ENJOY the Process

Christmas night, we saw my cousin and his wonderful wife.  They have
done two IVFs that did not work out and since they were veterans, she
gave me some WONDERFUL advice as we were going to start our IVF
medications the next day.  She said,

“I know this sounds crazy, but enjoy the process.”

her IVFs, she focused on being grateful for the science that made it
possible for them to try at all.  And even though she didn’t get
pregnant, she was glad they had the experience as it was a part of their
incredible journey (they are now seeking to adopt!  Their adoption profile is here.)

Danny and I were determined
to make the best of this experience, too.  But, I was still profoundly
thankful for her words sounding strongly in my head as we opened the
first packages of injections, which we were to administer each night at

Danny was the best at reviewing the directions and knowing what to do.  He was soooo sweet and attentive about the whole thing.

with that, it happened.  We kissed
and gave each other high fives and even felt giddy.

We are now on Day 9 of this process, and well, somehow my cousin’s words have rang true!  We really have enjoyed it.  I consider it a little miracle.  I know I have been extremely lucky as I haven’t had any physical or
emotional reactions to the medications (hugely lucky, here).  But most
of all, the peace I’ve made with infertility has been at it’s best. 
Instead of being full of anxiety and stress, I am calm and just full of
curiosity and amazement regarding the possibilities.  Instead of being
consumed by fear and attached to a certain outcome, we have just both
been full of more intense love and kindness and compassion for
each other.  Somehow we feel tighter than ever as a little family – and
feel like real
future parents.

Um, see what I mean about this being a
miracle?  As I write this out, I, too, am thinking, “How on earth?”  Part of me wants to hold back from writing this out as I know this is
such a sensitive and difficult experience for so many.  But, the other part of me
still wants to share, as my cousin did for me.  Perhaps someone out
there can say in her head, “Enjoy the process” – and it can make a
difference, as it did for me.


For any IVF veterans out there, you probably know that by now we’ve had
ultrasounds and know what the progress is looking like. 
So far, things are not looking as good as they’d like.  The chances of this being
successful are lower than expected.  But our nurse said to have positive thoughts
and to still plan on it happening.  🙂  I loved her positivity.  She
said all you need is one healthy embryo.  So, we are planning on it
happening.  I’ve even been nesting and the last two nights we’ve been at
Ikea staring at Pax wall units to figure out how to maximize space in our kids’ room. 
🙂  (Tell me, do moms prefer shelves or drawers for kids’ clothes, shoes, toys
& supplies?)

P.P.S.  I’ve decided to make “Enjoy the Process” my theme for 2013, no matter what we have ahead.  🙂  Want to join me?

(Images:  1 / 2)

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  1. Rik January 2, 2013 at 5:03 pm - Reply

    Best of luck with this, Mara! I'm always rooting for you and Danny. You're amazing parents already.

    As for the storage question :), I prefer taking advantage of vertical space since I live in a tiny apartment. We have some ikea shelves with baskets, which work fine for us for clothes and toys. We're in the process of moving our boy to a twin bed and I'm looking for one with drawers so we can tuck all the toys away in them. Floor space is precious to me! For the rest of our house we take advantage of all the spaces under beds, dressers, the crib, etc. Doesn't always look the prettiest, but you could do cute baskets or something! Good luck! 🙂

  2. Katie January 2, 2013 at 5:08 pm - Reply

    I echo the good luck and good wishes! Your nurse is right – positive thoughts. Having twin boys I can vouch for the beauty of the Ikea basket shelves. Baskets and drawers are great for "collecting" and the shelving unit with the baskets are safer for small fingers than the heavier drawers. Best of luck!

  3. Laura @ Chaotic Domestic January 2, 2013 at 5:41 pm - Reply

    Sounds like good advice and a good motto for 2013. Best of luck to the both of you as you start out on this adventure. Best wishes.

  4. Winter January 2, 2013 at 5:58 pm - Reply

    I love your 2013 mantra! I hope all goes well and that you continue to find peace and compassion this year! Happy thoughts going out to you and your husband!

  5. katie fiddler January 2, 2013 at 6:05 pm - Reply

    What a beautiful mantra. Like everything in life, it's about the journey, not the destination [i guess it's cliche and overused for a reason!]. I'm a new stepmom to a 3 and 5 year old, and am finding that drawers work for clothes, bins and baskets work for toys they play with often [and have to clean up on their own often!] and open shelves work for stuff they don't really touch/play with [piggy bank, family photos, nice books, art projects on display]. I'm finding that I'm the only one right now who manages the open shelving we have – they aren't quite ready to clean up those areas. Bins and baskets are my favorite, though. They love sorting their toys and putting them where they belong.

  6. jo January 2, 2013 at 6:39 pm - Reply

    i love that motto! might incorporate it into my plans and goals for the new year as well! as for storage: baskets are great for toys and diapers/diapering supplies, shelves are perfect for most baby clothes, it's nice to have at least one rod to hang dresses or button-down shirts. hope that helps.

  7. Michelle January 2, 2013 at 7:03 pm - Reply

    I love this advice! Yesterday I got diagnosed with Hashimoto's Disease, after ten years of fatigue, vomitting, weight gain and a host of other symptoms. In order to reverse the symptoms and live a healthy life I now have to live a complete gluten-free, egg-free and dairy-free diet. There is so much to wrap my head around at the moment…what foods I can have, what can't I have, what foods have gluten sneakily hidden in them. But here is the thing: I realised that I have three choices about this situation. Either I can:
    1. Ignore the dietary advice, continue my old ways of eating and suffer the consequences
    2. Make the dietary changes, watch the symptoms disappear, but make myself miserable thinking about all the things I am giving up and can't eat anymore; or
    3. Enjoy the process. Be grateful for the diagnosis after 10 years of suffering, look at this as an opportunity to heal my body and care for me, an opportunity to cook more which I have wanted to do for ages (will have to cos most convenience food will have something in it that I can't eat), as an opportunity to explore and discover new recipes and reclaim the health that is rightfully mine.
    When I look at those three choices laid out like that, it is a simple decision to decide which one to pick and live by, and which one will bring me the most peace and happiness.
    I love this reminder. Thanks for sharing. It is so incredibly timely in my life at the moment.
    All the best with the IVF 🙂

  8. Courtney January 2, 2013 at 7:05 pm - Reply

    I'm at a different stage when it comes to fertility– I have one 4 1/2 year old daughter who came without even trying (surprise!), but since then have experienced a miscarriage and now a year of trying without success. So maybe I sound naive because I haven't been through years of wanting and waiting (and I already have one!), but I was feeling so discouraged a couple months ago, really depressed actually. My husband very kindly suggested an attitude adjustment. I was focusing so much on the fact that we weren't getting pregnant that I was missing how exciting it was to be *trying* to get pregnant! It's a fun and exciting prospect to be trying to bring a child into the world, and it should be magical. So, just like you're saying, enjoy the process!! Things might not work, but it's a beautiful thing we're trying to do.
    Good luck! I hope things go your way.

  9. Anonymous January 2, 2013 at 7:12 pm - Reply

    hi Mara, I completely agree with your nurse. Also, every month is different for women. Some months are more fertile than others as I'm sure you know. This is your first time trying IVF and you are so young. I love the 2013 theme. I may just take it on 🙂

  10. Marianne January 2, 2013 at 7:14 pm - Reply

    You are seriously one of the most beautiful people I've ever "met" (not that we've ever met in person, just read your blog). I cannot get over your positivity and love for life. It's contagious, Mara and I thank you for that. Lately, I have referenced your blog to a family member (my sister) who is going through divorce #2 with five kids. My sister is desperate to not be alone (the woman is afraid to be alone), and offered some advice you have shared on your blog. About choosing happiness, spending this time to get to know her own true self, etc. I love this blog and I love your message. Wishing you enjoyment throughout your journey! Sending my happy thoughts your way!


    • mara January 3, 2013 at 7:19 pm - Reply

      This note just made me so happy. Thank you so much. I wish I COULD meet you – and so many people out there. Sending lots of hope and good wishes to your sister. I know firsthand that we suffer through some trials and then some can change us forever more. For me, it took many years of suffering through trials before I started to make the changes. Timing is everything. I think when we're ready, it will happen.

  11. Jenny D. January 2, 2013 at 8:57 pm - Reply

    Shelves!!!! They are just all around more versatile and can be modified as your child grows and their needs change.

    I love the mantra, very useful in so many situations.

    Sending positive energy, thoughts, and prayers your way!

  12. Anonymous January 2, 2013 at 10:48 pm - Reply

    Best of luck Mara and Danny! I truly hope for your success. I had three failed IVFs and am still childless. Each failure was painful, but I do miss my IVF days because they were filled with hope and excitement. I'm glad you are choosing to enjoy the process!

  13. Stephanie January 2, 2013 at 11:16 pm - Reply

    Good luck with your process(es). I'm praying for your family! Also, I am definitely joining you with the "Enjoy the process" theme. That is perfect. Thank you for your inspiration!

  14. Anonymous January 2, 2013 at 11:54 pm - Reply

    i have no doubt that you will enjoy the process because that's the attitude you have about everything in life! i felt in awe through the entire process of IVF as well. and even when it didn't turn out as expected, even with the moments of discouragement and heartache, i always felt we were making progress and doing everything we could and that is all we could do. praying that your positive attitude helps an embryo or two grow to be just the perfect size!

  15. felicificability January 3, 2013 at 10:11 am - Reply

    i wish you good luck and success with this. I look forward to reading the stories about your kids one day soon, i'm sure they will be sunny and awesome like the ones you share now. You guys rock, and if i was a soul looking to be born somewhere in this timespace continuum, i would definetly choose your family! I'm sending you lots of positive energy xoxo

    • mara January 3, 2013 at 7:20 pm - Reply

      Oh man – you're too sweet. thanks for the smile! 🙂

  16. Shannon January 3, 2013 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    Thank you for sharing your story! I find your words truly inspirational. My husband are in the early stages of infertility treatment; we fall into the "unexplained infertility" category. It is HARD and full of heartache. But whenever I'm feeling distraught about our situation, I try to remind myself of all the things in my life (especially my husband!) that I am grateful for. Though I am new to your blog, it has been extremely helpful in this regard. Good luck to you!

  17. Kim January 3, 2013 at 2:22 pm - Reply

    I'm sending good thoughts your way. My doctor told us during our IVF process that things didn't look good. None of my embryos looked good. I had 3 implanted and none of the others made it to be frozen. But that one not so good embryo turned into one amazing 9 year old girl today. Good luck to you guys. I so feel for you in your struggle. I wanted lots of babies too and after 8 years of infertility I was finally blessed with one. I have learned to let go of my preconceived notions of what motherhood would be like for me and to accept the amazing life I have. I just love your blog and all your positive posts. I hope you become parents very soon. I know you will be amazing!

    • mara January 3, 2013 at 7:12 pm - Reply

      I love hearing these success stories!! Wow. What miracles are out there. So fun to hear.

  18. AnnaMeldau January 3, 2013 at 4:11 pm - Reply

    I'm adopting this motto right now. It's funny how your posts come out at just the right moment for what I'm going through in my life. Sending good thoughts your way!

  19. Liz January 3, 2013 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    You are the sweetest! XOXOXXXOXO

  20. LaurenK January 3, 2013 at 7:04 pm - Reply

    Hi Mara

    Wishing you lots of luck with IVF, I have a 2.5 year old from it and am pregnant again now from another round. It can be hard at times to enjoy the process but it is amazing to feel you are moving ahead and doing everything you can to have a family. I live in your neighborhood and have unopened meds from this last cycle. I would love to give them to you if you could use them, or donate them to your clinic. They were expensive and it's silly to have them lying around my apt when they could be helping people!
    Anyway, please respond if you are interested and I can tell you what I have, and arrange to drop them off.


    • mara January 3, 2013 at 7:08 pm - Reply

      Oh my goodness, Lauren – that is such a generous offer. Wow. Yes – we'd love to hear what you have. Unfortunately our insurance doesn't cover any of our expenses so this would be so very helpful to us. Thank you so much. You can write me at mara @ ablogaboutlove.com.

  21. Tiffany January 4, 2013 at 7:18 am - Reply

    I don't know if you've ever heard of the band The Civil Wars but if you like Mumford & Sons I am sure you will love them. They are more folk than rock though. Anyway, they have this song To Whom it May Concern that speaks of a deep longing for someone that you haven't met but are waiting patiently for them. It's a very flexible song in that it can fit so many different situations (for me it's finding a husband) but I often think of those awaiting their unborn children as well. If you have a chance take a listen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxGzWlNZfk4

  22. Liz M January 5, 2013 at 2:38 am - Reply

    I am sending positive energy and love your way! I don't know you and Danny, but I love your blog and believe if any one should be parents it's the two of you. Hoping this IVF pulls out a little miracle for you!

  23. Lindsey January 5, 2013 at 3:42 am - Reply

    Best wishes with your IVF and especially the 2 week wait. That was the hardest for us! I was so happy to be starting IVF, because it felt like I was taking a huge leap of faith, but also taking control of the situation and working the very hardest I knew how! Hoping beautiful babies soon bless your lives!

  24. Madsen Family January 6, 2013 at 12:31 am - Reply

    Mara, I've read your blog for a while–several people recommended it to me and I just knew I had to comment on this post. This is EXACTLY how I'm feeling right now. We have two cute little babies from IVF (both took several rounds of IVF to get here–and our second baby we only had ONE embryo to transfer and it worked!!). We're starting another round of IVF this month for baby #3. And though our chances may be slimmer than some and though some may think we're crazy (b/c we already have two beautiful babies), I want more kids and this is our best shot. I feel such peace in this endeavor and am also so grateful that I've had success; so grateful we live in a day when this is even an option; so grateful that we have the means to pay for the procedures; so grateful I have a good doctor/nurses; so grateful to have such a loving, kind husband. As I knelt in prayer last night, I felt such overpowering love from our Heavenly Father and I knew He was so pleased with my righteous desire to have children–a desire so strong that I'm willing to endure all that goes with IVF. I feel so strongly that no matter the outcome, we will be blessed.

    I'm so glad you're willing to share your process–it really is healing to share and let others buoy you up. The best of luck to you and Danny. You're in our thoughts and prayers.

  25. Summer Lewis January 6, 2013 at 5:20 am - Reply

    I love reading your story, you're so open and honest. I myself have been supremely blessed to be able to get pregnant easily, but I have so many I love that it is a struggle for them. Some have had great success with IVF, others have adopted, and others have have been blessed with surprise miracles, and others are still waiting. I know that Heavenly Father gives us exactly what we need exactly when we need it. You're attitude is perfect.
    That being said, I'll address your second question about storing baby stuff. We live in a little house in Japan, and storage is a…challenge. So I feel you on the small space thing. Ikea is the best, and I love drawers for clothes and shelves for everything else. I especially like toys on shelves because then my girls can easily get them, and put them away and it's easy to change things around (long live the Expedit I say!).

  26. Anonymous January 6, 2013 at 2:52 pm - Reply

    Mara, I absolutely love your blog and find it (and you!) so inspirational! Thank you so much for this post! We are starting our first IVF next week, and this message already has made me feel better about the process! I am wishing you tons of luck and sending positive baby thoughts your way! Thank you again for all that you do!

  27. The Lewis Farm January 8, 2013 at 12:33 am - Reply

    Mara, for as long as I've been following your blog (a year?), I've had it bookmarked in my entertainment/mom blogs location. I think of you as a mom already, and really believe you will get there. I've been through this journey too and am the exceedingly grateful mother to a 4 yr old boy now. My diagnosis was premature ovarian failure (old eggs). My fertility doctor had little hope for us, at 38yrs, but it happened! Your nurse is right, it only takes 1 healthy embryo. 🙂 Wishing you peace and loads of patience. 🙂

  28. Anonymous January 12, 2013 at 1:44 am - Reply

    I read this post earlier but had to come back because I kept thinking about it. "Enjoy the process," was meant for me too. I have been trying to conceive for only a little while but have been overwhelmed at times at how emotional it is. Somehow I didn't expect the cycle of hope-expectations-pressure-whew-waiting-disappointment…and then do it all over again. Now I will find some freedom by enjoying the process. Thank you, Mara. That was exactly what I needed to hear. Much love.

  29. travis January 14, 2013 at 11:24 am - Reply

    hello very nice blog i found this on google search love blogs and thought i would read it we also have a blog of our relationship if anyone would like to read it is more then welcome http://anneandtravis2535.blogspot.com/

  30. Anonymous January 22, 2013 at 10:03 pm - Reply

    enjoying the process is a fantastic goal to have as you begin this part of your parenthood journey. it can be really hard to do during ivf (been there and am wishing you all the best), but deciding to be positive can only help.

  31. Katie January 25, 2013 at 1:51 am - Reply

    that is such a great attitude to have. my husband and I did IVF three times and are now 15 weeks pregnant after our third try. there were just so many emotions that went into the process. days i felt excited and thankful for medicine and days I felt so frustrated and exhausted that this is what we were going through to just "try" to get pregnant. but I think you have to allow yourself to go through all of those different emotions. I'm not sure where you are with your update – just found your blog and this post – but I'm praying that you got some good news, and if you're left starting the process over, are able to continue to excited and hopeful spirits.

  32. sarah@boxwoodclippings January 25, 2013 at 6:32 pm - Reply

    I just found your blog today and am so thankful. I've been waiting for an invitation like this, yes I will enjoy the process with you!

    we've just hit our 6th year anniversary of ttc, so we're now thinking it's the right time to think about ivf… seriously this time. i hate everything i read but am learning to suck it up and change my perspective. thanks for your insights.

  33. sarah@boxwoodclippings January 25, 2013 at 6:37 pm - Reply

    I just found your blog today and am so thankful. I've been waiting for an invitation like this, yes I will enjoy the process with you!

    we've just hit our 6th year anniversary of ttc, so we're now thinking it's the right time to think about ivf… seriously this time. i hate everything i read but am learning to suck it up and change my perspective. thanks for your insights.

  34. Micah November 7, 2013 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    You are amazing guys!! Keep trying always!!

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