Fertility Vacation 3.0 // slowing down and following Mike

My world has been colorful buildings along the river, a blank winters sky, and Mike.

After the embryo transfer everything about me slowed down.  We stayed in more, I felt sleepier. Maybe I had a cold or allergies. Maybe the hormones just knock me out. Maybe the winter finally made me slower.

The last week or so has been slower and full of naps and rain but in between there is beauty. New cities and buildings and art museums. New feels like creation to me. New is allowing me to hold space for hope while I follow Mike Ofeldt around. 

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4 Things // every little thing she does is magic

Reading : Journey of Souls I’ve always been a tree-hugging hippie from Northern California but lately I’ve been interested in even more magical things. This is an odd duck. I’m halfway through and finding this woman’s point of view fascinating. Someone recommended I read it. although it’s fun to read something so unlike my usual choices, I still can’t figure out why they thought I should read it. Is it in the second half or will I miss the obvious?

Podcast : loa recon is a Law of Attraction focused podcast. Each episode is pretty short and so high vibe you’ll feel like you’ve just looked at posters of kittens

Shooting : Mike, Vanessa, Dan, and Jane Austin’s old neighborhood. #ilovephotography

Dreaming of: taking Jake Washington for a walk and watching him wake up -stretching and yawning in the morning

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Myself again with you still by my side

I’m returning to myself every day. I’m in such a good place. It’s been a tough road to balance out my hormones and to feel so much like myself. I have so many beautiful and peaceful hopes and dreams floating around in my mind. It feels like an exhale or a quiet and serene hallelujah after being away from myself for some long.  I’m meditating and being in a space that’s filled with so much more gratitude than the imbalance was. I can’t help but think of how changed our lives have been in the last few weeks.  How many walks Mike and Jake Washington (our dog) and I have gone on. How taking care of this little guy gave us something else to talk about. Something new and beautiful.  I’m grateful for the 3 of us.  I’m grateful for all this experience has brought us.  It taught me to trust Mike Ofeldt in a way I would have never known.  I’m always still composing my vows to him in my head. Lately it comes out like this. 

Oh Mike Ofeldt after 10 years I’d still go back in time and fall in love with you again.  Loving you has been one of the best things I’ve ever done.  I’m crazy proud to be your wife and often feel like a genius for picking you.  Life has challenged us in so many ways and when I get knocked down you pick me up.  You are so patient with me- not with leaving my laundry everywhere and forgetting to wash the dishes but the big stuff - waiting for me to understand a situation and coming up with my own conclusion or knowing I’m a little lost but I’ll get there eventually.  

I’m rarely lost in life.  I usually have clarity and strength in my convictions and if we weren’t challenged in so Many ways lately I’d never know that you can be there for me in this way.  

You have so much strength more than I ever could have guessed.  With all the disappointment we have faced and all of these hormones making me feel so unlike myself - you’re still here, still trying.  I’m wildly grateful for you. Thanks for being my love. 

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Fertility Vacation 3.0 // Why I Tell You Things

What if I collected images of when we were young, and now?

It’s been ten years, my love. We were young. The world was at our feet. One year, we traipsed around the globe so often, I begged you to leave me home for a trip to Australia, because I was too tired to go to the airport. Days later, we ran through the bush together, and marvelled at how wild the landscape became the second we got off the path. We were laughing, euphoric, and blissful to be in nature.

We realized, as dusk approached, that we didn’t actually know where we were. Eventually, you found our way back to the ocean while I came up with newspaper headlines about two dumb Americans who got lost on vacation one mile from civilization, and died.

The ocean was so loud and the moon lit our path. The strength of the wind made me grateful we had found our way back.

You couldn’t stop smiling, and kept hugging me so tight. We made out under the moonlight as the tide rose, and realized we were risking our lives for these salty kisses. We held hands, and continued on. It was one of the best days of my life.

We squeezed every last drop out of the day. That feeling of euphoria, gratitude, and wonder is the magic of falling in love with Mike Ofeldt. It is the grand adventure that is us.

I was at a party this weekend, and a friend of mine said he didn’t want to say how amazing his relationship with his wife is on social media. He just couldn’t see the point. It felt like bragging. What if instead, it was like shining a light on being wildly grateful, a snapshot.

Our fertility journey has taught me a lot. That life can be a mess, and there’s beauty in that too. This is our story. This is our heartbreak. There is an extraordinary beauty in telling people who you are, so they call you by your name. It’s tremendously difficult, but freeing. It helps me accept myself.

There is so much connection to the people who have read my story. I’ve shown them my heart. I’m wildly grateful for the outpouring of kindness and connection that I’ve received. For the friends that give me hope and strength to not give up.

This present moment holds an uncertain future, but ultimately some kind of knowing that we will survive it. Ten years worth of photographs of who we used to be when we were young. After awhile our memories fade, and then you might hear a song, and suddenly it’s like a movie is playing in your head. Falling in love with a man, and the whole world.     

Mike Ofeldt, you still look like a movie. You still feel like a song. Your voice is home to me. 

I love the things you do, the way you talk, the way you move. 

Let me photograph you in this light in case this is the last time. That we may be exactly as we were when we were young. You’re like a dream come true

Can I have this moment? 

I want to take this picture of you and I and Jake so later I can look back at it remembering when we were young, and scared, and planning our IVF dates. 

Wondering if there would still be eggs, wondering if we could ever finance a surrogate, wondering if we are completely insane, and preparing for the dunk tank of IVF hormones to come. 

Hoping I’ll still come back to you, to me, and still holding hands wildly grateful for each other. 

Wondering if we know anything at all other than fear and gratitude.

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We are happy to offer three photography specials as a heartfelt thank you to those who support our GoFundMe fund to add to our family. We don’t know how we are going to get there or make this happen but we are going to walk confidently in the direction of our dreams and try with everything we have.  Thank you from the bottom of our hopeful hearts. Please check back for regular updates to our progress. 

Held. Thank you. #addingtotheofeldts

Held

Here we are wrapped up in your arms.  Grateful and overwhelmed.  Every day we are so much closer.  The sun is rising over our fears.  

I love this community.  It’s always been fun and collaborative with so many like minded artists/entrepreneurs.  But something shifted for me in 2008.  I stopped by my friend Peggi’s floral studio to say hello and she told me something that stopped me from breathing.  She said I have cancer and it’s a serious diagnosis.  She said more after that but I couldn’t hear her.  I just don’t know what she said after the word cancer.  She was calm and explained the situation in her soothing Peggi-like way but I couldn’t hear her.  I was too busy assessing the situation.  I understood….

  1. It was bad.

  2. She’s still standing, she seems strong somehow.

  3. I didn’t want to let her go.

  4. If she’s willing to be brave than I am willing to be brave.

  5. She’s a florist in the wedding industry she can’t afford to have cancer.  

  6. I want to help.

She was still talking and I probably interrupted her - I asked “Can I help?  Can I rally people for you?  If I do this people will know, are you ok with people knowing.?”

She said yes.  I exhaled.  OK good. I couldn’t deal with my feelings of losing her but I could fight for her.  I hugged her tight and said let’s fight this.  Let’s give it our all.  I didn’t know how but I knew why.  If you knew Peggi it was easy to know why she was one in a million and I was lucky enough to call her friend.

You wouldn’t believe what happened next.  Three people who didn’t even know Peggi offered to spearhead the team with me.  They didn’t know her but they knew they wanted to support her. Megan, Kate and Sabrina put in hundreds of hours and created a mini revolution (REVO).  My incredibly talented big hearted friend Nina had already created a non profit called REVO and we worked closely with her and used her platform to raise money through an auction.

The whole community rallied behind this auction.  People who loved Peggi and people that just knew of her and that she was one of us.  It was a miracle.  So many people donated that I often fell asleep emailing Sabrina and woke up to her responses.  Mike took over more duties at Shewanders and gave me the freedom to help.  The community rallied like no other.  Ultimately we lost Peggi but she left being held by all of us knowing she had touched so many hearts.

I’m reminded again how great this community is.  We are feeling held by you.  Infertility can feel like such a lonely and disappointing path.  It’s so hard to want a child and not know how to stop wanting one.  The last year and a half since we found out IVF was a possibility and that we were on a timer has been intense.  We have been trying to so hard to figure it out and keep running into negative test results.  It’s so heartbreaking.  Mike and I just want to say thank you.  Thank you for rallying behind us.  Thank you for your support.  I’ve been in a bit of a daze trying to figure out how to verbalize  what it feels like to be us being supported by all of you.  I’ll probably never have the right words - for now, from the bottom of our hopeful hearts just Thank You.  You’ll never know what this means to us.

Thank you for following our story and donating and sharing to our campaign

I just wanted to share some old blog posts down memory lane.

San Diego Style Weddings   Wynn Austin La Dolce Idea REVO weddings  Bob Hoffman Shewanders Jacqueline Ashley Events Rae Florae REVO love

and the REVO heroes

Our Vendors

REVOweddings was founded on the premise of community and commitment to the Wedding Industry.  The following Vendors have generously donated their services to REVOweddings in support of this year's sponsored member, Peggi Walker.  We're proud to share our Vendors with you and hope you'll take some time to get to know them as the leaders, and givers, that they are!

Coordination & Planning

A Diamond Celebration

A.R. Affairs

Bella Sera Events Design

Bliss Events

Darin Dietz Events

Elite Events Management

I Do...Weddings!

Joyful Weddings

La Dolce Idea

Le Chic Wedding Consulting

Leslie Miller Events

Memorable Days

Red Letter Days Events, LLC

Resolusean Events

San Diego Weddings by Gina

Simply Exquisite Weddings & Events

Sweet Ribbon Events

Thomas Bui Lifestyle

Waterfront Weddings

Wedding Elegance

Weddings By Design

Weddings Made Splendid

 

DJ's, Music & Entertainment

Advanced Entertainment
Artistic Productions
Austin Hendrix Productions
Elite British DJ
Jewell Entertainment
Tim Altbaum Productions

Florists, Décor & Design
Adorations Botanical Artistry
Branches Floral Studio
Classic Creations
Elegant Touch Floral Design
Embellishmint Floral Design
Organic Elements
Rae Florae
Sweet Pea Flower Company
The Magic Flower
White Wedding Day

Food & Catering Services
Anette Farrel
CAKE
Continental Catering
Dining Details
Joe's on the Nose
Mike Hogan Enterprises

Hair & Makeup Services
Mayer Studio's Inc.

Miscellaneous
Legacy 4 Life
Pamela's Parasol's
A Squared Roxs

Officiants
A Forever After Wedding
Ceremonies by Bethel
Deborah Davis, Custom Wedding Ceremonies
Elegantly Spiritual Ceremonies

Photographers
Aquario Studio
Carrie McCluskey Photography
Cool Cake Photography
Emilio Azevedo Photography
Evan Bishop Photography
Journey of the Lens
La Vida Creations Photography
Nina Brav Photography
Resolusean Photography
SheWanders Photography
Theorie
Wonderstruck Photography

Press & Publications
Exquisite Weddings Magazine
SanDiegoWedding.com
Sitting in a Tree
The Wedding Chicks

Rentals
Concepts Event Design
Dreams Do Come True

Shows & Events
Bridal Bazaar
The Wedding Party - Bridal Show

Stationery
Brightly Designed
Paper and Thread Studio
Pink Star Design Invitations
Vertical Printing

Venues
The Crosby Club
Villa de Flores

Videography
Bob Hoffman Video

Good bye 2017. Thank you.

Good bye 2017.

Thank you.

Thank you for making us stronger.

Thank you for giving us 10 eggs and 4 excellent embryos.

Thank you for two chances at IVF.

Thank you for gratitude, getting up, and finding ourselves again.

I hope that we have the guts to go after 2018 the way that we threw ourselves at 2017.  I hope our family grows.

I hope I find the same joy and comfort in watching Mike sleep.  I hope we find time for each other as the pressure to figure things out seems to speed up time.  I hope we find less to argue about and more beautiful discoveries to share.

I hope IVF 3 works.  I hope there will be eggs, embryos, conception, safe passage and one day a baby.  A healthy safe baby.  And if none of those things can happen, I hope the hormones fly out of me and leave me safe and sound.  I hope I can digest healthy food easily and take pleasure in moving my body.  I hope I photograph, paint, swim in the ocean, feel my heart beat and gasp for air as a wave crashes over my head.  I hope I heal and get out of the house and find some safe space out in the world and not hiding in the house.  I hope after some time I recoup my energy and start on some other path.  I hope there’s always enough of me left to try again.

Fertility Vacation 3.0 // Praying

I hope you're somewhere prayin', prayin'

I hope your soul is changin', changin'

I hope you find your peace

Falling on your knees, prayin'

-Kesha, Prayin’

I hope my soul is changing too. I hope I’m learning to let go. There have been so many obstacles, and relationships that I’ve had to let go of on my fertility journey.

Self care has been a big part of letting go, and grieving. One thing that has helped me grieve is music therapy.

Music is such a clear way to say things. You feel it wash through your body and it’s much less open to interpretation. Of course, there will be so many different ways people will interpret it, but underneath there will be common themes that people universally gravitate towards.

I love the part of this song that says I wish you farewell. Farewell to all of the disappointments and heartbreak. I’m done with you and I wish you farewell.

I was on my knees broken and crying, but I’m entering a new season, and I hope it lasts a while. I’m praying for farewell, lighting a candle, focusing on my breath, letting music wash over me and giving my soul the space to change.

My soul is changing. I’m learning to let go.

 

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Fertility Vacation 2.0 // Not This Time

Can this be it?  Are we really not suppose to have kids?  This process has shaken me to my core. I feel defeated. This time I know how cruel IVF can be.  It’s no distant stranger.  I’m not in shock, I’m just worn and hurt.  Who would have guessed we would be sitting here.

I was so naive and I took so much for granted.  I thought the hard part would be finding someone I wanted to live my life with.  Mike is home, I’m certain of him.  He keeps me safe. 

But now I want that magical feeling of cuddling a cute baby on the couch.  It’s funny, I am not a "couch" person.  I’m not even a "house" person.  I’m a "lets go somewhere" kind of person.  But babies are fun to sit on the couch with.  I’ve loved having my nephew here and as much as I loved taking him places, he taught me that the couch is a playground of it's own. 

These have been my first few days without him since he moved up to Northern California.  We packed up his dishes, clothes, toys, books...everything.  I’m mourning our life with him.  Suddenly without notice, my whole family moved while I was in Europe.  And now we are mourning our IVF dreams as well. 

Today is not my favorite day.

And yet still I can’t give up.  Sometimes it scares me.  Maybe all of these signs are saying give up and yet, I can’t.  Not yet anyway.  I still imagine that picture of little Mike in the bathtub as a kid.  The image that changed all my beliefs.  I want a child with Mike.  I’m still so open to what that will look like in the world of IVF, surrogacy, or adoption. 

First, I need to see what grieving will look like this time.  Even in my heartbroken, defeated state, I know that we will get up again.  Despite this being one of the worst, saddest days ever, I refuse to imagine our lives without a kid to love.  Often I really wish I could.

To our friends and family: we are beyond grateful for all of the love and support we have received. We never would have been strong enough to try this again without you. Thank you to the ends of the earth. 

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Fertility Vacation 2.0 // FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer)

I’ve been pretty sleepy since the Frozen Embryo Transfer. It’s been a lot of slow movement and rest. I’m so grateful Vanessa is here. I am so strong and steady because of her.

This girl is my soul sister. I met her by chance and a couple of days later we were on a road trip to Napa. She is a beautiful gypsy and from that fateful week, I’ve always wanted to protect her and keep her in my pocket. To me, she is fearless, open and wild. I’m sure she is terrified often, but she pushes through and changes states every year I’ve known her, and most recently, countries. Her address is always in flux.

Recently, she moved home in between Prague six months ago and Prague now. She has seen her mom take her last breath and said yes to a man who loves her. The last six months have felt like someone continually ripping off a bandaid, and yet less than two weeks after saying goodbye to Mama Luna, Vanessa got on a plane to spend 10 days with me in Prague so I wouldn’t be alone.

Everyday we walk around taking pictures, sitting in cafes and at the movie theater. Vanessa reminds me to be brave and just being in her company makes me feel like more is possible.

She was in the room with me for the FET procedure. It’s very clinical, but all of a sudden we saw the embryos on the screen and we both started crying. Maybe I’m pregnant.

Mike has been inundated with text messages of baby names and general excitement in the middle of the night. It’s been hard for him to be at home while I’ve been gone for a month going through this. He’s my hero.

He’s been shooting non stop and working 9-5 to pay for all of this. Some people have sex after a night out and get pregnant, and some people have three days off in a month. Mike has stepped up and fought for us to get pregnant.

I’m excited to have a partner like Mike. We’ve been through so much together and now, we are stronger. I admire Mike and trust him to fight for us.

While our paths to IVF 2.0 have been so different, his support has been unwavering.

I am so thankful for Mike, Maryanne, Betsy, Vanessa and all of our friends at home cheering me on.

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Fertility Vacation 2.0 // Tomorrow & Maybes

Tomorrow is the big day. Beautiful pregnant women are flooding the streets around me and kids are everywhere we go. It’s often drizzling outside, but the trees are alight with color. I can’t believe this sudden change in me. I feel 180 degrees different.

Light on my feet, spinning around and turning my face to the sun on a grey day. What if it works? What if we get pregnant?

Maybe everything is going to be okay.

I wonder what maternity clothes are like, can you wear your real clothes or will you just stretch them out? I wonder if the baby will be silly or like to laugh or be a grumpy cat. Either way I’m excited to capture our life. Maybe Mike and I will get a cool van and go on road trips and show the baby the national parks and how beautiful the world is. Maybe.

I wonder if the baby will like to travel and if he/she/they will like to visit Gaidin.  I wonder if I’ll get a mom car and if my hair will be messier - is that possible? I would love the chance to discover all of these things.

So many maybe’s.

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