How You Can Help, Part 2

In my last post, I told you about the folks at FertilityIQ who have built a website that serves as a resource for people seeking reviews on fertility doctors. In order to help build their bank of information they offered to send a donation to Mayyim Hayyim for each person who filled out their survey listing my name as their referral source. So many of you responded that they are sending more than $600 our way. Thank you! They’ve even offered to extend their generosity into the future so please feel free to fill it out if you haven’t yet had a chance.

Before I offer you another, very different way that you can help, another update on me.

First, the belly. In the past 48 hours three different strangers wished me congratulations and asked me if it was a boy or a girl. I’ve actually only gained a couple of pounds since becoming pregnant (probably due to all the hormone-related pounds I put on before the transfer so we’re really talking about a technicality here, but still.) In any event, I didn’t really think I was all that big. When the first comment came, I was preemptively offended on behalf of my postpartum self. After all, I don’t look so different now than I know I will months after I deliver. Then again, as they say… once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, three times is the real deal, so… yeah. I think I’m out there.

Next, what’s happening inside the belly. We did move the big ultrasound a few weeks earlier to see whether the potential genetic micro deletion (completely unrelated to the antibody issue) seemed to be rearing its ugly head. I’m actually in a surrogate group on Facebook for other carriers who also transferred this winter, and another woman’s intended parents just decided to terminate their pregnancy due to this very issue. Scary stuff. We did the ultrasound and so far, thankfully, things look good. The heart is in the right place, there are four chambers, and everything seems to be functioning normally. This isn’t necessarily a guarantee that the micro deletion is not present, but it sure is a good sign, and I’ll take all the good news I can get. We’ll do another big ultrasound in the coming weeks so they can take a good look at all the other parts that weren’t big enough to see the first time around.

And then, there’s the next set of blood results. Also looking good! The c antibody hasn’t risen – still too weak to titre, and the E antibody is somehow even lower than it was previously. It couldn’t even be detected. Same concept as above: that’s not to say that it’s not actually there – but good news is good news and I’m counting my blessings for now. We’ll continue to recheck the antibodies monthly to see if anything’s rising.

So on to business:

At Mayyim Hayyim, we’re working on creating Facing Fertility: A Jewish Healing Guide. Our talented author, Dalia Davis, is hard at work drafting the text. The guide will be published in 2018 and will serve as a spiritual companion to those who are struggling to build a family, to complement the wealth of medical information that’s out there.

I’m looking to you at this stage because we’d like to add a few more first-person narratives to the existing text. Specifically:

  • Have you turned to a clergy person for support in the midst of your journey?
  • Has the stress of trying to build a family created tension in your marriage?
  • Have you experienced depression as part of your fertility journey?

If you can speak to any of these topics (if selected, we’re happy to include your story anonymously if you prefer) please feel free to send your narrative my way, at carrieb@mayyimhayyim.org. Submissions should be anywhere between 250 – 850 words. Though we won’t be able to include them all, I will say from my own experience writing this blog that it can be incredibly powerful just to engage in the exercise of writing, and to share it with another. So thank you for joining in this endeavor.

Finally, I’m honored to share that Mayyim Hayyim is honoring me at our upcoming benefit event, Soul/Life/Cycle, this Monday, May 15, in Boston. I’ll be speaking a bit about my surrogacy, celebrating with our other honorees Elisha and Sam Gechter, and thoroughly enjoying our musical guest, Neshama Carlebach, with the other 400 people in attendance. I’m really looking forward to seeing many of you there – and it’s not too late to get your ticket if you haven’t already done so!

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