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Strengthening our Marriage

I've certainly become lazy the last year or two with blogging. I ditched social media for a good 4 months and strived to become much closer with Trevor and God. Once we hit 5 years in February, I mentally wrote down 5 things that have strengthened our marriage and allowed us to become closer than ever!

1. Forgiveness
Boating in Bear Lake

Trevor really needed to forgive me for dying my hair pink. Ha! In all seriousness, our marriage has been smooth sailing for the most part. We've had a few happenings that set us back, as any couple will. If you haven't experienced that, it's coming. :)

Mr. Schroeder has taught me so much about forgiveness. I've been completely blown away at things he'll shrug off because it's not worth dwelling on. I also used to be a bit of a drama queen before I got married, and he's calmed me down quiiiite a bit. It's allowed me to sit back and be more chill about things that come my way. I'm grateful for his example on forgiveness.

I love that quote, "A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers."

No human is perfect. Forgiveness is mandatory.

2. Adventure

Chiang Mai, Thailand
Traveling together and getting out of our comfort zones strengthens us in ways I didn't see coming! A few weeks ago, we went to Las Vegas with some friends and did a zipeline through Fremont Street. It got my adrenaline running for sure!  Thailand was also a huge comfort challenger. From riding on elephants, driving scooters in the crazy traffic, and trying to speak to Thai people, it was a blast and brought us so much closer!

Though adventure typically involves travel for us, it doesn't have to. Go paintballing! Go camping! Do something out of both of your comfort zones and watch it strengthen your relationship. It's pretty amazing!

3. Laughter

He'd literally pose himself in any odd way he could while in Vegas.

Mr. Schroeder makes me laugh all of the time. Whether he's dancing in his underwear or singing like a crazy person, he makes me laugh every single day. I can't even imaging what our lives would be like without laughter.

4. Service & Worshiping 

Draper, UT LDS Temple
We talk a lot about who we would like to serve and how we should go about doing it. It allows us to become closer together but also to our Savior. I always tell people that by serving each other and serving others (together), it does insanely good things to your relationship.

5. Date Night

Date Night @ Mulligans
Almost all marriage advice I've ever heard had something to do with embracing date night and making sure to go on a date once per week. People say it for a reason. DO IT. We get so caught up in the ridiculously mundane tasks of our daily lives, that it's so easy to forget. By going on dates, or even making a date night at home, it has allowed us to make sure we are getting that one on one time. There have been periods in our marriage where it seriously feels like room mate style. And I hate that! So making the effort to go on date night once per week has allowed us to not only flirt more and continue to be passionate in our marriage, but really focus on our priorities.

A birthday to remember

This year for my birthday, my mom bought me concert tickets to Dashboard Confessional & All American Rejects. Dashboard was my favorite band in high school so it was a blast to take it old school for a night.

My good friend also decorated my car, which made it fun for me to drive around for a good 2 weeks (Don't judge me for not washing it sooner). It was a chill day filled with good food and stellar people. Here's some photos that documented my day.

An IVF Cycle Down

I went back and forth with myself for days, weeks, on whether or not to post anything about our failed IVF cycle. There is a selfish side of me that thinks people are way too nosey nowadays and don't need to know the details. After my other posts about our journey, there were quite a few people who were rather impolite about what we had gone through. I realize after sharing previous stories about infertility, people just care, and want to know more.

On the other hand, other parts of me want to raise awareness, educate, let people know they're not alone, and let the vulnerable parts of me out there because it is therapeutic and healing. And today, this part wins.

Mr. Schroeder and I have officially completed multiple IUI cycles, one IVF cycle, and a frozen embryo transfer. All of those have not worked in our favor. I decided to share this picture of me and my embryo prior to transferring. I hyper-stimulated and was extremely swollen and large, so while I hate this photo of myself, I love that I'm holding a photo of something that means so much to the both of us.

I've learned so much in the past two years. So I'm incredibly grateful. I have been writing countless items in my journal about what I wish I would have done differently, what I wish I would have known, advice I'd give to others, and more. I hope to be brave enough to share all of that someday.

The process is grueling. My faith has been shaken, but then solidified. I'm so grateful to have Trevor, who is so understanding and wonderful, to go through this process with me. For now, we're taking a break. We hope to transfer more of those beautiful embryos in the near future, but have to save our pennies. Not to mention, I gotta get all this weight that I gained off my body pronto. IVF does fun things to you, folks! 

I am incredibly grateful for all of our family and friends who have been praying for us, hoping with us, and being there for us. I've had many people reach out to me asking for an update, and here it is. Right now, this is it. We're working on strengthening our relationship with each other and God. 

If there are any of you struggling with conceiving, I invite you to contact me. There's nothing like going through something without venting and talking it out with someone else. 

Class of 2016

I wrote a post last August explaining that I had graduated college. Whoot Whoot! Yes, I was class of 2016. Buuuut...I finally just attended commencement & walked. I found it odd to walk and celebrate such a big accomplishment and then go right back to school. So I waited 9 months...and THEN celebrated. It feels so much more real now!

We had a family & friends get together to celebrate and my mom threw me an amazing little party. The amount of people I have supporting me is overwhelming! If you're reading this, you probably played a big part in me graduating. It wasn't a walk in the park like so many people experience. But it was so incredibly worth it.

My best friend and I. I can't even tell you how many times my dad said, "Stop being so stressed! If it stresses you out so much, I thin you should drop out!" Or...."Drop out!" When I was doing homework and he and the rest of my family were doing something fun. He was always joking, but rooting for me. 

My #1 Supporter

My amazing in-laws! BTW..check out my father in-laws back brace. It's got a sticker resembling granite on it. He so fancy!

My other #1 Supporter. Mama Bear.

After graduation, we went to Milagros for lunch. Speaking of Milagros...I absolutely hated Mexican Food until I tried this place. Now, I can't get enough. It's in Orem, UT and so so yum!
I'm feeling so so grateful for everybody who has supported me in accomplishing one of my biggest dreams: to graduate college! It's still amazing to me that I did it, especially after hours and hours crying, having panic attacks, and countless sleep lost. I did it! And I also wish you knew that if I can, you can too. 

Infertility Pt. II

Infertility has been a road I never really thought I'd walk down. Actually, I take that back. I think subconsciously, I knew. As a kid and teenager, I never thought I'd actually be a mom. Now, in reality, I never thought I'd want it this bad. Heavenly Father's probably laughing at me right now, tilting his head back and thinking, "I knew that would happen."

Navigating along through this long, confusing, journey has allowed me to not only learn so much about myself, but learn about what other people have gone through. In my head, I'm constantly discussing my battles with myself and conversing phrases like what I've learned, what I feel I'm becoming, and oftentimes (but really should be more often), what I'm grateful for. What better way to write this all out? If one single person finds this post and understands my struggles on a more personal level, this post will have been well worth it. I think I'm willing to take that risk.

One thing that I know to be true is...that every infertility journey is different. I haven't come in contact with one person who understood each of my trials. That being said, I'm no expert in infertility. But these are my personal experiences. And these are some things I want to share.

A Learning Curve
At the beginning of this process, I knew what IVF entailed....and that's about it. The human body is absolutely amazing. Modern day medicine is inspiring and incredible. The things that I have learned through this journey have been nothing shy of overwhelming, yet pretty cool too. You guys..there is a whole world of acronyms. Hundreds of thousands of acronyms. When you get into an infertility support group, each post goes something like this:

"Help! I'm 12DPO and on CD26. What days would you think BD are the best to get a BFP?" 

I literally took that post from an infertility page I'm a part of. If you too are about to start infertility treatments, you're gonna want to know these fancy schmancy acronyms. I'd recommend The National Infertility Association. I even made it as an app on my home screen. I'm telling you. I use it almost more than text messages.

I am a needle hater. In fact, it's a pretty large phobia. But I got over that pretty quickly when I had to inject myself like mad. At first, I made Mr. Schroeder do the first few injections. I recently did my first one and am feeling like I just gradated with a doctorates or something. I called my mom on cloud 9 because I INJECTED MYSELF WITHOUT ANY HELP! (I should have rewarded myself with a Kit-Kat or somethin). It's the little things, guys!


Ha! This is actually how infertility feels. There are ups, what? There are lots of ups! The months that you found out your body actually produced a follicle on its own? Or the months that you actually have a menstrual cycle so that you can start a new treatment cycle? Those are little blessings that you absolutely have to find in each moment. Otherwise, you'll drown in your own sorrows. It is all an unexpected journey. Just this week, I went in...expecting to have another treatment. But my body didn't react. Instead of waiting until the next month, my doctor said, "We just need to keep pumping your body full of medicine until it responds!" It's hard. It's really really hard.

TMI. Too. Much. Information.
Guess what? There's no such thing! You want to talk about your man's sperm analysis with me? Hit me up! Want to talk about how many times this week you bruised your swollen stomach due to the injections and feel like Bloat (from Finding Nemo). Wanna talk about how many burritos and kit-kats your medicine pretty much forced you to devour? Let's chat.

Infertility is crazy strict on timing. You have to take some injections to. the. hour. You can only be intimate on certain days. A few weeks ago, I was panicking because I wasn't sure what days Mr. Schroeder and I were and weren't supposed to you-know-what. I remember barging through the doors at my doctor and pretty much yelling, 'WHAT DAYS ARE WE SUPPOSED TO HAVE SEX AGAIN? BECAUSE WE DIDN'T YESTERDAY, BUT WE DID THE DAY BEFORE AND NOW I'M WORRIED!" The nurse immediately said, "Go do right now. Don't even wait 60 minutes." I then look to my right, and there were a good 12 people just listening in on that fun discussion. It gave me a good laugh.

There's no such thing as too much information when it comes to infertility. Make it comical. Otherwise, you'll be uncomfortable constantly. Ha!

Part of the struggle with infertility is talking to people. I'm a people person and I enjoy chatting. But at times, it's hard to even talk about. For a lot of reasons. (Especially the point above regarding TMI). I'm not one to boast about my trials or even bring it up out of the blue.

It's not only hard to talk about our own struggles, it's hard to understand others at times. What I've learned is that everybody defines 'infertility' in a different way. Some define it as "I've been trying to get pregnant for 3 months and it hasn't happened for me yet." While some wait to call it infertility until they have gone through infertility treatments. It's been eye-opening for me to be sensitive to others struggles, regardless of what stage they are in. I'm a caring person, but it has allowed me to see in others lives in a different light.

The Advice
I've said it twice before, & I'll say it again. People. Mean. Well. But the amounts of advice I get is pretty astonishing. What I'd love to stress is "What worked for you probably won't work for me." Our bodies are different. You have no idea what diagnoses I've been given. You don't even know what issues I'm facing. While I'm grateful that you care enough to let me know what you believe WILL work, please just spare me. I've heard some crazy stuff.

  • The core of a pineapple has bromelain in it! Bromelain helps your uterine lining thicken so that the embryo can stick and it makes you not miscarry!

  • (Said to my husband): If your wife just washes herself out with warm water and honey, it'll help!

  • Just have sex like every day. That's what we did (they have like 8 kids) and it worked every time!

  • Stop trying, or adopt, and then you'll get pregnant.
    This one is a constant message that I'm receiving.  I understand that many have been in this scenario, but it does not mean that I will be. And how in the heck am I supposed to stop trying when that's what one of our biggest desire is? Whatevs. 

Regardless of what, I receive crazy amounts of advice each week. But the thing is...I have medical diagnoses that are the reason for me not getting pregnant. My doctor is doing the best she can. And that's all I'd love advice from. 

Feelings that you never thought you'd feel
One of the most common feelings that come along with infertility is being extremely uncomfortable. These last few months, I have felt feelings I never imagined I would feel.

  • Anger
    This is probably one of the feelings I have been experiencing the most lately. I am typically not an angry person, but lately, I can't help but be extremely frustrated. Frustrated toward those who get pregnant without having solid support such as marriage, job, etc. Frustrated toward those who don't want a baby and get pregnant. Frustrated toward any thought whatsoever about abortion. It seriously seems like everywhere I look, there are pregnant people that may not make great mothers. Though that sounds a bit harsh of me, and though I will certainly not be a perfect mother, it has caused a lot of anger as I stand on the side line and watch a pending disaster.

    Today, I read a post about a mom who had 3 boys and was pregnant with her 4th child. She said she was so nervous to go to the ultrasound because she didn't want it to be a boy. She also said she was worried she wouldn't feel a connection with her baby if it was a boy because she wanted a girl so bad. I completely understand having a preference and being a little sad if you don't get what you want. But this infuriated me. So many women want babies and could care less what the gender is. The fact that she said she wouldn't feel a connection with her baby because it's a boy is one of thee most selfish things I have ever heard. Rude? Yes. I'm sorry. I haven't walked in this woman's shoes. But quite frankly, I'd give up many things to do so.

    My mother received a letter in the mail from her insurance carrier that stated that they now cover gender reassignment surgery. In my eyes? This. Is. Not. Right. The insurance is going to pay for a sex change, but won't cover help for something your body should do naturally? Give me a break. 

  • Confusion
    Going along with the above point, I'm so confused. I don't understand why the big man upstairs doesn't have this plan for me but has this plan for other people who could potentially destroy their babies lives. Though it has been extremely challenging for me to keep the faith, I've realized that I have a decision: to let it destroy me, or to let it better me. I choose the latter. Infertility brings confusion. But it can (and will) increase faith, if you just allow it to.

  • Sick Sick Sick
    I fainted at my work the other day. That was an adventure! Woosy, grumpy, and again, feeling like's going to happen pretty much the entire time you're on treatments. Expect it!

The amount of support is overwhelming
Infertility is a journey that most people don't necessarily want to share the details on. If you're going through infertility, I beg you to join a Facebook Support Group (as long as the negativity is kept to a minimum), go to Live Support Groups, look through support forums.

There is a plethora of support groups out there and I don't think I'd be where I am at in my journey without the support. Girls are constantly striving to give each other advice, discuss different ideas, and help each other out. You may be surprised once you realize how many women really are struggling the way you are. They may not understand exactly what you're going through, but it's extremely helpful to talk through the steps of your journey, get advice, and have listening ears.

I'm 1 in 8. You may be 1 in 8. Let's step it up & talk.