Goodtalk

Carly Patterson: Life After Gold

Olympic Gold Medalist, Carly Patterson and fertility advocate Megan Edgecumbe talk about work-life balance, IVF, and mom life after gymnastics.

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Megan Edgecumbe
Hi Carly! This is Megan, just testing out the app! Looking forward to chatting on Monday 😊
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Carly Patterson
Looking forward. To it!
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Megan Edgecumbe
Hi Carly! I’m so thrilled to talk to you today! I was really excited to learn about your infertility journey and your wonderful success of Graham and Emmaline!
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Carly Patterson
Hi Megan thanks for having me! Always happy to share our story:)
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Megan Edgecumbe
I was looking over your adorable Instagram
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Megan Edgecumbe
Those babies are just precious
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Carly Patterson
Thank you!!! I’m pretty over the moon about them! My Instagram has become all about my kids haha
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Megan Edgecumbe
Of course! Like every proud mother!
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Megan Edgecumbe
My name is Megan Edgecumbe and I a fellow infertility sufferer with a beautiful son now --- that I thank God and IVF for!
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Carly Patterson
That’s amazing!!!
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Megan Edgecumbe
I think we both now how blessed we are after all we had to go through to get our babies
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Megan Edgecumbe
I’m so happy you are so open to talk about this stuff. It will help so many women!
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Carly Patterson
Absolutely!! It was a long and hard journey emotional, mentally and physically but 200% worth it! I’ve said so many times I wouldn’t change anything we had to go through to get our babies any sooner because I now know and see the changes God was doing in my life and I’m so thankful for that!
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Carly Patterson
Hard times are never fun to go through but if we can use them to grow ourselves it makes everything worth it and I know it made me a better person from it!
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Megan Edgecumbe
I love that! It makes me get tears just to read it because any woman that has struggled to get pregnant will really understand that pain
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Carly Patterson
Oh me too, I don’t know if I’ll never not get emotional thinking or talking about it! I’m glad this is over text so no one has to see me ugly cry:)
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Megan Edgecumbe
I help a lot of women in this situation that need to ultimately turn to surrogacy to build their family. Www.yourfertilityadvocate.com
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Carly Patterson
Thankfully there are lots of options for people trying to build their family
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Megan Edgecumbe
Lol! Ugly cry. We are well matched for texting.
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Megan Edgecumbe
So let’s dive in about your journey
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Megan Edgecumbe
But first, for anyone living under a rock of course I want to mention that I have the honor of texting with a gold medal athlete
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Megan Edgecumbe
In gymnastics, who is now a mother of two!
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Megan Edgecumbe
And congratulations on your recent birth in February!
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Carly Patterson
Thank you!!! Can’t believe she’s 7 weeks tomorrow! Already going by. Although the says seem long lol
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Carly Patterson
Days*
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Megan Edgecumbe
And of course I want people to know if they have questions they are welcome to text in with them
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Megan Edgecumbe
And we will add them to the convo if we can!
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Megan Edgecumbe
I would like to start at the beginning, when did you are your husband start to feel that building a family might be difficult for you?
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Carly Patterson
Hm well I was surprised when it didn’t happen on the first month because I just thought well we want a baby so it’s just going to happen! Haha but I was very wrong! I guess around 4ish months I was like ohhh well what if something is wrong?
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Carly Patterson
So I talked to my ob and she said sometimes it can take a year so I was like ok and we just kept trying but then a year went by and still nothing and I was getting frustrated and wondering why it wasn’t happening...
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Megan Edgecumbe
Yes, and you are relatively young, so doctors can kind of pass off patients for awhile... and not take them seriously
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Carly Patterson
Then we made an appointment with a fertility doctor just to start seeing what the problem might be and basically found out I had pcos and it was going to be pretty hard to get pregnant without help
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Megan Edgecumbe
(Not all docs, but some)
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Megan Edgecumbe
Yes, so were you having irregular periods?
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Megan Edgecumbe
I think we will have an audience of mostly women for these part, lol!
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Carly Patterson
Yes my cycles were super off and I never knew when it was coming and it would trick me and I’d think I was pregnant because I wasn’t starting and so I’d get my hopes up and then 60 days later a period would come so I was like what the heck!!
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Carly Patterson
Lol I was about to say sorry for any guys!
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Megan Edgecumbe
Oh that would be so emotional! The ups and downs of thinking you were pregnant and then not!
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Carly Patterson
Yes and that’s where it starts to take a toll on you mentally!
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Megan Edgecumbe
Yep, and I imagine your husband too?
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Carly Patterson
Yes but I think he tried to stay strong more so for me which was sweet but I know it was hard on him too! But he was always trying to keep me positive and saying that it was all going to happen in Gods timing
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Megan Edgecumbe
for those who don’t know, PCOS is one of the most common causes of infertility
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Carly Patterson
I wasn’t liking gods timing at the time though haha
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Megan Edgecumbe
Haha! I so understand that
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Megan Edgecumbe
And then you start to have well meaning friends tell you to “just relax” and it will happen
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Megan Edgecumbe
They mean well, but most women do start out happy excited and relaxed when trying to get pregnant, and it doesn’t happen
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Carly Patterson
Haha right! And I’ve learned there’s not much you can say to people that are going through it other than to know you are supported and being prayed for and that they are an ear to vent if you ever need to!
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Megan Edgecumbe
So that’s when it starts to really get sticky and emotional
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Megan Edgecumbe
Yes! So what happened next?
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Carly Patterson
Yes I had one of my best friends come to me for a SECOND time to tell me she was pregnant when we started trying at the same time!
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Carly Patterson
And of course I was happy for her but I was like man when is it going to be my thrn!!!
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Megan Edgecumbe
Ugh, so hard when you have been trying for awhile and friends seem to get pregnant by sneezing!
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Carly Patterson
So next...
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Carly Patterson
We started some basically fertility stuff like several round of chlomid. Then using a trigger shot so my body would ovulate. And when we did that we got pregnant! I was in the car when I got the call and started balling, I was so happy. Then called my husband and mom. Those first 6/7 weeks we were all just on cloud 9.
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Megan Edgecumbe
Oh wow! Chills!
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Carly Patterson
Then we went in for our first ultrasound and I told my hubby to get the video ready to record the baby and heartbeat. But when we started there was no baby and no heartbeat. It was an empty sack
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Megan Edgecumbe
😭😭😭😖😖
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Megan Edgecumbe
No words. So very painful
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Carly Patterson
I was looking for every excuse. Is it just too early? Is the baby hiding and we will see if later?
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Carly Patterson
We knew it wasn’t happening and it was the most gut wrenching feeling and thing we have ever had to go through. My doctor explained it was a blighted ovum. Basically failed early pregnancy. My husband and I went home and just looked at each other in shock for a while
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Megan Edgecumbe
Wow. And for every infertility sufferer to walk this road, you have weathered some amazing high moments in your life as an athlete...
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Megan Edgecumbe
How does the highs and lows of pregnancy loss compare or does it?
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Carly Patterson
Yes it was so hard and made me so mad that it was all out of my control. It was something I couldn’t just train for or work hard for
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Megan Edgecumbe
Absolutely
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Megan Edgecumbe
But as women we tend to blame ourselves
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Megan Edgecumbe
At least I did
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Carly Patterson
Well I hate to lose and obviously there were times I lost in gymnastics but it doesn’t compare to a loss like this.
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Carly Patterson
Yes I blamed myself. I was mad at my body. My husband was perfectly fine and I was pissed I couldn’t give us a baby at the time
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Megan Edgecumbe
So I want to just shout out to all the women struggling in this area that you are warriors!
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Megan Edgecumbe
It’s one of the hardest things to ever have to endure! We hear you as we know!
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Megan Edgecumbe
We have a question asking about your age at this time?
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Carly Patterson
It’s the hardest thing. The other day I was passing by my infertility clinic on my way to my checkup from having a baby and I just stopped to say a prayer for all the people in there going through that right now to give them strength and peace through it
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Carly Patterson
I’m 31!
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Megan Edgecumbe
Wow, so beautiful to pray for the others!
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Megan Edgecumbe
So tell me how you survived and kept moving forward?
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Carly Patterson
I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy!
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Carly Patterson
God. And my husband and family. I’m so blessed to have such a strong support system and they were a huge help through everything! Even though there were times I totally shut down and became a hermit to everybody
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Carly Patterson
Also hearing anyone else’s story was a HUgE help! That’s why I always want to share mine to give others hope
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Megan Edgecumbe
Yes! Family is everything. Did you feel they understood?
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Megan Edgecumbe
Absolutely! I endured 4 failed IVFs and I spent hours on online blogs reading and researching others stories for hope
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Carly Patterson
oh my gosh that’s so hard, I can’t imagine 😰
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Megan Edgecumbe
Yes, and I do agree when you say you felt mad at Gods timing
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Megan Edgecumbe
And asking the “why”
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Megan Edgecumbe
So after that loss, what did you do next?
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Carly Patterson
My doctor was so awesome and always had a new plan ready for us and helped us feel hopefully that it would happen so next we started a round of IUI
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Megan Edgecumbe
Oh good! Having a doc you trust is everything!
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Question from Emily
How did you go about finding a doctor? Research? Friends?
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Carly Patterson
We did 2 round of that and nothing happened and then I had to sit out because of cysts (which made me so mad!)
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Carly Patterson
So finally we were going for our 3rd IUI and of that didn’t work we were going to start IVF. Luckily our 3 IUI worked and we were pregnant with our son Graham!
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Carly Patterson
So it was a year trying on our own and then a year working with our fertility doctor
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Megan Edgecumbe
It must have been a huge relief to have it work after so much time!
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Megan Edgecumbe
Amanda has a question for you that I am going to add to the convo
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Carly Patterson
It was!! But then I was so afraid going in for that first ultrasound again. So I almost didn’t let myself get too excited because I didn’t want the same thing to happen
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Question from Amanda
Hi Carly- nice talking with you, I was a gymnast growing up and looked up to you. :) My husband and I have been through 4 failed IUI’s, and 1 chemical pregnancy from IVF. My body has changed so much from all the hormones- weight that won’t come off and thinning hair. I want to try at least one more round of IVF. Any advice for feeling more positive about my fertility journey, so I can at least make it through one more round of IVF? Thank you for your time!
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Carly Patterson
Hi Amanda! I’m so sorry to hear that:( I know the feeling of all the crazy hormones you have to deal with and not feeling like yourself. As I said for me praying so hard and leaning on my family was what got me through each round. I was asking why me for a long time and thinking about it all wrong and I started saying ok what can I learn from this, how can I grow, what is God trying to teach me. My whole attitude toward everything changed and that helped me so much
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Carly Patterson
I will keep you in my prayers!
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Megan Edgecumbe
I would like to add in to Amanda’s question. I feel you pain, it’s so so hard. I know docs say “it’s a numbers game” and to keep trying, but I would encourage you to make sure you have explored alternative options to enhance your IVF because it really does help!
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Megan Edgecumbe
So diet and supplements, and even acupuncture
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Megan Edgecumbe
Carly, did any docs you work with have you switch your diet at all to help with the PCOS?
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Megan Edgecumbe
I had to go gluten and dairy free to help my fertility
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Carly Patterson
Not really, but I had decided to kind of do that on my own to help!
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Carly Patterson
Yea I just tried to keep it very healthy and watch everything I was taking in
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Megan Edgecumbe
Good! And you managed to get pregnant against without any fertility treatments! Is that right?
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Megan Edgecumbe
*again
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Megan Edgecumbe
I love the timing of this convo too, btw, with Infertility Awareness Week this month!
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Carly Patterson
Yes! I breastfed my son for 6 months and my husband and I were like ok we don’t know how long it’s going to take for number 2 so let’s start trying. Well low and behold we get pregnant the first month! We were in totally shock. Obviously all babies are miracle babies but we see the miracle in different ways for our two! The first one was a lot of learning and growing and with god and science it happened and the second time we said it was god showing us nothing is impossible with him❤️
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Megan Edgecumbe
Wow wow wow! Chills!
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Megan Edgecumbe
It’s so true! I have heard so many stories were against the odds women go on to conceive!
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Carly Patterson
Yea our story is pretty amazing to me! I love how we are both ends of the spectrum to really give people hope no matter what you’re goin goin through! We are incredibly blessed
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Megan Edgecumbe
And now you are in happy baby land, sleep deprived yet so so blessed and thankful!
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Carly Patterson
Haha yes! We are so in love with our new addition! It’s very hard especially since they are 16 months apart but it’s just so awesome😇
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Carly Patterson
Very very tired right now😂
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Megan Edgecumbe
Sooo wonderful! And I have to ask, you waited to find out the gender with the second right?
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Carly Patterson
We waited for both! My husband looked over the curtain for both and shouted what each baby was! The coolest moments ever🥰
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Carly Patterson
I would recommend it to anyone to wait and be surprised!!! So fun!
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Megan Edgecumbe
Wow!! That’s amazing! I don’t think I could have the patience for that! Ha
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Carly Patterson
Lol yes most people thought we are crazy!
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Megan Edgecumbe
I can’t believe we have talked for almost an hour, is there anything you want to add to wrap things up today?
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Megan Edgecumbe
I want to add that there is HOPE for those who struggle, I blog and consider myself a fertility advocate at www.yourfertilityadvocate.com
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Carly Patterson
I know this was so fun!! Thanks for everyone’s joining and I just want anyone struggling to know that I feel for you and I will be saying prayers and sending out all the baby vibes❤️ Just stay positive and be thankful for everything else in your life while you’re going through this!
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Megan Edgecumbe
I help women grow their family even if it’s through unconventional ways. After all I went through, this line of work gives me the greatest joy
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Carly Patterson
So awesome ❤️❤️❤️
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Megan Edgecumbe
Wishing you a blissful time with your sweet young babies, Carly! There is so much for I could ask you about but we will have to save it for another time!
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Carly Patterson
Thank you!!! Sounds good, let’s do it again☺️ Thanks everyone!
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