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July 2019

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

There is a Way

July 31, 2019

Written by Devon Baeza, Guest Blogger

“Doesn’t look good”

These were the words ringing in my ears as I laid on the table, about to transfer my one and only embryo. “What does that mean? What are the chances it’ll work?” I asked the Dr. “Our embryologist says you have a 25% chance of success” he casually replied.

IVF had not gone as well as predicted. By day 5, only one embryo had survived. I had known about my endometriosis since I was a teenager, but the low AMH came as a shock. Because the embryo “didn’t look good”, they told us it would not survive a freeze. A fresh transfer was our one and only shot.

That was it, I was certain our journey was over. We had endured so many expensive treatments, 6 IUI’s, 2 surgeries, and a miscarriage. For years, every dollar of my paycheck had gone to treatment. We sold our home (at a loss) and moved into a small apartment to save money. My husband had been driving around a car with no A.C. in the AZ sun for 3 summers. We rarely ate out, certainly not without a coupon. We had spent our entire life savings. All the shots, countless tests, and endless tears had come down to this, a complete waste.

Two weeks later, on my birthday, I sat in the bathroom trying to talk myself out of peeing on yet another stick. All the at home tests had been negative, and I didn’t want to ruin my birthday. I told myself to just wait until the official beta, so I could postpone my grief. I couldn’t do it. I took the test…and 2 lines stared back at me…I was in shock. I dropped to my knees, crying and thanking God. FINALLY. Maybe, just maybe, I’d be a mom after all.

The pregnancy had a few scares early on. My HCG levels were low, there was spotting and a feared miscarriage. Every week that passed, I would Google the odds of miscarriage at that stage. It wasn’t until I heard my daughter’s first cry that I could finally breathe too, and could honestly believe that my story would have a happy ending.

Fast forward three years later. My husband and I had come to terms with the fact that our miracle rainbow baby would be our only one. Attempts at conceiving on our own hadn’t worked. I was focused on starting my career as The Fertility Finance Coach, helping other women to save, make, and manifest money for treatment. We had just moved across the country for the 2nd time, and I had fallen ill. I couldn’t seem to get better. My Dr. mentioned that I might need to have testing done for immunity issues, since it ran in my family. I couldn’t stand the thought of more medical issues after everything I had already been through. I was sick, exhausted, and feeling really scared and helpless. As I pulled out of a parking lot and onto the road, I looked up. There was a huge rainbow, going across the whole sky. Under it was a smaller rainbow. An inexplicable peace came across me at the sight of a mommy and baby rainbow. The beauty of it made me cry.

That night, my 3 yr old asked me “How you feelin’ mama?” “Aww baby, I don’t feel good. Thank you for asking.” I replied “Cuz’ there’s a baby in your tummy?” she asked. I laughed. “No sweetie, there’s no baby in my tummy”.

I knew it was impossible, but I couldn’t shake her comment. I took a test in the morning, and stared at the biggest surprise of my life. I was pregnant for the first time without treatment. In my 30’s. Years after being told my AMH was that of a woman in her mid 40’s. I couldn’t believe it. We didn’t tell my 3 yr old she was right, I was so scared I would have a miscarriage and have to explain it to her. But everyday she would come and talk to my belly. She told us she had a sister, and named it “Flippy”. At 16 weeks along, we found out I was having a girl. When we finally told her “You’re right, there is a baby in mommy’s belly…you’re having a sister!” she said “I know.”

I know that success stories can be difficult to read. Holding onto hope, while you watch everyone else get their happy ending, can be so hard and painful. I get it. I remember it vividly. It feels like the life you planned and the strength you thought you had are gone. The stress feels insurmountable.

The encouragement I give to you, my clients, and anyone going through fertility struggles is to is to keep going. One foot in front of the other. There is a way. A way to pay for treatment, a way to heal your relationships, a way to stress less on your road to motherhood. I know it’s possible because I have done it and now help other women do the same. Don’t give up. If you need help, reach out! Remember that It’s not over until you say it’s over. Your happy ending is waiting too!

XxOo$$,

Devon

If you’d like to connect with Devon, you can find her on her website, Instagram or Facebook!

Babe In My Arms, Babe In My Heart, Blogs

The Missing Piece of Your Heart

July 23, 2019

Written by Twyla Aasheim, Guest Blogger

Our journey to adoption started similar to how many other similar stories do, with the struggle of infertility. My husband and I met in college and pretty soon after the first date I realized it was “game over!” I found my match. After five years of dating, we got married. Our first few years of marriage were a blur of traveling, moving to different states, and finishing graduate school.

After our careers had started we made the decision to start trying to grow our family. A few months went by and … nothing. Then six months… then a year. Every single month that went by and every period that came was absolutely crushing. We were both bombarded with questions of “when are you having children?” “if you stop trying it will happen.” “you’re not getting any younger”. Each time a well-meaning person says those types of questions it hurts. After about a year and a half of trying, we decided to see a fertility specialist. Test after test, we got diagnosed with unknown infertility. We both decided to give it a shot and proceeded through a few unsuccessful rounds of Clomid and 1 IUI. The entire specialist process was an uncomfortable and cold experience.  We felt like we were forcing our will upon nature and all the love and magic was taken out. During our struggle, we had a few people suggest that we consider adoption. My husband and I had always been open to adoption but like most, we just thought we would have biological children first. 

I remember the day that I told my husband that I was ready to look into adoption. I told him that I know our plan was to keep trying for a little while longer, but that I was done. What I really wanted was a baby. I really wanted a family and I didn’t care if the baby looked like us. The feeling that came over both of us was this intense sense of peace. Like God was saying this was my plan. After the decision to pursue adoption everything that happened after felt so right. It was just like it was meant to be.

The adoption process can be complicated and we made the choice to go with a private agency. We did our research and looked at agencies that are ethical and had a local office. The private agency decision was one of the best things we did.

There were many examples of God in our lives helping us while we waited. One time an amount of money was due to pay the agency. We didn’t know where the money was going to come from. My husband just happened to be closing an old business account.  The bank lady said “How would you like the remaining money? Cash or check?” We ended up getting the exact sum that we needed to make the payment.

We had been a waiting family for about 5 months and Thanksgiving was almost here, we got a call from our agency.  It was an unusual situation involving a baby boy who was 4 months old. We let them know that we were interested and about a week after we met his birth mother. The first meeting is inevitably awkward but it turned out great. We talked, got to know each other and by the end, we were laughing.  A few more crazy weeks went by waiting for paperwork to be signed by Birthmother and Birthfather. We got a call 2 days before Christmas. “Your new baby is here in the office and is ready for you to bring home.” He was the most amazing Christmas gift we could have ever asked for. It’s hard to remember the early days of our journey to our son because looking back now I feel like that was just the beginning. Not just the beginning of finding him but the journey to meeting an extension of our family.

We now have an extremely open relationship with his Birthmother, who is family to us. This relationship developed organically over a few years of being kind, loving, and respectful to each other. Now we see her and our son’s older brother about every few months. When everyone has a free weekend either get together at one of our houses or meet halfway to get lunch and go to the zoo. We try to spend holidays and birthdays together and talk almost weekly on the phone. We always talk about our sons, but we also talk about life and how grateful we are to be a part of each other’s story.

I often think about the sadness I felt having so badly wanted to carry a child and to be able to give my husband a baby.  I know those were things that I needed to go through to be ready to meet my son. Choosing to be a mother whether it is through fertility treatment or adoption it is something so special. The decision to become a mother to my now 4-year-old son is something I chose, something I prayed for, something I cried for, and something I dreamt of. It’s not something that just happened to me by accident. Being parents is something that my husband and I chose and started the journey to fulfill. And my son will forever be our greatest gift and treasure. Our son’s Birthmother decided she was not ready at that time in her life and she was not in a place where she could parent. She still made the selfless choice to be his mother and carry him through when she could have very well chosen a different path. I will forever love her, respect her, and praise her for the loving choice that she made to give our baby a good life.

Now we are on the journey again to find a sibling for our son. This journey has been in may ways easier in that I have so much faith we will be matched one day to the missing piece of our family. It has also been harder because we’ve had the experience of a failed match, and also knowing that our relationship with our new expectant family will be different. I hope and pray we have an equally loving and amazing open relationship. Only God can know when this new little person will join our family. The waiting period seems so hard when you are in it because of all the unknowns. But when you hold that baby in your arms for the first time it makes every moment you spend waiting worth it. This tiny baby is the little piece of your heart that you didn’t know was missing.

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