Friday, November 10, 2017

Infertility update/Giving advice

I realized today that it has been a while since I have given a real update on our journey with infertility, so if you're not interested in that, you should probably quit reading here. :) 

We had my surgery 6 months ago in May where I had large masses the size of a newborn babies head (ironic, right?) removed from the outside of both of my ovaries. There was also a cyst double the size of the masses surrounding each mass on both ovaries as well. They were able to successfully remove both masses and cysts, but discovered I also have masses inside of both ovaries that are still large, but not as big as the other ones. These were not able to be removed without removing my ovaries as well, which is counterproductive in what we are trying to do here. I also have PCOS and Stage 4 Endometriosis.

The doctor said that our only option at this point is going to be IVF (in-vitro fertilization). This is an extremely intense, painful, and most of all expensive procedure, ranging anywhere from $7,000-$20,000. We were told that we needed to begin the process 5-6 months after my surgery in order to best optimize our chances of the IVF actually working. At the 5-6 months my doctor estimated a 30% chance of it actually working which is not high, but it is something. The chances of us ever getting pregnant on our own without IVF is literally 0%.
(I recommend looking this up if you don't know what IVF is or entails) We have been blessed with having insurance that covers up to $10,000 of the IVF, which depending on what course of treatment we take, may either cover it 100% or almost 90% of the cost. Yesterday my doctor's office called me and said that the insurance has updated their policy to only cover the IVF after we have done another procedure called an IUI (again...look this up if you don't know it) and it has failed 2 times. I have previously asked my doctor about this procedure and because of my thick endometriosis and my masses in my ovaries, this procedure would never work for me. This is incredibly frustrating because we will have to pay for 2 procedures that we know won't work and will put us to almost a year past the surgery which is risking having to get another surgery before being able to do IVF. This will again lower the chances even more of the IVF working and being able to conceive. We are so sad because we were getting excited to begin the process in the next 3 1/2 weeks and now will be set back almost 4 months. 

One thing we have learned through this is that we should never assume that everyone's situation is the same. Every couple has a different story. Just because one thing has worked/not worked for one couple, does not mean it will be the same for another. We have also had to rely heavily on faith to get us through this difficult journey. We have had so many tell us that "God has a plan". Don't worry. - we know. There have been so many moments during our marriage where we have seen that manifested. Remember that everyone is at different places in their lives and sometimes what you might perceive as a helpful comment may not be received the same way by the couple. As far as giving advice - I'm going to be straight up - if you are not a doctor, therapist, or a bishop it is not your place to give advice to a couple going through infertility. It may be meant well, but it is not a good idea and may cause hurt feelings. If you are unsure what to say or only know how to give advice try this - offer to be there for them as needed and let them know you love them. That's it. If they want your advice - they WILL ask for it. I promise. 

I hope this helps answer any questions about what we are going through, and maybe how to approach us and others going through this struggle. Thanks for all of your support!!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

College student diet - Breakfast

Since our move to Rexburg, our income has sliced to less than a quarter of what it was in SLC (and we weren't making a ton there either). That being said, our grocery budget has had to majorly decrease.  We I am having to work hard to overcome our my addiction to fast food and the convenience of it. I managed to cut our grocery bill way down by coming up with three very simple dinner meals that can be dumped into the crockpot, add water, and go. It was super easy and convenient when we first got here, but then school started. I was finding myself waking up late before class, scrambling to get any last minute homework done before leaving, and not to mention actually trying to look decent before walking out the door. I was finding that I rarely had time to eat breakfast, let alone pull out the crockpot, wash it if we had not done dishes the night before (Have you ever tried to wash a crockpot where food had dried to it? It takes an ETERNITY), and actually get everything into it before having to leave for class. After a couple weeks, I pretty much quit even trying and we were jumping right back into our fast food/processed food crap that made me gain all my weight when we first got married.

So that's dinner. We also were struggling to find ways to eat a healthy breakfast or lunch, if we ate it at all. The meals that I have prepared for the crockpot are meant for a crockpot, so they don't cook very quickly on the stove, and I don't really have time to stand there and monitor it on the stove anyway. I have been seeing a lot of people online raving about something called an "Instant Pot". It pretty much is a pressure cooker that cooks things in insanely quick amounts of time without the gross texture microwaves give food and without the constant monitoring of cooking on a stove. I convinced Nathan to let me buy one the other day, and I am already in love!

One of my go to meals in the crockpot is homemade refried beans with dry beans (because they are dirt cheap), but one of the downsides is that you really should soak them overnight before making them in the crockpot otherwise they have to cook longer and come out more crunchy. I read online that you can pressure cook the beans without soaking and it will still come out as if you soaked them overnight. I was reluctant, but gave it a shot and the beans were amazing! I cooked them on the pressure cooking setting for an 1 hour 15 minutes, vs the 8 hours in the crockpot (or 4 on high). I then tried my other go to of split pea soup (again - dirt cheap) and instead of the 8 hours on low (4-5 on high), it cooked in 30 minutes and the texture came out way better than I am used to. I'll share some of these recipes later in life, but for now I want to get down to the real reason for this post - BREAKFAST.

I saw Nathan pull out another bowl of Cheerios, and I knew that wasn't going to fill him, so I started looking up recipes for instant pot breakfast ideas to see if I could make him something more hearty or filling. I found lots of great things for different egg recipes (hard-boiled, omelettes, casseroles, etc.), porridge, yogurt, and oatmeal. Holy options, Batman. The only thing I had on hand today was oatmeal, so I decided to give it a try. DISCLAIMER: I HATE OATMEAL. With a passion. I hate that it comes out thick, I hate the gluey texture, and I really don't like the taste if we are going to be real. It is probably because of all the forced oatmeal I had to eat as a kid. I know that if I am going to lose weight, I need to give healthier food a chance, so I went at it. While I was waiting for it to start cooking, I pulled out another recipe book trying to come up with other things I could make later. I found a recipe for an "Autumn Glaze" which isn't the most healthy thing, but I thought I would try it mixed in with my oatmeal to make it a bit more bearable for myself.

After the oatmeal was finished, I mixed in my glaze, and added some slivered almonds that I happened to have on hand to the top. Then I took a bite. IT WAS A MIRACLE. I absolutely loved it! It was so yummy! The instant pot kept it from getting super thick and gluey, but still kept it cooked. All the things I hated about oatmeal were literally not present. So yeah. I ate oatmeal today. What the what. I am going to keep adding recipes I find to this blog so I have somewhere to reference my crazy feelings about my new foods and somewhere that I can actually pin my recipes from. Because who needs cookbooks? Pinterest is where it's at. #Millenial

Instant Pot Autumn Oatmeal for 2


  • 3 cups of water (plus 1/4 cup for the syrup)
  • 1 cup of old-fashioned oats 
  • 1/2 cup of confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • Slivered almonds for garnish (optional)


  1. Put 3 cups of water and 1 cup of oats into instant pot and stir. 
  2. Set instant pot on manual pressure cook for 3 minutes
  3. In a small saucepan bring 1/4 cup of water to a boil
  4. In your measuring cup add confectioners sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and pour into pot
  5. Stir until dissolved.
  6. You can continue stirring until it forms the consistency of a syrup or keep it somewhat watery for your oatmeal. Whatever fits your texture preferences.
  7. Naturally release pressure on instant pot 
  8. After release add the glaze to the oatmeal and stir
  9. If desired, add almonds to top of your oatmeal

You can totally just make the oatmeal part and add your own ingredients in if desired. I really liked the nutmeg taste in the glaze to go with my oatmeal. I am super excited to keep trying recipes out in my new toy!

Disclaimer: I combined two recipes to make this. The oatmeal comes from Sisters under Pressure and the Autumn Glaze comes from my recipe book "Nom Yourself" by Mary Mattern. The only thing altered is I did not add sage to my glaze as the recipe calls for. 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Dear Future Baby

Dear Future Baby,

I love you so much even though I haven’t met you. I think about you often and all the things I want to do with you when we finally get to meet you. If life went our way, you would have been here a long time ago, and might even have a sibling or one on the way. It is taking a long time to get you here and that is really hard sometimes. Sometimes I think of you and I feel sad, or maybe even angry. I have had many days where I have cried in anger and sorrow to Heavenly Father wondering why we have not yet been permitted to bring you into our lives. For a long time, I let this long wait for you turn me bitter towards Heavenly Father. I started to wonder if He really did in fact love me the way I always thought He did. As time has gone on, I have come to realize that He has a timing for everything. While waiting for His timing, we should trust in Him and rely on Him for comfort. When you are eventually here, I want to teach you that and help you to develop your own personal relationship with Him and with our Savior. I realized that in order to do that, I need to be developing and maintaining that relationship myself.

Sometimes, when I hold or see other babies, I wonder if maybe they knew you in heaven. I wonder if they could speak, would they be able to give me a message from you or even tell me if you exist at all. Could they tell me what you’re like, or if they know when you’ll be coming to us. Baby, we are doing everything we can to get you here to us. There are many extreme measures that we are having to take. Measures that cost significantly more than we are able to afford. I hope you know that we will spare no cost to get you to us. We are willing to do whatever we have to do to make you a part of our family.

We often talk about the day that we will learn that you are coming, and how we will celebrate together and tell our families that you are finally on your way. I have so many ideas for how we will decorate your nursery, what cute Disney outfits you’ll wear for your newborn pictures, or how I will turn my wedding dress into the dress you will wear the day your dad gives you a name and a blessing, surrounded by all of the important priesthood holders in our lives. I think about the messes you’ll make in the kitchen, the bumps and bruises I’ll kiss better, and the day we celebrate you taking your first steps. These are all days that I am anticipating, but none match the feelings I have imagining what it will be like to finally hold you in our arms and see you. We are so hopeful that day will come. The day it does, I will shed many tears, but for now I shed tears of what is yet to come. Yet, while I shed tears, I am remaining hopeful and strong that we will be blessed with your presence in our lives someday and hopefully soon. We haven’t met you, but we love you so much. We look forward to the day we can finally meet you.

Love always,


Thursday, September 8, 2016

September 2004

Early September 2004 

My mom had been in the hospital for a few days. She had been in and out of the hospital for most of my life, but this time was different. This time she had been in a coma and I wasn’t able to talk to her. I was only 10, so I don’t think that I fully comprehended what was happening. All I knew was that my mom was asleep, and wouldn’t wake up. At one point, I was talking to her and she tried to open her eyes, but wasn’t able to. 

 September 8, 2004.
I got picked up from school early by some of my cousins. I wasn’t sure what was going on. No one
would talk to me. We got to the hospital and walked into a small room. The first person I saw was my cousin Rob. He was crying. Why was he crying? I looked over at my grandma and she said quietly: “Meghan, mommy died.” My little world crumbled as I cried in disbelief. We were taken into her hospital room where she laid, quiet and asleep. I touched her hand and was surprised at how cold it was. My mommy was gone. She wasn’t waking up.

September 8, 2016
It has been 12 years since my mom passed away. I can still remember that day like it was yesterday. There were so many things happening in mine and my families lives during that time. I often think about her and wish she was here, yet there are many times where I can feel her presence. I have felt her presence at all of my clogging performances. I felt her presence at my seminary and college graduations. When I cry, I know she’s there. I felt her presence at my wedding. She was in the temple watching our sealing and crying happy tears with all of us. I felt her hand on my shoulder comforting me at my grandma’s funeral in January. She was with me when I cried and cried over missing the both of them. There are so many times that I have felt her. I may not have her with me physically, but I know she’s there. I know that my family and I all miss her terribly. She is often talked about. You are loved and missed mom. I love you! Until we meet again.