Fertility Journey

It’s been a while.

Sorry our posts have been so few and far between!

We have had a very active and great summer, and I haven’t set aside much time to sit down and really write.  What a blessing to have the summer to spend more time together as a couple and TRAVEL! We’ve been traveling for missions, family vacation, business, and weddings. I think our big travels are complete for the summer, but we had such a wonderful time. Here is a brief overview of our summer:

Andover, NY – Bachelorette/Bridal Shower for my (Shelly) cousin, Patty!:
Such a blessing to shower her with love that weekend! The Bachelorette consisted of a painting party and then checking out a few bars – favorite being Cider Creek Hard Cider. I highly recommend making your way there if you’re up that way!

It was so wonderful to catch up with my sweet cousins, cry, and laugh. These women are near and dear to my heart. ❤

 

Washington, DC – Missions trip with our youth through Experience Mission:
Jake and I served in the mission field for our very first time TOGETHER. We have both gone on missions trip in the past, but never together. It was such a joy to serve alongside of each other for a week in Washington, DC. We painted, ran a kid’s club, yard work, cleaned the streets, fed the homeless, and so much more. 

Cape May, NJ – Family VACATION for a week! 
First time in a while we’ve gone on a long family vacation. It was such a wonderful time spending quality time with our precious niece for her first experience at the beach/bay. She bonded a lot with Jake over this trip – what a joy to watch that unfold. Each morning we would wake up to her coming out in to the living room and squealing at us, <3.

We went to the bay and beach, learned new games, checked out local antique shops, enjoyed crabbing (caught 30 crabs), walked around at the Cape May Zoo, played mini golf at an awesome location, and so much more!

I could not just pick a few photos from our trip, so enjoy!

 

Duluth, GA – trip with our company to our Home Office.
Such an incredible experience! Jake and I have been in the business since 2011, and had never made it down to our Home Office. We had the opportunity to meet many influential individuals, and learn from some of the best in our business. Opened our vision even wider – educating and helping more families around the US, Pennsylvania, and Lancaster!

We stayed with our great friends, Jason & Christi. Reconnecting with them was so wonderful! Our company does a weekly live broadcast, and we were able to be a part of it! 😀

Bliss, NY (and Rexville, NY) – Patty & Darren’s Wedding:
Oh what a joy to be with family! We love spending any chance we have to be with them. Laughing, dancing, and playing games. Such a great celebration of MARRIAGE!

…and any opportunity to hold a precious little one, I’ll take it! Lots of baby snuggles!

 

As you can see, it’s been a whirlwind of exciting adventures. Have we forgotten about our fertility journey? No. However, it was nice to have a healthy break from dwelling on it daily. Distractions can be good, at times – and this summer has been a healthy distraction.

Please pray for us as we make decisions on how to move forward in our journey.

Fertility Journey

Should we go… to the Doctor?

I have spoken to a lot of women, and I can vouch for Jake and myself. It was a struggle to make the decision to go to the fertility Doctor the first time. I felt as though I was giving up hope… it was putting an end to the “natural pregnancy” excitement. “Why couldn’t it just happen naturally for us?” “Why is there something WRONG with me, or him?” There was a sincere fear of finding out “who” was the reason for the infertility – and I think those are completely natural thoughts. “It is such a HUGE expense.” – in reality, it may not be.

Jake and I had to work through those thoughts – and it took a while. We made the decision together that even if we found out whose body was not allowing pregnancy, that we would NOT blame each other or ourselves. Trust me, this is hard to follow (especially when blaming yourself) – but it’s so worth it. We knew there were a few options – male factor, female factor, or unexplained. One thing for sure – we were going to get some “answers”.

I am thankful he is an encourager, and loves me through all of the emotions, thoughts, and fear. We needed peace of mind to know what was going on with our bodies.

Pursue your dreams of being parents:

If this is something you are struggling with, I encourage you to pursue answers – regardless of how long that process takes. For some, it may be simple – for others it may be more complex – and for a few it may be “unexplained”.

Steps:

  1. Call your insurance – see what they cover for fertility, how long you need to have been trying to conceive for, and ask if they require a referral (many do). Ours covered all the diagnostic parts of the process, some even cover IVF if you need to go that route in the future.
  2. Set up a time to meet with a local fertility Doctor – do a little research to find the right one for you. We are blessed to have found a truly caring Doctor – who understands our desire to be as natural as possible. Find one that fits your needs/desires.
  3. GO – sometimes this is the hardest step. Just go, don’t let the fears hold you back from pursuing your dreams.
  4. Find some individuals to support you emotionally through this process outside of just your spouse. Having a few core friends/family members to love you, encourage you, and pray for you is so valuable.

Remember, you are not alone.

screen-shot-2017-02-17-at-11-39-16-pm

Fertility Journey

Merry Christmas

Wishing each of you a VERY Merry Christmas. May you find comfort and joy in the time spent with your family. Cherish every moment together, and hug your little ones a little tighter. Be encouraged by their excitement Christmas morning while waiting to open their presents. Be PRESENT in each moment – capture the love and joy in your memories.

Prayers for our hearts and emotions right now would be a blessing. This will be our last family Christmas (on Shelly’s side) without aneice/nephew – bitter sweet the reminder of my brother and sister-in-law expecting a little one. Joyous for them, but my heart aches deeper – an active reminder of our vacancy. Many have asked how we’re doing with it – and I truly don’t have a way to describe the juxtaposition of joy and saddness.

I pray for each of you who have reached out to me to share your struggle of infertility. I love you, and we WILL get through this. Thankful to lean on others when we need encouragement and to know you’re not in this alone as a couple – but we don’t wish this heartache on anyone. You are in our hearts!

* Photo: Shelly and Santa Jake! He’s a good sport each year at the Chiropractic office I work at – what a joy to see him with each of the children (and adults). *

Fertility Journey

Walmart Run-in!

I don’t think my heart could be any fuller in moments like these:

I made a “Walmart run” today (Wednesday, Dec. 14th, 2016) – I felt the need to go there to buy gifts for my youth girls (Jake and I are youth leaders at Calvary Church). I was planning to go to Target, but I am so glad I was drawn here today.

When I got close to the checkout lines I was on the phone with one of my beautiful cousins (if she wouldn’t have called, I would have already checked out) when along came one of our best friend couples and their five sweet children! I cannot even begin to explain how much this family means to us! They are prayer warriors, encouragers, friends, supporters and genuine listeners. The excitement these children get when they see “Shake & Jelly” is so incredibly good for my soul. Today was a huge blessing to get hugs, hi’s, and kisses! Sweet little Lily reached out for me to hold her. Yup, I was quickly melted in to a puddle – a puddle of joy and love. Asher shared how excited he was to get a balloon pump for Christmas, Noah & Malachi sweetly smiled and chatted, and little Gracee slept in the car seat all snug. My heart grew a million times bigger in that moment.

The children in our lives – through family, friends, and patients – really have no idea how much the hugs, smiles, and excitement with seeing us really help in our healing process through this journey. If only they could truly know how much we love them!

We both would love the love of a child of our own, but for now – we’ll take glimpses of love from other little ones.

This journey is difficult, but God has placed very dear friends in our lives – and we are thankful!

* I attached a photo of one of my favorite ornaments. This was before the two little girls came along! *

Fertility Journey

“No Struggle, No Strength”

The struggle has been REAL and apparent in our lives these past years. Some days I wonder how we’ll get through another hour, day, week, month, year of this. It is so taxing on your mind, body, and heart (on my mind constantly). Thankful the Lord is holding us up through all of this because I don’t know how anyone could get through this without Him. I am often reminded of the “Footprints In The Sand” poem, and am blessed and comforted in knowing He’s got us – through each and every step.

Christmas is one of the hardest times of the year for Jake and myself, but at the same time one of our favorites. I want to buy gifts for a sweet little one, snuggle up on a cold day, pick a tree and drink hot cocoa to make memories, tell the story of Jesus, hear the excited footsteps Christmas morning, take family photos, and so much more. I cannot even begin to truly explain my heart’s desires. At the same time, we love Christmas together – Enjoying time snuggling up and watching movies together while sipping on tea/coffee… Sledding when it snows enough & making snowmen… and for those moments I choose to be THANKFUL.

To Jake, thank you! My heart is comforted by you with the hugs, laughter, snuggles, back massages (constantly!), cleaning & making meals when I’m not ‘feeling well’ emotionally, doing the laundry, working full-time… and while doing all of the above you’re still building our business. THANK YOU for loving me, supporting me, and caring for me. I love you so much.

To our Family, thank you! We are blessed with a family that loves us and supports us! We value time spent playing games together – helps get our minds off of the struggles.

To our Friends, THANK YOU! You have no ‘requirements’ to love us and support us, but you do! There are a few of you who check in with me on a regular basis… you don’t judge us for our hurt/pain, and love us through all of it! You are very near and dear to our hearts (as well as your sweet little families)!

Fertility Journey

November 21, 2016

For a year or so, we decided to take a break from continuing the medical side of the infertility journey. Throughout this time we have been going to the Chiropractor for wellness care. We have also been seeing a Nutritionist regularly and are on supplements specific to each of our body’s needs. We have noticed improvement in our overall health, but no baby yet. We would love to begin Acupuncture in the near future – high success rate with infertility.

Within the past few months/weeks, we decided to continue with seeing our Infertility Doctor. I have an appointment scheduled for Thursday, December 8, 2016. Please pray for guidance in the next steps. Jake and I are trying to go the most natural route possible – my body does not do well on medications. We’re praying our Infertility Doctor will allow us to skip the injections step (which would typically be next), and move forward. Jake has requested a half-day personal day from school so we can go together.

I ran in to a woman on Saturday who shared about “Baby Quest” – a charity to help with the expenses of the infertility journey (AI, IUI, and Adoption). I have been researching online for grants the past few days – and cannot wait to give to these charities too!

Please pray:
– wisdom & guidance with decisions
– peace & understanding
– continued patience through all of this
– healing & comfort

Thank you in advance for all of your love, support, and prayers!

Fertility Journey

Our Story

Jake & Shelly (“Shake & Jelly”) have been struggling with infertility since 2010. Shortly after they were married (July 31, 2010) they began the process of trying to conceive. Without any luck for about 2 years – we sought outside help to find the cause. After many tests & procedures the outcome was “Unexplained Infertility”. So really, no answers.

We are leaning on God and prayers from you through this. It has not been easy, but Jake truly has been a wonderful husband helping both of us through our emotions, hurt, pain, joy, and blessings along the way.

To continue to help us through this journey, and to let others in on the emotions, steps, and updates we wanted to start a page to document this. We ask that you please be respectful as we will share our hearts openly.

Please don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Our request – please continue to PRAY for us through this.