1:56pm: Literally have not stopped running around since noon. Spent some time talking to vendors here; finally got to meet Kristen Magnacca, author of “Love & Infertility” – she is a total hoot in person Now I’m just gettin’ my networkin’ on. Work it!
11:15am: Lots of great info right now from Amy Demma . in the Embryo Donation session right now. Getting embryology clearance as you start the embryo donation process means getting the okay from your clinic that your donated embryos are suitable for transfer. Things included in the clearance: getting the complete record of those embryos – were they formed from donor gametes? How were they graded at the time of transfer? Did live births result from the fresh cycle for which these embryos were created? All of this info (and a lot more) is submitted to your clinic for complete and thorough review who then gives the final clearance to proceed. Lots of great info right now from Amy Demma . in the Embryo Donation session right now.
10:47am: Just had a fantastic discussion with Lee about her appearance on Fox News tomorrow debating the Mississippi Personhood Initiative with Jennifer Davis from Personhood USA. Folks, tune in tomorrow at 8am on Fox & Friends to hear Lee stand up for all 7.3 million of us with infertility and to demand equal access to infertility treatment for Mississipians!
10:18am: Lee cautions the group here: if MS #26 passes, we will have to fight so hard just to keep infertility treatment legal. More information about Mississippi’s Personhood Amendment and the devastating impact on infertility treatments in this country here . “Fewer Mississippi couples will be able to have the babies they want if initiative 26 passes.”
10:04am: Listening to Lee Rubin Collins, Board Member and Advocacy Committee Co-Chair from RESOLVE National, talking about advocacy updates here in the region and on the national scale. Love her conversational, approachable style. Big successes here in Massachusetts with historic updates to my state’s leading infertility mandate: 1) got the mandate in line with medical guidelines regarding age and the minimum length of time needed for couples to try to conceive naturally before pursuing treatment and 2) closed the loophole for women who experience recurrent miscarriages so they don’t have to keep resetting their treatment clock. You can read more about this update from RESOLVE of New England here .
9:40am: Is anyone else as fascinated as I am by embryo photos? It seriously amazes me that we can take photos on such a cellular level. #geek Here’s a photo from Brigham & Women’s presentation on Preparing the Way for Egg Donation:
The embryo on the left is from a healthy 20 year old.
9:23am: Dr. Domar’s keynote has wrapped up. It was great to hear her discuss recent research through her Center as well as anecdotal stories of patient success. Fascinatin’ fact I learned today: if you are hardcore into exercise, if you “dial it back” as Dr. Domar recommends in terms of intensity, your chances for pregnancy actually increase. Which, because you all know I’m like, a marathon runner , so I really need to cut out all that exercise in my life… phht. Seriously though, Dr. Domar’s talk has only reinforced my intention to start doing yoga already. Note to self: Look up hatha yoga.
8:47am: “There’s this mystery: does infertility cause stress or does stress cause infertility? The answer is yes.” Dr. Ali Domar shares her wisdom during her keynote speech. She reports higher than average levels of depression and anxiety in both women AND men who are dealing with infertility. Dr. Domar explains how much infertility touches nearly every aspect of patients’ lives. So true. Lots of tweets in agreement, too.
8:27am: Attendees are filtering in and getting seated, waiting for our keynote speaker, Dr. Ali Domar, to begin. You might remember her from my review of her book, Conquering Infertility .