Two Pieces of Advice on Coping with Infertility

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As many of you know, it took Jordan and I nearly three years to get pregnant with Phoenix. Eventually — after tests upon tests — we discovered I wasn’t ovulating. Or at least I wasn’t ovulating regularly enough to get pregnant on my own.

It’s been awhile since I last wrote about infertility. Recently, I have received a lot of questions on how to manage the emotional ups and downs of infertility. In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week, I want to share two things that, if I had understood, would have helped me.

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An Impromptu Maternity Photoshoot

Maternity Photoshoot San Francisco

When infertility is part of your story there are moments you aren’t sure you’ll ever experience: showers, baby registries, decorating a nursery and of course a maternity photoshoot.

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For When You Get Pregnant

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Since the fateful weekend where I took five pregnancy tests and discovered I could get pregnant, I’ve wondered how I would address moving from the camp of “infertility” to the camp of “mom.”

There is a solidarity in finding others who are struggling the same way you are struggling. I found my journey to be much more bearable once I discovered I wasn’t alone. And while we are all hoping for our miracle baby, when someone leaves the camp, those still in the camp rejoice but a little bit of sadness still remains.

Most nights I think of all the women (that followed my journey or vice-versa) who are still waiting for their positive pregnancy test and I wonder, “Why me?”

It’s overwhelming to think about, and I want you to know I haven’t forgotten.

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Three’s Company

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I’ve always been a fan of sitcoms. Ever since I was a little girl… I even imagined what it would be like to star in one myself. One funny, not-so-secret trick that prop people utilize when one of a show’s female stars becomes pregnant is they make the actress walk around with boxes and packages or have them stand behind some obstruction to hide their belly. Well, If I was a star in a sitcom, I would be walking around with a box for nine months because… I’M PREGNANT!

It’s still a bit overwhelming to talk about but I will try!

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Will You Trust Me?

Infertility | Will You Trust Me?

I spend a lot of time thinking of fertility and my lack there of, time spent on trying to not spend so much time thinking of what I want but yet don’t have…it’s all rather exhausting. As the years go on, sharing bits and pieces of our story is difficult for the very reason it’s rewarding: people are invested. It’s a lot easier to keep this part of me internal, but I can’t do this alone so I will continue to share.

I’ve felt unsettled lately. It’s a cross between lack of sleep and this season of busyness we’re in. The aspect of timing haunts me whenever I am required to think too far in advance (which is very unlike my pre-infertility days). This apprehension leads me to avoid forecasting and planning, but I also become frustrated when last-minute things arise which cause Jordan and I to be apart. The job of trying to have a baby is taxing at times.

In August, I finished my fourth round of ovulation stimulation drugs (three rounds of Clomid, one round of Fermara). My doctor was hoping to kick my body into gear, so I was prescribed a higher dose. Thankfully, I didn’t feel many side effects despite the change in dosage. The big difference for the month was I had an ultrasound to check the general status. Lo and behold I had SIX eggs. My follicles and uterine lining were healthy too, which was really nice to hear.

“I’m not sure why you are having trouble conceiving with all of these eggs,”  the technician kindly joked.

“Yeah, I couldn’t tell you.” was the only response I could muster.

I left my appointment with a stern warning about the likelihood of conceiving multiple children. Long before beginning fertility drugs, Jordan and I had a discussion and felt comfortable despite our increased chance (my grandmother had twins naturally, so one never really knows). I tried waiting, but I caved and took a pregnancy test. I felt pretty positive during the five minute wait. When the time was up, I stared at the indicator as one pink horizontal line dashed my hope.

I wrestled for a moment, in the bathroom, on how I would react to the disappointment. I mean, my body appeared to be optimally geared for baby making. What was wrong this time?

My patience gets tested on a monthly basis as there is no way to know if this month will be the month. We were advised to take time off of Clomid so my follicular fluid could fully absorb.

There are only a few more months for the possibility of a 2016 baby,” are the thoughts that plague me.

So much of this journey begs me to answer this question from God, “Will you trust me?”

Will you trust me with your hopes, dreams and desires? Will you trust me in providing for you? Will you trust me in the seasons of drought and plenty?

Trusting in His sovereignty…in His love for Jordan and I, isn’t easy but it is the only way.

What next, Lord? We just want to bring you fame.

Joy, Pain and Truth

Lubbock, Texas

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the art of having a blog and what I want to convey to you, the friends who visit this space. We all have influence; our number of Instagram followers might be small (compared to 50K!) but that doesn’t negate the fact that someone is listening to the words you choose to share. I desire for all my words to be sprinkled with honesty and hope.

Here are a few thoughts that have been swirling around my mind. These are my words…

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I’m Not Barren + Infertility Update

I'm Not Barren + An Infertility Update

Several months ago, Natalie wrote a post about how trying to get pregnant is really all about timing. Now that Jordan and I are two and a half years into the baby-making business, I am in full agreement with her viewpoint. Timing is everything. You begin with the best of intentions, but life quickly can become hectic. Syncing up doctors appointments, business travel, ovulation schedules, blood tests and everyday life events is difficult.

I’ve decided to outline our infertility journey and clarify where we are at the moment. Friends and acquaintances have been asking around.

Hello, friends and acquaintances.

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Weekend Links / / Infertility Awareness

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National Infertility Awareness Week began on Sunday. Jordan and I are that one in eight couples who struggle with infertility. It’s scary to be vulnerable, but I am honored to share my story. Learning to embrace myself has been difficult occasionally because I had assumed I would be a mother by now. In this time, I’ve taken the opportunity to reflect, learn and grow.

I believe we are not defined by labels, we are defined by being children of God. He meets us in whatever season we’re in and shows us we are loved. That lesson, one of being okay with me, came unexpectedly and with gentle force. I still desire to be a mother, but God continues to bless me in many other mysterious ways. I’m really enjoying the life we have cultivated in Nashville. My marriage, family, friends, job, blog and weekly adventures are full of purpose.

If I could go back in time and tell myself anything I would say: it’s okay to be sad for a moment, allow yourself to curl up on the couch and eat dark chocolate; don’t be afraid to seek support; and if someone says something insensitive, know that they mean well.

God is so good!

/ / While we were in Toronto, Emily was gallivanting around Paris and Milan. Italy sounds heavenly. Any country that is brimming full of gelato shops is my kind of place. 🙂 I can’t wait to hear more of her adventures!

/ / Lisa put together a huge list of bloggers who share their infertility story. I wish this list would have existed two years ago! Lisa has been so candid about their journey and recently she went through another round of IVF and is now pregnant. I’m so happy for her. 🙂

/ / This week I made these Salted Dark Chocolate Coconut Macaroons. DELISH! I had a bit of trouble with the chocolate, but I think it was just because I can be impatient when it comes to baking and didn’t allow things to cool properly. I enjoyed them frozen with a cup of Irish breakfast tea.

/ / When I read Brittany’s latest recap of her trip to California, I was struck by our similarity. Jordan and I make a point to visit friends and family on trips if we happen to be in the same city. Brittany and her husband did just that and while it can be  tricky working around different peoples schedules, the memories that are made are so worthwhile!

/ / Kristel reminds us that it’s okay to not like every season and phase you find yourself in.

Happy Weekend, all!

/ / Want to leave a reply?

/ / Linking with Meagan & Susanna.

Infertility Blogs to Read

Infertility Blogs to Read

“You took my burden as your burden and made it your own and reminded me that courage feels a lot like caring and kindness. I want to be one that marches alongside others. To be that reminder that you are not alone in your own walks.” — Bek

Besides Smitten Kitchen’s food blog that I read as a newlywed, Hey Natalie Jean, was the first I thoroughly became invested in. The concept of lifestyle blogging is kind of weird and one is either a blog reader or not – – and I don’t mean reading a friend’s blog, I mean reading about people you will most likely never meet in person.

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Weekend Links / / Snowed In

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After dropping Jordan off at the airport on Saturday night for a work trip, I wanted to hit the ground running. I filled my calendar with dinner and coffee dates and had lofty intentions to get a good chunk of our taxes prepped and organized, register our license plates, run errands, etc…and then the snow began to fall on Nashville. I am used to extreme weather, but Chicago has the infrastructure to handle it. Nashville simply does not! The lack of snow plows and salt trucks pose a real threat to the safety of the locals.

The weather (affectionately dubbed #snowbama) rearranged my work schedule and nearly wrecked my car as I tried to get to work. After all this, I’m wiped out! I am so ready to sleep-in tomorrow and pick up my much missed husband from the airport!

I haven’t read Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts, but I stumbled upon her blog while browsing Bloglovin’. “The reward of loving is in the loving; loving is itself the great outcome of loving.” How Real People Really Make Love. Sacrifice, comfort, and choosing each day to be present with one another is real love.

As I near 30, more of my friends have become parents. It’s special witnessing someone become a parent, but then the separation begins. The separation between moms and not moms and moms and adoptive moms…and the rest of us. It’s not always easy being on the sidelines. Sally beautifully shared that she is no more of a mom than the rest of us.

Gluten-free baking isn’t as easy as replacing all-purpose flour with a one-to-one ratio. I don’t have the cabinet space to keep a lot of different flour obligations handy. I’m excited about these pancakes and waffles that only use oat flour. Kate’s advice to freeze some extras to eat during the week is perfect for me since I have to eat breakfast on the go a lot! I love breakfast food.

The perfect solution for hanging miscellaneous pictures and prints. This would also be a great solution for greeting cards! I’m pretty sure I saw something similar floating around during the holidays, but I love how Samantha made this washi tape gallery wall so simple.

..And Kristen Schaal for the win! #manspreaders

Happy Weekend, all!

/ / Want to leave a reply?

/ / Linking with Meagan.