Thursday, June 10, 2010

Infertility hits TLC!

I am so happy to report that yet another reality show has decided to discuss the trials and tribulations of a couple trying to have a baby. The Little Couple follows the lives of newlyweds Bill Klein and Jennifer Arnold, who both have dwarfism. The series debuted on TLC in 2009. Jen is 3'2" and Bill is 4 feet tall. They are currently living in a rental home in Houston, Texas until construction of their new home is completed. Jen is a neonatologist who works at the Texas Children's Hospital, and Bill is a business owner.

They spent most of season two discuss how to start a family, adoption, surrogacy, or Jen carring the baby. It was determined after many tests that it was not in Jen's best interest to carry her child. After meeting with the Center for Surrogate Parenting, Inc.(CSP) in Encino, California, they decided to move forward with surrogacy. So far Bill and Jen have just started their testing to make sure that they are fertile and able to conceive a child.

I love the fact that IVF, surrogacy, and infertility is being discussed out in the media, it gives so many people hope that they are ways to create a family. I love watching the show every week and seeing where there journey is headed.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Should you potty train your infant?

Until today I had never heard of infant potty training the technical term is "elimination communication" or "natural infant hygiene." Infant potty training is the practice of introducing your baby to the toilet or potty at a very early age —usually between birth and 4 months.

Now, I have to admit this is the most insane thing to me, I cannot imagine trying to potty train my month old, good lord- she is only 5 months old. She is learning new things every day, do we really have to throw the potty into that mix?

Parents who do this usually do this to avoid diapers completely by racing their baby to the nearest bathroom whenever they anticipate a poop or pee. Others use diapers on and off. By 18 months, in most cases, their children have "graduated" — that is, they know when they have to use the toilet and get themselves there successfully.

Just a fun fact- the average baby boy in the United States gives up diapers at 39 months and the average girl at 36 months, according to a 2001 study by the Medical College of Wisconsin. (It typically takes eight to ten months for a child to go from complete reliance on diapers to being fully potty trained, the study found.)

While the notion of potty training a very young infant seems radical to many American parents, it's not a new idea. Before 1950, most children in the United States were toilet trained by 18 months. And today, most African, Asian, and European babies are trained well before their second birthday. The change in views is most likely from the invention of disposable diapers.

People claim that infant potty training strengthens the bond between parent and child because as a parent you are learning your child's cues and learning to be in tune with your child's needs. People claim that learning their bathroom cues is just as easy as learning their cues for being sleepy or hungry.

Now for everyone out there that is wondering how you can get started here are some basic ideas:

• Watch your baby and get to know their elimination patterns. When and how often does your baby go to the bathroom? Does he always go at a particular time of day — right after waking up, for example? Does he make any particular noises, gestures, or expressions when he has to go?

• When your baby makes one of his typical elimination signs, hold him gently over a toilet, a potty, or even a bucket or pot, which may better suit his tiny size.

• While he's relieving himself, make a noise that your baby will learn to associate with elimination (many parents use ssssss or some other water like sound; others use a word or phrase like "go potty").

• Repeat this sound or phrase whenever you see that your baby has to go, and also while he's going, so he'll learn to recognize it as a signal and connect his own impulses with the act of using the potty.

• When an accident happens, be matter-of-fact about it and stay relaxed. Advocate and mother of five Parise says your attitude helps your child stay relaxed about the process, too.

• During the nighttime, keep a potty right by the bed and put your baby on it before nursing or if he's restless during the night. Some advocates say that babies rarely pee or poop during a deep sleep and will usually become restless or give some sort of sign sufficient to wake a parent when they need to go — assuming that you're co-sleeping. (Other advocates say that using diapers at night is fine. Even self-proclaimed infant potty training "evangelist" Lynch admits, "In our house, sleep trumps pee.") If you opt to put your baby down sans diaper, place him on a waterproof mattress pad in case of an accident.

So I have thrown the idea out there- do what you want with it, I have to admit that I would never do this- I feel there is a reason that diapers were invented and I have much better things to do with my time then hold my child over a toilet ten times a day. I would much rather be cuddling with my baby or taking a walk with them then be hanging out in the bathroom with my child.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Congrats to Celine Dion!

After what seems like forever Celine Dion is finally getting her happy ending, it was just announced that she is 14 weeks pregnant with twins, concieved through her sixth IVF attempt. She had embryos that were frozen from several years ago. This is great news, and although she is in her 40's her embryos are in the 30's since they were frozen years ago.

This brings up a endless debate of "how old is too old to have children"? Now many would argue that women over the age of 40 should not be allowed to undergo fertility treatments, because this is just too old to have children. There is many arguments that vary from the medical risks for a 40 something year old woman to have a child are just not worth it, and then there is the fact that can a 40 something woman have the engery to keep us with her growing child.

Dr Sher of the Sher Institute discusses the medical risks involved with having a child: "Yes there are age-related medical risks and it is indisputable that pregnancy in older women is associated with increased risk to both mother and baby. Pregnancy-induced complications (e.g. preeclampsia, gestational diabetes intrauterine growth retardation, premature separation of the placenta, preterm delivery, low birth weight, dysfunctional labor and cesarean section ) are all far more likely to occur in older women. However, this risk can be lessened by in advance identifying those older women who are most predisposed to developing such complications."

In terms of women not being able to keep up with the growing childen, we as humans are living longer these days, many women are living well into their eighties. Yes, there may be some compromises involved with the physical activitis that children take part in, there are other benefits to being an older parent, more life experiences, knowledge, and wisdom- everything is a trade off.

I strongly disagree that a physican should be able to deny a patient fertility treatments because of age, this is down right discrimination. However it is the duty of that physican to advise of the potential risks so the patient can make an educated informed decision.

As someone who dealt with infertility until you have walked in these infertile shoes you can have no opnion. You do not know what it feels like to not be able to have children. For some being pregnant and experiencing child birth is very important, and for those people they will go to the end of the earth to have that experience, even it means countless IVF's. Hat's off to Celine and her family, prayers for healthy pregnancy and happy babies in the fall!