Another interesting essay in the New York Times Motherlode section, this one on life after choosing to stop infertility treatments. "Every woman facing infertility has to decide when she’s had enough, when she has reached her ethical, emotional, and/or financial edge."
I am very happy with my decision to continue fertility treatments through three round of IVF and genetic testing, but I can totally see how liberating it could be to make the decision to stop.
The article also explores the minefield entered by asking "why don't you just adopt." I was impressed by the author's bravery in articulating, among other things, her ambivalence toward parenthood in the wake of failed infertility treatments.
The image at right is a still from the movie Julie and Julia. It is not from the moment described in the introduction to the essay, in which Julia feels the pain of infertility, but from another, happier moment in her marriage.
RESOLVE has prepared a letter requesting that infertility treatment be considered an essential health benefit which will be sent to Secretary Sebelius on November 1.
Consider signing this petition. Note: The Essentials Health Benefits are not an insurance mandate and will not force employers to include infertility in their existing coverage. But this is a vital first step to ensuring that infertility treatment be covered by health insurance for everyone.
When I was still trying to get pregnant, a close friend had success with her own fertility treatment and tried to explain why she still knew what I was going through even though she now had a baby of her own. "Once infertile, always infertile," she said.
I wasn't sure what she meant, but now, even though I have a baby who requires a great deal of attention, I still read all the articles about infertility I see, and I still check on my favorite fertility message board at Resolve and answer questions about the treatments that helped me.
Saturday, June 11, was my baby's due date. If you know me, you will not be surprised to learn that my baby did not arrive on time.
From the beginning, my doctors have been clear that they do not want me to go too far past my due date because of the risk of stillbirth in women over 35. On Monday and Thursday I had special antepartum testing, including a non-stress test with a fetal monitor.
If I don't go into labor on my own, I'll need to decide between a c-section and an induction. There is something called a Bishop Score, which takes various factors like whether your cervix is effaced and dilated and how far your baby has descended into the birth canal, and predicts the likelihood of success of an induction. As of Thursday, my Bishop Score was low, meaning my cervix was closed up like a fortress, and the baby was way high up near my chest, so I elected to wait a few more days.
In the meantime, I must count fetal movement twice a day. If I have 10 movements in an hour, then everything is okay. Usually I get 10 movements in 10 minutes.
Today, though, my baby was lazy, or sleeping, and so it took more than an hour to get the 10 count. I worried about it and worried about it, and finally called the doctor, who said, "Come straight to the hospital. No goofing around!" I tried to remain calm. I did not want to panic my mother, or my dog, or my husband.
Once there, I did another non-stress test and the nurse said everything was absolutely fine, at which point I began to cry.
No, I am not kidding. PETA has launched a contest to "celebrate, not lament" National Infertility Awareness Week.
From the press release-- "One lucky man who has his dog or cat neutered between March 28 and April 27 will be reimbursed up to $500 for his own vasectomy.
"The human population explosion is draining water and land resources and causing huge pollution problems," says PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk, who was "snipped" years ago and highly recommends it. "Volunteering not to add to the crisis for man or dog helps future generations to avoid scrambling to survive, and spaying and neutering can spare millions of dogs and cats from homelessness."
You can read the press release here, and the details of the contest here.
I'm not sure where to begin. It must have been nice for Ms. Newkirk to have the choice to "volunteer" to be "snipped." I just hope that she doesn't think that celebrating a disease that takes away a woman's ability to choose whether or not to be a biological parents makes her a feminist.