Hopeful Hearts
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Hopeful Hearts reaches out and touches the lives of women who are batteling Infertility.  Here, we share some personal stories of women and how Hopeful Hearts has had an impact in their lives.
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"My husband and I had struggled with infertility for a few years before I became aware of this local group. After attending the first meeting and actually seeing familiar faces, I knew that I was not alone in this tough journey and that there were several people out there going through the same thing I was. Yes, my husband has always been by my side but I don't think he truly understood all the emotions I had. The ladies in this group understood because they have had them too. They too would research everything, try new vitamins or change their diets just to help increase our chances of getting pregnant.
With infertility, you have your good days and your days where you need to talk to someone who understands, or just to cry to. That's exactly what I got from this group, just being able to finally meet other people made it more real and actually made me feel better. I was not alone! These women have cried and shared in everyone's joys and sorrows. It is such a welcoming and heartfelt group of women. I am so grateful for it."
~ Jenn, NY

My husband and I have been married since 2006. We knew right away we wanted to try to have a baby. For as long as I could remember I have always had issues with my period being regular. When I was about 15 I was diagnosed with PCOS. At that time I had no idea how that would affect my entire life and future. We began to try on our own with no luck. My OBGYN at the time told me that I was "too heavy to get pregnant", so on December 4, 2009 I had gastric bypass. Before I had this surgery I was assured that once I had this surgery "getting pregnant would be no problem". WRONG ANSWER. I lost about 140 lbs., I have since gained back 30 lbs., but it has been 5 years. We started to get serious about trying so we decided to do an IUI using Chlomid with our local OBGYN. Unfortunately we were not successful, but the only thing that made me feel better was to try again. We got smart and decided it was time to consult with the professionals so we got in touch with CNY Fertility and started going there. We did another IUI with Chlomid and yet again no such luck. We decided to change things up a little bit so we started a cycle using follistem. We were very hopeful this time because I seemed to stimulate very well, but yet again no success.

At this point I was completely heartbroken, 3 IUI's later and zero success. The only thing left to do was IVF. It took some time to get myself ready for that; tons of insurance obstacles and thousands of dollars in medication gone already. I felt like IVF was the best chance for us to have a baby. So we began our cycle. Every other day we started our monitoring and blood work- Just waiting every day for that call around 2 p.m. to let me know if there were any changes in medication or if we were ready to go. Friday October 7, 2011 was my last ultrasound and blood work before my IVF. It was also the day that my sister in law, Laura, would deliver my first nephew and godchild. A few hours after my ultrasound I got the call to come to the hospital that we were going to have a baby that day. I had been waiting for this day for a long time, I was part of the birth plan and I was very excited. While I was in the delivery room I had to stop and give myself my injections with the hope that in 9 months I would be having a baby too. At 8:11 p.m. Donovan James Bennett was born and it was a completely amazing experience that I prayed I would experience soon. Also earlier that day CNY had called me to tell me that my IVF extraction would be Tuesday October 11. I needed to do my trigger shot on Sunday to prepare for my extraction 2 days later. We were both very scared but so excited too. So on Tuesday, we had the extraction and it went well. They were able to get 19 follicles!!! 19 follicles wow! I was so glad this part was over. It wasn't exactly a walk in the park. I had a hard time clotting and I lost a lot of blood. But I didn't care they got 19 follicles.

At this point we were almost done! We only had to come to Syracuse 1 more time in the next few days. Hopefully in less than 2 weeks we would find out that we were finally going to be parents. Within a few hours I was told that 10 of our eggs were successfully fertilized. We were over the moon with happiness! At that moment I felt like I had 10 children and it was such an amazing feeling. Over the next few days I heard nothing from CNY. But I thought to myself that no news is good news. They told us to come on Saturday to put embryos in and we would be done. So on Saturday when we got there we were filled with so much excitement and hope. We got into the room and a doctor came in that I had never seen before. I felt a little uncomfortable but I was just going with the flow. He told me that only 3 of my 10 embryos had survived and those 3 were not even hopeful. I immediately started balling my eyes out. We were both extremely emotional, but we knew we had to use all 3 embryos if we were going to have any chance. The doctor came back in and apologized and said that he thought our eggs were 3 days old but they were really 4 days old. He said that they were perfect and he was sorry for his error. I was still really upset and unsure of what I was just told. We decided to still put in all 3 embryos and hope for the best. I was immediately so happy!! At that moment I was pregnant for the first time in my life and I felt so good about it. I went and had acupuncture after my procedure and that was amazing. The next 10 days would be the longest days of our lives.

Things seemed to be going well and we were trying to be positive about our upcoming pregnancy test. The morning of my testing I went and had my blood work done and my husband and I were going to wait and find out our results together at home that night. As much and I was dying to know we said we would do it together. But after all we had been through we thought that this had to work!!! So when I got home from work that night I was anxious and scared too. In a few minutes I would either be the happiest I have ever been in my life or I would let go of my dream of becoming a mommy naturally. So together we listened to the message on our answering machine to find out that as I had feared the procedure didn't work and I was not pregnant. My world immediately collapsed. From that day on my life has been completely different, I will never be the Jill that I was before all of this happened. After this happened I had to start taking anti-depressants, then anxiety medication and sleep medication. I was sad and in a bad mood for a long time. I was mad at everyone and everything. I started going to church thinking that would help. I was very angry with God and I wanted answers. I wanted to know why he was doing this to me? What did I ever do to deserve this??? I wanted answers!! After I found out I was not pregnant I started not feeling well. I had really bad cramping and bleeding. I thought it was just normal from the procedure, so I just dealt with the pain. It kept getting worse and worse, it got so bad that I could hardly stand up at work. So I went to Emergency Room and from the procedure I hate lots of ovarian cysts and they were bursting. It was terrible, the pain was unreal. After all I had been through I not have to go through this??  After a few days it got a little better but mentally I was checked out. I just couldn't take it anymore, so I went to see Dr. Surosky for a check up on my cysts. I remember sitting in his office and he just took me in his arms and hugged me for like 5 minutes. He said that I just needed a hug and someone to tell me that everything I am feeling is normal. It felt so good!! But I still needed more. I needed emotional support that my friends and family just could not give me. Nobody understood what I was going through and therefore they were no help to me. The ultrasound tech handed me a hopeful hearts card and told me that it was a new group. I was so excited!!! Someone was going to be there for me. As soon as I got home I was emailing Alisa. I told her my story and she emailed me back and told me her story it made me feel so good to talk to someone who understood what I am going through. I went to my first meeting and I haven't regretted it for a second. Hopeful Hearts has changed my life so much! It is amazing to me how people that I don't know at all have more in common with me than my own friends and family. The support you get from these women is amazing!! Alisa is always here for me no matter what! Day or night I can send her a text or call her and she has always been there for me. I know that it is scary to meet with people you don't know and give them personal information, but the love and support you get is worth it all. 

7 years later we have actively stopped trying to have a baby on our own, but we have changed our sites a little. Sonny and I are adopting, we took all the classes and did everything that we needed to get approved. We have been approved since December 20, 2012, no luck yet but we are just waiting. I know that it is going to happen very soon and we will finally be the family of 3 that we have always dreamed about.

If there is anything that you can do for yourself its take care of your mental health! If you are not in a good place mentally, then you’re going to have such a hard time. Join our group! We know what you’re going through and we want to support and help you.
~Jill, NY

Hello, my name is Kristen and I'm 30 years old. I've been struggling with infertility my entire life. I found out when I was just 15 years old that I would not be able to reproduce my own children. This horrible news completely broke me down, as well as my mother. For a long time, she was convinced that it was partly her fault because I was born 6 weeks early. Throughout the years, I got many tests done, including blood work, ultrasounds, bone density tests, and other lab work. At age 17, I was diagnosed with Pre-ovarian Failure and Osteopenia/Pre-osteoporosis. I take several medications daily to keep up with the continuous struggle of maintaining a healthy weight and strong bones. 
  For the longest time, I felt very alone in dealing with my health issues. I would confide in friends and family, doctors and therapists. They would say helpful and uplifting things to make me feel better, but honestly nothing worked. No one knows the thoughts that run through your mind when you come to realize that you will never be able to have your own child. To make my situation worse, I've had several boyfriends break up with me because I wasn't able to give them a child someday. This was devastating to me, and I thought I would never find someone who accepted me for me. As the years past, I grew up and was able to accept my body for what it was. I still think about it constantly, but do not weep or become depressed like before because I believe there is a different plan in store for me when the time is right to expand my family.  

About 2 years ago, I heard about a local infertility group called Hopeful Hearts. I was extremely excited and a little scared at the same time. I was unsure of what to expect, but knew this was a group I needed to be a part of. Since the first meeting, I knew I made the right decision to join, it changed my life! Not only have I met the best bunch of ladies who I now consider good friends, but I've learned more than I ever imagined. We have laughed, cried, and everything in between. I look forward to going to Hopeful Hearts once a month and listening to the other ladies share their stories and what’s been happening in their world. We have had many successful stories, which gives me hope that one day I will be sharing my great news to the group. 

 My life would definitely be in a different place if it wasn't for Hopeful Hearts. I'm looking forward to the future, and trying to keep positive attitude and thoughts, even when life gets me down at times. I've been doing a lot more research on alternate ways to have children, including Adoption. My significant other supports me 100% and together we will decide on the right option for our future as a growing family. I'd like to thank Hopeful Hearts for everything because it honestly made me a better person, and my life is more fulfilling now. I also have a closer relationship with my mother because of the group. She has been supporting me and goes to the meetings with me as much as she can, which is the biggest blessing of all. I am truly happy with my life and how things came together. Much love goes out to each one of you! God Bless
~Kristen, NY