Finding a New Happy Ending

If you’ve been reading my posts, then you know the infertility struggles I have endured, and you know that I have experienced a BIG unexpected twist in my journey. For those of you who are new to my blog, I’ll give a little background.

My husband and I struggled with six years of fertility problems, and suffered through three pregnancy losses. The use of fertility treatments didn’t solve our problems either. Our hearts were broken and it took years for the pain to subside enough for us to let go of our dreams of building a family.

After the initial six years of fertility challenges, three MORE years passed. Let me say it again. Three MORE long years passed. The idea of doing IVF was in the past. We were done on that frontier. My eggs were few and far between. Doctors gave us no hope.

We had moved on. We were traveling and enjoying skiing, knowing we weren’t getting any younger. Knowing we would never have the opportunity to share our love and knowledge of skiing with a little one. So, we had decided to make the best of what we had — each other.

Then, three LONG years later, I became pregnant the old fashioned way. No, we weren’t trying. I only have one tube and my eggs are older than the ancient tombs in Egypt, so we didn’t think it could happen. The doctors told us I could not get pregnant with my aging reproductive system and Brian’s sperm quality.

So, the good news is that doctors don’t know everything. In fact, they know very little in the grand scheme of things.

(Side note:  Feel free to go back and read my gut-level-honest blogs that I wrote while I was pregnant during my fourth pregnancy. I didn’t think my pregnancy would last, since my first three ones failed. So, I was scared to death and sick. Pregnancy after infertility is a very difficult journey. Please read a Blog I posted on pregnancy after infertility. It’s a great read.)

I have not written much about the last days of my pregnancy and delivery and the last 10 months of raising my baby. I’ve kept a personal journey to record the experience, but I have not shared about it openly in my blog. I’ve wanted to be considerate of my blog readers who are in the midst of fertility challenges. I know how hard it is to hear about someone else’s pregnancy and birth of a baby when that’s your heart’s desire.

But many of you have asked me to share details about my pregnancy and want to know how it all turned out. Thank you for your concern and for your warm wishes during this journey. I’m sorry for not blogging sooner to let you know how things have been going.

Unfortunately, during my pregnancy I also received a few emails from women who were upset with me for blogging about my pregnancy. Since I’ve written a book about infertility, they didn’t think I should write about my pregnancy on my blog.

While I understand their pain and I understand how hard it is to hear about someone having a baby when you yourself are struggling with infertility (as I have been there front and center), my mission is to share my journey — both the struggles and the joys.

My hope is to encourage all women and men by sharing both my struggles and my joys. I have been encouraged along the way by hearing other women’s stories. We have to have hope if we are to get through the journey. And our hope must be placed in our faith. Faith that the sun will come up tomorrow. Faith that things will get better. Faith that I will get through pregnancy loss. Faith that my marriage can survive. Faith that even though the doctors say “this” or “that,” they are not all-knowing and all-seeing. Doctors don’t have all the answers. They can be WRONG.  You gotta have faith, because without faith you will live a miserable life.

I put my faith in God and that gives me a sense of direction and purpose. But that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms that I don’t want to open in this particular post.

I am chasing rabbits, so let me get back to my point. I just want to update y’all on what happened. That’s been the question I’ve gotten over and over. What happened?

Finding a New Happy Ending
I was 36 weeks along in my pregnancy the last time I blogged about it. About four days after that post (and four days after Christmas) my water broke at midnight and I went into labor.

Brian and I got to the hospital at 3:15 a.m. and my doctor began prepping me for a c-section. I was already having contractions and things were happening very fast. I felt enough pains to know that I would never want to experience a vaginal birth.

Early on the morning of Dec. 29th my baby made her debut. She was three-and-a-half weeks early. She weighed 6 pounds and 4 ounces at birth and 18.5 inches long. Thankfully she was in great health with fully developed lungs. We named her Ruby after my paternal Grandmother ~ Ruby Florine Shannon Vance.

I had an emergency c-section because the baby had velamentous cord insertion. What it means is that the umbilical cord vessels separated at the end where they implanted and inserted into the placenta as three separate vessels. Normally, the umbilical cord is one solid cord and implants as such. So, the three vessels were more fragile. When someone with velamentous cord insertion goes into delivery the vessels could rupture and cut off oxygen and blood to the baby (which could result in brain damage or stillbirth). Hence, the best thing to do is a c-section before going into labor.

We were in the hospital for four days. I had great nurses and Brian stayed with me round the clock. My brother, Chris, took care of our bichon named Dixie.

Since Ruby was born early and in the middle of winter, my husband and I were careful the first three months of her life to protect her from flu and cold bugs. Our pediatrician was adamant about making sure her care-givers have the flu and whooping cough shots.

Unfortunately, we had to take Ruby to the ER because she got bronchiolitis. I had to hold her head while the nurse put a tube down her little nose and throat and chest to drain her passages. It was a scary experience to have with a newborn.

I will bring this post to a close, because I’ve broken my own rule: don’t write posts over 500-700 words. Less is more! But Ruby is sleeping and I’m trying to cram a lot into this one post to catch y’all up!!

Summary
My story has been one of having certain expectations, experiencing deep disappointment, walking through saddness, letting go of my dreams to have a family, finally being able to move on and accept my fate, finding happiness again, embracing new opportunities, and then to my surprise I conceived and had a beautiful baby.

I hope my story encourages YOU and others who are longing to build a family of their own. I had a certain idea and image in my head about how my family would come into existence. It didn’t happen the way I wanted it to happen, and I went through hell along the way trying to make it happen. Nevertheless, eventually when I least expected it…..I got my family.

So, I encourage you to please take a step back in your own life and allow things to happen in unexpected ways. I know its scary but you may be delighted and thrilled with what follows. Where there is hope, joy will always follow. Allow the “joy” in whatever shape or form to enter into your life, and you will be blessed beyond your wildest dreams.

Photo: Ruby, 4 days old


How to Survive Grief During the Holidays

I originally wrote and published this blog in 2010, but it bears repeating…

The holidays are just around the corner. Everyone will be shopping, planning menus and throwing parties. Holidays are supposed to be about fun, family and being thankful. But what if you don’t have a lot to be thankful for this year? What if you’re in the midst of a miscarriage or an IVF cycle hoping for a miracle? How do you function when you feel out of control or hopeless?

This time of year can be difficult, if you’re having infertility issues or have experienced a pregnancy loss. It’s can be emotionally overwhelming to attend family gatherings where children will be present. Sometimes it’s a painful reminder to see other families with children when you are wishing for one of your own. It all depends on “where” you are in your process.

Whatever you are feeling, let me assure you….YOU ARE NORMAL. Infertility is a serious medical condition and affects you on all levels–emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. So, give yourself a break this holiday season.

If you’re not looking forward to the holidays, here are some coping strategies to help encourage you during the months ahead:

  • Plan “ahead.” Where do you want to spend the holidays? If you’re not up for frolicking and fun with 15 nieces and nephews, then get out of town. Consider going away to a remote cabin in the woods with your significant other. You could even invite a few good friends who also want to get away from the regular holiday rituals. …

One year my husband and I went skiing during Thanksgiving. It was wonderful to get away from it all. We enjoyed our own private dinner in our condo. It was a fun trip that took our minds off of IVF injections and doctor appointments.

  • If you’re in the middle of an IUI or IVF cycle during the holiday season, decide how much detail you and your partner are willing to share with family and friends. If “mums” the word, then that’s fine. Just know each other’s comfort level and respect one another’s privacy.
  • Do you have a counselor? Seek out a professional counselor with experience in infertility. It might help to talk with someone who knows what you’re going through during the holidays. A professional counselor can provide additional support during difficult times.
  • Don’t feel embarrassed by crying. You’ll release a lot of toxins out of your system when you cry. It’s normal to cry at the drop of a hat, or when you see children in the malls. We live in a culture that constantly reminds us that being a “family” is the norm. When you desperately long to have a family of your own, but can’t, you may feel abnormal. Just know that you are not alone.
  • Give yourself time to process the emotions you experience. Also, understand it will take some time for you to process your fertility options, and figure out what is the best path for you to take.
  • Find a support group. Talk through your feelings and thoughts with people who are nonjudgemental and understanding.
  • Set your limits this holiday season. If you dread going to Aunty Betty’s house for dinner, then don’t go. Send a simple RSVP card or give her a call. Tell her you appreciate her offer but it’s not a good time for you to visit.

Hold on to Your faith

My Mom was a woman of faith. This I know for sure.

No, she didn’t go door-to-door handing out Bibles. She didn’t bake pies for church fundraisers. She didn’t teach Sunday school. She didn’t try to convert every nonbeliever she met. She didn’t even go to church every Sunday.

Mom had a personal relationship with God. She believed in Jesus. She read her Bible. She prayed. Mom thanked God for the groceries while she was at the store, not just when we sat down to eat. She was quieter than others about her faith, but she was never silent on the subject with me.

If I was disappointed that God wasn’t answering my prayers, Mom always told me to hold on to my faith and keep believing in God. She wouldn’t let me slide. I always appreciated that about her. She was a firm believer that God would take care of things and always taught me to keep trusting.

Faith in God is the one thing that has given me strength, peace and hope throughout the roller coaster ride of infertility. Reading my Bible has helped me see the blessings of God in unusual circumstances and through new friendships.

One of my favorite “Bible” books is called Becoming 2: The Complete New Testament Biblezine. I am actually a co-author of this book and had the privilege of working alongside other amazing writers. This Bible gives me inspiration as it guides me through life issues, balancing family and work, health, relationships and so much more.

Here are Bible verses that have been meaningful to me:

2 Corinthians 4:8-9

“We have troubles all around us, but we are not defeated. We do not know what to do, but we do not give up the hope of living. We are persecuted, but God does not leave us. We are hurt sometimes, but we are not destroyed.”  (New Century Version…as found in Becoming 2: The Complete New Testament Bible)

I think Mom summed up this Bible verse perfectly when she wisely advised me to, “Hold on to your faith, Lesley, and don’t ever stop believing in God.”

Don’t Ignore the Pain of Infertility

If you’ve ever stubbed your toe, lost in love, attended a friend’s funeral or been laid off at work, then you know the meaning of pain. It’s universal and can be experienced emotionally, physically and/or spiritually.

Since we all experience pain in one form or another, why do we often ignore the pain of loved ones who experience infertility?

When my first pregnancy failed and I was diagnosed with infertility, a good friend said, “Lesley, it’s not a big deal. You were only eight weeks along in your pregnancy. You can try to have another baby.”

Her words kicked me in the gut. I had lost my first child, my baby girl. It was a very big deal to me. I missed out on my dreams of holding her, celebrating her first birthday and teaching her how to read. My hopes and expectations were shattered. The pain I felt was real, overwhelming and paralyzing.

The truth is that most people don’t understand infertility. They don’t know that one-in-six couples suffers from infertility, a condition of the reproductive system in which pregnancy cannot be achieved. They don’t realize that it’s a medical condition. It’s like having diabetes or arthritis. It can’t always be cured and, more than likely, you’ll have to live with it.

Because of people’s ignorance, they can be insensitive. While one friend dismissed my pregnancy loss, others avoided me like the plague. They never said a word to me about it. When I eventually saw them, they acted as if nothing had ever happened.

Even though others were ignoring my pain of infertility, I was determined to face my feelings and deal with them. I knew I needed to walk through my pain in order to find peace and be healed.

When you experience a pregnancy loss or receive a diagnosis of infertility, pain and grief overtake you. Dealing with the deep emotional pain takes time and the grieving process cannot be forced or hurried. It can take months and even years.

From personal experience, I learned three things that helped move me through my pain and the grief process: tears, talking and time.

Tears helped me heal by releasing the pent up emotions of anger, fear, sorrow and disappointment. After a good cry I always feel an overall sense of well being because tears release toxins from the body that’s caused by stress. When it comes to grief and loss, tears are very beneficial.

I also found a good friend who was willing to listen without adding commentary. Being able to talk about my pain and loss helps my healing process. Infertility is such a private experience that it can make you feel completely alone and isolated from others. Talking about it makes the journey more bearable.

It took a long time for me to process my pain of infertility. The amount of time needed to grieve is different for each person. Grief is a highly personal experience and hard to communicate. I learned that there is no right or wrong way to grieve.

The biggest lesson I learned is that my feelings of grief and pain were normal. There was no timetable for getting over my sense of loss. It was a process and I realized the importance of taking one day, and often one hour, at a time.

Additional info on infertility:

http://www.resolve.org/infertility101  (Basic understanding of the disease of infertility.)

http://www.resolve.org/national-infertility-awareness-week/about.html (About NIAW)

Thanks John for Writing an Amazon Review

I love it when guys read my book! Chapter 5 is totally dedicated to men so there’s plenty info and stories for guys to peruse in Infertility Journeys, Finding Your Happy Ending.

I’d like to say thank you, John, for writing and sharing your thoughts about my book on Amazon.com. I appreciate your book review. Here’s what John wrote:

“Must Read for anyone experiencing or know of anyone experiencing fertility issues.”
“Such a well written book! The personal stories compel the reader to want to read more. It gives great insight into the journey couples take – in my case it helped me see what others have been through and how I might be more supportive.”

“The medical resources are an added bonus. What a great wealth of information put into an easy to read and compelling format! I hope all couples struggling with any fertility issues and their friends and family will read this book.”

Submit Your Review of My Book on Amazon.com
If you’ve read Infertility Journeys, Finding Your Happy Ending, please post your review on Amazon. I welcome your comments.

About the book:
Infertility Journeys, Finding Your Happy Ending tells the family-building journeys of 18 couples who struggle with infertility and how they find their happy endings.

The book offers a source of encouragement, inspiration, and hope to women and men who have been diagnosed with infertility. It helps you to process unmet expectations and enables you to navigate your family-building options. This book is for anyone who has been affected by infertility, including family and friends of infertile couples.

Dr. Diamond’s endorsement:

“Written with self-awareness, honesty, humor and compassion, Infertility Journeys, Finding Your Happy Ending weaves the stories of women and men together with a wealth of information about the medical and psychological processes that patients experience. The book provides not only vivid descriptions of the experience, but important coping tools as well.  It truly provides hope for all people experiencing infertility.”
– Martha Diamond, Ph.D.Co-Director, Center for Reproductive PsychologyCo-author of Unsung Lullabies: Understanding and Coping with Infertility

My Pregnancy After Infertility Journey Continues

I have good news to report. My pregnancy has continued along smoothly in the last trimester. Other than getting tired, having lower back pain and pain in my hip joints (which is awful at times) things have been okay. The doctors have continued to monitor the baby’s velamentous cord insertion condition.

Today I had my final appointment with my high-risk doctor. He seemed optimistic and positive. The only thing that concerned me is that the baby’s amniotic fluid has continued to drop. It’s still in the normal range  which is considered to be between 5 cm and 24 cm. Just last week on Monday it was 13 cm, then it dropped to 11 cm on Thursday and today it is 9 cm. [Update: days later I had another ultrasound and the fluid measured 16 cm. I guess that goes to show that the numbers change as the baby moves around. And I’m having different doctors doing the ultrasounds, and getting different results. So, it’s still anybody’s guess and doesn’t give me a lot of confidence that we “really” know how much amniotic fluid is surrounding the baby. I’ll just hope for the best. This is another area where the doctors know a lot but they don’t know EVERYTHING. But the doctors say don’t worry, so that’s what I’m gonna do. ;)]

I’m now almost 36 weeks along in this pregnancy, but the baby’s weight is measuring as if she’s 38 weeks along. She is about 7 pounds 10 ounces according to my high risk doctor. He says it’s no problem since I’m scheduled for a c-section. I’m wondering if she will come early since she’s bigger. I only have 3 weeks until my c-section, but it’s anybody’s guess.

The Importance of Amniotic Fluid:
The amniotic fluid is part of the baby’s life support system . It protects your baby and aids in the development of muscles, limbs, lungs and digestive system. Amniotic fluid is produced soon after the amniotic sac forms at about 12 days after conception. It is first made up of water that is provided by the mother, and then around 20 weeks fetal urine becomes the primary substance. As the baby grows he or she will move and tumble in the womb with the help of the amniotic fluid. In the second trimester the baby will begin to breathe and swallow the amniotic fluid. In some cases the amniotic fluid may measure too low or too high. If the measurement of amniotic fluid is too low it is called oligohydramnios. If the measurement of amniotic fluid is too high it is called polyhydramnios.

Too Little Amniotic Fluid:
Oligohydramnios is the condition of having too little amniotic fluid. Doctors can measure the amount of fluid through a few different methods, most commonly through amniotic fluid index (AFI) evaluation or deep pocket measurements. If an AFI shows a fluid level of less than 5 centimeters (or less than the 5th percentile), the absence of a fluid pocket 2-3 cm in depth, or a fluid volume of less than 500mL at 32-36 weeks gestation, then a diagnosis of oligohydramnios would be suspected. About 8% of pregnant women can have low levels of amniotic fluid, with about 4% being diagnosed with oligohydramnios. It can occur at any time during pregnancy, but it is most common during the last trimester. If a woman is past her due date by two weeks or more, she may be at risk for low amniotic fluid levels since fluids can decrease by half once she reaches 42 weeks gestation. Oligohydramnios can cause complications in about 12% of pregnancies that go past 41 weeks. (http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancycomplications/lowamnioticfluidoligohydramnios.htm)

Enjoy Fresh Blueberry Sauce with Most Anything

When you’re tired of syrup on your French Toast and want to add more fruit to your plate, why not cook up some beautiful blueberries that are packed with antioxidants. So yummy!

Fresh Blueberry Sauce
By Lesley Vance

Ingredients:
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Rinse and crush blueberries; add coconut sugar, lemon juice and salt. Mix well. In a small saucepan, bring blueberry mixture to a boil; boil 1-3 minutes. Add vanilla. Serve hot over pancakes, waffles, French toast, puddings, cakes or ice cream. Enjoy!

Mississippi Initiative 26 Would Limit Women’s and Men’s Fertility Options

I am originally from Jackson, Mississippi, so this issue is near and dear to my heart.

In a nutshell: The Mississippi Initiative 26 would take away a couple’s reproductive rights. For couples with infertility, the Initiative would hinder/inhibit them from using fertility treatments. Couples would not be allowed to make their own decisions regarding how to build their family.

Mississippi State Medical Association realizes there are strong feelings both for and against Proposal 26 that we recognize and appreciate. Our concern is not with those issues and
we do not in any way wish to take sides.
Our concern is how this amendment will affect the common practice of obstetrics and gynecology. We fear that it will place in jeopardy a physician who tries to save a mother’s life by performing procedures and employing techniques physicians have used for years.
The common procedures we use now could be interpreted as murder or wrongful death if Proposal 26 passes. This justifiably will limit the physician’s options and deter use of common lifesaving procedures.  It is for this reason only, the MSMA Board of Trustees cannot support Proposal 26.

Before I jump into explaining the details of Mississippi Initiative 26, allow me to give you a hypothetical scenario to put things into perspective.

Imagine you and your husband have been trying to have a child for three years with no results. You finally go to the doctor and get diagnosed with infertility. Maybe your husband has low sperm count and you have blocked fallopian tubes. After the heartbreaking news, you begin investigating Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), knowing it may be the only way to have a biological child of your own. Because your fallopian tubes are blocked you decide to try a cycle of in vitro fertilization (IVF), giving you the best chances for conception.

During your IVF cycle, let’s suppose your doctor retrieves 16 follicles from your ovaries. From the 16 follicles, let’s say you get 8 good eggs. You’re excited that you have 8 good eggs, but you know not all of them are likely to become embryos once they are fertilized with your husband’s poor quality sperm. Nevertheless, you and your husband are hopeful because you’ve been praying to have children for a very long time.

Some of the questions you may ask yourself at this point are:

1. Should we fertilize all 8 eggs with my husband’s sperm? If not all 8, then how many?

2. What do we do with the eggs we don’t fertilize? Should we freeze them? If so, what is the viability of the eggs once they are thawed? How well will they fertilize with my husband’s sperm after being thawed?

If we initially only fertilize 3 (fresh) eggs (and freeze the other 5) and none of the 3 become embryos, then we’ve lost the opportunity to have fertilized the other 5 eggs. Hence, it would mean $18,000+ down the drain (for the one IVF cycle), and we’d have to start all over again with another IVF cycle to get more fresh eggs.

Egg Freezing
According to the San Diego Fertility Center, oocyte cryopreservation or egg freezing, is a relatively new procedure in the field of assisted reproductive technologies. Overall, this technology increases a woman’s potential to have children later in life.  Since the first successful pregnancy using egg freezing was reported in 1986, approximately 600 babies have been born.  Currently, pregnancy rates are between 30 and 40 percent in good prognosis patients.

Let me explain more about freezing your eggs:
Once the follicles are retrieved, there’s a small window of opportunity to fertilize the eggs. You can’t just put them in a Sub Zero refrigerator for a few days to make your decision. They don’t keep unless you freeze the eggs. Once frozen (using oocyte cryopreservation) and then thawed, the eggs’ success rate for proper fertilization decreases significantly. Again, pregnancy rates are between 30 and 40 percent in good prognosis patients.

A fresh egg is always the best for fertilization. Plus, the fertilization process in itself takes three to five days to see if an egg will properly unite with a sperm, be fertilized and become a zygote. Then, the zygote becomes a blastocyst that would then be transferred into the uterus for implantation.

Most couples would typically choose to fertilize all 8 eggs, hoping for at least 3 or 4 good embryos as a result. Please be aware that there are no guarantees. Just because the eggs are fertilized doesn’t mean they will all become viable embryos.

How’s it done?
So, after egg retrieval the 8 eggs are rinsed, counted, and placed in an incubator. Later that day, the 8 eggs are fertilized with your husband’s sperm. Because his sperm aren’t optimum, the doctor uses Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), inserting the sperm directly into your egg.

Again, lets suppose that after four days you have 5 blastocysts that develop. The other 3 eggs and sperm didn’t fertilize for whatever reason. Now, you have 5 blastocysts that are viable.

What’s a blastocyst? After the sperm and egg unite to form the one-celled zygote, the zygote travels down the fallopian tube toward the uterus. At the same time, it will begin dividing rapidly to form a cluster of cells. By the time the zygote reaches the uterus, the rapidly dividing cluster of cells — now known as a blastocyst — has separated into two sections. The inner group of cells will become the embryo. The outer group of cells will become the membranes that nourish and protect it. On contact, it will burrow into the uterine wall for nourishment. This process is called implantation.

So, when does a blastocyst become an embryo? The third week after conception marks the beginning of the embryonic period. So, technically you don’t have an embryo until the blastocyst has implanted into the uterine wall, which is the third week after the one-celled zygote formed.

When does the embryo become a fetus? At the beginning of the ninth week after conception, the embryo is now officially described as a fetus.  (Source: MayoClinic.com)

Now that the technical speak is out of the way and we understand the process, let’s get back to the hypothetical situation.

Transfering the Blastocysts: Once you have 5 blastocysts (cluster of cells), you’ll have to decide how many to transfer into your uterus. If you transfer 2, then you’ll probably want to freeze the other 3 in case things don’t work out.

Later, the 3 frozen blastocysts will have to be thawed to transfer them into your uterus for a second chance. The viability of the blastocysts will have decreased because of the freezing and thawing process, but at least you have the blastocysts, which gives you another opportunity if your first transfer does not work out.

Your fertility specialist can give you the statistics on viability for your thawed blastocysts. Viability will depend upon your age at retrieval.

What does Mississippi Initiative 26 have to do with this?
The Mississippi Initiative 26 that Mississippians will vote on November 8th is a “Personhood Amendment” that will change how a person is defined in the Mississippi Constitution.

Did you know?
Infertility affects at least 10-15 percent of couples in Mississippi (and in every state across the US) who desire pregnancy.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there are 7.3 million infertile couples in the U.S. For a number of those with infertility, Assisted Reproductive Technology, including in vitro fertilization (“IVF”), is necessary.

In IVF, multiple eggs are fertilized in a lab to increase the likelihood of pregnancy.  The microscopic fertilized eggs develop for three to five days, and then one or more are transferred to the woman’s uterus in the hope one will implant and develop to birth.

Sometimes extra fertilized eggs remain after a couple becomes pregnant, which is a benefit as many infertile couples require more than one attempt at implantation before a pregnancy occurs; many suffer from miscarriages; and many infertile couples plan on having additional children.  Thus, doctors often cryopreserve (freeze) the remaining microscopic embryos.

With Personhood Legislation, however, the legality of these effective pro-pregnancy fertility treatments would be called into question. If microscopic fertilized eggs/embryos are full humans, anything that puts an embryo at risk could be a criminal violation, even if its goal is the undeniable social good of helping someone have a baby.

The legal uncertainties stemming from the proposed amendment would make it difficult or impossible for reproductive endocrinologists to treat patients at all using ART.  Thus, the Personhood Legislation would prevent couples with infertility from being able to have families.

Again, as the Miss. State Medical Association pointed out: …”this amendment will affect the common practice of obstetrics and gynecology. We fear that it will place in jeopardy a physician who tries to save a mother’s life by performing procedures and employing techniques physicians have used for years.  The common procedures we use now could be interpreted as murder or wrongful death if Proposal 26 passes. This justifiably will limit the physician’s options and deter use of common lifesaving procedures.”

If you live in Mississippi, I urge you to vote NO on Mississippi Initiative 26 because it takes away a couples right to make their own reproductive decisions.

You can also visit RESOLVE’s website to learn more. LINK:  http://www.resolve.org/get-involved/mississippi-initiative-26.html

What can I do to fight Initiative 26?
Answer: If you live in MS, vote NO on November 8th and urge your friends and family to do the same. If you live in MS we need you to speak out – contact RESOLVE at info@resolve.org if you are willing to share your story with the media. We need the face of real people that will be impacted by this Amendment. We need accurate information conveyed to the citizens of Mississippi.

If you don’t live in MS, help spread the word about Initiative 26. If you have a blog, write about it; if you frequent online forums or communities, talk about it; and if you know anyone in MS, please contact them and urge them to Vote No on November 8.

Marriage Expert Mark Gungor Explores the Differences between Men’s and Women’s Brains

Coping with Grief Teleconference Helps Two Million American Women Who Suffer Each Year

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SAN DIEGO — October 19, 2011 — Lesley Vance, author of Infertility Journeys: Finding Your Happy Ending, will host a “Coping with Grief” teleconference during Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Month on Saturday, October 29, 2011 at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time, http://lesleyvance.com/events.

Former President Ronald Reagan adopted Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Month in 1988 to recognize the need for community education and awareness regarding miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death (www.october15th.com). Each year in the United States, more than two million women are faced with the tragedy of pregnancy and infant loss, according to the American Pregnancy Association.

“Whether it’s you or someone you know, we’ve all been touched by the tragedy of pregnancy and infant loss. Knowing what to say and how to help your family member or friend can make a big difference in his or her grieving process,” said Lesley Vance, teleconference host and author of Infertility Journeys: Finding Your Happy Ending.  “About one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage, and SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) is the leading cause of death in babies in the United States. Any loss of a child can leave parents, family and friends devastated,” Vance added.

Benefits of “Coping with Grief” Teleconference:

  • Explains the grieving process
  • Offers suggestions to friends and family members who want to help their loved ones during times of crisis, helping them know what to say and what “not” to say
  • Validates the experiences of women and men who have suffered a loss
  • Suggests steps for coping with grief

Teleconference Date: Saturday, October 29, 2011

Time: 9:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (11 a.m. CST/12 p.m. EST)

Conference Number: 1-218-548-1857  Passcode: 1987

About Lesley Vance
Lesley Vance is the author of Infertility Journeys: Finding Your Happy Ending, which tells the family-building journeys of 18 couples who struggle with infertility and how they find their happy endings. She leads an Infertility Support Group in San Diego, Calif. and writes an infertility blog on her website, http://lesleyvance.com/blog.

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FOR MEDIA QUERIES:
Lesley Vance
Contact via Email
760-566-6736