I've been married now 15 years. Looking at our family of 6 you wouldn't know all our trials we went through to get here. One thing about me is that family is so important, but something else is family history is a huge part of my life. We all have a family history, and whether we like it or not our experiences and our ancestors' experiences are a part of us, the good and the hard. In my family history journeyings, I came across Family History Modernized. The girls who started it are such an inspiration and I have loved interacting with them through social media. Carissa asked me if I'd like to share my story of my infertility and I immediately said yes. Carissa started a shop that when you purchase a dress through CarissaMiss the proceeds go to Footsteps to Fertility.   

I love the dress that she sent me. What I love the most is it is so comfortable. Whether or not you experienced infertility yourself, I'm sure everyone knows someone who has been through it. I would love if everyone could share Carissa's shop with others to help other couples in their journey towards becoming parents. 
What a great thing to be a part of. Even in a small way you can help other women who can't afford to do fertility treatments.

In my journey to motherhood I really did have a lot of ups and downs. Being a mom is hard work and I often question my own skills. I know that I was supposed to be a mom and though it can be hard the beauty is worth each dark day. I didn't have anyone to talk to or any one that had been through my same experiences when I went through my infertility. We didn't have facebook, instagram and blogging was still new. I hope that if I can even help one person it is worth sharing these hard memories.

My "dream job" and "career goals" changed a few times through out my life, one thing that never faltered was my love of kids and desire to become a mom. When I got married I remember that I wanted to have kids right away, but knew that these days that wasn't what people did and wasn't really part of our plan either. I needed to work, go to school and give it some time. Immediately into my marriage, birth control pills were making me sick. I threw up every single day. With my doctors supervision I tried four different brands. Seven months into our marriage I got really sick and was having a lot of pain. We found out that I had an ovarian cyst and the doctor thought that I had endometriosis. After surgery, it was confirmed. It was fairly moderate and the doctor suggested that we may want to start trying for a baby.

We knew we were not prepared to be parents yet, but we understood the concern and decided to not actively try, but leave it in God's hands. A year later we had no luck and I was in so much pain again that I needed another surgery. I had a new doctor and he wanted me to do a study and see if it helped. I did not know if I received the placebo or the medication during the study. After two months I had my third surgery in a year. I found out that they used the actual "gel" in my body and all of my endometriosis had grown back and was worse in those two months between surgeries. That was the moment our doctor encouraged us to do fertility treatments.

The following 3 1/2 years consisted of medications, shots, procedures, and surgeries. It was grueling physically and emotionally. Not to mention took a toll on us financially. I have heard that when you go through trials it can bring a couple closer together or rip you apart. I am so thankful that during this time my husband and I really relied on each other fully. There was a moment after being married for 4 years that we talked about adoption. We weren't sure if it was the right choice for us, but we had a couple personal revelation experiences that we decided it was time to pursue that route.  We had some personal attacks and judgement that we were "giving up" and didn't give it enough time. But my feelings were so different. I knew that for me being a mom didn't mean that I gave birth to a child. I was ready to be a mom and ready to have a child. 

The 6-7 months that followed were just as hard emotionally. The adoption process is not easy. We went through interviews, home studies, more interviews, references and parenting and adoption classes. I even started to question if I would be a good mom. It was the most emotional experience I've ever been through, but we knew it was the right thing for us.

We got the call the week of Thanksgiving 2005 that we were approved to adopt. In the same call we were told, but don't hold your breath. It can take a year or more to be picked, and for some it never happens. I chose to see the glass as half full and we were so excited. I've written about this before, but I had started working on a writing project and thought I would spend the next year or more devoting my time to that. One week after that call I got another call from a friend. Without going into too much detail, she knew someone that wanted to talk to me. Weeks went by and we still hadn't talked. I was told to give up and move on. Something was different, I had a feeling I needed to talk to this woman. After about 2 weeks we finally connected and she told me that she wanted me to raise her baby. I was blown away, excited, scared, happy, and ready.

Christmas morning we told our families that we were going to have a baby and there was so much love felt. Three days later in a small hospital in a rural town far from home, we held our baby for the first time. It was the most incredible experience. I thank the woman every day for trusting us to be my daughter's parents. The memories are painted in my mind forever. Being a mom was great and I loved every single day with her. Of course we had some hard moments, but those difficult days were worth it.

About nine months after my daughter was born, we had this strange feeling. My husband and I felt like we were supposed to try for a baby again. We thought it was crazy and wonderful at the same time. We talked to our doctor and started some meds. Guess what? I found out I was pregnant the next month. We were shocked. For over 4 years we had nothing, no luck at all and I got pregnant the first try? It was confirmation that we were meant to get our daughter first. 

We were going to tell our families on Christmas a year later that we were having another baby. Sadly when I was 10 weeks along I found out that we had lost our baby. A few days before Christmas we called our families to let them know that I was going to have a D&C since my body wasn't miscarrying the baby naturally. It was a hard Christmas. It was supposed to be perfect. Our daughter's first Christmas  and first birthday, and knowing that another was on the way. Things don't always work as we plan.

I was devastated, but knew that I wasn't ready to try again for a baby. I gave myself a year. I wanted to enjoy my little girl and not worry about anything else. We decided after one year that we would try to adopt again. We held the adoption papers in our hands and could not take them in. 

One week later I found out that I was pregnant. I was scared, happy, confused... I didn't know what was going to happen. Because of my history we had to get a lot of blood work and ultrasounds. We told our families after 12 weeks. It wasn't an easy pregnancy, but in the fall of 2008 I gave birth to a healthy baby boy.

At that time I didn't know if and when I would have another baby, but I knew that there was a plan for me. I had another surprise in 2010 and an even bigger surprise in 2015. 

My last two pregnancies were especially hard. My last delivery there was a big scare, and I almost didn't make it. I know that there were a lot of prayers for me and my baby. My husband was by my side and everything turned out good. Even knowing how hard it would be I wouldn't take anything back. I wouldn't change a thing at all. We learned so much and became a stronger couple and family. I am so grateful for our doctors, medication and the procedures that helped me. I wish that there were people out there that I could have talked to and learned from, but it wasn't really talked about. After going through my experiences I have met other women who went through the same thing. Oh how I wish I knew them through my trials, but we had each other after and we were able to talk about our kids and grow closer to one another. 

“When sore trials come upon us, it’s time to deepen our faith in God, to work hard, and to serve others. Then He will heal our broken hearts. He will bestow upon us personal peace and comfort. Those great gifts will not be destroyed, even by death.”
—Russell M. Nelson, “Jesus Christ—the Master Healer,” Ensign, Nov. 2005

It was hard watching neighbors, family and friends start their families. I tried to find something that would make me happy, a hobby or career. Have you ever met someone and they were doing exactly what they wanted to be doing and it just made sense? Once it finally happened I felt like I was where I was meant to be. I know that I had to hit those low moments, so I could find joy in not only the highs, but even the mediocre things. Being a mom is hard, but I love it! I know not everyone will go on the same path, some will adopt, some will do insemination, others IVF and there will be those who never have a chance to have a child in their home. Whatever decision is made be confidant it is the right road for you. I hate that we had so many people judge us, but I know we did the right thing for us. I am so grateful for my trials, they brought me learning and growth. I wouldn't take it back one bit. I would not have gotten through the hard times without my Father in Heaven, and brother Jesus Christ. We prayed often and felt comfort. I knew that God had a plan for us. I am thankful for having the opportunity to adopt and also for the medical field and that we were able to also have 3 more kids. I hope that other couples and families can have the same chance of growing their families. 

When I learned about Shop Carissa Miss and Footsteps for Fertility I knew what a great opportunity it was. Carissa's dresses are such beautiful dresses and it helps a great cause. Click HERE to start shopping. To get more information about Footsteps for Fertility click HERE.