Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Viagra to the rescue of infertiles?

Yes, gals, you read that right. Something you thought was only for men in their 60s or Bob Dole is now being credited with helping a British woman get pregnant. A new fertility protocol tried by a reproductive clinic in England includes giving Viagra to women going through IVF - and guess what? It has actually worked.

Erectile dysfunction can be a fertility inhibitor in and of itself, but this time, the treatment for the condition is being giving to women. The basis for the drugs is to open blood vessels and increase the blood flow to the penis. So, the same premise is apparently what's happening for women. An increase flow of blood to the uterus increases the lining of the uterus enabling embryos to dig in and stay put.

The women mentioned in the article from the Huddersfield Daily Examiner gave birth to a baby girl in December.

The article stresses that the drug was used in conjunction with other fertility drugs and not to buy so-called Viagra or other ED drugs off the internet and try this at home on your one. Besides, as a public service announcement, you should NEVER buy any drugs off the internet - they're usually not real and can actually be quite harmful.

In any case, it's good to hear about another potential option for infertile women. Who knew we'd say viva Viagra so soon?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Get a load of this!

I wish I could say that I wasn't shocked at all the things I have experienced after living in China for the past six months, but I usually am. I am still mortified at the constant nose picking, hawking of spit and other fluids on the sidewalk and out car windows and expending of bodily gases without abandon.

I am also still befuddled about some of the traditions and customs of this unique and interesting land, but I typically chalk them up to learning something new about the place where I'm living and try to appreciate their perspective.

However, last night, a friend told me something that really stunned and disturbed me: If you are infertile in China, no matter if it's due to a female or male issue, the husband is almost expected to divorce you. That's right - expected! It is an incredible embarrassment to the family (meaning the parents of the couple and beyond) and is considered to be a "bad fate" for the women who can't bear a child. So, it's always the woman's "fault." I realize that there are many things about this country that are still several decades behind, but this bit of info really burned me at my core.

In fact, I was told that if you can't have a baby (and there is still the one child per family rule in most of China, so it makes this all the more interesting), people will talk about you and you will likely be shunned from your family. That is, unless you are "lucky" enough to find a widowed or divorced man who already has children that you can be a mother to.

I will put a caveat on this info, my friend comes from a fairly small town in Southern China, so perhaps this isn't the case everywhere, but she knew of it happening in Shanghai, too.

I realize that infertility can be an incredibly big stress on a relationship, and have heard of stories of people breaking up over it, but I would guess that those are exceptional cases and not the rule. And, I have never heard of a woman actually being ostracized from society for her lack of producing offspring or being a mom in the Western world.

As I was listening to my Chinese friend enlighten me, I started wondering if there is a way I could help these women. I am going to seriously think about that. There has to be a way to show them that they are valuable and not useless. Can you imagine the depression rates for these poor gals? Really ticks me off!

You may consider me an old maid, China, but my husband is more than happy to have me, and I bet most Chinese men would kill to have a wife like me (except for my lack of cooking skills). OK, so maybe I'm not the catch I thought I was...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Back in the saddle

I've been incommunicato for the last few weeks for good reason -- a whirlwind trip back to the U.S. and then my dad was here for a week visiting us in China. Good times had by all.

For some reason, I struggled to think of anything to write about for the past few days. Not sure if my brain is still jetlagged (see old post on how jetlag can mimic pregnancy symptoms) or what.

To be honest, at the moment, I am a little numb about the whole pregnancy thing and am having a hard time finding the humor in my infertility (which is what I strive to do). I'm sure it's just a temporary phase, but it certainly doesn't leave me with any super funny incidents or light-hearted ways to pontificate this ill joke of being unable to conceive. Several friends have had babies over the course of the last few weeks, and although I truly am happy for them, it is just another reminder that I can't have a biobaby. Plus, our adoption is still no closer to being completed and that's put a fairly major damper on my usual cheery (although occasionally sarcastic) self.

OK, now that I am a complete Debbie Downer...wah-wah (cue funny sound effect).

I promise to be back to my ol' self in a matter of days and will once again bring smiles and "you didn't really think that" moments back to my writing.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Extolling the 'benefits' of Erase Paste

I don't use my blog as a way to shill products, but I have just happened up on something this week that I think all infertilies and crazed waiting adoptive moms should not live without.

Unfortunately, most mornings I wake up and look like I have two black eyes. The dark circles are impossible to ignore, even with the use of heavy duty concealer. I wish I could blame it on the fact that I was a boxer (and one that doesn't guard her face very well), but that's just not true. Most of the time, it's a result of crying or a lack of sleep from worrying about our adoption.

Since our journey of trying to have bio or nonbio children is reaching its sixth year, I am no novice to trying to disguise my lavender-hued undereyes. I have tried concealer after concealer - ones that come in lipstick-like tubes, creams, wands, pots, one that even had a spatula-type tool for maximizing the coverage. My make-up drawer looks like the graveyard for all inferior cover-up products (I have a hard time throwing away anything only used a few times).

So, last week I decided enough was enough. I was tired of hearing people tell me I look tired. Clearly, my current concealer wasn't doing the trick, even though it was given a very positive review by a magazine and it took several weeks to order because they sold out of it at the salon. I had high hopes for that one, but it turns out it was for amateurs. I was ready for the big leagues. So, I went to the mega make-up mecca of Sephora and begged for someone to take pity on my two-toned face. In fact, I told her I'd pay some major bucks (just shy of some cosmetic surgery) in order to get rid of my disfigurement.

Luckily, I found a wonderful sales woman who was more than willing to give me a couple options to try. The first two barely dulled the purple half moons, but she was undeterred by the challenge of my ultra-dark rings. Then a ray of light shone on one of the cases: Erase Paste by Benefit. Even its name sounded promising (besides I love alliteration and rhyming). I was actually looking for something called Under Eye Spackle, but it doesn't exist.

Anyway, she delicately patted some Erase under one eye and it was as if I had been Rip Van Winkle and had gotten 100 years of sleep. It dulled my horrific circles and even brightened the area under my eye. I was sold. I almost skipped to the cashier to buy my new-found miracle material. I thought about doing a before and after photo, but I don't want to frighten any children who may happen upon my blog with the before shot.

Even better, I learned that the twin sisters that started Benefit are from Indiana - major props for me. Hoosier girls unite!

Combine my beloved Erase Paste with another Benefit product, Eye Brightener, and it makes a huge difference. It's a lovely little fat light pink pencil that you can use in the corners of your eyes to make you look like you're more awake (trust me, all the celebs wear something like it).

I may feel like crap on the inside, but I will do my darnedest to make sure that you can't tell on the outside.

Bravo, Benefit!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Why do I torture myself?

I watched a little TV last weekend, but my dog ate my remote control so I was stuck with watching the five channels that the antenna picked up. And, what am I riveted by for two hours? A show that should piss off every infertile in the world -- MTV’s 16 & Pregnant.

Of course, you know the premise. Selfish, stupid and sex-crazed teenagers get knocked up without even trying (or sometimes they even use condoms and they’re so ultra-fertile that despite birth control, they still get pregnant).

Very few things on TV will make me talk back to them like I do when this garbage is on. I scream at the prego girls, their moms, their boyfriends. They refuse to take responsibility for their actions, leave their babies with their mothers (who probably also had them as teenagers – a vicious circle) so that they can still go out with friends and lead a “normal” teenage life, and complain about everything that doesn’t go their way while they’re trying to care for their poor infants. Basically it makes me weep for the future.

But, why do I do it to myself? This is the LAST thing I or any other infertile should be watching. Maybe I relish the struggle they’re going through because of their irresponsibility. I’m sure there is some deep-rooted issue I have that draws me to this train wreck.

Oh, by the way, I also hate the show A Baby Story, but I stopped watching that nightmare years ago.