Sunday, March 29, 2009

No wonder people have no clue about Infertility!

I always wonder why people in the world have no clue about infertility or fertility treatments. I always chalked it up to ingorance or just stupidity, but now I am realizing that the reason the public is so stupid is because all the information they get about infertility is wrong! People get their information from television- we get news, sports scores, the latest realtity show, and also information about infertility. There are several TV shows and big screen movies that have dealt with infertility and not one so far has gotten it right.

1. Friends- Defiantley one oh my personal favorite shows of all time, and fertility was dealt with twice in two difference story lines with two different characters.
First was Phoebe- she went through IVF to be be a surrogate for her brother and carried and delievered triplets. Now in the eposide where the her brothers and his wives embroyos were transfered to Phoebe's uterus, minutes after the procedure Phoebe took a home pregnancy test and it was positive. Now that is SO not true- its takes about 2 weeks to find out if IVF was successful not 2 minutes.
Secondly was Chandler and Monica who tried to concieve unsuccessfully and met with a fertility specalist. They were told they needed to use a surrogate mother or use donor eggs- now that makes NO sence. If a woman needs a surrogate to carry her child then that means she can't carry it herself, becaue she has uterine issues- but then why would donor eggs be useful- it doesn't who's eggs you are using- if the uterus isn't getting the job done then donor eggs aren't going to help. Chandler and Monica went on to adopt twins in the season finale.

2. Sex and the City- AHHH- my personal favorite. Charlotte and Trey tried unsuccessful to concieve before meeting with Dr. Peck- it was determined after one round of tests that Charlotte had hostile cervical mucus and was attacking Trey's sperm- they were told to do IVF. Now hostile cervical mucus is really not that big of a deal and IUI usually will fix that problem. Charlotte and Trey were also told that they had a 15% chance of concieveing naturally, well a normal healthy couple has only a 15-20% every cycle- so that makes so sence either.
Also, Bitsy Vom Muffling who was married to Bobby Fien and was very old, over 45 years of age got pregnant with acupuncture- again acupuncture is great for overall health and fertility, but it won't get you pregnant at that age, good god nothing will, except maybe donor eggs or a surrogate!
In the Sex and City Movie- after Charlotte and her new husband Harry adopted Lily- Charlotte concieved naturally- Charlotte talked about how her OBGYN told her that most couples that adopt will get pregnant on their own. That is actually incorrect- and gives people the wrong idea.

3. And to round out the top three- the big screen blockbuster, Baby Mama starring Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. In this movie Tina Fey is desperate to have a baby- she enlists the help of a surrogate after several failed attempts to carry her own child. Amy Poehler plays the surrogate. In the movie Amy has Tina's embroyos tranfered into her uterus and then has sex with her husband, concieving her own child and not Tina's child. Well this is OH SO WRONG! There is no way that you can ovulate an egg when you are a surrogate- the only eggs that can implant at that time are the embroyos that are transferred to the uterus during the embroyo transfer. Again giving people wrong information.

I understand people that do not have to deal with fertilit treatments not knowing about things or even caring, however its important to know about what your friends and family are going through, so if you have someone you know going through fertility treatments try to educate yourself, ask questions and don't go off what you see on TV and in the movies, because I am yet to find one TV show or movie who actually portrays fertility treatments correctly. The closest would be on the Discovery Channel.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Trying to keep it all together!

Well, we are in the home stretch, in about a week and a half we will have our insurnace, which means that we can start our IVF cycle. I will start birth control pills when I start my period the first week of April, so its BCP's for about 3 weeks, about mid way through April I will start Lupron, to surpress my ovaries. Then after I am fully suppressed (checked almost daily with bloodwork) then I can start stims (which in my case is Follistim) daily injections to stimulate my ovaries to produce lots of eggs.
Then after about 12-14 days of Follistim and lots of ultrasounds to check follicle growth they will schedule me for the egg retreival. That is when they stick a big ass needle through my uterine wall and they asperiate each individual follicle to get the egg out. Then the eggs will be fertilitzed with John's sperm and will be put in the incubator to grown. In then in either 3 or 5 days they best embroyos will be put back into my uterus and will hopefully implant and I will finally be pregnant.
So I am going nuts waiting to get going! I feel like this entire process is waiting waiting and more waiting.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome

I got some very sad news the other day, one of my fellow nesties from, an online message board that I am a part of found out that she may be delivering her identical twins early at 23 weeks. They are suffering from twin to twin transfusion syndrome.
As a result of sharing a single placenta, the blood supplies of monochorionic twin fetuses can become connected, so that they share blood circulation: although each fetus uses its own portion of the placenta, the connecting blood vessels within the placenta allow blood to pass from one twin to the other. Depending on the number, type and direction of the interconnecting blood vessels (anastomoses), blood can be transferred disproportionately from one twin (the "donor") to the other (the "recipient"). The transfusion causes the donor twin to have decreased blood volume, retarding the donor's development and growth, and also decreased urinary output, leading to a lower than normal level of amniotic fluid (becoming oligohydramnios). The blood volume of the recipient twin is increased, which can strain the fetus's heart and eventually lead to heart failure, and also higher than normal urinary output, which can lead to excess amniotic fluid (becoming polyhydramnios).

My online friend had a surgery to try and fix the TTTS and they thought the surgery was a success, but a few weeks after having the surgery she started having problems. She is now in the hospital and is facing possibly delivering too early, she is almost 24 weeks. We need her to get to 24 weeks because that is considered the point of viability for the babies.

I am so sad for her! My heart is literally breaking for her. I feel like we go through so much to get pregnant and then we are faced with another hurdle. I swear I will not breath until I bring my baby home from the hospital. Please keep your prayers with my friend that her babies will make it.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Gotta love uneducated people!

Now, I know that one of my biggest issues is that I have absolutely no patience for stupid people, none, not an ounce. However, I do not expect everyone to be well educated about fertility, however I do expect people to not be ignorant. Espically people who know that John and I are going through fertility treatments.

Today I was speaking to two of my co workers, both who know me fairly well and know that we are having issues getting pregnant. So the girl starts talking about how retarded the octo mom is. Now we all know that is my favorite topic and I have such an opnion on the octo mom, much of which I have learned to keep to myself!

So I started to say that as much as I disagree with what the octo mom did, I do feel that we as a soceity do not know her circumstances or her diagnosis. Then I added on, I really feel that people who know nothing about fertility treatments or anything about what its like to go through them should not pass judgements on those going through them. I am sitting there talking to two people who both have no children and have never tried to have kids. So my feelings are that they have both get no opnion when it deals with infertility or fertility treatments.

I really dont think people think before they speak, here you are sitting next to someone who is getting ready to start IVF and you are talking about how horrible IVF is and how wrong it is. What people dont understand is that octo mom is one isolated incident that does not happen everyday, the chances of that happening is one in 10 million, one in 40 million- take your pick!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Final Countdown!

I bet you were all waiting for me to jump into a song by Asia, but no, that's my life, the FINAL COUNTDOWN to our insurance. We have officially gotten our sign up papers for our new insurance, which DA DA DA gives us $10K that we can use for fertility treatments. So IVF here we come. I am super duper excited, I am way pumped for something that is going to give us a 60% success rate, as opposed to a measly 15% shot with IUI.

I also feel less stressed because its being covered under our insurance, so its not like we are spending our life savings on this. But it is still a stressful time in my life, I want so badly for this to work on the first shot, but we are in for about 35 days of preparation for IVF so I need to take it one day at a time, and one shot at a time. But I do think I need to look into Yoga or something that I can do to keep myself calm.

Going through infertility is stressful, then add IVF into that mess and it gets really stressful. However it has been shown that there is no link between stress and the success of IVF.

Researchers in Swedan have assessed stress levels among women undergoing their first in vitro fertilization treatment and found similar pregnancy rates in women reporting high levels of anxiety and depression and women who did not.

"This is a positive message we can give our patients to help decrease their stress at this time," says researcher Lisbeth Anderheim, who is a midwife and PhD candidate at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The only variable linked to successfully achieving a pregnancy was the number of good-quality embryos transferred back into the uterus. Some studies have reported that acupuncture, which can help reduce stress, increases pregnancy success, I strongly suggest acupuncture, its my saving grace, I LOVE it!

IVF and other fertility procedures carry a certain level of stress that is unavoidable. But when that stress disrupts your daily life, it may be time to look into counseling.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What desperation leads to:

It has been in the news a lot, and has a lot of people talking, its IVF, In Vitro Fertilization. Because of our favorite mom, the octo mom, the ethics surrounding IVF has been tested and discussed in the news to no end. It is very easy for newscasters, writers, and american citizens to say that transferring 6 embroyos was irresponsible. Now, while I do not disagree with that and I feel that both octo mom and her doctor made a bad decision, I feel that until you are placed in that situation you cannot make comments or pass judgement. We do not know what octo mom's diagnosis is and what was stopping her from concieving on her own. No one is talking about the Duggars- and they have 18 children, but because they were all concieved naturally every turns a blind eye and tunes in every Tuesday night to watch their show, 18 Kids and Counting.

What people need to understand is that when you get to the IVF stage, its certainly not the first round of fertility treatments for most people, you are in a stage of desperation. You want to have a child so badly that you will do whatever it takes and pay whatever the cost. IVF is not cheap, the average cost of one IVF cycle is $13,000 and that does not include the medication that is necessary, which can cost thousands of dollars. Most fertility treatments and drugs are not covered under most insurance plans, unless you are lucky enough to live in a state that mandates fertility coverage by insurance companies. It is up to each individual employer if they want to cover fertility treatments.

So when a couple is looking at spending tens of thousands of dollars to have a child they may take more risks and allow their doctor to transfer more then one embroyo, now not 6, but certianly more then one, which does raise the risks of a multiple pregnancy. Most couples only have one shot at IVF, becasue of the cost- so they want to get the most bang for thier buck.

There are some cases where a doctor would transfer 6 embroyos, but its unlikely. Lets put it this way, the patient would be over 40 and have several failed IVF attempts. Transferring 6 embroyos is by no way the norm. The norm is usually 2 embroyos for someone under 35 and 3 for someone who is over 35. But again each patient is different, becasue each case is different.

You may have noticed that I have used the word transfer and not implant as it is been so used in the news. Its an embroyo transfer, not an embroyo implant. There is no guarantee that any of the embroyos will implant, they are simply transfered into the uterus in hopes that they will implant and grow into a healthy pregnancy.

So the next time that you start rattling on and on about fertility treatments, you may want to stop, because you do not know what you are talking about until you have been in those shoes.
I hate getting asked if I am going to have 8 babies because we are going through fertility treatments, I really want to scream when I hear that. People please get a clue!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

We can thank octo mom for new legislation!

Well, it has started, my worst fear! Federal legislation mandating the number of embryos that can be transferred. Now, its in the infant stages and its been started in the state of Georgia. This is all stemming from our lovely octo mom and her irresponsible doctor!

I agree that there should be some mandates on the transfer of embryo's, however it needs to be in conjunction with mandating the states to pay for IVF for couples. With only 12 states having mandating fertility coverage with insurance companies that leaves many states and couples out in the cold trying to figure out how to pay for IVF.

Just to care for the octuplets, born in January, it will cost the state of California millions of dollars in medical bills, not to mention the millions that will be spent to care for her other 6 children. This has scared the state of Georgia and they do not want this happening to them.

Senate Bill 169,sponsored by president pro-tempore Tommie Williams and several other Georgia legislators, would limit the number of embryos that may be transferred woman to a maximum of three for a woman age 40 or older and two for a woman younger than that. The bill would also limit the number of embryos created in one cycle to the number to be transferred.

Many IVF specialists feel this is wrong- in some women it makes more embryos to create a pregnancy, and this legislation could potentially hurt some women's chances to achieve pregnancy. It is not the governments right to dictate what a woman can do with her body. It's the choice of the couple or woman going through the procedure and their doctor to make decisions based on their diagnosis and their specific situation.

While I am advocate for fertility coverage in each and every state and I feel that states need to do what is necessary to help control the amount of high order multiples this is not the way to do it. The octo mom is an isolated incident, we need to have doctors who are responsible and ethical doing these procedures, we also need to educate the people that are going through the IVF procedure. Through education we will create educated consumers and smart patients who will make good decisions. The octo mom made a bad decision as did her doctor, not everyone should be punished because of her bad decisions.

Sunday, March 1, 2009