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Archive for the ‘Twins’ tag

National Twins Days

By Tracey Minella

July 30th, 2014 at 10:22 pm

 

image courtesy of david castillo dominici/freedigitlaphotos.net


Twins. Gotta love ‘em.

For the majority of couples struggling with infertility, the idea of having two babies at once…especially in cases of a long, expensive treatment history… is a dream come true. Times two! For some, twins are a “two-fer” that helps “justify” the expense of IVF and IUIs. Twins are also a great way to quickly “catch up” in the total number of children department. After years of having none, suddenly you are the parents of two… instant “standard American family”. In fact, many call it quits after twins.

On the other hand, twins (or triplets) make others nervous. The fact is that a multiple pregnancy can be more complicated than a singleton. Many infertile couples have stressed enough over just getting pregnant and may prefer to avoid the additional worries a high risk multiple pregnancy sometimes presents. This fear, coupled with financial incentives, has driven the popularity of quality Single Embryo Transfer (SET) programs which may offer comparable success rates. For information on Long Island IVF’s SET Program success rates and incentives, click: http://www.longislandivf.com/single_embryo_transfer.cfm

But those lucky enough to have twins will agree that once they arrived safely, it’s mostly two times the pleasure and two times the fun.

This year, August 1-3 is the National Twins Days Festival. http://www.twinsdays.org/, which is billed as the largest annual gathering of twins in the world.

We are inviting all our parents of twins (or more) who are so inclined, to SHOW US YOUR TWINS! Upload your favorite photo to our Facebook page any time between August 1-3. We want to see all those cuties…the ones born this week, the ones who are leaving for college, and the ones in between!

Your success will give others hope. (But those who find viewing baby photos difficult will have advance notice to avoid viewing those posts on the page on those days.)

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If you could control it, would you prefer having twins or one baby at a time?

 

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Can Twins Be Born Years Apart?

By Tracey Minella

January 19th, 2012 at 2:14 pm


Unless you’re the Octomom, chances are that if you’ve done IVF, you may have frozen…or cryopreserved… a number of embryos above and beyond the number you elected to transfer back on your fresh IVF cycle. If you were lucky enough to have an excess, that is. (Alas, my first few IVFs back in the dark ages, never produced enough for cryo. But later cycles did.)

So, let’s assume you had a baby from that fresh cycle. You breathe a sigh of relief at your motherhood dream coming true and proceed to enjoy a few years of normalcy with your little miracle. So you’re out there doing the play date thing, having great birthday parties, doing Disney. Not to mention suffering–happily–  through Yo Gabba Gabba  as you catch yourself singing things like “Don’t bite your friends”…

All the while in the back of your brain there’s some security  knowing you’ve got “potential” children…literally frozen in time from when your eggs were younger than they are today. No guarantee, but some level of security nonetheless. They do cross your mind at times.

So the time comes to revisit the clinic with the hope of a successful cryo transfer. Imagine it works again.

The question: Are your two children “twins”?

Well, they were conceived at the same time, as fraternal twins would be. But one has been out living its life for a few years. A big head start. The other was tossed in the freezer. (Oh, I’m just kidding…) But the reality is that one… merely through the judgment call of an embryologist … was ever so carefully placed in a frozen state of existence. It’s potential for life on hold. For years.

So are they “twins”?

Is it defined at conception? Is it occupying the same uterus at the same time?

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What do you think?

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Infertility and the Psychic

By Tracey Minella

June 23rd, 2011 at 12:00 am

Desperate times called for desperate measures. And infertile women can be desperate.

How else would you describe trekking into a creepy, pitch-black, off-the-beaten-path, woodsy area and going into a dilapidated house that looked like every good haunted house should…complete with candelabra? All for the purpose of having a psychic reading done by this recluse and her wild-eyed side-kick sister, who doubled as her creepy butler.

I got her name…first name only…from my cousin’s wife, who swore by her. In fact, she was such a believer in this woman’s psychic abilities that she pretty much ran her life by her predictions. Guess she didn’t see the divorce coming… or maybe she did.

So when you call to make the appointment, she only takes your first name (this was before caller ID) and the name of the person who gave you her number. You have to sit quietly in the darkened sunken converted garage under the watchful eye of the mean sister and await your turn. My friend went first, leaving me plenty of time to reflect on how they’d never find my body out here in the boondocks. “Stink-Eye” takes my cash and leads me in and seats me at a dining room table.

While waiting for the gypsy, I spy among the web-fest a grade school wallet-sized picture taped to a dingy china cabinet. The kid looked familiar. Then I realized why. She was the abducted girl from the newspaper who was locked in an underground dungeon…and freed with a psychic’s help.

Holy mother of pearl!

It doesn’t take a body language expert to pick up on my crossed arms. “So you’re suspicious?”

 I quickly unfold my arms and start to fidget. “No,” I lied, wondering where my friend disappeared to. Then I handed over my wedding ring and something that belonged to my departed mom.

She started to tell me all sorts of personal things she could never have known, real specific things that no one else knew. Ambitions…specific ones. Names of people. The hair was standing up on the back of my freakin neck. She saw the twins I lost. Lots of stuff about my mom. I wanted to run away, and yet I couldn’t get enough. It felt like she opened a portal.

Then, she took my hands in hers and warned me not to open my eyes. So I’m thinking of the Wizard of Oz scene where the traveling con man who becomes the Wizard later is rifling through Dorothy’s basket for clues. But she had my hands and Stink-Eye no doubt had my friend captive someplace.

 Now, I’m going to go inside your body.”

“WTF?!” my mind screams. But I’m too scared to move. Or to peek.

This woman’s voice changes as she begins to tell me specifics about my organs. It was winter so no skin or scars were showing. She told me of broken toes, gall stones, a benign pituitary tumor, and knee problems. Then she told me my left ovary was missing. How the hell could she know?!

Once she “exited”, the session was over since it’s apparently very draining for her as she takes on the pains of my ailments temporarily. She told me as I left that I’d have twins again.

We welcomed our daughter three years later. She’d had a “vanishing” twin.

You decide.

[Special greetings to those stopping by through ICLW…Please enter our contest to win a free Micro-IVF cycle. Go to the June 6th Make Us Gasp Post and enter there!]

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Have you ever visited a psychic about your infertility? Please share your story.

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What Would You Do To Have a Baby?

By Pamela Madsen

July 16th, 2010 at 8:32 am

A few weeks ago, my fellow sister fertility blogger, Lisa Rosenthal wrote a great blog about how for the longest time she and her husband were not open to adoption as an option to build her family.  And since Lisa and I go way back – we shared our infertility struggles together – and her blog reminded me of our conversations.  You see, there was a time – that I shared with her – that I was not open to all of the family building options that were available.  The idea of taking injections with fertility medications was something that I swore that I would never do.  Shoot fertility medications into my body? Really? Let my husband stick me in the rump with a three inch needle? I didn’t think so….

It wasn’t just about the fear of my husband coming at me with an instrument of torture – it was what taking those high powered hormones could do to me.  But after months and months of ovulation predictor kits, clomid and timed love making – somehow I was ready to face my fears and move onto inject-able medications and intrauterine insemination’s.

After three months of trying those and making so many eggs that I should have been able to populate small villages, all to no avail, my doctor suggested that we try Gamete Intrafallopian Tube Transfer otherwise known as GIFT.  This procedure was popular in the eighties when IVF had much lower success rates, and I had open tubes. But it involved general anesthesia and a laparoscopy.  GIFT was as close to IVF as you could get without the petri dish.  I really didn’t want to believe that I needed to do IVF.  I was making lots of eggs, my tubes were open, I was very young, and my husband had good swimmers! How could my doctor tell me that I need this "last resort" procedure with lousy success rates (the year was 1987)! I had lots of reasons why we didn’t to keep trying fertility medications and IUI’s.  Finally after spending a ton of money, exposing myself to lots and lots of fertility medications, blood tests and injections – I said that I would try GIFT. It only took me wasting six more months in my resistance and fear not to be open to trying something new.

So, after six Pergonal (that was the fertility medication that everyone took way back in the stone age) IUI cycles, I tried GIFT and conceived.  My second son Spencer,  was born from an frozen embryo after my third IVF cycle failed after the birth of Tyler.  When I look back at all of the things that I said I would never do – and did. I have no regrets.  Like Lisa I wonder about the options that I didn’t explore like Adoption or if I needed to – surrogacy and egg donation.  I am sure that I would have come up with an initial list of why I couldn’t do any of those things.  I would have had fears over birth mothers, and explaining to a child about their genetic and birth history. I would have been frightened of rejection from my child and society.  I know that I would have had lots of fears.  I also know – that if I didn’t get pregnant using the procedures that I initially resisted – that I would have let those fears go – one by one. I would have begun to open the door and let in the light.

I was thinking about all of this when celebrity Jennifer Lopez felt the need to come out against IVF. saying that she just "wouldn’t mess with that stuff".  Really?  I wonder how Ms. Lopez would have felt if she didn’t conceive her twins – according to her "naturally".   I wonder if she would have been like me, or Lisa or maybe you….being willing to open the window to family building possibilities that you may have once thought was something that was simply beyond you – for the love of a child.

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Remembering 9/11 at the IVF Office

By Tracey Minella

May 16th, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Tagged with , ,

You’ll always remember where you were that fateful day. And so will I.

I was working as a medical assistant for Dr. Kreiner. I was also his patient…and about 9 weeks pregnant with my son. Could life be any happier on a blindingly clear, crisp September morning?

It started out as a typical day, with the usual morning rush. Lots of busy women…many trying to get their blood and sono done so they cold hurry off to work. A few rushing to catch a train to the city. Men dropping off specimens on their way to the office. Some trying to catch a train to the city.

A train to the city.

By the time news of the second plane crash hit, most of the morning’s patients had already been seen and were gone. Disbelief was quickly followed by panic as we and the rest of the nation scrambled to figure out if our friends and family who worked in NYC were ok.  And what about our patients?

Doesn’t “So-and-So” work downtown? Isn’t “Mr. X” a trader on Wall Street? We spent the morning pouring over the employer info in the patients’ charts, making calls on jammed phone lines, and accounting for everyone’s whereabouts.  We went through the motions of the day on auto-pilot, glued to a 13” black and white TV in the nurse’s station, watching the horror unfold. What kind of world was I bringing this baby into? 

But just as there were stories of heroism, good deeds, and miracles amid the atrocity of the attacks, there was something positive that day in the IVF office.

A patient learned that, despite the chaos unfolding around her, it was indeed going to be her insemination day. When it’s your day, it’s your day. Not even an act of war will intervene. And 9/11 was to be her only day. One insemination. That afternoon. Amid the sadness and silence and sobs of the patient and everyone in the office.

And we came to learn a couple weeks later, that on the day the Twin Towers and the lives of so many innocent people were lost, we had participated in one ironically beautiful beginning. That patient got pregnant and had…twins.

Usually, it’s the patient who is thankful to the doctor and staff. But I will always be grateful to that patient for giving us one little happy something…well, actually two…to remember from that fateful day. And for being a sign to me that the world would go on, that we’d keep making babies, and that maybe it was going to be all right.

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