By Tracey Minella
January 18th, 2017 at 11:35 am
What if the idea of “doin’ it” just ain’t doin’ it for you?
Like a winter storm, battling infertility can beat a couple down over time. Hot on the heels of navigating the winter holidays without children and facing another New Year’s without the baby, is the coming pressure of Valentine’s Day and all its sexy hype.
Who needs a night of chocolates, flowers, satin sheets, and lacy lingerie when all you really want is a night of Dominoes® home delivery, spit-up soaked sweats, and colicky midnight feedings?
So how do you keep the passion in lovemaking even when baby-making is challenging?
Long Island IVF’s own psychologist and infertility specialist Bina Benisch, M.S., R.N. is hosting a workshop specifically designed to help infertile couples navigate the challenges of feeling sexual and loving and keeping their passion alive while battling infertility.
The free workshop will be held on Thursday night, January 26, 2017 at 6:30 pm at the Long Island IVF office at 8 Corporate Center Dr., Melville, New York.
All are welcome to attend—no need to be a patient of our practice. Can’t get your partner to come with you? Bring a friend or come alone. Pre-registration is required so secure your spot and sign up here now.
Let us help you dig out of the depression of scheduled sex, negativity, self-criticism, and fear and rekindle the romance and spontaneity that’s buried under that pile of negative pee sticks.
You love your partner and you are in this together. Let us help you reconnect…because reducing stress and rekindling romance can only help in the end.
Is that Dominoes® at the door?
We hope to see you there! Register today.
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Are you coming to the workshop? Do you have any specific questions or topics you’d like addressed at the workshop?
By Tracey Minella
January 17th, 2017 at 11:11 am
Long Island IVF held its 28th Annual Family Reunion event recently and celebrated a bumper crop of our newest babies and new parents! What an exceptional showing of cute little miracles and beaming moms and dads. It is without a doubt our favorite day of the year!
Why? Well, because the family reunion is when the doctors and staff get to meet the newest additions to the Long Island IVF family! The last time some of these babies were held, they were only a few cells in size! And the last time we saw most of these brave and determined parents-to-be was when we sent them off– newly-pregnant with a sonogram photo– to continue their pregnancy under the care of their obstetricians.
It’s such an emotional experience for doctors and patients alike. This year, about 150 of the newest babies came out. Maybe we’re biased, but they were all gorgeous! And their parents were bursting with smiles and pride…happiness and gratitude replacing the worry and stress of the past. A photographer captured the munchkins in a pumpkin patch scene and, with their thankful parents’ permission, you can view these cuties here.
We always wish we could see all of the babies and families we helped to create for the past 28 years, but we’d have needed a sports stadium!
Attending the family reunion is a goal many of our patients look forward to as they go through their treatment cycles. It also makes it easier to say good-bye at the last office visit knowing we’ll see many of them again to celebrate once their miracles are born.
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Have you been to a LIIVF family reunion? If so, what was the best part? If not yet, what part do you imagine would be the most fulfilling?
By Tracey Minella
January 16th, 2017 at 6:01 pm
As Americans celebrate the late, great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we usually remember his most famous quotation from his 1963 speech for racial equality.
“I Have a Dream…”
Those trying to conceive a baby live by these same words. They are the mantra of the suffering, infertile woman.
To be clear, infertility is not on the same “life-and-death” level as the civil rights movement. Yet there is no mistaking the parallels that do exist between the passion MLK Jr. felt for his cause and the passion infertile women feel for their quest for motherhood.
When you are infertile, you are ever-aware of a different unfairness and inequality in the world. How fertile couples take their fertility for granted. How others have what you’ve been denied. You suffer unimaginable pain and despair at what is effectively a denial of your right to the pursuit of happiness. And you passionately dream your dream…of a day when you will hold a baby in your arms.
MLK Jr.’s peaceful protesting of the injustices of segregation and racial inequality ultimately changed a nation. But for the infertile woman, there is no protest that can make that dream of motherhood come true. Sure, we can and must demand the government do more to help infertile women… such continually advocating for legislation mandating more comprehensive medical insurance for infertility treatment. But ultimately, your plight is based on individual circumstance, not oppression by others. New legislation may help financially, but it alone won’t guarantee you get pregnant. So how do you deal with the frustration over the situation? How do you keep your dream alive?
Dr. King…a spiritual man and motivational speaker…gave us more than that one famous quote. Here’s another one, which speaks to the heart of the infertile woman:
“Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
So when you remember the courage of this great man, think about becoming an advocate for political change that will advance the cause for infertile women. Keep the faith.
And never give up on your dream.
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How do you keep your dream alive? What’s the biggest obstacle?
By Tracey Minella
January 13th, 2017 at 11:54 pm
With so much riding on the outcome of an IVF cycle—emotionally and financially—savvy patients weigh all their options before jumping into such an important undertaking. There are several options that might be applicable, depending on a patient’s particular case, to “customize” a traditional IVF cycle, including ICSI, PGS/PGD, and other cutting edge medical procedures.
And now, there is something new—and old—that shows promise as well.
It’s an exclusive, yet very affordable, natural therapy that might help increase your chances of conceiving with IVF –even if you’ve had prior unsuccessful cycles. And this ancient, complementary therapy costs less than $200 per IVF cycle.
Long Island IVF… the practice that brought Long Island its first IVF baby, first Donor Egg baby and First baby from a cryopreserved embryo… is pleased to announce another major “first” on Long Island:
We are the first infertility practice with a Reproductive Endocrinologist who is also a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner and a NYS certified medical acupuncturist.
Motivated by a desire to find complementary holistic approaches to enhance today’s best Western medical technologies, Long Island IVF co-founder and REI, Dr. David Kreiner, went back to school to study TCM after over 30 years of making babies.
Dr. Kreiner is now applying that acupuncture training in the IVF procedure room, both pre- and post-IVF transfer–exclusively to all interested Long Island IVF patients. IVF patients… especially those for whom Western medicine alone has not yet produced a baby…may benefit from adding this ancient therapy.
Long Island IVF’s Acupuncture Program is hosting a free symposium with a panel of some of the region’s experts on fertility acupuncture to discuss topics related to improving IVF success with acupuncture.
Start the New Year off right by educating yourself on this topic and the difference it may make in IVF outcomes.
Don’t miss this special program on Thursday, January 19, 2017 from 7:00-8:30 pm at our Melville office at 8 Corporate Center Drive, Melville, New York. The seminar is free, but seating is limited, so pre-registration is required. Preregister here.
1- Western Medicine Approach to Infertility – Dr. David Kreiner, MD REI and NYS Certified Medical Acupuncturist, Long Island IVF
2- Improving IVF Success with Acupuncture – James Vitale, LAc,
3- Fertility Acupuncture to Improve Pregnancy Success with Western Fertility Treatments-Theresa Dragotto, Lac
4- Acupuncture, Herbs and Moxibustion to Increase IVF Success- Haoyue Lu, LAc
We look forward to seeing you there. Please contact Lindsay Montello, Patient Services, at 631-752-0606 or LMontello@liivf.com with any questions.
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Are you coming to the Acupuncture Symposium?
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Long Island IVF-WINNER: Best in Vitro Fertility Practice 2015 AND 2016
It is with humble yet excited hearts that we announce that Long Island IVF was voted the Best In Vitro Fertility Practice in the Best Of Long Island 2015 and 2016 contest…two years in a row!
The doctors, nurses, embryologists, and the rest of the Long Island IVF staff are so proud of this honor and so thankful to every one of you who took the time to vote. From the moms juggling LIIVF babies… to the dads coaching LIIVF teens…to the parents sending LIIVF adults off to college or down the aisles… to the LIIVF patients still on their journeys to parenthood who are confident in the care they’re receiving…we thank you all.
We love what we’ve gotten to do every day more than 28 years…build families. If you are having trouble conceiving, please call us. Many of our nurses and staff were also our patients, so we really do understand what you’re going through. And we’d like to help. 631-752-0606.
By Tracey Minella
December 29th, 2016 at 11:38 am
And so we move on toward yet another new year. Another supposed-to-be Happy New Year.
Holidays aren’t happy when you’re trying to conceive. They just aren’t. And sticking the word “happy” on them only adds to the stress. Isn’t it enough to have to face another year without a baby? Now you have to be “happy” too?
The passing of time is unsettling and the countdown to midnight on New Year’s Eve can be panic-inducing in a way that’s hard to describe. It’s like the world sees a regular clock and infertiles see a biological one. Clocks and other reminders of the passage of time are not welcome to many infertiles. How many of us have morphed into hermit couples over time? There is actually a pattern to it.
One year, you’re typical party-goers hoisting champagne at some big, loud gathering and confidently proclaiming to all within earshot “This year is the year we’re having a baby!”
Time passes. It’s New Year’s Eve again. The crowd you’re celebrating with has dwindled to a few close friends or family and the scene is more low-key. You trade in the bubbly for an alcohol-free toast because you’re doing everything you can to make that baby wish come true and maybe, just maybe, you’re even pregnant right now. You no longer say out loud that “This is the year”. You’re still hopeful, but uneasiness dampens your party spirit.
More time passes. It’s just the two of you now. You don’t want to be out with others. Maybe you’ve suffered losses or are frustrated by financial roadblocks to necessary fertility treatment. You’re depressed and are simply too exhausted to pretend you’re happy…especially when surrounded by people who don’t understand your totally understandable depression. You’re tired of saying “This will be the year” only to find another year goes by and you’re making the same wish over and over. Maybe you’re kicking yourself over all the years you did say it out loud or are just consumed with the thought that if you don’t get pregnant by March, you won’t have a baby in 2017 at all. Time is twisting your mind and manipulating each moment. You’re hope is dangerously depleted and you officially loathe New Year’s with all its shallow celebratory nonsense. Prolonged infertility has stolen your happiness.
It’s okay. It really is okay not to be happy on New Year’s. There are plenty of people who are down or are fearful of what lies ahead.
But it is not okay to lose hope. You need to keep hope alive. Nourish whatever bit is left. Breathe life back into it. Even if there is only a glimmer remaining. Find a way. Because your dream needs hope…and more…in order to come true. Depending on your circumstances, it may also need some combination of action, money and/or a miracle to come true.
So, from someone who ushered in about a decade of consecutive frustrating infertile New Year’s here’s some advice on how to make the best of a tough night.
- Don’t think of yourselves as alone. Remind yourself of why you chose and love this person and reconnect. Realize the power couple you are. You’ve been blessed with each other to get through this journey and, hard as it is, it’s making you stronger. When you finally do have a child, you will be ready for anything life throws your way. Take the night to make a written plan for 2017. What is the next step going to be? What do you need to get there? And how will you get it? Real steps. In writing. Make the plan.
- Acknowledge the elephant in the room…the baby that is not here yet. Instead of focusing on what’s missing, why not play a game? Similar to the movie “The Odd Life of Timothy Green”, you and your partner can brainstorm on the character traits you imagine your future baby will have. Boy or girl? Good at soccer or music? Quiet or loud? And so on. Positive visualization can do wonders. If you write it all down, safeguard it to look back on someday.
- Offer to babysit. For those up to it emotionally (and it’s okay not to be), consider offering to babysit for a friend’s baby or children overnight. You get a real taste of parenting and you get to help out a friend who may want to go out. When you have your own baby, maybe they’ll return the favor!
- Have a plan for an outing. If you are venturing out into the fertile, celebratory world you need a plan. If you’re with people who know you are trying, tell them up front that the topic is off limits tonight. If not, try to have a planned response ready for any possible nosy comments so you are not caught off guard. Have a secret “signal” with your partner that means “It’s time to leave…NOW!” Preparation is the best defense.
Wherever you are, kiss at the stroke of midnight. It’s the best way to enter the New Year. And it’s bound to fill your heart with hope.
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What are your plans and tips for New Year’s Eve?
By Tracey Minella
December 24th, 2016 at 9:37 pm
I was never very patient and infertility only made that worse.
At the risk of sounding like a spoiled child, I wanted what I wanted—a baby. And I wanted it, well, now. Actually, more like yesterday.
Why should I have to wait? I already did all those things I planned to do before starting a family. School. Career. Marriage. Wild newlywed life. Travel. House. Got off birth control and onto prenatal vitamins. Ditched the booze, briefs, fast food, hot tubs–basically all the fun stuff.
The pre-parenthood bucket list has been checked off. Hello, Universe? Let’s go already.
The winter holidays always make the impatience worse. Not my year to buy a Baby’s First Christmas ornament. Not my turn to drop a wailing infant into the lap of a creepy mall Santa. Not my moment to see two lines on the stick.
Just not my time. Again.
There’s the two week wait. Waiting on lines in stores. Waiting in the doctor’s office. Waiting for the ball to drop on another New Year’s without the baby. Again.
I’m sorry you have to wait. And I’m sorry your wait is longer than you expected—longer than you ever imagined. I know how hard it is to wait because my own wait took several years.
But I also know how worth the wait it can– and hopefully will–be once it’s finally over.
Wishing you peace and patience during once of the hardest weeks of waiting for your dreams to come true.
By Tracey Minella
December 17th, 2016 at 1:32 pm
Time flies when you’re having fun—or not. Ever notice how fast did your #1 holiday wish list item morphed from a bicycle into an IVF cycle?
With a price tag to challenge most budgets, IVF can be hard on a partner’s wallet. So if no one checked that item off your list this year, maybe thinking outside the box is in order.
1. Fertility Grants and Creative/Discounted IVF Payment Packages.
Long Island IVF offers many different payment options, bundle plans, IVF grants, DOH grants and exclusive Jade Foundation grant programs, and IVF share refund programs to help their patients with the financial end of their fertility journey. Like a guidance counselor helps a student, the staff is trained to guide you through the maze of available options when planning to finance your family-building plan. You may have more options than you realize. Check it out.
2. Free/Discounted IVF Opportunities.
As you may expect, these opportunities are hard to come by, but they are out there. Some contests allow winners to choose their own fertility clinic for treatment. We pass this information along as we find it, so it pays to follow our blog and like us on Facebook.
3. On-line Fertility Treatment Fundraiser.
If you are not keeping your infertility secret, this option is great for those with the right mix of friends and families…or faith in the kindness of strangers. Of course, some people you approach may be uncomfortable with the idea, so prepare yourself for the critics, too. But others are probably so happy to have a chance to help you. GoFundMe* crowd-funding accounts are wildly popular now among those hoping to raise funds for infertility treatment. In fact, some couples request contributions to these fertility treatment accounts in lieu of registering for traditional wedding or shower gifts.
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Have these suggestions been helpful? Do you have any suggestions to add? Have you tried or will you consider any of these tips?
*Disclaimer: Long Island IVF does not endorse this or any other fundraising site, and are providing this link for informational purposes only.
By Tracey Minella
December 5th, 2016 at 9:36 am
There’s a funny Christmas song that parodies “The Twelve Days of Christmas” called “The 12 Pains of Christmas”, by Bob Rivers. It starts out calm and as the verses go on repetitively, the frustration escalates. My favorite parts are the lines about rigging up the lights (“One goes out, they ALL GO OUT!”), facing my in-laws (“She’s a witch, I hate her!”) and sending Christmas cards (“I don’t even KNOW half these people!”).
But when you’re suffering from infertility, the holiday season is particularly hard and just about everything having to do with it is frustrating. It’s hard to be festive at office parties when that water you’re drinking is sure to prompt smirks or comments about the pregnancy your co-workers think you must be hiding. Maybe you don’t feel like decorating a tree or attending a cookie swap. The idea of facing the toy stores for the kids in your life’s wish list is simply daunting.
And don’t get me started on the cards. The photo cards. The perfect little baby photo cards. The deluge of pictures of families that flood the mailbox. Every. Single. Day. It hurts to receive them. And it hurts to have to send your own out without a baby photo on it—again.
And it hurts to feel guilt and sadness over feeling how you’re feeling.
So in a small attempt at levity, I propose the following song—an anthem if you will—“The 12 Pains of Christmas with Infertility”, set to the same tune as The 12 Days of Christmas:
The first pain of Christmas with Infertility is…
1- Hiding Your Infertility;
2- Pregnancy announcements;
3- Nosy in-laws’ questions;
4- Specimen collection;
5- FIVE GRAND IN MEDS!!!
6- Facing Toys R Us®;
7- Booze-free office parties;
8- One line on the pee stick;
9- Photo cards with babies;
10- Daily injections;
11- Hiding blood work bruises;
12- Aunt Flo comes to visit.
I’m offering you hope and humor, strength and peace this holiday season.
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What would you add to the list?
By Tracey Minella
November 18th, 2016 at 11:30 am
Even though the presidential election is over, there is still plenty of voting to do!
Long Island IVF is excited to announce that– thanks to your support–we have again been nominated “Best In Vitro Fertility Practice” in the Best of Long Island (“BOLI”) 2017 Contest. This year’s nomination comes after our practice WON the contest for the past two consecutive years!
Thank you to all of our patients and their families for nominating us in this public opinion-based contest again. Word-of-mouth recommendations have always been the cornerstone of our practice and we appreciate you taking a moment to cast a vote in our favor. Now that nominations are done, voting for a winner is underway.
Can we count on your votes to help us continue our reign for the upcoming year?
The voting period to determine the one ultimate winner in the “Best In Vitro Fertility Practice” is underway now and runs until December 15 and voters may cast one vote per day, per category, per IP address.
For those interested in voting for any of the many businesses or service providers who have been nominated, you may do so at: http://bestof.longislandpress.com/voting-open/ Find us under the Health & Wellness category, under “In-Vitro Fertility Practice”.
Again, thanks for nominating us. We love what we do… and love who we do it for!
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So how did YOU come to hear of Long Island IVF?
Was it a recommendation from friends or family? Your gynecologist? A print or radio ad? The internet? Research into our success rates and innovative programs? Something else? What brought you into the practice?
By Tracey Minella
November 8th, 2016 at 5:33 pm
Today, what feels like the longest, most controversial, and unprecedented presidential election campaign will finally come to an end. Sadly, and on a level not seen before, families and friendships have been broken over this election and we are all watching and holding our collective breath for the results as well as the potential aftermath.
But this post is not to persuade anyone on whom to choose. We each have issues that are important to us and, for some, the choice today may come down to which candidate supports our most important issue.
This post is to reflect on how the infertility community affects political change and public awareness of infertility.
Behind the scenes—and often center stage—countless people fight continuously for the rights of the infertility community. Some advocates are infertile right now; others may have already resolved their infertility but want to help those suffering today—and tomorrow. Some want to see certain groups, such as military veterans, get medical coverage for assisted reproductive technology. While others just want mandated infertility and adoption coverage for all.
There’s a lot going on in the political and infertile world—some front-burner and other back-burner movements.
A couple of months ago, after years of advocacy, the commonly-called #IVF4Vets bill, also known as MilCon-VA, was finally passed, removing the VA-bar on IVF treatment for veterans. This change is the first step toward providing IVF to military veterans who are infertile as a result of their military service. Unfortunately, it’s often one step forward and two steps back when it comes to gaining political ground. At practically the same time, what’s been coined the proposed Harris Embryo Amendment entered the picture. It’s also been called “the worst piece of federal legislation ever introduced”*.
The Harris Embryo Amendment would be a real threat to federally-funded IVF. In a nutshell, it would prohibit the federal funding of any IVF treatments in a federal government facility in which there is a possibility that any resulting viable embryo could be discarded or destroyed. Since excess embryos are not only commonplace in IVF, but generally an unavoidable result of the treatment, the mandated transfer of all fresh embryos would actually, in most cases, be detrimental, since the current standard practice is generally transferring only one or two embryos per cycle. In addition, the survival and use of all embryos thawed after cryopreservation cannot be guaranteed. So, the proposed amendment may threaten federally-funded IVF and cryopreservation as it now exists.
There have been other political initiatives in recent years on behalf of the infertile, including but not limited to the Family Act and the Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act. As assisted reproductive technology continues to advance and the demand for these services grows, we can expect to continue to advocate both for and against new legislation.
So, after this election—and maybe just a short break from the politics—consider becoming more involved in infertility-related advocacy and legislation. The first and best step would be to reach out the RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association—the group that fights tirelessly for the rights of the infertile community. (Thanks, RESOLVE!) You can check out the political initiatives here.
And if you are overcome with infertility-related sadness and stress as the holiday season is approaching, please let us help you.
In an effort to increase public awareness of infertility before the special stress of the winter holiday season hits those who are suffering in silence, Long Island IVF is sponsoring the second annual Coming Out Infertile Day with “The Reveal: A Coming Out Infertile Workshop” on November 17th from 6:30-8:00 pm at our Melville office.
This free workshop will be led by our own Mind-Body Medicine expert and psychologist, Bina Benisch, MS, RN, who specializes in counseling infertility patients and will focus on helping infertile people work through the obstacles that may be preventing them from coming out to their family and friends. The focus is to help those who would like to “come out” to do so in a way that’s right for them, so they can get the support they need. All are welcome. Pre- registration is required here. Like our Facebook page or Coming Out Infertile Day page for information on how to join the social media movement on Nov 17 to come out infertile with one easy graphic and one click-again for those who are ready to do so.
Now, go ahead and vote!
*Barbara Collura, RESOLVE