Archive for the ‘IVF and Infertility News’ Category

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.

The One with the Fertility Test

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

That’s the title of an episode of Friends that just kills me every time I see it. It’s like Beaches, or Steel Magnolias. It’s an unavoidable fact that you WILL CRY every time you see it. Man, woman, child, horse- your body will writhe with vicious emotion and it will have no exit but to saturate your face in tears!!

I’m often heard quoting scenes from Friends. It remains one of my favorite TV shows. Tonight this episode aired in which Chandler and Monica go to the fertility clinic to test his sperm and for her to have “an invasive vaginal exam.” That evening they get a call from the doctor, and Chandler receives the news. Moments later he tells Monica that he has low motility and her womb is an inhospitable environment. That’s the moment where the bubble bursts in my throat and the tears stream down. Like me, Chandler cuts through the tension w/ a joke, telling Monica that his guys won’t get out of their barcaloungers and even if they did, her womb is prepared to kill anything that enters.

It also bugs me- because it’s the start of yet another TV show infertility storyline that bears no resemblance to real life. I know doctors, firefighters, cops, grocery store janitors, mailmen and taxi drivers all say the same thing about TV/movies related to them. But it’s true. Chandler and Monica zip-zing right through all of the steps and surprisingly wind up with twins at their adoptive baby’s birth. Definitely the happy ending ALL of us should enjoy.

The Baby on the Bus

Monday, July 7th, 2008

I’m all for people finding creative, interesting ways to get the word out about infertility and help along their own pursuit to start a family. Obviously. wink

That’s why I loved finding this story of a British woman who advertised for an egg donor so that she and her husband could get pregnant. They tried for 14 years to conceive, and went through a few rounds of IVF (including ICSI which is the procedure Shelton and I will use). All without success- due to a blocked fallopian tube, her age and her body stopped producing eggs.

With a desire to still carry a baby of her own – she invested 2,000GBP (~ $4000) to advertise in 50 buses in London. It took three weeks for an anonymous donor to come forward. She delivered her healthy, beautiful little girl on June 3 (my sister’s birthday!).

Good for them and Congratulations!!

Stem Cells in the Majority

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

I stumbled on this article tonight from Newsweek explaining a recent survey conducted at Duke and Johns Hopkins University that found 60% of infertility patients would give their embryos to stem cell research before they’d adopt them. They say that this stat mirrors the support of the American public for stem cell research. Makes you wonder why Bush, “representing the people,” just signed another stem cell veto!!

Shelton and I have discussed this. It’s one of the MANY topics infertile couples get to discuss that most couples never have to, unless they want to. What do you do with extra embryos??? Our first choice is to freeze for a second attempt should we have enough. Our second choice is to donate to stem cell research. I just think there is far too much good to come out of supporting that research to not offer my hand in some way.

I know 40% of the people reading this post are probably outraged. It wouldn’t be the first time me or this site have pissed off someone. I guess I can see the compassion in putting those embryos up for adoption, but something doesn’t settle with me to give someone else my baby when I’m perfectly capable of having and raising them myself. I also can’t stomach the thought of just destroying them.

If you’re new to infertility, or just haven’t had the conversation yet- it’s a must. You have to talk about the final destination of any unused embryos, because it can really be one of the most important decisions you make in this journey. And this recent survey, proves you won’t be alone no matter which path you choose.


Monday, June 9th, 2008

I love Jon & Kate Plus 8! I get so excited when I find one of those hours-long marathons on TLC. I like to call it “research”! LOL! If you haven’t seen it, it’s this amazing couple named Jon & Kate. They did IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) to have a set of twins and then a few years later a set of sextuplets. They are only a few years older than we are, so it’s interesting to watch someone who was our age, maybe younger, when they were going through this too. They succeeded!

Their eight children are beautiful and funny and just bursting with life. They make me smile and laugh and I so thank them for sharing their family. It’s probably not right, but I have favorites. Shelton refuses to watch. If and when he watches TV, he prefers things like that 5 minute segment at the end of CBS Sunday Morning where they show the nature scenes. That’s the opposite of a house with eight children.

If you haven’t watched it, make some time to do so. It’s just a fun little baby-filled treat!