By Tracey Minella
November 27th, 2015 at 3:50 pm
The true die-hard Black Friday shoppers will likely miss this post until tomorrow…maybe even Monday. They will be rushing out from the Thanksgiving table…or forgoing the feast entirely. Maybe they’re camping out in parking lots all night waiting for the pre-dawn opening of stores for the Christmas shopping season’s official commencement.
I wish all of you good luck…and safety… as you brave the frenzied crowds and potentially deadly stampedes of bargain hunters in the excited challenge of power shopping. I’m more of a Cyber Monday kind of shopper… slippers, my computer, leftover pie, and Amazon Prime.
So on the biggest shopping day of the year, where are you headed and why?
Has infertility affected your holiday shopping?
Do you do the Black Friday thing because the cost of infertility treatment requires you to take advantage of those holiday shopping bargains? Are you cutting back or cutting out gifts because of treatment costs? Do you avoid toy stores because it’s too hard? Do you prefer online shopping? Or are you out there enjoying it all?
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Do you have any tips for others on how to make the most of their holiday shopping?
What Black Friday bargain was your proudest score of the day today?
Photo credit: iamnee/freedigital photos
By Tracey Minella
November 25th, 2015 at 3:27 pm
When we count life’s blessings this time of year, we often look first to family and friends. We’re thankful for our soulmates, spouses, and partners. And most of all, we’re thankful for any children we may have, especially if the road to parenthood was difficult.
This is often the time that many of our patients who have become parents with our help reach out to us with photo holiday cards or notes of thanks. And we love and appreciate each and every one. We also ache for our patients who are still on their journeys as we know how hard the holiday season can be.
We’re especially thankful for your recommendations of us to your family and friends who are struggling to conceive, and for your public votes of confidence in forums like the Best of Long Island contest. By nominating and voting Long Island IVF as the Best In-Vitro Fertility Practice, you not only help us, but you are assisting other couples struggling with infertility find direction on where to go for help.
If you are happy with your Long Island IVF experience, we’d be grateful if you would consider voting for us again this year for Best In-Vitro Fertility Practice in the Health & Wellness category, by going here: https://bestof.longislandpress.com/voting-open/ You can vote daily through December 15th.
The doctors and staff of Long Island IVF wish you all a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by those who support and love you. And we want you to know that we are grateful for your trust in choosing us to be part of your family-building plan. Thanks to you, we get to do what we love each day…make little miracles happen.
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What are your plans for Thanksgiving?
By Tracey Minella
November 23rd, 2015 at 10:58 am
Thanksgiving is upon us, and with it comes an expectation of reflection and gratitude for what we have and the implication that…whatever it is… it should be enough. We’re made to feel guilty for wanting more. But what if what we have just isn’t enough? What if something is missing that is so fundamental to our happiness that we have trouble finding gratitude?
Infertility puts a damper on most holidays in its own unique way. Mother’s and Father’s Days are obviously the worst. Halloween brings an onslaught of little kids to the door. Christmas and Chanukah without children is torture. Birthdays and New Year’s Day are reminders of another lost year.
But Thanksgiving doesn’t just bring sadness; it serves up a heaping portion of guilt, too.
If you’re lucky enough to have family and friends that know about your infertility and support you, then Thanksgiving is likely more bearable. Maybe even somewhat enjoyable. And if you dig down deep enough, you can feel some genuine gratitude. This was actually the reason Long Island IVF sponsored the first annual Coming Out Infertile Day on November 11th…so that those suffering infertility in silence could come out to their family and friends prior to the start of the stressful holiday season and get the support they need.
If you are still keeping your infertility secret, Thanksgiving may be an extra tough day. Extended families with lots to catch up on, gathered for long hours in close quarters…and some staying overnight…makes for stress in the best scenarios. But being captive at the crowded table, waiting for the inevitable nosy questions to start firing, and then trying to field them casually without breaking down is simply not conducive to feeling thankful.
It’s not too late to come out to them. You can do it in advance, or you can do it that day if the spirit moves you. You can do it in person, by letter, or can just tell the world in one social media post. We have sample scripts to help get that tough conversation going. [link] Infertility is hard enough; you do not have to suffer through another holiday season in silence. Check out Coming Out Infertile Day on Facebook for more info.
Whether you are “out” or private, as on any holiday, do what is best for you. Accept invitations that work for you and decline those that are too uncomfortable. Put yourself first. And above all else, do not feel guilty if the pain of your infertility is so overwhelming that you just don’t have the strength to dig far enough down to where your gratitude lies. It’s down there. And it’s going to resurface one day. Hopefully soon.
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How will you handle Thanksgiving? Have you told your family about your infertility, or do you plan to? How do you answer when asked when you’re going to have a baby?
image credit: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/agree-terms.php and watiporn
November 11th, 2015 at 8:30 am
Have you heard the news?
Long Island IVF wants to bring Infertility Awareness back to the headlines and help you relieve some stress before the holidays.
If you are suffering infertility in silence and are dreading another holiday season full of family gatherings, adorable children, and nosy personal questions…and you think you’re ready to come out to your family and friends, your boss, or the world…then join the movement today!!!
Two ways to do it:
Post your selfie with the custom graphic #ComingOutInfertile on the free app PicStitch in 4 super easy steps and share it on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter. Tell the world in one quick post! Details below.
Or if you need help with the decision or want to come out in a more controlled and limited way, join us for a Virtual Coming Out Infertile Workshop from 6:00 to 8:00 pm EST. This is not a live, in-person event, but rather a live on-line, call-in event! You can anonymously ask questions of our experts by calling in or logging on to an interactive live web meeting, get scripts to help you start those tough conversations, and get the support to come out in the way that works for you. Log in instructions for the event are below.
Bina Benisch MS, RN specializes in infertility support and will lead the meeting and provide psychological support. Bina is offering her time and counsel for informational purposes only, but her wisdom should not to be considered as medical advice.
Here is the log in info for the Virtual online event, accessible anonymously by either your computer or your phone (or you can do both):
Coming Out Infertile Virtual Online Workshop
When: Wed, Nov 11, 6:00 pm (2 hr) New York (Eastern Standard Time, GMT-05:00)
Where: WebEx Online
Host: Bina Benisch, MS, RN of Long Island IVF
Computer Link for Meeting Access on computer: URL:https://meetings.webex.com/collabs/#/meetings/detail?uuid=M8NFBHVFXITWLLH5XETQ42J7TH-VZ9P&rnd=801866.81169
Meeting Number: 199 383 003
On your computer, just click on the link and click join the meeting (ignore the part about setting up an account—no need to!). The system will ask for a display name and an email but you can make up both the display name and the email if you want to be anonymous. (i.e. email@example.com and it will let you in and will show you as “jane doe”. The benefit of joining the meeting on the computer instead of by phone is that you will be able to see the presenter and any slide presentations, and if you don’t want to talk, you can type in the chat.
Phone Meeting Access/Audio Connection:
United States of America US TOLL: +1-415-655-0001 Meeting Number 199 383 003
Just dial the phone, input the meeting number, and you will be added to the call.
Here is the social media Picstitch app instructions:
If you’re joining the social media campaign, we encourage you to do this any time of the day, all day long on November 11. Just add your selfie to our custom #ComingOutInfertile graphic and post on all your social media platforms—and tag us!
Here is the custom graphic to upload with your picture:
Here are the instructions on how to do it:
Thanks in advance for being part of this special movement! Here’s to not suffering through another holiday season with the secret and to getting the support you need and deserve.
If you can’t attend the virtual workshop but have questions, please post them below or on Facebook or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the meeting and we’ll try to address them during or after the meeting.
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Any questions? Post here or call in to the meeting tonight!
By Tracey Minella
November 2nd, 2015 at 3:28 pm
Is it me, or were there hardly any trick or treaters out this year?
I stocked up on extra bags of Butterfingers, Twizzlers, and even the trinkets for the goblins with food allergies (as the Teal Pumpkin Project advocated). Now it’s looking like I’ll be sporting a spider ring on every finger…and more than a few extra pounds…come Thanksgiving. Twix is the breakfast of champions, right?
Seriously though. Halloween is one of the toughest days of the year, and with it falling on a Saturday, it seemed like the extra hours of trick or treating time would just multiply the torture.
Do you hide away or go out to avoid being bombarded with children all day? Maybe leave a bowl of treats outside, hoping they won’t ring the bell at all? Or do you bravely grin and bear it, thinking of what costume you like best for your future baby?
Where have all the trick or treaters gone? Did you notice a drastic reduction? Is trick or treating becoming a lost tradition, replaced by home parties? Maybe the extended years of the economic recession has finally resulted in a noticeable decrease in the population of young children to replace the older ones who’ve “aged out” of tricks and treats. Or maybe there’s more of us infertile folks out there than we realize…
Speaking of that…Have you checked out Long Island IVF’s latest project? It’s called Coming Out Infertile Day and it will be an annual event, beginning on Nov 11th. It’s designed for those who are tired of keeping their infertility a secret and want to come out to family, friends, or even the world. We chose 11-11 since it represents the two lines we all want on a pregnancy test kit…and its right before the stressful, child-centered holiday season begins, with nosy and nagging questions. Join us for a live workshop or join the global social media movement that day and come out so you can get the support you need. Details are available on the Coming Out Infertile Day Facebook page, our website, or the blog here: http://bit.ly/1S6zJcZ
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Any thoughts on Halloween? What worked for you? What would you do differently? Did you have a lot of trick or treaters?
By Tracey Minella
November 1st, 2015 at 1:24 pm
Dr. David Kreiner, reproductive endocrinologist and co-founder of Long Island IVF, is excited to be presenting an interactive lecture and Q&A session on Fertility Preservation and Reproductive Options for the LGBT Community at the 20th Annual Long Island LGBT Conference.
The conference will be held at the Charles B. Wang Center at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York, on Tuesday, November 17th, from 8:30 am- 2:00 pm. The conference is sponsored by the LGBT Network and any questions or registration should be directed to them. Admission is free to SBU students and is available for $20-30 for other age groups.
Dr. Kreiner will introduce the medical options available to assist LGBT family-building with special emphasis on the importance on advance planning for fertility preservation. Topics will include: donor sperm insemination, in vitro fertilization, reciprocal IVF, use of gestational carriers, and also fertility preservation in the transgender community. The social, legal, financial, and medical issues will be discussed.
Reproductive options for lesbian couples will also be discussed. The limitations and the workup for women wishing to donate eggs and/or carry a pregnancy will be covered. The legal, medical and financial issues involved with surrogacy and gestational carriers for gay male couples will also be addressed. In addition, the fertility preservation options available to transgender people prior to transitioning will be covered. If you are…or love…a member of the LGBT community, you won’t want to miss this information–packed seminar.
Long Island IVF has been a supportive provider of assisted reproductive family-building services for the LGBT community for decades. We recognize that your needs and rights to parenthood are universal, but that the approach to your care and particular fertility obstacles is unique. Our staff, some of whom are members of the LGBT community themselves, is sensitive to your needs and eager to help you build your family.
If you would like to attend Dr. Kreiner’s lecture, please register by contacting the LGBT Network. http://bit.ly/1N77BrP
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Do you have any questions you would like Dr. Kreiner to address either before or at the lecture? If so, please comment below.
By Tracey Minella
October 23rd, 2015 at 10:40 am
Long Island IVF is proud to sponsor the first annual “Coming Out Infertile” Day on November 11, 2015 and a special workshop for those suffering from infertility.
Infertility is a devastating disease that affects 1 out of every 8 couples. In addition to the pain and fear that comes with this diagnosis, many couples feel the unwarranted stigma of shame and guilt. Consequently, they keep their infertility a secret.
They are often afraid…or don’t know how… to tell their families and friends (or their employers) that they are having trouble getting or staying pregnant and need treatment. So they suffer in silence. Often for many months or years.
Coming Out Infertile Day was conceived to encourage those suffering from infertility to “come out” to their families, friends, and/or employers if they feel ready to do so… and to help them with the tools they need to do so. And most importantly, to come out in a way that feels right for them.
The holiday season, with its focus on children and families, is a particularly hard time for infertile folks who are easy targets for nagging personal questions about baby-making plans.
What we wouldn’t give to have a pregnancy test kit with two lines on it. Which is why we chose 11-11 for this event.
Coming Out Infertile Day…seven months after National Infertility Awareness Week in April and right before the stress of the holidays…is a timely public reminder of the pain of infertility and a chance for those suffering to come out and get support.
Long Island IVF is offering a free Coming-Out Infertile Workshop on November 11, 2015 from 6-8 pm at its offices at 8 Corporate Center Drive, Melville, New York. Led by our own Mind-Body medicine expert and psychologist, Bina Benisch, MS, RN, who specializes in counseling infertility patients, attendees will be given the support they need to come out infertile in a manner that’s right for them. In addition to this group counseling, attendees will receive sample scripts and template letters to customize to help them. Are you ready to tell just your parents? Or your best friend? The whole family? Need to know how to break it to your boss? We can help.
Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. So, for those ready to fully and publicly come out, Workshop attendees will be able to be part of Coming Out Infertile Day’s social media campaign where you can easily upload and share your photo with the official #Comingoutinfertile hashtag and graphic on various social media platforms by using the easy and free app, PicStitch (available in ITunes App Store or Google Play). You do not have to be a Long Island IVF patient to participate. All are welcome and encouraged to be part of this historic global event!
Be with us virtually!! Those unable to attend can access scripts here:
On November 11th, everyone is encouraged to use the #ComingOutInfertile social media PicStitch app instructions here:
To copy the #ComingOutInfertile graphic for PicStitch, just save this image:
Like our Long Island IVF Facebook page and the Coming Out Infertile Day page to stay on top of this movement.
It’s time to end the stigma of infertility. It’s time to unburden yourself from the added weight of this secret and get the support you need. It’s time to #comeoutinfertile. Join us in person or on social media on 11-11. Be part of the movement no matter where you are in your infertility journey.
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What is holding you back from coming out infertile? Are you ready to join the #comingoutinfertile movement?
By David Kreiner MD
October 18th, 2015 at 12:58 pm
It was fitting that this year’s national infertility meeting, the ASRM was held in Baltimore, the city where the recently deceased Dr. Howard W. Jones Jr. first trained and rose to prominence in the field of reproductive medicine. In the 1950′s and during his career at Johns Hopkins, he was involved in the controversial biopsy of cervical cancer patient, Henrietta Lacks, which led to the most widely utilized and researched cell line of all time. Thereafter, he became an expert in genetic disorders and reproductive developmental issues that led to his opening the first transgender surgery clinic. Remarkably, however, “Dr. Howard” (as we students called him) is best known for work he performed after his retirement from Hopkins when he moved to Norfolk and started the first IVF clinic in the Western Hemisphere resulting in the birth of the country’s first IVF baby, Elizabeth Carr, in 1981.
My first ASRM (called the American Fertility Society at the time) meeting in 1983 was a showcase of this brand new technology of IVF despite a success of 10% in the best clinics. Reproductive surgery was still more successful than IVF so there were presentations by the premier microsurgeons, laparoscopists and hysteroscopists who were demonstrating the latest advances that were becoming available as instrumentation had improved and laser had become a tool of the reproductive surgeon. IVF was performed laparoscopically and ovarian stimulations were being performed with some variation of human menopausal gonadotropin, Pergonol, derived from the urine of menopausal women and Clomid.
In 2015, we reviewed the impact of social media in the opening presidential lecture urging members of the Reproductive Science community to spread the word about reproductive technology advances and utilize social media tools to educate the public.
In this meeting, it was now recognized that the LGBT community needed to become a special interest group within the ASRM with focus on alternative family-building that was available not just to lesbian couples but to gay male couples and transgenders.
With the successful fertilization and subsequent pregnancies achieved through egg freezing, fertility preservation for women undergoing cancer treatment, gender reassignment or aging prior to a time when they are ready for motherhood is now available. The technology of egg freezing thrusts upon women important new options to be considered (often on an urgent basis) when preparing for chemotherapy, radiation, hormone therapy or surgery… or simply before aging does irreversible damage to one’s fertility.
There was an Acupuncture symposium that presented research demonstrating improved success with IVF when utilized twice a week for at least 4-5 weeks prior to retrieval, before and after transfer. The use of the mild male hormone, DHEA, was discussed in yet another symposium as a potential benefit to patients with diminished ovarian reserve to optimize number of eggs and embryos and improve pregnancy rates.
Elective freezing of embryos to transfer in a non-stimulated cycle and embryo-banking combined with complete genomic sequencing of the embryos to selectively transfer only healthy embryos has demonstrated improved success of IVF. And aside from the increased cost and time involved, it appears to be the ideal approach to IVF today.
I think Dr. Howard would be happy with these developments in the field and the direction the society is going both towards a more efficient and safer treatment and to widening its scope to be inclusive of the LGBT community. Though typical of Dr. Howard, he always thought we could do more and better. Weeks before his death, he called my friend and former fellow, “Richard S”. He complemented him on his great work but complained to Richard that he wasn’t measuring some hormone or factor that Dr. Howard thought needed to be checked in Richard’s research…
We have come a long way in the 32 years that I have been active in ASRM. I’m proud that Long Island IVF has always been on the cutting edge of reproductive medical technology with programs and practices already existing for this year’s most popular ASRM topics, including social media, LGBT-focused and friendly alternative family-building, egg-freezing, complete genomic sequencing aka PGS (pre-embryo genetic screening), and acupuncture. Let it never be said that the work is done and that we are satisfied with the status quo. As Dr. Howard would say, “we could always do more and do better”.
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Have you considered using any of these latest technologies or programs in your family-building plans?
By Tracey Minella
October 15th, 2015 at 7:22 am
Perhaps the only thing harder to imagine living through besides infertility, would be the loss of a child.
Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day though October is the month dedicated to raising awareness of this inconceivable pain.
Many women undergoing infertility treatment are understandably so focused on just becoming pregnant, that they don’t even contemplate the possibility of a loss in the event they are successful. I think part of that mindset has to do with self-preservation during the infertility process.
Infertility is such a hard journey to endure that it’s only natural to tell yourself that getting pregnant is all you need to do to return to a happy and typical life. It’s only natural to think there could not possibly be anything else awful in the future. It’s only natural to believe this is the only roadblock and once you get pregnant, it’ll be smooth sailing. After all, how much heartache and pain could the universe lay at your feet? Surely infertility is more than enough grief for one person to bear. Right?
Well, while the majority of infertility patients who do conceive go on to enjoy uneventful and healthy pregnancies with happy outcomes, there are others who do not. They may suffer a miscarriage at any point during their pregnancy…even more than once… or lose a baby during or just after childbirth. They may also lose a child to illness or accident at any time before adulthood. It’s hard to even let your mind go there.
None of us are immune from the possibility of this unthinkable experience. Many of us push the thought away, believing no more misfortune will come our way…that we’ve paid our dues. Others may hover over their miracle babies, half believing their reality is a dream that could be taken away at any moment. I admit to being a tad overprotective of my IVF babies out of fears many of my friends don’t share. Ok, maybe more than a tad.
For those who have suffered such unspeakable losses and live in the Long Island area, Long Island IVF’s counselor/psychologist, Bina Benisch, can help. Please call the office if you’d like to make a private or group appointment with her. You don’t have to be a patient to do so.
But I’d also recommend a beautiful and supportive online community for all grieving mothers to check out. The young woman who maintains this site, CarlyMarie, lost her son Christian. Her site needs to be experienced to be believed. It is impossible to describe how powerfully healing her site is unless you see it yourself. Her beautiful photography and words and projects designed to help you heal are inspiring. Her website may be found at http://carlymarieprojectheal.com/. The image in this post is credited to her as well. And another helpful resource would be Still Standing OnLine Magazine at http://stillstandingmag.com/2012/09/parenting-on-earth-and-in-the-clouds/.
At 7pm tonight, all over the world, a Wave of Light movement is happening where bereaved parents are lighting candles in remberance of their lost babies and children. More information is available on CarlyMarie’s site.
If you or someone you know is suffering with the loss of a child, please pass this information along.
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If you’ve suffered the loss of a child and want to share your experience, or want to recommend a site or service that is helping you through the grief, please do so.
By Tracey Minella
October 6th, 2015 at 12:11 pm
Do you think you might need an egg donor in order to build your family…but have a lot of questions about the process? Then you won’t want to miss this exciting event!
On Tuesday, October 13, 2015, at 7:00 pm, Long Island IVF will host a free event that could potentially change the course of your family-building journey. Everything you could ever need to know about egg donation will be covered. It should last about 2 and a half hours.
There are many reasons women ultimately choose to use donor eggs to build their families. Women whose eggs have been compromised by advanced age, cancer treatment, poor general quality, or other factors, have many ways to build a family through the donor egg and donor embryo programs at Long Island IVF. For many of these women, a healthy egg is their only obstacle to pregnancy. Gay men wanting biological children also need donor eggs.
Admittedly, conceiving with donor eggs or embryos is rarely the first choice, but often is an acceptable alternative after weighing many personal physical, emotional, psychological, and financial considerations. Decades of happy moms agree that using donor eggs was the best decision they ever made. In fact, you can ask one yourself at the seminar as one of our successful recipient moms will be on hand to share her experience!
It’s okay if you may not be ready to act on all the information you’ll receive. You won’t be pressured in any way. We’re just here to offer information… and emotional support. So why not come out and just listen to our team discuss the many different egg and embryo donation options? Victoria Loveland, RN & Donor Egg Nursing Coordinator, Aviva Zigelman, LCSW & Donor Egg Program Director, Steven Brenner, MD, and other key members of our Donor Egg team will all be there to answer your questions, privately if you prefer.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised when we tell you about how affordable and stream-lined our programs can be, especially our embryo donation program. And how competitive the success rates can be, as well.
Long Island IVF offers several different egg donation options, including Sole Recipient Fresh Egg Donation, Shared Recipient Fresh Egg Donation, Frozen Egg Donation, and Frozen Embryo Donation cycles. Each option offers its own unique benefits, costs, and other considerations. We have young, healthy, pre-screened egg donors representing multiple ethnicities ready to help you build your family.
Take that first step, even if you’re hesitant. We look forward to seeing you and answering your questions about the exciting option of egg donation. Light refreshments will be served. Bring a friend.
Please RSVP to Debra Mathys at email@example.com and say you’ll be there, but walk-ins are always welcome. There is no cost to attend.
Location: Long Island IVF 8 Corporate Center Drive, Suite 101, Melville, NY
Date: Tuesday October 13, 2015
Time: 7:00 pm
LONG ISLAND IVF: WINNER “BEST IN VITRO FERTILITY PRACTICE” in the Long Island Press’s “Best of Long Island 2015″ contest. We are humbled and excited by the honor! Can we help you build your family as well?
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Will you be there? If you’d like to attend but can’t, please call anyway so we can make other arrangements.