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Why Don’t You Just Adopt?

Today’s topic: adoption. Before we dive in and get to this blog I want to make it very clear that Russell and I love adoption. We love hearing success stories of people who are going through infertility and they think they have one last shot at having children so they go the adoption route and their family is complete. We are advocates of making sure children have a safe, happy, loving home. I am 100% supportive of adoption.

There is one simple, yet complicated question that keeps being brought up. Why don’t you just adopt? It’s much more complicated than that and here’s why. Adoption isn’t free. Adoption costs on average $25,000. Adoption is also a never guaranteed thing either, because sometimes the woman who is pregnant could change her mind or there are some unforeseen circumstances that change everything for both families. I will say this until the cows come home but I want to experience pregnancy, even if it’s just one child. I want to feel it all, well not all of, like morning sickness, but you know what I mean. I want to invest our money in ourselves. And I can’t tell you how many people take offense to that. In our minds if we go straight from where we are which is stage 4 endometriosis, to adoption we just passed GO without collecting our $200. Basically, we are missing out on opportunities to become parents ourselves.

I’m being 1000% honest when I say this. The moment I/we decide to go for adoption I’ve given up hope that we can conceive on our way. I refuse to give up on myself. Remember Russell has no issues and for a man whose 40th birthday is next month is levels are of that of a man in his early 30’s so we have absolutely nothing to worry about with him. But my clock is ticking a bit faster.  We know that in the next couple of months we are going to have to bite the bullet and begin treatment. We can not risk the endometriosis spreading and causing more damage to the only side I do have. Back to adoption though…sorry we veered left for minute. I am not ready to think about adoption. It makes me very emotional. I know that the universe ultimately is the one who will let us know what we going to be able to. Adoption is scary because even though that child is yours, you didn’t carry them for 9 months and feel the labor pains. As I stated in my last blog that I want to feel what labor feels like. I want to know what a contraction can be. But most importantly I want to feel a bond between my baby and myself.  I want to take a picture of a growing belly and see what fruit my baby compares to. But going through adoption I won’t have that opportunity. And I’m sure those of you reading this are probably like wtf is wrong with her. There are thousands of children that need homes and help and you are saying no. The short answer is I’m saying no for now. Russell and I have been trying naturally for 14 months and clearly my body isn’t functioning because after the first IUI I thought for sure I was pregnant. But it was negative. To me, if we decide to start the adoption process I will have failed myself. My body has failed me when it comes to having the adoption conversation. All I really want to say is let me get through Christmas and then we’ll think a little more, take the rest of the year to apply for 4 amazing loans I found to be a perfect fit for us. More on that in another blog.

I wanted to clear this up because this is one of the most frequently asked questions. So, no adoption in the near future because IVF will work. Even if I have to eat a lot pineapple. Two, we are still trying but not getting any positive results. This part has been frustrating for me because I’m taking advice from the endo doc and they say IVF right away.

Can I be brutally honest for one minute? I’m scared. Scared that I’ll let my husband down. If you don’t know you know he’d give the shirt off his back to a stranger. Shoot, when we were in Detroit for Thanksgiving he game a man $10 and said Merry Christmas. Little things like that remind me daily why I fell in love with him. Anyway, I don’t want to sound selfish but I can’t go through life wondering what would have happened if we didn’t try IVF at least once. I’m in the mindset of one day next year we’ll become parents. There are so many medical advances made every day that it’s insane what scientists and doctors are going to be able to achieve. Please when you ask why I wont adopt it’s because I want my babies made from my husband and me, first. Then if we can’t make that happen we’ll get to another game plan but right now we are putting all of our chips in front of the dealer and hoping we have the winning hand. Please continue to prayer for us, send positive energy, whatever spiritual thing you are into add us to your list of giving thanks and lifting us up. I truly don’t think how strenuous a marriage can be when you throw in every day life stuff but then your partner gets diagnosed with an incurable disease.

Having this been cleared up, please don’t ask me why I won’t adopt because I refuse to give up on myself, my husband and everything we’ve talked about thus far in our journey.

 

I’m thinking of doing a Q&A for my next blog so if you have any questions please shoot me a message on facebook and I’ll go through them and answer then for you!

Until Next Time

xoxoxox

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New Years Resolutions

I don’t have a specific topic today so it may be a little bit of rambling. Good news: Lupron has worn off! I haven’t had a hot flash in about a week. I do get warm sensations but nothing like I was getting. I can sleep through most nights without waking up. I was told by the doctor in Cincinnati to go on Norethindrone. For those that don’t know it’s another medication that suppresses your system so you can’t have a period. However, I’ve said many times before that I don’t want to go back on drugs that are going to take longer to get out of my system, put me in a forced menopause (again I’m sorry for making fun of my mom when she’d get hot flashes because I can totally relate) If I’m going to be in pain during all these suppressants then I may as well just get my body back to “normal”.

During all of this I’ve made a few resolutions (all fertility related). Some I won’t be sharing because they are private between Russell and myself.

I want to be more conscious of my body. I want to just put more good vitamins and nutrients into my body to prepare it for the baby(ies) that hopefully will come by Christmas next year.

The second resolution I’m going to share with you is that I want to a conscious effort to be happier. I am happy most days but some days are bad. So bad that I don’t change my clothes, take a shower or eat. I get so lonely in this battle because sometimes it just feels like you’re fighting it alone. Now before anyone says “You have Russell talk to him”, part of him will never be able to fully understand the pain I am in because he’s NOT a girl. I do my very best to communicate with him and let him know when I’m not feeling well but most times I don’t have to say anything in order for him to figure it out.

I also want to be happier because this year has been tough for me. We started the year in January with surgery #4, then a super tough recovery. Two failed IUI’s, and we’ve failed to conceive in our 14 months of marriage. Next we had being told there was no chance of having a child. Going to a second opinion(that I only did because Russell insisted and marriage is all about give and take right??) only to be told we have no chance and need to do a few things that I wasn’t ready for. So here’s to 2018. May she brings lots of love, laughter and happiness. and most importantly when we start everything for our IVF journey I hope we will be having some babies around for Christmas time next year.

Thank you all so much for the love and support. This year has been a very trying time for us. But we love each other unconditionally and we would do and give everything we have at the chance to have a baby. Stay Tuned for Updates and maybe a few more resolutions.

Until Next Time

xoxoxo

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A Letter to my Husband

 

From the day we met I knew you’d be my husband. I know that sounds like something you hear from a fairytale book but that’s how I felt. I knew you’d be the one I’d spend the rest of my life with. Before long we started dating. I had no idea what would transpire. After all you are 11 years older than I am and unlike me you are a thinker. You know exactly when and how something’s going to happen. Me on the other hand, I know what I want when I want and how I want. I’ve always been that way and I attribute part of it to being a Leo and a Hispanic woman. But the connection we share is something I really value. You are the calm one, while I am the fiesty one. You talk me off ledges and are the calm to my storm. And this is where I get emotional. Where I always have a hard time expressing how I feel, which we all know is easy for me.

The first seven years of our relationship were a breeze. I was able to travel with my friends to a Mary Kay convention and see all the glitz and glam. I was able to compete in pageants and become a beauty queen; something I had always wanted to be. You were there by my side for all of it, supporting me, telling me I could do whatever I wanted to do. Then December of 2015 came, I thought I just had a cyst that would go away; but the pain got worse. Everything from there seems like a blur. It all went so quickly. The next thing I know I’m waking up in a hospital bed being told I may never be able to have children, with my fiance sitting next to me. We had this plan. We were going to get married and then have four or five children because we wanted a large family. We wanted to hear kids running around and chasing after our dogs. That dream was shattered with those words. Hearing at 26 I was infertile was blindsiding and you were strong, you handled everything in stride and have told me no matter what everything would be okay. I wanted to show you I was strong and committed to doing anything that would help us have clarity and make a decision on what to do. Our second opinion was devastating. Hearing there is no chance is heartbreaking. But I held my head up, choked back my tears and asked again “why”. I came home and broke down and you were there to pick me back up. You always have been and I can’t thank you enough for that.

For that two years it’s been hard to have an identity. It’s been hard to not be lost. After all we’ve been married for 14 months, gone through two heart wrenching IUI’s that resulted in negative pregnancy tests, and trying naturally, all for it to turn out negative. I know that we are family but I want to give you children. I want to bear your children. I want to know what labor pain feels like. I want to know what moments after birth are like and what it feels like to hear your baby cry for the first time. But my body has failed you. My body is saying it isn’t strong enough. I’m also scared of what is ahead of us. IVF is an uphill battle. When do we start? How will the financial burden of it all affect us? I don’t have the answers to those questions and neither do you. But one things for sure, we’ll walk through this together. I know it’s not always easy because there are good and bad days. October 24th 2016 we vowed through in sickness and health we would love each other until death do us part. I know the next year is going to bring lots of frustration, tears and happiness but as long as we are together everything will be okay.

I love you more than words can express.

xoxo

p.s. I promise to try not to bring home any more dogs without your permission

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University of Cincinnati Center for Reproductive Health

I’ve struggled with what to write the last few weeks. Not only have I felt a little down but I also didn’t know how to process my feelings enough to write down. We went down to the University of Cincinnati’s Center for Reproductive Health in West Chester. It’s been a few weeks now because I remember it being an all day visit. The doctor that I saw was young, not more than a few years than I am. She asked me the normal questions, why were we there, what made me think I had endometriosis, what do we want to do,etc. I answered all her questions and I asked a lot too. I brought all my records with my from the last two and half years. She didn’t really look at them until we started talking about what we had planned. She talked about an IUI, which there facility charges about $1200 per IUI (Kettering charged $800). So for us that was a bit of an increase, plus I had already said I would not go through another IUI. She said that’s where we needed to start in order for her to get a better understanding of how my reproductive system is or is not functioning. I was adamant on not doing another one because they are too difficult on me emotionally and mentally. The two week wait is a lot to handle and with only having one tube there is a lesser chance of us getting pregnant. She then suggested using donor eggs because I only have one side. I have made the decision I will not use donor eggs because it’s just as risky as going through IVF. I know this is going to sound crass or even selfish but if I am going to carry a child and use science to get pregnant I want my baby to have my DNA. Now, I know that is going to make some people mad but that’s the choice I have made with Russell’s consent. She then suggested IVF, which is the route I know we are going to have to take. For them IVF at it’s lowest is $16,000. For us it’s more like $18-$19,000. She said I don’t have a high chance of getting pregnant. That’s where she and Dr. Karnitis’s opinion are different. He says because my body is able to react well with fertility meds he is confident we could have triplets if we wanted to. However, our UC doc says she doesn’t think it’s a high probability. We ended the appointment disappointed and relieved at the same time. We have also decided it would be best for us to stay in Kettering. But we wanted to get a second opinion to make sure we weren’t missing any information.

It is very important for me to have a doctor that can see the positive in any situation. The doctor at UC only seeing the negative is not going to help us get through this process. The nurses, doctors and care team at Kettering are always there for us. They were there when I needed to cry, have a ton of questions, and give us good news. I need a doctor who is the best at what he/she does, and Dr. Karnitis is it. We have also decided to put fertility treatment on hold for now because the holiday’s are just too hard emotionally on a regular basis but to add treatment on top would be too much. We are hoping that starting spring 2018 we will be able to begin the IVF process. Until then we are going to prep my body the best way we can with vitamins and supplements and lots of positive thinking. We are also going away for Thanksgiving, just the two of us to reconnect, spend some quality time together and take in some football games! As you can imagine going through infertility is hard on a couple. It’s stressful and draining. I have never said our marriage is perfect and never will. We are happy and love each other very much but we need some time to forget about daily life and have some fun.

We hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Until Next Time

xoxox

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Still having Hot Flashes…

This week has been filled with highs and lows. Needless to say I’m ready to relax tomorrow and forget the world exists. July 25 I went into the fertility doctor’s office and they gave me the shot. They said once week 12 hits I shouldn’t have hot flashes, insomnia, etc. I’m having the hot flashes and even worse the ever before. My ears turn bright red,  my nose turns red and my entire body from top to bottom sweats so much you’d think I Just ran a marathon.

It’s been a long week because there has been a lot to do. I had to schedule our second opinion. We’ve decided it’s best to go to Cincinnati. I already see a Nuerologist at UC Health. Dr. Vij. He’s amazing and the reason I keep going back to get my botox! I’m getting my last botox treatment until after we give birth. In order to get botox I have to count four months out on the calendar and know when we’re in the safe zone to conceive.  But I am excited to meet this new guy and see what he has to say. Everyone is going to be different but I hope he will hear me when I speak to him. We have a lot more reasons for choosing UC Health but getting the best care is what is most important to us, especially if I have to pay for everything then I’ll make sure  we are seeing the person we want to see. Not to mention our current doctor can’t see us until we are ready to begin IVF treatment. We feel this is the perfect time to get a second opinion. I realize all the costs that are associated with infertility but I am signing up to get pregnant.

But I’ve had such a down week. It all began at the beginning of the week because I was feeling awful. I had to cancel a few appointments I had with friends and with my doctors simply because I couldn’t get out of bed. I cried a lot and  said to the universe ” why is this happening to us? I’ve been a little unstable emotionally this week. Every little thing stressing me out. I’m noticing negative thoughts are entering my space. Thoughts talking about me as a mother, how do I deserve a child over someone else, am I ready, etc. All these questions are consuming me and for a split second earlier this week I thought maybe I’m being punished for something I did in a past life. But I’m coming around now.

Some days are better than others and I’m still learning how to deal with emotions that infertility brings.  As also, please hug a friend extra tight and let them know you’re there. Even if it’s just to text about their day. I have a very small circle of girlfriends and one of them has been so understanding of why I can’t do things when I did say I could do. She understands how much this takes out of me. I’m not ignoring anyone if they are trying to hang out!

Until Next Time

xoxo

 

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The little things make you realize how much you want a baby, but also how possible it could be for one couple and impossible for the other couple. I am 1 in 8.

I was watching one of my favorite shows, Eric and Jessie on E!. They were talking about whether or not to have a baby and if they’d try for another because they said it was easy for them. Her sister who was pregnant at the time said well how are you feeling? So naturally Jessie went to take the test. Eric walks in and is asking what they’re doing and he sees the test is negative. The next scene is the family hugging together saying it’s not meant to be this month. See that brought back so many emotions and I started crying. For those that haven’t caught on yet, crying is one thing I’m pretty damn good at.

But in all honest the memories of the TWW a few months ago were brutal. They were more than brutal. There were days that felt like they were drag on so slowly and we’d never get to test. Then test day comes and you don’t really sleep the night before because you’re so anxious you have to know. I am also a super type A personality.  I also remember wondering the entire time “are we pregnant?”. The first time I thought for sure because I was having some unusual cravings and then I was having a few pregnancy symptoms but the test came out negative anyway. That was more heartbreaking than my boyfriend in high school saying I was boring and he wanted to date someone else. It was more heartbreaking knowing my body couldn’t do it. Then the second time we did the TWW and I felt nothing. Not one symptom. No tiredness. No nausea. Nothing. And sure enough the test was negative. The feelings of loneliness and depression have been sinking in lately. The holidays are coming and I’m wondering what the next few months will look like. I’m working as much as can without wearing myself out but all I think about is when it’ll be our time. It’s funny (not really) but I’ve been told that if this the path I’m walking and being guided down then maybe God is saying I don’t deserve to be a mother. I think that’s rude and harsh but that’s her opinion so I’m deciding to leave that there.We’ll start the IVF process at the very beginning of spring after the holidays. I’m looking forward to continuing fighting and going through hell and back.

For now, it’s ovulation kits, timed intercourse, and trying some wives tales on how to get pregnant.

Until Next Time

xoxo

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Our Only Hope

This blog is a little deeper than I usually go. I’ve been talking with our doctor about the possibility of going back on Femara with the trigger shot next month because I’m finishing up my last few weeks on Lupron (Hallelujah!). We’ve been playing phone tag because this past week has been insane. Today I noticed the voicemail was a little longer than usual. I thought it was going to be good news when in reality it was crushing. They have come to the determination that no treatment other than IVF will allow us to get pregnant. Not one. Not a trigger shot. Not fertility meds combined with a trigger shot. Not even another IUI. Listening to this was crushing for several reasons. This means my clock is literally ticking. Ya know, like when you hear people say their biological clock is ticking and mine is. I am also hurt because I had to tell my husband. I called him right after I listened to the voicemail and told him I was sorry. I am sorry for not being whole. For not being able to do what my body is supposed to. And I know I keep repeating this statement but it’s true. I feel guilt. And every woman with endometriosis knows that their story will be a little different. Mine have always said I would have a harder journey because I only have one ovary and one tube. At this point in our journey I have become more realistic. I know with the amount of damage my body has gone through, four surgeries, my uterus being fused with my colon and the amount of pain I’m in now, they are right. I can try as much as I can but IUI’s are going to be a waste of money. For the time being we’ll get ovulation kits and see what happens on our own. They say I need to rest and keep thinking positive. But some days it’s hard; real hard. Like so hard I don’t want to get out of bed. I just want to lay there and shut the world out. As much as I know there are people there for me, I am alone. There are so many women who can try to relate but they have children. They have been able to feel what it’s like to grow a miracle inside of them. I want that, just once. IVF is coming. However, it won’t be until after the holidays. I know it’s not going to be easy and so far I’ve conquered each obstacle that we’ve been faced with. I know that IVF is going to take a lot of patience, time, money, faith and I’m sure I’ll shed plenty of tears.

I’m not asking for your prayers or pity. I just want you to hug your children closer and tell them you love them a little more often. Because there are women like me who would literally give anything to just feel the love and bond it feels to be a parent.

Until Next Time

xoxo

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Journey Update!

TWO MORE WEEKS! Two more weeks and I’m done with Lupron. I can say this has been the longest 3 months. It’s been trying. I’ve cried alot. I’ve hurt alot and I’ve wondered if I can continue on and keep going. But I keep pushing. I keep fighting because I refuse to look back and wonder if I did enough.

So…I’ll be getting a period soon. Maybe within the next 4-6 weeks. It takes a little bit for your body to get used to not having any medication in it to force it into menopause. I’m not gonna lie I have wondered what’s worse, menopause or a period. For me personally a period is worse but there is a reason I don’t want to go back through Lupron. I could opt to keep going on Lupron for another 3 months but I don’t think I can do it. So we’ve decided to go on Femara, which is a medication that helps with creating mature follicles so when you go to release them during ovulation they are at full maturity. This means we’ll be doing the trigger shot and given a time frame to conceive. We’ll go into the tww(two week wait) and see what happens. The two week wait as I’ve mentioned before is no joke. It’s the toughest time. Your mind goes haywire; every little thing tricks your mind into thinking you’re pregnant. However, I can’t go an IUI again. Given that my AMH levels are 0.01% I’d rather wait a few extra months and persue IVF. We aren’t in the clear by any means. We still gave to go through all these steps, I’m still in pain and most days I can’t help but wonder why. There are no signs in my family that this disease exists or is hereditary. And endometrioisis takes up to 10 years or longer to find out you have it.

So there you go. We’ve got a few more months at best before this new journey begins. Also, please take a moment to hug those women you know who have suffered a miscarriage or an infant loss. October is not only breast cancer awareness month, it’s also pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. There are so many women suffering in silence because we have no one to talk to or to just let them what we are going through. And I don’t want to get asked again if I’ve thought about adoption. It’s an irrelevant question (in my opinion) and I won’t answer it.

Until Next Time

 

xoxo

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That moment you realize no one believes you or your disease

I came to the realization that there are doctors, more specifically those who don’t fully understand what endometriosis is, and therefore think I’m faking my pain. It all started last Saturday at Kettering. I was in the ER for excruciating back and pelvic pain. I get back to a room where I wasn’t given an IV or anything. After a few minutes a lovely young lady walks in. I see she has a notepad and is in scrubs. So basically she’s a student learning for this shift. She sat down and asked the usual questions : why are you here? where is your pain? what has caused this pain? can you explain in more detail what endometriosis is? have you had surgery in the past? Tell me more about your surgeries. And this goes on and on and on and on because so many nurses have never heard of the term endometriosis before they encountered me. After sitting the room for over an hour, I’ve asked for water because I’m getting quite parched, they ask me to do a pee test. Now if I hadn’t seen what I did when I walked in maybe I wouldn’t be second guessing the reasoning  behind it all. And when the nurse came back into the room and said my sample was fine they just wanted me to make sure there wasn’t anything in my system. After that it was like here’s an anti-nausea pill and a shot of morphine and you get to go home now.

Here’s why I’m complaining. When a doctor can’t “see” pain it can be very hard to diagnose. But I feel like a lot of the time when things get too hard or their priorities shift they’re just like this girl needs to go there is nothing we can do for her. So now we are back at square one. I have an OBGYN appointment tuesday. As you can tell its 3am. I’m in more pain than you can imagine and the pain in my lower back is starting to spasm.

Until we have a day where information about endometriosis comes out and there is a cure or even a way to detect it, this is how endometriosis will continually be treated.

Until Next Time

xoxo

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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