural.

With absolutely no side-effects, I read that pregnant moms wearing Raw Baltic Amber experience the relief of symptoms associated with pregnancy. For example, the succinic acid directly addresses pregnancy pains such as backaches and sciatica pain, or in other words, leg pain. By and large, it also increases the energy level of Mom due to its immune boosting properties. For effectiveness, the necklace should be worn against bare skin as opposed to over clothing. By wearing Baltic Amber, the holistic succinic acid is absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream. With this in mind, it reduces pain and inflammation in the body. So I continued to find out where this stuff came from.

Baltic Amber is associated with the Baltic Sea since it was mined around that area. This ancient remedy for centuries in Europe and Asia proved to help not only pregnant women but also teething babies. In reality, healers have turned to Baltic Amber repeatedly for its acid. Also known as Amber Acid, its biochemical properties were used for centuries as a natural antibiotic and pain-reliever. All in all, pregnant moms wearing Baltic Amber necklaces during pregnancy and while giving birth reduce discomforting pain. I found a genuine Baltic Amber necklace at BalticWonder.Com.

The 4 Ways Baltic Amber Specifically Helps Pregnancy Symptoms

  1. Replenishes Energy

The human body produces succinic acid. In sum, the most active substance in the process of respiration in the cell and inter cellular energy creation is the salt of the succinic acid. Restoring depleted energy and oxygen supply to cells, the succinic acid in Baltic Amber assists the body to achieve optimum energy.

  1. Mood Swings

The flood of hormones within a pregnant body makes Mom especially susceptible to being emotional and weepy. Mood swings are common with the fluctuation of hormones. Moreover, Baltic Amber silently purges the body of illness and stress while promoting resilience and rejuvenation. 

  1. Inflammation

An inflamed immune system can cause cells to become severely inflamed. As a result, an adverse reaction occurs increasing the production of free-radical cells. These cells make the body prone to inflammatory-related diseases. However, the holistic healing effects of Baltic Amber naturally decreases swelling and furthermore, it supports self-healing.

  1. Pain Relief

The analgesic properties of Baltic Amber help in relieving the body from all different sorts of pregnancy pains such as headaches and joint and muscle pain. Even with nausea, Baltic Amber has the capability to naturally soothe and relieve morning sickness. In detail, as the succinic acid is absorbed from a Baltic amber necklace, it acts like a natural Ibuprofen, reducing pain and inflammation in the body.

Babe In My Heart, Blogs

What About God?

February 8, 2018

Written by Courtnee East, guest blogger

The deep desire to be a mother has always been deep rooted within me.

As an adoptee, I always wanted to give and provide the nourishment of love to my children through a biological connection I didn’t know growing up. Not born from my mother’s womb, but within her heart has granted me the understanding of selfless love. At a young age, I felt a sense of disconnect from the life I was born into, not understanding why or how I could be just “given away.” Although my parents choose “Open Adoption” , my birth parents were not a constant part of my life. And as a child, I watched my brother and sister’s biological families become a huge part of theirs. My brothers adoption was even aired on the 1990 Special of Adoptions on 48 hours. However, I felt abandoned, not good enough and alone. This developed into issues of detachment, always pushing those away from me. I was never able to cultivate healthy relationships with people in my life.

At the age of 19, I found myself pregnant with my son — alone, scared, and unsure of what life held for me and my baby. I decided that the only way to hold onto my family was to place my child up for adoption. A decision I was very unsure about, but was told it was the best choice I could make, the most selfless choice. With his due date fast approaching, I traveled from Arizona to California to choose an adoptive family for an open adoption.

Fast forward to October 29, 2006, after a very easy labor and delivery, I was holding my son Ayden, with tears rolling down my face. I knew in my heart, I couldn’t let go. I was unable to go through with the adoption, and had to let this beautiful family know. I was selfishly holding on because I couldn’t let my son go through the story of my own life. I chose my son. I chose the hard road. I chose to have people look at me as a teenage mother, who was uneducated and unaware of what it took to be a mother, but honestly, I knew what it was going to take. The one thing I never truly felt due to my own misunderstandings. Love. I had so much love for my son, that I would do anything and everything for him, so I marched on with my head held high. So when the next best thing came around, I attached myself — getting pregnant at 23, in a failed relationship.

2010 is where this story really starts. In May, I was implanted with Mirena, the IUD birth control used to prevent pregnancy. The day it was inserted was the day of our county fair. Just having a baby and breast feeding, I found myself going to the bathroom more than usual, and even had to stop on the way to the fair to use the bathroom on the side of the road. A week later at my follow up appointment, I was told the Mirena had fallen out, so I opted for the NUVA Ring. Between May and December, I had made 2 trips to the emergency room, with excruciating stomach pains, and turned away both times, looked at as though I was seeking medication.

The 3rd time, I told the ER doctor I wasn’t leaving until I knew what was wrong. After blood work and X-rays, it was found that the Mirena had migrated and implanted into my opentum (my stomach lining) requiring emergency surgery for removal. At the time of surgery, my tubes were tied with silicone Filshie Clips. (HELLO! I HAVE SILICONE ALLERGIES!!)

After this I was devastated, I felt scared, and alone, and lost. How could this be? How could I be left without the ability to have children at my own free will, what happens if I get married…..

As years pass, the stomach pain persisted so it was decided that the silicone clips should be removed. I felt if it wasn’t natural and of GOD, then get it out, and the only way my insurance would pay for it was for a exploratory pin surgery. During which, my left tube was cauterized, burned in half with the attempt to be reattached while my right tube was open, functioning as the doctors said. After this trying time, I turned my life over to Christ. With so many questions, the answer I always heard when I asked “Why?” was “The desires of your heart will always be met.”

I emerged deeper into my faith, where doubt turned to hope. My strength was renewed by the Lord. I felt a purpose again — a need to evangelize and to share my story. As I humbly waited on the Lord, the pieces of my life began to fall into place. I met my husband, who didn’t come alone, but with two amazingly perfect children, as did I. We were “Yours & Mine” in real life. Quickly as our love grew we were pregnant, and I mean QUICKLY, I believed he sneezed and conception was done. Out of fear and excitement, we didn’t share the news, and chose to wait until we hit our 2nd trimester.

Sadly, we didn’t make it that far. In May 2017, I was about 11 weeks pregnant to the day when my 30th birthday hit, and on that day, 30 years after I was adopted in love, I started bleeding. Bleeding badly. I knew in my heart that I was being emptied of not only all the faith I had, but of the child I so longed for to have with my husband. What a way to mark my 30th year on earth. My husband and I love and adore our children, and together desire a deeper connection of life together to share in the birth of our own. Month after month, we continue to try. Day after day, we try. Sometimes I feel like a receptacle for my husband, laying on my back, legs held high. Diet changed, month after month, new vitamin after new vitamin no success. My “tubes” tested. Everything seems in order. So we try Fertile Aide. Nothing but excruciating headaches.

So where does one turn next. I am 30, I am healthy and active. But what now?

“Fertility treatments” I tell my husband, that’s our answer! “But what about God? What about God’s promises? God’s word? What do you hear every day in your readings? What about your faith?” This is what my husband tells me to remember. So we pray. Before we invest in monies needed to acquire for the procedures, the time, the gas the missed days at work, we pray. We realized we aren’t alone.

I don’t answer to people, “ LIFE SUCKS! Where has God gone? I’m over worked, emotionally exhausted, and feel like a failure as a wife and human being unable to give my husband a baby.” Instead, I answer, “Life is great. God is good and I am blessed.” I may be gritting my teeth, but I know I am blessed. I have four beautiful kids, a husband who loves and adores me and has patience with the desires of our heart. I am blessed.

So I ask myself every time I feel down and every time I break down, What about GOD, Courtnee? That’s when I look up and realize, really what has he really said. Family isn’t about blood, this I know from my own life. Family is love, support, commitment, and understanding. Family is God. Family is togetherness no matter what and you know you aren’t alone.

I pray for every couple struggling and every woman feeling you are not enough, you are more than enough. Miracles do happen, I know this because I look at myself in the mirror and have realized I am that miracle God created me to be in my life.

Babe In My Belly, Blogs

A Bond That Cannot Be Broken

February 6, 2018

•Written by Katelin Buchanan, Guest Blogger

My husband and I started trying to get pregnant in September of 2013. We were in our late twenties and after 2 years of marriage knew we were ready to be a mom and dad. After several months of trying on our own without any success, my OB referred us to a local fertility clinic where we jumped right in with intrauterine insemination (IUI) procedures. We tried this three times but when it didn’t work, our doctor urged us to move onto IVF for a greater chance at success. We felt like this was our golden ticket! Our first round of IVF resulted in a chemical pregnancy, and then our second round ended in a miscarriage at around 9 weeks. We eventually discovered that we lost this baby because he had Down Syndrome, and our doctor explained that this was very rare so we should keep trying. Our third round ended in an ectopic pregnancy, and our fourth in an anembryonic pregnancy, also known as a blighted ovum. Because we had the blessing of so many embryos, we decided to keep pushing forward to give all of our embryos a shot. We had several transfers that resulted in no implantation and then I had one last miscarriage in January of 2017, which is when we ultimately decided it was time to stop trying with my body. It had been through too much, and while my doctor could not tell me exactly what was wrong, he ultimately determined that my uterine lining was insufficient to carry a healthy pregnancy and that I should consider using a gestational carrier.

This is where my angel and lifelong best friend, Erica, comes into the picture. After our second miscarriage, she offered to be our gestational carrier if we ever chose to go that route. I clearly wasn’t ready to “give up on my body” at the time. Well, after that last miscarriage, my husband and I knew: it was time to take Erica up on her incredibly generous offer. I was officially done trying and knew that the safest way to become a mother was to have our baby grow in my best friend’s body. She had two children of her own and we knew her body could handle a pregnancy, unlike my own.

Our first transfer with Erica resulted in yet another miscarriage, at which point I didn’t know if I could go through anymore fertility treatments. Ready to explore adoption, both Erica and my husband felt strongly that we should give it one last shot.

Well, I am thrilled that this “one last shot” has resulted in boy/girl twins due in April! We just celebrated 26 weeks and our babies and Erica are doing great.

While I realize our journey to parenthood is nothing like most, I am so proud of our journey and where we are today. There have certainly been times when I’ve beat myself up over trying so hard for so long, but I now know this was the plan all along and that if we had not kept trying, we would not be blessed with these exact two babies. As much as I grieved not being able to carry my children myself in the beginning, I know our babies are safe with Erica and we are focusing on being as healthy as possible for when they arrive and we get to take over!

For couples struggling with infertility, my biggest piece of advice is to connect with others. Without the support of Resolve, Instagram, individual therapy, and our closest family and friends who we trust, I truly do not think I’d be an expectant mother today. As tempting as it can be, try not to isolate. Make both your mental and physical health a priority and focus on surrounding yourself with those who improve both.

What The Fertility

Subscribe to our exclusive content, blog updates and be the first one to know about our awesome giveaways !!!