This past weekend our Team Bayou Baby participated in the Baby Steps 2016 Infertility Awareness Fun Run at Lamar Dixon in Gonzales, LA. This year we finally came out of the infertility closet and have shared with the world our struggles in expanding our family. We have received an incredible amount of love and support from not only our families but also friends, new and old. When I joined Sarah’s Laughter, a Christian support group for those suffering infertility and loss, I had no idea it was going to impact my life as much as it has and provide me with a network of girlfriends that understood my heart. All of the girls told me how wonderful Baby Steps was going to be and how much we would feel supported. Again, I had no idea.
We created Team Bayou Baby in an effort to possibly win the $10,000 Family Building Grant, a free IVF cycle with Dr. Dunaway (our doctor) or one of the $500 Family Building Grant prizes and also raise money for Sarah’s Laughter, a ministry that is near and dear to my heart. I didn’t have big expectations for the fundraising because of the recent flood and set our goal at only $500. For every $250 we raised, we received 10 raffle tickets for the Family Building Grant. Well, I was blown away when we ended up raising $1,500! I couldn’t believe it and Andrew and I were both touched by all of the donations.
That’s one serious stack of tickets. In addition to all of the generous donations, some of the girls in Sarah’s Laughter that either conceived or didn’t need one or the other raffle prizes donated their tickets to me. Day of the race, I was overjoyed and scrambling to fill out my info on my remaining tickets.
I certainly wasn’t complaining! At the beginning of the 1 mile walk, there was a Miracle Baby March which included all the babies conceived after suffering infertility or loss. Some of the girls from my own support group are pregnant right now with their miracle babies and were at the forefront of this march. It was very touching to see the kids that were prayed for and hoped for by so many walking in this march. I pray Andrew and I will one day be able to march along with them when we have our miracle baby.
The beautiful part about this walk were the signs you passed along the way, representing babies we are “Believing For”, “In Gratitude of” or “In Memory of”. It’s pretty emotional to see all those dealing with a disease that affects 1 in 8 couples or dealing with the loss of one of their babies.
We stopped and represented Team Bayou Baby like champs.
The weather was absolutely gorgeous and we felt incredibly blessed to share in this special day with those close to us, all walking to support our Bayou Baby.
The really exciting part about Baby Steps 2016 was winning a $500 Family Building Grant from Woman’s Hospital. I was focused more on raising money for the ministry of Sarah’s Laughter and really set my expectations low for the raffle prizes. When they pulled the first raffle ticket and said my name, I was shocked! I was so excited, I clearly left my husband in the dust. I don’t think he minded because he’s become accustomed to me walking too fast anyway.
I don’t normally win prizes but lately, these infertility prizes keep happening. I won 31 Days of Prayer During Infertility by Lisa Newton a couple months ago which you can read about here. Obviously the stars are aligning and there’s a bigger plan in the works. I’m being linked up in all the right places. The grant money can go towards treatment in the future. We are still in limbo until Andrew finishes his Clomid and completes another analysis but having the extra funds to go towards our next step is always appreciated.
Of course we would have loved to win some of the bigger prizes but I feel so much hope for our future and God’s plan for our family that I know whatever path we are on right now is exactly where we are supposed to be. I also find it easy to accept the outcome because I know the heart of each one of the recipients. They have the same desires as me and Andrew.
There was a moment when two girls with the same name walked up to claim 50% off an IVF cycle generously provided by Dr. Dunaway. Instead of turning one away, Dr. Dunaway blesses each girl with 50% off an IVF cycle, confirming that must have been how God intended it to be.
Some of my favorite moments on Saturday were catching up with close friends and sharing in special moments with new friends. You may recognize this sweet gal’s face from her guest post on the blog earlier this year when me and my cowboy took a break from farm life for the 4th of July holiday. You can read all about her perspective here.
I have established surprising connections during my walk through infertility. One of those is with this special little 7 year old girl named Tori.
She was recently adopted by one of the Sarah’s Laughter members. Maybe one day I can share her amazing story on the blog. It has many unexpected twists and turns but the end result is pure gold. This little girl has light and love bursting at the seams.
These pictures make me cry because I know how tight she was hugging me and my Sarah’s Laughter friend Holly at that moment. Her little legs were wrapped around me so snug and her arms were outstretched to catch all the love we could give her right then and there. That was the highlight of my day.
When you walk through infertility, there are times when you feel utterly alone in the fight. You see everyone else expanding their family, getting pregnant with such ease and without the heartache we encounter each month. It can harden your heart if you aren’t careful. You find yourself struggling to find joy in your life because infertility takes over and consumes your mind. When I found Sarah’s Laughter and began sharing our story with others, I found the relief from infertility bondage and the support needed to make it through the tough periods. Knowing that I wasn’t alone on this crazy train was exactly what I needed during this phase in our life.
To share in Baby Steps, a day devoted to our shared struggle of infertility or loss meant the world to me and Andrew. Andrew ended up running into people that he didn’t even realize were struggling like us but there we all were at Baby Steps. In the end, infertility is a smaller world than you realize once you start sharing your heart.
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