IVF in Barbados – Our 1st appointment with the clinic

We arrived on the beautiful island of Barbados on Wednesday, November. 10th. We arrived at our hotel just in time to watch one of the most beautiful sunsets we’ve ever seen. We unpacked and immediately went in search for food. After traveling all day and having nothing but some cookies, cheesecake crackers, and gummy bears, we were ready for full bellies and a good night’s sleep.

~ Barbados from the plane ~

We walked down to a place called BACKYAAD and had dinner on the ocean. So far, everywhere we’ve been has done temperature checks and login information to track for COVID. Hand sanitizer is about as common and easily found as the rum punch, and trust me, that shit is EVERY WHERE! It was dark, as it gets dark around 5pm, but you could still see the beautiful waves crashing on the shore. We relaxed and waited for our dinner, but this island TRULY is on “island time.” No body here is in a hurry for anything, and while I respect and understand that, I do have fertility injections that have to be done at a very specific time.

Unfortunately I had to leave Hubman to wait for the food after an hour and a half, walk back to the hotel and give myself my injections. He requested the food be packaged for to go, and brought it up to me so we could eat in the room. I’m fairly certain within an hour after eating, we both passed out for roughly 10 hours, as we were completely exhausted due to the previous few days of preparation, anxiety, and traveling.

~ The moon over the ocean at 6pm ~

When we woke up on Thursday, I had to jump right into work. I’m very lucky to be able to work while I’m here on our fertility journey. So I stayed in the room until it was time for dinner. We went downstairs to the fish fry, where I had a wonderful chicken cordon bleu dish, but again, dinner was over 3 hours. Literally nobody is in a hurry here. It’s nice, but for the second time in a row I had to leave dinner to go give myself my injections.

Lesson learned, if we have to do this again, choose an early morning time or a very late evening time. 8pm isn’t late enough…

~ The last stab before we find out how I’m responding to these fertility drugs! Hoping my body isn’t hating me too much right now! ~

We came back to the room and settled down for the night since our first appointment was at 8:00 on Friday morning. Renting a car on the island is a bit pricey, so we are walking everywhere for the time being. We do plan to rent a car later and travel around to see more of the island when we have time.

~ The beach is right across the street from the Fertility Center! ~

Friday morning I hopped out of bed, super excited to finally go meet my team that is responsible for our journey this far. It’s a very short walk, maybe 10 minutes from where we are staying to the Barbados Fertility Centre. Once we arrived, we had our temperatures checked and we were signed in. We finally met Dr. Skinner who is simply lovely. She explained what the visit was for and what we were looking for. She’s so welcoming and warm and it was so hard not to hug her sweet neck. I really hate COVID.

~ I felt like I was the only patient there, though I know I wasn’t, as I met so many beautiful women that made this trip with us while we were at the clinic! ~

We proceeded with the ultrasound and they only found 4 follicles. Due to stage 4 endometriosis and a low AMH, I was expecting exactly what happened to happen. They only found 2 follicles on each ovary. 4 total.

This means we aren’t out of the game yet, we are just playing on a much harder difficulty level.

~ It’s not the best news, but it’s exactly what I was expecting. ~

The rest of Friday was spent having breakfast at ArtSplash, which has some phenomenal smoothies and breakfast/lunch options. Then we came back to the hotel and I worked until way too late while snacking on some awesome pizza that Hubman brought back so I wouldn’t have to leave my computer for the night.

~ Pancake Breakfast at ArtSplash ~

For now, It’s Saturday and we plan on having the most amazing week end enjoying this beautiful island. As I type this post, I’m currently sitting under a tree on the beach waiting for a rum punch refill and some lunch. Sunday is Hubman’s birthday, so we have an eventful day planned full of fun adventures.

~ Vitamin Sea and Relaxation. Doctor’s Order! ~
~ Naps on the beach are the best naps. ~

I’ll keep you posted on our adventures around the island this weekend and our results from our next scan on Monday.

Until then, enjoy yourself and remember not to take life so seriously!


IVF in Barbados

It seems like the past few months have flown by and as I write this on the plane ride to Barbados, all I can think about is all the things I’ve been though to get to this point in our journey.

~ Whatever happens, happens. It’s all going to be fine. ~

Countless labs, never ending exams, DNA and genetic testing, more vitamins and supplements than ever in my life, failed treatments, procedures, prescriptions, diagnoses, a surgery, 3 months of cycle suppression, and now FINALLY our fertility injections and other IVF medications. All this in just 11 months? It’s certainly been mad chaos.

~ Leaving San Antonio for Miami. ~

Today, November 10th, 2021, is the 6th day of our 1st IVF cycle. It’s also travel day. We woke up in San Antonio at 3am. We made it to the airport for our first flight by 4:30am. After a layover in Miami, we are currently somewhere over the Bahamas quickly approaching Barbados.

~ We are not awake, but we made it on the plane! ~

A question I get often is, “Where is Barbados?” Barbados is located in the Caribbean Region of the North Atlantic Ocean. As an island in the Lesser Antilles, Barbados is a country in the West Indies.

~ Barbados is north of South America near the equator. ~

The island country is in the southeastern Caribbean Sea, and shares the east side of the coast with the Atlantic Ocean. Roughly triangular in shape, the island measures some 20 miles from northwest to southeast and about 15 miles from east to west at its widest point.

Ooooo – American Airlines is serving Biscoff cookies and cranberry cocktails. YES PLEASE!

~ Mile High Writer’s Club ~

Thank you all for the love and support you have shown us thus far. The calls, messages, prayers, gifts, donations, and constant positive reminders to stay positive are so appreciated.

I’m going to try to post updates here throughout our trip. I’m also going to be sharing photos to my Instagram and vlogs to TikTok. Stay tuned to see how our first round goes!

Hugs & love & stuff,

Austin 2021: New Home & New Hope

It’s been almost a year since we’ve moved to Austin. Our new home should be move-in ready by the middle of October. FINALLY! I’ll post all the pictures and bring you all for a tour in a later post. I promise.

For now, let’s focus on the HOPE.

**Please note that I will not be sharing our previous fertility issues on this page. I am only posting our current situation and the hopeful solution. Focusing on the past is not the way to move forward. If you know our story, please be mindful and respectful of what I choose to share publically.**

So let’s start with why this blog is named “Project: Life.”

I wanted to get my life and health back on track to eventually create a new life for myself, and ultimately start a family. I knew that me being unhealthy wouldn’t lead to any kind of future family, (life) and THAT is ultimately what Hubman and I want. Anyone who knows us knows that this has been our focus for a very long while.

At the end of 2019, Hubman and I had a conversation about our fertility issues. I’ll be the first to admit that I thought for sure once I got to a healthy weight and got some of my health issues under control, we’d plop out a baby or two to finally complete the family that we both so badly wanted.

That didn’t happen. So after constant heartbreak, month after month, we decided to deep dive into our fertility issues.

I saw a doctor in DFW that left me with more questions than answers and entirely too much frustration to even mention. After a few months of blood work, exams, tests, and all kinds of procedures, he didn’t seem to know what was going on so he sent me to a fertility doctor. The fertility doctor there didn’t help much either. Hubman was tested many times before anyone decided to take a true look at me. This doctor determined that it had to be 100% malefactor.

100% malefactor infertility means that the female reproductive system is working fine and the only issues are with the male reproductive system.

He was wrong. More on that in a bit. By this point, it was roughly May 2020 and the whole world was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We did find out at this time that the malefactor was part of the issue that was contributing to our fertility issues so Hubman spent many months researching, taking medications, and doing everything he could to build up his numbers.

By this point, I had been put on the back burner while Keenan took care of what we thought was the only issue. We also found out in July that we would be moving to Austin. Fertility, in general, had officially been moved to the back burner while we found a place to live, packed, moved, and got settled into our temporary rental house.

Once we got settled in, we started looking for doctors; normal doctors, dentists, optometrists, just the things we needed to have since this is our new home. In the process, fertility was brought back to the forefront. I found an AMAZING fertility doctor in Austin that asked more questions and was much more friendly and professional. He was so thourough with everything, never once did we leave an appointment of hang up from a phone call that left us feeling confused or frustrated. After many exams, treatments, and more failed tests, he decided something wasn’t quite right.

He sat down with Hubman and me both and suggested that I have a hysteroscopy. He wanted to get in there and see for himself what was happening, based on everything that we had told him. Based on my pain levels and cycle history, he suspected endometriosis and since he had found that my left tube was blocked during previous procedures and exams, he wanted to try to open it up as well.

Hubman and I trusted him completely. He knew exactly what he was talking about, and we felt confident that the surgery was the right thing to do. Even if it didn’t fix anything else, it could potentially make my monthly cycles much less painful and easier to deal with.

In March 2021, I had a hysteroscopy. While he was in there, he realized that I had extensive endometriosis, twisted tubes, tied up ovaries, and my bladder and uterus were fused. What was supposed to be a quick and simple procedure turned into something much less boring for my doctor. He rebuilt me, and because of this, what was supposed to be a quick 3-day recovery, was more like a month. It didn’t even matter though – I am so glad I had this surgery.

I’ll admit, I was a little upset about having to have the surgery because I didn’t think it was too necessary. However, looking back, it was necessary and I’m so mad at myself for not making this happen 20 years ago. It has truly been life-changing.

Once I recovered and was able to have more testing and procedures, it was determined that my left tube was still blocked. Though my doctor had succeeded in opening it during the surgery, it had collapsed back on itself during the recovery. With our previous treatments having failed, he suggested that we continue with IVF to give us the best shot at carrying a child to term and finally having the family that we both have been aching for.

We’ve since realized that while the malefactor is a small part of our fertility issue, it’s a very small part. Not enough to even matter. So while we are thankful for that part of things, we still have a long journey ahead of us.

Stay tuned to follow our IVF journey.

Until next time, shine bright, my lovelies.

Packing up 8 years of our life and moving to Austin – In Photos!

By this point, you know that we’ve moved to Austin and we’re building our own home. The moving process though – What a crazy insane trip that was. After we had our rental house situation figured out we started the purging and packing process. (Mostly purging because the packing was entirely too overwhelming if I’m honest.)

I tried to start earlier. I swear I did… I started purging in July! But packing?? Well, that was kind of a last-minute effort that only happened with the help of some VERY SPECIAL people!

This was when I realized it was becoming real. Wall space was starting to appear and the chaos was coming!
Hubman looking through photos of his grandmother and grandfather. We lost both of these amazing people, Grandma Rose right before we moved, and Pappy Doyal right after.

My last day at the office was bittersweet. My team was so kind and generous. They tried their hardest to keep me from crying! Cookies, cupcakes, breakfast, lunch, Starbucks – It was a wonderful day!

Liz and I stayed up until 11 am on Saturday packing. It was intense. There were tears, laughs, delirious conversations, hallucinations… All the things! She went home at 11 and I slept on the couch for a few hours before I hopped back up and went right back again.

We got all our Home documents signed, keys, and garage door openers packed and ready to go, then it was time to wait for our moving team. I’m so thankful for our cousin Marcus. He showed up from San Marcos and moved our stuff for us. We were SO THANKFUL TO HIM and Trey.

The amount of love and support of our friends and family was truly amazing. People brought boxes and tape and bubble wrap and packing paper. Others stayed up ALL NIGHT with me packing boxes. The memories made while packing up our home in Arlington were truly ones that I’ll keep in my favorite box forever.

Then we got to Austin and started unpacking…
The love notes on the boxes from everyone had me in tears. It had become VERY REAL that I had just left some of the most amazing people in my life about 250 miles away.

Here’s a little preview of our temporary rental home in Austin. The neighborhood is amazing! Everyone is super friendly and we felt like we fit right in within days. We’ll miss this neighboorhood when we move, but for now, it’s home.

The family that showed up, the friends that showed up, the ones that rolled up their sleeves and started throwing things in boxes – I’ll never be able to repay you guys for everything that you did. Certainly, the donuts and dinners were nothing compared to how you all helped us through this.

This woman showed up and finished the job. If it weren’t for her, my stepmother, and my aunt, I think we’d STILL be packing my bathroom and closet alone. We spent our last night in Arlington having dinner with this wonderful human. I’m so thankful she’s in our lives.

Hubman and I cannot thank you all enough. From purging, to packing, to even moving, we had the most support and love thrown our way. More than we could have ever imagined. You guys were the real MVPs!

We look forward to sharing our new home in Austin with these special people in our lives. So many people stepped up and carried us through this process. Truly, we couldn’t have done this alone. (Well, we could have, but it would have been WAY more brutal!)

We appreciate you guys more than a cold shower after packing for 14 hours. Truly.
Thank you all so much!