About Us

The Meaning Behind The Name

Coming up with a name for the foundation was a lot trickier than we had anticipated. We wanted the name to be unique and meaningful. In addition, we wanted it to represent hope and highlight the messy journey that infertility takes an individual on. Finally, we settled on the name Bundled Blessings Fertility Foundation, Inc. This name really spoke to each of our hearts, despite the fact that we were all at very different points in our individual infertility journeys.
To us, the meaning of the term “Bundled Blessings” is twofold. The first, and perhaps most apparent meaning, creates the picture of a little baby all swaddled up and snuggled in their parent’s arms. The perfect little bundle that is such a blessing in that family’s and many other’s lives.  This image is the ultimate goal of each couple that we work with. We feel so blessed and touched that we get to be a part of their journey in growing their family.
The second meaning of “Bundled Blessings” is created through the ‘bundle’ of available options that are all needed in order for a couple diagnosed with infertility to achieve their goal of growing their family. Each couple faced with infertility depends on many things to come together to beat this diagnosis. Some of these things may include: support from loved ones, medications, injections, surrogate carriers, paperwork, and so much more. These things are such a blessing when a couple is diagnosed with infertility.  No, no couple ever wants to receive this diagnosis. It is heartbreaking, devastating, and scary for so many reasons. However, knowing there are options, that this diagnosis does not have to completely take away someone’s ability to have children and raise a family of their own, lightens the load just a little. It provides a couple diagnosed with infertility some hope. Each couple depends so deeply on receiving their entire unique package or bundle of options in order to make their dreams of having a child a reality. Whether it be through fertility treatments, adoption, or surrogacy, every family is beautiful and such an amazing blessing.

Every journey of infertility is created, supported, and driven by these bundled blessings.

Santanna and Cole's Fertility Story
My husband, Cole, and I were typical newlyweds; young, healthy and in love. We knew we wanted kids right away, but we weren’t exactly trying, just not preventing. As the months went by and my periods kept coming, I began to obsess about how we weren’t getting pregnant. After researching the internet, I self-diagnosed us and felt we had fertility issues. I called my doctor to see if we could get in for some tests. They all said that we had to wait until we had been trying for at least one year. I grew more and more bitter as the rest of our “year” went on. I felt like everyone was getting pregnant but me. I heard story after story of high school girls getting pregnant, and I was so angry that Cole and I, two fully capable and ready adults, couldn’t get pregnant. I was miserable to be around and our sex life became a chore, which was really discouraging.

Once our year was finally up, Cole went to see a urologist where he took in a semen sample. We then learned that Cole’s sperm count and mobility were not where they should be. His doctor put him on Clomid for a month to see how much his numbers would increase. Before that month was up, we had our appointment with our fertility specialist. During our consultation, Dr. S informed us that Cole’s numbers would most likely improve from being on Clomid, but not enough to get us pregnant. They ran tests on me, and all of them came back normal. We felt super blessed that both of us didn’t have health issues.

At that time, we were told that our best option was to do In-vitro fertilization (IVF). We could start with intrauterine insemination (IUI), but our chances of getting pregnant were comparable to winning the lottery. We decided on IVF and our life quickly turned into weekly appointments, shots, blood draws, and medication after medication while juggling the rest of our everyday lives. All in all, our IVF cycle went very smoothly. They were able to retrieve twenty seven eggs from me, but this caused me to get ovarian hyper stimulation. This was honestly the worst part for me. I retained a lot of fluid and had to have a procedure done that was very similar to egg retrieval, but without being under anesthesia.  

Over the next few days we learned that twenty out of twenty seven eggs were mature enough to fertilize. Eleven of them fertilized, but then four didn’t make it. This left us with only seven and sitting much lower than our doctor had predicted. After we transferred two embryos to my uterus, we found that that the rest of our embryos died. This left us with nothing to freeze. I was absolutely devastated at losing the chance of a potential sibling for our baby. We tried to remain hopeful that our two embryos would take, but if they didn’t we would have to start IVF all over again. I couldn’t even think about it. The whole process was too fresh in my mind. I honestly wasn’t sure I was ready to endure all of it again, let alone pay another $15,000 in hopes for a baby.

Fourteen days later, Cole and I received the best phone call. We were pregnant! In an instant, the last year and a half was all worth it. I was finally carrying a child, something we had prayed for and cried over for so long. Our son, Conrad, was born March 30th, 2014.

A year and a half later as we were preparing for our next round of IVF, we found out that we were pregnant. We were shocked!! Considering the fact that Dr. S gave us a less than a one percent chance of ever conceiving on our own, and we feel extremely blessed that this is God’s plan for us.

Our infertility chapter seems so long ago, as our Conrad is now 18 months old. I’m amazed at how having him in our life has healed my heart. I truly hope that I always remember this journey. I hope I remember the longing and the pain, so I remember to never take being a mom for granted. I want to remember this journey so that I can help others through theirs. We realize that our infertility story is easier and shorter than most and that some endure much more and some are still waiting for their baby. We pray for you and we hope that you never feel alone in this journey.



Shauni and Kyle's Fertility Story 
Being a mother is something I had dreamt about since I was a little girl. As my husband would say, it is in my DNA. It was no secret that I wanted to have children. As my friends began having children of their own, I would snuggle up their sweet babies and they would jokingly comment on how I have wanted to be a mother since I was like twelve. I would laugh and agree, but secretly I was insanely jealous. Finally, my husband and I felt as if we were ready to start a family of our own. To say I was excited would be an understatement. We already had our kids names picked out and I could not wait to hold our little one in my arms. However, month after month went by and still there was no baby on the way. Every passing month seemed to get harder and harder. I often called my mom bawling, because, yet again, I was not pregnant. I remember one particular time about a year and a half after we had begun trying to have a baby. I had discovered another month had passed and I was still not pregnant right before my brother’s football game. When I got to the game, I looked around and could not stop the tears from pouring down my face. There were so many little ones running around everywhere and I so desperately wanted one of my own. I felt defeated, angry and hopeless. I called my mom on my way home that night. She then suggested that my husband and I make an appointment with an OBGYN just to make sure that everything was okay.

     The next morning I immediately began calling around until I found a doctor who could see us right away. I will never forget our first appointment. My husband and I were sitting there and in walked the doctor. He started talking to us and seemed like he was about to give us the low down on how sometimes it just takes time and to make sure that we were timing everything correctly. When he asked us how long we had be trying, I watched his expression change, his eyebrows raise, and then he excused himself for the room (not really the best sign). When he came back he presented us with multiple handouts and information regarding what testing could be done to make sure there were no issues.  I was to complete an HSG exam and my husband was to complete a sperm analysis.
Based on the testing, we discovered that my husband had slow motility and really low sperm count. As much as this diagnosis was devastating, it also brought some relief. There really was something wrong. We weren’t crazy and now we could do something about it.  We were referred to a Urologist and my husband was diagnosed with varicocele. We were provided with information regarding treatment and surgical options. However, after doing some research and considering how low my husband’s sperm count really was, we weren’t sure we had found the right answer yet. Ultimately, we ended up scheduling an appointment with a Reproductive Endocrinologist. By the time our appointment arrived, I had done enough research (more like scoured the entire internet for every little bit of information) to know that our best, and really only, option was to pursue treatment through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). Yes, the financial side was scary. Yes, the chance that it might not work was terrifying. Yes, the emotional and physical toll it can take was exhausting. But even worse, was the thought of not trying and not having the opportunity to have a family. 



     We began our first IVF cycle the following month. Despite my intense fear of needles, I woke up each morning, stared at pictures of babies, prayed, and my mom or best friend would assist me with my injections.  On the day of retrieval, my doctor was able to get fourteen eggs, seven of which fertilized, which was a lot less than had been anticipated. By day three, we only had four embryos left. I began to panic as as many as fifty percent of embryos don’t make it from day three to day five. However, my doctor assured me that she felt that there would be at least one embryo to transfer by day five. So terrified, I waited and prayed. I so desperately just wanted my babies back in me where they belonged. The morning of our transfer I sat in the waiting room shaking as we waited to see if any of our embryos had made it. Thankfully, all four had survived. We watched as the doctor transferred the two healthiest embryos into my uterus. It really was an amazing thing to see. Our little girl is now eight months old. My husband and I love and adore her so incredibly much and we are so incredibly grateful for medical advances and the opportunity we had to begin our family through IVF. 

Kamryn and Abe's Infertility Story

My husband, Abe, and I met and dated all through high school, so by the time we got married it didn’t take us long at all to feel like we were ready to start a family. It started out as “let’s just not prevent” but after a few months and realizing my cycle was not functioning as it should, we were in a doctor’s office discussing what was happening and what we could do about it. After several unsuccessful rounds of Clomid, a mass was found on my ovary. I underwent laparoscopic surgery where I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Endometriosis. That surgery lead to another surgery, a laparotomy, where the majority of the endometriosis was scraped out or cauterized. This second surgery was supposed to have solved my inability to conceive. So, immediately after I healed from it we did several IUI’s, all of which failed. During an ultra sound in our last IUI we discovered another mass on my ovary and knew that the endometriosis was back. This was extremely discouraging for Abe and I and I remember feeling so defeated. It seemed like I had put my body through so much already and to not have success like we imagined we would was heartbreaking. It was at this point that we decided we would move to IVF, a step we were both excited and terrified to take.
            Our first round of IVF didn’t end how we had hoped it would. My body didn’t respond well to the stimulation meds and the doctors were only able to retrieve two eggs, one of which fertilized. We did a day three transfer for our one little embryo, which was graded B/C. We knew the odds were against us, but in the end when we didn’t achieve pregnancy, our hearts and hopes were still crushed. Despite this, we knew that trying again was essential. Therefore, we set up another consultation with our doctor. During that appointment, he brought up the idea of using an egg donor.
            Using an egg donor is something I never thought I would have to do, and at first I really struggled with the idea. It was an emotional process that took several weeks, but in the end, looking at the statistics, my husband and I both knew it was the best next step we could take to have a family. We selected a donor, which is actually very much like what you see on television. We were given a list of donors with their basic traits and told to select 10-12 potential donors. Then, we were given full profiles based on our selections. The profiles had just about everything one would ever need to know about the donors. From there, we narrow it down to one. For us, it was really simple. My husband and I immediately agreed on the same donor. Then, we found out she was available for the month we needed, which sealed the deal for us. Once we selected our donor, our second IVF journey began. It was much like our first round of IVF. I was still taking injections to make my body think I was going to ovulate, but really our donor was doing all the hard work. This cycle we had 28 eggs retrieved, 20 fertilized and by day five we had 11 perfect Grade A eggs. We transferred two and were lucky enough to have 9 embryos to freeze.
            5 months ago we found out that our second round of IVF using an egg donor was successful and we are pregnant with twins! A girl and a boy! After a two-year journey and so many struggles that sometimes I didn’t think we would make it through, we are pregnant! Although it is early, we hope and pray every night that I continue to have a healthy pregnancy. Looking back I feel incredibly grateful for the journey that we took to have a family. But mostly, I feel extremely blessed to live in a world where medical advances are available, that make having children possible for couples like my husband and I.
Rachel and Pete's Infertility Story
My story is probably similar to many others that are struggling with infertility, but nonetheless it is my own.  After my husband and I had been married for just over a year, we decided we wanted to start trying for a baby.  Four weeks later, after taking numerous pregnancy tests, I got a positive.  I felt like the luckiest person alive, and apparently the most fertile.   We were beyond thrilled, and everything seemed like it was falling into place in perfect timing. 
I waited three impatient weeks for the ultrasound to come around, looking forward to seeing the little gummy bear I had seen in others’ ultrasound pictures. I had never been to an ultrasound appointment before, so I had no idea what was to be expected.  The ultrasound began and I kept waiting for the technician to say something. Instead, it was very quiet.  After a few minutes of looking around, she turned the machine off and said, “You can go put your clothes on in the bathroom, and then the nurse will tell you your results”.  This wasn’t exactly what I had pictured for an ultrasound, and part of me knew then what was to come. However, the other part of me was so full of hope and wanted to be na├»ve to what was going on.  The nurse came in and explained that there had been no heartbeat, and that there were two possibilities as to why. Either I wasn’t as far along as we had thought or the baby had stopped developing at six weeks.  It took a while for this to sink in, but I still tried to error on the positive side hoping that maybe, just maybe, the second option was it.  They said to come back in after two weeks and we would try another ultrasound.  The nurse then drew my blood to check my HCG levels, and said to come back in a few days to see if the numbers had increased. If they had, that was a good sign things were developing as they should.  A few days later, my blood was drawn again, and my HCG levels had increased SIGNIFICANTLY.  I had feelings of relief and an increase in hope, praying that somehow things would be okay.  Two weeks went by, and it was time for the second ultrasound.  The technician looked around, in silence, and then turned off the machine.  As hard as I tried, this time I couldn’t hold back the tears.  The technician couldn’t either.  The doctor talked to me about possibly having to do a d&c if I didn’t miscarry on my own. So from that point on, I just began to pray that it would happen naturally and was almost relieved when it did. 
As difficult as miscarrying was, Pete and I were optimistic and weren’t going to let this experience discourage us. We knew we would be able to start trying again in a couple of months.  We had lots of hope due to how fast it had happened the last time, and even planned it perfectly so we’d be able to make a onesie with the words “Made in Mexico” written on the front. I skipped an entire month after having had two perfectly regular cycles.  It wasn’t until after that that I began to realize how irregular my cycles were.  After a year passed, I decided it was time to go see an OBGYN to figure out what was going on.  We did a few lab tests which came back normal, and I wasn’t told much more than, “You’ve been pregnant before, I’m sure you’ll get pregnant again soon.”… “it could possibly be due to stress- sometimes after a miscarriage, things stress you out that wouldn’t have before.”…, along with, “you guys are young, there’s no rush”, etc.  I had emphasized PCOS runs in my family and was something I wanted to have checked on, but practically had to beg to take the glucose test to check my insulin resistance.   Those results came back normal for me as well.  This was an emotional time for me to say the least, and my husband and I felt very alone in trying to figure out why we couldn’t have the baby we wanted so badly. 
It has been 3 years since then.  Thanks to our OBGYN and infertility specialists, we’ve learned a lot of things and have been very confused by more.  I eventually did get diagnosed with PCOS, and to our surprise, my husband with low motility and a low sperm count.  We’ve tried various modern day treatments such as clomid, letrozole, IUI’s, gonal-f, metformin, and even a random Robutussin cough syrup for my husband to help with fertility.  More natural approaches have been taken as well including diet, acupuncture, and herbs.  And now, here I am, exactly 3 years later, amidst a break of beginning infertility treatments, and I just found out I’m pregnant.  I have so many emotions and feelings running through my head right now. Disbelief, excitement, fear, overwhelming happiness, gratitude, and of course exhaustion and nausea. I can’t tell you what we did, because I have no idea (well, I’m sure you know the basics).  We weren’t trying anything specific; I had a stomach ulcer and I was living off of watermelon, fish, cinnamon rolls, black licorice and pretzels.  A really well balanced diet, right? We were in the process of moving. In fact, my husband and I were apart more that month than were together. But somehow, a miracle happened.  I’m only 6 weeks along right now, and only time will tell what happens next, but I feel an immense joy that we’ve gotten this far. One of the first things I did was call my infertility clinic to let them know, and they were just as excited for us, as we are, that we were able to get pregnant on our own.  Our infertility journey I’m sure isn’t over (although I hope it will be at least for the next 7 months), but I’m very grateful for the people that have helped us get to this point. 


           

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