Labour Day of the Heart: #IVF

Labour Day of the Heart: #IVF

School Supplies

Labour day means so many things to different people. It began as a day off for front-line workers. It merged into the last long weekend of the summer before kids started school. To spend lazy afternoons camping with the kids or having friends over for a BBQ is the norm these days. When I think of kids I think of the birthing day (aka THE Labour Day.) When you become pregnant, the Birthing/Labour day is the finish line. For some women, they just want to start the journey to motherhood.
Back-To-School campaigns can make some people sad. They cry on Labour Day. As kids go back to school, government returns to session. Now that the election is completed, I wonder if the government is considering in adding to the health care policy to include funding for IVF treatments.
Currently, many women transfer multiple embryos during IVF, in hopes that one will grow into a baby. Often, twins, triplets and quads end up with families that were trying to just have one baby. Multiple births can be costly over the lifetime of the children and the mother. There are many maternal health risks and health care challenges for multiples, like lifetime illnesses, disabilities and more.

As it says in this article: it can help all of us as taxpayers.There are many people trying to help moms be moms by supporting the initiative to have IVF publicly funded for them. If you are suffering from infertility, check out the site for information and support.

As I pack up for my own young daughters to get ready for school, I see how Labour Day can be hard for many women wanting to be in my shoes. I hope our province can join the many other places like Quebec and Australia who help families be born.

Do you know anyone who is suffering from infertility and trying to save up for treatments? Are they foregoing many things to help fund it? Please send them here for more information.

Back to School can mean back to Families First in this Province this fall.

Disclosure: I am a valued member of the #IVF4BC blog team. As such, I received compensation, but my opinion on this blog is my own.

A Sample Platter of Recent Posts

A Sample Platter of Recent Posts

Family pic with The WigglesAs summer is in full swing, here are a sample platter of posts you may or may not have read in this space. Hope your summer is going well.

Cheers!

Our girls still celebrate the time we met The Wiggles.

I celebrate all parents who just want to be parents.

The one time Nia Vardalos called my house.

Insant_Mom

I look forward to getting back to the swing of things soon.

How is your summer so far?

Childless Fathers Count #ivf4bc

A Dad's Dream

“ So when is it going to be your turn?” Jim tells me his most hated posed question why he and Cathy do not have kids. Then, they will turn around  and say ‘Next year it will happen.’

Jim and Cathy met through a blind date and were married two years later. They scrimped and saved to buy their dream house to fill with kids. Both had great and well-paying jobs. They went on vacations and weekend getaways as they knew it would decrease when kids arrived. They prepared the house, and enjoyed the last moments of their alone time together.

Like any couple who planned to have kids, they actively pursued getting pregnant. Cathy took meticulous notes on the calendar, positive that they would have a child in no time. It did not happen.

When they began to tell family the truth about not being able to get pregnant, everyone focused on Cathy, making sure that she was okay. No one offered Jim a shoulder, let alone an ear.

“I felt like it was my fault.” He admits.

There is a lot of information out there about female infertility, but very little about male. It could be a stigma, but regardless it is very real: Male infertility has many causes–from hormonal imbalances, to physical problems, to psychological and/or behavioral problems.  More so, fertility reflects a man’s overall health.  The following list highlights some lifestyle choices that negatively impact male fertility: 
smoking which significantly decreases both sperm count and sperm cell motility, prolonged use of marijuana and other recreational drugs, alcohol abuse, inadequate Vitamin C and Zinc, tight underwear, exposure to environmental hazards and toxins such as pesticides, lead, radiation, and excessive stress. Yet, men can live in healthy environments and lead healthy lifestyles and experience infertility.

Many couples cannot conceive without help. The cost of one round of IVF can be as high as $10,000  to $13,000, with fertility medications included. As a result, many couples desperate to conceive remortgage houses just to pay for the procedure. Couples will risk maternal health by transferring multiple embryos in an effort to make the most of their investment. This is a risky practice that often results in extremely high health care costs and multiple births. While twins and triplets are adorable, they carry greater lifetime health costs, and are often born premature. Many groups throughout Canada are strenuously advocating for public health care to cover the cost of IVF where it is the suggested course of treatment. IAAC – the Infertility Awareness Association of Canada recommends that three rounds of IVF be covered through provincial health care funding with single embryo transfer (SET) as the standard.
An IAAC survey recently indicated as many as 73% of British Columbians believe the province should adopt public funding for in vitro fertilization (IVF), similar to the policy in Quebec. In 2010, Quebec became the first province in Canada to provide universal access to IVF through a policy that covers the cost of treatment and mandates single embryo transfer. This policy has led to a reduction in multiple pregnancies from approximately 30 % to well under 10%, resulting in better health outcomes for mother and baby, and an estimated cost savings to the health system of $30-$60 million per year since the program’s inception.

I thanked Jim for his time to chat. He brought up a very common feeling in many men who want to be dads. Like moms who just want to be moms, childless dads count.

IVF4BC

A Childless Mother’s Day

IVF4BCMother’s Day is approaching quickly. For years after my mom died, I hated the day. I would volunteer to take the Sunday shifts so those moms on staff could all have the day off. I felt that by keeping busy at work it would make the day go fast, so I could numb the pain that I did not have a mom.

When I became a mom of a miracle and bonus baby, Mother’s Day took on a whole new meaning. I did not ask for much other than  time to relish in the fact that I was chosen to be their mom.  Throughout the day my heart would ache for those trying to be a mom. I never knew I wanted to be a mom until I met my girls.

As many women who long to be moms, Mother’s Day can be a painful reminder on what is missing in their lives. When I interviewed Nia Vardalos about her book  Instant Mom, I asked her if she knew that her daughter was in the fos-adopt program would she have gone through the 13 IVF treatments?  She replied, “I say, that is your god-given right. Don’t try it. Do it.”

As I have written about the struggles for BC couples who have tried to conceive naturally and can’t afford to go through in vitro treatments to be parents, my heart aches for them. The BEST parents are those who want to be parents through any means.

There are as many as 1 in 5 families who are impacted by infertitlity. Fertility declines as early as age 28, when women are involved in their careers and might not be thinking about families. The only province that is curently funding IVF is Quebec. Publicly funding  IVF would save precious health care dollars. Since Quebec has a reputation of being family focused like BC, will this election help BC families come May 14th?

Did you know that Austraila funds up to 80% of the cost of IVF? Publicly funding single embryo transfers will preserve the health of multiple births and mom long term.

After battling many years of endometriosis I have been gifted the joy of being a mom to two amazing daughters.  Are you celebrating Mothers Day this year?  What is your story?

 

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Disclosure: I am a valued member of the #IVF4BC blog team. As such, I received compensation, but my opinion is my own.

An IVF Confession #ivf4bc

shutterstock_88446694Watching *Cathy console her little boy, *Bryan, you would think they are just like any other mother and child at the playground. She sends him off after a few sips of water and goldfish. He races off to meet his friends. Cathy watches him go with a look that beams of pride. Only, their story is so much more than pride.

We chat a bit and she slowly opens up about her story. Her and her husband tried for years to get pregnant. When the traditional calendar watching and other means did not work they wondered what to do next. Due to their cultural values and family, they did not know if they could go through in vitro fertilization or adoption. For a long time, both of their parents would ask when would the couple make them grandparents. At family holiday gatherings, as they saw their nieces and nephews race around the home, there was always a needling relative asking when is it their time.

People mean well when they ask what they think is an innocent question. Only it feels like an arrow through their heart. They want to be a family so badly. They have great jobs and a beautiful home. One day Cathy was at her doctor’s for the latest test results on her egg count when she spied an IVF brochure on the table in the waiting room. She slipped it into her purse to look at it in private.

Later that night she talked it over with her husband. They agreed to start the procedure in private. They would cash in their Savings account to pay for the treatments. After three attempts and one miscarriage, they got pregnant with Bryan.

Their family does not know. You can imagine how happy they are along with their families to have a beautiful happy son.

I watch them pack up and leave. Their hands joined together as they walk home. I can’t help but think of them and other families who may hold a similar story. Every holiday that a couple goes childless opens up the heartache. Not everyone is like Cathy who had the financial means to have the IVF treatments.

With all the benefits to get public funding for IVF treatments, I wonder if this year will be BC’s year to get it?

Personally, I believe the parents who want to be parents by any and every means are the best kind. With some provinces and countries world-wide providing public funding for IVF, will more BC families get help too?

Follow them on Twitter: @ivf4bc

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*Names have been changed to protect their privacy.

Disclosure: I am a valued member of the #IVF4BC blog team. As such, I received compensation, but my opinion is my own.

Family Day with #IVF4BC

Family Day with #IVF4BC

shutterstock_88446694

This year is the first year that BC will celebrate Family Day on February 11th. Only, some families are missing key members, children. In a Province that advocates Families First, it might happen for couples who need a little help through treatments in vitro fertilization.
As many as 1 in 5 families are impacted by infertility, and most reasons are due to health issues. Currently, Quebec is the only province to publicly fund IVF. The savings on health care alone is the main reason for BC to look into public funding. Due to the high costs (up to $14,000) for IVF, couples often will have many embryos transferred at one time. Single embryo transfers have been proven to give the best results and better health outcome for mom and baby. When fewer multiple risk births occur, it is better for mom, baby and health care dollars.
Fertility declines as early as 28, an age when women in the workforce are generally not thinking about children. Personally, I was not thinking about making a family with my husband at that age. Nor did I expect that infertility would make me consider remortgaging our home to get IVF treatments like many couples do. It was when I met my girls that I realized how important it is to be their mom. I hope that every mom gets a chance to hold their own baby.
BC is a wonderful place to raise a family. There are so many great adventures to enjoy with your family. Is this the year that BC will get public funding for IVF?
Follow along on Twitter @ivf4bc to learn more and join the conversation. Also, read more about local couple Misty and Kevin’s IVF journey.

ultrasound picture

Disclosure: I am a valued member of the #IVF4BC blog team. As such, I received compensation, but my opinion is my own.

Wanted: Parenthood #ivf4bc

IVF4BC In August 2005, I walked out of the third specialist I saw to help with my endometriosis. I have had the disease since I was fifteen years old. All three doctors had told me the same thing: I would not get pregnant naturally. I sat on the bus on the way home overwhelmed with emotions that surprised me. While I did not try to get pregnant, but nonetheless I wanted to own that choice, not doctors or ultimately, the disease. I mourned the results and trusted the multiple doctors’ opinions. I would not be a mom.

The next day I traveled through a lot of websites that confirmed that infertility is commonly linked with endometriosis. Many people go through in vitro fertilization treatments, naturopaths and surrogate options to become parents. I decided to accept it and let it go from my mind. I needed to figure out just what I wanted to explore.

Three months later, our beautiful child was conceived. Imagine my surprise at my shocked doctor who delivered me the news. Two years later, our baby girl became a big sister. Both of our children are gifts. I cannot imagine my life without my daughters. What was supposed to be a medical impossible became a medical possible, twice.

Many couples cannot conceive without help. The cost of one round of IVF can be as high as $15,000 with fertility medications included.As a result many couples desperate to conceive, remortgage houses just to pay for the procedure. Many couples will risk maternal health by transferring multiple embryos in an effort to make the most of their investment. This is a risky practice that results often in extremely high health care costs and risky multiple births. While twins and triplets are adorable, they carry greater lifetime health costs and are often born premature. Many groups throughout Canada are strenuously advocating for public health care to cover the cost of IVF where it is the recommended course of treatment. IAAC – the Infertility Awareness Association of Canada recommends that three rounds of IVF be covered through provincial health care funding with single embryo transfer (SET) as the standard.
An IAAC survey recently indicated as many as 73% of British Columbians believe the province should adopt public funding for in vitro fertilization (IVF), similar to the policy in Quebec. In 2010, Quebec became the first province in Canada to provide universal access to IVF through a policy that covers the cost of treatment and mandates single embryo transfer. This policy has led to a reduction in multiple pregnancies from approximately 30 per cent to well under 10 per cent, resulting in better health outcomes for mother and baby, and an estimated cost savings to the health system of $30-$60 million per year since the program’s inception.”
Personally, I believe the parents who want to be parents by any and every means are the best kind. With some provinces and countries world-wide providing public funding for IVF is this the year for BC couples to get public funding for IVF?
Follow them on Twitter: @ivf4bc
Like them on Facebook to get the latest information.
Disclosure: I am a valued member of the #IVF4BC blog team. As such, I received compensation, but my opinion is my own.