Monday, August 5, 2013

Race Day Recap

Race Day was an incredible experience. I cannot believe how quickly it came and went. We truly were blessed to be sponsored and participate in such an amazing thing. I've tried to write down how we become connected with Pound the Pavement for Parenthood and about our race day but words will never do it justice. It was such an emotional and spiritual day for Matt and I. Our hearts are overwhelmed with gratitude towards those that participated in any and every capacity and we pray that they can each feel the love that we have for them. Baby King will be here in no time because of the love and sacrifice of others. Baby King is already so blessed and so loved.

Months ago we were searching for ways to finance IVF. We felt strongly it was the direction we needed to move in but after finding out how much it was going to cost we were a little overwhelmed. We searched and searched for loop holes in our insurance coverage, for grants, government assistance, etc. etc. We started to lose hope and decided we may just have to save and save for who knows how many years. But if you know the King's you know how impatient we can get (well how impatient I can get) especially when we know we're supposed to do something. I had remembered reading the blog of a couple that recently done IVF-the husband in the relationship served an LDS mission in Matt's hometown so Matt had gone on splits with him a lot right before his mission-and how they found out about an organization called Pound the Pavement for Parenthood. Well, at the time our doctor still wanted to do a few things before IVF so we weren't in a place to apply quite yet but it was important for us to get involved in the infertility community. It has brought a lot of feelings of peace and healing as we've connected with other couples and heard the stories of others. We helped with publicity for a race in 2012. Well, 2013 came around and after several failed treatments and break of a few months we were ready to get in the baby making game. We applied for a sponsorship from Pound the Pavement for Parenthood for one of their upcoming races (just barely hitting the deadline mind you). A few weeks went by and we contacted by Jill Witt, Founder and Race Director for PPP, wanting to set up an interview. We were so excited!!! We met with her another board member, Shellee Salmon, and just talked about our infertility experience. At the end of the interview they told us that the minute they read our application they knew they would pick us. It was meant to be.

We will always be grateful to Pound the Pavement for Parenthood. They have given us a miracle. By sponsoring us they helped us to find the courage to share our infertility with others. Through this experience our understanding of love and charity have grown. We've seen people come together and support one another. And we have seen how much good is truly in the world.

Our race couldn't have been more perfect. Everything fell into place. The weather was beautiful. The Spirit was felt. And hope was established in the hearts of so many. Our goal was to 150 people there and we had 400+. It was a testimony to us of hard work and perseverance. There were many times where we wanted to stop calling businesses, hanging signs, and passing out flyers because it didn't feel like much was coming from it. In the end, so many came to be with us. Some traveled across the country and some came after years of not seeing each other. It truly was amazing. We have some incredible people in our lives. Thank you to each of you. Thank you to those that have donated, to those that were with us on race day, to those that ran in honor of us across the country, and to those that have offered many prayers on our behalf. Our race was one of our miracles.

Special thanks to our dear friend, Sam Hadlock, for taking such beautiful pictures for us. They are something we truly cherish.

Shellee and Jill have become two of my dearest friends. If anything, the friendship that I have gained with these two has become one of my most cherished gifts. 

They gave us two beautiful gifts, an adorable tiny tiny PPP t-shirt and this necklace to remind me to EXPECT MIRACLES. 

        This is Dr. Conway. She's amazing. Another testament to us that the Lord is mindful and has a hand in our lives. Dr. Conway started at Utah Fertility Center just around the same time we transferred there. The timing of bringing us together couldn't have been more perfect. We are so grateful to UFC for the donations and support they give to PPP. It's the collaboration between organizations like these that make miracles happen. 


Meet the Young Family. We love and adore them. Katie is one of my best friends and her husband Kirk is actually Matt's boss. All of their family and extended family supported us in our race. Katie's sister-in-law Annie is experiencing infertility as well and they were able to enter Annie in for the discounted IVF cycle drawing. Sadly, Annie didn't win on the day of the race despite the fact that there were more entries in there for her than anyone else. Our hearts were broken for their family. However, Heavenly Father is mindful of His children and things fell into place. One of the winning couples wasn't able to use their cycle after all and PPP redrew for a new winner...Annie won! We were so excited and so grateful that the Young family was able to celebrate something so incredible in return for their kindness and generosity. And they had shirts made for us with the Project Manatee logo on them. My favorite shirt in house!

Our dear friends-family to us-the Balmforths came to race for us. They are hardcore with their racing and we were so excited that they could squeeze our little 5K into their summer line up. I grew up with the Balmforths and they've treated me like their own. We love them so much and are grateful they could share this day with us. 

These beautiful ladies are my best friend and roommate from college, Karlie, and her adorable girls, Emily and Sophie. This was Emily and Sophie's first race and I must say they kicked butt. They take after their mama and are going to be just as beautiful and amazing as she is. Love you girls (and the boys too)!

My other best friend and roommate from college, Jenny, and her husband, Fez, were also there. We really do have the best of the best in our lives. This girl and I have more inside jokes than I can count and have seen each other through the good and bad. Grateful that she and Fez could be there with us. I can't forget to mention Jenny's brother, Brian, who came to the race and her stellar parents who ran for us in Arizona. That Wells family is so good to us. 

This is my mom. She has been my rock. I was sent to her for a reason and there is no one more supportive of our efforts in starting a family than her (despite the fact we're going to make our kids call her Meemaa. She hates that idea.). 

We love my Aunt Loreli and my Uncle John-who was there but not in the picture?? My whole life they have been there. Doesn't matter if it was a super lame dance recital, graduation, or my wedding, they have been there. It was such a blessing to have them there on race day. They've been so supportive and loving during this trial and we're blessed to have them as family. 

Ahhhh...Davies and the Stones. Davies came in first place at our race! And Andrew came in a close second on his....scooter! He's a quick one that Justin Davies. We're grateful for our friendship with both him and the Stones. I can honestly say we have THE best friends. Davies was the first to give to donate to Baby King and the first to sign up for our race. He even wrote to Jill asking about the race route..he's that hardcore and loves Baby King that much. The Stones have been our advocates since Day 1. They've encouraged us, helped organize our online fundraiser, and shared their family with us. We love them more than we could express and are so grateful that our lives have crossed these paths together. 

Here are the Fugals (minus Kara and new baby Andrea), who also have been with us since the beginning. Between our three families we've seen some pretty high highs and sadly some very low lows. We like to call our activities together "Stugaling" and consider each other family. It's amazing how Heavenly Father brings people together when they need each other the most. 

These two cuties are Seth and Stella, our adorable niece and nephew. Their parents flew them across the country from Alabama to share in our race. We're grateful they could be with us. Amanda made them some pretty awesome shirts that say, "Running for Cousins". We love them very much and are thankful that we have such a supportive family. 



We had so many of our students and friends from both our offices come to support us. For us the sacrifices of our students to run in our race was by far the most significant part. We know how they struggle for money on a regular basis so for them to give even the smallest amount meant a lot to us. 

These are pictures of the race itself. The starting line and the beginning. This last picture is of my sister and her friend coming through the finish line. Have I mentioned how amazing our family is? My siblings and I haven't always gotten along but when it comes to things like this we stand by each other. I'm very thankful to have such a loving and supportive family despite our differences. I love them very much. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

July 3rd

Gorgeous, right? Jaron, one of our students, made this for us. He was so sweet to do it. He's been lobbying for our first born to be named after him so when he gave this to us he said he did it to show his commitment to his request. I love it. I think it's inspiring. "With  you a miracle WILL happen." shows faith. Faith I sometimes don't have.

Today I have faith though. Today I believe. Today I'm excited.

We're exactly one month out from our race! It's getting so close! Jill (from PPP) told me that 90 people are registered for our race as of this morning. I'm hoping that number jumps at bit because today is the last day for early-bird registration but we will have to see. 90 is the total of people registered not just people registered in honor of us. So for all I know that's 90 people that are coming for the other couple....let's hope thats not the case. :)

I keep having this reoccurring nightmare that we're working so hard to get people to the race and we're feeling good and excited but then we show up on race day and NO ONE is there. Not a single person. Wouldn't that be awful? Thats why they call it a nightmare right? Uggggh! I was texting Jill earlier and told her about it. She's so positive about it. She's lived it so she knows.

Isn't that a great way to look at it?? Our babies are up in heaven cheering us on! And no matter what it'll work out. Being nervous, frustrated, scared, etc. is normal and I know that but sometimes I get irritated with myself for feeling those things. I  like to know how it's all going to play out and when.

But life is nothing like that nor should it be I suppose. We have to have to faith in God and His timing. He knows what He's doing. And let's be honest here....I have NO IDEA what is going on half the time.

So, with that in mind today I have faith and my actions are going to show that. Today I'm going to keep working hard to get people to that 5k because we still need $4,000 to get our baby here. Today I'm going to have a positive attitude because with all the blessings we've been given I have no reason not to have one.

PS-If your'e looking for a good read check out the talk "Lest Ye Be Wearied and Faint in Your Minds." by the Apostle Neal A. Maxwell. It's bold, direct, and worth every minute you take to read it.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

I never over-think.

I haven't written for a long time. Well at least not publicly. I want to be honest about my feelings so here it is...I'm struggling. And a lot of the struggles have been brought on by yours truly. I have a slight tendency to do what Matt calls "over-think" things. Turn nothing into something and the only one that can really see it is myself.

For one thing, work is really stressful right now and I have a feeling its going to get worse before it gets better. There are a lot of things happening and changing. A lot of unknowns really. Because of that I'm starting to question the timing of our plans. Should we reschedule things? Should we reconsider whether or not to grow our family until Matt's done with school and then I can stay at home? When we get pregnant is it going to add extra stress to my work? When we have babies projects are still going to need to get done...will they be done well? Is the stress of work going to affect my pregnancy? What if we get pregnant, I get too stressed out because of work, and then we lose the baby?

Number two, social media is going to be the death of me. I hate the internet and social media sometimes. People get addicted to it or so wrapped up in it that your confidence is based off how many "likes" you get and right now I'm feeling like one of those people. The internet is an amazing tool. Absolutely amazing and so much good can come from it. But when I post something about the race and only 3 people like it I start to panic. I get anxious and start thinking that people are annoyed with me talking about our infertility or about the race. Then those thoughts start shifting into the idea that if people are annoyed they aren't going to come to the race because they're so sick of me and then we aren't going to raise enough money to do IVF and we'll have to wait another three years to have babies. And before I know it I'm staring at my phone waiting for the little number to appear on my Facebook app telling me someone has liked the post.

Now times the intensity of those questions by 100 and read them really really fast over and over and you'll have a tiny glimpse into my brain. My over-thinking brain. My emotional, over-thinking brain.

The thing that is frustrating (yet comforting) is that even though I'm thinking all of that, my heart and spirit are telling me something else...
"All will be well."
"If you are working hard and being honest you have nothing to worry about."
"Work is work. It will always be there and you will always wonder so just do your best and trust that it will work out."
"Whether you are there or not, the projects will get taken care of."
"Its okay if something gets done by someone else. That's why you have co-workers."
"Social media is a horrible way to judge the outcome of the race. Only a handful of people see those posts and chances are they just don't want to get a billion notifications that come when others like it."
"The love of others can't be measures by how many likes you get."
"People will come. Be patient and faith filled."
"You, Matt and several others have worked hard to raise the money you need to do this. The Lord will bless you for that and you will have what you need."
"You faithfully keep the commandments and do what is asked of you. That is all that is expected."

And each of those thoughts are confirmed by the Holy Ghost so I know they're true. But then fear and doubt sneak right on in and I get all flustered and frustrated because things are conflicting and when it comes to the over-thinking piece of me I get all worked up and irritated with myself and sometimes all the worries win.

I'm tired of worrying. I'm tired of doubting. But no matter how hard I try not to, it still comes and it starts all over again.

How do I turn off my over-thinking, emotional brain? How do I not worry about these things? How have I let myself become so enthralled in things like social media?

Monday, June 17, 2013

I hate Father's Day.

For a lot of women that are experiencing infertility, Mother's Day can be something almost unbearable to live through.

You go to church and everything is focused on mothers-the talks, the lessons, everything. But you aren't one and you can't help but think you may never be one in this life. You watch all the little kids run out of primary with their homemade cards or pictures for their moms and those women swoop their children up, tell them thank you and that they love them, and the child beams because they're so proud of their gift. And your heart aches to have your own little own to pick up and squeeze. You overhear conversations or watch Facebook blow up about how great their husbands are for bringing them breakfast in bed and flowers because as a mom you fix breakfast for your family everyday and you deserve a day off. But being infertile and only having your husband around who is perfectly capable of pouring his box of cereal you start to wonder if you'll ever have anyone else to care for.

There's no need to keep going with other examples. Its pretty obvious that Mother's Day can be a bit rough and it makes sense why some women choose to stay at home and skip out on church or anything else for that matter. It's a day you just want to forget and ignore.

Honestly, I've never had a problem with Mother's Day. Sure, I'll think about how fun it will be to have a fridge filled with horrible scribbles that I've been told are Matt and I holding hands or forcing my kid to sit at the table until they've eaten five more bites of their food. But, for now I don't have that and thats okay. I will someday and when that time comes I will celebrate motherhood.

The thing I hate is Father's Day. I hate that we aren't able to celebrate Matt being a Dad to someone. I hate that I have all those thoughts about not being a mom focused on the possibility that my husband may not be a Dad anytime soon. I hate that I can't give him a baby. I hate that he doesn't have his own little ones to scoop up and cuddle the way he does with our friends' babies and our niece and nephew. I hate that my body is the primary cause of our infertility and that he has to endure this trial because of me. I hate Father's Day.

However, we have been blessed with amazing people in our lives and made the day bearable. Two of our dear friends sent beautiful messages to Matt this year and both brought peace to my heart. One from one of our students that we've grown a bit attached to sent a message thanking Matt for being a worthy priesthood holder and giving her a blessing months ago when she was sick. She told him that he had been more of a father to her than her dad had in 22 years and that memory is sacred to her. Another came from one of our best friends telling Matt how grateful she was that he was such a wonderful father figure to her children. She told him how much she appreciated the way he played and cared for her kids and that he was going to be a great dad someday.

With infertility a lot of the focus is on the woman because she is unable to be a mother but, the man is just as important because he is unable to be a father. His feelings and thoughts are equally important and they are often overlooked. Those messages were answers to my prayers. I'm so thankful for the thought and love that were behind them. I'm grateful that Matt was able to hear from someone else that he will be a wonderful father. Those messages made Father's Day a little easier for me to get through.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

I want a baby. I wanna baby bad.

Bet you hadn't guessed by now that I want a baby...

I swear thats all I think about.

It used to be more of "If we get to have a baby.." but now its "When the baby gets here..." I'm a lot more positive than I used to be. But there's still that a little part of me that thinks IF.

IF is doubt. IF is bad news bears for me. IF messes with my head and confuses my heart.
WILL is faith. WILL pushes past IF. WILL is what we're fighting for.

We WILL have a baby. I'm not exactly completely sure when but we will. And I will want that little runt as badly then as I do right now.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Mixed emotions

Today Jill called from Pound the Pavement to share what she called "bad news".

We found out last week that Dr. Foulk from Utah Fertility Center donated a free IVF cycle to raffle off at the race. When we first found out we were excited (Still excited! Can't get over it really! An IVF cycle for free...that's like $15,000 just handed to you. Amazing!). We thought "Oh this is so great because what if our names are drawn? That would be so incredible!" and then our thoughts went to "Well, if we do get drawn we won't need as much of the money from the registrations so then what do we do? We could ask if it could be donated to someone else? We'll have to talk to Jill and see." and then a couple days later "Would that be super weird and selfish if we got drawn and then had the money from the registrations? Would it be offensive to other infertile couples? I don't want people to think we're greedy and selfish. We've already been given so much."

We were confused and feeling kind of selfish. This whole experience from being selected to the online fundraiser thing and now getting ready for the race has just been so surreal and strange. We aren't used to nor do we do well with being on the receiving end so this kind of just added to it. Jill called today because after speaking with Dr. Foulk and the PPP board they decided that the purpose of the IVF giveaway is to help get more people to the race (which means more registration fee $$ for the couples) and to help those struggling with infertility come out of the woodwork in hopes of something that would help them have a miracle. Plus LDSFS hasn't donated adoption fees so its not really fair to the other couple being sponsored. With that all in mind it was decided that the sponsored couples (that's us) would not be eligible to win the donated IVF cycle.

I'll be honest I was a little disappointed at first. It was another opportunity to get that baby we want so badly in our arms and now it was gone, so disappointment is expected right? (Or am I that selfish?) After about 30 seconds of that feeling I felt such peace. No more worrying about what to do with all the hypothetical money, the greedy feelings, or what I would do when I burst into tears in front of all those people. And to top it off someone else is going to be able to have a miracle!! Can't beat that!

I really feel like "the stars are aligning" for us. Our baby(maybe babies) will be here soon. We're so close. And I know that "the stars are aligning" for someone else too and with that donated IVF cycle their baby will be here sooner than they think. It's exciting! All of it is. August 3rd cannot get here soon enough. Don't forget to register for the race! $30 at 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Another Perspective

Its easy for me being in the think of dealing with infertility to remember others and how they are dealing with our infertility. Sometimes I wish it was only Matt and I that have to deal with our infertility but it effects a lot of people around us. Family and close friends especially.

My mom came to the Infertility Awareness Week a couple weeks ago (which I still haven't written about....ugh!) and because Dr. Conway was there speaking my mom was able to meet her. My mom is a bit involved in my life so I think it was a relief for her to hear my actual doctor talk about infertility and even answer questions my mom had about our case specifically. I think it made it more real for my mom. Not that my mom didn't believe us or anything but having the words come out of a doctor's mouth is a little bit more of a reality than your daughter trying to explain things with degree deemed upon her via Grey's Anatomy.... One thing my mom asked that hit me hard and really made to start to think about how this is effecting her is "Do you know if PCOS is a genetic thing? Did she get this from me?" It made me start to wonder if my mom was feeling like this was her fault and if it she be something I worry about for when I have babies. Unfortunately, there's no explanation as to why PCOS happens and who it happens to. Which I'm almost grateful for. I would hate to have to worry about passing it on to my baby girls and I would die if my mom ever had to feel like our infertility was her fault. (By the way if you don't know my mother she is AMAZING. We adore her and she would do anything for her babies. I can't wait until she's a grandma!)

After that night I started thinking about how things may be effecting our other family members. Amanda, my sister-in-law, came to mind first and I asked her she would share her thoughts about our infertility. How it was effecting her and her family. Matt and Amanda are very close and we've become best friends since I married her brother. We adore her little babies and I will tell you right now that I have THE cutest niece and nephew. I appreciate her willingness to share her experience and what she thinks about the whole lack of cousins issue....While infertility has the biggest impact on the couple experiencing it, it doesn't mean that others aren't effected.

When my brother called me to tell me about their struggle with infertility I went through a few different emotions. I will list them and explain them below. No judging!

Relief: I was so relieved that they finally told us. I had assumed for a while that this was one of their struggles since I knew they weren’t stopping a baby from coming. I had already been praying and fasting for them and finally I could show them the support I wanted to show without being rudely in their business. I was relieved that I could ask questions now. Not because I wanted to be nosey and be in their business (like when I blog stalk people sometimes) but because I really care about them and love them and want to know what is going on in their lives.

Disappointment: When we visited for Christmas I had seen some shots in their bathroom that I accurately assumed were infertility treatments. When he first called I thought it was good news that a baby was coming to their family. I was disappointed first for them, of course, because I know they are wonderful and will be the best parents, but I was also disappointed for me as selfish as that is. I want nieces and nephews to spoil! Specifically from them since they are my favorite of the marrieds ;) I also was hoping that their kids would be close in age to my oldest (almost 3) because he adores Uncle Matt Matt and Aunt Mar Mar. I was hoping it would be a way to keep us connected. See, like I said, selfish, but at least I thought of them first, right?

Guilt: Let’s face it. My trial is not infertility and it makes me sad that someone, anyone has to go through that. Let alone my own brother and sister-in-law. I feel guilty because I am 23 and have 2 kids close together and will probably have more children soon. My husband and I plan to have a lot and it makes me feel guilty that we can. I think I wasn’t given that trial because I couldn’t have handled it. I don’t even pretend to understand how it feels. It took us 7 months to get pregnant with our second and that was only because I was breastfeeding. I got pregnant 2 weeks after I stopped nursing. I almost went crazy for about 4 of those months. That is not right. How many years have people struggled to have kids? How many years has my own family? And I was worried about a few months. I had this guilt before I even knew about Matthew and Marissa because of some friends I have who struggle with this same trial. And I feel guilty whenever my kids drive me crazy. I can honestly say I have never once been one of those moms who wish they could just stop being a mother for a day. I have heard that before and have been shocked. I can see their viewpoint, but I have never felt that way. Ever. I am grateful for my children, but it does get crazy sometimes and I feel guilty, because if these children had gone to Matthew and Marissa instead would they have had better parents? My 2 year old is Matt’s biggest fan. Really. How much happier could they have been?

Sadness: Who isn’t sad when they hear that someone they love can’t have kids? For crying out loud, I cry reading random strangers’ blogs about it, but put my family’s name in there and it makes me sorrowful. I don’t feel sorry for them. It may seem like that, but deep down I don’t. My deep down gut feeling is that this is a wonderful trial for them. I’m not going through it so I doubt I would feel that way if it was me. But I can see how it can really bring them closer to God. I already saw that in Marissa’s blog. When I found out about it I sat down and read it straight through. I could see the changes in their lives already just through her words. But I still feel sad. I know I would be sad, so I feel sad for them. I don’t always know what to say, but I know how to feel in order to have the most empathy I can for someone who isn’t experiencing that trial.

Awkward: Ok. I’m not going to lie. This is something I have felt. Not because I look at them differently or because it’s a “taboo topic”. I don’t think those things at all, but because I don’t always know what to say and I don’t know if I will accidently hurt their feelings or say something dumb on a particularly hard day for them. I hope they would tell me to stop being dumb if I did do that, but what if they think I don’t sincerely care? I really do and it’s hard to know if I am handling it in the ways that they need.

Hopeful: I know they can have sweet babies. In my mind it’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when. I don’t know if it’s the will of God that they do. But I do know that He can make it possible that they do. I know that many people don’t have children at all, even through adoption, but in my mind, I think it is His will. I have faith that it is. I have hope that it is. It may not be my trial, but I want to shoulder some of their burden even if it’s just by praying for them and thinking about them. One thing I have come to learn over the years is the power of hope. Hope is powerful, beautiful, and strong. And I have hope for them and I can’t wait for my nieces and nephews to get here!

Love: My love has increased for them. I love that they are so strong. I love that they are willing to help so many other people even through a very difficult trial. I love that they trusted us with this information and that they have not resented us for having children.  Our children are left to them in our will if something should happen to us. If I trust them that much, then I know they will be the best parents. I love that this will happen one day and I pray that that “one day” is very soon. They truly deserve it.