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Happy National Infertility Awareness Week #NIAW

By Tracey Minella

April 20th, 2015 at 10:55 am

 

 

Well, it’s the biggest week of the year in the infertile world… National Infertility Awareness Week. NIAW, for short.

I confess I hate saying “Happy” before “National Infertility Awareness Week”. Those suffering know there’s nothing “happy” about it. Not a club anyone wants to belong to. No reason to buy balloons or a cake.

But celebrate we will. We must. Because we are celebrating you.

We celebrate you for your strength and resolve in the face of what may be the greatest challenge of your life so far. In overcoming great emotional, physical, and financial stress. We recognize that no matter what pain and losses you’ve faced to date, you find the strength to get out of bed each day and continue to fight for your dream of a family.

This week, Long Island IVF has both educational and fun events to celebrate you, distract you,  and to help spread infertility awareness. All events are from 7:00pm-9:00pm at the Melville office and will offer light refreshments.

 

Here is the lineup of FREE events:

 

Donor Egg Recipient Seminar (Tuesday):

Learn everything you need to know about the Donor Egg process. Learn why some women can benefit from donor eggs, how egg donors are thoroughly screened, how the process works, the competitive success rates of our program, and so much more. Meet the Donor Egg Team and hear a testimonial from one of our many successful and happy moms. Light refreshments.

 

Fertile Yoga Night (Wednesday):

Yoga with a Baby Goal! Created for both newbies and yoga devotes, this is your chance to participate in a yoga session specifically geared to potentially enhance your fertility. Bring your mat or a towel (and yoga pants or gym wear) and experience mediation, breathing and stretching designed to reduce stress, lessen muscle tension and increase blood flow to the pelvis. You’ll be guided by Lisa Pineda, an instructor experienced in yoga for fertility who will leave you relaxed and wanting more. Light refreshments.

 

Alternative Medicine and Holistic Approaches to Enhancing Fertility Night (Thursday):

This interactive evening will highlight Mind-Body and holistic medicine practices including meditation techniques, breath work, Reiki, massage therapy and a live demonstration of fertility-focused acupuncture. LIIVF’s own Dr. David Kreiner will discuss acupuncture and Bina Benisch, MS RN and other affiliated local practitioners will lead the other discussions/demos. Additionally, Rachel Liberatore, LMT, from Nu Touch Therapy will be providing free chair massages. Jim Vitale of Suffolk County Acupuncture will give a live demo of fertility-focused acupuncture, too. Don’t miss this chance to learn how to help yourself reduce stress and improve your own fertility. Light refreshments, including Dr. Kreiner’s special secret fertility friendly trail mix!!!

 

 

Again, all events are FREE, but pre-registration is required. If you’ve been trying to conceive without success, please RSVP immediately to reserve your spot by contacting our Patient Services Coordinator, Lindsay Montello at 631-386-5509 or lmontello@liivf.com. You do not have to be a Long Island IVF patient to attend. Feel free to bring your partner or a friend.

Please come out to one or all of these events. Please help us raise awareness of infertility this week by sharing this post. Someone you know is suffering. You can help.

Did I mention the secret trail mix?

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Will we see you at one of these events? Can you guess what’s in the secret trail mix?

 

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Resolve to Know More About The War of Infertility: Surviving and Thriving

By Tracey Minella

April 25th, 2014 at 12:08 pm

 

credit: Ambro/freedigitalphotos.net


Okay. I lied. It’s just about surviving. The thriving only comes when the baby arrives. If the baby arrives.

And the reality of that “if” makes infertility a war. It’s what throws us into survival mode. We battle infertility. We suffer infertility. And every month when we lose another battle, we bleed. Literally and emotionally and financially. We question if we can recover from yet another blow. And like a wounded soldier trembling alone in a trench at night, we look up at the stars and make our secret bargains with the universe. And we worry if we’ll ever win this war and go back to a normal life. To the life others continue living during our physical or emotional absence. To the life we left on hold.

There are no rainbows and unicorns in infertility. No time for fun or relaxation during a war. For parties or thrills or belly laughter. For “thriving”. Sure, you can sometimes kick back momentarily, but your mind rarely disengages from the war at hand. And there is nothing wrong with that, so don’t feel guilty when you don’t want to participate in something others think is fun. When in doubt, sit it out. Like “friendly-fire”, well-meaning allies can unintentionally cause you great pain. Baby shower invites are grenades thrown by friends.

Let’s first acknowledge that the only people qualified to give advice to infertile people are other infertile people. Not your mom or your best friend. Not even your doctor, beyond the medical part. And certainly not your hairdresser’s second cousin’s babysitter. No one else knows what you’re going through…no matter how much they love you.

credit: Resolve

Even those who suffered their own fertility challenges and emerged triumphant can’t fully understand the pain felt by those still waiting for their day. Yes, they walked a mile…maybe ten… in your stirrups. But the filling of previously empty arms changes you. Becoming a parent changes you, even if you still want more children. Your advice may not be as welcome as before.

So here is my not-as-welcome-as before advice: I can tell you to treat yourself well, not because you will enjoy it so much as because it’s one of the few things about infertility that is in your control. Eat well, sleep enough, and exercise because doing so can improve your chances of conceiving. Occasionally, do your favorite pampering-type things if you have the time and money to help with stress relief and feelings of deprivation. If you’re not feeling the romantic walk on the beach thing, do it anyway. Or do something that feels right to reconnect with your partner if the battle is taking its toll on you as a couple. He or she is the only person who is worth that herculean effort.

Control what you can. Ask for help if you need it. Believe it will happen.

Because winning this war isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.

For more information about how you can resolve to learn more about infertility, please go to:

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

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

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Does infertility sometimes feel like your own private war? Do you have any tips to share that have helped you?

 

Photo credit: Ambro http://bit.ly/1ffg5MV

 

 

 

 

 

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“Happy Easter. We’re Infertile”: Kicking off National Infertility Awareness Week with Easter Survival Advice

By Tracey Minella

April 20th, 2014 at 11:56 am

 

credit: stock images/free digital photos.net


Like most holidays with a focus on children, Easter can be hard on the infertile. No baskets to fill or cute outfits with little bonnets to buy. And well-meaning but annoying family nagging you as to why.

National Infertility Awareness Week starts today. Maybe it’s the perfect day. If you haven’t shared your struggle with your family or friends and you’re leaning towards doing so, today could be the day. After all, you’ll be together. And someone is bound to throw the annoying baby question out there. Again.

Take control. At a loss for how to start? Here’s a script that works both as a response if you are put on the spot, or as an opening if you don’t want to wait: “Anyone know what today is? It’s the start of National Infertility Awareness Week. [Pause a second for effect]. And we want you to know we’ve been struggling for some time.”

No script needed after that. Expect some to be shocked, while others will say they suspected something was wrong. Some will ask questions. Remember, just because they ask a question, doesn’t mean you have to answer. Share what you want and if you don’t want to say more, just say “We’d rather not get into details right now, but just wanted you all to know where we’re at and hope you’ll be supportive.” Releasing the burden of “the secret” is empowering. Of course, only you know your family best and on rare occasions, the support you seek doesn’t follow. But in most cases, couples who open up about their infertility don’t regret doing so. 

Regardless of whether you spread awareness today… and in honor of National Infertility Awareness Week… Long Island IVF has a special treat this week for those trying to conceive. A free gourmet dinner and cooking demonstration, featuring fertility-friendly foods! Yes, it is free. Please join us for “Fun in the Fertile Kitchen” this Thursday night, April 24 in Islip.

Who couldn’t use a fun night out being catered to by a professional chef among a crowd that gets exactly what you’re going through? Registration is required, attendance is limited, and we have to give the chef a final headcount soon so don’t delay. You do not have to be a Long Island IVF patient to attend. The event details are available here: http://bit.ly/1pRhSan

Give yourself a treat this Easter. Call or email to register today. binabenisch@gmail.com or (516) 398-5248.

 

 

How do you handle Easter? Will we see you on Thursday night?

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Join the Movement and Change the Conversation About Infertility

By Tracey Minella

April 27th, 2013 at 9:28 pm

 

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

Is that acceptable?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Have you talked about infertility with anyone this week?

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Join the Movement to Increase and Protect Access to All Family-Building Options: Confessions of a Closet Infertile

By Tracey Minella

April 25th, 2013 at 4:51 pm

 

There is a national bandwagon rolling through town this week and as an infertile person, you are expected to jump on it. It’s National Infertility Awareness Week and you’re expected make some noise. But…

What if you don’t want to climb aboard? What if you want to “opt out” of this whole thing? In fact, what if the hoopla actually makes you want to hide in a cave until Sunday?

I “get” that.

I used to be a “closet infertile”.

The Top 5 reasons people are secretive about their infertility and resistant to raise awareness (in my humble but expert opinion as a former closet infertile):

·         Denial: I’m not infertile; I’ll/She’ll be pregnant next month for sure.

·         Fear: If I speak up, I’ll lose my job. If I open up, I might not get support I’m hoping for.

·         Ignorance: I don’t know what to do or where to begin.

·         Shame: I am so embarrassed that I can’t get (her) pregnant. What’s wrong with me?

·         Apathy: Why bother? Nothing will change. Let someone else do it. I already have my kids.

Some of those reasons are hard to dispute, like denial and fear.

Everyone has to face their diagnosis in their own time, and until they accept it, they can’t advocate on behalf of it. Fear about job loss can be paralyzing, especially in this economy, so how can you blame anyone for staying silent? Others are frozen in fear that friends and family may actually not be supportive after they finally muster up the nerve to let them in. (Though in the majority of cases, people will be supportive, even if they don’t really understand.)

Ignorance is understandable because the prospect of being an advocate can be overwhelming. But it’s the easiest of the reasons to overcome. For plenty of ideas on big and small ways you can get involved and make a difference in NIAW, go to RESOLVE’s’ website at: http://www.resolve.org/national-infertility-awareness-week/home-page.html

Shame is the hardest reason of all to overcome. There has been a social stigma wrongly attached to infertility from the beginning of time. And it is powerful. It’s the primary force that drives suffering couples into secrecy and isolation. Into the closet. Crushing the stigma is one of the big reasons behind NIAW.

Infertility is a disease. It is nothing to be ashamed of and it’s not your fault. People need to come out of the closet so the world can see how many people are really affected by this disease. If everyone suffering found the strength to step out into the light and be seen and heard…all in one week…the numbers would be staggering. That’s the only hope for improved benefits and resources. 1 in every 8 is infertile. 1 in every 8 is seeking resolution. They are desperately trying to build their families.

Apathy is the reason that is hardest to sympathize with, especially if none of the other reasons apply. If your life has been touched by infertility and you are not involved in at least some small way to help raise awareness this week you are missing an opportunity to make a difference in the life of yourself, your children, or your grandchildren. Imagine if IVF is not available to them some day. How will you feel then if you do nothing now?

Please don’t sit back and wait for others to do all the work. We’ve never been so close to getting federal assistance for infertility costs. Yet at the same time, supporters of the Personhood Amendments are pushing reforms that would effectively render IVF as it’s practiced today illegal. We need you to help in some small way. Step up.

At the very least, even if you remain in the closet, you can simply share on Facebook or Twitter that it is NIAW this week. Feeling queasy? Want to throw them off? Follow it up tomorrow by sharing that it’s National Volunteer Week, too. And for good measure, next week is National Air Quality Awareness Week. So we’ve got you covered.

Listen, I know it’s hard. I know it’s uncomfortable. And if you’ve dug your heels in on the issue, then that’s your call. At some point, everyone who is out there on the bandwagon this week was once in the closet like you. Maybe it’s just not your time yet. But it’s coming.

But for those on the fence…those who somewhere deep down feel this may be the time…those who can’t hold it in anymore…I urge you to take that leap of faith. Come out of the closet and get empowered. Join the movement to increase and protect your access to all possible family-building options. Step up.

This is the week.

For more information, please go to RESOLVE’s links:

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

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

 

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If you were a closet infertile, how did you come out and how did it go for you? Please share your story or word of encouragement so others may be helped.

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Don’t Ignore Infertility Support Available

By Tracey Minella

April 24th, 2012 at 11:10 pm

 

There’s something wrong with me. I see infertile people.

As an infertility blogger and an IVF mom, my mission is to support the women still on their fertility journeys. To listen to them and, when the time is right, to share my own stories to give them strength to go on…or to let go.

And to remind them that their infertility journeys will come to an end. Someday. It may be the day a baby is born or adopted, or with an eventual decision to live child-free. But someday, all this stuff…the charting, injections, inseminations, blood work, retrievals, transfers, miscarriages, stillbirths, and two week waits…all the stuff that now makes up every moment of every day… will end. “Really”, I tell them. “Trust me”…

But I lied.

True, the infertility journey will end. But the infertility itself never goes away.

Most people don’t know that.

After six years… three IUIs, six fresh IVFs, a twin loss, OHSS, ovarian torsion, and countless other obstacles to happiness, then a seventh IVF, for two problematic, bed-rest, preterm labor, gestational diabetic pregnancies which each delivered 6 weeks early…I was sure I’d put infertility behind me. Shop’s closed. Time to let that little smokin’ piece of charcoal I call “my remaining ovary” rest in peace.

But infertility remains.

It’s like in those movies where people see dead people. Except I see infertile people.

It’s there in the faces of young married couples who have the careers, the houses, and the “fur babies”, but have no obvious reason not to have had children yet. The woman awkwardly avoids eye contact when someone unknowingly brings up children. Those of us who’ve been there see it. It is blindingly obvious—like infertile radar.

It’s there in our faces, too. It’s in the little nagging worries about whether the countless vials of injectable medications are going to come back to bite us some day, some way. Or in the resentment we feel about having children later…possibly a decade later…than fertile folks did– and the fear of having less energy to parent them the way they deserve, or of living long enough to see them settled.

I’ve seen division in the infertility world. Among the childless, you have the rookies and the veterans defined by the number of failed IVF cycles they’ve endured. Then you have the secondary infertility patients, often claiming to be resented by the childless for being “greedy” enough to come back for another child. Finally, you have the newly pregnant or newborn success stories– the envy of all. Harsh, but often true. The world can be ugly, and the infertile world is no exception. Self preservation prevails.

When a patient passes into the success story group, something wonderful happens to them. But something sad happens, too. They get the boot. Like some kind of graduation rite, the new moms get ejected from the ranks of the infertile. Their infertile former friends think they’re different now. They think they’re just like all the other fertile folks.

You have a baby now. You no longer understand us.

Are you reading this and saying “So what? Bring it on. Just let me get pregnant and kick me out! I can’t wait until infertility is over!”

It’s not so easy to be a woman without a country. You don’t fit in with your old infertile friends who are still trying to conceive, but you also don’t fit in with the fertile people who, by their words and actions, often take the ease with which they conceived for granted.

Enter one of the best kept secrets of the infertility world… the survivor’s guilt.

Infertility will always be part of you. Sorry. Even as you push your child on a park swing, you’ll be acutely aware of the sad, detached woman on the bench. You’ll always remember the date of your long-awaited positive pregnancy test and will often think of the waiting room and the people still waiting there. You may find you are far too overprotective of the child you worked so hard to have. That infertile radar is always on.  And your heart will hurt for those still struggling…even if they’ve forgotten you.

I blog about infertility for the doctors who didn’t give up on me when I wasn’t an easy case, or an easy patient, or truth be told, much help to their success stats. I blog for the doctors who built my family. For today’s patients and the patients yet to come. Some of the drug names have changed, but the stories are all relevant and the support is heartfelt.  It didn’t feel right to just turn my back and go on with my life after my journey ended.

Sadly, many IF bloggers gravitate only to blogs by women currently on their journeys. Of course, they are wonderful sources of support. But to overlook the value of informative commercial blogs or blogs by those whose journeys have ended is to overlook another source of support. (And you may just miss an opportunity to win a free Micro-IVF cycle, too.)

Don’t ignore the infertility support that is available from those who’ve walked a mile in your stirrups. Don’t shun us because you think we don’t understand you anymore. Don’t lump us in with the fertile people just because our journey has ended. Take advantage of the fact that we want to focus only on you.

We are here to help and support you. We will never forget. Don’t ignore us.

http://www.resolve.org/infertility101

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

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This year’s National Infertility Awareness Week theme is “Don’t Ignore Infertility…” How have you or others ignored it?

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There’s Something BIG Coming Next Week…

By Tracey Minella

April 19th, 2012 at 9:19 pm

If you’re here for the podcast, waiting with baited breath to hear Dr. Kreiner’s fifth and latest chapter of his book, Journey to the Crib, you’ll have to check back tomorrow…sorry! But it’ll be worth the wait. I promise.

And speaking of things that are worth the wait…

We’ve got something HUGE planned for National Infertility Awareness Week next week.

You are not going to want to miss it, so be sure to check in here next week at The Fertility Daily. But it’d be mean of me not to at least hint about what’s coming. So, here’s the hint: It’s a contest. Its grand prize, worth almost $4,000.00, could be a life-changing dream come true.

That’s all I’m saying for now.

And to those of you checking in for April’s ICLW…WELCOME!!

So glad you stopped by and hope you like it here and come back often. We’ve got a mix of doctor and patient posts. You’ll find patient perspective pieces from me, a veteran IVF mom, with “battle scars” and stories to share. As they say, no one can understand what you’re going through unless they’ve walked a mile in your shoes. (Of course I’m paraphrasing.) Well, I’ve walked a thousand miles in them. In fact, I’ve worn them out. I’ve even crawled a few hundred miles. So I “get it”. If you comment, I will follow you back.

We’re here to make you laugh with our weekly Wednesday photo caption contests, to cry with you, to help guide you with tips and new information, wherever you are on your infertility journey. You’ll also have access to our doctors’ informative posts on the latest medical fertility news. Feel free to ask them your questions! Check out Dr. Kreiner’s weekly podcasts on Thursdays. Want to read a post on a certain topic? Just tell us and we’ll deliver. We also post links to our blog on the Long Island IVF Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/longislandivf

So, mark those calendars to check back next week when we celebrate National Infertility Awareness Week with the kick-off of an amazing contest!

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Anyone have any suggestions for the smaller prizes/gift cards we’ll be giving away in addition to the big mystery Grand Prize? (And, no, Paris is not an option…)

photo credit: http://www.wpclipart.com/cartoon/assorted/xtra_cartoons/telling_a_secret.jpg

 

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What’s on Your NIAW Wish List?

By Tracey Minella

March 27th, 2012 at 10:42 pm

National Infertility Awareness Week is next month.

And we plan on rolling out a major contest to kick-off NIAW, so be sure to bookmark us or follow us on Facebook so you don’t miss out on the details.

We’ve got an awesome Grand Prize in mind already, but aren’t telling just yet. But we’re still working on what smaller prizes we’ll also be giving away. Any particular books, shows, events, or gift cards you think would make a great gift for our infertile friends? Let us know. Maybe we’ll agree. We want to pamper you a bit on your journey.

Are you planning on doing anything special to celebrate or spread awareness of NIAW? It begins April 22-28. It could be something big like taking part in an event, march, or protest to effect change in the area of infertility coverage or benefits. Or it could be something small and private and more personal that helps you mark the week in a meaningful way. Let us know.

This year’s NIAW theme is “Don’t Ignore Infertility”. There’s some great information on events all over the nation at http://www.resolve.org/national-infertility-awareness-week/home-page.html  

Infertility is such a devastating personal experience and many patients prefer to suffer through it alone for a number of reasons. Understandable. I did the same thing for years. But once I finally unburdened myself of the secret, it made those nagging loudmouths stop their nagging. (Though to be honest, then they started asking all the nosy medical questions next!)  Just remember, LIIVF has great support groups and counselors ready to help you each step of the way if you’re considering opening up this year. (One subtle trick used by a woman who wanted to open up but didn’t know how to tell people, was to “LIKE” her reproductive endocrinologist’s Facebook page.)

Click here if you want to “like” Long Island IVF’s Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/longislandivf

Each year, patients tell us that they’ve been inspired to come out of hiding during NIAW. Maybe this is your year?

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So how are you going to mark National Infertility Awareness Week this year?

Photo credit: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=8077&picture=gift

 

 

 

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And the Winners Are…

By Tracey Minella

May 2nd, 2011 at 4:05 pm


First, ECF would like to thank all the women from all over America who were courageous enough to pen the stories of their infertility journeys by entering our recent contest. And for encouraging your friends and family to read and like or comment on your entries to show their support as well. By doing so, you each helped us to raise public awareness during National Infertility Awareness Week last week.

Thank you for sharing something so personal. You made the panel’s decision very difficult. And while we are excited to ultimately award a free micro-IVF cycle to one patient, we only wish we could start… or finish as the case may be…building all of your families. You are all so deserving.

We were particularly touched by the way you reached out to each other… despite each wanting to win… and hope you all will continue to feel comfortable here at The Fertility Daily blog and find support here and on our faceoffertility forum on your continuing journey.

We encourage all of you who did not win this time to consider entering one of the two upcoming contests. They will be different …very exciting…and will be announced here and on facebook and twitter, so if you haven’t already done so, please like us on facebook and follow us on twitter and bookmark this blog.

In addition, please sign up for our free e-newsletter, which will also have contest details, plus lots of useful information for primary and secondary infertility patients.

The following is a list of the winning five (5) entries from this first contest in a series of three contests. These five women will each receive a copy of Jodi Picoult’s new book, Sing You Home, and a spa finder gift card, plus each of the five winners will be eligible (along with the winners of our next two contests, currently planned for June and August, respectively) to win one grand prize of a free micro-IVF cycle.

The winners in no particular order are:

1. Stephanie W

2. Giselle

3. Jessica U

4. Starburst

5. Tina D

Please email Lindsay Montello at lmontello@eastcoastfertility.com to arrange for pick-up or delivery of your prizes. Contact must be made by email, not phone, for verification purposes. Please note that failure to do so within 30 days from today will result in forfeiture of your prizes (as well as your eligibility to win the free micro-IVF cycle grand prize) and a new winner will be chosen in your place.

Congratulations! Thanks again to all who entered. Please keep trying to win.

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I’m Less of a Man Because I Can’t Get My Wife Pregnant

By Tracey Minella

April 29th, 2011 at 12:00 am


I  can’t resist a challenge, so when RESOLVE asked infertility bloggers to help bust some popular myths during National Infertility Awareness Week in April, I stepped up. And since this issue of the ECF News is focused on the guys because its Father’s Day this month, I’ve decided to share a less edgy version of that post.

I’m busting that myth about a guy’s manliness being based on his ability to get his wife pregnant. Harsh language ahead, but you guys can take it, right?

First of all, a guy can have eleventy two million sperm, all shaped like Hercules, but if his troops encounter cervical mucus from hell, tubes tighter than his formerly favorite briefs, or a hostile womb…none of which would be his “fault”…she’s not getting pregnant. 

But men don’t see things that way. Men think they’re losers if they “shoot blanks”. Where the heck does this thinking come from? The locker room? Cowboy movies? When are you going to realize that size doesn’t matter, guys…at least when it comes to sperm count?

There’s only one type of guy we infertiles talk about… our soul mate. Wanna know why? Because if you’re not our soul mate, you’re the loser ex who bailed at the first signs of infertility…or even before that over something even less important. So what if your sperm can’t get us pregnant.

The measure of a man’s worth is not determined by the size of his sperm count or by whether he’s hung like a bear or a raisin. It’s much deeper than that. Stop feeling like you are less of a man.

You are more of a man because you’re still here beside me telling me we’re gonna get through this together, and because you’re not afraid to show me your pain and disappointment at the setbacks.

You are more of a man because you scraped me off the floor after that HSG and you learned to do the injections despite every fiber of your being wanting to run and hide.

You’re more of a man because you held my hand at all the surgeries, retrievals, transfers, and miscarriages and always made sure I had plenty of hot hospital blankets.

You’re more of a man because you can handle yourself and a plastic cup.

You’re more of a man because you show me every day that you’ll do whatever it takes to make us a family… even if it means accepting another man’s cup.  Even if it means releasing your own dream of someday seeing yourself in your son’s eyes.

There’s an abundance of sperm in the world. It only costs a couple hundred bucks per vial. But there’s only one you. And you’re priceless.

Sperm may make you a father, but it takes what you’ve got to be a daddy. And don’t you forget it.

* * * * * * *

Ladies: If you could tell your partner one thing to reassure him, what would it be?

Guys: How does your wife make you feel about male factor issues?

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