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a blog by Deborah Moore, March 15, 2010
I saw a clip of the ladies from The View interviewing Giuliana Rancic, an entertainment reporter for E! News who married one of the Apprentices I think (I don’t watch reality TV!). She’s 35, and she and her husband have been trying for at least a year to get pregnant. They realized they need help and are preparing for the IVF process.
[Watch Giuliana and Bill on The View.]
While the majority of the interview was a civil and friendly discussion of the couples’ struggles, host Whoopi Goldberg ranted later that Guiliana just needed to “put on a few pounds,” with the implication that this would solve all their problems.
a blog by liz, Mar. 12, 2010
I imagine that many of you, like me, have revamped your lifestyle significantly since the task of trying to get pregnant began. Less "my body is a temple," more "my body is an incubator" (or at least that's what we hope).
You've cut out alcohol, particularly during the two-week wait (although no one would blame you if, when your period arrives, you go and drown yourself in a vat of vodka). Coffee is but a distant memory.
a blog by Ellen S. Glazer, Mar. 11, 2010
Many years ago, I knew a psychiatrist who was going through infertility. She became pregnant during a particularly stressful time in her life, enjoyed an uneventful pregnancy and an on-time delivery of a healthy daughter. When I called to congratulate her, she said, “Please tell people that stress causes fertility.”
a blog by lashaundra, Mar. 10, 2010
Infertility is such a romance-killer. It can really stress a relationship, so much so that it makes it difficult to concentrate on your greatest blessing: your partner. The key to staying in check is to recognize your stress factors and try to lessen them, whenever possible.
Of course, to all of this, add winter's doldrums. S.O.S.!
Here's the bright side: Winter is a great time to have a couple’s massage, go on a trip, or just schedule some time together to reflect on what made you fall in love with each other in the first place. Most likely, it was long before either of you were involved in the trying and consuming world of infertility.
a blog by David Kreiner, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., March 9, 2010
It was quite shocking on Sunday when Disney pulled WABC Channel 7 from Cablevision. Three million viewers in the New York Metropolitan area were affected. My wife was distraught. Her favorite television shows -- Brothers and Sisters, Desperate Housewives, Lost -- were no longer viewable on our TV set. Not to mention the Superbowl of celebrity watching, the Oscars. Many were frustrated and depressed at the prospect of being denied the pleasure of watching the shows we have grown accustomed to expecting.
My wife and I never truly experienced infertility. We had a workup for recurrent miscarriages and it took us more than a year to conceive a healthy pregnancy in between our two boys and two girls. We were not denied the joy of building a family that we had learned to expect while growing up, observing our own, as well as our friends’ and neighbors’ families.
a blog by Beth and Tami of Pulling Down the Moon, Mar. 9, 2010
This month, a study released in the Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology revealed acupuncture may be useful in treating depression in pregnant women. Depressed pregnant women have a higher incidence of postpartum depression and their children have been shown to have poorer cognitive and emotional development. Additionally, there may also be a link between depression and lower birth weight in babies. These are some of the reasons why appropriate mental health treatment cannot be overlooked during the TTC period.
We are often asked about holistic therapies that might help women get off their anti-depressants while they are trying to conceive or once they achieve pregnancy. Many patients express concern about birth defects or that medications will potentially inhibit their ability to conceive or carry to term. On the male side, patients have read studies that suggest SSRI anti-depressants can decrease erectile function and ejaculation and may cause a major increase in genetic damage to sperm. For those couples experiencing anxiety over the anti-depressant meds/TTC dilemma, this new study offers patients a compelling option.
a blog by the editors, Mar. 8, 2010
Think about it: How desperate do you have to be to set fire to your own house?
Desperate. Last-resort Desperate.
Ralph Brown, it seems, was last-resort desperate to have a baby.
Brown, a volunteer with the fire department in Bennington, Vermont, is accused of setting fire to his own house on two occasions in order to collect insurance money to get his wife infertility treatment. Firefighters were called to his home on Feb. 26, around noon and again on Feb. 27 around 10:30 p.m. While the first fire was quickly brought under control, the second fire lasted longer and did more damage to the home. Brown has pled not guilty to numerous arson charges.
by Cindy Bailey of the Fertile Kitchen™, Mar. 8, 2010
If you’ve been on the fertility journey long enough, I’m sure you’ve heard that avocados are THE fertility food. What is it about this fruit that makes it so? It’s sexy, womanly shape? Actually, the Aztecs used avocado as a sex stimulant, considering it an aphrodisiac, based primarily on how avocados appeared on the tree (as two testicles). Kid you not.
But, really, here’s why avocados are so fertility friendly: First, they’re packed with folic acid, a type of B vitamin that helps boost fertility in both men and women. Folic acid also helps prevent neural tube defects at birth. You want to get lots of folate.
a blog by Deborah Moore, March 4, 2010
I'm lucky. I have a gorgeous, perfect daughter who will turn 4 later this year. She is a shining light in my life, bringing my husband and me more joy than I knew possible. And yet, during this time of TTC for a second child, I find myself melancholy, unfulfilled and despairing.
a blog by murgdan, March 3, 2010
It’s a boy. The miracle we waited for, saved for, worked for, and wished for is a boy. Despite the fact that there are only two sexes to choose from, it still felt like a total and complete surprise to hear the ultrasound technician who performed our anatomy scan make the announcement. We are no longer pregnant with “it.” We can use proper pronouns.
After the initial revelation, after the tears of joy, after the “wows” and smiles, I had another thought. I had a thought that I am quite sure few mothers who have not experienced the ravages of infertility have. I had a thought that brought back memories of my husband’s urology appointments and our IVF consults.
Will our son be infertile, too?
a blog by marie lee, March 2, 2010
Cereal in the morning? Bread? Pasta? Love those bagels? Believe it or not, what was once considered healthy may be lethal to your fertility.
I used to love Sunday bagels, but then I felt terrible for the rest of the day. Bagels are made with HIGH gluten flour and gluten can cause problems for people who lack the genetic ability to break it down into smaller amino acids that can be absorbed. Because it doesn't get broken down, the immune system recognizes it as a "foreign protein," and attacks it. Gluten can act as an intestinal abrasive.
Gluten can also aggravate a thyroid condition which is also tied to your fertility. Apparently, people who have celiac disease, a disorder in which your body makes antibodies to gluten (and is also linked with infertility), often have anti-thyroid antibodies, and vice versa. Elisabeth Hasselbeck from The View had trouble conceiving until she was diagnosed with celiac disease and now she has *three* kids. A study from Harvard's Brigham and Women's hospital showed that people with anti-thyroid antibodies (also known as Hashimoto's thyroiditis) often can reduce the inflammation by following a gluten-free diet.
Given how important the thyroid is for regulating hormones (including fertility hormones), it seems like going gluten-free (not just wheat-free, gluten is the protein in wheat that is also found in oats, rye, spelt and is often ADDED to products labeled "wheat free") can't hurt and might help.
a blog by David Kreiner, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., March 2, 2010
Last night I tucked my grandson Jayden into bed. “Saba,” which is Hebrew for grandfather, Jayden said, “What do you do at work?” I thought back to when I first talked to his dad, my son Dan, about the birds and the bees. Well, I thought, I help those in need make babies but how do I explain this to a three year old?
I need to explain that my patients are suffering, some so severely that it affects their marriage, their jobs and often their health. I’m responsible for alleviating their suffering. I share my compassion for their troubles, hoping I may start to develop a bond with them.
a blog by the editors, Feb. 26, 2010
Yesterday’s edition of the talk show The View focused solely on infertility. The show featured celebrity couple Giuliana and Bill Rancic, who are just getting ready for their first IVF following failed IUI cycles, Dr. Jamie Grifo, a fertility specialist at NYU Fertility Center, and two couples and a recently divorced woman who have infertility.
The ladies of The View also talked about their own experiences with infertility. Barbara Walters adopted her daughter following three miscarriages. Sherri Shepherd had her son via IVF treatment following a failed IUI cycle and Clomid treatment. (She’s 42 and wants to have more children. She asked about freezing her eggs, but Dr. Grifo explained that at her age, she’s not a good candidate.) Elisabeth Hasselbeck had trouble getting pregnant until she realized she had Celiac Disease, and went on a gluten-free diet. She now has three children. Joy Behar had an ectopic pregnancy that almost cost her her life when her fallopian tube burst and caused internal bleeding. She has one daughter.
a blog by kathleen puls andrade, Feb. 25, 2010
I was recently featured on a new PBS series that’s been showing locally here in Chicago called Health Secrets: What Every Woman Should Know, hosted by Paula Zahn. I posted the segment on YouTube and have received lots of great feedback. One woman, in particular, had a great perspective on being childfree by choice. It’s positive, direct and hopeful.
“Thanks so much for sharing the YouTube link to the PBS women's health piece. Paula Zahn was right: It is courageous and giving of you to shine a humorous light on all you have been through. I feel sad and sorry about your struggle.”
No need to feel sad about it really. I’ve come to terms with it and we’ve dealt with it through humor and positivity as time goes on.
“My husband and I are childless. I don't think there are many women out there who ever really imagine they won't have children.”
So true! When RE Tarun Jain spoke to the audience after my show, he said that people always refer to when you’ll have kids . . . not if you can actually have them. That’s the expectation in our society.
a blog by Ellen S. Glazer, Feb. 24, 2010
One piece of advice that I give to all my infertility clients is to “mark your calendars.” That may sound ridiculous to anyone who has dealt with infertility, since everyone knows how quickly one’s life can become ruled by the calendar. Months become “cycles” and cycles become measured by blood draws and ultrasounds. Some parts of the calendar are filled with appointments and activity; others slog by in waiting.
One thing is sure: infertility patients never forget their calendars. If they’re not planning cycles, they’re trying to figure out ways to avoid or cope with those dark spots on the horizon: Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, Passover, a big birthday, a small one—all the times that remind them of what and who they are missing.
So why do I advise paying more attention to calendars?
a blog by David Kreiner, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., Feb. 23, 2010
As a reproductive endocrinologist (and, therefore, a supposed expert on heredity), I’m often asked how much of a child’s development and ultimate personality is a result of genetics (nature) and how much is a result of its environment (nurture). Typically, this question arises when dealing with patients contemplating using donor sperm or donor egg.
I don’t have the answer to this question; it’s one I, myself, have spent much time considering. I’m one of five children and I have four children of my own and, so far, three grandchildren. Though the environment and the genetics of my siblings and and my children doesn’t appear to be so different, each of us has developed unique characters and personalities. Some are significantly different.
We were tickled when a nomination for Pamela's blog came showed up in our inbox because we've been fans of hers for ages! What we love about Pam is that she's out there speaking for the average woman struggling with fertility challenges. Honest, compassionate and forthright, she's a strong advocate but also down-to-earth and approachable. We're proud to feature her as one of our favorite bloggers!
Author: Pamela Tsigdinos
a blog by guest blogger Breea Johnson, MS RD LDN, Pulling Down the Moon Nutritionist
When someone is dealing with infertility, they often scour the world for answers. Many women never figure out why they have unexplained infertility or experienced a miscarriage. But for others, the answer may lie in a simple blood test to measure thyroid function as low thyroid function and thyroid autoimmunity are both associated with infertility and miscarriage.
Consider Ann*, a 32-year old, normal weight woman who had two miscarriages with no explanation. After going to a miscarriage specialist, she was found to have hypothyroidism (low thyroid function) and with thyroid medication was successfully able to get pregnant and carry the baby to full term.
The thyroid gland, one of the largest endocrine glands in the body, is shaped like a butterfly and is located on the front of the neck below the Adam’s apple. While it is very small (only 2 inches across), it affects our entire body, as the hormones it produces and secretes regulate metabolism, growth and development.
a blog by Ellen S. Glazer, Feb. 18, 2010
I’m a social worker (and a mother through both adoption and birth) and over the past four decades, I’ve counseled countless individuals and couples about their struggles with infertility, their pregnancies, parenthood after infertility, their decisions about egg donation, sperm denoation and gestational carriers. When I meet an infertility patient for the first time, I usually tell her (it’s usually a “her”) that I went through infertility myself. Before she looks too carefully at my over–age- 60 wrinkles, I quickly add, “about 300 years ago.”
O.K. It wasn’t really 300 years ago, but close enough. I went through infertility in the late 1970’s, right around the time of the birth of Louise Brown, the first person conceived through IVF. It was a long time ago and so much has changed in reproductive medicine since then.
I tell people that I have personally experienced infertility because there are some aspects of the experience that seem timeless. I want women (and men) who are currently struggling to build their families to know that although 30 years have passed, I can still remember what I was wearing, where I was standing and, surely, what I felt when my best friend told me she was pregnant. I can also remember when, about eight months later, I visited my friend and her daughter for the first time and burst into tears when the new parents briefly left the room.
a blog by mikki morrissette, Feb. 18, 2010
A recent question from a newly expectant mom on our Choice Moms discussion board erupted into a three-headed monster. A generally friendly monster, but a nerve-wracking one nonetheless.
The controversial issue? A woman learned that her soon-to-be-delivered child was a boy, not the girl she'd always imagined. She felt disappointment about the gender of her child. As a single woman with waning fertility, she knows this will potentially be her only child, and she was mourning the baby girl she might never have.
Not an uncommon reaction. Even though we work so hard to become parents, some of us envision bringing up a boy or a girl.
by Cindy Bailey of the Fertile Kitchen™, Feb. 16, 2010
There are some who are resistant to the idea of giving up dairy for their fertility, and I understand where that comes from. From day one we are taught to drink our milk! That we need milk to get our share of calcium and protein, to make us healthy and strong!
But here are some realities about drinking milk — and consuming the myriad of other dairy products, such as cheese, cottage cheese and artificially flavored yogurt — while trying to conceive. First, there are studies that link dairy to a decline in fertility. One to take note of is this review of a 1994 study which links age-related infertility with dairy.
In honor of Cindy Bailey's new Eating to Conceive column, we're giving away a gorgeous VitaClay Rice and Slow Cooker with a $140 value!
What sets the VitaClay line apart from other slow cookers and rice cookers is the all-natural liner made of unglazed Zisha clay. Not only does it enhance the full flavor and texture of food, it helps retain juices and nutrients and is free of the metals and chemicals typically found in glazes and non-stick coatings.
a blog by tori, Feb. 12, 2010
We're on a forced break from treatment and, the good news is, there's been one unexpected benefit: Our relationship is hot.
Let's face it, fertility treatments are hell on a marrriage, not to mention what they do to your sex life. You're either too hormonal to be interested in sex or too worried to "do it" because you’ve just had your procedure done. Or maybe you and your partner are just too down in the dumps to care about it. Sound familiar?
Well, I'm happy to report that over the last couple of weeks my husband and I have regained our semi-newlywed, mid-20’s sex life. We’ve also had lots of fun just flirting, laughing, watching movies, and playing games without worrying about the all encompassing, ever looming "treatment schedule."
We love Sarah because she is whip smart and funny without being maudlin. Dealing with several fertility issues, she's now looking to donor egg. Her thoughtful and always honest discussion of her experiences and the decisions that led to each step in treatment make this an incredibly useful blog for anyone going through a similar thought process around what to do next. Thank you Sarah for your great work!!
Dreams and False Alarms
What got you started blogging?
a blog by the editors, Feb. 11, 2010
Ok, I’m positively gushing! The moment we’ve all been waiting for has arrived!
FINALLY, a celebrity has stepped forward to talk honestly and openly about her struggles with infertility. Kudos to Celine Dion.
While, no doubt she’s uber-talented, I’ve never been a big fan. But that’s changed. I watched this clip of Celine on Oprah discussing her numerous IVFs (she’s getting ready for her fifth), her recent miscarriage and her secondary infertility (her son, Rene Charles is eight years old).