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Archive for the ‘infertile for the holidays’ tag

IVF and Virgin Births

By Tracey Minella

December 23rd, 2013 at 9:55 am


photo: Stuart Miles/

What better season to contemplate the idea of a virgin birth? Or miracles?

The Medical Daily reported this week that virgin births made up 0.5% of births, according to a survey out of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Of the 7,870 respondents, having a median age of 19.3 years at the time of giving birth, 45 reported having given birth despite never having had sex. And without the use of assisted reproductive technology, like IVF. It’s noteworthy that about one third of those claiming virgin births had previously signed chastity pledges. As for the plausibility of this phenomenon, the lead researcher stated there are “no medically-validated reports of virgin births in humans, or other mammals” to her knowledge.”

As an infertile woman, there are two striking takeaways from this story. And they are not the debate about miracles vs. science. Or the apparent need to improve sexual education. Or even the cultural pressures on young girls to remain virgins until marriage.

Need a hint? It was that simple statement tucked in the middle of it all: “And without the use of IVF.”

The first thing that came to mind was the idea that someone…a virgin, to be precise…could actually use IVF to have a baby. Technically, a virgin birth. Imagine that!

But the other epiphany is now my message of hope to all of you non-virgins still on your infertility journeys…juggling things like partners, temperature charts, syringes, and annoying relatives this holiday season:

IVF is today’s miracle. Every day, it creates babies for women who medical science has determined cannot otherwise have children. We call them “miracle babies”.

In this season of hope, may you find the strength to cope with the added stress of the holidays and continue to believe in your dream. Miracles do happen every day.

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Do you believe in miracles?


Photo credit; Stuart Miles


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Get Your Mind Off Your Infertility This Holiday Season

By Tracey Minella

December 16th, 2011 at 9:45 pm

I know you can’t really do that…or at least not for long. It’s all-consuming. Others are counting the days until Christmas or New Year’s…you’re counting the days of your cycle.

It’s maddening.

Emotions can range from frustrated and sad to pissed and downright suicidal. Add the holiday stress of everything you see this month being centered on children and it’s like salt in the gaping wound.

Many of you may be saving for your uncovered treatment costs…another major stress in itself! (I didn’t eat Kraft macaroni and cheese and ramen noodles for 6 years because I loved them either!)

However, if you are fortunate enough to have medical coverage or otherwise be able to afford your infertility treatment…and have a bit extra to spare this holiday season…you might be inspired to action by what I’m about to share. And if you can’t take action, you will still want to read this.

So, here is a feel good story that is so…well…feel good…that it will make you smile for real. (Not one of those “faking it” smiles you’ve been gallantly wearing all month at office parties and cookie swaps.)

A woman who lost her husband this year decided to secretly pay for the layaway Christmas gifts of struggling families with young children. This trend is popping up in Kmart stores across the country this season. Apparently, a significant number of shoppers who use this layaway service end up losing the layaway because they can’t keep up with the payments. That means the gifts get re-shelved and their kids have no Christmas. For the poorest people, the layaway wasn’t even toys, but essentials like clothes.

Please read this story. It will make your heart feel good. It’s about generosity and kindness and Christmas spirit.

It’s about all the things we forget because we are stressed about our infertility and the people and situations that make us crazy this time of year. Here’s the link:

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If anyone is inspired to do this (or has already done it), please come back and share your story of what you did and how it made you feel.

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