30 April 2007

Reproductive technology conference in British Columbia, Canada

Courtesy of the Infertility Network:

An International Conference on New Reproductive & Genetic Technologies (NRGTs)
Malaspina University-College, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada.
May 24-26, 2007
Info/Register: http://www.mala.ca/nrgt

Conference Themes
* NRGTs and the Rights of Children & Families
* Global Issues in NRGTs
* NRGTs & the Arts
* Feminist Perspectives on NRGTs
* Current Medical Perspectives on NRGTs
* NRGTs & the Practical Philosopher
* NRGTs & the Law

Speakers and delegates from all over the world are gathering to critically consider legal, legislative and medical issues related to the development and implementation of new reproductive and genetic technologies. This conference is attracting the attention of academics, researchers, scientists, physicians, counselors, policy makers/analysts, activists, lawyers, philosophers, ethicists, students, individuals with lived experience and adult children conceived by NRGTs.

Speakers (from Canada, USA, UK, New Zealand, Netherlands & Israel) include:
  • Dr. Elinor Wilson (President) & Dr. John Hamm (Chairperson), Assisted Human Reproduction Canada (AHRC)

  • Maureen McTeer, Faculty of Common Law, University of Ottawa; lawyer specializing in law, science & public policy; author; member of the Royal Commission on NRGTs

  • Louise Vandelac, PhD, Professor, Dept of Sociology & Institute of Environmental Sciences, University of Quebec (Montreal)

  • Eric Blyth, Professor of Social Work, University of Huddersfield, UK; researcher, author & policy consultant to governments, professional & patient organizations on the psychosocial aspects of donor conception

  • Dr. Jeff Nisker, Schulich School of Medicine, University of Western Ontario; former co-chair, Health Canada Advisory Committee on NRGTs

  • Mikki Morrissette, author, 'Choosing Single Motherhood: The Thinking Woman's Guide'; editor, 'Behind Closed Doors: Moving Beyond Secrecy & Shame' [in donor conception]

  • Marcy Darnovsky, PhD, Center for Genetics & Society, Oakland, CA

  • Elizabeth Marquardt, PhD, Institute of American Values; author, 'The Revolution in Parenthood: The Emerging global clash between Adult Rights & ChildrenĀ¹s Needs'

  • Juliet Guichon, PhD, Office of Medical Bioethics, University of Calgary; researcher on surrogacy for the Canadian Royal Commission on New Reproductive Technologies

  • Donor offspring, parents & former donors

The program includes the following film & theatre productions:
* 'A Child on Her Mind', a play by Jeffrey Nisker & Vangie Bergum, Canada
* 'All in One Basket', a film about egg donation by Lauren Berliner, USA
* 'Playing Up Citizen Involvement: An Experiential Workshop in the use of
Theatre for Policy Development'

The Infertility Network can be contacted at the following:
160 Pickering Street
Toronto ON M4E 3J7

26 April 2007

It's a done deal

Well, as done as it can be at this stage, but I have committed to starting next cycle. So, in two-ish weeks, I should be stabbing myself with wicked glee (evil cackle not included).

I spoke to the nurse in charge of the study, and she said it's just fine to do one cycle, and then do the study for our next cycle (thinking ever positively) if we qualify.

I'm going for the Pap smear tomorrow anyway; that should guarantee that the study nurse has the results in plenty of time for a second cycle. It's good incentive, I haven't had one in a few years. Hey, don't blame me, blame Canada's medical system. Or British Columbia's anyway. Your family doctor is the one who does the smear, not a gynecologist. You don't get a gyn (or "Gank," as my sister says) here unless you need one as a specialist.

Anyway, now I wait for my 'package' to arrive with further instructions. While we wait, and because I'm feeling like a big suck today, I offer this unbelievably cutesy-poo video for your viewing pleasure. Watch it to the end, or you'll miss the best part. And then watch it again, because it's so gosh darn cute.

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19 April 2007

Says the Cheshire Cat

Curioser and curioser. Hmm, there seems to be a general concensus here to wait. I'm curious as to what everyone's reasoning is - are you advocating waiting simply because of the cost benefit?

I should point out,
a) the cost savings is only about $1,000. That's a lot of money, but really a drop in the bucket of the whole, overall costs of all this IVF stuff.
b) We're not guaranteed to be accepted into the study. The appointment to see the nurse after she gets my Pap results, is the qualifying screening. It's quite possible we could wait until June (more likely July), and not qualify for the study. Which means we will have lost 2 (more likely 3) months.

If you had reasons other than saving money, what were they? Share with me, please? Are we doing the right thing? Ack!

Ah, life was so much easier when my biggest dilemma was whether to do my Calculus homework, or go to the bars with my roommate on $2 Melonball Night.

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18 April 2007

Full steam ahead

Oh, c'mon, you guys. What's with the advice? I know I said I wanted opinions, but you should know by now what I really want is for you to tell me what to do!

Worthless. The whole lot of you. ;)

So, actually, the money isn't so much of an issue now. We have access to the extra $1000 or so it would cost to not do the study, and it wouldn't be very painful to get that money, so that consideration, thank Gd, falls low on the pros and cons scale.

And we comforted ourselves a little with talking about Puah, which is an infertility clinic in Israel. I could get in touch with them, and coordinate follow up with them, even though we'd likely have to pay for their services. There's also the side benefit of being surrounded by friends and family in Israel, who would provide comfort and booze if we got a BFN. They'd throw a flippin' party if we got a BFP.

Still. I'm freakin' old. Ancient, in fact. I don't think I want the stress of travelling (and these days, as awful as the airlines all are, I stress about travelling!) while I'm cycling. Not to mention the extra stress of being a year older by that point (technically, I'll just a few months older. Psychologically, the difference between 41 and 42 is huge).

So Hubby and I decided last night/this morning that we're going to start next cycle. If it doesn't work, we'll try to qualify for the study for the cycle after that. And try to time it around the trip. Which, Gd willing, might be the last trip we're able to take in a long time.

We should be that blessed.

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17 April 2007

Advice from my paps peeps

I need your wisdom, dear friends in the pooter. Previously, I mentioned the study that Hubby and I might qualify for, yes? Well, there's a wee wrench thrown in the works. I have to have a Pap smear before we can qualify for the study. There's nothing wrong with that, the problem is, in Canada, the medical systems moves slower than the maple syrup everyone loves so much here. Believe it or not, it takes a month for the results to come back. A month, people!

So, that would push the timeline out. A lot. Assuming I could get in to the doctor (not Gynecologist. Oh, no. Family doctors do Pap smears here.) next week - which would be mid-cycle, and exactly when I should be going for a Pap smear - we're looking at mid-May before we get the results. That's best case scenario. "A month" means at least a month here, not "in 4 weeks."

Then, the results have to get from the doctor to the nurse in charge of the study. Then she has to schedule a qualifying meeting with us. Assuming all of this happens in due order, we're looking at starting a cycle mid-June at the earliest. The nurse is going on vacation in early June (I know, I know, but it's the law - they have to give her vacation time.), so if anything is off by the littlest bit, we miss the June start and are looking at mid-July.

If we don't do the study, we can start cycling mid-May. Next month.

The advantage to doing the study? Half our meds are free, giving us a savings of probably $1,000-1,500. There are no BCPs, and the protocol is specifically for older women who have previously exhibited a low-response to stimulants.

If we don't do the study? We pay for all the meds ourselves, RE puts me on a high-dose microflare (did I get that right? I don't have my notes with me, and it's been a while since I attended Google U. on all this stuff.) and I might have to argue a bit about BCPs (I don't want them. But I'll probably win that one.).

So. Start next month and pay for full meds, or start mid-June, possibly mid-July and be in the study. What would you do?

Just to add to the fun, Hubby and I are going to Israel in August. For the whole month. Do I want to be ending my 2WW in another country? Going to Israel having gotten a BFN? Or (maybe worse) going to Israel with a BFP and having to try to continue checking my numbers in a foreign country where I don't know the system? At least if we cycle in May, by the time August rolls around, I'll have had two months to adjust to a BFN, or be (G-d willing) two months into a BFP. But we won't talk about that last one yet.

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12 April 2007

If you blog it, it will come

So, apparently, the trick to getting things to, erm, flow, is to just blog about it.

Does this mean if I blog about having a successful cycle, I'll get a not-to-be-blogged-about pink, squirmy, crying thing in say, nine months?

As if.

By the way, in my hysterical rolling on the floor over the irony of my period being late, I forgot to say I hope everyone had a wonderful Pesach/that other holiday! I always find easter awkward, because I can't actually wish anyone a "happy easter" since it is, after all, a day celebrating something I don't believe in. Not to mention, historically, easter has always been a dangerous time for Jews. Some people get weird when they start remembering the crucification, and then someone always has to resurrect (ha!) that old rumour about how the Jews killed Jesus. It was the Romans, people. We stone people, and hurl Yiddish epithets about fuzzy navels and onion heads, we don't string 'em up on slabs of wood. That involves tools and trips to the hardware store.

Funny aside: Hubby and I had a long conversation Saturday night with a non Jew about how Jews don't believe in Jesus, and why. This person was very interested and very respectful, and we had a lovely conversation.

The next morning (easter), she bounces over to us with a joyful, "Happy easter!" and hands us gift bags. It was very sweet, and we thanked her, but tried as gently as possible to explain that we don't observe easter, and can't accept the gifts. I think she's still trying to figure out why we don't "do" easter. It's just bunnies and candy, right? The gift (of food) was a little easier to explain, since we had also discussed Passover and being Kosher and all the food restrictions, etc., etc.

It's sometimes easier dealing with religious people; even though they fear for my soul, or think I'm going to burn in hell, or whatever, they get it. Non-religious folks think, "it's just a tree" or "it's just a bunny and some chocolate, what could be the harm in that?" Which I think is fine; it's nice to have family traditions, and create wonderful memories.

Yeah, which leads us right back to that old infertility thing again. What's the point of family traditions if you don't have anyone to pass them on to. *sigh* It keeps coming back to that, doesn't it?

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Wouldn't it be funny if...

Hey, guess what? I'm like, 4 days late! Ha. Ha.

Don't even go there. Hubby has 0 - count 'em, 0 - swimmers, so ain't no way. Besides, after the mandatory 8,347 cups of wine for Passover seders, and the little extra bottle(s) I treated myself to all week, if I were, y'know, Junior wouldn't have a functioning brain cell left. Seriously.

Nope, it's just my body rubbing my nose in it yet again. Remember that just-barely-below-10 FSH number? Yeah, it's just those "Getting Ready for Menopause Right Before You're Finally Able to Try Another Cycle" blues. Sing it for me, B.B...

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