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Grandpas Say the Darndest Things

The past few days have been a blur of bittersweet exhaustion and celebration. Last week, my husband’s grandfather passed away at the age of 90. We love Grandpa Westphal and we already miss his charming personality and amazing sense of humor. Every night has been a late night, spent with Jk’s parents and siblings from out-of-town. We’ve spent a lot of time at Grandpa’s house with everyone, looking at old pictures, playing games, and celebrating the life and legacy of a wonderful man.
In my family, I never spent very much time with my father’s parents before they passed away. My mother’s parents are still alive and are some of the sweetest people I’ll ever know, but they live all the way across the country. The past few years knowing Jk, I’ve been blessed to observe the sweet relationship he had with his grandfather. I warmed up to Grandpa Westphal immediately. He was friendly, generous, and welcomed me into the family right away. He was witty and straightforward, always speaking his mi…
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In Contempt of Court: While Being in Love

Almost 3 years ago, Jk and I were engaged and planning for a wedding. We were constantly making lists: wedding planning checklists, an engagement registry, a guest list. On one particularly boring list of things-to-do, I wrote at the top something like,“To Do #WhileBeingInLove”. At the time it was a joke, but ultimately that hashtag became the mantra for our marriage. We decided early on that whether life was tedious, ridiculous, or difficult, we would do it all while being in love.

This summer has been absolutely wonderful and totally wild for us. Never before have we had so many adventures and faced so many unknowns. Since easing off social media, I haven’t had the opportunity to share some of those experiences that have made me so grateful for that mantra we began years ago. I thought it would be fun to gather our stories together and feature them as a series of blog posts. Consider this the first in a list of Crazy Summer Things That Have Happened to Us (While Being in Love).

Stor…

Straying Away from Social Media

I was in an elevator, riding up two floors to get to my dentist’s office. Also in the elevator, stood a mother holding her young daughter, surrounded by 3 kids. One of the little girls looked up at me and said, “Hi!” Immediately her little sister (being held by their mother) lit up and said, “Hi!” The big mushy heart inside me melted all over the place and I was reminded, I want!

Dealing with infertility is this really strange balancing act of wanting to be surrounded by children and pregnant women; and at the same time, not wanting to be reminded of a hole in my life. I think that kids are hilarious and babies are perfect and I love being around them. Pregnant women are interesting and their bodies are miraculous and I am fascinated every time I see them. But to be honest, I feel kind of traumatized when I consider the fact that I might never experience pregnancy. My now 26-year-old body could go an entire lifetime and never make a baby—that’s crazy. And depressing.

I used to look…

Infertility from My Husband's Point of View

Let me start by stating this fact: I have zero skill when it comes to expressing my feelings. I write about technical things (and trust me, I get real passionate about them), but I feel like a dummy when I try to demonstrate my emotions with words. Bear with me as I try.
With that disclaimer, let’s get started.
I grew up the youngest in a family of four. If you ask my siblings or my parents, I was spoiled. I don’t deny it. My life was… cushy. And I think that’s what gave me this impression that my family’s life would be similar. Please note here that I’m not attempting to throw a self-induced pity party or encourage harsh judgement. I’m trying to be open.

As recently as two years ago I imagined our future family as large. I imagined that we would have lots of kids, a full house, and lots of food. I had never even considered the possibility of infertility. I don’t think I even knew that infertility existed*. I assumed that when we made the decision to have children, we could have chil…

Another Rejection in Infertility

Man alive, it’s been a rough couple of weeks. In March, we were given hope that our insurance company might change their minds and give us the opportunity to do IVF. Since then, everyone’s been asking for an update and we’ve been like, Join the club!
During the surprise call from our fertility doctor, we were given some instructions for how we could move forward while we waited to hear back. First, Jk would need to do another sperm test to prove that the first one wasn’t a spoof. He would then need to meet with a urologist, or male fertility doctor, to analyze the results. Our fertility doctor and the urologist would work together to appeal the rejection from our insurance company.

So over the weeks, we spent way too much time in doctor’s offices. I met with a female reproductive doctor for an exam to be sure that if we got approved, my body would be good to go. That visit led to more blood tests (always), but eventually I got the thumbs up.

Jk went alone to a few more tests and then…

What I Think You Should Know About Infertility

This week is National Infertility Awareness week, so naturally I wanted to bring some awareness to what Jk and I have been going through. When I get an idea for writing, it lingers in the back of my mind. Festering and combining itself into words, concepts, and strings of thoughts until finally it is ready to come out. These thoughts happened to form at 3:30 in the morning while I was sound asleep. Like an alarm they rang and demanded my attention until I put aside sleep and typed them into the notepad of my phone. As a side note–why are phone lights so blazingly bright in the dark? Huge apologies to my husband.

I don’t claim to be an expert. All I know is what I’ve experienced, what has been shared with me, and what I’ve read online (always a solid argument). Here are some questions I’ve been asked about infertility and what I think you should know:

Who is affected by infertility?
According to what I've read, one in 8 couples experience infertility. Since coming out of the infert…

I Can't Put My Life on Hold for Infertility

This morning I realized that I’ve been silent on the blog for almost a month. Since the unexpected call from our fertility doctor, we’ve taken just as many steps forward as we have back. Mostly we’ve been in limbo (and it’s hard to send a postcard from limbo). We’re not sure yet what’s next—everything could change or it could all stay the same. The great paradox of infertility is that you can always expect uncertainty. The challenge comes in stepping away and finding other things to occupy your mind. 
In January, after long months of waiting to reach the year mark of infertility, I decided that I needed to get involved with activities that didn’t include worrying. In fact, I wanted to fill my schedule with all things stress-free! Fun, relaxing, life-enriching activities. Anxiety was inevitable; grief was unavoidable. I knew that I needed to counter-balance darkness with light. And so came Yoga, Pilates, and the temple. 
As a university employee, I took advantage of free tuition and e…