Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Just a few of my favs....

Every day feels like Easter

This was the best Easter yet. 

We blessed the babies on Easter Sunday.

Annie wore a dress that my little sister wore. It is almost 30 years old. 
Bo wore a sweet knit suit that we found and that one day we will pass on.
They were wrapped in the blankets knitted by an old neighbor who was unable to have kids of her own.

Everything was perfect.

Jason did a wonderful job blessing them.
Bo cried.
Annie was an angel.

The Spirit was strong.

As I sat and reflected I began to realize that the last year has felt like Easter to me.

The past year an extreme sacrifice was made, for me and for my family.
This sacrifice brought me back to life.
Gave me new meaning.
Allowed me to live my greatest dream.

This gift so selflessly given to us by Rob, Ashley and their family truly matches the pure love that our Heavenly Father and Savior have for us.

And now, we have our whole eternity in front of us.
We will be together forever because of this ONE act of service.

Sunday may have been Easter, but I have been celebrating Easter for the past year.

And I will continue to celebrate this Easter for a long time.

And now it is up to me, to teach Bo and Annie about this pure love.

The love not only their aunt and uncle have for them, but the love that their Savior and Heavenly Father have for them. 

Our Forever Began.....

What a whirlwind of a weekend. We were lucky to have our families come out for the sealing and blessing of Bo and Annie. It was an occasion I have only dreamed about. I used to imagine how I would feel, what would be said and the joy that would surround us.

My dreams came true. The exceeded expectation. The joy was SO great, I am still recovering from the emotional overload.

The weekend started out with Bo and Annie's 8 week appointment. My babies are growing! Bo weighed in at a whooping 11 pounds 10.5 ounces and is 22" long. Annie was bigger than I thought at 10 pounds 1.5 ounces and is 21" long.


They are starting to sleep a longer stretches and becoming more consistent with our routine. Smiles are starting to show, especially in the early mornings. Annie is more expressive, while Bo has a shy smile. Both warm your hearts and make all of the hard work worth it.

The doctor was very impressed with their size and developmental skills for being twins. I attribute that to Ashley and her excellent oven.

They also had to get 3 shots each. I was more nervous than I thought I was going to be. The babes however, rocked them. One big, but silent cry/scream....then complete silence followed by a nap. After, I needed an ice cream and a nap myself.

I was glad that Jason could be there with me. It was the first of many milestones.

The next day the family showed up.

Rob, Ashley, the kids and in-laws showed up first. We took them to breakfast, checked them into their AirBnB (down the street from our house) and spent time with the babes.

While the babes slept, the family visited the butterfly museum, picked up Uncle Jake and rested. Then my family showed up. First on their list was helping out with the babies. Brody couldn't wait to hold them, sing to them, kiss them...

We had a nice family dinner, spent time playing cards and just enjoying each others company. It was nice to have everyone together.

Saturday was the main event. Our sealing.

We gathered at the temple in the morning. We were surrounded by friends and the Spirit. It was an incredibly beautiful experience.

The weather may have not been perfect, but the day, the moment was. I had only attended one sealing before this, so I knew what to expect, but I didn't expect to feel SO much. 

It felt like the other side of the veil. It felt like Heaven. It felt like the arms of my Savior were wrapped tight around me, around us. It felt warm and magical. 

It felt final.

We made it. 

Our Forever began that day.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Please Welcome.... 

 Have you ever met a person and thought they were cool, fun and that you would want to hang out?

Then when you do and you start to learn about "who" they are, you also learn that, they too, are fighting a familiar battle.

I find it amazing, no serendipitous that you were drawn to the person in the first place.

It's as if someone else knew that you needed to be their friend and that they needed you.

We all have been drawn to people in our lives for a reason, a purpose.
I believe that there are no happy accidents, no coincidences.

There is purpose in all of our relationships.

Sometimes that purpose is very much on the top, not too deep.

And sometimes the purpose runs deep.
Very deep.

Those friendships can either cement themselves as you battle your trials, or those trials will tear your friendship apart. 

I find myself VERY blessed by the community I have been able to surround myself with since starting my own infertility journey.

Some friendships have fallen away.
Some have withstood and continue to hold deep.
Some are new, fresh and currently unraveling as we continue to get to know each other.

Not everyone has fought or is fighting the infertility battle, but recently I have found two friends - one old, one new - that are deep in the fight.

And when you are in the fight, you want to be surrounded by others who understand, can relate, can emphasize. 

So I asked these two friends to write.
To share.
I hope through this posting they find some comfort and some peace.
I hope that maybe someone out there can relate to their story.
I hope that they can feel buoyed up and supported.
I hope.
I hope so much for them.

This journey is not easy alone.

So I ask that you read their stories.
You put them in your prayers.
You hope for them.
You wish for them.

And that you be kind....because they are in the trenches.

Please Welcome.....Rebecca.

That is how my day began this morning.
I started with so much hope. Over the past 2 weeks, for the first time in a long time, I felt hope that we may finally have some answers to our fertility issues. In January of 2011, I miscarried the pregnancy which I have been able to carry the longest. I was 1 day shy of my calculated 12-week mark—1 day shy of the alleged “safe zone,” of being able to move into the 2nd trimester. None of my other pregnancies have ever lasted that long, not before, and not since. My body did not evacuate the dead fetus on its own. So, after a week, I had to have a D&C. After the procedure, the O.B. said that my body must have absorbed it, because there was very little of anything that came out during the procedure. A week later, they drew my blood to make sure my hormones were declining. The next day, the O.B. called and asked me to get to the nearest ER, where he would meet me. My blood work indicated that my body thought I was still pregnant. They were concerned that the pregnancy may have been ectopic, though none of my earlier ultrasounds had indicated it. So they thought perhaps I had twins, and one was ectopic. In the ER, the ultrasound indicated that the original fetus was still there, in my uterus. This resulted in a visit to the O.B.’s office on the following day, with an ultrasound and a probe. Without being overly graphic, it was clear at that time that the probe and the fetus were in 2 different locations, separated by something. This resulted in a second, and successful, D & C, aided by an ultrasound. We were told that the pseudo-second chamber in which the fetus was located, was because my uterus was folded over, creating a 2nd chamber. We were also told that there was nothing that could be done about it. Later that year, we moved to CO. I miscarried in December of that year, and was evaluated at the University of Colorado Hospital, but the head of the endocrinology department. They ran some tests and determined no such uterine anomaly existed. Since that time, I have been unable to find anyone to confirm what we’d seen on the screen during that ultrasound between the 2 D&Cs of January 2011. Somewhere along the line, I just plain gave up trusting what anyone said. I know what I saw. My biggest regret has been not having a video of that ultrasound.

That’s what my morning turned into today.
In October of 2015, I was asked to help cover for a colleague that was going to be out on maternity leave. My initial impulse was to refuse. It wasn’t the job I’d signed on for, and it wasn’t a job I really wanted. But I felt strongly that I needed to accept. So I did. Because of that, I became better friends with this colleague and discovered that she, too, had struggled with infertility. Her pregnancy was a result of IUI. She told me of the fertility specialist she’d seen, and how positive of an experience it had been, after having had some less-than-positive experiences with other providers. Paul and I had set a timeline that in January of 2016, if we still had not had a successful pregnancy, we’d explore other options. We decided to schedule an appointment with this fertility specialist. My insurance does not cover any form of fertility, but I had a good amount of money sitting in my HSA that I’d been saving for the possibility of a high-risk pregnancy. I finally decided it wasn’t worth saving up for something that wasn’t happening, and smarter to use the savings to help make it happen (the pregnancy part, not the high-risk part). We met with the good doctor, and walked away with hope. For the first time in years, I’d found a doctor who believed me when I reported what I’d seen on that ultrasound. He explained that the tests that were previously done by other specialists in CO may have been inadequate to detect an anomaly because they were only 2D. He has a 3D machine that could be used to determine the shape of my uterus, as well as rule out possible blockage in my fallopian tubes (possibly dislodged scar tissue from the D & C procedures). In addition to adding a bunch of supplements to our daily routines, drawing copious amounts of blood, etc., etc., etc., we scheduled to have this 3D ultrasound (“Fem View”) done. That procedure was done this morning. The results indicate that there is no anomaly, no blockage, nothing. There is basically nothing there that should prevent me from getting or staying pregnant. It left me utterly confused. I was so hopeful that we’d finally found some way to get answers. The answers were not what I’d expected. I know that there are often no answers for infertility, but, in my mind, I really expected that they’d find that anomaly that we saw 5 years ago. I know what I saw then, and I know what I saw today. The 2 contradict each other, and I’ve been struggling all day to reconcile that.

Tears of confusion. That’s how my early afternoon went.

That’s how my mid-afternoon and evening ensued. I had to return to work for some previously scheduled meetings, and then had an event that I needed to attend so I could represent and advertise for the summer program I run for kids with disabilities. Then I arrived home to company. Paul’s mother and 2 of his sisters arrived today to attend a concert on Thursday, in which Paul is performing. The day ended with a lot of distractions, which was good.

That is how I feel as I turn to sleep. We will move forward. We will continue down this path. This will not beat me. One way or another, I will continue to move forward, with resilience, resolution, and determination. While I cannot predict the outcome, nor dictate the end result, I CAN determine my own response and resolve. I will live on, and live fully. 

 Please Welcome......Melissa

My husband and I decided we were ready to expand our family and would start trying in January of 2014.  In our heads this was going to be easy, no one in our families have ever had any problems having a baby when they wanted.  In February of 2014 that wonderful second line showed up on the pregnancy test.  Things were great, I could feel my pregnancy progressing nicely.  We were so over the moon happy and again thought nothing could go wrong.  We decided we were going to tell our families on a Friday after our doctor’s appointment.

However, my sister dropped a bombed on Wednesday in a family group text that she was pregnant.  This was great our babies would be 1 week apart!  My husband and I decided we would wait another week or so to tell the family to let this shock of my sister’s news wear off as to not steal anyone’s thunder.  

Well were we glad we waited.  Something weird had started happening. Every time I showered my hair was falling out by the handful, and not just normal shedding girls get.  Complete chunks of hair in my hands. I didn’t understand. Your hair is supposed to get full and strong during pregnancy, maybe I was just different.  

At our doctor’s appointment, everyone was all smiles and the room was full of happiness.  People were shaking my husband’s hand congratulating him. I don’t think I have ever seen him smile so big, other than when I walked down the aisle towards him.  We started the ultrasound and the mood in the room quickly changed. I remember my doctor taking off his glasses and I could see his eyes water.  I immediately knew the bad news was coming. "I’m sorry but there is no heartbeat."

 It took a moment to process - "What do you mean no heartbeat!"  

He explained to us that I needed to go next door to the hospital to get another ultrasound for a second opinion.  I asked if they ever find a heartbeat when he couldn't.  He said no, but you never know, it could happen.  

They got us in for the ultrasound right away. I remember the lady turning the screen away.  I knew she hadn’t found a heartbeat either, but she kept trying.  I just wanted to get up from the table and go home. I wanted them to stop looking and just let me go home.  She went and got her boss. She couldn’t find a heartbeat either. The next day we went in for me to have a D&C.  My hair continued to fall out, as if everything we just went through wasn’t enough I still had the daily reminder that I was not having a baby.  My sister kept sending updates about her pregnancy and I’m reminded that she is having a baby..... and I’m not.  

After my first cycle post D&C, we tried again.  We quickly got pregnant again, but this time there was no excitement.  Will I never be happy again to see that second line? Will fear and nervousness always be my first emotion?  I hated that my excitement had been stolen from me due to the harsh reality that this could end without me having a baby.  

My doctor decided this time to monitor from the beginning.  My betas were going up, but they weren’t doubling, yet he still remained optimistic.  I went in for a beta draw on a Friday. I knew I wouldn’t get the results until Monday, but I didn’t need them. I already knew what it was going to say.  

That morning in the shower my hair started to come out in chunks again just like before, I knew I was going to miscarry.  Over the weekend I started to spot and went to the emergency room since I have A- blood I have to get a shot within 24 hours.  The ER doctor, checked me out and told me I wasn’t having a miscarriage.  Oh ok. Sigh of relief. Maybe everything is going to be okay.  My doctor called on Monday. My HCG level had plummeted and I was, in fact, having a miscarriage.  Well here we go again. This one didn’t seem to hurt as much as the first which made me feel guilty.  I should be more upset. This just seemed to be the norm. 

We continued to try.  I became a master at tweaking pregnancy tests. Turning them upside down. Holding them up to just the right light and taking them apart. Anything I could do that would potentially give me a glimmer of a second line.  I’m horrible at waiting to test. I always say I wasn’t going to test early, but boom 9 DPO and I’m testing every day.  

One month we got a positive for 3 days in a row! The line wasn’t getting darker so I knew it wasn’t going to stick.  A chemical pregnancy? Or had my crazy line eyes imagined the line because I so desperately wanted it to be there.  

I just don’t understand. 

All my sisters are just popping out babies no problem. 


After 2 years and no success, we finally admitted defeat and decided to see a RE.  

Our first appointment was Tuesday, March 1, 2016.  The day before our appointment I got a text from my mom that my little sister is pregnant with twins.  Of course she is. Why wouldn’t I need a daily reminder of my struggle, while others get theirs in the first month they try.  

I’m feeling like a complete loser. 
A total failure.  
I can’t give my husband the one thing he deserves.  
I feel he should have married someone else, someone who could give him a family.  

He would be the best father and I’m keeping him from that. 
I hate myself.  

So far I have only been through testing and I’m currently waiting for our results so we can regroup with the doctor to get our plan in place.  The testing is unpleasant, but I kind of feel as if I deserve it, as if I should be punished for being a failure.  

Our journey is to be continued as we hope for our miracle baby.

Any one of us that has had to fight to have a baby knows all of these feelings.
They store deep in your soul.
They occupy every thought.
They dominate your attitude.
They squash your hope, your dreams and they leave you dry.

I can remember constantly comparing myself.
Feeling SO behind.
Feeling SO inadequate.
Feeling worthless.

Those feelings can eat you alive.

The tunnel feels long and it is dark.

But there is always a light.

There is always a light pushing you forward, leading you out.

You just have to keep walking.

Please feel free to leave comments or email me at regarding Melissa or Rebecca's stories OR to share your own.

I promise to have them follow up.


Sunday, March 13, 2016

A Milestone

Yesterday I escaped the house, the babes, the husband and attended not one, but TWO baby showers.

What a different feeling.

In the past as happy as I have been for my friends, attending baby showers always emotionally drained me. 

They made my heart hurt.

They made me sweat.

I dreaded the fake smile and laugh and I sat surrounded by so many beautiful, happy, pregnant women who "weren't even trying" or "just did ___" or "oops, must've been the honeymoon".

Ugh, this makes me sound like such a brat. 
And a brat I was.
I was so angry.
So frustrated.
So defeated.

But I would attend because it is what you do.....and I would smile and wave and laugh and eat..
because that is what you do.

And even though I was happy for my friends...truly happy because I knew they would be wonderful mothers...

I was slowly dying inside.

So I smiled and waved and laughed and ate....

it dawned on me that I wasn't dying inside.

My heart didn't hurt.

I didn't sweat.

I didn't despise every big, beautiful bump that surrounded me....

I was just me.

And then when I returned home to relieve my husband and be with my babies, I gave thanks for the healing that has taken place. 

I'm ashamed for how I felt in years past.
I am angry at myself for letting those feelings get the best of me, because they did cost me some friendships.

But it's a lesson I had to learn.

To have compassion. Empathy.

To truly open myself up and prepare myself for what would be the greatest miracles of my life.

I am not who I used to be.
I am scarred.

But I am no longer beaten down.
I am no longer bitter.

Time does heal all wounds.
(and two sweet babies, my miracles).