A Block in Bloggging

I’ve had several days recently where blogging was a bit hard for me.  It was like I didn’t have it in me to tackle any of my big posts I have upcoming.  And so I’ve skipped a few days or wrote about Turkish towels or shoes instead of how to choose a spouse, how to have an awesome marriage as a newlywed, and blogs and vulnerability.  ha!  It’s a rare thing, actually, that I take a mental break from blogging. I’ve been at this for almost exactly 2 solid years!!!  Can you believe it??  I’ve been chugging away day after day – writing my heart out – sharing post after post.  I know some of you have been reading since the beginning and I have to say – it’s been such an extraordinary experience!!  Sometimes I can’t believe that it all has happened.  I look back at some old posts and just say, “Dang, I wrote that!?”  ðŸ™‚  Honestly- knowing what all goes into having this blog and writing the posts – I’m amazed that I’ve been able to keep up with it and get a message out.  It is a miracle to me.  For me, I have to give credit to the entire lifestyle and way of living that we write about. Without living that way ourselves, we would not have this abundance in our lives.  Instead, trials, squabbles, heartbreaks, fears and worries would likely surface and suck us dry, leaving nothing else to give.

So where did my writing block come from?

I had a dip in that abundance.  Yep, it happened.  I mean, I’ve had one amazing streak.  I hadn’t felt this way in many, many years, so I can’t complain.  But I had been stuck trying to figure out what to do to grow our little family of two.  I’ve always felt a clear direction of what I should do next…and we thought adoption would be the next thing when our IVF didn’t work out.  But to tell you the truth, I wasn’t feeling motivated to take any steps.  I didn’t feel any pull towards anything.  I was wondering if maybe the nearly ten years that I’ve already put in towards this path were enough…and that maybe it was just time to call it, to cut off the flow of cash and loads of time going towards it, and do something else…dedicate my life to some other worthy cause.  Also, I have accepted the state of my life so much that I actually don’t long for babies anymore like I used to.  So, could I just stop the effort?  Could I really just move on to something else and plan to be childless?  These thoughts have haunted me for while now.  I never, ever thought it would get to this point and these thoughts have been hugely uncomfortable to me.  I guess in the end, the option of choosing to be childless was not sitting well with me enough to actually do it by choice.

And so, we will carry on.  We will jump through more hoops.  And I will have faith that parenthood will be worth every drop.

And I actually feel good about moving forward full steam ahead.  I’m so, so very grateful for this.

This shift was due to that little miracle I wrote about…I had an experience that helped me to feel in touch with motherhood again and helped me to feel excited about babies and the miracle of birth.  I needed that experience so desperately and I’m so grateful that it happened and that it sparked in me the desire to move forward with a plan.

And our plan is this…

We are going to do another IVF.

We still feel that adoption is in our future, but at the moment, taking into account the adoption logistics, the length of time and money involved, and the lengthy location requirements, IVF feels like a more practical solution for us for our current situation.  So we’ll see how this goes. This decision is actually a surprise to me.  I did not think we would do this.  But it does feel good to have a plan again.  And blogging feels good again, too.  That’s a good sign.  ðŸ™‚

Thank you, dear friends, for sharing this journey with us.

And have any of you faced these decisions or ever thought about not having children?  How did that turn out for you?  If you find yourself childless by choice or other reasons, how is it for you? Are you glad/sad to be in those shoes?



P.S.  Danny and I both were on HuffPost LIVE last night (you can see it here).  We had a very brief appearance, but we’re grateful for the experience.  They wanted our thoughts on the book by Lori Gottlieb called, “Marry Him.  The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough.” (Lori is a single woman who chose to have children via a sperm donor after many years of dating.  She now wishes she were married and realizes she had way too many unrealistic expectations while dating.)

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  1. Anonymous August 20, 2013 at 9:47 am - Reply

    I am extremely happy for your choice! I am totally for adoption, but IVF rarely works at the first time and I was hoping you would give it another try! We will be hoping and praying for you all the way again! And meanwhile, explore sweetly the other options. Karen Walrond from Chookooloonks blog adopted in 6 months, having met the mother and all… You could talk to her too…

    And you know what, you have given us soooo much these last 2 years, if you want to take a break, you are more than entitled to! We will wait with love, patience and gratitude! Be as kind to yourself as you are to us!

  2. City Chick August 20, 2013 at 10:50 am - Reply


    I realized when I got done reading your post that I was just smiling. I am so happy for you guys! You are both so strong and so full of good and love, that it makes absolute sense that you carry on in your journey to become parents. I will be sending lots of love and hope your way. Keep us posted! xo

    Katie K

  3. Christy August 20, 2013 at 10:58 am - Reply

    I am smiling too. Feeling excited about.a future no matter how difficult is a blessing.

  4. Rachel August 20, 2013 at 11:26 am - Reply

    You know how much you want to have children? – that is how much I don't want to have children! 😉

    My husband and I both realized in the last few years that we feel this way (I've felt since I was young that I never wanted children of my own), and I am so thrilled about the thought of a future without children. The future seems so open and free – we can move if we need to, spend money on our house and travel, and most importantly, use my free time to read, sew, cook, volunteer, and decorate (my 5 passions). There is so much out there that I am interested in and want to learn and do, that there is not enough time to have it all.

    While I'm on a different path, I hope that whatever option on which you land, you find the deep peace, comfort, and joy I have found in our choice.

    • mara August 20, 2013 at 7:10 pm - Reply

      Thanks for sharing. I think that no matter what one's path is…it's a blessing and pretty amazing to feel like you are on the right path. I'm happy that you and your husband have been able to do what feels best for you. That's huge. And I also think that people without children can find others ways to give back. We know an AMAZING couple in their sixties who never wanted children of their own, but they personally fund scholarships each year for students all over the world who need support…and they become like God parents to them and have them come to their home to stay, they visit them abroad and stay in touch, etc. They talk about them like they are their own. They have been hugely inspiring to us.

  5. Naomi August 20, 2013 at 12:36 pm - Reply

    However a child arrives in your home, it will be a blessed child with parents like you.

  6. Katy @ All Sorts of Pretty August 20, 2013 at 12:49 pm - Reply

    Oh goodness. Hugs to you both. I'm so happy that you've found a path to follow, but my heart aches for what you'll be going through again. You are right though, when a child finally becomes yours, it won't matter what you went through to become parents. Through hell or high water, right? 🙂 Best wishes. When do you start IVF? PS – are you going to Alt SLC again this year?

    • mara August 20, 2013 at 7:15 pm - Reply

      Ah, thanks Katy. Well, we're super lucky in that the IVF process was pretty much a breeze the first time. Not sure if my meds will change a bunch so I guess the next round may be different. Who knows. But I guess the biggest issues are time/money/and also polluting my body w/ the meds. ick. But in the end it still seemed like the better option. We'll start pretty soon…in a couple of weeks or so. Of course it's always such a drawn out process so nothing major will happen for many weeks while I'm on some prep drugs. And YES! We're both going to Alt SLC! Very excited about it. Are you going?

  7. Katie August 20, 2013 at 12:55 pm - Reply

    I am actually so thrilled to hear that you and Danny are giving IVF another try. I am currently 19 weeks pregnant via IVF and feel so strongly that every single trial and impossible treatment and moment of doubt have been so worth it to get to this point. I am wishing you nothing but the easiest cycle and a very happy outcome, however you get there.

  8. Anonymous August 20, 2013 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    I can't explain it, but your decision to go for another IVF almost made me cry happy tears! =) After three failed IVF cycles I totally understand how hard it is not to lose hope and try again. The fact that other couples do not give up is inspiring and gives me hope.
    Thank you so much for your blog, I wish you all the best!

    • mara August 20, 2013 at 7:18 pm - Reply

      Wow. 3. You are a brave woman. So sorry things haven't worked out yet. It's my hope that you will feel direction regarding your next steps. For me, that is what is making the biggest difference. It's so hard to go through the steps otherwise. best wishes!

  9. {Jessica} August 20, 2013 at 1:05 pm - Reply

    So glad you are going to give it one more go, Mara. Wishing you and Danny the best, as I truly believe the two of you TOGETHER were meant to be parents – however it ends up happening:) Excitedly anticipating this next page in your journey to parenthood. Thank you for being so honest with us. Despite the fact that you always have much to give (and we appreciate it so much), it is nice to know that you are real and have times in which the abundance isn't so abundant. We all experience times like these!:)

  10. Raven August 20, 2013 at 1:21 pm - Reply

    Sending loads of best wishes and good vibes across the country to you both!

  11. SarahLeeAllenBrown August 20, 2013 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    (By way of Bro. Christensen's new missionary book) I'm a new reader here. Your raw state is so gentle, even in its questioning and fearful state. (Thank you for being brave enough to share!) Humility has washed over you; it is so apparent, and it is such an art to hold one's head high during such times. You and your husband are a light. Shine on.

    And thank you for the many ways in which one week of reading your past posts has changed me and validated my sufferings and growth through trials I've experienced.

    • mara August 20, 2013 at 7:19 pm - Reply

      Welcome!! And so awesome that you read Clayton Christensen's new book! We were beyond honored to be included in the book. 🙂

  12. Mara August 20, 2013 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    I agree with Anon at the top of the comments – you have shared so much of your life, heart, thoughts with us; that it is a-ok to take a break! And, I think, as a reader – I enjoyed the lighter fare for a few days. 🙂

    Mostly importantly – it was such great news to hear about your path. I can relate to taking the time to ask God and yourself, your spouse – "where do we go from here?" Sending so much love and prayers to you guys from the Midwest!

  13. Alison Rae August 20, 2013 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    You are so brave and kind to share your deepest thoughts with all of your readers! Doing so truly helps soooo many people! We will all be praying and sending positive vibes your way!

  14. Danielle August 20, 2013 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    I'm so excited your going to try again. I have a friend whom tried IVF, and didn't work the first time. We live in Pennsylvania. She ended up going to Utah, where says the doctors are wonderful and experts. She got pregnant and has two beautiful boys now. I can email you the info if you would like-of the doctors she visited, I know you have family in Utah, so might be worth the try. Also have a sister in law where like you, had been trying for ten years with a failed IVF. They moved to Abu Dabu (butchering the name I think) and are expecting this fall! Prayers your way! And seriously if you want any info would love to share!

  15. Michelle August 20, 2013 at 3:03 pm - Reply

    Dear Mara,

    You are so sweet. Thank you for being honest and open with us. Love just exudes from your words.

    I am sorry about your dark moments. The moments you felt lost. I have felt those moments off and on for the last 3 years. I understand the hope that a plan gives. We have been trying to have another child for over 3 years. Over the majority of that time I have felt very little guidance towards a plan. The answers to my prayers have consistently been to be patient. Until recently. We have had an opportunity open to us in the last few months that has given us new hope. Even if it doesn't work out in the end, I am so happy to feel this peace and hope again.

    Good luck to you!

    And thank you for teaching us a better way to love and live.

  16. Julie J August 20, 2013 at 3:50 pm - Reply

    Your honesty is such a breath of fresh air and something I needed to hear. I have been on this journey of self improvement for a while and have made some HUGE changes in my life. I've been in a very unfulfilling job for several years where I had no opportunities for growth and was not being treated well. It was a situation that was really halting my growth and actually becoming detrimental. I chose love, kindness, compassion over and over(and learned a lot in the process), but at the end of the day I felt drained and stuck. After several years of this and after much prayer and fasting I felt that I needed to give my 2 weeks notice(yikes!). With no job prospects(!), it has been a HUGE leap of faith- one that I have honestly struggled with. Though I know it was what I was supposed to do I have questioned my ability to create something better- it's unknown territory for me. This has all been an opportunity to learn to trust in my power because I know the Source of that power (my Father in Heaven)and know that as long as I am doing what He asks me to do, all will be well and things will work out.
    So thank you Mara for your honesty. It's easy for me to judge myself for not always Be-ing solidly on my feet. The reality is the shaky faith is just part of growing that faith.

    • mara August 20, 2013 at 7:23 pm - Reply

      YOU ARE AMAZING!!! So very happy to hear that you took that leap. I *LOVE* those kinds of leaps in life and they lead to the best experiences in the world. Sending you lots of good wishes on this next chapter. Keep moving forward. Keep taking care of yourself. Put yourself out there. And things WILL come together!! I know it!

  17. Denise August 20, 2013 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    Dear Mara and Danny, as you are well aware, we will always be "jumping through hoops" throughout our lifetime, whether we are childless, on the journey for a child, or having a child. So the question remains (as you know) is not should we hoop jump? but who is by my side or being carried along with me. Everyone has their own personal answers to this and I am thrilled with your decisions. And other thing, all transitions/paths in life need reflection. At times like that I remember something I read by E.L. Doctorow about writing, but I think of it as great life adice. "writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way." That helped me along the bumps in the road, when times I could only see a few feet or hours throughout the day. And you know what, it's true.

    • mara August 21, 2013 at 7:12 pm - Reply

      Thank you, thank you….

  18. Andrea August 20, 2013 at 4:00 pm - Reply


    I've read your blog for about 6 months now and poured through all of your entries. I identify with you on so many levels. My husband and I also have struggled for years with unexplained infertility and I have made many chances to my lifestyle – acupuncture, gluten free eating, yoga. We tried some of the less invasive fertility treatments – iui's – that all failed before moving on to ivf. We did our first round and got pregnant! After seeing a heartbeat, we told many friends and family. At 10 weeks, we found out that the heartbeat had stopped. This felt worse than having not gotten pregnant at all. Through our faith, we grieved and healed again, and rested in the knowledge that this was part of God's plan for our lives. This past spring we did a second round (which I NEVER though I would have in me emotionally, physically or financially) and we are 10 weeks along with twins! Perfect heartbeats and everything exactly as it should be.

    We prayed a lot before doing a second round of ivf and believed that it was the Lord's plan for us, and here we are. Know that I will be praying for you and Danny that this works out according to His plan, and that you both rest easy in whatever the outcome is.

    • mara August 21, 2013 at 7:13 pm - Reply

      Yay for twins! So glad you guys felt guided in your decisions. That's such a blessing.

  19. Lisette August 20, 2013 at 4:16 pm - Reply

    I wish you all the best, trying to grow a family can be an emotional roller coaster.

  20. Clare August 20, 2013 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    There was something about the sequence of posts about bags and shoes and stuff {which I enjoy mind you!} that gave me a funny feeling that you were going through a tough spot. I get it because I'm in a similar place. I'm going through my first ivf cycle now and I don't know what's next if it fails. I've gone through enough of this fertility stuff now that I know that feeling of being adrift unsure how to get to your destination and even that point where it's confusing what that destination is after a while. The vision I had of myself when I started trying to build my family with my husband is very hard to connect to now after all I've been through.
    I'm glad you can see a path again and I hope it leads you to joy and fulfillment {hopefully in the form of being a mother}. Massive hugs to you Mara.

  21. Anonymous August 20, 2013 at 4:40 pm - Reply

    I had a slightly different reaction from the other commentors… I was so excited to read you might consider being childless. You and Danny would have so much energy to give to the world, share with others, devote toward service, spread the message of love, and to evolve your other passions — all of which would otherwise be devoted to 1 or 2 or 3 little people.

    But, I'm glad you ended up figuring out what works best for both of you!

    • mara August 20, 2013 at 7:27 pm - Reply

      Anon – I know…I do think of the time involved to raise kids and also think of other opportunities that we might have to give back and devote our lives to a great purpose. It really has been so much to consider…and it has certainly been a difficult decision…oye.

  22. Kels August 20, 2013 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    As a newlywed trying to figure it all out, I cannot wait for your post on this 🙂 But that being said, taking care of yourself first is obviously the most important thing and you deserve all of the rest and time you need to recharge those batteries. Any path you choose is the right path, in that moment, for you. I truly believe this and am so grateful you feel at peace. Sending love and luck!

    • mara August 21, 2013 at 7:14 pm - Reply

      Newlywed post still coming! 🙂

  23. Kristen August 20, 2013 at 5:02 pm - Reply

    A smile stole over my face and a glow filled my heart when I read what you've decided to do. I know it won't be easy but I am happy for you because you have a sense of purpose again.

  24. Anonymous August 20, 2013 at 5:09 pm - Reply

    I am happy that you have made a decision on what direction to go in. That is always such a great feeling of relief. I hope the best for you!

    I was also excited to read you might consider being childless. My husband and I have chosen to be "child free". There are many, many, reasons we've chosen not to have kids. The biggest one is I just don't feel strongly about wanting children. I am afraid that I will regret that decision one day (I'm only 36). I have been feeling isolated recently about this decision. I said to my husband the other day, "I wish someone would congratulate us for NOT having children". But again, I just don't feel the strong pull to have kids and I would never have kids just to "fit in" with the crowd.

    • mara August 21, 2013 at 7:35 pm - Reply

      yes, I've realized that being childless by choice is not as acceptable in our culture…and it makes me sad for those who aren't accepted for their decisions. While I LOVE the idea of families, I also LOVE the idea of people doing what they feel called to do. There is nothing more amazing than being on that path, whatever it is. And I also feel there are SO many ways to give back, influence others for good, and leave a legacy.

  25. Scarlett August 20, 2013 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    So glad that you've been able to find a path that you are happy about taking. Will be thinking of you and hoping for all the best for you in your next round of IVF.

    You guys were great on Huff Post Live! You are totally their new go-to bloggers! So fun to see you guys discussing all your great ideas with other people.

    • mara August 21, 2013 at 7:37 pm - Reply

      Ah, thanks, Scarlett. I feel a little rusty on camera but I hope to improve. Either way, I'm happy to go for it and still share whatever comes out.

  26. Lauren August 20, 2013 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    Mara, I feel like I can relate 100% to what you've been feeling. There were many times throughout our journey towards growing our family that I found myself seriously considering what it would look like to be childless. This seemed crazy, after wanting a big family for my whole life, but it's like sometimes you just wonder if you're trying to force something that was not meant to be.
    We finally (FINALLY!) completed a three year long international adoption this spring and are the proud parents of a 2 1/2 year old boy. I still struggle with my desire to have a big family versus my desire to live a peaceful life and not have to try so hard for everything. But one thing I've realized is this- everyone has something in their life that seems to take a disproportionate amount of effort. For us, it's having kids. My marriage is amazing, I love my job as a handmade artist, so for me, kids is just the hard thing. When I think about how it balances out against the easier parts, it doesn't seem quite so bad.
    I'm excited you have been able to decide what to do next- I know what a victory just making those big decisions can be.

  27. Patience August 20, 2013 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    Good luck with your second round! I'll be sending the embryos some serious sticking vibes :). My friend did 2 rounds as well and she got a pretty good discount on the second. I hope you get one too! xoxo

  28. Camille August 20, 2013 at 6:07 pm - Reply

    Oh I am excited for you and this next adventure you two are taking. I know that had to be a scary choice. We had a failed IVF, and without even thinking about it I went in full steam ahead to try again. I'm due with twins in a few months! Anyway, I guess I never realized though that to some people, it isn't such an obvious choice. I really admire that you guys stopped for a while to really decide if this is what you wanted to do. I'm excited for you and will keep you guys in my thoughts and prayers!

  29. Jane August 20, 2013 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    Having started my blog right around the time you started this blog, and discovering yours shortly thereafter has made me feel invested in your life journey as mine has unfolded. I have appreciated so much yours and Danny's guidance along my way.

    Thank you for this vulnerable insight into your humanity. I admire you for sharing your honest doubts and thoughts about motherhood and discernment during difficult decisions. (Wow alliteration!)

    Love you guys.

  30. Alexis August 20, 2013 at 6:56 pm - Reply

    I think that I am where you were, and unfortunately I have been stuck there for the past couple years. We did IVF in 2011 and it did not work and since then I have not really felt a pull for any particular next thing. So much time leading up to that IVF was trying something else, try the next best thing. When that process ended, I guess I just needed a break. Recently I began praying to be open to adoption or fostering children and I had a tiny feeling for it, but then it just goes away. It doesnt feel like we are really that motivated to move in that direction and I have to wonder what that means. If we have been saying for months that we need to look into it and we still havent done that, is it what we really want? I am struggling with this push and pull because the prospect of being childless is extremely painful to think about. It would not be by choice because it is not what we want, but if we exhausted all our options and it didnt work out, at some point I have to feel at peace with it.
    I have learned so much from you and we are blessed to have you and Danny share your lives and wisdom with us. I consider you to be my personal hero:)Sending you all the love and hope in the world!

  31. VP August 20, 2013 at 7:21 pm - Reply

    Regarding the post-script, I was guilty of what Gottlieb writes about, which is unrealistic expectations for your partner. My boyfriend and I are opposites: him a scientist, rational and acting rather than speaking, and me, more artistic, and often feeling before acting. He does my laundry (haven't done a load in the last six months), buys groceries and wakes up early on Saturday morning to buy my favorite bread at the farmer's market. And yet–I complained about him not being vocal about how he feels for me, what he likes about me, etc. What I needed to feel loved and fulfilled was something different: words of affirmation. I have recently learned about love languages and how each of us has a main language–touch, positive affirmation, acts of service, gifts, and quality time–that we show and receive love through. I think this is key in any relationship with a partner, family or friend. It teaches us to adjust our expectations and see love and its forms through the eyes of those who love us. That's all. Thank you Mara and Danny for your great blog.

  32. Miggy August 20, 2013 at 8:34 pm - Reply

    Those blogging lulls…we've all been there. And I actually love the towels, shoes and bag. You're style is spot on–so thanks!

    Anyway, I'm also excited to see what the future holds for you two. So I was never a girl who dreamed of becoming a mother. I don't remember playing with baby dolls and as I grew older, my friends would squeal with delight in the presence of babies, begging their moms to hold them while I just sat there thinking, "eh." At some point, even going a little on faith, I knew I wanted to become a mom. As it turns out all the cliches are true–it's the hardest, but the best thing I've ever done. I'm still often quite amazed about how much I love being a mom–especially since I didn't have the natural inclination. That being said, I also still love and need to have other outlets in my life like my blog, painting, sewing, etc.

    I think many of us are excited to see you and Danny become parents simply because of the loving home you have to offer. Best of luck! You've got a lot of people pulling for you!

  33. tawnya August 20, 2013 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    Oh, gosh, yes. I think I've shared with you before how difficult it was for me to actually decide to have a child and the deeply spiritual experiences that erupted from all of that. It was the most difficult decision I've ever made. Bar none.

    Good luck!

  34. Kristin August 20, 2013 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    I know exactly how you feel about not feeling a pull any direction. I have felt that way for the last two years after two failed IUI's. I would rather have a doctor tell me that I will never get pregnant again (we have a 5-yr-old son) than deal with all of the waiting and wondering. My husband and I have finally felt inspired to act just these last few weeks. We cannot afford IVF so are going to try adoption, but I still have a lot of reservations about it. I'm trying to hold onto the faith that I already have and just move forward.

    Best wishes for your second IVF and thank you, thank you, thank you for your honesty and time in writing this blog! It lifts me every time I read it and has changed my heart.

  35. Anonymous August 20, 2013 at 11:08 pm - Reply


    Thank you for your post today. I found your blog 6 months ago after an IVF and FET cycle, neither of which resulted in pregnancy. I have never left a comment on a blog before, but this post resonated so deeply with my heart. Although I am open about our relatively unexplained infertility with friends and family, my husband and I have felt quite alone on this journey toward building a family over the last 5 years. Thankfully, no close friends or family have experienced infertility. I delight in celebrating each new pregnancy and birth. But selfishly, I yearn for a story to which I can relate.

    Just this last week, after spending several months considering a life without children and researching adoption, we felt quite blocked about the next step. Although adoption was and is an option, I just didn't have the excitement for it that I was looking for. We ultimately decided to embark on another round of IVF. Like you, this came as a complete surprise to me, as I felt confident another round of IVF was not in our future.

    Reading your words today, I felt such gratitude for you and for your story. Thank you for your courage in so openly sharing, and thank you for providing accompaniment on a journey that has felt so achingly lonely. I wish you much peace in this next step of your story – you will wonderful parents, however your family is created.

  36. Anonymous August 20, 2013 at 11:28 pm - Reply

    Mara, Danny – good for you guys! After savoring every word of this post, when I got to your conclusion to do another IVF, I had to read it again. I got goosebumps, I think this great.

    I've never tried to become pregnant (my marriage was a difficult one and I'm just going through the divorce right now), but I can so relate to your comment about not being able to do it on purpose. I've been rethinking my whole life setup and it's come to my attention that I've been on auto-pilot in some very important areas… and just because I'm not consciously choosing to give up certain ambitions, I'm making a choice nonetheless by failing to plan… I hope this jumble of words makes some sense!

    Thanks again for your words of wisdom – I love to share in your story, and I'm always amazed how much your wisdom can impact my life, even when our life circumstances are totally different! 🙂

    Sending my love and bright light,

    Ms. Pink Feet

    • danny August 21, 2013 at 1:32 am - Reply

      Ah…Ms. Pink Feet – love and bright light received! Thanks for sending it our way 🙂

  37. Anonymous August 20, 2013 at 11:31 pm - Reply

    I wish you would have chose adoption. 🙁

    • danny August 21, 2013 at 1:25 am - Reply

      That is still an option for the future. Trust me, it isn't because we aren't willing to or don't desire to. We've spent the last couple of weeks researching and speaking with agencies and specialists, we've even spoken with foster homes and other things. A lot of thought and research has led us to the decision we made.

      The time, location, and money commitments in NYC don't fit with some other life plans we have in the next few years, making adoption impossible under that scenario.

      Understand that each state has different requirements, and the requirements for NY don't match the changes we are considering in the next little bit.

      If we get to a place in our life where that option is more reasonable, we will pursue it without hesitation.

  38. bmore-crafty.com August 21, 2013 at 1:13 am - Reply

    Mara + Danny,

    Over the last few weeks, I've been slowly poring through your blog. What you're sharing here is so brave and honest, so I'm not surprised that you've inspired the many others here. The best part (to me) is that the insights you share aren't necessarily revolutionary, but sometimes we get trapped in our routines and forget that the simplest paths can be the most fruitful. If only everyone on the internet focused on kindness, gratitude, patience, love… could we even imagine it?!

    I feel like I stumbled upon you at the perfect time. I have recently begun to focus on being my best self, so topics like self care, meditation, healthy living, and building stronger relationships have been in the forefront of my mind. It's lovely to have found another resource to drive those points home — and even though I don't always 100% agree with everything you write here down to the letter, I'm left with something to think about and a new perspective. You've especially reminded me that in order to strengthen my relationships with others, I need to work on myself. In situations when I would typically grow frustrated or feel the need to air my grievances simply to get things off of my chest, I've been focusing on being more patient, loving, thoughtful, kind, what have you… and I'm feeling so much happiness from it.

    Cheers to you both for building such a wonderful community. Keep doing what you're doing.


    • danny August 21, 2013 at 1:31 am - Reply

      Thanks Rachel,

      With the things you listed in your comment…it's clear that we at least agree on the most important things! I loved what you are working on, what things your are applying…at the heart of anything we try to share, that is the main message we hope to get across.

      So glad to have you as a reader!

  39. Utah Girl Am I August 21, 2013 at 1:22 am - Reply

    Cheering for you guys, come what may, from DC! xo

  40. Anonymous August 21, 2013 at 2:00 am - Reply

    Dear Mara,
    Your "block" feelings surprised me a little, because I feel you've been on fire lately… with the posts on physical well-being and all the comments and conversations you have been sparking. The Q&A post was also great. These were new and original.

    As a reader, I can see that you are pouring out your heart into this blog, and I can totally imagine that there would be moments where the energy or inspiration might run dry. Your post here is such a beautiful example of your authenticity and the power of vulnerability that you have spoken about before. Thank you for sharing the ups and downs of your journey to become a parent, and your journey as a blogger.

    Also, some lighter posts in between really inspirational ones can be a good thing… it gives us readers time to savour what you share, to go back to some ealier posts, and not to become too addicted to blogs and just go on living our own life!! 🙂 We love your insights, and we'll follow your rythm…

    Best wishes with your next IVF and everything! Sending love,

  41. Chris Hill August 21, 2013 at 2:04 am - Reply

    I am glad that you are back to blogging your journey. Isn't it fun to go back and read your earlier posts? I love reading my journal (especially entries about challenging times) and am surprised to find my writing reflects strength, creativity and insight that I didn't realize I had at the time. My best to you and Danny :).

  42. Heather August 21, 2013 at 2:10 am - Reply

    YAY! I'm so excited for you guys! I was kinda hoping that you would try again 🙂 We just finished our first round of IVF and are in the waiting period. It's been a good time to practice some virtues for me. I just wanted to thank you guys again for what you are doing with your blog. I actually love that I can have a great deal of peace at this time and can honestly say that my happiness is not dependent on the outcome next Tuesday. Luckily, we have a lot of frozen embryos to choose from if this one didn't work, but either way. I feel at peace. I've come along way in my journey with infertility and I feel like a lot of healing has come from people, like you, who were and are willing to be open and vulnerable about their experiences. Your blog was the last, kind of higher level, I felt like I needed to fully understand what I had to learn and gain from my situation. I almost look at the last 4 years as a blessing now 🙂 They definitely have helped me to grow in ways that would not have been possible otherwise. I still have a long ways to go but thanks so much for what you are doing. Oh, and GOOD LUCK!

  43. megan August 21, 2013 at 2:33 am - Reply

    I'm really happy for you guys for giving it another go. I may have mentioned this before – but you might want to look into New Hope – they do mini IVF – I know you haven't loved all the meds – and they use a small amount of meds and only retrieve 1 – 2 or so eggs per retrieval. The success rate is almost the same as traditional IVF and it's a lot less stressful than traditional. Anyway, good luck to you guys!

  44. Heidi Hansen August 21, 2013 at 4:01 am - Reply

    I was hoping it would come back to this!!! I'M SO EXCITED!!!!!! I'm so happy that you both feel good about moving forward with IVF. I was seriously hoping that you would consider it again. YES!!! So so happy for you. I'm proud that you both are willing to take on another challenging experience such as this. I am hoping and praying for the best. Thanks for all you do!!

  45. rebecca August 21, 2013 at 5:11 am - Reply

    Mara + Danny,

    My heart is full of hope and prayers that this round will work out for you both! You will be wonderful parents, you have so much love to share. 🙂 I have been reading your blog from the beginning, and cannot thank you enough for all that you give to us daily. It is completely understandable that you would need a little break from blogging your heart out when what you share is so personal and meaningful. Especially during a time when you are making life changing decisions. For the record, I LOVED seeing those Turkish towels and have them high up on my wish list.

    When I first started reading your blog, we did not have children and were actually making the decision to be okay without them. It was tough to come to that decision but some of the things you shared helped so much. We had been trying for a few years and would not be able to afford adoption or IVF so we gave ourselves a cutoff for trying. I got pregnant 3 months before that cutoff date and we now have beautiful daughter that is almost 5 months. Could not be happier and again, we will be praying this round goes well for you so you can feel the amazing joy your baby will bring. I have such a good feeling about this and I am so glad you are giving it another go.

  46. Michelle Bunt August 21, 2013 at 6:51 am - Reply

    Hi Mara & Danny,

    I'm happy that you sound at peace with the decisions you have been making. I think that is the most important thing. I know that you are both in touch with the spirit and your own intuitions, and I think as long as you keep listening to those inner nudges, you will go down whatever path(s) are most beneficial for you at the time. And that is really all one can do – the outcome is out of your hands obviously.

    I really struggle to personally identify with your desire to have children, because I so strongly do not want to have children. I do believe that you guys would make excellent parents, and I am especially excited at the thought of you both teaching your children at a young age the kind of emotional skills you write about here. What a difference that would make in their lives! So I wish you all the best.

    I think for me I have always known I didn't want kids. Growing up with two parents who were incredibly ill with mental illnesses and intellectual disabilities who didn't have the capacity to parent me, I feel like I kind of grew up parenting them. And that took a toll on me – it is such a huge thing for a little child to have to do. In the process I lost my childhood. Please understand I do not regret my life or how it has played out (my experiences have given me incredible strengths in some areas that other people only wish they had) but simply that there were some things I were not able to experience. So as an adult I have made it part of my mission to reclaim those years of spontaneity and playfulness and freedom and have them as an adult instead. Basically I already feel like I have done the parenting thing and now I am recapturing my childhood in an adult way (living life in reverse haha).

    Also – and this is a huge factor too – I am studying to be a counsellor/therapist and I really feel like this is what I am called to do in life, not be a mum. I think in many ways being a therapist I will get to re-parent hundreds of adult children, and give them the unconditional love and attention in a therapeutic relationship that they may have never had or experienced before AND give them the tools to then be able to recreate that love and safety for themselves in the outside world. So my nurturing qualities are not lost, they have just been redirected in another direction. In this way I think it is possible for me to play a nurturing role in hundreds of peoples lives!

    Good luck. And keep us updated!

  47. Leanne Rees August 21, 2013 at 7:55 am - Reply

    Its just a short and sweet YAY from me today because thats how I feel, elated for you both that you're on a path that feels right! x

  48. H.M. August 21, 2013 at 10:12 am - Reply

    I am always impressed with, and grateful for, your honesty and openness on this blog. I am very thankful I found you, back during one of my darkest hours, a year and a half ago. Thank you to you both.

  49. Deborah August 21, 2013 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much for always sharing not just the decisions you come to, but the journey as well. I find it so inspiring and helpful. So glad that you came to a realization of your next step. I love that feeling that things are moving, regardless sometimes of the direction, the motion gets me excited! Thinking of you both!

  50. Kristelle Larsen August 21, 2013 at 2:52 pm - Reply

    My husband and I have been dealing with infertiltiy for five years and I am at the point where I am wondering if having children is really what we want and need. Due to my husbands career we have moved over 12 times in the last five years so we have never been in one place long enough to pursue any option. I am not sure what we will do when we get settled next year but I am at peace with which ever way it goes-children or not.

  51. Ria August 21, 2013 at 3:03 pm - Reply

    We're childless and not by choice. But only 2 years into infertility and still hoping. We've discussed many options and are planning to try IVF this winter. I so wish God would grant us a miracle baby–but I'm also thankful that he led man to develop the many technologies that are available today. I hope your next IVF cycle leads to a healthy baby for you!

  52. Anne August 21, 2013 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    Hi Mara,
    I think of you and Danny often, and I'm praying that this time works for you and you have a beautiful baby. We miss you here at Res.

    • mara August 21, 2013 at 7:11 pm - Reply

      Oh, Anne, seeing this made my world. Thanks so much for this note. I miss you, too, and still think of you often. We were like soul sisters for so long. Love, M xoxo

  53. Jen Z August 21, 2013 at 7:04 pm - Reply

    I'm so excited that you're giving IVF another try! I'm currently in the midst of IVF #2, and although this round has had its share of obstacles, challenges, and delays, I've found that I'm enjoying the process even more than with our first go around. I've been able to celebrate each little "victory" along the way and each day I find myself thankful to have made it this far in the process. My expectations are lower, but my feelings of hope and belief in the possibilities are stronger than ever.
    I actually printed the meditation that you posted a while back, and sitting with those beautiful words (and additional meditations I've found) has been a part of my day, each day.
    There's something about knowing that my husband and I have previously survived the process and subsequent loss that feels empowering, and I feel fueled by our shared commitment to give IVF another try. In trying again, I feel as if I'm 'fighting' for my child in a way, and at the same time I feel like I'm surrendering to the process. I finally feel at peace in knowing that although we are giving it our all, ultimately the way life unfolds is beyond our control. It's kind of nice to just let go and trust that things will work out exactly as they are meant to.
    My husband and I are definitely feeling the joy and togetherness of creating a family, and focusing on this period in our lives as a very special time. Only time will tell if this cycle results in a healthy pregnancy for us, but each moment of hope and possibility feels like a gift, that we're thankful to experience together.
    You and Danny are a continued inspiration and it's wonderful to share in your excitement! Wishing you much love in your endeavors…

    • Michaela Stephens September 4, 2013 at 7:15 pm - Reply

      "There's something about knowing that my husband and I have previously survived the process and subsequent loss that feels empowering"

      This is so inspiring to me!

  54. Anonymous August 21, 2013 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    Dear Mara and Danny
    You will be in my thoughts and prayers.
    Thank you for all the time and effort you have put into this blog. I love when I see a new post in my emails.
    I hope this journey will continue to give you joy,strength, wisdom and discernment.

  55. Ashley Doan August 21, 2013 at 7:25 pm - Reply

    This post, and so many of your others as well, continues to inspire me.

    I honestly don't know how you have been able to keep the faith throughout this long process and still be so spirited about it all. I'm only 2 and a half years in, and I want to give up almost every day. 1 Ovarian cyst removal surgery, 9 cycles of clomid, 4 cycles of letrazol, 3 cycles of follistem and 3 IUI's later, I just feel like it's not going to happen. And I struggle, daily, of when to accept my fate? Is God showing me that this just isn't in the cards for us? I don't know what to believe.

    The Bible says that there shall be no barren woman:

    "He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children." – Psalm 113:9

    "Thou shalt be blessed above all people: there shall not be male or female barren amoung you." – Deuteronomy 7:13,14

    These scriptures and His promise have kept my faith alive so far, but it gets harder and harder as each month passes by and another failure is on the books.

    Financially, we can't go any further and are at the end of our ropes. If this last IUI didn't work (we find out in a week), then we will be throwing up our hands. It's sad to think about it, but also a little relieving as well. I don't know if that makes sense, but knowing that you have a deadline and a "move on point" has lifted a lot of weight off our shoulders.

    I'm excited to hear that you are going to try IVF again and am hoping that everything works this time and that both you and your future bab(ies) will be healthy and happy.

    Thanks for keeping us all updated. We are rooting for you big time!

  56. AmeliaTheTeacher August 21, 2013 at 8:36 pm - Reply

    Hi Mara and Danny,

    First time poster here (I think). I've been married for 12 years- that's actually why I started reading your blog. It's hard to find people who will speak candidly about the bliss and fulfillment of being truly in love with your spouse (and most of all, without sounding arrogant). It's just coincidental that we share the same fertility struggles. Since you asked, I will give you a little insight: you are allowed to change your mind and change your mind again. I thought when we were committed to IVF that we couldn't commit to adoption and vice versa.

    At first, we were dead-set on IVF until my wonky ovaries really started giving me a hard time and we started to doubt it would ever work. After a lot of prayer, we decided on adoption in May 2012. We worked with a wonderful agent who adopted two children from Russia, so that's where we decided to adopt. That Christmas season overall was magical. Although we did not have a placement or our dossier completed, we were certain it would be our last Christmas alone. So, I started making little things for our soon-to-be daughter. Most memorable was a globe ornament on which I painted a heart around Russia and put "Waiting With Love." Our world crashed down five days before Christmas when Putin placed a ban on Americans adopting from Russia. It was so, incredibly devastating- a grief I am still dealing with and working through every day.

    As luck would have it (divine intervention, really), we had a trip scheduled to NYC Christmas day- a combination of my two favorite things. While we were there, we researched and found a doctor who specializes in my condition and scheduled a consultation. That quickly, we shifted from adoption to IVF.

    As I was going through extensive hormone and testing, we were given the opportunity to adopt a baby boy due in June. So, we switched from IVF to adoption just like that. Then, for reasons never explained to us, that fell through.

    I knew I could only be proactive, and so I did something a little crazy- I put out a flyer online (smores.com) just kind of saying "Hey, if you know anyone who is considering adoption, tell them about us." My little flyer got 10,000 views within a day, traveled all over the world, and ended up in the hands of a friend of my spiritual mentor who happened to have 2 embryos to donate (my challenge is creating embryos). We talked for months and officially signed our contract last week.

    Even with that in the works, we are exploring adoption through foster care.

    You would never believe how many times I've said (and still say) I don't want to do this. It's taxing, no matter how positive you are. I used to blog about my journey, but my heart has been too torn to continue for now. I am writing a book that parallels infertility to The Wizard of Oz, and it's been my motto to just follow the yellow brick road to wherever it leads. Every avenue will be exhausted, and in the end we will know without a doubt we are where God wants us to be. He makes no mistakes!

    Praying for you, and cannot wait to see where your brick road leads you!

  57. Allison August 21, 2013 at 8:48 pm - Reply

    I can't even imagine what you are going through! Such a huge trial you have been given, but you guys are taking it in stride and learning from it, and reaching out and sharing your story to help others. So awesome. Once your children come, however they come, it will all be worth it, I promise. Good luck with your IVF!

  58. Katie Parent August 21, 2013 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    Oh, good luck Mara and Danny! My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  59. Lynnette Harkness August 22, 2013 at 1:22 am - Reply

    Hi! This is my first visit to your blog, and after browsing for just a few minutes I am inspired. I am just starting on a journey with possible infertility (nothing is really clear at the moment) and it's definitely something else. Thanks for sharing your story and helping me see how to be positive in a time when all I seem to feel is negativity and/or confusion.

    Once again, thanks! I hope all goes well with you and IVF!

  60. Diana August 22, 2013 at 2:52 am - Reply

    I can't tell you how much I've loved reading your blog and how inspirational you are to me. My husband and I have struggled with infertility for years and were told last year we had a less than 3% chance of ever getting pregnant. Not great odds. The idea to move forward with adoption for us took me a long time to accept, over a year. I think that healing from a failed IVF just takes time. You have to be fully ready to move forward with the next step and can't force it at all. We recently were presented with the opportunity to do IVF again and work with a clinic that specializes in my kind of infertility. It's actually in NYC! We're hoping for better results. But if it doesn't work, at least we'll know we've truely done everything we can think of and will be able to move forward. So now we're still working on adoption and trying another round of IVF at the same time. I totally understand how much better it feels to have a plan, though. I've never felt pressure or stress throughout this adoption process. We've just taken it one step at a time and at our own pace. We've worked with LDS Family Services and it is really reasonably priced. Not sure if it's something you could do there or if you'd ever want to know more information, but I'd love to share anything we could with you if that's something you'd want to consider in the future. I hope for the best for this IVF and will keep you in my prayers!

  61. dervla kelly August 22, 2013 at 4:17 pm - Reply

    i'm so happy you've decided on your path, Mara … you must feel some relief to at least have a decision made. We'll be here cheering you along the way!!

  62. Mary L. August 23, 2013 at 6:23 am - Reply

    I'm happy to hear you are trying again:) I was waiting with anticipation during your last IVF and sad for you when it didn't work out.
    I am curious, have you guys ever considered using an egg donor? I'm not well-versed in infertility, however, I have donated my eggs in the past, and wonder if you would have luck with this route. Again, I'm a novice in the science, so I don't want to make assumptions, but after years of reading your blog and then this post, the question of a donor popped in my head:)

  63. Anonymous August 23, 2013 at 1:32 pm - Reply

    Blessings, prayer, and love to you!!

  64. jenny August 23, 2013 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    Love your blog; have never commented before. 🙂 I am happy and relieved for you both that you have decided on your next step. For me, being in "limbo" over important things in my life leaves me frustrated, anxious, blue, and quite frankly, starts to zap my energy leaving me feeling exhausted and beat up. Lots of times I can just "go with the flow," but for the big things, I'm a girl who needs direction and a plan. Best, best wishes to you as you build your family—however it comes to be. 🙂 We had secondary infertility after our first, then were miraculously able to have three more babies, and then decided on one more through adoption. I feel like I've experienced a little of everything. It's a journey, indeed.

  65. Alysa Stewart August 23, 2013 at 6:38 pm - Reply

    thinking of you and sending positive vibes your way! I kissed a baby for you today!

  66. Emma D August 27, 2013 at 6:50 pm - Reply

    I am so excited for you both! It feels so nice to settle on a plan, and I have so much hope for you and this next cycle. I truly believe the doctors learn a lot about a couple in each round, sussing out little clues to our biology and refining the strategy each time. Our first try failed, and that failure made me treat our second try as a foregone negative (though I had a positive and loving attitude, I prepared myself – perhaps over-prepared myself – for failure). When I went in for my blood test after the two week wait (yesterday!), I told my doctor I was pretty sure it was a no because I felt exactly the same, symptoms-wise, as I had the first time. "With all due respect," he said, so kindly, "I've had this conversation many times, and many times, the outcome has been a healthy pregnancy." And what do you know… Two hours later we got the most incredible news of our lives. I'm sorry for the novella, it's still very fresh!

    All this to say, I wish you the very, very best – peace with the process, love and positivity, and of course, a happy, happy pregnancy and healthy baby.

    • mara August 27, 2013 at 6:58 pm - Reply

      YAY!!! I feel so honored to get to hear your exciting news. That is just WONDERFUL. All the best to you on this next chapter.

  67. Sarah B.A. December 4, 2013 at 3:26 am - Reply

    Hello. I just read your blog for the first time a few minutes ago, and it was a post about you and hubby trying reflexology at Angel Feet in the West Village. Have you tried reflexology for your infertility? I am a reflexologist, and I know of so many women who have tried it and have successfully become pregnant after having a month or two of sessions, sometimes longer. Give it a try if you haven't. Also acupuncture works well for so many.

    Keep the faith!

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