Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas #5

This Christmas was our 5th Christmas hoping and praying for a baby to come. We knew it would be hard, as Christmas always is, but it was still a great Christmas. It was great to celebrate all of the hope that the Savior brings to all of us.

We kept things really low key this year. For gifts there wasn't much that either of us wanted. At least not things that could come wrapped up under a tree. We are both getting so anxious for our little one to come. We decided just to give each other a few very small gifts and put everything else we would have spent into the baby account in addition to what we normally do. It was the best gift we could have given each other. It was a gift of hope to each other. Maybe next year we will have a little one on the way. Even if not, we will still be closer to it.

We spent most of Christmas day with family and friends. It was a little difficult at times when my heart hurt because this was our 5th Christmas without a little one. With both sides of our family growing and more littles ones each year it was a bit difficult. We loved every minute with our family and friends though. All the littles ones were so cute! Our family has the cutest babies!

It was fun to see family and friends be excited for our baby to hopefully come soon as well! It is amazing to see how many people are anxiously awaiting baby Morgan. Someone gave us a Christmas gift, though small, made a huge impact on us. They brought a gift bag and it had a baby bottle in it that was full of M&Ms. I was so confused at first. Why would someone give us a baby bottle as part of the gift? I turned the bottle over and it had a sticker on it. This is what it looked like:

I was still confused after the note, but I decided if we got candy we might as well eat some. I opened up the lid and inside was a plastic bag with a roll of money. The gift really touched us. The person later apologized that it wasn't much. It may not have seemed much to them, but it was so much to us. Every $1 counts and is such a blessing. Each $1 gets us a bit closer to our goal. What could be better than the gift of hope? Hope that soon we will be parents.

We are so excited that 2016 is approaching! It brings so many different emotions it is hard to explain. First and foremost we are so excited. 2016 is going to bring a lot of big things. It also brings some anxiousness, nervousness, worry, etc but it will all work out the way Heavenly Father sees fit. It will all happen the way it is supposed to. We know His promises will be fulfilled in His time. 2016 is going to be a big year, and we can't wait for it to get here!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Dear Santa...

Dear Santa,

Since the Holiday season is upon us, we wanted to take a minute to write to you. As you well know, this is our 5th Christmas hoping and wishing for the same gift. The gift that we are asking for is not one that you will bring to put under our tree on Christmas Eve. We have been waiting, praying, and hoping for a little baby to be in our arms. The wait has not been an easy one and we will surely have hard times moving forward in this journey. We have tried to wait as patiently as possible as many of our family and friends have had children. We are always so excited for them to grow their families, however, we are wanting to receive this same gift. We know you can't bring us a baby for Christmas; they are a gift that has to come from Heavenly Father in the right time. However, as we are just months away from starting the IVF process there are a few other things we would ask for:

1. We have worked really hard to save the funds to make it possible to do IVF. As we are on the final stretch of saving we ask for the gift of perseverance to make it to the amount we need. We have had setbacks come up in the past and if some more come up we need to be able to make it through as we have in the past, and be able to make it so we can have this opportunity to have a child.

2. As the time has drawn closer to start the procedure the anxiety has been building. So many thoughts of "What if..." keep coming to mind and the thought that the procedure may not work the first time is hard to bear after so much work and waiting has been put into trying just one time. That being said, we ask for the gift of peace, to know that no matter what happens it will be what is meant to be. May we have the peace to know that if things don't go as planned that everything will be alright, it won't be the end of our journey, and something will work out in the right time.

3. The final thing we will ask for is for the gift of continued hope and faith. Even though it will be another Christmas without the gift we have been longing for the most, we would like the gift of hope and faith to remember that we have so many amazing things that will be happening in the future. Heavenly Father has made us a promise and He always keeps His promises. We will have a baby when the time is right.

We hope you have a Merry Christmas,

Amberly and Taylor

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

October Update

It has been a few months since I have given an updated so I thought it was about time. Things are moving forward still with working towards IVF. Some days it seems like the time is going by fast but some days seem like the time is going so slow. It helps that Christmas orders are starting to come in and that will help pass the time faster and help get us closer to our goal.

On the health side of things, things are going great. Of course I wish a lot of times the weight I want to lose would come off faster. Wouldn't that be nice? I just have to be patient and remind myself I need to just take it a day at a time. PCOS is brutal and things just aren't going to happen in the time frame I would like. Taylor is a huge support through all of it and reminds me of the end goal often. My running and exercise buddies, Sara and Kyla, are also a huge support and keep me on track. I wouldn't be where I am without all the support. I have lost over 25 pounds!

The finances side of things is also moving forward. We are over half way there! For so long it has felt like an uphill battle, but now that we are over half way it is getting really excited and we feel like we are on a down hill slope getting the rest of the way there. Hitting the milestones help us to keep moving forward through all of this.

As for time frames, up until a few weeks ago our time frame was really vague. We knew a very general time frame that we were shooting for. However, over the past little while we really started talking about setting a goal date. We wanted a more set time to look forward to. We have worked with our IVF coordinator to find out what months our doctor will be doing cycles next year. We were able to immediately remove a few of the options, but then we started thinking a lot about the other dates and prayed about them. We narrowed the options down to 1! We have a date picked! Of course this can always change depending on what comes up and what happens between now and then but it is exciting to have a specific month to look forward to! For a while now it has been, "well maybe in a year or two....", but it is a great feeling to be able to be more specific now.

We have been so blessed through this entire journey. We have such amazing support from family and friends. So much of our journey would not have happened without all the support. Even just having everyone there to keep us going when we feel like we can't move forward anymore ourselves is a huge blessing. We are so excited for what is to come!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

It's Coming

Tonight we went and did our annual photo shoot with Amy. She is moving soon so we needed to make sure to get in our pictures before the move. While at the photo shoot she was talking to us and said she wanted to get a picture that showed all the emotion that we have been through. We have been through a lot and she just wanted to capture that emotion. During that time for that particular picture so much was going through my head, thinking of how much we have been through. Tomorrow is Father's Day and it is another one that we don't have a baby in our arms. Each Father's day I wonder if next Father's day maybe we will have a little one. Then the next one comes and we still don't. In some ways Father's day is harder for me that Mother's day. As all these things were going through my head during these few pictures I had an overwhelming feeling come over me and the thought came into my head that yes, we have been through a lot, but our time is coming. We don't know how much longer it will be but it's coming. I love when I get feelings of hope like that because it keeps me going. I came home and have been working on orders, just holding on to that overwhelming feeling of hope.  Even though we won't have a little one for Father's day tomorrow, it's coming. I know it. We just need to be patient and keep working our way through this journey.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Unexpected Criticism

Before Taylor and I first decided that we were going to open up more about the struggles we were going through we tried to go through all of the pros and the cons of it. We made lists, talked about it for hours, prayed and fasted and we ultimately decided to be more open about it. However, we keep receiving one criticism from people that never anticipated and it was never on any of our lists of pros or cons. It came out of the blue to us and was completely unexpected. This criticism is also a topic I have had questions about and have thought about writing about for a while, but it is just a personal and complicated topic. However, since it has come up again recently I am going to attempt to do a post on it.

Please remember that these opinions are ours. I am sure not everyone, or maybe even most, may not agree with our opinions.

The criticism and questions that I am talking about with all of this is finances. A huge part of infertility is the cost of treatment. Treatment is not cheap by any means. I have been pretty open about the cost of the treatments that we are needing to do but I often get asked how we will go about saving that much. Many people who go through IVF choose to pay for the treatment through loans, credit cards, retirement funds, etc. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Everyone's situation is different. However, Taylor and I have decided we want to pay cash for treatment. We have also been told to do this in blessings. So if we can't pull those other resources, then how are we going to save that much?
  1. We set aside a set amount each paycheck and we have it put into an HSA account. We get certain tax benefits from doing this and then when the time comes we can use whatever funds are in the account to pay for our treatment.
  2. All proceeds from Making Someday are saved specifically for treatment.
Our funds are growing at a pace we are comfortable and happy with based on the time frame we are hoping we will be doing treatments in.

So what is this unexpected criticism? Since we have been open about the fact that we want to pay for treatment in cash, everyone knows what our plans are. There have been times when we are asked why we are making certain purchases or why we are doing certain things when we are trying to save for treatments. 

One of the best pieces of advice I received when we started this infertility journey was to not put our life on hold until we had a baby in our arms. It would make us too stressed, we wouldn't enjoy life, we wouldn't be taking care of our emotional needs, and if we never ended up getting a baby then we would have just wasted all that time when we could have still been living our lives. 

Many purchases we make and many things that we do, we prayerfully consider, discuss, and think about for a long time before anything is done. We are trying to have some fun and take care of our emotional health along the journey, but not too much. 

Recently some have heard about an upcoming vacation we will be going on. We have received a lot of criticism from some of those people who know about it. It is quite painful at times, especially when most do not know the circumstances behind the vacation and the logistics. This vacation also has not been entered into lightly. It has been given MONTHS of consideration and prayer. Heavenly Father has even confirmed for us in a blessing that we should be going on this vacation. We need it for our emotional health, and it has been confirmed that it will not change how the timing turns our with our treatments.

We have been asked many times if we will be using any funds from Making Someday for this vacation. Absolutely not! Every penny from my business goes toward treatments. That is not, and never will change. Will it change the amounts we are saving on our own for treatment? Definitely not!

Our financial situation and choices have been an unexpected criticism for us, since we never thought about it being an issue for people. Everyone has their own opinions and ways of doing things. We know that the decisions we make are the right ones for us. We don't want to sound defensive but rather give an explanation to how and why we are doing things the way that we are. If you too are going through infertility, don't forget to let God guide your decisions. And don't forget to live your life to the fullest; you'll be much happier and the difficult journey won't seem quite as unbearable. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Still Moving Forward

Well, there isn't a whole lot to update at this point. We are still just saving and and trying to be patient until it is the right time for IVF. Taylor is busy with his internship which keeps him busy. I keep busy with my job, Making Someday, and other goals that I have set for myself. I have been working on becoming the healthiest I can be. I want to be prepared in every aspect possible for IVF. Things have been going great. I wish things would happen faster but I just need to be patient and things will happen in due time. I have such amazing people who support me in all that I am doing in this aspect of my life and I know this will greatly help when it comes to IVF. I have currently lost over 16lb and I am still going. I am happy with this since I am also battling PCOS and hypothyroidism. There are so many days I just want to throw in the towel and give up, but then I remember all the many reasons why I started this and what the goal is and I remember how I need to keep pushing through it.

One thing that has happened through all of this is I have become quite addicted to running. I never thought I would ever hear myself say that. I always hated running and would do whatever I could to get out of it. I am loving it though. We did the Pound the Pavement for Parenthood race and I have signed up for a bunch more races this year. I am loving it and it is great to have other goals besides goals for the scale and the ultimate goal of a successful IVF cycle.

Some days I look at how far we have come and how much we have done and I think that we are so close to getting a baby in our arms. Other days I look at our situation and get frustrated because it feels like we have so much more to do. We have been so blessed though and I know it will all happen in the right timing. We just need to keep pushing forward and keep trying to do our best to be patient through all of the ups and downs.

Sunday, May 3, 2015


We have had a lot of people asking where we are at with everything so I decided it was time for another update on everything.

We are making progress with everything but at the same time it feels like we aren't going anywhere because it is slow progress. Taylor started his internship which is progress. His internship will help with savings and it is also exciting because it means in 1 year he will be graduating. That is also about the time we are hoping to be doing IVF or at least be pretty close to do doing it. The big thing that needs to fall into place for IVF is finances, since we want to pay cash,  and then after that we will just need to figure out what the right timing is. About a year from now is our thoughts but that could always change.

Savings is coming along. We are about 1/3 of the way there! It doesn't seem that far, however, with my recent job change we also had to change insurance. The insurance we switched to doesn't cover a single penny for anything related to IVF, when our previous insurance would have covered some of the blood work. So we are now saving more than we had anticipated. There is a possibility that insurance will change again before we do IVF but we are just planning on paying for every cent of it which puts us at about 1/3 of the cost right now.

Even though we are making progress it is so hard to be patient. Especially lately when we have been able to help with our new niece. It is so much fun to see her and snuggle her but it is hard at the same time. It makes it hard to be patient. We want our own baby now. We don't want to wait, but the wait will be worth it. We just have to remind ourselves of that. It may seem like things won't fall in place for forever but it will happen eventually. We just need to keep taking little steps forward.

We are also moving forward with my PCOS. It seems like they have my hypothyroidism balanced out with medications at this point. I am down 13 lb in the last 4 months. I am sure that is laughable to most people but with my PCOS I am quite happy about that progress and will just keep progressing. It gets frustrating and I just have to remind myself that my situation is different. Every pound will help though so I just need to keep moving forward with it. I have a great support system helping me to keep going.

Mother's day is coming up which is always a hard day for both of us. We will get through it though like we always do. We have made it through 3 previous ones so we just need to add another to the list. We have some fun stuff coming up though. On June 6th we are going to be doing the Pound the Pavement for Parenthood Race in Orem. We love doing infertility awareness races. The race fees go toward 1 of 5 sponsored couples. We didn't know anyone who was being sponsored this year but luckily a friend posted about one of her friends being sponsored so we will be joining team Mosbarger. The atmosphere is always so amazing at these events and it is for a great cause. I am sure we will also be doing the Footsteps for Fertility Race again this year as well.

Sales for Making Someday are staying steady which is awesome. It keeps going so much better than I ever could have imagined. I am currently working on adding some new pages to the shop and I am also currently working on books for myself. A while ago I sold my book to someone who really wanted one but I couldn't make one in the timeframe she needed it so she bought my book.

We are excited to keep moving forward. We are just leaning on the Lord to help us through the hard times and help us be patient while we are waiting and working towards where we are trying to get. We have many amazing things to look forward to.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

One Piece at a Time

A few days ago I was reading some old Ensign articles. There was one story in particular that caught my attention. It was about a father and a son who had to carry large heavy logs up a hill, and then they would cut them to the size they needed and assemble them. After a while they realized if they cut them into pieces first and then carried them up the hill it was much easier. I got thinking about how similar this situation has so many similarities to our infertility journey, or any trial for that matter.

Sometimes infertility can be so overwhelming and stressful. At times Taylor and I have tried to carry the trial as a whole. We looked at the whole complete picture. For example, when we were told we needed to work toward IVF we became so overwhelmed because we saw the large sum of money we needed to save, everything we needed to prepare, and then everything we needed to do to complete the procedure. It was so overwhelming and we didn’t know how we were going to do it. We then decided we need to just look at one little piece at a time to get through it. Even just looking at some of the first steps, like saving up the means to do the treatment it was overwhelming so we broke it down even further. We look at it at small amounts at a time and then eventually we will get to the whole amount that we need.

This is the same process we needed to take for our IUI treatments. It would be overwhelming when they would hand us a calendar with all of our appointments and what medicines we needed to take when. We had to take it all one day at a time and before we knew it we were done with the treatments and we were waiting for results.

This process has become key to us in making it through all of the hard times especially. When we try to look at everything we just get disappointed and feel like giving up. We will make it there though. We just need to take it in small pieces. We are moving forward with all of it and sometimes we wish everything would come together faster, but are trying to just focus on one step at a time.

Sunday, April 26, 2015


A few weeks ago I posted a picture on the Facebook page of my piles of scrap fabrics. All of the scrap fabrics I have are from quiet books that I have made. A while ago I was thinking about all the scraps and was wondering what I should do with them. I decided to turn all the scraps into a project, or even a few projects.

From the beginning of our infertility journey, Taylor and I have discussed often how we want our baby to know about all the people that helped to get them here. It hasn’t been just Taylor and I trying to bring a baby into our family, but so many people have prayed for us and supported us along the way. I have currently made over 50 quiet books as well that are helping to fund our crazy journey. We want our baby to know how wanted and loved they were long before they even came. It is so important to us for our child to know these things.

After thinking about this for a while I came up with my project. I decided to make a baby quilt, or a few quilts depending on the amount of scraps I had for our baby(ies). I wanted these quilts to be special; something they could have forever. I looked through hundreds of quilting patterns and I picked out my favorites. When I was ready to actually start it, Taylor and I picked out the quilt we wanted first.

Sara helped me cut out hundreds of pieces for the quilts and it took a lot of time to then sew it all together. We really had to take our time with these patterns because if everything wasn’t exact then the whole thing wouldn’t fit together correctly.

We finished the quilts a few days ago and I absolutely love the way they turned out. I can’t wait to snuggle a little one in these blankets and when they get a little older then tell them all about the blankets and what it means. Most people will probably look at them and think they are the most un-matching, random, or even ugly quilts they have ever seen, but to us it is the most beautiful blankets we have ever seen, because we know the story behind them. It is crazy to look at each piece of the quilts and think back on each quiet book that was made and all the work that went into each of those books.

Here is the first quilt:

Here is the second quilt:

We have been so blessed on this journey and I know we will continue to be. Making Someday has done so much better than we ever could have imagined, and it is still going. We are so happy we took that leap of faith and went for it and launched the shop. It is getting us so much closer to our dream. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Taylor and I had our first niece, Bailey, born on Saturday, April 18th. We have had a few questions come our way about it so I thought it would be a good opportunity and topic for a post.

We knew on Friday night that our sister-in-law had went into labor. We were expecting to wake up to a phone call or a text saying she had been born. We received notification around 9am that she had been born a few hours earlier. It was exciting that we had a niece, but yes, it did still hurt. We were so excited for them and her, but we did hurt for us. Did we love them or Bailey any less? Absolutely not. We are so happy for them.

We weren’t able to go and see them until Sunday night. When I picked her up and she opened her eyes for me, I fell in love with her. It was fun to rock her and snuggle her. It was amazing to think she had just recently come from heaven and she was the one most recently with my babies. If only she could talk and tell me all about them.

My brother and sister-in-law were getting pretty stressed and panicked while we were there because Bailey wouldn’t take her binky and wouldn’t settle down very easily. Taylor took her and got her to take her binky right away and showed her how to put her hand on her binky to hold it in. She caught on right away. We now have many pictures of her holding her binky in. Taylor then had to show her parents how to give her the binky and calm her down. I made a quick trip to their house yesterday to see her and when I gave her the binky she immediately put her hand on it to hold it in. We will have to post some pictures as soon as her parents give us permission to.

We both love that little girl so much but it is still hard to hold her and think that we won’t have one of our own in our arms for at least two years probably. It is strange to feel so many different emotions about the situation at one time. It is something that can’t really be put into words. We have been told in blessings that when our turn comes it is going to be a much different situation and we are definitely already seeing how that is so true. Our situation and story will be so much different than theirs.

Even though it hurts, we have loved getting to see Bailey the couple times that we have been able to. We are excited to get to know her more. It is fun to have a little one to snuggle when the parents will let us, while we are waiting for our own little one to come. 

Sunday, April 5, 2015


I recently had someone ask me if I feel like God has forsaken me since I do not have a baby yet. I was surprised by this question and it took me off guard. There wasn't any question in my mind about what the answer was; no I do not feel forsaken because I do not have a baby yet. Things are exactly the opposite. Even though we do not have a baby yet, so many miracles have led us to where we are right now and God's hand has been in every little aspect of the whole thing.

As it is has been the Easter season I have had a lot of time to reflect on all the miracles that have led us to where we are now. There is no doubt in my mind that God is helping us and loves us so much. We have been so blessed even though we don't have a baby in our arms yet.

Most people view miracles as big huge things that occur, but so many miracles are missed when you are just looking for the big things. We have had so many miracles happen that there is no way we could ever deny that God is on our side.

It was a miracle that we got pregnant the first time after about 8 months of trying. We weren't just expecting one but we were having two which was a miracle. It was a miracle we were able to make it through the doctor appointments telling us that we were going to be losing the one baby that they knew about. It as a miracle I was prompted to go and get more blood work done. That blood work led to them finding the twin. It was a miracle it happened in such perfect time so that it could be taken care of before my tube ruptured and I lost my life. It is a miracle I am alive. It is also a miracle that I was able to receive enough strength and love from our Heavenly Father to let them give me the injection to end my second baby's life. God was there surround us with His love through it all. His heart was breaking with ours. I know He was there crying tears with us.

Through the next while, God was with us every step of the way. He was there with us through losing the next 4 babies. His heart was breaking right along with ours through each loss. It was a miracle that we were given the strength to keep going and try again. It was a miracle that we were given the finances to make it through the 3 IUI cycles and endure the emotions and heartbreak from each one. It is a miracle the way everything fell into place all along the way. Answers were received at the perfect times.

It was a miracle that we were able to feel so much peace and love surrounding us as we sat in the doctor's office hearing the news that we would not longer be able to move forward with treatment we had been looking forward to and would need to move forward with IVF. It is a miracle we were able to have the comfort in knowing that this was a good direction to take and it was for the better, knowing that the other treatments would have put my life in danger. It was a miracle that we had a doctor that was able to see the signs of what was happening and was able to tell us and warn us about the situation.

So many miracles have happened along the way and there is no way we could ever deny God's hand in our journey thus far. We are so grateful for Christ's life and the example He has given us. We are able to make it through these difficult times because of His sacrifice. He is always there. He is going through it all with us. Not only is He there through this time in our life but He is there through every little thing. We have hope for the future because of Him. We know that our ultimate miracle of having a baby in our arms will come. We know this because He has promised us. Just like He is there crying with us for the heartbreaking times, He is going to be there with us celebrating that amazing moment when we hold our baby for the first time. Because of Him we have hope for our future.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Love-Hate Relationship

For as long as I can remember I have always loved watching the 19 Kids and Counting TV series. The series is about the Duggar family. There are 19 kids in the family. The family has some great values and it is fascinating to see how a family that large functions. However, recently I have had a love-hate relationship with the show. I love all of it except one thing. I absolutely hate it and cringe anytime they tell their kids who are getting married to go and multiply and replenish. In many of the episodes leading up to two of their daughters getting married, this phrase is repeated so many times. I cringe hearing the phrase each and every time.

1 in 8 couples are affected by infertility. Chances are with 19 kids, 2 or more of the children will have issues with infertility. I cringe to think that someone who is facing infertility could be being told and pressured into having kids. Sure, at first it is innocent fun. That is naturally the question and topic that comes up after the marriage. However, it could quickly turn into a very hurtful phrase. I can't imagine being a Duggar and facing infertility.

It is hard to realize what things are hurtful and what things aren't when you haven't experienced infertility, and I understand that is how it is with their situation. I just hope that some of those phrases won't come back and be something they regret saying to some of the ones that are getting married. You just never know when something that seems so innocent to someone could also be very hurtful to someone else.

I was just thinking about this situation as I was watching Jessa Duggar's wedding. I then also remembered that tomorrow is April Fools day. I hope everyone out there is able to remember this as tomorrow approaches. I don't think a year has went by when I haven't seen fake pregnancy announcements on April Fools day. Even though this may seem like an innocent joke, it can be very hurtful for those who are experiencing infertility or pregnancy loss.

Monday, March 23, 2015

We Agreed to This

The past few weeks Taylor and I have been thinking a lot about trials. We were specifically thinking a lot about our trial of infertility. We were talking one day about what it would be like to just have an unplanned pregnancy occur. We can't even imagine it. Our situation has always been to save up a lot of money, pay for expensive treatment, hope and pray that it works and then either find out that it didn't work or find out that it is not going to be viable. It is hard to think sometimes that so many can just decide they want another child and it happens right away for them every time, or that it just happens unexpectedly. It is hard to not wonder sometimes why we can't be "normal".

The theme that has come up this past few weeks as we have talked about infertility often is that we agreed to this trial. We ultimately knew what we would be dealing with in this life and we accepted. This goes for anyone and the trials that they have. We agreed that we would go through this. We agreed that we would go through the pain and the heartbreak of losing each of our 6 babies so far. We agreed we would have this trial and knew all the hard work that it would take to have a child in our arms. However, we also knew that great blessings would come from these trials that we agreed to.

March has been a rough month with a lot of decisions to make. I am switching companies that I am working for and that was not an easy decision or situation. It doesn't just affect where I go to work but it can have a lot of other implications, and can even affect our infertility journey. Even though it won't affect how fast we can save up for IVF since pay is similar, the work environment and other things can affect it a lot. We know we are going in the direction that we need to be going and I know that this will be a great experience.

This past week when I went visiting teaching, my companion gave the message and she even said this same exact thing. She was saying that we all have trials but we all agreed to them. So rather than praying for these trials to go away we need to be praying for patience to get through it, knowledge of what we need to learn from it, and understanding of what we are going through.

Last year, near our house we noticed a flower growing. As it grew it became pretty large and had beautiful yellow flowers. Plants had never grown in this particular spot before. We had tried planting things there but they never grew and so we never planted anything there. However, last year this yellow flowering plant grew there. I loved the flower. I had no idea where it came from. I told Taylor that it was just a little gift God gave us. It was like a miracle flower since nothing had ever grown there.

I got thinking about this flower this week and even though we agreed to all our hard trials, we also agreed to all the good. From trials come blessings. Yes we agreed to our infertility trial but we know that it will end with so much joy and happiness. We will get an amazing miracle from all of this. One day we will be holding a baby in our arms. This trial we agreed to will be more than worth it.

Monday, February 16, 2015

What is IVF?...and Other Answers

The one question that I have been asked the most since we received our big news is wondering what IVF is and what the process is.

IVF (in vitro fertilization) is a longer and more involved process than the IUI procedures. When we decide that it is the right time for us to proceed with IVF and we have the financial resources, it will be about a three month process. Once we are ready, we will be calling the doctor's office and they will schedule a bunch of tests and a water ultrasound to make sure everything is good to go with IVF. I will then be put on a month of birth control. Yes, I know that sounds strange but the birth control allows everything to get regulated and allows the doctor to take control of the process. After the month of birth control everything really gets rolling.

On average, someone going through IVF will start giving themselves 2-3 shots per day to help in the process. These medicines help stimulate the ovaries. Usually you produce one egg per month but the idea is that you try to get as many eggs as possible. These medicines help with that. They help them become as mature as possible and they also help the eggs not to be released yet. During this time there are multiple blood draws, ultrasounds, and appointments. When it is determined that the eggs are ready, an HCG shot is administered. This is the same shot I did for the IUI procedure as well.

Once the HCG shot has been administered, they will schedule an egg retrieval procedure. A needle is used to retrieve the the eggs (luckily I will be heavily sedated) and they are fertilized with sperm in a lab. The embryos will be watched in the lab for 5 days and after that then the best 1 or 2 embryos will be transferred back to my uterus.

Even though that is the most intense part with the appointments and the medications, I think the hardest part will be the two weeks following transfer. It is just a two week wait to see if the procedure worked. I am not patient and the two week wait was the hardest part of the IUI procedures.

After the two week wait we will have a blood draw that will tell us the results. If it worked and the results are positive we would then go on to have more blood tests to monitor the pregnancy and have early ultrasounds. If the results come back negative we will just move forward from there. Depending on how the first round goes we may have frozen embryos that we can use to do another transfer or we may have to start from scratch again if we don't have any frozen embryos.

Am I scared to go through all of this? Definitely! I am so scared of the side effects and the whole process in general. It is not going to be easy, but it will all be worth it for our baby. I am scared that the whole thing won't work. I am scared that we will put so much effort and finances into all of it and it will end in heartbreak. It will be devastating if it doesn't work. However, I can't focus on what may or may not happen. I just need to move forward in the direction we are being prompted to move in.

Overall, I am beyond grateful for the modern technology that we have. It was not long ago that IVF wasn't even an option. I feel so blessed and grateful that this is an option for us and this is a possibility.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

What is PCOS?

One of the questions that I get asked is what exactly is PCOS? Even though I have known I have had this for a while I have never actually posted about it. It is something that is not pleasant at all to have and so I haven't talked about it much.

PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome is an endocrine system disorder, which basically means your hormones are out of balance. The hormone imbalance causes cysts to form on your ovaries. It can also cause a variety of other things to happen such as no monthly ovulation (no egg being released each month), thin hair, facial hair, insulin resistance (which can lead to weight gain), and a variety of other lovely things.

Growing up, I had always been larger than most of the kids but I never knew why. I figured diet was of course at least part of the issue but whenever I would try to eat better I would still just gain weight. I also had a variety of other symptoms that I just didn't understand. I was relieved when Dr. Foulk was able to tell me what was really happening. I remember our first appointment with him, he walked in and said he knew at least a part of our problem and was very confident about it. He did an ultrasound to show us the cysts that were all over my ovaries. He asked about my weight history and he was able to tell me that it was a huge symptom of PCOS. He told me that when someone would have to do x amount of exercise to lose weight, someone with PCOS would have to do about 3 times that much to lose the same amount of weight. It made me feel better that it wasn't just me, that there was actually something else causing it, as well as all of my other symptoms. I had other doctors that had done one or two tests here or there but never really came up with a diagnosis for it all.

Dr. Foulk was able to prescribe some medications for me that help with some of the symptoms. I am so grateful that he did. He was able to do further testing to help fix some of the hormone issues as well. Before meeting with Dr. Foulk I would have an extremely hard time getting up in the morning and get going with my day. I would drag and couldn't seem to function at all. One of the prescriptions he prescribed me has made me feel so much better. I take it a half hour before breakfast. I usually take it about a half hour before I plan to get out of bed and within that half hour I am able to function normally and get up and going for the day. It makes life so much easier to get started out better in the morning.

Since being diagnosed, I have also become more patient with myself and my symptoms. I get frustrated with it all the time and feel like I am broken since I don't function like a normal person, but it is me. Now that I have a diagnosis I  have been able to cope with everything it brings.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Update on IVF Thoughts and Answers

These past couple of weeks have been really strange. For a couple of months we had been counting down the days to move forward with IUI. It has been strange changing our mindset back to the saving for treatment mode. Not only are we back in saving mode, but we are preparing for a different treatment altogether, which may not come for a couple years down the road. The past few weeks have been filled with searching for answers, praying for more direction, and seeking help from blessings. We have received a lot of peace in our situation.

I am not going to go into a lot of the details on some of the direction we have received but I am going to mention a few things. Taylor gave me a blessing soon after our appointment. We were both in shock and just didn't know what to think. That blessing gave us so much peace for the situation. We were told that Heavenly Father made things happen this way so that we wouldn't have to go through the heartbreak and pain of 3 more IUI cycles. We were told that if we would have moved forward with the IUI cycles it wouldn't be anything like we expected and there would have been a lot of complications and we would be in a much worse situation. Even though just weeks ago we were moving forward with that treatment plan, Heavenly Father changed our direction and I am so grateful that He did. He is truly watching out for us and helping us to get to the place we need to be.

I have had in depth discussions about this with certain people. The question of why Heavenly Father would have us work toward IUI and then change that for us last minute has come up. I have thought about that myself and I know that it was what needed to happen. If I would have been told from the beginning that I would need IVF and I was starting from zero. I would have been so overwhelmed and I don't think I could handle it. The path we have taken has allowed me to build up to this news in more than one way. It has allowed me to get the used to the idea of treatments and starting saving for those treatments. It then took another step up to more complicated treatments at more expense. I think I would have had a much harder time if it just went straight to IVF. Heavenly Father has a plan and it has definitely been the perfect plan. His hand is in all that we are doing. We are extremely blessed.

I have received a lot of questions since we told everyone that we would be moving forward with IVF. I will answer a few of them now and some of them will be answered in later posts since I have had quiet a few questions. The most asked question is how much does IVF cost compared to the IUI treatments we were planning on. The cost of the IUI cycles with the prescribed treatment plan was going to be $1,500 per cycle and we were going to do up to 3 cycles if we needed to. Our prescribed treatment plan with IVF will cost just over $15,000, so it is much more expensive.

The follow up question to that that we have been getting asked is if we can just take out a loan to do treatment. The answer is that we could, but we aren't. Before explaining further, I just want to clarify that we have nothing against people who take out loans, etc. to pay for treatment. There is nothing wrong with that if they feel that is the direction they should go. However, we have received specific instruction not to go in debt for treatment and things will work out without having to go into debt. In a way this is disappointing direction for us to get. If we were able to take out a loan to do treatment we could attempt it much sooner. We do see the wisdom in this for our situation though, and we would much rather pay cash for the treatment. If the treatment doesn't work the first time we don't want to keep accumulating debt while trying more and more attempts. This also makes sense in our situation because we can start saving everything we have over the next little while, while Taylor finishes up school. I can also keep going with Making Someday to save extra as well for treatments.  Plans have changed before, but this is the direction we are moving in right now.

Many people have asked if I am afraid I will have multiples. The answer is no. I am not afraid at all. I will take however many Heavenly Father will give us! (After all, I have always told Taylor that I want 100 kids :) )

A few people have asked if we could get a crazy number of babies like 5 or 6. The maximum number of embryos that would be transferred would be 2. So most likely we would only have 1 or 2 babies, but there is a small chance for 3 or 4 if the embryos split after they are transferred, but again that is very unlikely.

It is really fun to think about our future babies every once in a while and dream about what will happen and how things will be, but we are taking things one day and one baby step at a time. Sometimes it gets too overwhelming when we think about all that has to happen to even start treatments, then going through the treatment process, and getting through a pregnancy without something bad happening. We are just trying to focus on the first steps as they come. Right now we are reading every blog and article we can get our hands on about others IVF experiences and how it went. We are just trying to prepare ourselves for what we can expect and things that can happen. It is great to have the stories of others who have documented their journey to look at to help us with our journey.

We don't know where this next leg of our journey will take us and how it will all turn out. We don't know what other bumps we will encounter along the way. We are getting ready for it though and moving forward. We are grateful for all of the love and support from all of our family and friends. We are excited to move forward with all of this and we are excited to share the journey with everyone as we go.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Consultation and BIG Direction Changes

Today has not went how I expected it to go at all. We had a consultation today with Dr. Foulk and I was completely expecting to be announcing to everyone today that we were officially moving forward with our next 3 IUI treatments as of next week. However, that is not what is going to happen with this post.

Our last consultation with Dr. Foulk was back in December of 2013, so a little over a year ago. At that time he told us he would move forward with 3 more IUIs because he didn't know for sure that there was tubal damage that was causing the problems and thought that IUIs still might be a good option. However, a lot has happened since then. I lost two more babies, and that is exactly what has caused our direction to change.

Today at the consultation, Dr. Foulk came in and explained that the miscarriages are concerning because my HCG numbers never got above 125, which is not normal. Usually, even with a miscarriage, when a pregnancy is in the uterus my numbers would have been much higher. We have also done all of the miscarriage testing and there is no reason I should be having recurring miscarriages. Due to these things he is now very, very confident to say that the miscarriages I have been having are actually ectopic pregnancies, so for some reason all of the babies are getting stuck in the tubes and aren't making it to the uterus. Dr. Foulk went on to tell us that because of the losses and this new information we received, he cannot recommend that we continue with the 3 IUI cycles. The IUI cycles make it a greater chance that pregnancy will happen and last longer. With the tubal damage it could also make things really bad, really fast. With an ectopic pregnancy, tubes could rupture which could cause more problems. Surgery could be needed and tubes could need to be removed. In really bad cases more than just the tubes would need to be removed. If they had to do a hysterectomy I would have no hope of becoming pregnant down the road. It could also put my life in danger. We are still able to try on our own and hope for a miracle. He said he has seen many miracles, but he would just not recommend using the medications or do the IUI treatments, which would increase our risks dramatically.

After discussing this with Dr. Foulk, Taylor and I both completely agreed with him that we should not move forward with the 3 treatments. The risks far outweigh the benefits and things could get really bad. So now we are moving on with our last option, in vitro fertilization (IVF.) Neither of us expected today that we would be moving on to our last option. We are both still letting it sink in. Dr. Foulk gave us a bunch of information on the IVF process and we were able to meet with the financial counselor at the office to find out all the costs that are involved. As always, all of the staff at UFC are
 amazing and very helpful. We really have no idea at this point when we will actually be doing the procedure but we do know this is what we are now working towards.

Even though it was a disappointment that we won't be moving forward with treatments next week, we are looking at this as a huge blessing in a way and we are peaceful about forgoing the 3 IUIs. We could have ended up paying for all three treatments, going through all the pain and emotions, and ended up having a lot of heartbreak. We are grateful that Dr. Foulk was a up front with us because now we can save what we would have put toward IUIs and use that toward IVF.

A lot of this is still really new to us and there is a lot we will need to figure out since we only got this information a few hours ago. I do plan on doing more posts in the coming days, weeks, and months about updates on the situation and to address any questions that I get.

As for now, we are just going to keep pushing forward and take one day at a time as we try to move forward in our new direction. Making Someday is keeping me busy with all the orders and I am so grateful to have them especially now that we are we are moving toward IVF and it is much more expensive.

We are looking forward to taking more steps in our journey and are excited for what the future holds. Even though it has been a disappointment since we were planning on (and looking forward to) treatments next week, we still have so much hope for the future. I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for us and this is just part of the plan. It will all work out in the best way and we are looking at all this as a blessing in disguise. Heavenly Father has our best interest in mind. This new direction is probably Heavenly Father's way of helping us to save the money we have worked so hard to save for treatments and helping us to avoid a lot worse situation. We have been so blessed and and we are looking forward to see where this new direction takes us.