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Archive for the ‘stress of infertility’ tag

Mind Body Medicine and Fertility- Free Reiki Series

By Bina Benisch, MS, RN

September 27th, 2017 at 9:35 pm

I am excited to report that Long Island IVF’s’ Fertility Meditation Reiki series has been an amazing addition to our Mind Body Medicine program. The most recent free series runs from October 2-October 30 at 6:30-7:30 pm each Monday night.

Register here to reserve your spot. Come to any or all of the sessions—no need to be a patient.

The interconnection between mind and body makes it imperative that we treat the whole person, and not just one organ or one system of the person.  Our mind influences our thoughts.  Our thoughts influence our feelings, our feelings influence the biochemistry of our physical body.  Physiological changes in the brain are reflected in our hormones – stress hormones (cortisol) and reproductive hormones.

The chicken/egg dilemma:

It doesn’t really matter which came first — physical/biochemical issues affecting the mind OR the mind affecting the physical/biochemistry.   It’s all connected, so what DOES matter is treating the WHOLE system – mind and body.

A factual premise of Mind Body Medicine is based on eliciting what has been termed  “The Relaxation Response (RR).”   The RR is the physiological opposite of the stress response.  Therefore, when the RR is elicited, stress hormone levels (cortisol) decrease, and allow a more harmonious flow of reproductive hormones, as well as creating a cascade of positive changes in the physiological body.  This all works toward treating infertility!

The methods to achieve these changes are active meditation work, breath work,  as well as Reiki healing (opening and clearing of energy centers in the body). These methods cause the interference of the body’s stress responses including the interference of the brain’s release of stress hormones.

Research has shown that the release of stress hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline, etc. from the part of the brain known as the hypothalamus, can actually inhibit the release of our reproductive hormones!  Additionally, other physiological symptoms of stress hormones cause constriction of blood vessels and put the body in a hypervigilant state –NOT conducive to fertility. You may not even be aware of these symptoms, but the constant day-in and day-out stress of infertility often causes consistent overflow of these stress hormones, therefore impacting your fertility.

 

A powerful way to increase the energy of Mind Body work is by working in a group.

The Fertility Meditation and Reiki sessions have been a wonderful example of increased healing energy flow. We proceed through guided breath work, guided meditation, and guided Reiki healing, joining our energy to bring about physical, emotional, and spiritual changes.  You don’t have to have had experience in meditation or Reiki – anyone can do it!  The Mind Body group is a place where you can relax, a place where you are free to express whatever it is you are feeling … a sacred circle of connection and support. I am often told by group members that the sharing of information has been enormously helpful to them.

Reiki is a Japanese method of stress reduction, relaxation, and healing. “Ki” means life force energy, and “Rei” means universal/spiritual. We are alive because of life force energy flowing through us. We all feel energy – or the lack thereof – without having to see it or touch it. So, we know it exists.

Life force energy flows through pathways in the body which are energy centers – also known as chakras. The chakras will affect, and are affected by emotions. When certain energy centers have low energy or blocked energy, we may become sick or “dis-eased” in certain areas. The practice of Reiki heals by guiding Ki – life force energy – throughout the energy centers in the body. By guiding energy to flow freely, we clear and open the energy centers, healing both the physical and emotional “dis-ease.”

The first time we offered our free Reiki series last summer, the response to this holistic and healing therapy was overwhelmingly positive. If you missed the last series, or can’t make the October 2017 series, we will have upcoming series scheduled throughout the year.

Infertility, and life in general, is stressful. Why not let us help you reduce that stress and regain some control? If you are experiencing fertility issues, you are encouraged to attend these sessions to fully do all that you can to treat infertility and provide coping and healing skills you will then have for life! Register for free now.

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Reiki for Fertility Free Sessions at Long Island IVF

By Tracey Minella

June 1st, 2017 at 9:50 am

 

Are you ready for four weeks of free Reiki therapy to reduce the stress of infertility and possibly increase your chances of conceiving?

 

As anyone who has melted down monthly over negative pregnancy tests knows all too well, infertility is beyond stressful—as in constant, unrelentingly awful levels of stressful. But there are holistic ways to reduce stress and potentially increase the odds of conceiving that longed-for pregnancy.

 

The Mind-Body Medicine Program at Long Island IVF has long-offered specialized group and individual therapy sessions for infertiles, led by our infertility specialist and psychologist Bina Benisch, MS, RN. In addition to these wildly popular sessions, Bina also conducts occasional workshops on keeping the romance in lovemaking while trying to conceive, and on how to “come out” of the infertility closet to family and friends.

 

Bina is also an experienced Reiki Master and now, she’s offering something else that’s really exciting. Or should we say really relaxing?

 

It’s Reiki. Only at Long Island IVF. Open to all—you don’t have to be a patient of the practice. Get in on this 4-week free program while spots are available. Pre-registration is required so click here to sign up now.

 

Reiki is a “simple, natural and safe method of spiritual healing and self-improvement.” It’s a stress reduction and relaxation technique from Japan founded on the belief that a “life force energy” flows through the body and that our health is connected to its strength. If the energy is low, we may be stressed or sickly and raising it may make us feel happier or healthier. Meditative in nature, Reiki “feels like a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through and around you” and “treats the whole person including body, emotions, mind and spirit creating many beneficial effects that include relaxation and feelings of peace, security and wellbeing.”*

 

Whether you are trying to conceive naturally or are using assisted reproductive technology like IVF to conceive, the holistic Reiki therapy may enhance your efforts by helping you to relax.

 

In an effort to bring attention to Reiki therapy through Long Island IVF’s Mind-Body Medicine program, we are offering this limited-time, free four-week Reiki series. With such positive feedback from our innovative Acupuncture for Fertility program and our recent free Yoga for Fertility Night, patients seeking holistic alternatives to complement their Western medicine fertility treatment protocols have found all of these options under one roof.

 

Do something relaxing for yourself this summer and come down for Reiki with Bina.

 

The four (4) Reiki sessions will be held at Long Island IVF’s Melville office 8 Corporate Center Drive, Melville, New York on the following Monday nights from 6:30-7:30 pm:

 

  • Monday June 12
  • Monday June 19
  • Monday June 26
  • Monday July 10

 

Remember, the sessions are free but spots are limited, so pre-register now here.

 

Can’t wait to see you there. Please contact Lindsay Montello, Patient Services, at 631-752-0606 or LMontello@liivf.com with any questions.

 

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Are you coming to Reiki?

 

 

 

* http://www.reiki.org/faq/WhatIsReiki.html

 

 


 

 

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4 Tricks Infertiles Can Use to Avoid Being Grilled at BBQs All Summer Long

By Tracey Minella

May 30th, 2017 at 7:37 am

 

Image: gratisography/Ryan McGuire


After a long winter– and some still chilly temps and wet days in New York—the kick-off to summer is finally here. Barbecue season is upon us and the charcoal is waiting for fresh meat…

Don’t be the meat.

The first picnics are here and that means you may be thrust into big group social situations again, after a long winter of hibernating. Maybe not this weekend, but maybe next. Or the one after that.

Are you ready? Do you need to up your defense?

Here are 4 tips to help you dodge the naggers before they can ask “When are you guys going to have a baby?”:

Drink heavily. I don’t mean alcohol (necessarily). But if you have a drink in your hand or a glass to your mouth, it can discourage conversation. Plus, you can down the contents and excuse yourself for a refill at the first hint of unpleasant conversation. Or if the nagger really oversteps, and you happen to slip and accidentally spill it down their dress, well, that’s really a diversion.

Stuff your face. You don’t have to eat non-stop, but (like the drinking tip) keeping something in your hand or on a plate that you can pop into your mouth when a nagger approaches could be key. You can’t be expected to answer an inappropriate… or any…question with your mouth full.

Have a Plan B… and sensible shoes. If a nagger is in the kitchen where you’re helping out, grab a tray of hors d’oeuvres and make a hasty exit to the yard. Or reverse. Or seek refuge in the bathroom for a bit.

Use children as shields. Normally, the kind of people who butt into your sex life aren’t the ones who play with the 87 kids at the party. Sure, being with other peoples’ kids can hurt, but it may still be better to jump into their game than face a nagger. No one can expect you to provide intimate details while you’re jumping rope or pitching a whiffle ball. And those whiffle balls can have unpredictable paths, too…

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Do you have any other tips to add on how to avoid or diffuse the nagger problem?

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The Best Way to Survive Mother’s Day When Infertile

By Tracey Minella

May 11th, 2017 at 9:06 am

 

photo credit: ryanmcguire/gratisography


This might seem unconventional for an infertility blogger to suggest, but…

Stop looking for something online that will make you feel better this weekend. Chances are it isn’t out here. And even if there was one special nugget of wisdom that might somehow ease your pain, you’ll have to sift through so much useless and painful content that your heart will be in shreds before you find that elusive gem.

The worst place you can be when you’re infertile is on social media on Mother’s Day. The day photos of moms and babies posted are multiplied 10,000 times more than the already unbearable daily number you endure. Why subject yourself to millions of pictures of mothers and children or hundreds of blog posts like this one – – trying and failing to make you feel any better? Please hide. Resist the habit of Facebook. Protect your heart.

Yes, I’ve been in your shoes, but it was before the hell that is social media. I only had to endure real life pregnant people and babies in my actual face—not the flood of thousands of them in my virtual face 24/7. You have it so much worse in that respect—though IVF success rates have soared since I did it. Our experiences are the same, yet different. Only other infertile women could understand how you are feeling–currently infertile women.

Ten stressed-out Mother’s Days without a baby I suffered. I have walked that long and lonely path you are on now, and I do remember it like it was yesterday. Yet I know my well-meaning words of hopeful advice– that I so want you to find comfort in today– can’t help but somehow fall short because I finally became a mom while you are still waiting for your day. I walked before you, and it’s frustrating to know that I can’t comfort you the way someone walking beside you can. So while I do remember, speaking to you from where I am now instead of where I was then makes my words just one small step above those of others not currently walking in your shoes. Maybe the words of one who succeeded at IVF, even after many, many failures and losses are as unwelcome on such a difficult day as the words of those who conceived easily and effortlessly.

So on this hardest day of the year I won’t try further than to say that I know you can get through this day and I’m sorry for your pain. There is no magic answer in this post or any of the others you may read about Mother’s Day.

Despite constant advances in assisted reproductive technologies, no one can promise you a baby this cycle or in the future despite the technology advancing with lightning speed. For me, not knowing if it’d ever work was the hardest thing. Had I only known for certain that at some point– even years away– I’d definitely have a baby in my arms, it would’ve made all the difference in managing the highs and lows during those 10 long years. But there is no crystal ball. While many people might become parents if they just kept undergoing treatment, many people’s wallets are exhausted before their spirit is ready to stop treatment—or even before they can begin it. That fear kept me up at night.

You know what you need to get through this day– and only you know what you need. Time as a couple, alone time, or time with family and friends. Do what you need to do so it will pass.

For what it’s worth, know that I and the many women who walked before you will be looking backwards on Sunday with hope and strength for you as you walk on. Strength to get through this day– and hope that by this time next year you will be looking back on your journey as well.

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Teacher Appreciation Day: When Will it be YOUR Turn to be the Parent?

By admin

May 9th, 2017 at 3:27 pm

 

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We know it’s a tough job to be a teacher…especially when you are struggling with infertility. To spend all day, each day surrounded by little faces—playing a big part in not just in educating these children entrusted to your care, but also in raising them. It’s not a job you can turn off when the final bell rings. You keep thinking about them 24/7. Just like infertility.

When will it be your turn to be the parent at the parent teacher conference?

Well, maybe we can help you get that family started.

Did you know that Long Island IVF is a designated Center of Excellence for the Empire Plan, the insurance provider for many local Teachers as well as other NY State and Local Government Employees? That’s great news for Long Island’s insured teachers and others who want to take advantage of the substantial financial benefits that come with choosing a COE provider for your fertility care and have those services provided on Long Island.

Even those who aren’t able to take advantage of the Empire Plan’s COE benefits can confidently trust Long Island IVF with their fertility care. Our doctors are consistently voted Top Docs and Super Doctors by their peers. We brought Long Island its first IVF baby and many other firsts in the field.

In addition to the assurance of working with a program that has achieved high quality measures, our COE designated program affords our Empire Plan patients an additional financial advantage — once treatment is approved by the Empire Plan, you receive full benefits with no co-payments or co-insurance requirements for the services covered by their insurance plan.

Now is the perfect time to start planning for infertility treatment this summer—especially for teachers! Free from the stress of a teacher’s rigid schedule, the summer months offer the flexibility to do IVF (or IUI) in a more relaxed frame of mind.

If you are not already a Long Island IVF patient and would like to jump start your family-building plans, call us today. With six offices across Long Island and Brooklyn, there is sure to one that’s conveniently located near you.

We look forward to welcoming brand new patients as well as patients transferring from other practices for insurance reasons. Let’s start building that family together this summer. School is almost out. Sounds like the perfect time for a personal project.

Call our New Patient Coordinator at 877-838-BABY to schedule your initial consultation today.

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Are you a teacher or government employee who may need help conceiving—or do you know of someone else who does? Please share. You never know if that great teacher who your child loves is secretly longing for a baby of her own.

 

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Listen Up! National Infertility Awareness Week Events are coming to Long Island IVF

By Tracey Minella

April 4th, 2017 at 6:28 am

It’s that time of the year again. That time when we have the attention of the rest of the world…a/k/a the fertile folks…and get a chance to school their basically clueless selves about the daily and often debilitating struggles of the fertility-challenged.

It’s not their fault they are fertile. Or clueless. But that doesn’t make them or their remarks any less irritable all year long. So the theme for this year’s National Infertility Awareness Week (“NIAW”)–“Listen Up!”—is really appropriate! NIAW runs from April 23-29, 2017. Let’s take advantage of the chance to make them listen up.

Each year, before, during, and after NIAW, Long Island IVF offers some events to help those struggling with infertility and to raise awareness of infertility. All events are presented in our Melville office and are free and open to the public—no need to be a patient of ours. They are designed to help support you physically and emotionally no matter where you are on your journey to parenthood. Did I mention they are FREE?

Some events give you a mental and physical leg up, so to speak—like our “Yoga for Fertility Night” on April 26th with Lisa Pineda! Learn and do the poses designed to help your body become more receptive to pregnancy through stress reduction, increased blood flow to the uterus, and more. Register here for free. Spots go fast. This was wildly popular last time we offered it!

Similarly, our “Acupuncture for Fertility Symposium” on April 27th, offers a live demo of fertility acupuncture—a holistic and ancient therapy offered at Long Island IVF by our own Dr. David Kreiner, the area’s first and only known reproductive endocrinologist who is also a certified and practicing medical acupuncturist. Learn from a panel of experts how some patients may improve their chances of IVF success by using this complementary therapy—even if they tried IVF unsuccessfully in the past. Register here for free.

Right on the heels of NIAW is the most dreaded day of the year for many infertile ladies: Mother’s Day (followed by the also-awful Father’s Day for the guys). These two days are difficult for all of us, but they’re particularly hard on those who have been on their infertility journey a long time and have exhausted many available family-building options or those suffering in silence and stressing over keeping the secret.

Right before Mother’s Day we are offering our “New Beginnings through Donor Egg Seminar” on May 2nd. Donor Egg is not usually the first step for people seeking to build a family and many people have suffered a long time, through disappointment and loss, before opening up to the possibility of building their family with donor egg. If you find yourself open to exploring a program that many women later confess they wish they considered sooner, please join us to learn more from our supportive and compassionate donor egg team of doctors and nurses. Hear from one of our many successful donor egg recipient moms and ask your questions. Register here for free.

 

Also before Mother’s Day is our “Tired of the Secret Workshop” on May 4th. In an effort to help those couples who want or need to come out of the infertility closet and tell their family and friends or employers—but don’t know how to do it—we are bringing back this popular workshop from Coming Out Infertile Day last November. Led by our Mind-Body Program and infertility specialist, Bina Benisch, MS, RN, couples or individuals who want to “come out” are given counsel and guidance to work through the issues that are blocking them, as well as suggestions on how to navigate that important conversation so they can unburden themselves and get the support they need from their loved ones. Register here for free.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with infertility please join us at any or all of these events for free, so we can support you on your journey. If your personal journey is resolved, please share the information so friends who are suffering in silence may see it and benefit.

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Which event(s) seem interesting to you? Are there any other events you’d like to see offered?

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Long Island IVF-WINNER: Best in Vitro Fertility Practice 2015- 2016- 2017

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 and 2017 contest…three 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 29 years…build families. If you are having trouble conceiving, please call us. Many of our nurses and staff were also our patients, so we really do understand what you’re going through. And we’d like to help. 631-752-0606.

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No More April Fool’s Day Pregnancy Jokes

By Tracey Minella

April 1st, 2017 at 1:58 pm

 

image: wpclipart

Even a holiday as insignificant as April Fool’s Day has become a minefield for the infertile.

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 cancer? 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.

Give us a break. Better yet, post something that is actually laugh-out-loud funny. God/Goodness 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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Infertility, Lucky Charms, and St. Patrick’s Day

By Tracey Minella

March 11th, 2017 at 10:32 pm

 

image: wpclipart


 

Let’s raise a glass to one of the few holidays that’s not focused on children!

 

Other than spotting those little scouts at a local parade, St. Patrick’s Day—or night—is a time where a good part of the country…legit Irish or wannabes…gets downright hammered. (Not that we advocate that or anything…wink, wink.)

 

So what are you going to do?

 

If you’re a cycling infertility patient, you’ll likely resist the urge to drown your TTC sorrows in a pint of green beer, sacrificing the party for the benefit of the potential life you’re trying to create. Hey, there’s no shame in being sober on St. Patrick’s Day! Be the responsible designated driver–it’s great training for all the parental responsibility and sacrifice that might be just over the rainbow for you.

 

So what about all that “luck o’ the Irish” stuff? As a half-Irish lass myself, and one who did my share of IVFs before having success, I thought it was a farce—a scam. C’mon, if I was really lucky, I wouldn’t have needed IVF to conceive. And, might I add, I’d have had a pot o’ gold to finance it all. But, nooo.

 

Do YOU believe in lucky charms for fertility?

 

There are more symbols associated with good luck and fertility than you can shake a shillelagh at! There are frogs, acorns, and of course, eggs. You can buy statues and jewelry of these and other symbols. I once bought a cheap pewter Chinese fertility symbol on a thin black leather necklace. Couldn’t hurt, right? Today, there are many fertility jewelry sites that make beautiful handmade items if you’re open about the struggle.

 

I also had a lucky charm. It was a gift from a casual friend from work who was moving out of state and knew of my infertility secret. She gave me a pretty mirrored compact with a little cameo angel on top…for luck. I had it with me when I finally had my IVF success. After my angel was born, I tucked it away, figuring I’d give it to my girl one day and tell her its special story.

 

But a few years later, I had a co-worker who was TTC and was moving to Florida. I thought of my lucky compact and everything suddenly became clear. I told her the story and gave it to her on the following condition: She was to use it as long as she needed it and then pass it along to someone else who was TTC, with the same instructions.

 

This travelling compact is touching lives and spreading love and luck throughout our sisterhood.

 

Now that’s worth doing a jig over.

 

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Have you given or received a lucky charm? What is it and what is the story behind it?

 

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Infertile on Valentine’s Day

By Tracey Minella

February 14th, 2017 at 12:13 pm

 

image credit: OZphotography/ freedigitalphotos.net


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/freedigitalphotos.net

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Infertile People Have a Dream

By Tracey Minella

January 16th, 2017 at 6:01 pm

image credit: David Castillo Dominici/ freedigitalphotos.net

 

As Americans celebrate the late, great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we usually remember his most famous quotation from his 1963 speech for racial equality.

 

“I Have a Dream…”

 

Those trying to conceive a baby live by these same words. They are the mantra of the suffering, infertile woman.

 

To be clear, infertility is not on the same “life-and-death” level as the civil rights movement.  Yet there is no mistaking the parallels that do exist between the passion MLK Jr. felt for his cause and the passion infertile women feel for their quest for motherhood.

 

When you are infertile, you are ever-aware of a different unfairness and inequality in the world. How fertile couples take their fertility for granted. How others have what you’ve been denied. You suffer unimaginable pain and despair at what is effectively a denial of your right to the pursuit of happiness. And you passionately dream your dream…of a day when you will hold a baby in your arms.

 

MLK Jr.’s peaceful protesting of the injustices of segregation and racial inequality ultimately changed a nation. But for the infertile woman, there is no protest that can make that dream of motherhood come true. Sure, we can and must demand the government do more to help infertile women… such continually advocating for legislation mandating more comprehensive medical insurance for infertility treatment. But ultimately, your plight is based on individual circumstance, not oppression by others. New legislation may help financially, but it alone won’t guarantee you get pregnant. So how do you deal with the frustration over the situation? How do you keep your dream alive?

 

Dr. King…a spiritual man and motivational speaker…gave us more than that one famous quote.  Here’s another one, which speaks to the heart of the infertile woman:

 

“Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

 

So when you remember the courage of this great man, think about becoming an advocate for political change that will advance the cause for infertile women. Keep the faith.

 

And never give up on your dream.

 

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How do you keep your dream alive? What’s the biggest obstacle?

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