Archive for March, 2010

I have a project and I need your help.

March 25, 2010 | By:

I am finishing up the e-Book on egg donation so it will be ready when the site goes live for my egg donation agency.  However, I have been getting a lot of emails from readers of The Infertility Survival Handbook, thanking me for writing the book (for those of you to whom I have not yet responded, please know how much your emails mean to me and I really, really do appreciate hearing from you).  I believe that nothing is a coincidence (something my BFF and I were arguing about last night, she’s definitely of the mind that I am insane.  LOL!).  And here’s the thing, I’ve got another book drafted, on top of the e-Book series, and it’s called The Stork Lawyer’s Modern Family Building Bible.  But I wonder if it isn’t better just to revise the The Infertility Survival Handbook? I mean, maybe I could it even tie it into my next round (god willing) at trying to add to our family . . . and combine some of what I was going to include in the “Bible” (as we’ve come to call it in the office).  I don’t know what to do.  My hands are full and I have plenty to keep me busy.  Do I start fresh with a new book or do I update and revise a book that so changed my life and seems to have impacted a few others?  Thoughts?

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Another article on ovaries, this time in The Washington Post

March 25, 2010 | By:

What is up with these writers?  Or is it me?  Do people really not know that are ovaries are ticking time bombs?  This article argues that while our ovaries are turning to raisins the rest of our bodies may not be aging because we have a secret plan to maintain our youthful beauty(via botox, liposuction or some other form of “unnatural aging” at least according to the writer of the article)?  Whatever.  I think by now, I hope by now, that most women know that choosing to delay child bearing — while a very valid choice — comes with consequences.  Putting career before marriage (as an internist lectured to me when I was in law school and living with the man who is now my husband of 17+ years) can be a mistake.  Yes it can, a very very painful mistake.

But it also isn’t the end of the world.  I am all for getting into bed and having a big cry when you find out you’re infertile for any reason, but technology has moved us to a point where aging doesn’t matter as much as it once did.  Thanks to egg donation and surrogacy women have options they never had before.  So we can choose to put off child bearing, as long as we are prepared for the possibility that we may not have a genetic link with our child or be able to carry that pregnancy.  Tough call no doubt.  I just find it surprising that suddenly newspapers are onto our ovaries.  Like this was some massive conspiracy and women didn’t know about it?  I guess a lot of women don’t realize just how serious an issue it is and the article did point out just how drastically our fertility drops off at age 30 (I admit I was taken aback by the new statistics quoted) and age 35 . . . but the vast majority of women are not ready to be mothers at 30 or 35 . . . so what are we to do?  Read all these scary articles and rush to freeze our eggs (a technology that I do not believe has gotten to the point where it is a viable option for most women)?  I’m sorry to rant, but I am tired of people acting like science just discovered this!  Egg donation has been around for about 10 years (maybe a little less but not much).  PULEASE give me a break and give women some credit!

I am about to open an egg donation agency and all of my donor candidates are well aware of what happens to their ovaries.  These are “20 something” prospective egg donors that understand they are helping women who are sometimes not even ten years older than the donor is . . . .  and more to the point, ovaries don’t just age out.  Sometimes they never work properly.  So, journalists, let’s move on!

Let’s talk about something else in the world of infertility.  Why don’t you talk about what a devastating disease infertility is and why health insurance doesn’t cover most if any of the costs?  Now there’s a conspiracy for you!

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

March 8, 2010 | By:

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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