Tag: Embryo Donation

Trust The Timing Of Your Life. Trust Your Journey.

Trust the Timing of Your Life. Trust Your Journey…this is one of my favorite quotes and I’ve really tried to lean on it during our infertility and adoption journey, but sometimes it’s just so hard to do!

As many of you know, we were matched with a new set of embryos and we made arrangements to travel back to the Czech Republic on January 30th. Unfortunately, I’m not writing this from the Czech Republic…the trip was cancelled 🙁

Three days before I was set to leave I went to one of my pre-trip doctor’s appointments.   These appointments are usually super quick – just a quick ultrasound to check your lining, they give you your results and you’re gone.  This time was a little different.  When the ultrasound was done I asked the tech what my lining was, she verbally gave me the results (Which were perfect…if you’ve been through IVF you know how crucial this is!) then asked which doctor I would be seeing that day.  I told her that I wasn’t seeing a doctor and that I just needed the printout to bring with me on my trip.  She left the room, telling me that she was going to go get the printout.  When the door opened the next time, it was the doctor, not the tech.  I immediately felt a pit in the bottom of my stomach.

The doctor told me that they found 2 small masses in my uterus and that she wasn’t exactly sure what they were.  Her actual words were, “They could be polyps, it could be scar tissue from your miscarriage, or they could be cancer. We don’t know.” At that point, I would have been okay with just the “we don’t know”. The pit in my stomach grew deeper.  They scheduled me for a saline ultrasound (it gives a better picture of what’s going on) and biopsy that afternoon.

My head was spinning when I left the office! I hadn’t asked yet, but had a feeling that they were going to cancel my embryo adoption trip.  I went home crying, grabbed Bill and then we headed to my next appointment.

The doctor did my saline ultrasound and biopsy in the same room she did the ultrasound to confirm my miscarriage.  I became flooded with emotions.  After my test she couldn’t confirm WHAT the masses were, just that they were indeed there.  She also told me that not only was I going to have to cancel my embryo adoption trip, but that I would need surgery in the immediate future as well.  Cue the tears, and surprisingly for me, anger. The doctor and nurse were trying to console me – “I know this must be tough, you’ve been through so much”.  Ummm yeah, I realize that.  I just wanted out of there.

The next few days were kind of a blur between cancelling all of my trip arrangements, communicating with my coordinator and clinic in the Czech Republic, getting my surgery scheduled, and the major pity party we were holding at our house! Canceling our trip and embryo adoption was hard enough, but now we were trying to wrap our heads around the fact that my health could be in danger and that I would be having surgery! It just didn’t seem fair, we didn’t even get to TRY this time, the chance was taken from us.  But infertility isn’t fair. Infertility is like the Grinch on Christmas morning, but honestly, I think infertility is an even bigger ass hole.

In order to keep going, we always eventually move onto the “what’s, next” mode.  Okay, so this isn’t going to work this time, what can we do next? When can we try again?  My doctor in the Czech told me that after he reviews my surgical reports and if all looks well that we could try again in May or June.  I know to most that doesn’t seem far away, but if you are in our shoes it’s an eternity.

So over the past few days I’ve been repeating, “Trust the timing of your life. Trust your journey”, trying, REALLY trying to have faith that there is a plan bigger than I can even imagine set in motion for me and my family. I’m going to be honest though, I’m not there yet, but I am REALLY trying.

We are still pursuing traditional adoption, but unfortunately we do not have the large amount of money saved up yet to pay upfront to work with an agency.  If you or someone you know or even a friend of a friend is currently looking for a family for their unborn baby, please think of us and send them our way.  Those of you that know Bill and I personally know that we have so much love to give and that it would really make our dreams come true to become parents.

Oh, and by the way, my surgery is scheduled for Monday, February 8th, so please send me all the good vibes you can!!

xoxo – MichelleTrust the timing of your life

Resolve Walk of Hope – Tampa

Come out and see us this Saturday in Tampa at the Resolve Walk of Hope! The Walk of Hope recognizes the many ways in which families are built, supports local support services and programs for the of women and men living with infertility, and raises public understanding of how the disease of infertility impacts families nationwide. For those of you that don’t know our story, my husband and I have struggled with infertility for many years and have now chosen to go down the path of adoption, so this organization is near and dear to our hearts!  A portion of the sale from each of our cupcakes will go to Resolve, so come out, and enjoy some amazing cupcakes while helping out a great cause!  If you want to take it one step further, you are more than welcome to join our team and walk with us – it’s a just a mile and you’ll be handsomely rewarded with cupcakes at the end 🙂 Contact me for details!

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Etsy Shop is FINALLY Open!

Good Morning All!

I don’t know about all of you, but I get horrible insomnia around a full moon – the upside?  I FINALLY finished our Etsy shop!  I’m still working on building out the “shop” side to our blog for the cupcakes, but one shop at a time, right? 🙂  For now, our Etsy shop sells wish bracelets (we hope to add more).  We decided to do wish bracelets because OUR wish is to have a baby, so we thought we would try to make your wishes come true too!

The shop is bare bones right now, so excuse the “mess” lol. I got it up and running real quick after reading an article from salesforce on the important to these creative marketplaces. All proceeds go directly to our adoption fund and once we reach our goal, we will keep the shop open and donate a percentage of the proceeds to another family on their adoption journey!
If you are interested in purchasing the bracelets in bulk for your own fundraising purposes, please get in touch for bulk pricing.
xoxo – Michelle

Gimme S’more

Hey All!

I have three words for you – Oh. Em. Geee!!  Our Gimme S’more cupcake is currently our featured cupcake. This little beauty has a graham cracker crust, topped with a moist chocolate cake, topped with creamy marshmallow frosting and a little chocolate square.  Pretty much like heaven in a jar!  If s’mores aren’t you thing, don’t worry – we can do almost any cake/frosting combo for you, along with a custom label, ribbon and little bamboo spoon.  $3 each or $30 for a dozen (min purchase ½ dozen).  Did I mention that we deliver locally?  All proceeds go directly to our adoption fund.  After we meet our goal, we will continue to keep the shop open and donate 5% of our proceeds to a family going through their adoption journey!

Gimme S'more

We also have our Facebook page up and running (just barely!).  If you get a chance stop by and give us a like – www.facebook.com/HopeStrengthAndWine 

We are still working on the shop portion of our site – I PROMISE it will be up soon!

xoxo – Michelle

 

Cupcakes in a Jar

Hey all!

So I’m super jazzed up (yes, I went there) about our cupcakes in a jar!  We’ve been so blessed that we can use the proceeds from these cupcakes to go towards our adoption costs!  It’s really a win-win.  You get an adorable yet delicious portable cupcake and we are one step closer to our fundraising goal!  Check out the cute cakes we made today!  You’re hungry now, aren’t you?  That’s okay – just get in touch and you can have your very own yummy snacks!Cupcake in a Jar

The Universe Works in Mysterious Ways!

Hi All!

We had our second fundraising sale yesterday at the St Pete Beach Rec center. We want to thank EVERYONE that came out to stopped by to see us! It was also awesome to meet so many new people and hear their adoption journeys. The kindness of strangers makes our hearts so happy! I know we say this all the time, but we really can’t do this without you all, so thank you, thank you, thank you!

Back to the sale…It was a community sale, so we REALLY had our hopes set high as far as traffic at the sale.  Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans…it rained pretty much the whole time!  Our sales weren’t quite where we wanted them to be and we didn’t hit our fundraising goal, but hey, we did make some money, so that’s a good day in our books 🙂  Here’s where the Universe(God)stepped in…although we didn’t have a lot of traffic, almost everyone that stopped in loved our baked goods, especially our cupcakes in a jar. We brought them as more of an add on item, not thinking that they would be such a huge hit!

 

cupcakesSeriously though, whats not to love about them, they’re so stinking adorable and delicious to boot! We ended up with multiple orders before the day was done and after posting them online, we ended up with more and more orders through the night! We went from feeling like the day had been a bust, to feeling so blessed and overjoyed. Someone is definitely watching out for us!

We’ve been making the cupcakes for years for friends and family and now we can make them for you too!  Our online shop will be open this week, but if you want to place an order before then, just reach out to me on Facebook or on our contact page here.

Thank you all for your love and support!

xoxo – Michelle & Bill

Surrender for the Magic

Good Morning all!  I hope that everyone has had a nice and relaxing Labor Day weekend!  We’ve taken the time to relax a little, work on some side projects, and met up with family last night for dinner – all in all a good weekend in my books!

I came across a photo on Facebook that I just HAD to share with you all!

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“SURRENDER is not about letting go of action, it’s about letting go of outcome”

This struck such a chord with me because if you know me, you know that I LOVE a plan!  I make plans for my plans, no really…lol! In my head I think, “How am I going to get what I want if I don’t make a plan for it”. Bill on the other hand is a, “Don’t worry about it and it will all work out” type of guy (which can drive a girl like me crazy)!

I think a lot of us fall into this planning pattern, especially when going through fertility treatments and the adoption process. You have dates for appointments, dates to start/stop medicine, dates for intercourse (sorry dad).  You plan when you are going to test, how you are going to save money, what your next step will be if plan A (and B, C, and D) don’t work. When we were doing IVF, we would plan our whole life around our cycles – to a certain point you have to.

So for me, this was the perfect reminder to take a big deep breath in and try to let go of some of the control, because in reality this whole process is not in my control.  I am right where I need to be in my life right now.  There is a bigger plan out there for me that I have no control of and I need to surrender and let the magic happen!

xoxo – Michelle

Adoption Fundraiser Garage Sale – Saturday, August 22 | St Pete Beach

We are sooooo excited for our upcoming fundraiser garage sale this weekend! Thanks to our family and friends we have a TON of amazing items for you….and guess what?!?  NO PRICES. Yep, you read correctly, no prices – we will be accepting donations only, so you pay what you think is fair and we promise that no reasonable offer will be refused!!  We look forward to seeing you all on Saturday!!

Adoption Fundraiser Garage Sale

Thank you!!

We are getting closer and closer to our garage sale next month and we are starting to get really excited!  We want to give a huge THANK  YOU to everyone that has already donated and for those that have scheduled their pick up!  We will be accepting donations for a few more weeks, so if you’d like to contribute, just get in touch and we’ll arrange a pick up!

garage sale donation

A New Way To Adopt?

Hi All!

Sorry we’ve been MIA recently…we promise we will try to do better!  We’ve been immersed in everything adoption!  Adoption is ridiculously expensive and the thought of coming up with roughly $40k is really overwhelming at times.  We know it can be done – we’ve already saved and spent more than triple that amount on fertility treatments over the past few years, but it’s overwhelming none the less.

My infertility and now adoption journey has brought me and Google together as one…lol! I think anyone who has been in my shoes can relate.  I feel like I’m constantly researching doctors, symptoms, fertility diets, medications, treatments, clinics, agencies…it goes on and on.  Plus I can’t tell you how many message boards I stalk (ahem, follow, I mean).  I feel like there is this whole underground infertility world that you only discover once you start your infertility journey.  It’s like a secret society that no one ever wants to join, but once you do, you’re forever grateful for all the knowledge and support!

If you’re a part of the underground world, embryo adoption is quite common and doesn’t need an explanation.  For those of you that aren’t, here’s embryo adoption in a nutshell:  after undergoing IVF, couples are given several options for what to do with any remaining embryos. They can freeze/save them for a future cycle, donate them to research, destroy them, OR they can donate them to another couple dealing with infertility. The receiving couple would then go through FET (frozen embryo transfer), if successful, give birth to, and raise the resulting child (or children) as their own. Adoption, but just at the VERY beginning stage of life.  Technically it’s not adoption since the embryo’s “change hands” prior to life, but for me (and many others) the terms “adoption” and “donation” are interchangeable.

It’s crazy, when we would go through each IVF cycle we were given the option of what to do with leftover embryos and we always chose to donate them to another couple, but for some reason it never occurred to us that WE could be the other couple!  Once this clicked for us we knew it was something that we wanted to try.  Although the child won’t biologically be ours, we are excited at the chance to be able to experience pregnancy, plus it’s a fraction of the cost of traditional adoption!

So, where does one find an embryo you ask?  Good question.  There are actually quite a few places you can go through depending on what you are looking for:

  • Your fertility clinic may have its own “bank” of embryos
  • Traditional adoption agencies
  • Embryo adoption (donation) agencies
  • Lawyers
  • Embryo matching services (kinda like match.com for embryos/waiting families – take the middle man out. Find your match through profiles, have the embryos shipped to your doctor and he/she takes it from there).  This is also the least expensive way to go, but you will do a lot of the matching and coordination work yourself.

 

So once we deiced to give embryo adoption a try, I of course turned to my bestie Google to see what she had to say.  I eventually found Miracles Waiting and through them found Reprofit.  Let’s get the pink elephant out of the room.  Reprofit is located in the Czech Republic.  I know.  These sounds insane for someone that hasn’t dealt with infertility, but I promise it completely normal, just ask my secret society friends…lol.  I had actually heard of and briefly looked into Reprofit after our first failed IVF cycle, but dismissed it at the time because who in the heck travels to the Czech Republic to get knocked up? I so WISH I would have seriously looked into it at the time – as with most medical treatments, the cost of IVF is less than HALF of what we pay here, plus it’s one of the best fertility clinics in Europe!  Live and learn!  Needless to say, I’ve done extensive research on it now!

Anyway…I digress…

I have been working with my coordinator Paloma, with Miracles Waiting here in the US.  Through her, we have secured 2 embryos (2 grade a blastocysts to be exact) at Reprofit and we are planning on traveling for the transfer in October!  And here’s the awesome part!  We can both fly to the Czech Republic, stay for a week, and have the embryo transfer all for way,WAY less than what we pay for the embryo transfer alone in the US!  Plus were never able to take our honeymoon after our wedding last year, so this trip will basically be our honeymoon with a day or two off for an embryo transfer (super romantic, I know)!

We are well aware that embryo adoption/donation isn’t guaranteed and that we could be faced with heartbreak, but we feel that for us, right now, it’s the path we want to take.  As with any fertility treatment and even adoption, you are taking a big risk, but the possible reward is priceless.

We are still open to and actively pursuing traditional adoption, but have decided while we are saving money that we will give embryo adoption a chance!

And on a completely different note, how cool is it that history way made today when the U.S. Supreme Court made a landmark decision that made marriage equality mandatory nationwide!?!?!  #LoveWins

 

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