National Infertility Awareness Week

The hardest thing about infertility for me was feeling like everyone was moving forward in their life while I was stuck in the same place, wanting that same thing that everyone around me was getting. I watched one of my friends have 1 then 2 then get pregnant with her 3rd before I had Berkley – and we had started trying just shortly after they did.  It was heart wrenching.  At times it felt almost unbearable but I got through it. One step at a time, one needle, one appt, one test result at a time.  I was thinking the other day how many shots I have a gotten since I started IVF and how many blood draws?  I would say a conservative guess is 2oo – 250 shots at home and 50-75 blood draws.   It sounds like a lot! And it WAS/IS a lot.  But its not near the worst part of it.  Its the waiting and wanting and longing and not understanding part.


If you are struggling with infertility here is my advice:

  1. Let the comparison go.  If you can stop comparing yourself and your timelines to everyone else your life will be somewhat easier as you go through this.
  2. Get off of social media if you are really struggling. Seeing 5 different “I’m pregnant” posts every time you log on is not helpful on your already wounded heart.
  3. Don’t let it define you. I let it define me.  After we lost Cade I had to figure out a way forward.  I started having panic attacks but once I came to the realization that yes, I had gone through hell and wasn’t out of it yet, but I still am talented in other areas and can focus on those instead.  I essentially had to talk myself off the edge of defeat every.single.morning. when I woke up. What are you good at?  What areas do you excel in? What are you passionate about?  Make your infertility your side-gig vs. your main gig.
  4. Get connected. Other women who are also going through IVF are literally my best friends.  I text with them almost daily. It is so refreshing to not be alone in this.
  5. Get healthy.  Eat right, exercise. Put your best food forward each month or round.  It’s literally the one thing you can control in all of this.

If you think there may be an issue but aren’t sure:

  1. Be an advocate for yourself. How many months has it been- what tests have you done?  My original OB/GYN told me there was nothing wrong and was upset when I asked for a referral to a specialist. It took almost 1 more year to actually get pregnant with Cade because my situation ended up being complex and I ended up needing surgery.
  2. If you think you want to talk to someone go ahead and make the appt. NOW.  CCRM typically is booked out about 2 months for a consultation and that wait can be terrible in itself.  If you get pregnant or change your mind you can always cancel your appt. but better to get it on the books.
  3. Do research.  Success rate vary WIDELY depending on your clinic.

Praying for you all!


Honoring Cade

Yesterday, March 13th was Cade’s 2nd bday! His birth feels like a lifetime ago and like yesterday all at the same time.   This year wasn’t necessarily easier like I thought it would be.  Having Berkley this year did definitely take the edge off but as a family we still could barely bring ourselves to talk about “it”.  The baby, the situation, etc.  It’s too much to think about for me so I block it out.

On his birthday I try to MAKE myself think about it.  So I went through some old pictures- pictures that I can’t look at on a normal day.  We have videos of him that I honestly don’t know if I will ever be able to watch again.  I watched them over and over and looked at pictures of him 24/7 in the weeks after he passed but then it got to be too much. And I put them away and I really never get them out.   The other week I pulled out his photo book and was flipping through it with Berkley. When I got to his actual delivery – I couldn’t turn the page and put the book back.  It was in chronological order so could only handle the pregnancy pictures and the pictures of me with my big-ole belly in the hospital. For the families out there that have years of memories stored away, I can’t imagine what that is like. Maybe it would have been different if he was healthy.

It ended up being a good day with family.  Kelly (my SIL) is the most creative person ever so made me the box below- thinking we could put his hospital blankets, etc. in it. I think that’s a great idea.  Jan (my MIL) brought balloons over to do a balloon release which was really special.  It’s times like these that I am grateful we moved back to KC. I’m anxious to get past Tuesday which is the anniversary of his death.  March 15th- AKA the worst day of my life.  IMG_8525




...And every time I am sad, I just look at this sweet face


March 11

Two years ago I was in a hospital bed anxiously awaiting the birth of our first baby. Our first son.  I had NO idea what was about to happen in just 2 days.  March 13th is Cade’s second birthday.  After the events that happened earlier this week I wanted to cancel all of our plans but I am feeling much better.  One of the reasons we moved back to KC was to be around family and that’s exactly what I want to do on Sunday. Not only was Cade our son but he was a grandson and a nephew. I want us all to just hang out and remember/celebrate that little boy who literally flipped our world upside down in so many different ways.

I think the thing that has rocked me the most this week is all of the feelings that I keep just under the surface bubbled up on Monday after I talked to my nurse.  I couldn’t sleep at all on Monday night. Tuesday and Wednesday I tossed and turned and worried all night about me & about some of my friends going through IVF at this very moment (4 super dear friends- all within like 6 weeks of each other!!). I also got contacted by a couple this week who lost their 4 1/2 month old to SIDS and they have been weighing heavy on my heart.

Tuesday morning I had tentatively planned on taking a sick day. I’m pretty sure miscarriage = sick, right?  But I woke up, I put my game face on. I had a super productive day and just kept thinking how I am so lucky, so blessed to be Berkley’s mom at this very moment. She is my little anxiety pill 🙂

She is ELEVEN months and I just can’t get over her sweet little face in this picture.  We are busy planning her bumble bee (“B”) themed party!  I cannot believe ONE is right around the corner.





I think that sometimes God truly wants me to go through every negative experience there is when it comes to babies.  Getting pregnant, losing an infant, having issues breastfeeding, early miscarriage.  Yep- that last one is new unfortunately. Why?  I have no clue but with each experience I get that much more reminded that we are not in control of our destiny. And as much as I can do all of the right things at the right time it really isn’t in our hands at the end of the day.

I had my FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer) on Feb. 25.  Things went great- we transferred just 1 embryo after wavering for weeks on transferring 1 or 2.  We both decided on 1 for several reasons but mainly because it was the smartest thing to do at this point in time.  It was a 4AA (chromosomal normal)  embryo and had a good chance of taking.

I was pretty sure it worked a few days in. I had the familiar signs that I would never admit out-loud when I am going through it but I get a very distinct feeling in my uterus. I had it with both Cade and Berkley.  But by days 4-5 I wasn’t feeling so confident anymore this round.  I documented what happened with my past 2 cycles and reading through my past cycles did make me feel a lot better. Basically the wait after a transfer is torture. You overanalyze EVERYTHING.  One second you are sure it worked and the next you are sure it hasn’t worked.

This cycle I got to test 1 day early.  CCRM usually does pregnancy blood work 9 days past your transfer.  This time since I am out of state and working with a regular OB/Gyn’s office that is closed on the weekend I got to get my blood work at 8 days past.  Blood work came back on Friday at with an HCG level of 35. Positive in the eyes of CCRM, given I was a day early.

I wasn’t happy with this number. You see with Cade, my HCG was 261 and Berkley was 383 at 9 days.  I knew to expect a lower number but I was thinking more like 80 or 100.  So when she said 35- I wasn’t happy at all.  So I texted a few people and posted on the CCRM support facebook page for success stories… and I got them and they made me feel better.  But I just KNEW it wasn’t good.  So I took pregnancy tests all weekend and they all came up just flat out negative or with the slightest line that would you have to squint to see.

Today: HCG 26

When you are pregnant your HCG numbers are supposed to double every 48 hours.  Today (Monday) we were looking for a number of 105 or greater.  This means that the embryo implanted but for whatever reason didn’t progress. Could have been the embryo or could have been me. We don’t know and will probably never know.

I am very thankful that this is the end. I didn’t want to be in beta hell where your numbers still go up (but don’t double) so you have to go back in 2 days later and it is just a constant waiting game.  So for that I am thankful.  I am waiting on a call back from the nurses right now. They assume that Dr. K will have me stop meds and wait for my period.

To be honest I am dreading the next steps.   Another $8K, weeks more of shots, and decisions.  Decisions are going to be the hardest part.  I have 1 average, fully tested embryo left (this means that it has been CCS tested for chromosomes + tested for restrictive dermopathy) and 2 CCS tested embryos that are not tested for RD. They carry a 25% chance of having the disease.  Adam and I are VERY split on if we would use these ever or not.   Lots of decisions…

What would you do on your next try?


2016 – New Year, New Goals

The name should really be “2016 resolutions” but 2016 is already in full swing! So how are my resolutions going and maybe we should back up with what were they in the first place?

I don’t ever make huge resolutions…. I don’t like to set goals I can’t keep 😉 haha.


Be more “green”.  I am SO Colorado 😉

Since Berkley is a real person. She eats real food and makes real people messes.  I noticed myself using SO MANY PAPER TOWELS.  And I hated it! What’s a hippie to do?

We are officially moving to using cloths for about 99% percent of everything.  I ordered a 24 pack of cheap white cloths off of Amazon. We use them for EVERYTHING. Spills, sticky hands/faces, wiping down the kitchen every day, etc.  I have a small laundry basket in the closet next to our kitchen where I toss them after I use them. It makes me geekishly happy.  Adam is fully on board after being somewhat skeptical for 2 seconds. Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 9.57.54 AMI am also making my own cleaning solutions.  If you are still using traditional cleaning supplies you should first read up on the harms of using chemicals in your house.  I have made my own floor cleaner for a few years now. My recipe is as follows:

1 part boiled (and cooled) water,1 part vinegar, a few drops of dish soap, a dash of alcohol (to prevent the growth of anything gross) and lemon essential oil.

I put this in my Swiffer wet-jet container.  I LOVE it.  I love it the most because I love the smell of vinegar (doesn’t everyone ;)) and I love the fact that I don’t have to worry as our pets and Berkley barrel through it and it soaks into their tiny pores. I went ahead and ordered a bunch of spray bottles off of Amazon and some additional things off of VitaCost so I can make everything from homemade-natural bleach to every-day cleaners!


More “me” time.  I want to get back to getting out and about with friends more, actually commit to a Bible study and take a flower arranging class in 2016.   I did the bouquets for my sister’s wedding last July.  It was SO much fun and SO much work (I was Maid of Honor, breastfeeding, being the quasi-wedding planner….. oh! And she had NINE bridesmaids- which made for a total of 10 bouquets!!).    But I loved it so much I think I want to make it a thing.  I am doing another wedding in September that I am so excited about.  So I think I am going to take some actual formal training.  Here are some pictures from Kayley’s wedding. Let’s also take a moment to swoon……


(These bouquets are hydrangea, roses, dahlias, ranunculus, and carnation- which is possibly my new favorite flower. The carnation may deserve it’s own post at some point.) 





Baby.  Yep. I said it out loud. We are in full-swing inject-myself-everyday-mode.  It’s so true that you completely forget about the crappy stuff once you have a baby.  IVF sucks so bad. We are transferring just 1. I am super nervous but we are both really excited about the possibility of another.  I am a little more relaxed this round since I know it is possible for us to have a healthy baby.  So many of my fears last round revolved around the possibility that we may not be able to actually make a healthy baby.  I still want to work with a high risk doctor. I probably will still be too nervous to talk a lot about it. But TBD.  We have a good embie, my parts all look healthy and ready so I am taking the stance of mind of matter.  I have never met (or heard) of anyone with 3 successful transfers in a row but my nurse assures me that it happens!  I can’t believe we are on the brink of my third potential pregnancy. When I think of things like that it does make me really, really sad. I so wish that both Cade and Berkley BOTH were here.

3/4th Old

I cannot believe it, but we have a NINE month old!  The holidays were so fun with her minus the fact that she literally tried to pull the Christmas tree on top of herself at least 56 times. I cannot wait until next year when she gets what is going on somewhat.  We were all around the world (U.S.) and back again. Denver for a week, KC for the holidays, Dallas for NYE!   We needed a quick breather hence my hiatus!

IMG_2311Current Berkley favorites:

  • Mamamama ALLLL DAY LONG. I think Mama to her means “I want” and/or “hold me”
  • Her obsession with the mobile that hangs over her changing table.  It has all different strings that dangle down and her mission in life is to catch one.  If she gets one in each hand- the look of accomplishment on her face is so hilarious.  In addition she literally GASPS (really dramatically for a really long time).  I have got to get this on video STAT.
  • She has figured out the stairs- she can book it up them if she wants. Not sure this is my favorite thing but definitely a new trick for sure!
  • She still doesn’t want to hold her own bottle- which I don’t mind!
  • I’ve started to tell her no.  Sometimes I make the sound “ah-ah” instead of no.  It literally makes her belly laugh at me.  Its really hard – actually impossible to keep a straight face.  Last week she was in the cart at Target and she kept trying to put the buckle in her mouth. I kept saying gross and “ah-ah”. She was laughing probably the hardest I have heard her laugh so far.  I was dying.  This whole discipline thing should go well….

IMG_2232First Christmas Recap– just a tad belated. We went and saw Santa Christmas Eve at Crown Center where the real santa is. At least that’s what my mom always told us growing up. It gets confusing how Santa can be everywhere at once. So the real Santa is at Crown Center and all of his helpers are the others that you see around town 😉  She was fearless. Actually she just wanted to eat his beard & then the tassel on his hat. It was so much fun and she did great.   We did Christmas with both sides of the families and loved being able to spend the night at our own house – get away from the madness some!  KC does Christmas really well.  I loved being here for the holidays.  Only 347 days until Christmas 2016! #letthecountdownbegin

IMG_2237I mean……

Snow, ice, hysteroscopy – oh my!

We drove into Denver last weekend. I told Adam on the way that I was just as excited to get here as I was as if we were going on a beach vacation.  I couldn’t wait to see everyone!  We have been bouncing around, having dinners, catching up on the gossip we have missed out on.   It has snowed a ton but still been so much fun bopping around to all of our favorite places.  I went into CCRM yesterday to regroup and get poked & prodded.  In typical ‘Emily form’ things did not go quite as planned. Meaning, that this ‘well planned’ trip that I purposely planned around my cycle dates and CCRM’s availability all went out the window because I was FIVE days late. So the hysteroscopy that has to be done between days 5-12 got bumped so we are actually just staying out here longer to knock it out.  Kind of annoying but not the worst thing in the world.

Being in there yesterday definitely made me do a reality check.  It’s true what they say- that you kind of forget about the process once you have a baby. To be honest, I think I was so delirious from grief last round that the details are very vague to me.  All of the testing that I was able to do went totally fine but I walked out feeling sorry for myself.  Getting like 8-10 vials of blood taken, a reality check discussion with the doctor where we talked about chances of success (which are pretty decent- but if it doesn’t work then the chances drop dramatically after that). We are just going to transfer 1 again. I honestly don’t think I could mentally handle a twin pregnancy.  And then the punch to the gut as I handed over my credit card to pay $1200 for the diagnostics for the day 😉 Ugh.  IVF is just miserable.  With that being said, everything looked great and if the hysteroscopy comes back normal that we are all set to move forward whenever we wish.  Definitely NOT immediately. I decided that while I was in the waiting room.  I got an overwhelming feeling of “oh crap I’m not ready yet”.

I’m so excited to celebrate Christmas this year with Berkley.  If I don’t blog before then, have a Merry Christmas!

KC vs. Denver

We are coming up on 3 months of life in Kansas City. Life is going well as far as living here but I have been so homesick for Colorado.  I didn’t realize it until we lived here, but I actually do feel like Denver is “home”. I literally could cry about it while typing this post (and I have had multiple cry-seshes about it).    Here are some differences that I notice in day to day life (other than not seeing mountains daily) 😉

Recycling. Denver makes it so easy. They take glass, there are recycle & trash cans everywhere. I was rarely in a place where I had to throw a water bottle in the trash.  I loved this.   In our Kansas City home we recycle and we recycle glass. The glass recycling is through a different company and we manually drop it every 2 weeks which works for us, but sadly I would assume not many KC peeps actually take the time to do this.

Daycare.  We have a nanny for Berkley that has been excellent! But while I was looking for options I toured several day cares.  All were a lot less per month than Denver, but had crazy waiting lists!! So win/lose I guess.  The daycare we had chose in Denver was hella expensive but offered organic food.  I will absolutely pay more for an organic menu.  Adam and I care a lot about the food that we eat and the food we put into Berkley’s body. I haven’t found that here (yet). Hoping there is some childcare center out there that offers this.

The “buzz”. This one is hard to describe but something Adam and I have talked about a few times.  The buzz was real and alive when the Royals were in the World Series.  The city was alive and it was so fun to be here!  But now it has kind of died. People are back to their day to day.  Denver…. “the buzz” is real.  People LOVE living there. They are active and out and about all the time.  Any week night we could walk to a local brewery and it would be packed with not only adults but babies, strollers and dogs.  We SO miss this.  Maybe I just haven’t found it yet.

Church. Good churches galore in Kansas City. Denver had great churches as well. The main difference is so many of my friends here go to church!  Its more of a thing you do on Sundays here and I really like that.  Lots of grounded families here.

Crime. I can only talk about this pulling from my experiences so far.  We lived in a city neighborhood in Denver.  Your garage would get “tagged”, our scooter got stollen.  Packages would get picked up off your porch if you didn’t pull them in, etc.  In our current neighborhood, there has been 2 armed robberies & a homicide all less than a mile away since we have lived here.  Holy sh*t.  That is a whole other level of crime.  Thank goodness we have an awesome alarm system.  And we live in a pretty nice area so this has just been surprising!

As you can probably tell.  I really miss Denver. I am still adjusting to life here.  Ideally, we would like to live in both places which I think we could swing (maybe by a condo in Denver)? It’s just so challenging when you think about the childcare situation…  And from reading this post, maybe I am a hippie and didn’t realize it until now 🙂  One thing we LOVE is our actual house.  I will be posting pics soon!!


CCRM Consult

Say what? Yes I know.  I set up this appointment in early October.  Lots of questions now that I would be out of state.  After setting up the appointment (which wasn’t happening until late November) I had a lot of weird feelings.  The all-too-familiar stress that settled in my gut. The thought of shots, the heart wrenching waiting for results feelings, excitement, etc.

Then November was here and my appointment came and went so quick.  You know how you build things up in your head?  Well I was pretty much on the phone with them for 10-15 mins max.  I asked a lot of questions like how does it work being out of state? How many times will I go to CO? Do I need an RE or OB/GYN or both in KC? Etc. etc.   Full disclosure here.  I LOVED Dr. Brown. She was with me through getting pregnant with Cade and right after Cade died until I got pregnant with Berkley. She cried with me (a lot) and was just on my team.  She went to bat for me to get by their “6 month rule”.  Anyways, she moved to Vermont and I so I had my consult with Dr. Minjarez which I have always heard great things about.  I have met with her a few times in Dr. Brown’s place and just felt like we never ‘clicked’.  But you don’t need to click when it comes to spending tons of money. I know she is a great doctor. Anyways, this is a long-winded way of saying that she is also leaving CCRM!!  She has been there forever but is moving to Cali.  So as of this afternoon I now am under a third CCRM doctor.  The good news is my nurse is still my nurse. She probably doesn’t remember me but I remember her and she is great and on top of it.  And I trust her. And at CCRM you talk with your nurse tons more times than your doctor.  You need to be with a good nurse.  Did you hear me CCRM ladies?  Make sure you like and trust your nurse.

So what’s my plan? My plan is to go out in December get my diagnostics done.   CCRM makes you re-do a lot.  Hysteroscopy, 3-D ultrasound, blood work. Pretty much the whole thing for just a transfer.  Assuming they go well then I will play it by ear as far as scheduling something in 2016.  Am I ready?  I think so.  What is holding me back? Well…. my pregnancies are VERY nerve wracking. They are high-risk. I know too much and its tough mentally. I also know so many other people that I feel pretty connected to that are still stuck trying for #1. I want them to do this before me. I want them to experience this before I (God willing) experience pregnancy for a third time.


Berkley Ann’s First 6 Months

This baby girl. This crisp but beautiful night. Thank you to Alison Moore Photography for so many great pictures- these are just a few of my favorites!  Berkley is 7 months old now, but I want to take a second to talk about our first 6 months.
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I cannot believe you are almost 7 months old! All of the sudden you are looking more like a little girl and you are closer to being 1 years old than you are to being a newborn. This is so bittersweet as we have so much to look forwards to, but at the same time, you have been the most snuggly, cute newborn and I have loved every second of figuring out how to be a mom the past 6 months.  Before time gets away from us I want to dedicate this post to you and talk about what has happened since your birthday.View More: birth was easy- thank you for that 🙂 Once you were here, my life got better.  It’s actually funny because I think I slept better once you were born. All of the anxious nights I had waiting for you were no longer a part of me since I had you officially in my arms.   I was on cloud 9 for the first few weeks. I had this crazy amount of energy and felt like I was bouncing while I walked around with you.  It was so surreal. I cooked & cleaned & felt invincible (for all of those thinking I am crazy- just keep reading).  We were so careful as we gave you your first bath.  I think there were like 4 people involved in that task 🙂 You actually slept great too when you came home from the hospital. There were a few nights you slept like 7 hours at night! It probably wasn’t good for mom’s milk supply but I didn’t really think about that at the time.   Dad got to stay home for about 2 weeks with us before heading back to work and both of your grandmas & grandpas and all of your aunts took turns coming out to see you. We took daily walks with Tyson up to the dog park and watched every episode of “The Office”.  We had TONS of visitors! Everyone was so anxious to meet you.  The amount of clothes you received as gifts was crazy- I could have dressed triplets with your wardrobe.

View More: 1 month into your life, mom hit a wall.  GMa had come into Denver to see you and that day I felt like I was going to pass out multiple times.  I think that adrenaline rush that I had going strong for 4 weeks finally came to an end and reality set in.  Getting up every few hours at night is actually hard after so many weeks on end! GMa timed her visit right which gave me the opportunity to take some naps and catch up on rest.  It was MUCH needed.  Your first trip was at 6 weeks old.  We drove back to Kansas City for Aunt Kayley’s bachelorette party at the Lake of the Ozarks & you went to cousin Julie’s wedding.  You were a champ on the drive- thank goodness because as I am writing this post you have made the drive from either Denver to KC or KC to Denver 5 times so far!

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At 2 months, you weren’t gaining weight. You had dropped into the 1st percentile for weight and we had to start adding formula into your diet.  Mom had a VERY hard time with this but once we did it, you were so much happier and you became a pretty easy baby.   I was dreading going back to work and we decided that we really missed having our families around. In July, we made the decision to move back to Kansas City in early September.  We drove back to Kansas City, shopped for houses and you attended Kayley’s wedding.  You were still so tiny and it took forever to find a dress small enough to fit you!! Also, you hair had almost all fallen out by the wedding 🙂

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I ended up going back to work part time so I could spend some more time with you.  You were rolling over both ways by about 4 months and sleeping on and off through the night.

We moved to Kansas City when you were exactly 5 months old.  I bawled my eyes out.  It was so hard to leave our friends, the city we love, your birthplace, your brother’s birthplace and leave our future babies (who are in storage there).  But family first.  I want you to grow up around your grandparents.  View More:

You have turned into the most smiley, easy going baby.  You are ALWAYS on the move.  You have been active since you were in my belly. You love to be tossed around by us – I think you are going to be a roller coaster lover one day.  You have no fear of strangers and will go to anyone.  Every time I drop you at Nanny Lauren’s house I look back to see if there is any ounce of sadness there?! None that I can tell so far. You just love being around people!

We love you so much. You bring so much JOY into our lives.  We are so thankful for each day we get to spend with you, sweet girl.