Archives for June 2017

Momma Heart Monday- Katie

 

Hey hey Monday warriors!

If you made it this far in the day without a pint of ice cream or a counseling session then kudos to you, I may need both.

We’re back for another story of hope from one of my favorite Instagram friends, Katie- you can follow her on IG [here].

I truly believe that God led me straight to her. She has been a major force both spiritually and mentally in my life and I know her story will bring you hope as well! So here it is…

A tale of how God brought me back to Him by turning my test into a testimony.”

“You know how adults ask children what they want to be when they grow up? Well… my answer was always “a mom”. I don’t think that’s what I got on my high school Career Aptitude Test but I knew it was something I was meant to do. Little did I know, becoming a mom wasn’t going to be an easy task for me. When I met my husband we talked early on about marriage and kids and what we wanted our lives to look like. Kids were always part of our picture and from the moment we were married we were officially TTC [trying to conceive]. Years went by and every avenue to grow our family was pursued. I literally dreamt about being a mom and taking my child to dance lessons, soccer practice, and to Disneyland. On February 23rd, 2017 my dreams finally came true. Our daughter was born!

My husband and I prayed for so many years for that day to come. The day that we will finally became parents. We feel that all the struggles that we have gone through to get to that point were more than worth it. We feel like God had that plan for us all along and we just didn’t see it. We don’t know how else to explain how easily our daughter came into our lives and how everything fell so effortlessly into place. We are so grateful for the strength, courage, kindness and love that our daughter’s birth mom showed us. Because of her and the amazing gift of adoption we are parents!

Backing up a bit, I had a great childhood. My parents were married and hard working. They always made sure that my brother and I were well taken care of with a roof over our heads and food on our table. We went to church and had a good life. I won’t go into details but there are a few moments in my childhood and teenage years that I let define my early adult life. I thought that God had turned His back on me so I did the same to Him. From the ages of 17 to 21, I made bad choices and a lot of them. Nothing super crazy but definitely choices that I wouldn’t make today. You might chalk it up to the college years and learning to become an adult but for me, it was about losing trust in God and needing to find it again to figure out who I really was and who God wanted me to be.

I met my husband in 2007 when I was 21 years old. We had both been hurt and lost our trust in the Lord. I think that’s why God put us together. He knew that we would make an unbelievable team and we do. We were married in 2010 and discussed accepting children willingly from the Lord in our pre-marriage counseling and began TTC immediately. It was heartbreaking when conceiving didn’t come easy and how every month would come and go without becoming pregnant. It was hard to see friends and family become pregnant and be joyful for them when I was heartbroken for myself. It was in that time that God started asking me if I trusted Him. I didn’t.

We started going to a new church during this time. We started praying more intentionally and we each chose to re-dedicate our lives to the Lord. In turn, we became happier, more hopeful, we grew individually and in our marriage. In those 6 years, we went through 4 doctors, IUI, IVF, Clomid, Metformin, hormone stimulators, hormone replacements, pills, shots, several miscarriages and the list goes on but still no baby. It was hard to stay positive at times but I just knew that God wanted me to be a mom and for my husband to be a dad. We even started to pray that His will be done and that if we weren’t meant to be parents that He would take the desires from our hearts. That’s a hard prayer! Again, God was asking me if I trusted Him and I finally did.

In 2016, God put the idea of adoption on my heart and my husband and I talked about it and prayed about it A LOT. We decided to start the process and had our home study in October. We also contacted a Family Law attorney in our area and heard about a birth mother that was seeking a family. Once our home study was done, our attorney sent the birth mother our profile. We found out we were going to be parents on Dec 23rd 2016 by opening a Christmas present from the birth mother that had a pink teddy bear and a very sweet card. It was a Christmas miracle. Our daughter was born on February 23rd, 2017 and she’s the absolute love of our lives!

Our adoption journey was very much painless and led by God! We have an amazing relationship with our daughter’s Birth Mother and are so blessed that God brought her into our life. Even though our story is very fairytale-ish, adoption isn’t for everyone. It comes with its own set of struggles and emotions. If you think that Adoption might be God’s plan for your family, pray about it, A LOT! Do you trust Him yet?

In my season of waiting, I would find hope in bible verses and quotes and put them as screensavers on my phone and on our verse of the week board. I thought I’d share a few with you.

 “Your miracle may be taking a long time but God didn’t bring you this far to leave you.”

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” Romans 15.13.

“God already knows, stop stressing.”

“God can turn your test into a testimony.”

“You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” Proverbs 19.21 “I prayed tot the Lord, and He answered me. He freed me from all my fears.” Psalms 34.4.

 

I am so grateful to everyone who chooses to share their story on my blog. If you’d like to, email me [here], instagram message me [here] or facebook message me [here].

 

Momma Heart Monday- Randi

Happy Monday, y’all!

It’s time for another Momma Heart Monday and I’ve asked my friend, Randi, (Follow her on Instagram [here]) a few questions about her infertility struggles.

I am so grateful that first of all, God put it on my heart to start this little blog and talk about infertility, but also that He gives me so many friends in the same boat, that we might encourage each other. He is so so good y’all.

I’d love it if you’d like to share your story, just send me an email[here] or message me on Facebook[here] or Instagram[here].

So, I asked her some questions and here are her answers:

“Hello Stephanie! Thanks so much for thinking of me:) it’s an honor.”

“A little about me: I am a mother to five vivacious, wonderful children. Often when others hear that I am blessed with an abundance of little lives, they assume that it was easy as pie to get them. It hasn’t been.”

What struggles with infertility have you had?

“My struggles with infertility are really non traditional, and sporadic. With my first born, my husband and I married at 20 years old. Yikes! I know, we were babes ourselves. Even so, we began our life and expected to be in the parents club soon. Months passed, and I was preoccupied with work, and nursing school so luckily I didn’t notice too much. However, after a year passed I became frustrated. It took 14 months to conceive her. With my second, it was eight months of trying, as with my fifth baby,(which was actually my sixth pregnancy).  We had a terrible miscarriage at 14 weeks with my fifth pregnancy, which was traumatic. My third and fourth weren’t as hard but that’s because I was breastfeeding in the middle of all of that, and just wasn’t as focused on having a baby. It’s been hard.”

What treatments have you pursued?

“I have done nearly all that I know to do to make conception a reality. Charting, ovulation kits, Basal Body Temperature tracking, metformin  (prescription for insulin resistance), even though I don’t have diabetes or insulin resistance, you try anything the midwife suggests. I haven’t done iui (Intra Uterine Insemination) or ivf (in vitro fertilization), but believe me, I’ve contemplated.”

How did being a nurse help this particular struggle?

“Being a nurse has both hindered and helped my journey. Of course, when things aren’t going according to my plan, I tend to search out medical options and reasons why we aren’t pregnant. It’s also helped me to be proactive about my health and life so that I can take full opportunity of every possible resource.”

How has your faith played a role in this area of your life?

“I know that God has blessed me so much during my lifetime. I also know that he created me for mothering. I try and think on those things when I get down, or discouraged. I just have to remember that he buried the desire deep down to be a mother of new life, and while some may not be able to fully see my perspective because I am a mother of five, believe me, the burning desire is there. It is, and it’s real. So, I have to keep faith that the creator of life will bring to fruition that new life, inside of me.”

I am so thankful for you, Randi- thank you for doing Momma Heart Monday this week!

                          I have other posts for Momma Heart Monday [here] and [here], go take a read!

Have a great week!

Momma Heart Monday- Ali

[If you would like to write an infertility guest post for my blog, send me an email or a message via Instagram or Facebook]

Happy Monday, y’all! I have a new guest blogger this week, welcome Ali. She has become such a great friend via Instagram. So helpful and encouraging.

Check her account out here.

Check my account out here.

Hi, I’m Ali, my husband is Rob. We have been married for just over 3 years and have been TTC (trying to conceive) ever since. I am 32 years old and live in NJ. I love Jesus! I am an angel mama, our sweet babe went to Heaven in December 2016. I have one fur baby named Sweetie, who is completely spoiled. I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and Endometrioses. So that is a bit about me. Stephanie asked me to give a little about my journey so far.

So here goes!

After my husband and I had been trying for over a year on our own we decided to go see my OB. My OB confirmed I had PCOS. He put me on 50mg of Clomid and sent me on my way. After receiving all BFN (Big Fat Negative – negative pregnancy test) for 3 months, he increased the 50mg to 100mg and after that didn’t work for 3 months, I said goodbye! I contacted an RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist) in January of 2016 and had our consultation.

Honestly, I don’t remember every detail because this was all so new to me. My RE didn’t think we should continue with Clomid as we tried it for 6 months and all were BFN. So we moved to an IUI (Intrauterine insemination). I for sure thought this was my ticket to motherhood! But I was sadly wrong and got a BFN. After my IUI my doctor gave me an option to pursue another IUI or do a Laparoscopic surgery. I opted to do Lap surgery as I wanted to find out what was going on in there and why nothing was working. Once Lap surgery was completed we found my tubes were open, but my tubes were damaged and had a greater chance of Ectopic pregnancy. I also had endometriosis and scar tissue that they removed. So here comes IVF (In vitro fertilization). I was nervous, excited, hopeful and really just followed my doctors advice. My coworker/good friend did IVF twice so I was a little familiar with it before going through it all.

However, I don’t think you truly get it until you are actually walking the path. We did STIMS (stimulation meds) for about 11 days and our Egg Retrieval resulted in 22 eggs! Out of the 22 eggs, 4 made it! We did a fresh transfer and transferred one beautiful 4AA embryo. The TWW (two week wait) was dreadful. All I wanted to do was test! And on day 8, I finally saw my very first two pink lines. I was PREGNANT and we were over the moon.

Our betas were perfect and doubled and tripled just as they should. At 7 wks pregnant I graduated from my RE and went back to my OB. Everything was great till wk 12. At wk 12 we did our NT scan and the high risk doctor noticed our sweet baby had an enlarged bladder. The doctor was a complete jerk and had no people skills. He recommended we did a CVS test to rule out any chromosome abnormalities. He was positive our baby had a chromosome abnormality and basically told us to terminate. This all happened the day before Thanksgiving. To say we were devastated and heartbroken was a complete understatement. We went home, we prayed and cried, prayed and cried, and prayed and cried a little more. On Black Friday I knew I had to do something else. So I called about 30 high risk doctors in my area. Of course because it was somewhat of a holiday nobody was open except this one doctor’s office.

The lady let me tell her everything that happened as I sobbed my way through. That Sunday they let us come in. I knew then and I know now that was ALL GOD. Because nobody on Thanksgiving weekend is open especially on a Sunday. So fast forward a little bit, that doctor did confirm our babe had an enlarged bladder and performed our CVS. What the previous doctor said he couldn’t do this doctor has no issue doing. We had to wait 7-10 days to get our results. If the results were negative then we could proceed with in womb surgery and basically have to put a catheter in to drain the baby’s bladder and it would continue to be there until he/she was born. However, it didn’t take 7-10 days, it took 14. And on day 12/13 our sweet baby met Jesus. The bladder tripled in size and was bigger than his head. The bladder crushed the other organs and it was too late. I know we did absolutely everything we could. And I will be forever grateful to find a doctor who was amazing and so helpful. Our baby was perfect, besides his bladder. The CVS tested for 400 chromosome abnormalities and they were all negative.

They say time heals all wounds, I don’t completely think that is true. It still stings having your due date come and go and we still have empty arms. But what I can tell you is God is amazing and I give Him all the glory. He took two brokenhearted devastated people and showed up on our behalf. He sent me friends in this TTC community who blessed us with cards, gifts and many many prayers. Family and Friends in our life to bless us with meals and words of encouragement. It was truly amazing and left me speechless. Because I was 14 ½ wks pregnant I had to have a D&E. That was fun, NOT. I had to go to an abortion clinic and as I sat in rooms of women who were terminating their baby by choice, I was having to remove my child who I worked so hard for and had no choice at all. I was asked by the woman who worked there, are you sure you want to terminate? And I had to sit there as tears came down my eyes and said my baby died. That was hard. But God showed up and I met two women who worked at that clinic, and they both battle infertility. Bless their hearts, I don’t know how they could work at such a place watching this happen every day as they so badly desired a baby of their own. The one girl was so scared to do IVF because that’s what her doctor said she would have to do. I was able to encourage her and tell her you can do it. I’ve learned a lot from that experience. Probably too much to be honest. My faith in the Lord has grown. My husband and I have battled some of the hardest things you could battle. Infertility is no joke. It will make or break your relationship/marriage. But I am so blessed that is has strengthened ours.

Prior to all of these infertility struggles, my mother in law passed away in 2012. And my father in law passed away in 2015. So this was just the icing on the cake for my husband and myself. I had to watch my husband lose his parents and then lose his baby. As Mother’s Day came that was hard, but I decided to look at Mother’s Day in a different light. I knew my mother in law was finally celebrating in heaven with her first grandbaby. She always wanted grandchildren but never got them here on earth. And now she has one and that is so special.

After my D&E I had to wait 60 days before we could “try” again. Except trying for us was a FET (frozen egg transfer). Thankfully we had 3 embryos frozen. We had another consult with my RE and after some procedures I had to have another lap surgery. Ugh. The lap surgery they found a little bit of endo but some remains from my baby. I was so thankful my RE did this because if we were to do another transfer and that was in there, it would either resulted in a BFN or another MC (miscarriage). And that would have been awful.

So fast forward to recently, we did another transfer on 5/25/17. After the dreadful TWW we got a BFP and our beta was 135. So we are PREGNANT (3 days before my original due date)!!! We have a long road ahead but I know God is always in the picture and always working behind the scenes on our behalf. It may be hard, it may be scary and emotional. You may say why me God and you may saturate your pillow with tears every night. There may be days you just don’t think you can do another day. I completely get it, I have been there. My journey has been nothing short of hard and draining. I have met some of the sweetest women in this community. Friends that will last a lifetime. Please know you are not alone. Reach out to me, I’d love to hear from you and pray for you. He who has promised is faithful! That desire in your heart to be a mom, it was placed there by God and He will finish ALL He starts. Trust in Him. And don’t you dare give up!

Stephanie, thank you for asking me to be a special guest on your blog! It was such an honor to be asked! I hope this gives others some encouragement that it may be a bumpy road, but there is always light at the end of the tunnel!

I am so grateful and humbled that others want to share their experience on my blog. Thank you Ali!

Momma Heart Monday- Jen

So, I’ve decided to start Momma Heart Monday or #mommaheartmonday if you want to help me spread the word on Instagram! If you’d like to be interviewed or write a guest post for my blog on your infertility experiences, email or Instagram message me by clicking on these links:

Instagram

Email

I originally started this blog to share our infertility struggles and triumphs, to connect with others through that, and to share some home decor along the way. I’ve been slacking in the infertility department.

So, to get us started for Momma Heart Monday- I interviewed my friend, Jen. You can follow her on Instagram here. She has been a Labor & Delivery Nurse and had her own fertility struggles. Without further ado, interview with Jen:

How long were you ttc (trying to conceive)?

“For my first child, Jessica, I was 26 years old, and we had been ttc for about six months.  My doctor assumed I had endometriosis, so he decided to do a hysterosalpingogram (injection of dye into the uterine cavity, fallopian tubes, and around them to look for causes of infertility) to make sure the endometriosis wasn’t blocking my fallopian tubes, and to check for any abnormalities.  He did the procedure (which may have opened up my fallopian tubes) and I became pregnant the next month. The procedure was sort of painful and crampy, but I think now they do it with bubbles so it’s not as painful.

What I have found, is that some women can only get pregnant at certain times of the year.  For me, that would be the month of January.  All three of my children were conceived in January, even though we had tried all other months as well.  This is also true for many of my friends.  (Probably not science, but very curious).

For my boys, Sam and Eli, again it was probably around six months of ttc.  However, since I was much older (ten years and 13 years) ttc this time, the doctor automatically put me on Clomid.  Clomid made me very moody and angry while I was on it, so be aware that it will affect you.”

 How did being a nurse help or hurt during your time ttc?

“I think being a labor and delivery nurse helped me — There were many other nurses working with me that were ttc, they were much younger than me, and some of them were also having a hard time getting pregnant.  I think it happens much more than you know, so never think that you are alone in this.  I think we gave eaxd cch other great support and encouragement.”

 Did you job in labor & delivery provide any stand out infertility situations?

“One nurse friend in particular stands out.  She and her husband had been ttc for years.  She had tried everything.  She did a few of the IVF, and I think with the third one, she became pregnant with triplets, carried them to around 35 weeks, and they were all born healthy.  Success!!!

Another friend of mine conceived her first baby easily.  However, the next time she tried, she would become pregnant, but would miscarry with her period.  So she would be pregnant for about a week or two and then not be pregnant.  This happened over and over and over for her.  Eventually, after lots of tests and lab work the doctor put her on Heparin injections.  This worked for her and now she has a healthy son.”

I have loved interviewing her and look forward to more of these posts with my ttc tribe!

Have a great Monday, Momma Hearts.