Friday, February 6, 2009

"Octo Mom" - IVF laws

I really didn't care about the first news feeds that crossed my cursor regarding the California mom who recently gave birth to 8 babies. It's just another litter and another Discovery show; I clicked elsewhere. But the story is pervasive and made its way to the morning and evening news. Nestled between the debates about the stimulus bill tonight, both Fox and MSNBC injected this human interest story.

Both anchors injected their strong opposition. MSNBC's talking head basically made her out to be just a crazy loon - end of story: OctoMom now has 14 kids, no daddy, no job, etc and she insisted to transfer 6 embryos. Fox's talking head (I'm being gracious) took her anger out on the medical community. She opined that creating embryos in the lab was akin to murdering babies. "Where are the laws" she asked her doctor panelists? One top doc's response was that most clinics absolutely follow the rules set out by the ASRM (1-3 embryos transferred dependent on strict factors). As he was trying to explain how most ( a lot?) of embryos are not viable "like any seed", she cut him off and slammed him for not answering the question about how many embryos were being killed every year.

To her credit, her question inspired me back to the blog, "where are the laws"? Here is an opportunity to take some negative press and turn it around. Since science has been invited back to Washington, let's get this addressed.

Let's start with this law: infertility treatment should be treated as a disease> thus covered by insurance (or, gasp, universal health care) > thus less need to produce unnecessary embryos (low stim cycles) .

Less drugs, less embryos, less neo natal intensive care costs for multiple preemies= duh!

Enough developed nations already employ these laws with this science; the results are out.

Having just dealt with a local politician who wanted to kill the IVF mandate in my state, I can safely say (as did he) that he didn't understand the personal plight that leads one to IVF. No one gets it that isn't intimately involved with it. Let's get some normal IF patients onto these talking head panels.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

SO what now??

All in one week, the Chickadee is gone and the IVF mandate in Arkansas is saved. Whatever will I do with myself?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Politician goes public and admits the error of his ways -so to speak

This just in:

A statewide paper wrote a hard hitting article about The Politician and his bill. (They also didn't fact check with him before going to print - per his response).
No hot button was left unpressed. The writer made some pretty heady insinuations about T.P.'s positions.

T.P. responded to the article at another online venue. -TP is blogging now!- He did admit that he learned lessons from us in the infertility community. That "our positions have merit and that we are a powerful force." I'll leave the commentary to the other parts for you.

He still cites (and insists on) a study by CAHI that states that IVF raises health care costs for Americans. I could poke him for this. They are NOT an independent source. They are lobbyists for the insurance industry. Google them to see just how independent: - Calls "President Bush's Plan Vital to Curing Ills of America's Health Care" and calls President Elect Obama's health care plan "A Recipe for Doom". They are uniformly against mandates. Whether you agree with their positions or not, you must agree, they are not an independent source, TP.

But at this point I am not concerned about TP's impetus. He apologized (sortakinda) and he's not pursuing the bill.

Back in December, TP said, "I think it’s a mandate that is hard to defend". He has obviously changed his mind.

Way to Go TP. I may not agree with everything you say in your editorial errr blog, but the bill is off. Can we be friends again?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Chickadee didn't make it.

My fourth ultrasound today showed that the heart probably stopped beating last week. This is not a tremendous surprise considering my previous ultrasound results that were not very encouraging. "It was most certainly due to a chromosomal problem from the outset".

The most curious thing is that to this minute I still have morning sickness and can feel twinges in my uterus. I am told that this is the placenta growing like it is supposed to despite the demise of the fetus. Can I tell you that feeling pregnant when you're not - sucks?

Am I heartbroken? No. Am I sad? Very. Years / months of hopes dashed keep accumulating. We, that are struggling with infertility, keep on keeping on. Thank goodness for medical science in addition to faith to give us hope. Thank goodness that IVF is mandated in Arkansas and I have some frozen embryos to try again.

I have some silver linings:

> I have frozen embryos.
> I have my God to remind me about Nature's way.(Science and Nature: what a delicate balance)
> The company I work for recently deployed good private short term disability. I can now enroll in time to have paid benefits when maternity leave DOES happen for me. For me this is a tremendous benefit. Now, I can take time off work to bond with my newborn and still be able to pay the bills that warm my house and fill my fridge. In my 20 years in the workforce, this is the first company I have been employed by that offers health insurance- much less disability. Now I'm just like families in all other developed nations!

Do these sentiments make me a socialist Sarah Palin? Or is my situation (insurance, disability, and state mandate) a free market example? Just call me Hussein.

( I didn't intend to mix my technical logs with my political logs. Strange how that's been my evolution)

I'm going to step out and catch this grand sunset.

Bill to Repeal IVF mandate won't go forward?

I heard from a couple of reliable sources that The Politician has given his word that he is not pursuing the bill any more. ( He won't communicate with me anymore. Wonder why? I've been so generous to remove his letter and comment and name and bill?) ;-)

We're all waiting to hear or see this proof on Monday , but I believe The Politician is going to do the right thing.

The local rally has increased by hundreds strong. Dang that feels good.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

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Feel alone in your journey? Need help getting a word out? Looking for someone who's doing what your doing? Going on to the next phase in your journey to make a family? Need a hug? Want to share a recent success?

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I've had my best connections on her LOST and FOUND button.

Bill still shows on Legislative Calendar

I am not quite ready to pull the trigger reverting all the posts to their original state. I want to give him the benefit of the doubt that he WILL be withdrawing the Bill. Yet as of this morning I still see it on the State calendar. It is to be "introduced" Jan 9.

I want to keep my end of the bargain- as I recall it - for just a little while longer. I will not speak about him by name, yet.

Meanwhile, I am gathering contacts in the news and legislative field so to prepare myself for public opposition to this proposed policy change.

I have no problems being the face to this opposition.

Your support and comments here are all the muscle I need.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Politician says, "We don't have an agreement"

The Politician just wrote to me that "we don't have an agreement". He insists I permanently delete all my posts tagged "infertility politics". I do not want to do this. He insists that I agreed to, but I have proof otherwise.

In the spirit of grassroots movements and particularly infertility politics, I want the meat of this matter to remain on my blog. For posterity sake. The productive comments from this community are strong and it is my hope that these posts can help someone else down the line.

It does not matter to The Politician that I removed all references to his name, his bill, his title, our state, his links , his comment , his letter, etc. -all searchable terms were removed. I even deleted the unproductive comments that might have been embarrassing to him?

Furthermore I offered to temporarily remove my "infertility politics" posts for one month; until this died down.

He responded that we don't have an agreement anymore.

What do you think about this?

UPDATE: 7:25pm
I'll leave - for now - all the posts that I edited in his favor. Thanks for your quick input.

If I find that the bill is still on the legislative calendar, I'll revert all the posts to their original place: names, links and plenty of new stuff that will amaze you. I'll go back to gathering residents, sending out press releases, and refining my voice for when the time comes at the capital. He told me that we don't have an agreement anymore, so of course this would be my course. (I'm holding out hope that he'll drop the bill)

Question: Why do you think he insists that my blog return to the day before I read the announcement that he was presenting a bill that would repeal the IVF mandate? I find it bizarre that my conciliatory efforts to date are not enough and that all history must be erased - or else.....

To Clarify: T.P. believes that I am the one doing the reneging. He insists our agreement was that I would delete all posts tagged "Infertility Politics". My recollection is that I would delete all possible references to him and his bill in said posts.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Major Turn of Events: the bill is dead

The bill that was to repeal mandated coverage of IVF in my state has been killed. The Politician will "take measures to ensure that it is not considered by any legislative committee."

I had a very thoughtful conversation with The Politician. For many reasons, including "learning more about IVF and insurance rates" from us and other sources, he is dropping it.

Not only am I proud as a peacock for my state, but I think this is a profound gesture for the rest of the United States. There are credible studies that show when IVF is NOT mandated in states, multiple births are higher.

( The reason is twofold: insurance WILL often cover IUI and ovarian stimulation drugs. Doctors have less control over fertilization in this scenario than they do with IVF. Also Couples that have to pay out of pocket for IVF are often willing to risk transferring more embryos because of enormous loans they most often have to take). >> PLEASE correct me if I am not on the mark with this ....

Higher order multiple births lead to time in Neo Natal Intensive Care units. Medical Costs for NICU are far greater that they are for IVF.

I extend to you heartfelt thanks IF community and The Politician. I am exceedingly grateful.