CALL US AT: (877) 838.BABY


Archive for the ‘Adoption’ Category

Could You Use $13,570 to Build Your Family?

By Tracey Minella

November 16th, 2017 at 2:07 pm

 

shutterstock


You wouldn’t want to lose $13,570, would you? Well, if you are even remotely considering adopting a child someday, you need to read on.

Both LGBT and heterosexual couples often turn to adoption to create their families. Some may go straight to adoption. Others may first try Assisted Reproductive Technologies (“ART”) like in vitro fertilization (“IVF”) and then pursue adoption if those attempts fail. And some try both adoption and ART simultaneously, ready to accept whichever brings them a child first.

For ages, adoption was the primary route many LGBT couples took to become parents. Gay men (having no eggs or uterus to work with) had little choice before the advent of donor egg and gestational carriers. Unfortunately, private newborn adoptions historically favored placement with heterosexual couples, often leaving LGBT wannabe parents to seek adoption through the foster care system. Sometimes, to reduce the wait time for placement, they’d be encouraged to consider older or special needs children.

While more open-minded than in the past, some of today’s birth parents still cling to those old prejudices when choosing adoptive parents, holding out for the so-called “traditional” parental unit–a married heterosexual couple– rather than an LGBT couple or single parent.

At Long Island IVF, rapidly-advancing assisted reproductive medical technology has opened many avenues to family-building for LGBT couples who want to have a biological child. Depending on the particular circumstances, these options may include using donor egg, donor sperm, gestational carriers, or reciprocal IVF. These advancements, coupled with hard-fought legal victories for LGBT marital and parental rights, did—and continue to– change the parenting options landscape for members of the LGBT community.

In spite of these the medical and legal developments, adoption is still the choice of many couples. The idea of giving a stable home to a foster child that is waiting for love is preferable to many couples, even those who could pursue or had success with medical options.

But whether you choose adoption or ART to build a family, there are financial concerns and the costs of either option can pose a barrier to many couples. Every financial family-building resource, benefit, insurance, or credit that exists must remain accessible to all who need it. For those who choose to adopt, that means preserving the federal Adoption Tax Credit.

There’s a lot going on in the political and infertile world—some front-burner and other back-burner movements. One of the hottest items in the news right now is the fate of the federal Adoption Tax Credit.

The federal Adoption Tax Credit is available to American families to help off-set the costs of adoption. It applies to all adoptions– private domestic, international, and through foster care.

In a nutshell, it’s a federal tax credit currently capped at $13,570 for qualified adoption expenses, though it is affected by the family’s income and tax liability. According to Resolve, the National Infertility Organization’s website:

  • Families earning over $203,540 may only claim a partial credit
  • Families earning over $243,540 are not entitled to any credit
  • Families adopting a special needs foster child may claim the maximum credit
  • The credit may be used for up to five additional years if there is not enough tax liability to apply the full amount of the credit in the first year, and it’s non-refundable.
  • The government saves an estimated $65,000-$127,000 per child that’s adopted out of long-term foster care.

The federal Adoption Tax Credit made headlines after appearing to be on the chopping block as part of the current administration’s upcoming Tax Reform proposal. This caused adoption and infertility rights advocates and religious organizations to leap into action to save the tax credit. Without it, countless children will remain in foster care because those who want to adopt them will not be able to afford to do so. Further, those pursuing private domestic or international adoptions may not be able to afford to those options without the credit.

Fortunately, the most recent reports from last week indicate that the political tide is turning in favor of saving the Adoption Tax Credit, but all those who believe it should be saved need to step up and support it. Do it for yourself or someone you love. Or just do it for the good of orphans and kind-hearted strangers. If you were adopting a child today, wouldn’t you want that tax credit?

If you’d like to lend your voice to the effort, you can contact your local representatives or join the efforts of RESOLVE–the group that fights tirelessly for the rights of all members of the infertile community. You can check out the political initiative here.

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

Are you or would you consider adopting a child? Would losing the Adoption Tax Credit impact your ability or choice to adopt?

 

no comments

Fertility Awareness Opportunities Angelina Jolie Missed

By Tracey Minella

September 20th, 2016 at 10:11 pm

Public Domain Image: courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net/vera kratochvil-wax figures

 

[This post was originally posted in March, 2015. It's being reprinted as a reminder of what we can learn from the health care decisions Angelina Jolie bravely made and shared publicly.]

Actress, director, humanitarian, ambassador, mom of twins, adoptive mom, wife of Brad Pitt. And she’s gorgeous.

What’s not to hate?

Oh, I’m just sort of  kidding. No, really. But despite all the good she does, there will always be haters. People who want her money, her talent, her babies, or her man. Jealousy can do that.

I don’t admire many celebrities… and that’s fine, because their only job is to entertain me, not impress me. But I am impressed with Angelina Jolie. She’s charitable with her time and money and seems pretty grounded for a megastar. And she uses her celebrity for good.

It’s been only two years since Jolie made headlines for undergoing a preventative double mastectomy after testing positive for the BRCA gene mutation… a mutation that significantly increases the lifetime risk of getting breast cancer. At that time, she was open about her decision and used her celebrity to increase breast cancer awareness.

This week, Angelina revealed that she took those preventative measures to the next level. This time, she had both of her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed in the hope of avoiding ovarian cancer…another deadly cancer linked to the same gene mutation. Jolie lost her mom to ovarian cancer and said in a recent New York Times Op Ed piece that she doesn’t want her children to experience the same loss. Her openness is raising awareness of ovarian cancer.

But there is another untold story here, too…a fertility awareness story…and it needs to be heard.

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know Jolie has six children. She adopted three children internationally and gave birth to a singleton and a pair of twins. Practically eliminating her risk of getting ovarian cancer is not the only result of her surgery.

The media is reporting that she can no longer have biological children. And Jolie acknowledged how hard her decision would be for a woman who has not completed her family-building. Perhaps because of the size of her family, this point seemed lost on the general public. But it’s not lost on you, is it? This surgery is a big deal. And before others who may not be done with their family-building journeys emulate Jolie and follow her path, some crucial missing information needs to be shared.

In fact, there are three opportunities here to increase fertility awareness and educate the public about advances in the field of reproductive technologies, namely PGD, Egg donation, and Egg-freezing.

First, there’s pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (“PGD”). PGD enables couples who are concerned about passing a life-threatening genetic disease on to their children to have their embryos pre-screened for gene mutations. This screening can only be done in conjunction with an in-vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure, where eggs are retrieved and fertilized in a lab and the resulting embryos can be tested. Then, only those embryos that did not test positive for the mutated gene would be transferred into the uterus…virtually eliminating the chance of passing on that hereditary disease. BRCA is one of the many genes that can be screened through PGD. Long Island IVF offers PGD.

Second, there’s egg donation. If a woman has her ovaries and tubes removed, she cannot thereafter have a biological child…one created using her own eggs… however she may still experience childbirth. If she still has a healthy uterus, it may be possible for her, through IVF, to use eggs from an egg donor and the sperm of her partner or a donor, and have the resulting embryos transferred into her uterus where a pregnancy can implant and grow to term. Long Island IVF’s Donor Egg Program brought Long Island its First donor egg baby decades ago.

Finally, there’s the latest breakthrough in women’s fertility preservation technology: egg freezing. Egg-freezing offers an exception to the egg donor statement above. If… prior to removing her ovaries… a woman undergoes IVF for the purpose of either freezing her retrieved eggs (or freezing the embryos resulting from the fertilization of her retrieved eggs), then instead of needing donor eggs, she would be able to later have her own frozen eggs or embryos thawed and transferred into her uterus in the hope of becoming pregnant with her biological child. Or if her uterus was unsuitable or absent, she could still have a biological child by having someone else carry a pregnancy for her. (Note: Surrogacy and gestational carrier laws vary from state to state.) Long Island IVF has an Egg Freezing Program.

These three fertility awareness opportunities, when coupled with Jolie’s breast cancer and ovarian cancer awareness, will further empower women everywhere to make better medical choices and take charge of their fertility and general health.

Shame on the haters. It’s wonderful that Jolie is open about her health in a way that raises awareness for others. She is a just a mom. A selfless mom who just wants to be there to see her children and future grandchildren grow up.

Is there something wrong with being proactive after tests show you carry a gene that could one day take your life, like it took your mother’s? Are the haters just jealous of her? Is she a hero?

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

What do you think? What would you do?

 

 

no comments

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

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

Would you ever consider embryo donation?

 

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

no comments

Companies That May Cover IVF, Infertility Treatment, and/or Adoption Costs

By Tracey Minella

September 18th, 2015 at 9:28 am

 

Credit: Stuart Miles/ freedigitalphotos.net


Can I get a show of hands of people who need IVF but don’t have medical insurance that covers it?

Well, misery loves company and you’ve got lots of it. But that’s no comfort when you’d give anything to have infertility insurance.

If you’re tired of working two jobs, forgoing vacations, and maxing out credit cards to finance your fertility treatments… while the rest of the fertile world is off at Disneyland with their brood… I’ve got a great little resource for you.

Here is a comprehensive, alphabetically-organized list of companies that may offer coverage for infertility and/or adoption costs* according to The International Council on Infertility Information Dissemination, Inc.’s website. Not only that, but it provides details about the purported amounts and particular treatments covered. http://inciid.org/?q=node/252#A

If you would consider a job move or career change in exchange for the potential to have your infertility treatments covered, grab a cup of coffee… and start updating that resume.

Good luck!

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

Would you consider changing your job if you got infertility benefits?

 

* LIIVF makes no representations about the accuracy of any information in this list and provides it for informational purposes only.

 

no comments

Free Fertility Treatment Awaits Grant Applicants

By Tracey A. Minella

January 11th, 2015 at 7:31 am

 

credit: imagery majestic/ freedigitalphotos.net


Chances are, if you are struggling with infertility, one of the biggest obstacles is the financial burden of the fertility treatments. A New Year often causes infertile couples without the benefit of infertility treatment insurance to revisit their family-building plans and reassess their options.

Some forgo the usual things like fine-dining, vacations, houses, new cars, and other luxuries of a typical life, putting the savings into their treatment. Many work over-time or take second jobs. Others max out credit cards, dip into retirement funds, or borrow from family. And some raise treatment money through on-line fundraising campaigns.

What if there was an easier way…a free way…to finance IVF (or fund an adoption)? You’d consider it, right?

Well, there is a grant opportunity you should consider pursuing that is offering grants of up to $10,000 to use toward your family-building goals. That’s money you don’t have to pay back. Enough to pay for all or a substantial portion of an IVF cycle or an adoption. But you need to act quickly because there is a February 1 deadline for the Spring Grant Cycle.

You may remember that Long Island IVF co-sponsored an exciting event last year…Dancing For the Family… with the Tinina Q. Cade Foundation. Not only did Long Island IVF donate a free IVF cycle as a door prize, but the event raised money that enables the Cade Foundation to fund these family-building grants. All you need to do now is apply.

Don’t like forms? Think you’ll never be chosen? Well, you’re in good company. Do you realize that so many people think like that, or are just beaten down by the stress of infertility, that there are often more funds than applicants for grants like these?! That’s right…grant money is often sitting there waiting for applicants to apply for it! And that’s a shame.

To apply, go here: http://www.cadefoundation.org/?page_id=10

Good Luck.

And keep your eyes open for upcoming news of this year’s Long Island IVF and Cade Foundation new and exciting event.

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

Are you going to apply? If not, why not?

 

 

 

no comments

“Why Don’t You Just Adopt?”

By Tracey Minella

November 15th, 2014 at 12:28 pm

 

 

credit: David castillo dominici/ freedigitalphtos.net


Someone somewhere has or will ask you this question. As if it’s that simple. As if it’s their business.

November isn’t only the month of Thanksgiving, the official kick-off to the holiday season. It’s also National Adoption Awareness Month. The photos of orphaned children awaiting their forever families tug on our hearts. Without doubt, adopting a child is one of the most generous, selfless, loving things a couple can do.

But it’s not for everyone. And even for those who are open to the possibility of adoption, it often takes some time to come around to and embrace the idea.

And that’s okay.

While plenty of people…fertile or not… choose adoption right off the bat, many infertile people want to try to have a biological child before considering adoption. It’s natural to want a baby with daddy’s eyes or mommy’s musical talent…it’s natural for a woman to want to experience the joys of pregnancy and childbirth. Asking this question not only discounts those feelings and dreams, but also throws in a heap of unwelcome guilt. How could we be so selfish to want a child “of our own” when there are already children waiting?

Don’t feel guilty for wanting to exhaust all options of having a baby genetically tied to you before considering other choices like adoption or remaining childless. Each infertility journey is different and the fantasies we initially have of how our journey will play out get molded by our experiences, and evolve with each setback, failed cycle, or loss. Marriages are tested. Financial, physical, and emotional factors must be considered. Often, time and these experiences make people realize that they want more than anything to have a baby to love, and they may soften to the idea that genetic ties are not a priority. But it takes time for many to come to that realization. And it involves working through many issues and letting go of other dreams, which can be hard. And this can’t be rushed. Again, adoption is not for everyone.

In the spirit of keeping an open mind about the process, there is an option for family-building that many couples are not aware of and it’s offered at Long Island IVF. It’s called Embryo Donation. Often mistakenly referred to as embryo adoption, Embryo Donation allows infertile couples to acquire and use the excess frozen embryos created by another couple who’ve completed their own family and prefer to donate rather than use or discard their frozen embryos.

The recipient couple then simply proceeds with the thawing and transfer of these embryos as if they were originally their own. There may even be enough embryos to have more than one pregnancy. Though these children don’t share your genes, you get to experience childbirth and are in control of the pregnancy.

The cost of Embryo Donation is a fraction of traditional IVF as the embryos are donated and there is no need for stimulation and retrieval as in traditional IVF. Medications and monitoring are minimal, keeping costs low. For more information about Long Island IVF’s Embryo Donation Program, please contact the Donor Program Coordinator, Vicky Loveland, or click here: http://bit.ly/1CaZwfS

Let your personal journey to parenthood unfold as it’s destined to. Contrary to how it may feel sometimes, the infertility journey won’t last forever. Your heart will lead you to the child you’re meant to parent, whether biological, adopted, or otherwise.  And when you arrive there, you will feel that this was exactly as it was meant to be.

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

Have you adopted, or would you consider adopting if you can’t get pregnant? What do you say when someone asks “Why don’t you just adopt?”

 

 

 

 

no comments

Join the Movement and Change the Conversation About Infertility

By Tracey Minella

April 27th, 2013 at 9:28 pm

 

Another National Infertility Awareness Week comes to a close. The events celebrating it are over. The special NIAW banners and badges on blogs and social media will come down. And things are going to return to “normal”.

Is that acceptable?

Are we going to allow the progress made this week to stall for another 51 weeks? Are we going to stop talking about infertility until next April? Are we going to condition the public that they only have to tolerate our voices for a week each year and then “they’ll just fade away”?

Or are we going to change the conversation about infertility? More importantly, are we going to change our one-sided conversation into a two-sided one…where it’s not just us talking at the public and the politicians and our families, but it’s them hearing us and talking back. You know, real conversation.

Talking about infertility isn’t easy. It’s uncomfortable for the listener… and often the speaker as well. Recurrent miscarriage doesn’t make for nice dinner conversation. Talk of low sperm counts can make people queasy. The listener’s mind may involuntarily wander to visions of stirrups and collection rooms. Reactions can vary from awkward embarrassment, to hysterical crying, to unwelcome and misguided advice, to the (preferred) silent, supportive hug.

No wonder many people don’t talk about infertility. It’s so intimate. It’s too close to talking about sex for most people’s comfort.

Yet, if we don’t speak up, we won’t get the support from our families and friends, the politicians and the public. And nothing will change. And too many suffering infertile women’s biological clocks will run out before they can get access to the medical assistance they need to build their families or they will age out of “acceptable” adoption age limits.

How can you keep the conversation about infertility going now that NIAW is over?

If you think of infertility as a disease, like cancer, it may help you to sit your family down and tell them what’s going on. Same thing with close friends. It’s easy to call or write to your political representatives. And if you’d like to meet them in person, there’s a great opportunity to do so at Advocacy Day on May 8, 2013. See RESOLVE’s website for details. http://www.resolve.org/national-infertility-awareness-week/advocacy-day.html

If you aren’t comfortable telling everyone about your infertility, why not just tell someone? One trusted person. A random stranger. A politician. A support group. Or join in the conversation when someone else is talking about infertility.

Don’t wait until next April. Keep the conversations going.

http://www.resolve.org/infertility101 (basic understanding of the disease of infertility)

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

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

Have you talked about infertility with anyone this week?

no comments

Infertility: A Dozen Losses

By Tracey Minella

February 24th, 2013 at 12:27 pm

credit: david castillo dominici/freedigitalphotos.net

Infertility is responsible for so many different kinds of losses:

Loss of control because you can’t have a baby when you want to, and you can’t have a baby without someone else intervening, and you can’t have as many babies as you planned on.

Loss of the dream because you’ve always wanted to be a mother (or father) someday and now the dream is lost…at least temporarily but possibly permanently.

Loss of your sense of self because becoming a parent is such a big part of your identity…and when you can’t have a baby, nothing makes sense or matters any more.

Loss of job opportunity because you can’t rock the boat at work if medical benefits are at risk and you can’t take time off for treatment at a new job.

Loss of happiness because without the baby, there is always, always a black cloud overhead. Some moments are better than others, but none are truly happy. Even vacations, if you can afford to take them, are half-hearted.

Loss of relationships with friends and family because they either don’t know or don’t understand your situation. Because they have children and you don’t, your lives have taken different paths. Your interests are different. They’ve moved on to “family” activities while you remain in “couples” activities. And the pain to be around the children is sometimes unbearable. So you feel isolated.

Loss of people who die along the way, such as the parents you were hoping would live long enough for you to make them grandparents.

Loss of time because sometimes the infertility journey takes much longer than you thought and those years become a black hole…time that you can’t get back. And you become a parent at an older age than you’d planned. That lost time shows up when you find it a bit harder to keep up with your child and when you secretly worry whether you’ll live long enough to see your child settled or see your grandchildren.

Loss of love because infertility is a bitter test. And not every marriage or partnership can withstand the emotional, physical, and financial burdens of infertility.

Loss of dignity because not every woman wears a paper gown with confidence. And some tests, procedures, and losses… with their pain, poking and prodding…leave her physically and emotionally exposed, vulnerable and broken.

Loss of financial security because the aching heart and empty womb knows better than the brain. And before many people know it, the costs of multiple cycles of infertility treatment or an adoption can deplete savings and retirement accounts, cause credit card debt, and delay or prevent home ownership.

Loss of children because happy endings are not guaranteed and often don’t come without great sacrifices. From embryos transferred that didn’t implant to miscarriages, stillbirths, and infant deaths, there are unimaginably painful losses.

——————————————————-

Many of these losses are not erased even by the happy resolution of the infertility journey. We absorb them and live with them and their after effects as best we can for years to come. Obviously, it’s easier to cope if the outcome is a positive one.

And it is the hope for that positive outcome…for that miraculous gain amongst all the loss… that drives us all further than we ever thought we’d be able to go.

Don’t lose hope.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Are there other losses? Are there any above that you relate to?

 

Photo credit: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/CouplesPartners_g216-Man_Comforts_Woman_p56766.html /David Castillo Dominici

 

 

no comments

Infertility Support Through Blogging

By Tracey Minella

January 10th, 2013 at 10:53 pm

credit: adamr/freedigitalphotos.net

RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association, is a great source of information and resources for those suffering from infertility. One popular feature it offers is the annual “Bloggers Unite Program”. During National Infertility Awareness Week in April each year, there is a theme for infertility bloggers to blog about. In 2012, the theme was “Don’t Ignore Infertility”.

Infertility blogs are as different as their authors’ individual infertility experiences and personalities. They may be written by newbies or seasoned IVF veterans, by those who had easy success or those who suffered terrible losses. By those who adopted, who had multiples, or who chose to live child-free. By those who are frank, sarcastic, funny, reserved, or serious. In short, there is something for everyone.

These are the blogs featured in RESOLVE’s 2012 “Bloggers Unite Program”: http://bit.ly/UP0vcR Consider checking some out.

My blog post from April 25, 2012 on Long Island IVF’s blog, The Fertility Daily, is number 35 on page three of the list. Here is that blog, in full, below:

Don’t Ignore Infertility Support Available

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. Some day. 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 you 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.

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. 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 hurts 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 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.

So, 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.

* * * * * * ** * **

Do you read other infertility blogs? If so, which ones?

 

 

photo credit: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/search.php?search=computer&cat=

 

no comments

Are “Child-less” and “Child-free” Living the Same?

By Tracey Minella

December 7th, 2012 at 12:07 pm

As a writer, I can see how other writers might use them interchangeably. But the infertile woman in me knows the difference. And it’s huge.

My infertility battle lasted several years, taking 6 fresh IVF cycles and many setbacks and losses before my daughter was born. My son came from my 7th fresh IVF.

Part of working through each lost cycle involved dealing with the nagging fear that… no matter how hard we fought, or where we found the money, or what we were willing to suffer through, or how long we were willing to wait…we could end up without a child. For us, that meant being childless.

And that thought was unbearable. Unacceptable.

In fact, the possibility of ending up childless after such a long, hard battle was a thought I could only allow to enter my mind for the briefest of moments. I pushed it away quickly, even forcefully, for fear that entertaining it for any length of time might make it real. My doctor didn’t sugar-coat the situation: I had only a 10% chance of conceiving…and that was with IVF.

I remember as cycles failed, agonizing over the decision of whether to repeat IVF or if it was time to consider adoption. While I was open to adoption, I stubbornly clung to the desire to carry my own biological child for longer than many others in my situation might. Although I didn’t feel any particular sense of “control” in doing IVF, I just personally felt more proactive doing IVF than waiting and hoping we’d be chosen for adoption. That was just me. I was so impatient.

I faced my bleak prognosis and my life in general, with blinders on… never believing I wouldn’t be a mom someday. Somehow. I would not be childless.

My desire to have a child was all-consuming. Those years robbed me of my usual self, leaving a bitter, oversensitive, judgmental woman behind. It was hard to be truly happy for those blessed with fertility, especially if they complained about anything. I couldn’t even respect the decision of those couples who actually chose not to have children. Without even knowing their reasons, I stereotyped them as self-centered and cold, preferring to indulge in the fine things without enough love in their hearts to share with a child. And I’d just about melt-down whenever there was news of babies being abandoned, beaten, or killed. (Still do.)

To go through life without parenting a child would simply be… less of a life. It would be child-less. I felt that way. And I imagine all infertile people in treatment do. Why else would we subject ourselves to all that we do to try to conceive? The ultrasounds, blood work and procedures. The plastic cups. So if at the end of our individual journeys, our arms are still empty, it is likely because an insurmountable obstacle has forced a child-less life upon us. Not because we suddenly chose to live a life without children.

Child-free people are the complete opposite of infertile people. While we often can’t wrap our heads around it, they have decided that they don’t want to have children. They want to live a life that is…free of children. That doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t like children; they just don’t want to parent them. The lack of a baby in their arms is by choice. It’s a preference that could be based on many different considerations. Hard as it can be at times, we should try to respect that choice, keeping in mind the ideal that all babies should be loved and wanted as desperately as we want to have them.

Child-free people with no regrets don’t feel a void in their lives. Child-less people likely always will.

* * * *  * * * * * * *  * * * *

Do you think the terms “child-free” and “child-less” are interchangeable? Most of us understandably feel jealous at times when we see pregnant people. But how do you feel about those who presumably can have children, but purposely choose not to?

 

Photo credit: Petr Kratochvil Public domain pictures http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=10591&picture=empty-swing

 

no comments


The Fertility Daily Blog by Long Island IVF
© Copyright 2010-2012