Posts Tagged ‘Fertility’

IVF Advertising

June 7th, 2010

Since I bought a new car 2 weeks ago, I’ve noticed every car advertisement whether in print, on tv, or on the radio.  Similarly, 2 years ago, when we began facing conception challenges I started noticing advertising for fertility clinics. It’s as if they sprang up like the soldiers made from dragon’s teeth in the original Jason and the Argonauts movie – suddenly they are everywhere.

The further along in this journey I travel the more these ads bother me.  I appreciate their presence, acknowledging that these are medical issues that can be treated and that there is no shame in seeking treatment, however, the ads usually read something like this:

“ Where Dreams come to Life” or some other mystical, aspirational marketing statement.

List of Services: the higher tech the better, as if we are in some fertility arms race — “egg donation, Intracytoplasmic  Sperm Injection ( ICSI), Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis . . .”

“ Nationally Acclaimed, Highly Successful”

I understand, just like cardiac or prostate cancer centers that advertise their new Da Vinci robot, we are supposed to be comforted by and attracted to the facility with the latest and greatest, also practices need a certain volume to amortize the cost of expensive equipment of highly sought after sub-specialists like geneticists.

However, I wish that there was a center brave, bold, and honest enough to put forward the following:

There are no guarantees

We will work with you to 1st help get you and your partner in the best physical shape pre-conception.

Then we will leverage the best of Eastern and Western Medicine to optimize your own reproductive cycle.

We have meditation and yoga classes and resources on site since this process is inherently stressful.

This will solve a high percentage of couples’ conception challenges.

As for the rest we will THEN apply only so much medicine, science, and surgery as is necessary to reach your particular family building goal whether that be your own genetic child, a pregnancy, or give you the information you need to assess when adoption or childfree living are options.  We will not pressure you into believing that all these are the same.

This may take a month or several years.  Depending on your insurance coverage it will likely be expensive.

We are your partner and will do everything we know for you.  The rest is really in God’s Hands.

Call us.

What IF We Choose Hope

April 30th, 2010

Today is the next to last day of National Infertility Awareness Week. I applaud Resolve® The National Infertility Association for sponsoring a wave of activities including media and advocacy visits to Capitol Hill. The most striking part of this effort, to me, has been Project IF.

Project IF is RESOLVE’s ongoing public education project. The goal is to make sure the public…
• understands that infertility is a disease that affects 1 in 8 couples of reproductive age;
• acknowledges that there are many ways to build a family;
• understands that the disease infertility impacts the physical, emotional, and financial health of those that are facing it;
• knows when to seek the advice of a specialist.

The online abbreviation for infertility is “IF”. And when you’re faced with infertility there are so many “IFs” involved. “What IF we can’t afford treatment?” “What IF it doesn’t work?” The “IFs” are endless… When you’re a friend or family member of someone with infertility there are many IFs you can’t always understand. “What IF we aren’t grandparents?” “What IF my friend doesn’t come to my baby shower?”

These “What IFs” have run through the mind of everyone I know struggling with this issue including myself. Thank you to all the bloggers who have taken up the challenge to expose your personal What IFs to the world towards creating greater understanding, empathy, and action. The best example, amongst many heartfelt and heartbreaking entries this week was Keiko Zoll’s video seen here on her Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed: Redefining Faith & Womanhood in the Face of Infertility blog.

However, after reading and watching so many of my sisters pulling back the veil of the oft-troubling thoughts that ravage our minds and hearts, I wanted to put forward something a little different.

When I think of how to describe the infertility experience I ask people to picture a roller coaster or a swing. Emotions and moods going up and down. Most of us just want off the ride. So although there are many lows there are also highs and reason’s for hope and that’s what I want to add to this conversation.

What IF . . .
• I end up with not one, not two, but three kids (from 3 healthy singleton pregnancies) like 3 of my friends who went through IVF and then had subsequent natural conceptions
• I get pregnant next month
• All the things that I am doing to make myself the healthiest “vessel” establish life-long habits that enhance my life whether I get pregnant or not
• The meditation classes I take make me a better wife, daughter, sister, boss and business person
• I am a better mother when this is all said in done because I had to learn patience and endurance
• The clarity with which I know that I love my child even now is so powerful it changes the world

The Essentials of the Fertility Toolkit

February 25th, 2010

In the “I wish I knew then what I know now” category are a laptop hard drive and full bookcase of information on fertility that I have amassed in the past 2 ½ years. Fertility challenges are something that few women envision encountering (although 1 in 7 couples may experience) and I, like so many, went straight to What to Expect When You’re Expecting.  After 6 months (I’m over 35) and a few blood tests I realized what I needed was more like What to Expect When You’re Expecting Expecting and Expecting, But Never Seem To Get Pregnant.  Through trial and error I have amassed some essential resources that I would like to share with any woman experiencing difficult conception.  This pared-down collection of must-haves reflects my belief that understanding your cycle in detail, creating a mind-body connection capable of withstanding the inherent stresses in the challenged fertility process, and optimizing your nutrition are the key elements to a successful fertility journey whether you get pregnant or not.

The DCPatient Fertility Toolkit

Books:

  • Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler, MPH
  • Navigating the Land of If: Understanding Infertility & Exploring Your Options by Melissa Ford
  • The Infertility Cure by Randine Lewis, MD
  • Conquering Infertility by Alice Domar, PhD
  • The Fertility Diet by Jorge Chavarro, MD Walter Willett, MD, Patrick Skerret

Meditation/Mind-Body Connection:

Body/Mind-Body Connection:

Supplements:

Websites:

www.resolve.com

www.conceivingconcepts.com

That’s it!

Although it wouldn’t be fair to leave out my personal go-to fertility coach and meditation workshop instructor/acupuncturist – Connie Barrow http://www.fertilepossibilities.com/ and Lisa Eaves http://www.heal-from-within.com/

Let me know if you find this helpful and feel free to recommend the essential elements of your fertility toolkit.

Thanksgiving Thoughts on Fertility Challenges

November 25th, 2009

Challenges to the process of conceiving a child are not usually mentioned among the top things to be thankful for when one goes around the dinner table on Thursday, but after 2 years and counting of walking this rocky road to motherhood I realize that I have several things on which I’d like to express gratitude.

  1. I give thanks for greater knowledge and appreciation for the miracle of my female body and the reproductive process. I would be embarrassed by how little I knew if the average women knew any more.  It is a disservice to women that we are not taught more and earlier.
  2. I give thanks for a stronger marriage and an enhanced appreciation for my husband’s strength, sensitivity, love, and the great gift he has given me of a safe place to pour all my disappointment, frustration, and fears.
  3. I give thanks for doctors who listen and truly practice medicine. Reproductive endocrinology is as much art and science and requires a level of personalization physically and emotionally that is not necessary in other specialties.  Also, there is as much unknown as known.  I am grateful for finally finding a physician with the humility and skill to meet me where I am and work with what my body can do.
  4. I give thanks to God.  Fertility is faith. Faith that my body is innately fertile. Faith that diligently seeking God’s plan for my life is worthwhile in itself. Faith that as I draw nearer to Him He draws nearer to me.