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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fertility Waters?

Photo: E!Online

I have followed Nicole Kidman's career for years. She's always been one of my favorite actresses because I think she's good at what she does and beautiful on top of it. I certainly could relate to her struggle with infertility and miscarriage. The break-up of her marriage was all the more devastating especially after adopting two children. I was elated when she announced her pregnancy and the birth of her baby. Here's yet another high profile woman having her first biological child over the age of 40.

Yesterday, I stumbled across this article where Nicole Kidman talks about an area in the Australian outback which she claims has "fertile waters". She feels that she and a number of other women became pregnant after swimming in the water of Kununurra in Western Australia. She says her pregnancy was unexpected and she thought she would never get pregnant and give birth. What a great story...it just goes to show you, infertility can strike anyone and there can be a happy ending - just when you least expect it. Read more:

Kidman credits ‘fertility waters’ with pregnancy
‘There is something up there in the Kununurra water,’ actress says (www.msnbc.com)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Infertility Prayers

Prayers To Get Pregnant Over 40

Yesterday I had a post referencing a Newsweek article about whether or not religion can help a couple conceive and some of the religious views on fertility treatments.
My site: www.getpregnantover40.com
 For anyone interested, here is a link to a site called "fertility moon" which has infertility prayers from around the world. Read more:

Infertility Prayers From Around The World (www.fertilitymoon.com)

Here is one of the prayers from the site:




Fertility Prayer
Prayers for pregnancy

Father,

This couple wants a baby
that can only come to them
if by your will and your will alone.

No matter what you decide in their life,
what you choose to do
is what is best for them,
and is accepted as your will completely.

So if it is your will
to bless this couple with a baby,
may your perfect will be done,
in the most precious name of Jesus,

Amen.

author of Fertility Prayer
unknown

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My Interview With Newsweek - Sandy Robertson

I was honored and flattered when I was asked by Newsweek reporter, Joan Raymond to be a part of her article on women over 40 having babies.
My site: www.getpregnantover40.com
 The article examines pros and cons and looks at both sides of getting pregnant later in life along with successes and failures. On the upside, it features three women who succeeded in having babies over 40 the old fashion way. I was one of the three women who underwent fertility treatments, faced the heartbreak of miscarriage, but got pregnant naturally.

Of course, if you've visited my website or have been reading my blogs, you know I wholeheartedly believe that there are many aspects of our fertility we do control. Yes, getting pregnant over 40 (or any age) involves an element of luck, however, to a great degree, you make your own luck by having preparedness meet opportunity.

Here is a link to the article:

 http://infertility-fertility.blogspot.com/2008/09/my-interview-with-newsweek.html

"Not every egg over age 40 is created the same," says Dr. Karen Ashby, assistant professor of reproductive biology at University Hospitals Case Medical Center. "Some healthy women will get pregnant without a problem..."

Sunday, September 14, 2008

My Interview with Newsweek

Sandy Robertson's Interview With Newsweek On Pregnancy Over 40

My site:  http://www.getpregnantover40.com

by Joan Raymond, NEWSWEEK

(September 14)—Jennie Villa wanted to have it all. A great education and career. Financial security. A loving husband. And kids. For Villa, the dream came true, albeit a little later than she would have liked. At age 37, she met that man of her dreams. Three years later they got married. This past August, at age 41, Villa, of Cleveland, gave birth to fraternal twins: a son, Quinn, and daughter Kendall. Her life, she says, is "pretty perfect." And when it comes to her kids, she is over the moon. "I think they're a miracle," says Villa, who got pregnant the old-fashioned way, without the use of assisted reproductive technologies.

Any woman who has had a child after age 40 can understand Villa's hyperbole. That's because, statistically speaking, the chances of having a successful pregnancy at what doctors call an "advanced maternal age" are fairly dismal. By about age 40, a woman's chance of getting pregnant naturally is only about 5 percent in any given month (down from about 20 percent at age 30). The use of assisted reproductive technologies ups the odds—but not as much as it could if a woman were younger. By age 45, a woman's chance of getting pregnant with her own eggs is virtually zero.

Still, some women are defying those odds. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the number of mothers giving birth at age 40 or older has doubled in the last several decades, partly due to medical assists like in vitro fertilization or the use of donor eggs.

The reasons women become first-time moms or add to the brood later in life are as varied as the women themselves. There are career goals to meet. And bank accounts to grow. Some women waited for marriage. Some never married at all. There are second marriages. And even surprise births.

For those who wait, getting pregnant is a roll of the dice even with the help of science. "Not every egg over age 40 is created the same," says Dr. Karen Ashby, assistant professor of reproductive biology at University Hospitals Case Medical Center. "Some healthy women will get pregnant without a problem, other women simply won't."

It's clear that even as medical interventions are helping more older women get pregnant, science can't keep up with the increase in the number of women who delay childbearing and then find themselves battling the clock. For every high-profile midlife mom like actress Marcia Cross or Nicole Kidman, there are lots of women who can't get pregnant. The total number of women age 40 to 44 who don't have kids at all is about 20 percent—double what it was 30 years ago, according to a census report released in August.

There's no breakdown of how many of the childless women in that age group chose not to have kids and how many didn't have them because of fertility issues or other circumstances. But choice seems to be the operative word when it comes to how women feel about the lack of children. Women without children who believed it was better to have a child were more likely to report being lonely and depressed in their later years than women who said it didn't make a difference, says Tanya Koropeckyj-Cox, associate professor of sociology at the University of Florida, author of a 2003 study that analyzed data from a survey of more than 3,800 men and women about relationships and family life.

Those women who do get pregnant after 40 may face a laundry list of age-related medical issues. "When you're older you tend to acquire diseases" such as high blood pressure and diabetes, both of which can affect pregnancies, says Dr. Alan Peaceman, chief of the division of maternal fetal medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and professor of obstetrics-gynecology at Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine.

And simply being older and pregnant carries a much greater risk of miscarriage. Babies of older moms aren't immune to problems, either. They may be born too small or have underdeveloped lungs. And there is the risk for Down syndrome, which increases with maternal age, a problem that was in the spotlight recently when 44-year-old Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, whose 5-month-old son Trig has the disorder, became the Republican nominee for vice president.

But "assuming they can get out of the first trimester without a miscarriage, most women can do fine," says Peaceman, who stresses that if women want to get pregnant later in life, it's important to protect fertility. That means quitting smoking, staying at a normal weight and avoiding sexually transmitted diseases.

The problems with later-in-life pregnancies are all too familiar to Terry Runyon, a 41-year-old banking executive from Chicago. Diagnosed with unexplained infertility in her mid-30s, Runyon underwent a series of assisted reproductive treatments. She got pregnant, but miscarried. Then she got pregnant again, and 17 weeks into the pregnancy, she lost one of the twins she was carrying. The surviving twin, Brandon, now 3, is healthy, happy and "completely the love of our lives," says Runyon.

And earlier this year, Runyon got a surprise. She's pregnant and due this October. "Everyone said I was infertile—and then I get pregnant just by having sex with my husband," she says. "I'm astounded."

She admits that the fears of the pregnancy problems like those she experienced in the past made her first trimester difficult. "I know what can go wrong, and I was petrified," she says. "But at the end of the day, I can only change certain things. I can't change the fact that I'm older, but I can take the best care of myself as possible."

That's what Sandy Robertson did. When she was in her late 30s, Robertson, a part-time teacher, went through numerous medical treatments, including fertility drugs, insemination and in vitro fertilization. She did get pregnant with IVF, but miscarried due to an ectopic pregnancy that resulted in the loss of one of her fallopian tubes. Robertson quit using medical assists. Her doctors told her she would probably never get pregnant again.

She refused to accept what they said. She started taking better care of herself by improving her diet and reducing stress with meditation and visualization. Despite the odds, she did get pregnant several times in her early 40s. But the pregnancies ended in miscarriage. At age 44, Robertson got pregnant again. This time she carried to term, and she is now the proud mom of 5-year-old Patricia.

But the pregnancy wasn't easy. "Every doctor I saw put me through every test possible," she says. "But all the doctors could find was that I was a 44-year-old woman with one fallopian tube who just happened to be healthy and pregnant."

With celebrity magazines chock full of photos of famous over-40 moms, it's easy to forget that women like Robertson are the exception, not the rule. Reproduction has its own timetable, doctors caution. "It's not our place to tell women forget your education and career and go have babies," says Dr. Tommaso Falcone, professor and chairman of the Department of Obstetrics-Gynecology at the Cleveland Clinic. "But it's irresponsible to not share information. And it's clear that it's harder to have a child at 40. No one should get pregnant until they are ready to be pregnant, but women need to make reproductive decisions based on facts."

Those facts can't take the glow off successful late-in-life moms. "I said numerous times that I should have had kids earlier," says Villa, who was monitored closely during her pregnancy and was on bedrest for several weeks due to complications. "It can be a rough ride when you're older. I am probably in the worst shape of my life. But I'm also the happiest. I was ready to be a mom." Which is the best reason to get pregnant—regardless of age.

SOURCE: NEWSWEEK

Monday, September 08, 2008

Getting Pregnant: Top Ten Tips


Getting Pregnant Over 40, Top 10 Tips

I totally forgot about this book which I remember seeing in a bookstore near my RE's office.
 My site: www.getpregnantover40.com
Of course this was years ago back when I was going through fertility treatments (before trying to get pregnant naturally). The book was called "I Got Pregnant, You Can Too" by Katie Boland. I actually never bought the book but I recall thumbing through it in the bookstore. What little I read of it struck a chord with me. In retrospect, I should have bought the book and left my reproductive endocrinologist. I just came across an article written by Katie Boland who is now part of the Mind/Body Institute in California. She discusses her "Top Ten Tips For Conception". Read more:


Top 10 Tips For Conception (that docs will never tell you) by Katie Boland (www.mindbodyinfertility.com)

Here are a few:

 1. Do make the sex as exciting as possible. Sperm counts rise with the level of excitement.
Cervical and uterine movements that accompany a woman’s orgasm assist sperm. The better
the sex, the better chance for conception.
2. Don’t waste energy fantasizing about the nursery d├ęcor. Remember that the baby's first
home is your body and prepare it as lovingly as you would a room in your home.
3. Don’t deliver yourself into doctors’ hands expecting them to get out their wands. Choose
your doctor meticulously and take 50% of the responsibility for your care.
4. Don't anticipate trouble. It can become self-fulfilling. The value of a positive mindset
cannot be overstated. Envision yourselves as parents and stay focused on that picture. It will
reassure and sustain you.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Surprise Moms Over 40


Pregnancy Over 40 Happens....By Surprise!

I've written before about how many women think they're too old to have a baby, they may get a little lax with their birth control, and bingo! They're pregnant.
http://www.getpregnantover40.com
The number of unplanned pregnancies in women over 40 is second only to teenagers. Here is an article about women who got pregnant unexpectedly at an older age.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/parenting/im-too-old-to-get-pregnant/article570413/

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Over 40 Mother: Sarah Palin

Pregnancy Over 40, Sara Palin

Nope, this is not a political blog. I don't claim to be a Democrat or a Republican...but everywhere you turn, the stories in the news are about the upcoming election. My reaction to McCain's announcement of his running mate was probably the same as everyone elses....Who?
My site: www.getpregnantover40.com
Anyway...I seem to have a one track mind: fertility over 40 and pregnancy over 40. Politics aside, what caught my eye was that Sarah Palin is 44 and just had a baby this year. I'm sure this was a natural pregnancy since this was her 5th child - it seems I don't have to look very far to find examples of women over 40 having babies. Now, the other thing that has been mentioned in the media is that her new baby has Down Syndrome. Okay...lets address the whole Down Syndrome issue since I know that much of the literature out there cautions women in their 40's that there is a higher rate of babies born with "trisomy 21".

First of all, the majority of Down Syndrome babies are born to women under 35 (part of that is because they have the majority of babies). Second, even though there is a higher rate of Down Syndrome in "older" women, think about this: out of every 1000 births to 40 year old women, 990 will be normal. In women under 35, 999 will be normal. Yes, the risk does continue to increase with age, but the fact remains, the vast majority of babies born to women over 40 are perfectly normal. As a matter of fact, I personally know two women with Down's kids - one was a teenager when she had her child, and one was in her 20's.

For your reference, here is one of my posts on my "pregnancy over 40" blog which addresses the positive side of Down Syndrome:

Down Syndrome: The Positive Side

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