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Archive for July, 2016

Forging Friendships in Long Island IVF’s Support Groups

By Tracey Minella

July 30th, 2016 at 4:00 pm

 

image credit: nenetus/ freedigitalphotos.net


When you’re diagnosed with a life-altering disease, you find out who your true friends really are. And sometimes, life brings new friends your way…friends to celebrate each day…especially today, which is Friendship Day.

Infertility is a disease that affects 1 in every 8 couples. Yet despite all the advances in assisted reproductive technologies since the birth of the world’s first IVF baby 38 years ago this week, an infertility diagnosis still carries a social stigma. It makes many sufferers reluctant to share their secret—even with those closest to them.

One of the hardest parts about infertility is waiting– sometimes for years– and watching all your friends and family getting pregnant, again and again. Being a good friend to them means being happy for them—or at least faking it well. Besides, your day will likely come and you want them to be happy for you when it does.

If you are lucky—really lucky—you will find a true friend to support you along this journey. One who knows how to listen, when to be quiet, what to say and more importantly what not to say. One who is the best cheerleader, hand-holder, and advocate. One who knows how to console you, cheer you up, pamper you, and get you to try again. The soul-mate kind of friend who never tires of hearing you complain about infertility or cry over the pain it inflicts—or at least never shows it. The friend who has your back through it all.

Sometimes this may be a sister, friend, or co-worker. Sometimes it may be someone else who is also suffering from (or had suffered) from infertility. Some amazing, life-long friendships have been forged in Long Island IVF’s support groups with women who met as struggling infertiles and went on to become parents. Call the office or email our caring counselor at BinaBenisch@gmail.com if you’d like more information.

Who do you want to celebrate?

Why not give that BFF a big “shout out” right here—or privately—and let them know you’d be lost without them. Got a picture of you together? Post it!

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What has your special friend done or said to make your infertility journey a little easier to bear? Or what do you wish your friends would do—or not do—that would help you?

 

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Celebrating the World’s First IVF Baby!

By Tracey Minella

July 25th, 2016 at 10:01 am

image credit: wpclipart.com

 

Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday to you. Happy birthday, dear Louise Brown. Happy Birthday to you.

 

Many of you are too young to remember where you were when news of the birth of the World’s first “test tube” baby hit the stands. Maybe you were playing with Barbies, or maybe you weren’t even born yet. I remember it though.

 

I was a young teen just learning about reproduction, reading the newspaper in our brown, gold, orange and white classic 70’s kitchen. I remember hearing the sensational, seemingly sci-fi news and thinking it was cool. Dad was intrigued. Mom was mortified.

 

Little did I know then how important this day in history would be in my own life. And how IVF technology would be the answer to my own dream of becoming a mother some twenty years later.

 

For the past several years, I recognize Louise Brown’s birthday in some little way. It may be a blog post, or just a moment of reflection on how thankful I am for her mom’s courage way back then. I’ve even had a cupcake or raised a glass on her behalf. It’s my little way of honoring the woman whose birth led to the births of my own children decades later.

 

Here’s an IVF trivia question in her honor:

Louise is not the first IVF baby to have her own baby, but Louise is related to the first IVF baby to have her own baby. What is the woman’s name and what is their relationship?

 

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If you could say anything to Louise Brown’s mother, what would you say?

 

 

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Auntie’s Day When Infertile

By Tracey Minella

July 24th, 2016 at 6:56 am

When you’re infertile, every day is “Auntie’s Day”. And no day is Mother’s Day. Well, that’s how it feels, anyway.

 

National Auntie’s Day falls on July 24th– obviously a day to celebrate the wonderful aunts in our lives. Being an aunt is a great thing. Really. Unless, of course, you’ve been trying to conceive forever…in which case the aunt thing might be getting old. Because you really just want to be a mother already.

 

Did I just say that out loud?

 

Becoming an aunt before trying to have your own baby and finding out that you’re infertile is amazing. Becoming one after you’ve had kids is awesome. But becoming one—over and over again—while suffering from the highs and lows of your own prolonged infertility journey, well, that can hurt. It can be hard to be (or even to fake being) happy for your siblings and close friends–people you genuinely love– when it feels like it’s never going to be your turn.

 

Before or after your own infertility, you might be the aunt who excitedly plans baby showers for others, enjoys rifling through baby clothes and toys, and loves every minute you can get spoiling the nieces and nephews. You’re every kid’s favorite aunt.

 

Maybe being an aunt gives you the baby-fix you need to keep going even after infertility hits. Maybe you can keep up being that Number 1 because you believe your moment is just around the corner. Your hope is strong and you don’t let the setbacks knock you down for long. More power to your amazing, strong auntie self.

 

But sometimes, something ugly happens to aunts when infertility enters the picture. You hurt and maybe you have to pull away to protect your own heart. And then you feel guilt.

Stop with the guilt. This journey, though it feels otherwise, really won’t last forever. It simply can’t– from a physical, emotional, and financial perspective. After it’s resolved, and hopefully with a child of your own, you can embrace your role as everyone’s favorite aunt again.

 

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Does being an aunt help or hurt during infertility? Do you celebrate Auntie’s day?

 

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IVF and the State of the World Today

By Tracey Minella

July 11th, 2016 at 9:23 pm

 

image: StuartMiles/freedigitalphotos.net


It seems everywhere you turn there are pregnant women. It’s a difficult but universal reality for those TTC. In the quest to have a baby, it’s easy to get tunnel vision about everything else going on around us. The focus is on the steps needed to have that baby: the treatment and tests, the insurance and injections, the drugs and dates of importance. The rest of the world spins past in a blur in our peripheral vision.

But sometimes, events happen that shake us out of our baby zone and bring the outside world into focus…into ugly focus.

Lately, every time we turn on the news, there is another mass tragedy… more unrest. Threats against us from evil abroad… and worse…from evil within. The recent Dallas police incident is the latest in a string of frightening events.

Watching the news brought me back to 9/11…when I was a few weeks pregnant with my IVF baby. I vividly remember the clear, blue sky that morning and thinking to myself when the reality sunk in: what kind of world am I bringing this baby into?

Maybe you are thinking the same thing now if you’re pregnant. Or maybe you’re questioning having children at all.

If you need help sorting through your feelings, Bina Benisch, MS, RN, is Long Island IVF’s caring psychologist. Bina is specially-trained in helping those battling infertility and can help you sort through your feelings—whether you are currently a patient or not. She offers individual and group therapy sessions. Some lasting friendships have been formed in her popular groups.

It’s been almost 15 years since I asked myself that question and I can say without hesitation that at the end of the ugliest days, a baby to love makes all the difference. Yes, there’s fear for the future when looking at the world outside. But when looking inside, into those little faces, there is love and hope, too. These babies we’re moving mountains to create… and that we understandably will raise with the fiercest degree of over-protection imaginable… may be the hope for a better future. We need them. The world needs them.

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Do current events ever cause you to question your decision to bring a baby into the world?

 

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Long Island IVF Donor Egg Recipient Summer Seminar

By Tracey Minella

July 7th, 2016 at 3:27 pm

Have you ever met a woman who became a mother through egg donation? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to hear about her experience and ask her some questions face-to-face?

Well, if you’re considering using an egg donor in order to build your family…but have a lot of questions about the process…you won’t want to miss this seminar!

On Tuesday, July 26, 2016, at 7:00 pm, Long Island IVF will host a free event “New Beginnings Through Donor Egg” that could potentially change the course of your family-building journey. Our caring doctors and staff…and one of our donor recipient moms… will go over everything you could ever need to know about egg donation.

Women whose eggs have been compromised by advanced age, failed IVF treatment, cancer, or poor egg quality should consider donor egg therapy. Long Island IVF offers many ways to build a family through the donor egg program. Gay men wanting biological children also need the help of an egg donor.

Admittedly, conceiving with donor eggs or embryos is rarely the first choice, but often is an acceptable alternative after weighing many personal, physical, emotional, psychological, and financial considerations. Decades of happy moms agree that using donor eggs was the best decision they ever made.

Maybe you’re not yet ready to act on the information you’ll receive. No problem. We’re just here to offer information and emotional support. So, why not attend the seminar and learn about Egg Donation as an opportunity to create your family?

Victoria Loveland, RN & Donor Egg Nursing Coordinator, Aviva Zigelman, LCSW & Donor Egg Program Director, and Long Island IVF partner and reproductive endocrinologist Steven Brenner, MD will all be there to answer your questions. You can even speak to them privately if you’re more comfortable.

Long Island IVF offers several different egg donation options, including:

  • Sole Recipient Fresh Egg Donation,
  • Shared Recipient Fresh Egg Donation, and
  • Frozen Egg Donation.

Each option offers its own unique benefits, costs, and other considerations. We have young, healthy, pre-screened, anonymous egg donors representing multiple ethnicities ready to help build your family. Or you can use a known donor if you prefer.

Register here for “New Beginnings Through Donor Egg”. Walk-ins are always welcome, too. Bring a friend or partner. Take that first step, even if you’re hesitant. We look forward to seeing you and answering your questions about the exciting option of egg donation.

Location: Long Island IVF 8 Corporate Center Drive, Suite 101, Melville, NY

Date: Tuesday July 26, 2016

Time: 7:00 pm

 

LONG ISLAND IVF: WINNER “BEST IN VITRO FERTILITY PRACTICE” in the Long Island Press’s “Best of Long Island 2015 and 2016″ contests. We are humbled and excited by the honor! Can we help you build your family as well?

 

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Will you be there? If you’d like to attend but can’t, please call anyway so we can make other arrangements to help you.

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