You might think that the number one thing I am emailed about would be my brother.  Nope.
You might think that the number one thing I am emailed about would be food.  Nope.
The number one thing I am emailed about is infertility.  
Some of you are new to the blog, some of you are old friends.  No matter which you are, you know that my two precious kids are the most important things in the world to me.  Andrew and I thank God for them every single day…they have filled us with more joy and love then we ever thought possible.  However, they did not come easily…my road to mommyhood was long…bumpy…hard…sad…frustrating…and necessary.  I am the mom I am today because I had the journey I had.  This is my story…
Andrew and I had been married for several years, we had a puppy, a new house, two good cars, a savings account, and our own business going…we were ready for that next chapter in our lives to begin…parenthood.  It was time to become parents…or so we thought.
After 5 months of not getting pregnant, I went to see my doctor for some answers.  I remember leaving that appointment and calling my mom in the car.  I was 25 years old and the doctor had just told me that he wasn’t sure if I would ever be able to get pregnant.  I cried and cried and cried.
My doctor didn’t mess around with mild fertility drugs…he pulled out the big guns right away.  From that point on, I began taking 2 types of fertility drugs a day plus Andrew would give me 4 shots in my stomach daily.  Between the pills and the injectable medicines, they were trying to get my body capable of being pregnant.  A few months passed and we decided it was time to try an Intrauterine Insemination (IUI).  I had the IUI in mid-May and on Memorial Day 2007, I found out I was pregnant.  Being the big-mouthed, never holds anything in kind of gal I am, I immediately told my entire family and all of my friends.  We went to the doctor, everything looked great and my pregnancy was in full swing.  I had horrible 24/7 morning sickness almost immediately and had every symptom in the book of a healthy pregnant gal.  
On June 25, I went in for my routine checkup (I was almost 9 weeks pregnant) and they couldn’t find the baby’s heartbeat.  I was devastated.  The baby was gone.  My D&C was scheduled for the next morning and that was it…I wasn’t pregnant any more.
Between that day and December 8, I would go on to have 5 more IUIs…all failures.  I took so many hormones, so many pills, had so many needles jabbed into my stomach…I was a mess.  Finally, on December 16, when we received confirmation that my 6th IUI had failed, we decided to proceed with Invitrofertilization (IVF).  We filled out the paperwork, paid the money, had the affidavits signed and picked mid-January to start.  It was Christmas, and all I wanted to do was enjoy the holiday season minus the pills and needles to the belly.

This is us in Chicago during that month…we went Christmas shopping and tried to forget our sadness.

On January 16, 2008, I was ready to start the IVF procedure.  My doctor called and said for me to take a routine pregnancy test before I began my meds (something I did frequently…they wouldn’t write a prescription until they knew for sure I wasn’t pregnant).  During my lunch break, I grabbed a pregnancy test and decided to take it at work so that my doctor would call in my prescription.  I took it…and it was positive.
I remember staring at it for a long, long time.  Fortunately, Andrew and I worked together, so I went into his office and told him my pregnancy test was positive.  Being the typical cynical Shull that he is, he said it was probably wrong.  I called my fertility doctor and told them what happened…they asked me to come in for blood work right then and low and behold…I was actually pregnant.
After thousands of dollars, 6 IUIs, a miscarriage, a D&C and more drugs then I’ll ever be able to count, I became pregnant without any of it.  God likes to show his glory and might on his own terms in unexpected ways…he gave me my miracle baby.  And on September 15, 2008, I gave birth to Kensington Kate.

Kensington was worth the wait!

Then…God thought he would really make his point clear, and on June 5, 2009, I found out I was pregnant again…and I had a 6 month old.  

Smith William arrived on January 18, 2010 and was my best surprise!

After all of that money…all of that trying…all of the doctor appointments…all of the prayers…God gave me two freebies.  Kensington and Smith came on the Lord’s terms…on the Lord’s time…and it was exactly what I needed.  I just didn’t know it before.

I am a big believer in fertility doctors…please don’t get me wrong.  I was blessed with wonderful doctors that loved me and cared for me and did everything they could to try and help me get pregnant.  But the bottom line is…they could use all of the medicine in the world and create the absolute most perfect conditions for conception but unless God wants to bring a human being into this world, nothing they do can create a baby.

Even though I’m five years past infertility, I still have a huge heart for moms that can’t conceive.  I don’t care whether you’re trying to have your first or your fifth…whether you’ve been trying two months or 10 years, I have an aching heart for you.  I pray for each and every woman that emails me about their struggles.  From the bottom of my heart, I am so sorry for your pain.  I wish I could tell you that one day, you’ll conceive a child but I just can’t.  What I can tell you is that God is in control…the Lord loves you so much…and he has never left the plan for your life.  Trust in the Lord and he will bless you more than you could ever know.

My two favorite scriptures are Jeremiah 29: 11, “For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord.  Plans to prosper you and not harm you.  Plans to give you hope and a future.”.  And I also love the Message’s version of Ephesians 3:20. “God can do anything, you know-far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams.”

Four wonderful things happened to me through infertility…
The first two are of course, Kensington and Smith.  Without my struggles, they wouldn’t have arrived.

My third blessing was my dear friend Erika.  She and I bonded over the fact that we were both having fertility issues.  Our mutual friend Whitney told us that we should be friends because we were both trying to get pregnant and having issues…well, we bonded over our sorrows and then the Lord blessed us times four!  Within 18 months, we had 4 kids!  Without my fertility struggles, I wouldn’t be as close to Erika as I am today…and my kids wouldn’t be the same ages as her sweet kids.  I am so thankful that infertility brought me Erika.

Four special kiddos

And finally, if it weren’t for my struggles, I wouldn’t be able to relate to so many of you.  I count you in my blessings and am praying for you.  Thank you for sharing with me and trusting me with your struggles.  I love you all!

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  • Blue-Eyed Bride February 28, 2013 at 11:09 am

    What a testimony, Shay! And what sweet little blessings you have. πŸ™‚ my Hudson was born on June 5, 2009 too!

  • Allison February 28, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Such a beautiful testimony! God is good and you were wise to trust him even when you didn't know what he was up to!

  • Aubrey February 28, 2013 at 11:26 am

    I loooooove that you are sharing your story with the world. Yours was a long, painful journey with a happy ending. Most of all, yours is a message of hope. Thanks, friend!

  • Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} February 28, 2013 at 11:31 am

    I MEAN. Tears. Lots of tears. What I am dying to know is if Erika is crying?!? It is soooo weird that I didn't know you during this time, but I am so thankful for God's timing and Grace. Love you!

  • Cathy and Marshall February 28, 2013 at 11:35 am

    Shay, what a heartfelt message. Thank you for sharing! I too struggled for months to get pregnant with both of my children and suffered a miscarriage in between. It was devastating, but God and scripture got me through. You are so right that it all happens in His time! I love both of those verses; the Ephesians one hangs in my kids' bathroom. You have a beautiful family!

  • Tab & Erika February 28, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Aw!! Yes, Sheaffer!!! I was crying!! I think about that all the time! Such a hard time for us but think of how much we learned and ALL that we gained!! I love you friend! So blessed!

  • Mindy February 28, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story. It is beautiful and God is so good!
    Your children are beautiful blessings.

  • Michelle Nobbe February 28, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Wow!! You brought me to tears this morning. You are so right about it all being God's plan and his timing! My husband and I have been trying for two years now, and I am having surgery next week to remove polyps, scar tissue, and endometriosis. Thank you for sharing your testimony, and it just shows you who is in control of everything!!

  • Amy February 28, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    what an amazing testimony of God's glory. i am so thankful that He is never late, but always on time. and it's just an added bonus that two of your best blessings happen to be undeniably adorable! πŸ˜‰

  • Brandi February 28, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    I too went through infertility and suffered a miscarriage and it was by FAR the hardest time in my life. I cried all the time. One day I had a melt down and gave it all to God. No joke, 2 weeks later I was preggers. Now I have 3 beautiful babies without any drugs. I give God all the glory!! So blessed!

  • Narci D February 28, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Such a beautiful testimony! I wish we had been friends then since we struggled with infertility after our Jackson. God is faithful–even over crazy,long periods of infertility–4 years for us, countless drugs and fertility treatments, and we were blessed just like you, naturally…twice, for good measure. πŸ˜‰ Infertility is a heartbreaking process, my prayers go out to your precious readers who struggle with it.

  • Maddie~The Whimsy One February 28, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    This is why I am so glad you're participating:)

  • buckles10 February 28, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    I have a similar story but because it took place 40 years ago my only option at the time was the fertility drugs. After several months of drugs that were increased several times I was told I had one more month of 3x the dose before the doctor would give me no more. I decided not to take the dose that month to give my body a rest and in my mind I could go back to normal dose for 3 months giving me more time. You guessed it…it was that off month that our daughter was conceived…and 15 months after her birth we were pregnant again w/o drugs. After all these years I still have the fertility drugs I did not take on my shelf just to remind me of God's great love and timing. πŸ™‚

  • Danielle Chance February 28, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    One of my favorite things about the blogging community is reading posts like this. I always enjoy reading the day to day things that the bloggers that I follow post but it's these that truly make it all worth the time I spend doing this everyday. My husband and I tried for years to have a baby and it was when we finally decided to take a break from it all that we found out we were pregnant. Today our little man turns four months old and he's the biggest blessing that we could have ever been given.

    Thank you for sharing your journey (funny that I use the word that's so over used in The Bachelor, but it's appropriate I think)!

    Happy Thursday,

  • Aubs February 28, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    oh the tears. there are several reasons there are so many years between my 2nd and 3rd babies, but one of them is that we struggled to conceive. my heart just breaks over and over for friends and strangers alike who face this struggle. thanks for sharing your testimony and heart sweet friend! =)

  • kj7 February 28, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Tears here as well! I actually just found out Friday that I have to have a hysterectomy. I have a 10 year old daughter so for that I'm very blessed but hurts to know there won't be more as this is something I longed for. I know God has plans for me and I'm trusting in his ultimate plan!
    Proverbs 3:5-6

  • JSTYMIEST February 28, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story! I loved it when you said that no matter how many fertility drugs and amazing doctors you have to help you get pregnant, if it's not God's will or His timing, it just won't happen. So true!
    Hubby and I are going through this infertility journey…a little over a year now and trusting (well, trying to!!) in God's perfect plan.
    Thanks again for sharing your story. It does really help when you know that others have been there. πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous February 28, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    Wow Shay, what strength you and Andrew must have after all you have endured. Makes complete sense why you are such a wonderful mom to your two kiddos! Thanks for sharing your story.

  • Amanda February 28, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Ephesians 3:20 is the verse I pray on and believe in. My husband had cancer when he was 12 and because of the radiation/chemo and location of his tumor the doctors told us its impossible to have children of our own. I so covet your prayers! Thanks for sharing your story πŸ™‚ XO

  • Anonymous February 28, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    What a beautiful story! We were in the same situation. I was told I couldn't get pregnant naturally. I picked up all of my fertility meds and the next day had to take a pregnancy test before I started them. Lo and behold it came back pregnant as clear as day. My husband made me take all 6 tests and each one said pregnant. It all goes to show that it is truly in God's time, not our own.

  • Kristen February 28, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    That is a COOL COOL story! Wow! God is so GOOD!

  • Katie and Monroe Campbell February 28, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    I just love this post! Right time and right day for me to read this. Such a blessing

  • Ashley February 28, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am so glad I checked in today, because I have been having a really tough time. I just found out yesterday that my fourth and final IUI didn’t work. I am trying to process the transition to IVF and it’s so difficult. I have a relationship with God, but it’s been on the rocks lately. Thank you for helping me to refresh my faith with your story and the verses you shared. You are living proof that God answers prayers in his own perfect time. Take care πŸ™‚

  • Elaine~ Honey Pie Accessories February 28, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story. I have not had infertitility difficulties, but your story just makes us all aware that it is God's timing; not ours that is perfect and he will answer prayers in his own time.

  • Katie February 28, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    My friend sent me this link today and I am so glad she did. Just reading your story and even through all these comments of other's stories gives me hope. Hope that we serve a God who is in control when it doesn't feel like he is. My 4 yr. battle has yet to have an ending and often I get weary in this journey, but reading your words today encourages me that I am not alone and better days are ahead. Thank you for sharing–your story blessed me today!

  • The Cantelmo Family February 28, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    I love your story and how amazing God is!!! My mother in law had four miscarriages before she adopted my husband, Anthony! When Anthony was 6 months old they found out she was pregnant with Sarah and later she got pregnant with Ashley!!! God is amazing. He can use adoption, doctors or open a woman's womb to create great blessings. He is in control and always good!!!

  • Anonymous February 28, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story. I was wondering why your doctor said you couldn't get pregnant? Did you have something diagnosed? For all of us out there with diagnoses it would be nice to hear yours – then we can know we have a chance!

  • Sarah Powell February 28, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Thanks for sharing this amazing story. I am currently 25, the same age you were when you began trying and my husband and I have been trying for about 5 months as well, it's a very frustrating and emotional process! Every month, waiting and testing and testing and then to find out you aren''s so hard. My husband is always reminding me that when God feels it's the right time, it will happen, so I just keep trusting in him because he knows what is best for us.

  • Candice Kelley February 28, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    This post was so inspiring Shay. Thank you so much for sharing! Xo

  • Renee I February 28, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    Wow. Such a beautiful story. My husband and I are having similar issues but yet, different.
    Getting pregnant isn't a problem, but keeping them from miscarrying is.
    So devastating after 2 miscarries already, but after reading your blog, I smiled. I'm going to read it!
    You inspire me Shay in so many ways. Your thousands of miles away but yet so close to me. So proud of you for sharing your story. You're not only making me smile but thousands of other women in the same boat too!

  • Anonymous February 28, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Love, Love, Love this post!! God really does have a plan for us, who would have guessed I would have a baby 14 YEARS AFTER my first, didn't think I could have anymore, he was heaven sent!! God is great!!


  • Mix and Match Mama February 28, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    They doctors said my uterus was older then my age. They guess that I'll go through menopause early too. Who knows? I had periods but they were fake periods…they didn't mean that I was ovulating.

  • JenetFuller February 28, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story, it's beautiful (as are your kiddos). I'm 25, and although my husband and I aren't trying yet, my biggest fear is that I won't be able to have a child. There's no reason for me to think I may be infertile, I'm just a pessimist and my greatest desire in life is to have a family. Knowing your story gives me hope that if I'm meant to be a Mom I will be.

  • Whitney February 28, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    Hi Shay,
    I am relatively new to your blog and reading your post this morning brought me to tears. My husband and I do not have kids (yet), but I have many friends who I have seen struggle with infertility. Thank you so much for allowing us a window into your personal life and your struggles and triumphs!
    Blessings to your entire family!
    Whitney πŸ™‚

  • Kensey Gosch February 28, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story. I have a sweet young daughter but have been trying for #2 for 8 months now. I just went to the doctor on Monday and we are going to run some labs to see if anything looks off. It is such a hard journey, months of hoping and waiting and hurting. It seems like everyone you know is getting pregnant or having babies because no one speaks out when they are actually having trouble. Glad to hear others here who are on the same rocky road.

  • Amie February 28, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your story, it brought me to tears and reminded me again that God has a plan even if we don't think so. I am going to share a link to your story on my blog. πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous February 28, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    For those here still struggling with infertility may I suggest checking out the Pope Paul VI Institute. They specialize in helping women with fertility struggles in a natural way. Their goal is to really get to the root of the problem within your body to see if there is a way to help you naturally conceive. I have a friend going through this very treatment right now and our prayers are with her in the hopes that she too may become a mother. From what I understand it is also far more affordable than many other fertility treatments and often covered by insurance. I know infertility is such a discouraging thing to deal with so I hope for the best for all who are dealing with it.

  • Anonymous February 28, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    Was the story you tweeted about (about Sean donating his sperm) written before or after this post? Just wondering were the media gets their crazy ideas!

    – Jen

  • {Hi Sugarplum!} February 28, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    So sweet of you to share this story…such a testament!!! We had similar issues, but God was just waiting for us to clean up a few areas of our life. Then came Jackson. And then Sloan, who I didn't even realize I'd been missing..but He knew. πŸ™‚ xo

  • Ashley(Lexington, NC) February 28, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    I loved your blog but I wasn't sure what you mean by "without my struggles, they wouldn't have arrived" I disagree with that because, like you said, if it's in God's plan then it will happen! It didn't matter if you had struggles before or not because they were in God's plan all along, just didn't happen to be right when you wanted it!~! But anyways, loved your story anyways. I feel for the kids who have terrible parents or not even have parents. I hope they can find God and get through their hard times! I do have a question though, did you ever consider adoption?

  • Brittany {Coleman Chronicles} February 28, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    What a beautiful story that only God could have written! Thanks for sharing your heart! And more pictures of those adorable little blessings! πŸ™‚

  • Mix and Match Mama February 28, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    Hi Ashley!
    What I mean is…if I wouldn't have struggled…if I would have had kids exactly when I wanted them, they wouldn't have been Kensington and Smith. Of course, everything is in God's timing but if it hadn't have taken me two years, I wouldn't have these two kids.

    We considered adoption then and still consider it today. Adoption has always been on our hearts. Maybe there will be a third baby Shull that is adopted. Only God knows.


  • AmyJo February 28, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    I love your testimony. My doctor told me after my miscarriage that we can't have a testimony without tests and for whatever reason God chooses certain tests in our lives. He said they allow us to have a testimony and help others. I'd say you are doing just that. πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing.

  • Kim DeGuido February 28, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Thank you for sharing. We have struggled for almost 7 years now and adopted 2 years ago. We so want our precious son to have a sibling but don't feel led to adopt again yet and I am going through early premenopause. So, it is soon or never. God has definitely used our experience in and through us and we haven't given up the hope of me giving birth to our next child. It is always encouraging to be reminded others know what we are going through.

  • KRISTIN TATE February 28, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    Between the blubbering tears on my keyboard and snot rocket on my lip your story just has me a mess! I'm so thankful for Christian women who are willing to share their personal stories/testimony. Keep up the blogs, I love to read them, your just a ray of sunshine!
    Sister in Christ,
    Kristin Tate

  • KRISTIN TATE February 28, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    Between the blubbering tears on my keyboard and snot rocket on my lip this story has me a mess! Thank you for being willing to share your personal story/testimony. Your such a ray of sunshine!
    Sister in Christ,
    Kristin Tate

  • Angela @ Teaching Mama February 28, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    What a beautiful story! I'm sure it was incredibly hard going through all of that! You have such a sweet heart and a good perspective. God is using you to bless and help others!! P.S. You have beautiful children!!

  • Mike and Molly Spivey February 28, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story. My husband and I walked through "Second Infertility". We got off birth control in July of 2007 and got pregnant the very next month, August 2007, then found out the next month it was twins! Completely by the grace of God! The boys were born in April 2008 and we always said we wanted our kids close in age, so in September 2009 we got off birth control, anticipating to conceive by Halloween. To our surprise it took months, and years. A pastors wife friend of mine would tell me over and over again that the Lord knows how to plan our family. We went through three years of trying to conceive but we never had peace of pursing infertility methods – mainly I had peace that our infertility was from the hand of God to plan our family in the way he wanted. (I know that sounds weird, but when we walk in assurance that He is sovereign that type of peace is present). On my boys 4th birthday I found out I was pregnant. We were THRILLED and super excited! My husband is the pastor of our church and we immediately announced it to our church that following Sunday. I was sick and then all of a sudden I wasn't. I had a routine ultrasound schedule the next day and we found out there was no heart beat. We were devastated, but the Lord was so sweet in that time to instantly bring us to peace and to know that He is the Lord of our lives, we know that somehow that was apart of our story and apart of our plan and for our good. We trusted in the Lord to add to our family – I just knew we weren't done having kids! Our doctor wanted us to wait until August before we started trying again and that month we conceived with our sweet baby – GraceAnne. I am due in May, and she is our double portion of Grace (Anne also means Grace). You can read all about our miscarriage journey on my (not updated often) blog:

  • Kim M. February 28, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    So inspiring! I too remember month after month wondering when it would happen. It was so stressful! Now we have a four and a half year old and a three week old conceived exactly in God's perfect timing! Though it seemed to take forever at the time, I realize now God had it covered all along. The whole experience was such an awesome lesson in trusting Him! Thanks Shay!

  • Stro March 1, 2013 at 12:06 am

    Thank you so much for this post, Shay! My husband and I have been trying to conceive for 8 months (had a miscarriage in December). There are so many times that I am frustrated, sad, angry, and wondering why this is happening to us. We are good people who seem to have things in place. Thank you for the post and reminding me, that I cannot plan everything in my life! Sometimes I just have to leave things up to the powers that be!

  • tate February 28, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    After 8 years of marriage and heart break because of infertility AND many invasive procedures I was at a loss. One day during my "quiet time" with the Lord the word Samuel came to my mind. I love the Lord but am not the Bible scholar I should be. I thought," I know Samuel is a book in the Bible but what was he all about??? So I read the first chapter and started sobbing. I knew God was telling me I would have a baby after all. Three IVF's later (first one successful with Samuel, second one failed, third one successful with twins) I can say God is faithful. And like you, the twins were 9 months old and I got pregnant on my own!! We adopted a little girl from Ethiopia after our last so now we have 5! When I was 31 and hopeless God still knew. Thank you for putting your heart out there and sharing your most precious story!

  • Erin and Josh March 1, 2013 at 12:09 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this post and your journey with us. As someone who also had a miscarriage this was such a sweet reminder of the lords faithfulness.

  • Jenna {Real Simple Girl} March 1, 2013 at 2:09 am

    Your post was so encouraging to me. Even though I'm not going through the same thing, I can really relate to your message of "God's timing." I often wonder if I'll ever get married and have kids, because those are my dreams. But I have to put it in God's hands and rely on his perfect timing. Thanks for the reminder that I often need! πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous March 1, 2013 at 2:16 am

    Thank you for sharing your story. As I type this, tears are rolling down my face and I am reminded about our struggles with infertility–after 3 unsuccessful IVF's; 3 miscarriages; 2 1/2 years of shots, infertility drugs, and heartache, we were ready to get off the emotional roller coaster ride and trust in God's plan. God took us down a completely different path to parenthood–Adoption. We have been blessed with two amazing boys-now ages 6 and 7. For those thinking about adoption or when the infertility path gets too heavy to bare, here is an Adoption Prayer that I read every day when I see my precious boys faces: Not of my flesh, nor bone of my bone, but, still miraculously, my own. Never forget, for a single minute you didn't grow under my heart but in it!

    A Fellow Redsox Fan! Love you, Love your Food Blog, Love your Brother. God Bless.

  • Type A's Nightmare February 28, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    I told you… this is exactly like our story. I wasted no time in realizing that I needed help and then helped hard. The drugs were exhausting and I was physically, emotionally and mentally worn out. And then… in the break that I so desperately needed, I got pregnant. To think that you can be so focused, so determined, so in "control" of meds, testing, scheduling, etc. and then still be completely surprised by an "accidental" (I use this term almost silly-ly), it's mind boggling. I just finished telling my best friend (during lunch) that God gave me EK when His time was perfect. He knew better than I did when I needed her, and somehow the gift of motherhood has been a very defining life event in what it showed me about our Heavenly Father. When I think of how much I love her, how I base every life decision on her and how it effects her, I am completely blown away that God loves me more than that. Whew! If I ever needed a reminder, it's that… He loves me more than I can love my daughter, and that is BIG.

    Love the blog! You're superwoman/wife/mom!

  • Missy March 1, 2013 at 3:23 am

    What a beautiful testimony! My heart too aches for all the couples who experience this heartache. My son was born via ivf after years of infertility. He is the biggest blessing of my life! It was hard to understand at the time but I know God's timing was perfect.

  • Cherry Blossoms March 1, 2013 at 4:07 am

    Thank you for being open and sharing this personal post. This was exactly what I needed to read.
    Your family is beautiful and I couldn't agree more with you on it all being on God's terms.

  • sandi March 1, 2013 at 4:13 am

    what a great story! after several years of infertility, our first pregnancy was an ectopic one. the damage that was done to that tube reduced our chances of having children in half. a year later we conceived our son using ivf. 18 months later we welcomed our daughter! shocker! another failed ivf later we thought we were done. we now have a caboose in our last daughter who is 4. she is keeping us young since i am now 45! God sure does have his own timeline!

  • SH March 1, 2013 at 4:15 am

    God is amazing!! My family members are currently struggling with the same thing, and we pray every day they will receive the same blessing as you!

    The Hartungs Blog

  • mindy@thesuburbanlife March 1, 2013 at 4:51 am

    What a beautiful story! I'm sure you have given the gift of hope to many with your faith and your willingness to share such a personal journey. Thank you. And can I say…your kids? Beautiful much? πŸ™‚

  • Annie March 1, 2013 at 5:42 am

    This is a beautiful testimony to the Lord's goodness, Shay! Thank you for sharing your story!

  • Brendaly Villarreal March 1, 2013 at 5:44 am

    What a great testimony. Sometimes we don't understand why things work out a certain way when were going thru or hard times. But we have a great and powerful God who has everything in control and has our best interest at heart. This experience is a great way to reach out to others! I think God wanted you to know that its in his time, and like you mentioned the glory be to him. Continue telling others what God has done in your life and the great blessing you got. Be blessed

    Brendaly Villarreal πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous March 1, 2013 at 9:05 am

    I haven't had infertility difficulties but I have friends that did and your testimony touched me (I will be sending them the link to this). Thank you for sharing this! God truly works in His timing. Blessings to your family, your kids are adorable I love seeing their pictures.

  • Anonymous March 1, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    I'm a new reader here! Thanks for sharing your story! It gives me hope. I had a miscarriage in August and a chemical pregnancy in December. Thanks for reminding me that God always has a plan!

    God Bless!

  • Randi Jo :) March 1, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    What an awesome story!! πŸ™‚

    You all were just like Isaac & Rebekah who prayed for a child and God gave them 2!! (though theirs were twins – yours almost were they are so close in age! hehe – and Rebekah & Isaac waited *20*!!! years!) amazing!

    Thanks for sharing

  • mel @ the larson lingo March 1, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Love, love, love this post. I love hearing how God had his hand in your story. I had 2 miscarriages before I had Kate, it was the hardest thing I have ever gone through. (The stiey is on my blog) My heart breaks for mamas who have gone through similar things. Thanks for sharing your story! Xoxo.

  • Mona Brawley March 2, 2013 at 6:31 am

    Shay, sweetest story. What a testimony to God's love and grace. So glad that you shared! You are truly one "blessed" Mama!
    Wonderful God! So, thankful you share your sweet family with us!

  • Molly March 3, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    Hi there! Just discovered your blog (through my mild obsession with the Bachelor =) and read this beautiful post. I am 25, married, and do not plan on having children for a few more years. I know many people {Christian and nonChristian} who have gotten pregnant after one try thinking they were just "lucky", but I also know quite a few who have not who pray and pray about it. While I hope to be in the former group, God's plan is not always mine. So great of you to be open about the subject that is so personal to you.

  • Whitney B. March 4, 2013 at 1:13 am

    Thank you so much for being open with your infertility! Our stories are actually really similar. We found out when I was 25 that we couldn't get pregnant without help. They put my husband on shots, not me, and we got pregnant. We told EVERYBODY, heard an amazing heartbeat at 9 weeks then the day before my 13 week check up I went in with signs of a miscarriage and had to have a D&C. The baby was totally gone. It was devastating. We are still struggling since then (that was almost a year ago) and are headed for IUIs and possibly IVF. No idea what is in store, but happily celebrated my 27th birthday last Sunday. We are blessed with an amazing life either way. Thank you for being so open, you have a beautiful family!

  • Jaren March 4, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    I can relate to your post so well! My husband and I tried and tried, had miscarriages, took fertility meds…finally in God's time, we had our first two sweet little blessings…17 months apart! It made me the mom that I am, and taught me that God's plans are so much greater than my own! Without his plans, I wouldn't have the beautiful children I have today!

  • melbeemills March 4, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    Thank you for your post! I found it "by chance":(but not really…bc nothing is!) and it gave me hope. My husband and I have been ttc for over 3 years and we know who holds the keys! … But its still rough. Thanking God today for my coming across your story. Im praying I will have one of my own soon. πŸ™‚

  • Stacy March 7, 2013 at 12:48 am

    I have been reading your blog for a short while and hadn't seen this post. I feel the exact same way…doesn't matter how many years ago you struggled with infertility…you never forget the pain and sadness. We struggled for many years..prayed…spent a lot of money and no blessings. We decided to adopt , we just wanted a baby to love and care for. We were blessed just shortly after finishing all necessary paperwork with a beautiful baby girl. We were able to be there when she was born and the entire stay in the hospital:) such a wonderful blessing from God. We then got pregnant through ivf (after a couple tries) had a little boy and then a few years later….God decided we needed a BIG surprise. We had another baby girl. So many blessings! I couldn't imagine loving these 3 anymore. God always has a plan for us:)

  • Sarah March 7, 2013 at 6:33 am

    Hello Shay! I love your blog! I was incredibly teary eyed reading your post! I couldnt agree more with you how that no matter how we use our time and resources to accomplish things on our terms ….. God makes in happen is his time!! God is in control in everything!! Praise God for blessing you with 2 beautiful kids! God is good!!!

  • Jodi March 12, 2013 at 1:29 am

    Wow, I went on your blog to read about Sean and am left with tears streaming down my face. You have no idea how badly I needed this post right now. I've trusted God for everything in life but our struggle to have kids has left me broken. We are just at the inital stages of getting fertility help but you have inspired me to keep trying, trusting God to give us a miracle. My heart hurts every day but I now have a boost of energy to keep on trying. Thank you Shay..

  • Angela March 11, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Hi Shay- I've been Following your blog for a few months now and just wanted to say thank you for sharing your story. It's a reminder that God is in control and sometimes his timing is different than ours. I was 10 weeks pregnant and found last week that I had miscarried. Like you, i was heart broken but know God has a plan. Jenn

  • Courtney March 13, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this, I needed it today. My husband and I are in our 17th month of trying to conceive and it's been one of the most painful journeys we've been on. I keep holding faith that we will be parents someday and stories like this are so uplifting and promising!

  • Jenna March 13, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    Those were the very quotes that kept me going throughout our infertility journey. After two years and more fertility drugs than I can count We finally concieved our first. On a cancelled cycle no less. They said my body wasn't progressing like it should and told me to not trigger. We were devistated. A deployment was looming over us so the pressure to make every cycle count was very present.

    I am happy to say that I am 17 weeks pregnant and all is going well. While the deployment is still to come I am thankful every day that God has blessed us. It will still be a tough journey as my husband will be deployed for the birth and wont return until The baby is 6-7 months old. The easy way just isn't for us I guess. However I am know that this inferitilty struggle has made us into the people we are today.

    Thank you for sharing this with us.

  • Christine March 14, 2013 at 4:57 am

    Hi Shay! I am a new follower and I just love your blog! I too have a little history with infertility and miscarriages. Those years were the hardest years of my life.
    Now, I have a daughter the same age as Kensington, and a son just a little younger than Smith. I also have a 3rd child on the way πŸ™‚ and my last 2 children were conceived without any fertility drugs or medical help. God is so good!
    Because of our journey, infertility is HUGE on my heart and I pray daily for friends and family that are struggling to get pregnant.
    Thanks for sharing this story, I know God is using you.
    I'm so glad I found your blog and I believe we would be great friends in "real life". πŸ™‚

  • meghan March 20, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    Thanks for sharing, Shay! I have two little girls. Struggling for almost three years to become pregnant with the first was one of the hardest times in my life. I've never felt such sadness. But God's timing is always perfect – it's just hard to come to terms with that when you're in the middle of the hard stuff. πŸ™‚ Our second was a freebie – no drugs at all. I never would have guessed we'd be able to have one without help. Such a blessing. Your children are beautiful, and I'm loving your blog! Take care!

  • Yebin March 24, 2013 at 11:08 am

    My mom went through a similar phase when she tried to conceive me (that's 1998 we're talking about-not too many drugs, IUIs weren't as reliable in where I'm from…wait, why am I sounding so OLD?) and in the end, she did-naturally! After I read this, I somehow learned to appreciate all the trouble my parents went through and I feel so wanted! πŸ˜€
    Your story reminded me so much of Sarah's story in the bible, when she prayed in the temple for a son. God works in mysterious ways (or so people say) and in the end, you have 2 ADORABLE children with you now!
    God bless you, your family, and maybe other children that will come bouncing in!

  • Grant & Courtney March 26, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Hi Shay! I read your blog all the time, and when I first read this post, I did not comment. But after re-reading today, I just had to share my miracle baby too. We're close in age…I just turned 32 in December (oh and we live nearby…Frisco!). My hubby and I are college sweethearts that married in 2006 and started trying to have a baby in 2008. After 4 years, 5 IVFs, and 3 miscarriages, we were blessed with our miracle…Grace Danielle! She'll be 8 months old this weekend. I know if our journey had been any different, we wouldn't have HER…my Grace. πŸ™‚ We hope to expand our family next year…God-willing. I'm not looking forward to all the shots and rollercoaster of emotions that come with them, but I know it's worth it!

    Thanks for sharing your story! And your kiddos are just too cute!

  • Amy April 4, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    What a beautiful testimony! Thank you for sharing. My struggle to have a child is very similar to yours. We tried for 2.5 years with different reproductive assistance even though my gyn thought adoption was our best option. We were going through the testing for IVF when my husband and I had conversations with The Lord (unbeknownest to each other) giving up control over the process. A month later, I found out I was pregnant without having IVF! My miracle is 5 and a half years old and I have no doubt in my mind that she would not be here had I not given up that control. He was waiting on ME to surrender so that He could do His thing. Some folks call it a coincidence but I certainly don't, it was a miracle in my life!

  • Team Harries April 27, 2013 at 2:57 am

    so happy to read this!! your kids are so cute! God is good!

  • Anonymous April 30, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Stumbled onto your blog through another, and I love your story and am so glad everything worked out for you. I struggled with infertility for a long time and was unsuccessful no matter what the doctors tried. Turns out I had cancer and ended up having to have a hysterectomy. Now I struggle with feeling like I have no use on this earth, like I've failed in the most basic form. I thank God every day for my stepson who I love like my own. Thank you for sharing the Jeremiah Bible verse, that really speaks to me. Guess God puts us in each other's paths when we need it the most. Have a good day πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous May 7, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    I love reading about your family. I, too, suffered through infertility. I didn't give up either, but for me, it took 22 YEARS! Yes, you read that right. I finally gave birth, successfully to twins at the age of 41 after many years of infertility treatments. I never gave up and my boys are so precious to me. I just want to offer encouragement and prayer to others who are on this path to be your own advocate – you have to continue to fight for yourself and what you want for yourself. God is Great!

  • Anonymous June 5, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    New reader to your blog. I was directed here by Grace at Camp Patton. I too struggle with fertility. I had my precious son in October after a successful IUI. I feel so blessed to have him, and I pray that in time, God will bless us with a sibling or two for him. Thanks for sharing your story.

  • Kimberly Caldwell June 15, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    Wandered over to your blog from the Big Mamma blog looking for a cake recipe and found your story. Thanks for sharing. I too have had infertility problems and saw specialists and meds. We too became pregnant without any of it on our "month off" before starting IVF! I am calling it my miracle on top of a miracle. I am currently 14 weeks pregnant and we are looking forward to meeting our miracle in December just before Christmas.

  • Lindsay @ Love In Her Eyes July 24, 2013 at 3:30 am

    my cousin led me to your blog. What awonderful story. My grandma tells me all the time I need to give it to God. Let him be the judge of when the right time is. I have been struggling for over a year. One ovary removed, and now constant cysts on my only ovary. It is exhausting in every possible way. Thank you for sharing your story πŸ™‚

  • Happy Endings July 31, 2013 at 1:10 am

    A friend led me to this blog. What a blessing you are. Your blog gave me strength to get thru these last rounds of tests. Sometime we think we have everythjbg in our hands, but in reality it is in God's hands.

  • Mary De Bastos August 8, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    I'm new here. It took me 18 months to get pregnant with my 1st and I've been trying for 2 yrs fro a second with no success. I have a huge history if early menopause in my family. As in 32-36 yrs of age. Every single woman in my family has started menopause within that age range. I'm 33 and just begging God to help me have another child before it is too late. I still have hope. I don't think about it very much or I know I'll break down and I'm not sure I could get myself back up. So, I'm just trusting that God has a plan for our family.

  • Erika November 5, 2013 at 2:27 am

    I've been following your blog for awhile but I'm just seeing this post. I love, love what you said here: "they could use all of the medicine in the world and create the absolute most perfect conditions for conception but unless God wants to bring a human being into this world, nothing they do can create a baby." Thanks for sharing your story, I'm sure that it has meant so much to so many.

  • Shelli Myers January 11, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    Shay, I came across you on Instagram via a hashtag – can't remember what – it was something silly – maybe Elf on a Shelf. Anyway, I googled your blog today and infertility immediately caught my eye. It is funny how some stories are so similar but also so different. I got pregnant with my beautiful son, Brodie as soon as I wanted to. It was a joyous time, an amazing experience and so when my husband and decided a few years later we wanted to try again, we immediately got pregnant, and like you, told everybody, went to the doc at 9 weeks and no heartbeat. We went through all the same treatments but like you, after all was lost, it was on God's time. Our beautiful baby girl, Carmen, was born after all that heartache. Every time she cried, or woke up fussy, I thanked God for every interruption. It is funny how things change your life, but like you, even though I overcame my infertility, my heart hurts for every man and woman that have to deal with this. Thank you so much for sharing your glorious thanks to God story. Priase you for sharing your faith and giving people something to smile about. God bless your sweet family! I'll be praying for you and for God to use you to share his gift of everlasting life.

  • Mason's Mama January 30, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    I have been reading your blog for a couple hours now this morning! I love this post and how great our God is!! I love your kids names. Smith and I have the same birthday and he is just 5 months older than my son.


  • Anonymous January 30, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    I've read this post several times…and it makes me cry each time. Sadly, I am currently in the middle of an infertility struggle and your story gives me such hope. Thank you for sharing. I hope to one day join you as a infertility graduate! πŸ™‚

  • Susan Marks January 31, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    I came to this post while reading your wedding blog. It gave me chills because what happened to you happened to me, literally, the same way. Only the year was 1992. After countless IUIs, one failed IVF I was giving my body a 2 month break over the holidays before going for a GIFT procedure. In January, like you, I too took a pregnancy test to make sure I wasn't pregnant before the procedure … and it was positive! A miracle was born for me on September 11, 1992, my Brian. And 25 months later after only one month of trying, I had my little girl Erica. And like you, I met my very best friend Nina through my infertility struggle. After all these years I still remember what it was like to be infertile and always identify with people who are stuggling with this. Just needed to share this story with you since it was so eerily similar. My "babies" are now 21 and 19 so enjoy your time with yours because it goes by so fast!

  • Sara @ Making Memories of Us February 21, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Stopping by from Kelly's Korner! Thanks for sharing this wonderful story. I went through fertility treatments from November 2011-December 2012 before we got pregnant. I was embarrassed to talk about it at the time, but now realize it is sadly more common than we think. We did get pregnant through IUI, but I agree it wasn't until we fully gave it to God and knew His timing was right, that we actually got pregnant. I now have a 5 month old. It's is amazing how beautiful things can be in the end!

  • Love Being A Nonny February 21, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Love Kensington's name!!!! Thank you for sharing your story. I pray it blesses many!

  • The Rogers Family February 21, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Our stories are SO similar! I have two children…two surprises close in age for the same reason…GOD'S PLAN. It has truly made me a better mom. After all of the waiting, I knew what gifts I'd been given. Prayers to those still on the journey!

  • Taylor Moehl February 22, 2014 at 1:41 am

    Thank you for you post it is inspiring and so true that God allows everything to happen in his perfect timing. I went through infertily in 2009 and went through the drugs and IUI and eventually got pregnant with twins. We miscarried one of the twins just shy of twelve weeks. Our daughter was born in 2011 but had two heart defects and had open heart surgery at seven months. I have not ever been able to conceive on my own so we went back a second time and finally got pregnant again in 2012 and our son was born in 2013. We are back again struggling with infertily trying it get pregnant a third time. With each time it doesn't get any easier wondering why it has to be so hard to get a baby. I know that God has a reason and everything will come in his perfect timing and that is something to cling to during hard times.

  • Musings of a Childless Mama February 23, 2014 at 12:17 am

    what a great story!!!

  • Anonymous February 25, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    Shay thanks you so much for sharing your story. Me and my husband have fertility issues since a while, we are in the middle of an IVF but we trust in our God. The Lord is Good and has a plan for everything in our Life. A lot of hugs to you and your Beautiful Family. God bless you ALL:)

  • May 25, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    What an incredible story! Thank you for sharing!!!! Justine

  • Crystal June 25, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    I read your blog every day and absolutely love your personality and all of your "shades" (not to mention, I live in Boston and LOVE that you are a huge sox fan). I read about your infertility story when I was trying for about 3 months (which I did not know of when I first started reading your blog). The IUI/IVF didn't make sense to me and I remember thinking to myself 'this story doesn't really relate since I am normal/healthy'. I then reread your story at around 7 months. I still didn't know really what IUI/IVF was all about but I took your two favorite scriptures and printed them out so I can read them every day. I loved them. I am now at the 12 month mark reading your story once again. I started my journey down the infertility road, this month the testing and then we make the decisions on IUI, then eventually IVF if we need to go there. I can't agree with you more on how much stronger of a person and how I can relate to others through these struggles. I still believe I will one day be a mom and stay positive. Thank you for being part of my day that makes me smile seeing how beautiful and loving your whole entire family is and for being you!

  • Stella July 8, 2014 at 4:05 am

    When our first child was twelve years old, my husband and I decided to have another one. I was forty-two years old at that time and I just couldn’t get pregnant for years. So, I went to Mama Alisha Lura clinic. Mama Alisha Lura said my menses and ovulation were normal; the only problem was that the reproductive function was not as strong as young people. She also said there was still a chance though the opportunity of success was relatively low. I took the treatment, drinking Chinese Herbal tea for four months. Just as expected, I got pregnant in the fifth month. Then I continued with the tea for three more months to prevent miscarriage. When I was forty-four years old, I had a natural labor to a baby girl, who was even healthier, stronger and smarter than my first daughter. Surprisingly, I got pregnant for the third time naturally the next year. That was a miracle. The herbs I took for more than half a year made me much more healthier than ever. I understand that it is the effect of Chinese Herbal Medicine. and her website is

  • Shell August 6, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    Thank you for sharing. God has recently put it on my heart to share His goodness. I know that you are thinking, duh? Silly as it sounds, I have always just kept my stories to myself, for the simple fact, that I figured it wasn't for someone elses gain to hear "my" story. But what I've come to realize is, that God brought me through storms, to share my testimony and if nothing else, to bless someone else. So, with that, thank you for sharing this story. Because I too, struggled with infertility, spent thousands on IUI's, IVF, drugs and more drugs, but nothing, NOT ONE THING could have brought me my sweet girl on March 21, 2014, other than the Lord's blessing. Sadly, I haven't met anyone who has talked about their journey, and given all the glory to God like you did. I can relate so intimately, as my baby girl is my greatest blessing! I'm so thankful He chose me to be her mommy! Blessings to you and your family! I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you through your blog. : )

  • Mocobell January 20, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story. We share a similar story. I too have made lifelong friends with a deep connection to God thru my infertility struggles. I have just recently found your story and I am so happy for your new family of 5. I cried my eyes out last night reading your entire China diary. That picture of Kensington reading to Ashby in bed and the welcome home really got me. .
    I will pray for your family and Ashby as you transition.
    A really good friend who adopted two babies always said not all babies grow in your tummy but they grow in your heart.
    God bless you and your family for being so open and sharing your life. Xoxo m

  • Courtney Fox March 2, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    What an amazingly beautiful family. You are truly blessed!

  • Anonymous March 6, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    Did the dr ever say why he believed you wouldn't be able to get pregnant? I am currently dealing with "unexplained infertility."

  • Anonymous March 6, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! Each month I come up with a negative test, and I always reread your story to give me hope! It's hard to keep hope, but God it truly in control! I will keep you and your beautiful family in my prayers. You're truly a blessing!

  • Anonymous March 23, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Our daughter and her husband are currently praying about whether to do IUI or IVF and have to make a decision by her April cycle. Would you please add them to your prayer list that God will grant them the desires of their hearts which ever way they go or whether it happens naturally. Their names are David & Keri. Thanks πŸ™‚

  • Bethany Parvin October 29, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    Simply beautiful!

  • Lexy Mata April 21, 2016 at 2:36 am

    You don't know how much I needed to hear this today in this time and season of my husband and I's life! Thank you thank you for sharing this! We have struggled so much and gave up hope, but hearing these words just reminded me to just keep trusting Him! He is in control and has our baby in heaven, and when he is ready He will
    Send them down to us! Thank you and God bless you! -Lexy