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View Full Version : How the Podcast Keeps Us Connected to Our 2011 WDW Restoration & Healing Trip


DISFaninMI
05-23-2012, 02:01 PM
Hi all,

We sent this story to the DIS Unplugged Podcast team, but it was likely way too long for air. We hope you enjoy our tale below...

About one year ago, my wife Jackie and I took our son Ryan for his first trip to Walt Disney World as well as our first trip as a couple. While Jackie and I had both been to the World before, we for one reason or another never managed to get down there in our early courtship and marriage years. By 2011, we were seriously considering taking Ryan sometime in late summer. But first, a quick background on our route to parenthood. Jackie has Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), which in her case makes conception extremely difficult, if not impossible, through normal means. Shortly after we were married in 2005, we began the long process of working with fertility doctors, reducing blood sugar levels and weight, and attempting lower cost procedures including intrauterine insemination (IUI). Finally, we attempted a round of in vitro fertilization (IVF). Though extremely costly, we were fortunate to have nine healthy embryos, three of which we implanted and six of which we froze for later potential use. Nine months later, Jackie gave birth to Ryan in May 2008.

By the time Ryan turned two, we knew we wanted to begin trying to have a second child using our six frozen embryos. Again, blood sugars and weight had to come down to a level the doctors were comfortable with. Finally, by October 2010, we were ready to implant. Six weeks later, our initial test came back as pregnant. But the numbers weren't as strong as Ryan and by the time we went in for our eight-week ultrasound, Jackie had officially miscarried. Crestfallen and frustrated, we went into the holiday season with heavy hearts, but still optimistic about our overall chances.

In February, we were ready to implant again with our last three frozen embryos. Once again, the initial tests came back positive for pregnancy. And our eight-week ultrasound showed us a heartbeat! But alas, more heartbreak was on our horizon. In early April, at what would almost be Jackie's tenth week of pregnancy, the doctors officially pronounced a miscarriage. Again. We were beside ourselves. Crying in the parking lot after scheduling the D&C (dilation and curettage) procedure and calling our parents, we began our seemingly interminable 45-minute drive back to our side of town. About halfway there, I asked Jackie if we should just get out of town and clear our heads. Where to? Walt Disney World of course!

It was almost a joy to take our minds off of our loss to spend the next few hours scouring the Internet for last-minute deals. We found websites we had never heard about - the DIS Boards and Mouse Savers among others - until finding a fairly reasonable package deal to leave eight days after Jackie's D&C procedure. We booked the whole trip that night at about 10pm after putting Ryan to bed and making some last-minute comparisons. Pop Century, we were on our way… but what about all of the planning necessary for such a trip – and at the last minute, no less?

From tips for shipping cereal & milk boxes to the hotel to suggestions for which character meals (for those we could book for Easter week with two weeks notice), all of the recommendations from the various fan communities were just awesome and helped us from bouncing off the walls thinking about fertility issues. I even found the DIS Unplugged podcast and started browsing the past month or so of shows for tips. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I vividly remember picking Jackie up after getting the car from the medical lot at the office where the D&C was performed and listening to the DIS Podcast team chat through an email show on our way home.

Finally, the day before Easter, we departed with Ryan for Orlando. For eight days we unplugged from email and the Internet (no smart phones for us back then) and only occasionally talked to our parents. Otherwise, we were immersed in the magic of Mickey, Minnie, and all of their pals. Without a hint of sarcasm, both Jackie and I have professed that our trip to Walt Disney World was restorative, healing, and (despite running around to points of exhaustion) a new kind of relaxation that we had not really known as a family up to that point.

Coming home, we became Disney fans and WDW planning "experts" within our circle of friends. I became a regular listener of the DIS Podcast and often told Jackie of particular anecdotes or suggestions made by the team. We thoroughly enjoyed taking a long drive with Ryan last summer while listening to the 5th anniversary podcast show together and reliving our trip to Magic Kingdom through Ben's eyes. It is through your efforts and dedication that allows our family to keep the magic and memory of this powerful week with us as we returned home and, eventually re-engaged with our fertility plans.

Our summer was spent reevaluating our family planning and we decided that we attempt IVF again with fresh embryos. Four years later, it was harder to produce eggs, keep blood sugar and weight targets in line, and, above all, maintain hope after everything. Yet, we can happily say that it was worth all of the heartache when we welcomed our second son, Brandon, into the world at the end of March. One month into this new phase of our family life, we can hardly believe that a mere twelve months have passed since our transformative vacation. Thank you for helping us keep the magic alive in our own family and keeping us satiated with Disney news and information until our next Disney venture, which turns out will be a Disney cruise aboard the Fantasy in July 2013 for my parent's anniversary, and possibly followed by a 2-3 day add-on in WDW afterwards.


PS: To see a video of our 2011 trip, see this DIS Boards thread:
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2779851

http://thelonns.com/ryan_brandon_disney.jpg
Picture of Ryan & our new baby Brandon and their Disney friends

limace
05-23-2012, 03:31 PM
Thank you for sharing this lovely story! And, of course, congratulations on both your boys :). Wishing you a future full of joy.

*NikkiBell*
05-23-2012, 03:47 PM
Thank you for sharing your story with us and :welcome: I hope to see more of you here!!

Disney Enabler
05-23-2012, 03:56 PM
The Magic of Disney touch each one of us in such incredible ways. Thank you for sharing your story and reminding us. Although there must of been much heartbreak over the past few years your strength shown through for all to see. Congratulations on your family. A battle well fought with magical rewards - your sons.

Carol
It's a great day to be alive!!!

Mary Jo
05-23-2012, 04:01 PM
The Magic of Disney touch each one of us in such incredible ways. Thank you for sharing your story and reminding us. Although there must of been much heartbreak over the past few years your strength shown through for all to see. Congratulations on your family. A battle well fought with magical rewards - your sons.

Carol
It's a great day to be alive!!!

I couldn't have said it better.

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I've got tears.

daneenm
05-24-2012, 03:00 PM
Thanks for sharing your family's story. Brought tears to my eyes!

Sarabi's Cubs
05-24-2012, 03:22 PM
Thanks for sharing! I wish there was some way for the podcast team to really know what a positive impact they have made on so many lives!!

Laurie

safetymom
05-25-2012, 04:28 AM
Thank you for sharing your story!!

Swank
05-25-2012, 07:01 AM
Congrats, your son's are very handsome.

WaDiWo
05-25-2012, 09:23 AM
I love this, thank you for sharing this!! my story cannot compare in the least, but I have been sidelined and home because of injury, and the Dis definitely keeps me sane and positive!! :thumbsup2

Glad to see others are experiencing the magic of the podcast as well. :wizard:

DrMomof3
05-26-2012, 05:57 PM
CONGRATS on your beautiful boys!!!
Infertility is such a heart-breaking experience. It's so wonderful to hear a happy ending.

Amanda