Monday, April 30, 2007

Infertility Control

I started reading this article by Deborah Kotz with a "prepare to be mad" attitude (if I can't help it, at least I admit it). I think the article is well-researched and has basically good things to say. Though the title is, "Couples fighting infertility might have more control than they think" it doesn't claim that making changes will help everyone, rather that in some cases, improving nutrition, stopping smoking, gaining or losing weight and doing moderate exercise (more for those who don't do it at all, less for those who are overdoing it) can have an effect, particularly when the infertility is unexplained. She provides simple biological explanations to support these claims, in addition to quoting research from several respected sources.

It was only when I got to the middle of the 3rd page that my blood started to boil a bit. I particularly didn't like this sentence, "For some infertile couples, a phone call to a travel agent seems to do the job." ARGHHHHHH... after that, it looked like she threw in all of the rest of the information she collected while researching the article and I could have lived without that data as well...

Overall, an interesting read, especially for women just starting their TTC journey or couples with unexplained infertility. The article also touches upon methods currently in use to alleviate stress while going through fertility treatments.

When going through my fertility treatments, I didn't use any additional techniques. If you did, what were they and did you feel they helped?

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Infertility Revisited

I wanted to share an article by Wendy Neilson about becoming a grandmother after infertility (her stepdaughter gave birth to a baby boy). I found it touching and I think the points she makes are important.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Shacking up & other news

I told my sister that I moved in with Ohad. She corrected me and said I'd 'shacked up' with him... She has the advantage of having lived in an English-speaking environment for far longer than I did. I, unfortunately, am stuck with the English of someone who left the US at 16 and decided to immerse herself in the new culture... language included. Anyway, back to the point... I finally decided that in order to get work done I needed to hire someone to care for Nomi some of the time. The allergist said it's too risky for her to be with other kids (she's allergic to milk, eggs, sesame seeds and almonds... so far), so it meant someone at home. My office, until yesterday, had been in the middle of the house - literally, a desk in between the kitchen and living room, with a view of most of the first floor of the house. Perfect for watching her crawl around while I check my spam email. I took over a corner of Ohad's (already scrunchy) office & now I can hide out here during those few hours a week when a babysitter comes to watch Nomi. Ohad and I have worked in the same office before & I'm actually finding it very nice. I would post a picture, but I don't think anyone would believe that my desk is the neat one (it is).

In other news, Mia sent in an update about her twins (born at 24 weeks) that will be posted later today (it's mostly good news, as she put it).

A good friend of mine who was misdiagnosed with PCOS and called me up one day to ask what a beta of 38 means (to which I answered - COME OVER & proceeded to give her peestick that showed a faint pink line) just started her 3rd trimester. In honor of that, I made her this shirt:


travelling with style I'm going to have a designer draw a better version and put in on a t-shirt that people can buy (maybe at cafepress, if their site revives itself).

Congratulations to Adrienne Domasin, who is the first woman in the United States to have a baby born from IVF using both frozen egg and frozen sperm.

Last, but certainly not least, Bea has posted information about the next IIFF - International Infertility Film Festival.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Barren Bitches Book Tour #3 - The Time Traveler's Wife

This is the first time I've joined the Barren Bitches Book Tour and to be honest, aside from reading Blink, The Time Traveler's Wife is the first book I've read in quite a while (actually, I didn't manage to finish the book in time, but I'm definitely hooked).

A few days ago, each participant received a list of questions - one question from each member of another group - and we were asked to choose & answer three questions. Here goes :-)

If you were able to communicate with a past or future version of yourself, how much would you tell them? How much would you want to know? Discuss how well you think Clare and Henry struck this balance, giving examples of points and ways in which they conveyed or withheld information.

I like the Henry and Clare's balance - with Henry keeping most things about Clare's future from her. Telling her that her mother dies from ovarian cancer, for example, seemed to alleviate her fears that something else might happen to her mother. Telling Henry, when he bounced back to the present while at mass, that everything was going to be OK and that no one would notice, also seemed like a stress reducer - without changing anything else. Knowing that she was going to marry Henry in the future, however, is something Clare probably would have been better off not knowing - she lost some of the mystery and excitement...

I think I wouldn't tell myself much, in my visits from the future, but my facial expressions would give it all away :-) Being an optimist, I always hoped that I would have a happy marriage (I had many miserable years in my first marriage) and I am glad that I didn't know how the change would come about. I don't mean that I was unhappy as a person, but I just got sick thinking I might end up growing old with the person I was married to... I only would have wanted to know about my first marriage if there had been something that I could have done to prevent it. Otherwise, knowing what it was like in advance would have made my future seem unbearable.

I learned both through infertility and life in general, that we can take a lot more than we think we can.

This is not exactly part of the question, but in many cases, when I read other people's blogs, I feel like a time traveler, as if I know the future. A part of me wants to say to women going through their first steps with infertility that it's all just part of the path they have to go through before they become moms... That they have to make it through this time and that there's a baby (or two, or more) waiting for them at the end.


In the "TTW" the main character can at times, know what happens in the future, even though he can't change it. In terms of infertility, I often wonder if I had been able to know what the end result of all this would be if I could be at peace with it, even if I couldn't change it. How do you feel about that? If you could know what was going to happen sometime in the future in regards to your IF would you choose to know and not be able to change it, or continue the way you are and get to that place unaware of the final destination?

If I had known that I would someday be a mom, I would definitely have been at peace with everything that came between that time and the time that I did... Despite the fact that it took 3 years of trying, testing and failing, I was very lucky and got pregnant with my 2nd IVF. I had an uneventful pregnancy my daughter was born when I was 24 (married 4-1/2 years) I would have liked a message from the future that someday I would have a child or children - not how or how many, but that someday I would hold a baby of my own. It would have taken away that horrible feeling that here I was, in my early 20's and I might never have a child. It might also have helped let me let go enough of my own feelings to be truly happy for my friends who had babies while I was struggling with the knowledge that it might never happen for me. (My doctors were very pessimistic.)

If you were to travel to emotionally important events and even play different roles in these events, such as Henry did throughout the book, which event(s) would you revisit? These events could be ones you'd want to revisit, or not.

My father had a sister who died of hepatitis, when she was 16 (my middle name, Sara, is after her). As soon as I understood this, I felt like I desperately wanted to be able to meet her. My father, who was 13 when she died, had a lot of trouble talking about her and I'm not sure I ever even saw a picture of her before I was 11. I remember looking through a notebook of hers from school (by then, my father had kept it for over 25 years) and wondering if she was like me, looking at her doodles on the sides of her notes and inspecting her handwriting, even more than the words she had written. It would be incredible to be able to meet her at that age - I've always felt that I lost something by not having met her... The only other part of the past I would be interested in visiting is Ohad (my husband) as a child. I can picture so well what he must have been like. I believe that, like Henry fell in love with Clare, I would fall in love with the small child too. It would be amazing to be able to tell our daughters what their dad was like as a kid.

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Hop along to another stop on this blog tour by visiting the main list at http://stirrup-queens.blogspot.com/. You can also sign up for the next book on this online book club: Waiting for Daisy by Peggy Orenstein.

Also feel free to visit FertilityStories - the web's largest collection of real infertility experiences.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Insane Cleaning Tip

OK, so I'm deep into this Passover cleaning thing. The weird thing is that I don't even hate it that much. It could be because the last two years were more intense (Abigail was born about 6 weeks before Passover, Nomi was born less than 3 weeks before) or just that I got things under better control this year (or maybe I just think that now because I'm forgetting bunches of things that still need to be done).

Anyway... as I cleaned my oven this morning, I discovered that a carrot peeler (carrot scraper?) is a great way to get the guck off of the oven racks. It was almost fun... (Or is that the caustic soda going to my brain?)

I'll be back with another posting about it later, but check out the IIFF International Infertility Film Festival - it's a must.