Fertility Journey

The results are in… and we still wait.

January 26th – I felt nauseous all day and it was hard to breath at times while I waited for their call. I finally got so impatient at 1:47pm that I called them. I could not keep myself distracted for more than 3 minutes – that result was all I could think about. The lady I spoke with said they were making their calls and should be calling me shortly… so I waited some more.
 
2:30 I called a client… and while it was ringing, Dr. Sobel must have called. He left a voicemail, and I prepared myself to listen while I was sitting in the parking lot of Michaels. I could feel the blood pumping through my body. Excited, scared, hopeful, doubtful, a little bit of everything… a very somber Dr. Sobel – “Hi Michele, this is Dr. Sobel. Michele, I don’t have good news for you today. I’m sorry. The bloodwork for the test today was negative, I’m so sorry….” My heart stopped and sunk – way down to my toes. That hope briefly disappeared, and as I’m typing this at 10:39pm on that same day – I am weeping again.
 
How was I going to pull myself together, go on an appointment, and then tell Jake later this evening? How? How could I even possibly drive home right now… how could I get through the evening. Even though I didn’t know how I would do it, I am thankful that client appointment was scheduled ahead of time, otherwise I may have just curled up in a ball and tirelessly cried all evening. Instead, I was able to pull my mind away from it for a few hours, which in turn ended up being what I needed. I wanted to call and cancel, but I am thankful I didn’t.
 
I truly felt your prayers on the drive home, a blanket of comfort began to surround me as I pulled on to Route 30. I could hear text after text coming in that you were each praying for the results. I value those prayers, texts, messages, and calls. You got me through today, and for that I thank you.
 
When I told Jake, he held me. Closely. Just what I needed. I made dinner and we snuggled up to watch some TV while eating. And then… we decided to catch up on some of “This Is Us” – big mistake. The episode they found out they were having triplets, bought their home, and flash-forward images of the babies and bath time. My heart, my heart. Jake knew immediately. He comforted me and held me.
 
Jakob, I know you’re struggling too. You are so strong for me, but your desire to be a Father is so apparent in every aspect of your life. I am full of joy when I see you with children, and I cannot wait for you to experience life through the eyes of fatherhood. Please pray for him as he, too, stumbles through the valleys of this journey – there are peaks ahead, but we really need you in the deepest, darkest moments. We know we’re not alone, but many days it feels as though we are. It’s hard, it’s raw, but the Lord is carrying us through this. We ask that you help carry us too. Laugh with us, cry with us, and rejoice with us.
 
PRAISE #1: I needed to call that client in that moment – so I was distracted. If I would have waiting 30 seconds more, I would have had to call the client AFTER I received the news. I was also able to play the voicemail for Jake.
 
PRAISE #2: Thankful for Dr. Sobel and his heart and compassion. You hear it in his words, and you see it in his actions.
 
PRAISE #3: We went out for a DATE NIGHT on Saturday night! When we entered the theater, we ran in to a very dear friend! Thankful for her hugs and prayers in that moment. I don’t see her often, but we were able to sit next to her in the theater (praying for you too, dear friend!)
 
What’s next?: We are taking a month off from the medication and testing – it was a lot on my body, and I had to make the decision within a day or two after finding out I was not pregnant. That’s a lot to handle. We’re working on the grant applications, and will be moving forward with another round next month – unless we have a MIRACLE in the meantime!
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

Fertility Appointment – 12.8.16

We had our appointment with the Fertility Doctor today. Many of you reached out to us through texts and calls – we felt the love!

(Long post, I apologize in advance.)

Jake took a half-day from teaching today, and was able to be home by 11:40am – so we took advantage of the time together and went to my favorite restaurant for lunch – DJ’s A Taste of the 50’s! (They have Gluten Free buns!!!!)

We are very thankful for Dr. Sobel – thankful for his detailed explanations, genuine care, great bed-side manors, and making us feel comfortable (… and answering all of our questions – a few times if needed). He also understands that we want to stay as natural through this process as possible.

SUPPLEMENTS: I took all the supplements in to let him see everything I am currently on. He was pleased with Dr. Sheehan‘s recommendations, and was proud of me for seeking a natural way of health with Nutrition and Chiropractic (thanks Dr. Tai Scelfo!).

We had about a 30-minute consultation with him – updating current information and recapping past tests/findings. The last time we were in their office was February of 2014 – close to 3 years ago. Since it has been so long, he is wanted to run a few more tests again:
– Bloodwork/urine sample for both of us. Jake will be able to do his at any time, while I have to wait until a certain point in my next cycle (too far in to this one). Specifically checking the level of my eggs (Ovarian Reserve), the quality of my eggs, Thyroid levels, as well as my Vitamin D levels.
– Jake will be having another semen analysis, just to be sure everything is functioning correctly.
– HSG again (yippeee!) between days 5-12 of my next cycle. This is a much easier process then the last time (extremely painful for me), and will be able to be done in their office rather than having to go all the way to Paoli, PA. This procedure is done to confirm whether the Fallopian Tubes are unblocked or blocked.
– Shelly will also have a Saline Sonogram done. This procedure is to check the uterine walls.
– He will be trying me on a less invasive drug (I did not previously do well on Chlomid). Our plan is to not take this for any longer than absolutely needed. They do need to use this for the testing portion within my next cycle in combination with ultrasounds.

We have chosen not to have any genetic testing done on either of us. Something neither of us feels is necessary, and does not effect whether or not we conceive.

What was done today: ULTRASOUND
– I previously had a slightly heart-shaped uterus, which could cause a miscarriage if we ever conceived. He removed the septum that causes this a few years back during a Hysteroscopy done in Paoli. Dr. Sobel said it looked great today! PRAISE!
– 7 Follicles (“egg banks”) on left ovary and 7 on right ovary.
– Different cyst than the last ultrasound he did a few years back, which is a good sign. It means the other one went away, and this one does appear to be a Ovulatory Cyst – you need these to conceive!
– Overall, he was pleased with the ultrasound.

* * * * * *

Some of you have asked about costs:
– Most of what was mentioned above will be covered by insurance after our deductible is met – because this is all diagnostic. PRAISE!
– After the diagnostic tests there will be other expenses. This is why we are looking in to applying for those grants to help us along the way. Our DREAM is to give back to these organizations in the future to help others.
– If we have to do another round of that medication and ultrasounds it will be: $1000 for each round.
– IUI: $380 each time.
– IVF (In-Vitro): Did not get exact numbers at this point, praying we do not need to seek this route. (Especially with all the drugs involved.)

*He did mention that the fact that we have not conceived over a 5-year period it may be that IVF is in the future for us, but he is hopeful we will not need it. However, prepare ourselves emotionally for that.

Thankful for some clarity of what to do next.

Continuing my regular care with Chiropractic & Nutrition. We are still hoping to add Acupuncture (high success rates with infertility) to our wellness plan soon!

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.