God writes our story.
I am still learning to surrender the pen.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

'How 'ya feelin'?'

It's a question you get a lot in the midst of IVF, and I'm appreciative to those who ask.
(Warning: TMI ahead)

However, I'm not quite sure on how to answer. As this question is asked a thousand responses run through my mind waiting to be chosen...

"Feeling bloated like a blimp, please catch me if I start to float away."
"Nauseous. I feel like any minute now I can vomit a meal from a week ago."
"Anxious. Oh. So. Anxious"
"Zzzzzzzzzzz. I'm sorry, I feel like I haven't slept in days."
"Oh, these shots are seriously a pain. My stomach feels like I swallowed a small campfire."
"What do you MEAN how am I feeling?! You think I may be moody?! Well I'm not!"
"*insert inaudible sobs here*"
"Like I'm reliving my teenage years, don't you see my face o' breakouts?"
"I'm doing fine, but you could you shut the window? That light breeze is too much for my super-sensitive breasts."
"It's cool. I'm kind of like a leopard with the circles of bruises on my tummy!"
"Just a little hot, please roll down the window. Could you roll up the window? I'm freezing!"
"Oil can. OIL CAN! My joints are worse than the tin man's and I'm sore ALL over!"
"Honestly, haven't had a solid poo in weeks."

All of these responses are completely true. However, I haven't said a single one. I can't bring myself to say them. No, not because they're overly personal (well maybe a bit) but (mostly), because I am just so happy. I'm so thrilled! I'm glad to have painfully sensitive breasts, and moments of upchuck warnings, and my wonderful IVF spots of bruises because it's means WE'VE MADE IT AND WE'RE TRYING IVF AGAIN!
"I'm bloated full of hope."
"I'm dizzy from the blessing."
"I'm so beyond excited. I can't wait!"
"I feel like I'm living IN my dreams!"
"My stomach is full of medicine and I'm raring to go!"
"I CAN'T BELIEVE I have to wait another couple of weeks; I'm jumping out of my skin!"
"*insert inaudible tears of joy here*"
"I feel like a young girl who's wishes are coming true!"
"Give me a hug! My boobs hurt because I'm doing IVF!"
"I'm a leopard; I'm a BEAST! I got this."
"I'm hot and I'm cold, On the road to preggo!"
"My husband has been the best oil can I know, completely willing to do whatever it takes to get me feeling better!"
"Honestly, haven't had a solid poo in weeks"

Okay, so maybe a cheesy line can't change everything, but you get it. :)
Even though this road is hard and uncomfortable, I feel like I'm safeguarded from it all because I'm just so darn excited to see what the outcome of all the preparation may be!
Mommies, think about if you got to PICK the time AND day to conceive your little one. Granted, you may keep the same time/day... but you would know deep in your gut that you were changing your life forever. I can't help but constantly wander off in my own little world and dream about being huge and pregnant... where my boobs will hurt and the hot flashes will be crazy, and... yes, it will be a lot like now... with baby. My lifetime dream and desire will be unfolding, and can be unfolding RIGHT NOW!
So please excuse my cheesiness, and my constant chatter about all things baby...
but I just feel it deep in my gut that things are going to be different this time!

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Week in the Life of Ordering Fertility Medication

Friday 07/20
Freedom Fertility calls to set up the delivery of my prescriptions. I miss the call and try to call them back immediately. (Employee #1) After a 10 minute wait time, I am disconnected. (Employee #2)
I try to call again a little later and the phone lines are closed for the weekend.

Monday 07/23
After my doctor appointment, and IVF has been moved up at least 21 days, it's time to really get a rush on my prescriptions. Freedom calls me to tell me my doctor has ordered ganirelix, and they are currently out of that drug. (Employee #3) Really? I'm told to call my doctor and have her fax an authorization to use cetrotide instead. I do, and she does. I'm told to call back to confirm. (Employee #4)

Tuesday 07/24
While watching my nephews Freedom Fertility calls again. I am on the phone with her for three minutes giving her my name, my insurance information, and my birthday before she puts me on hold to 'find my paperwork'. I am on hold for 14 minutes before she returns. I hear her typing up information and she reads me the list of medications to be sent. In the middle of her talking, I am somehow, mysteriously, disconnected. (Employee #5)
I try to call back three times, and there is a busy line (for an 800?!).
Finally I call and get a ringing. I am on hold for 21 minutes before I get another woman to pick up. She puts me on hold to get my paperwork for about 7 minutes and returns to get my credit card information and then the phone call is finished. I should expect my delivery Thursday between 10-3. (Employee #6)
Freedom call back later in the day for a few more questions. (Employee #7)

Wednesday 07/25
Freedom Fertility calls me early in the morning for another question. (Employee #8)
Freedom Fertility calls me again later in the evening, around 7PM and tells me that an authorization wasn't collected from my insurance about one of the medications.
"So what do I need to do?... Wait, are you telling me that will now not be delivered by tomorrow?!"
"No mam, we need this authorization and..." I almost black out.
It's possible I'm supposed to start my injections tomorrow, I've already started spotting.
After talking to her for a bit (Employee #9) I finally ask for a supervisor and I'm transferred over to Andrea (Employee #10) after a 15 minute hold.
I explain to her how my week has been, and I'm embarrassed to admit I was not nice. After talking to her for  an hour she promises me that she can have the paperwork needed done in the morning, and that she will get the drugs to me by Friday. She apologizes over and over, and I'm starting to calm down. She tells me she's going to handle it personally as the supervisor and that she will give me a confirmation call in the morning when she gets the approval and to expect the prescriptions at my home Friday between 10-3.
I had a doctor appointment Friday morning at 9:30AM, so I call to change it to 8:30AM to be home in time.

Thursday 07/26
I didn't get a confirmation call, but with my period here the excitement of upcoming IVF and all the 'to dos' distracted me and I forgot.
At 6:30PM I get a phone call from Freedom Fertility.
"Hello, my name is Aaron and I'm calling from Freedom Fertility. Do you have a minute to talk?" (Employee #11)
"It looks here on the paperwork that we have not received an authorization from your insurance, were you able to do that today?"
"Are. You. Serious?!"
He laughs nervously.
"You need to go get Andrea. And please hurry."
"Andrea is not available but I will transfer you to our supervisor, Shirley" (Employee #12)
After almost a one hour phone call will Shirley explaining my week again she puts me on hold to 'find a resolution for me'. I tell her this conversation is deja vu because I had this conversation with their other supervisor Andrea yesterday. She informs me, very confused, that Andrea isn't a supervisor. I have to take deep breaths. She says, "Okay, I'm just going to put the phone down, because I'm sure you're tired of hearing that music, but bear with me"
I have to admit, this makes me laugh.
When she returns she says things that are music to my ears.
"Jen. We've never done this before, but I want to restore your faith in our company again. I am going to ship your medication without the authorization." Honestly, she could lose her job for this. She doesn't have all the documents proving I need these medications and she is sending over $700 of injections and pills that have yet to be paid for. I can't help but be appreciative. She promises me they will be here during the delivery time of 10AM-3PM. She asks that I call Winn Fertility (the section of my insurance for fertility patients) and please have them send the authorization. I promise to do it first thing in the morning.

Friday 07/27
My appointment at my doctor's office was at 9:30AM, but I called yesterday to make it 8:30 to be home in time to receive the medications in case they are to be there first thing at 10AM. I leave at 8AM and after doing blood work and an ultrasound I return to my home at 9:30...
with a FedEx sticker on my door.
I frantically call the number. The package is on the truck, and the truck won't return until after closing. The truck will attempt to deliver again on Monday.
No no no no no no!
I drive to the FedEx locally and explain my situation. She tells me the truck won't be back until 10:30AM (better!) but that I'll need to call the 800 number and have it placed on 'hold' vs 'delivery'. I told her I've already called and didn't hear that option. She tells me to call again and tell the automated voice to "place a trace". I do so. Yes, in the lobby! She laughs and goes to the back.
"I'm sorry, you cannot place a trace on this package. This package was attempted to be delivered today at 8:35AM and will not return until closing. The package will attempt delivery again on Monday. Goodbye."
"Ma'm, I'm sorry..." I'm yelling to the back "...but they wouldn't let me."
"Honey, people do this every day, you need to figure it out." and she walks back to the back again.
I call again and say "speak to a representative". (I have to tell you here, there are no options, the recording just gives you blank space to say what you need 'in your own words'. Urgh!) Finally, I'm able to switch the package to be held at the building vs be delivered. I tell the woman I'll come back at 10:30.
As I come back to wait, I call Winn Fertility about the authorization.
At 10:30 I walk in and there's no one there. I wait a few minutes and then walk through the door again to make the bell sound that they have a customer. No one.
"Helloooooooooooo?" I say. No one. So I wait.
About ten minutes later the woman I spoke to before comes up and tells me that the truck driver is not coming back.
"But you told me they were!" I'm seriously frustrated and confused beyond my own belief at this point. "Mam, let me explain to you why this is so important..." and I explain to her that I need the injections to begin IVF today and have a baby. I'm starting to tear up.
"If you need it, you'll have to wait until Monday."
"Can't you radio her or something and find our where she is? I'll go get it."
"She's in Mascoutah."
"Fine" I say, exasperated.
She begins to look up the number for the driver, and while doing so she looks at me and asks, "So how old are you anyways?"
"Oh and you think you're really ready to be a mama huh?"
I'm shocked. I look at her, and she stares back. "Well, this is my second time doing IVF so I'm pretty sure I've thought it through and that whoever can go through this hell sure deserves to be a parent."
She finally gives me the number. As I walk out she yells to me "Good luck!"
I drive 45 minutes there. I finally get the box I've need all week. A huge sticker on top says 'refrigerate immediately'... is this really a package they've decided to keep in the sun of an old truck? As the driver hands it to me she says, "Wow, I sure hope it's all okay in there..."
I can't wait til I get home. I go in my car and rip it open. Thankfully, the contents are still cold.
I get home to pack away the medications...
You guess what happens next...

If you guessed not all medications are there, YOU ARE CORRECT.
I call Freedom Fertility and while they're 'looking for my paperwork' I'm again disconnected mysteriously. (Employee #13) I call Shirley's direct line. Another woman answers (Employee #14) and tells me she's with another customer, and that she'll call me right back.

I bet.

In the end, I have the injections I need at least, and I should start injections today. After about 10 days of these suckers, it's time for the ER (egg retrieval)!
I had a dream last night that the doctors were now able to do the ER and ET (embryo transfer) at the same time! As they were knocking me out, Dr. Cooper was soothing me -as always- and she whispered in my ear "...by the time you wake up you'll be pregnant!" It was then that I woke up. I was disappointed and excited at the same time.

My dream may be finally coming true.
Baby Wallheimer, thinking of you makes all this work and frustration worth it.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

IVF #2 Update!

Hello friends :)
I can't help but have a huge cheesy grin. Please don't think that I am pregnant, that's not the case. However, the second-best-thing is about to be.

Before talking with my doctor on Monday the plan was, waiting for my period (hopefully it comes soon) then a 21 day cycle of Birth Control pills, followed by a 7-10 day injection cycle, and then looking around that time for an egg retrieval/embryo transfer. And that's IF my period was coming, but it wasn't looking good... If it didn't then the plan was to have 1-2 weeks of Provera BEFORE the Birth Control and waiting... It's a mess, I'm telling you. The initial tentative date was Aug 27 for the embryo transfer, then we were having trouble with my period so it was looking to be moved until the 2nd or 3rd week of September. When I heard that I. Just. Lost. It. The hardest part of IVF isn't the injections. It isn't the waiting for a + or -, really! The hardest part of IVF, for ME, is the month or two BEFORE the procedure when every sentence out of your mouth starts with "Depending on when IVF is...". It kills me. It's hard to plan ANYthing- especially looking for a JOB and a NEW HOME. I've had to turn down three jobs already. We've put off putting our home up for sale. We've put off and pushed so many things to the back of the line just WAITING for IVF. It truly is the worst purgatory I've ever been in.

So I go into my appointment Monday. Amber Cooper comes in and asks immediately, "Hello! How are you feeling?!" and before I can think of an answer my mouth is saying "Anxious". I'm anxious to get  the show on the road, anxious to give it another try, anxious to know the answer- no matter what it may be. I feel like I am in a better place this time. I am aware that it is possible to be either a + or -, and EITHER WAY, I'm just ready to know. It is well with my soul either way. 
She laughs at my response and we sit down and talk. She's looking over my paperwork as we chat as well. Finally, I believe God was working through her as she said... "You know, up until a few years ago, we never did BC before IVF. Studies haven't showed that it really hurts or helps a woman TTC. The BC really is for doctors schedules, so we can pace you out to fit a schedule for us. Why don't we just skip BC?"
My jaw must have dropped to the floor because she paused, and then after a while continued...
"It would be best if you were to start your period this week, like Thursday, then on Day One or Day Two of your cycle we could get you in here for an ultrasound and begin injections."
Again, she paused and read my concerned face...
"Hon, even if you don't start your period we can get you in here for an ultrasound Monday and perhaps see if your ovaries and everything are 'at rest' and not ready to ovulate (which is why I can't conceive!). So as long as everything stays the way it has been, we can possibly start you on injections next week at the latest after a Monday ultrasound."

Have I ever mentioned how much I love her? She has a way of putting you at ease, no matter what the circumstances. She is made to do the job she does. If I ever write a book, if I ever have a baby, if I ever win the lottery... she will be one of the first women I think. Instead, when we bought a dog in March, we named her Lucy Cooper. That's all I can do for now. :)

So- more good news- I started my period today. Perfect timing. A total blessing from the Lord above. I've struggled all week to put the timing in His Hands but I did it. I'm in the process of calling and getting an appointment either today/tomorrow for an ultrasound I think they wanted to begin injections. I may be able to skip the ultrasound! Injections are coming in tomorrow, after literally SEVEN HUGE HEADACHES and problems I've had to fight through, so hopefully that will be soon enough. 

I thank the Lord for an amazing husband and best friends because they're are not only used to my overshares, but welcome it. Thank you, you both are amazing. 

So what's next?
Whenever I begin injections, I think at the latest Saturday, I will have only 7-10 days of injections to do before the ER! We're doing an antagonist cycle this time instead of a protagonist cycle, and Dr. Cooper really thinks it's going to make the difference for me! After the 7-10 days will be the ER. Her goal is around 20 eggs this time (last time we did 12!). After the ER, they fertilize the eggs and let them grow 3-5 days (usually 3 days) and then it's ET time! It looks like my 2WW will begin anywhere from August 6th- August 9th! That's just TWO WEEKS from today! 

I don't know if you've heard of SMASHbooking, but I'm addicted. It's like scrapbooking for more crafty and lazy people, lol. Walter bought me a special 'baby' SMASHbook so I can put in all the info from our infertility journey (this page is from our VERY first appointment in October 2010 at the RE)... and possibly all the wonderful things pregnancy will bring.

I remember a week ago when I wasn't getting my period and they were talking of pushing it off until September. I had just had a phone interview with this great mom for a nanny job, and if IVF was going to be pushed later I was going to have to pass on the job... which meant waiting longer on a house... I was devastated. I called my husband and crabbed until I got into a fight with him. I called my mom and sobbed. I talked to my husband again and we talked it out. We decided that if I didn't have my period by the 26th of July, that we would call this round of IVF off. There was no way I could wait until late September.
The we heard about skipping BC... and then I STILL had my period BEFORE/ON the 26th! God knew what He was doing! It's time like this I want to smack my forehead for ever doubting His timing. 

Please Lord, please... I feel like You are testing me in Your timing this week... I trust You and I'm putting it all in Your Hands. The job... The house... The baby(ies)... Lord, I will still love you.
You told me in Your Word to ask and I will receive, so I'm asking Lord...

You can do miracles. You are the creator of BIG things, not just the small...
Walter and I have always said, "Three means 'I love you'" when we kiss three times or when we make three pancakes... Lord, I'm asking you for something BIG, I'm asking you for something because I know You love me...

I'm asking for Three. Big. Yeses!

Bad Blogger playing catch-up

There is just SO much to catch up on... I have not been a very good blogger lately. I blame the heat and the fact the computer is in the hardest-to-cool-room of the house. Anyways this first blog, yes it's enough for two blogs (!), is for all the non-fertility stuffs. ;)

Thanks to Pinterest, I made a Date Jar for Walter and I. We have Date Night every Wednesday, but have gotten a little sloppy. So I have over 100 ideas in a jar now, and for the last two weeks Walter has drawn a date. Oddly, they were a lot of the same... but were still really fun!

The first date we drew was 'I' Date. We had to think of ideas that started with an 'I'. 
So we decided to stay Inside, since it was so very hot, and order Imo's. Walter finally convinced me to watch the horror movie Incidious. It wasn't as bad as I thought. I mean, for a horror movie it wasn't that scary... but it also wasn't that good. We also played his game Infamous together and ate Ice cream.

Last night he drew 'S' date. We went to a Steakhouse (Outback) in Swansea and had Steak and a Small Sundae. Afterward, we took a ride to Shiloh to look at something we've been Shopping for (more on that later!). We also stopped for Snocones on the way home. We Snuggled. :)

I'm very excited for the other date ideas like: Recreate our first date, Melting Pot, Home project together, etc.

Okay... so onto that thing we've been 'Shopping' for... ;) 
Walter and I have a goal to have our home listed to sell by September (since the deadline for August is today! and we're not ready). We have been shopping for a new home for a couple of months now, but have just recently gotten serious about it because Walter's contract finally went through! We didn't get what we were hoping... not even near it. But it's over and he's still happy. We had an appointment Monday to look at our house (after my doctor appointment ;) but I love making you all wait!) and got into the area early. So, like about 20 times before, we decided to drive up and down the subdivisions we loved. Only this time we took a turn down a subdivision we've always passed before. Not because it's not beautiful but because we thought it was just for people who wanted to build, and we 'couldn't afford that'. Right before we left, on a last minute decision, we pulled into the model home to just walk around and look. Soon, we were looking at options and he was taking us to the different spec homes -which were also for sale. Immediately, I fell in love with not just one- but TWO of them! They're close to the same price, but very very different. I really love the area. It's a great subdivision that has a subdivision pool and the houses are beautiful. Yes, I have a favorite, but I'm trying not to get too attached until we sell our home. If one sells, we have a plan B. If they both sell, we have a plan C... to build in that same subdivision. We can hold a lot, and have already picked a lot just in case the two homes sell. Please be in prayer for us. We don't want to be anxious, but you know how it is when you're in love. :)

House #1. Ranch-style home with beautiful cabinets. 3 bedrooms, and a HUGE basement we would love to finish when that is needed to make this home 3300 square feet! Fireplace. Vaulted ceilings. 

Home #2. Beautiful two-story home with big bedrooms. The kitchen and dining area is super spacious. Fireplace. Large basement. 

House-shopping and giddy about the future!

Lastly, non-IVF-related, I had a job interview Monday that I would be perfect for and it would be perfect for me. It is for a woman who goes to Metro, and got my number from Marilyn (the children's ministry leader) when asking about a nanny. Her son's name is Matthew, born 5 weeks early. She also has a daughter who is 7 years. They're wanting full time care (and after-school care) M-F. I've let her know about our upcoming IVF and told her I wanted to be up front and honest that I may be pregnant by the time she is wanting me to start (the second or third week of Sept). The family said that was no problem. :) Whew! They are praying on a decision now and will get back to me by mid-August. I truly hope she allows me to nanny her wonderful children. Not only does it seem like a great family and wonderful opportunity, it will make a NEW HOME and BABY much easier! :)

NOW... onto the IVF post! ;)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Dream A Little Dream

Just some of my favorites I plan to do when/if I ever get pregnant... 

Oh yes, there will be LOTS of Daddy pictures...

Bubble bath session after smashing the 1st birthday cake.

Balloon-release gender reveal.

'The Bump' updates for those who WANT it!

Decorating a nursery.

Breastfeeding, definitely. 

LOTS of maternity photos...

See?! :)

Like I said, almost as many Daddy photos at maternity...

This will be our child's photo shoots. 

Belle & Lucy won't mind!

Bridal Shower, oh I love this.

Please Lord, PLEASE, answer my prayer.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Yesterday was Grace's Day...

...as well as today is too.

Yesterday would have been my beautiful Grace's 1st birthday.
I would have been panicked. :) Picking up the cake from Kruta's, and cupcakes from The Cup to smash. Making sure my sister would be able to haul her three children over to take pictures of my little one, all covered in icing. We wold have sang 'Happy Birthday' and opened gifts. She would most definitely be wearing some kind of tutu, if not some sort of wings as well. My mom would be beaming... but not as much as I would be, or my husband even. The years of infertility would still hurt, but would be covered up by feelings of unbelievable blessing, who we now call Grace.

Instead I woke up alone and with empty arms. The trivial things of cake-buying were a dream. I woke up early and went balloon shopping instead. Walter and I did a balloon release on her 'due date' last year with friends, and thought we'd continue the tradition. I say, 'due date' because we have been told we were further along than we had thought, but it is the only date we know. Anyways, I texted friends and bought balloons. I must tell you how THANKFUL and APPRECIATIVE I am for those who picked up balloons. Seeing others do this act with us definitely makes me feel less crazy.
Thank you Nicki, my beautiful sister, who shares her three children with me and is first to speak up at family BBQ's to say "soon" when I'm asked about babies of my own. Thank you Momma, who yearns for a baby in our family almost as much as I do, and for doing everything in your power to help. Thank you Momma for also not being afraid to speak up at a beauty parlor when someone mentions placing a baby for adoption! ;) Thank you Caleb, for supporting Walter and I in honoring Grace and for taking the time to show us it is important. Thank you Britney for always being such an amazing friend and honoring Grace on her day and every other day of the year. You're a wonderful friend to us both, and we appreciate the card and gifts more than words can say. Thank you Sarah for weathering through no matter what for our friendship. We are in different life seasons, yet I feel like you are one of the people that understand me the most. I will never be able to thank you enough. Thank you Aunt Jackie, for running to DEALS and grabbing a balloon when your schedule didn't allow you to grab one from us. We are blessed to have a woman like you in our lives and look forward to learning all the wisdom about adoption you have. Thank you Leah and Nora for not being able to grab a balloon, but for still drawing a picture for them. 
My nephews, Pierce and Emersn, playing with the balloon:

Britney, and her fabulous photos of her balloon release:

Sarah, and taking a moment for a balloon release in the middle of some hard work:

 My Aunt's balloon release at her home:

Leah and her daughter Nora's photo for the babies: 

Our balloon release for our much-missed daughter:

The teal balloons represent Grace, and our other lost children.

The other colored balloon (red last year, purple this year) represents all the mothers and children who have been separated on this Earth until another time. 

This year we got a 1st Birthday balloon for our Grace.

Before the release Walter and I went to dinner. It was a very nice dinner. On the drive home we looked at some houses and talked hopefully about the future. I also began to get a little disappointed. You see, last year Grace sent a beautiful butterfly and I felt like it was her... However, Walter made me look up and there was the most beautiful sunset shaped just like the tiara on her balloon we had bought. You may think I'm looking for something... and you may be right... but anything that re-affirms us that we'll see our daughter again someday will do. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

JSYK: How to Tell an Infertile Friend You're Pregnant

Lately a young lady brought it to my attention that there isn't much information out there on how to tell a good, infertile friend who that you are pregnant. I thought it would be a good time to remedy that.

I must say that I am past the season of being angry at my pregnant friends. I, honestly and truly, want to celebrate with my friends when I hear they are bringing a little one into the world. I appreciate all my friends who have made the effort in telling me in the kindest way that they were expecting. Thank you all for giving me awesome ammunition to write this blog.

IMPORTANT: Yes, it if your pregnancy and you may do as you wish... but if you value our friendship I would hope that this post will be as important to you as it is to me.

Quite some time ago in September of 2010 I wrote a blog about what NOT to say to a friend experiencing infertility. (Note: For the purpose of this blog I am referring to the infertile friend as a 'her'. Nevertheless, please remember that men -although usually less open about it- ache with the pain of infertility as well. Your infertile friend can be a woman, a man, or even both units of the couple. Thanks to my amazing Mr. for helping me write this blog!)

Here and some things to remember when sharing your wonderful news:

1. Do NOT assume how your infertile friend will take the news. Your friend may laugh, she may cry, she may scream (she may do all three!) but please don't go into the game expecting your friend will be devastated. It may not be the case. Don't voice your assumptions either. Saying "I wanted to tell you in a place where you could feel comfortable" is A LOT better than saying "I wanted to tell you at a place where you could cry." Your friend will not appreciate 'being told' how to feel or react.

2. Think of the best setting to share. I, personally, prefer in person. Granted, this is not always possible. While I feel the best situation is inviting your friend over to lunch or for a walk, a phone call or e-mail could be done in a sensitive and sweet way as well. Before you break the news to her on the phone, be sure to make sure she is available to talk and (preferably) at home with her spouse. You may not be able to be there to hug and support her, but if you know her husband is you and your friend will both feel better. If you are able to tell her in person, be sure to remove yourself from as much distraction as possible. If you're at a restaurant be sure to sit in the quietest corner; If you're at your home be sure that your husband can watch your children. Etc. However you choose, make sure to speak to her personallyThat means no to dropping the news at a party, no to mass e-mails, and no to conference calls.

3. Tell her the news in a timely manner. I've said this 100 times, but it is YOUR pregnancy. I don't know an infertile woman who would prefer that you put their needs above your own. If you wish not to tell friends until a certain time that is definitely understandable. When I say 'timely manner' I don't mean within minutes of seeing that second line appear... However it may be best to tell her privately before you post it on Facebook. If you have mutual friends, consider telling your infertile friend first (or quickly after your friends) because news will spread. You will definitely want her to hear it from you vs as gossip. You will also want to consider your friend's 'season' as well. It is not a good idea to tell her before a big girl's outing out, because she may need time. You should also not tell her before a party she's hosting, etc. Let her get some time to process so she will not be forced to put on a fake smile.

4. Also, consider her 'infertility milestones' if you are aware of them. It would be best to keep your news for another day or so if she is during her Two Week Wait with IVF, dealing with the anniversary of a miscarriage or the anniversary 'trying' etc.

5. Leave out the hurtful details. You may not need to leave these details out forever, but initially telling your friend you may want to leave out how you "weren't even trying" or how you're depressed/terrified due to finances, etc. Tell your friend the facts. You're 8 weeks along (a great time to tell an infertile friend) and that you wanted her to know. After she has had time (moments or weeks) she will ask you how you're feeling. Infertile women aren't cold you want you to be miserable. We want to celebrate with you, given you are sensitive.

6. Don't apologize for being pregnant. Just because your friend is experiencing pain does not mean that you must apologize for receiving one of God's greatest gifts. By your touch or your tone of voice you can let your friend know that you understand you are not sharing good news for THEM but that you are happy. Definitely feel free to show your gratefulness for your gift equally as you're sympathy for their lack thereof. You can be sorry for the situation that your friend is in, but don't apologize for something you are not sorry for.

7. Do not ask about her fertility treatments in the same conversation you announce the news. This tip I found online, but it is a good one! "My brother started the conversation by asking me how my “procedures” went. About 45 min later, the “we have some news…” line came out of his mouth. My husband says that this is like telling your unemployed friend about your new job and six-figure salary in the same conversation that you then inquire about your friend’s unemployment checks." Don't be that guy.

8. Ask her about her involvement in your pregnancy. After she has been told and she has had some time to take in the news, ask her before adding her to your e-mail updates. Ask her if she wants to see the ultrasound picture before you just bring it out. Ask her if she wants to see the nursery or feel the baby kicking.

9. Be honest. Hearing the news is going to be hard enough for her. Be honest with every word. It would be even more painful to realize you may have fibbed a bit. Be short, as sweet as possible, and honest. Don't be overly concerned with 'saving their feelings' because they will most likely already be a little hurt. Just be there to support and help in anyway you can/ they need it.

10. Consider keeping the mushygushy details of your pregnancy for e-mailed updates. Again, YOUR pregnancy. However, if this friend is a close one or family member you may want to save your relationship by not forcing her to block you. Of course post it on Facebook! Post that picture of your first ultrasound! ...Posting every ten minutes that you are sitting on the couch amazed by your growing tummy because the heartbeat was just so beautiful to hear and... you get it.

11. Along those lines, have the right attitude- that pregnancy is special! You may be so concerned as not to hurt your friend you may downplay the awesome gift of pregnancy... or worse. Posting status updates (let's be honest here) that are pretty much complaining of how the baby makes you soooo tired or how you don't fit into your cute jeans because of your tummy are seriously hurtful. Everyone has their down days, I'm sure even with pregnancy and all the changes... but keep them for your journal. It just sounds ungrateful. The right attitude also includes not digging for 'oh you're so beautiful pregnant!' compliments. Save that for lunches out with like-minded friends if necessary.

12. Keep in mind that pain changes what you hear. Even if you're trying to do everything right, your friend may be in so much pain right now she just cannot cope with the news. Try your best to be sensitive, and most likely your friend will come around in their own time.

13. Don't disappear. Okay, whew! You've told you're friend and you've managed to be sensitive to her feelings. I know it's sometimes an exhausting job- especially pregnant- but hang in there! Your friend will not be hurt for long and soon the next 8(ish) months will be all about you and baby. Give your friend time and then let her pamper you for all of your kind consideration!

This post dedicated to my sweet friend, Sarah Starrett. I will never forget how wonderfully you did this. Thank you.