Monday, February 8, 2016

Big girl bed - interim report update

Thank you all for your thoughts and suggestions on how to help Ms. Magpie transition to the toddler bed. 

She's doing really well. We've gone from her getting up several times a night to now where she often stays in bed all night quietly until the morning, or, less optimally, stays in bed all night but calls for us at some point either because she is scared or because she thinks it's time to get up.

Both are huge improvements from where things were at originally, with her being up and in our room repeatedly, and often ending up in our bed by the morning after we eventually surrendered out of sheer exhaustion. 

We've employed a number of the suggestions that you recommended. 

First and foremost, we introduced a sticker chart:

For every night that Magpie stays in bed the ENTIRE night, she gets a sticker on this chart.

Next we moved on to edible positive reinforcers, in the form of CANDY:

We were pretty tired and desperate, so we worried the sticker incentive might not be enough. So we sweetened the pot, with a prize of a GUMMY BUTTERFLY, which is awarded immediately upon awakening, if Magpie stays in bed the ENTIRE night. This turns out to be a very powerful reward, so Magpie almost always does everything she can to earn a gummy butterfly. Who knew?

Finally, we went on Amazon and bought ourselves a bunny toddler clock:

On the advice of many of you, we purchased a (surprisingly expensive!) toddler clock so that Magpie would know when nighttime is over and she can get up for the day. She is very attuned to what the bunny is doing and really tries with this. She stays in bed almost all the time, but doesn't usually quite seem to get the idea yet that we want her to be in bed and QUIET. So we still need to iron that small but significant detail out.

Last night, for the first time, Magpie didn't call out for us and she got up when the bunny did, but played quietly in her room. When I went in to get her, she was up, had turned on the lights, and had her doll, her Lambie, and a toy tiger all out and surrounding her on the floor. All fine by me. So we are moving in the right direction. Yay for sticker charts, positive reinforcers, and toddler clocks.

Most of all, yay for sleep!!

Thank you so much for your help getting us this far!


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Monday, January 11, 2016

Big girl bed! And big girl bed problems

As of the new year, Magpie moved into a "big girl bed" from her crib. She loves the bed. she loves being a big girl. And it is great not to have to lift her in and out of the crib. She is super proud of herself, and we are proud of her too.

But I am also very tired.

Along with the move to a bed has come a move to many more sleep interruptions for the whole family.

I'm so tired that I can't quite quantify it, but I'm guessing she's up at least three times a night now, ultimately ending up crawling into our bed by the third wake up.

And so, I am turning to you - I think we need a toddler clock type device to teach her when she can and can't get up. I looked on Amazon, and there are several options. Are there any specific devices that have worked for you? Any that were a disappointment?

And is there something besides a toddler clock that I should be considering?

Any help is most (yawn!) appreciated!


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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Miscarriage #8 genetic results

We got the genetics back on miscarriage #8.

The OB's nurse had called me with the results and said it showed a mosaicism. I asked her to tell me the exact results and she started reading...and then kept going...and going...

In a nutshell, our latest pregnancy had some normal cells but then three different kinds of chromsomal errors going on, depending on which of the cells were tested. But it was not just that some of the cells were normal and some were abnormal.

In our embryo, there were normal cells and then three different kinds of chromosomal errors in different segments of cells, including one jumping translocation. Basically the embryo that implanted was a genetic clusterf*ck.

It was a relief to get these results, because these results show completely clearly that this embryo could never have made a living baby in a million years. So there is no "what if" there.

I've spoken to the Denver clinic's head geneticist after she called today, and she thought that the particular type of errors our embryo showed likely occurred later in development. She thought they could stem from the sperm rather than the egg and is calling our local hospital to see if they can run an origin of aneuploidy test on the remaining tissue.That would be helpful I think, in case we go the donor egg route. God forbid we have some previously undetected problem on the sperm side that could be contributing to our many losses.

I also spoke to Dr. Schl. who was very kind and nice and informative and thinks we should look into the origins of this loss but said that his bets are on egg donor and Will's sperm being a viable way to go.

We have begun the donor egg process, both at the Denver clinic and at a local clinic. And we've been looking into going with a frozen egg bank versus a live donor, so stay tuned on that.

On the home front, we've just been enjoying Magpie to the fullest this holiday season. She is so enthusiastic and so verbal. She loves the Christmas tree. She loves the ornaments. She loves the Nutcracker music and story. It is wonderful to see her joy in all things holiday related. A joy to be her mama.


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Monday, October 26, 2015

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Egg donor compensation - it's complicated

The question of how much egg donors should be compensated is a tough and complicated question.

The NY Times has published two articles about egg donor compensation after a group of egg donors filed a lawsuit alleging they were undercompensated for their donations. The first piece is a reported article about the topic, and the second an op-ed piece.

Personally, I feel of multiple, conflicting minds on this. My first reaction is that egg donors aren't donors in this country and should be able to name their price. But my second thought is that of a clinical researcher. Some of the trials I run offer clinical compensation, and I am expressly forbidden by the Institutional Review Board from offering too much compensation, because that might coerce someone to enroll in a trial just for the financial benefit who wasn't truly comfortable. So from that vantage point, it seems there should be limits.

As a potential user of donor eggs, I was sent an egg donor profile from an agency yesterday and the donor is requesting $35,000 compensation. That's on top of the hefty fees for the agency and the clinic. Which is OMG yowza. She is smart and attractive and she's cycled before, but $35,000 - really? Mostly I've seen agency donors receiving compensation in the $5,000 to $10,000 range. Besides $35,000 being way more than we could ever afford, it seems ethically dicey to be priced beyond a certain amount (on the other hand, I was saddened that at least one woman in the NYT article was compensated only $2,000 for her cycle, which seems far too little). The articles also raise the question of how much the agencies and clinics profit off of these women, and that seems a fair question. It shouldn't be that the agency gets $20,000 and the donor only $5,000, when she is the one going through a somewhat invasive and emotionally wearing process.

I don't have the answers, but of course this lawsuit, and these articles come at an interesting time, since we are considering this route ourselves.

I was curious what others think about egg donation and compensation. Should there be limits? What is fair to all?


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