Saturday, December 31, 2011

Thank you for the Year

Wow it is hard to believe that this project is coming to a close and that a year ago today I started posting for my goal of posting 365 days this year. I'm proud to say that I accomplished this goal but it wasn't done without the wonderful support of my husband Robert.

Thank you all for reading and sharing this year with me. I have learned a lot and grown so much during the course of this project. I plan of taking a bit of a break before posting on here again and when I do post it will be in very informal, no structure kind of way.

Again thank you for all your support and my this next year be filled with happiness, joy and the accomplishment of many things!


Friday, December 30, 2011

Infertility does not define me

Something I have been thinking a lot about lately is about what defines me. What defines a person? Is it there ability to sing beautifully, is it there ability to cook, are they defined by they type of car they have, or is it by how many children they are able to bear?

There are many times as I have been pondering my inability to have children that I have viewed myself as broken or less of a person because I cannot bear children. I have told my husband that I can't believe he still loves me even though I can't give him children. I have felt like my purpose in life or all of my goals growing up revolved around getting married, getting pregnant, and having around 10 kids.

Since this is what I have told myself for years is the most important thing, it is easy to see where I have let my infertility define me. Over this journey I have come to the realization that I am not my disease! My infertility is a part of me but it is not me. I have learned and grown from infertility and it has helped shape my life but does not define who I am!

I am in charge of who I am and what I become, it is my destiny, and I know I will be a mother. Being a mother may not come the traditional way I had dreamt about but it will come and I cannot allow my infertility to stand in the way. Dwelling on what we don't have is extremely easy when it is all we want. Getting over our loss and moving towards our goal we will be able to find more joy, be more happy, and personally define our own lives how we see fit.  

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Center Your Life in Jesus Christ

"True, enduring happiness, with the accompanying strength, courage, and capacity to overcome the greatest difficulties, will come as you center your life in Jesus Christ. Obedience to His teachings provides a secure ascent in the journey of life. That takes effort. While there is no guarantee of overnight results, there is the assurance that, in the Lord's time, solutions will come, peace will prevail, and happiness will be yours."Richard G. Scott"The Atonement Can Secure Your Peace and Happiness," Ensign, Nov. 2006, 41 
As this is the last spiritual thought for this year, I found this quote that talks about a fact that is completely essential in our lives. If we want to find pure joy we must center our lives around Christ. Christ is our savior, our brother and our friend. He will always be there for us even in our darkest hours. He knows what it is like to be completely alone and forsaken and because of that amazing sacrifice, we never have to feel alone as long as we reach out to him and allow him to take us up in his comforting arms. 

I know that our Father in Heaven and our brother Jesus Christ love us more intensity then we can ever imagine. I also know that they are our first and most staunch supporters of our agency to choose and, as such, they honor that by allowing us to choose to embrace their teachings and come to them or to turn the other way. I know that true happiness can be found in the gospel of Jesus Christ and that through him and his sacrifice families can be together forever.

I will be eternally grateful for the tender mercies that the Lord has shown me through out my trials. I know that he loves me because I have felt his love and I have felt it even at time when I didn't think I deserved it. I am so grateful for such a supportive husband who loves me and has lifted me up and who makes me a better person. Together we make each other stronger and with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we are building a relationship that will continue to grow even past this time we spend together here on earth.

(If are not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and would like to learn more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and what I believe please check out

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Words from others...

Today I wanted to share a few great blogs that I have enjoyed following this past year and have learned a lot from. Certain of these sites are hosted by some of the most amazing people ever. I hope you enjoy!

Val is the amazing mother of 8 children! She is truly one of my heroes and is someone to look towards for advice about mothering, adoption and the influence of infertility.

You can access Val’s blog at:
Dr. Licciardi:

This is a great blog to learn more about the technical side if infertility and the different treatments.
You can access Dr. Licciardi’s blog at:

Ashley has been so gracious to share her story as well as others stories on her blog about infertility and parenting.

You can Access Ashley’s blog at:

A site to more sites:
This is a good resource to find more blogs about infertility:

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The best man in the world

I Know I have written a lot about Robert in the past but I have to say that I am the luckiest woman in the world to be married to a man who understands me and loves me. He truly is the man of my dreams. Of course we have our times where we don’t see eye to eye, or where we get upset about things but I’m very grateful that we have a common goal.

Infertility can put a huge stress on a couple’s relationship and having common goals is a huge factor is a strong relationship. While we strive to have children, our main goal is to return to live with our Father in Heaven. This goal is by far our strongest goal and out weights some of our other more temporal goals.
I am truly grateful for this commonality and for how much my husband cares about me and our family.

I encourage you to give your husband an extra big hug tonight and tell them you love him because without them you wouldn’t be on this journey to have a baby.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Merry Christmas

Luke 2:11 “For unto you is aborn this day in the city of David a bSaviour, which is Christ the cLord.”
I simply want to wish you all a very merry Christmas and to share with you the fact that I know we are so very blessed because Jesus was willing to come to this earth and go through something more terrible than we can imagine so we can be forgiven of our sins.
Merry Christmas and have a wonderful time with family because that is time of the year is a great time to enjoy and strengthen family ties.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

A New Star

It is Christmas eve and all around us there are holiday festivities, family and the wonderful spirit of Christmas is in the air. As we celebrate the season and prepare for Christmas day it is important to remember the story of Christs birth. Tonight it is important to remember the star.

The new star was created as a sign of Christ coming and birth. This new star was something that people all over the world were looking out for in great anticipation because the star represented the coming of the savior. The world up to this point was in need of a savior to be able to be rescued from our sins and to be able to return to our Heavenly Father.

As we enjoy this holiday season, let us look for the stars in our own lives that bring us closer to Christ and his saving grace. Let us look up, for the lord truly does care about each and every one of us, we need to look towards him in all that we do so that we can truly reap the benefits from the sacrifice Christ made when he walked this earth as a man.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Tamara's Story Part 2

In my culture in Utah --where I was primarily raised-- most women had a few little ones by 30, so it was so pleasant to hear at our first consultation just how young I was.  The doctor probably said 5 times...'well, we have plenty of time since you're so young' and 'since you're so young...'.  It was great!  They also were saying things like 60% chance of a baby, and 50% chance of twins.  These were odds I was willing to pay $10,000 dollars for.  And we did--we'll we would have. There are 7 or so states in the nation that have a mandatory policy that insurance must cover at least 50% of IVF (and in MD it was more).  We were so lucky (or guided?) to live in Maryland and ended up spending only $500 dollars to get pregnant.  Our first try with IVF was a success so we felt very lucky.

We had what they refer to as-- unexplained infertility.  Which just meant to me that they hadn't been able to figure out what was going wrong yet.  I always thought to myself 'give it 5 years and the technology will exist to find out what's wrong'-- and in 5 years it did.  We are now embarking on our second IVF journey and have discovered a few things.  First, we know that my husband has a low motility rate.  Plenty of swimmers...they just don't travel.  You'd think the six IUI attempts we've done trying to get our second baby would have solved that problem, but no, it didn't.  

So we're back...contemplating a second round of IVF. Second, we've learned the hard way, that my body doesn't respond to the major IVF drugs as quickly as hoped initially for someone as young (love that:) as me, and that we only produced 6 viable eggs and only 1 embryo that fertilized (which is our daughter Miranda--3 years old in February).  The third thing we've learned in our IVF trials is that once you do get pregnant you are just as susceptible to problems as any other pregnant women.  I went into labor at 28 weeks and Miranda was born weighing only 2.5 pounds.  She was in the hospital due to prematurity for 2 months.  She is now a bouncy almost 3 year old and can talk in full sentences, run, jump and be sassy to her parents, so I think we (again) got lucky there.

It was a sobering lesson that all pregnant women--whether it took them 3 years to get pregnant or 3 days--can have problems and it's one we hope not to repeat.  We've also learned that you don't always have to follow the rules.  In our first IVF cycle (and so far only) we opted not to have the progesterone shot that needed to be administered in the buttocks every night and felt like peanut butter.  We decided to try the progesterone vaginal cream, and since we have baby #1 we think it worked well not to have to have those horrible shots.  It was sort of experimental at the time, but is hopefully (for all those sore buttock out there) more mainstream now.  I hope to be able to convince our Utah doctors of a new idea I've been brewing up (probably not the first they've heard of this, but definitely the first I've heard of it).  My idea is to put me on a high dose of Clomid and create the eggs that way instead of the nasty shots and blood draws that are 3/4 of the IVF pain, and THEN extract the eggs for fertilization.  Since we've learned that my eggs are not the problem, I think this an obvious solution.  We have a looming consultation in the next few months were I will be bringing this up for discussion, so that future is not yet decided. But we are actively moving forward to add more children into our family.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

He Gave His Son

As Christmas time approaches us, this quote is a great reminder of what we should be thinking about this season. We need to make sure that we are grateful for the mercy that our Father in Heaven shows to us and has shown by giving of his son so that we all might live.
"The spirit of giving gifts has been present in the mind of each Christian as he or she commemorates the Christmas season. Our Heavenly Father gave to us His Son, Jesus Christ. That precious Son gave to us His life, the Atonement, and victory over the grave.
"What will you and I give for Christmas this year? Let us in our lives give to our Lord and Savior the gift of gratitude by living His teachings and following in His footsteps. It was said of Him that He 'went about doing good.' As we do likewise, the Christmas spirit will be ours." ~Thomas S. Monson, "What Is Christmas?" Ensign, Dec. 1998, 5

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tamara's Story Part 1

We were married for 7 years before we felt ready to start having children, but it would take us another three years before we'd succeed.  We've always been planners, so getting pregnant was no exception.  We went off the pill three months before we started officially trying, we toured hospitals, we even had a crib and some baby things.  Life, doesn't always work as planned however and about 6 months in to 'trying' with no baby we started to track my cycles and take ovulation tests etc.  We had some friends who had recently been through InVitro Fertilization, so we'd been through their struggles step-by-step (they are very open and generous with their info).  It was nice to have seen someone go through all the shots, the blood draws and then come out with a baby (actually bab-ies, twin boys).  It helped my husband Tyson and I come to terms, way before it was even necessary, with some of the more philosophical questions about IVF, such as:  Was it too scary?  Were we trying to play God?  Would it work?  What if we had multiples?

 One day, my friend doing IVF related a story about a man on an island who was praying to God and asking for deliverance.  A big boat stopped by the island and they asked him if he wanted a ride and he said "no thanks, I'm waiting for God to deliver me".  Well, maybe we are that man and IVF is God's deliverance.  Hasn't everything we know and have learned a gift from God to help us in our struggles?  I like to think YES!  If we have the means and know-how, we should use it.

So...with that in mind, we embarked on our journey.  

As most who are reading this blog either know firsthand or have probably intensively looked into the fact that IVF is very pricey and painful.  So, we weren't eager to start there.  We opted for trying things like Clomid, and then Clomid and Estrogen (just pills), and then we worked our way up to Artificial Insemination (IUI).  After trying three rounds of IUI, we decided to meet with the big fertility specialists in town--Shady Grove Fertility in Rockville Maryland.  They were very helpful and almost conveyor belt-esque with their efficiency and optimism.  I remember well, thinking how many of my friends had several children by my age and thinking I was fairly old to just be starting a family (I was 30).

In my culture in Utah --where I was primarily raised-- most women had a few little ones by 30, so it was so pleasant to hear at our first consultation just how young I was.  The doctor probably said 5 times...'well, we have plenty of time since you're so young' and 'since you're so young...'.  It was great!  They also were saying things like 60% chance of a baby, and 50% chance of twins.  These were odds I was willing to pay $10,000 dollars for.  And we did--we'll we would have. There are 7 or so states in the nation that have a mandatory policy that insurance must cover at least 50% of IVF (and in MD it was more).  We were so lucky (or guided?) to live in Maryland and ended up spending only $500 dollars to get pregnant.  Our first try with IVF was a success so we felt very lucky.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Feeling the love

Today I want you to know that you are loved! Don't ever forget that you are loved so much and that even when times seem tough that there are those out there that love you and think that you do an amazing job!

Keep your head held high and know you are a very loved indvidual!

Monday, December 19, 2011

A word from Allysa...

Our infertility story began in 2007. My husband and I were just finishing college, loving the married life and thinking about starting our family. We started trying to have a baby December of 2007. We finally found out we were pregnant in February of 2008. We were so excited, especially because it didn't take long. Two months later the most devastating thing, which has happened to our family, happened, I started bleeding. I called my doctor and was rushed in for an emergency ultrasound.

My baby had no heartbeat, and my body wasn't miscarrying on its own. I then had to go in for an emergency d&c surgery. I remember waking up from the surgery just bawling, thinking I had lost something and I couldn't control it whatsoever. Those next few months were devastating. No one could understand my pain, my husband couldn't understand why I was so lost, but it was because when I miscarried it was almost as if I lost a huge part of myself as well.

After the pain started to subside, we started trying again. After a few months I couldn't understand why I wasn't getting pregnant when it was so easy the first time. We started going back to my doctor. He felt that maybe my ovulation cycle was off. Sure enough, it was. He then started me on chlomid. I was on and off of that for a year and a half. In November they finally scheduled an HSG test to see of my tubes were clear. They found out that they were in fact clear. I felt horrible at that point that nothing was wrong. Not with me, not with my husband, it just wasn't happening.

That month I was so sad I didn't even bother taking my chlomid, it really messed with my emotions anyway. The beginning of December I finally got a big fat positive on a pregnancy test. In the middle of December I started bleeding again. I was so worried, all I could think was, it's happening again. I quickly went into the doctor for an ultrasound, where he broke the news that we hadn't lost a baby, but in fact we had gained one. We were pregnant with twins. In July 2011 they were born perfectly healthy. I couldn't be more grateful for my fertility journey. Although there was much heartache and many tears, it helped me understand how badly I wanted a child, and I believe helps me now appreciating that role in general because it is a special gift.
~ Allysa

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Random thought

The other evening I was sitting snuggled on the couch with my hubby, the lights from the Christmas tree giving off a soft glow and with White Christmas playing on the TV, I couldn’t help but think about how blessed I am for all that I have. Even though we don’t have children yet, I know they will come and I cherish the moments like these because I know that when the kids come, we may not get moments like that as often.
Usually the holiday are a hard time for me, especially Christmas. I start getting everyone’s family Christmas cards in the mail and I get to see their cute perfect little families. I see parents with their children doing fun family actives and building traditions that will impact their children’s whole life. A lot of the Christmas movies are geared around families and many of them show the parents getting so much joy out of seeing their children get so excited about Christmas and opening their presents.  I think another thing that is hard is the fact that my birthday is around this time and every year I keep getting older and with every birthday it is another reminder that I am getting older and that another year without being able to become a mother.   

Although all of those things are difficult for me, it is times like that night that are a tender mercy for me. I know that the lord is aware of us and our needs as well as he is giving us the time to build our relationship and make it stronger. At this time of year it can be easy to focus on the things I don’t have instead of the things that I do have. I have a little family, granted we don’t have children, but that doesn’t make my family anything less. I have to remind myself that together we can enjoy the Christmas season and our time will come when we will get to celebrate Christmas with our children, we just have to trust in the plan that our father in heaven has for us.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


As we travel through this journey of infertility and through life in general the key is to remember that you are not alone. You have your hubby and you have your support network.

When the time comes and you find yourself at a cross road, always remember as you make your choice as to which path to follow, that if you make it while counseling with the lord and your spouse, the path you choose will be the best one for you and your family.  

Please don’t lose focus on what is important in life. Although having children is important, have a strong marital relationship is vital. As a couple you are in the battle of infertility, not one is alone and together you will make it through.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Roberts thoughts on adoption

The decision to begin with the adoption process wasn’t a simple one.  For me, it wasn’t probably as tough for me as it was for my wife; however, it still gave me the feeling that there may be a possibility that we won’t have our own biological child or children.  It’s not that it couldn’t happen, and it very well could, but my wife and I both felt that we should begin to look into adoption as an option over continuing with possible treatments and surgeries that would cost more than we could afford for now. 

Unfortunately, even ways of having children come down to a financial issue.  I think that we will eventually do other treatments to try to have a biological child, but I also always had it in my mind that we would probably adopt a kid or more throughout our lifetime.  Although we are still in the adoption process of waiting, I am excited to think that there are special children out there just waiting to become a part of our family. 
I know, all this is a little sappy which isn’t really my personality…but what the heck!  We’re talking about our family here so all is fair.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Now Is the Time

This quote is perfect as we prep for the coming of Christmas; it is time to take a look inside and really see our own capacity to love, serve and cherish others.
"Now, my brethren and sisters, the time has come for us to stand a little taller, to lift our eyes and stretch our minds to a greater comprehension and understanding of the grand millennial mission of this The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is a season to be strong. It is a time to move forward without hesitation, knowing well the meaning, the breadth, and the importance of our mission. It is a time to do what is right regardless of the consequences that might follow. It is a time to be found keeping the commandments. It is a season to reach out with kindness and love to those in distress and to those who are wandering in darkness and pain. It is a time to be considerate and good, decent and courteous toward one another in all of our relationships. In other words, to become more Christlike."
Gordon B. Hinckley, "This Is the Work of the Master," Ensign, May 1995, 71

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My Side of the Story

            We have gone through different trials during our marriage, especially regarding trying to have children.  One of the really hard times was when my wife was told by the doctor that she would need to have laparoscopic surgery. 
           When we found out that my wife had to have surgery, I was very protective of the fact that I didn’t want her to have the surgery because I didn’t want her hurt in any way.  For some reason, I was also preoccupied that this surgery would go awry and affect her in the more negative aspect, causing further fertility issues.  I think that most of my apprehensions came down to the fact that I don’t have much experience with surgery and the severity (or lack thereof) of it.  I also have always felt that my wife deserves whatever she wants, and for whatever reason I felt this surgery was a large risk that could hinder all our hard work in trying to have our own children.
               I was of course nervous during the surgery, but everything turned out great.  She had to have one of her tubes removed because it was three times the size of the other.  We knew this would lessen the chances of my wife getting pregnant, but I was relieved that she was feeling fine and that she would recover without any issues.  Although, maybe, the outcome was not what we had exactly hoped, it definitely is part of a grander scheme that I do not yet fully understand.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Our decision

Once we made the decision to adopt the next step was to complete our home study. This home study is a look into our lives to make sure that we would be good parents. We know we would be good parents but the home study is a formality that we had to get past in order to move onto the next step.

Once our profile went live, it has felt like we have been in a hurry up and wait game. We rushed and rushed to get our home study completed just to sit and hope that someone will call. I know that sounds like a cynical way of describing it but it really is what it feels like.

Throughout the process of trying to have a baby, it always seems like an issue of control. When we couldn’t get pregnant on our own and didn’t know what was wrong, I felt helpless. When we started testing and taking clomid, I felt like I had more control over our situation. At least we were actively doing something to help it all out. But when the testing came back and the treatments didn’t work, again I felt helpless.

As we have done the adoption paper work, I felt again like I had more control over the situation because we were actively moving forward and doing our part to grow our family. Once the paper work was done and all the interviews were complete and we were told to just wait, it is hard not to feel like we no longer have control over what is going on in our lives.

I do know, though, that even if at times I felt like I had control, I really didn’t. I have never had control over whether or not we would get pregnant or chosen by a birthmother to adopt her baby: that control has and will always belong to the Heavenly Father. I know that we must do all we can do and the Lord will bless us when the time is right, right in the Lords time and not my own.

I know that if I would have gotten pregnant when I wanted to, I wouldn’t be the person I am today and I wouldn’t have some of my dearest friends in my life because most of the lessons I have learned and the friends I have gain have come because of my infertility. Although it has been a heart wrenching experience at times, I am grateful for all that I have, all I have learned, and the person I have become.  

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cross Roads

It got to the time where we were yet again at a cross road. Did we continue on with fertility treatments or was it time to go in a different direction. About 3 years earlier I had done a lot of research as to what treatment options were out there, their cost and thought about what I would want to do if it ever got to the point where we needed to choose between those options.

If we chose the fertility route the next step would be IVF. IVF is very expensive as well as it would be very risky considering the reaction I had to the clomid the last month I was on it and because of my PCOS. The other factor is that the success rate for IVF is less the 50%. I have a hard time stomaching paying $10,000 plus for less than a 50% chance of it working.

Our other option we were facing was that of adoption. On the cost side, it would cost us about as much as it would to do IVF, there was not health risks involved, and the success rate for adoption is much higher. Some of the negative factors we had to weigh out were the fact that the wait to adopt can be very long and it completely out of our control. Another real part was the fact that I would have to give up the control on my part of not being able to carry our child in our womb, never feeling a baby kick in my belly, and never experiencing labor. Call me crazy but I always wanted to have the experience of being pregnant and going through labor, knowing that I created such a magnificent child.

Choosing between these two options was a difficult one because with both, there are so many unknown factors and so many things that are not in our control.

After much prayer we decided that it was time that we explored the option of adoption. We felt that it would be a better fit for our family and our wellbeing. Infertility treatments are hard and sometimes it is not noticeable the amount of stress it put on a relationship and your emotions.

After making this decision we were at peace about what our next steps would be. A year and a half after meeting with the fertility specialist, we found ourselves sitting in the office of our case worker with LDS family services. We had a lot of fears about what we were about to embark on and what had to be done. Our biggest fear, which I think is the fear of many, is that of rejection, that we would never be picked. AS we sat there the spirit touched our hearts telling us that we were doing the right thing and heading in the direction we were supposed to be heading.

It is at cross roads like this that I am grateful that we don’t have to choose the direction we should head by ourselves, we have another party involved and we are never alone.

One of the amazing things about adoption is that it doesn’t limit us to only adoption; someday we may give IFV a try and see what comes of it. We are not limited, it’s just the beginning.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Treatment and IUI's

Back to the doctors we went, this time with the list of things he wanted us to have done, completed. Since the surgery the next step was to prepare to do a few cycles of insemination. This meant that we would have to balance this around working fulltime, Sean’s school schedule and my cycle; three things that at the time seemed like they may be impossible to coordinate.

The doctor started me off with 100 milligrams of clomid, since they knew I ovulated on clomid there wasn’t a need to put me on anything stronger. They had be purchase a months’ worth of ovulation strips to make sure they knew when the optimal time would be for me to ovulate. Well I started testing on day 10 and it showed that it was positive. I waited and tested again on day 11 and it again said that I was ovulating. This was very confusing to me because I knew it was way too early to be ovulating so I called the doctor’s office and they agreed. They told me to take a test again on day 12 and if it was positive again they would have me come in for an ultrasound on day 13.

Day 12 showed positive again so they had me come in to see what was going on. The ultrasound showed that my ovaries were growing the eggs, 2 on one ovary and 1 on the other, but that they weren’t to the size they needed to be for me to be ovulating. They decided to run some blood work to see what was going on and they found out that I did have high LH levels but that it was caused by my PCOS. They told me that because of the PCOS, my ovaries were putting off more LH than normal. They determined that I would need to come in to have an ultrasound done every month to see if I was ovulating rather than doing the home test.

Since I had gone in, they decided to send me home with instructions to come back in within the next couple of days. They gave me a prescription for a drug that would help my eggs to be released wit in the next 24 hours. Well we scheduled the appointments and got ready to do our first IUI cycle. This would be a little tricky but we were willing to make it work. Robert had to drive 30 minutes to get the drug I needed and I ended up having to inject myself, in my stomach, with the drug in one of the bathroom stalls at work. This wasn’t the most comfortable situation but it was what we could do.

The next day, Robert went into the doctor’s office 2 hours before I did to give them his stuff and then I followed after him. I went to the doctors and they had Roberts’s swimmers, cleaned and ready to go. They had my lie on the table with me feet in stirrups, as the nurse inserted a long tube into my uterus. At first she had a hard time finding the opening of my cervix, which was a little painful but once she found it she inserted the tube as far back as she could and slowly squirted the swimmers into the cavity. I was instructed to then lie on the table for about 15 min to make sure to give the swimmers a chance to make their way to my tube. After my time was up, I had to head back to work. I had tried to take a long lunch but since it took me so long, I had to work extra to make up the time.

We waited patiently and prayed hard that this procedure would take and that we would be able to be pregnant. Unfortunately that was the Lords will as I started my period right on time. I called to let the doctor know and they told me to start the next cycle of clomid. Around day 14, I scheduled a time to go in and have another ultrasound done. This time the ultrasound wasn’t as positive as the first. They said that I had one egg growing inside of a cyst from the precious cycle on the right ovary but non on the left, it also showed that I had other residual cysts from the prior cycles. We decided since the likelihood of getting pregnant was slim seeing as I didn’t have a tube on that side and the fact that the one egg was inside of another cyst, that we would cancel this cycle and not do the insemination. The doctor did want to see me back before I started taking clomid again to make sure that the other cysts had gone down in size.

So the next month as my cycle started, I scheduled a time to go in and have another ultrasound done. This one showed that the cyst was still there but had gone down in size. The doctor felt that it would be safe for me to continue on with taking another cycle of clomid. As day 12 or 13 of my cycle neared, I started to get very sharp pains around my right ovary. I wasn’t quite sure what it was and thought that it might have just been ovulation pains but at the same time they seemed way to sharp and lasted way too long to be ovulation pains.

I called the doctor and they said that it could be an over stimulated ovary and if it got worse that I should go to the emergency room. I ended up leaving work because the pain was getting stronger and stronger. Once I got home I realized that it was indeed getting worse because I couldn’t even stand anymore, I had resorted to curling up in a ball on the floor. I called Robert and told him that he needed to take me to emergency room.

He rushed home scooped me off the floor and hurried me over to the emergency room. It didn’t take to long for them to get me in; they quickly hooked up an IV, took some blood, and then gave me some morphine.  Side note here, I really do not like morphine, it does help with the pain, but it gives me awful shakes. Anyway, after explaining what was going on, they ordered and ultrasound to see what was going on. Of course the ultrasound tech wouldn’t tell us anything so it was back to the room to wait for the results. The ER doctor came in and told me that there was a lot of fluid around my right ovary and they were pretty sure I had a cyst that had ruptured on that ovary. They said that would explain the pain and the other symptoms.

This ruptured cyst turned out to be one of the most painful things I have ever been through! I can only imagine what labor must feel like. Well they gave me some more prescriptions for pain medicine and for an antibiotic to make sure that nothing got infected, and then home we went.

After the ordeal of ending up in the hospital, we decided that it was time to reevaluate our goals and how we were going to get there.   

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Our first visit with the fertility specialist was very informative. Before we went in we had to fill out tons of information about us, our medical history and have all of our exams/test results sent over to the doctor’s office. Before we even came in he had reviewed our file and knew just what questions to ask.
After our first visit, we had a plan! The fertility doctor wanted to have a few more tests run to makes sure the previous tests were correct. So I had another ultrasound completed and then had a saline sonogram done. The results from the sonogram again showed that I my tube wasn’t really working and that I had a polyp in my uterus. After the exams were done, it was time to talk to my OB/GYN about scheduling surgery.

The laparoscopic surgery was scheduled for January. We wanted to wait till the beginning of the year so that our deductible would be met for the whole year, verses doing it in November. One of the problems with scheduling it out so far is that you have to be between days 1 and 10 of your cycle. This actually caused a bit of a problem for me because come December my period didn’t show. I wasn’t pregnant, I had taken enough tests to know that, but my period still wasn’t coming. It got to the end of the month and I knew if it started then, I would have to reschedule the surgery, since it was on the 12th of January.

This actually caused me quite a bit of grief because I didn’t want to have to reschedule, I just wanted it over with. Well the day of the surgery loomed closer and I still hadn’t started. My doctor had put me on some medicine to help start my period but it still wasn’t working. On the morning of the surgery, my doctor had me again take a pregnancy test; they took some blood work, all returning negative. They concluded that I wasn’t pregnant and that I would be able to continue on to have the surgery.

After waiting in the prep area for what seemed like forever, they finally wheeled me into the surgery room. As I kissed Sean goodbye, I could see the concern in his face and here the love he had for me in his voice. The ushered him out to the waiting room as I was taken in to sign some more paperwork.

I think it is funny that they have you sign a bunch of paperwork, talk to the doctor and the anesthesiologist, and then they inform you that you won’t remember having these conversations. You would think that would do that well before so you can remember the instructions they have given you. Anyway, after that was done into the surgery room I went. After the anesthesiologist had given me the medicine, the next thing I remember is waking up and asking the nurse if I had been singing.

Once I had recovered and woken up from the medicine they took me back to the room where Sean was waiting for me. The doctor then came in told me what had happened. During the surgery they found out that my uterus looked great and there weren’t any polyps. My left tube looked great as well but that my right tube was extremely damaged. They ended up removing the damaged tube leaving me with one functioning tube. They also felt that I had a slight tubal endometriosis.  This comes when the lining of the tube starts to grow in other areas then just the tube. The doctor informed us that even though the left tube looked picture perfect, they said that there wasn’t a way to check the and see the inside and that since the right tube was so damaged, it was likely that the other one may have damage on the inside.

Laparoscopic surgery recovery wasn’t to terribly bad. I had three incisions made, one in my belly button, one right above my pelvic bone and one a bit above my left hip. I think after the first day, the worst part is the gas that they fill your abdomen with. What is left irritates the diaphragm, which in turn sends referred pain into the shoulders and neck.  The other hard part was using the bathroom. You forget how much you use your stomach muscles until they are so sore that it hurts to even go to the bathroom.

After the surgery and I had recovered a bit more, it was time to head back to the fertility doctor. It was time to get busy with trying to get pregnant again.

Friday, December 9, 2011


Searching for the right doctor can be hard, especially when you’re not quite sure who is going to help you out the best. After looking online at different doctor’s information and seeing who would accept our insurance, we finally came across a doctor that I felt comfortable going and seeing. She was and OB/GYN who specialized in endocrinology.

After my exam, she listened carefully to everything that I had to say and to what I had done in the past. This time I came in prepared! I wasn’t going to go out of that office without a plan. I had kept copious notes on my cycle and tracked everything that we had done so far. After I was done talking to her she suggested that we try clomid again but only after I had had some testing done. She said that we needed to figure out what was causing my infertility and not just assume that clomid would fix the problem.

The first exam she had me do a was a simple ultrasound and I say simple now because considering everything I have done since then, an ultrasound is very simple. During the ultrasound, they discovered that I had quite a few cysts on each of my ovaries. Having that many cysts was a huge indicator that I had polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS. This is usually caused when a woman is not ovulating correctly and can cause her to not ovulate at all.

With these findings, my doctor decided to put me on a drug called metformin. Metformin is a diabetic medicine that helps regulate the processing of sugar. My doctor informed me that all though I am not diabetic (this was determined through several blood tests) that my body was not processing the sugars correctly which can cause problems with ovulation. So she wrote me a prescription and I started taking metformin.

She still wanted to do further testing to make sure that all my reproduction organs were functioning correctly and looked healthy. That is when she scheduled for me to have a hysterosalpingogram (HSG), to make sure that my tubes were clear.

This is the test where they inject an iodine solution in through the uterus and push it through the tubes. The iodine is a great reflector for the x-ray machine to pick up, so after they have pushed the iodine through the uterus they start up the imagining equipment. My Radiologist was very nice and allowed me to see what was going on and what they were doing. Although this is not a very comfortable exam, it was neat to see that was going on.

The results ended up showing that I had one tube that was blocked where the other seamed clean and clear. The radiologist then proceeded to tell me that the tube could have closed up in reaction to the test and there could be nothing wrong with it, or there could be problems. She then continued to assure me that the since everything else looked great, there should be no reason why I shouldn’t get pregnant soon. I think the worst thing about the HSG exam is that fact that I found out that I was actually allergic to Iodine. For a week or two after the test, I was extremely sick, word to the wise, don’t have this exam done if you are allergic to iodine.

Back to the doctors I went. My doctor informed me that it was ok to start taking the clomid and that it is likely, depending on which ovary ovulated, that I could still get pregnant with one tube. So back onto clomid we went. Another 3 months passes by to no avail.

By this time Sean was ready to head back to grad school and I had been offered a job in Utah which made it impossible to continue fertility treatments. We decided that we for our 5th anniversary we would go see a fertility specialist, to really figure out what was going on.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


“If you do not hope, you will not find what is beyond your hopes.”

-St. Clement of Alexandra

I think anybody could apply this quote into their lives, especially with all the challenges that occur every day.  I don’t feel that this “hope” is the same hope that the English language is perceived by most. 

In Portuguese, the word for hope is “esperar,” which is literally means to expect.  In this sense, the word “hope” is part of the definition of the word “faith.”  Just as in Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Therefore, think that faith is regarding things expected.  This doesn’t mean that whatever we expect will occur, but in fact means that as we display our faith in Jesus Christ, we are actually expecting that we will do whatever the Lord expects of us.     

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The First Doctor

The first doctor that we went to, he was nice but a very busy general practitioner. Our first visit consisted of a pelvic exam and the, oh so wonderful, Pap smear. Robert had come with me because we wanted to talk to the doctor about our situation. Well after telling him that we had been trying for a year and a half, he looked at my chart, looked at my age and then said, “ you are very young, so we will put you on clomid, have Robert tested  but I have no doubt that you will get pregnant quickly!” He then proceeded to tell Robert that he would probably need a helmet to deal with my mood swings.

Robert’s swimmers checked to be very strong and so we were hopeful that the drug would work and that we would get pregnant quickly. Robert was a bit worried about me taking any fertility medications and was afraid of the complications that could come from it. After a bit of prayer and research, we decided to go ahead and give clomid a whirl.

The first month wasn’t too bad but I was not a fan of the heat flashes that would come due to the drug. As the day of my supposed next period drew near I anxiously awaited to see if we had been successful. I had been charting and knew that I had ovulated and we had timed everything perfectly. After I ovulated, my breast where so tender, I felt like I was having pregnancy symptoms. Well the due date of my period came and went and I was super excited so the next morning I excitedly took a pregnancy test. It was negative, I was still hopeful though because I had heard lots of stories where people wouldn’t get a positive pregnancy test but they were still pregnant. I thought I just had to be pregnant.

Well later on that day I started lightly bleeding. Again I was still hopeful because I thought it has to be implantation bleeding. By that night my period was in full force and I was devastated. Well we made the doctor’s appointment to make sure that my ovaries were good and then they gave me another prescription of clomid. We tried it for two more months to no avail. The doctor then wanted us to try insemination if we were to do a forth cycle of clomid.

We knew that we would be leaving in a few months because Robert would be graduating and we just didn’t feel right about doing the inseminations. So we decided to give the medicine and doctor’s visits a break for a while.

After Robert graduated we moved to Oregon to live with my grandparents and help take care of them. We also moved so that I could finish school and run one more year of track. We didn’t stop trying to get pregnant we just knew that if we got pregnant I would stop doing track. Well I ended up coaching Track for a local High school and Robert was working part time at a different High School as a teacher’s aid and baseball coach.

We didn’t have insurance at the time and decided that we would have to wait till we did to be able to start going to the doctors yet again. We moved to Oregon in January of 2008 and didn’t have insurance until that fall when Robert got a full time job about an hour away from my grandparent’s house. So we once again moved closer to his work.  We knew that we would be there for a little bit and were excited to be able to go to the doctor again and figure out why we weren’t able to have children.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Discovering an unpleasant...

As the months started to roll by the emotions started to rage. Pain and disappointment started to set in and I didn’t know what was going on. We were young, active and shouldn’t be having any problems getting pregnant!
There were months where I had some serious melt downs and poor Robert was left not knowing how to comfort me.  As we entered into the summer months, we were looking at moving again, and knew that we wouldn’t have insurance or a way to see a doctor about what was going on.

It was a time of transition and we knew that we still had a few months before we thought any doctor would see us. We had packed our bags one more time and headed off to Provo Utah where Robert was going to finish up his degree. After about 6 months I was able to find a job that offered benefits and we were able to finally go to the doctor’s office. This happened about a year and a half after we had started trying to conceive and opened the next phase of our journey: the doctor’s visits and medical treatments.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Our story

You have heard parts of my story here and there and I guess you could say I have been sharing my story all year long but I want to share where we are right now. Some of our decisions may not have been the popular choice but they are part of who we are and I also want to share why we made them.

One of our first choices that may have seemed out of the norm is that fact that we got married young: I was 19 and Robert was 22. I was in my sophomore year of school and had only been away from home for a year when we were married and although Robert was older he was in his junior year. We were both highly active in sports, I was playing basketball and track and he was playing baseball. Life was busy, we were poor but things were good.

About a month after we were married, Robert came to me and told me that he felt that we should probably look at moving. He wasn’t sure why but he knew that we were no longer supposed to stay where we were. I was shocked at first but after a lot of fasting, temple going, and prayer, we decided that we would be moving. We decided to move closer to home on the west coast versus being on the east coast and chose a college that would allow us to still play sports, and that would have the programs we wanted to study.

Leaving Virginia was probably one of the hardest things I had done because I was in the middle of a basketball season and had to tell my team that I would no longer be attending school there. Sean had to also inform his team that he would not be there for baseball in the spring. We loaded up our car with everything we owned and headed to Florida for our honeymoon and then onto Utah for Christmas. One transmission later and a couple thousand miles more on our tires, we finally made it to Oregon.

We set up shop in the small college town we had chosen and got busy with our schooling and again with sports. The spring semester had started and we were in the full swing of things when I had this feeling that it was time to start trying for children. We were in the middle of our seasons and so we decided that we would go off the pill but still use protection. At the time I had just turned 20 and Robert was 23, to some we were too young to be trying to become parents and that we should wait until we were done with school and into our careers first.

The problem with that perspective is that when we felt that it is time to try to have a child, we didn’t want to wait, and for some crazy reason we didn’t care if we barely had enough money to feed ourselves. We knew that if the lord had instructed us to have children he would provide for us and it would be easy but there would be way to survive.

So to be honest we were the most faithful to use the other methods of birth control but we decided to stop using it all together around the middle of April. We did the math and if we got pregnant that month I would probably stop track but we figured it would probably take more than one month to get pregnant since I still wasn’t having regular cycles since being off of the pill. So when the first couple of months passed by and there wasn’t a pregnancy we weren’t devastated.

… to be continued

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Journey

First off it is hard to believe that this is December and that there is now less then one month left till I have posted 365 thoughts on infertility. The interesting thing about infertility is how quickly you can go from being infertile to fertile and before you know it you are parents, no longer thinking about the pain and anguish that came from not being able to get pregnant.

That pain of not being able to conceive is real and is something that can be very difficult to deal with but one thing that I know has helped is knowing that I am not alone and also from learning from others stories. This month as we near the end of this blog, I want to share the stories of others who have traveled down this road or are still on it. Learning from others stories truly can help bring peace and understanding to this process. Now I'm not saying that it takes the pain away but it helps and can be a source of comfort in a time of need.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Although National adoption month is over, I hope you can keep the spirit of adoption in your heart. Adoption really is all about love. Love for each other, love of a family, and most importantly the love for a child. Adoption is a process that truly changes the heart and the soul. It changes a thought process and can open a new door to a world of new ideas and emotions. We are all here to learn and grow and through adoption we can do that in ways never dreamed possible.

As mentioned at the beginning of the this month, adoption is not for everyone and just because someone is not able to have biological children doesn't mean that adopting is the right option for them. Not every one who is infertile will adopt and that is ok because the matter of having children is always something that is between husband and wife and the lord. It is their choice and as such we need to be supportive of each other. 

Friday, December 2, 2011


Once you are approved to be able to adopt it is time to breath. It is easy to get caught up in all the paperwork and the ambiance of the process but it time to relax a little and to not stress (easier said then done I know). I found this quote today and although its not a quote day, I want to share it anyway:

"Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure." -Oprah

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Choice to Be Grateful

“We all can make the choice to give thanks in prayer and to ask God for direction to serve others for Him—especially during this time of year when we celebrate the Savior’s birth.”

—President Henry B. Eyring
First Presidency Message