Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Olympics are almost over

Note: Cross-posted on DespiteMotherhood

I have really enjoyed watching the Olympics. Abigail (Guli) claims they're boring, but then - she's 3 and she'd rather watch Richard Scarry's Best Learning Songs Video Ever (a great video really, but it doesn't outdo the Olympics, at least not for me - and BTW, what is that insane pricing???). I remember watching in the middle of the night, while feeding Matan and Lilach, in 1996 - with the time difference (7 hours earlier there) it worked out great. I am already waiting for 2012.

In the meantime, Gwendomama, who I met at the BlogHer party in Macy's awarded me a Kick-Ass Blogger award (yes, that's the one and only time you'll see that word in my blog, I'm sure, as it's not one I ever use...) So - first - thanks :-) My blogging has a long way to go, but I do believe it's going to get better someday soon...

In the tradition of such awards, I'm supposed to pass it on to 5 bloggers:

Kirby, who doesn't blog often enough, but, when she does, she makes up for it. She's expecting her first baby any day now and still joined us on a yarn-spinning, goat-milking, archeological tour on Wednesday. How amazing is that?

, who is a career mom and a very real person, one who's not afraid to say how she feels - even when it's far from easy.

Topcat who is a recovering addict, an infertility survivor and now dealing with her husband's cancer. And she's still got a sense of humor & plenty of attitude.

Doc Grumbles who grew up in a very screwed-up family that provides her with plenty of things to write about. And despite it all, she's so cool...

Sara who lives in Korea with her husband and daughter. I always look forward to reading her posts & I've particularly enjoyed the ones about life in Korea recently.

It's hard to stop at just 5... There are a lot of really great bloggers out there :-)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Discrimination includes infertility treatments

In the recent court decision reported in the Wall Street Journal, infertility treatments are regarded the same as pregnancy in terms of protecting women under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Although this is only true in 3 states so far, (Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin) it's definitely a step in the right direction.

When I came back to work after having my first daughter by IVF, my boss took me aside and said, "If you're planning on having any kids in the next 2 years, we don't want you back." It was a punch in the stomach, but I did get full compensation (it's automatic, if it's within a year after giving birth, here in Israel) and I was able to quickly find another job, but still...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mother - Daughter - Grandchild - Surrogacy

This article in Times Online talks about a mother who was a surrogate for her daughter and gave birth to her own grandchild. It's interesting that the strongest part of the article is the debate about surrogacy that the whole story has sparked in Japan.

There is, however, something wrong with the story - check out this paragraph, "Yesterday’s successful treatment involved the woman having her daughter’s already fertilized egg implanted in her womb. The entire family is understood to have agreed to undergo the process, despite its difficulties, because the woman’s daughter was born without ovaries..." OK, so I want to understand how, if she was born without ovaries, she had ova... (it also sounds as if the treatment took place yesterday, whereas the report was about a birth...)

Updated: I did manage to find this article that says the daughter has no uterus. That makes more sense...

Update from the post about a preemie miracle - sadly, the little girl died the next morning.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Preemie miracle

This story about a baby born yesterday in Nahariya, Israel. According to the story published in Hebrew, the woman went into the hospital for testing because she was having contractions. They decided to keep her overnight and at 1:30 am, she called her husband to say she was 5cm dilated and that they were taking her into the delivery room. Although she was at just 23 weeks, she refused to take any sort of medication because she wanted to give her baby (conceived after 3 miscarriages and fertility treatments) the best chance of survival... The baby was born and was pronounced stillborn. She was wrapped in several layers of sheets and placed in cooling, prior to burial... Five hours later, her mother felt she needed to say goodbye. The father went and brought the baby and unwrapped the sheets. And then she moved. And breathed. And even made a sound.

The baby is currently in the NICU and they are fighting for her life, but hopefully she has a chance.

You can see a picture of the baby here.

Monday, August 11, 2008

How lame can you get?

CNN published this article which they entitled "How to have a baby when it's not so simple". And then they proceed to give 5 easy (and foolproof) steps that instantly guarantee you'll have the baby of your dreams within 9 months. OK, not exactly.

An OPK? How lame is that? How many women who really have difficulty conceiving does that help? I sell OPKs and I always tell women that if they have regular cycles they should just skip it, unless they want to see the LH surge. I believe they only help when a woman has irregular cycles and is known to ovulate (I was one of these women, so - yes, they do exist). Proving to your doctor that you're trying during the right time of the month? If your doctor doesn't believe you, hey, just pull out some peesticks for proof. Why not?

And one other thing that really got to me - this article looks like it was written when I was first going through infertility nearly 18 years ago. Get with it. Ever heard about this new thing known as "the internet"? What about blogs? Websites? Forums?

Is there any piece of advice* that you'd give someone who's just realizing that it's taking too long?

*I recommend this article: Keeping your marriage together while going through infertility that my mom wrote for FertilityStories when it was still a brand new site. (Thanks again, Mom!)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Miracle Babies

This morning I saw photos and stories of 121 miracle babies on MSNBC.

Then again, all babies are miracles...

Monday, August 04, 2008

Back from BlogHer 08

In addition to having a new blog, I am busy trying to finish my seminar paper before I turn into a pumpkin sometime later this month. I actually finished all the research and am probably past halfway in the writing, but throw 4 kids (including a baby) who are home all day and some pretty bad jetlag into the equation and it's not really that trivial to find a few hours, which is why this blog has been so sorely neglected.

BlogHer was great. San Francisco is just beautiful. I'd never been to the west coast before at all and all I can say is I can't wait to go back. With Ohad, of course. Most of what I did get to see in San Francisco (aside from the conference hotel) was the inside of Old Navy and Ross... The way I got to BlogHer, both this year and last year is that Yedda*, which I've mentioned before, generously sponsored my trip, even though I don't work for them (how cool is that?).

Last year I was the only infertility blogger at BlogHer. This year, I no longer see myself as much as an infertility blogger, but I was ecstatic to see that infertility bloggers have found their place there. (You can see the session below - it is over an hour long, but I found it very interesting.)

I got to meet Pamela Jeanne, Mel, Monica Mingo (who warned me that her blog is "all over the place" - it is), Lori, Dana and others whose names I didn't catch. The fact that such a session was held this year means something to me. I can't even explain why - maybe just the fact that like losing weight, clearing out junk or bento boxes, infertility too is considered a legitimate thing to blog about.

The comment I made during the session had to do with Mel's question as to how to go about building bridges (link to the new blog Mel started about building bridges) between infertile and fertile people. I think I need to understand the purpose of the 'bridge' - is it to increase understanding? Is it to increase sensitivity? Is it to push decisions that will make health care (for infertility) more accessible? And the comment I made was basically, "Don't push people away, don't hate them for being fertile." The other side of it (the fertile side) seems to be awareness - be aware that other women may be trying to conceive unsuccessfully, that seeing your pregnant belly makes them yearn to be in your position, that hearing you complain about stretch marks makes you sound petty... If you experienced infertility - what would you want people to be more sensitive or understanding about? If you haven't experienced infertility, what do you think could help you understand it better?

*Yedda provides a free, easy-to-install question and answer widget for blogs & websites. They're also donating $10 to an infertility cause for every widget added from the conference link, making them that much cooler.