Friday, March 26, 2010

Help Raise Awareness With Your Story

The third PFM Blog Post/ Essay Contest has a deadling of March 31. Please submit your favorite post or compse an essay to help educate others on Adoption, Loss, and Infertility.

The rules are posted on the right side bar.
The winner receives a PFM tshirt and set of our stationery notecards. And the winning entry will be put on Parenthoodforme.org.

Thanks for participating.

Have a great weekend.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Perfect Moment Monday- Tanti Auguri

My baby turns 3 today.

We had a wonderful birthday weekend and I am in awe about how fast time has flown. We found out that Min man would be our son when he was 8 months old. It is hard to believe that our little boy lived in this world for that long before we knew he existed.

Today is a special day to remember his first parents. I am so grateful for Min man's birth parents. I noticed recently that I have not spoken about Min man's birth parents much. This is not because I do not think of them often when I look at my son. It is because I am not sure what to say. How does one describe the feeling of gratitude for bringing their child into the world? How do I say that I will never understand what it must have been like to make the incredibly difficult but selfless decision to give their child a better life?

Where would I be if Min man did not exist? I really have no idea.

Happy birthday to my dear little boy. I look forward to every day we have together. You have changed my life completely.

Please visit Weebles Wobblog for more Perfect Moments.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Guest Author- April all Year


Parenthood for Me has partnered with CNY Fertility for our Family-Building Dinner and Silent Auction. Please visit their website to learn about this wonderful organization founded by Dr. Robert Kiltz, MD.


And now for the guest author:


April is a CNY fertility patient who has been on her journey to fertility for approximately three years. April has been sharing candid stories and a unique perspective on the fertility challenges many women and couples face. You can find her weekly posts on cnyfertility.com.

My Story

Patience has never been one of my virtues, but rather a skill I have been learning and re-learning over the years. In my journey to becoming a mother, I have had to readjust my initial plans. Fellow mothers-to-be, I decided that in April of 2007 we would begin trying to conceive so I would have my baby sometime in the spring of 2008. Then I would be able to take the rest of the school year off. (By the way, I am a high school English teacher.) In my head, the plan was perfect. Then the universe, or in my case, God, decided that I still had a few lessons to learn. In June of 2007, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

There were two questions I had for the doctor when he told me I had MS.

1.) Was I going to die early? and

2.) was I going to be able to have children?


Here I was, being diagnosed with what can be a disabling and debilitating disease, and the second question out of my mouth was if I could still have children. (The neurologist happily informed me I was not going to die early and that I could safely conceive children.) Friends, once we yearn for a baby there is little else that we are able to consider. In telling you about my initial reactions to my MS diagnosis, I simply want to let you know, that I get it – the feeling that maybe I am not meant to be a mother (what a sad thought), that choked up emotion that surfaces when I hear yet another one of my colleagues is pregnant, the tears that well when I begin yet another cycle. I have been trying to conceive for nearly three years and my journey has been a challenging, frightening, and enlightening experience.
Before I finish this week’s guest post, I have an intention for you. Is there anything you can do to embrace motherhood –not simply your motherhood, but motherhood in general? For example, I helped my best friend throw a baby shower last May. When I was telling my mom, she said that must have been hard for me; but for the first time in approximately two years, attending someone else’s baby shower was not an anxiety inducing event. I did not have to lock myself in the bathroom for any moments of escape nor did I have to give myself a pep talk before the event. Instead, I asked the mother-to-be to rub up against me as many times as she could before she left in hopes that her fertile hormones would rub off on my nearly fertile hormones. I sat with a table full of mothers who were discussing their childbirth stories and did not flinch when another woman asked me if I had any kids. Nor did I begin to tell her all about my fertility woes. A year ago, my response to this question would have been a 20 minute life story synopsis. Instead, I just moved on and focused on their stories because, ladies, one day I am going to be sharing my baby news. How did I get to the point where I am able to embrace others’ fertility?
That is a topic for a future post. I hope you will continue to follow my story! I plan to guest post on Parenthood for Me again, but you can also follow me by visiting cnyfertility.com and looking for April’s Journey to Fertility under the Recent News section.
Envision the outcome and embrace all motherhood. We will be mothers!
Blessings,
April all Year

Need Your Help- UPDATE

Thank you to all who voted for Parenthood for Me. I won!

Lori and I are donating $40 to Share Souther Vermont.

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Limerick Contest
Finale going on right now. Please vote for Parenthood for Me. Ask some friends. It's for a good cause.

Click here to visit Weebles wobblog.

If I win I will be donating $40 to Share Southern Vermont- Infant Loss and Miscarriage Support.

Thanks everyone!

Happy St. Patrick's Day.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Our Fertility Is Not A Guarantee

For many couples the decision to have a baby comes at a time when they are ready to take on the challenge of parenthood. That decision unfolds a plan for the future and those includes all of the wonderful images and dreams of bringing a child into this world. However, for 1 in 6 couples conceiving a child may prove to be the biggest challenge of their life.

There are 7.4 million Americans who suffer from the disease of infertility (resolve.org). Adding to that number are people who either have not sought help from a Reproductive Endocrinologist or have not realized that their fertility may be affected.

Not many of us plan to have difficulty having children. In fact, we are more worried about preventing pregnancy until a certain point in life. Most women believe that when they are ready, they will be able to get pregnant without much effort at all. In the majority of cases this proves to be true. What we do not think about are the men and women who try for several years to conceive a child or carry a baby to full term.

Infertility is a multi faceted problem that affects a person’s life on many different levels. “Experiencing infertility affects all relationships in one’s life including how one feels about themselves,” states Dr. Rosalind Hayes, MD a reproductive endocrinologist and gynecologist from Rochester Fertility Care.

Not only do people faced with infertility have to ponder whether or not they will ever become parents. They are forced to endure many of the social effects of infertility such as feeling left out from their peer group, isolated, and fielding constant questions about when they are going to have a family. Every pregnancy announcement and baby shower is a constant reminder of the pain they are feeling. Not being able to have a child is a devastating loss on many levels. Many people have a picture of what their future children will look like, how many children they would like to have, and plans of when they hope to become parents. All of these dreams can be crushed by the perils of infertility. Losing the ability to plan one’s family leaves people feeling powerless, frustrated, angry, and sad.

Sheldon D. Malett, Ph.D counsels those going through the life crisis of infertility. He explains,” Infertility can threaten one’s identity . For example, if a woman has always wanted to be a mom, her core identity is at risk due to infertility. It is not unusual for a man to say that his pain is that he is unable to relieve his wife’s pain- one of the responsibilities that many men believe is part of their role as husband.”

Dr. Malett also explains that infertility can threaten one’s feelings of self-worth. It is quite common for men and women to feel ashamed if they are unable to conceive a child.
Because infertility is still considered a private subject and somewhat taboo in our society, there are many misconceptions about the severity of a diagnosis of infertility. Many people dismiss the grief and loss experienced when trying to conceive without success. Often time infertile couples have to hear insensitive advice and remarks when they reveal their difficulty having a child. Even though infertility is a medical condition, the perception is that one is in complete control over their fertility. It is difficult for an infertile person to clearly identify why their circumstances are so egregious when speaking with someone who has no personal experience with the struggle.
According to Melissa Ford, author of “Navigating the Land of IF” and the blog, Stirrup Queens infertility has the potential to separate people as much as it also has the potential to bring those experiencing it together. “Other parents are getting to experience in the here and now what someone experiencing infertility is working so hard to reach. It would be like the entire school making the cheerleading squad except you and having to walk down the hallway on game day with all those skirts and pom-poms as a visual reminder. Of course your friends would talk about the latest cheers they've learned--it's understandable because it's something they all share together. But their talk, their outfits, their new schedule and plans all reflect what you also worked hard to achieve, and for whatever reason, didn't make the squad. Only with infertility, game day is every day.”

If you or someone you know needs help conceiving.

Infertility is defined as trying to conceive for one year (if under the age of 35 for women) without success. For women 35 and over it is six months. If after consulting with your doctor it established that you need to take the next step and consult with a fertility specialist, there are crucial steps to keep in mind. Fertility specialists for women are called Reproductive Endocrinologists. They are trained as gynecologists and obstetricians with 2-3 years of additional training in infertility and women's hormone disorders. There are many OB/GYN's who limit their practice to infertility to provide care for women with infertility diagnosis. For men there are urologists who have additional training for fertility and spend their time caring for men with infertility. Many of them are members of the Society of Male Reproduction and Urology (SMRU).

Finding an Infertility Specialist:

Check the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the professional society for medical professionals who specialize in the care of individuals with fertility problems. You can also contact patient support and advocacy groups such as RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association or The American Fertility Association to find a list of fertility professionals in your area. Do your research and try to find opinions from past patients of a particular specialist. You can get help from various chat rooms devoted to infertility.

National Infertility Awareness Week is April 24- May1, 2010.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Perfect Moment Monday

Min man is laying in bed with us on Saturday morning. Our dog Lucy is there as well. Min man points to himself and says his name.
He then points to everyone else and says, "Mommy, Daddy, Lucy-- Family."
Perfect indeed.

Check out Lori's blog at Weebles Wobblog for more Perfect Moments.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Vote Is On

Please help me regain my title as Limerick Chick 2010 hosted by Weebles Wobblog. Here is my winning limerick from last year, as a first time participant I might add. Remember that this blog is about my life as well as infertility and adoption.





I once was scared of the gyno
Now I'll drop my pants for a rhino
When bad times are worse
There's blogs like the mrsch
Or instead I can just be a whino




Click on over to Weebles Wobblog to vote for Parenthood for Me.
Here are my entries to keep the title for 2010. Both entires are available for voting.
'Cause I'm Irish:

I'm an Irish gal who drinks whisky
Sometimes I go home and get frisky.
When the good deed is done.
I'm
Wishing 4 One.
Or at least eat some spam and some latke.

And cause I'm a mama:

Potty training is quite the event.
Every night I am totally spent.
There are days we’re so close.
Cleaning up poop is gross.
And, today he peed in the vent.



The winner gets to donate $20 to a charity of their choice.
I will be donating to Cara's wonderful non-profit, Share Southern Vermont.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support.

Monday, March 1, 2010

In My Dreams

It seems odd that during the six years I have been in the market to reproduce, I have never dreamt that I was pregnant. Well, until last week.

It is amazing how our minds meld different images, thoughts, and experiences into a dream during sleep. Getting to the root of where this dream came from was interesting.

I remember walking into a store with a pregnant belly and catching a glimpse of myself in the window. I see myself smiling at the image of my cute profile and pretty maternity shirt. As soon as I felt the happiness wash over me I remembered that I was actually wearing a costume. I was dressed as a pregnant woman.

Instead of entering a store I ended up at a party. It was as if it suddenly occurred to me how ironic my "costume" was and how people at the party would think I was nuts or feel discomfort at my choice of an outfit. I mean, everyone knows I cannot get pregnant.

In the dream I anxiously and vehemently tried to hide my "pregnant" belly behind my pocket book and a table. I feared that my costume would be revealed and I would be mocked and laughed at or simply avoided because no one would understand why I chose to come "pregnant." I guess it never occurred to me that I could simply remove the costume. That would be too big, too drastic. Leaving the costume on meant that even though I wasn't showing myself off, I could still capture the moment of feeling a protruding belly. Even if it was only for a short time I was more pregnant than I ever had been before.

When I woke up, I did not really think too much about the dream except for the fact that it was weird. Most dreams are. As the hours passed, however the depth of the dream and what it meant to me grew more profound. This is my version of a pregnancy dream. Even in my dreams I cannot get pregnant.

I did not cry over the dream or let it ruin my weekend, but I definitely mulled over where in my brain this dream came from. Part of it is obvious. I think about pregnancy all the time. I read blogs and stories of infertility and pregnancy all the time. And all the time I wonder what my future holds. Will I ever create and carry a baby?

Maybe my inner psyche has given up but the conscious part of my brain is still in self preservation mode. I have often conveyed in this blog that my motherhood journey is still in effect. I have one beautiful child through adoption and I intend to have more. How? Who knows.

Throughout the past five years I never felt like I was less of a woman due to my inability to conceive. For some reason I was spared that piece of the giant and often unmanageable side effects of infertility. It was not until recently that my mind ventured towards thoughts of inadequacy and revisiting emotions of never fitting in with the vast number of women who can create and sustain life,feel their baby kick in the womb, give birth, and breastfeed. My body is not able to do what it was made to do. That is sad to me.

Sometimes I do feel awkward because I cannot get knocked up. I drank wine at my baby shower. I did not even have the option of trying to breast feed. I have no clue as to anything about newborns. Fact is that sometimes I embrace this uniqueness but most times it stabs at my heart. I wonder if my mother still feels sad that she will never see her baby pregnant.

Are dreams like art imitating life? If so then I should be dreaming about how much joy fills my life from being a mother to Min man. He has a light around him like no one I have ever met. I did not know it was possible for so many wonderful things to be bound up in a little boy. Every day I hold him with all my might, smell his skin, listen to his laugh, and silently reveal my gratitude for his existence. I would be lost with out him. Lost, sad, and muddling through this world wondering when my hopes and dreams would come true.

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