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?!






Thursday, May 2, 2013

Big Business Woman


When I was a little girl, when people used to ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, my response was always the same, "A big business woman!" (?) For some reason, I was always drawn to the idea or image of a successful woman, the look, or the confidence they seemed to have. What I saw was a women who dressed in a pant suit and carried a brief case. You know the kind, the put together women who swiftly walks through airports, as if they own the world, and has somewhere really important to be. These women always look busy.  They look important.  They look good. However, they rarely look happy.

While my actual career choice has changed, I feel in a way my childhood dream is coming true. But here's the difference: I'm currently sitting quietly in a little corner of the Denver airport, in yoga pants and running shoes. My luggage consists of running T-shirts, signs, and race supplies. The important place I get to go is to the Purcell's home in South Bend, IN where we will discuss and finalize the details for the event that will help to get their baby(ies) here.  

I don't think I would necessarily be considered a successful woman. I don't walk above normal speed. I often follow the crowd in airports, and for heavens sake, I don't even know where I would buy a pant suit, let alone wear one, but I think my definition of "success," or even "a big business woman" has changed.  I feel like I'm living my dream in this moment, as silly as it may sound. I am continually in awe at this opportunity that seemed to just open up and change my life, this "business" of pounding the pavement to help people become parents.  I have an amazing team working with me, and there's is NO WAY I could do anything without them. Yes, I'm busy, but this work is important, and I am truly happy (see the difference?). To me, that spells big success, bigger than young Jill could've dreamed or defined.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Timing

One of the many benefits of being a part of Pound the Pavement for Parenthood is the opportunity I have of meeting so many good people. All of these people will make incredible parents someday, but for whatever reason, for now, they have to wait. (see there, blessings of infertility, meeting the good people of the world)
  
Over the last few weeks it seems the topic of 'timing' keeps coming up.  And it's got me thinking...about my own infertile situation, about the couples we help through PPP, and about...life.

Timing. It's a funny thing.  If you're like me at all, timing is a bother.  Period.  I like to plan. I like to know exactly what's coming next. I like to feel like I'm ready for it.  So, really, timing and me butt heads. Like constantly.

Looking back though, life just works out the way it does, regardless of how much we worry, plan, or prepare.  And most often, it absolutely works out for the better.  We become better people through the process of giving up our own will and trying to make the best of what comes.  The outcome is better than we ever could've planned or prepared for.  In the end, timing wins every stinkin' time.  

So now, when I feel like I'm about to butt heads yet again with timing, I try to step back, and just hope.  I hope that I'm patient while I wait for the world to work itself out, just like it always does.  I hope that I learn the lessons that always seem to accompany frustrated timing.  More than anything though, I hope that I can continue meeting so many good people, who consistently make their way into my life and help me become good in the process. Their timing has always been perfect.

There's always a plan better than mine.
There's always a time better than mine.
There's always people around, better than me.
And for that, I'm grateful.


Just in time.

[Written 3.27.11]

I am deeply humbled today. I am grateful.

This weekend has been a rough one. I reached a new depth of sorrow that I didn't think was possible. Nothing really happened to cause it. Some days infertility gets the best of me. It turns me ugly. It causes thoughts and doubts and anger and hate, disbelief, pride, the list goes on.

I realized, this week, that I have been putting up one heck of a front. I constantly say "Oh, we're doing ok. There are good days and bad days, but you caught me on a good day." I constantly tell myself that it's not that bad. That things could be worse. That I am stronger than this.

But sometimes I just need to feel.

We are mourning the loss of someone that, in the eyes of others, never was and could possibly never be.  I completely understand why people are afraid to say anything to me sometimes. I wouldn't know what to say to me either. I understand.

I sat through sacrament meeting today with my head down. Tears rolled off my cheeks and made dark spots on my red dress. I choked through a few words of the opening song. I kept silent through the rest of it. I sat and cried through the opening speaker who talked in detail about how the strongest time she's felt the calming power of the holy ghost was during her pregnancy, emergency c-section, and first few days of her new daughter's life. I kept my head down and tried to avoid eye contact with this sister when she left the chapel to get a drink.

I whispered to Cam when the next speaker mentioned a lesson we had on fasting a few weeks ago. The men had a great lesson on the importance of fasting and the closeness we receive from our Heavenly Father. I remember that lesson, but a lot differently. The men and women meet separately in the 3rd hour of our church. The men had that great lesson. Us women had a lesson on fasting that was completely focused on what we can do, as women, when we can't fast because we are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Cam looked at me like I needed an attitude adjustment.

Let's be honest. I did.

But I said, "At least I'm here."

I sat and felt Cam's arm around me, my hands in his strong hands, and I felt lucky. I had gathered myself, and the tears had stopped.

Sacrament meeting ended and a sweet, wonderful friend of mine came to talk to me.

I had texted her earlier this morning asking if she wouldn't mind teaching the 7-year-olds for me. I had agreed to teach during one of my extremely convincing fronts of "we're doing just fine. today is a good day."

She was already teaching another class so she couldn't help me out, but asked if there was anything else she could do. I left it at that.

She knelt down by my pew and asked me if I had found anyone else to teach.

I said no.

She put her hand on my knee and asked me if it would be OK for her husband to teach so that I could go home.

And tears of gratitude poured forth as this beautiful, kind woman was able to see exactly what I needed when I was going to stubbornly put myself through more pain than I could handle this weekend. She rubbed my back and I managed to get out a quiet "thank you."

Cam gave me a hug, an I love you, and the keys to our apartment.

And I walked home with tears streaming down my face.

The tears this time were very different, though. I was so thankful. and humbled.

For the first time since we found out about our infertility, I found anger with my Heavenly Father. Surely we have suffered enough through all this. I felt forgotten. I felt angry. I hated Him for creating our bodies this way. I hated Him for blessing every single one of my friends and neighbors with the one thing that we desperately want. And I hated Him for giving me too much to handle. For breaking me down this way.

And then I listened.

I am not forgotten. My God, My Heavenly Father, sent an angel to save me from myself today. He loves me so much that He is giving me this refiners fire to bring me closer to Him. It gets harder when He needs me closer to Him. When I feel like I can't do it anymore, He steps in and lets me know that He is there. That He will never leave me and that He has given me everything that I need in order to come off conqueror.

And what a blessed day that will be.

I am so grateful to that sweet friend for being close enough to the spirit to follow the prompting to help anyway. For not being afraid to give me what I need even when I deny needing any help at all.
I am not strong.

My God is strong.

He is my strength.

Everything that I do, I do through Him. For without Him, I would have given up completely many, many times.

My God loves me. He loves me enough to give me a husband that lives his life in a way that make God's hand so easy to see.

He knows what I need.

What I have thought I needed is wrong. He knows me and loves me and only has my best interests at heart.

I trust Him.

We trust Him.

For the first time in a long time, I can honestly say "Everything is going to be OK." And believe it with every bit of me. For the first time I don't care what OK means, because my Heavenly Father will protect me. He is all-powerful and wants nothing more than us to have the greatest joy. I know that now. If this trial is necessary for me to experience joy, then I will be ever grateful for a Heavenly Father who loves us enough to watch us go through this deep pain.

It takes a special kind of parent to do that.

It takes a perfect parent.

When I got home, I noticed a pink envelope on the ottoman. I don't know how I missed it yesterday, but I opened it and inside was another piece of fabric for our little one's blanket. Along with the sweetest note. One for baby call, one for me.

Each of the 3 pieces of fabric I have received so far have come at such moments of weakness.
I have been surrounded and buoyed up by angels.

How could I ever doubt my Heavenly Father's love for me?

His love is everywhere.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Complete Epiphany


Last night was game night. Just me, Marv, a stack of games, and the best songs from every good musical (so the best! period) playing on CD. It was simple, but oh so fun! I had an epiphany during our game of Rummikub; an honest-to-goodness moment of clarity.

For the last 3 years I have been waiting, praying, and preparing for me to finally feel complete. I've always thought, 'When we have children, then our family will be complete.' 'When I get to fulfill my role as wife and mother, then I will feel like I am fulfilling my life's purpose.' 'When I get to experience that part of life, then I will be able to experience all of the emotion and love that this life has to offer.' And so on...

Last night, during our 4th game of Skip-Bo, I turned and looked at Marv. He was doing "the Carlton" (and quite well I might add) to a song from Hairspray, and at that moment I realized; 'if my life is this and only this for the rest of forever, I will live a great and happy life.'

This thought triggered a rush of emotions and insight. I learned more at that moment about the plan that God has for me than I feel I ever have. And who knew that Skip-Bo would do that for a person?!

I expressed all of my revelations as they came to mind, "We'll be ok... I'll be ok!... We're going to be happy!... I am satisfied and feel complete... I'm finally there!" Marv (the smart and faithful man that he is) then looked me square in the eyes and said, "I've been there for a while..."

I've come to that point. I've come to accept whatever God's will. And I mean it. Up to this point, perhaps I never truly had. Maybe this is yet another part of the process I've had to go through and come to. I know the Lord knows what will make me happy, better than I do. I think in a way I have had blinders on during this process. For me, I get so fixated on baby, BABY, BABY that I don't turn around too often to see and enjoy the life that is mine right now. Graditude, yes. But last night was more than just 'counting my blessings.' I felt like I was... filled. It was a unique experience.

Yes, we are going to do IVF. Yes, I will still have good and bad days. BUT, if we don't have kids in this lifetime, we will be ok. We will play, dance, sing, and love for forever. And how perfect is that?!

am complete.
am happy.
And it's in large part because of him.



(written 1/15/11)

Feel


I have received some amazing emails over the last couple of days. I'm working on responding to each one. After that article "hit the fan," even more internet angels have come into my life, and I've gained more and deeper perspective. So cool.

I did get some surprising emails as well. I'll explain.

I spent the day Monday crying on/off reading email after email of well wishes, stories of hope, advice, and getting introduced to sisters in the struggle (the "club" if you will - please don't join). I now have more women to pray for unfortunately, but that many more opportunities to celebrate the day they tell me their little miracle happened.

Another facet of this perspective has come that I didn't anticipate. Unfortunately I was hurt by some. I feel like some women who at one point experienced the lonliness of infertility...forget somehow. They forget how it feels to deal. Perhaps they get caught up finally being knee deep in diapers and chasing toddlers that they look back on their former self and laugh, as if she were some silly girl who didn't realize the good things that were going to happen. I was advised to "stop crying..."

I'm sorry. I'm not able to see the future. All I can see is what I learn from the past. I can tell you honestly that everything I've learned through this experience is what I've allowed myself to feel during it. To feel, is to learn. So I will not change or appologize for how I currently feel, whether it is hope or discouragement or even sadness. I will feel. And I encourage you to do the same. There is no shame in this.

Crying to me does not mean weekness, hopelessness, or depression. It means I'm letting my heart hurt and heal and learn what I need to. So excuse me for not taking that advice. I will stay hopeful, but I will also cry when I feel like I need to cry. I hope that when (note the positive thinking) I have babies of my own, I won't "look back at my former self and tell her to stop crying." I'm going to look back at her and see the growth that comes from feeling through painful learning experiences. This is a process afterall. And feeling is a big part of it.

Keep feeling "club" memebers!..and may I suggest to the alumni, remember.


A quick thank you to "my Diana." What would I do without you?


(written 12/7/10)

Good November




For me, November brings with it clarity. After the candy rush from Halloween leaves my system, it seems I'm able to focus on important things. I have much to be thankful for. Especially right now in my life and current life-happening, it's clear and right here for me to see how blessed I really am.

Mostly, the people in my life are the huge realized current blessing. What would I do without these people? That question has left me stumped many times over the last 18 days. I have two friends who have stepped up...I mean, stepped up big time! Thank you to those two friends again and again. ("love you, bye!")

When faced with life challenges like this, you do indeed see who your real and true friends are, as well as the character of those with whom you associate with. Believe it or not, insensitivity has reered it's ugly face in bigger ways than the usual, which wasn't suprising but always disappointing. It's been...enlightening to say the least.

It is a very strange and difficult thing for me to ask for help. Asking for help suggests my inability to take care of it myself, a feeling I'm uncomfortable with. Beyond that, opening up and letting the world know and asking it to be a part of this very personal part of me is more than vulnerable...it's a raw, exposed feeling. It's uncomfortable. I'm living with this new uneasy feeling and with it has come some amazing experiences as people show genuine concern and generosity towards me and Marv. It's been a special thing to witness. It's overwhelming. It's changed me.

Today I'm just so thankful for people, the good people who have shown their true colors in amazing ways. The world really is full of people with heart. I'm thankful to be able to glimpse into that rare and necessary part of the heart and soul of humankind.

(written 11/3/10)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Little Miracles


"And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my {daughter}, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good." D&C 122:7

The last few days have been a whirlwind, an emotional rollercoaster, and an opportunity to watch the Lord at work. In many ways, this not-even-a-week-since-the-appointment, has been some of the hardest days of my last three years.

People may wonder why. Afterall, "this is so exciting to have a plan...at least {I} know the next step...and now {we} know what {we} need to do..." All of this is all very fine and good. In a small way it is comforting, but it should be said and realized that many lonely emotions come with knowing and digesting our very slim chances, as well as doing all I can to raise these precious funds to try just a little harder to get our babies here.

I think people view IVF as for sure. Perhaps that is why I get the responses I do...as if the journey is over. It is just starting. In a way, this process is a whole other journey in itself. I've felt and started to deal with a whole set of different and deeper emotions. Hopefully, just like all hard things, I will come out better for it.

I've been blessed to recognize the little miracles that are happening around me. The Lord truly works through other people. I read an email from a friend yesterday that brought comfort, and I believe what was said, "It is simply not intended for any of us to lift the load alone." I can avidly say, I have not been lifting this load on my own. Whenever it starts to feel that way, someone is sent to help and lift me up. Miracle.

I will be forever grateful to those who are so willingly and selflessly helping me to get things organized and planned. I learned last night that the 5K is going to happen on November 13th without any purchase of permit through the city (which is in my opinion an act of God). I don't know exactly how this is all happening so fast, but I know why...and I know who is in charge.

I hope you can find comfort today in recognizing the small miracles that take place throughout this process: the friendships that are made, the small windows of comfort that are granted after prayer, the way we can be guided in all things and especially in the decisions we make. Most importantly, I hope we can focus on the people we can be after this "billowing surge conspires" against us. I hope we can glimpse at the way we are seen in His eyes, and know that it is best. I know He is molding me into who He wants me to be, and I believe that is where the true and lasting miracle lies.

"And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." D&C 84:88

(written 10/21/10)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Ideal Family


This interview with Deseret News has had me thinking. Luckily I wasn't stumped by the questions I was asked, but it was impossible to prepare any response. I was mostly focused on making clear that this is my feeling and experience so not to offend others. The majority of my answers were lessons learned throughout this journey.

One question she asked was, "How has your view or idea of 'family' changed? Or has it?" Good question right? Luckily, that too was a recent lesson/discovery.

For the last couple of years, I have been 'preparing' for the ideal of my family. I have been trying to prepare financially, emotionally, and physically for our children. (Yes, I even painted my "nursery." You can call me crazy if you wish). I guess I had it in my mind that the sort of family I was wishing or hoping for hasn't been granted yet. I thought that our children were what would make family.

About a month ago, I realized my family...and I appologized to Allen. He is it! Sounds like a juvenile realization, right? You learn as a child that there are diffent sizes and types of family. My mind always taught me that my type would be one with kids. I know now that it is just as important if not more to nurture my present family and keep us strong and happy. It's been a goal of mine since.

I don't want to look back in a few years from now (or whenever our family grows) and regret not making the most of our little family and the time Allen and I have together. I can learn alot from him and I know we are stronger together, so why not focus on that right now?

I have been. And it's delightful. To read the piece from the interview, click here.

(originally written 8/20/10)

Left Out


I have some wonderful friends. Have I mentioned that before? Well, I'm quite certain a girl couldn't ask for a more fun and supportive group of friends. I had the opportunity to see and talk with some of my dearest friends this week. It's a motivating thing for me to spend time with these women. Some of them go back with me to elementary school. Now that is friendship! I feel lucky to have them in my life. They are sweet and funnny, beautiful and smart. They are good women and amazing mothers.



It should be noted here that these photos don't have show all of my lovely friends...Milli, I miss you terribly.

At my age and stage of life, play dates and babysitting swaps are the norm. It's just part of a mothers life. The other day I came home during my lunch break and saw that one of the women down the street had set up a tent in her front yard. There were a bunch of kids playing in and out of it. The mothers of these children stood by watching, talking, and laughing.

I sat there for a minute in my driveway...
I thought of what it might be like to join them...
Then I thought of my own friends; these women I look up to and love to be around...
They get together often with their own kids...
In a way, at that moment, I felt just a little left out.

This is nothing that can be remedied or avoided. It's not like they are making me feel left out. I feel their support and friendship everytime I see them. It's just the stage. The stage I'm waiting patiently (sometimes not so patiently) to be in; where I feel like I should be...
And this is where I am...

(written 6/5/10)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Uplift


I wander through the still of night,
When solitude is ev’rywhere—
Alone, beneath the starry light,
And yet I know that God is there.
I kneel upon the grass and pray;
An answer comes without a voice.
It takes my burden all away
And makes my aching heart rejoice.

When I am filled with strong desire
And ask a boon of him, I see
No miracle of living fire,
But what I ask flows into me.
And when the tempest rages high
I feel no arm around me thrust,
But ev’ry storm goes rolling by
When I repose in him my trust.

It matters not what may befall,
What threat’ning hand hangs over me;
He is my rampart through it all,
My refuge from mine enemy.
Come unto him all ye depressed,
Ye erring souls whose eyes are dim,
Ye weary ones who long for rest.
Come unto him! Come unto him!


-Theodore E. Curtis

Oh No You Di'int!



I'll be honest. Being infertile is no fun. *shocker* There are days, though, when I don't really mind it. There are some days, where I really am 100% grateful that it is one of my trials. I have grown to appreciate the blessings that come from it. Then there are days like Sunday. Sunday SSSSSS-TUNK. The morning was actually quite wonderful. We hit up a missionary farewell for one of my best friends, spent the morning relaxed before church. I took my time getting ready and even had time to can a batch of fresh raspberry jam from the berries we picked last week. [pictures are currently stuck on the camera. yuck.] Sacrament meeting was uneventful. Sunday School was spent talking to this girl [who I love dearly.] Then I meandered across the church to Relief Society. We had our opening song/prayer/announcements and then the "good news minute." [Yes, they still do that.] It's basically a minute where you can raise your hand and share any good news you have. Quite often it is so-and-so had a baby. I'm going to have a baby, and or I got married 2 weeks ago. I chose to share that C and I dressed up as Avatars on Friday and spent a few hours livening up the library on BYU campus as well as scaring some freshman boys out of their shorts.

 Thus began the lesson on, *eep* Parenting. Now, one of my very good friends asked me a while ago what I thought of Conference Talks that mention how we're supposed to come to this earth, get married, and have a family, because C and I have such a hard time accomplishing the 3rd part of that commandment. My response is always, "Well, I completely agree with them. We will have a family. I don't know how my babies will get here, but they will get here." This lesson was quite different. The teacher happens to be a girl who just announced that she's pregnant. [I also have to mention here that I have had wonderful conversations with this girl. I really enjoy her company and think the absolute best of her. It is, though, extremely difficult sometimes to see others get exactly what you so desperately want and are praying/fasting/etc. for. It is also extremely difficult to see their absolute elation. I do understand that such elation also inhibits your ability to recognize the pain of others. I compare it to getting engaged and ticking off all your single friends by talking non-stop about your wonderful fiance/wedding plans/flashing your ring around/etc. which I am totally guilty of.]

Throughout the lesson, other sisters chimed in with their comments. The point that kept being driven home was that "Children are the reason for EVERYTHING we do. They are the motivation for living the gospel, for establishing good communication with your spouse, for following the prophet, for keeping the commandments etc." Then, the comments turned into a "my-cute-kid-did-the-cutest-thing-the-other-day" try-to-top-that competition. It hurt. Bad. I found myself in a bit of a panic.

I've promised myself, C, and our children that will always remain faithful through this trial, but oh how terribly I wanted to walk out. That's never been a temptation for me before. I just turned my eyes to the floor and debated saying anything. It was basically the "last call for comments" and I raised my hand. This is what came out of my mouth [as best as I can remember it]: "I've been debating sharing my comment for the entire lesson because I'm not quite sure how it will be taken, but it is extremely important to me and I feel like it needs to be said. I believe it is vital that every single one of us remembers that our children are not the only motivation for living the way that we do. *voice shakes-tears are comin'* There are some of us, besides just me, who are going to have to fight very hard to get their children here, some will have to wait until they are mothers in Zion. Yes, we will be mothers, but it will most likely take a lot longer than anyone is anticipating. If we wait until we have someone to be an "example" for, we're going to be in a rut for a very long time. We have family night because we are commanded to. We have a food storage because we are commanded to. We build strong marriages because we are commanded to. We foster a righteous spirit in our home because we are commanded to. Not to be an example to our children."

Every eye in the room was on me. I know they knew who was speaking. The teacher closed her lesson, I choked through the closing song, and started to pack up my things. Not a single sister-not even the ones sitting right next to me-said a word to me. I'd like to give them the benefit of the doubt and not say that they avoided/ignored me, but I'm pretty sure that's what happened. I went to the foyer to wait for C to take me home so I could appropriately lose it.

C didn't come. [He had a meeting that I'd forgotten about.]

One sister approached me and the following conversation happened: "I'm really grateful for the comment you made."

Me: "Thanks."

Her: "It's ok if you're not ready to be a mother."



Me: (slightly more intense tone now) No. It's not that. My husband's and my bodies don't physically work they way they need to in order to make that happen. We're in the middle of fertility treatments right now. If it was as simple as wanting a baby, we'd have a 1-year-old right now.

Her: Oh! Have you tried raspberry leaf tea yet?

Me: We're a little past tea, sister ___.

Her: Is it you or him?


Me: It is US. We are married. It will always be US.

Her: Well, I'll tell you a story to make you feel better. My friend adopted a baby and then 25 years later, the MONTH she was baptized into the church, she got pregnant. At age 45!

Me: Thanks. That makes me feel a whole lot better. [Thinking: so, 24 years to go. And I just have to leave the church and get baptized again. Easy peasy.]

And then C swooped in and took me home.

Love. That. Man.














Thursday, April 25, 2013

Never


After a series of recent events I have learned some things about myself and about the perspective people have about infertility.

I believe that infertility is one of the least supported causes out there. It's uncomfortable for many "fertiles" to discuss or acknowledge. Some people think it's too private to fight for or to ask for help. Some think fertility treatments and/or adoption are simply options so 'why should we support a couple's choice verses someone with a disease, etc who doesn't have much of a choice?' To that I say, "DO we have a choice?!"

When you are given odds that say, 'you either do this or adopt,' how much of a choice do you really have? And isn't starting and building families one of the most important causes out there?!

I have learned that I will never stop fighting and helping the cause of infertility. I will never stop reaching out to those who have the ache and yearning for their children. We are a small community but I know that as we all work together with the resources that we do have (thanks to many wonderful people and physicians that I now call friends), we truly can help eachother and raise awareness for a difficult and often ignored cause.

"Tell my mom not to give up..."

I never will.

Infertility, I got your back. Always.

(written 10/1/11)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Someone Special


The morning of the 2011 Pound the Pavement 5K, about an hour before the race started, I received an email from a doctor, a reproductive specialist. His name is Dr. Foulk. In his email he told me how impressed he was with our organization. He told me how he himself with his wife have struggled with infertility for years. He then told me that anyone struggling with infertility and preparing for IVF who were attending and participating in the race that day could receive half off their cycle. Half off!

I was floored...
He wanted to meet with me sometime to discuss details.
So I did.

Can I tell you, I am completely impressed with this man. He is truly here to help people create families.  If you do not have a specialist you are working with right now, can I beg you to at least meet with him?  He has so much knowledge and experience to offer and creates such a positive environment to work in.  Really. You won't regret it. I'm so glad that because of him and Pound the Pavement, couples will be able to welcome their children into their families.

Thank you so much for the work you do Dr. Foulk.

Love, Jill

(written 8/2/11)

Just Hear Me Daydream


Some people are 'fix it' kind of people. They hear a problem and *BAM* they immediately have the cure-all answer to anything difficult, unknown, or confusing.


"Your IVF cycle failed? Well, you should just adopt. Then you're guaranteed a baby."
"Oh it didn't work? So have you already started your next cycle? The second round always works."
"You're feeling down today? You just need to have faith and everything will work out."

I'd like to take a moment to thank all those who have said such statements. Because of you and your words of wisdom, infertility is now easy breezy. (insert sarcastic tone here)

I know people usually have the best of intentions. I know the topic of infertility makes a lot of people awkward which forces mindless rambling in an effort to comfort. I just sometimes want to simply be heard. Just listen. Because this is nothing you can fix. I don't need advice at this point. I feel like I know the ins and outs of my trial. I feel I'm dealing and learning through it better than ever! It's quite refreshing actually. So when I come in contact with a person who still wants to try and "fix it" for me, well, I'm annoyed. It feels like that person is discrediting my feelings and my progression through something they don't understand.

Just hear what I'm telling you, and tell me that it's ok; not that it's only ok if I have faith.

Faith I have.

I feel like I'm really starting to live and love this life that is mine. I daydream of things I want to do. And I make plans now without the thought of, 'well I might be pregnant then so maybe I should wait on that.' I'm searching for ways to stretch myself in order to experience new things and make new goals to be my best me. I want to grow in every way. And do you know why I have this desire?... because I've been able to grow because of my failed cycle. And that is because I've been honest with me. I've allowed myself to feel. Always. Doing this has helped me see the possibilities of happiness and full life, regardless of the expectation of children. I want to keep learning, and yes that most likely means learning through more infertility, but that's ok, because I know I need this. And I want this.

I want to search myself.
I want to push myself.
I want to discover more of myself.
Daydreaming and soul-searching...
It's a beautiful combination.

(written 6/7/11)

Mother's Day


I'm not fond of the day we call Mother's Day. I am fond of my mother, nevertheless. I love and respect her more than either one of us would feel comfortable discussing. She.is.amazing at everything she does, including mothering.

Sometimes my infertility hits me like a ton of bricks. Little somethings will trigger those feelings of "why not me?" and "will it ever happen?" It's hard to think about how long those feelings have been with me; harder still thinking of how long I possibly have to go...

Mother's day is a terrible day (humble opinion). I think it is wonderful to celebrate the amazing women in our lives, to reflect on their goodness, and to thank them for all they have done and do. BUT, it can always be a day of pain for so many women.: those who are not married, those of us in the depths of infertility longing for the title, and those who have lost children... To us, it is simply a day to be reminded over and over again of what we want most.

SO...I'm boycotting the day. (yes, even church - gasp!) And I'm renaming the day WOMEN'S DAY! I'm going to celebrate every year from this point on, the WOMEN in my life who are strong, lovely, and good on this holiday. Feel free to join me! I can call around to calendar companies and see what I can do. ;)

The ability to love and nurture are in all women (not just those who have children) and that alone should be remembered and celebrated.

Happy Women's Day to you all!

(written 5/7/11)

Excerpts from Jill's Journal



February 22, 2011
"I’m so happy to say that we are doing IVF early next month. Finally! I feel like I’ve been waiting for this for a long time. We’re both really excited and anxious to start this process, and feel like we’ve very much been led to this point..."

March 1, 2011
"...I went to see Dr Heiner yesterday. I was going in to see if I was ready for egg retrieval this week. It wasn’t great news...It was discouraging to leave that office knowing that the chance of canceling for this cycle is high...I had a breakdown when I got to my mom’s after my appointment. There’re just so many ups and downs during this process... I’m grateful that I haven’t been an emotional monster. I’ve been praying for that constantly... I know that it doesn’t matter in the end what my tests/levels say... I will be ok. We will be ok. We will strive to align our will with the Lord's and carry on with whatever that is. Thank goodness for the gospel. This process would be unbearable without it."

March 4, 2011
"Yesterday I went in at 1:30 pm. My lining had only grown to a 4.5, not enough, or even close. Dr Heiner told me that he really wanted us to think about just counting our losses with this cycle and saving the money that we’ve paid for “the really expensive part” and putting that towards our next cycle. My lining is just really thin, even though I have growing follicles. I told him I would talk to Allen and we would have to decide whether to freeze or bail. When the nurse left the room she said, 'Oh Jill, keep plugging along. Bumpy road but hopefully we’ll get you to the finish line.' I broke down when the door closed... The tears now are only because this is an emotional cycle. I don’t feel one bit sad, or upset, or angry. I have found so much comfort knowing that this is the Lord’s will regardless. There is a peace with me now. I don’t need a guarantee that this will work. I don’t need to know either way or even try to guess anymore. I just know that the Lord is happy with my efforts. I know he is very involved in my life and especially now...What a wonderful blessing this trial has been!"

March 5, 2011
"...After the ultrasound today Dr Heiner said, 'You’re kind of a mystery girl, Jill.' He wanted to talk to me in his office... While we were talking in his office, he stopped for a few minutes. I could tell he was really thinking. I said a quick prayer that the Lord would bless him to know what to do, and then thought in my head, ‘Go with your gut. Go with your gut!’ Dr Heiner looked up at me and said, 'You know, at some point in this process you really have to make decisions based on you feel and kind of go with your gut instead of relying on science.' I smiled and said, 'And I would rather you go with that than anything else'.” ...I give myself the trigger shot tonight at 11:30 pm. Egg retrieval is scheduled for Monday at 10:30.



March 7, 2011
"...When I woke up in recovery, Allen told me they only found one egg…one. While initially I suppose I was a little discouraged by that, I told Allen, 'Well it only takes one, doesn’t it?' Dr Heiner told us that my lining is now 8.7. EIGHT POINT SEVEN!!! I was so happy to hear that. My lining has been surprising him all along. He said that all we could do was hope that the one tiny egg would be mature enough to fertilize... Allen and I prayed together before I left recovery....I went home and slept for 3 hours. I was a little sore but other than that, I felt pretty good. I missed Katie’s call, but woke up to listen to a voicemail that the egg was in fact MATURE! They will find out tomorrow how the fertilization went. I’ve been praying constantly since then. I sure hope that little embryo makes it..."

March 8, 2011
11:09am
I got a call from Dr Heiner.
Our little embryo didn't make it through that night...
That little part of Allen and I that I already loved so much, prayed and hoped for...
was gone.

It was a hard day.

Please know that I'm not looking for any sympathy in response to this post. I have no regrets about our cycle. Not one. I feel like it was the Lord teaching us in such an intimate and amazing way, and through a truly special experience. We saw miracles during that cycle! I saw the hand of the Lord work in me. In MY body...something I never thought would happen to me. And although it wasn't our desired outcome, it gave me so much hope. Hope in knowing the Lord can do anything! Hope and confidence in my physical body; one I have often called "broken." And hope that I can make it through this trial, no matter how long it lasts, with a perspective and peace that can only come through love, trust, and through the atonement of Jesus Christ.

If you have any questions, concerns, or fears about IVF, please know that I'm here, as always.

(written 4/14/11)

Rain




photo courtesy of Zoriah Photojournalist

Trials in life (and dare I say, infertility especially) can feel like a neverending storm with swirling winds and harsh rains. It can be some of the darkest times of life, and has been so for me.

At one point I feel I almost lost my faith, the one thing I never thought I could loose. It was terrifying. I had never felt that kind of...despair. It was "raining" down on me so hard that I couldn't see and was beginning to feel lost. It was a desperate, lonely, dark, and scary place. I instantly recognized my need and wondered how I would feel any sort of peace again and if this, my personal "storm", was ever going to let up.

It took some additional heartache, some deep soul searching, some repentance (of course), as well as some wise words from a man I call 'dad' to start me on a new course and approach. This new course not only affects my approach to my struggle with fertility, but to life in general, and specifically, the rainy parts.

This experience has changed me. This storm has helped me be better. It no longer seems like a curse or punishment, but rather, a blessing. For the change in perspective, I'm so grateful. Where would I be now without this experience? Most likely in that dark place. *shutter* I no longer feel that pain anymore. I don't feel the anger and bitter feelings that seemed to consume too much of my life. I know that I'll still feel emotional, but I know that through the atonement of my Savior, the pain seems to be leaving me and has been replaced with hope, comfort, and love... It's.simply.amazing.

At this point I can honestly say that I feel blessed because of the rain, because of the storm. The Lord is with me! And this storm is making me who I am. I feel like I am literally being led through the dark and unknown by a loving Father who knows me and is willing to carry me through it all. I just have to trust Him in order to let Him. This strength is available to all of us and is only a prayer away. What a blessing.

"Don't you fret...
I don't feel any pain.
A little fall of rain
Can hardly hurt me now.
You're here!
That's all I need to know.

And you will keep me safe.
And you will keep me close.
And rain will make the flowers grow.

Just hold me now,
And let it be.
Shelter me, comfort me.

The rain that brings you here
Is Heaven blessed!
The skies begin to clear
And I'm at rest.
A breath away from where you are.
I've come home from so far.

(written 3/4/11)

Strong


"Strength isn't something you have. It's something God helps you find..."

(if you haven't watched the Emma Smith movie, please do. inspiring.)
Sometimes it's hard to be strong.
Sometimes it's hard for me to be brave.
In the end though, I've found that when things aren't going 'right,'
when labs aren't normal,
and my body isn't acting how it's 'supposed to,'
I can find comfort knowing that God is in this.
He knows more than I do.
It doesn't matter what medication I take, or treatments I go through.
I believe that no matter what financial, physical, or emotional place I'm in,
He knows best.
He knows when.
He knows why.
He has a way that may not be my own...
but it's right.

Finding comfort and strength in this today.


"It is not the design of heaven that we be rescued from all difficult situations. Rather, it is the Lord's will that we learn to handle them."

-Joseph Fielding McConkie
(written 3/1/11)

I'm Jill..


A couple of weeks ago my sister (who I totally adore) asked if I could come to a party she was hosting.   She wanted to have as many bodies there as she could because so many of her friends showed little interest. I understood.

I guess I didn't listen much to the description of the class. All I heard was 'books' and that my sister needed me. I was there.

So last night, the class began. A cute blonde stood up and introduced herself. Amanda. She was a consultant for Usborne books...childrens books. She shared a little about herself; stay at home mom to a 20 month old. She got into selling these books because she wanted to build her library for her little boy who is of course oh so cute and wonderful and perfect. She told cute story after cute story about little Daniel, and then said,

"Let's start by going around the room and introducing ourselves. Just say your name and how many kids you have."

I wanted to somehow sneak out. I wanted to become invisible or quickly become narcoleptic; anything to get me out of the suddenly extremely uncomfortable situation. I could feel myself getting emotional.

The introductions began at the end opposite me.

"Hi. I'm Mandy. I have a 6 year old, a 3 year old, and this little guy." (as she craddled a sleeping baby in her arms)

Ohs and Awws...

"Hi. I'm Natalie. I have a 5 year old, a 3 year old, and a 1 year old."
"I'm Janese. I have 3 grandchildren and 1 on the way."
"Hi. I'm Amanda. I'm having a boy in June."

Ohs...and How excitings!...

I was the last one.
"I'm Jill..."

The room went quiet. I felt so awkward and out of place. I fought back tears again. I shouldn't have come here.

Amanda asked,
"And you don't have any kids?"
"No..."
"Well thanks for coming anyway."

For the next hour or so I continued to fight tears. I bit my lip everytime I thought they might spill over. Usborne books sells the cutest reading materials for little ones. I wanted so badly to let myself look and buy, but it just seemed silly. It was silly for me to be there. It was silly for me to be included in that group of women at that time. It was stupid of me to agree to this.

And I did it to myself.

I left as soon as I could. I don't think the party was over, but it was for me. As soon as I opened the door to leave, those tears were finally let loose. I cried all the way home. I went home and ran what Marv calls a "Jilly hot" tub with some aroma touch essential oil from Doterra. I got in the steaming water, hugged my knees to my chest, and cried some more...

Marv came home and found me in the tub, still crying. He comforted me as always, and as only he can.  As always, his reaction was to protect me from this ever happening again. (impossible) He got defensive and angry that I would be put in the situation. I had to explain that I really had done it to myself. It was nobody's fault but my own. Whenever this happens he tries to make it better instantly when I know that there is nothing he can do. This is just part of it. And all I can do is feel it. And it's ok.

But man...that was rough.

(written 2/4/11)

The Hardest Part is the Hardest Part


Every woman who is fighting with fertility has a difficult time when other women announce their pregnancy. The 9 months following that announcement brings some pain with it as well. It just happens. We can't help it and neither can they. It's not that we are wishing ill will for that mom-to-be (or for heavens sake the precious babe). It isn't that we hate their good news either. It's just a reminder that the miracle still hasn't happened for us.

I think we can all agree that certain comments or attitudes towards pregnancy and motherhood in general can be blood boiling. Any comment that makes light of the miracle of pregnancy and child birth or ingraditude for the opportunity of becoming a mother sends me through the roof, and I don't mind telling people so (you can imagine). Overly whiney women or those who carry with them this sense of entitlement while pregnant are equally irriating.

I've noticed since talking to other "club members" that there are certain triggers to the woes of infertility. It seems the hard parts are different for each of us. It could simply be the complaints of others that are the hardest. Sometimes it's the baby showers, baby blessings, or holidays that are the most painful.

There is longing in this trial, whatever it is; longing for specific feelings and experiences in the process of becoming a mother. When others are experiencing and living our deepest dreams and specific desires, it's just hard. Some women long for the actual pregnancy more than any other part of it; to feel a growing child move inside of them and to feel that initial motherly bond (oh...). Some can't wait to enjoy the different stages of a child's growth. I've even heard one woman express her sincere desire for a teenage girl! (wow!)

For me, by far the hardest part is in fact the "hard part." I long for the actual delivery and hospital experience. It is so difficult for me to have a friend or family member in the hospital ready to deliver. The few days/weeks afterwards where the only focus is their new little family addition nearly kills me every time. I can't wait to experience that! I can't wait to feel the pain, the adrenaline, and the love we will have as labor and delivery happens. I want to be sore and exhausted from performing the special act of birthing a child. (call me crazy) I picture my husband holding our first (albeit slimey) child for the first time and every time, I ache...then I tear up.

Oh, it will be special indeed...
That is the hardest part for me.

What about you? Do share.

Note: Please! This is all difficult, but I do believe the "hardest part" is specific to each of us.

(written 1/25/11)

Poor Me Wave (and jabs at my uterus)


Sometimes I wake up in the morning and instantly know that it's going to be what I call a "bad baby day." I just know that inevitably at some point during the day I'm going to want to scream, which will lead me to tears, and of course be the reason I find myself eating a lot of chocolate in the comfort of my couch waiting for Marv to come home and make the world look good once more. But I'm not going to post about that again, am I? (well, not today) No. But I do have some to say about myself falling victim to the wave of 'poor me.'

Sometimes blogs make me sad. Sometimes looking at facebook makes a good day not so much. Am I alone in this?... I often find myself getting discouraged because of the most trivial things. It's almost always something silly, but sometimes those silly things start to feel more like small jabs at my heart (and uterus).

When I look at others play-by-play of life, I sometimes feel this wave of sad come over me. Then negative thoughts and questions come to my mind. What good does that do?! Really. Here are a few of todays negative musings:

"When will it be my turn?..."
"Why does everyone have that dang pregnancy countdown on their sidebar?!"

(no offense)
"I want to take pictures of my growing belly...
(usually in a whiney voice)"

Silly? Yes. But it happens.

I've decided I'm going to block those little jabs from now on. (my uterus has had enough lately anyway - blame Dr Heiner). I have enough "bad baby days" as it is. Why do anything, no matter how small, that will invite negative thinking? I'm just going to stop. I'm trying to stay as positive as I can through all of this (while still allowing myself to feel), so when I sense that a wave of poor me is starting to build, and can see that something silly has created that wave...

I'm out.

(written 1/10/11)

What's fair?


I was talking with a good friend of mine the other day. Like me, she is struggling with infertility. It's good to release emotion and even better to do so with someone who truly understands; which is why one thing she said shocked me. I've heard this same feeling expressed since, from other women:

"I feel bad complaining to you. I haven't been going through it as long as you have, so it's really not fair for me to complain..."


What?! I just want to make one thing quite clear. In my mind, no matter how long you've been wanting/trying for pregnancy, no matter what treatments you've tried or health situation you're dealing with, none of this is fair! We are all dealing with the same emotions and riding the same rollar coaster every month. None of it is fun or fair to handle. There are hundreds...thousands of women who have been trying for a lot longer than I have, but I don't feel sorry complaining openly to the universe about how difficult it is. Because it is!

Please please please try not to compare to others! If anything, that is what's unfair. Comparing your situation to another woman/couple is just one more negative emotion for you to deal with, one more feeling of insecurity and inadequacy. Don't do it to yourself!

I think we all can (and need to) recognize this trial for what it is...HARD. Don't feel sorry for feeling the emotions you do during this process, and DO NOT add to it! Feeling is healing. Let yourself feel and don't give excuses or (for goodness sake) make it worse.

I hope I don't hear this again, because my heart aches for every woman that has expressed this to me. It's not fair for you to treat yourself that way. If anything I'm grateful to talk to anyone who can empathize with me at all...no need to compare.

Some days are hard, some more than others. I'm not afraid to say it, and neither should you!

If you need someone to talk to...here I am.

Really.

(written 10/1/10)

"Sometimes He Just Says No"



I love this little girl.
This is Addie, my sister's only daughter.
She is 5.
She's beautiful and spunky.
She's smart and polite.
She makes me happier than most.
I've known all of this...
What I didn't know?
She is wise.

A few months ago I was chatting with her over the phone. She can talk like nobody's business. She was "tending" her new brother Nate while her mommy was making dinner.

Addie: "The next baby will be a sister."
Me: "Oh yeah? That'll be fun."
Addie: "Yep! Jilly, how come you and 'Alno' don't have a baby?"
Me: "Well it's hard for me to have a baby Addie. Maybe you could pray for me and ask Heavenly Father to bless me with a baby like baby Nate. Could you do that for me?
Addie: (heavy and dramatic sigh) "Well I have Jilly! I keep askeen and askeen! Sometimes Heavenly Father just says, 'no...'"


About this time I hear my sister frantic in the background telling Addie, "Don't say that!" I couldn't help but laugh and love that little girl even more. Before the conversation was over, Addie consented to continue her prayers for me...whether it was forced by her mother or not.

I know what she said to me that day is true; sometimes Heavenly Father does say no. It was simple to her. So why is it so hard for me sometimes?

(written 8/9/10)

Ok


My mother-in-law is in the ICU. She has been there for over a week fighting infections and multi-system organ failure. She is putting up an impressive fight. Medically, I just don't understand how she is still around, at her age, totally beating the odds. Allen's mother has lived for her children. She had 10 of them of her own and lost just as many from miscarriage. She would do anything for any one of them, including her in-laws. She is a mother who has faught for her children since day one. And she is still fighting...

Needless to say, we've been spending a LOT of time in the ICU. The other night I started talking to one of her nurses. Somehow infertility came up. I honestly don't know how the topic always seems to enter conversations around me. Trust me, I am NOT the one to bring it up.

This sweet nurse told us how she tried for TWELVE years to have a baby. It finally happened for her. She expressed how miracluous the process was, what a special child she was able to raise, how worth it everything seemed. After she expressed her feelings, Allen told how we have been desparately trying and hoping for our own children. She turned to me and said, "Don't give up hope. It can happen for you too."

I told her how I knew that she must have felt some deep and terrible emotions going through that for so long. She paused and then looked me square in the eyes and quietly said, "...you have too." She was most sincere and suddenly I was filled with hope and love.

This experience was a tender mercy for me which came out of nowhere and happened in an ICU patient room. As one mother faught for her life to be able to have more time with her children, another expressed her love for her own miracle, as I longed for my own. I felt the love of women that night. It was special. I'm glad I have that love inside of me. The love of a woman is real and deep. It's somehow satisfying knowing that I have that ability in me. Children here or not, I love the same deep way and somehow, that makes it seem ok for now.

I am going to be Ok.

(written 6/21/10)