The Childless Aunt

my name in Spanish translates into Aunt. It was God’s will from the day I was named – I was meant to be an Auntie. My little brother (my only sibling) had told me that he never wanted children. A month before my hysterectomy, him and his girlfriend told us they were pregnant. 

I learned after the fact that they were terrified to tell me. They were worried about my emotions, about my reaction, and about my depression. The funny thing is – I felt nothing but complete happiness for them. I kind of had an idea they wanted to tell me they were expecting – my brother had never asked me to dinner so persistently in his whole life. Also, She was drinking sprite and eating a pack of crackers. 

How did I process the fact that my brother was going to have a baby and I wasn’t?

I was having my reproductive system removed from my body and he was preparing for fatherhood. I was grieving a great loss and they were preparing for a miracle. I tried so hard to have a baby and my nephew was a surprise. I didn’t feel jealousy, I didn’t feel anger, and I didn’t feel sadness. I believe I was more in shock that he was having a baby! A baby was coming into our family, and the timing was perfect.

The fact that they included me during the pregnancy was very supportive, loving and helpful. I got to see my nephew’s heartbeat on an ultrasound. I had tears in my eyes when I witnessed his little heart beat. I felt so special that I was included in that moment. I had witnessed a miracle in a time of my own devastation.

Did they pity me?

I don’t believe they felt pity for my loss. I believe that they were surrounded by so much love that they wanted to share that love. There is no greater gift in this life than love. 

My nephew was born perfect, healthy, and on a gorgeous spring Mother’s Day. Ironic, right? That day had been one of the hardest days for me for so many years – it was finally a day to be celebrated. It was the happiest day. 

Trygve Thomas will be two-years-old this coming May. He has brought an enormous amount of joy to our family. He has healed a lot of wounds. My parents officially became biological grandparents, my stepdaughter took one look at her new stepcousin and told him they were going to be best friends, my husband is now Uncle Chappy, and I am his Tìa.

I may be the childless aunt, but I have love for this child that fills up the whole world. I have rocked him to sleep, fed him his bottles, changed his diapers, held his hands as he learned to walk, and have made him laugh countless times. 

The best part is – I get to go home after being with him. This auntie doesn’t have to be up all night, up early, be with a cranky baby, or deal with dirty diapers!

Timing is everything. I have proof of this. 

Auntie loves you Tryg. 

Adoption Stories: The Pfingsten Family

My name is Gina Pfingsten. My husband and I have five children ranging from 4 years old to 12 years old. Our oldest three are biological and our youngest two were adopted from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Tia asked if I would tell our story of adoption – I am happy to share because adoption can be for everyone and is life changing for an entire family!

Why would you adopt when you have kids of your own?

It’s a question we’ve been asked numerous times. For the most part, people aren’t being rude – They are just genuinely curious. Adoption is often thought of as second option if you can’t have children of your own. Most people don’t consider adoption unless they are placed in that situation.

Our family grew from five to seven in roughly two and a half years. In actuality the process had started long ago. In high school, I made the choice that when I was married I wanted to adopt a child. I can’t even tell you why I decided that. Maybe it was the horrifying birth video we watched in junior high health class. I’d like to think that my reasoning even back then was to provide a loving home to a child that needed one. I also didn’t really think that I might need to convince my future husband to get on board with the whole adoption idea!

When Matt and I got married we wrote down individual goals and goals for our marriage. Adoption made the list for both of us! No convincing needed! This time our reasoning for adoption was clear – we wanted to care for others that needed it. There are so many children in foster care and orphanages here in our country and all over the world. Jesus has called us to care for the orphans of the world. We knew we were called to do this. We took a lot of time discussing and praying about our future family and how that would look. In 2004 we took time to travel the world and were exposed to so many different people and cultures. We saw first hand the poverty many other countries and families faced. We knew we were being called to an international adoption.

We prayed, researched, discussed, researched, discussed and prayed about when and where we should adopt. We decided to have our biological children first. We wanted our adoptive children to know we chose them for no other reason than we simply wanted to be their parents. When our three biological children were seven, five and three years old, we sat them down and spoke to them about adoption and why we felt that God was calling us to adopt children needing a home. Our kids were so excited to give children a home that were in need and to gain siblings!

Our family is proof that adoption works!

Adoption is life changing for all involved. Our adoptive children have a loving stable home and a future full of opportunities. Our biological children have siblings that they love and care for – and younger siblings that look up to them. We all have gained a perspective and heart for the marginalized. Adoption is time consuming, expensive and the transition can be draining, but it is also the most rewarding journey. I love how our family fits together. We laugh, cry, annoy and fight together. Most of all we LOVE and support each other. Our adoptive kids are alive and well with a future ahead of them because of adoption. They gained a lot but our biological kids would tell you we gained even more!

We know the future will be challenging for all of our children, and certainly for our adopted kids. At the same time, we also believe that God created all humans to have parents and a family that love and care for them unconditionally .

Many people tell us what a blessing we are giving our children, but the truth is – Matt and I feel like we’re receiving the far greater blessing!

The Dog Mom

Unconditional love is known as affection without any limitations, or love without conditions.

I wish every human had a heart like a dog. They are loyal companions who love unconditionally. Dogs have a way of finding people who need them. I may not have any biological children – but I have five dogs. I have five fur babies.

Brees is our Siberian Husky. She is named after football hero, Drew Brees. She is a bi-eyed husky. Did you know that bi-eyed dogs can see earth with their brown eye, and heaven with their blue eye? Brees is from my first marriage. She has been my companion for almost a decade. She has been by my side through celebration and devastation. She is feisty, fierce, loving, and wild. She is beautiful. Her middle name is after my grandmother.

Copper is our Dachshund. He is a short-legged, long-bodied wiener dog. He is my stepdaughter’s dog. She was promised by my husband when she was ill as a child. My husband never thought he would have a dog, little did he know he would end up with five of them. Copper is a fighter. He was diagnosed with cancer last summer, and we prepared that it would be his last summer. He had surgery to remove the tumor, and with zero chemo or radiation – he survived it. He burrows, runs like a bunny and barks like there is no tomorrow.

Blaze is a rescue dog from a shelter in our town. He is a Bassett – Beagle Mix. He is a what you could call a “mutt.” He is black, brown, white and has spots. He is unique. Me and my husband had been dating only a few months when we found Blaze. He was the runt of the litter and the very last puppy in his cage. Me and my stepdaughter took one look at him, and we knew we had to take him home. We had to convince my husband, but in the end – we took that little puppy to his new home. Blaze has tremendous separation anxiety. He needed us and he was the dog that linked our family together. Blaze was dog number three, and what we thought was our last dog.

Dubnyk is our Great Dane. He is named after NHL Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk. Our family loves the Wild. It was the natural choice for a name. His middle name is Jake, after my dad. Dubnyk wasn’t planned, but either was our infertility. Our infertility treatments had failed, I was desperate and angry. I wanted the biggest puppy I could get. The biggest breed of dog I could find. The Christmas before my hysterectomy, we brought home our little blue-eyed Great Dane puppy. I let my stepdaughter pick him out from his brothers and sisters and I had picked out my dad’s middle name because I knew I wouldn’t have a baby to name after him. Dubnyk was our baby. He was almost twenty pounds when we brought him home. He would sleep on our chests. He will be three years old. He is the most sensitive dog we have – who is also the biggest. He is almost two-hundred pounds.

Aspen Storm is our last dog. She was unexpected and I believe she was sent to our family. We were compelled by her and her story. Aspen is deaf. She is a Dogo Argentino/Bulldog Mix. She is pure white. Aspen came to Minnesota from Texas. She is considered special needs – the shelters in Texas are over-flowing and they don’t keep dogs with special needs. We like to visit our local animal shelter. We walked past Aspen’s cage and read her story. I knew I had to have her. I had to save her. In the end, Aspen was saving me. She has been my greatest challenge. She isn’t easy. We have brought her to training, we have learned how to communicate with her, and we have tried to learn her background and her story. We don’t know exactly what Aspen has survived, we just know she was brought to us for a reason. I was grieving and I was suffering. Aspen has kept my mind busy. She has kept my life busy. I don’t have time to think about much else. We have had our struggles with her, but we have kept going. Aspen is a beautiful soul who just needed to be loved. She needed me as much as I needed her. We saved each other. Our family is complete.

I had considered opening a dog kennel – It’s a sideline dream. My home is full of dog hair, slobber, muddy paws, and love. Are we out of our mind? probably. I spend way too much money on dog food, I vacuum more than the average person, I have a dog-sitter come stay at my home, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. I view my dogs as my children. I love and cherish them as they were my own kids.

I am a Dog Mom.

Mental Health and Infertility

Has infertility hijacked your life? The emotional stresses women face with infertility are similar to cancer and cardiac patients. Here is the thing – we don’t talk about infertility. What do we typically do when someone we love is struggling with an illness? We bring them flowers, make them dinners, volunteer to help with household chores, cards are written, prayer chains begin, and we devote our time and love to those who are struggling.

Have you ever done this for someone who is infertile?

Typical reactions to infertility can lead to anxiety, depression, shame, failure and psychological problems. Sadness is a normal reaction to unfortunate events. Infertility places tremendous pressure on a couple. The financial stress, besides the emotional and physical stress can damage a relationship. Let’s face it – infertility can have negative affects on your daily life, especially when it’s the only topic on your mind all day.

You Are Not Alone.

My own personal experience with infertility-related depression and anxiety has been difficult. My hysterectomy was two years ago next month. I admit, I have always had an anxious personality. My depression was fueled by my environment and circumstance as a teenager and young adult. When I finally found myself in a good, happy place in life – the depression returned when I couldn’t have biological children. I reached out to all the correct outlets to help myself. I have been medicated, through counseling, and joined a support group with other women who have been traveling the same road of struggle. I fear I will have pain for the rest of my life – but I took a photo after my surgery to remind me of the reality I went through. I can look at the photo and remind myself where I was and how strong I have become. I was easily frustrated and angry for a solid year after my hysterectomy. Please seek counseling if you are feeling any of these emotions – my co-workers and loved ones became my punching bag.

Focus on Self-Care

I believed that I was suffering in silence. When you are depressed, it takes a great amount of energy to complete the smallest tasks. How was I suppose to exercise when I couldn’t even get out of bed? Infertility is a stigma. Besides my therapist and my husband – I felt like nobody knew what the hell I was talking about. We need to learn how to take care of ourselves. Time, therapy and medication have made life easier for me. Therapy isn’t only for “serious” mental health problems, anyone can benefit from talk therapy.

Can I Win My Life Back?

If you are feeling broken or defective, try and believe that infertility won’t define you as a person or a couple. I have shed many tears over my loss. Infertility can leave you feeling isolated and alone. How do we find acceptance? There is no right way to work through your grief. When you start to reclaim your life back – you can start researching other ways to have a family, (if that is an option for you.) Adoption, surrogacy, living without children, or just keeping hope alive, may be what’s best for you. Grieving and growing.

Do you think you will send that card to someone who is dealing with infertility or loss?

Stop the Stigma.

Halloween and Infertility: It’s Haunting

Fall is my favorite time of the year. The trees are full of stunning colors, the air is crisp, and the sun is warm. Saying good-bye to summer is always difficult, but one of my favorite holidays is just around the corner – Halloween! I love the costumes, the tombstones, the candy, the spooky parties and the haunted hay rides.

The hard part about Halloween is a don’t have a small child at home to participate in all the fun. I am fortunate to have spent some childhood years with my stepdaughter. I have a couple of godchildren who keep me involved, and now my nephew, who will be two this year, is a complete joy. I am grateful to all of their parents for allowing me to go trick-or-treating with them over the years.

How do we survive Halloween?

Children imagine what they want to be, the schools have parades to attend, the neighborhood holds gatherings for fall festivals, parents post photos of  their kids in costume on social media and the weekends are spent at corn mazes, farms, and zoos. We certainly have the option of picking and choosing what we want to do. Carving a jack-o-latern is an annual tradition. My husband and I still get a pumpkin every year to carve – even if we do not have any small children at home.

Every year, I would carve pumpkins with my goddaughter and then with my stepdaughter. They are too old now – or that is what they tell me. My best friend and her kids always involve me with their halloween traditions. We have had matching costumes the past few years, and we take the kids out to get their candy. I am very grateful for her. I wish that everyone who is struggling can share those same memories with the people they love, even when they are heartbroken. Believe me, I had always imagined what my little baby would be for Halloween. I would have painted their little baby butt as a pumpkin. I would have carved a pumpkin for their little body to sit in. I would have found the most obnoxious costume to show them off in – I would have been the ultimate Halloween mom.

You don’t have to put yourself in a position where it breaks your heart. You are allowed to keep your porch light off, turn off social media, watch scary movies, buy your own candy – and eat the whole bag. Halloween is also a great opportunity for pregnancy announcements. I have seen pumpkin families, skeleton families and beautiful fall photos celebrating the happy news. If these announcements make you upset, I would recommend staying off social media during halloween week. I remember gathering my own ideas for these special moments. I never got my opportunity, but for others that are holding out hope – keep those ideas in your back pocket. Let’s face it – they are adorable.

You can embrace the moment, or you can protect your heart. If we lived in town, I would love to decorate my yard, hand out candy, and see all the kids in their costumes. It has taken me a few years to get to the this point. One year, we carved a dog paw in our jack-o-latern to represent our fur babies. Whether you are still trying to get pregnant, deciding if you are going to be child free, or going through loss – you are not alone.

Go get the biggest pumpkin in the pumpkin patch and carve it.

Happy Halloween.

A Guide to Fertility Abbreviations and Acronyms

Hope: A feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.

I never expected to be doing homework and research while trying to start my family. While we were having no luck in getting pregnant, I would sit for hours and read blogs, articles, and books. We weren’t getting pregnant, I didn’t know why, and I needed to figure it out. The complex world of infertility has its own language. Why should we feel confused and overwhelmed while you are already struggling? Let this guide help you! Here is some of the most commonly used abbreviations in the trying to conceive (TTC) world:

BFP: Big Fat Positive. This was the word I was praying for my entire journey. I wanted and prayed for two pink lines on my pregnancy tests. The waiting game is horrible. Every cycle you wait for that BFP. You want that big thrill of exciting news. Pregnancy tests are expensive! go get that BFP and begin your baby journey. In our case, we always ended our cycles with a BFN. A big fat negative. BFN is never a good sign, but there is still hope for your BFP.

2WW: Two Week Wait. The awful, terrible, anxious 2WW. It takes about two weeks from implantation to hormone detection on a HPT (Home Pregnancy Test.) This is when you buy ten pregnancy tests and take one every single day until you get your BFP or your BFN. This can be a very stressful time as you await to discover if you are pregnant or not.

BD: Baby Dance. If you want to become PG (Pregnant) you must do the baby dance – getting busy between the sheets with your spouse. This is suppose to be the fun part! For those of you who feel like its a forced dance, and failure is the result, don’t give up on your DH (Dear Husband) or SO (Significant Other.)

AF: Aunt Flo. You do not want a visit from Aunt Flo when you are trying to get PG. That is your period. She comes once a month and isn’t welcome when you are TTC. I would be so excited to get into that second week of the 2ww, and I would also start spotting. The second that would appear, I knew my chances weren’t very good. I struggled with low progesterone, which would cause early spotting before Aunt Flow would show her ugly face. If you do become pregnant, your EDD (Estimated Due Date) can be determined by your LMP (Last Menstrual Period.)

DPO: Days Past Ovulation. This is used frequently when women are talking to one another about their cycles. We love to track our DPO because its a countdown to when we can pee on an HPT. I would love to read the earliest times women would get their BFP while tracking their DPO. I would always test the earliest I could, and keep testing daily after. I have seen photos of women keeping their pregnancy tests, writing what CD (Cycle Day) is on each test, keeping track. Even more so with an infertility journey.

hCG: Human chorionic gonadotropin. hCG is a hormone produced during pregnancy. A beta pregnancy test specifically looks for hCG. Levels of hCG increase steadily in the early stages of pregnancy. LH (luteinizing hormone) triggers ovulation, or the release of the eggs. P4 (progesterone hormone) is tested to determine: if ovulation has occurred, when ovulation occurred, if there has been a miscarriage, or if there has been an ectopic pregnancy. FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) is released by the brain to stimulate the ovarian follicles to grow and develop. E2 (estradiol) or your level of estrogen, is used to estimate how many eggs you will have for retrieval during your cycle. AMH (anti-mullerian hormone) is the best predictor of a woman’s ovarian reserve. Be your own advocate and get the AMH test! 

Are you memorizing all of this yet? Are you feeling overwhelmed? Do you have your notebook out? We still have more to go…

IUI: Intrauterine insemination. This is a low-tech fertility treatment that involves placing sperm inside a woman’s uterus to facilitate fertilization. HSG (hysterosalpingogram) determines the condition of the fallopian tubes and uterus by placing dye through the cervix into the uterus and fallopian tubes. IVF (in-vitro fertilization) is a method of assisted reproduction that involves combining an egg with sperm in a lab dish. The embryo is transferred into the woman’s uterus where it will hopefully implant. If all else fails, you can use a GC (gestational carrier.) A GC is used for women who are unable to carry their own child or for same-sex couples. A DE (donor egg) is needed for those who are unable to use their own eggs for conception, but can still carry a child in their uterus.

MF: Male factor infertility. Nearly 40% of infertility is related to male factor. This can occur from structural abnormalities, sperm production disorders, ejaculatory disturbances, and immunologic disorders. SA (semen analysis) is performed to tell the number of sperm that are present, whether they are normal, and how well they move. My husband had this test performed – do this right away to rule out any MF infertility.

SI: Secondary infertility. The inability to become pregnant following the birth of one or more biological children who were born without the aid of fertility treatment or medications.

RPL: Recurrent pregnancy loss. This is defined as two or more consecutive, spontaneous pregnancy losses before the pregnancies reach 20 weeks.

Have you taken it all in? I wish I had this handy guide when we were trying to get pregnant. Create a pocket guide for your purse. You can take it to the doctor’s office, the reproductive endocrinologist’s office, use it when the triage nurse calls you back, or take it out when you are researching your best TTC blog. You are spending a lot of time, a lot of money, and a lot of hope trying to figure out your reproductive system. Make it easier for you and your spouse!

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): The Virijevics

Daniella and her husband, Djordje have been trying to have a baby for 14 years. What is IVF? In Vitro Fertilization is a medical procedure whereby an egg is fertilized by sperm in a test tube or elsewhere outside the body. The embryo(s) is then transferred to the uterus. This is a story about a couple who can take negatives (literally) and turn the situation into a positive. How can this be a positive? Daniella is a symbol of hope. She has never given up on her dream of having a baby. Take a look at this gallant couple’s journey:

It is 2018. I am now 37 and my husband 40. We have been married for almost 16 years and we still long for our biological dream.

Our Journey (in a nutshell)

  • Married January 15, 2003
  • Started trying to conceive in March of 2004
  • IVF in 2007 – negative
  • 9 IUIs done between 2010 and 2011 – negative
  • 1 miscarriage from a natural pregnancy in 2012
  • IVF in 2014 – negative

WHY US? WHAT DID WE DO?

We feel that we want to try again, and we wish we had the money to afford treatment as many times on the infertility roller coaster – it is finances that hold you back from pursuing treatment. We had even contemplated moving back to Illinois to have insurance that helped cover the costs, but decided to move to the Twin Cities Spring of 2016. After spending around $50,000 it is just so hard to make the decision to do a treatment again. In the past couple of years, we heard about a program that could possibly be the answer for us. The program, some call it a Shared Risk program, would pay for three cycles of IVF/ICSI plus any frozen embryo transfers.  This program gives patients the comfort that they will either have a successful birth or will receive a refund of between 80% and 100% of the program fees to pursue other family building options.  The estimate received from a clinic was approximately $25,000 plus the cost of medication.

(Photo below: The couple’s embryo.)

Our Journey (from the beginning)

I guess I will start off by telling everyone a little bit about us. Djordje and I met through a “modern-day” arrangement (his great Aunt Ana and my Aunt Rose, both no longer with us, felt like we would make a good match). We both went with it, fell in love and were married within five days of meeting one another in January of 2003!

After a year we decided to start trying for a family. Djordje wanted to start right away, but we agreed that it would be nice to enjoy one another’s company for a while longer. Little did we know that it would take a bit more than looking into one another’s eyes and kissing (as I had thought as a kid when watching movies). After about a year of trying I just knew in my heart something wasn’t right. We had moved from Duluth, MN to a suburb of Chicago and, after a few months, decided to both get checked.  The OBGYN I met with did some preliminary tests and found nothing that could be causing me not to become pregnant. We then consulted with a Urologist who, after an analysis, said that we were dealing with Male Factor Infertility.

We were devastated and asked, “why us?” and “what did we do?” All the Urologist said was that it does happen sometimes and consulting with a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE) would be the best way to move forward with our family building plans.

We met with an RE in Naperville, IL and came to find out my husband’s insurance at the time covered five cycles at 90%!!! Hindsight is 20/20 as if we knew then what we knew now…the last 13 years would have gone differently.

We were all set to start a cycle when the IVF Clinic said our specimen could not be frozen and that we had to consult with a doctor at Northwestern who specializes in the male reproductive system. Once we met with the doctor we found out we were dealing with varicoceles and they would have to be removed surgically .  The surgery in December 2005 went well and we decided to hold off for a while before continuing on our journey.

Fast forward a few months, after a move to Colorado for a great job opportunity, we were still in the same situation we were prior to surgery. We had this hope that it would be better and that we would not need to move forward with IVF. We again looked for an RE and came to the realization that NOTHING WAS COVERED with our insurance. This was what I had referred to before – being new in the infertility world, we had no idea how rare it was for IVF to be covered. So started our search for an affordable clinic.

We searched a few places in the states and found that doing the procedure in Canada would be a lot cheaper. There of course are a lot of details that go into the planning and such, but to keep this as short as I can our OBGYN clinic in Colorado agreed to monitor the cycle and the clinic in Scarborough, Toronto, Canada performed IVF with ICSI in December of 2007. We retrieved 15 eggs, 9 fertilized and we ended up transferring two grade A 8 cell embryos on day three post retrieval. On New Year’s Day, 2008, we got the results that the procedure did not work, we were not pregnant, we were not going to be parents. We had no idea how we would get through such a devastating outcome. We again asked, “why us?” and “what did we do?”

Fast forward to 2009

After moving back to Duluth, MN during the economic crisis aftermath we both had thought maybe we could take a few steps back and try IUI (intrauterine insemination). A doctor in Duluth was supportive and so we went on to do nine cycles and, despite my good responses to the different treatments, we never did have a positive pregnancy test. In 2010 I felt I had to use my energy to give back and decided to become a volunteer with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association. It was then I started the Duluth Support Group. I have since made so many friends, that I wish I had met for a different reason. You never realize how many women are out there like you until you reach out and advocate.

(Photo below: before IVF in 2007.)

One weekend at the end of January 2012 I noticed I wasn’t feeling too well and was experiencing hot flashes. Right away I was afraid I was going into menopause (yes, I know, my mind went to the extreme end of things,) I had looked in my calendar and saw that I would be expecting my period any day, so I just thought why not take a pregnancy test to see if I was pregnant? I had a test that I had saved from before and thought, why not? I peed on the stick, waited and didn’t see anything. About an hour later I came back and there was a plus sign. WAIT…A PLUS SIGN…HOLY MOLY I AM PREGNANT…NO IT CAN’T BE…WHAT?…NO WAY!!! I went into the living room where my husband and sister-in-law were and shakingly said, “I’m pregnant!” My husband couldn’t believe it, my sister-in-law started tearing up and right away I said that I had to take it again because it must be wrong!  That evening I took another test and it, again, was positive!  It was a Sunday evening so the next morning I called my OBGYN’s office and asked if I could come in for a blood test.  They had worked with me over the course of a couple of years with the IUI’s and knew how important this was.  The results came back and my HCG was 19 and they really want it to be at about 25 at five weeks. A few days later the test was repeated and the number was 12. The tears started to flow and my heart sank. I again asked, “why us?” and “what did we do?”  At about the same time I found out my news, I found out my friend had given birth to triplets at 24 weeks who all became angels shortly thereafter.  It was such a hard time for many. Attending their memorial was so calming and really helped heal my heart at the time as I too grieved for my angel that I had just lost.

A couple of years had passed and I just really wanted to try IVF again. We knew that we couldn’t afford treatment at most clinics in the US and I wanted to find a clinic that specialized in Male Factor Infertility. This led us to a clinic in Mexico City, Mexico. I can tell you that the RE and Embryologist at this clinic were absolutely amazing. I have nothing but great things to say about everyone there.  We met the doctor in August of 2014 and went forward with a cycle in December of 2014.  We enjoyed Christmas with friends in Queretaro, Mexico and got to know the big and beautiful City.  On retrieval day five eggs were retrieved and only one was mature. As soon as they told me I started crying uncontrollably.  It could have been the meds I was still coming off of, but I just could not help it.  They tried to mature a second of the five and actually were able to fertilize it, but it did not continue dividing after the third day. The one mature egg turned into our beautiful embryo and was transferred at six days post fertilization.  We celebrated New Years in our hotel room a few days later and flew home the next day. After only seven days I started bleeding. That was it. The cycle was over. Blood work confirmed that it was a negative outcome and that we were, indeed, not pregnant.

WHY US? WHAT DID WE DO?

Fast Forward to 2018

Time has passed and we are now at a place to start the process again. We have not once given up hope and continue to have faith. We have recently found a clinic that provides services at a reduced rate and, you never know, they may be key to our miracle. We hope to move forward with treatment in early 2019.

We share our story in hopes of others going through this journey are brave enough to reach out. It is a hard journey where at times you feel very lonely and knowing others going through the same thing helps smooth the rocky road. You are not alone.

Over the years we have helped with many different fundraisers, sending gifts for silent auctions and even donating time to multiple organizations. We don’t want to ask anyone for anything outright, besides love and support and understanding in why we want to try again, but if there are those out there that want to help, we humbly bow our heads and thank God as without Faith we honestly don’t know where we would be.

(Photo below: 10th wedding anniversary picture.)