April 10, 2014

Changes // Part One

As mentioned earlier, so much has been going on. We've been running around like chickens without heads! But it's been an adventure :)

First, an update on our ongoing journey to becoming Mom and Dad.

I've been struggling to even talk about this since our false positive. That was the hardest thing I've had to deal with in a while, and it hasn't gotten much better since. But I finally think that it would be helpful to get things out. 

Our next cycle we talked with our fertility specialists and decided to adjust our medications. They increased our Follistim injections from 4 injections every other day to 6 consecutive injections, hoping to produce more than one measly follicle. So we did the increased injections, coupled with the usual Femara and Metformin. Day 10 of my cycle we went to the office for an ultrasound to check my follicles and the change in medication DEFINITELY worked - instead of one follicle, I had SEVEN. 

The nurses were shocked and consulted with the doctor, who advised against proceeding with this cycle. We had a 75% chance of twins, a 20% chance of triplets, and a 6% chance of 4 or more. Of course the decision to cancel the cycle or move forward was up to us, but we had to decide within the next 24 hours. 

HOLY COW, this was the hardest decision we have ever made. We had to consider the pros and cons of moving forward. We were so excited about the idea of getting pregnant and the fact that we most likely would conceive with this cycle. But then there was the terror of having 4 or 5 or 7 babies all at once and the risks that that poses to my health, but more importantly, the health of our babies. We seriously went back and forth, speaking with nurses, parents, friends, gathering different facts, perspectives, opinions. It was SO OVERWHELMING. The time limit didn't help either. I've never felt more conflicted in my life. Finally by the end of the night DJ and I decided that we were going to go for it. We were just going to move forward and come what may.

We felt good after making our decision. Or so I thought. A few hours after we settled on proceeding, I could NOT fall asleep. I was uneasy, nauseous, and felt so conflicted. I knew that we were not supposed to proceed with this cycle. I could not, in good conscious, toy with the fates and the lives of any children that we may have conceived, and choose to move forward just because I am so desperate to be a mom. I don't think I could live with myself if I chose to go forward for my own selfish reasons and ended up with severely handicapped children as a result. So, I made the hardest call of my life, and chose to cancel our cycle.

SO no babies, no pregnancy, and eeeeeevil cramps. FINALLY the whole ordeal passed and it was time to start our next cycle.I was finally looking forward to a new, fresh start and I was more than ready to put a really really tough month behind me. At the beginning of every cycle they do an ultrasound to check for cysts (which is a common side effect of the Follistim injections). During my ultrasound they - of course - found a cyst. It was a big one too! Just my luck. After a cancelled cycle, we had to take ANOTHER month off of trying to conceive in order to treat the cyst. Two months lost. And lots of pregnancy announcements from friends and family in between. It was a crazy emotional roller coaster.

Finally the cyst was gone and we began our current cycle. They decreased the medication - that's what they thought caused so many follicles - and we moved forward. Well my Day 10 ultrasound came along and again, just one follicle. I can't even tell you how disappointed we were. Not only was there just one follicle but it appeared to have already burst (meaning that I had ovulated earlier than anticipated). So once again, no pregnancy this month.

We are meeting with the main doctor tomorrow (usually we just consult with his staff) to try and come up with a new game plan. What we are doing currently is just not working and things need to be adjusted. We should be pregnant by now, but we are not. Luckily we just learned that we have insurance coverage for fertility and we can move forward with all of the super expensive procedures that we have been putting off...ya know, because we are poorer than dirt. What a blessing that is! For the first time in months I am finally feeling hopeful and excited again. Looking forward to all that is ahead!

Good News.

I might be the worst blogger in the world. I have been so bad at keeping up to date lately, we have been extremely busy! But more on that later.

Right now I have some super exciting news to share.

We just found out that my insurance has a Fertility Coverage Program and I qualify for it! This means that we can now move forward with all of the super expensive procedures that we have been putting off!! I am SO grateful and SO excited. I can't wait to see what the future holds!

February 15, 2014

Tom Made Me Cry.

I've been the literal WORST at writing.

We're still alive.

Kind of.

This past week has been really difficult for me. All I want in the entire world is to be a mother and my dream seems to be becoming a reality for everyone BUT me.

I'm pretty good at dealing with the pain and heartache that this causes me. All week I've held it in and pushed through the challenge. Last night DJ and I watched the movie "Captain Phillips" with Tom Hanks. At the end of the movie when Captain Phillips is saved, I had to watch Tom Hanks shed tears.

And I couldn't take it so I cried too. And I cried and cried.

Thanks, Tom.

January 16, 2014


This is going to be quite the catch-all post, as lots has been going on and I haven't blogged in ages. 

We had a wonderful, albeit small, Christmas this year. Money was super tight but thanks to our sweet peoples we were able to go out and purchase a few small things for one another. Not having much helped me to focus on the true meaning of Christmas, our Savior, and to enjoy the time spent with family. 

On the 23rd we got to stay up super late and Skype with my sister in law who is currently on a mission in the Philippines! It was so good to see her cute face! We miss her so much but she is doing great things over on the other side of the world!

A few days after Christmas we took my family and their friends up to the cabin for the weekend. It was a blast! The family that came with my parents was actually one of DJ's professors this past fall semester. He and his wife are in my parent's ward! They have four small kids + Brandon and Ella = a super fun kid-filled weekend! The littles wanted to go to the snow (and there wasn't much) but we found a lake on top of the Rim that was frozen over with snow on the banks. Again, not much snow but the kiddos didn't care! They loved it! 

Benny was super confused by the snow, especially when the kids would throw it on top of him. I think he had fun though :)

I finished up my job as a nanny to Samantha. I'm so heartbroken that I can't continue caring for her! However, I'm super excited to be going back to school this semester. I only have about a year of school remaining and I'm SO thrilled to be working towards that goal once again. 

DJ just started his final semester of college EVER. He'll be done with his Master's in May!! We (mostly him haha) are super excited for this stage of his life to be over with. On to bigger and better things!!

We completed another round of fertility treatments. I had to have DJ give me an injection in the stomach every other day for a week and a half and it bruised pretty bad, which was nasty, coupled with all of the other wonderful medications. During our two week wait until we found out if we were pregnant I started to have a lot of symptoms of pregnancy (I've been pregnant three times, I have an idea what it feels like) and was SO sure that we were going to have a baby. I took a test and it was POSITIVE! YAY! We were so excited, told our parents and siblings and then found out later that it was a false positive due to a hormone left in my system from one of the injections. 

We are super bummed. We're SOOOO ready to start a family. DJ, who has been super tough throughout all of this, told me the other day that he is aching to have a baby. This just broke my heart. It's super hard having gone through what we have. I try to stay positive, but sometimes I feel like a failure for having a body that responded in such a manner the last three times that we were expecting. I should be able to do this, this is what God made me to do! It's unbelievably discouraging to see others get pregnant and have children without a care in the world while we are here: stuck, on a million nasty medications that I'd much rather NOT have in my body, waiting, hoping and praying that we will be able to get pregnant and then once we are pregnant to worry constantly about whether or not we will keep the baby. It's been a extremely difficult and still is, knowing that we will probably never have a child without medical intervention. 

On a lighter note, I am incredibly thankful that the medical knowledge to help us begin a family exists. Because we couldn't do it on our own. Making the decision to see a specialist was the best thing we've done in a long while. It has brought so much hope, peace, and happiness throughout all of the despair, confusion and fog that we have had to travel through.

Even though we have yet to be successful with our treatments there are happy, hopeful things happening all along the way. Like the fact that we were accepted into a program that allows us to get 75% off our unbelievably expensive medications. Or realizing just how awesome my dad is for working so hard to provide insurance for our family that covers so many of my expenses. Or the fact that we have a 50% chance of conceiving twins! :) There's light a midst the darkness and as we continue to progress we are learning more and more that God has a specific plan in mind for us and traversing this darkness is part of it. He wants us to work to see that light. He knows that we will learn important things from this trial. The Lord knows that finding joy in the journey is a vital lesson that DJ and I need to learn. 

We're looking for that joy.
And we're slowly, but surely, finding it. 

December 18, 2013

Some Personal Stuff.

Well, we were unsuccessful with our first round of fertility treatments.

Bummer, yes, but not unexpected. I wasn't surprised. Disappointed, but not surprised.

Treatment has been such a whirlwind. Here's a recap:

- Our very first appointment I was given a giant shot of progesterone in my backside. This caused me to begin a new cycle (I hadn't had one since we lost the babe).

- 14 days after the giant butt shot I went back in to the office and had a LOAD of blood drawn. Funny story: The blood draw had to be done between days 1 and 3 of my cycle due to the nature of the testing that they were doing. I was told to fast prior to my appointment and being raised in the Church, I know fasting to be abstaining from food and water. Well I get to my appointment and the nurse asks if I have been fasting. I said yes and then she asks if I have been drinking water. "Well....no. I've been fasting." Apparently fasting means no food, but lots of water. So they weren't even sure if they would be able to draw the blood that they needed but we decided to try anyways. Thankfully DJ was with me and was able to hold Samantha because things got kind of crazy. The super nice nurse sticks me with the needle and surprisingly blood is coming out but it's THICK AND SLOW. I do not like having blood drawn and today I needed NINE vials of it taken. Let me repeat: THICK AND SLOW. The tech is asking me every 15 seconds or so how I'm feeling and I'm doing just fine up until she takes the needle out. Suddenly I'm going to throw up. Now there's black spots in front of my eyes. I can't see anything. I can't hear anything. I'm going to throw up. I ask if I can sit down on the floor. I'm super hot, take my sweater off. The tile feels nice. My head is spinning. The nurse is shoving a can of Sprite in my face telling me to drink. I can't drink because I'm going to throw up. I ask to go to the bathroom and I manage the 5 steps to the door and then I'm out. The world is spinning so, I kid you not, I lay down on the bathroom floor. HA! SOOO disgusting but the cold tile helped me to snap out of it a bit. Once I realized just how nasty it was laying on the bathroom floor, I left and found my sweet nurse. I ended up having to lay down on one of their exam tables and have my blood pressure taken every 3 minutes. I survived! But holy cow it was quite the blood draw.

- Days 3-7 of my cycle I had to take a drug called Femara that is used to stimulate ovulation. It's equivalent to Clomid, but minus a lot of the nasty side effects that Clomid is famous for. The one side effect that decided to stick around was hot flashes. Those five days that I was on the Femara, I was like a menopausal 21 year old. SO HOT. All of the time.

- Day 10 I went back to the office for an ultrasound to check on my ovaries. One big, mature follicle on my right side and a small one on the left. Good news!

- A few days later DJ had to give me an injection called Ovidrel in the stomach to trigger ovulation. DJ was so excited to give me the shot. I had to take it at 7AM and at 6:45 DJ is geared up and ready to go. "DJ, you have to wash your hands." Runs, washes his hands, comes back. "You have to get the rubbing alcohol to clean the spot where you're going to give me the shot." Speed of light, gets the alcohol, cleans me up. I can't even tell you how creepy he was about the shot. He loved it hahaha.

- Timed intercourse, progesterone suppository, and then a blood draw two weeks later to see if we were successful.

As I already mentioned, we weren't. I took a home pregnancy test two days before my appointment and it was negative. I was super disappointed, as was DJ, but we move forward! That's what we do.

We were fortunate in that we were able to visit with the Dr. the same day that I had the blood test. Which means that we got the results from all of the blood testing!

Turns out I have a hormone imbalance and hypoglycemia, both of which are associated with recurrent miscarriage. Both of which have easy fixes. I was put on a drug called Metformin for the hypoglycemia and we added an injectable regiment with a drug called Follistim to help balance the hormones. Because we know that we are able to conceive, the Follistim gives us a 35-40% chance of conceiving multiples which is kind of scary/exciting. The plan is to repeat last month's procedures (Femara, Ovidrel, TIC, progesterone) plus the Metformin and Follistim shots and see what happens! Woo!

As I said, quite a whirlwind, but I trust that this is what is going to make us parents. So bring on the hot flashes, blood draws, terrifying shots from my husband, and crazy hormones. Make me a momma.


I realize it has been quite some time since actually writing a post with real, substantial content. Lots has been going on and life has been so crazy busy and wonderful. This is going to be quite a hodge-podge of information but here goes!

DJ just finished his first semester of graduate school! One more to go! Deciding to send DJ to grad school was such a great decision that has lead to some incredible blessings. It hasn't been easy, though. He had to quit his job to make time for his academic responsibilities and that put a lot of pressure on our finances. We've skimmed by, but it has been tight! I try to keep telling myself that we will never be poorer than we are right now! Ha! Something to look forward to :) Deej has excelled at his school work and has worked SO hard to pull off his great grades. I'm so proud of him!

We've made the decision to send me back to school next semester. Honestly, I am so excited. I think I really needed the break that I took the last four months. I was feeling pretty burnt out and taking a semester off has re-vamped my enthusiasm for getting an education. I'm also set on what I would like to major in (Family and Human Development) and I LOVE IT. Such a fun degree that I feel will really benefit our future family. Even though life will be crazy with both of us in school and working, I am anxious to begin learning again!

I'm currently finishing up my last week of work as Samantha's nanny. I've been with her for a year now, since she was 6 weeks old. It's a bittersweet feeling, moving on and going back to school next semester. I love my little Lovebug! The past year of my life I've spent raising her and loving her and I think I will really struggle not seeing her every day. 

My little Etsy shop is taking off! We have made a decent amount of money this year and the supplemental income has been such a blessing. I am able to work on orders while Samantha naps which sure beats sitting and watching TV while she sleeps. I love creating new things and sharing them with others all over the country. We're hoping and praying that the increase of sales continues into the new year.

Well, we are continuing to be treated for our miscarriages. I'll post an update on that chain of events later today. 

Life is good. We are looking forward to having some time off for the holidays. What a wonderful time of year it is! It has always been easy for me to recognize the blessings in my life at this time of year and as difficult as the past year has been, I wouldn't trade it for the world. Looking forward to the greatness that 2014 has in store for us! 

November 19, 2013


After this past miscarriage, DJ and I began to recognize that getting pregnant and maintaining a healthy pregnancy is not something that we are likely to accomplish on our own. This realization along with a few other occurrences, including an amazing Priesthood blessing, led us to the decision to go meet with a fertility specialist.

We received many recommendations for wonderful specialists in the area and after much research and many prayers we selected a doctor who is nationally recognized and has been in the business for over 15 years.

We COULD NOT be happier with our decision.

Going in to the appointment, I was a bundle of nerves. I have unfortunately gotten used to disappointing news when it comes to our ability to start a family, so even though I knew that visiting the specialist is what we needed to do I was still preparing myself for harsh disappointment. I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting, but as we met with the doctor all of my fears and reservations were put at ease. 

The doctor discussed our issues in detail with us. Every possible issue that could be causing our miscarriages was met with:
"I have a solution for that."
"Easy fix."
"We can take care of that." 
Not a single potential cause lacked a solution. I was ready to shed tears of joy right there in the consult room. 

I kept it together and they began our treatment plan with us right there that very first day. We are moving forward and I am confident that this is the path that the Lord intended us to take. Treatment is expensive and painful and wears my body out, but it is more than worth it. I am absolutely willing to make whatever sacrifices are necessary to begin our family successfully. Because where there was darkness a light is beginning to shine. We have hope again. 

November 14, 2013

The Boss.

My wonderful husband has been working his butt off in graduate school and there is FINALLY a light at the end of the tunnel. All of his hard work is paying off!

ASU has a huge recruiting event called "Meet the Firms" where tons businesses in the state who are looking for new employees come and set up interviews with potential hires. Last year when DJ attended this event, he left without any interviews. 

This year he came out of Meet the Firms with NINE INTERVIEWS!

I couldn't even believe it!

The way that most companies set up interviews is that potential hires have a first interview at ASU, and then if the company is interested in them, they will schedule a second interview at their individual offices. After the second interview the company will decide whether or not to extend an offer.

So DJ got nine first interviews. Six of the companies decided to schedule a second interview with him, and ultimately he ended up with FOUR really awesome job offers! 

We weighed the pros and the cons of each offer and decided that DJ would accept a job offer with an accounting firm called McGladrey! 

They are the 5th largest firm in the US and a GREAT fit for DJ and our family. We are so incredibly excited and feel great about our decision!

I am SO SO SO proud of my husband! He has worked so hard to achieve what he has and I am so grateful that I married such a determined, strong man! GO DJ!

October 30, 2013

Birthday #21.

My 21st birthday was a few weeks ago.

Honestly it was an awful birthday! I was still in the process of having a miscarriage. So that was hard to manage, emotionally and physically.

However, the next weekend we went out to dinner at Red Robin with a whole bunch of wonderful people and that was a blast! 

Another year older and wiser, too. 

I think about where I was at this time last year. 
I was still reeling from a miscarriage that had taken place about 2 months earlier (our first), constantly sick with grief, unemployed due to said sickness, NOT dealing with our loss well and in a really really dark place. I don't know if I would peg it as depression but it still wasn't a fun place to be. Not to toot my own horn, but I feel like I truly have grown so much in the past year. 

I've learned that I am in control of my life. Nothing, not even despair, sorrow, or grief, can run my life unless
I allow it to. I've learned to be a better wife - my relationship with my DJ is better than it's ever been. I've learned to listen to others and sympathize with them in their times of need.

I've learned that the Atonement of Jesus Christ doesn't just apply to sins but also to sorrows. I've learned that my Savior felt all of the pain that I have ever felt or ever will feel and that by relying on Him, my burdens can be made light. 

Although it has probably been the most difficult year of my entire life, I am thankful for the struggles that I have faced. I can see how they have molded me into a better, stronger woman than I was a year ago. 

I can't wait to see what this next year has in store for me!