The first time Callie Khouri and I have been mentioned in the same publication

1013_WEB-130x169Thank you to Melissa Hart for mentioning my Brain, Child essays in her profile of the magazine in the October issue of the The Writer–the first time Callie Khouri and I have been mentioned in the same publication. www.writermag.com.

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Too Many Baby Photos on Facebook?

If you are trying and failing to get pregnant, Facebook is not your friend. You may love babies (and want one of your own) but the sheer number of the baby photos on display on Facebook can be overwhelming, particularly if you are in the middle of fertility treatments or adoption applications.

You don’t want to explain what you are going through to your Facebook community. You don’t want to limit the ability of your friends to share photos of pregnancy and todderhood. But you also don’t want to cry whenever you click over to your Facebook page. You also don’t want to give up your Facebook account.

I have struggled with the desire to share photos of my beloved baby and the fear of causing pain to those friends who might be having trouble finding or creating a baby of their own. Now there is a solution.

A new extension on the Chrome browser will let you replace the photos of babies with photos of puppies, kittens, or whatever else you find easier to deal with.

Giving puppies and kittens the respect they know they deserve. Also bacon, apparently.


 

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Myths About Later Motherhood

The Council on Contemporary Families has just released a fact sheet examining 3 myths about later motherhood.

I always find the language in these kinds of reports fascinating, particularly the way they discuss how women are “postponing” motherhood without mentioning the cultural structure that makes both men and women hesitant to commit to marriage or partnerhood at a younger age.

But the part of the release I found most interesting was this:

Although all mothers have a spike in happiness around the birth of a child, this spike is particularly strong for moms who start their families after 35 and is not followed by the steep and sustained decline in happiness and satisfaction that occurs among younger mothers.

I’ve always suspected that my long struggle to have a child has made me more patient and content with motherhood. (Also, two excellent babysitters, and one very-involved husband). Is it possible that it is my age alone? That I have actually attended enough adult-only parties? What do you think? What is your experience of first-time motherhood over 35?

 

 

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Congratulations to a New Single Mother By Choice!

I have been following Sarah Fain’s journey to parenthood since she started blogging a few years ago. I am thrilled to announce the birth of her daughter Violet. Thank you, Sarah, for sharing your experience with your internet friends.

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The latest New York Times fertility news is about women whose parents help them pay to freeze their eggs.

The article, entitled “So Eager for Grandchildren, They’re Paying for Egg-Freezing,” is a good reminder that infertility affects all generations of a family, but it may also be a woman’s first introduction to the technology.

What the Times article does not mention is that two egg freezing technologies exist–regular cryopreservation and vitrification. The slower freezing method of cryopreservation leads to a survival rate of about 70%, while vitrified embryos have a much higher survival rate—up to 98%.  CCRM is one of only a handful of clinics that vitrify eggs (and embryos).

Even though I know that freezing eggs is medically, ethically, and emotionally complicated, I wish the technology had been available to me in my 20s, and that I had the foresight to use it. I would not have felt a “false sense of security” or chosen to have my family any later in life, as some people fear, but I wouldn’t have felt the same despair at not finding the right person to marry earlier.

If I had a daughter who wanted to preserve her genetics using this technology, I would definitely give her this option, and I would hope she were able to use vitrification at a clinic like CCRM, where her chances of future success would be so much higher.

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You May Ask Yourself, How Did I Get Here?

See that baby in the photo? That sparkling soul is Baby Lone Tree,* who was conceived in Lone Tree, Colorado, at the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine, after a multi-year struggle with infertility and pregnancy loss. And by multi-year struggle, I mean over three years of IUI cycles, IVF cycles, miscarriages, appointments with adoption agencies, acupuncture, herbs, and tears.

During this time, every one else I knew was getting pregnant. Even the women who were having trouble getting pregnant at the beginning of my struggle were pregnant after the second year. In the middle of this, my father died of pancreatic cancer and my husband and I moved to a different state. I felt very isolated. What helped me most was the fact that, in the past, before I was even married, all of my friends who had gone through fertility treatments were totally honest about it. When my turn came, I did not feel like a freak or a failure. Okay, in my weaker moments, I did feel like both a freak and a failure, but I was able to let those feelings go to move forward because of the honesty and kindness of these women.

What does this mean for you? It means that even though I might rather keep the details of my uterus and my ovaries private, I want to pay this kindness forward. I hope that you have real world friends who will share their experiences with you. I hope that if you are having trouble getting pregnant, and have received a diagnosis of infertility, you are able to join a real, live support group, hopefully one that provides cookies. But if you don’t have these resources, or even if you do, you can come to this blog, and look at Baby Lone Tree, and know that, no matter how you build your family, whether through adoption or reproductive technology, or living child-free, there is hope for a child, or for peace, and you are not alone.

*If celebrities can name their babies Brooklyn, Rome, and Paris, after the exotic locales their babies were conceived, then so can I.

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