Infertility Support Group Blog: St. Louis

What do we do in Infertility Support Group? Well, we talk, we laugh, we SUPPORT. Sometimes we just sit and chat, sometimes we eat at a fun restaurant, sometimes we catch a movie, sometimes we go to Walgreen's en masse to help our newest member find the appropriate Often we share Dr. information, insurance information, adoption information, natural remedy information, helpful articles and scriptures. The most fascinating thing I have found about the support group is that I didn't know I needed it until I had it, and my sisters and friends poured solace into wounded places I didn't know I was harboring.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Infertility Dictionary: Common Acronyms and Slang Defined

Anyone who has spent any time surfing the web looking for articles and information on infertility or IVF, or reading the millions of message boards out there, has most likely found themselves completely bewildered by acronyms. It's like the infertility community has it's very own secret language. Luckily, I had a great friend as a guide during my initial journey - and I was calling her every other day asking 'Now what does THIS mean!?'  Anyway, I just thought I would combine some of the info I have garnered together in one place, in hopes that it will be helpful to others!

IVF: In Vitro Fertilization

IUI: Intra-Uterine Insemination (also called artificial insemination)

FET: Frozen Embryo Transfer

DH: Dear Hubby -refers to the spouse (or significant other) of the person speaking.

POAS:  Pee on a Stick: Taking a Pregnancy Test

BFP:  Big Fat Positive (pregnancy test)

BFN: Big Fat Negative (pregnancy test)

2WW or 2weekwait: The two weeks between ovulation and an accurage pregnancy test

PUPO:  Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise (usually used post procedure like IUI or IVF during the 2ww).

TTC:  Trying to Conceive

ER: Egg Retrieval (part of the IVF procedure)

ET: Embryo Transfer (part of the IVF procedure)

DPT: Days Post-Transfer (IVF or FET cycle)

Beta: A blood test done to determine levels of HCG in the bloodstream (pregnancy).

SnowBabies/Frosties:  Frozen Embryos

AF: Aunt Flo (menstrual cycle)

RE: Reproductive Endocrinologist (specialist who deals with infertility issues)

PIO: Progesterone in Oil (intramuscular shots usually given as part of the IVF process)

ICSI: Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (a process that directly transfers sperm into the egg via injection.)

Trigger Shot (Sometimes called HCG injection it is a shot that is taken to induce ovulation at the appropriate time in your IUI or IVF cycle)

HCG: Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, pregnancy indicator and ovulation stimulator

E2 Level: A check of the estradiol level that helps measure follicles, how well the patient is being stimulated, and generally helps the physician regulate the medication in the cycle.

Protocol: The amount and type of drugs prescribed for a patient on an IVF cycle.

BCP: Birth Control Pills

BD: Baby Dance (sex)

BMS: Baby-Making Sex

CM: Cervical Mucus

DD: Darling Daughter (girl infant)

DS: Dear Son (male infant)

EPT: Early Pregnancy Test

EDD: Estimated Due Date

HPT: Home Pregnancy Test

HSG: Hysterosalpingogram (used to check the uterus for scarring or other issues)

LSP: Low Sperm Count

MF: Male Factor (as in male-factor infertility)

SA: Semen Analysis

NK: Natural Killers Cells (immunologic factor for infertility when elevated)

PCOS: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Snowflaking: Donating fertilized embryos

DE: Donar Egg

DS: Donar Sperm

TR: Tubal Reversal (reversal of female sterilization procedure)

Baby Dust: Good wishes!

Let me know if I missed anything super-common! I'm sure there's more - but these are the ones I found most often used!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

For the Mothers-in-Waiting

I posted this a couple months ago-but it remains my favorite Mother's Day message for all us Mothers-in-Waiting...

I have included below the text of one of the most beautiful articles on infertility I have ever read, that I wanted to share with you. You can read it below or access it directly on the web, via the following link

Mother's To-Be-Day by Drew V. Moffitt

She broke the bread into two fragments, and gave them to the children, who ate with avidity. “She has kept none for herself,” grumbled the sergeant. “Because she is not hungry,” said a soldier. “Because she is a mother,” said the sergeant. – Victor Hugo

The other day I ran into another one of those patients that always makes me smile when I see her. She brought me up to date on what was happening in her life. It was a story of debilitating pain and multiple surgeries to try and relieve the pain. Instead of relief she developed a tumor in the area that required more surgery. In the end she was still in just as much pain and on chronic medications for it. I expressed my heartfelt sympathy for what she has had to go through. She smiled and said she’s fine and that she is almost off of the pain medications because she is planning to come to see me soon to try to have another baby. She was coming off of the medications not because she didn’t have pain, she was coming off of the medication because she wanted to have another baby. I looked into her eyes “ and her smile and realized I am a better person for knowing her.

Mother’s day is upon us. It is not that welcome of a holiday for my patients. Gifts passed out at church or given by a well meaning spouse do little to fill the void of yearning that brings them to my office. We hear stories about the great love, sacrifice and courage that mother’s have for their children, but little is said about the incredible love, sacrifice and courage of my mothers-to-be.
It takes incredible courage to acknowledge that there is even a problem. We all want to believe that we are in control of our lives and to acknowledge that there is a fertility problem is to internalize a lack of control over this incredibly sensitive part of their lives.
It takes courage to seek medical attention. No one likes to see doctors (I’m over a year late for my colonoscopy), and the trip to the fertility doctor is a particularly difficult journey.
It takes courage to undergo procedures that are not comfortable and are in an area where discomfort is particularly unwanted.

It takes courage to face the possibility of disappointment. Studies have shown that when a woman experiencing infertility has a period, indicating that once again she is not pregnant, she experiences the same degree of grief as if her brother or sister had just died. Most of us will go through that only once or twice in our lifetime. Imagine going through that every month for years. Then imagine going through a specific procedure to get pregnant and having it not work.
It takes courage to hope that it will work the first time and proceed , and even greater courage to experience a failed attempt and then turn around and have the courage to hope again.

These women undergo great sacrifices.

They sacrifice the intimacy of what was supposed to be a wonderful and intensely personal experience with their partner for a doctor’s office.

They sacrifice time on often repetitive visits for monitoring and procedures.

They sacrifice financial resources as they struggle to have something that everyone around them seems to receive without thought and sometimes with disdain.

They sacrifice personal comfort, sometimes thinking that if they experience pain, they will be more worthy of the gain they so desperately seek.

Why? Why do they do this? They do this for the same reason the mother gives her bread and goes without. They do it for love. The only difference is that they do it for a deep abiding love for a child that they have not yet held, a voice they have not yet heard, a smile they have not yet seen, and a touch they have not yet felt.

My smiling patient had experienced infertility for 10 months when she came to see me. It was clear that each passing month was difficult. She had endometriosis and her husband had a sperm problem. We unfortunately discovered that her biological clock was more advanced than it should have been. When two months of inseminations failed, she went immediately to IVF. She required high doses of medication to produce 9 eggs but only made 4 embryos. One of them would be her beautiful baby boy.

Sixteen months after delivery, she was back for a brother or sister. She did IVF again. Similar story with a positive pregnancy test but then the pregnancy hormone dropped, leaving her with what is called a biochemical pregnancy. The pain from her medical condition had reached a peak and she had to stop infertility treatment to pursue that. She returned two years later after many surgeries and no relief in her pain with the intent to continue but could not. She returns now two years later having experienced a tumor where her pain surgeries had been and having had an additional 7 biochemical pregnancies “ and she still wears a smile. She is the epitome of the courage, sacrifice, and love that characterizes mothers in general and the mothers-to-be that I have the privilege of associating with every day.

To each of them and to mother’s everywhere, Happy Mother’s day!

Drew V. Moffitt, M.D., FACOG, is the co-medical director of the Arizona Reproductive Medicine Specialists (ARMS), the director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center and an assistant professor at the University of Arizona. He is now president of ARMS and director of the Division of Reproductive Medicine and infertility for the residency program at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center. Dr. Moffitt has significant clinical experience in assisted reproductive technologies and reproductive surgery.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Links to More Great Words of Wisdom

First of all, I wanted to post a link to a wonderful Facebook page on infertility that has some wonderful comments and discussions.

I read the following article from a link on this Facebook page. My favorite passage of one woman's letter to her infertile self follows:

"...That’s just biology. What God did give you was the heart of a mother. I know that it feels like a curse, to have the desire to be a mother so badly and a body that won’t cooperate, but this is the part of you that will lead you to your first child. Follow your heart and your belief in God and you will be a mother. Always remember it does not take a pregnancy to become a mother."

My prayers and sympathy go out to everyone traveling this road.  The best advice I could give to you? Find some other travelers who are making the same journey. Walk the road together. Cry together. Laugh together. Do shots together (and we all know I'm not talking about alcohol), and it becomes a lot easier. After all, a burden shared is a burden halved.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Discouragement: A Germ of Its Own

I just wanted to throw up a link to my personal blog, I've written a couple of ideas and spiritual helps about my struggles with infertility that I have gained recently from my personal study that I wanted to share here as well.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

ISG Movie Night Monday October 29th!

Just wanted to post a quick note to let you all know we will be having an ISG Movie Night! It may seem counter-intuitive, but we will be watching 'What to Expect When You're Expecting.' Those of us who have seen the film really loved it, probably because we are super-obsessed with BABIES! lol. Anyway, if you haven't seen it, be forewarned, you will bawl your eyes out. And laugh till your stomach hurts. Bring your hubby if you can, and a yummy snack to share! Feel free to bring friends!
Monday October 29th at 7 PM
Megan Anderson's Home
Shoot me an email or comment for the address!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Meeting Place and Time for November 15th!

Thanks for all ya'll who came to our last two guest speakers. This is a reminder email that our next guest speaker will be Rachel Newkirk on the subject of Foster Care/Foster Adoption. 
We will be meeting in the chapel overflow section of the Frontenac building at 7pm. 

 Thursday November 15th, 2012
Who:Rachel Newkirk, Children’s Home Society, St.Louis,MO
About: The foster care process, adopting a child through foster care, costs of getting registered, age requirements, housing requirements, foster parent qualifications, etc 
More Info:

If you have any interest in attending, please drop us an email to help us choose room size.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Meeting Time and Place for October 10th!

Hey gals, this is just a reminder (although hopefully you've been getting the information thru RS as well) that tomorrow is our next Infertility Support Group meeting, with special guest speaker Devin Mears from LDS Social Services all about the ins and outs (and paperwork!) of adoption! We hope you can join us!

Sorry about the late update with time and location on this blog, I've been out of town more this past month than usual!

Location: Chapel Overflow: Frontenac Ward Building
Time: 7 PM