Friday, April 24, 2015

The Here And Now {Our Fertility Story: Part 5}

If you or someone you know is battling fertility, visit www.resolve.org to learn more.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
This is my fertility story.

You can read Part 1 here >> {Part 1: The Call}
You can read Part 2 here>> {Part 2: Be Still.}
You can read Part 3 here >> {Part 3: The Final Test}
You can read Part 4 here>> {Part 4: Overcoming the Odds}


***
I came out on the other side of this battle.
But that doesn't mean it's finished.

It changed me. 
It's my truth.
It's my story to tell.

I look at this sweet face and the sense of gratitude fills my heart.
She's my miracle.

So many readers have sent me emails with their struggles this week.
Many of you asking for updates on where we are now.

Well...I'm enjoying every second of mommyhood.
I'm in the here and now.
I don't miss a second to squeeze those cheeks.
Today, I left those papers at work... they can be graded later.
I waited too long to get here.
She's growing too fast and I don't want to miss a second of it!


Feel free to follow us on Instagram and get all the latest baby cuteness and updates delivered right to your phone! Click here

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Overcoming The Odds {Our Infertility Story: Part 4}

If you or someone you know is battling fertility, visit www.resolve.org to learn more.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

This is my fertility story.

You can read Part 1 here >> {Part 1: The Call}
You can read Part 2 here>> {Part 2: Be Still.}
You can read Part 3 here >> {Part 3: The Final Test}


So many times I heard that I was over thinking it or I was putting too much pressure on myself.
Anyone that's fought fertility has probably heard that too.
This is why many of us sit in silence.

People mean well, I'm sure.
But it's just easier to stay silent than explain it all.

My silence had gotten really heavy.

That moment when the tears streamed down my face as I stared at those two pink lines, the year and half of struggles and disappointments boiled over and mixed with feelings of excitement and happiness as it washed over me like a tidal wave.

I was on cloud nine.

I also went to Dollar Tree during my lunch break.
Those tests work too- in case you're wondering.

Three more were positive before I told the hubs. 
I needed to be sure the first few were accurate.
Just in case.



So... I slowed down with blogging.
I left work at work.
And I savored every moment of growing my little miracle baby.



I nested in anticipation.

And the moment that we met our sweet girl is a moment that we had fought for.
Cried for. 
Prayed for.

A moment I'll never forget.

A moment that all the pain, heartache and trial was worth.

I'd do it all again.

I'd fight the fight.

I'd cry the tears.

I'd battle odds.

But I wouldn't be quiet.
I wouldn't feel ashamed.
I wouldn't be alone.

Odds are, a woman in your family or circle of friends has fought the fight. 
Many in silence and embarrassment.
Help them make noise.
Because who does the silence help?

Infertility needs a voice.
Help raise awareness and bring light to their darkness.
WE ARE NOT ALONE.


***

Elianna: Hebrew, meaning: My God has answered. 




Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Final Test {Our Infertility Story Part 3}

If you or someone you know if battling fertility, visit www.resolve.org to learn more.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

This is my fertility story.

You can read Part 1 here >> {Part 1: The Call}
You can read Part 2 here>> {Part 2: Be Still.}

***
It was February of 2014 and we had begun our journey just over a year prior. We began adoption classes through our state foster care program and I had come to peace with the failed infertility treatments. For the first time in months, I felt like I could breathe. I was in control of how we would be growing our family and for this type A girl, that felt good.

We made a final consult with our doctor to let him know that we wouldn't be continuing any further. I was exhausted, my pharmacist knew me by name and our treatments had reeked havoc on our savings account. Our doctor wasn't quite as quick to throw in the towel. Because our case was so interesting to him, he offered to give us one round of Inter-uterine Insemination (IUI) half off if we were willing to give it one last shot.

We decided to try this "Hail Mary".
We knew we only had a 20% chance of success on the high side.
At half-price, it was the only way we could ever afford it and it really would be our last ditch effort.


Before the procedure, I would have to have one more ultrasound to see just how many eggs were viable. Unfortunately, there weren't any eggs on the screen- only a large ovarian cyst the size of a small orange. I was beyond frustrated as I watched the nurse take measurements and explain that the cyst was a side effect of the medications and that treatment would be a month of birth control pills. Her voice sounded like a distant blur as she talked.
Like Charlie Brown's mom.

I cried on that table.
Another set back.
Another disappointment.

I completed the birth control and we waited until March to get the green light for the IUI. I began the month with the regular medications, cycle tracking, daily ultrasounds and then the trigger shot.
I was scheduled to get the IUI procedure near the end of the month.

As I laid there in a little room, staring up at the ceiling tile decorated with fish, I couldn't help but pray that this would be the day that would end one chapter and start a new journey in our lives. The procedure was fairly painless and after 15 minutes, I was walking out hopeful.

I was scheduled to take a pregnancy test 14 days after the IUI.
I waited 17 days, just in case.
It was a Friday afternoon and there was only one pink line.

I was done.
Over. it.

I had thought for sure the IUI was going to work and yet I was staring at a single pink line for what felt like the hundredth time.

For the first time in months, I sat and uncontrollably sobbed. My strength was gone. I tried to explain to hubs how incredibly sad I felt but I couldn't put it into words. I knew that was our last ditch effort and there was this overwhelming sense of incompetence I felt as a women, as a wife. Having a baby was the one thing that only I could bring to our marriage and I had failed. 

That weekend I had plans to do a 5K with a group of girlfriends.


I felt a little crampy at the race and blamed it on my cycle. The weekend came and went, but my cycle hadn't started. By Tuesday, my girlfriends were begging me to take another pregnancy test. I refused to spend more money. I was done. I had come to peace with my final single pink line and we were only 3 weeks away from finishing up our adoption classes.
I needed to move on... I didn't need another pregnancy test.

Wednesday morning, my bestie asked me to come by her classroom before the morning bell. She had bought me a test and was going to make me use it whether I wanted to or not. I rolled my eyes at her and very matter of fact like, informed her that this was a waste of time. I indulged her anyway.

This time... there was a super faint second line.
We Googled it.

I was pregnant.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Be Still. {Our Infertility Story Part 2}


If you or someone you know is battling fertility, visit www.resolve.org to learn more.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE!


This is my fertility story.
You can read Part 1 here >> {Part 1: The Call}

***
It was late spring of 2013 and the buzz of classroom placements for the 2013-14 school year were filling the halls around campus. I had looped from 1st to 2nd that year and my principal was entertaining the idea of me looping with my littles to 3rd. I knew I had to tell him why that wasn't an option. I needed to remove stress from my life, not add to it if we were to have any chance of having a baby. 

I had decided to stay in 2nd grade and school wide tentative positions were posted on the work room wall like Broadway callbacks when I noticed an open position at the bottom of the page. 

ART.

Our school hadn't had art on the specials wheel in quite a few years. It caught my attention and I went home that night with a heavy heart as I told hubs about the opening. I loved my team. I mean LOVED my 2nd grade team ya'll. I didn't want to leave them but I knew I needed to step back from the stress of team leader, data meetings, parents, merit pay, educational politics, new curriculum, and all the extras that teachers do day in and day out for their students.
Ya'll know what I mean! 

After nearly a week of conversations and back and forth with my principal, he had agreed to let me start up the art program at our school. After all, painting relaxed me and I could leave work at work for the first time since I had begun teaching. It was perfect and I finished out the year knowing that I had made the right choice.

I was coming out of the classroom so I could focus my energy on starting a family. 

Soon it was summer and there was no baby in sight. Although, the medication had helped me drop about 10 pounds, it was also causing me to lose handfuls of hair on a daily basis. I knew I had to take the good with the bad but I was getting impatient. 

Why weren't we pregnant yet?

More tests followed with each passing month.

They put dye through my Fallopian tubes to check for blockages.

They found and removed a small polyp from my uterus.

They ran mountains of blood work.

Still, no baby.

Fall came and I began teaching art. It was chaotic as any first year position is. I had no idea what I was doing and Pinterest was my go to curriculum. I just wanted to survive the year, get pregnant and go on maternity leave. My priorities and focus had become narrowed and the pressure I put on myself each month was growing. Work was work and life was life and for the first time, I found myself less consumed with school and more consumed with life. 

August brought a new game plan. Our doctor wanted to try an additional medication. A follicle steroid of sorts. The Metformin was working but just not good enough on it's own. So began the date and cycle tracking. I was to take this new medication for the first 3-7 days of my cycle each month. This was going to boost the growth of my follicles so they would mature into eggs that my body could ovulate. In order for the doctor to know if the boost was working, we began monthly "ovary check" ultrasounds where my eggs would be measured and we would go home with a three day window of when that egg would be ready to drop based on it's size. 

We did this each month from August until November. Still no baby. I felt defeated. I found myself begging God to just fix me- to bless us with a baby- to make it all go away. And His whisper back was always the same... Be still, Kimberly. 

Be still.


I was trying.

The next step was to add on monthly at home "trigger shots" to our current course of action. I'm not a fan of needles and hubs is not a fan of administering shots so we decided to really consider how far we wanted to take this journey.

We thought a lot about the next step...

We decided to try the trigger shot to force ovulation. We needed to start daily ultrasounds so they could measure my eggs and improve our timing.
This went on for two months... still not pregnant and the monthly costs were growing quickly.
It had nearly been a year since that first phone call.

A year.
A year of tests.
A year of procedures.
A year of disappointments.
A year of medications.
A year of appointments.
A year of phone calls.

 I remember our doctor giving us an out. We sat across the the desk from him as he explained that most couples throw in the towel after a year of medical intervention but he felt confident that he would figure this out. He was determined to solve the puzzle.

Here I was, 28, taking multiple medications, scheduling daily ultrasounds and getting stuck with a  needle each month only to see that our efforts resulted in only one pink line on a stick. That's when I reached what I thought was "my limit". I remember laying in bed and asking How much longer do we try? I didn't want to give up, but Lord knows I didn't want to keep going either. I was an emotional mess, which I desperately wanted to blame on the medication, but the truth is- the journey was changing me. 

Be still, Kimberly.

That night, laying in bed, we decided that we would do one more round with the trigger shot and if it didn't work we would explore our options with adoption. 

I felt better knowing there was a light at the end of the tunnel and within a few weeks we were scheduled to  begin adoption orientation classes while undergoing what I thought was our last round of infertility treatment. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Call {Our Infertility Story Part 1}

It's been a while since I've crossed over from a gen ed classroom teacher into the art room.
Yet, I still get the same question from my readers and followers.
Ya know the whole...

What made you want to do THAT?! 
and  
Why don't you blog as much anymore?!?

I've wrestled for many many months over this post.
And I keep coming back to the same resolve.
My silence is too loud.
I have to speak out.
There's millions of women that will relate to what I'm about to share and for most of them, noise would make them feel better. Because often times, in silence, there's shame.
 I know because I was once in silence.

 So grab a cup of coffee and kick your feet up.
This is my journey.

NIAW - National Infertility Awareness Week

****
It was New Year's Eve 2013 and as the clock struck mid-night and fireworks were overhead, hubs explained that 2013 was the year we should try to start a family. This was music to my ears as I had already begun to feel the itch and just about everyone I knew around me was either super pregs or just added a new addition. 

What I didn't know at that moment was the life changing journey God had in store for us over the next two years and how it would change everything I knew about myself. 

I immediately began calling doctor's offices and asking for consults. You see... I knew we were up against a small battle from the start. The first hurdle was a medication that hubs has to take for an autoimmune disease. His doctor had told us that when/if we decided to start trying for a baby, hubs would have to stop the medication at least 3 months prior in order for it to clear his system. This is a pretty serious drug that is typically given to cancer patients and there aren't many studies to show the risks of this medication on fertility. Going off the medication meant hubs would experience symptoms for months and there wasn't enough data to make me want to start with that.

We wanted a second opinion just to be sure. 

After two weeks of phone calls and numerous specialists declining even a consult, I finally scheduled an appointment with the man that would soon change our lives. 

It was mid February 2013 when we sat down in over stuffed leather seats in a little office across the desk from the smartest white haired man I have ever come to meet. He took a lot of notes that day as I talked and answered his flurry of questions. And by the end of the consult, it was clear that he had more in store for us than just a consult. Our situation had deeply intrigued this man and he was determined to find a solution.

We walked out of that office with a plan. Per routine, I was required to run a full blood work up- no big deal, or so I thought. We weren't there for me anyway, it was just office policy and they needed to have it on file. 
Hubs had to have testing done and the doctor was going to consult with an Oncologist and get back to us.
Until then a baby would be on hold.

The phone rang 3 days later and what I heard on the other end of the line was a conversation that altered the next year and half of my life. As the nurse began to explain that all of hubs tests were perfectly normal and that the medication was indeed safe, the bad news followed...the majority of MY tests required more tests. 

She explained that I have a metabolism disorder called PCOS. I was "insulin resistant" and because my body wasn't processing insulin properly my follicles weren't developing into eggs that were mature enough to be fertilized. I had eggs backed up inside equivalent to an 18 year old. So step one was Metformin- a routine medication that I began taking daily to help process the insulin and allow my eggs to mature. 

To say I was devastated would be an understatement but I was hopeful the medication would be a quick fix... but fast forward four months and still no baby, I was starting to get frustrated.
 Funny, looking back, I wish I hadn't wasted my tears so early on in the journey.
There would still be plenty of time to feel sorry for myself. 

As this was only the beginning of the fight.
  
*****

If you or someone you know is battling fertility- visit www.resolve.org to learn more

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Cyber Monday SALE

Have you heard the news?! TpT is having a Cyber Monday Sale! 



Thank you, Michelle, from The 3AM Teacher, for the beautiful graphic! 

You guys know I am OBSESSED with a good sale and online ones are even better. 
Stay in your pjs, shop from couch and not deal with long lines- Sign me up, please! 



 Not only will I be shopping tomorrow, I'll be joining in on the fun too!
My entire store will be on sale for 20% off. 



Use the code TPTCYBER to receive an additional 10% off for a total savings of 28%! 
That's almost 30% off, ya'll!

Now, in addition to those HUGE savings, you can use your TpT credits from previous purchases to save even more! 

Be sure to leave feedback! Even just a few dollars in savings goes a long way this time of year. 

Ok, so let's talk about some of the things you HAVE to have in your classroom this holiday season!
5 ELA activities and 5 Math activities your 2nd graders are SURE to love!

 Or if you're looking for more of a literacy based packet- this BEST SELLING pack is jammed with fun activities and a Reader's Theater that's sure to have your kiddos excited about reading!

And just for fun, grab a little freebie in my store while you're there!

Now, for a few of my favorite recommendations that you MUST put in your cart!
These products are amazing and if I were in the classroom, they would be put to serious use ya'll!
Click each cover to view the details.
*Gingerbread* Unit

So there ya have it.
I can't wait until tomorrow! 
What are you hoping to snag during the sale?! 


My friends are having a sale too, be sure to stop by their pages to check out what goodies they've got on sale AND what's in their cart this holiday season! 



Saturday, September 20, 2014

Baby Shower & GIVEAWAY

Hey ya'll!
I can't believe how time seems to be flying by these days!
I'm slightly consumed with school life (what teacher isn't these days?!) as well as baby nesting and setting up our nursery.
Before I know it I'll be a blog mama!
T-minus 10 weeks!

My sweet friends showered me and baby Santana with lots of love and gifts today!
I'm so dang blessed!!

 There were lots of laughter, yummy food, fun games and some of the best company a girl could ask for!

A few of my blog sisters joined the celebration today too!

 Tamara guessed the size of my belly #winning

And the girls got crafty making baby bibs!
Can you guess who made which bib?? ;)



It was such a fabulous day!!
And to top it all off, Tamara and I are throwing a FB giveaway tomorrow morning!
Be sure to stop by after 10am EST to win!



Don't miss it!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...