Fertility is a real struggle that approximately 15% of American couples are facing.  Financing fertility treatment is not easy for anyone, you never know what your real costs will be or of the outcome.  We knew if we wanted a chance to conceive we had to reach out.  Fundraising for our fertility journey was the only way we saw our dreams being made a possibility. We are not getting any younger, it will take us years to save up to do it on our own, reducing our chances of a successful outcome.  For so many families that are struggling they choose not to share with friends and or family and may not have a support system, many feeling ashamed or embarrassed or just not wanting to be a focal point of conversation or pity.  For many infertility is so taboo.  The bigger struggle for me personally was that I love to help others so much that I felt ashamed to seek support and to also share my broken feelings... my broken body and I guess also my broken heart.  As you go through life you either want children or you don't, but most do not come to age and prepare to start a family with doubt of it happening.  I just thought "when we are ready, we will get pregnant and we will have a baby."  It is not that easy.  Every conception and baby is a true miracle, it does not just come easy to everyone.  We also know that IVF is not the only way to become parents, we have talked about becoming foster parents down the road and only time will tell.

So here we are, seeking support.  Support can come in so many ways and each bit of it plays a very important role in our journey.  Compassion and kindness are the most important factors that will help us achieve our goals of being parents.  

We woke up this morning eager to see what America would see as Good Morning America shared our segment.  It is amazing what actually gets put together after 1.5 hours of interviews, it was just a tiny piece.  In the interview we discussed adoption, doula work, health, family and more.  

We knew there would be a lot of criticism and controversy over our sharing, but the reality is that those people do not matter and their issues are their own.  We will continue holding hope and if having a baby through IVF is not what the future holds we will move on to other options.  Opening your heart and asking for help is never easy, but despite all of the negative we are still thankful we did.  

I also briefly want to say a few thank you's... Thank you to our parents, our family and our friends and the friends of our family and friends. Thank you to my doula families and colleagues. Thank you to the health providers along the way and to the current Dr's and Midwives that are along the fertility journey with us. Thank you to Birth Without Fear, De Su Mama, Baby Zone, YouCaring and Good Morning America. Thank you to the kindness of others that have sent us a bounty of love. There is so much to be thankful for!

Here are some of the links that are sharing our story today:

Good Morning America

Yahoo Shine

Yahoo News

ABC News

ABC News blog

Cafe Mom

Thank you all so much for coming along this wild ride.  <3 <3 <3



 
PictureKrip√° and I visiting one of the sweet babies I was a doula for.
In just a few short hours, our Fertility journey and fundraising efforts, will be shared on Good Morning America.  

On Monday, August 19th, our Fertility story will be shared with all that will listen across America and here we sit feeling nervous, anxious, excited, hopeful and open.  Open of what this will mean for ourselves and for others.  We know we are fortunate to go through this during a time where we have so many resources, support groups, treatment options and even more the ability to use social media, the internet and crowd funding to share.  Opening up about our own struggles and our story has not only filled us with love from others, but allowed us to support others similarly struggling that have not yet found comfort in sharing their own journey.  Many have confided in us and been thankful to us for giving them encouragement and motivation to not feel ashamed nor embarrassed.  It is amazing to still be able to help others in a time where we became most vulnerable and decided we could not go at it alone and to ask for support.  

We are forever grateful to those that have invested in our dream to become parents, shared our story and sent us words of hope and love.  Our hearts are out on the table and we are eager to see what the morning will bring.

Thank you to all... and to all a goodnight.  

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Fringe will be hosting a Fertility Fundraiser for us on August 22nd.  There will be appetizers and wine from Zazou as well as lots of great auction and raffle items.  25% of the sales from the event will be going to our Fertility fund!  Come get some Holiday shopping done early this year and help us make a baby. Check out the Fundraiser HERE.

WHEN - August 22nd 5pm - 9pm
Store hours 10am-5pm (25% all day going to Baby Pizzorno)
WHERE - Fringe, 1806 S Catalina Ave, Redondo Beach, Ca. 90277



 
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Do you want to save money?  The reality is most of us do.  These are 5 Ways to SAVE Money for Fertility Treatment, or anything else, and not feel like you are missing out.  

1. CANCEL CABLE TELEVISION
I know a lot of people these days who do not have cable, but I also know how much my husband in particular loves his programs.  I on the other hand barely know how to operate the controllers and mostly enjoy The Amazing Race, The Travel Channel and Documentaries.  It was not an easy decision in our house but when we learned we would save about $60 per month we worked out a compromise.  NETFLIX!  For $7.99 per month my husband can now watch movies he chooses, when he wants and with no commercials.  So overall we are now saving approximately $50 per month.  I am happy to now have so many documentaries to choose from, when I actually get the time.  So far this has been working out well for us for about 4 months.  

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2. REDUCE YOUR ELECTRIC BILL 
The obvious is to reduce your usage and be more mindful in your home.  Change your light bulbs to be more energy efficient and invest in a refrigerator that is more kind.  In addition, at least here in Southern California, there is a program to help reduce your bill.  It does not hurt to see if your family and home qualify.  We submitted our income information and answered a few questions and almost immediately we received approval.  Our next bill was about half the normal cost, saving us between $20 - $25 per month.  If you are in Southern California and use Edison for you electric, check out the CARE/FERA programs to see if you qualify.

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3. DINING OUT ON A DIME
This part could actually be two pieces, so lets now say you are getting a Buy One Get One Free (we are talking about saving aren't we).  This is all about eating out and not feeling as guilty with the burden on your wallet.

1. We all know birthdays are well celebrated in the states and how awesome that so many places like to adorn us with desserts and birthday songs... but did you know you can have a full dinner out and not just ON your birthday?!  You can google Birthday Freebies to find lots of options, mostly food related but even make up and more.  This is the list I went off of HERE.  There are plenty more not on this list but this is great to go off of.  One of the best parts is for example, Behihana, you get an email and you have the whole month to use it to get $30 off your bill.  We like that for the month of July and the month of August we can get lots of yummy free stuff.  We even did a foodie adventure one day, we jumped amongst 4 places and shared the freebies.  Total pig out! 

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2.  For everyday purposes, we use Restaurant.com.  We love it!  We admit there are not a whole lot of restaurants we enjoy eating at, but there are a few.  If you google for deals you can get a $25 gift certificate for the cost of $2.  THe restaurant then requires you to spend $35 (each certificate varies, this is just an example) and they tack on an auto gratuity.  In general we can go out to eat, lots of food, take home left overs for lunch the next day and at the end of all of it we spend $20 (or so) out of pocket. Not too bad for a dinner out and most of the time 4 meals. 

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4. RECYLE 
There are so many things you can recycle these days and we all know about drink containers that give you a few cents back, but did you know about ink cartridges? We have been recycling ink cartridges for about the past year and it may not be a lot but it sure helps us a bit on the side.  Our recycling program of choice is STAPLES.  Every 180 days you have to spend $30 in ink.  When you do that you qualify to recycle up to 10 empty cartridges per month during the 180 days.  You can get $2 credit for each one, meaning every month you can earn $20 to spend at Staples (lots of exclusions on what FYI).  So lots of you are thinking, "I do not need any office/school supplies," well neither do we.  The reality is that my husband is a coffee drinker and we do need paper towels, toilet paper and soap sometimes.  Depending on our stash our usual items we purchase are Starbucks coffee, paper towels, toilet paper, dishwasher detergent, hand soap and zip lock bags (for Doula work purposes, but I will save you on that description).  It's up to you to decide if this is worth it for you, but in the past we have collected empty ink from businesses and that has helped us out tremendously... speaking of which, we are out! 

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5.  CREDIT CARDS
Now this is unconventional and many of you may stop above, but the reality is, I LOVE MY CREDIT CARDS! People always wonder how I have done so much travel in the past, the answer is mileage points.  So while this may not be the true answer to saving money, it is what has allowed me to LIVE LIFE on a budget.  I have flown to Europe twice and Africa once all on airline miles. My secret is every dollar I am going to spend anyways, on groceries, gas, phone bill, car registration and more, I use my Credit Cards.  Each month I pay my bill in full, so every dollar I spend I get a point.  If you sign up at the right times you can get major bonus miles for signing up (often enough for a free flight, but if you wait a tad bit longer you may even have a free flight to Europe and not just to Vegas).  One way you can save, if you are given the option, is based on the card you apply for.  This week I received a letter from my credit union that I have pre-qualified for a card with no annual fee, low interest and a good spending limit.  The best part of the card is it comes with 15,000 bonus points.  Those 15,000 bonus points can be redeemed for $150 in gift cards from the rewards center, so I am deciding between gas, Bed Bath and Beyond or just bonus entertainment to help us still enjoy ourselves while on a budget.  You have to be very diligent to play this game correctly and without hurting your budget more.  Credit Cards have the potential to be very evil, but when you do it right there are rewards to reap.  We used our miles for our honeymoon to get us to Europe and come to think of it I also used bonus sign up points to buy my husbands ipad for his birthday last year and to fly someone out for our wedding.  My very favorite place to learn more is Million Mile Secrets, check it for yourself. (Your last bonus of the day is to check out CouchSurfing and Airbnb if you like to travel)

 
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Fundraising for Fertility Treatment seems to be a hot topic.  Something we certainly never realized when we started our journey, but we are more than happy that many are interested and that we get to share and inspire others to share too.  

Recently a Blogger, Vanessa Bell, contacted us after she read our story.  Vanessa is a blogger for BabyZone as well as her own blog De Su Mama.  She wanted to ask more about our fundraising efforts as she was doing an article on Fundraising for Fertility and wanted to use us as a feature in her write up.  My hubby and I sat on the couch on speakerphone and together told our story.  It was a positive experience we were happy to be able to share with others.  What happened next, none of us would have expected.

Yesterday I get several missed phone calls and text messages during the time I went to visit a family that had just birthed the day before.  Vanessa tells me that Good Morning America got wind of her article on us and wanted to speak to us immediately. Not only speak to us, come to our house and interview us.  I did not even know what to think, I just knew I had to run home and clean like a crazy woman and somehow get my husband home.  We had dinner reservations set at 7 for a nice dinner out, it was his birthday after all, and since I was not at a birth we were looking forward to a nice dinner together.  Those plans almost changed.  I called Kripá and told him he needed to come home ASAP.  We got everything sorted, we got showers and we got ready for dinner but also for our interview.  A huge truck showed up with a film crew and large equipment followed by the producer/interviewer.  Within no time our kitchen was filled with huge lights and camera and audio equipment, we sat on chairs in our living room and it was time.  Lights, Camera, Action...  

For over an hour we were asked about our journey, about how important the internet has been for us and our efforts to have a family, why we want a family, what is a Doula and what was next for us.  It was exciting, nerve racking, emotional, exhilarating and memorable.  They were so nice to us and thankfully we ended just in time to push our reservations back and still make it to dinner out.  

What Kripá had to say about the experience, "I had a rather unexpected birthday present yesterday... Good Morning America wanted to interview my wife, Erin, and I about our experience going through infertility and about how we reached out for support through online fundraising. Wow, what an amazing experience that was! To suddenly have a camera crew set up in our tiny dining room and to literally be in the spot light. And of course they tell you, "just pretend the camera isn't there," so the whole time I'm thinking to myself "the camera's not there, the camera's not there..." It was thrilling, emotional, tense, and enlightening all at once. Definitely an experience my wife and I will remember for a very long time. I'm so proud of her for really speaking from the heart... she put it all out there. I can't wait to watch our segment on TV!"

We have no idea how long we will be on or exactly when but we are nervous, anxious, excited and overall thankful for the opportunity.  A big thank you to Vanessa for believing in our baby dreams and relaying them to Baby Zone and to Baby Zone for the exposure that has led to something we never could have anticipated.  We look forward to our portrayal on Good Morning America and hope it is positive. 


You can follow us more on our facebook page Making Baby Pizzorno
Our story and Fundraiser can be found HERE

 
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Being as though I do not have health insurance I decided to go a different route to obtain the long list of labs I need as "prerequisites" for our fertility treatment.  My hubby needed some too.  When we priced the labs out with the Fertility Clinic the costs came to about $3000.  That was not going to work for us!

Being in the birth field I knew there had to be another way.  I first hit the internet looking up the various tests I needed done and checking to see if I could get labs done on my own.  The search led me to reach out to a birth center as well as a local midwife.  When my local midwife friend responded with the costs of the labs if I went through her, it was a no brainer!  A couple of weeks later, dear midwife came to our apartment with all the tubes needed and our list, and on my living room couch I patiently had 7 vials of blood drawn.  My husband had one taken (the guys get off so easy in this journey don't they ;p ).  Because I have crappy veins, the best one she found was on top of my hand.  With Disney Princess band-aids being all I had, I felt like I was raising my fist for Princess Power the rest of the day.  I had never been so excited in my life to have my blood taken, I HATE needles (something I need to overcome soon for IVF anyway).  Having it done at home makes a world of difference.  I was able to relax and be comfortable and it was hassle free.  



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In addition to our midwife saving us a couple thousand dollars and coming to our home, she also told us about an opportunity with one of the tests that we may qualify for Financial Aid.  The Counsyl test typically costs over $500, but when we shared our story and income level they quickly let us know that we qualified to have it done completely free.  The Counsyl test lets you know if you have any genetic factors that should be known and the risk basically to offspring.  The even bigger bonus was after we completed the Counsyl test, they contacted me to participate in a survey and gifted me a $25 Amazon card.  (I used it to buy crafting supplies that I will use to make items to sell to raise more baby money).  The gift just keeps on giving.  

The big moral of the story is, SHOP AROUND!  We are so thankful we did.  

Visit our Facebook page, Making Baby Pizzorno
Or our Fundraiser on YouCaring 

 
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Shortly after we started sharing our fertility story with others my dear mentor and Postpartum Doula trainer sent me a gift to give me hope.  I received a necklace in the mail with a description card accompanying it made by 
Iris Oils (http://www.etsy.com/shop/IrisOils).
  Such a special sentiment, something I will always cherish for the simplicity and meaning that come with it.  Thank you Darla. <3  

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The gemstones, all said to increase fertility, from the center out are: Carnelian, Garnet, Smoky Quartz, Moonstones, Rose Quartz and Rhodonite.




Visit our Facebook page, Making Baby Pizzorno
Or our Fundraiser on YouCaring 

    Author

    Venus is the Roman goddess that encompasses love, beauty, sex, fertility, prosperity and victory. 

    I am Venus Birth, I spread love, believe in beauty, my husband thinks im sexy, I struggle with fertility, but with support I will be prosperous and victorious.

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