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My Infertility Walk in the Valley—#NIAW

Posted by Julie on April 26, 2017 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

April 23-29 is National Infertility Awareness Week, #NIAW. The theme this year is Listen Up, and I thought I’d share a bit of my story. 

 

I call infertility the sorority no woman wants to join. When my doctor explained that the pelvic pain and irregular periods I was having was most likely PCOS, polycystic ovaries, I was naive. He sat me down and talked for 45 minutes about his wife’s experience with endometriosis. He let me know there was a good chance that I would not conceive on my own. When it was time to leave, he made sure I knew that he wasn’t the final say. He had a strong faith, and he gave me tips on what to do.

I didn’t feel the reality of the diagnosis right away because I was engaged. I was busy preparing for a wedding, so the impact didn’t hit immediately. But like the forbidden fruit, I never really considered motherhood until there was a chance I might not experience it.

Once we were married, it became an obsession.

My full story is included in the book, A WALK IN THE VALLEY, so I’m limited in what I can share. But for those of you that know us now, we have two kids together. Most people don’t know as newlyweds, my husband had to learn how to inject progesterone in my backside. He was so nervous he often hit muscle, and that left me bedridden. The pelvic pain was so bad that I needed surgery, and they discovered my ovaries were 5x the normal size. I have a high tolerance for pain to this day because of it.

I left conferences that focused on parenting, and I had the shaky-lip-trying-not-to-cry at church when moms had to stand up on Mother’s Day to receive their flowers. It was more than an ache. It was a cavern of pain.

In posts earlier this week I shared infertility etiquette, and I made mistakes, too. I shared with people who couldn’t handle my reality and their responses or lack of one made things worse. I hid. I felt so “less than” that I shut my husband out most nights, hiding upstairs as soon as dinner was over.  I was attached to the internet, looking at all forums and articles that had anything to do with infertility. It wasn’t healthy and only kept my anger in a spiral.

If you are going through infertility, my prayer is that you don’t isolate yourself or use your computer as your only source of hope. I am not being commercial in recommending A WALK IN THE VALLEY, I truly believe in this book and wish I had it back when I was hurting. It contains my entire story from diagnosis to where I am today, but it also includes five other authors who share their entire stories. Not one of us has the same experience, so it is a transparent, comprehensive look at infertility.

If you need someone to talk to, I’m not a counselor, but feel free to contact me.

My prayers are with you.

***

My Infertility Walk in the Valley

Struggling with infertility? As a Christian, how do you work through the hurt, anger, frustration, pain, and sorrow? Where is God’s hope and joy?
This devotional workbook features the stores of real women, and helps you reflect on your experiences via journaling prompts, prayer exercises, and Scripture. Explore topics such as: *infertility testing *diagnosis *decision making *infertility treatment *miscarriage and pregnancy *pregnancy and childbirth after infertility *remaining childless *adoption *foster care, child sponsorship, and orphan hosting *and healing emotionally.

Written by six women who have completed their journey through infertility. Some eventually conceived and gave birth, others adopted, and others remain childless. But all of them have found peace in the loving arms of God. And you can too.

PURCHASE A WALK IN THE VALLEY HERE

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Saturday Confession: Walking with Whoppers

Posted by Julie on April 18, 2015 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

91LVPrvc+FLApril is Infertility Awareness Month and the release date for A Walk in the Valley: Christian Encouragement for Your Journey through Infertility. I am one of the authors and I thought today I’d give a snippet of my life as an infertility patient. The book takes each author’s story from diagnosis to where things are today. None of our stories are the same, especially the endings. I believe any woman who has experienced infertility and/or miscarriage at any time, even years ago, would be encouraged by this book. It’s real, but infused with hope from God’s Word.

I was diagnosed with polycystic ovaries in 1995 but looking back, I had symptoms not long after puberty started. I had pelvic pain. Acne. Depression. As I grew into my twenties, each symptom became much worse.

I was engaged when the diagnosis came and the book goes into detail what life was like. But a typical wedding planning and newlywed experience wasn’t mine. Imagine monthly shots in the backside administered by someone scared to death to give them. The wide mood swings that took me very dark places. Pelvic pain so bad I had trouble walking.

My answer to prayer came in a surgery that is rarely performed anymore. I had a wedge resection where half of each ovary was taken out. At the time I thought that would end my chances to conceive. My surgeon explained it would enhance them. I was so desperate for relief from pain I surrendered it all. I just wanted to live.

After the surgery my doctor let me know why I was in so much pain. My ovaries were each 5x the size of normal. His words? “You were walking around with whoppers.”

I was pain free for years.

To pre order A Walk in the Valley, click here.

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This Mom’s Story

Posted by Julie on March 20, 2015 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

Believe it or not, my schedule is already opening to May. June. July. Even August is filling up. Although as I type snow is falling, I’m planning ahead to days where tulips will be out, lilacs will be blooming and grass will need to be cut.

I’m a planner by nature and some of my events revolve around Mother’s Day. That used to bring about a dread and anger because I wasn’t a mom.

And I was told to plan for the fact I may never be one.

My infertility story centers about my PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) diagnosis. I miscarried. I truly thank God that I have two children but I will never forget those feelings. And I wanted God to use that story to encourage someone else.

91LVPrvc+FLA Walk in the Valley: Christian Encouragement for Your Journey Through Infertility is a transparent look at not just my story but Heidi Glick’s, Elizabeth Maddrey, Kym McNabney, Paula Mowery and Donna Winters. All of our stories are different but center around our infertility experiences. They are not happy-hold hands- cliche filled-pat answers stories. We were angry. Scared. Faced with expensive treatments. Given terrible news. And yet there is hope. We take each facet of the story and share how we made it through. We have Scripture because honestly, we’d still be in the pit of emotions had it not been for God’s love and Word. There are places for the reader to journal her feelings.

The book will be available April 28th but you can pre order now. If you are or have walked this road of infertility and miscarriage, I strongly suggest you consider ordering. If you love someone who is struggling or has, this book will help. I tell people it is the book I wish had been available for me.

Many have asked for my full story and A Walk in the Valley has it. May God take what I consider my broken place and create something beautiful for someone else.

To Pre Order A Walk in the Valley, click here.

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A Walk in the Valley, Christian Encouragement for your Journey through Infertility, Now Available for Pre-Order

Posted by Julie on January 28, 2015 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

I interrupt the winter weather buzz to share something very close to my heart—A Walk in the Valley, Christian Encouragement for your Journey through Infertility, is now available for pre-order through Amazon.

91LVPrvc+FLFrom Amazon:

Everyone’s journey through infertility is different. Even women who have the same physical problems will have different courses of treatment, different responses, and different emotional ups and downs as they walk this path. But we also have so much in common: the hurt, anger, frustration, pain, sorrow, hope and joy that we have experienced along the way.

We are women who have experienced infertility. Some of us have gone on to conceive, others have adopted, and others remain childless. All of us have found peace in the loving arms of our Father God at the end of our journey. We want to share our experiences and thoughts with you. It is our hope and prayer that you’ll be encouraged.

This devotional workbook starts with how each woman discovered her infertility, then explores the diagnostic testing pursued, how they processed the official diagnosis, what decisions had to be explored regarding treatment, their experiences during infertility treatment (including pregnancy, miscarriage, and childbirth), and finishes with their experiences in remaining childless, adoption, foster care, child sponsorship, and the emotional healing regardless of the outcome of their infertility journey.

Each devotional has a Scripture focus and questions for thought and discussion.

This book started as a question on the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) loop and quickly evolved. What I love is none of our stories are the same. Our endings are all different. We are all transparent in our experiences. The one thing I detested in trying to find something, anything that would help me in my pain was patronizing books or authors who were painting a picture that life was rosy, even in this hard time.

It. was. not.

And thank God, our stories reflect that so readers won’t feel alone.

Yet, we also give hope through Scripture and what we learned along the way.

I can’t wait for everyone to read this.

If you or someone you love is walking or has walked through infertility and miscarriage, please pre order this book.  When you aren’t sure what to say, I believe this book will do the talking.

Pre order by clicking here.

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Interviewed by June Foster

Posted by Julie on June 25, 2014 in About Me, ACFW, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Writing |

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by author June Foster. I consider her a mentor because when we were in the same critique group she spent so much time trying to teach me deeper POV. I’m not a master, but I can tell you, where I am now and where I was are two different books. I have June and fellow critique members to thank for that.Juneblog.jpg

I’d love for you to check out the interview.

You can do so here.

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Author Blog Hop: Getting to Know Me, Julie Arduini

Posted by Julie on May 29, 2014 in Uncategorized |

Laura Hilton and June Foster invited me to do a blog hop in which I answer the following questions about my writing:

What am I working on?
How does my work differ from others in its genre?
Why do I write what I do?
How does your writing process work?

I haven’t really done something like this before, but I figured I’d give it a shot, because these are questions I haven’t seen before. In addition to answering the questions, I also need to choose 3 other people to answer these same questions on their blogs. I’ll list those 3 at the end. I hope you visit them.

What Am I Working On?

That’s a great question. You might want to get a snack, because we could be here awhile.

I have two active fiction projects right now. The first is editing Untangled, the contemporary romance I started as part of NaNoWriMo 2012. This is the second in my Adirondack series, and it’s Carla Rowlings turn to share her story. I’m having so much fun with this. In Spectacular Falls she was the single mom sheriff who became Jenna’s best friend. Now she’s been given the opportunity to attend cosmetology school, but she doesn’t feel worth it because of past mistakes she’s made. Carla’s also raising a teenager, and she’s scared Noah might repeat her mistakes. And it’s hard to forget her choices when Noah’s dad is back on the scene, causing trouble between her and her flannel-loving boyfriend, Will Marshall. And then there’s Daniel Garrett, tightly wound beauty school student. Yep, I’m having a lot of fun. Check out my Pinterest board for Untangled.

The second is Match Made in Heaven. This was a little story I wrote years ago that was really rough, but I loved the characters. I decided to re write it and share it with my newsletter subscribers throughout 2014. This has been a great success.  Beth Prescott didn’t know when she took the job at the Hammondsport Senior Complex that the senior citizens would spend their time matchmaking her with their grandsons. She’s focused on doing a great job despite personal challenges, and she’s still burned from her last relationship. When she runs into Dean Kellerman, he’s interested in paying his grandfather back for his kindness, something Dean knows he didn’t deserve. The two keep getting thrown together in the same events, and it’s been amusing to watch the sparks fly. If you’d like to receive Match Made in Heaven, subscribe for free in the right sidebar of juliearduini.com, and watch your inbox for activation. Check out my Pinterest board for Match Made in Heaven.

The third is a devotional for Chalfont House on infertility. Heidi Glick, Elizabeth Maddrey, Kym McNabney, Paula Mowery, Donna Winters and myself are sharing our infertility experiences and embedding them with prayers, hope, and Scripture. As we edit each other we keep saying this is the book we wanted when we were going through this. Stay tuned!

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I’m intentional about writing romances that deal with surrender issues and have Upstate NY settings. Spectacular Falls, Untangled, and one I need to revise, To Be Determined, are all set in the Adirondack Mountains. Match Made in Heaven showcases another gem, the Finger Lakes area. I also write in my tagline that I’m not quite ready to surrender the chocolate, so that usually gets a mention, too.

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Charlie Johns grocery store in Speculator, NY is my inspiration for JB’s in my Adirondack romance, Spectacular Falls.

Why Do I Write What I Do?

I find it funny that I write contemporary romance because it’s usually my last choice for movies and shows. I do love a romance with great writing and chemistry, like Return to Me and The Proposal. I also think I write this because “offline” I tend to encourage women and share on a fairly deep level and it is emotionally draining. I like the escape fiction brings, and I know there are a lot of readers searching for answers that I believe my work can give. I was called by God to write for Him. I trust Him to take care of the rest.

How Does Your Writing Process Work?

I shared a little of that earlier this year with Valerie Comer. Aside from plotting, I’m constantly listening for God’s voice and believe He leads me. I feel I’m a reader first, so when I write my goal is to create something character-driven that keeps me reading. To bring constant conflict and twists readers can’t see coming, but love when they happen. It’s always at my laptop, and usually as I sit on the living room couch.

I hope this has given you some insight about me and my writing.

Now, these are the authors I’ve tagged, and the ones that tagged me. I hope you check them out!

Laura HiltonLaura is an award winning author, a pastor’s wife, married over twenty-five years and has five children. She homeschools, writes book reviews and books. Her books include Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts, Promised to Another, Healing Love, Surrendered Love, and Awakened Love. The Snow Globe will release in September 2014 and Swept Away in November.

June FosterJune Foster is a retired teacher who travels full time with her husband in their RV. Her adventures provide a rich source of information for her novels. She grew up in El Paso, Texas but moved to the magnificent northwest after she retired from teaching. She penned her first novel on her Toshiba labtop in 2010 as she and her husband sailed along the interstate. Now June has written four novels for Desert Breeze Publishing. Her novel Ryan’s Father will be available from WhiteFire Publishing in January 2014.

Heidi Glick—The youngest (and perhaps loudest) of three children, I was born in Lancaster, PA (think Amish country). At the ripe old age of six, this sinner found a Savior, and so it’s no surprise that I write inspirational suspense stories.I’m married to my college sweetheart, John, and live in a northern suburb of Cincinnati. John and I have two dogs (a Chihuahua and a Schipperke) and a happy baby boy.Interesting facts about me include I’ve visited 46 states; I’ve lived in California, Ohio, Indiana, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Canada; I’ve had someone nab my bag from me at the Las Vegas airport; I’ve been hit by a car; and I’ve been extricated from a overturned vehicle using the Jaws of Life.

Elizabeth MaddreyElizabeth Maddrey is a semi-reformed computer geek and homeschooling mother of two who loves a good happily ever after.

Elizabeth Maddrey began writing stories as soon as she could form the letters properly and has never looked back. Though her practical nature and love of computers, math, and organization steered her into computer science at Wheaton College, she always had one or more stories in progress to occupy her free time. This continued through a Master’s program in Software Engineering, several years in the computer industry, teaching programming at the college level, and a Ph.D. in Computer Technology in Education. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books and has mastered the art of reading while undertaking just about any other activity.

She lives in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. with her husband and their two incredibly active little boys.

Paula MoweryI’m a pastor’s wife and a former homeschool Mom. I’m also a Christian writer. My articles have appeared in Woman’s World and in my ongoing column on http://christianonlinemagazine.com/. I also write Christian fiction. My debut novella, THE BLESSING SEER came out July 6, 2012 from Pelican Book Group. The sequel, BE THE BLESSING, released Sept. 13, 2013. I am an author and acquisitions editor with Prism Book Group. My story, Forgiven, is in the anthology, Brave New Century which released Nov. 13, 2013. This book appeared on Amazon’s Top 100 Bestsellers in Religious Historical Fiction.



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