Tag Archive | baby

Fertility Journey Survey: Findings

Many women would have liked the support of a fertility coach from the beginning of the fertility journey and believe it would have reduced much confusion, fear, frustration, overwhelm, and the slide toward depression.

In February 2012, I began surveying women about their experience with the pursuit of parenthood and the fertility challenges that came up for them. By the end of March, I closed the survey so that I could take some time to organize and reflect on what participants had shared with me.

Depending on the ability to coordinate schedules and each woman’s desired level of participation, some surveys were conducted on the phone, in person, or via an electronic form. Much of the survey content is derived from the story-telling of each journey, but there were some yes/no and categorized-answer questions as well.

While each journey is significantly unique, there are some very clear common threads, the most obvious one being the focused, driving desire to become a parent. This focus is usually directed toward becoming pregnant, but sometimes intended parents find themselves making choices from a menu they had never considered part of their palette.

Here are some of the highlights:

93% of survey respondents have had, are having, or plan to have fertility treatments of one kind or another. Treatments are defined as actions on the physical body to enhance chances of conception and delivery. These actions may include acupuncture, herbs, dietary changes, application of oral or injectable medications or hormones, medical investigative procedures, and surgeries.

67% of participants who are no longer trying to conceive and deliver their first child said they would have liked the support of a fertility coach during their fertility journey. Many sought out support from online forums and friends who had also experienced challenges. Many expressed an interest in a managed and directed support group for women specifically going through same treatment protocols provided by fertility clinics. Many also believed that having the support of a fertility coach from the beginning of the journey would have reduced much confusion, fear, frustration, overwhelm, and the slide toward depression.

On average, women tried for 3 or more years before actually conceiving and carrying to term or giving up on the idea of carrying their own baby. This includes women experiencing secondary infertility as well as those trying to have their first baby.

It surprised me that only 17% of the women I surveyed were considering adoption or had found adoption to be the right answer for them. Those who have adopted are consistently and markedly passionate about their choice, and they generally feel moved to encourage others to include this option on their list of possibilities.

In general, the use of donor eggs and the option of surrogacy were not included in the vision of possibilities even when I asked the question directly. The idea of donor eggs evoked sadness at the thought that they would not be part of the makeup of their child. Some women were turned off by the cost of these two options, which is interesting in light of the fact that almost 20% would consider adoption even with it’s high cost. However, it is informative to remember that foster-to-adopt programs greatly reduce the cost.

94% of the women I surveyed responded that they experienced a couple or all of the following feelings: failure; disappointment; betrayal.

67% of the participants believe they would make different choices if they were to rewind and start over. The most popular changes mentioned include:

~ Moving forward with life goals and activities instead of putting life on hold while trying to conceive
~ Letting the desire to be a parent affect them sooner rather than waiting for the “right” time
~ Discontinuing relationships that got in the way of pursuing the desire to become parents
~ Getting clear on the desire to be parents and seeking help sooner
~ Pursuing satisfying information and answers, no longer tolerating unanswered questions and confusion

Although there are plenty of other larger, more clinical and academic surveys done in this area, I wanted to do my own query into the things that struck me personally as important considerations. The questions I created were initially sparked from reflecting on my own fertility challenges and the desire to have a fuller understanding of the vast range of experiences encountered on this path. I have learned so much by connecting with the survey participants and their stories, and I know that the quality of the service I can provide has improved as a result of this expanded perspective.  Thank you to everyone who contributed and participated.

If you are interested in sharing your fertility journey story with me — whether you’re just beginning, are in the middle of it, or have moved on — I would love to hear from you. Please contact me in any of the ways mentioned on my Contact Page. If you have comments or thoughts about the results I’ve presented here, please share in the comments thread below the post.

Have you been the partner, friend, or relative of someone facing fertility challenges? I’d love to hear your observations of their journey too. Please contact me using any of the ways presented on my Contact Page.

I look forward to hearing from you and thanks for reading.

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Coach Louise and Coach Julie

Dear blog reader,

Coach Louise began this blog with the intention that it be a place to share stories, ask questions, get support in a safe place of understanding and compassion, as well as a source for information on the topic of infertility, miscarriage, treatments etc. I am so excited to be taking over the administration of the blog and continuing on the mission of supporting you on your unique fertility journey. If you’d like to know more about me and what I offer, please click About Julie or visit Whole Vision Coaching. I’m so glad you’re here. Most importantly, I really want you to understand that you are not alone and this part of your adventure does not define who you are.

Having experienced the frustrations of unexplained infertility personally, I recognize that the experience can be isolating when the people around you don’t necessarily understand what you are going through. It is also often the first crisis couples come up against where there is really no control over the outcome. I want to connect with you and give you as much support as possible to lead a life full of joy and balance no matter the outcome of your pursuit of parenthood. I can also help to guide you and propose different alternatives that you might not have considered yet from a purely objective point of view.

Ultimately, I can offer you a space like a comfy sofa that you can fall into to feel comforted and reassured and so much more while on this unexpectedly challenging journey.

With love,
Coach Julie

Endometriosis: An Infertility Factor? and an update.

Hi Everyone,

Spring is round the corner!..

Spring is round the corner!..

Conceive wrote an interesting article today, which I found interesting because its been something I have been wondering about for myself.  I have had severe period pain ever since I started in my early teens, and now I am 40 and I am still having great discomfort at that time of the month!  I am questioning in my own mind now, why my RE hasn’t recommended that I have a laparoscopy to check out what’s been going on inside.

Conceive wrote:

Endometriosis—which occurs when tissue that’s supposed to be lining the uterus winds up outside it—can be mild or severe, with symptoms or without. Some women with the disease will have no trouble getting pregnant. But others will need proper treatment to conceive.

To read Conceive’s article click on this link:

http://www.conceiveonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=142&Itemid=126

An update with where we are right now…

Well, nowhere to be exact!  We are in discussions (DH & I) as to whether to do a final IVF treatment or not.  He is steering towards the No and I am steering towards the Yes.  He will do it, but I want him fully invested in the process.  Why should should us women be the only ones to do any preparation… it takes an Egg AND…a sperm!!

Can you tell I have some emotion around this! Well yes, I am working on it, and know for sure that it has to be something we both want to do – together!

Warmly,

Coach Louise

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‘The Fertile Foundation Powercircle’ is born!

Hi to all of you out there!

I am revising this post, after a lot of thought,  having decided how very important it is for women facing infertility challenges to have their own specific group. A group dedicated to the action they are taking and the results they want specifically from a fertility perspective! A safe haven for support, resources, and friendship.So I introduce to you , The Fertile Foundation Powercircle.  The reason why I use the word ‘foundation’ , is because  we, the group, will ensure that all the groundwork is covered, to create a solid ‘foundation’ or process, to create successful results!  We will also be there to catch you if you fall, and if the results you get aren’t what you expected.  We will be there throughout!

What is a powercircle?  It is a small group of ndividuals that meet by phone or in person with the group to create action around their intentions/goals, and to support one another in doing that.

In this particular Powercircle, we will meet once a week by phone as a group. We will check on how you are doing with the goals and intentions you had set at the beginning. Each journey is different and will be honored accordingly.  We will clarify what that is for each of you are at the beginning in some detail.  This can be particularly helpful for those out there who are preparing for a cycle – to keep you on track, or those who are going through treatments, to keep you feeling supported and focused, and to keep you sane!   It really helps to have people supporting and rooting for you. There is also the ‘accountability factor’, knowing that each week we will be checking in with you to see how you are getting on, and holding your feet to the fire if that is what you want!  For example, one of your goals might be to give up coffee which might be a struggle. The group will hold you accountable and support you when you get stuck.  I will also coach anyone who is having difficulty or finding they are blocked in some way to getting where they want to go!  It will be fun, and the results will be tremendous!  This is a great way to experience coaching without the expense!- and an opportunity to meet with people who will support you unconditionally without leaving your house.

What are the benefits?   Working with an intimate group of people, who care about your success. Eliminating isolation.  Sharing ideas and possibilities. Staying on track.  Living day to day with purpose.  Support for those moments where things aren’t going so well.  Celebrating your successes, no matter how small!  The list goes on….

This group will start on Monday evenings from the first week in November 2008 at 6pm weekly.  It will be 1 hour in duration. The group will be no larger than 8.   Once the group is full, due to my commitment to confidentiality and creating a safe space, new members will not be admitted after the 1st 2 weeks, unless expressly requested or agreed upon, by the group.  I am happy to start a new group for new members if needed.  This will be an opportunity to get support and create strategies around managing through the holiday / festive season!

If you are interested, please email me at louise@keystoclarity.com, and we can discuss more details!  I offer a money back guarantee for the 1st month!  You have everything to gain, and nothing to lose!

I encourage you to take this opportunity to love yourself first, so you really can create the life and family that you want!   Don’t forget there are only 8 spaces, so act quickly.  Welcome to the Fertile Foundation Powercircle!

And don’t forget time-zones and geography don’t make any difference anymore.  Call in on Skype!

For anyone who has comments or feedback about this – please post!

Warmly,

Coach Louise

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PS  For anyone interested in the Super-Solopreneur 100 Day Challenge, for small business owners, particularly coaches and holistic practioners, please look on my other blog http://keystoclaritycoach.wordpress.com   for details.

Vacation!

Hi All,

I am at the start of my vacation – staying in UK with family, and then going onto Spain to meet more family and friends, and meet my goddaughter (20mths) for the first time.  She is so cute, I can’t wait.  About to get a real dose of living with a grumpy toddler for a bit. Might make me think twice about desperately wanting my own baby!  One can only hope!  Well, I am sure in saying that I will absolutely adore the experience, and be even more determined!

In the meanwhile, unfortunately my hubbie Clive isn’t able to join me on this trip as he is with his Dad who is having heart bypass surgery today.  I was very disappointed initially but what can you do!  |Its understandable that he wants to be there for his dad!  Sending positive vibrations to Charles!

I will be back in the blogging driving seat on the Labor Day weekend!  And I intend to embrace my time away, so I have fun, and get to enjoy the company of my dear friends and family that I only get to see every couple of years.  I was struggling with the frustration of not being able to get on with things because of all the trips (not all for fun) we’ve been taking this summer.  I have decided its not worth getting caught up in that emotion, because it certainly isn’t going to serve me (or anyone else for that matter.)   I intend to sun myself and enjoy!

SO HERE I COME -SPAIN!    OLE!

lol

Coaching Louise Crooks

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Sugar vs Hormones – effect on Fertility!?

A acupuncturist friend and colleague who focuses on fertility and nutrition, Meg Richichi, mentioned the link between hormones and sugar levels.  I thought this was an interesting topic especially as I noticed a dramatic effect in myself when my sugar gets low……

Here are a couple of excerpts from some articles on this subject.  I hope you find it as interesting as I have.

 

By Erin Dummert RD, CD from the Diet Channel

 Good sugars and bad sugars

Why does sugar take the rap when hormones are really the problem? Sugar does cause the body to release growth-promoting hormones, but that is not the whole story. Sugar is very important to life. However, just as there are good fats and bad fats, there are good sugars and bad sugars.

Bad sugars, often referred to as simple sugars, are those in foods that do not offer any other nutritional benefit. Examples of simple sugars include foods like soda, sweets, sugar cereals, juice drinks, and refined grains.

Good sugars, or complex carbohydrates, are present in foods that provide nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber. Examples of complex carbohydrates include foods like fruit, vegetables, beans, and whole grains.

Nancy Appleton writes…     (here is the link directly to her page.. http://www.rheumatic.org/sugar.htm)

She provides a list of the things that complex sugars do……

Sugar can suppress the immune system.

  1. Sugar upsets the mineral relationships in the body.
  2. Sugar can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children.
  3. Sugar can produce a significant rise in triglycerides.
  4. Sugar contributes to the reduction in defense against bacterial infection (infectious diseases).
  5. Sugar causes a loss of tissue elasticity and function, the more sugar you eat the more elasticity and function you loose.
  6. Sugar reduces high density lipoproteins.
  7. Sugar leads to chromium deficiency.
  8. Sugar leads to cancer of the ovaries.
  9. Sugar can increase fasting levels of glucose.
  10. Sugar causes copper deficiency.
  11. Sugar interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.
  12. Sugar can weaken eyesight.
  13. Sugar raises the level of a neurotransmitters: dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.
  14. Sugar can cause hypoglycemia.                                
  15. Sugar can produce an acidic digestive tract.
  16. Sugar can cause a rapid rise of adrenaline levels in children.
  17. Sugar malabsorption is frequent in patients with functional bowel disease.
  18. Sugar can cause premature aging.
  19. Sugar can lead to alcoholism.
  20. Sugar can cause tooth decay.
  21. Sugar contributes to obesity
  22. High intake of sugar increases the risk of Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.
  23. Sugar can cause changes frequently found in person with gastric or duodenal ulcers.
  24. Sugar can cause arthritis.
  25. Sugar can cause asthma.
  26. Sugar greatly assists the uncontrolled growth of Candida Albicans (yeast infections).
  27. Sugar can cause gallstones.
  28. Sugar can cause heart disease.
  29. Sugar can cause appendicitis.
  30. Sugar can cause multiple sclerosis.
  31. Sugar can cause hemorrhoids.
  32. Sugar can cause varicose veins.
  33. Sugar can elevate glucose and insulin responses in oral contraceptive users.
  34. Sugar can lead to periodontal disease.
  35. Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.
  36. Sugar contributes to saliva acidity.
  37. Sugar can cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity.
  38. Sugar can lower the amount of Vitamin E (alpha-Tocopherol  in the blood.
  39. Sugar can decrease growth hormone.
  40. Sugar can increase cholesterol.
  41. Sugar can increase the systolic blood pressure.
  42. Sugar can cause drowsiness and decreased activity in children.
  43. High sugar intake increases advanced glycation end products (AGEs)(Sugar bound non-enzymatically to protein)
  44. Sugar can interfere with the absorption of protein.
  45. Sugar causes food allergies.
  46. Sugar can contribute to diabetes.
  47. Sugar can cause toxemia during pregnancy.
  48. Sugar can contribute to eczema in children.
  49. Sugar can cause cardiovascular disease.
  50. Sugar can impair the structure of DNA
  51. Sugar can change the structure of protein.
  52. Sugar can make our skin age by changing the structure of collagen.
  53. Sugar can cause cataracts.
  54. Sugar can cause emphysema.
  55. Sugar can cause atherosclerosis.
  56. Sugar can promote an elevation of low density lipoproteins (LDL).
  57. High sugar intake can impair the physiological homeostasis of many systems in the body.
  58. Sugar lowers the enzymes ability to function.
  59. Sugar intake is higher in people with Parkinson’s disease.
  60. Sugar can cause a permanent altering the way the proteins act in the body.
  61. Sugar can increase the size of the liver by making the liver cells divide.
  62. Sugar can increase the amount of liver fat.
  63. Sugar can increase kidney size and produce pathological changes in the kidney.
  64. Sugar can damage the pancreas.
  65. Sugar can increase the body’s fluid retention.
  66. Sugar is enemy #1 of the bowel movement.
  67. Sugar can cause myopia (nearsightedness).
  68. Sugar can compromise the lining of the capillaries.
  69. Sugar can make the tendons more brittle.
  70. Sugar can cause headaches, including migraine.
  71. Sugar plays a role in pancreatic cancer in women.
  72. Sugar can adversely affect school children’s grades and cause learning disorders..
  73. Sugar can cause an increase in delta, alpha, and theta brain waves.
  74. Sugar can cause depression.
  75. Sugar increases the risk of gastric cancer.
  76. Sugar and cause dyspepsia (indigestion).
  77. Sugar can increase your risk of getting gout.
  78. Sugar can increase the levels of glucose in an oral glucose tolerance test over the ingestion of complex carbohydrates.
  79. Sugar can increase the insulin responses in humans consuming high-sugar diets compared to    low sugar diets. 
  80. High refined sugar diet reduces learning capacity.
  81. Sugar can cause less effective functioning of two blood  proteins, albumin, and lipoproteins, which may reduce the body’s ability to handle fat and cholesterol.
  82. Sugar can contribute to Alzheimer’s disease.
  83. Sugar can cause platelet adhesiveness.
  84. Sugar can cause hormonal imbalance; some hormones become underactive and others become overactive.
  85. Sugar can lead to the formation of kidney stones.
  86. Sugar can lead to the hypothalamus to become highly sensitive to a large variety of stimuli.
  87. Sugar can lead to dizziness.
  88. Diets high in sugar can cause free radicals and oxidative stress.
  89. High sucrose diets of subjects with peripheral vascular disease significantly increases platelet adhesion.
  90. High sugar diet can lead to biliary tract cancer.
  91. Sugar feeds cancer.
  92. High sugar consumption of pregnant adolescents is associated with a twofold increased risk for delivering a small-for-gestational-age (SGA) infant.
  93. High sugar consumption can lead to substantial decrease in gestation duration among adolescents.
  94. Sugar slows food’s travel time through the gastrointestinal tract.
  95. Sugar increases the concentration of bile acids in stools and bacterial enzymes in the colon. This can modify bile to produce cancer-causing compounds and colon cancer.
  96. Sugar increases estradiol (the most potent form of naturally occurring estrogen) in men.
  97. Sugar combines and destroys phosphatase, an enzyme, which makes the process of digestion more difficult.
  98. Sugar can be a risk factor of gallbladder cancer.
  99. Sugar is an addictive substance.
  100. Sugar can be intoxicating, similar to alcohol.
  101. Sugar can exacerbate PMS.
  102. Sugar given to premature babies can affect the amount of carbon dioxide they produce.
  103. Decrease in sugar intake can increase emotional stability.             
  104. The body changes sugar into 2 to 5 times more fat in the bloodstream than it does starch.
  105. The rapid absorption of sugar promotes excessive food intake in obese subjects.
  106. Sugar can worsen the symptoms of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  107. Sugar adversely affects urinary electrolyte composition.
  108. Sugar can slow down the ability of the adrenal glands to function.
  109. Sugar has the potential of inducing abnormal metabolic processes in a normal healthy individual and to promote chronic degenerative diseases.
  110. I.Vs (intravenous feedings) of sugar water can cut off oxygen to the brain.
  111. High sucrose intake could be an important risk factor in lung cancer.
  112. Sugar increases the risk of polio.
  113. High sugar intake can cause epileptic seizures.
  114. Sugar causes high blood pressure in obese people.
  115. In Intensive Care Units, limiting sugar saves lives.
  116. Sugar may induce cell death.
  117. Sugar can increase the amount of food that you eat.
  118. In juvenile rehabilitation camps, when children were put on a low sugar diet, there was a 44% drop in antisocial behavior.
  119. Sugar can lead to prostrate cancer.
  120. Sugar dehydrates newborns.
  121. Sugar increases the estradiol in young men.
  122. Sugar can cause low birth weight babies.
  123. Greater consumption of refined sugar is associated with a worse outcome of schizophrenia
  124. Sugar can raise homocysteine levels in the blood stream. 
  125. Sweet food items increase the risk of breast cancer. 
  126. Sugar is a risk factor in cancer of the small intestine. 
  127. Sugar may cause laryngeal cancer.
  128. Sugar induces salt and water retention.
  129. Sugar may contribute to mild memory loss.
  130. As sugar increases in the diet of 10 years olds, there is a linear decrease in the intake of many essential nutrients.
  131. Sugar can increase the total amount of food consumed.
  132. Exposing a newborn to sugar results in a heightened preference for sucrose relative to water at 6 months and 2 years of age.
  133. Sugar causes constipation.
  134. Sugar causes varicous veins.
  135. Sugar can cause brain decay in prediabetic and diabetic women.
  136. Sugar can increase the risk of stomach cancer.
  137. Sugar can cause metabolic syndrome.
  138. Sugar ingestion by pregnant women increases neural tube defects in embryos.
  139. Sugar can be a factor in asthma.
  140. The higher the sugar consumption the more chances of getting irritable bowel syndrome.
  141. Sugar could affect central reward systems.
  142. Sugar can cause cancer of the rectum.
  143. Sugar can cause endometrial  cancer.
  144. Sugar can cause renal (kidney) cell carcinoma.
  145. Sugar can cause liver tumors. 

Certainly food for thought!…….  I know I will be taking a good look at my sugar intake, and making sure that most of sugar sources I have are natural ones!

curiously yours,

Coach Louise Crooks

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The Rollercoaster Ride! and the Courage…

persevere...

persevere…

I have been reading some of the blogs on WordPress, of women who are going through some experience of infertility – IVF treatments, IUI, super-ovulation, donor egg, and surrogacy and adoption.  Wow!  You all blow my mind.  You have such courage for some of the things you are doing and taking on.  One woman is carrying a baby for a couple, such a selfless act!  She has her own emotions and rollercoaster to ride.   Another couple are expecting twins through a surrogate.   One woman was asked if she was going to give both her babies to the same parents…!     What struck me is that we are such a unique band of women – really isolated from the world of parents who have had children through traditional means, and just have no clue of what it means to go through this journey.   Some of the comments I have read of what people say – even well-meaning people, really just emphasises how much they really don’t get what this experience is like.   I really encourage you if you are one of this courageous group, to make sure you have a buddy who know what you are enduring, who knows what to say and when.   Make sure its someone you trust, someone who can support you through this minefield, but most of all – don’t do it alone.  I have met some women who isolate themselves through this experience, and I see how lonely and shut off they are.  Join a support group.  Don’t let it get to the stage of emergency, when you really need help and emotional support, prepare for this at the beginning of the journey.  RESOLVE.org has lots of support groups around the countryside, or get a coach if you want anonymous support, but don’t do it alone.    My heart goes out to all of you on this journey – myself included.    Keep up the good work, and keep the stories coming.   The gift out of this painful experience for me, has created the passion I feel for women like you, and how I now can add value through the work I have chosen to do.    You amaze and inspire me.

Warm wishes,Coach Louise Crooks

PS  If any of you would like to share your story on my Radio Show, to reach out to  other women in similar situations to yours, please get in touch, through the Contact page in the right hand column.

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