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Latest Post on BlogHer: Parenting after Infertility.

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Monday, September 25, 2006

Oh, Beautiful Blogroll and a Peer Counseling Idea

I'm an organizer. It's what I like to do. I like to clean. I like to take all the post-it notes that collect around the computer and write the notes onto one neat list. I like to have different colour-coded folders where we place all necessary documents (okay, so this last one is a fantasy. All important documents get piled ON TOP of the stack of neatly labeled folders with the plan being that I will one day file them away in their correct place).

Hence why I am reorganizing the blogroll once again. I am breaking up some of the larger lists into smaller subsections. So pregnancy and parenting after IF will split into multiple groups: after adoption, after third-party reproduction, after treatments (even when the pregnancy happens spontaneously without treatments). In categories that are small in size, I may leave a blog even if it moves on to be about parenting just because people can search the archives for past posts. This will take me a few days to complete. And just when you get comfortable, I'll mix it all up again.

Which brings me to my next idea. You know how most high schools had those peer counselors? The cool kids that the psych teacher decided could give you advice even though they're just as messed up as you (can you tell that I wasn't chosen to be a peer counselor. And, yes, Mr. Stewart, I still am a bit bitter)? Many times people write me with their specific situation and I point them along to a certain blog or two where a person has a similar issue (and perhaps great information to pass along). But what if we created a sort of peer-infertility-counselor list? Our twin club has this--a list of topics with email addresses beneath if the person is willing to speak about her experience with a certain topic (so I am listed under Apnea, NICU, Bradycardia/Tachycardia in our twin club since those are topics I can speak about to another nervous parent who is going through the experience).

Think about your own IF experience--especially anything unusual in your diagnosis or general treatment path. If you're willing to have other people email you and ask you questions (or point them towards your blog if it has a lot of info on a certain subject), let me know and I'll start creating this list. It can be anything from being a BBT expert to Ashermans to chromosomal translocation (oh--and that last one on translocation, if you've done IVF with PGD for this, let me know because someone wrote me today who wants to speak to someone about this). You don't need to have a medical degree to offer peer counsel. Just a willing ear to lend and a bit of information to pass along.

So, just to get you started thinking about what you would be willing to speak about, here are some general topics. Add, add, add to this list. And if you're looking for someone to speak to about a specific topic, post a comment here as well.

Adoption (any step in the process, deciding between domestic and international, reversal, parenting after adoption, TRA, etc.)

Third Party Reproduction (DE, DI, Surrogacy, parenting after third party reproduction, left over vials of sperm, no vials of sperm, etc)

Pregnancy Loss (D & C, general emotions, tissue testing, Ashermans, etc)

Diagnosis (every single male and female diagnosis out there from PCOS to low motility to LPD)

General (how you chose to live child free, how you took a break from treatments, being a self-advocate, choosing an RE, creative problem solving when you live far from an RE)

This list could go on and on. You can either write me directly ( or post a comment here. Let me know which topics you'd like to speak about, the name of your blog (if you have one), and your email address. I think how the list will be created is that there will just be a name under the heading and by clicking on the hyperlinked name, it will take you to the email address (and feel free to create a new gmail or yahoo account for this, but do check it in case people write) rather than having email addresses listed in plain sight for spammers to poach. Let me know if there is a better way to do this.


Bea said...

Hmm... well I'd never heard of the peer counselling thing (it makes me shudder - I remember how good my peers were at that sort of thing when I was in high school) but now we're all growed up and I have heard of it, it sounds kind of cool.

I could do...

- And give me a few months to get up to speed on Doing AC And Relocating Internationally (just getting started on that one). Although if anyone else would like to be counsellor no.1 for this topic, I'd be greatful for your email address.

Also really looking forward to a few people who can do Taking A Break From AC.


KE said...

I'd be willing to help people with male infertility! When we found out that's what we're dealing with, it really helped me to talk with others about it. I'd love to return the favor.

Lisa said...'s addition to PGD, I could also talk to people about hypothalamic ammenorhea and changing clinics after 5 failed IVFs (specifically going to Cornell). Feel free to give them my regular e-mail address (and if anyone reading this comment wants to talk about these subjects, e-mail the blogger directly and she can give you my contact info!)

serenity said...

Sounds cool- makes me feel like I can help... I'm in.

I can talk about:

-Male Factor
-IVF w/ICSI and FET ad nauseum
-Coping tools (i.e. yoga, meditation, acupuncture)

You've got my email addy, so feel free to pass it along. :)

Katie said...

I was a "teen counselor"--my dazed and confused high school colleagues and I visited junior high schools to dish the dirt on what high school was REALLY like. And to talk about everything kids didn't want to mention in front of their teachers.

I offer my dry shoulder and empty ear to talk about CHOOSING TO LIVE WITHOUT CHILDREN.

Anonymous said...

This is a fantastic idea! I could help in the following areas:

Pregnancy Loss (D&C/D&E, emotions, tissue testing, recurrent loss testing, rememberance, dealing with loss with child(ren) at home, affects on marriage, chosing counseling, etc.)

Diagnosis (ovulatory problems, ovulation induction, IUI, IF testing)

General (break from TTC, being a self-advocate, creative problem solving when you live far from an RE/doc, work-related issues and support)

My e-mail address is on my blog.

TeamWinks said...

Ahhh, I get to bring with me, uterine anomolies. Those who have a birth defect that change the shape of our reproductive organs. I'd be happy to help in any way I can.

Ella said...

I just finished watching Freaks and Geeks for the 80th time and I was thinking how cool the guidance counselor on that show was and how he streered those kids in the right direction without being condescending or judgemental(why oh why did they cancel that show). I'm so into the peer counseling idea. Sign me up for Pregnancy Loss, D&C, Ashermans, HSG's and all that other fun stuff. Also, I might be able to help tackle pregnancy loss and infertilty from a (non-religious) Jewish perspective (how to mourn meaningfully, process, accept treatment, etc.) You have my e-mail and blog info, right?
Also, the person who posted about Cornell after 5 failed IVFs (Lisa?), how do I get in touch with her? I am considering going to Cornell now.

C said...

I'd like to volunteer if anyone wants help battling against the "unexplained" diagnosis, or who is infertile because of PID.

Carrie said...

You can add me if anybody is looking into using Donor eggs -- or has a diagnosis of "poor ovarian reserve" (that's me)
currently PG w/donor eggs


Piccinigirl said...

what a great idea!!!!!
I don't know if I am schooled on anything yet, it is so early in my "treatment" not my journey. But I'd be happy to help if I can.