Welcome to My Story

I hope this can be a place of sharing and healing. I want to share my struggles and surprises on this journey. I want to help you find healing like I did by relying on my faith and pursuing my dream of writing a children's book. Maddy and Scooter: Unlikely Friends is not only my book, but an action response to my grief. I hope you can give birth to your dream!

Friday, June 24, 2011

When Do You Try Something Else?

Here is a great article I had to share that I came across on the RESOLVE website...it hit me where I am right now. We are approaching August and that is when my doctor wants to move on and try something else. Medication, IUI, hormones...what to do next? Acupuncture has been great but I seem to be getting worse these last 2 months! I am also on Progesterone if I ovulate after day 14 and it is making me weird...so weird I stopped taking it this month. SHH! Don't tell my doctor! I am very frustrated and super busy with career stuff and honestly wondering about taking a break from it all for awhile. My only issue is I feel like I would be wasting valuable time. What to do? Maybe this article will help you solve that mystery too...enjoy!

Is It Time to Move On?

by Penny Joss Fletcher, M.A., LMFT
Published in the Summer 2011 issue of Resolve for the journey and beyond
Whether you have done three cycles of the same treatment or ten cycles of a variety of treatments, when you are not successful in conceiving and bringing a baby home, you will be asking yourselves what to do next. How are you to know when enough is enough?
First, consider taking a break from treatment if you are feeling extremely overwhelmed. This will give you a chance to recuperate from the daily doctor visits and medication injections. It will also allow you to experience what it feels like to not be on the infertility rollercoaster. You may decide that you do not want to get back on it or you may find yourself enthusiastic to begin the next step.
When you find yourself at a crossroads about what to do next, start by assessing how much the treatment process has affected you up to this point. What’s the status of your resources – finances, time, emotional energy, physical energy, social support?  Are you morally, ethically or religiously comfortable with the next treatment options offered? Maybe you do not really know anymore how you feel and need to check in with a mentor, a trained counselor or a support group member? Be sure to take into consideration the diagnosis and prognosis you have received from your physician. It is not necessary to have tried everything available but to know you have given it your very best effort respecting your physical, emotional and financial resources.

Research and Soul Searching

Some couples are not going to be on the same page at the same time. Communicating about your needs, opinions and emotions must stay active. If you believe your feelings are not being heard, or you can not understand your partner’s feelings, seek help from a mental health professional who specializes in reproductive medicine.
Who is responsible for saying that treatment should stop? Is it the physician or the patient? The bottom line is that the patient is the one who has to take on the ultimate responsibility. No physician can give guaranteed results – positive or negative. What you should be able to receive from your physician (and/or a second opinion) is what all of your options are and an assessment of your chance for success.  Many physicians say that after doing a treatment 2-3 times without conceiving, it is time to move on to something new.
Sometimes people continue medical treatment to avoid the grief and loss of not reaching their goal of conceiving a child. Avoiding painful feelings will not make them disappear. Experiencing the sadness and starting the grieving process individually or together as a couple can be an integral part of the decision-making process about what to do next.
Some questions to ask yourself to help you determine whether you might be ready to stop treatment are:
  • Is it difficult to be hopeful as you start a new cycle?
  • Are you feeling resentful that you’ve put so much of your life on hold in order to pursue parenthood? 
  • Has your relationship lost its passion and joy? 
  • Is the idea of being a parent more important to you than being pregnant?
Many people going through infertility treatment could answer “yes” to many of these questions every now and then, but if you find yourself answering “yes” most of the time, then it may be time to reset your family-building goals.
Do research on all of your options – third party reproduction, adoption, childfree living. Talk to people who have taken those routes to find out if you can picture yourself in their shoes. Being open to all possibilities does not mean you have to accept all possibilities. It just means you consider them so that you can make a thoughtful and informed decision that fits your life.
Nothing and no one can guarantee that you will not have regrets because every decision we make leaves the decision not followed open for regret. The goal for this moment is to anticipate, as best you can, what your regrets might be when you look back on today’s choices. Fifteen years from now you might say, “I wish we had done one more IVF.” Or “I wish we had tried donor eggs.” Or “I wish we had adopted.” But you might also say, “I wish we could have had children, but we tried our best.” We learn to live with our choices and build a life beyond them.
Knowing whether to stop infertility treatment is a major decision that cannot be made in an instant. When you take into consideration all of the recommended steps discussed here, you will come to the decision that is right for you.
Penny Joss Fletcher, M.A., is a licensed marriage and family therapist with a private practice in Tustin, California, specializing in infertility and adoption issues. She has been a volunteer and support group leader for RESOLVE Orange County for over 15 years and is also an active member of ASRM’s Mental Health Professional Group. She can be reached at (714) 730-7996 or through her website at www.infertility2adoption.com.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Acupuncture for Fertility

I have not posted in awhile because I have been super busy! We just got back last week from New York City for vacation and to promote my Children's book. I love, love, loved New York City and my acupuncturist told me there is something to that New York tap water and baby making!
So we will see...

Speaking of acupuncture, this is what I want to focus on for my blog today. I have been undergoing fertility acupuncture for almost 5 months now at a wonderful place in San Diego called, Galena Acu Spa. My acupuncturist, Jeneanne Paden, is wonderful and the clinic has two locations in La Jolla as well as a great success rate for pregnancy.

I was recommended to use acupuncture as a more alternative treatment for fertility as well as it helps to relax the body and mind.  I am someone that hates needles and still cringe and feel light-headed when I go for blood work, especially with all of the testing for fertility purposes lately. I say all this to explain I am not a fan of being poked and prodded, but I LOVE acupuncture! I would have never thought I would actually look forward to the sessions and do not want to miss a single one. For me I go every week and I can't wait to get in there and fully relax. It is like a massage but you relax even deeper. The spa I go to is set up in such a way it is like going to a retreat and not a clinical medical facility. The room is dimly lit with a warm massage table and you lay listening to soft music while the needles are not even noticed, yet they send me into such a deep wave of relaxation my body turns to jello. After about 45 minutes of this the acupuncturist comes in takes out all of the needles, gives me a 15 minute head, neck and then foot massage. If this is fertility treatments then sign me up!
I almost feel guilty that I get to go and be so pampered every week, but I keep reminding my husband it is all for the sake of having a baby! I don't have the space to include it here but there is a growing significant amount of research showing that acupuncture for and in conjunction with other fertility treatments is becoming very reliable. It is not what I always envisioned of the ancient Chinese practice, it is better! It has helped me in so many ways and even gotten me off my thyroid medicine and I sleep so much harder and more restful. If it is something you are considering I say try it!

Here is a link if you want to check out where I go...