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Archive for August, 2012

Infertility Podcast Series: Journey to the Crib: Chapter 24: I Look Pretty Good in Scrubs

By David Kreiner, MD

August 31st, 2012 at 9:54 am

Welcome to the Journey to the Crib Podcast.  We will have a blog discussion each week with each chapter.  This podcast covers Chapter Twenty-Four: I Look Pretty Good in Scrubs. You, the listener, are invited to ask questions and make comments.  You can access the podcast here: http://podcast.longislandivf.com/?p=126 

I Look Pretty Good in Scrubs 

It is easy for an IVF partner, male or female to feel left out of the process.  After all, the IVF patient is the focus of all of the attention of the physicians and nurses, from the initial consultation and exam to the testing, ordering of medications, monitoring, etc.  

I have seen partners, who busy with their own jobs, appear to neglect their loved one who is going through IVF.  Unfortunately, partners are much needed for their support during this critical and stressful time. In some of the worst examples, I have seen relationships suffer as the IVF patient undergoes the entire process alone building resentment that can be difficult to overcome. 

I have also seen partners get involved by accompanying the patient for her office visits and procedures.  Many partners pride themselves with their new found skill in mixing hormonal medications and administering injections for their partners.  It helps those especially who are used to caring for their partners to be in control by administering the medication for them.  Whether it is the feeling of “playing doctor” or the knowledge that they are contributing significantly to the process, most people relate to me that giving their partners the injections was a positive experience for them and their relationship. 

The feeling can be euphoric when partners accompany the IVF patient to the embryo transfer.  Many women feel that at this moment… when the embryo is transferred into their womb… that they are pregnant.  Life may be starting here and it is a wonderful opportunity to share with your partner.  

I strongly recommend that you don those scrubs, hat and booties and join your partner as the physician transfers your embryo/s loaded from the laboratory dish by the embryologist. Watch on the ultrasound screen as he carefully releases the drop containing your embryo/s into her womb.  Inside that drop may be your baby in nine months. 

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Was this helpful in answering your questions about the partner’s role in IVF? Do you have an experience you’d like to share about going through IVF as a couple?

 Please share your thoughts about this podcast here. And ask any questions.

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NWW Photo Caption Contest No.35

By Tracey Minella

August 29th, 2012 at 10:54 pm

Nearly Wordless Wednesday is here! It’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. It’s getting cold outside already! What better time to trade in your iced coffee for something hot?  Win the contest and the gift card is yours!

But first let’s announce last week’s winner: Tiffany! Congrats! Remember the guy in the funny red suit with the long white beard trolling the aisles of Walmart? Sure looked like Santa to me. Well, we thought Tiffany’s caption: “Walmart’s the perfect place for Santa to add to his naughty list!” was the best of the week.

Tiffany, please email your address and the words “NWW Contest #34-Starbucks” to Lindsay at lmontello@liivf.com to claim your gift card.

Now on to this week’s challenge…

Give this photo a caption on the blog (since this is not a Facebook contest). Many of you are running to the beach this holiday weekend…maybe for the last time this summer. So we chose a beach scene. But it’s no ordinary beach scene.  

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 and check back next week to see if you won and we’ll mail you your gift card.

Plus, if you decide to “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! But we’re more than happy to mail it to you! (So as much as we’d love you to “LIKE” us on Facebook, it is absolutely not required to either enter or win our contests!)

*This is a blog-based contest. You may only enter it on the blog. 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. “Liking” LIIVF on Facebook is not required to enter or win.

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://www.happyplace.com/16425/most-absurd-things-tagged-in-bikini-photos-facebook-photobomb-funny

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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LIIVF Announces Fourth Early Entry Winner in Free Micro-IVF Contest!

By Tracey Minella

August 28th, 2012 at 11:48 am

It’s finally over. At midnight on Sunday night, the “Extreme Family-Building Makeover” Contest we launched during National Infertility Awareness Week in April came to a close.

Now all that’s left is choosing the Grand Prize winner of the Free Micro-IVF Cycle. A panel of LIIVF doctors and staff are carefully considering all entries, both video and essay, to make the difficult decision. The decision will be revealed one week from today…on the morning of September 4, 2012…right here on the blog.

If the winner is local, she may find out from one of the Long Island IVF doctors in person by a knock on the door. How exciting! So if you live on Long Island or in Brooklyn or Queens and haven’t already done so, please email Lindsay your home address (at her email address below). Don’t worry though. If the winner is local but is not home next Tuesday morning, she will not forfeit the prize. And as we indicated, you don’t need to be local to win. A prior winner from Georgia didn’t find out she’d won in person.

We know all the entrants are dying of the suspense. And we know we can’t really take your mind off the results. But we can provide a bit of distraction. First, by reminding you of our fun weekly photo caption contest, called Nearly Wordless Wednesday. Each week we put up a fun photo to caption and the person who submits the best entry wins a little gift card. It may be to Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts or McDonalds. Who knows? It only takes a minute to enter and you have all week to think of something since the contest is open until each Tuesday at midnight EST. So go over there now and try your luck.

The second way to distract you is to award the final early bird incentive prizes for entries received in August. Each month the essay and video entries that get the most “likes” and/or comments win an early entry incentive prize, or in the event of a tie, the prize is awarded at the discretion of LIIVF. Today’s prize is awarded based on August entries. August was a quiet month for video entries but many essay entries came in.

Congratulations to Valerie for her essay entry which had the most activity (i.e. comments/replies/likes) of all the August entries. Valerie, please email your full name and address to Lindsay at lmontello@liivf.com so we can send you your prize: a beautiful, hand-made fertility-themed necklace from Hoping Believing Waiting, identical or similar to this one.

Again, thank you all for sharing your stories. We hope getting your story out was therapeutic. An essay or video telling the story of your fertility journey will make a wonderful personal keepsake for the future, whether or not you win the Grand Prize.

We know it’s hard to wait. But at least it’s not a 2 week wait! Hang in there.

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What Armstrong/Aldrin and Kreiner/Kenigsberg Have in Common

By Tracey Minella

August 27th, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Many of you may be too young to remember the adventure of Apollo 11 and Neil Armstrong’s first step on the moon in the summer of ’69, beyond what your history textbooks tell you. I myself gave the historic moment only a few seconds of attention before rejoining more important kindergartener pursuits. But I do vaguely remember the sense of excitement and awe of the grownups gathered ‘round the 13 inch black and white television set. There was national as well as local pride as the lunar module built by Long Island’s Grumman Aerospace Corp. landed on the moon.

Only nine years later, the world’s first “test tube baby” Louise Brown was born. But in my household, news of her birth in 1978 was stifled by my parents who did not want to have to answer the reproductive questions of a young teen.

But I clearly remember my fascination as a young college kid when Elizabeth Carr, the first US IVF baby was born in December of 1981. She was a product of the Jones Institute in Virginia. [For some reason, that stuck in my head. A little mental note…”Got to go to Virginia for that if you ever need it”.] The story sparked much debate in the dorm. Little did I know then that I would need that technology myself… in another decade or so.

Lucky for me, I live on Long Island and was raised in Port Jefferson, the town where Jones Institute-trained Dr. Kreiner co-founded Long Island IVF with Dr. Kenigsberg in 1988. By the time I needed them in 1992, they’d already made history and brought Long Island its first IVF baby years earlier. No need for Virginia after all. Great doctors were literally in my own backyard! Like Armstrong and Aldrin, they were pioneers… not in space, but right here on Long Island.

So when I heard of Neil Armstrong’s passing on Saturday, and listened to the recounting of his place in history, and his famous quote, I couldn’t help but make some comparisons between the mystique of both the space program’s lunar landing and reproductive medicine’s “test tube babies”.

Both events had international impacts.  Both captivated the attention of the world audience, tapping into our emotions of shock, fear, and awe. Both boldly went where no man had gone before. Both could certainly be summed up in Armstrong’s quote: “One small leap for man. One giant leap for mankind.” What profoundly important advances of our time!

So, here’s to pioneers. Here’s to national heroes and role models. Thanks, Neil Armstrong.

And here’s to local family-building heroes as well.

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Where were you when Armstrong landed on the moon or when you heard the news of the first IVF baby’s birth?

Photo from NASA public domain//source: http://www.treehugger.com/clean-technology/neil-armstrong-first-man-moon-dead-82.html

 

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You Only Have Until THIS Sunday to Enter to Win a FREE Micro-IVF Cycle!

By Tracey Minella

August 24th, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Two days. Can you believe it? Just over 48 hours left before we stop accepting entries in our annual “Extreme Family-Building Makeover” Contest and begin the process of choosing the Grand Prize winner.

The excitement is killing me. I can’t even imagine how the entrants are feeling! And there’s still enough time for new entries to come in. So that’s exciting, too! Here’s the link to the contest: http://bit.ly/LHbmQR

I wonder who is out there right now pouring out their heart in an essay we haven’t read yet? Maybe there are ladies out there telling their stories on videos we haven’t seen yet. What beautiful keepsakes of infertility journeys are being created as we speak that could join the touching stories already entered?

This contest was created to give an infertile woman without fertility coverage (or who has exhausted her fertility coverage) a chance to start or expand her family through Micro-IVF. A chance she would not otherwise be able to afford. A chance at pregnancy and motherhood.

Entrants do not need to be patients of Long Island IVF. In fact, they don’t even need to live on Long Island… or in New York. It’s pretty much open to all ladies over 18 without fertility coverage as the rules detail.

For those who do not know Long Island IVF’s reputation, it’s the practice that brought Long Island its first IVF baby, first cryo baby, and first donor egg baby. It was co-founded in 1988 by Drs. Daniel Kenigsberg and David Kreiner, both of whom are partners today, 24 years later. They are joined by their partners, Drs. Steven Brenner and Joseph Pena, and three other talented reproductive endocrinologists, Drs. Kathleen Droesch, Sato Kuokkanen, and Michael Zinger in a commitment to “give back” by offering this opportunity for a free Micro-IVF cycle. More information about the practice, including the doctors, staff, programs, and services can be found on the Long Island IVF website. http://www.longislandivf.com/

This is the LAST CALL FOR ENTRIES. Please don’t let this opportunity pass you by without entering. Entrants have said that just telling their stories has been therapeutic whether they win or not. Please share this information with others you feel might benefit.

To those who have already entered this year thank you for sharing your infertility stories with us. And for those who haven’t yet entered, we’re waiting to hear your story…but we’ll only wait until midnight on Sunday. Good luck and baby dust to all.

 

 

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Infertility Podcast Series: Journey to the Crib: Chapter 23: Nominated for Best Supporting Role Is…

By David Kreiner MD

August 23rd, 2012 at 8:51 pm

Welcome to the Journey to the Crib Podcast.  We will have a blog discussion each week with each chapter.  This podcast covers Chapter Twenty-Three: Nominated for Best Supporting Role Is… You, the listener, are invited to ask questions and make comments.  You can access the podcast here: http://podcast.longislandivf.com/?p=122 

Nominated for Best Supporting Role Is… 

Superficially, the role of the male partner in IVF is to produce a semen specimen… at least in those cases not utilizing sperm from a donor. This is not trivial and in fact when the partner is unsuccessful the cycle is lost. For this reason, I recommend freezing a specimen before the retrieval that is available as back up. 

However, the male’s role can and should be much more than producing a specimen on the day of retrieval.  Those couples that appear to deal best with the stress of IVF are ones that do it together.  

Many men learn to give their partners injections.  It helps involve them in the efforts and give them some degree of power over the process. They can relate better to what their partners are doing and take pride in contributing towards the common goal of achieving a baby.  The more involved a partner is the more support that is felt by the patient which is not only good for her emotionally but also helps in getting accurate information and directions from the office. It also helps to solidify their relationship.  

My recommendation is for partners to be as involved as possible.  In their absence a surrogate such as a friend, sister, or mother is far better than dealing with the office visits and procedures alone. 

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Was this helpful in answering your questions about the partner’s role in IVF?

 LAST CALL TO ENTER!!! 3 DAYS LEFT!!!!

Are you aware that Long Island IVF is giving away a free basic Micro-IVF cycle, valued at $3,900.00? Check out the contest here: http://bit.ly/LHbmQR

 Please share your thoughts about this podcast here. And ask any questions.

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NWW Photo Caption Contest No.34

By Tracey Minella

August 22nd, 2012 at 9:24 pm

Nearly Wordless Wednesday is here! It’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. No one wants summer to end, but those yummy holiday special flavors will be returning soon. Will you trade in your frosty iced favorite for a steamy pumpkin latte? What will you choose?  Win the contest and the gift card is yours!

But first let’s announce last week’s winner: Jason! Congrats! Remember the chef putting little men into a big boiling pot? Well, we thought it was pretty clever that Jason came up with this caption: “New England is known for its Clam Chowder…Long Island for its “Man Chowder!”

Jason, please email your address and the words “NWW Contest #33-Dunkin Donuts” to Lindsay at lmontello@liivf.com to claim your gift card.

Now on to this week’s challenge…

Give this photo a caption on the blog (since this is not a Facebook contest). I don’t know about you, but it got me thinking that there’s only 16 weeks til Christmas! You can give this one a general caption, or tell us what’s on his shopping list.

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 and check back next week to see if you won and we’ll mail you your gift card.

Plus, if you decide to “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! But we’re more than happy to mail it to you! (So as much as we’d love you to “LIKE” us on Facebook, it is absolutely not required to either enter or win our contests!)

*This is a blog-based contest. You may only enter it on the blog. 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. “Liking” LIIVF on Facebook is not required to enter or win.

Enter today! Or at least before next Tuesday!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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://www.killmydaynow.com/2012/01/funny-people-shopping-in-walmart-part-56-30-pics.html/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Micro-IVF May Be Your Answer—and You Could Win a Free Cycle!!!

By David Kreiner MD, and Tracey Minella

August 21st, 2012 at 9:22 pm

credit:duron123/ freedigitalphotos.net

What better time than now to have Dr. Kreiner explain what Micro-IVF is all about!

Why? Because there are 5 days left to enter to win a FREE MICRO-IVF CYCLE FROM LIIVF! After you read all about the many benefits of Micro-IVF, I’m sure you’ll be excited enough to want to enter to win our annual contest.

Here’s the link for the contest: http://bit.ly/LHbmQR

Dr. Kreiner of Long Island IVF explains the process and who can benefit from it:

You’ve already crossed the bridge from “We’re going to get pregnant!” to “We need help…” But this other side looks filled with more obstacles, including expensive and risky fertility medications.

How far do you have to go just to have a baby?

Micro-IVF (sometimes called mini-IVF) may be your answer.

The primary point of MicroIVF: fewer fertility drugs, less cost.

Plus you get additional benefits: decreased chances of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome and of multiple pregnancies.

Additionally, Long Island IVF patients who choose MicroIVF can increase their savings if they also use our Single Embryo Transfer Program — embryo freezing, storage, and future frozen embryo transfers are free.

Why go Micro?

I learned long ago that pregnancies of twins, triplets, and more can bring heartache to what should be a joyous journey for fertility patients. So the LIIVF team has dedicated our practice to the achievement of safe, healthy pregnancies.

IUI or IVF?

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is often considered the first order of business for many infertility patients.

Sometimes called “artificial insemination,” the usual protocol — oral and injectable fertility medications to induce superovulation (of more than one egg in a cycle), followed by insemination via exam room procedure — is believed to be simpler and, therefore, less costly than IVF.

That’s just not true any longer.

The facts now are that success rates can be far better for IVF than for IUI, depending on the individual’s or couple’s cause of infertility. Many women undergo several IUI’s before achieving conception.

Some infertility causes — pelvic adhesions/scarring, blocked fallopian tubes, endometriosis, and severe male factor issues — will not respond to IUI but are treatable with IVF.

Even patients who would otherwise try IUI to get pregnant will find that choosing Micro-IVF can result in cost savings and greater safety:

Micro-IVF fee (current as of August 2012): $3900

ICSI (if required): $2000

Anesthesia (as requested): $550

IUI with hormone injections: $3500 to $4500

Is Micro-IVF right for you? Each patient’s case is considered carefully and individually.

The following are conditions that might respond best to Micro-IVF:

Young healthy women with PCOS or who otherwise produce many follicles

Women with pelvic adhesions or scarring, blocked fallopian tubes, or endometriosis

Couples with severe male factor infertility

Micro-IVF really is a case of a little treatment going a long way! With it, you can access the world’s most successful assisted reproductive technology at far less cost.

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So, are you excited or interested in learning if you are a good candidate? Why not enter our contest before it ends this Sunday?

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5 Ways to Protect Your Fertility from Environmental Toxins

By Tracey Minella

August 20th, 2012 at 1:41 pm

credit: Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot /freedigitalphotos.net

 

 

You never know what dangers may be lurking in the environment.

I grew up in the 70’s in a typical suburban American neighborhood of parallel tree-lined streets with houses on each side of the road. My street was the last one in the development… and the houses on my side of the street didn’t have other houses behind them. So, we had the premium lots. Dad said we paid more for them. No neighbors to deal with behind us. Just lots and lots of lush, never-to-be-developed-or-sold land. A right-of-way for the utility company. In fact, with all those tall, thick green trees, you could hardly even notice those giant electrical wires looming in the distance.

I lived in that house from just after birth until I was ten. My little group of grammar school friends and I played for countless hours in the woods below those wires in the days before organized play-dates. We played hide and seek, marked trails, and went sledding. We even had picnics on the huge, discarded wooden “spools” that the wires had been rolled in on. We’d stay out until our moms called us in for dinner.

Fast forward a couple decades to a grammar school reunion, where rumors over time get confirmed and puzzles sometimes come together…

You’ll be amazed to hear what happened to some of the kids from my neighborhood. Kids who all lived within a two block area of each other.

“Dee” was diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer. “Peg” adopted after having had countless miscarriages despite medical intervention. “Jan” could not get pregnant and never had children. “Penny” could not get pregnant and never had children. “Ron” and his wife had a child with autism. And then there was me, who also could not get pregnant. I’d had a miscarriage after IVF and another four failed IVFs before I finally had my two children…one with autism. It’s interesting to note that Ron and I, with no family histories of autism, lived in the “premium” lots– closest to those wires. And that’s only what we know of from this small sampling of the Catholic school neighborhood kids at this reunion. What if the majority of the neighborhood…the public school kids…had similar stories?

Coincidence?

We can’t turn back the clock, biological or otherwise. And we can’t always pinpoint the causes of our infertility or health concerns, no matter how many fingers may point at a particular suspected factor.

However, there are studies indicating real relationships between environmental toxins and infertility in both men and women. Toxins can affect a woman’s egg quality and the number of eggs she produces, and can negatively impact implantation of embryos.* In men, toxins can lower sperm count, motility and morphology (shape).**

There are things you can do today to try to minimize or eliminate the effect of some environmental factors on your fertility and possibly on your future children’s health.

Here’s five helpful hints to help protect your fertility:

  1. Avoid bad plastics, like BPA, which have been proven to disrupt the functioning of reproductive hormones. Some common sources are water bottles, the lining of canned foods, and even register receipts!
  2. Eat organic. “You are what you eat” is true, so avoid hormone-enhanced, pesticide-covered meats, dairy, fruits and vegetables.
  3. Use “green” household cleaners, or make your own from inexpensive ingredients like vinegar and baking soda. There are “recipes” on the internet.
  4. Take precautions or avoid prolonged direct exposure to known or suspected environmental hazards such as cell phones and other radiation-emitting devices, utility poles and wires, pesticides, volatile compound (VOC) paints and solvents. For the men, avoid sources of testicular heat including hot tubs, laptops on the lap, or jobs requiring close proximity to hot ovens.
  5. Be vigilant. Before you put it in you or on you, be sure it’s safe or healthy. Not just the obvious things like alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and excessive caffeine. Fragrances, personal care products and certain dental fillings are some other potentially harmful items.

Following these suggestions isn’t a guarantee of fertility, of course, but rather a recipe for general fertile-focused wellness. So, make the best and most healthful choices you can. Control what you can. Use common sense. Listen to that voice in your head if you’re uncomfortable about a situation that may impact your health. Err on the side of caution.

And think twice before buying that premium lot…

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When YOU look back on choices you made or circumstances in your past are there any factors you now think may have played a part in your infertility?

 

* http://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(10)02794-9/abstract

** http://www.ourstolenfuture.org/newscience/reproduction/sperm/2003/2003-0519dutyetal.htm

 

 

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Infertility and the Irony of Birth Control

By Tracey Minella

August 18th, 2012 at 9:14 pm

credit: brandon sigma/ freedigitalphotos.net

 

What better day than National Birth Control Day to look back at the time when we used to use birth control? Can you even remember?

The embarrassment of buying condoms, the gynecologist visits for prescriptions. Oh, what we went through just to be sure we would not get pregnant. Because really, that would be the worst thing that could ever, ever happen.

Maybe you even experienced a time or two of sheer hysterical panic worry over a birth control “lapse”. Isn’t it amazing how totally opposite surviving that “two week wait” is from surviving today’s two week wait?

And the money wasted!!! Why, if we only knew then that we didn’t even need birth control because some sinister infertile force was lurking within, we could have dumped all that money into the future fertility treatment savings account instead. Heck, we could have steamed up all the car windows with reckless abandon.

When I think of the years on birth control, the irony kills me. I imagine the fertility gods laughing at me behind my back. Well, not really, but you know what I mean. I feel a little stupid, like life made a fool of me, and I resent feeling that way. Here I was the responsible one. We used birth control until we were ready to start a family. We had a plan.

Ha! A plan.

If we only knew.

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Do you ever feel resentful about the time and money you spent on birth control?

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