#niaw resources.

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As we begin to wrap up National Infertility Awareness Week, I wanted to share a few great resources from others bloggers!

In Due Time – Caroline always has amazing posts – and has kept them coming all week! In fact, she has an awesome infertility-story-telling blogger link up happening today, head on over! But one of my favorite posts from the week is “What We Want You To Know About Infertility“. Together with 20+ other infertility bloggers, we shared what we want others to know about infertility and the end result is powerful! I encourage you all to not only check it out, but also, take the time to connect up with some of the other bloggers who shared!

Ever Upward – Justine helped launch a #MoreThan1in8 project for the week, bringing faces and stories to the 1 in 8 couples who struggle with infertility. The end result project, Let Us Be Seen, is one of the most powerful few minutes I have seen. THESE are the faces behind the 1’s. Justine, I can’t thank you enough for creating this! (Who spies our faces in there!?) Also, her whole blog has some awesome resources from the week, so check it out!

Not Just A Beauty Blogger – Nikol put all her emotions into this #StartAsking video which empowers women to start asking your doctor the tough questions when given vague answers or questionable information. Her journey has been hard and she has learned herself that by not asking, time and resources slip away. She advocates for patients to research and truly, start asking!

Waiting for Baby Bird – Elisha hit her post “I am Unashamed: Taking Off My Mask to #StartAsking” out of the park. Wooza. Her words left my heart tingly and encouraged me as a Christian and as someone who is struggling with infertility. A must read!

Motherhood Inspired – Lindsay, who runs an online community  for mama’s, took time out to feature different infertility stories during NIAW. I have LOVED reading from all of the ladies who have shared. Kate wrote a post called “For the Waiting Mama” that brough tears to my eyes and was so encouraging! Also, yours truly was invited to post and I got to not only share a bit of our story, but also, shared some ways women can help support a friend going through infertility. You can read my post here!

This group only scratches the surface on the amazing words being written this week. I’d love for you to share in the comments below some of your favorite posts you have read this week! I am eager and excited to see what has been going on during #NIAW. Comment below!


Happy Thursday and continuation of National Infertility Awareness Week!

Today I want to share an amazing resource that infertility-treatment seeking couples will find immensely helpful. I often get emails from ladies in the Twin Cities areas with tons of questions about the clinics I have visited and the doctors I have seen. It’s amazing when we can sit over coffee and chat about strengths, weaknesses, protocols, and physician styles. This ability to talk about clinics shouldn’t only occur when people can connect through social media with same-citied friends. It’s valuable insight that everyone should have access to!

So, I want to introduce you to Jake, his wife Deborah, and this amazing resource they have created called FertilityIQ. (No, this isn’t a paid endorsement, I just really love what they are doing and offering to the infertility community!) In fact, I asked Jake to share with y’all today a little bit about FertilityIQ – read below!

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My wife, Deb, and I made every mistake in the book when it came to choosing a fertility doctor. Our first RE came on a luke-warm rec from someone we hardly we knew. For the next doctor, we tightened our criteria and went with a guy who once appeared on basic cable. And after Dr. Basic Cable made an error that sent my wife to the Emergency Room, I had to remind him his job was to help us grow our family, not shrink it. Deb and I entrusted our fertility doctors with our hopes, our prayers, and our savings. Yet we knew almost nothing about them beforehand and, unsurprisingly, the end results were heartbreaking.

Last year, Deb and I decided “enough was enough” and from our kitchen table in San Francisco, we built FertilityIQ. At FertilityIQ, fertility patients thoroughly, but anonymously, review their Reproductive Endocrinologist and hopeful parents read these reviews to help make a more informed selection. Today, 20% of all fertility patients in the U.S. come to FertilityIQ and Deb and I are doing everything possible to earn their trust. We ask reviewers to provide us a document that shows they were patients of the clinic they are evaluating, so readers can trust what they are reading. We refuse to take any advertising dollars, so there is no question about content objectivity. And yes, Global Headquarters is till our 4th floor apartment.

Going to the wrong doctors cost us three years of our lives, $75,000 of our savings and definitely sapped the excitement of marriage. But our data shows we are the rule, not the exception: the average fertility patient will give up on their first doctor, and be forced to restart with a second, or even a third. I get a sick pit in my stomach when I think about what it’s like to start completely over at a new clinic. Demoralizing is not the word.    

So why is it so hard to find the right fertility doctor? For one, the existing online and offline resources are shamelessly poor. Next, the decision is highly-personal and a common phrase we read is, “I loved my doctor for the same reason my friend hated them”. Third, we know time is not on our side, so we have to make snap judgements and split decisions. If you are reading this, there is a 50% chance your first choice doctor at your clinic was not available, so you went with whoever was.  In such circumstances, we settle, despite all that hangs in the balance.

For years, my job was to study communities, and I have never seen a community that is as educated, knowledgeable, empathetic and motivated, as fertility patients. And yet, when it comes to our treatment, many of us feel like we know far too little about what is actually happening, and like we don’t know where to turn for answers. It’s a cruel paradox, with tragic consequences for all of us.

Deb and I built FertilityIQ to reverse this, to harness our compassion and to pool our wisdom, so we can collectively make smarter decisions and reach parenthood with our marriages, emotions and bank accounts in tact. The more reviews we gather from fertility patients, the more we are able to help hopeful parents at the start of a lonely, and intimidating, odyssey.

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Seriously friends, Jake and Deborah are the real deal, but even more importantly, from where you sit today, the service they are offering today is invaluable. Because, let’s be honest, this is all draining and even more difficult when you wait 7 weeks to meet with a doctor that you immediately don’t connect with and spend money at a clinic that you aren’t thrilled about.

I share this with you today because:

  1. I want you to take advantage of this resource if you are currently looking for an RE.
  2. YOUR EXPERIENCE MAKES THIS WORK! Hop on over to the site and share a little about your doctor(s), clinic(s), and cycle(s). Take what you have paid good money to learn and share it with another TTC couple in need.
  3. Share the resource with your infertility friends around the US, so that they can “sit for coffee” with a TTC sister and pick their brain.

Jake and Deborah, on behalf of our whole infertility community, thank you for advocating for us and creating this!

Also, don’t miss some of the fascinating research they are sharing over on their blog! Including a fascinating research project on how incomes and occupations impact IVF outcomes.  Check it out!

Below is an extensive guide for information and courses provided by FertilityIQ!

Fertility 101- https://www.fertilityiq.com/fertility-101

Conception: How Pregnancy Happens (this lesson covers the basics of human reproduction, and all the components we need for a pregnancy to happen) – https://www.fertilityiq.com/fertility-101/what-you-need-to-conceive-get-pregnant

Issues that prevent pregnancy – https://www.fertilityiq.com/fertility-101/issues-that-prevent-pregnancy

Getting pregnant naturally (covering things like how long natural conception should take, what the chances are per month, by age; how many couples conceive after 3, 6, 12 months, when to seek help)  – https://www.fertilityiq.com/fertility-101/getting-pregnant-naturally

Diagnosing Fertility Issues & Getting help – covering the diagnostics for each problem – what the diagnostics tell us & dont (strengths & weaknesses), when to get help, tradeoffs of OBGYN vs RE) – https://www.fertilityiq.com/fertility-101/diagnosing-fertility-issues-and-getting-help

How Fertility Treatments Address Our Problems (a brief overview of each fertility treatment and the things that it helps us overcome to have a baby) – https://www.fertilityiq.com/fertility-101/how-fertility-treatments-address-our-problems

Lifestyle Choiceshttps://www.fertilityiq.com/lifestyle

Smoking, caffeine, & alcohol, and their impacts on fertility: https://www.fertilityiq.com/lifestyle/smoking-caffeine-alcohol-impacts-on-fertility

Body fat & fertility: https://www.fertilityiq.com/lifestyle/body-fat-and-fertility

Exercise & fertility: https://www.fertilityiq.com/lifestyle/exercise-and-fertility

Different diets, and how they affect fertility: https://www.fertilityiq.com/lifestyle/diet-and-fertility

Impacts of carbohydrates, dairy, meat, fish, soy, seafood & more specific food groups: https://www.fertilityiq.com/lifestyle/fertility-impacts-of-carbohydrates-dairy-meat-fish-soy-and-more

Vitamins & supplements: https://www.fertilityiq.com/lifestyle/vitamins-supplements-and-fertility

BPA & phthalate exposure, and the steps you can take to possibly mitigate the negative impacts of those exposures:  https://www.fertilityiq.com/lifestyle/bpa-and-phthalate-exposure

PGS Genetic Testing: https://www.fertilityiq.com/pgs-embryo-genetic-screening

For the overview of PGS (or, as they now refer to it as, PGT-A) testing of embryos, this is a lesson from our IVF course that covers it: https://www.fertilityiq.com/ivf-in-vitro-fertilization/pgs-genetic-screening-of-embryos#what-is-pgs-genetic-screening

We also have a comprehensive guide to PGS covering every issue here – https://www.fertilityiq.com/pgs-embryo-genetic-screening

Like what is PGS, and what’s the point of doing it in the first place? What are we hoping that the test tells us? https://www.fertilityiq.com/pgs-embryo-genetic-screening/what-is-pgs

The benefits of PGS: https://www.fertilityiq.com/pgs-embryo-genetic-screening/the-benefits-of-pgs#less-pregnancy-loss

Understanding Mosaicism, how it relates to genetic screening, and why you should care: https://www.fertilityiq.com/pgs-embryo-genetic-screening/what-is-mosaicism-and-why-should-i-care#why-mosaicism-matters

The criticisms of PGS: https://www.fertilityiq.com/pgs-embryo-genetic-screening/criticisms-of-pgs#introducing-the-anti-pgs-arguments

Fully understanding the costs of PGS: https://www.fertilityiq.com/pgs-embryo-genetic-screening/costs-of-pgs#what-does-pgs-cost

IVF: https://www.fertilityiq.com/ivf-in-vitro-fertilization

A thorough, but quick summary of the entire IVF process (only 5 minutes!) – https://www.fertilityiq.com/ivf-in-vitro-fertilization/summary-of-the-ivf-process

A Full explanation of the timeline, steps & decisions in the IVF process: https://www.fertilityiq.com/ivf-in-vitro-fertilization/the-ivf-process

An explanation of IVF success rates: https://www.fertilityiq.com/ivf-in-vitro-fertilization/ivf-success-rates

Ovarian stimulation protocols. This is a deep dive on the medications, doses, and types of protocols that work best depending on which type of patient you are: https://www.fertilityiq.com/ivf-in-vitro-fertilization/ovarian-stimulation-protocols-an-introduction

A quick overview of ICSI vs. conventional insemination: https://www.fertilityiq.com/ivf-in-vitro-fertilization/conventional-insemination-or-icsi

Day 3 or Day 5? Unpacking the decision to grow embryos to cleavage vs. blastocyst stage: https://www.fertilityiq.com/ivf-in-vitro-fertilization/cleavage-vs-blastocyst-embryos-day3-day5

High level explanation of tradeoffs of preimplantation genetic screening of embryos: https://www.fertilityiq.com/ivf-in-vitro-fertilization/pgs-genetic-screening-of-embryos

Deciding which embryo to transfer — an explanation of embryo grading, and how to select the best embryo to transfer based on those parameters. For example, what do you do if your embryo grades and PGS results conflict? Or how does the day an embryo becomes a blastocyst impact your chances of success with that embryo? https://www.fertilityiq.com/ivf-in-vitro-fertilization/which-embryo-to-transfer

Understanding the decision to transfer fresh or frozen embryos — https://www.fertilityiq.com/ivf-in-vitro-fertilization/transferring-fresh-or-frozen-embryos

A high level overview on deciding how many embryos to transfer at once. How does it impact your success rates if you transfer a single embryo vs. multiple embryos? https://www.fertilityiq.com/ivf-in-vitro-fertilization/how-many-embryos-to-transfer-at-once

An overview of the role of the IVF lab, why it’s so important, and what you need to know before picking a lab: https://www.fertilityiq.com/ivf-in-vitro-fertilization/importance-of-the-lab

The risks of IVF. Understanding issues of ovarian hyperstimulation (OHSS), issues with multiple-gestation pregnancies, potential risks like birth defects for offspring, breast cancer, and ovarian cancer. https://www.fertilityiq.com/ivf-in-vitro-fertilization/risks-of-ivf

Costs of IVF. Understanding the total costs you can expect and factors that can change the cost. Comparing the costs to other treatments like IUI. Understanding insurance coverage, getting loans for IVF, and shared risk or package programs: https://www.fertilityiq.com/ivf-in-vitro-fertilization/costs-of-ivf

IUI: https://www.fertilityiq.com/iui-or-artificial-insemination

An overview of IUI. What is it? Who can it help? How it compares to other fertility treatments in terms of costs, risks, and success rates. How often IUI works. https://www.fertilityiq.com/iui-or-artificial-insemination/an-overview-of-iui

The biggest decisions in an IUI cycle. The choice of using medication, and which type. How you do monitoring and ovulation prediction. Decisions around triggering ovulation or releasing the egg. Preparing the sperm. Whether a doctor or someone else performs an IUI. Doing a second insemination the next day. Doing IUI at a fertility clinic vs. an OB/GYN. https://www.fertilityiq.com/iui-or-artificial-insemination/the-biggest-decisions-in-an-iui-cycle

The logistics of IUI. Explaining how IUI works depending on whether you do a natural cycle with no drugs, us letrozole or clomid, or do injectable gonadotropins. The logistics and common questions around insemination day. https://www.fertilityiq.com/iui-or-artificial-insemination/the-logistics-of-iui

How well IUI works by patient type. IUI can be more or less effective for different types of people, and we break down that data. IUI birth rates & multiples risk in context of other treatments. IUI for unexplained infertility, for male factor, for PCOS, anovulation, or irregular cycles. Clomid vs. Letrozole for PCOS patients. Using gonadotropins. IUI with one blocked tube. IUI for lesbian women or single women. When to stop IUI and start IVF. https://www.fertilityiq.com/iui-or-artificial-insemination/how-well-iui-works-by-patient-type

The costs of IUI. Breaking down the components of cost. Insurance coverage. Cost of twins and triplets. Comparing IUI’s value with IVF. https://www.fertilityiq.com/iui-or-artificial-insemination/the-cost-of-iui

The risks of IUI. Infections, high order multiple-gestation pregnancies, OHSS, mood swings or hot flashes. https://www.fertilityiq.com/iui-or-artificial-insemination/risks-of-iui

Deciding between IUI & IVF. https://www.fertilityiq.com/iui-or-artificial-insemination/deciding-between-iui-vs-ivf

Endometriosis: https://www.fertilityiq.com/endometriosis

What is endometriosis? How does it develop? How does endometriosis impact fertility? How common is it? Who is at risk? https://www.fertilityiq.com/endometriosis/what-is-endometriosis

Diagnosing endometriosis. How we do it, and how accurate our tools are at diagnosing it. What you need to know about using surgery as a diagnostic. Diagnosing endometriosis using symptoms & physical exam. Using ultrasound to diagnose. Using MRI to diagnose. Biomarkers to diagnose. https://www.fertilityiq.com/endometriosis/diagnosing-endometriosis

Treating endometriosis. Endometriosis staging and how that relates to treatment. Treating endo with surgery. Predicting whether surgery will help. Surgery to improve IVF. Risks of surgery. Ensuring you go to a good surgeon. IVF for endometriosis. How to optimize IVF for endo. IUI. Medications to treat endo. Lifestyle modifications to improve endo.  https://www.fertilityiq.com/endometriosis/treating-endometriosis

Male Factor Infertility: https://www.fertilityiq.com/male-factor-infertility

Reproductive endocrinologists vs. reproductive urologists for male factor infertility. https://www.fertilityiq.com/male-factor-infertility/reproductive-endocrinologists-and-urologists

The semen analysis. The most important things that it measures. Why there’s so much variability. The process. Reading the semen analysis. Understanding sperm concentration, sperm motility, total motile count, and sperm morphology. The relationship between semen analysis & other diseases. https://www.fertilityiq.com/male-factor-infertility/the-semen-analysis

IVF, ICSI, IUI & male factor infertility. Understanding when IVF + ICSI are necessary, and when they’re not in the context of male factor. Understanding the tools most often used by reproductive endocrinologists & urologists for MFI.  https://www.fertilityiq.com/male-factor-infertility/ivf-icsi-iui-and-male-factor-infertility

Lifestyle factors and their impact on male factor infertility. Smoking, caffeine, alcohol, body weight, exercise, drug use, medications, cellphone use. https://www.fertilityiq.com/male-factor-infertility/lifestyle-factors-and-their-impact-on-male-factor-infertility

Varicocele. What it is. How common it is. Diagnosing varicocele. Who is a candidate for surgical repair. What varicocele surgery entails. IUI alone vs. IUI + surgery. IVF with ICSI vs. Varicocele surgery vs. IVF + ICSI + surgery.


Azoospermia. The types of azoospermia (pre-testicular, testicular, post-testicular). Retrieving sperm with TESE & MicroTESE. Using fresh or frozen, surgically-retrieved sperm. https://www.fertilityiq.com/male-factor-infertility/azoospermia

Testosterone & hormone imbalances. Hormone detection & treatment. Taking testosterone supplements.


Older dads. What’s the impact of paternal age on infertility? Impact to offspring. Autism spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc.


ICSI: A deep dive into ICSI. https://www.fertilityiq.com/icsi

High level costs vs. benefits of ICSI: https://www.fertilityiq.com/icsi/introducing-icsi-and-course-plan

What is ICSI? Comparing ICSI to natural & “conventional” insemination.  https://www.fertilityiq.com/icsi/what-is-icsi

When is ICSI necessary? Who needs it and who doesn’t? Covering different types of male factor, unexplained infertility, poor responders with few eggs retrieved, advanced maternal age, previous low fertilization rates. https://www.fertilityiq.com/icsi/who-needs-icsi-and-who-doesn-t

Risks of ICSI. Looking at the studies on the impacts to offspring of IVF + ICSI cycles. https://www.fertilityiq.com/icsi/risks-of-icsi

Is ICSI required for genetic screening of embryos? For all screening vs. for single gene disorder diagnosis. https://www.fertilityiq.com/icsi/is-icsi-required-for-pgs-and-pgd

Understanding ICSI’s costs. https://www.fertilityiq.com/icsi/understanding-icsis-costs

Embryo Transfer Guide: https://www.fertilityiq.com/embryo-transfer

How many embryos to transfer at once? This is a deep dive into the decision of how many embryos to transfer. Covering the risks & the benefits of multiple embryo transfer. What to do after a failed single embryo transfer. The decision in the context of Day 3 vs. Day 5 embryos. ASRM recommendations. Financial implications.


Frozen embryo transfer protocols: different options to prepare the endometrium. Comparing natural (unmedicated) vs. artificial (medicated) transfer protocols leading up to a frozen embryo transfer. Guidelines of how to decide between these options, and who might be a good candidate for each.


Improving your live birth rate per transfer. Screening the doctor who oversees your transfer, and why this matters. Tactically improving your transfer. The purpose of a mock transfer.


The IVF Laboratory: https://www.fertilityiq.com/the-ivf-laboratory

What is a fertility laboratory? How does it fit into IVF? What actually happens in the lab? THe surprising differences in lab quality. https://www.fertilityiq.com/the-ivf-laboratory/what-is-a-fertility-laboratory

How you can measure lab quality. The key performance indicators you should look at when selecting. The numbers you should see for fertilization rate, blast conversion rate, successful PGS biopsy rate, blast cryosurvival rate, and understanding results like implantation rate. https://www.fertilityiq.com/the-ivf-laboratory/how-you-can-measure-lab-quality

The components of a reliable lab. Quality of embryologists. The schedule you should look for so your success wouldn’t be impeded. Disaster recovery. Accreditation and understanding when it matters. What to think if your clinic doesn’t have its own lab.


Incubators and why they really matter. Low oxygen incubators are better but not everyone has them. Incubator crowding. Do time lapse imaging systems help?


Acupuncture: https://www.fertilityiq.com/acupuncture

What is acupuncture? How does it work? Side effects. Traditional Chinese Medicine for fertility. https://www.fertilityiq.com/acupuncture/what-is-acupuncture

How does acupuncture address fertility challenges? Enhanced blood flow. Hormone regulation. Stress mediation.


Does acupuncture improve outcomes? https://www.fertilityiq.com/acupuncture/does-acupuncture-improve-outcomes

Costs & drawbacks of acupuncture. https://www.fertilityiq.com/acupuncture/costs-and-drawbacks-of-acupuncture

Herbs & fertility. https://www.fertilityiq.com/acupuncture/herbs-and-fertility

Choosing an acupuncturist. https://www.fertilityiq.com/acupuncture/choosing-an-acupuncturist

Egg Freezing: A Comprehensive Guide https://www.fertilityiq.com/egg-freezing

The process of egg freezing. Understanding why you need so many eggs (the IVF funnel). https://www.fertilityiq.com/egg-freezing/the-process-of-egg-freezing

Does egg freezing work? Understanding the premise of egg freezing. How the number and quality of eggs decreases as we age. Why egg freezing works. Predicting success with egg freezing. https://www.fertilityiq.com/egg-freezing/does-egg-freezing-work

Knowing whether you should freeze eggs: predicting whether you’ll have trouble conceiving. https://www.fertilityiq.com/egg-freezing/knowing-whether-you-should-freeze-eggs-predicting-whether-youll-have

The importance of the laboratory for egg freezing. How to know if your lab is good at freezing and thawing eggs. https://www.fertilityiq.com/egg-freezing/the-importance-of-the-laboratory

The risks of egg freezing. https://www.fertilityiq.com/egg-freezing/risks-of-egg-freezing

The age when you freeze eggs: understanding the tradeoffs and implications. https://www.fertilityiq.com/egg-freezing/the-age-when-you-freeze-understanding-the-implications-and-tradeoffs

The costs of egg freezing. https://www.fertilityiq.com/egg-freezing/the-costs-of-egg-freezing

Freezing eggs vs. embryos. https://www.fertilityiq.com/egg-freezing/freezing-eggs-vs-embryos

start asking.


Why do I write about infertility? Why all the Facebook statuses, Instagram pictures, blog posts and story sharing?

It’s not for sympathy.

It’s not for pity.

It’s not so you can coddle me or stare at me with sad eyes.

It’s not for attention.

It’s because 1 in 8 couples suffer with infertility. That’s a lot of people. 7.6 million people in fact. That’s too many 1’s. And those 1’s feel ashamed, alone, confused, and hurt. Too many people try to venture through it alone because the thought of the questions, the opinions, and the blanket responses are too painful to be considered.

So I share to break the silence.

I share to remind people that if you are the 1, you are not alone.

I share to encourage you to share your own story. It doesn’t have to be with the world, it can be with one other person.

I share because if you too have PCOS, you need to remember that you are not broken. If you have endometriosis, there is nothing to be ashamed of. If your spouse has male infertility, that doesn’t make him less of a man. If you simply are “unexplained”, you don’t need to be embarrassed.

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me,when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:13-16)

I share because even with infertility, there is hope.

Not every 1 will birth a baby, as hard as that is to read.

But if you have journeyed with us over the last painful, difficult years, you know where we find our hope.

There’s hope because of Jesus. There’s hope for everyone because we have a God who cares that you’re the 1.

Our world is broken, our bodies formed in His perfect image, yet bystanders of circumstances outside of our control.

I share our story because infertility is hard, but I don’t want to miss the chance to point you to the one who offers life. Not only new life in the form of babies and children, but new life in Him.

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17 )

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week and I want to take a moment to join the movement in spreading awareness that infertility is real. It’s hard. It’s painful. It hurts. It shatters your world time and time again. It makes you question yourself. It drains your financial resources. It changes dreams. It alters relationships. It causes fears and tears. It stretches your faith in unbelievable ways. It forces you to answer questions you never imagined thinking about in a million years. Your thoughts on adoption? Medical intervention? Invitro fertilitization? Embryo custody? Loans? How long do you keep trying? What would life look like without a family?

It alters holidays. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day takes on new meaning, new hardships. It can make you bitter if you let it. It can drive hope into the ground.

However, there’s beautiful opportunities in infertility too. It can cause relationships to blossom. Communication to be strengthen. New communities to form. Vulnerability to be discovered. Blogs to be written. Support to be allowed. Faith to be reborn.

The theme for National Infertility Awareness Week this year is “Start Asking”.  We want people to start advocating for themselves at doctor’s offices, begin asking family and friends for support, bringing the struggling to your employer and fighting for insurance coverage.

And while those are all great, important things to be asking, I want to take it one step further today because I don’t want this week to slip away.

I want to invite you to starting asking God how you can grow in your faith as a result of your infertility. Or perhaps you don’t have a relationship with God and have no idea what that even means. I would love nothing more than to invite you to starting asking what a relationship with Jesus would look like. I want you to start asking Him what it would look like if you laid your tears, fears, failures, broken dreams and hurts at His feet and handed over the burden.

You see, infertility is awful and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. But because of Jesus, there’s a hope that the world doesn’t have. There’s a peace that He gives despite the hard. The hard is still hard! But there’s hope that one day, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelations 21:4)

I want that for you.

So dearest friends, this is why I share. Because in it all, I want you to see that it’s possible to go through trials in life and still have a relationship with Him, one that is far greater than the joy that any baby could bring.

If you’re ready to start asking, I would love to chat with you. My inbox is always open – trialsbringjoy @ gmail.com. Start reading His Word. If opening the Bible seems overwhelming, start with the book of Mark. Then move to John. Then pop over to Romans. I love moving my way through 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians … You may not understand it all, but that’s okay! I don’t understand it all! There are 31 chapters in the book of Proverbs. Add on one a day and gain some wisdom there. Pray. It doesn’t need to be fancy. Use basic sentences, talking in your head or out loud like you would to a friend. Be honest with Him because He can take it.

If you don’t have a Bible, a great tool is the You Version Bible app which allows you to check out different versions. I personally love English Standard Version (ESV) and the New Living Translation (NLT).

However, if you are in a position where you don’t have a Bible, a hard copy is more ideal and your uncertain about all of this and don’t want to invest in one, let me help you out. My husband and I would love to send you a Bible to toss in your bag and start diving into. It won’t be anything fancy, but if we can help you in any way start journeying towards a relationship with Him, that investment is worth it. Just email me and we will get you a Bible in hand. (USA only, however, if you are overseas, let’s still chat.)

Don’t go this alone friend. It’s hard, but there is a peace that can come in it all. I believe it with every part of my being.

Much love,



If you liked this post, please, feel free to share it and pass it on! 

invitation to share: empowHer.

I’m honored for the invitation to share our infertility story over at EmpowHer today! We know that far too many people struggle with infertility, and it can so often be a taboo subject. We are grateful for the chance to shed some light on the battles couples can face and remind those struggling that they are not alone.

“Our story started off like many. We met, we fell in love, we got married, we wanted to start a family. But that’s when our story took on a new path, one that 1 in 8 couples1 venture down, and soon, we found ourselves living in a reality we never anticipated. {click here to continue reading} 

Feel free to click on over and give the link some love! You all are the best!

Thanks friends!


And just because … Cali is ready for spring! (Or ready for her mom to stop taking pictures of her … I am not sure which, hehe!)

the update.


Friends! Thank you so much for celebrating our successful egg retrieval on Tuesday! We read every comment and were so encouraged by the amount of praises heading to heaven! God really went above and beyond what we could have asked for or imagined!

(Sidenote: I don’t know why I still get so surprised by answered prayers sometimes. As I processed the retrieval numbers, Matthew 14:31 came to mind: “Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” Lord, I don’t know why I doubt, but I am so thankful that even in it, You reach your hand out to mine, pull me up, and then prove yourself again. It must get so old, having your children doubt your goodness. Thank you for your patience and your constant provision!)

We got our embryo update and out of the 27 eggs, 25 were mature and 19 fertilized. I know, it sounds like a lot and we pray that these babies continue to grow and flourish. We now wait and trust as God continues to lead their lives, knowing that many will get to heaven much earlier than others. For those unfamiliar with IVF, these babes are really relying on God’s hand to keep them surviving and growing if that’s His plan. As we wait for them to develop, we rest confidentially knowing that He is in control and knows each one by name. Typically in the past, we’ve had about 15-20% survive to the stage where the embryo could be a live, developing baby and even then, it’s not a guarantee. Many embryos arrest naturally, lacking certain cells or having too many abnormalities to continue to naturally develop. There is nothing science can do to make an embryo grow – this is ALL GOD NOW! We have so much peace knowing that these babes are in the best hands possible!

We will share more in the coming weeks after we find out final numbers news ourselves and regroup with the doctor. Our plan is to do a frozen embryo transfer this summer, after a hysteroscopy and endometrial scratch.  If we are blessed enough to have 2 embryos survive, we will transfer both. If not, we will be so blessed and grateful at the chance to transfer the one. If there are more than 2, they will get to be frostie babies for a while and hang tight until we transfer them later. This could be a sibling or a another attempt for a first if the first transfer fails. Again, to anyone questioning who is in ultimate control here, I hope you see how clearly everything points back to Him, the Author, Creator, and Sustainer of life. 

We still have a long road ahead of us to get to a place where pregnancy is an option, however, we have seen His hand in it all and continue to trust Him in the day-to-day steps. Your words, support, prayers, excitement, check-ins and love mean more to us than we could ever articulate! My recovery was tougher than I remembered but I am turning a corner and it feels SO good to say that today. Regardless, I am so thankful that we have the chance to even be in this position – that God has brought us the opportunity to continue to try for a family when many don’t have that chance. So every pain, shot, and ache is BEYOND worth it. We truly are grateful. 

This verse couldn’t be more perfect for us as we continue to be guided by Him. Can I get one big AMEN!? (PS – You can save this image and use it as a phone wallpaper! Winning!)cbda51be-6152-4e19-b950-c22840b7d7e7.png


We are immensely grateful and blessed to share the news that they retrieved 27 eggs today. (My last retrievals had yielded 11 and 14. Yes, it was a different protocol and I’ll be sure to share all the differences in a future post!) Wow! We feel incredibly grateful that God has allowed us to be the good stewards of so many eggies. We know this number has been His plan since the beginning and our hopes are that He continues to work in the mighty ways only He can! We will find out tomorrow how many are mature and then, how many were fertilized. We plan to freeze all viable on days 5/6 for a future FET in the coming months. Wowza! We are so blessed! One step closer to our embryos/babies! 

My doctor is being super proactive and cautious about preventing OHSS, which is a concern, so I have started some treatments already for that. (She was so wise to do a lose dose hcg trigger and also, combine it with the Lupron triggers. She’s truly so involved, wise and proactive. I can’t speak more highly of her and her nurses!) If you could join us in praying against OHSS from occurring, I would greatly appreciate it! Again, none of this is a surprise to Him and our prayers are not only that our take home baby is in there, but also, their sibling(s)! Just call us the Duggars 2.0! HA! 

The love, peace, prayers and support we felt today was humbling. From your texts to your posts to your emails, our hearts were so comforted knowing we had SUCH a great army behind us. When I was getting settled in the OR, I asked the nurses for a second to say a quick prayer silently and not only did they support my request, but 2 of them laid their hands on me for a brief moment of silence. I know God has been circling that moment for a while. 😭🙌🏼🙆🏼😘💖 

Now I nap and rest! I’m thankful for salty foods, liquids, pain meds, heating pads, and friends and family who have hooked us up with meals for the week. My heart may burst – we just feel so loved and cheered for. God continues to affirm Himself to us. I know this journey doesn’t always make sense to everyone, but it makes sense to Him. And so we step into the waters and make ourselves available. He is the perfect promise maker and sustainer! 

No matter what, God is present, close and we are praising Him today for His goodness! 🙌🏼 Can we all just lift up one gigantic THANK YOU praise to Him today? With all the prayers sent, lets flood those gates with thanksgiving too! HE IS SO GOOD! Tears + joy!

Thanks all! You’re the BEST!

PS: How fitting is it that as of today, all of our puzzle pieces have been claimed? I can’t help but smile. He is in this so much it gives me goosebumps. :)

retrieval details + prayer needs.

Happy Monday friends! First of all, thank you all so very much for the encouragement, prayers and love you sent me after my last post. Man, I was having a tough day and we suddenly felt surrounded by an army of prayer partners, lifting us up and clearing our minds and hearts. I simply cannot thank you enough for that!

This cycle so far has been going beautifully – almost too perfectly in fact. My body is responding like never before and for once, my hormone numbers are where they are supposed to be, when they are supposed to be. We really have felt His peace and presence in a whole new way. It’s not easy and there’s a daily need to cling to Him for strength, clarity and hope and isn’t that right where we are supposed to be anyways? My heart has been filled and I am really hopeful for the future.

Speaking of the future – guess what tomorrow is!? Our egg retrieval! YAY! I was on stim meds for 9 days and triggered last night with a low dose hCg shot and then 2 Lupron injections. We are to report to the surgery center tomorrow morning with a 10:30 am retrieval planned. YAY! This is it! Time to get these eggies out of me! (Not that walking around with 2 ovaries the size of grapefruits isn’t fun, hehe! OUCH.)

As we go into tomorrow, we would love your prayers! Again, we couldn’t do this without your support. We can feel those prayers storming the gates of heaven and backing up in a nearly tangible way. Simply put, you guys rocks.

Here’s how you can be praying!

  1. For a smooth surgery. Pray for the wisdom and leadership of our doctor and anesthesiologist.
  2. For the quality of my eggs. We know roughly how many follicles I have, but we don’t know about the eggs that are potentially inside each one. We would love prayers for the eggs to be mature, viable and healthy. We know God already knows the quantity!
  3. For fertilitization. Yes, that happens tomorrow! We are so trustful that God knows exactly what He is doing here. Fertilization and life can’t be forced, no matter how much science tries. We know He manages the sun, the moon, and tomorrow, our fertilization. We ask for prayers that God breathes life and viability into these embryos. We would love for you to pray for our embryologist working with our eggs and embryos tomorrow as well.
  4. For embryo development. Our little guys (and girls!) will start developing right away and we pray that they stay healthy, viable and develop appropriately over the next 6 days. After day 6, into the freezer they go, where they will wait until we do a frozen embryo transfer.
  5. For healing post retrieval and protection from ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. (OHSS). This retrieval and days following are tough. I will be in much need of your prayers as my body begins to heal from a pretty rough 10 days. All of that said, it’s incredibly worth it, clearly.
  6. For His peace, strength, hope and ultimately, that glory be brought to His name. None of this is possible without Him. He has written the story that we have the opportunity now to live out. Our emotions are steady as we trust in Him and we pray that our faith and eyes would be secure on Him like never before.

I will do my best to update here as much as I can, but likely will only be feeling up to minimal updates on Instagram (@chels819). I am so thankful for each one of you!

With our love and incredibly gratitude,

Josh, Chelsea, and Cali


Post-appointment Thumbs up! This cycle has been a steady report of good news!

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Josh is working hard at getting this puzzle of ours assembled! The black and white 1,000 odd-shaped puzzle has been a tough challenge, one that represents our journey well, haha! A special thanks to our family that has helped us with it too. I am an awful puzzler but a determined tryer. :)  We have only a small handful of pieces left without names – if you haven’t already and want to, you can claim a piece today! (Link below)

To claim your puzzle piece: **DONATIONS CLOSED AS THE PUZZLE IS FULL**