Monday, July 29, 2013

Did You Think To Pray?

A couple days after my laproscopic surgery, Sara took me with her to walk around Deseret Book. I always love going and seeing what new books have come out. The featured book for that week was this book:

I saw this book, looked at it, and an employee walked by and told me that it was a great book. I decided to get it. A few minutes later I talked myself out of getting it and decided to save the money. However, I ended up going back, looking at it again, and another employee told me that it had completely changed her life. I picked it up again and bought it.

The book is divided into 365 sections, one for each day of the year. Its meant to be read slowly over the course of a year. There are quotes from many different influential people in the church on the topic of prayer. I am not even half way through the book yet and it has completely changed my way of thinking about prayer and changed my life when it comes to prayer. Its fun to read a quote then think about it all day and really study the meaning of it and apply it.

Prayer has become a huge tool for me over the course of our infertility journey. All growing up I constantly heard about prayer and would say my prayers but they didn't always have a lot of meaning or thought put into them. Prayer has become a center point of my life. I constantly am praying to Heavenly Father for the peace and strength that I need to get through each day. Through prayer and a few other things I have strengthened my relationship with my Heavenly Father so much. I am so grateful for the stronger relationship that I now have with my Heavenly Father. Its one reason why I can be grateful for this trial.

Prayer has brought me so much peace that everything will be okay through the past two years. There are many times that I have suddenly become really discourage, anxious, frustrated, or depressed but I always know I can turn to Heavenly Father through prayer and he will give me the peace that I am searching for. For example, today I got a call at work and I couldn't answer it. A little while later I listened to the message that was left and it was the doctor office saying that our appointment for Thursday would need to be switched. They had an emergency surgery situation come up that needs to take place on Thursday during our appointment time. The said they would have to get us in another time. I called the office but it just went to voicemail. I started to worry and panic. I was almost in tears. We had to schedule over a month ahead for this appointment to get a time that would work for both mine and Taylor's schedules. All I could think about is how I wouldn't be able to wait another month for this appointment. I kept saying a prayers in my head through the next while at work that everything would work out for the best and I would have the peace and strength to get through whatever timeframe we would have to wait.

A while later the office called back again and I was able to answer. Once again they explained that they were sorry for the inconvenience but they needed to take care of this surgery situation for another patient. I was understanding about it. If I were that patient I would hope others would be understanding and I tried to look at it from that perspective. I remember hoping that whoever the patient was that the surgery would go well and that couple would get their dreams of a child. As the conversation continued I explained that both Taylor and I have hard schedules to work around right now. They felt bad about having to change it and they said they wanted to help us out too. They said they would work us in at 4:15 on Thursday instead of 3:00. We were so grateful that they ended up working us in that day so that we would not have to wait a long time for the appointment. Our appointment is supposed to take over an hour so we are grateful for the staff that will be staying after closing time for us. I am grateful for the peace that I had today and grateful that everything worked out for everyone with the scheduling. Its all in Heavenly Father's hands and I am so happy I have had this opportunity to develop my relationship with my Heavenly Father even more!

*To learn more about what we believe click HERE.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

One Week Mark

Well we have made it to the one week mark! In one week we have our appointment with Dr. Foulk at the Utah Fertility Center. The break from all the appointments and tests has been really nice but we are ready to get back on it and keep going and try to get some more answers. Waiting for the appointment has been quite a roller coaster ride. We are really excited to move forward with everything but also really nervous. We want to find out what is going on but at the same time we are really nervous for it. We have our huge stack of paperwork filled out and all ready to go. Now all we need is for the appointment to come. We have already had such a great experience with the Utah Fertility Center and we feel that we couldn't be in better hands at this point.

Fundraising, Donations, Trials, and More

Recently I came across a Facebook post about a news segment that was going to be airing. The segment was about people turning to the web to ask for help paying for adoption and fertility treatment costs. The post then asked followers if they would consider doing that or if they would donate. I was curious about it so I started reading the comments that were left which totaled over 170 comments. I was quite surprised with my findings there.

As for the question about donating to someone to help pay for fertility treatment or adoption, yes I would donate and I have donated before. (I only donate though if I know the people or know it's not a scam.) Going through similar situations and seeing how hard and heartbreaking it is to deal with, I would never want anyone to have to go through the same thing. It is hard enough going through all of the emotional and physical pain but it is even harder when financial strain comes on top of it all.

Most people can get pregnant without paying anything to make it happen. However, imagine that you tried for over a year and it never happened. You go to the doctor and have multiple tests done and possibly even surgery, but you still don't get pregnant. You are then told you will need to pay at least $15k-$20k for one cycle of treatment. Even then a lot of times it does not work the first time. So upon dealing with the heartache of this news you now also have a huge financial burden placed upon you to get one thing that you long for more than anything else. This same thing you want to happen, most people can make happen without paying anything.

One of the first comments I read was if people can't afford treatment on their own then they shouldn't be having a child because they can't pay for the child once it comes anyway. In my experience and opinion this many times a is false accusation. For parents who conceive naturally they have the prenatal costs then the costs of raising the child after its born. For parents who need treatments they have those same costs but also need to pay the thousands upon thousands of dollars in treatments. Many couples who try to do fundraisers and get donations are actually being extremely financially responsible. They are trying to get the money raised up front so they don't have loans from treatments to pay for after their child is born. Many couples frugally save every penny they have in hopes of getting a child even though it may take years to save that much money to pay for treatments. Donations would help them get to where they want to be faster. Not considering the treatments, most couples can still afford to raise the child, its just getting the child here (the treatments) that they can't afford because it's so much, especially if they need more than one cycle.

Infertility is a disease. Nobody wishes to have infertility. Just like cancer or heart disease you may become one of the unlucky ones to have it. You don't get to pick what diseases you have and it's no exception when it comes to infertility. Just like many cancer patients wonder why their body is letting them down and not functioning the way bodies should normally function, infertility patients wonder too. Many infertility patients have done nothing wrong but have still got the disease, just like many cancer patients have done nothing wrong to bring on cancer. It can strike anybody at anytime.

Many people that commented said that they would never donate because it's like donating for a facelift, a car, or a house. I personally don't agree with these comparisons. Would you donate to someone with a disease that is preventing their body from working properly? Would you help donate to a cancer patient, heart disease patient, etc?

I noticed that a lot of the comments that were made came down to experience, education, and awareness. The people who were going through infertility or have been through treatments in the past were very supportive of donating, while those who hadn't been through it and didn't know much about it were against donating. Of course, the way you come to know most about infertility is going through it first hand. You quickly become very educated on the topic. If you haven't been through it and don't know anyone who has then you usually aren't as aware of the disease. There are now some great organizations out there that are raising awareness of the disease and are helping to educate people. What used to be a topic that was never talked about, is slowly becoming more open and more people are becoming aware. People who are going through it have more support than ever before. Chances are, even if you think you don't know someone going through infertility, you actually do but they just don't talk about it openly.

There were a few people that had good reasons why they would not donate, such as if they didn't know the person, so they didn't know if it was a scam or not. Of course I would agree with this. Nobody wants to be a victim of a scam. The other reason I agreed with, is if the couple asking for donations is out buying the latest and greatest cars, technology, toys, etc. In order to donate I would definitely make sure the couple was using the funds well and also doing everything they could on their part to save as well.

Unfortunately in our society it has become one of entitlement. Many feel they are entitled to things without working for it and putting effort into it. This is not the case with everyone but it happens. Couples asking for donations should still be aware that they are not entitled to donations. It's a blessing that someone is offering to them.

Everyone has their own personal choice as to donate or not. It's a choice that each person can choose on their own and everyone has their own and differing opinions. It was good to see all the different opinions on the post but at the same time it was saddening to see the people that disagreed being quite rude about their disagreement. Even if one disagrees and does not want to donate, it can be said in a respectful manner, keeping in mind infertility is a hard disease to cope with on a daily basis. Rude comments can make the situation even harder on couples facing infertility.

The post and question that was asked was about asking for donations. I do support donations but I am even more supportive of fundraiser style donations. I am willing to give even more when a couple is working hard to sell something for a fundraiser. It's not because I get something in return, but rather because they are very clearly working hard to get the funding for treatments or adoption fees. I am willing to give more in those situations. Nobody wants to give money when they don't know it's going to be used wisely.

All in all I think it's a great idea and opportunity for people to donate when they can. I can't think of anything more joyful than knowing you helped a couple become parents after such a struggle. People who don't know much about infertility should become educated before they make their decision of whether or not to donate.

In the end it comes down to people helping people. Everyone has their own trials and struggles that they have to deal with. You can help people with their trials they are going through, then when you have something you need help with they could be there for you. This not only applies to the world of infertility but all trials that people around you could be going through. Nothing could bring greater joy than people helping people, becoming more Christlike, and helping others through a very hard journey. You never know when that hard journey will become your own.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Pound the Pavement for Parenthood 5K

A few months ago Taylor and I heard about an event that was being put on by Pound the Pavement for Parenthood. It was an education event about infertility and other related topics. There were some doctors that came and spoke at the event and we got to hear from a couple that went through IVF. It was a really great event to attend. It gave us a lot of information and some hope for our situation. We learned more about the organization and it is amazing what the organization does. They put on 5ks to help couples with IVF and adoption costs. They also are there to give hope and support to couples going through infertility.

The next 5k they have is in Orem next Saturday August 3rd. Taylor and I have been running for the past little while to get ready for it and we are going to be participating in our first 5k! They announced they will also have a raffle for a free IVF cycle or 50% off cycles. We aren't counting on winning anything. We are just so excited to help other couples going through infertility and get to know others who are struggling with the same thing. Neither of us have ever done a 5k or even been interested in running but we have really enjoyed it as we have been going out preparing for this 5k.

My best friend is also going with us on the 5k and has been running with us. Its great to have the support. A lot of family won't be able to attend with us and put in for the raffle because there is a wedding in the extended family that day as well.

We are really excited for the race and can't wait for it to come next week!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Laproscopic Surgery

I have been reading a lot about people having laproscopic surgeries lately so I thought I would share my experience with mine. I had never had surgery before and I really didn't know what to expect with the whole thing.

When I went to my doctor appointment the end of April it was decided that surgery would be the best option at that point for me. I was really nervous about it but I was also excited because it was taking another step forward to try to figure out why we still have not been able to get pregnant. Surgery was scheduled for May 16th. I had a pre-op appointment to go over everything and sign papers and get all my instructions.

Starting 3 days before surgery I was put on a low fiber diet. I couldn't eat any fresh fruits or vegetables. The day before surgery I could only have clear liquids. I was so hungry all day, and on top of it I had to drink magnesium citrate to do a cleansing. I was literally up all night in the bathroom.

The day of surgery I went and checked in at the hospital. Everything went really fast. I didn't have much waiting around. They placed the IV, then talked to the anesthesiologist and the doctor then I was wheeled to the OR. I don't remember much after that.

When I woke up they gave me water bits at a time so I hopefully wouldn't get very sick. I felt fine and the pain wasn't bad until I got up to go home. As soon as I stood up to get dressed and was sitting in the wheelchair I started to have really bad shoulder pain. That was because when they do the surgery they fill your abdomen up with gas and they can't get it all out so it all rises to your shoulders. It was really bad pain and it made the drive home horrible. When I was able to lay down and keep moving side to side it would go away a little bit. The shoulder pain lasted about three days.

My surgery results came back that everything was perfect as far as the doctor could see. It was frustrating because we were almost hoping something would be found wrong so we could fix it. However, we still don't have a reason why we haven't been able to get pregnant. Its good to have a clean bill of health but we still really want answers. Even though the surgery didn't give us a reason to our problems, I am still happy I did the surgery because it eliminated a lot of things that we now know are not our issue.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Appointment Scheduled

We have our appointment scheduled with Utah Fertility Center. We have heard so many good things about them and our OBGYN referred us to them. Our OBGYN said that is our next step since he hasn't been able to figure out why we aren't pregnant yet. Our appointment will be August 1st in the afternoon. So far I am very happy with the office. Everyone I have talked to there has been so nice. The person we made our appointment with talked with me for about a half hour going over things and what to expect. They then sent me a huge packet of paperwork to fill out. Its comforting to see how thorough they are. Our appointment with be with Dr. Foulk.

I am getting pretty anxious for this appointment to get here but at the same time I am nervous about it. Hopefully we will move more towards getting some answers though. Sometimes I think unexplained infertility is harder than if we just knew what was wrong. So many times I just want to get answers to why this is happening. But at the same time I don't know if I am ready to know what is going on. It will all work out the way its supposed to though. Hopefully these next three weeks go by fast.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Dealing With Infertility When Other Trials Come

Infertility in and of itself is extremely difficult to deal with. There are so many emotions and factors that play into it. Even when you are at your lowest of lows with infertility, life goes on and other trials and setbacks come along. Life does not pause until you are done dealing with infertility. I wish it was that way but we have certainly learned it doesn’t. Other trials and setbacks will come along making infertility even seem more like an impossible journey to endure. We learned this lesson well when Taylor was diagnosed with his acoustic neuroma brain tumor.

Ever since we were dating and after we got married Taylor has always had minor hearing loss. We never thought much of it. Sometimes during the summer of 2012, Taylor would be doing something then stand up and get really dizzy to the point he would fall over again. We would always just say he stood up too fast or was working too hard. However, in June 2012 I came home from work one day and the neighbors came running over and said Taylor had passed out and they were really worried about him. I went in the house and Taylor was lying on the kitchen floor. He wasn’t responding to me much. I got him some water and he started talking to me a bit more. I told him we needed to get him to the hospital and he kept fighting me and saying that we were not going. He said he would be fine and it would be a waste to go to the hospital. We were still paying on medical bills from the ectopic pregnancy and he didn’t want any more bills to pay. Both of our moms came over and tried to get him to go but he still wouldn’t. He was quite stubborn about it. He never did go, but we agreed he would at least go to the doctor and see what they said.

I made an appointment to go in to his regular doctor and they said passing out could have been something to do with his heart. They ordered up all sorts of tests that he had to do, he had monitors he needed to use over nights, and he had to keep record of when he was doing certain activities. All of the tests came back normal.

In July we found out Taylor’s family had met their out of pocket max on their insurance so everything was paid for, for the rest of the year. We made an appointment with an Ear Nose Throat (ENT) doctor to check on Taylor’s hearing. They did a checkup and couldn’t find anything wrong with his ears. This surprised us because we thought they just needed to be cleaned out or something. They did a hearing test on him and the doctors were at a loss to why he was having hearing problems. The tech that was doing the test kept asking me during it if anything had happened or if he had been around any loud noises. They said usually people with that much hearing loss were around loud noises a lot or had something traumatic happen. Taylor hadn’t had anything we could think of. However, the hearing test confirmed that hearing in his left ear was a lot lower than hearing in his right ear.

We left the appointment that day with another appointment for an MRI. They wanted to have the MRI done in case there was something else that they couldn’t see. We went on a Friday to get the MRI done but didn’t get the results until Saturday. We went to the hospital and had tests printed off and it said there was a vestibular schwannoma  (or commonly known as acoustic neuroma) behind his left ear. We didn’t know what this was so we looked it up online since nobody at the hospital was allowed to tell us. We found out online that it was a form of a brain tumor. We would have to wait until Monday though to talk to the doctor about it.

When we were able to talk to the doctor about the results we still didn’t get much information. All they said was we needed to go to a specialist up at the University of Utah. He was the only doctor in Utah that handled this sort of case. The doctor was not normally covered on Taylor’s insurance so we had to go through a long approval process to get them to cover the appointment. We were finally able to go meet with the specialist in September, where we were told that the tumor would need to be removed and that Taylor would lose his hearing in his left ear. There were no other options since Taylor was so young. Usually people with these tumors are at least in their 40s.

We also met with a neurosurgeon who would help the ENT specialist with the surgery. They also do these surgeries together. Surgery was scheduled for December 10, 2012. Taylor started getting ahead in his schoolwork so he could take his finals early and finish the semester without having to worry about it later on. We started preparing ourselves for what was coming. We were told he would not only be losing hearing in his left ear, but he would need to relearn how to walk and balance. He was going to have a long road to recovery. There was also a chance of him losing facial function on the left side.

Surgery came and it was definitely a hard time to get through. Taylor was in ICU for a day then he was moved to a regular neurosurgery floor. He was constantly sick and dizzy and couldn’t even stand. He had to teach himself to stand and walk again. He had physical therapy and had to do a lot of walking. He was in the hospital about a week before we could take him home. Even when he got home things were hard. I needed to work to get the bills paid but Taylor also needed constant care. He couldn’t be left alone. I would take him to his parent’s house in the mornings then pick him up after work. I wouldn’t have been able to make it without all the help of family and friends. To read more about the surgery and to see pictures, click HERE to visit our family blog.

Through this difficult time for us infertility was still there. We still wanted a baby and still had a hard time with all of the friends and family around us who were expecting. We never stopped wanting a baby. The tumor was a huge setback for us and it was hard to deal with both issues at the same time. Here are a few topics with things that we learned and experienced. (These are only opinions from our experiences. They may be different for other couples.)

Finances: With this particular trial and setback that we had, finances were a huge concern. We were already paying for appointments and tests for infertility issues and had just finished paying off bills from the ectopic pregnancy when Taylor was diagnosed with his tumor. At first we didn’t even know if insurance was even going to help with any part of Taylor’s tumor since the doctors weren’t covered. We had to hold back on some appointments for infertility so that we could save for the surgery. Even though we had to hold back from some appointments we were still doing everything that we could that wasn’t financially straining. We had to prioritize with our finances as well as a few other things.

Prioritize: Going through both trials at once we really had to take a look at the situation and prioritize what to take care of first. Of course surgery became the big focus even though in the back of our minds we still wanted to get our children here. We needed to work through surgery first and then we could put our full attention back on our family situation after. It wasn’t easy turning our attention to something else and trying to forget about other situations but the tumor and Taylor’s surgery became first and foremost.

Faith and Religion: Going through multiple trials at once was devastating. It really put us at a really low point. Both of us didn’t know if we could make it through. We started by wondering if we would ever get our baby and then added to that wondering if Taylor would even make it through surgery. Its hard to even describe all the thoughts and emotions that you have going through two things like that at the same time. However, our faith and religion gave us so much hope and pulled us through everything. We know that Heavenly Father has a plan for us and He knows what is best. Knowing that gave us comfort that everything would turn our all right. He helped Taylor make it through the surgery and get back on his feet. He gave me the strength to know how to take care of Taylor and help him. Now that we are back to focusing on our infertility journey, we know he still has a plan for us. We don’t know what that plan is yet in full but He knows what is best better than we do, even though at times its really hard to be patient and find out what it is, especially when we just want our baby now. Click HERE to learn more about what we believe.

Lean on each other: During hard times it’s easy to pull away from each other a little bit. However, it’s should be a great time to make our relationship stronger. It made ours so much stronger. We learned to lean on each other when we were having rough times. Taylor would lean on me and tell me all his fears with surgery and what he was scared about. I learned to be there to be able to comfort him in the ways that he needed me to be. I was able to learn to lean on him and talk to him when I was just so frustrated that I wasn’t pregnant yet. Rather than letting the hard times get between you, let them pull you together. It makes so much difference. We know that we can get through anything together because we can completely lean on each other when things get rough.

One day at a time: A great friend told me to take things one day at a time when she heard everything we were going through. It has really been a great reminder. When you have such hard things happening its makes it so much worse to try and deal with everything at once. Instead, take baby steps and take one day at a time. Deal with the things you have to for that day for the trials that you are facing all at once. You will eventually see you have made it farther than you every thought you could when you looked at everything as a whole. So many people asked how I could deal with it all at once. I told them it was by taking things one day at a time. It really worked. When Taylor came out of surgery I didn’t even know if he was going to make it through the night. He looked horrible, was in so much pain, and was constantly throwing up. I didn’t think I would make it through. But as I sat there alone in his room all night the thought came back to me to take it one day at a time. I took the first step by telling myself just to make it through the first night. The next day I just needed to make it through that day and so on. It really helped a lot when dealing with two big trials at once.

We definitely haven’t learned everything about having to deal with so many hard things at once but we have learned some stuff. We will keep learning more as we continue on this journey. Hopefully these suggestions will at least help a little bit with others who are going through multiple trials at the same time. I have a picture of Christ hanging in the bedroom, which was supposed to be the nursery for our baby that says, “I never said it would be easy. I only said it would be worth it”. We know we just need to keep going because it will all be worth it in the end.

Sunday, July 7, 2013


Have you ever had one of those songs that you just love and helps you through things day to day? I have one of those. Its Stronger by Kelly Clarkson. Ever since the song was first released I have loved it. It soon became my ringtone and I would blast it in the car whenever it would come on the radio. It fit my situation perfectly with everything we have been through. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. It was a great reminder to me that there is a plan and we are getting stronger after everything we have been going through. 

We had the chance to go to the Stadium of Fire on the 4th of July. Kelly Clarkson was the main performer. I was so excited to go. During the performance I was getting worried she wouldn't perform the song but she ended up doing it last. She is such a great performer! I have been to another one of her concerts back when I was going to the University of Utah. She came to Salt Lake in concert with Reba McEntire. Stadium of Fire was another great performance. 

Stronger is my go to song when I have those different floods of emotions. On those days that I either just want to cry because I still don't have my baby and I don't think I can do anything more and its too hard, or on those days that I am angry and frustrated that I have to go through this, I turn to this song. Sometimes just blasting it helps. It helps on those days when everyone is announcing they are expecting and it seems like everyone is getting what you want so bad, so easily. I know all these hard times will make it much sweeter when our baby finally comes, but for now, through the hard times, I am grateful to have little things like this song to keep me going along this journey.

Public vs. Private

After we received our infertility diagnosis a common topic of conversation became how public or private we should be with our situation. The decision is not an easy one and when we made our decision we had to weigh out a lot of pros and cons. There are a lot of pros and cons with both choices and it isn’t even clear black and white which decision to go with. It could be somewhere in between the two extremes. A couple could even choose to be more private in certain situations but more public in other situations.

The following were some of the factors in our choice to keep it public or private.

  • ·      Not having as much support from family and friends
  • ·      Dealing with issues at your own pace without pressure from others
  • ·      Avoid unwanted opinions

  • ·      Have support from family and friends and others who are going through the same thing
  • ·      Feel like you don’t have a secret you are trying to keep from everyone
  • ·      Helping others who may be looking for information

These few factors are not even close to all the factors that go into the decision. We decided to go the public route with our situation. We have had support from family and friends because we chose to be open. We feel like we can talk about it, instead of trying to hide it. There have also been some people who are going through similar things who have opened up about their situation to me after they have found out what we are going through. Friendships have been formed with people who were just acquaintances before, and with people I have met through support groups and blogs. These are friendships that never would have been formed had we kept everything private.

However, there have been some cons from it, just as there would be cons if we had stayed private with our situation. We have some people who are not very supportive and don’t understand why we have went public with everything. We have had comments made that have been hard to hear. There have also been unwanted opinions about what we can do to help our situation. Many people don’t understand what we are going through but they still try to offer what they do know. Many are things that we know are false because we have been more educated about the disease. Even though both some good and bad have come from being open I still know it was the right thing to do for us. I have to remind myself of that when those cons come along. There are both pros and cons with each of the decisions on this topic, its just a matter of which cons you want to deal with and which pros will give you the most benefit for your situation. Each couple has to make the decision that is right for them. There is no right or wrong decision. 

Even though both some good and bad have come from being open I still know it was the right thing to do for us. I have to remind myself of that when those cons come along. There are both pros and cons with each of the decisions on this topic, it's just a matter of which cons you want to deal with and which pros will give you the most benefit for your situation. Each couple has to make the decision that is right for them. There is no right or wrong decision.