january 2013 – where do babies come from?

Here are the posts for our January 2013 topic “Where Do Babies Come From?” Each of us had a unique path to tread to bringing our children home, and it will be interesting to see how we each plan to share the story. Both the “usual” paths, and the “scenic routes.”

If you mention any specific resources in your post, it would be AWESOME if you could also link us up in the comments on this post. We would love to add them to our Resources area.

In a week, this post will move to the drop-down menu in the pink toolbar, so you can check there to come back and see what you missed. It is never too late to leave a comment.

Suggested Prompts:

  • Have you thought about when your child(ren) might ask the “Where do babies come from”” question and what you might say?
  • Do you plan to talk to them about ALI in general in an age-appropriate way at that time, or wait until they are older? When they ask?
  • Have you thought about sharing your specific infertility/loss experience and treatments with your child(ren)? Why or why not?
  • If you brought your child home through adoption, what will this process look like for you? Have you previously written on this topic?
  • Do you consider the gender of your children to be important in what you share about your unique set of circumstances? Why or why not?
  • How do imagine your thoughts on this topic might evolve over time?
  • Do you have any tips or advice on how to make this topic (general reproduction and/or as it relates to the ALI journey) age-appropriate?
  • Do you have any resources (links, books, podcasts) etc. that you could share in the comments to add to our Resources page?

Contributing Bloggers:

  1. Allison of Allison’s Wonderland says “Mostly I ramble, but conclude that the most important thing when telling Henry the Story of Him is to reinforce how much my boy was wanted, and how loved he is” in her post, Having That Conversation.
  2. Lulu at The Wild Rumpus brings us “…thoughts about telling your son he was conceived in a petri dish, among other things” in her post, Made in a cup, like soup.
  3. Christine from Believing in June “…posted about how creating our daughter through IVF was a really special process for my husband and I, a process that brought us closer together and, we believe, makes Piper’s story all the more interesting!” in her post where my babies come from…
  4. Brittany at Infertile Mormon Mommy shares “Thoughts on what I will tell my kids when they finally ask “Where do babies come from?
  5. Ms. Future PharmD from Mom PharmD lets us in on “The basics on what we’ve told the kid so far about where babies come from.”
  6. SRB of Little Chicken Nuggets explains that babies come out of your butt, obviously, in her post where do babies comes from?
  7. Josey from My Cheap Version of Therapy tells us “How to talk about EWCM with your daughter… err, someday” in her post What Makes a Baby.
  8. Courtney of All the Sun For You shares her policy of “No secrets – just honesty.  Starting NOW” in her post Where Our Babies Come From.
  9. SLESE1014 at Mommyhood After Fertility Frustration tells us that “It wasn’t a stork…
  10. April of R. Sativus says “Where our babies come from isn’t as important as why they’re here.” in her post Where Do Babies Come From?
  11. Keanne from Family Building With a Twist shares a post she wrote last year about her son, surrogacy, and “Telling Him How He Came to Be.
  12. Jules from How I spend my Dash tells us that now she has something to think about in her post Where Do Babies Come From?
  13. Dresden from Creating Motherhood shares The Infertile Version of the “Where do babies come from?” question, including her personal story.

**If we missed you, please give us a link to your post in the comments below (with a short blurb) and we’ll move you to the list above!**

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featured post: “post partum” via miss conception

Just after the new year I got an email from a blogroll member pointing me to a post I had literally just read. What she had to say about it was more or less what was percolating in my own mind:

I read this post today and thought it would make a great featured post, as so many of us have felt the guilt associated with daring to complain about finally becoming a mom, and yet it is so freaking hard, especially the hormonal and emotional aspect mixed with sleep deprivation. It’s something I think most new moms are not properly prepared for, and we need to talk more about it.

Whew. There was a lot for me to unpack there. In the last two weeks I have written about perspective, “at least” and “just be EMOTION X” statements, and how this can all contribute to guilt and shame over the perfectly natural and healthy negative emotions that come with being a new mum. I remember reading once (and MAN, I cannot remember where) that having a new baby in the house is some seriously shell-shocking shit. Um, pretty much. No amount of reading prepared me for what was about to happen in my life. I was put through the wringer, a few times (and then once more for good measure) both physically and emotionally. And I felt like I could not talk about it. To anyone.

The main reason that I volunteered to help take over PAIL is this: This journey did not stop for me when I got pregnant. It got harder. I was alone with it all, and it nearly cost me. Until I found the odd blog where the woman was in a similar place to me and was touching on some of what I was feeling. I felt less alone. After I gave birth, and AAAAALLLLLL the emotions of the journey up until then caught up with me, I had to stop reading everyone for a while. I couldn’t take it. But then, I started to feel better, and I started talking more. Now, I can’t STOP talking. So really, my main raison d’être at PAIL is this: Keep telling your story, in whichever way you need to tell to tell it. Somebody needs to hear it, and you will both find healing. 

Which brings me back to the post “Post Partum” by ADSchill at Miss Conception. She begins by saying “birthing a baby is not roses and sparkles…” and then breaks it down physically and emotionally.

Physically: I am hurting. I’ll be honest here…my nether regions are a mess. Women don’t really talk about this side of post partum, especially on an infertility blog. But I feel that to be authentic and honest, I need to represent this part of being pregnant and giving birth.

…I had two tears. One in the obvious place (the perineum) and one on the side of the vagina. I was considered a 3rd degree tear. Of course there were stitches placed and lots of swelling…Oh yes, trying to poop with stitches…enough said.

And some other stuff about swelling and weight, and well… yes! The things nobody tells you!

Emotionally: Those post-pregnancy hormones are NO joke.

I am feeling a bit more stable now at 2 weeks past, but the first week was harsh. People don’t warn you about that first week. Well, I will warn you now, because even if you haven’t given birth I hope that you will.

There were a lot of crazy mixed feelings that first week…and well I guess there still are.

I’m going to leave it there, because I recognized so much of myself here, and I wish I had known that it was normal. I wish I had read this, or had someone say it to me. Now that I am about to give birth again, I read this and I remember. I read this, and I remember to be gentle with myself. And I thank A for writing it down for all to see.

This is brave stuff to admit for *any* new mum, but even more so in this community. There is such a pervasive fear that we will look like we are complaining and as such we sanitize or omit things out of sensitivity to our readers – to our friends. It is difficult, and brave, to truly not hold back and tell it how we see it. She does a MUCH better job of capturing this in her post than I can convey here – even if I quoted her. Truly. (My personal feeling is that sharing *all* parts of the journey is important for a realistic management of our expectations. And when we can’t read, we must also be brave and step away. It’s okay. All of it.)

Wherever you are in your journey, I encourage you to head over to Miss Conception and give this post (and its follow-up) a read and a kind word. After all, knowing we are not alone helped to get us this far. And we have miles and miles to go.

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ADSchill @ Miss Conception in her own words:

My hubby and I have been married for 6 years and together for a whopping total of 13. As high school sweethearts, we did everything in the so called ‘order’ you are supposed to: Date, college, marriage, cohabitate. We even started with the obligatory puppy to raise and waited 3 years before considering our next step. Fast forward 2 years – here is the picture… Polycystic ovary syndrome, meds, infertility, exhaustion. I have always been healthy, but it turns out PCOS was always hiding in the wings, waiting to rear it’s ugly head the moment I ditched the birth control. If I could kick my ovaries in the junk, I would.

UPDATE: Our first IVF produced two beautiful babies – a boy and a girl. I developed a hematoma which in turn began wreaking havoc in my uterus causing me to go into pre-term labor and deliver my precious twins at 20 weeks. We miss our angels desperately and are still hoping to see a rainbow after the storm.

Baby ‘Raz’ is expected on January 3rd, 2013 after a frozen embryo transfer. Raz was our last surviving frostie baby. (Cooper born December 18, 2012)!!!

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news item: “Embryos for Donation: Where are the Ethical Boundaries?” by Carole of Fertility Lab Insider

Years ago, when I first started researching and googling because we were having troubles conceiving, Carole’s blog is one of the very first ones I came across. She has directed several fertility labs since 1995, and her blog is a wealth of information on all things fertility related, and I have always found her posts on everything from ART to the ramifications to the ALI world of pending political bills to be incredibly informative and insightful.

This week the post that grabbed my attention was one that she wrote about a lab that is now offering embryos via an egg donor/sperm donor cycle. She described it as follows:

Couples pay a set price –roughly equivalent to the cost of a fresh IVF cycle– to participate in the program and each couple gets two embryos from the pool of fresh embryos created using donated eggs and donated sperm in their shared cycle. None of the recipient couples have a genetic link to the created embryos. Any remaining embryos are frozen pending assignment to other couples outside the original shared cycle, defaulting to a type of custody or perhaps ownership (?) on the part of the embryo donation clinic until they are matched with a recipient couple. If a couple fails to become pregnant from the pre-paid cycle, they get another embryo creation cycle at no charge with a new egg and sperm donor. A brief description of the embryo donation program can be found on the California Conceptions website, but it is a little short on details.

Now I never did IVF, but from talking with many of you, I know that the question of what to do with the remaining embryos after family building is complete is a tough one. This takes it to a whole new level wherein the clinic would have effective “ownership” over these embryos before excess embryos are assigned to a new couple…and by extension, that clinic would have ownership over life.

Carole goes on to say:

Apparently, the means by which embryo donation is carried out is evolving beyond the simple traditional model which requires that we give some thought to what limits, if any, we want to put on the process of embryo donation. Should embryo donation be limited to donations from patient gamete-created embryos only? Is it ethically okay to design an (arguably) more cost-effective system to produce more “donor embryos” to meet the demand? I don’t have the answers. For me, the ethical way to handle embryo issues is  always to be fully transparent with all individuals involved and- as much as is possible–to look out for the best interests of the embryo’s future as a donor-conceived child.

Before commenting on this post, I highly recommend reading the entirety of Carole’s post because she raises a lot of really valid points and questions. Then come back here and let us know…

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What do you think about a business owning embryos?

What did you do / will you do with your leftover embryos? Was this a consideration for you when deciding whether or not to pursue IVF?

Do you think this is a realistic, ethical way to help with the possible shortage of donor embryos?

Is the cost benefit of this idea to IF patients a major or minor factor in your feelings about the issue?

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