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. 

prague.shewanders.photography-13.jpg
prague.shewanders.photography-11.jpg
prague.shewanders.photography-19.jpg

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

JB9A2142.jpg

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. 

1003shewanders.sandiego.jake.jpg

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.

us.and.jake.balboa-1001.jpg

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.