Infertility Grants — September 9, 2017

Infertility Grants

This week we’ll be talking about grant and funding options for infertility. I’m sure this is not something that one wants to read at 1am but I have so much on my mind that I have to write.

For instance, I’m wondering how this is going to get paid for. Like most couples going through this (unless you are rich) the money can be hard to save. Not only do you have your monthly bills to pay for but you also have to save for this HUGE expense. And don’t get me wrong I’m not saying paying for a baby isn’t worth every single penny we have spent and are spending, it’s just well… hard. I don’t want to put the exact amount out there but if you do the research you’ll come to find out IVF is the cost of some pretty nice cars, a down payment on a house, or lots of money in your savings account.

Another thought: what if we can’t come up with the money and we can’t receive treatment? This is hard. I will keep saying this is hard because it is. With how advanced my condition is we don’t have more than 2 years or so to have our babies. That means by the time I hit 30 I’ll most likely have to have a hysterectomy so the endometriosis can’t continue to grow. I think it’s important to go through IVF because I can’t have children naturally. I’ve gone through my story and won’t go through it again but when you have had one tube removed and one that is non-functioning it makes things more difficult.

One more thought: Holy shit there are grants! I had no idea there were fertility grants available for those going through infertility. I still have research to do about the organizations, what criteria they are looking for and what types of couples these organizations sponsor but I’d love to give every option a thought. From the little research I’ve done there are two grant options available that we can apply for. The other three or four have very specific listings like you have to live in a specific state or be of a specific religion. The two I plan on applying for are the Baby Quest Foundation’s grant and the Tininia Q Cade Foundation grant. Baby Quest helps up to $16,000 and Tininia Q. Cade foundation will help up to $10,000 per family. I know it’s probably a shot in the dark and we may not even receive help but I have to try.

Throughout this process we said we would do whatever it takes. If I have to sit down for a few hours and relive my college days of writing essays on why we should be chosen to receive a grant that’s what I’ll do. If I have to sell toothpaste until I’ve asked every single person I know if they’ll buy some I will. I am telling you the yearning I have to becoming a mother is a feeling I’ve never felt. There’s a passion that I can’t explain. I’m also scared. Scared that something will go wrong and my dreams will shatter. I’m afraid I’ll never get to hold my baby, someone I’m already in love with and they haven’t been created or held or kissed yet. I’m afraid I won’t hold little fingers moments after birth. And I’m most of afraid of letting myself down. Because the only thing I’ve ever wanted was to be a mother.

Until Next Time

xoxo

 

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Hello Friends! — August 25, 2017

Hello Friends!

It’s been SUCH a long time! So much has happened, yet time seems to stand still some days. I’m at a point in my journey where the pain is now chronic. If I don’t have a heating pad, ice pack or a comfortable place to sit I am very much in pain. Pain so much that it starts in my lower back and radiates up to my shoulders. I cramp randomly and I never know when they’ll happen. I don’t sleep because of the Lupron and am now seeking the help of a physical therapist.

For those that don’t know Depo-Lupron is a shot that stops a woman from having a period. I had it last year but don’t remember much of it because it was only one month doses. This time I got the 3 month dose. Lupron will force your reproductive system into menopause. You know all those times when your mom says “Is anybody else hot in here?” and you think okay you’re a little nuts… that has turned into me multiple times a day. I have hot flashes so bad it gets hard to breathe and I start sweating. There is nothing anyone can do I am supposed to be hitting a window where they will plateau. I’m hoping those moments are coming soon because I don’t want to relive this again 20-25 years. After this we’ll go through the IVF process. I am ready right now to start the process. I would start tomorrow if it were possible, however, we all know that unless you’re famous or just have a very well paying job, it takes time to save up the money for IVF. As I’ve stated before we have agreed to do whatever it takes to do this. I don’t think either of us have wanted something more in our lives.

I’m going through physical therapy because I can’t keep taking medications to help with the back pain. I am seeing a woman named Ellen and she is amazing! She knows about scar tissue and the damage it can cause to your organs. She explained to me that my lower abdominal muscles were extremely weak. She said my intestines were stuck in places it shouldn’t be and my pelvis is tilted all the way to my tailbone (ouch!). I have 30 sessions with her and she is hopeful we’ll be able to get my body in a better place. This will not only allow me to start working out again but it will be a better vessel to carry a baby(ies). Ellen knows about endometriosis and it’s effects on the female body. She has also an adoptive daughter. For me I really need to be able to connect to the staff at my doctor’s offices. At the IVF office I know one of the nurses and all the other women are so incredibly invested in us getting pregnant that I feel like I’ve connected with them. The staff Kettering Hospital is always great when I go there if I’m having a real bad flair up. And now Ellen. She was telling me about her journey through adoption and that it wasn’t easy but she now has this beautiful daughter whom she is very thankful for. I can already tell we’ll be laughing and healing at the same time!

Well, I think that’s all I have for now. I’m going to try to get some sleep but it looks nearly impossible at this point 😉 I hope everyone has a great weekend ahead of them and a GREAT National Fantasy Football Day on Saturday!

 

Until Next Time,

xoxo

When are you going to have a baby? — June 20, 2017

When are you going to have a baby?

Sadly, I was asked this question by a person I do not know well. This person knows my husband and I know there was no ill intent in the question. I know for a lot of newlyweds the go to question (after the hundreds you get about your wedding day) is “When are you going to have a baby?”. This question haunts me. At the specific moment the question was asked my heart broke into a thousand pieces. You just never realize what moments are going to make you sad, cry or scream with frustration. This was one of those moments when I had to swallow my tears and just say “eventually”.

I’m going to be so blatantly honest right now. I thought I was going to shut down my blog. This is when I went through the IUI process (more on that in a bit). I had a lot of mixed emotions during that time. I am so grateful for the people who are always commenting and saying their entire perspective has changed about what this disease is and how it can truly affect you. I just thought it would be too hard to keep going with updates. I even had to tell my family I couldn’t update them anymore about where we are in our process because again, the questions were extremely overwhelming. I told each of my family members that I love them dearly but my emotional and mental state can not handle disappointing them, but myself too. This decision came right after our IUI last month. Obviously it failed because I am not pregnant. For those that don’t know an IUI is a term short for Intrauterine Insemination. The doctor take the catheter and puts it up as far as he can into the uterus hoping an egg will release, a sperm will attach to create a baby. So basically you go in like you are going to have your annual papp smear. They said I could resume normal activity that day because it’s basically just like having sex only there is some science involved. Side note** We did find out that my husband is performing well in all areas so our infertility issues are all on me! I was SO RELIEVED when they told me he is like Superman!!** A few days after the IUI I ended up cramping and that’s never a good sign after a procedure like that. After that I went home and rested and was no in the dreaded two week wait (tww) before we could take a pregnancy test. We had a bit of a scare because the cramping wasn’t going away and I had a few symptoms of an infection so they rushed me to the hospital because they feared they were going to have to take out my entire right side which would mean no children. Thankfully all the tests came back negative and the ultrasounds looked good. Then we waited a few more days and our doctor wanted us to test early because he thought there was a good chance we would be pregnant. I can’t really express how nervous I was. I bought a test and waited until the next day. The test was negative. I cried. Russell was bummed. And we just kinda vegged out all day in a trance like state. We discussed what we both want for the future and what choices we would need to make for the following month (this month). I developed a pretty large cyst so we are not on any type of fertility medication this month but we are hoping to get back on track next month. This month we received permission to try on our own because you simply never know what could happen.

Here’s the thing. I wasn’t going to share that I’d had an IUI. 1. Russell isn’t as fond of sharing our story as I am. He is a very private person and I try very hard with this blog to keep his feelings and opinions as a priority. 2. I am still dealing with effects of the IUI, emotionally speaking. Personally, I am not sure how much more I will be sharing. I am not sure when my next blog will be. All I can say is the women who are trying to conceive (ttc) and have given me advice and words of encouragement, thank you. Your words help keep me fighting. Russell and I have a game plan of what we are going to do each month until the end of the year. I’m going to be honest it’s been hard to remain positive during this time. I wish I were able to be that half glass full kind of a girl but there’s the part of me that’s realistic. This journey is hard. This journey is exhausting. This journey will test a couple in a way they never thought possible. Please continue to pray, send positive thoughts, speak to the universe or whatever is most comfortable to you. We truly appreciate all the good energy we are sent on a daily basis.

Here’s to continuing the fight towards Baby Young’s arrival.

Until Next Time

xoxo

Misconceptions about being Infertile — May 23, 2017

Misconceptions about being Infertile

There are many misconceptions about having infertility that I am not quite sure people are aware of. I’ll be going through some of them because they have affected me in more ways than one. Here goes my list of misconceptions.

  1. All people with infertility will be resentful of those who are able to get pregnant. This isn’t true…not fully anyway. When I was first diagnosed (and everyone knew this) it was very hard for me to process what I couldn’t have. I basically had tunnel vision and was only focusing on myself and a year and half later I realize that wasn’t the right thing to do. However, I learned a lot from last year. One major lesson was that I could be happy for my family and friends that are pregnant because I know that’s where they are at this time in their lives. They are getting married and planning on expanding their families. I am not upset or angry but actually the opposite. I am extremely happy for all my friends and family who have been able to get pregnant and have babies. Shout out to my sister who is pregnant with her first child! I am very excited for her because I know this is something she’s wanted for quite a while! I am very happy to love on this sweet new addition to our family and become an aunt again!!!
  2. I have a HUGE support system when in reality I have a handful of people who truly care. This isn’t a post to shame people but to be honest. There are very few people who’ve reached out to find out what’s going on. This journey has been very tough and unless your my husband, my mom, my dad or someone super close to me, you probably don’t know every single detail. This is because when something like this happens a lot of people don’t know what endometriosis is and can’t understand why plans are cancelled or why I’m just not feeling up to getting out for coffee or lunch. It’s not your fault, I just need lots of rest in order to feel like I can function. Plus, flare up’s from endometriosis are no joke. They last for any length of time and unless you have a serious game plan of how to get rid of them, you just have to wait it out. Shout out to my friends and family who have been my side, come to visit me in the hospital, and called or texted to check up on me. You all are the people I know I will have by my side for a long time to come.
  3. I’m not always sad. There are days that I have that are discouraging or not exactly the result I was hoping for but I pick myself back up and keep going. I know I’ve said something similar in a previous post but I allow myself time to mourn or wallow in pity. I do this because if I don’t my emotions will build up leading to a disaster. Sometimes I feel like when we go two steps forward we go one step back. I knew that going into this that it wouldn’t be easy. I knew this would be all consuming and that’s something I am still trying to manage. Don’t get me wrong there are still some days when I just want to lay in bed and wonder what the future is going to bring but I won’t do that. I pick myself up, get ready for the day and remain hopeful of what the universe has in store for us.
  4. I think this is the biggest misconception and annoyance for anyone going through infertility issues. “How to get pregnant advice”. This could not be more frustrating for me. I have people say “you need to just get drunk one night and do it…that’s how people get pregnant, you’re putting too much pressure on yourselves. But I don’t know much about what you’re situation is so that’s just my advice.” First of all, this is not only offensive but unnecessary. Do you honestly think if it were that easy I’d be going to reproductive endocronologist who has an extensive background in helping couples with fertility issues get pregnant? No, I wouldn’t. I am seeing this doctor because I have a disease that prevents women like myself from getting pregnant. It would be so easy for me to brush it off and act like that’s what I want to hear because that person thinks they’re being helpful but in reality they’re just making things worse. Telling me to relax and not stress is much easier said than done. When you have to seek these opinions of professionals because you don’t have any other options there is going to stress involved. I just think people should keep their how-to-get-pregnant-advice to themselves because they have no idea how much hurt they can cause a woman with infertility; especially if the “advice” was unsolicited.

That’s just my late night brain dump. I am always writing about random topics… mostly that tie into what’s going on in our world with fighting this disease. Please continue to send positive vibes and thoughts our way as we are getting closer and closer to one day bringing baby Young into the world.

xoxo

How Endometriosis Changes You — February 14, 2017

How Endometriosis Changes You

Every young girl imagines how her future is going to be. She is going to meet a guy (whether its their high or college sweetheart), fall in love, get married and have a family. I know that was me. I also had a super huge wedding planned in a church but we all know that changed (and definitely for the better!).

One year ago I was diagnosed with endometriosis. I had had some really bad periods but like I’ve said in previous blogs I just thought it was normal and kept going. Then slowly but surely it became harder and harder to do things, simple things, like working out and walking around the block. That’s when I went to see my OB and we scheduled my first laprascopy. The rest is history. This past year has changed everything. I have had to put my life on hold to make sure I am healthy enough to do activities. What you don’t know is that I was hurting on my honeymoon in Hawaii. I didn’t tell Russell because those 16 days were the most magical and I was damn sure not going to let that get in the way. But here’s how endometriosis has really changed me. I don’t see anyone. I don’t go to lunch. I don’t go shopping. I don’t because I can’t. I can barely get myself out of bed in the morning without feeling some kind of pain. If you don’t have this disease it’s very hard to explain what the pain is like to others who don’t have it. It’s hard to explain that sitting on my couch with my hot hugs heating pad and resting is all I can do right now. I can go out occasionally for date night but I want to do those things because it helps strengthen my marriage. Also, Russell has been there through this entire journey and he has seen first hand what I am going through, so he’s really the only one I can count on to be there 100% of the time (besides my parents and siblings).

Endometriosis has taught me that you need to be thankful if you can get pregnant easily because for those of us that can’t, it’s more than challenging. Endometriosis challenges your mental state, your emotional state and your physical strength. I have had moments where I thought I’d never come out of being sad, angry and depressed. I didn’t think I’d ever be able to be around babies without crying. But what endometriosis has given me is the strength to talk about my feelings. I started this blog because I wanted people to know what websites don’t tell you. The amount of weight I gained and lost and gained again because of the hormones was awful. Endometriosis has taught me that I’m a fighter. Marcano’s fight to achieve a goal and I even though my last name is now Young, the Marcano in me keeps me fighting for a baby.

As I write this blog now I am staring at the paperwork that will get us started on our IVF Journey next Monday. This new chapter is daunting. The paper work seems like a mountain to climb. I am scared. I am nervous. I am anxious. I am feeling so many emotions that it’s hard to write them down. What endometriosis has taught me most is patience and faith. I have to have faith in order for this to work. I also have to have the patience to get from one appointment to another.

Endometriosis has changed me. Endometriosis has given me a voice I never thought I’d have. Endometriosis is scary and at times it seems impossible to get through, however, with Russell by my side I know I can do all things I set my mind to. I am hopeful that 2017 will bring a pregnancy and healthy baby into the world.

I appreciate all of you how continue to follow my journey and keep up with what is going on. I appreciate you more than you know. Your positive thoughts, words of encouragement and thoughtfulness mean more to me than you’ll ever know!

Until next time,

xoxox

I choose My Right — December 8, 2016

I choose My Right

As if 2016 couldn’t get any worse. First we elect a man who isn’t fit to be a President, then Ohio’s Governor thinks he can somehow pass legislation to make it illegal for any woman to get an abortion at 6 weeks. Do you know what could happen in 6 weeks?! A lot. For any man reading this do you understand that the majority of women who have a period don’t have a “normal” cycle, meaning their periods don’t come exactly every 28 days. Some women skip periods for months at a time and  then one day they get their period again. Some women even get more than one period a month. So here’s my open letter to our governor who needs to hear from a woman on a woman’s issue.

Dear Governor Kasich,

I am writing you this letter to let you know that your “Heartbeat Bill” isn’t such a great idea. Women in the state of Ohio (and across the country) should not be told what to do with their bodies, especially not by men who aren’t doctors. Women get pregnant every day in our state. Some women are trying and some women aren’t. There are also women who are having protected sex and still somehow get pregnant because contraception isn’t 100% effective. When you look at why women get abortions there are plenty of reasons. Some women get abortions because they know their babies are going to have problems, their baby won’t make it the entire 9 months and will be still born, personal reasons, etc. There are a hundreds of thousands of reasons women decide to get abortions. But ya know what, its their decision. A woman has to choose what she’ll do when she finds out she’s pregnant, which usually isn’t until at least week 8 or later. And here’s my other issue with your bill. You and your fellow cronies want women to have the babies they are pregnant with but you don’t want to help support them when women ask for help. When a woman has to ask for government assistance because they are raising a baby with a minimum wage job that barely covers the bills, you and your government turn your noses up at them like they are useless and not contributing to society. Our state and government needs to come up with a better way for women who are having babies to get the help they need without being judged. Asking for help with formula, diapers, etc., should not be a bad thing when a woman decides to keep the baby she is pregnant with. Why are food stamps, WIC and other government assistant programs frowned upon but you want every woman to keep their unborn children. You sir, can’t have it both ways. If you want women to keep their babies, you should be able to have the funding and programs to help. Otherwise, you need to mind your own business. Women get pregnant for all kinds of reasons and some of the reasons are deplorable. If this bill passes women will still find ways to have an abortion, only this way it will be illegal and could result in more than just an abortion, but a death with the woman carrying the baby. Taking away a right isn’t going to stop abortions from happening. Governor Kasich, you nor anyone in Senate should NOT be making decision regarding women’s health or reproductive rights. A woman should ALWAYS have the right to choose. I stand behind Roe vs Wade and will continue to support women when they have to make decisions, such as getting an abortion. If you want to make 2016 suck a little less than it already has, you won’t pass this bill.

Sincerely,

A woman who will forever and always stand by her right to choose

February Blog — February 10, 2016

February Blog

This blog post is much more personal than my previous posts. Most of the time when we think of blogs we think of wedding blogs, photography blogs, latest trend in clothes and hair styles. The purpose of this blog was to let people see what my life on a daily basis, especially now that I get to be Miss Captivating for a year. But there are also going to be times when I talk about how migraines affect my life, the latest detail or fun fact about our upcoming wedding in Hawaii, or just anything that pops in my mind. But this blog is hard. This blog hits home with me.

As many of you know, I have had some health issues for a little while now. At the beginning of December I started having some cramping that was unusual. I had an ultrasound that revealed a cyst that had formed on my ovary. 6 weeks later I was hospitalized with a very bad pain in my abdomen and had to go to the ER. It was there that I found out I had one more cysts on my right ovary. A week later I was hospitalized again and another cyst had grown. Last Wednesday I had surgery to remove my cysts and while my OB/GYN was removing them I had a laparoscopy that revealed I have stage 4 endometriosis. My scar tissue was so bad it had connected to my colon and was probably what was causing so much pain. Stage 4 is the worst stage a woman can have and can have an effect on a woman being able to conceive a baby. My left fallopian tube is not able to function anymore due to the heavy amount of scar tissue that it had. When my OB/GYN told me it’s not impossible but I would have a hard time having a baby I was devastated. I cried to Russell and felt like I was taking something away from him. You see all I have ever wanted was to find the perfect husband and have a family with him. Finding my soulmate has happened because we are getting married October 24 and I can’t even wait! But I want to give him the perfect family.

It’s been a week since we found out what my diagnosis is. A week that I’ve had to think about how this is going to not only affect me but Russell, too. Right now I am committed to resting and healing my body. While I do have moments where I feel like I am failing as  a woman because my “parts” aren’t working properly. I know that I am not given a situation I can not handle. I know in my heart and soul that I will bear a child(ren). I am so thankful to my family, friends, pageant and most importantly, Russell for the support during this time. I am resting and laser focused on getting my body ready for a baby. Please continue to think of us during this time as I know this journey isnt’ always going to easy

xoxo

Mean Girls Come From Mean Moms — November 13, 2015

Mean Girls Come From Mean Moms

I just read a woman’s blog post (link to the original article is at the bottom of this post) about how means girls come from mean moms. Is this true? Well if we look to the article and history we see that children mimic their parents. We also know that children learn how to act form their parents. In the blog, the woman says she said hello to another woman who was once mean to her. She thought the incident was behind them but when the woman didn’t say hello back, she realized something was still wrong. Here’s the problem, their daughters were there to witness that awful behavior. This article makes me think about young girls in today’s society. More specifically, my friend Jessica’s daughter. A few weeks ago, Jessica had posted that her daughter was told she isn’t pretty. I know her daughter and think very highly of her. She is one of the sweetest souls I have ever met. She is kind, loving and cares for others immensely. It broke my heart to read that some other little girl told her she wasn’t pretty. Why would a young girl do that? Why would a young girl think to say such a terrible thing? Why are young girls taught that it is socially acceptable to bully someone into thinking they aren’t beautiful. That’s what is wrong with our society. We teach young girls that they aren’t pretty, through Hollywood standards, magazines and television. How often do we see actresses coming out and showing how much a magazine or photographer has photo shopped their picture to be more like what their standards are? If I could Jessica’s daughter anything it would be this:

You are beautiful. You are enough. You are going to grow up to be one of the kindest and most compassionate souls. Sometimes people say things that hurt our feelings and we have to try to understand why they said that. Also, girls aren’t always nice. They aren’t taught how to give a compliment to someone. They aren’t taught to not say something mean. This is where you become one of the luckiest girls in the world. You see you have one amazing mom. She is going to teach you SO much about life. What it means to have the best friends a girl could have. Another thing your mom is going to teach you is that you can have confidence and feel beautiful. You are always going to be more than enough because your mom is going to show you how to live a life full of happiness. If there is any piece of advice I could it would be two things. 1. Every girl is a queen, so make sure you always hold your head up high, you don’t want your crown to fall off 🙂 2. Always be kind, even to those aren’t the kindest to you. They may seem unhappy or angry but if you provide them with a little sunshine in their lives (whether it be a compliment or saying hello) you could make their day.

What I have learned from this article, and many others, is that we have so many people who are unhappy, so why not be that symbol of hope? If we set aside our judgements about others, we would be able to see what people’s souls really have to offer. If you take anything away from this blog post, it’s that we as a society need to be nicer because we are the reason for the actions of the next generation. Parent’s raise kids to be nice or mean. Which will you choose?

Until next time

xoxo

http://ieatbitchesforbreakfast.com/and-there-you-have-it-mean-girls-come-from-mean-moms/

Making a difference, one pair of shoes at a time — July 30, 2015

Making a difference, one pair of shoes at a time

I wanted to share with you all my “WHY” for wanting to raise more awareness for Shoes4theShoeless and have 100 pairs of shoes donated. There are so many reasons I wanted to do this but my first two are my most important. My main reason is for the kids whose families simply can not afford to buy a pair of shoes. These kids are already living below/ well below poverty. The last thing they should have to worry about is having a pair of shoes that fits them. Some, if not most, of the kids that we have serviced have signs showing their feet are being developed improperly because their shoes don’t fit right. Development issues result in kids not being able to walk properly or even run because their feet hurt. In the winter, their feet get cold because their shoes are so worn that snow gets in the bottom of them and gets their socks wet. We all know Ohio winters can be brutal. Could you imagine what it’s like to walk around school with your feet cold and wet all day? I know I can’t. The second reason I want to do this is for Bob. I can remember asking him if he knew of any organizations that I could join as apart of the volunteer portion for my pageant requirement for Miss Ohio Latina. I remember him telling me he had one in mind but he didn’t know if I was able to handle it because of how emotional I am. (Bob knew that seeing people in need broke my heart and children would just break me emotionally) After he told me about Shoes4theShoeless I knew that I had to join this organization. Because of Bob and how generous he was with anyone in our community, I knew this organization was made for me. The first delivery I did was at a school that was very impoverished. However, these were the sweetest kids I have ever met. They didn’t have much and giving kids shoes was very special. I’ll never forget going to work the next day and telling Bob about how amazing my experience has been. I’ll also never forget how proud he was of me that day. For anyone that knows Bob, he was a man of few words, and when he said “I’m proud of you” it meant the entire world to me. Being able to help carry on his legacy means so much to me, and by getting 100 pairs of shoes to donate, I know he would be proud.

It’s been a year since I started volunteering for Shoes4theShoeless. It’s been an incredible year. Not only have I been able to meet such wonderful and amazing kids, I have proven that you don’t have to be rich and famous to make a difference. Making a difference in our community means helping those in need. As one little boy said, “family helps family”. Making a difference in someone’s life is giving them something invaluable. To these kids a pair of shoes is invaluable. A pair of shoes means they can run free. A pair of shoes means they don’t have to see the worry in their parent’s eyes. A pair of shoes means these kids can go to bed without worrying about how their shoes smell or look, or whether or not they will be wearing socks that day. Please help me by donating a pair of shoes and finding out more about the organization that has changed my life.

http://www.shoes4theshoeless.org

Until next time

xoxo10351578_10153897572658912_5725348780926656617_n 11741017_10155786799885307_7299231244832560626_o