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Showing posts from October, 2015

What is it like to undergo IVF?

You've heard sayings such as "40 is the new 30", etc. However, a female child is born with all of her eggs, and as she ages, those eggs age with her. When she grows up to be a woman, she may follow a perfectly healthy lifestyle and appear younger than her real age in many ways. As a rock climber and weight lifter, I have met numerous women who fit into this category. But the reality is that a woman's eggs are indisputably as old as she is.

As the eggs age, their quality declines in the form of DNA damage, which negatively effects their ability to make a healthy embryo that will grow into a healthy baby. By the age of 40, the percentage of eggs that have DNA damage incompatible with healthy embryo formation is approximately 75%! On top of this immutable fact, aging brings the possibility of medical issues that can affect fertility in both a mother and a father. The chance of a naturally-occurring pregnancy during any given monthly cycle of a 40 year old woman is approx…

Comparisons: An Easy Trap

"Comparison is the thief of joy."  - Theodore Roosevelt
We all fall victim to comparing ourselves to someone else at one time or another. However, I've noticed that pregnancy is an especially easy time to fall into the trap of comparison-making.

My first case-in-point: My belly, the most obvious and outward sign of pregnancy, is pretty unimpressive. Although I had already gained about 10 pounds after embarking on my IVF journey, it took me about 5 months to gain any weight at all with this pregnancy. At least one person a day would say to me, "You don't look pregnant!" All the while, women with beautiful beach-ball bellies float by at work, the store, etc. (I live in Utah, after all, where there are lots of pregnant women).

I started to worry. What if my baby isn't growing correctly? Is she doing ok in there? After having a miscarriage, the shoe-drop thinking still comes and goes... I bought a handheld Doppler machine to listen to the heartbeat regularly…