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!


Heavy Heart

With loss there is almost an unspoken order of events that should happen. Someone that lost a baby before me should have their rainbow baby before me.  This is how I have felt ever since meeting so many amazing women that have also had heart breaking losses.  For some reason this order of events just doesn’t play out all the time.  There is this one girl that I have become close with- we text a lot. She lost her baby girl in August 2013. It was a full term pregnancy & freak thing that happened during delivery that caused her baby to live for a week after she was born. I connected with her instantly because she had also held her child…spent time with her and made the heartbreaking decision to take her daughter off oxygen and held her as she passed. Just like we did with Cade.  It all may have gone down in the same room at the same hospital actually.

Since meeting her I have wanted her to have a healthy baby as badly as I wanted my own healthy baby.  Sadly, she has had 3 losses since (one all the way at 14 weeks of pregnancy).  Her and her husband have started to go to CCRM for help and answers.  She had started her meds and things were actually moving forward for an IVF cycle this month.  Anyways, I got another heart breaking text this afternoon. A cyst was detected in her ovary so they are canceling her cycle this month.   I am just sick about it.

I remember being stuck in that place. I too had random things happen that delayed my first IVF cycle. But then it happened and we had Cade.  And then 4.5 months later I got pregnant with Berkley who is just about 7 months.  And here is this amazing women- who is STILL stuck in the same place as when I met with her the first time over a year and half ago.  Women struggling with infertility, I know you know the pain of waiting and waiting.  Time passes so slowly.  A simple 1 month set back feels like being punched in the gut.  It’s really the worst.

So my ask for all of you is to say a prayer for her.  There HAS to be light at the end of the tunnel for her soon.  I have gotten fairly blunt with God since losing Cade and for this friend my prayer has turned into something like “give her a healthy baby… as soon as possible.”

All about how Berkley came to be: Part 2 Birth!

This won’t be the most exciting birth story you have ever heard- exactly what I had hoped for! As mentioned in my previous post, my amazing doctor set up an induction date for me of April 7th (if I made it there!). I know induction, especially before 40 weeks, can be controversial. All I can say, is don’t judge until you have been through what I have. I really really needed this.

We checked into the hospital the night of April 6th to get things started.  Unfortunately I was only dilated to a 1 when we got there.  After a suppository to “ripen my cervix” (I know.. barf) I was maybe a 1.5.  We were in a for long process!  Pitocin was started around 8am on April 7th and literally the day went like this: still nothing.. up pitocin…still nothing…up pitocin…still nothing… up pitocin.   They finally came and broke my water around lunch and things started to somewhat progress, but I think I was maybe a 4 at 4pm. Ha. At this point we all started thinking maybe this was going to be an April 8th baby vs. April 7th.  The many texts asking for updates started slowing at this point as well.   I did decide to get an epidural at some point in the afternoon. Contractions were finally starting to pick up and they were about 2 mins apart.  You always hear stories about it being too late and I didn’t want to take any chances.  I had decided before going in to get induced that I was OK with having an easier birth experience. I would LOVE to try naturally if there is a next time, but for this round I needed to be in a very controlled environment & I was OK with NOT being in a ton of pain. 🙂

Finally about 7pm, I think I was still somewhere between a 5-6 and my doctor said she was going to head to the other hospital where she had some patients and they were going to keep monitoring baby and just to let them know if I felt any strange pressure.  I felt so numb from the epidural, I started thinking how I wouldn’t even be able to feel any pressure at all so I asked the anesthesiologist to come back in and lower my dose.  I wanted to be able to feel things.

FINALLY, about 9pm I had 2 super strong contractions and I thought to myself that maybe, just maybe those did feel a little different.  I asked my nurse to check me and sure enough she looked up at me and said “you are going to have a baby”.  And I lost it.  If you know me well, you know I am not an emotional person. And actually that’s not even that true.  I am very emotional but I don’t show it in front of other people.  Waterworks galore- was this really happening?? Finally?? Of course, my mom caught my tears on camera.  Good work, Mom.


Everyone except for Adam left the room, my nurse called my doctor and had me try a few practice pushes while we were waiting for the doctor.  During the second push she actually had me stop because baby girl was right there and the doctor wasn’t in the room yet.    My doctor got there.  Again had me do a push – and then stopped me – because she wasn’t scrubbed in and baby girl was right there.  Once she was scrubbed in,  it was game time.  Have I mentioned how much I LOVE giving birth? Like, if you told me I had to go have a baby today I would jump for joy. It is the most amazing experience.  The fact that our body’s can even do that is baffling.

It took me just a few pushes to deliver Berkley.   As they pulled her out- she let out a loud cry and I was finally able to relax a little.  My little girl was here, alive.  Adam and I were literally in awe of her.  She was laid on my chest immediately and they started wiping her off.   So was so beautiful, adorable, the most cute thing I had ever seen. Truly.

Berkley Ann Griffin

April 7, 2015 at 9:55pm

6lb 12 oz, 20.5in


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All about how Berkley came to be: Part 1

After losing Cade so unexpectedly, Adam and I wanted to get pregnant ASAP.  Our hearts were yearning to be parents and bring a baby home. While the grief was overwhelming, I think what kept part of me moving forward was the thought of getting pregnant again.  Although the thought of getting pregnant again was also terrifying.  There were so many questions and scenarios that would pass through my mind daily.  Questions like can we even have a healthy baby?  Will I lose another one? etc.  went through my mind all day- I literally almost went insane between the heartbreak and the unknown/scary future.   I was at our fertility doctor’s office within a week of Cade dying.  I am sure she thought I was crazy (I was) but I just HAD to have some questions answered.  The uncertainty around our situation was paralyzing.

Thank God for science.  The fact that doctors can take my eggs out of my body, combine them with Adam’s sperm in a lab to create our embryos & then freeze them for YEARS is pretty unbelievable.  We spent a good portion of 2014 waiting for test results.  After Cade passed, we needed to know if Adam and I were carriers of the disease (we are). Once we had this information CCRM could test some of our frozen embryos for the specific gene.  Little Berkley was thawed last spring (2014), biopsied, re-frozen and sent off to Chicago for PGD testing.  PGD testing is where an embryo is tested for a specific gene abnormality, such as Restrictive Dermopathy.  Waiting for these results was HARD as it took about 3-4 weeks.  When we got our embryo results back last summer- all biopsied embryos that were sent off to Chicago ended up all being carriers….. just like Adam and I…which were approved for transfer (transfer is the process of implanting an embryo inside of me).   This was awesome news.   A carrier means that these embryos have 1 healthy gene and 1 mutated gene (1 copy is passed from each parent). The healthy overcompensated for the mutated gene so they can live a normal/healthy life just like Adam and I. In Cade’s condition both Adam and I passed our mutated copy to Cade. Since he didn’t have a healthy copy to overcompensate- he actually had restrictive dermopathy.

We have been asked multiple times if we could have done genetic testing with Cade’s pregnancy.  The answer is NO.  RD is so rare that none of the testing would have ever caught it, unless the scientists went looking at that specific gene.   The genetic testing you can opt for today typically checks for things like chromosomes and a panel of the more common diseases that your race would carry (such as cystic fibrosis for a caucasian). So no matter what this would have gone on undetected whether we did genetic testing or not. So there is the background information on Berkley and a very small glimpse of what we went through last spring/summer.   And your mini biology lesson for the day… are you still with me?

We transferred 1 embryo on July 24th, 2014.  Given the quick turn-around between pregnancies & the preterm birth I had just experienced, CCRM only allowed me to transfer 1 embryo. Their goal was for me to have a safe, healthy pregnancy.  This made sense but made waiting for our pregnancy test even more challenging since we had just 1 little embie in there!  I cheated this time and took an at-home pregnancy test before my blood test.  I am glad I did because I got two definite positive tests in a row which took the edge off until my actual blood test.  Adam and I were ecstatic!

We found out we were having a girl at 6.5 weeks!  Through the genetic testing we did, CCRM knew the gender but it is their policy that they won’t tell you this information until your first successful ultrasound.   I needed to know what I was having, ESPECIALLY if it was a girl.  After planning for a boy & holding a baby boy in my arms there was a piece of me that really longed for a son. I am going to be honest, when we found out we were having a baby girl- I had a few good cries about it.  It took me a few days to wrap my head around it but as my pregnancy progressed  I became more and more thankful for my baby girl.  I think having everything be so different a second time around- with a different gender really was a blessing for me mentally.

Did you know I was pregnant again? We were pretty hush, hush about this pregnancy.  First off, we were still heavily grieving Cade but we were also just scared shitless about this pregnancy.  We couldn’t imagine making a big “we’re pregnant” announcement only to have something awful happen once again.   I think loss does that to you…. the optimistic part of you is taken away for awhile. We felt like we were walking on egg shells the.entire.time. So much so, that once I was out of my first trimester,  I was already asking my OBGYN their policy on early induction. I needed my baby girl out and in my arms as soon as the doctors would let me. Did I mention I was crazy?!

Our OBGYN was so amazing and understanding. Both my fertility doctor and my OB literally have cried along side with me at appointments and have gone above and beyond for me.  My doctor understood my longing for a baby & the fact that being pregnant again was very trying for me so we set an induction date for April 7, 2015…. which put me at 39w2d.

Heading to the hospital!
Heading to the hospital!