Posted by: Babyblues | October 13, 2017

I am Speechless

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October 16, 2017

In my eyes, this blog is a success if it brings awareness and helps others struggling with infertility. Last week, I found myself on the receiving end of two inexplicable acts of kindness. These demonstrations of altruism instill hope and faith as we embark yet again on a fertility journey of uncertainty.

As we were in the midst of planning our journey,  two women reached out to offer us the opportunity to adopt their unused embryos. What makes these gestures remarkable is that they come from women who are not family, but rather acquaintances.  They asked for nothing in return, but rather selflessly afforded us the opportunity to make our journey less stressful. Their empathy and generosity is remarkable and inspirational.

One woman, is a complete stranger. We met through a mutual friend, and formed a bond through our infertility struggles. Over the past eleven months, on two separate occasions, she has reached out to offer kind words of support, but also an embryo that can be used in our effort to get pregnant. Her kindness and generosity are inspirational. She leaves me speechless.

Last week, a dorm mate from Smith College, extended the same offer. I have not talked or seen this woman in over twenty years. During the course of our conversation, she continued to encourage and inspire me through her kind words and prayers. This woman shows me that the bonds of sisterhood run deep, and that my years at Smith College afforded me not only an invaluable education, but the blessing of knowing remarkable and selfless women.

With each offer I have shed tears of joy. These selfless acts, inspire and help give me the strength to move forward with our #infertility journey.

I love you both!!!

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Posted by: Babyblues | October 8, 2017

Sometimes All We Have Is Hope


October 8, 2017

After our last failed attempt at pregnancy using assisted reproductive technology, I was broken and without the emotional strength to do another treatment cycle. Jeff on the other hand, was determined that this was not going to be our last attempt. Our disconnect led to many tense moments and disagreements.

As the days and months passed, I felt deep sadness because despite our best efforts we remained childless. Everywhere I looked I saw beautiful children, and their doting parents. At times, I was overcome with despair and fear. In my mind, the prospect of trying again was daunting, and unrealistic, but life without a child lacked meaning and purpose.

Paralyzing thoughts invaded my mind at the thought of going through one more cycle of IVF with an egg donor.  Was I strong enough to endure the months of hormones and the restrictions on my lifestyle? How could I cope with possible failure?

I found myself in the midst of  both an internal and eternal battle. I often questioned my predicament. Was it time to give up? Was G-d sending us a message? How could I gain peace with any decision made about our future?

Ultimately, I realized that I was being selfish in making it “my decision,” without giving full and proper consideration to Jeff’s opinion and desires. I recognized the importance of listening to his ideas on how to proceed with our fertility plan.

With a new mindset we moved forward with “our” decision; recognizing the merit of his plan. His belief is that we leave no stone unturned. In other words, we try IVF with an egg donor one more time in a new clinic, and no matter the outcome, be content that we moved heaven and earth to conceive a child of our own.

So my friends and readers, I am here to announce that G-d willing we will be traveling overseas in December for one last attempt at IVF with an egg donor. Stay posted for more details about our next #ivfabroad adventure.

Posted by: Babyblues | September 19, 2017

Reflection is the Best Medicine


As we close the book on the year 5777, in the Jewish calendar, I reflect on a year full of complex emotions and experiences. We ushered in Rosh Hashanah 5777 with positivity, experienced major bumps in between, and end the year full of hope for our immediate future. Every trial and tribulation, defined and strengthened our individual character and marriage.

The New Year was full of hope, as we embarked upon a new and exciting quest for a child. We were both excited and nervous, but wholeheartedly believed that this was the year that we would be blessed with a child.

After months of planning and grappling, we were confident in our decision to use an egg donor to get pregnant in the Czech Republic.

During High Holiday services, we prayed for our miracle child, and atoned for our sins and wrongdoings.  We were hopeful and confident that our prayers would be answered, but cautiously optimistic because of past failures.

When we left for the IVF egg donor journey to the Czech Republic, we remained steadfast that this trip would mean the end of our battle with infertility.  Our arrogance was based on the months we spent researching clinics, and preparing for the procedure with the necessary tests. We were healthy and excited.

On the day that we got our negative pregnancy test, it felt like a punch to the gut. We felt defeated and lost. For a period of time we wandered around lost and hopeless, like we were in a desert with no food or water. Finding meaning and perspective were almost impossible as to why we were once again denied the thing we most desired; namely a child.


Through the murkiness of our lives, there are many amazing individuals who bestowed upon us both acts of loving kindness and support. It is through these extraordinary acts that I realize that despite not being pregnant, I am in fact blessed. These nameless women restore hope, and instill strength and courage through their selfless acts.

As we close the book on the year 5777,  we are once again hopeful that 5778 will bring us our miracle child.

To all our friends and family observing Rosh Hashanah we wish you a sweet New Year.  May you be inscribed in the Book of Life for a year of good health, happiness, peace and prosperity.

Stay tuned for the next blog where we reveal our future plans….

Posted by: Babyblues | September 3, 2017

Words Hurt

I am writing this blog for myself and all my fellow trying to conceive sisters (#ttcsisters), who in addition to feeling the pain and heartbreak of infertility, have undoubtedly endured the insensitive remarks of people who think they are being helpful.  I am here to ask you to please think before you speak. Words can cut like a knife. Words are powerful beyond measure. For anyone who has not had to struggle it is easy to give unsolicited advice.

words can hurt

After and during our most recent failed attempt at egg donor IVF, we were the beneficiaries of many wonderful and supportive people; who showered us with positive messages and prayers. Unfortunately, we were also the recipients of some unwarranted and unnecessary opinions and ideas. An example of some of the most crushing and counter productive statements are as follows:

“You are too old to be parents”

“Maybe you should consider adoption”

“What about using a surrogate”

I cannot begin to tell you how hurtful these words were for us both.  Our hearts were heavy throughout the process and these seemingly innocuous words poured salt into our open wounds.

I was told as a child, “if you do not have anything nice to say then do not say anything all all.” As adults we often forget turn on our word filters. A part of me understands, if you have never experienced infertility you may not have the ability to the fully empathize with an infertile couples’ plight. The best thing you can do is listen and offer support; not judge or push your ideas and opinions on someone struggling with infertility.

 

Posted by: Babyblues | July 27, 2017

The Loneliness of Infertility

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July 26, 2017

As I reflect on the past seven months since our recent failed attempt at pregnancy, I realize there are many moments of sadness and loneliness that invade and occupy my mind. As a forty-three year old woman with no children, I feel like I am living on my own island with very few provisions. A sense of hopelessness creeps in because I often believe there is no rescue boat in sight. These feelings of loneliness are at times suffocating and completely unhealthy.

My feelings are compounded by social media, which is both a blessing and a curse for those suffering from infertility. Every single day, I vow that this my last day on Facebook and Instagram. As happy as I am to see my friends and their children, I realize that it fills me with sadness because there are no pictures of my offspring to share with my social media contacts. Instead my camera roll and accounts are filled with inspirational quotes, and pictures from trips and adventures. Every post is a futile attempt to mask my true pain and emptiness.

I recognize the value of social media in terms of the resources and support it offers for couples and individuals struggling with infertility. I read comments from friends that my blog eases their infertility and angst, making them more comfortable to share their story. I do not want to stop supporting those couples struggling with infertility, but I need to find a way to feel better about my situation.

The real problem for both of us is that we do not know couples our age facing the same struggles. I attend support groups, but leave feeling even worse. At these gatherings, I hear stories of struggle and angst, but also triumph at the end of a long battle with infertility.  I feel empty, because I do not have the same story. Instead, I am left to question why I continue to struggle with getting pregnant, while everyone else despite their trials and tribulations overcomes the odds.

For now I am left to cope with the loneliness of infertility.  I turn to you my friends to ask for support, suggestions, and advice on how to shake my blues.

Love,
Burke

 

Posted by: Babyblues | May 24, 2017

Win an Infertility Journey Overseas


I have exciting news for anyone trying to conceive with the help of assisted reproductive technology. Egg Donation Friends is running a competition for a fertility treatment package worth 9,900 Euros at IVF-Spain in Alicante Spain. 

Readers of my blog know that I am an advocate for exploring options beyond my backyard in an effort to conceive. If you have ever considered it now is the time. You have nothing to lose.

https://www.eggdonationfriends.com/win-egg-donation-program-worth-eur-9900/

The deadline is June 15th. Good luck!!

Posted by: Babyblues | May 13, 2017

Mother’s Day Blues

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With Mother’s Day approaching, I find myself once again filled with mixed emotions. Mother’s Day is meant to celebrate the beautiful mother figures in our lives. A mother come in all shapes and forms. As I reflect, I realize that I am the beneficiary of many “mother” figures in my life. These women shower me with love and guidance; and never hesitate to help when a situation warrants their assistance.

Sadly, Mother’s Day is a harsh reminder that no one calls me mom, and no one looks to to me for guidance, support, or unconditional love. Each year is more difficultu because It serves as a reminder despite our best efforts we remain childless. Every time someone wishes me “Happy Mother’s Day,” I go numb. I begin to wonder if I will ever experience the joys of motherhood.

It would be easy for me to lock myself away on Mother’s Day, but I know that it does not change my situation. Once the day is over I am still childless, and still feel an incredible void in my heart and life.

My saving grace on Mother’s Day is my amazing mother, who loves, supports, and teaches me by example how to show kindness and generosity to others. I am blessed to call her mom and want to shower her with love and appreciation on this day.

This Mother’s Day I salute and pay tribute to all the beautiful women who have come into my life, and been mothers to me in some shape or form. These amazing women shatter the image that a mother is someone who gives birth to a child. Instead, I am reminded that just because I do not have my own child, does not mean that I am not a mother. A mother is someone who shows compassion, concern and unconditional love, and I hope that in some way I have been able to share these qualities with others in my life.

Cherish the “mothers” in your life this Mother’s Day.

Posted by: Babyblues | April 19, 2017

A Little Help From Friends

 

April 19, 2017
In my previous post, I  wrote about my hope to help others navigate through the infertility process overseas. In furtherance of this goal, Jeff reached out to Egg Donation Friends www.eggdonationfriends.com, an organization we used in our search, to see if our story can help others. Through a series of emails we agreed to collaborate

Egg Donation Friends graciously wrote the following for the followers of Baby Blues:

Dear Friends,

We’re writing this letter to all women and men who dream about becoming a parent and are currently starting or are in the middle of their fertility journey.

We, EggDonationFriends, know that your dream can cost you a lot: physically, emotionally, socially and financially. The decision to use donor eggs may be hard but necessary. IVF egg donation treatment and preparations to that treatment can affect every aspect of your life, including career and holiday choices. We are aware of that, and we would like to tell you that you are not alone. We’re here for you.

Where can I seek support?

If you have already started IVF egg donation treatment with a clinic of your choice, we hope that your fertility doctor, nurses and patient service staff at the clinic are doing everything they can to make you feel positive and hopeful about the outcome of your IVF with donor eggs. However, if you feel the need to talk to other IVF patients, blogs like Baby Blues can help you feel you are not alone with your infertility issues. Try finding a local community support group, Facebook forum group or Twitter profile for IVF patients. Women on forums are truly supportive and understanding. Feeling you are not alone with your problem is crucial to your treatment.

I’m new to IVF. How to start?

If you or your partner have been diagnosed with some type of infertility recently and you have decided to have affordable egg donation abroad, first it is good to do your homework. EggDonationFriends recommend that you first read about IVF egg donation, about the preparations, the process itself, etc. There are websites which offer reliable and user-friendly Egg Donation Guide, best fertility clinics ranking, FAQ or Knowledge Base and they also regularly publish articles on breakthrough fertility research, IVF news, clinics and treatment they offer. The Internet can be a very good source of information if you choose the source wisely.

Did you know that some websites also feature complete and very detailed fertility clinics profiles? Now you can choose a clinic from the comfort of your own home and while you are having coffee with your partner. Some websites even offer their consultants’ help and suggest clinics which match your exact needs. You do not have to send countless inquiry e-mails or make endless international phone calls. The fertility clinics abroad know their patients’ needs and they usually initiate contact by e-mail or on the phone. All that for your peace of mind.

After you choose the clinic join a forum for fertility patients or subscribe to a few blogs like Baby Blues. You can get a lot of support and advice from women who are sharing the fertility journey with you. You can’t believe how many women are in the same circumstance as you. It is simply comforting to know that there are women out there who have to deal with similar issues and that you can exchange your experiences, those good ones and the bad ones, as well. You’re not alone. We’re here for you.

We wish you all the best in your “pilgrimage for pink or blue” and we hope your dreams of becoming a parent come true after egg donation abroad with EggDonationFriends https://www.eggdonationfriends.com/. Let’s meet on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/eggdonationfriends/ if you wish to tell us your fertility story – get in touch. Good luck!

 

Best regards,

Egg Donation Friends

http://www.eggdonationfriends.com

Posted by: Babyblues | March 21, 2017

Take a Chance 


In light of my last post, I want to support others navigating the infertility labyrinth.  I want to encourage couples to explore new avenues and options for assisted reproductive technology.

When we started the process of egg donor IVF last year, we truly believed that our only options we here in the United States. Months of research, online support groups, and Skype consultations lead to a world of possibilities. We were no longer confined to our home state because there are remarkable clinics around the world.

IVF is a stressful process for couples. The emotions and physical toll is at times indescribable. For many couples these emotions are heightended by the financial stress of paying for the procedure if they are not fortunate enough to have insurance coverage. I have read countless posts by women going through the process, stressing about the costs. It should not be cost prohibitive to to conceive a child.

College-Tuition

We chose a cheaper option by going to the Czech Republic, and even though our treatment was unsuccessful, we have no regrets. We knew there were no guarantees, but decided to take a leap across the Atlantic Ocean in the hopes of conceiving. Our adventure opened our eyes to the world of possibilities for conception.

I know that for many travelling outside the country for fertility treatment is not possible for a myriad of reasons. I hope that the next few blog posts will guide couples with open minds and  flexibility to explore clinics around the world. 

Posted by: Babyblues | February 19, 2017

Acts of Kindness

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March 14, 2017

In the wake of our failed attempt at pregnancy through the use an egg donor, we have experienced trying times. There many days that I do want to get out of bed or face the world. I often wonder what my purpose is on this earth. Tears are frequent, and no matter how hard I try to ward them off inevitably the tears creep up at the most inopportune time. As I sit and reflect on why we are once again tested, I begin to realize that there is a positive outcome. I am blessed and find comfort in the beautiful messages and words of support from friends around the world. I gain strength from the knowledge that my story helps other women struggling with their infertility.

 Amongst the beautiful words and messages of support is an email I received at the end of January from my dear friend who lives in Israel. Her words are powerful and poignant, and contain messages applicable to all of us who feel hopeless and perhaps lost:

 

Dear Burke,

I have no words. Your blog brought me to tears. I am with you in your pain though it is something I could never at all fully understand. You truly are an incredible person and I pray to Hashem that you and Jeff merit to find comfort and happiness and in your lives, and yes even though it seems impossible, the miracle of having a child of your own. Nothing is too big for Him. Your writing is incredible and really brought me to understand your journey and what you and Jeff have and are going through. May your writing and experiences bring healing and comfort to others going through similar circumstances, realizing that they are not alone. I keep you in my thoughts and prayers every day, and I feel so blessed and privileged to have you as a friend.

This Shabbos is Rosh Chodesh Sh’vat, the month in which TU B’shvat falls in. The message of this month is to teach us that even in the dead of winter there is life for that is when the plants and trees begin to sprout, but they are under ground and we can’t see it. In a few months time though we will see the world come alive with green, which all started now in the deepest most darkest time of winter.

Your tears and prayers and dreams and hopes are like the winter rains in Israel. Though you can’t see it they are bringing life to a new tomorrow. May you and Jeff be blessed to see the newness and beauty of spring very soon in your life.

 

Her words, along with others, help lift me up. I understand that even though I have been unable to conceive a child, I have helped others. My openness and willingness to share our journey, has made it possible for other women struggling with infertility to share their stories.  It is easy for one to make assumptions about others, and to be jealous of what others have. We often do not know the lengths and struggles that couples go to conceive. By sharing my story, I have been privy to stories that shatter these picture perfect images. My jealousy was at times ill informed. Instead I see the strength and resilience women demonstrate to conceive a child. Even though we feel like this is the deepest and darkest time of our lives, hope motivates us that our dreams are within reach.

I gain strength from the generosity bestowed on us by so many women. These women have made me a better and stronger person because of their selfless acts. I may not have a child, but am blessed by the beautiful acts of many women. Their gestures and kind words raise me up when I am at my lowest emotional point. These women motivate me to push forward, put my sadness aside, and reach out to others in need.

I pray that everyone who is struggling can find the same support and kindness bestowed on Jeff and myself.  Never be afraid to reach out to someone in need because every gesture can help life someone’s spirits and mood.

After all without the support of others, where would be in this world?

 

 

 

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