Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Taylor's Story

Infertility is a word that I never really thought much about until I was in the middle of it. You would hear every so often of families that were faced with infertility and often would either end up with their own child further down the road, adopt, or just not have children at all. Before being faced with it, it was mostly just a story you would hear about in the background of everything else going on in life. I felt bad for those going through it, but it seemed like an awkward subject to get involved in. Now I am in the middle of it, and it isn’t anything like what I thought it would be.

To start, men and women have different experiences through infertility. I won’t even try to act like I understand what women go through, but women may never understand what men go through either. I am hoping to explain what I have gone through at least to some extent so that others might get a glimpse into the other side of the fence at least in my experience with it.

My experience with infertility mainly is based on my wife’s experiences, since most of my life now that I am married is lived through her. When she is sad, I feel her sadness. I feel responsible (even if I didn’t cause it), and I feel deep emotional pain that I can’t really describe. When I see her cry, I feel an absolute and real need to resolve whatever made her cry; and then make her happy. Anything less than fixing the issue and making her happy means that I have failed in my purpose as her husband; I have failed my expectations as a man; I have failed my Heavenly Father who entrusted me with her; and I have failed myself and feel ashamed. If I can’t provide for the basic needs of my wife, what else matters? It sounds dramatic, but infertility is a dramatic experience and especially dramatic for my wife (and therefore me).

My experience with children and infertility, emotionally, started for me long before we were married. I was raised with young siblings from the time I can remember and involved as the oldest with raising them. I grew up with both young siblings and young cousins and knew a lot of what to expect when it came to children. Of course I also knew very little at best about being a father, but I could say that I could understand children to some extent. When we decided to have children, I was nervous to be on the other side of the fence (as any first time father is), but was even more excited to be able to fulfill part of my purpose in life as a father.

Time went by and we started to realize that something wasn’t normal. We knew that some couples took a long time to have their first child, but that didn’t seem to be the issue. We felt something wasn’t going right. I can’t describe it, and it wasn’t a big or alarming thing at the time, but it would soon play a big role in all of this.

We got married in the summer, and as the months went by for me, I started school and my main focus changed from having children to providing for my family (through getting an education that would provide a secure income someday). My wife and I started to get into her new job and it was a small moment of distraction from the problem we were about to face. Nobody knows what they are about to go through during this step since they barely know that they are having a problem.

It was a few months after this time that it started hitting us in waves. Each wave hits harder and harder as time goes on. Some only have to face a few of these waves before they have children and think they understand what the following waves are, but they can’t really know.
Our first wave came when the word infertility was first mentioned. It was something that I never thought I would hear in my marriage. It took me off guard and made me start to really think. Accepting you have a problem is hard. It is even harder when you know nothing about how to fix it. That is when we started doing research on the subject (which is surprisingly hard for me since there are no helpful articles from a man’s perspective or very many examples of men fighting through it. I started learning about the miracle of childbirth more than I ever had before. I used to only really know the general birds and bees explanation and what little I learned in school on reproduction. It was hard trying to figure out on your own what was going on and how to solve it when it is a miracle to start with. It is also awkward at first since most of the process occurs after the men do their part. I learned more about reproduction than I ever wanted to know.
The second wave was the hardest. This wave isn’t felt by all who go through infertility and many will go through infertility without ever facing it. It started with exciting news that my wife was pregnant! It was so wonderful to see the glow in her eyes as she told me. We tested multiple times and even took pictures of the tests to show that we were definitely pregnant. My wife seemed overjoyed and started planning for the baby. I think seeing her so happy, watching her so relieved that we didn’t have a problem and seeing her so excited would later hurt the most …it hurts so much now to remember the joy for finally having something so important to her. Bad news soon followed.
This part was such a blur to me. I was busy in school and work and only remember this in parts. I will leave it to my wife to give the order of things.
During this time, I just remember one hard experience after another. I remember my wife at one point mentioning to me that she was getting cramps and spotting. We were nervous that things might be going wrong, but we were hopeful that things would go well. I then remember my wife letting me know that she was miscarrying. After getting a glimpse of what it would be like to have a baby and getting so close, it all fell apart in an instant. We struggled and worked to pick up the pieces. I wouldn’t wish miscarriage on anyone, especially those struggling with infertility.

We soon discovered that it wasn’t the end of the story. My wife texted me during church, which I didn’t think was just going to be an update on how she was feeling. She had stayed home because wasn’t feeling very good. I was a little worried but thought that it was something to do with the aftermath of the miscarriage or something. The text let me know how wrong I was. She told me she was in a lot of pain and could barely stand up, and wanting me to come home right away. I ran as fast as I could from the church to the house (being out of shape and having exercise induced asthma didn’t help and made it very hard to breath). I didn’t even make it home by the time her parents had gotten to her and picked me up on the way. I was physically hurting but happy to be with my wife. It was hard to see her in so much pain and I felt hopeless to help. We drove to the doctor’s office where the doctors checked her out. We found out later that she was going through an ectopic pregnancy. This meant to us that there were probably twins and we had only lost the first child. The second was stuck in her tubes and would need to be removed. My wife told me that if they didn’t end the ectopic pregnancy, that it could kill her. After some more appointments to the doctor/hospital, they decided to give her a chemotherapy shot to end the pregnancy. I had no idea how serious ectopic pregnancies were at first. Now I do. I remember getting calls during school with more and more bad news leading up to this point. Each call was so hard to take in and made going to class and doing work so difficult. Who cares about rules of accounting and writing business papers when your wife is getting chemotherapy shots at the hospital to terminate your child right after a miscarriage?  

Soon the doctors were able to confirm that the chemotherapy worked and everything was okay. “Okay” is something I wasn’t really familiar with at this point, but I trusted the doctors and………..what? What do you do then? How are you supposed to handle life normally after that? What are you going to do tomorrow that will really mean anything? You just lost two babies through the eyes of your suffering wife. You couldn’t fix it. You couldn’t help. You can only just go through the motions of the day and act like it means something to you. Wake up…face the feelings of pain…go to work…go to school…come home…face the pain in your wife’s eyes…work on homework…go to bed…wake up…start again. It follows you wherever you go. You get distracted from time to time, but it is quick to return. I have learned that smiles are sometimes another form of tears; another way to handle the pain.

It may have been bearable, except for the fact that we still were struggling with infertility through it all. We keep trying to have faith that it will come, but this may have been our only experience with pregnancy or having children for a long time. This would later become a reality.

We soon found ourselves wanting to really put effort into it again. We started doing more research, and soon found ourselves going to an OBGYN to see what they would recommend. They did tests and decided that we should do a surgery to find if there was something wrong physically with the inside of my wife’s body. We scheduled the appointment and got ourselves as ready as we could. She was nervous and so was I. I can’t stress how much I don’t want her to be in pain. It hurts me to watch her hurting. Again, nothing I could do. I gave her to the doctors trusting that she would be okay with them and hoping that they could give her the answers she wanted that would make her happier (since it would give us a direction to go or fix the problem all together). Just a thought, they really need to get comfortable chairs in the waiting room… just saying. That and something to actually get your mind off of the updates screen.

Time passed and the doctor came to tell me what he found. I prepared myself for a lot of things, but he surprised me. “Nothing is wrong”. He didn’t find anything wrong at all. He said everything was normal and there was nothing he could find that would physically cause a problem (no growths, bumps, or other things I can’t recall off the top of my head that he was looking for). Well…that is… good? Now what? When the doctor tells you there is nothing wrong when something is wrong…it is hard to figure out what to do. If everything should be working fine and looks good, then why isn’t it? To say the least, I had to tell her. I had to take the hope in her eyes, crush it, and see that familiar pain take its place again. It takes so long to build hope during infertility, and I can’t describe how hard it is to watch all the work and time that was put into that hope suddenly vanish. It is an empty feeling.

So many more months went by. Wake up… go to work…come home… go to bed…wake up…start again. My wife did more research into what the next steps should be. We ended up finding an infertility doctor that has had a lot of success with helping people have children. Our first appointment was very helpful with Dr. Foulk. He explained everything to us, and it made sense. We talked about our plans for getting pregnant. We would do IUI treatments. At first, we understood that we only had to do one at a time and could take breaks in between. We ended up finding out that it was best to do them in groups of three. That was unexpected to us both emotionally and financially. We saved our money and made it work. We ended up doing one group of three IUI treatments with no success. The next group of treatments would be more expensive to go through, so we would have to save up.

More months went by. My wife started a business on the side making quiet books so we could pay for the next treatments. She has been able to find success up to this point in making them. It has become a good distraction (something to work on) until we are able to afford the next steps. I have learned that it is important to find distractions, or things to work on, during hard times.

We also ran into an emotional time when we hit our year mark since losing the twins in the ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage. That was hard to go through, especially for my wife.  

So that brings us up to today. We are still working hard to save up for the infertility and hoping for the future. It’s still hard to feel like I can’t just fix it, but I know that together, we will someday make it through. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

100 Reasons to be Grateful

A few weeks ago I was challenged by someone to come up with 100 reasons to be grateful for infertility.  I was told there weren't that many reasons to be grateful for it, but I had a differing opinion. Taylor and I worked together to come up with a list, and we finished it on Sunday, April 6th, while sitting in the conference center in Salt Lake waiting for the morning session of conference to start. Here is what we came up with (these are in no particular order):

1. Without infertility we would not have all the friends that we do now.  We have met so many people through this trial that we wouldn't have otherwise. They are some amazing people and have been such a great support and help through our journey.

2. We have learned in greater depth to trust in God's timing.  He plans everything out perfectly. His timing is not random by any means.  He knows the time frame of what is coming in everyone's lives and times everything accordingly. For example,  God knew about Taylor's brain tumor and knew when we would learn about it. Just months earlier we lost our twins. We would have had two brand new babies at the time of Taylor's surgery. Even though we wish we had our babies, we do see the wisdom in God's timing, and are grateful for it. The timing for our whole situation has been and will continue to be perfectly timed by God. We would not understand this concept to the depth we do if it weren't for infertility.

3. Through this journey we have become grateful for the understanding that trials can be a huge blessing as well. We have learned this to a much greater depth because of our infertility journey. Just one example of this is even though we wish we had our babies, our miscarriages have been a huge blessing.  If I were going through infertility without the knowledge we could be pregnant (since we have been pregnant) it would be much harder. The blessing of having the knowledge that I can get pregnant t(hat came from our miscarriage trials) has been a huge blessing and has kept us going throughout our whole journey.

4. The whole journey in general has made mine and Taylor's relationship much stronger than what it would have been otherwise. Going through something so hard, with so many different emotions, stresses, pains, etc. has pushed us to lean on each other even more. It is great to know that we can get through anything if we have each other.

5. Infertility has allowed us to do things that we wouldn't be able to with children, or would make it harder. We have been able to take trips to all the Utah temples to do baptisms and endowment sessions,  attend events, and go places when we probably wouldn't have been able to with children.

6. Through our infertility we have been blessed with four Angel babies. Even though we miss them and would love to have them in our arms we are grateful they are ours and we will get the opportunity to raise them in the next life.

7. Because of infertility we were introduced to Footsteps for Fertility. We probably wouldn't have learned about them without this trial. It is such a great organization that helps so many people on their journey to parenthood and raises awareness for infertility. We even get the opportunity to participate in the upcoming 5k in August.

8. Another great organization we were introduced to was Pound the Pavement for Parenthood (PPP.) We were able to participate in the Orem 5k race last year and plan on participating in more events this year, to help out others on their family building journey. We would not have known about the organization or have the chance to help out without the infertility diagnosis. This is another amazing organization that has connected us with other people facing infertility. We  have gained a lot of friends and support through this organization.

9. Infertility has made us more aware of other's struggles. Whether people around us are facing infertility or a different battle, infertility has made us more aware of what others are going through around us no matter what that may be. 

10. One of the greatest things I have loved hearing is another mother telling us that our trial has made her hold her children closer and cherish them more. Infertility has allowed us to do this for others. 

11. Not having a child has made it easier for Taylor to focus on school. Even though we would love a child right now, it would be hard for Taylor to have a new baby at home while going to school.

12. In this day and age I believe there are a lot of people that take having children for granted. A lot of people think it just happens for everyone and its no big deal. But it is a big deal. Every single child is a big deal. Because of infertility, when we do get our miracle it will make us even more grateful to have our children.

13. Infertility has allowed us to have more preparation time for our children. We have had more time to think about how we want to raise our children and about what kind of parents we want to be. We have also had more time to prepare our house, and things for a baby. 

14. Our journey has allowed us to gain more knowledge on how to receive revelation for ourselves. We have had many people tell us to take this route or that route or do this treatment or that treatment. It all gets quite confusing and frustrating at times when you don't know what to do. This is just one more experience in our lives that has allowed us to learn how to gain our own personal revelations on what we are to do for our situation.

15. Infertility has allowed us to have more time to do temple work. We love doing temple work. We have many names we have done baptisms, initiatory, and endowment for. We love seeing the names go through each step. We are grateful for the time we have to do all the work we have. When many parents struggle getting to the temple once a month because they have children, we have been able to go a lot more often and there have been many times we have been given the opportunity to go several times a week, or even several times a day.

16. Infertility has given us a greater knowledge that trials are not a punishment. Trials are necessary for our eternal salvation. We are given trials to help us become better than we would be able to otherwise and sometimes the trials that we have are a blessing to someone else. We are not hated, nor have we done something wrong to deserve a trial. Trials help us get to where we need to be. Infertility has given us a much greater understanding of this concept.

17. Through the many hard days there have been so many instances when small things as simple as a smile or a hug have made all the difference in the world and have helped us through our days. Infertility has shown us that even the smallest acts of kindness can make the biggest difference and reminds us to do those small simple acts of kindness more often for others. We are so grateful for that reminder that infertility has given us.

18. I have always appreciated the priesthood, but infertility has given me a much deeper appreciation for it. It's so great to be able to ask my husband for a blessing whenever I need it to help me through a certain day, week, or month. I am so grateful to have a worthy priesthood holder in our home.

19. Because of Infertility we have learned to become a lot more resilient. With infertility there comes a lot of ups and downs. Things could be going right one day, then the next everything could fall apart. We have learned to bounce back better and faster from all of the negatives. Its hard to get a negative result after a test. We can either stay down about it or pick ourselves back up and hope for the best with the next try.

20. Infertility has made us become more aware of parenting styles and issues. There are many times we will observe a particular incident either in church or out in public and it will start conversations where we discuss what we would do in those situations. We have been working toward our child for years, and it has made us much more observant of the different issues around us.

21. We have quite a few pets. Mikey our puppy, Sammy our Lovebird, and our fish tank. I love having these pets. I know we wouldn't have them, or at least as many of them without infertility. There is no way Taylor would have let me get all of them if it weren't for me wanting something to take care of. They have brought us a lot of happiness while we are continuing on our journey. 

22. Infertility is one of those things that sometimes makes you face your fears head on. It definitely made myself face my fear of giving myself shots. I have had friends before with diabetes who need to give themselves shots and I have always thought to myself that I would never be able to do it. Well I have done it. I just had to remind myself of the greater outcome that would hopefully come from it. It may seem like such a small thing to a lot of people, but it was a huge accomplishment to be able to give myself all the shots.

23. Not only does infertility help you face your fears, but it helps you set goals you never thought you could accomplish. I always thought people who ran 5k races, half marathons, or marathons were amazing and never thought I could ever do one. However, we made the goals to run the PPP 5k race last year and we did it! We didn't get a good time at all but we did finish and it was a great feeling. I never thought I would ever run a 5k but infertility pushed me to do it. The race was for such a great cause. We will even be doing more this year. I think I am becoming addicted to it.

24. Infertility has led us to the world of blogging. We would never have our blog without infertility. We have been able to reach so many people and help others with the same trial through this blog. We were so scared at first to start the blog and didn't know if we should. After reading other's blogs and after a blessing telling me to start the blog, we started it and it has been great. We were so scared about how other's would react and what would come from it, but it has been great and we are grateful for it.

25. Patience is not our strong point at all. It has been hard waiting so long for something that we want so much. We have gained a lot more patience skills though, and we know that things will work out when they are supposed to. There are definitely still times when we are very impatient and we just want it all right now but we have definitely learned how to have more patience than we did before.

26. Going through all this has given us a greater understanding of the plan of salvation and eternal life. We know that there is a next life and we are working towards getting there. We also have a greater understanding that we will get to raise our babies in the next life.

27. I have always loved writing in my journal but after the infertility diagnosis I have become much better at writing more in depth and heart felt journal entries. I have learned to pour everything out into my journals. It has been so great to learn to do that better and it is always great to be able to go back and read them and see how far I have come.

28. When couples are diagnosed with infertility the natural thing is to set out a plan for what steps to take. We did the same thing. However, at first we were just focused on the plan that we worked on with the doctor. Through infertility we have learned to instead rely on God's plan and trust in His plan. His plan is the better plan. We have learned to not just focus on our plan, but to trust in God's plan.

29. Infertility has given us greater appreciation for our home teachers and visiting teachers. They have always been there to see how they can help and check in on us. They have been amazing and have given us a great reminder that we need to also visit those assigned to us and help them out in the same way.

30. We have been blessed with so much. Infertility reminds me of this quite often. Whenever I start feeling frustrated and discouraged I try to start naming off things that we have been blessed with. It helps to put things back into perspective. I am grateful I have learned this coping tool.

31. We have learned how much we love our family, both future and current, and we have learned how much we will sacrifice for them. They have been there to support us through it all and it has made us appreciate them even more.

32. Infertility has allowed us to bring greater awareness about the disease to others.  We have had many people tell us they didn't know what infertility was all about and what it all entailed until they heard our story. 

33. Not only have we had the opportunity to bring more awareness to others but we have been able to educate them on a deeper level on issues as well, such as the process, costs, what to look for, emotions, etc.

34. Through our whole journey we have been blessed to be able to see how much love and support we have. We have such amazing friends and family.

35. Because we have had this journey, we have been able to help others through their similar journeys. We have had many people who have contacted us with questions about what to expect and what we have been through. We are grateful we have been able to help others.

36. Infertility has made us much more aware of comments that can be potentially hurtful to others, and we are grateful for this awareness. Some comments that may seem harmless to some can really be hurtful to others, depending on what burdens they are bearing.

37. Infertility has shown us how much strength we have and how much we can get through with Heavenly Father helping us along the way. We never thought we would be able to get through any of the things we have, but we have done it and continue to do it.

38. This trial has helped us learn to a greater extent about how much hope we can have in a greater plan. This isn't going to continue forever and things will get better. We will even get help along the way. It is so great to know that there is a greater hope with Heavenly Father's plan.

39. I never wanted to be a stay at home mom until I was pregnant for the first time. I always thought I would work. However, through this journey I have come to realize that my dream is to stay at home with my children. It would be heartbreaking for me to have to leave them with someone else while I worked. Even though that still may have to happen for a little while, depending on when our miracle comes, it won't be as long as it could have been. Taylor will be graduating in two years and the plan is for him to be able to take over the income and I can stay at home at that point if we have children by then or I can stay at home whenever we are blessed with our miracle. Since we haven't had our miracle as soon as we hoped I won't have to be away from home for as long, if any at all.

40. I have always been a pretty good at budgeting. I guess that is something that goes along with being an accountant. However, this journey has made us become even more financially aware and budget even more. We have learned ways to  be more frugal with what we have and really think before we spend anything.

41. Going along with budgeting I don't think I would have ever gotten into couponing and price matching without this journey. I started a little while back with couponing, then added price matching. It saves TONS of money. I have also been able to teach others how to do these things to help them save money as well.

42. Without this journey we never would have gotten into some political issues that have come up. With the new infertility bill being passed in Utah, we know we wouldn't have participated in that as much. We are grateful we were able to experience the passing of the bill to a greater extent, with it having a greater meaning to us.

43. Through this journey we have both learned much more about having meaningful prayer. When you put your true feelings and intentions into prayer and really pour out your heart, it is a much greater experience. We have also learned more about how to really listen for answers after prayer, rather than just say prayer and get on with what you are doing.

44. With having lost four babies through this journey it gives us an even greater desire for eternal life so we can be with our babies again.

45. Going through everything we have we have learned to a greater extent how to enjoy the journey, not just endure through it. We have learned to take advantage of the little opportunities and the simple pleasures of life and make the best of things.

46. Having to wait for our miracle has allowed me to find other hobbies and interests that I probably wouldn't have tried otherwise. I tried making a quiet book to help me with some of the waiting. I have also experimented a lot with cooking, and other craft and sewing hobbies.

47. We have learned to a greater extent that things do not always come easy. In Utah especially, it is easy to fall into the mind set that it just happens. When you look at others around you, you think it is all so easy and won't take much to get your little miracle. It has changed our perspective with it all and we have learned how many people around us really are struggling, or have struggled with the same thing.

48. Scriptures have become an even greater tool for us than they ever were before. We have really learned how to search the scriptures for specific answers, and have learned out to get more revelation from the scriptures.

49. We have been able to learn much greater communication skills through this trial. We have had to learn how to really communicate the way things are with others when questions are asked and when we are talking about a topic that is so important and sensitive.

50. We have been able to learn in much greater depth that we are never alone. Infertility is a disease that leaves many feeling very alone in the trial but have been able to see so many times that we are never alone and Heavenly Father will always help us through.

51. Through everything we have been given many moments of peace. It is such an amazing feeling when you are worrying about how things will work out and you just get a peaceful feeling. We have really learned to enjoy and take advantage of those moments of peace that Heavenly Father gives us.

52. We have had the opportunity to learn how precious life is through the perspective of infertility. Life is a miracle and we shouldn't take those around us for granted.

53. We have learned not to fear what is coming in life. There is no reason to worry and be afraid of what is to come. You just need to have faith in God and his plan and know that everything will work out. No matter what is coming you will be given the strength to get through it.

54. When Heavenly Father gives someone a trial, He is trusting them to make the best of that trial. When people are given a trial they can either grow closer to Him or grow the opposite direction. We have learned that He is trusting us with these difficult trials and He is trusting us that we will make the right choices with it.

55. Many times people fall into the trap of thinking when they make a sacrifice they will be rewarded for it right away. Instant gratification does not always happen. We are grateful we have been able to be an example of this. We have had many people tell us they have kept going and pushing through what they are going through because they have seen us do it and they continue to see us do it.

56. We have learned to a much greater extent that there is a difference between enduring and enduring well. People can endure and get through things while complaining and being negative about the situation. It makes it much more enjoyable though if you endure it well and make the best of the endurance.

57. Infertility has made us more cautious when communicating with others because just like us, they could have some behind the scenes battle they are facing. Sometimes you never know what others are facing, and are up against. We are grateful we have seen that and are able to be more aware of what others may be going through and be more cautious to their situation.

58. Everyone needs someone to lean on at some point or another, and just like others have been there for us to lean on, we have been able to be there for others to lean on us while going through similar things. We are grateful we have been able to be a support to others.

59. We have learned more about accepting others differences and trials. Everyone has their differences and some of them come from trials but everyone should always still be included and loved no matter what their circumstances may be.

60. Having infertility is giving us something to look forward to. We know our miracle is coming and we get to look forward to it while we are working on getting to that point.

61. We have learned more about how a little encouragement can go a long way. Just a little "Keep going!" or "You've got this", can give so much hope and help to someone who feels like giving up.

62. Infertility has made us much more grateful for the human body. It is so amazing all the things it can do. Even just thinking of your hand and all it can do, how many muscles and bones there are, how it all works is amazing. We are grateful for all our bodies do for us.

63. During this journey we have had some people talk to us, not know what we were going through, and saying they were going through something similar and thought they were the only ones going through it. We have been grateful we have been able to tell them in these situations that they were not alone because we were going through the same thing.

64. Because of Infertility and blessings that we have had we know that we will get to be part of a miracle when our little one does come.

65. We are excited that not only do we get to be a part of a miracle when it does happen, but others will also get to be a part of a miracle as well. Many people will get to experience this miracle with us in some way or another.

66. We have learned much more how to be humble through our trials and circumstances.

67. Infertility brings with it a lot of roller coaster emotions. We have learned how to cope with crazy emotions and so many ups and downs.

68. We have learned that sometimes it is really okay to be open and vulnerable about your situation. We were so scared to tell people what we were going through because that was making us really vulnerable in a sense. We were sharing something really important and personal to us, but so much good has come from it.

69. Infertility has helped us to put our focus on the most important things in life. We know what is most important to us and we are focusing on those things.

70. Infertility has made us become more creative. While trying to save money for our treatments we have become more creative for dates. They don't have to be expensive or cost anything at all. We have found the dates that don't cost anything are the best dates we have had.

71. Because of Infertility we have been able to learn much more that serving others through a hard time you are going through does make things better. It makes you so much happier to help someone else through a hard time even though you are going through one yourself.

72. Infertility has helped me to become healthier in general. I used to not think much about my health until this situation came up.

73. Infertility allowed my doctors to find another health issue I had. I struggled a lot of some symptoms for years but just recently found out what it was. It probably wouldn't have been found without infertility.

74. I have always thought about starting my own business, and because of infertility I actually did it.

75. This infertility journey has made us much more open to fundraisers. We always see fundraisers posted on Facebook and you hear about them all the time. There has always been so many of them, and many times wouldn't really look at them because there were so many. This has made us much more open to fundraisers and we usually try to help with them now even if it is just a few dollars. We have learned that any little bit helps.

76. Many times it's easy in the infertility journey to just get caught up in following what the doctors says and just go with it. We have learned though that it is so important to follow our own instincts. For example, the ectopic pregnancy was caught early because of a feeling I had and I acted on that feeling, Directions have been changed in treatment because of feelings that we had as well.

77. Through this experience we have learned more about sacrifices. People in general do not like making sacrifices but in the end they make the reward so much greater.

78. Everything that happens has a positive side and a negative side. We have shown how much better life is when you look at the positive side, through this infertility journey. Even when we get a negative result, we can be upset about it or we can remind ourselves that it just wasn't God's timing and it will be positive in the future.

79. We have learned from a different perspective of how much God loves His children. I have heard so many people say He is mean, but He really isn't. He gives us trials because He loves us and he wants us to progress and return to Him.

80. Infertility has allowed us to have more Faith in God's promises. He has promised us children and some days, His promises are the only thing that we have to hold onto and keep us going. He has promised us though and we have faith that those promises will be fulfilled.

81. Through difficult trials it is okay to ask for help from others. It has always been hard for me to accept help or ask for help but infertility has really pushed me to be okay with this.

82. Infertility has allowed us to meet and work with some really great doctors and nurses. We have such a hopeful doctor, and the nurses are all so great to work with and give us so much strength to keep going and not give up. It is so wonderful when you have doctors and nurses that truly care about your situation.

83. Infertility has helped us to learn how to align our will with God's will. Sometimes the path we see for ourselves is different that what God sees. We have learned to take a step back and look and see what our path is and then try to find out what God's is and change ours to match His.

84. Through this trial we have learned really well how to give people the benefit of the doubt. When people say something that comes across hurtful, we have been able to take it and flip it and just remind ourselves that they probably just don't understand exactly what we are going through or what we are feeling.

85. We have stayed awake talking on many nights of how someday we just want to be able to help others in our situation. We think it would be fun to be able to pay for treatments for someone or at least pay for part of it. Infertility has helped us to set more goals that are geared towards helping others in our situation.

86. Infertility has helped us to have a positive outlook on life in general. Many people think life is horrible and no good comes from it, but it has really helped us to have a positive outlook and know that good things do come from it and helps us to look for those things that are good in life.

87. I have heard many times of people saying they are just one person so it wouldn't matter if they did something. Infertility has allowed us to see how much of a difference just one person really can make. What may seem so small to someone can really make a huge difference for another person.

88. Infertility has helped us to be more in tune with the spirit constantly and we have learned to follow the promptings that we are given. Being in tune with the spirit brings so much comfort and peace to such a hard situation.

89. Infertility has made us so much more grateful for our nursery calling. We have really learned to love the children as if they were our own and we are so grateful for the opportunity to have some fun with other's children during the time we don't have our own.

90. We have been able to learn through infertility how much each baby that is born is a miracle. If even just one hormone is just a little off, or if the smallest thing is wrong, a pregnancy won't occur. Everything has be right on track. This has given us such a greater testimony that every child is a miracle.

91. Because of having to wait longer for our little one to come we have learned how much of a responsibility it truly is to raise one of God's children. We have seen many around us who just think oh it will be fun to have a baby, and buy the toys, and the cute clothes. While all that stuff is fun, it is also such a big responsibility to raise one of God's children in the correct ways so that your child can return to Heavenly Father again. That is a huge weight and responsibility that comes with having a child.

92. We have learned to a greater extent not to take the things God wants us to do lightly. I have been told at many times to focus on a certain topic on my blog, or to do a certain thing for someone and it's always crucial to do those things. It will not only impact you and your life but someone else's.

93. Because we have had to wait longer for our miracle we have had more time to improve ourselves. We have been able to work on things we need to work on and move towards becoming the people and parents that we want to be.

94. Infertility has allowed me to develop my career more and get more experience in my work. If we had our miracle now I would have to work at a lower level job to get more flexibility. I am grateful for experience that I have gained in my career in case I need it later on in life.

95. We have been able to see, through infertility, to a greater extent that God bases trials around greatest desires. If trials weren't based around our desires we wouldn't have as much reason to progress and grow closer to Him.

96. We have learned at a deeper level that God is the miracle worker, not the doctor. God uses that doctor to be able to help us get our miracle but God is the one that actually makes it happen. Even the most knowledgeable and talented doctor can't make something happen if it is not God's will.

97. We are grateful that through our infertility journey we will be able to show those around us that miracle really do happen and that miracles really can come from trials.

98. We have learned much more about the Atonement through this trial. We have learned much more what Christ felt like on the cross. He has felt what we are going through and much, much more. More than any of us can even comprehend. We are grateful that He made the sacrifice that He did for us.

99. Through our infertility journey our children will be able to see how much they were wanted and loved. They will be able to see our journal entries we have recorded about our experience, as well as our blog posts and they will be able to see how much we have sacrificed to get them here and how much they are loved and wanted.

100. Ultimately we are so grateful that infertility has taught us never to give up. If we were to give up we wouldn't get our happy ending. Giving up is never worth it. No matter what you need to do, you just need to dig in and go a little farther and the end will come.

101. We are grateful that we have infertility, and because of it we were given this challenge. This challenge has been so great for us to do and has allowed us to become even more grateful.