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Archive for the ‘Coming Out Infertile Day’ Category

Election Day, Politics, and Infertility

By Tracey Minella

November 8th, 2016 at 5:33 pm

 

image: coward_lion/free digitalphotos.net


Today, what feels like the longest, most controversial, and unprecedented presidential election campaign will finally come to an end. Sadly, and on a level not seen before, families and friendships have been broken over this election and we are all watching and holding our collective breath for the results as well as the potential aftermath.

But this post is not to persuade anyone on whom to choose. We each have issues that are important to us and, for some, the choice today may come down to which candidate supports our most important issue.

This post is to reflect on how the infertility community affects political change and public awareness of infertility.

Behind the scenes—and often center stage—countless people fight continuously for the rights of the infertility community. Some advocates are infertile right now; others may have already resolved their infertility but want to help those suffering today—and tomorrow. Some want to see certain groups, such as military veterans, get medical coverage for assisted reproductive technology. While others just want mandated infertility and adoption coverage for all.

There’s a lot going on in the political and infertile world—some front-burner and other back-burner movements.

A couple of months ago, after years of advocacy, the commonly-called #IVF4Vets bill, also known as MilCon-VA, was finally passed, removing the VA-bar on IVF treatment for veterans. This change is the first step toward providing IVF to military veterans who are infertile as a result of their military service. Unfortunately, it’s often one step forward and two steps back when it comes to gaining political ground. At practically the same time, what’s been coined the proposed Harris Embryo Amendment entered the picture. It’s also been called “the worst piece of federal legislation ever introduced”*.

The Harris Embryo Amendment would be a real threat to federally-funded IVF. In a nutshell, it would prohibit the federal funding of any IVF treatments in a federal government facility in which there is a possibility that any resulting viable embryo could be discarded or destroyed. Since excess embryos are not only commonplace in IVF, but generally an unavoidable result of the treatment, the mandated transfer of all fresh embryos would actually, in most cases, be detrimental, since the current standard practice is generally transferring only one or two embryos per cycle. In addition, the survival and use of all embryos thawed after cryopreservation cannot be guaranteed. So, the proposed amendment may threaten federally-funded IVF and cryopreservation as it now exists.

There have been other political initiatives in recent years on behalf of the infertile, including but not limited to the Family Act and the Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act. As assisted reproductive technology continues to advance and the demand for these services grows, we can expect to continue to advocate both for and against new legislation.

So, after this election—and maybe just a short break from the politics—consider becoming more involved in infertility-related advocacy and legislation. The first and best step would be to reach out the RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association—the group that fights tirelessly for the rights of the infertile community. (Thanks, RESOLVE!) You can check out the political initiatives here.

And if you are overcome with infertility-related sadness and stress as the holiday season is approaching, please let us help you.

In an effort to increase public awareness of infertility before the special stress of the winter holiday season hits those who are suffering in silence, Long Island IVF is sponsoring the second annual Coming Out Infertile Day with “The Reveal: A Coming Out Infertile Workshop” on November 17th from 6:30-8:00 pm at our Melville office.

This free workshop will be led by our own Mind-Body Medicine expert and psychologist, Bina Benisch, MS, RN, who specializes in counseling infertility patients and will focus on helping infertile people work through the obstacles that may be preventing them from coming out to their family and friends. The focus is to help those who would like to “come out” to do so in a way that’s right for them, so they can get the support they need. All are welcome. Pre- registration is required here. Like our Facebook page or Coming Out Infertile Day page for information on how to join the social media movement on Nov 17 to come out infertile with one easy graphic and one click-again for those who are ready to do so.

Now, go ahead and vote!

*Barbara Collura, RESOLVE

 

 

 

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The Reveal: A “Coming Out Infertile” Day Workshop Event

By Tracey Minella

November 4th, 2016 at 1:30 pm


Long Island IVF is proud to sponsor the second annual “Coming Out Infertile” Day on November 17, 2016 and The Reveal: a special pre-holiday season workshop for those suffering in silence from infertility.

Infertility is a devastating disease that affects 1 out of every 8 couples. In addition to the pain and fear that comes with this diagnosis, many couples feel the unwarranted stigma of shame and guilt. Consequently, they keep their infertility a secret—even from their family and closest friends.

They are often afraid…or don’t know how… to tell their families and friends (or their employers) that they are having trouble getting or staying pregnant and need treatment. So they suffer in silence. Often for many months or years.

Coming Out Infertile Day (andThe Reveal workshop) was conceived to encourage those suffering from infertility to “come out” to their families, friends, and/or employers if they feel ready to do so… and to help them with the tools they need to do so. And most importantly, to come out in a way that feels right for them.

The holiday season, with its focus on children and families, is a particularly hard time for infertile folks who are easy targets for nagging personal questions about baby-making plans.

What we wouldn’t give to have a pregnancy test kit with two lines on it.  

Coming Out Infertile Day…seven months after National Infertility Awareness Week in April and right before the stress of the winter holidays…is a timely public reminder of the pain of infertility and a chance for those suffering to come out and get support.

Long Island IVF is offering a The Reveal—a free Coming-Out Infertile Workshop on November 17, 2016 from 6:30-8 pm at its offices at 8 Corporate Center Drive, Melville, New York. Led by our own Mind-Body medicine expert and psychologist, Bina Benisch, MS, RN, who specializes in counseling infertility patients, attendees will be given the support they need to come out infertile in a manner that’s right for them. In addition to this free group counseling, attendees will receive sample scripts and template letters to customize to help them. Are you ready to tell just your parents? Or your best friend? The whole family? Need to know how to break it to your boss? We can help. All are welcome. The workshop is free but pre-registration is required,  so register here:  http://bit.ly/therevealCOI2016.

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. So, for those ready to fully and publicly come out, Workshop attendees will be able to be part of Coming Out Infertile Day’s social media campaign where you can easily upload and share your photo with the official #Comingoutinfertile hashtag and graphic on various social media platforms by using the easy and free app, PicStitch. You do not have to be a Long Island IVF patient to participate. All are welcome and encouraged to be part of this empowering event!

Or be with us virtually!! Those unable to attend can use the #ComingOutInfertile social media PicStich app instructions coming soon. So, like our Long Island IVF Facebook page and/or the Coming Out Infertile Day page to stay on top of this movement.

It’s time to end the stigma of infertility. It’s time to unburden yourself from the added weight of this secret and get the support you need. It’s time to #comeoutinfertile. Join us in person or on social media on 11-17. Be part of the movement no matter where you are in your infertility journey.

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What is holding you back from coming out infertile? Are you ready to join the #comingoutinfertile movement?

 

 

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Social Media and the IVF Experience

By Tracey Minella

March 20th, 2016 at 10:11 pm

 

image courtesy of bplanet/ freedigitalphotos.net


Snapchat® your IVF retrieval day story? Instagram® your embryo’s first picture*? Live tweet your transfer on Twitter®?

It’s true. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is boldly going where social media has never gone before. Farther than just sharing the positive pregnancy test on Facebook®. And celebrities are leading the way.

Celebrities have often shared their infertility stories on social media after-the-fact, either during or after the resulting pregnancy. Chrissy Teigen caused a stir in the “twitterverse” when she recently came out during her pregnancy about doing IVF (and selecting a girl embryo to transfer) while shooting the Sports Illustrated® swimsuit issue. And there are countless others who speak out later.

But “real-time” social media updating has entered the IVF scene. One example is the Snapchat® retrieval day story of E!News host, Maria Menounos, as reported by intouchweekly.com., so check it out. The star was also quoted on her reported previous egg-freezing experience and shares her thoughts on the cutting edge fertility-preservation technology.

The benefits of “real-time” social sharing are many:

  • It’s your Coming Out Infertile Day. With one click, you can indirectly “come out” about your infertility struggles to your family and friends on social media.**
  • Remove the stigma and increase awareness of infertility and emotional support by putting a real face to infertility.
  • Embrace the Coolness Factor. We all know the drawbacks, but what makes IVF family-building unique in a good way? Being able to document in photos and videos the literal creation of your baby…and share it all live… is exhilarating, emotional, and, yes even cool. Not everyone can do it, so in a twisted sense, it is a privilege. (And these photos and videos are priceless keepsakes to share with your eventual children, too.)

But there’s an obvious down-side to real-time social sharing. Unforeseen and unfortunate developments sometimes happen that you may not be prepared to experience… much less share on the spot… such as fewer eggs retrieved than hoped for, poor fertilization, or a negative pregnancy test. Once you share the start of the story, you create an expectation for the ending. And while it’s often happy, there can be no guarantees.

Maybe these real-time infertility stories are the inevitable and natural answer to the never-ending flood of pregnancy posts and baby pictures on social media. What do you think?

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Would you/did you share your treatment in real-time on social media? If so, how? Would you/did you share your experience after-the-fact?

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*Many fertility practices, including Long Island IVF, do not provide embryo photos.

**Long Island IVF, sponsor of Coming Out Infertile Day, invites you to visit the Coming Out Infertile Day Facebook page for a helpful graphic and easy instructions to help you come out any day and start getting the support you need.

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Long Island IVF-WINNER: Best in Vitro Fertility Practice 2015 AND 2016

It is with humble yet excited hearts that we announce that Long Island IVF was voted the Best In Vitro Fertility Practice in the Best Of Long Island 2015 and 2016 contest…two years in a row!

The doctors, nurses, embryologists, and the rest of the Long Island IVF staff are so proud of this honor and so thankful to every one of you who took the time to vote. From the moms juggling LIIVF babies… to the dads coaching LIIVF teens…to the parents sending LIIVF adults off to college or down the aisles… to the LIIVF patients still on their journeys to parenthood who are confident in the care they’re receiving…we thank you all.

We love what we’ve gotten to do every day more than 28 years…build families. If you are having trouble conceiving, please call us. Many of our nurses and staff were also our patients, so we really do understand what you’re going through. And we’d like to help. 631-752-0606.

 

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The Grinchiness of Infertility

By Tracey Minella

December 20th, 2015 at 10:50 am

 

Photo Credit: Stuart Miles/ freedigitalphotos.net


There’s been a post going around in social media that “as you get older your Christmas list gets shorter and the things you really want can’t be bought.”

For the majority of Americans, the materialistic part of Christmas begins innocently at birth, with the creation of mile-long “Wish Lists” for Santa and the often repeated question of “What do you want from Santa?”

It takes time and wisdom before many finally grow up to realize that we can celebrate in moderation. That we can focus less on getting… and more on giving to others in need. That nothing we can buy is more valuable than people and the ties that bind us.

Sometimes, it can take a major life setback or loss to reset our holiday priorities. Something like losing a loved one. Or not being able to have a baby.

Those suffering from infertility want only one thing for Christmas. And for many, we’ve been asking and waiting for it for more than one year.

We have no Christmas wish list worth sharing. We don’t care if you buy us a sweater or gift card or nothing at all. What we want can’t be bought from a store. It’s hard for us to celebrate at all, especially if surrounded by children that remind us of what we don’t yet have. It doesn’t mean we don’t love them…we certainly prove that by the torturous toy shopping we do for them with our hearts in our throats, as we wonder how we got on the perpetual naughty list.

And while empty arms are justification to be a Grinch, we also struggle with an inner battle. We know that the only important thing we want can’t be bought. We’ve outgrown the materialistic. Yet for many, we can’t afford the fertility treatment we need in order to make that Christmas wish come true. It sounds awkward to say it but frankly, we need money. We need money… in order to get the priceless gift.

But, can you ask for it?

Obviously it depends on your relationships and whether you’ve come out to them about your infertility. If you haven’t and would like to, we can help you do so either by a one click on social media tell-the-world post or by giving you the scripts to start those hard face-to-face conversations. Holidays can be a good time to come out, especially if prompted by the usual nosy questions about when you’re finally going to have a baby. But you don’t want a scene at the dinner table. You want to be prepared. Please visit the Long Island IVF website or the Coming Out Infertile Day Facebook page for more info on how to come out.

If directly asking your parents or siblings to contribute to your fertility fund instead of buying you a traditional present isn’t something you’re comfortable with, you can consider setting up an internet fundraiser for your fertility treatment. It’s a less direct request for help and a way to come out about your situation. You may be surprised at the generosity of friends, family and even strangers.

You should also explore the many grant programs available at Long Island IVF to see if you qualify for financial awards to pay for your IVF treatment. http://bit.ly/1PjAQY4

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If asked, would you request financial help for treatment instead of a present? Have you applied for an IVF grant?

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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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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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‘Coming Out Infertile” Day

By Tracey Minella

October 23rd, 2015 at 10:40 am

Long Island IVF is proud to sponsor the first annual “Coming Out Infertile” Day on November 11, 2015 and a special workshop for those suffering from infertility.

Infertility is a devastating disease that affects 1 out of every 8 couples. In addition to the pain and fear that comes with this diagnosis, many couples feel the unwarranted stigma of shame and guilt. Consequently, they keep their infertility a secret.

They are often afraid…or don’t know how… to tell their families and friends (or their employers) that they are having trouble getting or staying pregnant and need treatment. So they suffer in silence. Often for many months or years.

Coming Out Infertile Day was conceived to encourage those suffering from infertility to “come out” to their families, friends, and/or employers if they feel ready to do so… and to help them with the tools they need to do so. And most importantly, to come out in a way that feels right for them.

The holiday season, with its focus on children and families, is a particularly hard time for infertile folks who are easy targets for nagging personal questions about baby-making plans.

What we wouldn’t give to have a pregnancy test kit with two lines on it. Which is why we chose 11-11 for this event.

Coming Out Infertile Day…seven months after National Infertility Awareness Week in April and right before the stress of the holidays…is a timely public reminder of the pain of infertility and a chance for those suffering to come out and get support.

Long Island IVF is offering a free Coming-Out Infertile Workshop on November 11, 2015 from 6-8 pm  at its offices at 8 Corporate Center Drive, Melville, New York. Led by our own Mind-Body medicine expert and psychologist, Bina Benisch, MS, RN, who specializes in counseling infertility patients, attendees will be given the support they need to come out infertile in a manner that’s right for them. In addition to this group counseling, attendees will receive sample scripts and template letters to customize to help them. Are you ready to tell just your parents? Or your best friend? The whole family? Need to know how to break it to your boss? We can help.

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. So, for those ready to fully and publicly come out, Workshop attendees will be able to be part of Coming Out Infertile Day’s social media campaign where you can easily upload and share your photo with the official #Comingoutinfertile hashtag and graphic on various social media platforms by using the easy and free app, PicStitch (available in ITunes App Store or Google Play). You do not have to be a Long Island IVF patient to participate. All are welcome and encouraged to be part of this historic global event!

Be with us virtually!! Those unable to attend can access scripts here:

http://www.longislandivf.com/pdf/LIIVF-COI-verbal.pdf

http://www.longislandivf.com/pdf/LIIVF-COI-Written.pdf

 

On November 11th, everyone is encouraged to use the #ComingOutInfertile social media PicStitch app instructions here:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To copy the #ComingOutInfertile graphic for PicStitch, just save this image:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like our Long Island IVF Facebook page and the Coming Out Infertile Day page to stay on top of this movement.

It’s time to end the stigma of infertility. It’s time to unburden yourself from the added weight of this secret and get the support you need. It’s time to #comeoutinfertile. Join us in person or on social media on 11-11. Be part of the movement no matter where you are in your infertility journey.

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

What is holding you back from coming out infertile? Are you ready to join the #comingoutinfertile movement?

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