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our fertility journey - part 1.

Our fertility journey is a bit different than most since Jordana and I didn’t have fertility issues … we obviously just needed a little science to help us out! That being said, it wasn’t easy.

Cut to the summer of 2015. J & I decided that we wanted to start the process of having a family - we played around discussing names one day as we were driving home from the Hamptons (and yes, Parker Bryant was a name we came up with before he was even a twinkle in our eye!). We found a local fertility clinic that our friends used and loved and made an appointment for October thinking that we would start trying to get pregnant in December or January.

First step: pick out a donor. This was legit like online dating. You put certain attributes into a filter and then it narrows down your choices -- we chose height, eye color, hair color & ethnicity (there were even more options you could do as well!) and then from there, we reviewed everyone’s medical history since that was

the most important thing for us -- a healthy baby. What’s even crazier is one of the banks offered baby pictures AND adult pictures! So we actually know what our donor looks like today. We named him Ted because “Ted” sounds like a nice guy (you know, your buddy Ted). We also were able to find out not only his full medical history but also his immediate family’s -- it looks like the biggest thing we have to worry about is Parker needing glasses (so we were prepared and purchased him Benedict the Bunny from cuddle + kind, which is an adorable stuffed animal bunny with glasses). We also wanted to make sure that our donor was open, meaning that when our children turn 18, they can contact him if they choose to do so. We felt that it should be up to our children to decide and we would absolutely welcome him into our lives since he gave us such an incredible gift!

The plan: our initial plan was that Jordana would get pregnant first doing IUI since she is 3 years older. Then when we were ready for baby #2, I would do IUI using the same donor so our children would be half-siblings. Easy-peasy, right? Wrong.

Reality: While J was planning on initially getting pregnant, due to a handful of reasons, she decided in the end, that it wasn't for her. We were now in December and since the circumstances changed, it temporarily put our journey on pause. Then, the idea hit me ... why don't I get pregnant instead? IVF was an option. We talked a lot about it and ultimately decided that it was in all of our best interests to have me get pregnant and carry her egg (reciprocal IVF). It wasn't an easy decision for J to make and I am so proud of her for being so brave and for trusting me to carry our child in her place.

We scheduled an IVF consult and now we had to start from scratch because I had to have all of the tests done. And they're not so fun. Lots of needles, lots of ultrasounds and a semi-surgical procedure where they check your uterus to make sure everything is clear and while I was awake scraped off a polyp ... I almost passed out off the table!

During this time, I had to start medication and shots because they had to sync my cycle with Jordana. There were lots of needles in our house - I looked like I was part of a drug ring!

The first round of shots I did myself in my tummy and my thighs - they were super small, so not too terrible, but I was terrified the first time I did it!

Unfortunately, during my testing, we found out that I had a decent sized cyst on my ovary and that it would require surgery. I was devastated. Our process had already been delayed several months and I just really wanted a baby. But I knew that this surgery would be in the best interest of my future baby since a cyst can cause a miscarriage.

I had the surgery and it was the most painful experience I have had at that point in my life (labor totally wins that card now!) - and I had several surgeries before that (I was a nationally competitive gymnast). But the amazing part was that the surgery only delayed us by 1 month!

This brings us to April 2016. It was now time for Jordana to start her shots. To do an egg retrieval, they stimulate your ovaries so that you produce a ton of eggs (as many as they can have you make). We were at the fertility clinic literally every other day. We had to monitor and measure her follicles and also my uterine lining to make sure that it was thick and ready to go. Essentially, we had to trick my body into thinking that it dropped an egg so that it would hold the embryo (science is so freakin' cool!), so I was on meds out the wazoo -- oral estrogen, estrogen patches (which are evil to your skin as pictured along with my surgical scars), progesterone suppositories and eventually progesterone shots (aka PIO shots - ginormous needles that go in your back side ... good times). All this to make a baby (obvi so worth it). Oh, and did I mention insurance covers none of this?

to be continued ...

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