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Archive for November, 2015

Black Friday When You’re in the Red

By Tracey Minella

November 27th, 2015 at 3:50 pm

 

photo credit: iamnee/ freedigitalphotos.net


The true die-hard Black Friday shoppers will likely miss this post until tomorrow…maybe even Monday. They will be rushing out from the Thanksgiving table…or forgoing the feast entirely. Maybe they’re camping out in parking lots all night waiting for the pre-dawn opening of stores for the Christmas shopping season’s official commencement.

 

I wish all of you good luck…and safety… as you brave the frenzied crowds and potentially deadly stampedes of bargain hunters in the excited challenge of power shopping. I’m more of a Cyber Monday kind of shopper… slippers, my computer, leftover pie, and Amazon Prime.

 

So on the biggest shopping day of the year, where are you headed and why?

 

Has infertility affected your holiday shopping?

 

Do you do the Black Friday thing because the cost of infertility treatment requires you to take advantage of those holiday shopping bargains? Are you cutting back or cutting out gifts because of treatment costs? Do you avoid toy stores because it’s too hard? Do you prefer online shopping? Or are you out there enjoying it all?

 

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Do you have any tips for others on how to make the most of their holiday shopping?

What Black Friday bargain was your proudest score of the day today?

 

Photo credit: iamnee/freedigital photos

http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/black-friday-shopping-photo-p196312

 

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Thankful for Our Patients

By Tracey Minella

November 25th, 2015 at 3:27 pm

When we count life’s blessings this time of year, we often look first to family and friends. We’re thankful for our soulmates, spouses, and partners. And most of all, we’re thankful for any children we may have, especially if the road to parenthood was difficult.

This is often the time that many of our patients who have become parents with our help reach out to us with photo holiday cards or notes of thanks. And we love and appreciate each and every one. We also ache for our patients who are still on their journeys as we know how hard the holiday season can be.

We’re especially thankful for your recommendations of us to your family and friends who are struggling to conceive, and for your public votes of confidence in forums like the Best of Long Island contest. By nominating and voting Long Island IVF as the Best In-Vitro Fertility Practice, you not only help us, but you are assisting other couples struggling with infertility find direction on where to go for help.

If you are happy with your Long Island IVF experience, we’d be grateful if you would consider voting for us again this year for Best In-Vitro Fertility Practice in the Health & Wellness category, by going here: https://bestof.longislandpress.com/voting-open/ You can vote daily through December 15th.

The doctors and staff of Long Island IVF wish you all a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by those who support and love you. And we want you to know that we are grateful for your trust in choosing us to be part of your family-building plan. Thanks to you, we get to do what we love each day…make little miracles happen.

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What are your plans for Thanksgiving?

 

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Infertility: The Anti-Thanksgiving

By Tracey Minella

November 23rd, 2015 at 10:58 am

 

Image credit: Watiporn/ freedigitalphotos.net


Thanksgiving is upon us, and with it comes an expectation of reflection and gratitude for what we have and the implication that…whatever it is… it should be enough. We’re made to feel guilty for wanting more. But what if what we have just isn’t enough? What if something is missing that is so fundamental to our happiness that we have trouble finding gratitude?

Infertility puts a damper on most holidays in its own unique way. Mother’s and Father’s Days are obviously the worst. Halloween brings an onslaught of little kids to the door. Christmas and Chanukah without children is torture. Birthdays and New Year’s Day are reminders of another lost year.

But Thanksgiving doesn’t just bring sadness; it serves up a heaping portion of guilt, too.

If you’re lucky enough to have family and friends that know about your infertility and support you, then Thanksgiving is likely more bearable. Maybe even somewhat enjoyable. And if you dig down deep enough, you can feel some genuine gratitude. This was actually the reason Long Island IVF sponsored the first annual Coming Out Infertile Day on November 11th…so that those suffering infertility in silence could come out to their family and friends prior to the start of the stressful holiday season and get the support they need.

If you are still keeping your infertility secret, Thanksgiving may be an extra tough day. Extended families with lots to catch up on, gathered for long hours in close quarters…and some staying overnight…makes for stress in the best scenarios. But being captive at the crowded table, waiting for the inevitable nosy questions to start firing, and then trying to field them casually without breaking down is simply not conducive to feeling thankful.

It’s not too late to come out to them. You can do it in advance, or you can do it that day if the spirit moves you. You can do it in person, by letter, or can just tell the world in one social media post. We have sample scripts to help get that tough conversation going. [link] Infertility is hard enough; you do not have to suffer through another holiday season in silence. Check out Coming Out Infertile Day on Facebook for more info.

Whether you are “out” or private, as on any holiday, do what is best for you. Accept invitations that work for you and decline those that are too uncomfortable. Put yourself first. And above all else, do not feel guilty if the pain of your infertility is so overwhelming that you just don’t have the strength to dig far enough down to where your gratitude lies. It’s down there. And it’s going to resurface one day. Hopefully soon.

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How will you handle Thanksgiving? Have you told your family about your infertility, or do you plan to? How do you answer when asked when you’re going to have a baby?

 

image credit: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/agree-terms.php and watiporn

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Embryo Donation vs. Traditional Adoption

By Tracey Minella

November 18th, 2015 at 9:47 pm

 

Photo credit: Nenetus/ freedigitalphotos.net


Embryo Donation is often mistakenly referred to as Embryo Adoption.

The proper term for a couple giving their unused embryos to another person or couple so that she or they may conceive, carry a pregnancy, and be legal parents to the resulting baby or babies is not Embryo “Adoption” but rather  Embryo Donation”. The recipient of this gift is the birth mother; no adoption is needed.

With November being National Adoption Month, many blogs were posted on so-called traditional adoption, where a person or couple (often one who can’t conceive or maintain a pregnancy of their own) will seek to adopt a baby born to a birth mother who does not want to or is unable to keep her baby. The baby is linked genetically to the birth mom and the man who impregnated her and is carried by the birth mom and then given to the adoptive parent(s) after birth.

But there is another option available to an infertile couple that is in many ways very similar to adoption…an option most people have never heard of. And it’s available right here at Long Island IVF…

Embryo Donation.

Picture a couple like you. Infertile and undergoing IVF. They had a retrieval and transfer and had extra embryos to cryopreserve. But they conceived and had a baby. Maybe even two or three times. They are happy with the size of their family and don’t want to have additional children… but they have extra frozen embryos and they don’t want to discard them or donate them to research. They want to donate their embryos to a couple like you.

Donate… as in “give them to you”. As the embryo donor recipient, you would essentially undergo a frozen embryo transfer at your convenience. While there are no pregnancy guarantees, of course, it’s noteworthy that the couple who donated these embryos to you likely successfully built their family using embryos conceived at the same time as these donated surplus embryos.

Other benefits of Embryo Donation: you could potentially conceive more than once and have children who are biological siblings to each other. Plus with embryo donation you can experience pregnancy, be in control of your developing baby’s health, and you’d give birth to your baby. True there is not a genetic tie, but there isn’t one in traditional adoption either.

Traditional adoption is a wonderful way to build a family. Embryo Donation is just another…often quicker… pathway to parenthood that may be worth exploring, too. Please contact Long Island IVF’s Donor Program Coordinator, Vicky Loveland RN, if you are interested in Embryo Donation at victorial@longislandivf.com or read more at http://www.longislandivf.com/embryo_donor.cfm

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Would you ever consider embryo donation?

 

Photo credit: Nenetus at http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/mother-and-daughter-having-fun-outdoors-photo-p350773

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Infertility Treatment and Superstitions

By Tracey Minella

November 13th, 2015 at 9:27 am

 

image courtesy of wpclipart.com


Anyone out there ever have a transfer or retrieval or IUI or pregnancy test on a Friday the 13th? I did.

How did you feel about that? Defeated and doomed from the start? Steadfast and set to defy the day? Or was it just another day?

Do you do anything special on such days for good luck?

When I was doing IVF, I used to wear this fertility amulet. It was a pewter fertility symbol hanging on a long, thin, black leather cord around my neck. I also carried a mirrored compact with an angel on it given to me by a friend who was moving away who said I would get pregnant. (After I finally did, I passed that compact along to another friend TTC).

And I also always wore this one particular pair of jeans to my retrievals and transfers. It was the pair I wore on my first consultation appointment with Dr. Kreiner. Of course, as the years wore on, those jeans wore out. But I kept wearing them anyway. The bottoms were frayed, the knees were both shot, and the back end offered less coverage than the hospital gown I traded them in for. But I wore them to both successful retrievals and transfers.

And now they have been saved in a special drawer along with other mementos of “the infertility years”, like all of my hospital bracelets, slipper socks, souvenir unused syringes and needles, pharmacy and insurance bills, and other trinkets to remind me of the journey. Ready to pull out when I’m feeling nostalgic… or when the kids grow up and I want to make them feel guilty about misbehavin’ (“Ya see all these bracelets, Missy? Do you know I had general anesthesia 10 times to have you…?”).

 

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Do you have any routines, traditions, or superstitions regarding your treatment…on Friday the 13th or any other day? If so, please share.

 

Photo courtesy of: https://www.wpclipart.com/animals/cats/black_and_white/cat_jumps_through_glass_window.png.html

 

 

 

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Coming Out Infertile Day is Today- November 11!

By admin

November 11th, 2015 at 8:30 am


Have you heard the news?

Long Island IVF wants to bring Infertility Awareness back to the headlines and help you relieve some stress before the holidays.

If you are suffering infertility in silence and are dreading another holiday season full of family gatherings, adorable children, and nosy personal questions…and you think you’re ready to come out to your family and friends, your boss, or the world…then join the movement today!!!

Two ways to do it:

Post your selfie with the custom graphic #ComingOutInfertile on the free app PicStitch in 4 super easy steps and share it on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter. Tell the world in one quick post! Details below.

Or if you need help with the decision or want to come out in a more controlled and limited way, join us for a Virtual Coming Out Infertile Workshop from 6:00 to 8:00 pm EST. This is not a live, in-person event, but rather a live on-line, call-in event! You can anonymously ask questions of our experts by calling in or logging on to an interactive live web meeting, get scripts to help you start those tough conversations, and get the support to come out in the way that works for you. Log in instructions for the event are below.

Bina Benisch MS, RN specializes in infertility support and will lead the meeting and provide psychological support. Bina is offering her time and counsel for informational purposes only, but her wisdom should not to be considered as medical advice.

Here is the log in info for the Virtual online event, accessible anonymously by either your computer or your phone (or you can do both):

Coming Out Infertile Virtual Online Workshop

When: Wed, Nov 11, 6:00 pm  (2 hr) New York (Eastern Standard Time, GMT-05:00)

Where: WebEx Online

Host: Bina Benisch, MS, RN of Long Island IVF

Computer Link for Meeting Access on computer: URL:https://meetings.webex.com/collabs/#/meetings/detail?uuid=M8NFBHVFXITWLLH5XETQ42J7TH-VZ9P&rnd=801866.81169

Meeting Number: 199 383 003

On your computer, just click on the link and click join the meeting (ignore the part about setting up an account—no need to!). The system will ask for a display name and an email but you can make up both the display name and the email if you want to be anonymous. (i.e. janedoe@holidaystress.com  and it will let you in and will show you as “jane doe”.  The benefit of joining the meeting on the computer instead of by phone is that you will be able to see the presenter and any slide presentations, and if you don’t want to talk, you can type in the chat.

Phone Meeting Access/Audio Connection:

United States of America US TOLL: +1-415-655-0001 Meeting Number 199 383 003

Just dial the phone, input the meeting number, and you will be added to the call.

 

Here is the social media Picstitch app instructions:

If you’re joining the social media campaign, we encourage you to do this any time of the day, all day long on November 11. Just add your selfie to our custom #ComingOutInfertile graphic and post on all your social media platforms—and tag us!

Here is the custom graphic to upload with your picture:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are the instructions on how to do it:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks in advance for being part of this special movement! Here’s to not suffering through another holiday season with the secret and to getting the support you need and deserve.

If you can’t attend the virtual workshop but have questions, please post them below or on Facebook or email them to binabenisch@gmail.com prior to the meeting and we’ll try to address them during or after the meeting.

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Any questions? Post here or call in to the meeting tonight!

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Surviving The Two Week Wait for Your Pregnancy Result

By Bina Benisch, MS, RN

November 8th, 2015 at 3:34 pm

 

photo credit: Petr Kratochvil/ publicdomainpictures.net

 

It seems interminable.

 

You’ve finally made it through your IVF stimulation. You’ve survived your injections and all those early morning monitoring visits…not to mention being poked and prodded for blood and vaginal ultrasounds. You’ve undergone your retrieval procedure, sweated out the fertilization results, and here it is – the day of your embryo transfer.  Or, if you’re doing IUI, you’ve made it through your insemination.

 

What a relief!  You can finally relax…. NOT so fast!

 

The next 10-14 days can seem like an eternity when you’re waiting for your pregnancy result.

 

Your emotions may ride that roller coaster … slow ascending hope, with glimmers of joy at the prospect that this time you actually may be pregnant … only to be violently interrupted by thunderous pangs of fear that this may not have worked, and then falling into despair.

 

How do you regulate your feelings and create a sense of balance so that you’re not held hostage by every emotion and negative thought that grips you?  Here is your mission for the next 10-14 days, should you choose to accept it:

 

  • Create a list of leisure activities that you and your partner have always enjoyed doing, and set a plan into action.  Yes, there are jobs and responsibilities, but schedule some “special” time together for these activities… whether it’s watching movies together, outdoor activities, date nights, music, or working together on a project that embodies a sense of satisfaction.  Not only does this help keep your relationship close – which in itself is emotionally enriching – but it may distract your attention and maintain some perspective on your life so that you are not feverishly focused on your fertility status.

 

  • Talk to your partner about your feelings.  There are no pat solutions which will stop your anxiety. However, making room for all feelings – even the darker ones – and knowing you will get through it as you ride this wave, will relieve the stress of suppressing these feelings. This will also keep the lines of communication open between you and your partner.

 

  • Restructure your thoughts! This is not to advise Pollyanna or positive thinking.  Let’s face it, the last thing you need is to be told to “be positive” or “relax.” It’s extremely difficult to feel “positive” when you’re struggling with infertility.  However, take a moment to look at the thoughts you are telling yourself – the thoughts that are causing your fear and anxiety to escalate: “I know I’m not pregnant.”  “It probably didn’t work this time.” “What if it doesn’t work this time?” “What if I never become pregnant?”   These thoughts and statements are not etched in truth, and are only fear-based. Better thoughts… which may be equally true, but are not fear based…are: “I could very well be pregnant.” “The possibility that I will become pregnant is just as much a reality.”  Don’t fear that allowing yourself to entertain these hopeful thoughts will cause greater disappointment from a negative result. You will be disappointed or devastated either way, whether you’ve been fearful, anxious, and negative, or you’ve had the perspective that you may very well become pregnant.  Here is a mental framework that is absolutely realistic, true, and can go a long way to helping you maintain peace of mind:  “I am doing everything in my power to become pregnant, and therefore, I can emotionally let go for now, and leave this in the hands of (God, the universe, my doctors).”

 

  • Selectively avoid situations that you know will trigger your fear or anxiety.   Learn to say “NO”.  People will forgive you for not attending a family function, social event, or any situation where you find pregnant people, or people with babies, or people who will ask you when you are going to have children.  YOU come first at this time in your life. YOUR emotional health takes precedence.

 

  • Nurture yourself. Whatever that means for you. Massage, Reiki, reading, movies, shopping, yoga (not hot yoga), — what do you find to be a relaxing, self-nurturing activity?

 

  • Remember proper breathing. Slow, deep breathing will cause a physiological reversal of the body’s stress response.  This will reduce anxiety and stress.  Learn to practice breath work every day.

 

In essence, have compassion for yourself.  Talk about your feelings with your partner.  If you find it difficult to restructure your thoughts, practice the mantra that you have done everything in your power, and now it’s time to let go.  This takes practice, but you can do it if you take on this mission for self-balance, peace of mind, and equilibrium.

 

 

Photo credit: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=14919&picture=your-are-late

 

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Post Halloween Infertility Check in

By Tracey Minella

November 2nd, 2015 at 3:28 pm

 

 

Image courtesy of Heavypong/ freedigitalphotos.net


Is it me, or were there hardly any trick or treaters out this year?

I stocked up on extra bags of Butterfingers, Twizzlers, and even the trinkets for the goblins with food allergies (as the Teal Pumpkin Project advocated). Now it’s looking like I’ll be sporting a spider ring on every finger…and more than a few extra pounds…come Thanksgiving. Twix is the breakfast of champions, right?

Seriously though. Halloween is one of the toughest days of the year, and with it falling on a Saturday, it seemed like the extra hours of trick or treating time would just multiply the torture.

Do you hide away or go out to avoid being bombarded with children all day? Maybe leave a bowl of treats outside, hoping they won’t ring the bell at all? Or do you bravely grin and bear it, thinking of what costume you like best for your future baby?

Where have all the trick or treaters gone? Did you notice a drastic reduction? Is trick or treating becoming a lost tradition, replaced by home parties? Maybe the extended years of the economic recession has finally resulted in a noticeable decrease in the population of young children to replace the older ones who’ve “aged out” of tricks and treats. Or maybe there’s more of us infertile folks out there than we realize…

Speaking of that…Have you checked out Long Island IVF’s latest project? It’s called Coming Out Infertile Day and it will be an annual event, beginning on Nov 11th. It’s designed for those who are tired of keeping their infertility a secret and want to come out to family, friends, or even the world. We chose 11-11 since it represents the two lines we all want on a pregnancy test kit…and its right before the stressful, child-centered holiday season begins, with nosy and nagging questions. Join us for a live workshop or join the global social media movement that day and come out so you can get the support you need. Details are available on the Coming Out Infertile Day Facebook page, our website, or the blog here: http://bit.ly/1S6zJcZ

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Any thoughts on Halloween? What worked for you? What would you do differently? Did you have a lot of trick or treaters?

 

 

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Dr. Kreiner Hosts Talk on Fertility Preservation and Reproductive Options for the LGBT Community

By Tracey Minella

November 1st, 2015 at 1:24 pm

Dr. David Kreiner, reproductive endocrinologist and co-founder of Long Island IVF, is excited to be presenting an interactive lecture and Q&A session on Fertility Preservation and Reproductive Options for the LGBT Community at the 20th Annual Long Island LGBT Conference.

The conference will be held at the Charles B. Wang Center at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York, on Tuesday, November 17th, from 8:30 am- 2:00 pm. The conference is sponsored by the LGBT Network and any questions or registration should be directed to them. Admission is free to SBU students and is available for $20-30 for other age groups.

Dr. Kreiner will introduce the medical options available to assist LGBT family-building with special emphasis on the importance on advance planning for fertility preservation. Topics will include:  donor sperm insemination, in vitro fertilization, reciprocal IVF, use of gestational carriers, and also fertility preservation in the transgender community. The social, legal, financial, and medical issues will be discussed.

Reproductive options for lesbian couples will also be discussed. The limitations and the workup for women wishing to donate eggs and/or carry a pregnancy will be covered. The legal, medical and financial issues involved with surrogacy and gestational carriers for gay male couples will also be addressed. In addition, the fertility preservation options available to transgender people prior to transitioning will be covered. If you are…or love…a member of the LGBT community, you won’t want to miss this information–packed seminar.

Long Island IVF has been a supportive provider of assisted reproductive family-building services for the LGBT community for decades. We recognize that your needs and rights to parenthood are universal, but that the approach to your care and particular fertility obstacles is unique. Our staff, some of whom are members of the LGBT community themselves, is sensitive to your needs and eager to help you build your family.

If you would like to attend Dr. Kreiner’s lecture, please register by contacting the LGBT Network. http://bit.ly/1N77BrP

 

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Do you have any questions you would like Dr. Kreiner to address either before or at the lecture? If so, please comment below.

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