An Open Letter About Our Journey To Parenthood, Pt. 2

This evening I jumped on my blog dashboard to do some maintenance and before long I found myself scrolling through the journal entries I’ve published for the world, reflecting on the time that’s passed and the healing that each one provided. As I did this I stumbled upon my blog post ‘An Open Letter About Our Journey to Parenthood' and was taken aback when I saw that the date I originally posted it was one year ago from today. That entry was one of the scariest things I’ve ever written, but as I look back over the year I’m so overwhelmed by not only the response from friends near and strangers afar – but also the healing that its allowed me as it was the first step in opening my world and allowing God to break down my fears and insecurities and embrace the community He had waiting for me in this season.

I also realized that so much has changed in a year, not just emotionally and spiritually, but physically and logistically as well. So for those of you who have followed Justin and my journey to parenthood, this is what we’ve been up to :)

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Shortly after that first post I did a month long series called 'Capture Your Grief' alongside countless other families facing various forms of grief in recognition of Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness month. I was amazed at how much this 'guided vulnerability' helped me walk through and process a lot of what I was going through in a way that felt manageable after such an extended period of silence.

The following month, we bought a house! This has been such a wonderful thing…truly. Signing the papers on our first home with my best friend and the love of my life at my side was so good for my heart. We were knee deep in a season where our dreams felt farther and farther away each day, and the gift of this home was and still is such a drink of cold water to my thirsty soul…I’ve since been in a state of perpetual nesting (ha!), spending time here and there preparing a place for a family to someday make memories all the while knowing that Justin and I, together, already are. It’s been just wonderful.

Medically speaking during the last year I’ve had an HSG procedure and the results came back negative for any abnormalities, more blood tests than I can count, 3 more medicated Letrozole Cycles supplemented with Estrogen and Progesterone during different phases of my cycle (on top of 4 Clomid cycles and 5 Letrozole cycles last year), as well as two Rounds of IUI with Letrozole, supplemental hormones, uterine and follicular monitoring, and HCG Trigger Shots. Unfortunately, all medicated cycles (a total of 11) and both IUI procedures were unsuccessful.

When we first started seeking treatment for my LPD and RPL a Reproductive Endocrinologist recommended to us that we make what’s referred to as a ‘Fertility Ladder’, this is essentially a game plan for you and your partner to decide what steps you’re willing to take and how far into aggressive treatments you're willing to go - so that once we hit the gas on this, we know what to expect. It has been an amazing thing. Knowing that if x rounds of a medication fail we're moving right along to a predetermined procedure took away so much anxiety and gave me a sense of knowing where we were headed. Of course, like many other couples, when we first started to discuss this, I was certain we would never use it…but we have, and we’re on our top step as of now since decided that IUI would be the last means of medical intervention that we would take.  We don’t have a cap as to how many we will do or a time limit as to when we will stop, but what we do know is that we have something exciting on the horizon coming up and it’s something we would be so grateful for your prayers for!

Adoption is something that has always been near to our hearts, and as Justin and I have worked with families at Heartlight who have adopted, as well as been intentional to keep it a part of our conversations over the last year, we’ve felt God opening us up to a world that very well may be everything he’s planned for us. Honestly we really have no idea how all of this works, so at this point we’re just learning. Familiarizing ourselves with terminology, different approaches, and truly just the idea of it all. If we do adopt it likely won't be for some time, as the process is far more complicated and financially taxing than we can manage at this point…but we’re working towards it and praying daily about what God may have for our future.

We do know that I am able to get pregnant, and we do know what was causing the recurrent early losses in the last couple of years – we have however since walked into a season of infertility where we’ve not been able to put the changes and ‘fixes’ we’ve made into action, so nothing is written in stone as to which direction we may head - but when is anything ever?

It’s possible we’ll carry, its possible we’ll adopt, it’s possible we’ll do both :)

At this point things are truly up in the air, and surprisingly, we’re doing alright with that. Justin and I have said that if January of 2018 rolls around and we’ve yet to become parents, we will begin actively pursuing adoption and all that it entails.

I told a girlfriend of mine this recently and she asked me “So what does that date mean to you? How are you feeling when you tell me that?” and all I could do was smile and say “That I can’t wait for 2018 to get here…” Her face broke into a smile and she told me that was everything she wanted to hear. We’re truly not just open to, but excited about the possibility that God may be leading us on a path that we were never inclined to ask for or imagine. 

So we will see…until then we will continue to prepare emotionally and financially for our next IUI, and the next, and the next until it’s simply time to climb up to the next step on our ladder. Right now I'm really working through the emotions and growing pains of learning how to pray expectantly, while still resolving to be content in my current circumstances. Each month that passes making it a lot harder, in some way makes it just a little easier at the same time - so even though it's slow and it's choppy, it's progress. 

So I'm happy to close out this letter similar to the last one in saying YES, we are still trying and yes, we are okay. We appreciate the prayers and care of those of you who have locked arms with us through this and hope very much that someday soon we will have good news to share! Until then...

Love, Sarah


  1. Beautiful, Sarah. We look forward to whatever path (or pathS) the Lord leads you down. Gratefully anticipating with you! <3 ~mom

  2. Amazing. Your submission to the Lord and his greater plan is so amazing & inspiration to me!
    We will be praying for you here in WA. So much love and support for you guys!
    -Sarah Lenihan (Brewer) & family

  3. Sending you hugs and encouragement...I know it will happen for you one day in one way or another...you have so much to give ~

  4. You have one beautiful daughter there Michelle!! I pray for her as I went through infertility for a very long time and understand. But God is in control and she and her husband have great attitudes. It is His plan, and it will be a great plan for them! God bless all of the Hurtley family. You are great people!

  5. Wow. What an amazing perspective she has. I know it's not always easy to have it, and I know some days are different than others. Praying for your sweet daughter and her husband--and for you and Shawn as well:)

  6. Beautiful. God is writing your story! I can't wait to see it unfold!

  7. Can I just say.....
    YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL ! Your beautiful face, soul and outlook are such an inspiration ! The Lord has truly blessed you with your expression of love and understanding through your words.
    Sarah girl, you are a friend of my heart and a sister in Christ!

  8. I highly recommend utilizing this ministry during adoption research! You let them know about you two and your situation, and they will provide you with personalized resources. https://loving-shepherd.org/working-with-adoption/

  9. Sending love! So touched by your transparency. Love watching your journey unfold. Always keeping you in prayers!

  10. Marlene Davis BurtonWednesday, September 14, 2016

    No words. I'm too choked up. Lots of prayers! :)

  11. I know we aren't super close and I wish we had been in college and beyond. I really do love reading your life updates and am inspired by your openness and heart. Glad to hear that you guys are doing well and are continuing to grow!

  12. Brilliant, brave & beautiful. God is clearly with you, Sarah & Justin. Peace.

  13. So beautifully said - please remind Sarah & Justin how Paul & I tried IVF twice a year apart. I remember how heartbreaking it was to hear both times they were Unsuccessful. I pray they will consider adoption. It has been the best thing Paul & I ever did :) - I still remember your boys coming over to swing on the swing with him when we just got Ivan back from Russia :) - I look forward to hearing more of there journey & send them strength ;) Jan xx

  14. Thank you for sharing your story -- it's so important for others struggling with infertility to feel like they aren't alone. I'm so glad you've been able to find joy and light during some hard times. It sounds like y'all are in a much better place now.