Saturday, April 30, 2016

#NIAW Bloggers Unite Conference~ Day 6 & Day 7 (Combined)

#NIAW Bloggers Unite Conference~ Day 6
Hosted by Miss Conception Coach

As one part of NIAW, I was asked to be part of a bloggers unite conference this week (thanks to @MissConceptionCoach- see web link above to go to her site/blog). Those of us participating wrote about different angles of infertility, and all pieces are also centered on the theme #StartAsking. I'll be sharing the posts from the other women each day, and one day mine will pop up as well. You can read them all here, on the link above, or at the featured blog itself (which will have a link at the bottom). 
Here's yesterday *AND* today's posts, Days 6 AND 7.

#NIAW- Day 6, Bloggers Unite Conference- Share Your Story!
Hey Girl Hey!  My name is Morgan Libero and this is my blog to help promote awareness and provide support for all things infertility related, with a whole lot of realness and a little bit of humor (believe me, every bit counts).
We’re surrounded by the most loving and tight-knit support system of family and friends, but during our journey it still wasn’t enough to get me through.  I was even lucky enough to have been in contact with some acquaintances who had difficulty trying to conceive.  However, I remember countless hours and nights spent in bed posting and waiting for the response of someone on the other end  of an infertility website, whom I knew only by screen name and not face, but had felt an immediate connection with.  I thought to myself back then, how when almost one in every eight couples struggle with infertility, is there not more local support.   I made a promise to myself that if I eventually got my baby, I would basically pay it forward.  My hope is that this blog will allow me to spread my mission and establish a  support group  for others in surrounding cities and towns and eventually founding a non-for-profit organization to provide the funds for couples who’s insurance won’t cover and/or cannot afford to pay for IVF (In Vitro Fertilization). Our journey is no more easier or more difficult than anyone else’s-it is just ours.  If you’re not experiencing infertility, I’m sure you’ve known or will come to know someone struggling and I hope this blog provides some insight.  If you are experiencing infertility, please reach out to me in whatever way you feel most comfortable and I hope I can be there to support you throughout your own journey. 

I am thrilled to be part of Miss.Conceptioncoach’s Bloggers Unite Conference this year in honor of National Infertility Awareness Week and humbled to have been included with such an esteemed group of women.  This year’s theme is #startasking and I cannot think of a better theme for me, personally, since this was basically the springboard for my blog, On Prayers & Needles.
During my journey, I couldn’t help but #startasking how, when 1 in every 8 couples struggles with infertility, are there not more local support groups available? I would go to my OBGYN, our fertility doctor, my husband’s urologist, the chiropractor & acupuncturists’ offices and there would be corkboards overflowing with every type of group you could name.  Yet, the only one I needed in that moment wasn’t there.
Instead, I would spend countless hours glued to my cell phone or laptop on BabyCentre, What To Expect Before Your Expecting, etc., etc. group boards waiting for any type of a response to the questions I had.  Did anyone have success with Tese for Azoospermia?  How many months did you take Clomid before becoming pregnant?  Did you take birth control pills as part of your IVF protocol?  Are these follicle numbers and measurements decent?  I’d wait, to hear from someone I knew only by screen name and not face, someone who lived in another country, to answer.  I’d wait there praying that I’d get some glimpse of hope that they had been where I was and everything worked out.  And while I appreciated any and all of the support I could get across the Internet and anywhere else, I yearned for a “safe place” ~a place where I could sit with women who were or had been in my shoes and we could discuss all of these things face-to-face over coffee at a local Starbucks.  It was then that I promised myself, if I were ever to receive my miracle, I would basically Pay-It-Forward by starting a local support group.  That is when this blog was basically conceived (no pun intended).
Fast-forward to just about two-months ago when I finally revved up the courage to launch On Prayers and Needles and share my story…
Slowly, I began to hear the stories of others whom I may or may not have known had difficulty getting pregnant and it felt very liberating for all of us to exchange our experiences.  Then I even started to receive intermittent questions from readers asking for more information about meds, doctors, recommendations for a successful IFV cycle. However, none of these women (rightfully so) were interested in participating in a local support group, which led me to #startasking a bigger question:  How, when 1 in every 8 couples is infertile, is there still such a stigma and sense of shame in not being able to conceive naturally?
For anyone who has been following (thank you) and those of you just tuning in (thank you, also), I’m sure it is pretty evident that I am an open-book.  During our journey there was never a time when I didn’t feel comfortable saying that we were struggling with infertility. You might think that is because it was more of my husband’s “problem”, but I also had my own “issues”.  It’s just I came at it from a different perspective, which was basically if it’s broke, fix it.  If your hip gives out, you replace it.  If you have an infection, you take an antibiotic.  If you can’t produce sperm, you find a way to.  Clearly, there is no shame in our game and of course, I’m making light of all of these situations.  They’re not all that easily resolved.  But my mentality was and is, just like anything else in life, if it isn’t working, you fix it (failing marriage, dead-end job).  And regardless of what anyone’s picture-perfect life appears to be on Instagram, believe me, there’s something they need or have had to “fix”.
While I completely respect anyone’s choice to keep their infertility private, I also find it important to #startasking why?  Are you any less deserving of a baby than someone who could conceive without interventions?  In a day in age when science is revolutionary, why wouldn’t you use the advancements provided to start or complete your family?  Even when religion is a factor, doesn’t your God want you to be a mom?  Don’t you think that someday, if you choose, to explain to your child “how they were made” that they’ll realize how much you loved and wanted him or her even before they were born? If someone in your life was struggling with something, wouldn’t you want them to open up so you could be there for them?
One of the most touching responses I’ve received since initiating the blog, was an e-mail from someone who hadn’t shared her story with anyone outside of her immediate circle.  She felt inspired, after reading and relating to mine, to share her own with me.  I read it, tears streaming down my face, hoping that she could see the beauty in her story that I did.  While that wasn’t the initial intent of the blog, in that moment, I realized that it had served its purpose in a different way.
The more we open up and #startasking ourselves and others these tough questions, the more people will become aware of infertility and all it entails.  Once more and more people #startasking, the dialogue can begin so that we (both those who have and have not encountered infertility) can better support one another.  I shared my story to get the conversation going, so now I must #startasking, will you?

Find Morgan and follow her at 

#NIAW- Day 7, Bloggers Unite Conference- I Still Struggle With Infertility

H E L L O friends!  I am excited to tell you a little about me and my blog. I believe in happiness, not only going after your dreams but achieving them. We each have something to contribute to the world, to inspire, and to motivate others! I believe in smiling till it hurts and dancing every chance you get. Most importantly I am a wife, a daughter of God, a mother and a woman. Thank you for stopping by and I hope you find something that helps encourage you. *About xoxo… my mom signed everything she ever gave me with this and I want to continue it in my family and with my friends. So it’s not just a silly signature, it’s tradition.

{mrs. smith}

mama + wifey + dog lover + southern born & bred + baker + ocd + dancer + hot chocolate addict + adventurer + yogi + nurse + dreamer + friend + pure barre lover + believer + john mayer junkie + daughter + collector of all things sparkly + lover of life & god

{meet mr. smith}

ry’s daddy + husband + dog obsessed + triathlete + teeth fixer + closet gangnam style dancer + nor cal native + hunter + italian speaker + sour patch eater + cinnamon egg cooker + loyal listener + paintballer + old soul + traveler + scuba diver + peace maker


are proud parents to baby ryker + ‘temporarily {for 4 years}’ live in arizona + own two incredibly clingy dogs {duke & lulu} + love to eat + have a netflix addiction

Because I Still Struggle with Infertility

This may seem crazy to some people but just a few weeks after I had my son Ryker my mind began thinking about baby #2. Crazy, I know. Even I wanted to grab my shoulders and shake the nonsense out of my head.
When I told my husband he didn’t say a word. Not one. No acknowledgment because he knew what was going through my heart and didn’t want to hurt my feelings by saying ‘No way babe!  We are barely getting the hang of this whole parenting gig!’.
It is SO early. Baby boy just turned 4 months and here I am wanting another.
I want to devote all my love and attention to the baby that I have and prayed so much for.  Will people think that I am selfish for wanting another baby so soon?
It took us almost 2 years to get pregnant because of my endo journey.  In my mind I am calculating that we will have to get started now if we are going to have our big family with all our kids close together. {Insert snarky old lady comment:  “You know you aren’t getting any younger…”}
The thing is – You’ve had a baby. You DID it! You overcame infertility!
Not quite. To some extent it’s true. I think Ryker is a perfect example of how we beat the odds one time. But having a baby doesn’t make infertility go away. Do you ever overcome infertility?
I use to joke that I had a hostile uterus (hey just like Meredith Grey!) but I am hoping things may be easier since my body knows what to do and each pregnancy is different just like each kiddo.
People are going to #startasking the question that is guaranteed to come up
“When are you going to have another one?”
And that’s okay, let them ask. It may scare the poo out of you (can you tell I have a newborn) or maybe you have learned to let it roll off your back. Either way here are some reminders to take away…
I am type A. I love a good TO DO list, alphabetized and color coded.  I am a planner, always have been always will be but sometimes there is a far better plan in store. I wanted a baby so bad but it just wasn’t happening. So, I went back to school and got a second degree, I helped choreograph a large production for our church and participated in a service trip abroad that humbled my heart. I was given opportunities that I needed in order to be a better me. Did I experience loss? Too much. Did I cry almost every night? You betcha. But I truly believe that if you focus your energy on learning a new skill, becoming a better wife and mom, cheering on your friends that do get pregnant with baby 2, 3, and 4, and crying with your friends that open up to you about challenges they face, it will allow you to be refined for a better purpose. GO LEFT and you may be surprised what’s in store for you.

This one is simple for me to understand but man do I have a hard time applying it. I am constantly worrying about what people think. Then one day Cameron asked if I would ever see those people again. How often do I even talk to them? Do they really know anything about my personality or life? The people that are closest to you and love you the most are those that are there to support you. They won’t judge how many children you have or how far apart they are. They will welcome each child with open arms and a full heart.

In a world of instant oatmeal, direct deposits and Amazon Prime it can be challenging to want something immediately and not be able to have it. I know each child is a blessing and worth the wait. Refer back to point 1, get out and try something new to be a better you. In my experience, the unplanned adventures usually turn out to make the best memories.

When are you going to start trying?
We try every night
Just the one?
Yup one little miracle.
Wait till you have three…
We are grateful for our two.
Now you need to try for a girl!
Our boy is just perfect for us.
Hold on, you have how many kids?!
We couldn’t be happier.
The thing I have realized is people will always have something to say about the number of children they see that you have.
“A Mother is not defined by the number of children you can see, but by the love she holds in her heart.” – Franchesca Cox
– – – – – –
I hope that when people #startasking you start telling. Infertility is not something to be ashamed of, not something to feel guilty about and definitely not something to apologize for. It sucks, a lot, but you are not alone. Speak up and make your voice heard. Let’s unite women in each and EVERY stage of motherhood!

Find Katie and follow her at

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