April 14, 2014

IVF + DC in Style Illustration Giveaway (2 Winners!)

 Joules Dress c/o (save, splurge) // Buccos Heels c/o (sold out, save) // Oasap Bag c/o (sold out, splurge, splurge) // Sweet & Spark Bangle c/o (save)
So…I guess I have some explaining to do.  I might as well start from the beginning.  I will warn you this post may be somewhat long, so skip ahead to the giveaway at the end if you want to.  = )  I won’t go too much into details, but if you have any questions at all or have been debating on undergoing IVF, feel free to leave me a comment with your email address below, or you can email me at walkinginmemphisinhighheels@gmail.com.  I would be happy to help you with any questions you might have.
Shane and I have been trying to have a baby for 7 years.  We didn’t tell anyone.  It seemed personal, and also we thought it would just happen, so we waited and waited.  Somewhere along the way we realized that there were some issues, and we wouldn’t be able to have a baby.  We just recently over the last 4 or 5 months even told family we had been trying.  We told maybe one or two friends also, but mainly we didn’t really tell people.  It was just too emotional and stressful.  It hurt too much.  As a matter of fact, I have not even been to a baby shower in the last few years because I just couldn’t stand to.  The only reason we even broke down and told a few people was because we could not handle the pain of having people constantly ask us when were having children.  Shane just turned 31, and I’m 30, so of course our friends and family have been asking us like crazy, and I could only just shrug it off for so many years. We’ve been married for 7 years, and we have been together for 10 years.  A lot of my friends have children who are around 5-12, so to them I’m sure they thought we were probably really behind lol.  We honestly didn’t want to have children too young, but mid-20s seemed good to us.  Of course we know that it is God’s timing, not ours.  Shane and I liked to joke that their kids would be able to babysit ours (or maybe even drive them around) one day lol.  We tried to stay positive and just kind of joke about it, but eventually it’s just too much to deal with.  I have always been very positive, and I don’t really get stressed, but I could really see it start to take its toll on me over the past year.  I even got to where I also started resenting friends who would complain they had been trying for a few months but weren’t having any luck.  I didn’t mean to get upset, but I just kept thinking, you already have a healthy child; be happy for what you have!  And a few months of trying does not mean there is a infertility issue; that is normal.  7 years is not.  I know I shouldn’t have felt this way, believe me, but sadly I did start to.  I’m embarassed I did, but it was a strange kind of feeling that I wasn’t use to, and we didn’t know how else to deal with it.  I could easily have left this part out of my post, but I want to make sure you get the entire story.  Even though the way I was feeling was wrong, it happened, and I’m finally ready to share it.
We kept praying for an answer, and this past December we felt like things were lining up and were pushing us to at least go to a fertility doctor and see what they had to say.  We didn’t actually expect to do IVF yet though, but we thought we would at least get some information on it.  It was hard, because it meant we had to admit there was a problem, and it was scary.  And it was expensive – $15,000 expensive, but I can tell you it was the best thing we’ve ever done.  I don’t normally like to share personal details, and that includes talking about money, but I want to share everything in case someone else has been debating on going through this.  I use to think I was the only one going through this, but it turns out there are much more people than I ever thought, even people I know and friends of mine.  A month later they had me taking all of the initial tests that you do to see if they could find out what the problem was.  Shane had to go through the analysis tests also.  I had to take an HSG, which many people say is extremely painful.  I have heard it is different for different people, but I want to tell you I did not feel a thing.  My previous doctor told me it was normal to try to have kids for 7 years and would not let me take the HSG.  She said it was too painful and was a last resort.  Maybe it’s just me, but after 7 years, I think we were well past a last resort!  So if you are heading in the direction of going to a fertility doctor, I completely recommend it if that is your only option.  One month after that, they started medications and then injections.  I had to give myself 2 shots a day in my stomach for a week and a half at the exact same time each morning and night.  The last day, I had to give myself another shot in my hip.  None of them were as bad as you think.  Luckily most all of my family is in the medical field, so I literally grew up in hospitals and have never been scared of needles, blood or any of that stuff.  2 days later, I had to have surgery for the retrieval – put to sleep and everything.  It sounds scary, but I don’t remember a thing.  The surgery was to go in and remove all of my eggs.  They got 20 eggs, and then inserted Shane’s sperm into them.  The embryos then grew each day.  Some don’t fertilize, and some don’t mature.  By the next day, I had only 11.  The next day, I had 7, but only 2 of them were good.  The doctor called us and was extremely worried.  They actually called twice that day to make sure they fully relayed the amount of concern they felt that something was seriously wrong, and IVF may not work.  They immediately scheduled to do the transfer the next day because they were scared that more embryos would stop growing and wouldn’t make it.  The next morning I went in for the transfer.  They transfered 2 emboroys. We had a 35% chance of IVF working, and with that percentage of people that it works, there is a 33% chance of twins.  I was awake the entire time during the implantation.  You have to go in with a full bladder, and the only thing I could feel during the process was how badly I had to use the restroom.  After the transfer, you can’t go use the restroom yet because they incline you and make you stay there in recovery for 30 minutes.  After that, they sent me home and told me not to do any activity for 3 days.  They said I need to prop my legs up and try not to even get up much.  They said I couldn’t even do the dishes.  I am a busy body, so it was definitely tough, but Shane was a great cook and nurse that weekend.  = )
My next appointment was 2 weeks later when they would do bloodwork to see if I was pregnant, but I knew that there was a strong possibility I would be able to find out the results using a test at home 7 days after the transfer, so on Valentine’s morning, Shane and I found out that we would finally be parents.  I cried.  It was so strange.  We had spent so many years trying, but never actually imagined it happening.  It was a surreal feeling.  After that, I had to go 3 days a week for a couple weeks for more bloodwork to make sure everything was going great.  1 week later, we had our first ultrasound at 5 weeks, and we have since had one every single week.  We were able to hear the heartbeat at 5 weeks for our ultrasound, and it was absolutely crazy to experience.  There was another scare then when the heartrate was a little low, so our doctor has us come back a few days later for another.  We have had 6 ultrasounds now, and at 9 weeks we had a genetics test to make sure everything was okay with the baby.  Many IVF doctors do genetics testing, and ours was no exception.  With this test, it also tells you the sex, so we have known for a couple weeks now that we are having a girl.  I am now 12 weeks pregnant today, and it has been a crazy, long yet fast journey, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.  We are so, so lucky it worked the first time since we wouldn’t have been able to afford to try it again.  We even have 4 more eggs frozen for the future to try to have another one one day.  We are so blessed and so grateful for this experience and can’t wait to experience something else new each day during this journey.  Thank you all so much for reading.  I appreciate each and every one of you and am so excited to share this exciting journey with you all.  = )
Now let’s keep the good news coming!  To celebrate mine and Shane’s exciting news, I have teamed up with some amazing people and companies this week to host a giveaway each day this week.  To start it off, my sweet blogger friend Elena is giving away 2 custom illustrations – one for 2 different winners!  This is the second illustration Elena has done for me over the last year.  She is so talented, and she also has the biggest heart.  Elena just recently drew the above illustration of me from this post.
I also want to share this gorgeous new project that Elena has been working on.  She is now creating wedding guest books.  They have 3D butterflies on them, and they can even be used for housewarming parties, birthday parties and baby showers.  Elena is also offering all my readers 20% off their very own custom illustration from her Etsy shop by entering GIVEAWAY at checkout.  To enter just use the rafflecopter widget below.  Good luck!!

101 thoughts on “IVF + DC in Style Illustration Giveaway (2 Winners!)”

  1. I loved reading this! You made me shed some tears. This is so beautiful, I may not know you that well but as a follower of your blog and Instagram it brings me joy to hear you are both going to be parents. I know people who have had a hard time concieving and I just love to hear great stories of those who do. Thank you for sharing such a personal story!! Wishing you both all the best!!! 🙂



  2. Thank you so much for sharing your very personal experience with us. I am so happy that you were able to overcome your infertility and I can't wait to follow your pregnancy and "meet" your sweet baby girl!!

  3. That is so unbelievably exciting! Congratulations on this blessing for you and Shane! October 27th is my twins' bday so I hope little miss sticks with that day Haha! I can't wait to see how precious she will be and what a fashionista she will become 🙂

  4. I have been terrible about reading up on my blogs lately, but something brought me to yours tonight and I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!! As someone who doesn't yet have babies on the brain, I can't even imagine how hard it would be to go through this. I knew a girl in college who had ovarian cancer as a child and knew she would have to go the surrogacy route one day, and I remember thinking how hard that would be. But now she has a healthy daughter- just like you will soon have! I cannot wait to see how cute (and stylish!) your little girl is going to be! Thanks so much for sharing with us. I'm not great about sharing personal details on my blog either, but I know I appreciate when my blogging friends do. Keep us updated!


  5. I am just so over the moon excited for you both!! Y'all are going to be great parents. Sorry for every time I ever asked when y'all were going to start trying for a baby. I am so thankful that the IVF worked. I can't wait to celebrate this sweet baby with you too!

  6. Wow Laura, I am so happy for you. Don't feel bad for a second for having feelings of resentment and/or jealousy- you have been through so much and of course you had those feelings. I'm so so so happy for you. And on another note, Elena's talent continues to blow me away- love this one she did of you! xoxoxo


  7. So thrilled for you and Shane! You are such a truly beautiful woman inside and out and your honesty and courage to share your story gives me chills. You will make an incredible mother to this little girl – she is quite a lucky babe!! Lots of love to your family XOXO

  8. Such a touching, heartfelt and honest story. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. We are beyond happy for you and Shane and know your little girl has one fashionable, gorgeous mama. Congrats sweet girl! You deserve all the happiness in the world.

    Ruthie & Rose

  9. I've always thought babies were a very personal subject because you have no idea what the couple is going thru. It amazes me how people throw that topic around as if there is no emotion tied to it. As if it is easy for everyone. As if they even know the couple *wants* kids! I am so happy you shared your story. I am so happy that you now have this good news to share. I cannot wait to see your mini fashionista! Congratulations again!!!!! http://morepiecesofme.com

  10. I cried reading this. I really am so truly happy for you and I hope my posts about wanting another weren't ones that made you upset. I love you girl and I am SO happy for you! Praying for continued blessings for you guys!

  11. Congratulations! I look forward to reading about your journey into motherhood and continuing to be inspired by your style. I'm due two weeks after you and definitely appreciate a little maternity style inspiration!

  12. Girl, I know I've already told you this, but I am BEYOND excited for you and Shane. I didn't realize you guys had been trying for that long. It is totally understandable that it was difficult for you to see others have what you want so badly, trust me, I know the feeling. But like you said, God has his own timing, and unfortunately, He made you put in a little extra effort to have a child. You both will be AMAZING parents!! That little girl will feel love and happiness every single day, because she will be such an amazing gift. I cannot wait to see your belly grow and watch you style the bump! 🙂 Love ya!!!


  13. Such an awesome story! I also tried for a while (2 years almost 3 but that is long. 7 is nuts! So long). I have a daughter who is 8 and I got pregnant literally the 2nd month of trying and no birth control pill. That's very fast. So when I started trying for baby no.2 and it didn't happen we weren't sure but kept trying. After a year I went to dr but they said I was ok. After another year they did some tests and still I was ok. Also, I don't have a regular period I get it like every 40-50 days so it was hard to know when I was ovulating and the tests don't really work (my dr said they don't but I think they kind of do). Finally, I lost my job and we decided to take a break from trying. We weren't preventing it but we didn't have sex near ovulation now. And what do you know. After a few months of NOT trying I got pregnant! I was terrified. I had no income and his job wasn't that great money wise. What were we going to do? I wasn't sure I even wanted a baby anymore. Well, I obviously didn't do anything drastic but I was pretty scared. She is a year old next month and I couldn't be more in love with her!
    Congrats. Your story is awesome. I'm so happy for you. It's good to share your story for other women out there to hear. Take in every moment because they go by way too fast.

  14. Hi Laura! I've been reading your blog and follow you on insta. I don't usually post.. But your story touched my heart. I'm so happy for you and your hubby! God works miracles and I'm so happy and pray that you will give birth to a beautiful baby girl.

  15. Congrats!!! My husband and I just got married last year. I turned 27 last week and he turned 33 and people ask us all the time when we plan on having kids and we plan on waiting at least 3 years so that I can finish school. I can only imagine trying all during that time and not being able. I can't even imagine what it was like and I'm so happy for you!! God bless!!

  16. I don't really "know" you (other than through your blog) but as I sit here and read this lovely and heartfelt post, my eyes are filled with tears of joy for you. Lots of love and prayers for you! Enjoy every moment of your journey! Congratulations!

  17. I'm so happy for you Laura. I can't imagine how hard this has been for you. Thank you for sharing your story. Wishing you all the best for a happy and healthy baby girl.

    love Agi


  18. Laura, I had no idea (how would I?)…you hid your struggle so completely! I am so incredibly happy for you! It's so hard to go through all of that worry and doubt, but it will be so worth it! We're debating IVF also; mostly the cost is what's stopping us (we just don't have the money!). Anyway, best wishes and so happy for you!!!

  19. Congrats!! We went through infertility as well and it was definitely a scary and at times sad journey. But in the end, the shots, blood work and all of the tests were so worth it. We always joked that we tried for 3 years to get pregnant, so God sent us 3 babies…all at once. We have triplets, obviously 🙂 I'll be praying for an easy rest of your pregnancy.

    1. We actually did an IUI (our 6th try at an IUI, too) so we had less control over what was going to happen! I'm not sure if you attempted an IUI before IVF or not, but they monitored my eggs up until ovulation (like IVF with daily shots). I had 2 mature eggs that they thought could work and a small one that they said wouldn't be feasible…or so they thought! So I have all fraternal triplets- 2 Boys, 1 Girl. I also wanted to say, I completely understood what you were saying, I never could go to baby showers either. It was too painful. You are way stronger then me though, I told my family & friends after that first year of trying. It was helpful sometimes, but other times it hurt more because they all cared and asked how it was going.

  20. Congratulations to you both! I can't imagine what you've both been through with all of this and then how absolutely over the moon you must be to finally be experiecing this wonderful pregnancy! I can't wait to watch the journey unfold! God is so, so good! xoxo

  21. LAURA! I am so, so happy for you. My husband and I were just talking last night about what a blessing technology is when it comes to reproduction and childbirth (I had to have an emergency c-section with Joseph). God provides in so many wonderful ways. Trusting you will have an uneventful pregnancy and a beautiful healthy baby girl on the other end of this!

  22. Laura I had no idea of these troubles :/ but I am SO thrilled for you- what a great Monday 🙂 A baby girl!! I'm so happy you've shared such personal details so we can all truly understand this huge blessing and knwo you even that much more. CONGRATS times a million! I am so so happy for you and seriously hope to meet in person some day because you are so sweet and genuine!
    BEST wishes to you and Shane! XO Rach

  23. Congratulations! I am so so happy for you! What a great read to start out this week- a blog filled with hope and joy over a growing a baby. Thank you for sharing your story, it is so encouraging to read!

  24. Aww…SO excited for you guys! Congrats!! Thanks for sharing your story too. I can only imagine how hard this experience must have been for you. I'm surprised how many people don't think anything of asking people when they are going to have kids. You never know what people are going through. And when you said you'd been trying for 7 years I thought you must be at least 35 or something (even though you don't look it!). Girl – 30 is the perfect age to have your first! You are still young and definitely not behind! Who are these people that have 12 year olds already?? haha…
    But I'm so glad your story has a happy ending! Congrats again!!
    Jeans and a Teacup

  25. What a beautiful story! Congratulations to you and Shane! I can't wait to see how you dress your sweet baby girl! I'm guessing she will be stylin' some cute outfits!! God Bless.

  26. I'm so happy for you guys. I had fertility issues and still today 24 years later, remember seeing that hearty beat on the screen. I tear up still. Bless you and your sweet angel girl

  27. I hate that it has been such a hard road for you, but everything happens for a reason and this is how it was supposed to happen. I am so excited for you!! And a baby fashionista too! Congrats!!


  28. What a wonderful post! I love the pictures!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! I cannot wait to read more. God's time might not always be understood by us in the moment but in the end it always will be. I'm so happy for you and Shane!


  29. I started following you on Instagram right around the time of your surgeries. You mentioned in your comments something about doing shots and having two surgeries within one week (retrieval and transplant maybe?). Anyway…being the intuitive infertile that I am, I knew you were going through IVF, and have been quietly praying for you since then. My husband and I are dealing with male factor infertility, and once we have the money, we will be doing IVF. We've done five IUIs, and will likely do one more since our insurance covers six. We have a low chance given our diagnosis, though. If the IUI doesn't work, we just have to wait for the money to be saved for IVF. Ugh. It's been a long journey, but I will say that blogging about it and advocating for infertility awareness has been so important and beneficial for me. I feel like I am understood by my friends and family more, and they show me more grace. Good for you for finally coming out of the closet about it. You never know who you'll be able to reach by sharing your journey. Next week is national infertility awareness week too!!

  30. I've been missing a few posts, so when I read your last post, I was like: I missed something. Something big and wonderful apparently 🙂 can't believe you guys are going to be parents (finally) and a girl 🙂 what amazing news, I'm sitting here on the other side on the pond, being all happy and warm inside for you girl! You deserve it and are going to be a wonderful mama! Welcome to the best club of the world!

  31. You better believe I scrolled all the way to the bottom of 96 comments to say CONGRATS!!!!!! So happy for you and Shane!! What a great story–and wonderful blessing!!! She is going to be just gorgeous!!! Love you much!!! Can't wait to see that cute little baby bump!! PS–those photos with the heels are SO you!!! I just love it!! You need to get some baby high heels now!!!

  32. I'm so glad that Lisa shared your story on her blog. We've been trying for almost 7 years but unfortunately IVF didn't work for us (any of the 3 times we attempted it). So we are moving on to egg donation and are blessed to have found a donor. Now that I've found you, I'm looking forward to following your journey. Hugs!

  33. I don't know you personally but my sister sent me a link to this post. My husband and I have been trying for a baby for four years. We finally went to a specialist on June 2nd. That seems like it was years ago! Like you I expected to be told that after my next cycle we'd start with IUI.
    The doctor recommended IVF and I felt numb. Fast forward a few weeks and we've started a go fund me fund to help raise the money for our IVF as we are not in a place to pay the up front cost. We're also saving every penny we own and searching for second jobs.
    A baby of our own seems so far away.
    Reading your post brought me comfort tonight! Thank you!
    Congratulations and good luck on your adventures into mommyhood

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