So Excited To Share Our Tanks and Tees With You!!

We are SUPER excited to show you our tanks and t-shirts we are selling for our adoption!!!!  ALL proceeds go directly to our adoption fund!!

We LOVE them and hope you like them as much as we do!!

Why the quote about surfing?!?

Although we are BEYOND grateful for adoption, let’s be honest….adoption is HARD.  It’s uncomfortable, it’s risky, and it’s scary. It’s about giving up control and just surrendering to the process (the HARDEST part for me personally).  We’ve learned that we can be knocked over by these waves of emotions brought on by adoption OR we can learn to adapt, let go, and ride out that wave so we can see the BEAUTY that adoption offers as well.

So now you know :)…..here is how to order!!!

These are VERY soft Bella Triblend unisex t-shirts and ladies flowy tanks!! The t-shirts are offered in Sunset or Blue Tri-Blend, for adults sizes XS-3XL. The flowy racerback tanks are offered in Sunset and Denim Slub for ladies sizes  XS-2XL. These are PRE-ORDER only! Order will close on September 24th and all orders will ship or be available for pick up the first 2 weeks of October.  Each shirt is $22 and we will ship for $4 for first shirt add $1 per shirt after that (to same address).

Message us to place your order and be sure to state STYLE, COLOR, SIZE, QUANTITY and YOUR EMAIL. I will send you an invoice via PayPal OR if you are local you can pay via cash or check in person!

 

Puzzle Fundraiser Update!

Okay, so there are TWO things we know for sure!

1 – We are absolutely horrible at putting puzzles together.  It may or may not have taken us 5 hours to put our complete puzzle together. And by “us”, I mean Bill…I had to walk away after an hour or so.   Also, as a pointer to others, if you plan on making a puzzle, make sure it’s colorful and has color on every piece.  All white pieces and pieces with black swipes about sent us over the edge!!

Aaaannnd Michelle OUT!
Ta-Daaaaaa!!

2 – More importantly….We have some AH-MAZING friends and family!!! No, seriously, you guys are the best!!   It’s so cool to start writing the names of our friends and family on the back side of the pieces and seeing how everyone becomes intertwined and connected together.  Although a lot of you may not know each other, you are ALL forever connected through our adoption story…how cool is that!?!? Pretty flippin’ cool if you ask me!

Adoption Puzzle Fundraiser
Do you see your name?? Everyone coming together as one!

We still have about 150 pieces left to complete our puzzle, so it’s not too late to become a part of our story!  And if you have no idea what I’m talking about, no worries, you just missed our previous post, so I have the details for you here!

We had a beautiful watercolor painting done by my sister made into a puzzle. Each piece will represent someone who donated to help us on our journey! Each puzzle piece represents a $25 donation. You may want to be represented on 1 piece of our puzzle or many pieces! Your name will be written on the back of each piece that you represent. Once the puzzle is finished it will be framed in a double sided glass frame and hung in our nursery. It will forever be a reminder of who was part of our journey with us! To be a part of this fundraiser you can donate through our YouCaring (now GoFundme) link or the PayPal link on the right side of our blog or you can contact me directly! Even if you aren’t able to donate, we would LOVE it if you could share!!

xoxo – Michelle & Bill

Baby Boy or Baby Girl??

Hey All!

Thank you to everyone for your donations and for sharing our story!  With your help, we are getting closer to our goal each day! Please keep on sharing our story!  We still have pieces of our puzzle left, so if you’d like to be involved, it’s not too late to participate in our puzzle fundraiser!  If you have any questions on how to make a donation or where to donate to, you can check out the links on the right side of the blog or as always, you can contact me directly too!

So…onto some exciting news….WE KNOW THE GENDER OF OUR BABY!!!!

We are beyond excited to share our gender reveal with you!! Our sweet birth mama found out Friday morning and with the help of our good friend Naomi we were able to pull off a surprise gender reveal by Friday evening!! Both Bill and I were absolutely clueless until it was revealed!  We hope you enjoy!

Puzzle Fundraiser – Become a Permanent Part of Our Adoption Journey

We are SO excited to start our PUZZLE FUNDRAISER!!!

Everyone who donates to our adoption through this fundraiser becomes a permanent part of our adoption journey through a piece of our puzzle!

My sister painted this precious watercolor for us and we had the image printed on a 252 piece puzzle.

Each piece will represent someone who donated to help us on our journey!

Each puzzle piece represents a $25 donation.

You may want to be represented on 1 piece of our puzzle or many pieces! Your name will be written on the back of each piece that you represent.

Once the puzzle is finished it will be framed in a double sided glass frame and hung in our nursery. It will forever be a reminder of who was part of our journey with us!

To be a part of this fundraiser just click on our GoFundMe link, or the PayPal link (Both on the right side of our blog) or you can contact me directly! We are thankful beyond words for each and every one of you that takes part in this fundraiser!!!

Even if you aren’t able to donate, we would LOVE it if you could share!! We are SO excited to share in this journey with you!

We’re Matched!!!

At some point and time I PROMISE I will go back and update you on how we got from there to here, but in the meantime, we could not be more excited to announce that we’ve been MATCHED!!!! We are expecting a little one to arrive around Thanksgiving!

Announcing the adoption was the fun part.

The part that feels a little more overwhelming is coming up with the $39,000 we are going to need to pay for the adoption (believe it or not, we don’t have that much spare money just lying around). Everything we’ve been through has definitely made us a stronger couple, but also a couple with a lot less money!

We’ve been working hard and have already paid for and saved enough to cover half of our adoption expenses. We only have $19,000 left to go and we have 5 months to get there! We are both working extra jobs, selling anything we don’t need, applying for grants, but we’ve realized that we can’t do this on our own.

We are going to need help. Adoption is expensive. We’re not fundraising because we can’t afford take care of a baby; we’re fundraising to ALLOW us the opportunity to do so.

We hope that during our fundraising efforts, we’re able to become advocates for the option of adoption and can shed a little light on this long, complicated process. We are humbled by the, many friends, family members — even strangers — who have been walking with us along this unknown, scary path.

We’ve set aside our pride to ask and accept financial help.

It’s not easy.
Trust me.

So, if you are interested in helping out in any way, we will be sharing lots of opportunities on our blog and social media!

There are some ongoing things in the sidebar on the right that can be done at any time, like shopping in our Etsy shop, visiting and/or sharing our YouCaring site, donating through PayPal, or just sharing our blog and adoption journey!

Thank you for loving us; we could not get through this without you.

xoxo Michelle & Bill

Could It Be Immune Related??

After our second loss we were really starting to wonder if it was a streak of bad luck or possibly something immune related. We were transferring genetically tested HIGH quality blasts – something didn’t seem right.

In March of 2017 I made an appointment with my state side fertility doctor, Dr. Trolice. I thought if anyone could figure out what was going on, it would be him! We drove to Orlando for our appointment and we were SUPER excited; we were FINALLY going to have an answer to our questions! I brought up my concerns and almost immediately I was told that my losses didn’t count as recurrent pregnancy loss because I’ve only lost 2 pregnancies, not 3 (for some reason, with most doctors, 3 is the magic number for “official” recurrent pregnancy loss). It was also during this meeting that I found out he doesn’t support the reproductive immunology idea. He basically chalked my losses up to bad luck/unexplained. We felt he was REALLY pushing us to do an egg donation cycle. I would have had NO problem doing an egg donation cycle IF I would have had a reason as to why I lost two pregnancies in a row, but without that solution, we refused to pay $20K for another blind gamble. He was NOT happy that I went overseas to do a fertility cycle and he told us that “you get what you pay for”, implying our losses COULD be due to an inferior experience. Looking back, I’m still not sure why he said that or feels the way he does about it. We were kind of in shock. Yes, it is MUCH less expensive to do treatment overseas, but I can PROMISE you, it is not an inferior “product” or experience and I personally know multiple women that have had healthy pregnancies and babies from Reprofit. Our health care system here is WAY out of whack – I could go on and on about it, so I’m just going to zip it lol! I do want to say that I LOVE Dr. Trolice, but that day definitely changed the way we viewed him. It was almost like he didn’t want to be a part of our journey anymore UNLESS I was going to cycle with him. We had to push VERY hard for him to agree to do just basic immune testing to see if I had a clotting factor in my blood.

Here’s the deal…if you do any research on how/if your immune system effects your fertility you will find there are two distinct sides – those who believe and those who don’t. There are some doctors that have dedicated their practice (Dr. Kwak-Kim and Dr. Braverman) to helping those of us with immune related fertility problems and yet there are other highly acclaimed doctors that think it’s all hocus pocus (Dr. Trolice). The basic theory is that your immune system sees the embryo as a foreign body and attacks and kills the embryo. After doing a TON of research and speaking to many women that have had successful pregnancies with treatment after multiple losses, I firmly believe that your immune system CAN play a role miscarriage and recurrent pregnancy loss.
I got my tests back from Dr. Trolice and everything seemed pretty normal as far as clotting goes. I have an AMAZING OBGYN, Dr. Miller, that does believe in reproductive immunology and she agreed to run some additional basic tests for me. Those tests came back ok, but a little on the high side. I also had some genetic testing done and I tested positive for the MTHFR gene mutation!

VERY quick and basic rundown of MTHFR (no, it’s not an abbreviation for a swear word, but it IS a mother f*cker if you have it!) –
MTHFR is a gene mutation that affects the way your body processes folate. It often doesn’t present any obvious problems but many women that have this mutation often find out after repeated miscarriages or stillbirth. Research has shown that the MTHFR mutation can cause blood clots during pregnancy between the growing placenta and uterine wall which prevents transport of nutrients to the baby. It can occur early in the pregnancy when the fetus is super vulnerable causing repeated miscarriages or later in the pregnancy when a clot forms in the placenta or umbilical cord and causes stillbirth.

There was some additional testing that I wanted to have done, but it wasn’t covered under insurance AND was super crazy expensive (over $3k for one test alone!). I also REALLY wanted to be seen by Braverman or Kwak-Kim, but once again, they are NOT covered by insurance (at least in my state with my insurance) and I just couldn’t bring myself to pay $5,000 for a Dr.’s visit – one that could possibly still tell me they don’t know what’s wrong.

In doing my research, I learned about a clinic that does embryo donation in Barbados! Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Europe and the Czech Republic, but the thought of a quick flight to the Caribbean was sounding pretty good! I did a phone consult with their Dr. and she reviewed my records and she too agreed that it sounded like an immune issue. She agreed that it would be nice if I could afford to get the extra testing done, but said that regardless, my treatment would be THE SAME!! She gave me her general Immune protocol which consisted of adding Lovenox (blood thinner) and Prednisone (steroids to lower my immune system) and Bromocriptine to my current cocktail of baby aspirin, estrogen, progesterone and antibiotics. I ultimately decided to NOT go with that clinic – partially due to cost (still about $2,000 more than the Reprofit) and I wasn’t crazy about the embryo selection they had available at the time. I DID however hold onto that immune protocol and sent it to my doctor in the Czech Republic. He agreed to do a cycle using the immune protocol and scheduled my next cycle for June!!

Third Time’s a Charm?

Hi all! Sorry to keep you waiting! I think we all know by this point, that blogging is NOT one of my better qualities lol! I’m working on it, so we’ll see how it goes! As many of your probably already know, we have decided to move full steam ahead with traditional adoption. But getting here from where our last update was wasn’t an easy move. So, I’m going to do my best to bring you from there to here in the next few posts!

Our story basically left off with our 2nd cycle in the Czech Republic. Our first cycle worked, but we unfortunately lost that twin pregnancy. Since we knew it worked, I went back for a 2nd cycle in July of 2016 and NOTHING happened. The procedure didn’t work. We were super bummed out, but couldn’t wait to try another cycle.
I gave my body a short break and went back to Reprofit (in Brno, Czech Republic) for my 3rd cycle the first week of December 2016. First of all, let me say…Christmas in the Czech Republic and Austria is AH-MAZING. I fell in LOVE with the beautiful Christmas Markets in both Brno and Vienna. I’m not a fan of the cold or winter, but these TOTALLY changed my perspective. If it’s not on your bucket list – please add Vienna Christmas Market. It won’t disappoint!

My transfer day was easy and we transferred two perfect blasts! Three days later I flew back home and started counting down the days to test time. Because I’m somewhat of a pee on a stick addict, I tested 3 days after I came home….and it was positive!! Yes!! It worked again!! Since we had experienced a loss, we were cautiously excited, but excited nonetheless. I went in the next day for my first beta and it was low, BUT it was very early, so we weren’t too concerned. Went back 2 days later for my second and it only went up a bit, not even close to doubling (should come close to doubling every 48 hours). So, I went back for another beta 2 days later and it ALMOST doubled. Two days later I went for another draw and it doubled!!! I had two more betas after that, both doing exactly what they should! We were ecstatic!! It really felt like a Christmas Miracle!



***I want to add that I was peeing on a stick two times a day during this process and getting ALL kinds of crazy results that in turn made me feel super crazy. From a recovering pee on a stick addict, don’t do it. For real, y’all…don’t do it!!***

December 23rd I had some VERY light spotting, but because of my prior loss it really freaked me out. I called the doctor right away and she assured me that unless I’m cramping or having REALLY heaving bleeding that all is well. The spotting stopped almost immediately, so I did my best to just relax (but if you’ve ever experienced bleeding while pregnant, you know there is no TRUE relaxing)! The next day was Christmas Eve, so we ran some last minute errands and visited some friends and family. I felt fine. We grabbed lunch, got home and the all too familiar pain started, followed by a huge gush.

Just like that; all of our hopes and dreams for that pregnancy and baby were over. We lost the 2nd pregnancy at almost the exact time in the pregnancy that we lost the first. We thought the first loss was due to a somewhat forceful/uncomfortable ultrasound, but now we were starting to wonder. We knew we wanted to try again, but weren’t sure where to start. Was it just a streak of bad luck, or was there something more to our losses?

Hello? Hello? Is this thing on?

Okay – I’ll admit, it’s been a hot minute or two since I’ve posted!! Which is crazy, because we’ve had SO much happen since I’ve posted last. Good news, bad news and everything in between. BUT…I’m very excited to update you on everything that’s happened and where we are now!

So watch this space…updates are coming soon!!

Expect The Unexpected

 

Hi All!

I had planned on blogging as soon as I got home, but jetlag kicked my butt this time around!!  Plus I basically went right back to work the day after I got home…work + jetlag = one tired girl…lol!  I think and hope that I’m finally caught up!

So, you’re all probably wondering how everything turned out, right? We had our “official” blood results back on Friday, but needed a day or two for it to all sink in.  I have to admit, the time from transfer to blood test feels like an ETERNITY and during that time I become a pee on a stick addict. I should seriously buy stock in First Response. I tell myself every time that I’m not going to obsess over testing and that I will stay away from Google…I once again failed…lol…it’s so freaking hard!! I started testing at 4dp5dt (four day past a five day transfer) as that’s when we got our positive last time around (I know it was super early, but it was twins so it showed positive).  I tested every day, at least twice a day (I told you I have a problem) and was getting negatives each time.  But, we still had hope.  A lot of women don’t get positives until closer to 8 or 9 days past their transfers and some even later if only pregnant with a singleton.  I had my beta (blood pregnancy test) at 9dp5dt.  The Dr called shortly after 9am while I was at work the next morning. “Hi Michelle, this is Dr. Salter and I have the results to your blood test”.  My heart was racing; I took a deep breath in.  “I’m sorry to say, you’re not pregnant.” I didn’t really hear anything else she said after that. My heart sunk.  I kind of knew that I wasn’t going to get a positive based on our at home results, but I really had hope that just maybe the blood test would come out positive. Actually hearing the words come out of my Dr’s mouth made it official and that sucked.  Getting the news at work really sucked.  All I wanted to do was to crawl into my bed, under my covers and cry. Instead, I went into the bathroom for a quick cry, and then somehow pulled it together for the rest of the day and did my best to act like it was any other Friday.  Life goes on, right?

This isn’t our first rodeo, so we’re used to the whole failed cycle scenario, but it doesn’t make it any easier when it happens.  You experience this horrible feeling of loss, the loss of something you never physically had, but it still hurts the same.  It worked for us last time, so we expected it to work this time (although we know you should NEVER expect anything when it comes to infertility treatments). Plus for me, since it’s my body I can’t help but to feel like it’s somehow my fault.  Deep down I KNOW it’s not my fault, but it’s a feeling that’s hard to shake. So we are on our way to healing.  Are we okay today? Truthfully? No.  Will we be okay?  Yes…in time.

We KNOW this process works!  It’s worked for us before. We don’t know why it didn’t work this time. My lining looked perfect, the embryos looked perfect (looked being the key word since we didn’t have them genetically tested), but for whatever reason they never attached. So, the big question….are we going to do it again?  I’m going to let my body recover (pumping it full of drugs to make it think it’s pregnant, then suddenly stopping makes my body hate me!) and then we’ve decided that we are going to try again in December or January (recruiting for a travel partner has officially started…you know you want to go!).

I received a lot of questions while I was away about the process and my trip.  In the upcoming weeks I’ll try to cover everything in detail so I can get all of your questions answered and if anyone has any other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Thank you to everyone for your prayers and positive thoughts.  Although we didn’t get the outcome we were hoping for, knowing that you were all rooting for us and have our backs makes this grieving process a little easier.

Xoxo – Michelle & Bill

 

Good Vibes Only!

Hey All!

Tomorrow is the big day…well one of the big days in the next few days!  I leave tomorrow for the  Czech Republic and will have my transfer early next week!!  I’m a little nervous, but super excited!!  I’m not sure what my wifi situation will be like once I’m over there (last time it was a little spotty), but I will do my best to keep you updated either here or my personal Facebook page!

Bill and I have talked a lot about this and have decided this time that we are going to be COMPLETELY transparent with this journey on our blog.  When we get a positive pregnancy test, you will see it here.  When we get our betas, you will see the results here.  We debated on being so open about this, but in the end it isn’t going to change the results if the worst was to happen again. We would rather have the love and support of our friends and family in the good times and the bad…but hopefully they will all be good this time!  We will of course make it “Facebook Official” (I just cringed as I typed that) once we hit the typical safe point, but we wanted to have a place where people can follow along in real time if they’d like!

So please send us ALL the good vibes and prayers and love you can!!

goodvibes

XOXO – Michelle

healthrpose
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