Archive for the ‘Donor Sperm’ tag
By Tracey Minella
June 1st, 2016 at 10:09 am
The practice that brought Long Island its first donor egg baby decades ago just completely revamped its Donor Egg Program website! Now, the most pressing info you want is even easier to access on a site that exudes the warmth of the people behind this established program’s success.
Potential egg donors as well as donor recipients will not only find comfort in the history of Long Island IVF’s Donor Egg Program, but in the steps we take to fully screen potential egg donor candidates and our donor recipient patients. This process… simply explained on the new nydonoregg.com website… has been fine-tuned over the program’s long history to assure safe and thorough screening and patient care and a positive, completely anonymous experience for both donors and recipients.
Have you ever thought of becoming an egg donor? Do you know someone who is young and healthy and generous of spirit that might consider the wonderful gift of egg donation to help another woman enjoy the dream of motherhood? A visit to our new website is the perfect place to start this journey. (Or just pick up the phone and call the Program Coordinator, Vicky Loveland, MS, RN at 877-838-BABY…we’re flexible that way!)
The financial compensation is generous, with our egg donors currently receiving $8,000 per donated cycle. Many of our donors enjoy the experience so much that they come back to donate again. Repeat donors can even choose to freeze some of their eggs for their own future use and still receive compensation for the eggs that were donated. So you can help others and preserve your own future fertility at the same time.
Please check out our new Donor Egg Program website and consider becoming an egg donor. Or share this post on social media in case a friend would like to consider egg donation. You never know who might need donor eggs to start their family or who might benefit from the $8,000 compensation that comes from being an egg donor. By sharing, you might be helping a friend or loved one who is silently suffering from infertility.
We have healthy and prescreened egg donors ready and willing to help infertile couples become parents and are always looking to welcome more generous women to our egg donor family. Will you be next?
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Would you consider becoming an egg donor?
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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.
By David Kreiner MD
July 7th, 2015 at 3:01 pm
Fatherhood comes in many different varieties that as a reproductive endocrinologist specializing in family building I see on a regular basis. Whether the man is involved in a traditional heterosexual relationship or is attempting to build a family with his male partner or by himself, man… like woman… feels a biologic drive to parent. As such, although adoption is a wonderful way to create a family, surrogacy and egg donation is appealing to male-only prospective parents because it affords them the opportunity to have a biological connection to their baby.
There are two types of surrogates: traditional and gestational. A traditional surrogate supplies her own eggs and carries the baby to term. Gestational carriers do not supply their own eggs and therefore a separate egg donor is utilized. Unlike donated sperm, donated eggs require the in vitro fertilization (“IVF”) process involving hormonal stimulation of the female egg donor, monitoring during the 2 weeks of stimulation, and transvaginal egg retrieval which is performed under anesthesia. Typically, the intended male father supplies the sperm and the fertilized eggs or embryos are placed into the uterus of the gestational surrogate. Surrogates carry the pregnancy to term then surrender the baby and their parental rights to the father or male couple. The process involves the use of assisted reproduction attorneys, and/or a donor/surrogacy agency. The entire process including IVF with egg donation, surrogacy, and obstetrical care has a cost that can be insurmountable for many men desiring to start a family, estimated to cost between $125-150,000.
There have been a few ways some men have successfully cut this expense. First of all, the fee agencies charge to supply the donated eggs and the surrogates ranges from $10,000-$40,000 independent of the fee the reproductive attorney charges or the cost of psychological screening. Some IVF programs will supply these services at a much lower cost. In addition, these IVF programs have relationships with lesbian partners who may be interested in becoming surrogates after they have completed their own families. Also, some income-based grants exist for male couples in need of surrogates.
Whatever your situation, Long Island IVF has the history, the means, the skills, and the desire to assist you in your family building journey. We can assist you in finding the best agencies/donors/surrogates, reproductive attorneys and counselors to insure that you have the greatest chance of achieving your goal for the family of your dreams.
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How important is it to you to have a biological child and what is the greatest obstacle to you’re facing/faced in achieving that dream?
By Tracey Minella
October 9th, 2014 at 10:47 am
Tagged with coping with infertility, donor egg, donor egg seminar, Donor Sperm, Egg Donation, Egg Donor, Fertility, Infertility, infertility information, IVF Long island, LI-IVF, Long Island IVF, stress of infertility, Trying to Conceive
On October 21, 2014, Long Island IVF is hosting free event that could potentially change the course of your family-building journey. The topic is egg donation.
There are many reasons women ultimately choose to use donor eggs to build their families. Women whose eggs have been compromised by advanced age, cancer treatment, poor general quality, or other factors, have many ways to build a family through the donor egg and donor embryo programs at Long Island IVF. For many of these women, a healthy egg is their only obstacle to pregnancy.
Admittedly, conceiving with donor eggs or embryos is rarely the first choice, but often is chosen after weighing many personal physical, emotional, psychological, and financial considerations. Decades of happy moms would surely agree that using donor eggs was the best decision they ever made. In fact, you can ask one yourself at the seminar as one or two often stop by to share their experience!
You may or may not yet be ready to act on the information you’ll hear. But it’s never too early to become informed about your options… and knowledge is power, right? So why not come out and just listen to our team discuss the many different egg and embryo donation options? Victoria Loveland, RN & Donor Egg Nursing Coordinator, Aviva Zigelman, LCSW & Donor Egg Program Director, and Steven Brenner, MD will all be there to answer your questions, privately if you prefer.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised when we tell you about how affordable and stream-lined our programs can be, especially our embryo donation program. And how competitive the success rates can be, as well.
Long Island IVF offers several different egg donation options, including Sole Recipient Fresh Egg Donation, Shared Recipient Fresh Egg Donation, Frozen Egg Donation, and Frozen Embryo Donation cycles. Each option offers its own unique benefits, costs, and other considerations. We have young, healthy, pre-screened egg donors representing multiple ethnicities ready to help you build your family.
Take that first step, even if you’re hesitant. We look forward to seeing you and answering your questions about the exciting option of egg donation. Light refreshments will be served. Bring a friend. Please RSVP to Debra Mathys at email@example.com and say you’ll be there, but walk-ins are always welcome.
Location: Long Island IVF 8 Corporate Center Drive, Suite 101, Melville, NY
Date: October 21, 2014
Time: 7:00 pm
LONG ISLAND IVF was nominated BEST IN VITRO FERTILITY PRACTICE in the Long Island Press’s “Best of Long Island 2015″ contest. If you’d like to vote to help us win, you can vote once per day from now through Dec 15 here: http://bestof.longislandpress.com/voting-open/
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Will we be seeing you there?
By Tracey Minella
April 13th, 2013 at 9:19 am
Tagged with coping with infertility, donor egg, donor egg seminar, Donor Sperm, Egg Donation, Egg Donor, Fertility, Health, Infertility, infertility help, infertility information, Infertility Support, Infertility Treatment, IVF, IVF Long island, LI-IVF, LIIVF Donor Egg Program, Long Island IVF, Miscarriage, NIAW Donor Egg Seminar, Surrogacy, Trying to Conceive
Well, Long Island IVF has the perfect seminar for you next Tuesday night which will answer all of your questions! In fact, we’re so excited about this seminar that we simply couldn’t wait a week to have it during National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW).
And when you hear about the very special reason why this free seminar is a must-attend-at-all-costs event, you will want to be here. So mark your calendar and come kick off NIAW one week early.
You will learn how you can have a new beginning with Donor Egg! Your knowledge and hope may grow as you hear presentations by Long Island IVF’s Donor Egg Program Director Dr. Steven Brenner, Donor Egg Clinical Nurse Coordinator, Vicky Loveland, R.N., and Aviva Zigelman, L.C.S.W.
But here is the real unique and special thing about this seminar…
You will hear the story of a previously successful recipient who created her family using donor egg! Imagine how incredibly moving and valuable that would be if you are a considering using or being an egg donor.
And after you take in all this information, you’ll be happy to know that there is no waiting list for egg donors at Long Island IVF. Pre-screened anonymous egg donors are ready to help you when you’re ready to choose this course of treatment. Or, your cycle can be coordinated with a donor of your choosing.
Relax and get your questions answered in a caring and supportive environment. Enjoy the refreshments. See if donor egg is right for you. Want to get a head start on the terminology? Check our website at: http://www.longislandivf.com/donor_programs.cfm
The Donor Egg Seminar takes place on Tuesday April 16, 2013 at 7:00 pm at Long Island IVF’s office at 8 Corporate Center Drive, Melville, New York.
Everyone is welcome.
BE SURE TO CHECK BACK ON MONDAY FOR THE COMPLETE LINE-UP OF LONG ISLAND IVF’S UPCOMING “EVENINGS OF EDUCATION” SERIES FOR NATIONAL INFERTILITY AWARENESS WEEK WHICH BEGINS MONDAY APRIL 22!
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If you could ask any team member…or the guest speaker who used donor egg to start her family… a question about Donor Egg, what would it be?
By David Kreiner MD
October 12th, 2012 at 9:44 am
Tagged with coping with infertility, David Kreiner MD, donor egg, Donor Sperm, Egg Donation, Egg Donor, Fertility, Health, Infertility, infertility information, Infertility Treatment, IVF, Long Island IVF, too old to be a mom, Trying to Conceive
Welcome to the Journey to the Crib Podcast. We will have a blog discussion each week with each chapter. This podcast covers Chapter Thirty-One: When Are You Too Old to be a Mother? You, the listener, are invited to ask questions and make comments. You can access the podcast here:http://podcast.longislandivf.com/?p=143
When Are You Too Old to be a Mother?
Over the years, there have been reports of women as old as in their 70′s having babies as a result of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) performed using donated eggs from a young fertile donor. Immediately after these reports appear, I am bombarded with questions and criticisms about how wrong it is that we (somehow I am included as part of the responsible party as an IVF practitioner) allow women to have children beyond that which is not just natural but also reasonable. Those of us in IVF have had many experiences with making the news as this medical technology pushes to the edges of what society views as acceptable.
We are often put in the position of making decisions with our patients that have even larger implications to society than the individual patient. I do my best to look at each patient and each situation as unique and treat them accordingly. Regarding the age of a prospective egg recipient however we are dependent on the patient’s honestly reporting such to us. Unfortunately, there are circumstances where patients have misled their doctors and in the case of one 70 year old mother, she had reported to the clinic that she was in fact 53.
Even so, it is the responsibility of the IVF provider to ensure that a woman is healthy and capable of bearing the pregnancy, giving birth and being a mother. There is not an absolute age cutoff at which point a woman is universally unfit to undergo IVF and become pregnant.
My personal oldest woman I helped achieve a pregnancy was a 53 year old who delivered at age 54. She had a normal stress test, EKG and was cleared by an internist, perinatologist and psychologist.
Some point out that beyond a certain age, it is unnatural to become a mother and that it puts the family at risk that she may not be around to help raise the child or that perhaps the woman lacks the energy and stamina to raise the child properly. I personally struggle to separate my own feelings about the proper age to have a child which may be inappropriate for others who have a different perspective. My responsibility as the physician is to the health of my patients, the well-being of the child and for the good of society.
Many women in their 50′s have the health and energy to carry a pregnancy and bear a child with no more risk than many women 10-20 years younger. That being said, what about the risk that the mother may not be around to raise the child to maturity? There is no question that a young healthy couple with sufficient financial support and emotional maturity is ideal to raise a family. But, happy, successful families can take on many different faces. Single parent families exist, survive and often thrive. One can never be certain that the condition of the couple at the time of conception will continue through the child’s birth or for that matter until the child has reached maturity. In addition, at least 50% of couples in the U.S. become divorced. One can argue that couples at risk of divorce should not get pregnant.
I apologize that I cannot offer an answer to this question, when are you too old to be a mother. For me personally, it is more a question of health …for the mother and baby… which needs to be evaluated individually for each case utilizing testing and experts to make the best assessment. Otherwise, I feel it is an individual’s right to choose as long as society is unaffected or supports the individual in those cases where the pregnancy has a significant impact beyond the immediate family.
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Was this helpful in answering your questions about what fertility doctors might consider when questioning if an older woman may be able to conceive and carry a pregnancy?
Please share your thoughts about this podcast here. And ask any questions and Dr. Kreiner will answer them.
By Tracey Minella
October 8th, 2012 at 2:12 pm
Tagged with adoption, child-free living, clomid, coping with infertility, donor egg, Donor Sperm, Fertility, Gestational carrier, infertility help, infertility journey, Infertility Support, Infertility Treatment, IVF, Long Island IVF, male infertility, stress of infertility, Surrogacy, Trying to Conceive
Today, celebrate the day Columbus discovered America.
Imagine starting out on a journey on uncharted waters… a handful of nervous strangers in the same boat. As you’re leaving shore, almost everyone on the dock thinks you’re crazy, or at a minimum, doesn’t understand your need to go on this adventure. Time passes with no end in sight as you plod along fighting bouts of nausea and depression. Then, the journey gets really long. Your patience grows thin. Mutiny crosses your mind.
Hey, I didn’t sign up for this!
Come to think of it, you don’t need to imagine this scenario…you’re in the same boat. Well, a similar boat. Sure, you don’t have to worry about scurvy (thanks, pre-natals!) but navigating those IM needles is no picnic. Walk the plank or take Clomid? Tough call.
When you’re diagnosed with infertility, your life veers off the path you thought it’d take. And a new journey begins. It could be relatively quick and inexpensive or it could steal years from your life and be so emotionally, physically, and financially challenging that you just want to jump overboard.
But there are discoveries along the way, though we don’t always realize the lessons until looking back years later. Those experiences shape us into who we are meant to be, and show us what we are made of. They test relationships and build friendships. Some people face unspeakable losses and others unimaginable joy.
And, like Columbus, we don’t always end up where we thought we would at the outset.
But the journey does end for all of us, whether it’s with a biological baby… a baby through donor egg, donor sperm, donor embryos… a baby through surrogacy or a gestational carrier… a baby through adoption… or even a decision to live child-free.
And the place you land is a place of new beginnings.
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Was/Is your infertility journey longer than you thought? What have you discovered as a result of your infertility journey?
By Tracey Minella
October 2nd, 2012 at 8:11 pm
Tagged with breast cancer awareness, cancer and infertility, coping with infertility, donor egg, donor embryos, Donor Sperm, Egg Donation, Egg Donor, egg freezing, egg freezing before cancer, fertility and cancer, fertility and chemotherapy, Fertility Preservation, Health, i love boobies, Infertility, infertility information, Infertility Treatment, IVF Long island, Long Island IVF, Reproductive Endocrinologist, save the tatas, Trying to Conceive
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The movement to remind women to get mammograms is in full swing. Pink… the color for breast cancer awareness… is everywhere. It is no longer taboo to talk about breasts! Silicone bracelets proclaiming “Save the Tatas” and “I Love Boobies” have been spotted on the wrists of young and old alike.
Society’s newfound comfort with the word “breast” …and its slang…is evidence of how far breast cancer awareness has come. And it offers hope that the infertility awareness campaign will someday join breast cancer in terms of public awareness, funding, and support. If we can openly talk openly about breasts, can ovaries be far behind?
When you’re trying to conceive and you can’t, and then you go to a fertility specialist for help, and it still doesn’t happen, some women might think their life is over. That nothing could be worse. That no one has it harder than they do. Some may even feel that there’s no reason to go on if they can’t have a baby.
That probably sounds melodramatic to anyone who hasn’t faced down infertility… who hasn’t faced the possibility that the most maternal of our instincts, desires, and needs could be denied. But while the infertile woman is absolutely justified in feeling the whole range of emotions that accompany her diagnosis, things could actually be worse.
“What could possibly be worse than being infertile?” you ask.
You could have breast cancer.
It wasn’t all that long ago that a breast cancer diagnosis, with its accompanying chemotherapy and/or radiation, meant the end of a woman’s dream of having a biological child. The focus…and rightly so…was on saving her life. Not her breast. And certainly not her fertility.
Today there are more options for women. Now, women may have the chance to freeze their eggs or embryos prior to undergoing chemo or radiation or prior to surgically removing their ovaries. By doing that, women may be able to preserve their fertility for a future time when their breast cancer…or any cancer… crisis is behind them.
Although some breast cancer survivors do not undergo chemotherapy or radiation and, accordingly don’t compromise their fertility, many women do need these more aggressive cancer treatments. Thanks to egg and embryo freezing now, and IVF and embryo transfers later, more breast cancer survivors will be able to enjoy the post-cancer miracle of giving birth to a biological child.
Hopefully most oncologists and primary care doctors would refer young, newly-diagnosed cancer patients who have yet to start or complete their families to a reproductive endocrinologist for a consultation prior to chemotherapy or radiation or oophorectomy if time permits. If not, it’s an omission that can’t be remedied later.
Even if the referral is recommended, can a newly-diagnosed cancer patient even wrap her head around saving her fertility when she fears for her life? And if so, does her particular cancer allow her the time to explore this option? And what about teens whose health care is effectively still in the hands of their parents? Will the parents even think about their “baby’s” future fertility in the chaos of living through a parent’s worst nightmare?
It’s up to all of us to help spread the word about fertility-saving options so no woman who beats cancer has to find out afterward that she can’t become pregnant using her own eggs. So, file this information away and hope you never need to use it:
If any female you know (except post-menopausal women)…even a teen… is ever diagnosed with breast cancer, tell her or her spouse or parent to consider consulting a reproductive endocrinologist before having chemotherapy or radiation or before removing her ovaries, if her cancer treatment protocol can accommodate the delay. You just might save her fertility. Of course, any post-menopausal woman diagnosed with breast cancer and any woman who did not pursue fertility preservation efforts prior to undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiation could explore conceiving with donor eggs or embryos after her treatment ends.
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Do you know of anyone who preserved her fertility prior to cancer treatment? Would you be able to share this information with someone diagnosed with cancer?
By Dr. David Kreiner and Tracey Minella
October 1st, 2012 at 8:28 pm
Tagged with clomid, coping with infertility, David Kreiner MD, donor egg, Donor Sperm, Egg Donation, Egg Donor, Fertility, Infertility, infertility help, infertility information, Infertility Treatment, IVF, Long Island IVF, male infertility, stress of infertility, Trying to Conceive
No one grows up thinking about making this kind of a decision when they get older. We grow up thinking, no—assuming—we’ll get pregnant the old fashioned way. And even if we do entertain the thought that we might need some medical assistance, we likely figure a little Clomid will do the trick. Certainly nothing as emotionally charged as the decision to use donor eggs or donor sperm.
A couple years ago, I came upon a fellow attorney who’d been an egg donor back in law school. She was outwardly beautiful, and obviously intelligent. And a nanosecond after I thought about how generous she’d been I thought how lucky the recipients were to have her genetic traits in their children.
But that got me thinking about what my own “trait shopping” experience would have been like if I’d gone down that path to parenthood. Would I have tried to meticulously match the donor to my own traits, or my husband’s? Maybe I’d try to weed out an undesirable family trait…on his side, of course! What would I consider as the most important factors? Good health, first. But then what? Education? Athletics? A particular look or ethnicity?
Jeez, I can’t even decide between two options for dinner!
I can’t imagine what a difficult, yet also exciting, experience choosing a sperm or egg donor must be. Oh, the possibilities…
Long Island IVF’s Dr. David Kreiner offers valuable insight into this choice:
Patients selecting donors whether for eggs or sperm often spend endless hours choosing the “best match”. On an episode of the T.V. show “Brothers and Sisters”, a couple was beyond themselves trying to decide and at one point, out of desperation toyed with the idea of choosing by posting the possible donors on a dart board and letting the dart decide.
People verbalize concern about both a physical and behavioral match. Patients assume that the child will resemble the donor. The likelihood that the child physically looks like the donor varies. The inheritance from a behavioral standpoint including personality and intelligence, drive and aspirations is less clear. There is a significant contribution that the environment plays and to the extent which factor will dominate, nature vs. nurture is not known.
I don’t have the answer to this question; it’s one I, myself, have spent much time considering. I’m one of five children and I have four children of my own and, so far, three grandchildren. Though the environment and the genetics of my siblings and my children does not appear to be so different, each of us has developed unique characteristics and personalities; some more so than others.
I think the nature vs. nurture question is like a Jackson Pollack painting. When you raise a child, different colors of nature and nurture are tossed randomly up in the air and what we call “life” dresses the canvas below. Sometimes the painting it creates is breathtakingly beautiful and other times, well… you wish you could throw out the old and start with a fresh canvas.
Now, if you are a conscientious parent, then you are most careful about how and what colors of nurture you toss. With nature however, there is no control over what features are inherited.
So, I tell my patients who are screening donors and are so concerned that their donor has a particular color hair, eye color or even personality type, that they are putting too much faith in just one can of paint that they get to choose to toss up in the air. People with blue eyes and blonde hair have other colors from ancestors that randomly did not appear on their body. But their gametes contain them and these cans of paint could potentially have more impact on the canvas than the blue eyes and blonde hair that the recipient is hoping for.
I prefer a recipient be concerned that the donor is healthy with good odds for successful conception and a generally appropriate match of physical and behavioral characteristics.
Then I pray for G-d’s blessing.
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What would your top considerations be in choosing a donor?
By David Kreiner MD
August 23rd, 2012 at 8:51 pm
Tagged with coping with infertility, David Kreiner MD, Donor Sperm, Fertility, Free Micro IVF Contest, Infertility, infertility information, Infertility Support, Infertility Treatment, IVF, Long Island IVF, male infertility, specimen production in IVF, stress of infertility, Trying to Conceive
Welcome to the Journey to the Crib Podcast. We will have a blog discussion each week with each chapter. This podcast covers Chapter Twenty-Three: Nominated for Best Supporting Role Is… You, the listener, are invited to ask questions and make comments. You can access the podcast here: http://podcast.longislandivf.com/?p=122
Nominated for Best Supporting Role Is…
Superficially, the role of the male partner in IVF is to produce a semen specimen… at least in those cases not utilizing sperm from a donor. This is not trivial and in fact when the partner is unsuccessful the cycle is lost. For this reason, I recommend freezing a specimen before the retrieval that is available as back up.
However, the male’s role can and should be much more than producing a specimen on the day of retrieval. Those couples that appear to deal best with the stress of IVF are ones that do it together.
Many men learn to give their partners injections. It helps involve them in the efforts and give them some degree of power over the process. They can relate better to what their partners are doing and take pride in contributing towards the common goal of achieving a baby. The more involved a partner is the more support that is felt by the patient which is not only good for her emotionally but also helps in getting accurate information and directions from the office. It also helps to solidify their relationship.
My recommendation is for partners to be as involved as possible. In their absence a surrogate such as a friend, sister, or mother is far better than dealing with the office visits and procedures alone.
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Was this helpful in answering your questions about the partner’s role in IVF?
LAST CALL TO ENTER!!! 3 DAYS LEFT!!!!
Are you aware that Long Island IVF is giving away a free basic Micro-IVF cycle, valued at $3,900.00? Check out the contest here: http://bit.ly/LHbmQR
Please share your thoughts about this podcast here. And ask any questions.
By Tracey Minella
August 3rd, 2012 at 8:13 am
Tagged with adoption, child-free living, coping with infertility, donor egg, donor embryo, Donor Sperm, Egg Donation, Egg Donor, gestational carriers, Infertility, infertility and divorce, infertility and marriage, infertility information, Infertility Support, Infertility Treatment, IVF Long island, Long Island IVF, male infertility, soulmate for IVF, stress of infertility, Surrogacy, Trying to Conceive
I should begin by applauding the single ladies doing IVF. I didn’t do IVF without a partner by my side, but had the circumstances required it, my desire to have a baby would have put me on the IVF road myself as well. I imagine you all having amazing strength simply for undertaking the challenge of single parenting, never mind the lengths you’re going to to make it happen.
But IVF with a partner is obviously very different. It must be… simply by nature of there being a relationship involved.
There’s the issue of blame. There shouldn’t be. But there often is. If one of the pair has the diagnosis, there’s often guilt to deal with. That’s never good for a relationship.
Sometimes, there are the issues of donation and third parties. Donor eggs, donor sperm, donor embryos. Or the need for a gestational carrier or surrogate. More complicated stuff.
There are almost always financial issues unless you are lucky enough to have generous insurance coverage. If your jobs don’t offer infertility insurance, or your employers aren’t supportive of your situation, there can be stress at work…which spills over into the home.
Then there’s the stress of watching other couples have it all. The baby you can’t have without the treatment. The house or vacation you can’t afford because of the treatment. Why you?
Infertility is isolating. It’s just the two of you. It’s like living long-term in that moment of your vows where you said “for better or for worse; in sickness and in health” but never thought the bad stuff would really happen to you.
For me, the lows were so low at times that I didn’t always appreciate my husband’s support while we were going through it. I was too consumed by the details, too worried about failing, too focused on the goal. Not focused enough on the guy at the end of that long needle each night. The one who quietly absorbed the brunt of my hormonal outbursts. The one who held me when the bottom fell out of the world. The one who never questioned my need to try again. And again.
There’s no doubt that infertility is one of the toughest tests of a marriage. Most couples that make it through successfully are surely stronger for it. I feel that most couples who come to the end of their journey together…whether it ends with a biological baby, an adopted baby, or a decision to remain child-free…proudly wear an invisible badge of marital courage.
But I feel for those whose marriages crumble from the strain of infertility. Would they have survived if not for those stresses? Would they have been one of those happy couples who skate through life escaping all real adversity? Or were they doomed anyway, and infertility just happened to be the blow to expose their already weak foundations? It’s hard to say.
Looking back, I wish I’d been better at stopping the world from spinning and re-connecting with my partner along the way. Try to do that. You are the only two who understand what you are going through and what is on the line. What you have to lose…what you have to gain. Don’t lose sight of each other when simply going through the motions of your treatment. Show your gratitude.
All journeys end. Most end happily, though not always the way we imagine happiness will be when we started. Then you get to look back on it years later and laugh at things you never thought you would. And realize you’d never have gotten though it all without your soul mate.
Happy 27th Anniversary to mine.
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What’s the one moment on your journey that you realized you were/were not with your soul mate? What would you tell your soul mate to thank him/her?