Back in March of this year, I shared with you two verses God led me to claim during this cycle. These verses have echoed in my heart, mind, and mouth over and over and over again over these last 7+ months:


I sit here absolutely overwhelmed to share this news with you today … He has answered our prayers for a family, as specifically as giving us children. Yes, you read that right, we are PREGNANT … with TWINS!


I am overcome with emotion writing that. Here I sit today, 6.5 weeks pregnant, having seen both babies heart beats flickering away at 112 bpm, and I simply weep with praises for His faithfulness to answer prayers that we have prayed for nearly a decade. Not to us, but to Him be the glory!


And as joyful as the news makes us, we also want to pause with sensitivity, because we know there are so many of you today still suffering and waiting for your miracle. And friends, our hearts grieve with yours. We know all too well what it’s like to sit on your side of the computer screen today, wondering when it will be your turn, and I wish I had the words to comfort you today. This journey has taught me to find and fight for the best doctor and believe, above all else, that with God, NOTHING is impossible. Believe that, my friends. I have no idea why our prayers have been answered this time, but I know that it was not a mistake, and your timing won’t be a mistake either. Fight on, Hope on, Keep going. He is faithful in all things, even when we don’t understand His ways. Your hardship will not go to waste. He can be trusted. Truly, all things are possible.

We know we still have a long journey ahead of us but we just have to pause to celebrate HIS GOODNESS today. These babies are MIRACLES! We are in constant prayer for their little lives. We pray for their hearts to stay strong, their bodies to form perfectly, their home to stay healthy and their God to watch over them until bringing them to this earth full-term. I have had a small complication with a subchorionic hemorrhage (SCH) which has caused some scary bleeding, but our God is SO much bigger than that! For the time being, I am on low-key bed rest but you better believe I will gladly do anything it takes to keep these babies healthy! Bring on the Netflix and baby-chill!

I have so much more to share in the days and weeks to come. Stories of how we told our families and friends, the day we found out ourselves, the journey we went on with betas, and so much more. But today, today we simply celebrate! Today we shout for joy!!! Today, I AM PREGNANT. Today, we have seen the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. (Psalm 27:13) Today we thank you for your unending prayers, support, encouragement, love, kindness, and patience. The peace we have felt through this all is a significant testament to the power of prayer, one unlike any other I have experienced before. Truly, we have been surrounded by an army and it’s the most humbling and surreal gift.

Thank you Jesus.


PS – A gigantic thank you to my amazing bestie Jana for capturing these photos for us! We can’t thank you enough!

FertilityIQ basecamp recap: let the information begin!


A little over 2 weeks ago, I packed my bags and flew down to San Francisco, CA to gather with an amazing group of men (okay, man) and women who are passionate about making a difference in our infertility communities.

(Sidenote: Our friends from, Jake and Deb, made this all possible. Their passion for the infertility community amazes me. Jake and Deb have beat infertility. They have the sweetest little 4 month old son, Lazer, but it took work for them to get there. They struggled themselves, faced loses, and realized the infertility community needed a unified voice to help them get from here to there. This family did NOT have to start (A free service where patience leave verified reviews on their doctors anonymously so that other potential patients can select the right clinic for them from the start.) This family did NOT have to fly us out to CA and sponsor this FertilityIQ Basecamp, host us so graciously, and advocate to get us into some of the best conversation spots possible. They didn’t have to – but they did because they care. And that, my friends, is pretty awesome. In no way is this post, or any of my continued work with them sponsored. It is my personal opinion that they are the bees knees and if you haven’t already left a review on your clinic on, I would run, not walk, over there to do so.)

deborahjake_042 (2)

Meet Jake and Deb!

Okay, back to the Basecamp:

Our stories all look different. Some of us have pursued IVF treatments, others haven’t. Some face male factor infertility issues, PCOS, recurrent pregnancy loss, while others are labeled with the big old “unexplained” stamp. Some of us have experiences miscarriages, some have beaten infertility, and others are still patiently waiting for their miracle. Each face around the table held a story – and represented an army of women with questions that needed answering. In addition to our awesome hosts, Jake and Deb, meet Caroline, Elisha, Lisa, Nikol, Katie, and myself. Once we said hello, it was like we had known each other all our lives, and the chemistry came alive. And so, we rolled up our sleeves and got to work.


(from left to right) Chelsea (me!), Lisa, Elisha, Nikol, Caroline (holding Lazer), Deb and Katie. Shout out to Jake our camera man!

Remember that survey I asked you to fill out earlier this summer? Well, you guys filled it out in DROVES. (We drew our $125 Amazon winner in San Fran and because there were so many responses, we decided to draw TWO names! A huge congrats to Leanna D. and Jane R. for being our winners! I hope you are already spending your winnings in fun ways!). And what was so interesting was that out of the HUNDREDS of responses, there were some really identifiable themes – questions you all asked – and so we took those questions, set our agenda, and here we are!

Now, there is A LOT of information to be shared. And I want to dish it all out to you in digestible pieces, so watch for many other posts to come in the weeks ahead. However, for today, I want to chat with you guys about the themes we saw, who we met with, and then point you in a direction today to read a summary of all these meetings from the eyes of the different ladies around the table. Will all of the FAQ’s be hit today? Probably not, however, you have the chance to blog hop and learn A TON! Then I will spend some time tackling each of these highlights for you too, so feel free to leave more specific questions below if you have them, so I can be sure to answer!

Here are the main grouping of questions that you asked:


Looking at this list, more specifically, the themed MEDICAL questions asked were:


  • Why is there so much disagreement between doctors on tests, protocols, treatment order
  • Why are the costs so high and success rates so low?
  • Why is unexplained so frequently a diagnosis &; what should one do with that?


  • How do you think about when to progress from IUI to IVF to donor egg to deciding to live child-free?

Lifestyle & BMI:

  • How much of a role does BMI play in success rates (does 25% vs 30% vs. 35% make a difference)?
  • How does diet choices (specifically: gluten free, red meat, organic) play into fertility?

Recurrent Pregnancy Loss:

  • After how many miscarriages should they get genetic testing?
  • What role does immunology play in infertility?
  • What about Natural K cells? A lot of women are being diagnosed and treated for it.

Male Factor Infertility:

  • Why would my husband’s sperm count go from high to low with no obvious cause?
  • Talk to me about varicoceles. Is it genetic?
  • With Male Factor, when is IVF necessary and when is it not necessary?
  • What can a man do to boost his sperm count, or improve his motility or morphology?


  • Besides adjusting the diet, what else really works for PCOS patients trying to get pregnant?
  • What are the most promising tests or treatments for PCOS?


  • Any promising treatments coming for endometriosis?

What better place to get these answered then by meeting with the top doctors at Stanford Medicine?! We first got to spend some time at their embryology lab, watching freshly retrieved eggs just post ICSI, and observing where the embryos are stored and monitored carefully. We then sat down with Board Certified doctors, like Reproductive Endocrinologist,  Valerie Baker, MD and Urologist, Michael Eisenberg, MD and asked your questions. Want some answers today on what our time there looked like? HOP ON OVER TO NIKOL’S BLOG NOW TO READ HER FULL REPORT ON OUR TRIP TO STANFORD!


Taking a peek at some ICSI’ed eggs from the lab


A Male Collection Room – set in a different section of the clinic which was very nice for the guys!


A peek inside the embryology lab! The yellowish tall container on the right is where the embryos are developing!


Arriving to Stanford!

We then looked at your questions about forming and finding community, specifically looking at the TTC community that’s formed on Instagram, and how we can maximize it! So what better place to visit then the Facebook and Instagram campus, and spend some time talking with the Director of Community at Instagram! We had a blast there! (And seriously, what a dream job! The campus alone is insane. Rock climbing walls, tennis courts, FREE FOOD EVERY WHERE (you seriously don’t pay for anything!), tons of coffee shops and ice cream shops (again free). The campus looks like the Main Street of Disney World, filled with people doing bike meeting or walking meetings, pop up boutique shops, etc. Such a cool place to see!). To learn more about what our conversations were like at Instagram, HOP ON OVER TO CAROLINE’S BLOG NOW TO READ HER FULL REPORT ON OUR TRIP!


Welcome to Instagram!


A photo opp with Katie, the Director of Community (far left)


Can’t go to Facebook without giving it a big LIKE!


A peek at the “Main Street” campus and one of the many (free) cafeterias

Next, the financial questions – and those were endless! I am giddy to get into all the details of this meeting. We got the chance to meet with a highly reputable clinic, (privacy given), to discuss “Saving Money When Going Through Treatment”. The tips and tricks she gave us were INSANELY awesome. We KNOW finances hold you back from seeking the medical care you need. We know insurance companies are terrible at providing coverage to those in need. We want to help you find ways to making it more reasonable and affordable. I will say, there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done here, but we got some solid saving money tips for you to start! HOP ON OVER TO KATIE’S BLOG NOW TO READ HER FULL REPORT ON OUR CONVERSATION!

One area many of us didn’t have direct experience with, was 3rd Party Reproduction (ie: donor eggs, donor sperm, the need for a surrogate or gestational carrier, and embryo adoption). Great news though, we brought in  Donor Concierge, a husband and wife expert team, Gail Sexton Anderson, Founder and Terrell Anderson, COO to get the scoop on how this process works. It was fascinating and I walked away with so much insight on the process. HOP ON OVER TO JAKE AND DEB’S BLOG NOW TO READ THEIR FULL REPORT ON OUR MEETING WITH DONOR CONCIERGE.


Visiting with Donor Concierge over lunch

And lastly, we had to tackle the emotional questions you guys asked. Questions like:

  • How do I find local support?
  • When is the right time to see a counselor?
  • How do I know when it’s time to walk away from this journey and find peace living child-free?
  • How do I protect my marriage during this time?
  • How do I grieve properly?

Ohhhhhh, friends who are still reading this, this session was IMPACTFUL. (I felt like I went through a therapy session myself, there were tears!). It was led by Beth Jaeger Skigen, LSCW, who oversees many of the RESOLVE Support Groups.  I can’t wait to dive into my notes on this, but for your immediate satisfaction, HOP ON OVER TO ELISHA’S BLOG NOW TO READ A FULL REPORT ON THIS SESSION.


We also know many of you asked how to start and lead your own local infertility support group, so HOP ON OVER TO LISA’S BLOG NOW TO READ TONS OF TRICKS AND TIPS.

Then, with so much swirling in our minds, we took some time to step back and regroup, with a little bowling of course! Truly, the friendships formed were pretty awesome. We were able to casually chat about what we were learning, before heading into our final night meeting – WHAT TO DO NOW?



And friends, we have SO much good stuff planned in the weeks, months, and year ahead. We HEARD YOU! This whole infertility thing, it’s hard. Without the right resources, couples are spinning their wheels for far too long. Without financial reason-ability, some people have to walk away from their dreams of starting a family forever. With the stigma of infertility being so silenced, way too many women are suffering alone, without the help of a community or encouragement around them. All of this, it has to end. And we are doing our best to make a difference, one step at a time, so stay tuned.

Now before I close, I wanted to share with you my TOP 3 Takeaways from the weekend. Random things that stuck out that I just can’t wait to share with you. So here they are:

1) The Stanford doctors told us this – “Your voice (the patients!) will be stronger and more effective to continuing advocacy for fertility topics than doctors. So don’t be afraid to make your voice heard!”

2) 76% of women suffering from infertility have clinical anxiety and 53% have depression, although many will go undiagnosed. Depression and anxiety levels peak between years 2-3 of trying to conceive. Don’t wait too long to get help processing your emotions! Infertility is constantly entering into a world of grieving and unmet expectations. Remember that your doctor is not your therapist, that’s not what they are trained for, so take time to find a good one counselor. (RESOLVE offers so many resources for local support groups, both peer and professionally led!)

3) Patients CAN ask for a discount if paying out of pocket, especially if they have gone through multiple cycles. (Clinics may be able to give up to a 20% discount depending on size and status.) Tell your story to your patient billing rep AND your doctor. And if you refer friends, mention that!! Explain your financial hardships … it’s very possible to get numbers cut!

Now, I could go on and on about what an awesome weekend this was (it was!) and how bucket filling it was (it was!) but now, since I’ve rambled enough, I’ll close with some more pictures from our trip.


Our first night in! LOVED meeting my two dear friends, Caroline and Elisha, face to face! Perfect time to whip out the selfie stick!


The dinners Jake and Deb hosted were SO yummy!


Caroline and I are Facebook ready!


Pizza + to die for desserts to close out night 1. YUM!


A few of us kicked off our Saturday morning early by popping over to the Farmers Market by the bay!


This oyster lover just had to try a local treat – and it was DELISH!


If you know me well, you know Lox are my favorite thing to eat for breakfast. This San Fran version of Lox was FABULOUS and I will dream about it for weeks to come.


As will I dream about this lady’s hot chocolate. All kinds of happy.


Little did we know this is NOT in fact the Golden Gate Bridge, despite our many squeals.


One of the gorgeous meeting spaces we convened in.


One of the most sacred treasured moment happened in my hotel room during a brief intermission. You see, it’s when this beautiful group of women asked to gather around me, lay hands on me, and pray for me and our upcoming transfer. *cue tears* And as these beautiful sisters in Christ prayed, it was overwhelming. Because never in my life did I think we’d be facing these battles, yet God, in His goodness, surrounded me with community. Friends I met online nonetheless! And it was powerful and reminded me just how much He cares. So through tears and laughter, we prayed, and it’s a moment I’ll never forget. 💛


So many fun Uber moments during this trip!


The REAL Golden Gate bridge, as seen from Jake and Deb’s apartment window. (Seriously, that view!)


We all got to love on Lazer so much! He smiled whenever the camera was out, such a cutie!


Another yummy dinner filled with conversation!

Until next time friends!


be the light: pregnancy and infant loss awareness month.


October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and specifically, October 15th,  is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. In honor of this special month that means so much to me, I want to dedicate this post to Share’s Walk of Remembrance and the Wave of Light. It’s so important to remind everyone suffering, silently or loudly, that you are not alone. In fact, there’s a whole group of bloggers who are participating in this special month, so please check out the full list of the blog tour on Ever Upward.


Losing a pregnancy or infant changes you. The grief can create a world of darkness around you. All encompassing. Swirling questions, feelings of hopelessness, making it difficult to see out of. If you have walked in these shoes of grief before, I am so incredibly sorry. There are no words to explain the pain and sorrow involved if you haven’t walked the path. (for more on my thoughts on the days following a miscarriage, click hereWe have been there too, and our hearts ache along side of you.

While grief brings darkness, light on the other hand offers hope. Sight. A glimpse of what’s ahead. It is powerful and it breaks through the darkness, just enough to remind you what it’s like outside the darkness.

One of my favorite things about Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day (October 15th) is the Wave of Light. It takes a community to create this wave – those who are grieving and those who are supporting those who are grieving – and it remembers the too-short lives of lost babies and infants. It offers support and compassion in helping to break the darkness of grief that surrounds moms and dads, whose arms are empty.

You have the chance to offer light, to offer hope, to share in the compassion-giving and remind grieving families there is light outside of the darkness.


On October 15th from 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm, in all time zones across the world, you can light a candle to remember the babies who have been lost from miscarriages, ectopic and molar pregnancies, born stillborn or lost to infant death. Because of the time zone differences, the lighting of these candles creates a “wave of light” across the world. It’s a beautiful, moving, and touching tribute to the families who have suffered. It’s not an image that will likely ever be seen, but if you are home on the 15th, even if it’s not at 7 pm, I ask you to light a candle for those who have lost their precious babies.

As these candles burn brightly, they offer a flame, a fire, the chance to light another fire and to bring more light into a dark and hopeless world of grief.

Support is like that. It offers light into a world of grief. It remembers. It gives hope that light is coming. It helps suffering families realize it’s possible to see. And while this Wave of Light offers a visible light and memory, we as believers also have the light of Jesus to cling to in seasons of darkness.

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 (ESV)

He is our true light – our candle in the darkness – the one who helps us see, gives us hope, brightens our circumstances and soul.

To those who are grieving or have suffered a loss – we see you and we remember. Each life, no matter how short, was meaningful and special. It doesn’t matter if it was 1 year, 10 months, 10 weeks, or 3 days.

Now, to our own precious babies lost, oh darlings, I love you and remember you always. I will never forget those days when I knew I was carrying your little lives inside of me. Rarely does a day go by when I don’t think about you. I still have the onsies me and your dad picked out for you. I imagine what it would have been like to be your mama, to raise you to love Jesus and be nice to your sister Cali. Sometimes when I hear a child’s giggle, I try to imagine what your laughs might have sounded like. Would you have been logical and level headed like your daddy? Would you have been emotional and talkative like your mommy? I wish I knew all these answers, and while I don’t, I know you get to spend every single day with your Maker and Father who loves you even more than we do. (Hard to imagine!) So precious babies, know my momma heart is with you. You are never forgotten and the short lives you had are treasured. I can’t wait for the day our family is reunited in heaven and we can gather you in our arms. We love you.


So I ask you friends, light a candle on Saturday night, even and especially if you have not lost a baby. The support and opportunity to spread love and care means more than you will ever know. I’d love to see any pictures you take of your candle burning – feel free to email them to me at trialsbringjoy (at) gmail (dot) com. Or share your photos to social media using #WaveofLight and #pregnancyandinfantlossawareness. In my experience, this demonstration of support offers hope to women who likely have never shared their loss, but grieve just the same.


This month is a beautiful month of remembrance and I am so thankful it exists.


To continue on the blog tour, check out Jennifer’s blog post from last week and then continue on the tour with Brooke’s blog post tomorrow.

the plan for results day.


Hi friends!

Wow! We have sure felt the love and support flooding our hearts over this past week. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the prayers, encouragement, and hope you have held out to us during this exciting and emotional time.

First of all, no, we don’t know anything yet! (I promise! I can’t do at home tests any more … too much PTSD.) But as the days approach in which we do find something out, I want to gently ask for some privacy. Yes, I know, we have invited you all into this journey with us with hugely open arms and are so grateful that we have. However, we do ask that you allow us to keep test results private until we are ready to reveal them. While we hope for good news, we have no idea which direction this cycle will lead us, and so we hope that you give us some time and space to find out, process them and keep them between us (just for now of course!).

The thing is, we have been here before. We have gotten the call and heard good news and bad news. Both are overwhelming. The idea of a ‘good news call’ is laced with some fear in our minds, fear that the bad news call will come in the days following. The bad news calls, well, is laced with its own sets of tears and questions. All of the emotions ahead for us will be intense and difficult to share with others right away. So please, allow us time to process without pressing us for news. We know you are anxiously excited too! :) If the news is positive, we still have many hurdles to jump through to feel confident to allow others to celebrate with us. If the news is negative, we need to cry our tears first before we gather around those hurting for us as well.

All of this to say, the news will come and as soon as we are ready, you will know! It’s so important to us to make sure our families are the first to know though, and even sharing with them will take time, as the blood level tests take time and help determine initial viability. Every time you wonder if we know yet, take it as a sign to say a prayer for us. J

Also, can I politely ask you to refrain from the “How are you feeling!?!” and “Any news yet!?!” questions for a bit as we continue to march forward? Keep the prayers rolling in, as we will need them regardless of what’s ahead. I’m doing my very best to remain confident in God’s timing and abilities, but if I am being honest, am scared. I don’t know if I can do this all again. My heart feels weak and I am desperately trying to cling to His Word, strength and truth. So your prayers, well, they mean so much.

Thank you for your support and understanding, we are incredibly grateful for you all.

With love,

Josh and Chelsea

the babies are “home”!

Our first family picture!  (Minus Cali who was too busy burying her bone to join us. Rude. Ha!) We are SO HAPPY to share that everything went wonderfully today! PRAISE GOD! I’m now officially a PUPO. (Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise)
It’s been 1,075 days since our last transfer and to say my emotions were high would be an understatement. (I’m so thankful for Josh’s calm and positive spirit!) We felt your prayers surrounding us in volumes and the transfer was smooth and a surreal, God-given moment. Our 2 babies thawed perfectly, in fact the embryo that looks like 2, is actually just 1, just incredibly advanced and fully hatching out of its shell and ready to snuggle in! I’m now back home on strict bedrest for the next few days. We’re praying 1 or 2 of these peanuts get cozy and implant for the next 40 weeks! 

Thank you to everyone who reached out or were praying for us today. It was incredibly emotional, in the best way, to see how God has provided us with such a incredible community to carry us through and celebrate such an exciting day with us. We feel so loved! (Responding at the moment is emotional and I have to slow down the overwhelmed tears! Please forgive me if I don’t reply right away. Each one means sooo much.)

We are trusting God in whatever lies ahead and know He is standing right next to us. These days ahead are long and we continue to ask for prayers for peace, hope, trust, and comfort for our spirits. We believe in the God who does the impossible! 💛

Lots of love,

Josh and Chelsea 

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭15:13‬ ‭NLT‬‬

exciting update!


Guess whhhaaattttttt!?!?!

Remember that new protocol I am on? The one CCRM – Minneapolis cleverly concocted based on our past cycles and their brilliancy? Well, I am THRILLED to share that its working wonderfully. So wonderfully in fact, that our transfer date has been moved up!



So that October 3rd date that has been burned into your brain? Erase that. Update your calendars my friends …. Our new date is …

THIS MONDAY! YES! September 26th!

Whoa baby! (Or babies!)

We got the call this afternoon that everything is looking perfect and things are being escalated because this typically faulty body of mine, is FINALLY doing what it’s supposed to do, ahead of schedule at that!



Friends, GOD IS JUST SO GOOD! Despite the date change, everything has lined up perfectly, from our acupuncturist working us in to her schedule, to my meds being ordered and ready to change up. These prayers are being answered one by one! Prayers we didn’t even know to lift up. Friends, we can’t thank you enough for your prayers.

So, going into our transfer next week, we would love to share some specific prayer requests with you. We are calling it them TOP FIVE.

1 – that the transportation of our embryos tomorrow (Wednesday – Thursday) would go smoothly. We want these precious babies of ours to arrive safely and will feel incredibly relieved once they are at our clinic.

2 – that the new medications work, as we are adding in new ones starting tomorrow. And specifically, that my lining, estradiol and progesterone will be perfectly where God wants it to be so that pregnancy is possible and sustainable;

3 – that our embryos would thaw perfectly on Monday morning. (We won’t find out their status until we arrive to the clinic.)

4 – that the transfer goes well on Monday, exactly according to God’s will. Our exact transfer time is 11:30 am CST. (If you want to make a quick note of that on your calendar, feel free! J). Also, that the hands of our embryologist, doctor, and nurses would be blessed and allow for the transfer to be as smooth and pain-free as possible. (I will be completely alert during transfer, thanks to a mighty pill called Valium, which relaxes the uterus during transfer but allows me to be present.)

and finally,

5 – that our hearts would be filled with joy, peace, encouragement, hope, and trust as we step into this emotionally overwhelming, but exciting path again. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t anxious about the days to follow post transfer and am praying hard that we can walk away with excitement and hope.

I wrote these words in 2013 and reflect back on them tonight:

I am constantly re-reminded of the words in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NLT) “Always be joyful. Always keep on praying. No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ.” I am sure we can all reflect back on the troubles in life, the hardships and the frustrations. But the words of Christ have never been more true – Always be joyful. It can seem so hard to find that joy sometimes but I learn and experience more and more each day that our joy is not to be rooted in our wants or desires, our successes and our victories. They are simply to be rooted in Him. Joyful always. No particular circumstances required.

I read this quote from a book tonight: “Today we suffer. Today we don’t understand….Someday all the scattered, broken pieces will fall into place, and we will suddenly understand the hand of God has been upon us all the time. All the tragedy – all the darkness – will instantly be swallowed up by triumph. What a perfect ending to our imperfect stories!”

I love that. He wipes every tear from our eyes, He holds us so close. I have to choose to believe that if I knew everything He knew, that I would choose this exact same journey for us. We are more than conquers in Christ Jesus.

Tonight we are thanking Him for His blessings in this cycle so far and are choosing joy for whatever lies ahead. We pray, that this is our time, a time when all the broken pieces fall into place and we see the darkness swallowed up by triumph. Ultimately, He is the one who writes our stories and can I be honest friends? I am so very thankful He is the author and not me. His endings are always better.

If you are looking for a GREAT message on waiting and the timing of answered prayers, specifically wondering why certain doors open and others feel closed, I encourage you to listen to this message our pastor gave last weekend. My heart was incredibly encouraged by the reminder that God is a BIG PICTURE God. We look in front and all we see is the traffic jam, but God has the helicopter watching over the city, seeing it all. We can trust Him. (I am preaching to myself here because, boy, the nerves are there!)

We are so blessed to call you our friends and supporters. He has placed you in our lives for a reason and we are ever so thankful for that! I will do my best to keep you posted in the coming days!!

PS –

1) Despite the change in dates, I am still heading to San Francisco on Thursday for the FertilityIQ Basecamp! If you haven’t read up on it yet, click here to do so! I have to say – the agenda is PHENOMENAL! A few trip highlights ahead:

  • Talking about what you’ve shared for what you would like to see more support with, specifically affordability, finding support groups and getting reliable information.
  • Meeting with and touring Instagram to discuss building online communities. (Shout out to my TTC Sisters!!!! Whoop whoop!)
  • Meeting with Stanford Medicine, a top RE and Urologist, to look at and discuss the GREAT topics you have asked about, like unexplained infertility, technology progression, lifestyle and BMI, recurrent pregnancy loss, male factor infertility, PCOS and endometriosis.
  • Meeting with a RESOLVE Support Group therapist to talk about how infertility affects couples and how you can be supported in the challenges.
  • Meeting with Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine to learn about saving money when getting ready for and going through treatment (YES!).
  • How to navigate 3rd party reproduction with the founder of Donor Concierge.

and then …

  • Working on getting ALL this information back out to you – to offer you support, knowledge and insight!

Want to follow along? Keep an eye on my Instagram page @chels819 for updates and info about some fun Facebook Live activities and also, choosing a $150 Amazon gift card winner based on the survey you filled out! (Not yet entered? Click here to do so!)

2) The TTC Mug Exchange closes at 11:59 CST TONIGHT. (No late entries allowed). I wasn’t planning on doing this during my transfer week so I am going to work HARD to get as much ready as possible. I am hoping the timeline still will fall as planned on when you will receive your partners (9/28). If it doesn’t, I will let you know immediately!


the gift of silence + fet update.


Scratch, scratch, scratch.

I looked up from my book to see Cali standing at the back patio door, begging to go outside to watch for squirrels, her usual daily activity. I grabbed my book and walked over to the patio door, opening it and watching her dart down the stairs, ready to cozy herself into the blades of the grass and snoop. As I walked over to the top of the stairs to sit, I realized my feet were wet.

Did it rained?”  I asked myself.

It was then I realized it was raining, so lightly, so mist-like, that I didn’t even realize it. I stood there for a while, watching Cali scout out which squirrels to keep an eye on, realizing with a towel, I could stay out there too, as that mist was that gentle.

A few minutes in, I realized while I could handle the gentle mist, my book pages could not, and so I called Cali back to the top of the steps and ducked inside my house door to watch her from within.

It was then I realized how quiet it was.

It was if the world had turned off its noise. The birds, who usually sing and chirp and call loudly in the field and forest next to our house, were silent. The normally noisy neighborhood filled with children’s laughter and parents calling out, were gone. There were no sounds of lawn mowers running, bonfires crackling, car horns blaring or airplanes flying overhead. It was if the whole world came to a halt, all because of this mist.

I sat there, inside my house, observing how wet everything was getting, even though the mist was so fine. I was awe struck at the silence, the beauty of the quiet. The air was still. I couldn’t help but feel God in that moment.

It reminded me of 1 Kings 19:11-12:

“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.”

If you are anything like me, sometimes you look for God in the big places. We expect Him to be loud and forceful, shouting at us what to do next or shaking us so greatly we simply know. But that moment profoundly reminded me of the gift, the importance, the peacefulness of silence and stillness. And how, when things are quiet, our souls tend to notice more. The sounds of nature began to pick up as the mist died down, and I noticed the deep ribbeting of the frogs start first. Then there was a brave bird, who popped out of the bird house in our yard and made the first call out to his friends. I noticed the squirrels began to kuk and soon over it all, I heard a voice begin to perform sporadic, loud, beautiful, African tribal calls. I had no idea what neighbor it was, someone calling out from inside an open window, but paired with the gentle silence, the voice, the sound, the abstractness to my ears, it paired so well with the world around me.

So often, I think we walk into our day and we simply hear noise. The world throws so much at us, blending together phone calls, text notifications, car horns, chatter, phones ringing, minds running, radios playing, tv’s turning on, birds chirping, coffee brewing, dogs barking …. And we simply become accustom to trying to do life over the noise. We cry out for answers to God –

Should we list our house?

What school should we send out kids to?

Are we supposed to be considering adoption?

Do I take this promotion knowing it will be more hours away from home?

Is it time to start volunteering?

Should I marry him?

What do we do if this next fertility treatment doesn’t work?

And then, because we have so much noise in our life, we can’t find His voice. We assume He isn’t willing to get involved or nudge us. Maybe we aren’t spiritual enough. And so we live in a world with a conflicted spirit, searching for guidance, desiring to hear Him, but we get nothing.

Ah, sweet sister, we have forgotten about the value of stillness. Silence. Stripping away all the other noises in our hearts and lives so that we can hear the sound of His gentle whisper. It may take some work, but our God is SO ready to respond. We have just desensitized our souls so much to His nudging that we have forgotten what silence is like.

That misty, rainy Monday reminded me so much. It was a gift.

In Shauna Niequist’s new book Present Over Perfect, she says “He has all the time in the world to sit with me and sift through my fears and feelings and failings. That’s what prayer is. That’s what love is … He is love itself, grace embodied, holding the fullness of who we are – strong, weak, good, bad, wild, fearful, brave, silly – in his hands. He can be trusted with every part of it, the silly and the enormous.”

I want to encourage you today to find some silence. It’s hard in this swirling world. But make the time. Perhaps it’s as simple as driving with your radio off. You don’t even need to pray or think. Just get comfortable with the silence – the buzzing of the cars next to you, the occasional horn honk, the squeal of your breaks. Tune out the big stuff and quiet your soul.

“This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength….” (Isaiah 30:15)

Breathe deeply. He is there.

FET Update: YOU GUYS. This is crazy! I shared with you last month that we have a plan and it is well underway! I am thrilled to share that I am officially weaned off of birth control pills, which make me crazy, and have transitioned to Lupron and the full lining-building regime. A mini summary of everything so far:

  • My baseline ultrasound went great. Lining is nice and thin and my labs are where they need to be.
  • I have lowered my dose of Lupron to 5 units, where it will stay till we approach transfer.
  • In addition to the Lupron, medications this cycle include: Metformin, Estrace 2 mg (estrogen), Del Estrogen 5mg injections (more estrogen), Vitamin E (800 IU daily), baby aspirin till transfer – Lovenox injections after, Viagra vaginally 4×25 mg day (this is SO weird for me, but apparently it produces a rapid and profound improvement in uterine blood flow, which in cases of implantation failure in the past, enhances endometrial development – we will see!), Endometrium (vaginal progesterone), and Progesterone in Oil injections. As we approach transfer, we will be adding in steroids like Medrol and Prednisone, Tetracycline (antibiotic), Pepcid and Claritin (antihistamine protocol). Yes, I do have a daily chart with what to take when, since most of these are administered anywhere from 1 – 4 times daily. My brain forcibly needs to stick to this schedule!
  • What all this medicine is doing: Essentially we need to shut down my ovaries from producing any eggs (known as suppression) while making my uterus think I am producing eggs so that it’s thickens my lining for possible embryo implantation. All these meds work hand in hand to put my body in an immediate menopausal mode (no eggs), while getting my uterus ready for our babes. (Hence the immense amount of progesterone and estrogen). The other medications treat my Factor V (blood clotting disorder) and the steroids/allergy meds will help me body from rejecting the embryos once transferred. (This is a new protocol for me).
  • How I’m feeling: overall okay/good! I started back up at acupuncture since that seems to help with the terrible Lupron headaches. My lethargy has been through the roof, but it seems my body has gotten used to a slightly slower pace and I am learning in this season that rest is a good thing. I’ve slowed down on intense cardio and have been enjoying daily walks with Cali. My ovary area is very tender and I feel uncomfortable sitting at times. Basically other than occasional headaches, I am mainly just super tired.
  • Diet changes: no caffeine (occasional chocolate still okay right now). Drinking coconut water daily to maintain hydration and electrolytes and drinking 1 cup of Pomegranate juice a day (for lining).
  • Our next appointment is on the 20th to see how my lining is doing. Prayers are always appreciated!
  • And lastly, I just need to give one giant THANK YOU for those of you who faithfully and routinely check in on me. It’s incredibly kind and overwhelming to see different people message me each day offering their prayers and seeing how my body is doing adjusting to these new meds. It means more than you know. You demonstrate regularly that you don’t need to be going through infertility to support someone who is. You don’t need the “perfect” words to say in order to say “I care, I am praying.” This means the world to me, so thank you. <3
  • As of now, we are still set for a transfer in the next couple of weeks! While our transfer day continues to be calendar set for October 3rd, my doctor has informed me that as soon as they can see everything is ready, it’s time! So if that day changes at all, you will be among the first to know. :)




Thank you for caring as much as you do!

Reminder: Check out this post for a chance to win a $150 Amazon Gift card! #FertilityIQBasecamp

Don’t forget to sign up for the TTC Mug Exchange if you haven’t already! Sign ups close 9/20 and we already have over 500 women signed up! Whoa!



And lastly … because FURst day of school pictures are so important! :)