Advent: Season of Hope

2nd day of Advent.

If you celebrate christmas you will no doubt have began the process of shopping, planning, and Preparing for this wonderful time of the year.

I love this season of faith, joy, festivities just before the new year, a time when we as a people, all come together in one to make merry.

To remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus. Certainly for some, this time is now synonymous with parties and travel and time with families as they call it “the holidays”.

But truly, Advent is observed in many Christian denominations as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the arrival of Jesus.

In silence contemplation, not in the busyness of high streets shopping malls.

The early church were told of his coming and prepared for it. Although not the same way we now prepare for Christmas, they waited quietly not in chaos.

They waited in hope of a saviour promised to rescue them from the tyranny of their oppressor.

They waited and expected deliverance and a new dawn.

So you see, the story of Christmas is one of waiting.

For those waiting for a baby, this conjures many emotions.

The last post Celebratory seasons talked about how this seasons maybe dreaded by those waiting for a child, as they observe little darlings in their cute Christmas outfits and plays.

I have walked your shoes, waited for 8 years, multiple miscarriages, multiple failed IVFs, so I can relate to the feeling of dread at this very time. As hope waned, expectations strains, you feel all alone.

But my message to you today is to expect something different, expect to receive literally your desires.

Expect to receive the promise of peace, the comfort that comes from waiting and expecting, expect to be touched by Jesus, who is our Prince of Peace.

And continue to hold on as The angel said to Mary

“Blessed is She who believes, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which where told her from the Lord”.

I urged you to wait in Hope for the expected promises.

Look out for tomorrows post “Perspectives”.

Your Partner in Hope

Debi

RELATED POST

Celebratory seasons, What’s In A Name., Good News of Great Joy, Advent: Day 7, His perfect plan.

Celebratory seasons

Every year we celebrate all kinds of occasions, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, halloween, thanksgiving and christmas.

These season can be triggers for the couple in waiting, because without fail, we see parents adore their young kids with outfit and proudly shows them off.

I did the same when my girls were still little. without thought for how my waiting friends feels. No one intentionally parades their kids to cause distress, we all do it from a place of joy.

But I understand the pain and agony these images can cause. The despair cause by your failed attempt to get pregnant, the repeated miscarriage and the loss of a child.

When I was waiting I discovered that more than seeing friends or pregnant women, the seasons of celebration is the hardest one to face.

There is no escaping the gaiety in the air as you watch friends, dress up with their babies, teens, sons or daughters in teamed outfit.

O the tug at your heart strings as you imagine how you will dress your baby. You build a picture and hold on to the hope that it will one day be you dressing up your child.

These image seems to diminish as the years go by.

And every year as you watch others with their tiny little babies dress up for school plays for halloween themed party for thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, you hide in floods of tears, loathing another celebratory season.

I am reminded by this passage in Psalm 143:8. Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love.

Yes seasons may come and go and our desires tarries, but God’s word never changes.

Anchor your hopes to it and hold on, let each celebratory season remind you of His unfailing love and as we approach Christmas when you will have to face Santa and school plays, remember his birth is the reason we are here but his death and resurrection is a promise that we can hold on to his promise, that he will grant us our hearts desires.

For if he did not withhold his Son from us, he will give us freely our hearts desires.

Peace.

Your partner in hope.

Debi

Other related post:

A little town

Trust and Joy in mist of pain

To freeze or not.

This is still the question asked by many women. weather or not to freeze their eggs.

As the awareness around infertility increases I believe there should be deliberate effort to make women aware of how fertility works. From an early age, women should be informed of the decline in their fertility so that they can start to plan for pregnancy, if they so chooses.

Knowing this, the best time to conceive is in the 20s and 30s. However, if this is not possible due to education, career opportunities, ill health, financial constraints, etc., egg freezing should be considered.

Egg reserved are finite, with this information women should should start to plan pregnancy before they turn 35, because according to scientific research, news eggs stop growing at that age. Fertility drops around age 37 and shaply at age 40. At 40 years of age, the chances of natural conception remain only five to 10 percent.

Women can decide they will freeze their eggs, get married early or delay pregnancy but still freeze their eggs. Having this knowledge empowers a woman in their choices

Since women’s fertility is finite, they don’t have the cells which will produce new eggs in the ovaries and the number of existing eggs is reserved. But, there are options to overcome this biological clock barrier.

Egg freezing is an option for women of childbearing age . Given the times we are living in now when more women are achieving their academic and financial potential, I think women should also achieve their dreams Of being a mum and one way to achieve this, is to freeze their eggs while young.

Women can conceive after menopause if they have chosen to freeze their eggs/embryos in their younger years.

I have seen too many friends who were not aware of this option now childless. Some have partners and would have gladly used A frozen egg. Others have no partners but would have settled for a child of their own using their own frozen eggs.

Another options is to use donor eggs, if you have not previously frozen your eggs

This will be done via IVF. The success of IVF also depends on the age and egg reserve of women. Doctors recommend the use of eggs when women are at their optimum age of reproduction and have plenty of egg reserve.

Platelets rich plasmas is injected into the ovaries

This is why egg freezing is important as it ensures that the best quality eggs are frozen and use when needed. Similarly a donor eggs are collected from younger healthy women and used by menopausal women.

If you are a young woman speak with your doctor regarding your options and what is involved in egg freezing process.

To be continued.

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

The Egg Freezing process

It Only Takes One Egg

fertility Awareness

IVF:Stages to egg implantation

Tips to help treatment

1. keeping a healthy weight. increases ones chances of pregnancy by any method.

According to the NHS, a weight under BMI of over 25 is ideal, they recommend that couples trying to get pregnant work toward achieve a healthy weight. It is thought that an obese woman may have hormonal issues which may impede pregnancy. Follow a healthy exercise and diet plan with your doctor will help you achieve the right weight for your height.

2. it is recommend that adults embark on 150 mins moderate to light mins exercise a week. Exercise activity which increases the heart rate helps to lower blood pressure, fight diabetes and increases a couples chances during IVF.

3. consume coffee in moderation. Some scientific research suggest that women undergoing IVF should consume no more than 3 cups of coffee daily. Too much caffeine can make it difficult to fall pregnant.

4. Start trying early: age plays a huge part in both natural conception and IVF pregnancy. the chances of a woman falling pregnant over 35 declines significantly. It is advise to seek treatment as soon as you start to try without success… The miracle of medicine means that more couples are become parents with the help of donor eggs and adopting. So don’t despair, you can still become a parent.

5. do not smoke, it is though that the quality of egg and sperm is affected by smoking. Before undergoing treatment speak with your doctor on how to quit.

6. Take measures to reduce your stress level. IVF is stressing enough, Being stressful will interfere with both the quality of egg and sperm. incorporate some mediation, yoga, pilates and acupuncture into your daily life to help reduce stress.

sources: NHS ENGLAND

Debbie

Your partner in Hope

Related post.

How to Cope With the Stress of Infertility

IVF PROCESS: Step by Step

The Over 50 Debate

Tips on Staying Healthy.

Treatment and COVID-19

How to Cope With the Stress of Infertility

Extracts from Glamour: Amirah Vann her journey to motherhood

Welcomed her baby girl, congratulations to her family.

I was so inspired by the article she wrote in Glamour I decided to share it here.

Many of us expect to recognize the “perfect time” to have a baby. The reality is that timing may never come. But in this life-altering year, how does one even consider bringing in a new life?

My fiancé Pat and I planned it, using ovulation test strips to know when would be the optimal time. But when it came down to taking the pregnancy test, I was uneasy. I told Pat, “I don’t think you left the stick in the urine long enough.” Then he showed me the result. 

But in that moment of unspeakable joy, I realized there is no perfect time, no foolproof season. In a year marked by fear, I remained grounded in the notion that our foremothers had children, intentionally or not, under far worse conditions than those we face today. It doesn’t matter whether you are 40 or 20—the world doesn’t adjust to your life; the career doesn’t stop for you. You have to decide this is what you want.

Read the rest here. Baby

No matter your situation and your story, there is always a possibility you are next in Line.

Parenthood is many thing but one thing is certain, there is always joy in the mist of pain. Ensure the pain and joy will flow in the end.

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

To add or not to add

According to a recent report by an Australia IVF specialist, standard IVF works therefore there is no need for expensive adds on.

for instance 

ICSI which stands for Intracycloplastic was developed in 1992 as a way of treating male infertility. However, a growing number of clinics are now using it for men with normal sperm count. 

A recent article in the medical journal the lancet based on data from Vietnam, reports that ICSI although much expensive, does not improve the chances of success. 

Their hunch is that “doctors may recommend it for fear of patients’ reactions if the eggs don’t fertilise, even if ICSI doesn’t improve the ultimate chance of a baby for those with a normal sperm count.”

Couples with infertility belong to a very vulnerable group who will do almost anything to achieve a pregnancy. They deserve our dedicated care and evidence-based treatment.” The report concluded. 

So before accepting all that’s recommended by your clinic, 

  • review your results.
  • Ask specific and detailed questions.
  • Undertake your own research into your own Diagnosis, 
  • Review the data  available and read the latest in medical intervention and their successes. 
  • Make your own mind up and resist pressure from your clinic. 

I know it’s difficult to argue with the doctors and the presumption is that they know what they are doing. But when it’s your body and issue, you can certainly ask questions and be satisfied that what you are paying for is absolutely necessary. And lastly, be positive and know that whatever is in store for you will be nice. 

Your Partner in Hope

Debi

Fertility Awareness

It was national fertility awareness week recently and I want to highlight some stats about.

In some countries like Canada, more people are living with infertility than diagnose with lung cancer which is the leading cause of death in Canada.

According to Dr Gaberielle Cassir, who appeared on the Global News in Montreal. Up to 15 % of couples are infertile and the numbers are rising.

There are various causes of infertility: which ranges from the rising age of women having babies as more women are putting off having children later, to unexplained infertility.

There is no perfect answer the specific causes are evenly divided

in 35% of cases, the causes of infertility is due to problems with the pelvic or fallopian tube abnormality.

10% of cases relates to unexplained causes which is usually hard to deal with.

35% male factor

15% ovulatory disfunction.

It is important to create awareness on the causes of infertility to make sure that couples seek help quickly and avoid unnecessary delays which might lead to more problems later.

Currently the world is also dealing with covid and there are various theories on its impact on fertility.

Again, it is generally agreed in the medical world that this is fueled by myth being propagated on social medial.

While is it normal to question the impact of a new vaccine on ones fertility, it is also important to look at the data.

If you are worried speak with your doctor and find out all you need to know about the vaccine.

Is it necessary to talk about fertility issues with the young generation?

I think it is : this is because the first time most couples become aware of the issues surrounding fertility is when they start to try to have a baby, I think talking about it earlier in a young person’s life may be the difference between delays in seeking help and waiting for miracles to happen.

The emotions we feel are common emotions and are distressing and these can cause a huge physiological toil.

Society can prepare youth for the chances of infertility and open an avenue to speak about it.

No one wants to spread fear to our young people, but at the same time it is important to create an awareness. Parents can have that conversation with their kids same as talking about changes in the body during puberty years and teen years, although a bit later.

The emotions are intense and can cause a huge toil on one’s health, no one can be prepared enough, but at least the being in the know can make a huge difference on how one handles the challenges pose by infertility.

We need to demystify the fear and taboo around taking about having fertility issue.

There should be no guilt, shame, taboo surrounding the topic of infertility.

There should be a conversation and women should feel they have a safe place to talk. I am glad that women like Chrissy Teigen, Hilaria Baldwin, Amy Schumer are open about their struggles with infertity and I think this has done more to increase the awareness around miscarriage and IVF. Women are beginning to see that they are not alone and there is some conform in knowing that others have felt the way you do.

Be encouraged and seek help earlier.

Wishing you every success on your fertility journey.

Your Partner in Hope

Debbie

Read More »

Undergoing Fertility treatment in an age of COVID.

 

Recently a friend of mine shared the good news of her pregnancy. I was so excited for the family as this will be her second child. The first being almost 9 years old.

She’s a medical doctor, pregnant from IVF, a key worker and dealing with the all of that in COVID era is just daunting.

So earlier on during the second wave which hit the UK  at the beginning of the year, the family decided to minimise their interaction with the outside world. One of the things they did was not to send their daughter into school as part of the key workers program. My friend, reduced and limited her interaction with patients, by working 2 days a week. Happy to say the pregnancy has progressed on and she’s doing just fine.

How do you navigate through your treatment during this covid era? It is bad enough prior to covid, now patients have so many other precautions to take, from wearing a mask, social distancing to limit or eliminate completely interaction with those outside your house hold.

There is so much uncertain which comes with any IVF pregnancy any way. One of which is the constant fear that something might go wrong. I have been there and that right until I had my baby in my hands, I lived with the fear that something may still go wrong.

I think the fear was born from years of disappointment and the previously failed pregnancy or miscarriages or other delays an IVF couple may have suffered.

Now add a pandemic to the mix and you have an additional foe to contend with.

So here are some suggestions to take if you are undergoing fertility treatment are pregnant from treatment or are hoping to start treatment soon.

  1. Be cautious at all times. Like my friend, limit your interactions to if, necessary those within your household or within your bubble.
  2. Limit your bubble to a few immediate families, like parents  or a brother or sister. The reason being that they too might have a bubble and you don’t want to form a bubble with anyone whom you cannot trust.
  3. Work from home if your job allows it. If not, discuss alternative working patterns with your employer. You can possibly start later or earlier when the office is not at full capacity. If you company can, they should be able to make your place of work covid safe. So a discussion with your employer is vital at the onset.
  4. If you have to go out, social distancing is a must. Maintain 3 to 6 feet from anyone not from the same household. I have often called on my friend and stood 7 feet from her, sometimes we have had to hold a conversation with raised voices.
  5. Always wear a mask, find out the best mast avaliabile and make sure you always have one handy. I keep packets of mask in every handbag.
  6. Frequently disinfect whatever surface you work on.
  7. Regularly wash your hand and use a sanitizer after touching any food product or if you have been in a public place.
  8. Abstain from touching your face, it is an impossible feat I know, but being mindful of the dangers the virus presents, should spur you to act accordingly.
  9. Limit out doors adventures if you can help it. Only go out if it is absolutely necessary and your partner is unavailable to help, for instance choose the quietest time of the day for your walks or park visits, your commute to walk or the shops.
  10. And finally have your groceries delivered, this will save you time and give you peace of mind.

This is not ideal I know, but it will be worth it in the end when you hold your beautiful baby in your arms.

I wish you every success as you embark on this exciting new phase of your life.

Your partner in hope.

D’ebi

Relevant/related post

How to Cope With the Stress of Infertility

Strategies to cope while in lockdown

Treatment and COVID-19

 

Fertility Journey: Part 2

In our second series of fertility journey today we look at Medical Procedures:

Surgical procedures

This will be necessary ifyour fallopian tubes have become blocked or scarred, you may need surgery to repair them.

Surgery can be used to break up the scar tissue in your fallopian tubes, making it easier for eggs to pass through them.

The success of surgery will depend on the extent of the damage to your fallopian tubes.

Endometriosis is when parts of the womb lining start growing outside the womb.

Laparoscopic surgery is often used to treat endometriosis by destroying or removing fluid-filled sacs called cysts.

It may also be used to remove submucosal fibroids, which are small growths in the womb.

If you have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a minor surgical procedure called laparoscopic ovarian drilling can be used if ovulation medicine has not worked.

This involves using either heat or a laser to destroy part of the ovary.

Correcting an epididymal blockage and surgery to retrieve sperm:Causes of Infertility In Men

The epididymis is a coil-like structure in the testicles that helps store and transport sperm.

Sometimes the epididymis becomes blocked, preventing sperm from being ejaculated normally. If this is causing infertility, surgery can be used to correct the blockage.

Surgical extraction of sperm may be an option if you:

have an obstruction that prevents the release of sperm,

were born without the tube that drains the sperm from the testicle (vas deferens):

have had a vasectomy or a failed vasectomy reversal,

Both operations take a few hours and are done under local anaesthetic as outpatient procedures.

You’ll be advised on the same day about the quality of the tissue or sperm collected.

Any sperm will be frozen and placed in storage for use at a later stage.

Disclaimer. This author is not a medical practitioner, the article has been written with the help of reference materials taken from NHS England. Please consult your Medical practitioner for further advice if you suspect you may be affected by the topic discussed here.

Yours In Hope

Debi