Monday, January 31, 2011

There choice effected us all!

Our lives are full of choices and on a daily basis we make thousands of choices. Our choices invoke different emotions as well as consequences.

The first choice that was made on this earth was by our earthly parents: Adam and Eve. They chose to partake of the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They made this decision so that they could gain knowledge and fulfill Gods commandment to have children. After Adam and Eve had partaken of the fruit they were cast out of the Garden of Eden.

Adam and Eve understood the importance of following the commandments and the necessity of partaking of the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It was for our benefit; so we could come to earth, feel the joys from the pains and to know the good from the evil. Because they understood the blessings that came from their decision, we must also understand the great blessings that we have enjoyed and will enjoy resulting from their decision to partake of the fruit.

The reason that I bring this up is the fact that I believe Adam and Eve were the perfect example of the sacrifices that we make to be able to become children. They made the choice to eat the fruit and were cast out of The Garden of Eden because of that choice, but their joy though was multiplied through their posterity. They understood the eternal ramifications of their decision and ever since, we have continued to multiply and replenish the earth. We have an innate earthly desire to have children and that desire is part of our natural make up.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

What is it?

I want to pose a question to you out there that are reading my blog. What makes us, as women want to be mothers and what is so great about children?

Many of us have had the desire to be mothers since we were old enough to carry around a baby doll. I know that for me that is how I was and I was always taking care of something. I have my own thoughts about this question and will talk about them late this week but I want to give you a chance to think about your reason behind being a mother and taking care of children.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


The last thing that I want to say concerning goals it that there has to a mutual respect for each other’s goals. You need to support your husband and your husband needs to support you.  Goals are also a wonderful way to increase communication about something that isn’t always easy to talk about. It can be painful and sometimes you just don’t want to think about it but open communication is one of the best ways to get through the pain and the heart ache.
In many of the infertility books that I have read, they always talk about the fact that infertility tends to tear marriages apart and I feel it is because of a lack of communication and understanding.  So a word of caution, make sure that you are making realistic goals that both of you believe you can accomplish. As a team, the journey of infertility to end goal of fertility will be much more enjoyable.  

Friday, January 28, 2011

One word.

There is one really important word that I think is probably the key to sticking to your goals:

Review Review Review and then Review them again!

Unless you keep your goals in front and in focus they won’t be accomplished. I would suggest going over your goals as a couple at least once a month but if you could take 5 minutes once a week, which would be the best.

Last of all have fun with your goals!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Look ahead

This sums up everything that I want to say:

“Look ahead and remember that faith is always pointed toward the future.” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Making Goals together

 Now that you have made your individual goals it is time to make goals together as a family. Take the goals that you have personal made and talk them over. Prioritize your goals and see which ones are the most important and which ones maybe aren’t as important. This is the point where as a couple you can get on the same page about fertility. Goals help you move forward and not stay stagnant.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Goals for our guys

Now that you have set your goals, it is time for your hubby to set his. Now some men don’t realize their role in the fertility journey, they think “hey I just need to get my swimmers in there to do their job!” But not all swimmers (sperm) are created equally and there are things that can affect men’s fertility.
Some ideas for goals that the hubby can set:

1) Start eating healthier

2) Start a workout program

3) Wear loose underwear (hot temperatures and keeping the testicle tight can diminish the quality of the sperm)

4) Avoid hot tubs and long bike rides.

5) Learn what role men play in fertility

6) Start a multi-vitamin regimen

7) Learn the things that make your wife happy (he may need this when emotions are running high)

There are many other goals that can be made for the man but again the biggest thing is just setting a goal is not enough, he has to buy into the importance of them and do them!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Your goals

How do goals apply to infertility? Well I believe that infertility is filled with a lot of unknowns and one of the best ways to deal with the pains of infertility is to take control where you can. I feel that goals are one of the ways to take a bit of control.

Obviously the big picture goal is to have a baby but until that day happens, you can break things down into manageable goals. For example if you are just starting the infertility journey a good goal could be to research the different brands of Prenatal vitamins to find the best fit for you and then make a habit of taking them daily.

As your journey progresses a good goal might be to set up a doctor’s appointment and then setting goals to follow what the doctor orders.

Now as women you should set individual goals; ones that are going to help you take control in some way shape or form. Some ideas of goals include:

1) Research infertility: knowledge is power!

2) Join a support group

3) Start an exercise program to help make your body baby healthy.

4) Join a volunteer group

5) Start a fertility health diet

6) Chart your basal body temperature

7) Start journaling about your feelings

8) Set a goal to save a certain amount of money to devote to fertility treatments or baby items

Whatever goals you set, make sure you make them manageable, measurable and write them down. Also make sure that you review those goals on a regular basis. By starting good habits now, it can help you feel like you are working towards something and help create a sense of control.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


I can’t get out of January without talking a little bit about goals. With ever new year there are always New Year resolutions. Some of the normal ones include, losing weight, saving money, getting out of debt, buying a house, etc. Maybe many of you have made similar goals and seeing as it is the end of January you may still be on track with those goals or you may not. I know for me there are some that I am still working on (hence the blog) but other have fallen by the side because they are not as important to me.

Goals need to be specific, measurable, and geared towards an objective. They need to be written down and planned out. It is one thing to say “I want to lose weight,” but if there is never a plan written down and an actual way to accomplish it, the weight will not be lost.

When my husband and I first were married I was completely against the setting of goals. I thought there wasn’t a use for them. I knew what I wanted to do and I didn’t think that there was a need to write it down or to even really talk about them. Well I begrudgingly did them with my hubby and now 5 years later, I have come to understand the purpose of the goals that we have set and how they have benefited our lives.

This week I am excited to discuss the need for goals in relation to fertility and how goals can help us have more control over a situation that can feel uncontrollable.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A plan that is not my own

Thank you for following me for one more week and I want to let you guys know how much I appreciate knowing that you all are out there supporting me! To let you know a little bit about my week, Monday, well you know how that day went; both Tuesday and Wednesday were much better with the baby issues but my days at work weren’t the best. I have been having major struggles with my boss at work. I really enjoy the fact that I get to help people better their lives with education but there are times when I wonder if it is really worth all the grief I have to go through with my boss.

After a long day at work, I went to an activity the church was putting on about depression. I thought that it would be some good research and good information. Well, while I did get good info, I left feeling like I was a depressed individual. By Friday I just felt like the world was crashing down on me and Satan was mocking my pain.

I will be completely honest when I say that I have found a new resolve. I was at the point where I didn’t know what to next and after my husband’s comfort; I knew I needed comfort from a higher being. Through prayer and the power of the priesthood, I was able to feel the wonderful comfort of my father in heaven. I know that he loves me, that he understands what I am going through, and that he has a plan for me that is much better than my own.

I found a quote that I feel is very fitting for this post and something that I will have to continue to work on probably the rest of my life, but I am excited for the challenge. “Sometimes we need to let go of the life we planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” Joseph Conrad.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The rest of the story

To continue on with the history of infertility, I found a website that gives a good history of what has happened and developed between the first uses of insemination and now.

The history:
 1884: The first known U.S. sperm donor enables a couple to have a child.

1937: The idea of in vitro (Latin for "dish," as opposed to "in vivo," or "in body") fertilization (IVF) is proposed in the editorial “Conception in a Watch Glass” in the New England Journal of Medicine. IVF is fertilization of an egg outside the body where the resulting embryo is typically transferred to a woman’s womb for gestation.

1938: Freezing of sperm is found to be successful for the first time.

1945: The British Medical Journal publishes early reports regarding artificial insemination using donor sperm. This subject raises concerns in the press and in Parliament. Despite recommendations by the ARchbishop of Canterbury to criminalize artificial insemination using donor sperm, the government feels such action would drive the actions underground, and sperm donation is discouraged rather than criminalized.

1955: Four children are born as a result of the use of frozen sperm.

1967: The Vatican condemns IVF and all other forms of test tube births.

1969: Robert G. Edwards, the English embryologist who will one day help create the first "test-tube" baby, publishes an article in Nature about the artificial fertilization of human eggs.

1972: A U.S. scientist successfully fertilizes an egg in vitro.

1973: A Florida couple become the first to attempt in vitro fertilization in the U.S.

The first IVF pregnancy in the world is reported in Australia, but it ends in death in the unborn child’s early development.

1978: History is made with the birth of Louise Brown, the first test-tube baby, in England (it was the 104th attempt by Drs. Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards).

1981: The first IVF baby, Elizabeth Carr, is conceived in the U.S.

1983: The world’s first baby is born from frozen human embryos.

1984: Zoe Leyland is the first U.S. birth from a frozen embryo.

The world’s first baby is born in Australia who is conceived from a donated egg.

Dr. Richard Ash from the University of Texas discovers a simpler way to perform IVF: gamete intra-fallopian transfer, or GIFT. Also developed is the technique zygote intra-fallopian transfer (ZIFT).

1985: The first IVF twins are born from frozen embryos in Australia.

1986: A surrogate mother in New Jersey, Mary Beth Whitehead, sues to keep the baby she carried. She loses custody but wins visitation rights.

1987: The embryo transfer procedure is patented, starting a trend among fertility specialists (and later genetists) of patenting the processes and products of human tissue manipulation.

1988: 3,000 babies are born using the IVF procedure.

1988: Gamate intra-fallopian transfer (GIFT), the procedure that places unfertilized eggs and sperm into the woman’s Fallopian tube, is introduced. The technique produces the first successful pregnancies.

1991: A 42-year-old woman becomes the "mother" of her own grandchild. Arlette Schweitzer serves as a gestational surrogate for her duaghter, becomes pregnant with an egg donated by her daughter, and sperm donated by her daughter’s husband.

1993: Becki and Keith Dilley of Indiana become parents of the only living sextuplets in the U. S.

A new male infertility treatment is introduced called Sperm Micro Injection (ICSI). The ICSI technique injects one sperm into the egg.

1994: In Italy a postmenopausal woman, Rosanna Della Corte, uses donated eggs and her husband’s sperm to give birth at the age of 62.

In December of 1994, President Bill Clinton announces that federal funds will not be used to create human embryos for the sole purpose of research. They can, however, be used to fund research on excess embryos created through IVF.

1996: In Woodward v. Commission of Social Security, Lauren Woodward sues for social security for her twin daughters conceived with her dead husband’s frozen sperm. She wins the case.

1997: After taking a fertility drug, Bobbi McCaughey, of Iowa, gave birth to four boys and three girls. They are the only septuplets alive to date.

The first embryo-adoption program in the U.S, Snowflakes, is founded by a Christian adoption agency. It begins matching donor embryos with infertile women.

The first U.S. woman gives birth to a baby conceived from a frozen egg.

This and more can be found at

Granted there have been a lot of changes since 1997 and a lot of these practices have become more effective and efficient. Knowing where infertility has gone can help us know where it is going and how many opportunities we have. It really is wonderful!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Never give up

So this week was definitely an interesting one, but I thought that the lyrics to this song by Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband’s song “Never Give Up”. You all helped me remember that when everything thing seams hopeless, hope is what we have to hold onto. And no matter what, I/we can never give up!

Never Give Up

Some people think me ugly, some people think me cute
Some people think me stupid, others astute
But people gonna do what they're gonna do
You got to listen to your heart and to your self be true

'Cause sometimes life just slaps you in the face and knocks your brains all over the place
And leaves you standing there wondering why, sometimes you laugh, sometimes you cry
And all the things you thought were right are wrong
And all the friends you thought were true they are now gone

I say never give up, Never give in
Never fall down if you don't plan to get right back up again
I said now never give up,Never give in
Never fall down if you don't plan to get right back up again

I want to shine bright like a light on the top of the hill
I never want to feel like I'm the one who's underdressed, the one who's oppressed
I only want to make it like the best of the best
I want to rise to the top, don't ever want to stop
Don't hold me underwater 'til my brain cells pop

I say never give up, Never give in
Never fall down if you don't plan to get right back up again
I said now never give up, Never give in
Never fall down if you don't plan to get right back up again

Every time I fall I feel that I must fly
Above the world you know I'll try it everyday
I won't be underestimated no way
Every time I fall I feel that I must rise above adversity surprise
That's right It's me and I'm hear to fight just like Bruce Lee

I say never give up, Never give in
Never fall down if you don't plan to get right back up again

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

1779 Insemination was introduced

After the use of Chinese herbs and herb mixtures to help increase infertility, the next successful practice in the infertility would was artificial insemination. Insemination is when the sperm is injected into the woman without intercourse.

I found an interesting website that I would like to share a bit from. It talks about the history of insemination:

• 1) Although it is often thought that artificial insemination is part of modern technology, it was first experimented in 1779 by an Italian priest and physiology named Lazaro Spallanzani. Before that time, it was thought that the embryo was “the product of male seed, nurtured in the soil of the female,” but Spallanzani established for the first time that for an embryo to develop there must be actual contact between the egg and sperm. From here, Spallanzani inseminated frogs, fish, and dogs. (21)

• 2) The First recorded successful artificial insemination of a woman was in 1790 done by a Scottish surgeon, Dr. John Hunter (reported that he successfully inseminated the wife of a linen draper, using her husband’s sperm). (17)

• 3) 1866, Marion Sims performed 55 accounts of artificial insemination for 6 women (sperm came from their husbands). Only 1 resulted in pregnancy. (17)

• 4) In 1884, the first human donor insemination had been preformed at the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia by Dr. William Pancoast. A Quaker woman could not bear children, but found out later that it was her husband who was sterile (azoospermic). The wife was called back for “an examination” but was anesthetized and the procedure was carried out, with the donor sperm from one of Dr. Pancoast’s students. This is considered a “rape” because the Quaker woman did not know how her child was conceived. But her child became the first known child by donor insemination. (15).

To view the whole article you can visit:

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A thing of the past.

When I started researching the history of infertility, I started looking for a history of women who struggled with infertility and to my surprise it wasn’t as easy as the stories that are in the bible. So I have decided that instead of talking about the stories of women I am going to share some of the information I found about the early treatments that were used before modern medicine came around.

It was really interesting because between the years 200 AD and the early 1700’s there really isn’t any history at all about infertility. From what I can tell most women felt that it was either a curse from the gods or they were was a medical problem. Unfortunately, more were of the first opinion rather than the latter.

For the most of history herbs have been used to help cure infertility. “Chinese herbs have a long history of use in aiding fertility. Records indicating herbal treatment of infertility and miscarriage date back to 200 A.D., including mention of formulas that are still used for those purposes today…” (

It is curious to note that as long as there have been women having difficulties conceiving, there have been people trying to solve the problem. Whether it be through Chinese herbs, prayer to the gods of fertility, dancing, or by other means; all have the same goal to find a way to become pregnant.

Monday, January 17, 2011

One of those days...

You know that time of the month that all of us dread, well mine is coming around the corner and I felt like I had gotten to the point where it didn’t bother me anymore. Well I was wrong. I am breaking from what I had planned to talk about today but I am to emotional not to address it.

For almost 5 years we have been trying to conceive and recently I have come to the understanding that we will probably not be able to have children unless it is through doing In vitro Fertilization or through adoption. We are looking more into adoption but that is not going to be a possibility until my husband graduates from his master’s program and gets a stable job. When we adopt I want to be able to stay home with my children and if Robert has a career it is a much more feasible possibility.

Now that you know a bit of my background, I can explain why I have decided to write this post today. I know that having children is something that is not in my control at this time and I have come to accept that. I have come to grips with the fact that we might not be able to have our own biological children and anxiously await the day when we find our children and bring them home. The hard part is that there are times when that hope of being pregnant still lingers. I know this might sound weird but I have learned to know my body so well that I can tell if I have ovulated and if I haven’t (I don’t always ovulate and I’m not always regular). I won’t go into the details of it now because I would like to talk about that in another post. But this month is one of those months that I know I have ovulated.

Although I know that there is a very slim chance that I could actually be pregnant, the slim chance is enough to disrupt all that I have come to grips with. This might sound like the ranting’s of a pre-menstruating woman but I felt that I needed to share a more vulnerable side of me. I guess the thing is this, I might seem like I have things under control and most of the time I do, but realistically there are times when I still struggle, I still break down and I still cry.

One thing that really is comforting is to know that I am not alone in this struggle and that there are many wonderful women that are traveling with me along this journey. Thank you!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A never ending story

Infertility has been something that has continued to plague women from the women in the bible times to today. I have often wondered what infertility was like for women during the dark ages, the 1700, the 1800 and even how it has become the way it is today.

This week I hope to explore the depths of the history of infertility a little farther and understand the secular side of infertility better.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Biblical Role Models

This week we discussed the history of infertility from the woman of the bible. We saw their strength, fortitude, patience, love, and faith. These women are truly amazing! They lived their lives in a time where there wasn’t anything they could do to for their infertility, except to pray and have faith that a miracle would happen.

I’m very grateful that we live in a time where we have options to help us become pregnant. Although, even with all these options, we mustn’t forget that we must have faith! The Lord will bless us if we have faith and do all we can do to help this miracle. I pray that none of us will have to wait as long as some of the women in the bible, but if you are supposed to give birth to a prophet then I guess it would be ok.

In all seriousness, I love reading these stories and referring back to them because their experiences are there for us to gain strength and gives us a little push when all may seem lost.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Elisabeth's Miricale

Last but not least, I would like share the story of Elisabeth, wife to Zacharias. Their story can be found in the New Testament, in the book of Luke. Elisabeth and Zacharias were never able to have children, and they had prayed and kept praying to be able to have children, even though they were old in age.

Now Zacharias worked as priest in the temple of the lord and one day, while he was working, an angel of the lord appeared to him. The angel stated. “Fear not, Zacharias; for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.” (Luke 1:13). Now at first Zacharias didn’t believe the angle of the Lord, so he was struck dumb and wasn’t able to speak till the baby was born.

Well Elisabeth conceived and proclaimed, “Thus hath the lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.” (Luke 1:25).

One of the things that I think is amazing about this story is that the lord could have chosen anyone to bear and raise John, who later became known as John the Baptist, but he didn’t he chose a couple who were well stricken with years. He saw the faith of Elisabeth and Zacharias and blessed them. Granted it really didn’t come in time frame they had hoped but it did come.

Patience is probably my weakest area and when I pray for something I think that it should come in my time frame. All too often I am brought back to humility when what I have prayed for is not given to me. As with Elisabeth, pregnancy and parenthood is something that is completely in the hands of the Lord. Although it may be hard and I pray we don’t have to wait as long as Elisabeth, this trial of faith will truly change us into a better person then we ever could have imagined if we let it.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Healed by only a touch.

Today I felt like I should follow suit with the stories of the bible women and tell one of my favorite stories. I love the story of the woman with the issue of blood. This story is written in Matthew, Mark and Luke but I like the way it is told in St Mark chapter five.

This woman suffered with an issue of blood for 12 years and she had spent all her money on doctors to try to fix her problem but all efforts were fruitless. Well this woman had heard of Jesus and knew that he would be able to heal her affliction. When Jesus was passing by her he was surrounded by many people and it would have been almost impossible for her to catch his attention.

This woman’s faith was so strong that she stated, “If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.”(Mark 5:28). Because of her faith she was healed “and straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.”(Mark 5:29). The amazing part of this miracle is that Jesus knew, even in the crowd, that someone had touched his cloths because he felt the healing powers depart from him. He stopped and question, “Who touched my clothes?”(Mark 5:30).

As the woman fell, trembling at the feet of the savior, he so lovingly said, “Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.” (Mark 5:34). Every time I read this verse it brings tears to my eyes because it reminds me that the lord loves us so much and that he knows us on an individual basis. She didn’t tell him her problem or that she was suffering but he knew, just like he knows each and every one of us and our infirmities!

Oh the faith of this wonderful woman and what an example she has been to me through this struggle. It reminds me that even when it feels like all hope is gone and there aren’t any more options available, the lord is there to carry. All we have to do is have the faith to reach out and allows his loving embrace to enfold us.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hannah's promise.

Hannah’s story can be found in First Samuel chapters 1 and 2. She was one of two wives of Elkanah, an Ephrathite. “Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.” (1 Sam 1:2).

I adore the fact that it mentions in this chapter that even though Hannah was not able to have children, Elkanah loved her. He didn’t shun her for not bearing him sons but loved her still the same. This love can be seen throughout this story and it is wonderful that her husband stood by her side during this trying time.

This trial was very difficult for Hannah and it states that she was persecuted a lot for the fact that she could not bear children. Whether this was persecution from the other wife or from others in the community, it isn’t known because the bible just says that her adversaries provoked her. Either way, emotionally she suffered great turmoil over the fact that she was barren.

As Hannah was sorrowing her sweet husband stated, “Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons?” (1 Sam. 1:8). I can tell in this scripture that Elkanah really wants to soothe the pain of his wife. Granted he might not have gone about it the right way but his intentions were good. Men are amazing!

It reminds me of all the times that I have commented, complained, or cried over the fact that we can’t have children and my husband (because he loves me so much) always tries to fix the problem. Unfortunately for men this isn’t an easily fixable problem and they tend to get the brunt end of the emotions. I’m grateful though for my husband’s willingness to be there for me, even when there isn’t a quick solution for why I am crying.

What Hannah does next shows enormous faith because in her bitterness she decides to call upon the lord and puts her faith in him. She goes to the steps of the house of the Lord and makes a vow, “O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.” (1 Sam. 1:11).

Hannah is truly amazing! I have pondered several times if I would be able to have the faith to devote the only child from my womb to the lord. Would I have the faith and the courage to promise the lord that if he blessed me with the one desire of my heart, I would in turn, hand my child over to one of the prophets to be raised? I feel that Hannah was such a courageous and genuinely selfless woman! It also makes me think, what are the reasons that I want to have children? Is it purely for myself or is it for a higher purpose?

What I find to be the most impressive is how Hannah reacts when she actually delivers a son. She praises the lord with all her heart! Her joy exceeded the pain that she ever had and instead of sorrowing that she would soon turn her son over to be trained by another, she sings praises. She prayed and said, “My heart rejoiceth in the Lord, mine horn is exalted in the Lord: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation. There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.” (1 Sam. 2:1-2). This prayer lasts eight more verses and I think it is one of the only prays recorded in the bible that was given by a woman.

The story continues as it tells that once a year, when Hannah’s family went to offer sacrifices, she would bring her son a coat. Only once a year Hannah was able to see her son and she was happy with the fact that he was serving the lord. But the lord did not forget that sacrifice that Hannah made and he opened her womb and blessed her with three more sons and two daughters.

I hope that when the time comes that I will remember the lord and give thanks in such a profound way as Hannah. I know that what we do for the lord and his work is not forgotten and it does not go unnoticed by the lord. If we will remember him in all that we do, he will remember us in our times of suffering.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Rachels Reproach

Rachel and Jacobs story starts in Genesis 29. Jacob was commanded by his father Isaac to not marry any of the women from the land of Canaan and he goes on a journey to find his wife from the family of Laban. On his journey, he meets Rachel at the well and this is what he did when he saw her, “And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept.” (Gen. 29:11).

I think it is sweet because it was love at first sight. Jacob was completely smitten with Rachel and was willing to work for Laban, Rachel’s father, for seven years to have the opportunity to marry her. When the seven years were over it was finally time for them to wed. Well Laban had other plans because he didn’t want his youngest daughter, Rachel, to get married before Leah his oldest daughter. So at the wedding Laban sent Leah to share his bed and since it was dark he didn’t know it was Leah until the morning.

So Jacob agreed to work another seven years if he also could marry Rachel. The problem occurred when Jacob showed that he loved Rachel more than Leah. “And when the Lord saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren.”

Rachel’s womb was closed and she was not able to bear children for Jacob and it started a feud between the two sisters. After Leah had conceived four time, Rachel had had enough. It was at that point that she has Jacob marry her handmaid Bilhah, so that she could have children through Bilhah.

As you can tell there is some similarity between Sarah and Rachel. They feel that they can be happy and feel fulfilled if they were to offer their handmaids to carry the children of their husbands. Unfortunately it never fully satisfies their desires to have children themselves. Now I’m not going to into detail about the feud that was between the two sisters but it really had to deal with the fact that they felt that the sister who gave Jacob the most sons, he would love the most.

Well after years of pain of not being able to bear children, the Lord, “…remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb.” I love what Rachel says after she conceive and gives birth to a son, “God hath taken away my reproach.”

How many times have I wondered, or other women wondered, if the lord has forgotten us or why he has chosen to deny us the right to have children? But every time I even start to think that, I remember that I have not been forgotten and that it is quite the opposite! When the time comes to for me to be a mother, I will praise the lord because my reproach will and has made me a better, stronger, humbler, more faithful person and it is through this trial I am becoming the woman that the my father in heaven wants me to be.

Like Rachel, the day will come that if we continue to be faithful our desire to be mothers will be fulfilled either through the womb of another or through our own or maybe in ways we never thought possible

Jacob and Rachel, William Dyce

Monday, January 10, 2011

The patience of Sarah.

One of the first accounts of infertility in our history is the story of Abraham and Sarah. Their story can be found in Genesis chapter 13-21. Their fertility journey starts at the point when the lord tells Abraham, “And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.” (Genesis 13:16). Right after Sarah and Abraham were married the lord promised them that their seed would be numberless and this promise is told to them many times throughout their lives.

One day Abraham, after year of trying to have a child, goes to the lord and he cry’s to the lord saying “Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless?” And the Lord reminded him that his posterity would be greater than the all the stars in the heavens. The lord even reconfirmed this by showing it to him in a vision.

Now I don’t know about you but I know I have asked the Lord the same thing! I have asked if I will be left childless and if we will be blessed with children. For me the answer has always been to be patient and that the time will come for us to be parents. Even though I have been told this several times, it is hard to trust in those feelings and have faith that I will be blessed. I find myself feeling the same way that Sarah felt.

Sarah knew of the prophecy that their posterity would be great, but when she had borne him no children and it was hard for her to see her part in that prophecy. She wanted he husband to have children and she would do anything for him to have that deep desire of his soul. Now in Sarah’s time it was custom if the wife could not bear children that the husband could take another who could. So Sarah in all goodness of her heart offered her handmaiden, Hagar, to Abraham. This is what she said, “Behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of [Sarah].”(Genesis 16:2)

In her acts you could see how much she loved Abraham! I think one of the hardest things as women is to see the heart ache in others. One of the hardest things about this trial of infertility is that at this moment I cannot bear children for my husband. Although my husband doesn’t talk a lot about it, I know that his desire to have children is as deep as mine. And I, like Sarah, would do almost anything to help make our husbands fathers.

Well Hagar did conceive but because she hated Sarah, she was thrown out. Though she was cast out she was blessed with a son named Ishmael. Although Hagar had a child and now Abraham now had seed the prophecy was not fulfilled. Sarah still had a big part to play in that prophecy.

Years down the road when Abraham and Sarah are “old and well stricken with age” and

“it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women” (Genesis 18:11), Abraham cares for three holy men. As the holy men are about to leave, they prophesy that Sarah will become pregnant and deliver a son. Now Sarah heard this and she laughed.

In all fairness to her I think if I were in the same situation I would laugh too. But the Lord knew that Sarah had laughed at the prophecy and he stated, “Wherefore did Sarah laugh? Is anything too hard for the LORD?” (Gen. 12-13). I think that this shows great mercy from the lord because instead of punishing her for her disbelief, he just questioned her and reminded her that all things are possible, if it is his will.

In the end Sarah ends up giving birth to a son and they named him Isaac. Isaac goes on to fulfill the prophecy and Abraham’s seed is now unnumbered, like unto the sands of the seas.

Sarah’s strength as a woman is amazing! This story really shows how her patience was tried. She had to wait till she was old and well stricken with years before she was blessed with the innate desire of her soul. I know that we will not have to wait as long as she did to be able to have children and at times it feels like we too will be stricken with years when that blessing will come, but if we can take on lesson from Sarah, it is worth the wait.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A tail as old as time...

When it comes to infertility is it not a new struggle. Women of all ages and dispensations have dealt with the struggle of not being able to be with child. This week I’m going to share the stories of several biblical women who couldn’t have children.

Each one of them has a unique story and it is important to understand that each of us has our own unique stories as well. Also it is important to note that we as women in the modern days don’t need a prophetic prophecy for us to become pregnant as these women did (that is why their stories made it into the bible).

I think these women are amazing examples to us of their strength and faith. They lived in a time that if one couldn’t bear children then they were subject to scorn and sometimes exile by their husbands. Also their husband would go as far as getting a second and third wife to bear them sons. I am grateful for these women’s strength and faith in such a trying time. Also it makes me grateful for modern medicine and everything that we have to help us get pregnant!

The four women that I am going to write about this week are Sarah, the wife of Abraham; Rachel, wife of Jacob; Hanna, wife of Elkanah; and Elisabeth, wife of Zacharias.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Week wrap up.

My first week of posting is coming to an end and I feel like I can keep this up all year (we’ll see how I feel a few months from now ;) ). I feel that this week was supposed to build a foundation and common ground for a few fertility terms. I know that this may have seemed really basic for most of you but I know that it is better to have that foundation then just jumping in.

This week we covered, infertility, fertility, keeping your husband involved, and basic anatomy needed to conceive. Next week I’m excited write about the history of infertility.

Copyright Kaleen Nelson

Friday, January 7, 2011

Its a game... well sort of.

Some of you might know that I love sports! I love playing them and I love watching them. My favorite sport has to be basketball because I love the fast action, the skill, the strategy, and the team work that all has to be there for a team to win and be successful.

Now fertility I think is very similar to a basketball team: all the parts of the body must work together for one to be fertile. In basketball you have the point guard, the shooting guard, the small forward, the power forward, the center and you can’t forget the coach. So in the world of fertility, the main players involved are the uterus, the ovaries, the cervix/vagina, the fallopian tubes, the sperm, and all the hormones.

The ovaries are like the point guard. Their goal is to shoot, run the plays and make sure that the ball gets into the right hands.

The shooting guard and the small forward are like the fallopian tubes. Their responsibility is to make sure that the ball makes it down the court, and the plays are set up properly so the ball can be scored.

The power forward and the center are like the cervix and the vagina. They are there to make sure that the path is clear to the hoop and make sure everything stays on course.

The Uterus is like the basketball court because it is where all the magic happens.

The hoop is like the sperm: reason being is that when the hoop and the ball match up the team SCORES!

Lastly the coach is like the hormones because the coach is the one who plans and orchestrates the whole game. Without the coach the players wouldn’t play as well and the likely hood of scoring is diminished.

I know that this analogy might not be the best but I wanted a way to explain the fact that the body has many different integral parts and that when they all work together, life is good. When even one player is not working well, the whole team can suffer and in the long run the game suffers. The goal for fertility is to get the team working well and unfortunately that is much easier said than done.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Nothings Impossible

I have decided that on Thursdays I’m going to share a favorite scripture, random thought, poem or song.

Tonight I feel that I should share a scripture from St. Luke 1:37. It states, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”

Yesterday I wrote about the importance of remembering your better half during this trial but it is also very important to remember that we have a Father in Heaven who cares about us. Although it is hard to feel his love when we are feeling the pain of being denied the righteous desire of having children, we have to remember that he allows us to suffer so we can grow. He loves us and cares about us! Through him we can do anything, including the ability to conquer the trial of infertility.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Better Half

A few years ago I had a wonderful friend who told me something very wise. She said that it is, “Very important to remember that the journey of fertility is not something that we women travel alone, our husbands are very much a part of it all. Without them, there wouldn’t be any trying for children.”

I am very grateful for my husband and all the support that he has given me and that he continues to give me. I know that for me it is very easy to get caught up in the emotions of the fact that “I” cannot get pregnant, but really it is not just a me thing, this is a we thing. I have to remember to check in with my husband and see how his emotions are as well. Granted, most of the time the response is very non descriptive but it never hurts to make sure that as a couple you are on the same page.

It can be healing to know that you are not going through this alone. You can lean on your best friend when you just need a shoulder to cry on and a loving embrace.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It was just holding hands!

When I was about 7 or 8 years old there was a little boy (whose name I can’t remember) that lived across the street who would come over often to play. One day we decided to get married because we felt if we wanted to play house, we needed to be married. One of my siblings preformed the ceremony under an old pine tree in our front yard. I had a bouquet of dandelions and he held my hand. After that we were married for the rest of the day and any other time we would play.

One day as I was getting ready to take a bath I noticed that I could stick my belly out far and it made me think that I was pregnant. I thought this might be because I had pretend married the boy next door. At that time all I knew was that to get pregnant you had to be married and even though it was pretend it made me wonder if I really was pregnant. I was so worried that I was going to get in trouble because I had “gotten married” without my parent knowing and we had held hands so I must have been pregnant.

Now I don’t remember exactly what convinced me that I wasn’t pregnant but the reason I shared this story is the fact that there are different definitions of what is considered “trying to conceive”. In the mind of a 7 year old the holding had was enough to get one pregnant. On a more adult perspective of it, some feel that trying for a baby is just throwing away the birth control and that is it. Others may think, “Well we aren’t preventing it but we are not actively trying for a baby” and then for some it’s a planned, well thought out process in which they stop using birth control, and start charting and timing their intercourse.

Whatever the method, I believe that a couple is considered “trying to conceive” when they are having intercourse for the reason of procreating. Granted the couple should be having intercourse for fun too but it should be done for the purpose of getting pregnant.

The hard part of the conceiving process is that some people will go into the baby making process already knowing that they will have difficulties, there are those who have no idea what they are getting themselves into, and there are other who are trying not to get pregnant and get pregnant anyways. Such is the trials of life.

Copyright Melissa Witcher

Monday, January 3, 2011

Just like Julia

The other day I was watching the movie Julie and Julia and there was a part in the movie after Julia Child’s sister Dorothy had gotten married, where Julia was sitting in the kitchen reading a letter from her. The letter was announcing the fact that Dorothy was pregnant. This part of the movie broke my heart because Julia was trying so hard to be happy for her sister but you could feel pain that she was feeling because they were not able to have children. Even now I cannot write about it without my eyes getting misty.

The reason I share this story is not to show that I am an emotional person that cry’s because someone is sad but it was because I truly knew what she was going though. The pain that she felt, I have felt. Infertility is real and it is a powerful trial that many of us have been called to go through.

What makes infertility so difficult? This is a question that cannot be answered in one single post but I would like to define what infertility is. According to infertility is “The diminished ability or the inability to conceive and have offspring. Infertility is also defined in specific terms as the failure to conceive after a year of regular intercourse without contraception.”

I know that some people know they are going to have troubles conceiving before they even start trying but other, like me, have no idea that they have problems with fertility until they after they have tried for a while but have not succeeded. Either way, dealing with infertility is very much so an emotional roller coaster and I am grateful that I don’t have to ride it alone!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Firtle Mirtle

Today at church, there were two babies who were blessed by their fathers in sacrament meeting. One of which was the first baby in the family and the other was baby number 9. While I was sitting there I had a thought that I have had many times; what allows one person to have children where someone else is not able to?

I understand that this question can be quite a loaded one which has many different answers to it and it really can be looked at it from a spiritual perspective or from a scientific perspective. As I was sitting there I realized that ultimately it all boils down to the fertility of the couple trying to have children. For example this family that has 9 children, they have been able to conceive naturally, they haven’t had to have any help getting pregnant at all and what I would call a “Fertile Mertile” . According to, the definition of fertility is, “The ability to conceive and have children, the ability to become pregnant through normal sexual activity.”

I know that in the world of trying to conceive, there is a lot of different terminology and differences of opinions. This week I really want to give my thought on what fertility and infertility is all about and define some basic terms. I know when my husband and I started trying to have a baby; I didn’t have any clue about what was entailed in fertility or infertility. Hopefully these next few post can help build your fertility vocabulary or maybe freshen up on it.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Beginning!

Today is the start of a great adventure! I am going to post everyday in 2011 about different thoughts and experiences I have had and will have while traveling though this journey of infertility. I know that this is a big task to take on but I also know that I want to share what I have learned with others. I know one of the biggest things that has helped me is to know that I am not alone! I’m not the only one who’s biggest wish is to be able to have children and that wish has not been fulfilled yet.
I like many of you, growing up all I wanted to be was a mom. After getting married, we waited about 6 months before we felt like the time was right to start trying to have children. I thought that in a couple of months we would get pregnant and then 9 months later I would be a mom. Well obviously that plan didn’t work out because here I am five years later writing a blog about infertility. Although I still want to be a mom, this trial has given me the opportunity to grow and become a much better and stronger person. I wouldn’t take back everything that I have learned and the people I have met along this trail.

This blog will not be perfect, I am sure there will be misspellings and grammatical errors. There will also be some posts that are really long, where others will be really short. This blog will be from the heart and the purpose is to share my story, what I have learned, to help others, and share my testimony of Christ’s love for each of us.

I hope you are all having a wonderful New Year’s Day and that you don’t hesitate to share this blog with someone you love who could benefit from the words that will be shared here.


Kaleen Nelson