Thursday, September 19, 2013

St. George Successes

Here is a story about of one couple's experience at one of the races this year. We wish all of our couples the very best of luck as they take the next steps in their journey to parenthood. We are grateful we could be a part of your journey.  Click here to read Jacob and Leisa's race day experience and look through the blog to be inspired by their story.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Miss Utah 2013 wants to Pound the Pavement for Parenthood!

She will be at the race on Saturday to help us as we rally around and support couples struggling with infertiliy. Come join us!




Monday, June 10, 2013

The 5 Stages of Infertility Grief

Found this article on the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, written by Genea Golas


When you're having trouble having a baby, there may be a lot to grieve. You grieve your ovaries, which work only some of the time. You grieve your partner's sperm for being too few or poor swimmers. You grieve the entire process; all of the tests, the diagnoses, the waiting. Things many may never need to think about, you've obsessed over. Good grief.
Just as with any other grieving process, like the five stages identified by Kubler-Ross, the progression of infertility emotions has stages as well.

Denial
"We must have just gotten the timing wrong. Again."
"Male factor infertility, you say? Hon, we're switching you out of boxer briefs into boxers. That must be the easy fix. Bonus points if you want to go commando."
"Something must be wrong with these pee sticks, I can't ever seem to get the second line to show up."
"Whaddya mean she's pregnant, again?!"

Anger (see also: jealousy, irrational behavior, selfishness)
"Everyone around me is pregnant. It must have been so easy for them. Must be nice."
"They sent me the defective pee sticks again, these are OBVIOUSLY BROKEN!"
Bargaining
"I'd give anything to be pregnant."
"If only we had started sooner, I'd probably have a baby by now."
"Why can't we just skip all this testing and get right to the IVF? We know that's what we'll need anyways."
"Hello, Amazon.com? Yes, if you could send me another batch of pee sticks, the ones that work this time, I'll take back that nasty review I wrote last year when I tried to order on Christmas Eve in time for Christmas. I know you have deadlines for a reason. Besides, you have the cheapest pee stick prices..."

 
Depression
"Nothing is going right. I'll never be pregnant at this rate."
"My 18-year-old employee was happy when her pregnancy test was negative. It's all I can do to keep from sobbing each time I get a negative result."
"Those pee stick manufacturers obviously don't want me to have kids."

 
Acceptance
"It is what it is. We need to just keep going with the tests to give us the best outcome when the time comes."
"We're not the only ones going through this. So many other couples have struggled with infertility, whether we know it or not. There's a lot of support out there from places we never imagined we'd find it."
"Maybe I'll stop peeing on a stick for a while."

One thing I learned from my infertility experience is, it is ok to feel all the emotions that will come with infertility  because there will be LOTS.  Before I opened up about my infertility experience (other than to my husband) I kept a lot of my feelings I was dealing with to myself. It wasn't until I opened up to my friend Jill that I could really start dealing with my infertility. The best advice she gave me was if you are having a hard day and feel like crying, it is OK to cry. You will feel LOTS of emotions going through infertility, and as hard as it is it will make you stronger in the end. 

Open House


This is a great opportunity to meet the incredible staff at Utah Fertility Center. These people are miracle workers.  Dr. Foulk has been a huge support to Pound the Pavement for Parenthood in the past and this year.  Amazing man. Amazing physician.  Go meet him!  And check out their new beautiful office on June 13th!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Dreams Come True in South Bend





This woman came to the race and shared with us the story of her miracle daughter they adopted a few years ago.  One of my favorite parts of this is the inspiration shared by others at PPP events. 

I have grown to love these two. They will be incredible parents.

Raffle time!



I have always had big dreams for PPP. One of those dreams was to host 5Ks outside of Utah.  So, when I was in the first mile of the South Bend race for baby Purcell, I couldn't hold back my tears.  My little 5K had made it to Indiana! There were people running here for infertility, running for baby Purcell, running because of my dream.

The emotions I felt were overwhelming.  I was so grateful for those who have helped me make this organization what it is, for the amazing people and new friends I've been able to meet and help in their journey to parenthood, for the lessons I've learned along the way...it was all so humbling, so satisfying, and truly my dream come true. I can't wait to hop on more planes, meet more people, and run a whole heck of a lot more miles to help get these miracle babies here.  I consider myself one of the luckiest.

Thank you Indiana.
Thank you Matt and Stephanie.
Thank you to my incredible PPP team.
Much love, Jill

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Happy Conception Day!

[Written July 19th 2012]

1 year ago today, Cameron and I completed our IVF cycle. We wouldn't find out we were pregnant for a couple more weeks, but this was the beginning of Nash and Gray's little lives. Cam surprised me with this video this morning:


The following is from my journal, July 19th 2011 Yesterday, the clinic asked me to take a pregnancy test to make sure the HCG Trigger shot was given correctly and that it was in my system. It was so weird to take a pregnancy test and know it would come up positive. I've never seen that little pink line before! Hopefully in a couple of weeks we'll have a real one.  

This morning at 6:30 we checked in for our egg retrieval. I was nervous that something would go wrong with my follicles or that some had ruptured or that my estrogen levels would continue to rise and we'd have to cancel the cycle or something, but it all went so smoothly. After this week, I was really looking forward to some medically induced sleep. It felt so good to just have a day to relax and not worry about anything. We went into the exam room we were in for the last ultrasound. It was nice to be in a familiar place. It didn't seem so cold to me and definitely helped me relax. 

On the table were all the vials and tubes for the treatment. There were 24 of them. It felt good to know the doctor had high hopes for my body! In all honesty, the hardest part of any medical procedure for me is getting the IV put in. Luckily, our anesthesiologist was an all star. I barely even felt the needle. I was really grateful I was allowed to keep my bracelet on. Cam got it for me for Mother's Day this past May. It says "Eventually" on it. I love it. It has been such a great source of strength to me. They had Cam kiss me and head out to the waiting room. I fell asleep about 10 seconds later. When I woke up, the anesthesiologist walked me into the recovery room and told me that Cam should be in in a minute. I was grateful to have the chance to pray for him. 

The best part of my day by far, though, was when Cam came through the door to my recovery room. He gave me a kiss on the forehead and held my hand. The sweetest moments in marriage come when you are given the opportunity to conquer something together. It's moments like that recovery room conversation that make me so grateful for this trial. 

We talked for about 15 minutes and then our brilliant Dr. walked in.
 "We were able to get 35 eggs."
*Jaws drop*  
"You're kidding me!?"
"Not in the least. And we normally expect about 60% to fertilize, so hopefully that means 15-20 will make it to the next step."

 We are floored. On the way home from the clinic, Cam stopped to pick up my favorite breakfast from my favorite breakfast stop, Kneaders. They have some killer croissant sandwiches and smoothies. Yum! We got home and Cam helped me up the stairs to bed. He read me a chapter from Harry Potter and we cuddled up for an hour or two of deep sleep. The rest of today has been full of watching TV and eating food. What a glorious day to celebrate. We couldn't be happier.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Blessed

[Written 5.23.11]

There are so many things I’ve wanted to blog about in the past few days. In all honesty, Cam has had to physically restrain me a couple of times because things are just so exciting! We both wanted to wait to spread the news until we had a solid plan in place, though. Yes, both of us.

The past week and a half has been unbelievable for us. We have laughed, cried, let our jaws completely hit the floor more than once, and made phone call after phone call. We have felt your prayers, thoughts, love, and support more than ever these past few days. You’re really not going to believe this. Let’s start on Thursday of last week.

Thursday: We were going in for our 3rd (and last) IUI before IVF was on the table. We knew it wasn’t going to work, but we had to do it before our Dr. would consider us for IVF. We had to do it in order to move forward. In the middle of the treatment, I was sitting in the waiting room and the nurse called me. She didn’t know I was in the clinic, but she wanted to let me know that the Dr. had looked over our charts and wanted us to know that he didn’t recommend us doing this 3rd IUI because our chances were so low. He said we could go through with it if we wanted to, but that he recommended us saving our money for IVF. We spent the next hour meeting with a nurse and asking all of our questions about IVF. Scheduling out everything, learning about medications and procedures, and asking about how everything works. We left the clinic and stopped at Cheesecake Factory (Free slice of cheesecake with purchase of $30 + $25 gift card = AFFORDABLE!) to celebrate actually being able to move forward. We were thrilled!

Friday: Because we were both fully and completely on board for this expensive procedure ($25,000 minimum), we decided to pull out all the stops and really organize our resources money-wise. At work, I got an e-mail letting me know that it was the last day to add money to a tax-free medical account that is put into the account at the beginning of the year and is paid back throughout the rest of the year. It’s like a tax-free cash advance. Love it!



Saturday: We went to support Pound the Pavement for Parenthood. It was my first 5k ever and I was nervous! We were friends with the couple that was being sponsored and they asked how our the treatments were going. We told them how the Dr. stopped our last IUI and recommended us for IVF. They stopped the conversation right there and told us to talk to Jill, the race coordinator. Jill had received an e-mail from a fertility specialist in pleasant grove who was donating 50% off IVF to anyone who ran the race and needed it. WHAT?! We ran really, really fast that day. And this was when I wanted to blog so SO bad!

But we didn’t know the details of the 50% off offer. Both of us thought it was too good to be true, or some sort of scam or something. We had to wait. Jill met with the Dr. (Dr. Foulk) on Saturday. She called us with the details on Sunday night. I will never ever forget what it felt like for me and Cam to be up in the second bedroom hearing about this man who was going to change our life while we had company playing games downstairs. Dr. Foulk is an extremely successful reproductive endocrinologist who has opened practices in Reno and Boise. He is ranked among the top 6 RE’s in the nation. He was at the point of his life where he could retire, go golfing, go on a mission, etc. He decided to send himself on a medical mission to Utah County in order to help the people here have families. I’ve looked over his statistics and success reports for the past 5 years. 60% of the IVF cycles he has done incorporate a procedure called ICSI that we will need. He is a specialist for our specific type of infertility. Because he’s on a medical mission, he does all of his procedures at cost. He doesn’t make a dime. This is his passion – helping people. So….the amount we put in the account last Friday? It just happens to be exactly the amount for the procedure and the medications.

We are floored. And we’ve been really thinking about what to do with our auction. The support and excitement it has generated is too much to pass up, but we would be incredibly ungrateful to keep it for ourselves. We don’t need it. We want to help another couple reach their dream of parenthood. I asked Jill if her and her husband were taking Dr. Foulk’s 50% off offer. She said they’d like to in the future, but they are still paying off a failed IVF cycle. I can’t imagine the emotional turmoil a failed IVF cycle would cause. My heart hurts for this beautiful, selfless couple that, regardless of their own dreams of parenthood, have started an organization to help raise funds for other couples to have children. Especially when they have a huge debt to pay off from their past cycle before they can move forward and try again.

To make things even better, Cam got a phone call on Friday from the insurance company. Remember when our car got totaled? Over 5 months ago? They wanted a fax number so we could sign a form for them to send us another check for our “pain and suffering.” Yesterday, the lesson in Relief Society asked the question: “How has God provided a way for you to be obedient?” We have seen his hand, so clearly, in our lives the past 10 days. We’re so stunned that things are moving so quickly, but we couldn’t be happier. There are days when I look at Cam, just terrified and say, “What if this doesn’t work?” and then minutes later I look up at him just as terrified and say, “What if this DOES work?”

What if it does?!