Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Happiest Mother's Day

As today is Mother's Day I wanted to talk about my own wonderful mom, but find it only fitting to share about my friend and lovely hairdresser and her husband's fight for parenthood. They have experienced a difficult journey of trying to have children, but have trusted in God to give them two beautiful children due in a couple weeks! 
Laura and Drew are two of the most Godly people I know and are most deserving of this miracle. They will be great parents and these two children are so blessed.

After joining the blogging world I have found people with similar problems. I had the idea to "interview" Mrs. Laura about their experience and share it with you all in hopes of giving someone else an idea of what IVF {invtro fertilization} consists of and some "advice." For those of you thinking of going through this process, already in this process, or have ever experienced something like this, I hope this gives you some sort of comfort in your own journey.
If nothing else, you can read about a miracle! 

On Infertility
Q: Can you just describe a little bit of the treatment and process of invtro for you that you've gone through the past few years?
A: We started trying to get pregnant a little over 3 years ago.  After a year with no success, surgery, and discovering that I have stage IV endometriosis, I did about 6 months of hormone injections to try and clear it up.  We were still unable to conceive, so at that point we then met with a fertility specialist.  He was pretty direct in letting us know that IVF was our only option if we ever wanted to have children.  As I received all of the information and sat through our class to learn about all of the shots and how they worked, I must admit I was pretty nervous and overwhelmed.  As we continued through with it, our nurse was so sweet and comforting and it really wasn't too bad.  First, I was put on birth control to regulate my my levels, then another shot to suppress hormones and prevent early ovulation.  We then had many ultrasounds of my ovaries and blood work to check my estrogen levels.  Once we started the stimulation injections I would have more ultrasounds to monitor my egg production.  I didn't produce as many as they were hoping, but there were still enough to retrieve.  After about a week and half, they put me under for my retrievals which was the easiest part of all.  There was a little cramping the following couple of days after, but nothing too major.  After the retrievals they would allow for the eggs to be fertilized with my hubby's "goods".  The eggs were monitored and rated based on their strength over the next couple of days and then they were transferred back into my uterus, also very painless and easy.  Then the 2 week wait began. This was truthfully the hardest part of all. There were so many emotions and any little thing I would feel I would read into.  When I returned for lab work to confirm a negative or positive pregnancy test, I learned that afternoon that I wasn't pregnant.  I was so heartbroken and being that I was at work I had to pull myself together and finish out my day.  To say I was devastated was an understatement.  I felt so alone.  The next few months were very hard for both Drew and I.  I shed alot of tears and had lost alot of hope.  We decided to go back to our doctor for round 2 and since we didn't have any left over embryos we had to start from scratch with the whole process.  Just prior to our blood pregnancy test after our second IVF round, I had started bleeding and new that once again it had failed us.  I was required to test again.  I got a call back from the nurse explaining that I was pregnant, but my HCG levels were low.  The next week was nothing short of a roller coaster.  I was didn't think I was pregnant, I tested positive that I was, then I wasn't... it was crazy.  Come to find out my initial bleeding was a very early miscarriage and after many ultrasounds of seeing no growth, I miscarried a twin 2 weeks later.  Just when I thought things could couldn't get any worse, it did.  It was a whole other form of heartbreak.  Drew and I decided to take a break.  I emotionally just couldn't handle anymore.  We had prayed so desperately for so long and there was nothing.  We had decided at our first appointment that we would give IVF 3 tries, so we told ourselves that if I were in a good place, in a little while we would try one last time.  When the time came, we decided to try a new doctor that was out of town, but highly recommended.  Our experience was amazing.  Our doctor was so positive and reassured us that he could help us.  If nothing else, I had found hope again.  We went through a very similar process as the other two times, but with less medicine and a few other modifications.  After the long two week wait, we found out that we were pregnant with our miracle and my levels were great!  I was in complete shock and denial.  We waited another 2 weeks for our first ultrasound and I was a mess.  I was so afraid they would go in and find nothing like the last time we had miscarried.  Boy were we wrong.  We saw 2 little sacs
and 2 little fluttering hearts! Yes, I said 2!  We were having twins!!!  I'm am due in 5 weeks and we are so grateful :)
Q: How did if affect you emotionally?
A: Honestly, the medications weren't what really affected me, it was more the outcome.  After a failed attempt and two miscarriages I was just hopeless and sad.  I cried alot and became a little reclusive, it was all just so hard to grasp.
Q: Did you know anyone else that you could talk to and go to for advice? If not, did you meet anyone along this journey you could relate to and go to with questions or seek advice?
A: I did have a friend who had been through IVF that I talked and prayed with alot.  She got pregnant her first round so it was a little hard to relate with her after it didn't work because I realized at that point she just couldn't understand that side of things. 
Q: What has been the scariest thing for you so far?
A: In the beginning it was not knowing if I would ever be able to have my own children, now it is just that my sweet little angels with be born healthy.
Q: What has been the hardest thing for you so far? (if different from previous question?)
A: The fact that it changed me.  I didn't feel like it changed me for the better.  I can see that it has now, I am so compassionate towards women experiencing the tough battle of infertility.  At the time, it was really hard to be around people that were close to me that were pregnant.  It brought on so many conversations that I did t want to be a part of .  I had a lot of guilt for for feelings I couldn't control and baby showers just about threw me over the edge.  Now I feel like my role in all of our journey is to be supportive and prayerful of others experiencing the same hurt I did and for that change I am grateful.
Q: How has Drew been supportive?
A: He was so wonderful and patient.  He would let me cry whenever I needed, he would talk when I wanted to talk, and he knew when I just needed to be alone.  He never lost hope and always encouraged me.  Even in my hateful moments, he never got upset with me.
Q: What have you learned about yourself?
A: People change.  Life shapes us and molds us and we all go through tough times.  Infertility is such a tough subject.  Every one's story is so different and they cope in different ways.  I found that there really was nothing anyone could do for me other than pray and let me know they loved me.  I learned to let myself catch a break and that for once in my life it was ok to worry about me and not about hurting others feelings.
Q: How has your marriage been tested?/What have you learned about your marriage?
A: You know that is a hard question.  Drew and I dated for 5 years before we got married and then were married almost 3 years before we starting trying to get pregnant so we were pretty in tune with one another and the best of friends.  Our marriage is by no means perfect, but we never really felt like this process tested us.  We probably became closer, we intently prayed together and talked alot.  Both of us were upset, but having each other to lean on was what made things easier.
Q: Do you have a quote or bible verse you want to share that has given you strength?
A: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4: 6-7.  I know it is such a go to verse, but I experienced alot of anxiety as well through the process, especially in the beginning.  Choosing to be thankful in times that were trying was hard, but I knew it was necessary.  I would recite this in my head every time I would start to get anxious and the Holy Spirit truly came over me and gave me a peace.
Q: What advice can you give to others who might be going through the same thing?
A: Try your hardest to find someone encouraging to talk to, even if they can't fully grasp what you are going through.  It is so easy to close up and run away, but it will only make things harder in the end.  Again, every story is so different and I never found anyone to do anything to help, but just being able to vent is helpful for yourself.

On Pregnancy and the Angels!
Saying his bedtime prayers :)

Q: What was it like when you finally knew this was "the one"- the pregnancy that would last?!
A: O man, I will never forget how hard my heart was beating and how shocked I was.  I just assumed that it didn't work again because of our other experiences so it was so crazy!
Q: How have you felt physically?
A: I have had such a great pregnancy and I truly feel like God made this part a little easier on me. I was never sick, I just grew really fast :)  its a constant reminder of my miracles, I love it.
Q: How was the first ultrasound appointment?
A: Mind boggling.  It was so hard to believe those two little lives were inside of me and that God would finally give me the privilege to carry them. It was comforting, but I would live ultrasound to ultrasound just to know they were ok.
Q: Have you had weird food cravings?
A: Not really, I always love food haha, but for some reason ice cream tastes a little better than it used to. 
Q: What have you done for relaxation?
A: I've just tried to be continually thankful for this process even now that I'm big and getting uncomfortable.  I wouldn't trade this for anything :)  I do treat myself to manis and pedis and of course prenatal massages!
Q: What is the sex of the babies?
A: Boy and Girl
Q: What are the babies' names?! (I love them! haha)
A: Brooks and Leighton
Q: How are you decorating the nursery? What color scheme, etc...
A: No theme, just colors and patterns.  Grays, blues, a little red.  It is very different :)
Q: What do you hope for the babies' futures?
A:That they would first learn to love Jesus Christ and to love people.  I pray already that they will have a relationship with God, so that when life throws curve balls they know that He is ALWAYS there even when it doesn't feel like it. 
Q: Are you going to try and have more kids in the future?
A: We aren't sure.  We definitely won't go through all of this again.  Obviously the expense and the emotional toll on us was challenging, but we are so thankful to be blessed by these two, we would never feel slighted to not have anymore.  And... you should probably ask me in like 3 years when the twins are like 3 haha. 
Q: Do you have any funny story you want to share or anything that stands out from this journey!?
A: I'm sure that there are, but I can't remember!  It has been a long 3 years!

This is a blog post written by Laura's husband. I love the life-lesson in it. 


Last night I had to put some furniture together. Before I go on, you must know that there’s nothing I dislike more on this earth than putting furniture together. If my job involved putting together furniture, I would most likely go to hell. Not Rob Bell’s hell either, I’m talking about the real one, with fire and gnashing. There’s just something about that little allen wrench, and those little washers that get under my skin. They make me say and think things that aren’t human, things that only people who go to hell would say. When I finally assemble a piece of furniture, I look like I was mugged and beaten, by veneer. The instructions sheet is torn to pieces, the allen wrench is embedded into the drywall, and my conscience is about as clear as my garage. It’s kind of like a battle, like in ‘Braveheart’, only there are no skirts or other people, or horses. Come to think of it, it’s nothing like ‘Braveheart’.  It’s just me, the furniture, and cuss words. Also, hell.
But last night was different. Last night I was putting together two cribs. That’s right, two cribs. Not one crib, meaning only one baby. Two cribs, meaning two babies, at once. My wife is having twins, which is incredibly exciting. Currently, they’re still inside her stomach, but soon they’ll be out and they’ll need a place to sleep, which explains the cribs. It’s funny the reactions you get from people when you tell them you’re having twins. Most people smile, and then say something like “Oh gosh”, or “Wow, good luck with that”. Sometimes the really nice people will say congratulations, but it usually sounds more like a question, like “congratulations?”. People stare a lot too. Probably because I look like I’m 12. They most likely think we’re on ‘Teen Mom 2’, or are on our way to the Dr. Phil show to “figure things out”. And it’s not that I would mind going on the Dr. Phil show either, he seems pretty nice. Plus, he knows Oprah.
Three years ago my wife and I sat on a couch. It was perhaps the ugliest couch I’d ever sat on, yet surprisingly comfortable. The room had wallpaper, and carpet like they have at the airport. On the walls were pictures of female anatomy, not anything inappropriate, they were more like drawings and uncomfortable for me to look at. Across from us was a doctor, a man who had chosen to spend his life working with female stuff, an odd choice I know, but nonetheless his choice. I desperately tried to avoid eye contact with him as he discussed things I remembered laughing about in health class. He talked and talked, and I continued to squirm. Finally he arrived at his main point, you can’t have kids.
I won’t go into detail about our journey from that couch to now, other than to say it was a journey. A journey that left us grateful. And gratefulness changes us. So last night as I unpacked all the pieces and opened the instructions, it felt different than my previous encounters with the allen wrench. It was like I had a whole new attitude. It seemed more like a privilege, really, with this set of furniture. Instead of feeling frustrated by something else to do, I felt grateful for such an opportunity, an opportunity that we thought would never come. As I slowly pieced together the rails and frames, I couldn’t stop thinking about that couch, the ugly yet comfortable one. And I couldn’t get those words out of my head, ‘you can’t have kids’. I thought about how God worked even when it didn’t feel like He was working, about how close He really was when He felt so far away. I was grateful. Grateful for getting to put together a nursery, grateful for the allen wrench and washers, grateful for stuff I don’t deserve.
See, gratefulness really can change us. It can change our thinking, our attitudes, shift our desires. The other side of gratefulness is entitlement, something I’ve lived with for a long time. It’s a ‘you-owe-me’ kind of attitude, an irrational expectancy. It’s an attitude I had on that couch, and all those times I yelled at God for not doing what I wanted. Living with a sense of entitlement is frustrating, really. There’s lots of anger and pouting and fear. But gratefulness is different. Gratefulness can change us. If there’s one direction I believe God wants to push us all towards, it’s in the direction of gratefulness. I think He knows that when we live grateful lives, we inch closer to the people we were made to be. When we fully grasp what’s been done for us, we can live differently. We can live lives grateful for each opportunity, opportunities that we thought would never come.
I hope all mom's & soon-to-be mom's have a wonderful Mother's Day! 


  1. LOVE it! Such a great post and so excited for them! :)

  2. This is such a great post!! I love hearing Laura's answers and then reading Drew's post. I am beyond excited for Laura and Drew and can't wait to see the little babies in a few weeks :)

  3. what an amazing story. very sweet for a wonderful day like today. you'll have to show us pictures when the babies are born!

  4. Oh how I loved this post!...even choked up a little, geez! Laura has been a dear friend if mine since elementary school and I cannot think of two people more deserving than she and Drew. So happy for them and their little miracles!

  5. CONGRATS to the beautiful couple! SO happy for them! What a wonderful story to share on Mother's Day. This is one of my biggest fears...that some day Mr. D and I will be ready to start our family and will not be able to. I'm so happy for these lovely people and wish them nothing but happy days ahead with their babies.

  6. What a sweet story! I'm glad you did this post.