Always Choose Hope

This upcoming Tuesday is my 29th birthday. Here is a picture my husband took of me one year ago on my 28th birthday:


I’m sure you can easily guess what I wished for. When I blew out that candle one year ago, I wished that I could become pregnant with a healthy baby. Never since my childhood days had I wished so hard for anything. I was eating at one of my favorite restaurants downtown with my husband and my mom. The waitstaff came out singing, and, much to my chagrin, the air conditioner blew out the candle before I got to make a wish. When they finished singing, they began to walk away. I motioned the waiter back over to our table. I asked him to relight the candle so I could make a wish. Matt asked if I was kidding, my mom shook her head and the waiter looked at me like I was crazy. He happily obliged, though.

You see in past years I wouldn’t have thought twice about asking anyone to relight a candle. Not in my adult years at least. I usually didn’t put too much stock in wishes and absentmindedly wished for something general like good health for my family.

Last December, however, we were in the middle of the infertility roller coaster and things were looking bleak. I was back on birth control recovering from Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome with an estrogen level I probably should have been hospitalized for, a multitude of giant cysts covering my ovaries and a uterine lining that was just about destroyed.

It was the month my doctor all but washed her hands of me, told me she thought my chances of conceiving a baby were slim to none and didn’t offer any solutions. I was broken and devastated. I cried hysterically, I got mad, I questioned God and I moped around. Each new pregnancy announcement felt like a knife in my heart. I let myself feel a full range of emotions. Then I realized that even when I thought I was losing my sanity, there was one thing I never lost: hope.

I made a conscious decision to have hope. Being a mom had always been my heart’s desire, and I wasn’t going to let anyone shatter that dream for me. I had already experienced a lot of difficulty and numerous roadblocks. I knew there would be many more in my future, but that wasn’t any reason to give up. I had to change courses and I had to have hope.

When you’re coasting through the good times in your life, you don’t put too much stock into things like wishing on birthday candles and praying with prayer relics. When you’re in the trenches, though, those things become so important to you. They’re signs of hope, and hope is all you have.

So even though the air conditioner had blown out my candle (and my doctor had dashed my dreams), I didn’t give up. I got the waiter to relight that damn candle, I wished with all of my might, I changed courses, I got a new doctor and I made a new plan.

The road still wasn’t easy. We had a lot of setbacks and felt a lot of pain along the way, but my wish came true. One year later, my beautiful little angel is growing inside of me.

I’m sharing this story for all of you who are still in the trenches. Maybe you’re wishing for a baby this year or maybe you’re wishing for your dream job or maybe you’re wishing for something else altogether. Maybe today is the lowest point along your journey, just like my December of 2014. Maybe everyone is telling you that your dream is impossible and it can’t be accomplished. You might even be starting to believe them.

Scream. Cry. Get pissed. You deserve to feel all of those things. But DON’T lose hope. I don’t care if one person or one million people have told you no, it’s impossible, it can’t be done, you are out of options, quit trying. I’m telling you: find another way. Light that candle, make a wish and choose to have hope. Eliminate the people from your life who don’t believe in you and aren’t helping you move forward towards that goal. Find another doctor, find another boss, find another avenue to pursue your heart’s desire. The only person who can ever truly stop you is yourself.

I’m not saying it will be easy. I’m not even saying your end result will be the exact end result you imagined or the path will unfold the way you once planned. God might have an even better plan in store for you than the one you have for yourself. What I am saying is that God won’t put a desire in your heart without helping you fulfill it in some way, shape or form. If the things you’ve tried in the past haven’t worked, try something else. There are many different ways to arrive at the same destination. Most importantly: always choose hope. Miracles happen every day.


With love,

Praying to be Mommy

I Made it to the Third Trimester!

Well friends, I know it’s been a while, but I’m writing to let you know that I’ve officially made it to the third trimester! You may remember that I had a tear in my placenta at 13 weeks and bled profusely for 8 weeks straight. I was told I had a 50/50 chance. I would either miscarry the baby or the placenta would heal completely with no further complications. As you know, the placenta healed with full bed rest, and I haven’t had any complications since. All the glory goes to God on that one. The truth of the matter is, though, that while I tried to remain upbeat and positive throughout that entire ordeal, it was what can only be described as the darkest time of my life.

Every day I had to count how many pads I soaked through to know if my baby was OK. I truly wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. My heart goes out to every woman who has ever lost a baby. You are stronger than I could ever hope to be.

The reason I bring up that period of darkness is because at that point in the pregnancy, there was nothing the doctors could do to help me. The baby was simply not far enough along to make it on her own outside of the womb. For those long, dark 8 weeks the doctors kept telling me, “You just have to get to 28 weeks. You have to try to make it to 28 weeks. If we can keep this baby in until 28 weeks she can be delivered safely with an incredibly high survival rate.” I was 13 weeks pregnant at the time. 28 weeks seemed so far away. Unreachable. Unattainable. 15 weeks away. An eternity.

28 was the magic number, though, and I prayed to God every single minute of every single day that He would get me there. I didn’t ask for anything else. I had never prayed so hard for something in my entire life. I thanked God for every new week of pregnancy I reached. Each week was an important milestone on the journey to that ultimate goal.

Last weekend I got to take this picture:



What a moment! I went to mass and fell on my knees with tears in my eyes. I’m here. I’ve officially made it to 28 weeks and the third trimester. Fortunately, we are in such a great place now and there are no longer any plans to deliver her any time soon. We fully expect her to make it to full term. But still, this was such an important milestone for me. There were so many days I didn’t think I’d get here. I have no one to thank but God for getting me this far.

I also have to give some credit to this little fighter growing inside of me. I am so incredibly in awe of this baby girl. They were worried she wouldn’t make it. They were worried she was getting limited nutrients due to the tear in the placenta. Here we are at 29 weeks and they say she’s in the 97th percentile and measures 3 weeks ahead of schedule. God had bigger and better plans for her, and she worked hard to prove everyone wrong.

I would lying if I said that I don’t still worry like crazy. I worry every day. Every time I go to the bathroom I have anxiety that I’ll see blood again. But I think that’s normal. This has become my new mantra:


With this in mind, I have been doing everything I can to enjoy the pregnancy and embrace the fun moments ever since I got off of bed rest a few months ago. I think we’ve done a good job of that. Here are just a few of my favorite times along the way.

  • Baby’s First Halloween: We put these costumes together at the last minute. Matt decided he wanted to be the Cat in the Hat and when I saw the Thing 1 costume I instantly had the idea to make Lucy Thing 2. With a little hot glue, I was ready to go in no time. It was a fun way to incorporate our sweet girl into the festivities.


  • My baby shower: My aunts, my cousins, my godmother and Lucy’s godmother got together to throw us an absolutely beautiful shower. There was a torrential downpour that day with tornado warnings, but so many family members and friends braved the weather to come out and shower us with love. It was kind of the perfect analogy for the pregnancy: celebrating in the rain instead of waiting for the storm to pass.  It was one of my favorite days in recent memory. It meant everything that our loved ones put so much time and effort into making the day perfect for us. They were so generous, and we got just about everything we needed for the baby.

the hostesses



Lucy’s godmother, Gwen


The most special gift I received that day was a teddy bear made out of one of my dad’s old shirts. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this previously on the blog, but my dad passed away 5 years ago. It breaks my heart that he won’t be there the day my baby is born and he won’t be around to watch her grow up. I truly believe, though, that he held her in Heaven and had a hand in sending her down to us. When I was struggling through infertility, a family friend was kneeling in front of the Blessed Mother and had a vision of my dad holding 2 babies. They were my babies and he said he wanted to spend some time with them in Heaven but when he was ready he would send them down to me. I’m not sure where the second baby fits into the story. It might be a child I’m going to have in the future. However, a few months later I finally got pregnant and found out the baby was due on my Dad’s birthday. We tried for so long to have a baby. Of the 365 days in a year, our little girl just happens to be due on my dad’s birthday. You may think it’s just  a coincidence. Maybe it is. I choose to believe that’s another God moment, though. Anyway, I will always treasure this bear. It eases the pain to know that Lucy will be able to snuggle with a little piece of her grandfather. Thank you, Darlene, for this beautiful tribute.

Matt came at the end of the shower to load up the presents, and they even surprised him with a huge coffee mug (he’s going to need it) that says “New Daddy, get ready to have your world rattled.”

  • Working on the nursery: For years I have daydreamed about what I would want our baby’s nursery to look like. If it was a boy I wanted to go with a nautical theme, because Matt works on ships and loves to fish and be on the water. If it was a girl I wanted something sweet and delicate. I always told Matt that I wanted to get a chandelier for the nursery if we had a little girl. He said that was ridiculous and there was no way he would go for it. One day shortly after I got off of bed rest, he looked over at me and asked if I wanted to go pick out a chandelier for the nursery. I’m sure it won’t be the last time he changes his tune for his little girl.

Picking out the chandelier!

We had a lot of work ahead of us before we could start her nursery because we had to renovate our entire upstairs. We bought our house 3 years ago and left the upstairs alone to save money. Once we found out we were expecting, we started slowly working on projects up there.


renovation craziness

I’m so happy and relieved to say that the renovations are finished and baby girl’s nursery is complete. It came out better than I could have ever imagined. Sometimes I go in there, rock in the glider and just look around imagining how much love and joy is going to fill that room soon.


One of my favorite parts of her nursery is this Shakespeare quote on the wall. After all of the things she has overcome in utero, I think it captures her essence perfectly.


It’s hard to believe that there are only about 10 weeks left  until we get to meet this child who is the answer to our prayers. Her birthday will be here before we know it. I want the time to pass quicker because I just can’t wait to meet her, but I’m trying to also remember to enjoy the journey and soak it all in.

To all of you who are struggling and going through dark times right now, just know that you won’t be in that valley forever. Although the road seems so long and it seems like you’ll never get to that bright light at the end of the tunnel, I promise you will. Keep pushing. Keep praying. I can’t tell you that one day you’ll be the same person you were before it all began. You will be so much stronger than that. You will come out with a renewed sense of faith that God will never bring you to something without bringing you through it. You’ll come out with a new sense of self, and you’ll come out with an even greater respect and appreciation for the happy times. The light always shines the brightest just after the darkness gives way.

With love,

Praying to be Mommy


Weekly Check-up

Hi, friends! I hope you’re all having a great week. I went to the doctor today for my first visit since the positive blood test. I had to get repeat blood work to make sure my hCG level was doubling and a blood flow study to ensure my arteries were pumping an adequate blood supply to my uterus. Additionally, they were going to perform an ultrasound today to see if they could see the gestational sacs. Since I’m only 4 weeks and 4 days pregnant, they told us it was highly unlikely we would be able to see the sacs yet. We hoped we could, though, because that would tell us if we are going to have one baby or two. I was excited about the possibility of finding out so soon, but that didn’t matter all that much to me. Most importantly, I wanted to hear that my levels had risen appropriately and my blood flow looked good.

I got my blood drawn and then started off with an ultrasound. The tech told us it was too soon to see the sacs. I think Matt was a little disappointed, but I was more focused on the task at hand. Tell me that baby or those babies are healthy! Then it was on to the blood flow ultrasound. They checked my blood flow laying down and standing up. As it turns out, my arteries are doing a great job of pumping a nice blood supply to the uterus. Alleluia!

Once that was finished, we waited for an hour until the blood tests came back. I was so nervous! What if the levels hadn’t doubled? What if something was wrong? After what seemed like an eternity, the doctor called me into his office. My original hCG level last Friday (7 days post transfer) was 49. The hCG level only needed to reach 200 today to indicate a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby or babies. I prayed he would tell me the level was 200, but he didn’t. IT WAS ACTUALLY 465!!! Such amazing news! God just keeps blessing us at every turn.

My estrogen and progesterone levels were also right where they were supposed to be (FINALLY!). So, I can stop taking the daily injections and switch to cream and pills. I just can’t comprehend all of this good news. We are so blessed and all the glory goes to God for every positive thing that has happened to us.

The outpouring of love and support from family and friends has been almost impossible to digest. This baby or these babies are so incredibly loved already. Thank you to each and every person who has called, texted, prayed, come to visit, mailed us cards and gifts or reached out in any way. We are eternally grateful. My heart is still overflowing with joy, and I can’t believe this is real.

For the first few days it hadn’t sunk in at all. It’s finally starting to sink in, though, because I have been experiencing a lot of morning sickness, migraines, fatigue and food aversions. I feel like I am starving and then as soon the food is in front of me, I can’t even look at it and start gagging. The cool thing about going through infertility, though, is that even when your head is hanging in the toilet bowl, you have a smile on your face. I will gladly be sick every day until delivery if it means I get to hold my precious baby in my arms.

I am going back next Thursday for another ultrasound. The doctor said they will definitely be able to see how many babies are growing inside of me then, so I’ll keep y’all posted. Matt thinks it’s twins and I go back and forth daily between 1 and 2.

I want to share one more thing that is very personal. The day I found out my first fertility treatment didn’t work was the absolute lowest point I hit throughout my journey. I was so confident that it was going to be successful. When it wasn’t, I was shattered. I sobbed for an entire day straight and just didn’t know if I could pick myself up and keep going. It was probably the saddest I’ve ever felt in my entire life. I looked in the mirror, and I saw such a void of happiness in my eyes. It scared me, and the last thing I wanted to do was take a picture. I decided that I needed to take one, though, because one day I would come out on the other side. I could take a picture the day I found out I was pregnant and put these pictures side by side to see just how far I had come. Here is that side by side comparison for you:


I’m not sharing this because I think it’s a cute picture. I’m well aware of the fact that it’s probably the worst picture I’ve ever taken. The reason I’m sharing is because I want to inspire all of you who are still struggling with infertility or any other issue in your life. Maybe you have hit rock bottom and you feel like nothing will ever go your way again. It will. As Winston Churchill said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” You might look and feel like the picture on the left today, and that’s ok. But I promise you, one day you will be the girl on the right. Keep trying, keep dreaming and keep your faith in God. Sending love and light to each of you! ❤

Soon to be Mommy


I am sitting here still in complete disbelief as I share the news with you that I AM PREGNANT! I still can’t believe it. I can’t process it. I can’t believe it’s real! Here’s how it all went down…

Last Friday (June 5th), the doctor transferred 2 of our embryos into my uterus. I was on strict bed rest for the entire weekend. I could only get up to use the potty. I have to give a huge shout out to my mom, who kept me at her house and took incredible care of me all weekend while Matt was working. She fixed me meals and snacks, gave me my shots, took care of my dogs and hand delivered any and everything to the couch to make sure I didn’t have to move an inch. She is an outstanding role model for me, and I hope I can be even half the mom she is. With her loving care and attention, the weekend flew by.

By the time I came back home and Monday rolled around, the anxiety started creeping in. I wanted to take a home test, but I knew I couldn’t. The trigger shot (which contains the pregnancy hormone and can produce a false positive) was still in my system. I started googling what the embryos should be doing day by day and what, if any, symptoms I should be experiencing. Doubt started to creep in because I didn’t feel any different. I started to wonder how I would handle it if we got bad news. I didn’t think I could take it. If this didn’t work after everything we’ve been through, I honestly wasn’t sure I could handle another blow of that magnitude. My mind started to race and I went to afternoon Mass to calm myself down. I left Mass with a renewed sense of faith that I could handle the outcome, whatever it may be. I had definitely lost confidence, though.

When you go through fertility treatments month after month and you never get good news, you start to become a little jaded. It’s not that you want to be negative. It’s just that you feel like you have to protect yourself. I decided that I would remain cautiously optimistic. I went to the drug store and bought a box (ok, 3 boxes) of pregnancy tests. My doctor advised me not to use home tests, because they only detect such a high level of hCG that I was highly unlikely to get a positive before my blood test. Of course I didn’t listen. I have peed on hundreds, if not thousands, of tests throughout our journey. Matt jokes that he wishes he had bought stock in First Response as soon as we started trying to conceive.

Tuesday morning I woke up and used my first home test. I was relieved to see it was negative, because that meant the trigger shot had left my body. Now it was game time, and I knew I could test away!


Tests, tests and more tests!

Wednesday morning I woke up and used my second home test around 5a.m. It was negative, so I went back to sleep for a bit. When I woke up for the day, I took a closer look at it. After holding it in numerous different lights, I noticed that there was the faintest, tiniest semblance of a shadow of a second line. I ran in the other room and showed it to Matt. He told me I was crazy and that it was probably an evaporation line. I was indignant. I have taken more pregnancy tests than just about anyone in the world, and I have NEVER EVER EVER even seen a hint of a second line. I tried not to get my hopes up. It was a “squinter” for sure, but it was there. I went about my day with an added spring in my step.

Thursday morning I woke up and took another test. The line was still faint, but it was undeniable at this point. The tears started flowing and just wouldn’t stop. I danced all over the house, laughed, cried and felt the craziest rush of emotions I have ever felt. My doctor usually performs the blood test 9 days after the transfer. In my case, 9 days post transfer fell on a Sunday (of course). He said he could do the blood test Friday but very few patients get a positive result that soon. So, we originally opted to do the blood test Monday. After I saw that second line Thursday, though, I changed my mind and re-scheduled the blood test for the next morning at 8a.m.

Friday morning I woke up and took another home pregnancy test. The second line was even darker! I tried to contain my excitement as I drove over to the doctor’s office. The nurse called me back and explained that it was extremely rare for a positive blood test to show up this soon. She was trying to manage my expectations. That’s when I hit her with the news that I hadn’t followed their advice and I had been taking home tests and getting positives. She assured me that if it was already showing up on home tests, it would ABSOLUTELY show up on the blood work. She congratulated me and hugged me, the receptionist hugged me, the phlebotomist hugged me and we basically had a party in the hall. The tears flowed down my face, and my heart felt so full to know that they were THAT happy for me. They have seen me through my worst times. I have walked out of the office in tears on numerous occasions, but happy tears were definitely something new!

I still felt like I had to hear the results of the blood work to believe it. Maybe the tests were errors. This was just too good to be true. I got my blood drawn and made a quick trip to Target to pass the time. I drove home and walked in the house at the exact moment the phone rang. It was my nurse. Not only was the test positive, but the level was fairly high. We either have 1 very healthy baby on our hands or twins! Cue the waterworks!

Matt had just walked in from working overnight and I got to tell him he was officially going to be a Daddy. He was exhausted but elated. No rest for him! We were off to tell my mom and his parents the good news. They were over the moon. We came home, and he finally got a nap. We spent the rest of the day calling and texting family and friends with the incredible news. Last night, my aunts were eating at my mom’s house, so I showed up with baby carriage and pacifier balloons. They started crying.


Holding the balloons with my mom!

Yesterday was one of the best days of my life. The weight of the world is lifted off my shoulders, and everything is just a little sweeter. I can’t explain the joy I feel in my heart. I can’t wipe this silly smile off of my face. There is at least one little angel living inside of me. How did I get so lucky?

There were lots of days when I never thought I would get to experience this. Days I never thought I would get to feel the joy of pregnancy and I thought the prospect of us having a child was just impossible. I’m living proof that no matter how bad your conditions are, no matter how impossible things seem, no matter how many valleys you go through and setbacks you experience, and no matter how many times the answer is “no,” there will come a day when the answer will be “yes.” In the blink of an eye, God can turn it all around. If you follow this blog because you’re struggling with infertility or even if you’re dealing with an unrelated issue in your life, I’m here to tell you: DON’T GIVE UP. DON’T LOSE HOPE. DON’T EVER ACCEPT DEFEAT. It may take a long time. It’s taken a lot of people a hell of a lot longer than it’s taken me, but you WILL get your miracle. And when you do, your heart will be so full with joy that all of the hurt from the past will melt away. The sun will shine brightly again. Brighter than it ever has before, in fact. The light will come at the end of the tunnel. You’ll see the rainbow after the storm. Keep dreaming. Keep praying. Most importantly, keep your faith in God. Nothing is impossible when He is on your side.

I want to thank each and every one of you for reading my blog. You have given me a purpose and kept me focused on the good days and the bad. In you I have found an outlet, a support system, an army of prayers and a network of friends. You have been an invaluable part of my life, and there’s just no way I could possibly thank you enough. I will continue to write and chronicle my pregnancy for those who are interested. If you’re going through infertility and it’s too difficult to see pregnancy updates, I completely understand that too. I’ve been there.

Please continue to keep my ever growing little family in your prayers. I go back to the doctor Thursday for repeat blood work to make sure my numbers are doubling every few days, a blood flow ultrasound to make sure my arteries are pumping an adequate blood supply to my uterus and an ultrasound to hopefully see if we have one little Pipplet in there or 2.

Again, thank you. I am the most blessed woman on Earth. When I first started this blog, I didn’t know if even one person would read it. The fact that so many of you read and care so deeply is something for which I will never be able to convey my sincere gratitude. Because of you, I am no longer Praying to be Mommy but Soon to be Mommy. 🙂

The Waiting Game


Hi friends! I know I’ve been MIA since my transfer last Friday, but there hasn’t been much to report. It’s all just a waiting game now and I’m left feeling like Sweet Brown…Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That. I will go to the doctor on Monday, June 15th for my beta hCG blood test to find out if I’m pregnant or not. I’m trying to keep myself occupied, but the wait is driving me a little crazy.


Today we are 4 days post transfer, so the embryos should really be getting to work and getting their implant on. I have done everything I can think of to encourage them to do so. First of all, I’ve been playing a lot of Justin Timberlake for them. My children have no choice but to like him, so I want to get them started early. We’ve already made it through 3 of his albums.

I’ve also been looking for signs everywhere. Y’all know how I am about my signs. Matt and I ate Chinese food and I got this fortune:


I was elated! The doctor told me I can start testing at home over the weekend but probably won’t get a positive until Monday. The answer to our all important question was revealed by a fortune cookie! We will find out this weekend that I’m pregnant! I know, I’m crazy. Everyone I have shown this to so far has either laughed, shaken their head or done a combination of the two. What do you think…generic fortune cookie insert or message from above? 🙂

Also, someone messaged me to recommend positive visualization of embryos implanting by a specific spoken word artist. I tried to listen to those yesterday, but Matt told me to “turn that hippy sh** off.” I listened to them this afternoon while he was gone, and they were quite enlightening. I learned that my uterus is smooth and supple. A little bit out there, but hey whatever works.

I’ve also been using the relics and oils people have given me throughout our ongoing battle with infertility. My favorite saint to pray to is St. Gerard Majella. He is the patron saint of infertility as well as expectant mothers. I wear his medal around my neck every day. You won’t catch me without it. Holding onto it is the only thing that has gotten me through some of my toughest doctor appointments. He was with me the day I thought I was going to lose an ovary, and he has been with me at every appointment since. I also have a small piece of cloth that was touched to one of his relics that I like to rub on my belly.

Another person I like to pray to is Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos. He was from my hometown of New Orleans and is credited with numerous miracles. Pope John Paul II proclaimed him Blessed in 2000, and he is just one miracle away from becoming a saint. I was lucky enough to visit his shrine with my friends Mrs. Betty and Brittanie and get blessed with his relic and the cross he used to pray with. When I went to the shrine, I was at an ultimate low. We kept getting setback after setback and weren’t even able to proceed with treatment. Shortly thereafter, things started looking up and we were able to start our treatments. I don’t believe in coincidences, only miracles. I keep a cross and a piece of cloth that were touched to Father Seelos’ relics on my nightstand, and I have been rubbing those on my belly every night too. If you ever get a chance to visit the shrine in New Orleans, you should! It is beautiful. You can read more about Father Seelos here:

Another thing I like to rub on my belly is holy oil from the Basilica of Sainte Anne de Beaupré in Quebec, Canada. The shrine was built in honor of St. Anne, who was the mother of Mary. It has been credited with countless miracles of healing. I haven’t made my way to Canada yet, but a close family friend who suffered with infertility brought me a bottle of the oil. He and his wife conceived a month after visiting the shrine after years of exploring every option available.

The funny thing about going through something like this is that everyone you meet offers different solutions that have worked for them. I can honestly say I have tried them all. I won’t be able to credit a particular saint for interceding when our little miracle comes along because I have called on so many. Instead, I will give credit to each and every person who has offered help and prayers along the way.

I’ve read that when you go through your darkest times, that’s when you flex and strengthen your spiritual muscle the most and that’s when your faith grows by leaps and bounds. It’s absolutely true. When things are going well in your life, it’s easy to forget to stop and thank God. But when you struggle and you suffer and you fail to understand, faith is the only thing that pulls you through.

Of course I always wish our path to parenthood could have been easier and we could have conceived with little to no effort like most people. But that wasn’t God’s plan for us. God chose us to be the 1 in 8 couples who have to struggle and fight a little harder. I’m thankful for the growth I’ve experienced in my faith and my relationship with God throughout this process.

Please pray the test is positive Monday and that I can have a healthy pregnancy. If It’s negative, I can honestly tell you I will be devastated beyond belief. I know God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers, though, and I will keep fighting the good fight either way. I promise to update as soon as I know something and have shared the results with family and close friends. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for every single prayer and positive thought you have sent our way.


As of this morning, I’m officially PUPO-Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise. You really can’t make this stuff up. I’m tempted to design a line of fertility treatment inspired t-shirts emblazoned with all of the crazy terminology and acronyms you learn along the way.

Today was a GREAT day. We didn’t think Matt was going to be able to make it because he was out of town working. By some crazy miracle, he made it back in town and popped into my room with moments to spare. Doesn’t he look cute in scrubs?


Daddy all scrubbed up and ready to go!

We waited around for a little while until the embryologist gave a final report. 8 of our embryos made it to the blastocyst stage.  We spoke with our doctor and confirmed our decision to implant the 2 best blastocysts this morning and freeze the remaining 6 for later attempts. Then he handed us our first picture of our sweet little babies, and I just about lost it.


Babies’ First Picture!

They are the most beautiful little babies I’ve ever seen! I immediately pulled a sheet protector out of my purse to put the picture in before it got damaged. Everyone got a pretty good laugh out of that. Then it was time for the transfer. Everything went well. It was incredible to watch the embryos going into my uterus on the screen. Definitely a moment Matt and I will never forget. We even got our first ultrasound picture of the embryos inside of my uterus! That one went straight into the sheet protector too!


The embryos are the little white area under the pointer!

Some time within the next couple of hours the embryos should hatch out of their shells and (HOPEFULLY) implant in my uterus. I am on strict bed rest for the next 48 hours while these 2 little babies do their thing. I’m already giving them pep talks and telling them to make themselves at home. They better listen to their Mama! On June 15th, I’ll get a blood test that will tell us whether they have decided to stick around.


With any luck, we can repeat this picture in 37 weeks with 2 little bundles of joy in our arms. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the prayers! All of your love and support has touched my heart in ways you can’t even imagine. Please continue to pray that our embryos will implant and develop into healthy babies! Have a great weekend, y’all! 🙂

Day 3 Embryo Update


We got our day 3 embryo update today, and all 16 little Pipplets are still growing! I just can’t believe it. Our lil guys and girls should be between 4 and 8 cells today. Shockingly, they are all between 8 and 12 cells. They are really ahead of the game. Way to make Mama proud! The embryologist also assigns a grade to each embryo on day 3. 4 is the best grade and 1 is the worst. All of our embryos received grades between 2 and 4. Wow! God has been so good to us ONCE AGAIN! I just can’t say it enough.

To add to the good news, I have somehow escaped the nasty monster that is OHSS (hooray!) so my transfer is officially scheduled for Friday at 8a.m. It feels like the past year has been a lesson in Murphy’s law regarding my treatments. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong. But now that we have finally reached the last frontier in fertility treatments, things seem to be lining up just perfectly. I feel confident that this is our time!

We will not get any more updates until I arrive for my transfer on Friday. At that time, they will tell us how many embryos are still growing and what their grades are. We are going to choose the best 2 embryos and transfer them into my uterus at that time. It’s crazy to think that by this time Friday I could be 3 weeks pregnant (possibly even with twins!).

My doctor is putting me on 48 hours of strict bed rest after the transfer and I will only be allowed to get up to use the potty. With that being said, I am running around like an absolute maniac trying to get everything done before Friday. Thank you for the prayers! Please keep them coming! Have a wonderful rest of the week! 🙂

It’s Trigger Time!


I went to the doctor again this morning. I pretty much live there now. If they would just let me post up in the corner on a cot it would be a whole lot easier.

Everything looks great today. Lots of mature follicles! Also of note, my uterine lining was 10mm thick. It has never been 10mm in my life. When I first started going to the fertility specialist, he told me that my uterine lining was so thin that I would not be able to sustain a pregnancy even if I miraculously got pregnant on my own. It was 4mm back in those days. They assign a grade to your lining at each ultrasound. It always bothered me that I got terrible grades. I felt like I was getting a bad report card on something I had no control over. It was just one more blow to remind me that my body was quite literally failing me every step of the way. Well, not anymore. Today this girl got an A. I wonder if Wendy’s still gives out frosties for good report cards. Anyone know?

Because of all of this great news, I can stop taking the injections (Alllllllelluia!!!) and take the trigger shot tonight at 7:30p.m. The trigger shot causes your body to ovulate exactly 36 hours after it is given. Just in case you’re as terrible at math as I am, that means ovulation will occur at 7:30 Sunday morning when the doctor will put me under anesthesia and go in to surgically remove the eggs.

My estrogen level was 2478 today, which is in an OK range. They still believe I have at least a 35% chance of developing OHSS after retrieval though, which would prevent transfer. When they aspirate the follicles to remove the eggs, the sacs will fill up with all the fluid in my body. For this reason, they want me to drink strictly Gatorade and V8 and eat anything and everything salty from this point forward. The salt will soak up some of the fluid in my body and prevent it from entering the sacs.

It has been a difficult road, but I actually can’t believe we’re already here. By this time Sunday we will have little embryos growing in a lab. That’s pretty crazy to wrap my head around. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for all of your prayers. We couldn’t have gotten this far without each and every one of you. Please keep them coming and have a wonderful weekend!

And Then There Were 32


Yep, you read that right. The ultrasound this morning revealed that 10 additional follicles have developed since yesterday. This mama hen is now growing 32 eggs in her big ole belly. Almost 3 dozen.  I’m still trying to let that one sink in. For those who are interested, the updated follicle sizes are as follows:

Right Ovary: 15, 14, 13, 13, 11, 11, 11, 11, 10, 10, 9, 8, 8, 8, 8, 7, 7

Left Ovary: 13, 12, 12, 11, 11, 11, 10, 9, 9, 9, 8, 8, 8, 7, 7

I think it’s safe to say things are moving along quite nicely. Blood work revealed that my luteinizing hormone (LH) has started to surge, which means my body is trying to ovulate. We don’t want that to happen until the doctor is ready to go in for retrieval, so I am adding in another injection tonight called Ganirelix, which will prevent ovulation.

The blood work also revealed that my estrogen level is rising very quickly. It was 38 last Thursday, 761 yesterday and 1095 today. This is a little bit concerning. If it keeps rising this quickly, we are going to be entertaining the possibility of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS). I have already dealt with OHSS once before, so I am worried I will develop it again.

If my estrogen rises to 4,000 my doctor will not be able to transfer the embryos back into me right away. He will have to freeze the embryos and wait for my levels to come down then do a frozen embryo transfer cycle. While it wouldn’t be the end of the world, it would be pretty devastating after all of this. That being said, if my estrogen peaks in the 3000s, it wouldn’t be dangerous to proceed but would be INCREDIBLY uncomfortable for several weeks. The doctor said he would leave it up to me at that point whether I could endure the discomfort or would prefer to freeze the embryos and wait a few months. If that is the case, I will absolutely, without a doubt, power through. I am willing to do just about anything to make this a reality as long as it doesn’t pose any harm to me or my future children.

Hopefully I just gave you all of those scenarios for no reason and we can keep my estrogen level below 3,000. Only time will tell. The nurse said we are still in an OK range and it isn’t time to worry yet. I guess I’ll have to work on that.

My mind was going in a million different directions this morning playing out every possible scenario. Then I opened up my e-mail. A few months back I signed up for e-mails from Joel Osteen. Sometimes the daily message is so fitting that I just can’t believe it. Today it said, “There is no obstacle that can stop you. There is no disadvantage that can hold you back! You’re in the palm of God’s hand, and He has equipped and empowered you for everything. When God is on your side, He sets the right people in your path. In fact, He’s already released favor into your future. He’s planning for you to come into new seasons of increase. He has a plan for victory. Let that sink into your heart today. Begin to expect His favor. Expect him to work in your life. Focus on the fact that God has equipped you. He has anointed you. Your best days are still out in front of you! If God is for you, no one case rise against you! Meditate on this promise so you can walk in the favor and victory God has in store for you!”

Wow! Is that on point or what? That was exactly what I needed to hear today. God has equipped me with 32 eggs, the ability to explore this option and a brilliant doctor to lead the way. He has empowered me with everything I need and no obstacle can get in my way. Not even a scary estrogen level. I need to expect His favor so I can walk in the victory He has in store for me.

Thank you to everyone who has prayed, called, texted, messaged, or reached out in some way throughout this journey. If you’re praying for us, please pray that this estrogen level stays below 3,000. When you go through hard times, one of the single most comforting things in the world is the knowledge that people are praying for you. People are taking a moment out of their busy day to focus their energy and their prayers on you. That’s huge! There’s no way I could ever accurately convey my gratitude to each of you.

I return to the doctor tomorrow morning for another ultrasound and more blood work. They will retrieve the eggs as soon as the lead follicle gets between 18 and 20mm. It is currently at 15. It looks like retrieval will probably occur Sunday or Monday. I’ll keep y’all posted. Now back to growing these eggs… 🙂

The Lucille Ball of Fertility Injections


Last night was the big night…the night I had to give myself the first set of stimulation injections. It played out like an episode of I Love Lucy. Math and science were my worst subjects in school, so I am a little challenged when it comes to mixing up solutions and injecting them into myself.

I sat down with all of my supplies and 2 pages of typed instructions and tried my best to follow along. I worked with all the concentration of a high school senior taking a standardized test but just couldn’t seem to get it right. When I combined the two vials of Menopur, I was supposed to end up with 1mL. I drew the syringe back and only got 0.8mL. Then, when I combined the Menopur and Follistim, I was supposed to end up with 1.2mL but ended up with 1mL instead.

I was frantically reading the instructions and facetiming my husband to see where I went wrong. I was visiting my mom’s house during this entire ordeal. That’s when her dog decided it would be a good time to get busy with my small dog. He was wrestling her on the floor and she was howling like a wolf. Not to be outdone, my 70 pound Lab decided to flip her water bowl up in the air with her nose and covered the entire floor in about a gallon of water. I put down the shot supplies and went to fetch some paper towels to clean up the mess. As soon as I stood up, I slipped on the water and went flying across the kitchen on my booty.

All I could do was laugh at that point. I tried to draw up the shot again and still ended up a little short on the amount. I had no choice but to give myself the shot, but I continued to stress for about an hour. What if I did it wrong? What if this messes everything up? What if I have done everything right to get to this point only to jeopardize it all over 0.2mL of missing fluid? This is such a high stress process that you have this overwhelming burden of screwing it all up every step along the way.

Just then, Aimee from the Maybe Baby blog texted me to see how I was doing.  I had a little bit of a meltdown on her and she reassured me that it’s very common for Menopur to draw up a little short. Phew! She really saved the day! Aimee and I found each other through our blogs and recently exchanged numbers. We are on the same day of our IVF cycles and thought it would be neat to compare notes as we went along. Ironically she texted me at the exact moment I needed to talk to someone who understood what I was going through.

I have a great family. The problem is, they just can’t relate sometimes. Luckily, I have built a strong network of incredible women with similar journeys throughout this process. It’s absolutely crazy how immediately you can connect with a complete stranger because they are going through the same thing. God puts the right people in your life at the exact moment you need them, and that’s just one more thing to be thankful for! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend. This is the only kind of cocktail I’ll be mixing up:


Wish me better luck on my second attempt tonight! 🙂