Baby Steps 2016

I can’t let the year come to an end without posting about the annual Baby Steps!

Each year, the event is a little different and special in its own way, at the same time doing the best job of consistently focusing on the heart of Sarah’s Laughter- bringing infertility awareness and support to the area and never failing in giveaways to help couples in need grow their families. This year, the event was a 1 mile fun run on November 12th, 2016 held at Lamar Dixon. It reminded me a lot of the first year’s race because we walked in a circle around a lake (big pond? A body of water, however you classify it) At a point rounding the circle, you got a glimpse of ALL the people there in support of infertility and friends, you are left speechless at that very sight.

It feels like a big family reunion on Christmas Day. Lots of hugging and picture taking. Quick little catch ups from person to person. And never enough time! Can I tell you how much I love being a part of this group? Can everyday be a Baby Steps day?

This year Bennett & Eliza joined us! Talk about full circle moment. Looking back on our journey, the first Baby Steps represented the thick of the battle, freshly out of the infertility closet and wanting and needing that IVF giveaway badly. Showing up to the race in full force with the largest team, Team Stickle backing us. At last year’s Baby Steps, we were excitedly and gratefully expecting Bennett and Eliza. It was a day that reminded us how good God really is, how asking people to help carry us through this struggle the year before resulted in our biggest blessings, our prayers answered. And this year, we showed up holding our two miracles who we wanted to represent hope and participated in the first ever Miracle March to start off the walk. I still can’t believe how quickly life has changed, where it is hard to remember what life was like without Bennett & Eliza. What I do remember, and what I will never forget is how long and forever that road felt.

I also got to hop up on the stage and grab the microphone for a second to encourage every couple struggling with infertility. To thank loved ones present, letting them know their support really does make a difference. To tell each couple, that on that day they won. They kicked infertility in the teeth. To offer them the perspective that they were leaving Baby Steps a winner, whether they had a giveaway in hand or not. I hope each couple left the race with resorted faith and the perseverance to keep believing God for their baby. Friends, I don’t think three years ago, at the first Baby Steps, I could have ever imagined getting up in front of that huge crowd and sharing my story. Me, who at one point could barely say “We want a baby so bad. But we’re struggling” God is funny, right? Whether I am the most qualified or not, I have such a heart and love for those walking through infertility and any opportunity I am given to share God’s glory, I’m in!

Here are a few pics! Most of them are Melissa’s because she is an awesome documenter and she said I could share. Friends, can I ask all of you to keep Melissa and her husband, Brad, in your prayers? I know so many of you care about her because I get asked for updates on her journey often. They have an upcoming frozen transfer in January. After a very successful IVF cycle/retrieval there is a mountain of hope right now that this is IT for them! And y’all, I’m throwing it out there because God can do exceedingly, abundantly, above- we are praying for twins!

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Just Keep Swimming

This past weekend, life came full circle. I felt so honored to play a part at the Sarah’s Laughter Infertility workshop this year as a speaker. Sitting in that room with those couples, I was immediately brought back to when I first found the workshop years ago. After having an emotional breakdown heading to a baby shower, I realized I really wasn’t as okay as I had been trying to tell myself. Shortly after said break down, I heard about the upcoming workshop announced at a church service which is how I landed at that workshop a few years ago and how I would later join Sarah’s Laughter. On Saturday, I laughed and I cried throughout the time I spent with this group. Nothing will ever take away the pain and emotions of infertility. I was so proud to be there, so proud of Sarah’s Laughter, so proud to see graduates and current members there volunteering.  And I really think we all felt it, the hurting for a baby, the deep desire to become parents, the vulnerability of it all.

The workshop’s theme this year was “Just Keep Swimming.” I really feel like this year’s workshop takes the cake. Elisha Kearns who writes the blog, Waiting For Baby Bird was the keynote speaker. My friends currently in the group were super excited to meet and hear from someone that they find such encouragement from. There were breakout sessions throughout the day on loss, and for people interested in starting their own infertility support group. My friend, Kim, a family and marriage counselor, led a breakout session on keeping your marriage strong through infertility. I was so proud of her for getting up there (even after losing her house in the recent flooding) and offering such genuine advice and encouragement to couples. James Henderson led a session for just the men. I think this is such a needed thing! Yesterday, I caught up on the Sarah’s Laughter podcast and listened to the episode that he and his wife, Portia, recorded. Friends, it was good. I know he was the perfect person to lead the session specifically for men at the workshop, especially after listening to their podcast. I actually might just listen to the podcast again! Sarah’s Laughter Podcast, Portia & James The most unique part of this year’s workshop (to me) were the round table discussions (think speed dating) several tables set up around the room, each table represented a different topic (gestational carriers, adoption, perseverance in prayer, two different reproductive endocrinologists had a table, etc) Guests of the workshop could make their way around to the tables for a short little session. They received some very valuable information from such an expansive group of great resources. I can only imagine how much this helped people facing infertility. I think out of anything though, I was the most excited to see faces that I did not recognize. Their face might have been like my face a few years ago at the workshop. Not really in the deep end of infertility, but knowing they do not want to be alone. I really hope and pray each person, especially those sweet new faces, who attended left feeling understood.

I spoke about navigating through the sea of infertility.I wanted to share my talk with readers of this blog. Some of what I spoke about I have already written about in this blog. There are a few personal details/stories that I am not going to include (what happens at the workshop stays at the workshop right?) but I hope someone reading this finds the encouragement and that extra little push to just keep swimming.

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IVF Here We Come!

You surround me with angels on assignment- Amanda Cook // You Don’t Miss A Thing”

A BIG, and I mean takes my breath away, gives me that lump in my throat, exciting event has taken place in the background of our lives throughout the month of February. I wanted to wait until all of the thank you’s had been directly emailed and mailed out before posting anything. And I wanted to make sure I had the most perfect words to string together. You wouldn’t believe this but I actually started typing this 24 days ago! I came back tonight to finish it and bravely press that “publish” button because there are not enough beautiful words to be able to perfectly describe how our lives have been blessed. I have whipped my phone out numerous times throughout this past month to write down little thoughts on everything I need to share with you! Let’s all take a second to thank God for the notes section in our phones, I don’t know what I would do without it! Thank you God for the notes app! So here it goes, a perfectly imperfect post : )

You remember how I told you about the 5K in November? And how our team said, we will find another way? Well, they found another way friends. In less than two weeks our financial prayers have been answered and IVF is REALLY happening! It is overwhelming to look at one large figure that you are told is needed to give you the best chance for a baby. A baby we have tried hard for, prayed for, cried for, and had on our hearts for over two years and think, “how are we going to do this?” God sent us angels in the form of Margo, Lindsey, Lisa, Cindy, Rebecca, Lauren, Camille, Emily S., Laura, and Emily J. Who fought hard for us, and for this baby, fundraising for us to be given the chance at IVF. It was my dream that in 2015 we financially prepared ourselves for IVF, hoping to have close to half saved by the end of the year and figuring out the rest. We found ourselves settled into the second month of the new year with the question of “how?” no longer a major part of the equation and the question of “when?” taking its place. The financial burden has been take off of our shoulders completely, 100%.  I still cannot believe it even typing this. The course of our lives has changed overnight. I catch myself being completely and utterly overwhelmed when I stop to tell an infertility friend what people have done for us. Their face says it all. They get how HUGE this is, how life changing this is for us. And then there’s that lump in my throat because I feel that first “OMG” reaction washing all over me again seeing their face. There is no way you can look at this and not see God’s hand. To not believe there is a God. A God that loves to take the broken and restore it.  Continue reading

Baby Steps


I took a deep breath. And changed my mind. I couldn’t do it.

I returned to my computer screen the very next night. Took a another deep breath, squeezed my eyes closed, and clicked, “Send.” Just like that, it was out there. “It,” being our deeply personal and current story of infertility emailed out to a little less than thirty people. One small baby step.  Continue reading