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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

IVF and Birth Defects

When I was going through fertility treatments, specifically IVF, I was never told that I may be predisposing my baby to some types of birth defects. Some of my previous posts link to articles about certain abnormalities which seem to be more prevalent among babies born to women who underwent IVF -- here is another one:

IVF May Be Linked To Birth Defects

From the article:

"After studying data from a national registry of patients with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS), the researchers found that IVF-initiated conception was six times more common than in the general population..."

In all fairness, the vast majority of babies born through IVF are normal and the article does go on to say:

"At this point, we simply have a strong association between BWS and IVF," adds Michael R. DeBaun, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine and a staff physician at St. Louis Children's Hospital. "We need additional data to verify our findings, and if confirmed, to understand why there is an association."


I realize some couples have no choice but to go through IVF to conceive, however, it never hurts to be informed about the risks or at least to know what questions to ask.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Laugh With A Baby!

I know it's painful for those who are trying to conceive to see other babies or to see other people having fun with their babies. However, I'm convinced that if you really want something, you need to surround yourself with your goal. Here is a video of a baby laughing. It's hard not to laugh with the baby because it's so contagious:

baby laughing

Laughter can be very healing. It can also combat the effects of a stressful lifestyle by lowering blood pressure, stress hormones and increasing endorphins.

Monday, November 13, 2006

IVF over 40 - Who's In Charge Here Anyway?

Pregnancy Over 40, IVF Over 40

When I was going through fertility treatments (which I don't have fond memories of), I remember feeling like somewhat of a spectator who would occasionally have eggs harvested, drugs injected, and blood extracted.  It was almost like I was watching a movie and somehow I was in it.


http://www.getpregnantover40.com

 I felt like my life was at the mercy of a few insensitive nurses who probably saw me as just another desperate woman who wants a baby. And for all this, I paid dearly(about $25,000--but who's counting?) The price I paid wasn't just financial, it was emotional and physical as well.

After My Second IVF I Quit Fertility Treatments

After my second failed IVF, I couldn't take it anymore. I had to take a good look at what I was doing to myself. I had completely turned over my body to the doctors and totally lost control. It's no wonder my fertility treatments failed. I needed to come to the realization that I was in control of my body, not the doctors. Once I did, my life changed. It was so empowering to regain control of my body and my life. After recovering from my second IVF (which ended in miscarriage), I started my all natural journey to pregnancy, and guess what? I got pregnant in a matter of months (long story short I got pregnant 4 times on my own). My last pregnancy carried to term.

It's amazing what can happen when you take back your power. After conceiving naturally and miscarrying, I had a number of RE's look at me with that "give it up honey" look and I would think, "hey, you don't know the first thing about me...yes, you know my age and you've read my medical records, but you don't know who you're talking to..."

I've always been tempted to call all those skeptical doctors up or send them pictures of my daughter (assuming any of them even remember me)to show them how wrong they were. But, the fact is, I got the sweetest revenge of all.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Infertility's Emotional Aspects

I think many of us underestimate how stressful and emotionally draining it is to go through infertility and miscarriage. When I was trying to conceive, every waking moment was spent thinking about trying to get pregnant. My self esteem (which at times was quite fragile to begin with) took a beating and I frequently felt like a second class citizen who wasn't entitled to my own baby. Here is an insightful article about why infertility can be such an emotional rollercoaster ride:


The Emotional Roller Coaster of Infertility


The article also discusses ways to cope with the stress of infertility. For me, the "knowing" that I would eventually succeed kept me going. That's not to say that I didn't have my moments of despair, but I usually bounced back, pulled up my bootstraps and stayed the course. I'm so glad I did.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Over 40 Pregnancy & Motherhood - The Best!

 Pregnancy Over 40, It's All Good!

There's so much negativity surrounding "pregnancy over 40". Yes, I'm sure some women have complications.
My site: www.getpregnantover40.com
 However, I've read much on the subject and many of those complications are totally preventable. For instance, if a woman is overweight, has high blood pressure, or other risk factors BEFORE she gets pregnant, she's probably more likely to have pregnancy complications.

Here's a good article on that very subject:

40-plus: Picture-perfect pregnancies

But enough about that. Today I want to comment on the joys of being an older mom. I did worry about being mistaken for my daughter's grandmother, but as it turns out, I'm frequently asked, "Are you having another?". I'm in better shape than I was in my 20's and I learned how to eat so well when I was trying to conceive that it has helped me to stay fit and healthy.

I have so much patience and I'm mature enough not to fall into the whole "competitive mother" syndrome where mothers use their children to boost their self esteem boasting that their kid is bigger, brighter, and more advanced than everyone elses. I have no hidden agendas for my daughter because I've already accomplished everything I wanted to do in my life.

Us older moms probably had to try a litter harder to get pregnant, but I honestly think we appreciate more the miracle of pregnancy, birth, and life. A day doesn't go by when don't I marvel in what we created. It was worth the six years of trying, the six failed pregnancies, and the emotional turmoil. Keep your eye on the goal. Your past failures don't predict your future success.

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