Posted Friday, October 15, 2010 4:18 PM
"I cried that night and, the next day, with the weight of the world finally lifted off my shoulders...
Starting the long journey
We got married at 36 and started TTC immediately. 6 months later met with my gynecologist who wanted us to keep trying, but, I wanted to move on. My husband went through some testing and then we saw the Reproductive Endocronologist on my 37th birthday. Initially diagnosed with male factor issues and had every reason to believe IVF would work.
IVF #1 - BFP, but ectopic
IVF #2 / IUI #1 - downgraded to IUI, BFN
IVF #3 - cancelled after a week and a half of stimming
At this point we were counseled that I had low ovarian reserve and to consider using donor eggs, which we decided to do. The watilist for donors at our clinic was running 6-8 months, so we, with our RE, decided to continue cyling while on the waitlist. We all said we would consider these cycles as IUI's, unless I produced enough follicles to upgrade to IVF. Went through testing, paid the money, and went on the waitlist.
IUI #2 - BFN
IVF #4 - BFP, m/c and D&C at 8 weeks
Interestingly, we were matched with a donor during the 8 weeks I was pregnant, but, this pregnancy gave us such hope that I could get pregnant with my eggs, so, we decided to put DE on hold.
IVF #5 - BFN (side note - while we were in the two week wait on this IVF, my husband had a heart attack. I got the call that the cycle didn't work and I wasn't pregnant while in the ICU waiting room)
At this point, we decided to change clinics and went to a very well known clinic in NYC, the one that pioneered the estrogen priming protocol, a very successful protocol for women with low ovarian reserve. I had a hysteroscopy where they discovered a mass of something that was removed via a D&C and, thankully, tested and cleared for cancer.
IVF #6 / IUI #3 - downgraded to IUI after a week and a half of stimming - BFN
IVF #7 - BFN
Then, I scheduled a phone consultation with the RE from Colorado who is widely regarded as the best in the US. It was supposed to be a 2 hour consultation, but, lasted only 10 minutes. He said that we had done everything we could possibly have done, every protocol that was out there, and there was nothing left for us to do and that it was likely an egg quality issue, in addition to low reserve.
Weight of the world
I cried that night and, the next day, with the weight of the world finally lifted off my shoulders, I called and reinstated us to the DE waitlist at our first clinic. Hearing that we had done everything was what I needed to know to be ready to move on. DE was a very hard decision for me (there's a lot in my blog on this), but, finally, I was ready!!!
IVF #8 - DE. 23 eggs retrieved, 19 fertilized, 3 transferred - BFP
I had my daughter in December 2009, after a 4 year journey/struggle. Now that I'm on the other side, I can tell you that I am so very grateful for every step of our journey because each brought me closer to my daughter. Had we been successful in an earlier cycle, I wouldn't have HER. Had we done DE earlier, I wouldn't have HER. And I can't imagine my life without her!!!
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Posted Thursday, October 07, 2010 3:13 PM
"Having a plan made me feel better and like we were on the same page for once."
Beginning our journey
Our journey began in 2008. We were married in May after being together for 5 years. My husband was ready to try as soon as the vows were over. I had been wanting a baby for years, and he wanted to wait till we were married. Now that I had the "all clear" from him some hidden fears worked their way out. Suddenly the idea of being pregnant was scary. All the thoughts of how a baby would change our lives were overwhelming. So I put off stopping birth control for a few months. I finally stopped taking the pills in September.
That first cycle I thought was it. Then AF showed up. I knew all about taking my basal body temperature and had purchased the thermometer. I dutifully took my temp. every morning and recorded it on the website fertilityfriend.com. Cycle after cycle went by with never a sign of pregnancy.
In December, while I was at my family's for Christmas I stayed up late one night and had a long talk with my aunt, my mom's sister. I knew that she had struggled to get pregnant with her first, and she also had been over 300lbs when she got pregnant with her 3rd. I'm not that heavy, but I am overweight. I worried that my weight could be a reason I wasn't getting pregnant. My aunt assured me that it would happen in time, and that she didn't think my weight was the problem.
So we continued as we were. My cycles were never the same amount of days, but they were approximately the same. I developed a new symptom of spotting a day before my period started full blown. As much as I hoped for implantation bleeding, I always knew what that spotting meant.
Getting the wrong signals
In late July of 2009 I was positive I was pregnant. My body felt different from every other cycle. I was getting headaches, drinking a ton of water, going to the bathroom a lot, my lower back ached, and my temps were staying up. I bought a dollar store pregnancy test and it turned up negative. I was so disappointed. Of course the next day my typical day of spotting started, so I knew AF was going to show herself.
In August I was so depressed at having been trying for nearly a year that I started an online journal. I knew my husband was tired of me complaining, especially since he couldn't do anything more to help the situation. Talking to my mom only lead to her telling me to relax and that it "will happen eventually." I needed a way to vent my frustrations and fears without feeling judged. The journal actually helped a lot since I could write anything and everything I was feeling. I was able to just air all my grievances. I made it completely private and didn't store my password so that even my husband couldn't read it.
Prior to 2009 I had never gone to gynecologist for my yearly exam, I had always gone to Planned Parenthood. I asked my local Nest board for OB/GYN recommendations and when it came time for my yearly appointment in September, I took their recommendation and made an appointment. I loved the doctor. She was so easy to talk to. When I shared my concerns about our TTC efforts she shared personal experiences for herself and her daughter. She didn't blame my weight. She said that we could immediately start some infertility testing by doing blood work on myself and having my husband get an SA. I told her that I would have to contact our insurance company first before we set anything up. So I contacted the insurance company and got devastating news. Anything they received that was for "infertility" would be denied. They covered nothing! So now we couldn't even find out if anything was wrong, without having to pay completely out of pocket.
After the really bad news my husband I sat down and had a long talk. We talked about my feelings, and where we could go from here. We still had some options. I explained about OPKs and how they could give us a better idea of when I was ovulating since according to my temps there was never a set day each cycle. I also wanted him to start a multi-vitamin just to make sure he was getting all the necessary vitamins and minerals. That was a fight, but he gave in. We discussed losing some weight and improving our health together.
Having a plan made me feel better and like we were on the same page for once. I ordered the OPKs off the internet and they arrived pretty quickly. I was towards the beginning of my cycle so I started testing daily just to get an idea of what testing was like and just in cast I ovulated early. I tested from Day 9 to Day 18, and never got a positive result. My temps during those days also never revealed what day I ovulated. So as my cycle came to an end I was positive that this cycle was another bust and hopefully the OPKs would work the next cycle.
Turns out I was completely wrong. On Day 29 I took an HPT and it came back positive. It was during our 15th cycle that we finally conceived.
> Want to share you TTC story? Email Bump Kathleen firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted Tuesday, August 10, 2010 12:37 PM
"I can't wait to hear the first heartbeat, feel the first kick... the whole idea of being a mom excites me!
My husband and I have been together for about 7 years now and married for 9 months. We were married on Halloween 09' and it was so much fun. We have 2 black labs and a cat who are our little furry family. We met back in college, after a few friends introduced us. I remember the first moment I saw him that January. (Though he doesn't remember actually meeting me until that following March which is an excellent confidence booster!) We were so different that we kind of balanced each other out -- like a nice piece of fudge -- sweet with a few nuts.
I have been having a lot of health problems for the past 7 month and once I started to recover, my doctors suggested that I started to try. We (meaning me) talked a lot about having a baby and I now had a doctor's excuse to get my groove on! We officially started trying this May. I think my DH is excited about having a child and will be a great Dad -- he may be a little more excited about us doing it more though.
The road ahead
We do have a few barriers in our way, though. Before we even started to try, doctors warned it might not be easy. I have Celiac disease which is an autoimmune disorder, as well as suspected ENDO. In the end I try and keep my hopes up and we are still pretty early to the game. It has all made me feel closer to my husband and has brought out an amazing side of him. It's awesome to think that we are going to try and create a little life! It has made me into a pee on a stick crazy women though. I think I took about 15 pregnancy test the first month trying and I was pretty sure my DH was going to kill me. He told me he was going to buy a lock box! I seriously hate the wait. I think that I would rather be in a manure pile on a 90 degree day then sit through the 2 week wait!
I can't wait to hear the first heartbeat, feel the first kick... the whole idea of being a mom excites me! I love the tiny hands and feet and baby smell. The way babies look up at you and smile and need you when they are sad. The first dirty diaper that makes my husband gag. It is all beautiful. I am excited about every last living thing about being a mom. (P.S. We can return kids when they turn 14 right? J/k!)
> Want to share your TTC story? Email it to email@example.com.
Posted Monday, July 26, 2010 11:37 AM
"We're still beginners in our TTC journey and anxiously await the
day that we'll be able to announce that we're going to be parents..."
How it all began
My husband Dale and I met at a house party that a mutual friend was having in Brooklyn, NY -- shortly after I got back from my friend's wedding in St. Lucia. It was October,2007. We quickly hit it off and he gave me his number to give him a call. Now,anyone that knows me knows that I would NEVER call a guy when he gives me his number. Maybe it's my pride; I'm not sure. But, lo and behold, the following night, I called and we talked on the phone for what seemed like hours. (We even had our first disagreement and to this day, we still haven't agreed on it: "Is a fig a part of the banana family?") I'm usually very quiet and don't talk much especially around people I'm not very familiar with.But I felt like I'd known Dale forever. It turns out that his father, who had passed away two years earlier, was actually born in St. Lucia, where I had just been. Is that a coincidence or what? And if that wasn't enough, his mom actually lives about 10 blocks from my mom. I was definitely blown away and knew from that night that Dale and I were meant to be together. I've always believed in the concept of soul mates, but never in my wildest dreams did I think I would meet mine.
Two weeks after we'd met, we had our first official date. Dale drove to New York from Connecticut, where he'd been living for the last 4 years, and we met at a spot in Brooklyn that we were both familiar with. As I was crossing the street, I saw this guy in these dirty blue jeans, a tee shirt, and a NY Yankees baseball cap turned backward. I said to myself: "That can't be him." But of course, it was. (I couldn't believe that's what he wore on our first date!) I put on a happy face, though, and we hopped on the train bound for Times Square. During our ride on the train, we still couldn't decide where to go for the date. He said he'd leave it up to me and by the time we reached our destination, I knew exactly where we would go. When we hopped off, we headed over to the famous "Ripley's Believe It Or Not."
I'd been living in New York for almost 4 years by now (and worked there for just as long) and had never been to Ripley's. Neither had he. Of course we "ohhhhed" and "ahhhhed" at the exhibits and took a few pictures for memories of our night out. All in all, it was a great first date. And that evening, Dale hopped in his car and headed back to Connecticut. Fast-forward to Valentine's Day. We had been dating for what seemed like an eternity but was actually only a few months when Dale got down on one knee and popped the question on Valentine's Day 2008 at a park near my mom's house. There was no doubt in my mind at this point that he was the man that I would grow old with. And one year later, on April 26, 2009, I married my best friend.
Our TTC Journey
Since I had to relocate to Connecticut after we married, Dale and I decided to wait until I found a new job and was all settled in before we started to TTC. So, our timeline was set at a year and a half after the wedding. Well, we got bitten by the baby bug sooner than that and decided to change that date just as our first anniversary was approaching. By then we figured we were in good shape and ahead of the curve.
So in April 2010, I went off of the Nuva ring, which I had used since 2004, when I had had a miscarriage at 16 weeks (while in another relationship prior to meeting Dale). I visited my OB/Gyn for my annual check-up and informed her of our decision to start a family. She ran a few tests and gave us the green light since I was very healthy for the most part. We're still beginners in our TTC journey and are anxiously awaiting the day that we'll be able to announce that we're going to be parents. I've read many of the posts on The Bump boards of the hardships some of the couples endure during their TTC journey and they are in my thoughts and prayers that they'll be able to conceive a little one very soon. I also pray that Dale and I won't ever have to endure a similar struggle during our journey. I think the worst part of our TTC journey so far is the anticipation of waiting to achieve a positive result. And, the best part is the thought of being able to bond with our little one when he or she makes their debut into our life.
Over and over, I've thought about what my first words would be to our baby and, I am stumped. But all in all, I can't wait to make my husband the "World's Most Incredible Dad."
> Want to share your TTC story? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted Friday, April 23, 2010 3:28 PM
"Suddenly, I went from someone who would be OK with not being a mom to someone who desperately wanted a child..."
Making a Connection
My husband, Tim and I have been married for a little more than a year and a half. We actually met on Match.com in 2005, and we hit it off right away. We had been dating for a year when Tim started talking about marriage. A couple of months before we got engaged, Tim flew from Ohio, where we live, to Florida to ask my dad for my hand – it’s a trip that I’m sure he will never forget! My dad gave his blessing as well as a ring, my mom’s diamond ring, which she wore until she died in 1998. We got engaged on Paradise Island just before Christmas of 2006 and were married on the beach in northern Ohio in June 2008.
Tim and I had talked about the possibility of having children, but we hadn’t made any definite plans before we got married. As a commercial airline pilot, Tim is out of town a lot, which had me really nervous about how we would make it work with a baby. I’m a veterinarian and I knew that I couldn’t do it all on my own. Also, having been diagnosed with PCOS in my late teens, I suspected that getting pregnant wouldn’t be easy, and my biggest fear was wanting something that I may never be able to have. Tim and I had talked about it before we got engaged, and he knew that children may not be in the cards for us. We both figured it would be alright either way.
Bitten by the Baby Bug
Two months after we were married, in August 2008, I turned 30. Something happened on that birthday. It was like a switch flipped inside of me. Suddenly, I went from someone who would be OK with not being a mom to someone who desperately wanted a child. Tim and I talked about it and it became clear pretty quickly that the baby bug had bitten us both – we decided to start trying in December 2008.
We started like most couples do when trying to conceive. I stopped my birth control and we started planning for our little bundle of joy. We would talk about names we liked and our parenting philosophies, but, as the months passed, it became pretty clear that my fears of having difficulty had become a reality. My cycles were all over the place and I knew that we needed help.
The next steps
Asking for help with anything has always been difficult for me and TTC was no different. I felt compelled to wait until we had been trying a year, even though I had been diagnosed with something that commonly causes fertility problems. Finally, in December 2009, I met with my doctor and asked for guidance. She ran tests and discussed our options. I opted to try Femara because it seemed to have a decent track record for inducing ovulation in women with PCOS. Tim got an SA, which came back normal, and I had an HSG, which was all clear. I am now in my third month on Femara (2.5mg CD3-7) – at least I’m ovulating now, since I wasn’t before I started the medication.
Having lost my mom to cancer when I was 20, the first year of our TTC journey felt very lonely. I didn’t feel like there was anyone that I could talk to about my issues. I joined The Bump once I finally admitted that I needed help with TTC. I have learned so much by being on the message boards, particularly the “Trying To Get Pregnant” and “Trouble TTC” boards. I feel connected to so many of these women and I really hope that we all get to be moms, or moms again, very soon.
Posted Monday, April 05, 2010 4:22 PM
"My message to other women? Wait patiently and you will receive what your heart desires the most..."
Love at First Sight
My husband and I have been married now for a year and a half now. Our love story began with a simple visit to our local drugstore in Atlanta, Georgia. We just happened to bump into each other -- it was love at first sight. We dated for four and a half years before we got married July 18, 2008.
About 2 months after being married, we decided to start our journey of trying to conceive. At the beginning of January 2009, I began keeping a record of my cycle, purchasing ovulation kits, keeping track of my temperature, taking Geritol (on the advice of friends), and taking fertility pills. But nothing ever happened. In April 2009, while in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida, I decided to take a walk to a local mall. And on my way there, I started to pray: "God, my prayer is that when the time is right, that you would bless me with a healthy, beautiful and smart daughter with a knowledge of You at an early age.” I asked that He send me an angel and also the name.
A Baby Name
A month later I was in Tr-Cities, Tn. I was spending some time with God, when he revealed to me the name Gabriel. I pondered the name over and over again in my head. When I got home I looked up Gabriel in the bible. His name was the first under the Gs in the bible's concordance. His name meant “An Angel of High Rank.” And that’s exactly what I had asked for – an angel.
A few days later, I asked God for a sign. Turns out, you really do have to be careful what you ask for – every day since May 17, I have seen the name Gabriel, Gabriela, or Gabrielle nonstop. On my journey to conceive, I had to have several tests – and my husband has, too. And even though they all came back OK, we still hadn’t conceived.
Eyes on the Future
In January 2009, I began to read about the HSG test. I had all the facts and researched online for any information I could find on the procedure. After 11 months, my husband and I finally decided to go forward to take the test. I had taken all the medication I could for the pain that I would endure. But, unfortunately, my cervix was closed and they were unable to perform the procedure. I was devastated.
I went back to my doctor for the next step: a dilation of my cervix in his office. Then it was back to the hospital for the HSG procedure. I don't know the results yet, but I'm hoping that all is well. And if it is, my only step is to wait patiently for what God has in store for me. My message to other women? Wait patiently and you will receive what your heart desires the most. Even in the midst of me waiting, I have been consumed and sometimes even discouraged about the process. But I know that when the time is right I will welcome a Gabriel, Gabriela, or Gabrielle into the world.
Posted Friday, March 26, 2010 3:13 PM
"Right after our daughter's first birthday we started talking about having another baby and completing our family..."
A Workplace Romance
I met my wonderful husband in one of the most ordinary places: work. We had worked together for several years before we started dating. At first, we were worried because we did not know how a personal relationship would affect our working relationship, but there really was nothing to worry about. He is my colleague, my best friend, and my companion for life. Even though we have different personalities, we have so much in common, something which makes our union even stronger. Plus, how many couples get to enjoy a daily commute and a lunch hour together?
To Have and to Hold
We were married in the fall of 2004 with the backdrop of the gorgeous foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Every little girl dreams of her wedding day and mine was truly a dream come true. I walked down the aisle to the amazing music of a harpist, looking at the man that I would have children with and grow old with. I felt so much love and pride on that day and I am able to carry that throughout our daily lives together.
And Baby Makes Three
We started trying to conceive at the beginning of 2005. Like most couples, we thought it would be easy to conceive. I had been on birth control pills for several years, however, and I was not prepared for the effects that they left on my body. My cycles were very irregular so it was difficult to pinpoint my fertile time. We never gave up hope and later that year, 10 months after we started trying to conceive, we were truly blessed and found out that we were having a baby. My pregnancy was relatively easy and I actually really enjoyed being pregnant. The day after Valentine's Day in 2006, we found out we were having a baby girl. We were so excited to meet her and become parents. Unfortunately, her arrival into the world would not go without drama.
Independence Day Baby
July 3, 2006, I was 38 weeks pregnant and had a regularly scheduled OB appointment. I had developed high blood pressure throughout my pregnancy and was being closely monitored by my doctor. At the appointment, I was told that my blood pressure was extremely high. Combined with the extreme swelling I was also experiencing, the doctor was concerned that I was developing pre-eclampsia. She sent me straight to labor and delivery to be monitored. I called my husband at work and told him to come to the hospital. Once my husband arrived, my doctor decided that it would be best to go ahead and induce me right away. The induction started early afternoon on July 3. The day went by and there was little change. Around 9pm on July 4th I was checked again, and I was only 3cm dilated and the baby was not even descending into the birth canal. Around 10:30pm the baby's heartbeat was very stressed, so my doctor decided that for the baby’s sake, I needed an emergency C-Section. The C-Section went quickly and it was no time before I heard my baby's first cry. It was the most beautiful sound in the world! Ryla Diane was born with a bang on the fourth of July at 10:51pm. She weighed 6lbs. 10oz. When she was delivered, the doctor discovered that the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck three times, which was causing the stress. I was so grateful that they finally decided to do the C-Section and she was OK.
The Best Job Ever
Becoming a parent has been the best experience of my life. When I was pregnant everyone always asked me if I was nervous to give birth. I always answered that question by saying that the birth goes by fast; it was being a parent and role model for the rest of my life that made me nervous. My husband is the best dad I could hope for my daughter to have. I always knew he would be a wonderful father, but he has far exceeded my expectations.
Completing Our Family
Right after our daughter's first birthday we started talking about having another baby and completing our family. Since we had a fairly easy time conceiving our daughter, we thought it would be just as easy to conceive another baby. We tried sporadically throughout the next year, but we wanted to have fun with it so we kept everything light and easy. When our daughter turned two, we started to wonder what was taking so long to get pregnant again. Thanks to my e-friends on The Bump I learned about charting temps and recognizing the fertility signs of my body. That next year I charted my temps, used OPKs and we thought we were timing sex perfectly. When our daughter turned three, however, we still were not pregnant. We continued on the same course that we had been on, but my husband was getting discouraged and was seriously thinking of throwing in the towel. We had one beautiful daughter and we thought that maybe we were greedy to ask for anything more.
At the beginning of this year, my husband and I realized that we really wanted to have another baby and it would make our family complete. We also knew that our daughter would make an amazing big sister and we really wanted to be able to give her a sibling. In January we made our first appointment with a Reproductive Endocrinologist. We went through the standard tests: SA, HSG and CD3 blood work and everything came back normal. We were diagnosed with Unexplained Infertility. Our RE suggested that we try Clomid in combination with IUI. We just completed our first IUI cycle and we did not get pregnant. We are disappointed, but we want to push forward. We know that with persistence and faith we will be able to complete our family. We just have to keep trying.
> Want to share your TTC story? Email it to email@example.com
Posted Friday, March 12, 2010 5:44 PM
"We really thought we’d be pregnant before Christmas. But Christmas 2008
and then Christmas 2009 came and went -- and still no pregnancy to
My husband Alex and I have been married now for almost a year and a half. We met through mutual friends and even served as Maid of Honor and Best Man at their wedding, and later, were both godparents to their son…all before we ever even started dating! We originally met back in 2001, while we were still in relationships with our exes. Over the next few years we got to know each other and developed a friendship while supporting our friends and our godchild. But eventually, each of our relationships failed and we became closer and came to lean on one another for support. Soon our friendship grew into a romance.
We officially became a couple in May of 2006 after dating for about a year, we moved in together in February of 2007, and were engaged a month later. Finally, we were married on October 12, 2008.
Immediately after getting engaged, we discussed having children. We were both in agreement that we wanted to start trying right after the wedding. It was surprisingly easy for us to have this conversation. We both always knew we wanted children so it was only natural that we’d want to start our family as soon as we were married. Luckily, we were in a secure place financially and both have degrees and stable employment. We also had the total support of our families. Everything was perfectly aligned…or so we thought.
Taking the next step
When we’re younger, we assume that when we're ready to have a baby, we’d just have one. Simple, right? Well maybe for some, but not for us.
I was on oral birth control for about 9 years before I stopped taking them. It was the last day of our honeymoon when I threw that little pill pack away, and on October 22, 2008 we were officially TTC. We really thought we’d be pregnant before Christmas. But Christmas 2008 and then Christmas 2009 came and went -- and still no pregnancy to announce. At first, we thought it was the birth control pills and thought we just needed to give it time.
As soon as we started TTC, I made the transition from The Knot to The Bump and began visiting the online TTC community. That’s where I learned about charting my BBT, started reading Taking Charge of Your Fertility, using FertilityFriend.com -- the whole nine yards. These women knew their stuff! I began charting right along with other Bumpies and realized I wasn’t ovulating. It was obvious that AF was refusing to visit anytime soon, as well.
So at my annual OB/GYN checkup, I spoke with my doctor about our TTC issues. (Mind you, at this point we’d only been trying for about 4-5 months). She promptly prescribed Provera to induce a bleed and then Clomid. I took Clomid for 2 cycles and although I did ovulate, I didn’t get pregnant. After visiting The Bump regularly for months and learning from the wisdom of others who were going through what I was going through, I realized that I shouldn’t be on Clomid without being monitored by a qualified doctor. So I decided to switch doctors and then have the new one refer me to a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE).
My new doctor first prescribed a semen analysis for my husband and an ultrasound and HSG (procedure to check my tubes) for me. What they found was that, although Alex was fine, I on the other hand, was diagnosed with PCOS. My RE started me on Clomid since they knew it worked for me, coupled with Intra-Uterine Insemination (IUI). The first didn’t work. The second didn’t work either. I then switched from the oral Clomid pill to medication that would be injected into my stomach over the course of several days… and I’d have to do this myself! The third IUI (with the injectable meds) didn’t work either.
So here I am today, with IUI #4 behind me and we’re just waiting to hear the results (in exactly 1 week). I believe the next step, if there is one, might be IVF, which is scary.
This process has taught me a lot about myself and about my relationship with my husband. We are stronger than ever after going down this tough road. ’t get me wrong, challenges still persist, but we are able to handle these situations with love. We know that our day will come and are praying it is soon... actually, I hope our time has already come and might just be too soon to tell. It’s possible!
> Read more about Marielle0430!
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