First pictures of Bill & Giuliana’s Baby Boy!

Presenting Edward Duke Rancic!

Life  & Style has the exclusive with the proud new parents. Having gone through IVF at the same time they did (and even consulting with their Chicago doctor, Dr. Brian Kaplan at FCI), I was so thrilled to hear their wish was granted via a surrogate. Congrats to the whole family! Hope to have a Edward ‘n Posey playdate soon at their Chicago eatery, RPM Italian! Do they have highchairs?

 

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Frozen Embryos Better than Fresh?

A friend passed along this news today. I buy it, and so does my little Posey Popsicle!

Frozen Embryos Superior to Fresh Ones for IVF

After years of being conditioned by Gordon Ramsay’s profanity-laden rants that fresh is always better than frozen, it comes as a bit of a shock that a reality TV chef’s wisdom about food doesn’t hold true when it comes to assisted reproductive technology. Anyway, according to a new study regarding IVF treatments, frozen embryos are more likely to result in healthier pregnancies and healthier babies, than fresh embryos.

The research—conducted at Aberdeen University and published in the Fertility Sterility journal—evaluated 37,000 implantation pregnancies and found that when frozen embryos were used there was a “30 per cent lower risk of bleeding during pregnancy, 30 to 40 per cent less chance of the baby being born underweight, 20 per cent smaller risk of it being born preterm and 20 per cent less likelihood of it dying shortly after birth,” compared to pregnancies resulting from fresh embryos.

Researchers had a few theories as to why frozen embryos garner better results, the first having to do with the toll that the fertility treatment takes on a woman’s body. When fresh embryos are implanted shortly after harvesting the eggs, a woman’s lining may not have fully recovered from the invasive procedure. And the drugs used to stimulate egg production could still be circulating in her body, which could be harmful to the pregnancy.

Additionally, only the healthiest embryos survive the freezing and thawing process. A hardier embryo could result in a hardier infant.

Giuliana & Bill Are Having a Baby!

Giuliana and Bill Rancic will appear on the Today Show to elaborate on what they’re already confirmed to E! News… they’re expecting a baby this summer via a gestational surrogate.

This celebrity baby announcement hits close to home. Giuliana and I went through IVF at the same time, and Beef and I even met with her Chicago doctor when we were preparing to switch offices. When she announced she was ALSO battling breast cancer, my heart broke for her. Wasn’t wrestling with infertility enough? Wasn’t MS enough for me, before I found out I had dried up old eggs?

I guess we both learned a lesson here. Let me be the first person to ever say- and to invent the phrase– Everything Happens for a Reason. I hope it catches on. I’m sure she would agree with me that neither one of us would take back any of the journey, because it led us to our little miracle babies. Miracle-Science babies, that is.

The Benefits of Having Internet Friends

Almost two years ago, I was starting the process of IVF and was feeling totally scared. I didn’t know anyone else that had ever done it, I had a million questions, and I wanted a buddy or two who knew what it was like to walk in these particular shoes. So I did something scary– I reached out.

Online.

I posted a message on babycenter.com’s message boards asking if anyone else out there was also about to begin the process. And something awesome happened: I met five other women all across the country, all in the same boat, who my husband named– in no particular order– Upper East Side, Bloomington, Texas, Oklahoma and Portland. Some of his geography was a little off, but I guess it helped him keep them straight.

We communicated daily for the next several weeks about the injections, the side effects, how our egg retrievals went, how our husbands were dealing with things, how WE were dealing with things. And then, something not-so-awesome-happened: ALL FIVE OF THEM GOT PREGNANT.

Except me.

In real life, that would have been a real friendship test. In the internet-friend world, it would have been easy for me to retreat. But it was too late. We were all in too deep and cared too much, and they knew almost exactly what I was going through. I stayed in the group. And six months later when I finally DID get pregnant after two more tries, these five women were the first people I told. After two years, they are no longer my internet friends– they’re my REAL friends (even though I’ve only met one in person).

Today marks the 1st birthday of the first babies (twins!) that were born out of our merry little band of mothers. Six women; eight babies. I was so lucky to find them, and it turns out they might have actually literally helped me get pregnant. Harvard-led research indicates that women experiencing infertility are more likely to conceive if they participate in a stress-reducing program, such as a support group.

So if you found out that having a baby is going to be tough for you, I encourage you to reach out and talk to other women in the same baby-boat. Babycenter is a great place to start; so is Resolve.

Epilogue: We’re all still very much in contact and have taken our relationship to the next level… Facebook. Happy Birthday, L & C.

Happy Thawsgiving!

After two failed IVF treatments, our doctor told us there was nothing else he could do for us. It was probably best that we take our files and go– find another practice, another doctor, another hope to hold on to.

There was just one last bit of business to take care of before we parted ways. Six months prior, Beef and I banked two leftover embryos in the freezer, and I hate wasting leftovers.

On February 22nd, 2011, we showed up at the clinic unsure if our two little buggers had even survived the thaw. Not only did they– but one was already dividing, multiplying, growing…We could even see in the grainy microscope picture that it had busted out of its shell.

99% sure she's the one on the right

The procedure was the worst of all three I’d endured. I literally saw stars from the pain. But I got through it, ate my animal crackers afterwards, and went home to rest. Two weeks later, we found out we were pregnant.

My baby is the strongest person I’ve ever met. I don’t know anyone else who was cryogenically frozen for six months, defrosted, shot out of a cannon, born almost six weeks early… and so unphased by any of it.

I guess maybe she wanted us as much as we wanted her.

Happy Thawsgiving.