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Why does Jennifer Aniston’s quest to be a mother inspire me so?

August 19, 2010 | By: | Filed under: Current Affairs, Egg Donation, Faith and Infertility, In the News, Infertility In The Movies etc., Peace to Parenthood, Personal Musings, The Journey to Parenthood, Thinking Out Loud, Uncategorized, visualization

Everyone knows that I am fan of Jennifer’s.  I actually probably wouldn’t be married to my DH if it wasn’t for some advice her mom gave me a long time ago.  But seriously, Jennifer is an extraordinary woman in all respects, and from my perspective even more so for the way she is approaching her quest to be a mom.

At 41, most of know that Jennifer is likely to be facing some fertility issues (although with her health conscious lifestyle and yoga-bod maybe she’s found the way to turn back time, she sure looks it anyway!).  While most of us would be doing a little freak-out dance now, and panicking about the ticking time bomb that are our ovaries, Ms. Aniston seems anything but panicked.  In fact, she seems rather Zen about it all.  And that is exactly my point and what inspires me.

First, the woman KNOWS she is going to be a mom.  One way or another the woman has total and complete faith that she will become a mom.  Rather than spiraling into depression (as I did and many of us do), Jennifer has seemed to have found a way to let go and TRUST.  This is, I think, the gateway to success.

I really truly believe that it is when you completely accept and embrace the concept that you will be a mother, no matter what and no matter how (IUI, IVF, IVF donor egg, gestational surrogacy, adoption, whatever is your path), that fertility treatments have the highest success rates.  Study after study shows that the mind-body connection cannot and should not be ignored.  Women who are able to be in the place that Jennifer Aniston seems to be in, are the women who are more likely to succeed with fertility treatments.  It’s fact not fiction.  I know — as does JA — that she’s got an edge on success that I wish more of my friends and clients had: The inner-knowingness of the inevitability of their impending state of motherhood.

Another thing that I think sets her apart from many of us (and I include myself in this group when I was in the first 4 or 5 years of treatment), is that by all media accounts, she seems fairly open to many different paths to parenthood.  I am not privy to her conversations with her BFF’s but I am guessing that there isn’t much she isn’t considering about how she’s going to become a mom.  That too puts her on the fast track to “mommydom”.  Not all of us can be as enlightened and confident as she is, and I am not saying that she doesn’t have her moments of . . . doubt  . . . but I really think that the confidence and openness that Jennifer Aniston is talking about whenever she is interviewed about becoming a mom is something that tells me it ain’t gonna be long before she’s announcing the arrival or the impending arrival of a little baby Aniston.

And for what its worth, I think she’s a fantastic role model for every woman, single or married, over the age of 35 who’s trying to become a mom.

ASSUME IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN, AND IT WILL.

p.s. and when you can’t totally assume it will happen, fake it, fake it until you make-it  . . . because that’s another sure fire way to get your mommy-Zen fire burning.

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What do the Academy Awards and the Dixie Chics have to teach us about Infertility?

March 8, 2010 | By: | Filed under: Thinking Out Loud

I have decided that the Dixie Chics have the best infertility anthem ever; the song “So hard”.  Actually that entire album is great when you are down on your child bearing capabilities or waiting for a baby.  I was listening to it this morning at the dog park and I was thinking about the comments Celine Dion got on her story in People Mag, and on an unsolicited series of communications I received from a partner at a law firm I used to work for.  He linked to me in Linked In and proceeded to accuse me of committing all sorts of sins by helping people have babies through IVF and even domestic adoption.   Much as one reader criticized Celine Dion for not adopting internationally, this man accused of me “moral relativism” (whatever that is) and said that IVF was conceited.  Yeah, well, to each his own I guess.  Quite frankly, to all those people on high horses thinking they have done something god like because they rescued a child from an orphanage somewhere like Russia, I ask what about all the children in foster care in this country?  I think The Blind Side (the movie Sandra Bullock won her oscar for last night) is an incredibly eye opening story about what Americans are not seeing in their own country, and how children are suffering here.  And Precious.  OMG.

I mean really, you want to accuse me of moral relativism for going through 7 IVF cycles, 10 miscarriages, and three domestic adoptions (only two of which resulted in permanent placements, and my gorgeous beautiful babies), fine so be it, but don’t give me some holier than thou BS, you want to do good and say you are superior to me, adopt an older child from the foster care system, someone who has been abused or abandoned.  Sandra Bullock thanked all those very wise and strong people who have loved a child that was otherwise left without hope.  Indeed two of the Best Picture nominees, The Blind Side and Precious, would be movies I suggest the people who criticized Celine Dion and the gentleman who accused me of having poor morals, watch and think about.

Do you really think that any single one of us has the right to judge the other?  Especially when it comes to something so intimate like family building.  I don’t believe it’s conceited to want to feel a baby grow inside me.  I don’t believe it’s conceited to want to adopt a newborn, nor do I think the vast majority of birth mothers in the US are “coerced” (as that gentleman alleged) by other people into placing their child for adoption.  They may be economically coerced, they may be coerced by the life they are stuck in, but any birth mother that can make the self sacrificing choice to place her child with another family to give that child a better life (whether in this country or another) is someone truly worthy of being called a hero.  And the international adoption community was until recently (and may still be) rife with black market baby stealing, and ethical issues that the Hague was designed to prevent.  No system of child bearing, family building, whatever you want to call it is better than another.  None of us are morally superior to the other.  None of us.  We all have to walk our own path.

And as the Dixie Chics understand very well, for most of us infertile people, that path is So hard.

So do me a favor.  Lay off Celine Dion for trying to have another baby through IVF.  Lay off me for trying to help people have children however they choose to do so.  My goal is to build families and to return the gifts that have been given to me by Dr. Chung (a gift to his patients and reproductive science), all the amazing people at Cornell (M. and L., Dr. Rosenwaks and Dr. Spandorfer), my husband, my children’s birth parents, just to name a few of the people who have blessed me.

And know this, my office, my practice, my agency, are and will always hopefully be a safe haven for my clients.  I promise never to judge you.  I promise to help you achieve your dreams (even if that means working with another agency, lawyer, whatever) . . . I am paying my blessings forward (as another great movie would say).  Moral relativism or not.

And what the hell is moral relativism anyway?

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The Only Honest Woman in Hollywood (so far)!

April 14, 2009 | By: | Filed under: Current Affairs, Infertility In The Movies etc.

I want to express my profound appreciation and delight to see that someone in Hollywood actually admitted to suffering through infertility and going so far as to give an interview in People Magazine about it. Even better, while she acknowledged that people have a right to privacy (especially during such a profoundly challenging time in their lives) that: “I only want to say we might not have as much time as think we have [to get pregnant].”

Three cheers to George Lopez star Constance Marie for her honesty about her struggle to conceive her beautiful baby girl and the impact age can have on infertility!

And welcome to little Luna Marie. You have an awesome Mom, and I know you will grow up to be an incredible human being with a mother as brave, centered, and caring as Constance Marie. Congratulations to the Happy Family!

Now I am off to write a letter to People’s editors!!

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