Friday, February 28, 2014


Today was such a great day for those facing infertility in Utah. I have been looking forward to HB 347 going to the House of Representatives floor all week. I have been researching and following the bill. Today was torturous. Everyone had originally thought that the bill would be voted on yesterday but then it got pushed back to this morning, then today it got pushed back to the afternoon session. As I was watching all the bills go through, I thought it may even be pushed back more but thankfully it wasn't. It would have been hard to wait all weekend for the results. I kept getting more and more anxious as the bill got closer and closer to the top of the list. As soon as I saw the bill was being voted on, I pulled up the bill online. It tells you the results as soon as they happen. I was so excited and got very emotional when I saw it pop up that the bill had passed with an unanimous vote of 67-0. This is such a huge step forward in regards to infertility in Utah. Right now insurance doesn't cover anything for infertility treatment so this will be such a huge help and blessing to those facing this trial in their lives. The bill goes on to the Senate now and will be voted on next week.

For those who have asked me what HB 347 is, it's a two part bill for insurance coverage for infertility treatments. The first part of the bill amends the adoption indemnity benefit. A lot of people don't know this but in Utah the adoption indemnity makes insurance companies pay up to $4,000 in adoption fees for couples who meet certain requirements, as if it was a maternity benefit. HB 347 would amend this indemnity so that the $4,000 could be used for infertility treatments instead of adoption if the couple chose to. The second part of the bill would allow for an insurance rider or opt in coverage for fertility treatments. Couples would have their regular medical insurance but would have an option for additional coverage for fertility treatments. Those that don't want the fertility coverage won't need to opt in on it.

We are so excited about this bill and what it means to so many in Utah, including ourselves. We are so excited to see if this passes and we are hoping and praying that it does. We were so excited for the hope that it has brought to so many people. We are happy to see the infertility awareness growing and to see infertility being recognized for the disease that it is.

We were so excited today about this amazing result that we had a little celebration. We went to one of our favorite places, Kneaders, for dinner to celebrate. We are hoping and praying this will pass in the Senate!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Very Beginning and Basics

Taylor and I didn't really talk about our situation much with anyone until we were well into our infertility journey. When we started being more open about the whole situation, we were almost two years into it, and we are now almost at the 3 year mark. I have received questions about when we really knew something was wrong and about how things were in the beginning. It's no secret that our story really began the day we were married. That is when everything began. That is when we started trying for a baby.

After trying for about 5 months, in October 2011 is when we first went to a doctor. I never thought I would have to seek out a doctor's help to have a baby. However after 5 months I knew something was wrong. I just had a feeling something was not right. I went to an OBGYN and he pretty much said it was no worry until I had went a year without a pregnancy. (Infertility is defined as not being able to get pregnant after 1 year of trying to get pregnant.) This frustrated me. Yes, medically that is the standard, but my feelings told me otherwise. I just went with what he said, did a blood draw, which all came back normal, and just went on with life hoping that the next 7 months would go fast, since I had a feeling things were not going to work out.

After 3 more months we were pregnant with the twins and I wrote about that whole experience in the previous post if you did not see that. After things were settled from that pregnancy I asked the doctor if we could now do testing and move forward with finding out what was wrong. He said I had to wait another year. Major frustration! However, I just followed what he said, and a year later is when we did more testing and did my surgery to see if he could figure out if there was anything wrong.
The standard in the medical world is waiting 1 year before looking into things further. However, looking back on my experience I wish I would have been a little more pushy with getting tests done earlier rather than waiting almost 2 years. During that time we followed the doctor's instructions and did as he suggested, which did help later on though.

My first appointment with my OBGYN, I didn't know what to expect. I remember being pretty nervous for that appointment. It was my first experience with an infertility related appointment. The doctor and I pretty much just sat and talked about the most private aspects of our life. His questions were quite detailed but they have to be to figure out what is going on. It was just strange to talk about those things with someone. (One thing he had asked me to do was use an ovulation predictor kit. The kit NEVER worked for me. However, when I told the doctor about it not working he said I was still probably ovulating anyway and the test was just wrong. This confused me, but brushed it aside since he was the doctor. Why would they even have the kit if there was a good chance it didn't work? I will come back to this later.)

During this whole waiting period we knew something was wrong, we just didn't know what. We thought I may not be ovulating from symptoms I was having, but like I said above the doctor kind of just swept it to the side. Taylor and I did a lot of research. We started wanting a second opinion. We went through the surgery with the original doctor and he was so great through it all. However after surgery we decided to seek help from a different doctor. We had done a lot of research, attended some seminars, and knew where we wanted to go, and this doctor was a specialist.

We had all of my records transferred from our OBGYN to our specialist. Dr. Foulk was so great to work with from the very start. It's really important to pick a good doctor that you are comfortable with. Within minutes of meeting this person you will be divulging everything you could think of about your personal life to this person.

At our first consultation with Dr. Foulk he had reviewed our records before we went for our appointment. They had us in his office to talk with him and he came in and flat out told us that he knew what was wrong just from looking at my records. He went through all the standard questions and details though. He told us that our OBGYN had done well at doing all the right tests and the right procedures but he agreed it was time to see a specialist. Many people in Utah seek help from an OBGYN first. They are more available and people are usually more comfortable with that. OBs are usually able to get through the basics. However, Dr. Foulk explained to us that it is like a mechanic and a car salesman. The car salesman can get around the basics and knows the basics, however the specialist is like the mechanic, they can figure out the details of how to get pregnant and what is going wrong. Once someone is pregnant, the OBGYN is better at taking it from there. The specialist gets the baby in there and the OB monitors it through the pregnancy and gets it out. Dr. Foulk then talked about what he had found and asked if I had ever used predictor kits. When I told him I had but they never worked I also told him what our other doctor had said about them.  Dr. Foulk laughed and said that was where the other doctor got off track. They wouldn't be still selling the kits and doctors wouldn't be having patients use them if they didn't do what they were supposed to. I definitely was not ovulating. Also at that appointment they did blood work in order to do prescriptions and did an ultrasound as well to look for abnormalities. They were definitely very thorough in all they did. Not only that, but everyone at the office treated us as if we were their only patient and answered all our questions that we had about upcoming procedures and treatments.

It's is not always easy to take that first step and seek help with starting your family or adding to your family. Medical professionals say to wait one year before getting help for most cases. However I would say to just follow your instincts. You know your body better than anyone else. I have learned to follow my feelings throughout our entire infertility journey and that has never let me down.

Early on we had both decided we wanted to be as educated as possible going into this whole journey whether it lasted only months up to years. We started reading stories of others which helped a lot. We also attended some local infertility seminars. We have met some amazing people through these two things. It gave us hope, showed us we weren't alone, and provided us with different options and scenarios. We were able to learn about treatments that were offered and see a basic road map of where this all could go.

When we were deciding which doctor to go through in the very beginning we decided to go through the OBGYN. If it was a basic problem that could be solved easily we decided it would be sufficient, then we could move on to a specialist if it got to that point.

We did a lot of research and got a lot of recommendations from others. We looked up reviews online and then selected which doctor we would go to. It was a much easier decision for us to pick which specialist we would see. We had been to seminars where all the fertility centers in the area were represented. We connected with Utah Fertility Center much more than the other ones. All of the offices around are great but it came down to personal preference. If you choose a doctor but then feel there could be a better option you can always switch and get a second opinion.

The second most important thing I would suggest next to following your feelings and instincts would be to find a doctor you are really comfortable with. You will be answering a lot of personal questions and be spending a lot of time at the office you choose. It's important that you feel comfortable. Yes, all the questions and procedures are awkward, especially at first, but it would be worse with a doctor you aren't comfortable with.

I know that all of this can be very overwhelming and hard. It was hard for us to make the first steps forward but it has all been worth it, just to get closer to having our baby in our arms. All the pain and heartache will someday be replaced with so much joy and happiness.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

All About The Ectopic

Two years ago this month we lost our twins. We can't believe its been two years! It all seems like it was yesterday. You never forget something that was so hard and painful to go through. That was a very hard two months going through the whole thing and very painful a long time after. I still even have days it's just so hard to bear. We just have to work through it one day at a time.

During the time I was going through it all, I didn't give very many details about the situation and didn't talk about it much. I have been getting some questions about it lately and I keep getting the impression I need to do a post about it all. I think it will be good to get it all written down, but it has been to hard to go through it all again until now. Hopefully this will help somebody or educate others about ectopic pregnancies.

In January 2012, Taylor and I were so excited to find out that we were finally expecting. I took multiple pregnancy tests just to make sure and we were completely in shock. We had already been trying for eight months with no success. I remember how excited we were, talking about everything that would be coming. I called the doctor the next day to schedule my first appointment but it wouldn't be for quite a few weeks later. We started making all sorts of plans. My parents were so excited that they even went looking at Babies R Us for baby items. While there, there was a promotion going on where if you brought in old baby supplies they would give you new ones. They remembered they still had car seats, a crib, etc. (from when we were kids) in storage and turned them in for nursery furniture for us. We were so excited to finally be getting the baby we had dreamed about for months. The crib was set up in one of the spare bedrooms, along with a carseat and changing table. I loved walking past the room looking at all the furniture. I was so excited that the room would soon be filled with all sorts of baby supplies and a new little baby. We were finally going to be parents!

A little while later, the first part of February I started getting an uneasy feeling. I didn't really have a reason to worry, except I had a bad feeling and had a strange feeling that something was wrong. I called the doctor and asked if I could get an earlier appointment. They told me everything I was going through was no reason to worry and everything was fine. They told me I would have to wait until the appointment. The next day the feeling still would not leave. I called back again almost in tears. They told me they would get me in that same day to calm my nerves.

I went on lunch break and they told me they would do an early ultrasound for me. I was excited to see the baby's heartbeat but I still had the horrible feeling. That horrible feeling was justified, my heart was broke and my world came crashing down when the doctor said I would be miscarrying the baby. It would not be surviving. I didn't get to see anything from the ultrasound. What I thought was going to be my biggest dream coming true, turned into my biggest nightmare. It was so hard to call and tell Taylor our baby was not going to make it. I couldn't even talk for a while after he answered. I broke into tears as soon as I heard his voice and couldn't catch my breath to tell him.

I was instructed to get blood work done that day then go back every week for a repeat blood draw to make sure the numbers were dropping like they should. After the first week, my numbers got pretty low so I actually skipped the next scheduled blood work thinking everything would be fine, and wanted to save the money. A couple days later the horrible feeling came back. I knew I needed to go back and get the next blood work done. The feeling was so strong I left work right away and went and got the blood work done.

After doing the blood work, I went back to work. I got a call about an hour later and it was the nurse from the doctor office. She said she got the blood work results back and the numbers had went up, rather than down like they should have. She said I needed to get to the hospital immediately for an ultrasound then go back to the doctor office immediately following, and I needed to take someone with me. I called Taylor but he was not answer his phone and I couldn't reach any of my family either. I finally called a friend and she was able to leave work to come with me to the office. We went to the hospital for the ultrasound and there were two technicians. They were whispering to each other and I only caught a few words here and there. They weren't supposed to talk to me about the findings. I do remember hearing the word "mass" though. I left the hospital and headed over to the doctor office and they took us right back to a room and the doctor came in and said they had found something on the ultrasound. He said there was a second baby but it was growing in my fallopian tube. For the smallest second I thought there was still hope to have our baby, but that was quickly shot down when the doctor explained the pregnancy needed to be terminated.

With an ectopic pregnancy, they cannot allow the baby to continue to grow. The fallopian tube is so small that it wouldn't be enough room for a baby to grow and the tube would eventually burst, taking the life of both the mother and the baby. I was given two options. I could have surgery right away which would end the pregnancy immediately. The positive is it would be done and taken care of right away and the negative is they would possibly have to remove the whole tube. The second option was to have a methotrexate shot. This is more commonly known as chemotherapy. This would terminate the pregnancy as well as shrink it down and the hope was my body would re-absorb it. The positive of this is it wouldn't be surgery so there wouldn't be risk of having to take the whole tube out as long as it worked. The negative is it wouldn't be over right away. It could take a week to months to get it all taken care of and be in the clear. Also if the shot didn't work there was still a chance I would need surgery anyway.

It was so much all at once and was even harder since Taylor wasn't there with me to be with me through it all. I was able to talk to him on the phone for a minute and we chose to go with the shot. I was given strict instructions to go back to the hospital to outpatient surgery and by the time I got there they would have the methotrexate ready for me. I was also told if I ever had any abdominal pain I needed to get back to the hospital immediately. There was still a chance the shot wouldn't work and pain was indication of the tube going to burst. Up until this point I didn't have any pain at all. The only reason we even knew about the ectopic is I had that strong feeling and followed the prompting to go and get more blood work done.

On the way to the hospital I called and filled my parents in on what was going on. They met us at the hospital. They took me into an outpatient surgery room and did another panel of blood work. They needed to make sure my kidneys and other organs were strong enough to handle the methotrexate. It took over an hour to get the results back. I can remember sitting there trying to hold everything together. It tried to enjoy the last minutes that I would be pregnant with our baby. Even though I didn't get to ever hold my baby, let alone see it, I was grateful I got to carry it for the time I was able to. I never thought I would be mourning a second baby from the same pregnancy. It was also really hard for me knowing that I was allowing these people to take my baby from me. I knew it was for the best and it had to happen but it was still so hard. When they came in and did the shot I remember thinking that was very close to the exact moment I lost my baby. I was grateful some of my family and a great friend was able to be there with me and they were all mourning right along with Taylor and I for the loss of our two angels.

I wish I could say that that was the end of our story, and everything worked perfectly and the numbers dropped like normal, but it wasn't. I had to continue to go to the hospital for blood work every other day. I got to know the hospital workers really well. All of the nurses were so sympathetic and tried to give us as much comfort as they could.

A little less than a week after getting the shot, it was a Sunday, we went to church like normal but I started to not feel very well after sacrament meeting. Taylor told me to take the car and go home so I did and he stayed for the other meetings. I went home and laid on the couch and got up to get something and I had a horrible pain my my stomach. I almost collapsed on the floor it hurt so much. I tried calling Taylor's cell phone to see if he would answer but he didn't. I kept trying for about a half hour with no answer. I finally couldn't stand the pain anymore so I called my parents and gratefully I caught them right as they were walking out the door for church. They came over right away and took me to the ER. I had left a message for Taylor on his phone saying I was going to the ER. My parents drove by the church and was going to get Taylor on the way to the hospital and Taylor had already ran over half of the way home, so we picked him up and went right to the hospital. As soon as we walked in the door and the check in nurse saw me hunched over and Taylor said I had an ecotopic pregnancy they skipped all the paperwork and check in and took me straight back to a room. They got everything hooked up so fast and had me in for another ultrasound in no time. Taylor was by my side the entire time. He was in a panic though so everyone was quite worried about him. I was given morphine as soon as I got into a room so I was pretty out of it and relaxed.

We thought for sure I may be having emergency surgery that day. However, the doctor thought it was best to wait a little more. The ultrasound came back showing the mass hadn't grown so it could have just been my body trying to pass the baby out of the tube. They gave some more strict instructions and sent me home again.

Three days later I got the news that my blood work came back all cleared. I was finally cleared with everything physically and all my restrictions were lifted. Even though everything was cleared physically everything was still very difficult emotionally. So many times I had to just break out in tears. The emotional pain has been so hard to deal with. We know we will get to raise our babies in the next life but it is still hard to go through and deal with. Looking back we are still so grateful for all the love and support from all of our family and friends. We had so many meals brought into us and so many people helping us out and checking on us through the entire thing. We are also so grateful for the miracles that happened through the whole process. Everything could have been so much worse.

Not every ectopic pregnancy case is the same. Every case is different and has different treatments, protocols, etc. but I hope that putting this out there helps someone or even just makes others more aware. It is also fitting since this month marks two years since the occurrence. Every January/February we remember our angels. We will never forget them and can't wait to raise them in the next life.

We are so grateful for the opportunity this experience gave us to grow so much closer together. We never knew we could handle such a difficult situation but it has given us so much strength. We are grateful for our knowledge that we will be able to see our babies in the next life and be able to raise them. We are also grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who knows exactly what we need and has blessed us so much from this experience. He has a plan for us and we know our dreams will come someday.

*Some references in the post are about our religious belief. If you want to learn more about what we believe please visit for more information or contact us and we would be happy to give you more resources.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Infertility From An Outside Perspective

I have been wanting to get a post done like this for a while now. There are always so many views to infertility and mine is just one of them. I was talking about it with a friend and asked if she would want to do a guest post on the blog. She happily agreed and sent me a post. I love the additional perspective this post brings to infertility. Here it is:

I've never tried to have children, but I've felt the pain of infertility. I've never gone through treatments, been poked and prodded, or gone through a painful surgery to get one step closer to making my dreams come true. But I've felt the seemingly agonizing steps backwards, while trying to move forwards. As a friend to someone going through infertility, I've felt many of the pains, seen many of the struggles, and been a part of the hope for the future. That being said, I can't imagine going through infertility for myself. There are many hidden struggles that no one will (or can possibly) understand until you've experienced it for yourself. I can't tell you what it's like to go through it myself, but let me tell you what I know.

The first few unsuccessful months of your friends trying to have a baby come and go with a  little sadness, but you don't think much of it because you know that it usually takes some time for every couple to get pregnant. Some more months pass and they are told they have to wait at least a year to be officially considered for further tests and treatments. Waiting. That's one of the biggest struggles of infertility. There are some nights that come when you, as the friend, hold the only glimmer of hope.
You tell them that things will work out and to keep hanging in there. You know it to be true.

That year mark comes and a few more tests are done. Nothing really seems to be the problem. Frustration. It's like you almost want something to be wrong just so you know what to do to fix it. As a friend, you're a bystander. You feel like you're going through the same black sadness, but you can't do anything to help. More frustration. Friend's are fixers. Our friend gets called names on the playground and we stand up to the bully. Or friend gets their heart broken and we show up with chick flicks and chocolate ice cream. Our friend can't get their car started and we pick them up and take them where they need to go. Our friend desperately wants to complete their family with a baby and they can't get pregnant, so we…we what? The frustration of not being able to "fix it" is hard. Unexplainably hard.

But then it happens, they are pregnant! Happy day! You're the friend; you get to help plan the nursery. You pick out the baby crib and car seat. You start saving money to spoil your "niece/nephew" with adorable outfits and colorful toys. But it ends all too soon. The words "ectopic pregnancy" are arguably the cruelest words in the English language, in ANY language for that matter. Your friends, the ones you have been praying for day and night, have lost their dream. Once again, you can't fix it. But all is not lost, YOU are the shoulder to cry on, YOU are the listening ear, YOU are their glimmer of hope. Other miscarriages come, and it never gets any easier. You're the friend; you can't give up hope. If you give up hope, why shouldn't they?

More tests, medications, and waiting come. Gosh dang it! You just want to fix it! You can't. But you're not as useless as you feel. Your innumerable prayers are heard, keep praying. Your comfortable shoulder and listening ear help. Even if you're never told that it helps, it does. It lets your friends know that they are not alone. You're not going anywhere.

My story is your story. You know someone who is (or has) gone through infertility, whether you are close to them or not. You may be the best friend or you may be an acquaintance. Regardless, they need you. Through all of the waiting, frustration, and sadness there is hope. HOPE. Never, ever forget that. It's not a lie, it's not wishful thinking, it's hope. There is a plan for everyone. Their miracle is coming, remind them. Be patient, be happy, be hopeful, and most of all, be a friend.