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Archive for April, 2012

Remembering “The Comeback Kid”

By David Kreiner MD, and Tracey Minella

April 30th, 2012 at 9:57 am

 

One of my favorite parts about writing and managing this blog is deciding what to share with you.

I like to mix it up here. Sometimes it’s doctors’ posts on medical breakthroughs in infertility care, other times it’s stories and tips from my own journey, and still other times it’s something related to current events which touch on infertility. And of course, we have our fun Nearly Wordless Wednesday (NWW) photo caption contests each week.

And then we have the rare and special posts. Like today.

Today is the last blogging day of the month, so it’s tradition for it to be “Just for Guys”. As I was wondering yesterday what to share with our guys out there, this gem came to me with a humble note attached: “Do you think this would be appropriate for the LIIVF blog?”

I’m sure you will all agree that this post from Dr. Kreiner, honoring his father on the first birthday since his passing…and its special and relevant message of hope for all the hopeful parents-to-be on their journeys…is beyond appropriate. It’s inspirational:

 Today would have been my father’s 88th birthday. 

 A Romanian immigrant (whose father died when he was two) lived in Europe without his mother for 4 years until she earned enough money to send for him.  Dad passed away nearly 6 months ago leaving his wife of 65 years and a legacy that included 3 sons (1 son passed away 10 years ago), 1 daughter, 4 daughters in law, a son in law, 18 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.

 He was a very unique man who taught by example.  He developed a special relationship with all of his children’s families.  He would often visit my home with a dozen of our favorite donuts, then cook his spaghetti and meatballs for us… that to this day my kids still rave about.  Interestingly, when I compared notes with my siblings they offered different memories of his visits to their homes.

 He would never forget a birthday or special occasion for any member of his family, whether through blood or marriage.  He only had kind words to say, offered help when needed or asked of him and never complained despite many times having much undeserved misfortune happen to him. 

 The first day of his retirement my mother suffered a ruptured cerebral aneurysm.  She survived, but after a second bleed (caused by accidental puncture of a cerebral vessel upon insertion of an intracranial catheter) became severely handicapped with almost total loss of her short term memory.  My father cared for her every day after that in the most tender, loving way possible.  He could be seen doing the New York Times crossword puzzles with her or watching TV game shows where they would jointly solve the puzzles, such as in the Wheel of Fortune.            

 A few years later my father was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a cancer with a 5 year prognosis of 20%.  He didn’t complain but he wished to see his 70th birthday and was concerned of course about my mother’s fate with him gone.  Life went on however and he continued every day to take care of my mother in that same tender loving way.  Grandchildren were born, married and some had children of their own.  He delighted in each joyful occasion though was quick to return home to care for mom. 

 Over the years my dad developed five more cancers, had two heart attacks and suffered from heart failure.  But the greatest tragedy that beset my father was the loss of his son whom he loved dearly.  Yet, life went on and he continued to take care of my mother daily personally seeing to her care 24 hours a day, every day.

 Six years ago, as my father developed congestive heart failure, he was no longer physically able to care for my mother so she moved into a nursing home five minutes from his house.  There he became a permanent fixture as the doting husband who would visit in the morning, sit with her throughout the day, do crossword puzzles with her, feed her meals and leave in the evening.

 A year ago, he visited me but appeared weaker than usual.  He nearly collapsed as he walked to the door on his way out.  Later that week we admitted him to the hospital.  He developed jaundice from liver failure, his kidneys failed and though surgery was recommended to save his life it was thought that he could not survive it.  Many of us said our goodbyes to him that day.  But once again, life went on.  He spontaneously recovered well enough to join mom at the nursing home where they resided together in the same room for the rest of his life.

 I mentioned that my father taught by example.  What I learned goes beyond what I can mention here now but some critical points to note.  Life’s challenges, whatever they may be, are no reason to give up hope even when the experts or the odds may suggest otherwise.  Be nice and respectful to everyone, but especially those closest to you for memories that will last a lifetime.  People are unique and worthy of their own special relationships.  Perhaps the biggest thing for me is when life knocks you down, get up and get back in the game.  You may need to adjust to different expectations but never stop living your life the way you wish to as long as you are physically able.  And there is nothing more precious than the love for your family. 

 Thank you, Dad.

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Guys: What lessons have you learned from your own fathers?

Ladies: What qualities in your partners do you think will make him/have made him a great dad?

 

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Miracle on Old Country Road

By David Kreiner MD

April 27th, 2012 at 10:21 pm

 

credit: wpclipart.com

 

For the ICLW visitors, and anyone else first finding the blog as a result of NIAW, I decided to pull out my very favorite old post of Dr. Kreiner’s, to give you a glimpse of the man behind the scrubs. Any infertility patient fortunate enough to conceive will be jealous of this patient’s luck.

Here’s Dr. Kreiner’s story:

I was feeling depressed the other day.  It seemed that we had insurmountable computer issues, staff morale was down and my family was acting rebellious.  My kids were arguing with each other, with me and I found myself mindlessly walking out of my office downOld Country Road.

I came to a busy intersection and just stood there as cars sped by me.  Honestly, at that moment in time I was thinking, why am I here?  Why put up with all the hard work at the office trying to make the practice viable despite the pressures of the recession?  Insurance companies were denying claims and when they were paying claims, it was at lower reimbursements that threatened to not compensate for our expenses.  The government was planning to lower reimbursements even more.  Patients, also experiencing financial difficulties were either asking for more breaks in the fees or not paying.  I have to admit I gave thought to giving it all up as the pain and aggravations were not worth the efforts.

Suddenly, a yellow Audi convertible came to a screeching stop right next to me.  It was one of my patients in the passenger seat sporting a very pregnant belly and apparently blowing through what I assumed was a labor pain.  Her husband spoke.  “Dr. Kreiner, Lara went into labor early this morning and we are on our way to the hospital to have the baby…can you come with us?”  Speechless and shocked, I let myself into the cramped backseat and tried to comprehend what was happening as Lara’s husband took off.

We pulled into the emergency room five minutes later.  Lara and I were taken to the labor floor while her husband dealt with the paperwork at the desk.  Nurses barked orders, the doctor was called, and Lara started screaming during her pains and in this laboring frenzy I was awakened from my funk.  It has been awhile since I was involved in a delivery but this baby was not waiting for the doctor and I got back into obstetrical mode, checking the baby’s position and heart rate and getting the anesthesiologist to administer the epidural.  Lara’s husband was now at her side assisting her with her breathing.

“Push Lara, push”, I yelled as I saw the baby’s head crowning.  She and her husband acted as if they had trained all pregnancy for this moment, working together as a team, his arm around her shoulders, breathing with her and supporting her back as she pushed.

Well, the doctor got there just before the baby was delivering.  I stood on the side watching this miraculous event…Lara and her husband together pushing the baby out of the same womb that I had implanted nine months earlier.  I remembered the image of showing Lara and her husband the photograph of the embryo and then watching on ultrasound as I injected the drop of media and air bubble containing the microscopic embryo into her uterus.  I thought how sweet life was and I smiled.

Moments later, Lara put baby Adam to breast, her husband a proud new father was beaming as he gave out chocolate cigars to the doctor and nurses and then came to me with tears in his eyes and said, “Thank you, so much Dr. Kreiner.  We could never have done this without you.”

What can I say?  It was as if my problems never existed.  I thought the only thing missing for me was to be with my family and appreciate what I have.  And what my wife and I have is truly amazing.  We have two lovely daughters and two sons, one a newlywed with a fantastic wife and another son who has the best wife and most gorgeous three children one can ever wish for.  Playing with them, having brunch and dinner with the family I love, I enjoyed a very Happy Passover.

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How do you feel about having to leave your fertility doctor once you get pregnant to go back to your OB/GYN? Do you wish your RE could deliver the baby?

 

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Infertility Podcast Series: Journey to the Crib: Chapter 6: Have You Had a Fertility Workup?

By David Kreiner MD

April 26th, 2012 at 9:16 pm

 

 Welcome to the Journey to the Crib Podcast.  We will have a blog discussion each week with each chapter.  This podcast covers Chapter Six: Have You Had a Fertility Workup? You, the listener, are invited to ask questions and make comments.  You can access the podcast here: http://podcast.eastcoastfertility.com/?p=43

 Have You Had A Fertility Workup?

 A fertility specialist called a Reproductive Endocrinologist, who has performed a three year fellowship training in IVF and infertility after an Obstetrics and Gynecology residency, will initiate the fertility workup by conducting a history and physical examination.  The exam includes a pelvic ultrasound of a woman’s uterus and ovaries to determine if there are any abnormalities that may affect implantation or pregnancy, as well as assess ovarian activity and the presence of endometriosis.

 Different causes of infertility will be tested.  The most common factor, that affecting the male, is easily tested with a semen analysis.  Tubal obstruction preventing a woman’s eggs from reaching the sperm can be ascertained by a hysterosalpingogram, a radiograph of the uterus and fallopian tubes performed after injecting radio-opaque contrast through the cervix.

 Other tests to better delineate problems in the uterine cavity may be performed such as a hydrosonogram, where water is injected through the cervix and the cavity inspected by vaginal sonography or with hysteroscopy, where a scope is placed through the cervix to directly inspect the uterine cavity.

 Blood tests may be performed to assess ovarian activity, in particular day 3 FSH and estradiol levels and AntiMullerian Hormone.  Prolactin and TSH levels are checked to rule out other hormonal disorders that may affect ovulation and fertility.

 Treatment can be directed at the cause of infertility, such as ovulation induction for women with ovulatory disorders or surgery to remove uterine polyps or it may be independent of the cause such as with ovarian stimulation and intrauterine insemination or IVF which will improve success rates regardless of the cause of infertility with some exceptions.  IUI will have limited success for tubal factor, male factor infertility and endometriosis.  IVF will have limited success in women who have diminished ovarian reserve or abnormal eggs unless they use eggs donated by young fertile women.  Today, there is a highly successful treatment available for all.

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Was this helpful in answering your questions about what to expect?

 Please share your thoughts about this podcast here.

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NWW Photo Caption Contest No. 17

By Tracey Minella

April 25th, 2012 at 9:48 pm

 

Anyone visiting from ICLW or elsewhere for the first time? Well you’re in for a treat. And you’ll want to come back each Wednesday for your chance at the prize.

It’s time for Nearly Wordless Wednesday. That’s our weekly wacky photo caption contest where anyone anywhere can enter to win by submitting a clever caption for the photo of the week. And what infertile couple, or generally stressed out person, can’t use a fun distraction once a week? Come on and play!

Each week, the winner gets a gift card. It’s our little thank you for playing our game.

This week’s contest winner will get a Starbucks gift card. Come on and play. Who wouldn’t want their favorite tall, vente, grande something or other? Win this contest and the gift card is yours to choose your favorite!

But first let’s announce last week’s winner: Jason! Congrats!

Remember the little girl in the corner with the scissors..and the curtain with the “dress-shaped” cut-out? Well, there were some cute captions, but we couldn’t resist Jason’s caption: “Who would’ve thought that letting her watch the Sound of Music would lead to this?” I guess she wanted some play clothes made from those curtains.

Jason, please email your address and the words “NWW Contest #16-McDonalds” to Lindsay at lmontello@liivf.com to claim your gift card.

Now, on to this week’s challenge.

Is this kid’s face funny or what? Such sass. I wonder who’s holding her and what was said that brought out the sass in this kid?

Give this photo a caption below on this blog. Since it’s National Infertility Awareness Week, extra points will go to the entries that have a fertility reference.

Best entry winner gets Starbucks on us! It’s a fast, fun and free contest open to anyone, whether infertile or not, and whether a patient of our practice or not.

Bookmark our blog or like us on Facebook and check back next week to see if you won and we’ll mail you your gift card.

Plus, if you “LIKE” us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/longislandivf , we may be able to send you the prize as an e-gift right through Facebook, depending on what this week’s prize is, so you could be enjoying your winnings as early as on the day we choose the winner! (And as much as we’d love you to “LIKE” us on Facebook, it is absolutely not required to either enter or win our contests! But did I mention we’d love it if you did ;-)

Enter today! Or at least before next Tuesday!

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Why not bookmark us so you remember to check back often…at least every Wednesday…so you don’t miss our NWW contests. And we also run bigger contests, too. Please feel free to suggest other fun places we could get gift cards from that you’d like to win as prizes for these fun contests or topics you’d like to see discussed on the blog. Now go enter the contest!

Photo credit: http://curiousphotos.blogspot.com/2010/01/failing-for-first-time.html

 

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Don’t Ignore Infertility Support Available

By Tracey Minella

April 24th, 2012 at 11:10 pm

 

There’s something wrong with me. I see infertile people.

As an infertility blogger and an IVF mom, my mission is to support the women still on their fertility journeys. To listen to them and, when the time is right, to share my own stories to give them strength to go on…or to let go.

And to remind them that their infertility journeys will come to an end. Someday. It may be the day a baby is born or adopted, or with an eventual decision to live child-free. But someday, all this stuff…the charting, injections, inseminations, blood work, retrievals, transfers, miscarriages, stillbirths, and two week waits…all the stuff that now makes up every moment of every day… will end. “Really”, I tell them. “Trust me”…

But I lied.

True, the infertility journey will end. But the infertility itself never goes away.

Most people don’t know that.

After six years… three IUIs, six fresh IVFs, a twin loss, OHSS, ovarian torsion, and countless other obstacles to happiness, then a seventh IVF, for two problematic, bed-rest, preterm labor, gestational diabetic pregnancies which each delivered 6 weeks early…I was sure I’d put infertility behind me. Shop’s closed. Time to let that little smokin’ piece of charcoal I call “my remaining ovary” rest in peace.

But infertility remains.

It’s like in those movies where people see dead people. Except I see infertile people.

It’s there in the faces of young married couples who have the careers, the houses, and the “fur babies”, but have no obvious reason not to have had children yet. The woman awkwardly avoids eye contact when someone unknowingly brings up children. Those of us who’ve been there see it. It is blindingly obvious—like infertile radar.

It’s there in our faces, too. It’s in the little nagging worries about whether the countless vials of injectable medications are going to come back to bite us some day, some way. Or in the resentment we feel about having children later…possibly a decade later…than fertile folks did– and the fear of having less energy to parent them the way they deserve, or of living long enough to see them settled.

I’ve seen division in the infertility world. Among the childless, you have the rookies and the veterans defined by the number of failed IVF cycles they’ve endured. Then you have the secondary infertility patients, often claiming to be resented by the childless for being “greedy” enough to come back for another child. Finally, you have the newly pregnant or newborn success stories– the envy of all. Harsh, but often true. The world can be ugly, and the infertile world is no exception. Self preservation prevails.

When a patient passes into the success story group, something wonderful happens to them. But something sad happens, too. They get the boot. Like some kind of graduation rite, the new moms get ejected from the ranks of the infertile. Their infertile former friends think they’re different now. They think they’re just like all the other fertile folks.

You have a baby now. You no longer understand us.

Are you reading this and saying “So what? Bring it on. Just let me get pregnant and kick me out! I can’t wait until infertility is over!”

It’s not so easy to be a woman without a country. You don’t fit in with your old infertile friends who are still trying to conceive, but you also don’t fit in with the fertile people who, by their words and actions, often take the ease with which they conceived for granted.

Enter one of the best kept secrets of the infertility world… the survivor’s guilt.

Infertility will always be part of you. Sorry. Even as you push your child on a park swing, you’ll be acutely aware of the sad, detached woman on the bench. You’ll always remember the date of your long-awaited positive pregnancy test and will often think of the waiting room and the people still waiting there. You may find you are far too overprotective of the child you worked so hard to have. That infertile radar is always on.  And your heart will hurt for those still struggling…even if they’ve forgotten you.

I blog about infertility for the doctors who didn’t give up on me when I wasn’t an easy case, or an easy patient, or truth be told, much help to their success stats. I blog for the doctors who built my family. For today’s patients and the patients yet to come. Some of the drug names have changed, but the stories are all relevant and the support is heartfelt.  It didn’t feel right to just turn my back and go on with my life after my journey ended.

Sadly, many IF bloggers gravitate only to blogs by women currently on their journeys. Of course, they are wonderful sources of support. But to overlook the value of informative commercial blogs or blogs by those whose journeys have ended is to overlook another source of support. (And you may just miss an opportunity to win a free Micro-IVF cycle, too.)

Don’t ignore the infertility support that is available from those who’ve walked a mile in your stirrups. Don’t shun us because you think we don’t understand you anymore. Don’t lump us in with the fertile people just because our journey has ended. Take advantage of the fact that we want to focus only on you.

We are here to help and support you. We will never forget. Don’t ignore us.

http://www.resolve.org/infertility101

http://www.resolve.org/national-infertility-awareness-week/about.html

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This year’s National Infertility Awareness Week theme is “Don’t Ignore Infertility…” How have you or others ignored it?

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Win a FREE Basic Micro-IVF Cycle in Long Island IVF’s “Extreme Family-Building Makeover” Contest!

By Tracey Minella

April 23rd, 2012 at 11:18 am

 

Long Island IVF kicked off National Infertility Awareness Week with another “Extreme Family-Building Makeover” Contest, where the Grand Prize is a free Micro-IVF cycle*, valued at $3,900.00!

 That’s right…one lucky woman will win the ultimate chance at starting or building her family. All from the practice that brought Long Island its very first IVF baby, first cryo baby, and first donor egg baby! Imagine it.

A prior free Micro-IVF contest winner tucks her baby boy into bed in Georgia! So winners can come from anywhere!

Will YOU be next?

Contest Rules are in this post!!! Enter essays right here or follow the instructions for video entries below!

At Long Island IVF, we’ve been building families every day since 1988. How many other fertility practices can boast that several of their medical and support staff were also previously infertility patients of their practice?! I’m just one of them! We totally “get it” when it comes to the emotional roller coaster you’re on. And we encourage you to check out our success rates.

You can enter the contest in two ways: (1) by an essay on our The Fertility Daily blog; and/or (2) by a video entry to our YouTube channel. All entries must be submitted in accordance with the rules herein in order to be eligible to win. So be sure to read to the very end of this post for all of the rules and details!

We are seeking out the most emotional or entertaining essays and home-made amateur videos, showing us why you need an Extreme Family-Building Makeover from Long Island IVF. Make us laugh with you or cry with you. Tell your story straight from the heart. No need to be Shakespeare or Spielberg. Just be you. And follow the rules, of course.

The contest will run from April 23, 2012 through August 26, 2012. Winner of the Grand Prize will be announced on September 4th… the day after Labor Day. If it’s geographically possible, you may even find out in person! Check out the video of Dr. Kreiner announcing last year’s winner at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ZT0bLI53B8I

Monthly Early Entry Incentives:

In addition to the Grand Prize, we will award a series of smaller prizes and/or gift cards, each valued at $20.00 or more, each month (in May, June , July and August) to the essay entry AND the video entry that gets the most comments. Being a monthly winner (or not) does not affect your ability to win the Grand Prize in any way as the Grand Prize will be chosen by a panel of Long Island IVF doctors and staff from among all essay and video entries submitted.

Monthly winners will be announced in the beginning of the following month. (So, look for the May winners in early June, the June winners in early July, etc.)  The Grand Prize winner of the free basic Micro-IVF cycle, valued at $3,900.00, will be announced right after “Labor Day”. All winners will be announced right here on TheFertilityDaily blog. And… depending on where the Grand Prize Winner lives… possibly in person!

It’s easy to enter:

For Essay Entries:

You must enter online (no mail-in or handwritten entries) by commenting/replying to this April 23, 2012 Contest post on TheFertilityDaily blog at http://blog.longislandivf.com/

  1. You can enter with your real name or a user name.
  2. There is no minimum or maximum words requirement as long as it fits as an online comment on the blog.
  3. The essay MUST include the words “Long Island IVF” at least once in the first 25 words, and must address what winning a free Micro-IVF cycle from LIIVF would mean to you.
  4. Do not include any video or photos or images with your essay entry.
  5. You may enter more than one essay or video.
  6. If you choose to do so, you may share your entry on your own social media platforms, but such sharing is NOT required for entry or participation or to win any early entry or Grand Prize.
  7. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by, or associated with Facebook.  All entrants or participants completely release Facebook for any claims. Participants are disclosing their entry information to LIIVF, not Facebook. You may not enter on LIIVF’s Facebook (since this is not a Facebook Contest). You must enter essay entries on the blog TheFertilityDaily (or for video entries, on YouTube as outlined herein).
  8. SEE ADDITIONAL RULES BELOW!

 

For Video Entries:

    1. Create a 3 min (MAX) video about why you deserve or what it would mean to win a free Micro –IVF cycle “Extreme Family Building Makeover” from Long Island IVF (video must be smaller than 2GB, and in accordance with You Tube accepted formats: WebM files, .MPEG4, 3GPP,  MOV files, .AVI, .MPEGPS, .WMV, .FLV – Please see YouTube.com for additional info).
    2. Your video must mention the words “Long Island IVF” at least twice if there are any words spoken, or alternatively, must legibly display the words “Long Island IVF” at least twice.
    3. Upload the video to your You Tube account. It’s easy and free! And be sure to name your video (Ex. “HopefulBaby”) prior to sending us the link. In the “Video Information” section, insert the name of the video in the “title” section; and then in the “description” section insert http://www.longislandivf.com; and finally in the “tags” section insert the following tags: “Micro-IVF”, “Long Island IVF”, “free Micro-IVF contest”. YOU MAY NOT CHANGE THE NAME OF YOUR VIDEO AFTER YOU SEND US THE LINK TO IT SO CHOOSE WISELY. (Note: if you already have gmail, you can use a gmail login, but your user name on youtube will be the same as your gmail account name so be warned that you may lose your anonymity if you do.) Really, just open the free account, click the “upload” button and browse for your file!
    4.  Send us the link for your video by email to: dankreiner@liivf.com, along with your name, address, and contact information, including phone number(s).
    5. After we pre-screen entries, we will then post the videos under “Favorites” on Long Island IVF’s You Tube channel at http://www.youtube.com/ecfertility, where you can share the video on your social media platforms (like Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and encourage your friends and family to view your submission–only if you want to. Sharing is NOT a requirement and doing so or not doing so will not affect your ability to win any early entry or Grand Prize herein. Note: You cannot enter by posting a video entry (or essay entry) on LIIVF’s Facebook since this is NOT a Facebook contest; BUT you are permitted to share your entry on your own social media platforms if you choose to do so.
    6. SEE ADDITIONAL RULES BELOW!

 

  IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE, HERE ARE THE REST OF THE CONTEST RULES:

      1. You must be 18 or over to enter.
      2. You do NOT have to be a current Long Island IVF patient to enter.
      3. If you have already won a free Micro-IVF cycle from Long Island IVF or East Coast Fertility in the past, you are ineligible to enter.
      4. You must enter by uploading your video or submitting your essay entry in accordance with the above rules for submission.
      5. You can name the video with your real name or some other video name, but once you send us the link, you can not change the video name. All entrants MUST email their names, addresses and contact phone numbers the time you submit an essay entry or at the time you email the link to your video entry or so we can contact you if we have questions or problems viewing your entry and so we can contact you if you ultimately win the Grand Prize. FAILURE TO PROVIDE US THIS INFORMATION UPON ENTERING THE CONTEST (AND UPDATING IT IF THE INFORMATION CHANGES DURING THE CONTEST) MAY RESULT IN DISQUALIFICATION OF YOUR ENTRY OR THE AWARDING OF YOUR PRIZE TO ANOTHER ENTRANT.
      6. Do not enter essays or videos on Facebook; if you do that, it will not be considered a valid entry. You may share them there only if you choose to do so, but may not enter them there. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by or associated with Facebook.
      7. All entries meeting the criteria herein will be considered for the Grand Prize and the monthly early incentive prizes. Monthly early incentive prizes for the months of May, June, July and August, will be awarded to the essay on the blog and the video on YouTube that gets the most feedback. Those winners will get a special prize or gift card valued at $20 or greater to be determined by LIIVF. In the event of a tie, or a lack of comments and/or activity, early incentive prize winners will be chosen by a LIIVF panel.
      8. Winner of the Grand Prize Free basic Micro-IVF cycle ($3,900.00 value) will be decided by a panel of LIIVF physicians and staff and the judges’ decisions are final. LIIVF reserves the right at any time to remove and/or disqualify any video(s) or essays with content that LIIVF, in its sole discretion, determines is inappropriate or offensive.
      9. The monthly early incentive prize winners, once announced, can either pick up their prizes or LIIVF will mail them. Failure to provide LIIVF with an address for mailing and an email address at the time of entry as outlined above may result in forfeiture of the prize.
      10. Winner of the Grand Prize Micro-IVF cycle must undergo the Micro-IVF procedure on or before December 31, 2012, unless LIIVF, in its sole discretion grants an extension of time to the winner in writing.   If the winner is or subsequently becomes pregnant at or after the announcement of the winning entry and prior to undergoing the Micro-IVF prize, she will forfeit the prize and LIIVF may award it to another eligible entrant.
      11. The Grand Prize is NOT transferable and may not be redeemed for cash value or for a credit against any other services rendered, past or future.
      12. *The Free Micro-IVF cycle is valued at $3,900.00 and is the basic Micro-IVF cycle offered by LIIVF. It covers the monitoring services of the LIIVF physicians and nurses for the duration of the cycle. It does NOT include the anesthesiologist, if needed, donor gametes, if needed, medications, cryopreservation, if applicable, required lab and screening tests, or other procedures, including but not limited to discretionary embryology services such as ICSI, assisted hatching, embryo glue, co-culture or other surgical or diagnostic procedures beyond the scope of the basic Micro-IVF program, if needed. The winner expressly understands and that these uncovered fees are payable prior to the commencement of treatment. It does not include any travel, lodging, food, or other such expenses.
      13. The LIIVF physician retains the right, based on a review of the winner’s particular medical condition and other related factors, to determine at any time from the initial visit through retrieval and/or transfer, that Micro-IVF is either not medically advisable to commence or, if already commenced, then not medically advisable to continue, in the winner’s case. The denial or cancellation of the Micro-IVF is in the sole discretion of the LIIVF physician, as the patient’s safety and compliance with screening guidelines are of utmost concern. In such a case, the winner understands that LIIVF is under no obligation to provide winner with any substitute prize, or monetary or any other compensation for time, out-of-pocket costs or disbursements or damages of any kind whatsoever.
      14. The grand prize winner must undergo all pre-requisite testing and screening, including physical and psychological testing, which is standard procedure for IVF patients in the ordinary course of LIIVF’s practice, prior to commencing the Micro-IVF cycle. It is possible that some (if not all) of this screening may be done through the winner’s hometown OBGYN, but as noted previously, it is the financial responsibility of the winner to undergo said testing.
      15. The grand prize winner must represent in writing at the time of the initial office visit to discuss commencing the free Micro-IVF cycle, that she does not currently have medical insurance coverage for IVF on any medical plan whether through herself, her partner or spouse, or her parent, or that if she does, the IVF allowance has been exhausted.
      16. By submitting an essay entry or by uploading your video and submitting a video link to LIIVF you represent that you have the full release and express written permission of all persons appearing therein (or their legal representatives or parents/guardians) to upload their video images and names to YouTube, the blog, the website, and/or social media platforms, and have their express written permission for the further distribution, publication, publicity, and use thereof by Long Island IVF , East Coast Fertility, and their agents in LIIVF’s and East Coast Fertility’s blogs, websites, forums, social media platforms, and marketing materials, without limitation and that you indemnify Long Island IVF, East Coast Fertility, and their agents from any violation of privacy or other claims by or on behalf of anyone depicted or appearing in or in any way connected to the video. You further release Facebook from all claims as well.
      17. By submitting an essay entry to the blog or a video entry to You Tube and its link to LIIVF, even by doing so with an unidentifiable name or anonymously, you expressly consent to its further distribution, publication, publicity, and use by Long Island IVF and East Coast Fertility and their agents in their blogs, websites, forums, social media platforms, and marketing materials, including use of your name and images, without limitation and that you indemnify Long Island IVF, East Coast Fertility and their agents from any violation of privacy or other claims by or on behalf of anyone depicted or appearing in or in any way connected to the video or essay. Your submission constitutes your full release. Further, you release Facebook from all claims as well.
      18. Long Island IVF is not responsible for any technical difficulties or malfunctions with respect to You Tube or any of the online sites on which video contest or essay contest entries can be submitted or are publicized on, whether or not same are in the ultimate control of LIIVF or East Coast Fertility.
      19. Further, LIIVF and ECF are not responsible if the identity of an entrant who attempts to enter anonymously is somehow revealed.
      20. It is the responsibility of the entrant to properly and successfully post an entry on You Tube and forward LIIVF the link thereto in a timely manner. Entries will be accepted beginning 12:01 am EST on Monday April 23, 2012 and end at 11:59 pm EST on Sunday, August 26, 2012. In addition, LIIVF reserves the right to modify the rules of the contest up until the Grand Prize is awarded.
      21.  All entrants understand and agree that their actual name (and possibly their likeness) will be revealed if they win the Grand Prize. (For the smaller monthly early incentive prizes, winners will be announced online by the names they chose to enter under, either user names or actual names.)
      22. In the event the Grand Prize winner is from the Long Island/Metropolitan area, the winner understands and accepts that a Long Island IVF physician may personally surprise the Grand Prize Winner at their home on the morning of September 4, 2012, and that said moment may be videotaped and distributed without limitation by LIIVF, its agents, or news media.

 Phew!! Glad all that stuff is over!

 So, now that you know what the contest is about, start sending in those essays and videos!

 Remember, be creative! For videos, you can use your regular selves, or consider make-up or costumes. Create a skit. Use family and friends as actors or to give testimonials on your behalf. Maybe use the kids in your life. Camera shy? Consider using nice footage and speaking from off-camera. The straight-forward tear-jerker works too. The possibilities are endless. Make us feel something.

 So lights, camera, action! Or start tapping that keyboard!

 The next family Long Island IVF builds may be yours!

 Good luck everyone! And if you have any issues entering your video or essay, let us know right here and we’ll try to help.

 We can’t wait to see what you’ll come up with!

HELPFUL HINT FOR ESSAY ENTRIES: Please take the time to gather and organize your thoughts and emotions. You may find it helpful to write your essay entry as a word doc, put it aside for a day or so, go back and review it (grammar and spell-check it) and make any changes or additions, then…when you’re happy with it…cut and paste it as a comment to this post. That way you put forth your very best and give yourself the best chance to win the substantial Grand Prize that we’re offering. You will also wind up with a beautiful keepsake to reflect upon (or hopefully show future children) what you felt and went through while trying to conceive.

 UPDATE SEPT.4, 2012: THE CONTEST IS CLOSED AND A WINNER HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED. THANKS TO ALL WHO ENTERED AND PLEASE FOLLOW THE BLOG FOR FUTURE CONTESTS.

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Infertility Podcast Series: Journey to the Crib: Chapter 5 Meet the Doctor

By David Kreiner MD

April 20th, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Welcome to the Journey to the Crib Podcast.  We will have a blog discussion each week with each chapter.  This podcast covers Chapter Five, Meet the Doctor. You, the listener, are invited to ask questions and make comments.  You can access the podcast here: http://podcast.eastcoastfertility.com/?p=39

Meet the Doctor

A woman’s desire to have children can be colossal, yet many are unable to take that first step to overcoming the impediments to their fertility.  Seeking assistance from a qualified reproductive endocrinologist whose sole focus and practice is on such issues will put affected individuals on the right path to achieving motherhood.

I have now, over my twenty seven years of infertility practice, experienced thousands of first encounters with infertility patients.  I know that those coming to see me have various degrees of past disappointments and frustrations and have suffered depression, anxiety and relationship problems because of it.  This presents quite a challenge to me as the physician encountering a patient in need for the first time. 

I have several goals that I strive to achieve in this first visit.  First, and perhaps most important is to get to know my patients and form a bond.  This would assist us as we work through our plan of treatment.  Email is a wonderful way for patients to communicate with their physicians and I encourage patients to ask questions and vent frustrations before they become a problem.

As it may be difficult to hear everything a physician says during this appointment, I recommend that patients bring with them their partner or some supportive individual who can serve as a second set of ears.  Since no patient will retain everything that is said to them, we hand patients a written treatment plan, offer information on our website and blog, and repeat information at subsequent visits.  Again, email is always available for questions.

This first visit is a critical step for a woman to take when she encounters difficulty conceiving.  Choosing the right doctor for you will set you on the right path.  It is essential that you select a fellowship trained Reproductive endocrinologist with whom you can communicate your problems.
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If you’ve gone, what was YOUR first visit to the Reproductive Endocrinologist like? If not, what’s holding you back?

Please share your thoughts about this podcast here.

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There’s Something BIG Coming Next Week…

By Tracey Minella

April 19th, 2012 at 9:19 pm

If you’re here for the podcast, waiting with baited breath to hear Dr. Kreiner’s fifth and latest chapter of his book, Journey to the Crib, you’ll have to check back tomorrow…sorry! But it’ll be worth the wait. I promise.

And speaking of things that are worth the wait…

We’ve got something HUGE planned for National Infertility Awareness Week next week.

You are not going to want to miss it, so be sure to check in here next week at The Fertility Daily. But it’d be mean of me not to at least hint about what’s coming. So, here’s the hint: It’s a contest. Its grand prize, worth almost $4,000.00, could be a life-changing dream come true.

That’s all I’m saying for now.

And to those of you checking in for April’s ICLW…WELCOME!!

So glad you stopped by and hope you like it here and come back often. We’ve got a mix of doctor and patient posts. You’ll find patient perspective pieces from me, a veteran IVF mom, with “battle scars” and stories to share. As they say, no one can understand what you’re going through unless they’ve walked a mile in your shoes. (Of course I’m paraphrasing.) Well, I’ve walked a thousand miles in them. In fact, I’ve worn them out. I’ve even crawled a few hundred miles. So I “get it”. If you comment, I will follow you back.

We’re here to make you laugh with our weekly Wednesday photo caption contests, to cry with you, to help guide you with tips and new information, wherever you are on your infertility journey. You’ll also have access to our doctors’ informative posts on the latest medical fertility news. Feel free to ask them your questions! Check out Dr. Kreiner’s weekly podcasts on Thursdays. Want to read a post on a certain topic? Just tell us and we’ll deliver. We also post links to our blog on the Long Island IVF Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/longislandivf

So, mark those calendars to check back next week when we celebrate National Infertility Awareness Week with the kick-off of an amazing contest!

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Anyone have any suggestions for the smaller prizes/gift cards we’ll be giving away in addition to the big mystery Grand Prize? (And, no, Paris is not an option…)

photo credit: http://www.wpclipart.com/cartoon/assorted/xtra_cartoons/telling_a_secret.jpg

 

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NWW Photo Caption Contest No. 16

By Tracey Minella

April 18th, 2012 at 10:36 pm

 

It’s time for Nearly Wordless Wednesday. That’s our weekly wacky photo caption contest where anyone anywhere can enter to win by submitting a clever caption for the photo of the week. And what infertile couple, or generally stressed out person, can’t use a fun distraction once a week? Come on and play!

Each week, the winner gets a gift card. It’s our little thank you for playing our game.

This week’s contest winner will get a McDonalds gift card. Come on and play. Mmmm. McDonald’s fries and shakes. Win this contest and the gift card is yours to choose your favorites from the golden arches!

But first let’s announce last week’s winner:  Casey 88! Congrats on your back-to-back win!

Remember the two women on the bench, one holding a baby and the other a swaddled pig? Well, the competition on this contest was really fierce, but we couldn’t resist Casey’s caption where the one with the pig says: “I knew I should have used LI IVF!” So hysterical!

Casey, please email your address and the words “NWW Contest #15-Starbucks” to Lindsay at lmontello@liivf.com to claim your gift card.

Now, on to this week’s challenge.

We’re all about building families at LI IVF, but sometimes the little ones get into trouble.

Give this photo a caption below on this blog. Make it either what the kid said to the parent or what the parent said to the kid.

Best entry winner gets McDonalds on us! It’s a fast, fun and free contest open to anyone, whether infertile or not, and whether a patient of our practice or not.

Bookmark our blog or like us on Facebook and check back next week to see if you won and we’ll mail you your gift card.

Plus, if you “LIKE” us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/longislandivf , we may be able to send you the prize as an e-gift right through Facebook, depending on what this week’s prize is, so you could be enjoying your winnings as early as on the day we choose the winner! (And as much as we’d love you to “LIKE” us on Facebook, it is absolutely not required to either enter or win our contests! But did I mention we’d love it if you did ;-)

Enter today! Or at least before next Tuesday!

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Why not bookmark us so you remember to check back often…at least every Wednesday…so you don’t miss our NWW contests. And we also run bigger contests, too. Please feel free to suggest other fun places we could get gift cards from that you’d like to win as prizes for these fun contests or topics you’d like to see discussed on the blog. Now go enter the contest!

Photo credit: http://curiousphotos.blogspot.com/2010/01/failing-for-first-time.html

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Long Island IVF Brings You Two Seminars in One Big Night!

By Tracey Minella

April 17th, 2012 at 4:53 pm

 

Having trouble getting pregnant? Thinking about Donor Egg? Curious about IVF?

Well, Long Island IVF has two seminars next Tuesday night which will answer all of your questions!

 DONOR EGG SEMINAR:

Learn how you can have a new beginning with Donor Egg! Hear presentations by Long Island IVF’s Dr. Steven Brenner, Donor Egg Nursing Coordinator, Victoria Loveland, R.N., and Donor Egg Program Director, Aviva Zigelman, L.C.S.W.

 Plus listen to a previously successful recipient who created her family using donor egg!

The great news is that there is no waiting list for egg donors at Long Island IVF. Pre-screened anonymous egg donors are ready to help you when you’re ready to choose this course of treatment. Or, your cycle can be coordinated with a donor of your choosing.

Relax and get your questions answered in a caring and supportive environment. Enjoy the refreshments. See if donor egg is right for you.

The Donor Egg Seminar takes place on Tuesday April 24, 2012 at 7:00 pm at Long Island IVF’s offices at 8 Corporate Center Drive, Melville, New York.

Everyone is welcome. Please RSVP by calling Susan at 631-881-5299, so we can order enough refreshments!

IVF INFORMATION SEMINAR:

Get all your questions about IVF answered in one place. Hear about all aspects of IVF from the medical, embryology, nursing, and psychologist team. Get financial questions answered and meet some key staff members who are committed to making your IVF journey run smoothly. Mingle with the Long Island IVF team! (Only the best outings are planned for Tuesday nights, you know!) Dr. Kreiner will be there leading it off.

Grab a friend and come down for some refreshments and an evening of education and cutting-edge fertility information.

Can’t get your friends to come with you? Well, you still have US…and we’re the best friends someone suffering from infertility could ask for…we understand AND can help!

As if that’s not enough…did I mention we’ll have cookies? That’s right. Cookies to snack on. It’s a party now.

Plus, after you’ve learned everything there is to know about IVF, you can have all your personal questions answered privately right after the speakers wrap up their quick presentations. And the best part is that you don’t even have to be a current patient to come! Just come in off the street. Have an early dinner and come over afterwards. Or swing by after work.

Have you been trying to conceive without success? Maybe suffered one or more miscarriages? Is your day 3 FSH in the stratosphere? Have other programs told you to give up?  Have they said you’re too heavy to conceive? Do you need info on grant programs and financing? Would you like to hear of contests where you could win great prizes like restaurant certificates and free or discounted infertility services? If so, you really need to come down and meet the some of our professional team.

Don’t you owe it to yourself to just check it out? When was the last time you could corner a RE and ask all your questions without them politely dashing out? For free.

IVF Information Seminar begins Tuesday,  April 24th at 6:30 pm at: LIIVF, 245 Newtown Rd., Suite 300, PLAINVIEW, New York 11803 Yes we’ve merged, but the sign here in PLAINVIEW may not yet be replaced and may still say “East Coast Fertility”)

 Please RSVP to Lindsay at 877-838-BABY

 We’ll be there ‘til the last question is asked and answered…or we run out of cookies…whichever comes first ;-) Be there.

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If you could ask any team member a question about Donor Egg or IVF, what would it be?

 Photo credit: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=10553&picture=young-couple&large=1

 

 

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