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Mother’s Day For Women Dealing With Infant Loss and Infertility



Most people don’t realize how painful Mother’s Day can be for those struggling with infertility and loss.

If that woman is you, you are allowed to do whatever you need to do to make it through this Mother’s Day.

Taking care of yourself becomes essential as you try to work through the grief and loss that has overtaken your journey to motherhood.

But on this day especially, take care of you.

You have permission to opt out of all the Mother’s Day messaging today and avoid people who may not understand what you’re going through and not be sensitive to your feelings today.

Do whatever brings you comfort. Binge on your fave ice cream. Enjoy a nice bottle of wine. Take in a Netflix movie. Spoil yourself. Or just rest and go to bed early.

Shut out the rest of the world and practice a little self-care.

And know that you are not alone in needing to do so.

Finally, here is my fave inspirational song and video from gospel artist Yolanda Adams  with a great message.

from your friends at The Bellyitch Blog
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This topic is an extremely sensitive one and It is important for me to bring it up especially as we approach Mother's day weekend. ⁣ I'll specifically speak from my own experiences with it. And the hardships us women and even men in my community face when it comes to pregnancy.⁣ ⁣ For some reason pregnancy is something that is just automatically suppose to come after marriage. No idea who created such a rule or why such a rule exists. ⁣ ⁣ I remember being newly married and the first thing people started doing instead of greeting me was look right at my belly. Then when they noticed I was not pregnant the look of confusion following "oh you're not pregnant yet" would be their conversation starter. ⁣ ⁣ I will never forget when just after 3 months of marriage church service ended and a member in the church who saw me yelled at the top of her lungs in front of everyone saying "BARBARA YOU'RE STILL NOT PREGNANT YET. WHEN WILL YOU GET PREGNANT? YOU'RE TAKING TOO LONG." ⁣ ⁣ I remember standing their speechless because I could not believe someone could ask and act in such a way. My husband however, came to my rescue and respectfully told her everyone has plans and it's God who gives children.⁣ ⁣ What made me so sad is what if I was really trying and had no success? What if I found out I could not conceive naturally? What if I just went through an unsuccessful expensive fertility procedure? What if I just recently miscarried? Do you know how all of these accounts affect women and men who are journeying this together? ⁣ ⁣ I always made sure I prayed for my future children regardless of when we decided to prepare. When God said it was my time, that was and the only timeline I followed through with and no one else's.⁣ ⁣ Dont ever let anyone force their pregnancy timeline on you! Don't ever let anyone make you feel less of a woman or man because to them you're "taking too long." If pregnancy is something that you seek and whatever method you have to go through take it to the Lord in prayer. For it is he who provides.⁣ ⁣ Photography by @mennydc5

A post shared by BARBARA|MOTHERHOOD|LIFESTYLE (@mrsbarbarankansah) on

VIRAL: ‘Stop Asking Women When are They Getting Pregnant’ Sign

An Instagram post by Toronto, Canada-based Event Planner Barbara Nkansah went viral and has been re-shared because it simply states: “Stop Asking Women When are They Getting Pregnant”.

In it, the Ghanaian-Canadian shares the hurt of being newly married and having to endure probing questions and insensitive remarks from well-meaning family and friends.

“I remember being newly married and the first thing people started doing instead of greeting me was look right at my belly,” she shared. “Then when they noticed I was not pregnant, the look of confusion following ‘oh you’re not pregnant yet?’ would be their conversation starter.

“I will never forget when just after 3 months of marriage church service ended and a member in the church who saw me yelled at the top of her lungs in front of everyone saying ‘BARBARA YOU’RE STILL NOT PREGNANT YET. WHEN WILL YOU GET PREGNANT? YOU’RE TAKING TOO LONG.'”

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bs_Fy2Jg1K5/

The statistics are jarring.

One in 8 couples have a hard time getting pregnant and at least 1 in 4 will experience a pregnancy loss.

People who are trying to conceive are fed up and would like you to stop asking them when they are going to have children or even worse, “why don’t they have children.”

In the celebrity world, Gabrielle Union and Chrissy Teigen recalled being asked this question constantly because they were with their spouses for several years without producing children and people just couldn’t stop asking a very personal, imposing and insensitive question.

Little did they know that each couple were indeed trying but failing at it.

Please stop asking women (AND MEN!) when they are having kids or, even worse, why they don’t have children. ⁣

I remember the words of Assistant Professor Rondrea Danielle from Bethune-Cookman College on Facebook last year:

“Getting pregnant is hard.

Sustaining pregnancy is hard.

Giving birth is hard.

Raising a baby is hard.

So asking folks why they don’t have kids is both inconsiderate and insensitive (it also isn’t your business), and it needs to stop now.

We have no idea how much women go through to get pregnant and then bring a baby into the world.”

Conduct a Google Search and you’ll encounter dozens of articles from women and lifestyle and advice sites about this very topic and also demanding that they not be asked the question when they gain weight.

Phew!

Here is a summary of a few:

Yes, My Sister Is Pregnant, Now Stop Asking Me When Will I Get Knocked Up

Sorry, nephew, you won’t be getting any cousins from me anytime soon (or at all). -The Odyssey Online

Can we finally stop asking women about when they’re going to have Kids?-Babble

Stop asking women when they’re going to have kids -Salon

Stop asking women when they’re having kids – Asian One

Stop Asking Couples When They’re Going to Have a Kid (or Another Kid) – Lifehacker

It’s Time to Stop Asking Women If They’re Pregnant – Medium

When will we stop asking ‘What are you, pregnant? – Austrian Adoption

VIRAL: After 5 years of infertility, Hubby’s reaction to surprise (VIDEO)

Get ready for some serious tears!

Doug Price’s wife set him up to take a video to enter a trip to Aruba and got a big surprise when she told him that she was finally pregnant after 5 years of struggling with infertility!

“My wife says that she can never surprise me” reads the YouTube video caption “Well she got me pretty good with this one. We were entering a contest to win a trip to Aruba when she decided to tell me the good news, unfortunately we did not win the trip but I still think we got the better end of the deal!

*Sniff* So sweet! Congrats!

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6 Holidays survival tips for couples struggling with infertility

The holidays can be a difficult time for anyone. Our culture promotes an ideal of the perfect holiday season with unrealistic expectations, and when that experience inevitably falls short, it can lead to disappointment. For those coping with infertility, the joy of the holidays can seem even harder to attain.   
The holidays are focused on family, with children at the epicenter. Those who long for the child that has not yet come can feel isolated, sad, and discouraged.
“The holidays tend to remind those dealing with infertility that family building has not gone the way they imagined,” says Dr. Ariadna Cymet Lanski, a clinical psychologist at Fertility Centers of Illinois. “Seeing your siblings and cousins with their children can remind you of what you don’t have, and that’s not easy.”
Dr. Marie Davidson, who is also a clinical psychologist at Fertility Centers of Illinois, agrees. “For couples experiencing infertility, there can be deep sense of alienation from the spirit of celebration. As a result, you may not want to participate in the usual family rituals, and you may search for ways to protect yourself from the distresses of social comparison.”
Yet the holidays and family gatherings can still be meaningful and enjoyable. Drs. Davidson and Cymet Lanski offer advice and techniques on how to navigate the emotions that surround the holidays.  
1. Acknowledge Your Feelings Don’t judge your own feelings; they are important and real and you have them for valid reasons.  It is normal to feel envious and even angry that you are “left out”. Holding everything inside doesn’t help. It actually takes more mental energy to hold your feelings back than to express them. Allow yourself time to feel the sadness, anger, and frustration. 
2. Reach Out  If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out support from your partner or a close friend. Talk about your feelings together. Keep in mind that men and women cope with stress in different ways. Women are more likely to express their sadness, while men tend to hold things inside. Neither way is wrong, just different. Whether it’s your partner, a friend, professional counseling, groups, or online forums, finding somewhere to talk with people who understand can help you feel less alone.
3. Choose the Gatherings You Attend  Discuss holiday gatherings with your partner, and decide how much celebration to participate in. If going to that family dinner will send you over the edge, don’t go. Going to every minute of family gatherings isn’t necessary – it is important to put your needs first. Your family will move on in time.
4. Plan Ahead  Plan, plan, and plan ahead.  Anticipation is half the battle. People have a way of asking inappropriate questions at inappropriate times. Be ready for the nosy questions and the possible “We’re pregnant” announcements.  Come up with an answer in advance that feels comfortable to you.


5. Make Special Plans of Your Own  Plan for memorable events of your own. Host an adults-only holiday party, or plan a romantic evening out with your partner. For some, it might even mean skipping a family gathering and planning a holiday getaway of your own. For example, one couple we know spent Christmas at a quiet cabin with another couple and enjoyed hiking, playing board games and relaxing. While their families didn’t quite understand, both couples said it was a rejuvenating and memorable holiday. 


6. Remember This is Not Forever  Remind yourself that this holiday season or the way you choose to celebrate this year is not how it will be for the rest of your life. Your fertility struggles will resolve at some point and things will change.

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7 Facts About Stress and Infertility

While stress is not a cause of infertility, research has shown that high levels of longstanding stress can significantly impact the ability to conceive during infertility treatment. The positive news is that by decreasing stress, couples can experience higher fertility potential as well as healthier and happier well being.
 “Many couples don’t realize how much stress impacts health and fertility potential,” explains Dr. Jennifer Hirshfeld-Cytron of Fertility Centers of Illinois. “Stress is one of the fastest variables to change in the body, and taking proactive action through yoga, psychotherapy, meditation and potentially acupunture is not only beneficial, but enjoyable.”
Hirshfeld-Cytron and Beth Heller (M.S., R.Y.T.) of Pulling Down the Moon will be discussing the controversial link between stress and infertility and how to take control of your well-being in the free webinar Yoga, Meditation, and Conception on June 11th at 7 p.m. CDT (register here).  The duo offers seven facts about stress and infertility.
1.    Stress does not cause infertility. Unfortunately, infertility can cause stress. A study in the journal, Human Reproduction, found that 30 percent of women seeking infertility treatment have depression and anxiety.
2.    High levels of stress can double the risk of infertility. A recent scientific study found that women whose enzyme alpha-amylase levels, a stress-related substance, were in the highest third had more than double the risk of infertility
3.    Stress affects the reproductive potential of the male and female body. Stress can lengthen the amount of time required to become pregnant, negatively impact semen quality, decrease the success of fertility treatment, and cause depression and anxiety.
4.    Reducing stress is good for the body and mind. Taking positive action to reduce stress through mindfulness-based activities has been shown to reduce blood pressure, decrease anxiety, lower depression, enhance a positive mindset, calm the mind, improve sleep, and help overall wellbeing.
5.    Consistent stress-reducing activities can aid in pregnancy. A study from Fertility and Sterility found that women who underwent a 10-week stress management program while undergoing IVF treatment had a 52 percent pregnancy rate compared to a 20 percent pregnancy rate in the control group.


6.    Yoga can reduce stress and boost pregnancy. Yoga has been shown to be effective in the treatment of depression as well as decrease inflammatory response to stress events. During a six-week Yoga for Fertility class at Pulling Down the Moon where participants learned yoga poses specific to reproductive function, breathing and medication instruction and group discussion, participants experienced significantly decreased anxiety as measured by the State-Trait inventory.


7.    Psychological treatment can improve emotional symptoms and lower stress. Receiving support, whether in a group or individual setting with a psychologist, has been shown to be important and effective stress management. Treatment can improve mood, decrease anxiety and depression, and positively impact pregnancy rates during fertility treatment. Mindfulness training programs also give helpful tools for relaxation and increased peace of mind, which can ease the stress of fertility treatment and prove a valuable life skill.

Stay stress-free!

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Basketball Wives: Meanest thing said ever about infertility on realityTV (VIDEO)

Last night, on VH1‘s Basketball Wives LA finale, cast member Sundy Carter ended an argument with her show nemesis, Ovarian cancer survivor Brandi Maxiell in the worst way. 
Back story: Maxiell contracted the deadly disease at age 24, but is healthy now and recently has been struggling to conceive a second child with her husband Orlando Magic player Jason Maxiell. The two have a son. 
After Brandi & Sundy exchanged some harsh words inside a rented home where the two and other cast members were staying, Sundy told Brandi, “I have three healthy kids, go work on trying to get you some!”
She also referenced Maxiell’s medicine and infertility shots, telling her to go take them so she “can make a baby.”
How horrible!
The spat spilled into social media, with Carter insisting she still hasn’t apologized despite knowing how mean-spirited and below-the-belt her statements were and all the tremendous backlash she has gotten. 
Some have called on VH1 to kick her off the show or cancel it 

The show’s creator and executive producer Shaunie O’Neal (Shaquille O’Neal ex) felt compelled to issue a formal statement and delivers on her Instagram.

Watch the clip from the show here with the worst statements coming at the end:

Get More: 

Basketball Wives LA

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EcoFriday: Common Environmental Factors for Infertliity

When struggling with infertility it becomes important to identify and address every possible cause. Physical defects can be detected through medical testing, but the lack of information about environmental causes makes them difficult to solve. Your environment and exposure to toxins, radiation, or pollution can play a vital role in your ability to get pregnant.
Toxins
Exposure to harmful chemicals or toxins is the most common environmental threat to pregnancy because of our dependency to additives and pesticides. Some pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides can decrease a males sperm count or cause ovarian problems for women if handled directly. Other forms of toxins are cleaning solvents like methylene chloride, often used to strip paint, have proven to be harmful to the reproductive system for both men and women.
Radiation
It is been well documented and fairly common knowledge that exposure to radiation has a severely negative impact on our ability to reproduce. There are well known exposures to radiation like chemotherapy and getting x-rays, but there are other lesser known forms of exposure that can contribute to female infertility. Non-ionizing radiation, considered by some to be too weak to be harmful, are present in most developed areas. It is advised to weed out as much exposure as possible when you are having trouble conceiving. Radiation at varying levels are present near power lines, fluorescent lights, and other household items like microwaves and electric blankets.
Pollution
Pollution is largely out of your control, but your exposure to pollution is often determined by your behavior. For instance, running or walking is a very common exercise and an incredibly healthy habit unless you are performing those exercises in an area with lots of air pollution. A positive activity can become negative when introducing toxins into your lungs while exercising. One of the most common forms of air pollution, and the most controllable, is through exposure to second hand smoke.

With this information, hopefully you can monitor these external factors and do your best to minimize them.

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