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April Fool’s Day Pregnancy Jokes are NOT Funny

By Tracey Minella

March 31st, 2018 at 1:01 pm

image: gratisography-ryan mcguire

This year, Easter and April Fool’s Day fall on the same day. So maybe there’s some hope that Easter will draw attention away from April Fool’s Day which, despite being insignificant, has traditionally been a minefield for those suffering from infertility.

What should be a harmless day of dodging innocent pranks always turns ugly with the inevitable April Fool’s Day prank post: “I’m pregnant”.

Just. Stop. Now.

It’s not only soooooo last year (and the year before that… and the year before that) but it’s not even believable or funny anymore. In fact, it never was. It’s simply hurtful to those who can’t have children. And we are not oversensitive. Infertility is no joke. It’s a disease. Would you joke about having another serious disease? Of course not.

So how about you think before typing that lame joke this year?

Think about all the infertile couples who suffer every day of the year as their newsfeeds are bombarded by countless legit pregnancy announcements, baby pictures, and other kid-related posts. We’re already going to struggle with  all the cute Easter bonnet babies and egg hunts tomorrow.

Give us a break. Better yet, post something that is actually laugh-out-loud funny. Lord knows, we could use a momentary diversion from the pain with a rare and honest belly laugh.

Don’t be the Fool on April 1st.

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Are you bothered by April Fool’s Day pregnancy pranks? How do you respond?



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7 Tips on Holiday Survival for the Infertile

By Tracey Minella

December 1st, 2017 at 6:17 am

image credit-Imagerymajestic at

How will we make it through this month?


The 2017 winter holiday season has officially kicked off with turkey day–where many a tongue was likely bitten to avoid lashing out at insensitive clods.


So, who needs to vent already?


The winter holidays bring about a whole different kind of stress. First of all, there are waaaaay too many events back-to-back that bring large groups of family (including waaaay too many kids) together for waaaaay too many hours. Depending on your holiday customs, you could be with these people up to 10 times between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Each holiday can inflict a unique pain for the infertile heart to bear.


Thanksgiving is a fun kick-off event. Really, who doesn’t love being forced to feel thankful. Some of us have suffered losses this year or had to delay treatment and may not be feeling very grateful right now. Plus, it’s hard to feel thankful when the thing you want most of all is not yet in reach…and you’re worried if it ever will be. And you may be keeping your struggle a secret from friends and family—which not only gets you no support but makes you a sitting duck during all those hours gathered around the table talking about so many things– like are you guys ever going to have a baby.


Like anyone, we tend to take the good things for granted and focus on what we don’t have. But infertility makes us focus on what we don’t have 24/7, especially if we are in a treatment cycle—so it’s easy to be down…and even bitter. And the assault of nosy questions is draining. Wishing on a wishbone gets old…and using it as a make-shift mashed potato sling-shot for a nagging relative is apparently not socially acceptable behavior. Go figure.


Speaking of wish lists…Christmas and Chanukah and the focus on children are understandably unbearable when waiting for a baby. Can I get a Bah-Humbug? Look, sometimes it’s hard to just be the aunt and uncle–especially if the rest of your overly-fertile family keeps effortlessly popping out babies. It doesn’t mean you don’t adore the little devils, it just means part of your heart is still empty, waiting for your own child to fill it. That’s normal.


New Year’s Eve and Day are also weirdly stressful. But at least you can generally be alone if you prefer to without too much protesting from family or friends. Looking back on the year is hard, especially if there have been failed cycles or painful losses to bear. Looking forward with hope—yet again– can also be hard if the journey is taking years. Like I said, it’s weird. For those who don’t want to party hardy, huge celebrations with champagne toasts may feel frivolous and fake as you battle the lure of the comfortable den couch. Don’t fight it—stay home. Reconnect. Celebrate your strength as a couple and that you made it through the dreaded holiday season. Or just go to bed early. That’s normal, too.


Do anything to protect the heart this season such as:


  • Shop online instead of in toy stores for those kids on your list. Or consider a gift that’s an experience you can share if that would make you both happy—like a concert or outing. Nothing says “I love you” like Bieber tickets.
  • Pamper yourself this season by getting rest and making time for things that you love—like a massage, facial, brunch, or a movie.
  • Buy yourself something. Who says the season of giving can’t include a gift to ourselves?
  • Keep within (and possibly reduce) your budget on gifts for others so as not to overburden yourself with debt or impact your own treatment needs. Suggest a family grab-bag if the extended family has grown faster than your wallet.
  • Consider opening up about your infertility struggle if the stress of the secret is too much. Long Island IVF’s infertility specialist, Bina Benisch, MS, RN can help.
  • Volunteer with a charity.
  • Adopt a family that can’t afford presents or drop off a toy in a Toys for Tots box. You may feel better about yourself if you help others.


And I know you love unsolicited advice, so on a personal note: Year after miserable year, I was pretty bitter and completely overlooked anything good in my life during the holidays…unable to focus on anything at all other than my infertility struggle. My mind was jam-packed with cycle info, drug inventories, numbers of follicles or embryos, hormone levels, and the ever present mental calculation of “if I get pregnant this cycle, the baby will be born in [insert month]”. There was nothing else that mattered. Nothing.


And then, against all odds, after what felt like an eternity, it finally worked out for me– as it eventually does for many. Suddenly, like flipping a switch, the pain was gone—the void was filled. But in hindsight I looked back and realized all the years I lived consumed by sadness. All those years I couldn’t get back. All those holidays I didn’t enjoy…like this year’s holidays may be for you.


So, I get it. I feel your misery and remember. I know it’s hard to fake it ‘til you make it and you shouldn’t have to do that for anybody—except yourself. So, I’m asking you for your own sake, to just try to find some part of each holiday that makes you feel good—or at least willing to get out of bed to face that day. Maybe a family tradition that brings a smile to your face, a present you’re dying to give someone, a favorite dish that will be served, a holiday movie or cookie exchange. Or do something different and make a new tradition—maybe something you plan to continue even after your journey is done.


Because as much as you may be wishing these seemingly dark days away now, you can’t get these days back. And the loved ones here today may not be well or even be here at all next year. So, try to enjoy them. Keep making memories. Snap those selfies even though your heart may not be into it. How I wish I had been better with that.


But keep that wishbone in hand. And make that wish again. Believe and hope. But also remember it makes a great slingshot.


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What are your tips for getting through the holidays?

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Long Island IVF Joins Lobbying Efforts for Mandated IVF Coverage in New York State

By Daniel Kenigsberg,MD

June 7th, 2017 at 10:10 am


Dr. Daniel Kenigsberg, Co-Founder Long Island IVF


I am lobbying for passage of Senate Bill S3248, a bill sponsored by Sen. Diane Savino of Staten Island, N.Y. which would mandate In-Vitro Fertilization (“IVF”) coverage in New York State –just as it is in neighboring states including Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Our patients and other New Yorkers struggling with the significant emotional and financial burdens of infertility are under the impression that they live in a progressive state, but little do most know how poorly served they are by existing New York law.

Currently, the law mandates coverage for “correctable” medical conditions causing Infertility–but specifically EXCLUDES coverage for IVF. This has resulted in much emotional and financial cost spent on inferior or inappropriate treatments which ARE covered when, for over 50% of infertile couples, IVF was the best or only treatment.

IVF is far safer in terms of reducing multiple pregnancy risk than less successful and often inferior treatments like ovulation induction and intrauterine insemination (IUI). There has been waste and needless sacrifice for insured couples denied IVF.

Further, not covering IVF treatment has a disproportionate effect on women (name one male treatment not covered by medical insurance). In Massachusetts, 5% of births result from IVF. In New York, it’s 1.5%. That is how dramatic the current arcane New York law hurts the population it is supposed to protect.

You can help right this wrong. And it won’t take more than 5 minutes of your time.

Call, write and email your state senator. You can find your senator here. Please note that mine is John Flanagan of Smithtown, Senate Majority Leader.

Also, contact Senator Savino of Staten Island because it is her bill to push and prioritize (or not). You can contact her here.

If you are currently suffering from infertility, it can be an overwhelmingly difficult time, but if you have a moment to reach out to your senator and Senator Savino, and any other local representatives, the combined effect of all of our voices can make a big difference. Or if your infertility journey has already been resolved, please reach out as well for the benefit of all that are now– and will someday be– following in your footsteps. And please share this with your family and friends so they may do the same. Thank you.

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Listen Up! World Parenthood: It Takes a Village

By Tracey Minella

April 24th, 2017 at 9:06 am

Hope you can all hear me from up on this soapbox*. So LISTEN UP:

Those tree-hugging hippies who imagined we’d have world peace if we all just loved one another…like, right now…were on to something. Not sure it works for the world peace thing, but for World Parenthood—oh, yes. Definitely. If we all just loved one another, we could all become parents. (No, I don’t mean it that way!) But it will literally take a village to bring parenthood to the world.

Here’s the plan:

To the women who never had fertility problems or experienced loss. Be quiet. Really. Your nagging questions are hurtful, your advice is unsolicited, and you don’t understand. You never will understand. Don’t pretend you can. Want to help? Really want to make a difference? Just say you’re sorry and “listen up” if and when we choose to speak about it. You wish you could do something more? Well, you can.

LISTEN UP: You’ve got working parts—use them for others. Donate your eggs. Donate your uterus and be a surrogate or gestational carrier for another couple. Do it for someone you know. Or for a stranger. Whatever works for you. Too much to ask? Then donate money. Give to a couple that can’t afford fertility treatment. If handing over the cash is awkward, then buy them something they need or pay for a service they use so they can put that freed-up money into their fertility fund instead. Stop with the sweaters and give cash or a credit card gift card for holidays. Give to fertility fundraisers, grant programs, and infertility organizations like Resolve. Just help someone. And for the love of all things holy, lighten up on the relentless Facebook baby posts and false pregnancy jokes.

To the women who overcame their fertility problems. You know better. You do understand. And yet you are different now. You are on the other side. Don’t you dare pretend it didn’t ever happen—or that it was just a black hole in your past. Don’t just move on with your miracle. Look back.

LISTEN UP: You have an obligation to those who haven’t left their journeys—and to those who will suffer after you. Do something. Offer something. Anything. Educate others. Become an infertility advocate. Raise awareness by participating in a Walk of Hope or other event. If you are able to do so, donate eggs or lend your uterus to a needy couple. And please, please, please…if you did IVF and your family is complete, consider Embryo Donation of the embryos you won’t be using—it would be the answer to another couple’s prayers. If more couples really considered and felt comfortable with this option, rather than discarding or donating them to research, the impact on world parenthood would be monumental. And always, offer the right words of encouragement as only you can. Or the shoulder you needed to cry on.

To all men and women, heterosexual or homosexual: Unite. Donate what you have to your cause and the cause of others. Be supportive.

LISTEN UP: We all need something from each other to create our families. Gay men need eggs or embryos and a uterus. Women need sperm. If you have something someone else needs—eggs, sperm, embryos, a uterus—consider giving or lending freely. Make a real difference. Help create a life that will be loved beyond measure by a loving person or couple desperate to have a baby. Your contribution may make the process affordable for couples who would otherwise not be able to access or afford these services on top of standard IVF costs. Look into your heart and see if there is something you can do to help someone else become a parent. Someone you love needs help having a baby. Your help. Give that gift.

It takes a village to make world parenthood a reality. Step up. LISTEN UP.

*This post, for National Infertility Awareness Week 2017, is the view point of the author and may or may not reflect the position or feelings of Long Island IVF and its physicians.




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Infertile on Valentine’s Day

By Tracey Minella

February 14th, 2017 at 12:13 pm


image credit: OZphotography/

Most holidays are hard on those struggling with infertility, but Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be one of them. It’s one of the few holidays that are focused on couples, not children. You’re expected to be alone as a couple…no family gatherings to endure.

While a fancy dinner, candy, roses, or even diamonds can’t substitute for the gift you really want to give or receive from your partner today, try not to focus on the baby quest for just this one day…or at least for a good part of it…and instead focus on your partner.

Battling infertility can make you lose sight of pretty much everything else. It can make you understandably cranky and depressed. And it can make you take your loved ones…especially your partner…for granted.

If you’ve fallen into that rut, today is the perfect day to change things. Start by stealing a moment and clearing your mind of everything else. Then, make a list of five things you love about your partner. If you need help getting started, think about how he/she is right beside you in this battle. What have you weathered together already? Remember how much he/she can make you laugh or the special inside jokes only you two share?(Consider telling your partner you’re doing this and ask them to do the same so you can exchange lists over dinner tonight or wait until you’re together tonight and make the lists together.)

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to cost a lot, especially when financing infertility treatments. If you do want to go out, kick back and enjoy yourself knowing that most places will be child-free tonight.

Of course, a great Valentine’s Day doesn’t need to cost anything at all. A quiet and simple dinner at home may be all you need to spiritually reconnect. Candles and the right companion can make even mac and cheese incredibly romantic. And those lists of what you love about each other will be treasured keepsakes to look back on later. Trust me.

And having walked many miles in your shoes let me tell you a little secret…

Infertility can be a gift. A twisted kind of gift on nobody’s wish list, of course. But it’s a gift that is often not realized until after the battle is won. If it doesn’t break your marriage, infertility can make your love stronger than you ever imagined it could be. Every tear and painful loss or setback can be cement for your union. Many infertile couples look back and feel that if they got through infertility together, they can handle anything else the future may throw at them. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, as they say.

So this is a night to give thanks for…and celebrate… your soul mate and your union. Focus on that. Reconnect. It will strengthen you for when you resume the battle again tomorrow.

Now, pencils ready…


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How do you celebrate your love when battling infertility?



photo credit: OZphotography/

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Breast Cancer and Fertility Preservation

By admin

November 21st, 2016 at 8:32 am

A diagnosis of breast cancer is one of the most challenging health issues a person could face.  This diagnosis is even more devastating to the woman who desires to have children the future.  Treatments for the breast cancer may have harmful effects on the woman’s ability to conceive by adversely affecting the health of her eggs.  In addition the hormonal treatments frequently used to help an individual conceive have the potential to worsen the breast cancer.


There is often turmoil surrounding the diagnosis of breast cancer.  The individual, her family and physicians are appropriately focused on getting rapid effective treatment and survival.  The issue of fertility may not be thought of until a chemotherapeutic plan is just about to start or has already been initiated.


Since there are fertility preserving options for the individuals facing breast cancer treatment, these options should be considered.  If time allows eggs or embryos may be frozen for future use.  The use of such procedures depends on many factors, primarily, will such treatment have a negative effect on the woman’s disease.  If in the patient’s and oncologist’s judgment fertility preservation is an option it should occur rapidly to allow for the timely treatment of the breast cancer.


The key is for the oncologist and patient to be aware and discuss the potential for fertility conservation treatment prior to the start of chemotherapy.  This opportunity for discussion may be lost in the unrest that surrounds the diagnosis.  Breast cancer awareness month, October, 2016, creates a platform to raise these issues and help both individuals and health care providers come more cognizant of available treatments and the importance of timing  these treatments to maximize future fertility.



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4 Hot Fertility Questions at ASRM 2016

By David Kreiner MD

November 7th, 2016 at 7:45 am

The theme for the 2016 ASRM (American Society for Reproductive Medicine) conference in Salt Lake City, Utah was “Scaling New Heights in Fertility”.  As one whose life on Long Island sheltered me from views of snow-capped mountain tops, the perspective of the attendees appeared to climb higher and perhaps to possibilities never previously conceived.

I summarize here 4 Hot Fertility Questions that were debated and discussed in the conference:

1)      Should PGS screening be routine for all IVF patients?

2)      Should all IVF transfers be restricted to blastocysts only?

3)      Should we freeze all embryos and transfer in an unstimulated cycle?

4)      What is the best treatment for the patient with diminished ovarian reserve?

Should PGS screening be routine for all IVF patients? 

The theoretical benefit of Pre-Implantation Genetic Screening, or“PGS”, testing is that it allows one to select a single “tested normal” embryo in the presence of multiple embryos which is more likely to implant and less likely to miscarry.  Absent testing the chromosome number of the embryos, to insure a similar chance of conception one might transfer two embryos– increasing the likelihood that twins would result in a pregnancy at greater risk for prematurity and complications affecting the health of the babies.  Most miscarriages are the result of abnormal chromosomes and if the embryos had normal chromosomes then there should be less of a chance the pregnancy would result in miscarriage.

The argument against routine PGS testing is based mainly on the fact that the test is not 100% accurate or predictive of either normalcy or abnormalcy in addition to not obtaining a result in some cases.  It is argued that the error rate is only 1% but there is a phenomenon called mosaicism where an embryo may have more than one cell line. It is not rare that an embryo which has an abnormal cell line in addition to a normal one can, during development, shed the abnormal cells and evolve normally.  However, PGS testing may pick up only the abnormal cell or detect both normal and abnormal and then there is the question of what to do with the mosaic embryos since there is no current way to predict whether these embryos will ultimately be normal.

Another argument against routine PGS testing is that most abnormal embryos never implant anyway and that perhaps the reduction in miscarriages with PGS is not as great as predicted.  Still another argument that holds true for younger patients in particular is that the pregnancy rate for a single blastocyst transfer is nearly as high without PGS testing and that one can achieve equal success without the risk of discarding potentially normal embryos.

Should all IVF transfers be restricted to blastocysts only?

In addition to improving the ability to select the best embryo, the proposed advantages of a blastocyst transfer (typically 5-6 days old) versus a cleaved embryo transfer (usually 3 days old) include the following:

  • an embryo transferred 5-6 days after ovulation is closer to the natural physiologic state
  • there are thought to be fewer uterine contractions 5-6 days post ovulation than 3 days;
  • blastocysts have a larger diameter and are thought to be less likely to be pushed into the fallopian tubes—which may lead to a lower ectopic pregnancy rate;
  • there is a shorter time to implantation and therefore less opportunity for a deleterious event to occur to an embryo in the uterus.

However, there are some patients, in particular older or those with more fragile embryos, which have been shown to fail to conceive on multiple occasions after a blast transfer but successfully get pregnant and deliver healthy babies after transfer of cleaved embryos.  Furthermore, there is evidence that in some of these cases embryos that may have been destined to otherwise result in a normal pregnancy may fail to develop to blast in the laboratory.

Should we freeze all embryos and transfer in an unstimulated cycle?

There is a growing consensus nationally among IVF programs that the endometrium is less receptive to embryo implantation during a stimulated cycle–especially one in which the estradiol and/or progesterone levels are high.  Although convincing patients to delay transfer to a subsequent unstimulated cycle is a challenge, growing evidence is pushing the field in this direction.

What is the best treatment for the patient with diminished ovarian reserve?

Optimal treatment of the patient with diminished ovarian reserve remains a challenge to the IVF program.  There is growing evidence that adjuvant therapy, including such things as acupuncture and Chinese herbs as well as supplements such as CoQ10 and DHEA, may improve a patient’s response to stimulation and improve pregnancy rates.  Other strategies include sensitizing follicles with estradiol and/or Growth Hormone pre-treatment and banking embryos from multiple cycles with transfer during an unstimulated cycle.  Still another strategy is milder stimulation in an attempt to improve the quality of the retrieved egg/s.

There were many heights achieved during this meeting and to this boy from Queens I was impressed not just with the science and the breathtaking vistas of the regal mountains forming a horseshoe around Salt Lake City but also with the most pleasing goodness of the people native to the city who genuinely offered their time to help make our experience a pleasant one.


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You Can’t Sugar-Coat Halloween When You’re Infertile

By Tracey Minella

October 31st, 2016 at 1:31 pm


image: digitalart/

I’ve got nothing.

Usually, I can muster up some tips to get you through the roughest days of the year. But this one is hard and I find the tips I’m brewing up are either too lame or too sinister to share. What makes Halloween so tough?

Halloween is the one universal children’s holiday…celebrated by all children. We all remember Halloween fondly, the costumes, the candy, the parties, the doorbells. The sugar-rush, shaving cream fights, and the eggs… for you rebels out there. Bolting from house to house for hours, until our feet dragged from the weight of a pillowcase that rivaled Santa’s sack. Mom and dad watching from the curb.

“Just one more house, PUH-LEEEZE?”

Halloween by its very nature is the most “in-your-face” of the holidays. Literally. It’s an onslaught. Even worse than Christmas or Chanukah… where you only have to deal with the kids in your immediate families. Today, kids are everywhere. All day and night. In the streets and at your door. You can’t hide. No place is safe.

Childhood memories of Halloween make us want to be kids again. And simultaneously makes us want to have our own so they can experience the same wonder. And so we can be the one at the curb today, the one who checks the bags for safety, the one posting 102 pictures to Facebook.

And not having it feels like a little pirate’s plastic dagger in the heart.

Another year that the dream of dressing up a little boy or girl in the perfect costume hasn’t come true. Another year to wait. How can I sugar-coat all this pain?

So I’m telling you to hide as best as you can. Stay off social media once the onslaught begins later. If you can go to an adults-only party or a romantic restaurant to escape children tonight, that’s great. But if it hurts to answer the door 372 times, lower the lights, put a bowl of treats out, and retire early… with a bag or two of your own favorite candy.

Or you could always open the door in the middle of an injection, screaming “TRICK!” and frighten the bejeebers out of the nineteenth Trump and Hillary that come knocking. (Oops, did I just say that out loud?)

The choice is yours. You can “let it go”… or you can be a witch if you want to. After all, it is Halloween.

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How do/did you handle Halloween when infertile?

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National Coming Out Day and Reproductive Options for the LGBT Community

By Tracey Minella

October 11th, 2016 at 6:29 pm

Long Island IVF has been proudly building families for the LGBT community for decades and we are mindful and supportive of LGBT rights and days of significance to the community.

Today, we mark National Coming Out Day—a day to support the men, women, and gender-fluid among us who are, in some cases, summoning the courage to “come out” to their friends, families, and others and begin to live their lives in an open and true to themselves way. Some of these people are teens, or even younger and sadly, the threats against them from various sources are very real. Laws may change, but people often do not…or at least not as quickly.

Long Island IVF is a long-time friend to the LGBT community, and has partnered with the Long Island’s LGBT Network to present seminars specifically designed to address the unique family-building needs of the LGBT community. The next free seminar will be on October 25, 2016 at the Long Island IVF Melville office. Register here.

Reproductive options for lesbian couples will be discussed including topics such as donor sperm insemination, in vitro fertilization, reciprocal IVF, use of gestational carriers, donor eggs, and more. The limitations and the workup for women wishing to donate eggs and/or carry a pregnancy will be covered. 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. The social, legal, financial, and medical issues will be discussed.

If you are…or love…a member of the LGBT community, you won’t want to miss this information–packed seminar.

Long Island recognizes 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– or parents of –the LGBT community themselves, is sensitive to your needs and eager to help you build your family.

You may have come out today. Why not come meet us in two weeks?

If you would like to attend our next seminar, please register here.


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A Long Island IVF Rainbow Baby Story

By admin

September 27th, 2016 at 7:36 am

This beautiful story of light after loss was shared by and printed with the permission of one of our patients, Susan:

“Rainbow Baby is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it does not mean the storm never happened or that the family is still not dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy, and hope”. – Anonymous



Our storm began April 23,, 2013, when at 23 weeks pregnant, we lost our beautiful twin boys James and Logan. There was no reason, no cause given, just that we lost them. We never got to hear them cry or breathe or hold living babies in our arms. To save me, the doctors took our babies and my uterus, eliminating my chance of ever carrying another baby. When you lose a baby in utero, you don’t get a birth certificate or even a death certificate – in the eyes of the law they never existed.

Leaving the hospital with only their footprints and memory boxes was the worst possible feeling I could have ever imagined. The days, weeks, and months that followed were dark and stormy. Every day we questioned how we could ever go on. Would we ever feel the love and happiness we experienced the day we learned we were pregnant with James and Logan?

I have to believe that our baby boys led us to our rainbows. As sad and distraught as we were, we felt drawn to find another option to complete our dream of becoming parents, of someday hearing the words “mommy” and “daddy”.

Through our fertility clinic, Long Island IVF, we were sent to an agency where we were matched with a surrogate. Little did we know that she would become our angel on Earth – she would bring our rainbow babies to us. Her due date was April 20th, my birthday and almost three years to the date we lost our baby boys.

On March 28, 2016, Alexa Grace and Ashley Hope– our rainbow babies– entered our world and we felt the love and joy we doubted we would ever know. Losing James and Logan was the worst possible storm we will hopefully ever have to weather, but with them watching over us we became a family. As the quote says, the rainbows don’t take away the storm clouds but these little girls make us cherish what we have here on Earth and what we have in Heaven.

In an effort to help others who may be struggling in a similar way, I wanted to share our story–including a piece about the struggles and decisions we made that only people going through similar situations would understand. Our journey to have Ashley and Alexa was not easy – there were many times we wanted to give up, but we always came back to the belief that we were MEANT to be parents.

Our first attempt with our surrogate resulted in a miscarriage – another devastating loss, but we still had embryos remaining so we had those genetically-tested and we had one, genetically normal, male. We did that transfer in April 2015 and it didn’t take. Mark and I took some time to reflect and think of other options – adoption, donor egg, or live childless.

We met with Vicky Loveland, the nurse in charge of the Donor Egg Program at Long Island IVF, and decided the best choice for us would be donor egg. Vicky and her staff were wonderful, they walked us through each step of the process and made me feel like a “mom”. Don’t get me wrong, I did grieve – the loss of ever carrying a child and the loss of ever having a genetic child of my own, but it always came back to knowing I was meant to be a mom and Mark a dad. With Vicky’s help we quickly found a donor that we felt most matched me and the process began. We ended up with four embryos and decided to put two in for transfer.

The moment we held Alexa and Ashley I sighed and smiled – my babies were here and we were finally a family. We have brought the girls in to the clinic to meet all the amazing people that made our girls possible. Mark and I were blessed to find Long Island IVF and all the caring individuals who gave us hope.

-Susan and Mark


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