Posts Tagged ‘IVF In The News’

Octuplets Born, Fertility Treatment in the Hot Seat

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

In case you haven’t yet heard, a woman gave birth via cesarean to octuplets this week. That’s eight babies. EIGHT!! They could make a human octopus, or a stop sign, or a spider, or any other thing with eight sides or appendages.

All joking aside, it’s a miracle that the brood is doing well. In fact, the two who needed breathing treatments are now off. Their weights ranged from 1 pd 8 oz to 3 pd 4 oz. Unbelievable.

The hospital is being very respectful of the parent’s wishes to not disclose their identity, nor how the babies were conceived. I’m no expert, but I can’t imagine this was natural. The critics are of course coming out of the woodwork, fertility treatment be damned and what not. This story here in the LA Times even, without saying so exactly, suggests that selective reduction should have taken place (or at least that was my personal interpretation). “Doctors should be making efforts to curb these higher-order multiple gestations,” said Dr. Geeta Swamy, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Duke University. Whether you’re pregnant with one or ten, that’s a choice left to the parents, not the medical community at large. That’s a choice I hope to not ever be in a position to make. If fertility treatment was involved, I’m sure these people were finally able to achieve a pregnancy, and come hell or high water were having all of them. I don’t blame them.

“When we see something like this in the general fertility world, it gives us the heebie jeebies,” said Michael Tucker, a clinical embryologist in Atlanta and a leading researcher in infertility treatment. Tucker added that in his opinion, “if a medical practitioner had anything to do with it, there’s some degree of inappropriate medical therapy there.” We’ve had countless conversations between ourselves and Dr. T about the number of embryos to transfer. One is the number that everyone comes back to time and time again. It’s safe, in our case it will be effective and it’s attainable. I can’t speak for these people and I’m in no position to point fingers, but I can’t imagine what the conversations sounded like in which it made sense to transfer enough embryos to produce eight babies.

I’m thrilled that this couple can now call themselves parents and that they have eight children to call their own. I pray that each and every one of those 80 toes, 80 fingers, 16 lungs and eight tiny hearts make it home healthy, safely and prepared to deal with a lot of hair pulling!

UPDATE: Obviously, we’ve since learned that Nadya Suleman did this genius act of fertility acrobatics without a spouse and with the consent of her doctor. Awesome.

Fertility Treatments Linked With Birth Defects

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

We infertile couples have to face a lot of decisions that other couples don’t have to. So, if you knew that your assisted efforts to get pregnant would increase the likelihood of having a child with birth defects, would you still do it? A lot of parents-to-be are going to have to ask that question.

A study released by the CDC suggests that babies conceived via methods ”such as in vitro fertilization and the use of donor eggs—are two to four times more likely to be born with certain types of birth defects than infants conceived naturally.” What do they mean by “certain” birth defects? Their list includes septal heart defects, or a hole in the heart, cleft lip, cleft palate, and gastrointestinal defects.

“It is important for parents to realize that the individual risk for these birth defects remain low,” Reefhuis said, a member of the study. “It sounds like a lot to say ‘a two- to fourfold increased risk,’ but you have to keep in mind that the starting risk for these individual defects is actually pretty low.”

Meet and Their Infertility Haiku Contest

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

This wasn’t supposed to be a last-minute announcement, but it has turned in to one. Entries are due no later than Mon. Nov. 24 at noon est. (Good thing those Haikus are so short!)

Some good friends of Baby Or Bust, My Fertility Plan, are hosting this first annual International Infertility Haiku Contest. Here are the contest details:
Why haiku?  Anyone can do it.  A haiku is a three line poem, made up of only 17 syllables.  The first line has 5 syllables.  The second line has 7 syllables. The third line has 5 syllables.  That’s it.

Your haiku must relate in some way to your family-building journey and it must follow the haiku-syllable rules. There are 2 categories – Serious and Light-Hearted.  Just make sure you label which category your poem falls in (even if you think it’s obvious).  If your entry relates to medication, it will also be considered for the medication-related haiku award.

It is free to enter – and you can enter as many times as you want.  Each haiku must be in a separate e-mail.  Please include your name and email as well.  The contest is open to international entrants, but the entry must include an English translation. just launched last month. They work with infertile couples to build a customized fertility plan, and introduce the best options that optimize their chances of conception. The company is owned by Angie Best-Boss and Evelina Weidman, two advocates for women’s health and infertile couples. They have a couple of books under their belts, and a new-release coming soon that we can’t wait to tell you about!

Infertility Blogs and News

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

I found a great site today that features more than 100 blogs, Web sites and news sources all related to infertility.

I’m sharing this with you for a few reasons:
1. That’s what I do.

2. I think it’s a really valuable resource that you should know about.

3. They told me if I told my readers about them, that it would be “particularly persuasive” for them to add Baby Or Bust.

So, the site is called Alltop (meaning “All the Top News”), and they simulate this same feed for dozens of topics like the aforementioned Infertility, and Adoption.

Another resource that I recently found is called Wise About Health, and they also have a dedicated space for featuring sites related to Pregnancy and Infertility.

Just Say No to Twins

Monday, August 4th, 2008

My entire life I’ve wanted to have twins. When I was little, I would find names that rhymed and imagine dressing them in identical outfits. Now that I’m older, and having to pay for IVF, I fantasize about getting two birds with my $20,000 stone. Multiples is a known “side-effect” of infertility treatments. In the 90s it seemed there was always a 20/20 story about the newest family to bring home a litter of 10 babies. Infertility treatment has been refined, doctors have gotten smarter and patients stopped having their wombs used as the one place that would save civilization if the rest of mankind vanished.

When we found out we’d have to do IVF, one of my initial “find the silver lining” realizations was that I could get twins. I could bring home TWO WHOLE BABIES!!! Making both a childhood and adult dream come true. Shelton will argue that there is no way we can handle two or three babies at a time. I tell him that if you’ve never had even one baby- how is the adjustment harder or different? Plus, with two or three babies, you get to pick out TWO or THREE names! And TWO or THREE matching outfits!

Of course, all of this is a romanticized version in my head compared to what the reality would really be. I found this story last week that explains why you shouldn’t be wishing for twins afterall. Most infertility doctors and patients prefer to transfer multiple embryos to ensure a pregnancy. One in four of these pregnancies result in twins (vs. one in 80 natural conceptions). This story is from a UK paper, but the facts and information won’t vary much from how things are on this side of the pond. Legislation is being passed to get those twin pregnancies down to one in ten.

They are primarily looking at the complications that result from multiple-birth pregnancies compared to single pregnancies. The risks escalate with multiples.

Our doctor is very much a proponent of our only transferring one embryo. I’d rather not, because I want to do this once. The selfish side of me wants my TWO WHOLE BABIES all at the SAME TIME! I have several girlfriends with twins and I kind of daydream about the sisterhood we’d share if we were all looney from having twins! However, I will not for one second disregard my doctor’s recommendation if it means protecting my safety and health, and that of my baby(s).

How Nice for Them

Monday, July 28th, 2008

This past week while traveling for work I stocked up on a healthy dose of celeb magazines. I’m not what you’d call a “talker” on the plane- I’d prefer to plug in my headphones and sink into trashy celebrity journalism. The cover story for Us Weekly was divulging that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie had sought IVF to conceive their weeks-old twins Knox and Vivienne. (LOVE those names by the way!) I thought it interesting, because their having fertility issues had never been discussed before.

As I read the article, however “reliable” this information can be, they explained that Pitt and Jolie were so anxious to have more babies, that they did the IVF to speed-up her getting pregnant. All I could think was “How nice for them!”. I can’t imagine walking into a fertility clinic and dropping $15,000 on the counter- not out of necessity, but impatience.

There’s of course a jealous twinge in me that wants to lash out at the situation. But does that accomplish anything? Of course not! As if Angie is reading my site, but I’d like to say- use this as an opportunity to shed some light on IVF and infertility. The situation doesn’t educate anyone as it is- and certainly doesn’t help the plight of so many of struggling to conceive or save the funds. With her many humanitarian causes and ability to connect to mothers- this seems like a platform worth taking up.