#makeyourownbaby – round 2

#lifelesson – never put a count into your blog title, because if you start with “round 1” God thinks it’s funny to add sequential rounds.

So, no.  We are not pregnant. Our little embryo probably never attached. But we’ve got two more just waiting for us at the embryologist.


This next week will be starting a medicated cycle in hopes of a frozen embryo transfer or FET in late May. I think it’s fair to say that we are still hopeful at this point. At the same time, all of the unknowns make my heart ache for answers.

A couple weeks ago, I preached about fear.  Fear of the concrete and the unknown. And if I was going to be completely honest in how I am feeling about our next transfer it would be that I’m afraid.

I’m afraid that our embryos will die in the thawing process.  I’m afraid that our next transfer won’t be successful. I’m afraid that we’ll get pregnant and miscarry. I’m afraid this is just another step on the path pain and anger that will only lead back to anguish.

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW).  This year’s theme is “Flip the Script.”

#FlipTheScript—RESOLVE wants to change the conversation around infertility so the public, media, insurers, healthcare professionals and lawmakers understand:

  • The scope of the problem and who is struggling to build a family. (hint: it’s not just “older women” who “waited too long” to start a family)
  • There are many barriers for millions of people who struggle to build a family. These barriers include lack of insurance coverage, out-of-pocket costs, faith and religion, sexual orientation, and state and federal laws.
  • The impact of infertility is far reaching—it impacts family, friends, co-workers, and employers.

Chances are you know someone who struggles with fertility.  But not everyone wants to talk about.  One of the reasons we decided to share our story is because we wanted other people to feel like they weren’t the only ones going through infertility.  It’s such a lonely journey that it’s just silly to think that you need to do it all alone. I have found community in online forums that have been really helpful processing my thoughts and feelings with other women who are going through the exact same things.

J and I have met so many other couples who are dealing [or have dealt] with the same decisions we are making. These relationships have made it so much easier not to wallow in the sadness. You know who you are and we thank you for listening and sharing with us.


A & J

#makeyourownbaby – Round 1

For those of you who have been following our story, you’ve more than likely noticed our lack of posting. But up until now, there hasn’t been anything to share except what we’ve already said.

But at the beginning of January, we started the last steps of  “Operation Petri”(dish).

So we thought we’d share a recap of our last year of patiently waiting.

In the spring of 2017, after over a year of trying to get pregnant, we decided to both follow up with our doctors.  Through our appointments and tests, it was determined that the most probable reason we’d been unable to conceive was due to something called male factor infertility (MFI).  Although there is sperm, it was in very low concentrations with sperm motility issues. Which basically meant that hardly any sperm was reaching the uterus to meet up with an egg.  So we were referred to a urology specialist to talk about options to increase the chances of getting pregnant.


lost sperm


After consulting with the Urologist, we decided the best course of action would be in-vitro fertilization or IVF.  So then we were referred to the Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) office at Mayo Clinic.  We’d met with a doctor there to discuss treatment options and determine if we were good candidates for the process.  Long story short, we were great candidates, but there was one little snag.

Last winter, we decided to participate in our church’s  service learning trip to Haiti.  [You can read more about that here.] If you aren’t familiar with traveling overseas, sometimes you need to update vaccinations or get medications to avoid diseases you might not get here in sub-tropical Minnesota.

In the last few years, Zika virus has made the news because of its ability to transfer from a mother to her baby during pregnancy. The virus which is spread through mosquito bites has also been known to cause certain birth defects.  Haiti happens to be a potential location for contracting Zika virus which can stay dormant in your body for up to six months.  Since we were planning to travel to Haiti in June, we had to wait until six months after we returned to start any sort of IVF preparations.  Our six months was up at the end of December

So now in January, after six long months – we can finally start!



Operation Petri!!


The first week in January, J had a procedure called TESE (testicular sperm extraction) to remove sperm directly.  It was a simple procedure, but stress-inducing on both our parts.  We were both relieved when they finally found sperm on the test slide.  A even got to see the sperm through a microscope!!

The second week of January was our orientation.  The REI staff walked us through our final decisions about future embryos and what the plan was for egg retrieval, fertilization, and embryo transplant.  Our nurse walked us through the process of prepping and administering stimulation shots.  Later that week, A had a baseline ultrasound to make sure they would have a good “before” picture.

Now we are here – week three of January.  Last night, was our first round of shots and after all the waiting and anticipation it really wasn’t so bad.


A & J

i. hate. needles.


This past Sunday we began our four month journey of preparing for an assistive reproductive procedure know as in vitro fertilization.  It was cycle day 3 which meant blood work aka needles.

Ask my parents how I feel about needles and you’ll get some “fun” stories including the time I cried all day long before a vaccine that I didn’t even feel. Or the time I thought I was the only one of my friends who didn’t need to visit the health unit for Junior High vaccines…

Over the past 10 years I have gotten much better; even giving blood twice!  And I always try to get a flu shot rather than the inhaled version.  I guess I decided that needles were never going to go away, so I’d simply just get over it.  But that was before infertility happened.  When I’ve thought about pregnancy and needles, I think about IVs and epidurals.  I never considered the possibility that the one thing that I hated the most would be the one thing I need to do to get my body ready to carry our child.

So anyway, here I was sitting in waiting room at the clinic on a Sunday morning.  When I had checked in the technician had mentioned the need for additional bloodwork or as she called it “the 2 for 1 special”.

There were only a few other people in the waiting room that morning, but one person caught my eye with a look of sadness and despair in her eyes.  Before my name was called the doors flung open and a fragile frame of an older man was wheeled out into the waiting room.  The woman pushing him introduced herself as a nurse from oncology.  I realized something in that moment – here I was worried about a tiny needle that would siphon blood into a tube [or five] that would help determine the possibility of becoming pregnant and that man’s life is probably being tended to through that very same instrument.

I was thinking about children and adults who go through life only knowing the reality of sickness and doctors and those damn needles.  And that sometimes our fears are the miracle to someone else’s pain.

As I went back to have blood draw, I decided that rather than worrying about my comfort through the needle pricks I am going to try to remember to pray for those in the hospital rooms around me.  I’m not in any kind of mortal danger. What we’re going through is hard, yes, but it’s not life or death.  So I’m going to turn my worries into prayers for comfort and healing in others. Join me if you like.

So there I was sitting in the lab chair, verifying my name and birthdate. The lab technician turned to me and asked “which arm we should start with…?” Que God’s roaring laughter — turns out the “2 for 1 special” means two blood draws for one patient.

I left the clinic with gauze wrapped around both elbows and prayers in my heart.



To my little sister


My dear little bug,

Congratulations – you’re going to be a momma all over again!

I know I don’t always say it, but I am so proud of the woman, wife, and mother that you’ve become.

I know sometimes you might tip-toe around my feelings. And I’m sure I’m annoying to listen to when I pout that life isn’t going my way. I’m sorry if it feels like I only call or text to see or talk with O…sometimes I really am just calling because I want to talk to you.

And the truth is –

I wish I could help you. I wish I would know what to say when O won’t take his nap. I wish I could help you figure out how to potty train a little boy who can feel the difference between diapers and pull-ups.  Or how to get through postpartum depression.

I long for the day when we can brag over whose kids are smarter. Or when I can ask you for parenting advice.  But for now I will take comfort in our friendship and that we’ll always be there for each in the midst of the lows and highs of life.

Love you,

sister pooh

Just waiting

If you have met me before you know that I’m not the most patient soul. If you don’t believe me just ask my mom.  I’ve always been ten steps ahead of my life’s reality.

I had a nervous breakdown (read: hospitalization in college because I couldn’t stand waiting for my life to move forward.  I’d become entrenched in the idea that I needed to be in a committed relationship to have a worthwhile life & that I needed to find that relationship before I graduated.  [different post for another day]

Something changed for me and I decided to focus more on my relationship with God. In a time that brought out the worst of who I am, I tried to rely on God to help me see my future in Him.  Working summers in outdoor ministry and volunteering at a local church helped me to refocus my life on the passions God has laid upon my heart.  My relationship with God has allowed me to reframe my life experience to serve Him.

Today I still find myself anxiously waiting.  Waiting to be a mother and wondering…

“Why do other women get pregnant so easily?”

“When will it be our turn?”

“Will we ever get pregnant?”


An great man once told me – “why not us?”
What makes us exempt from struggles in life?

Nothing, absolutely nothing. 

God doesn’t care whether we have it all together or if we do and say the right things.  God doesn’t promise that everything will go exactly as we’ve planned out in our “perfect teenage diaries.”  God’s promise isn’t that we’ll be happy every waking moment of our entire life. And God certainly never promised for J & I to be parents.

What God has promised is His ever-enduring love for us.  As we continue through the Easter season, we are reminded that God is always for us.  God was moved so deeply in His love for the whole world that He sent His only Son to die a traitor’s death on our behalf. God’s only promise is that if we believe in the Resurrection of Christ that we will live an ever-lasting life with Him.

Although we’d like to believe there will be sunshine & rainbows at the end of our fertility journey, our continued and ever-present hope is that God guides our way.



First Comes Love…

We’ve got an announcement for you!

We’ve been waiting a while to let you know because we wanted to make certain!

It may come as a surprise since we’ve been married for 2.5 years
….but J & I love each other. And we’ve been trying to start a family.

We started out last summer with the addition of four little feet to our new home!

Full of cuddles and love – P has made our lives into an adventure.


But we thought we might grow our family in a different way.

So now for our big announcement —


That’s right — we’ve been trying for over a year with no sign of pregnancy in sight.  While we’d love to tell you that we’re expecting a little bundle of joy, it’s just not true. What we are expecting is tons of needles, tests, and probably some tears (okay, tons of tears…just trying to be optimistic, yo).

Just incase you aren’t sure what to say or tell us, just don’t say any of this.

Right now all we need from you is prayers  – that through God and the miracles of science we might have a tiny bundle of our own to shower with our love.

Thanks for your love and support!


A & J