Taking Charge of Your Health

Me: Good morning ladies. We are on our way to the Family Building Conference
that Casey Infinitely Awareness puts on every year. This is our first time going. I have
the husband with me. And it’s actually a pretty good line-up of
sessions. I have three different breakouts that I have signed up for and I thought I
would bring you along for the day you. Are you excited husband?
Husband: I’m so excited. Me: He’s so excited. We will see what the
day brings. Kickoff
Speaker 3: A little bit of our organization, for those of you that maybe are just getting
acquainted with us. We are a locally based 501C non-profit. We were founded in 2011 by
four local women; all affected personally by infertility.
So, all of our excess fundraising; it’s pool. We take applications every spring and award
money out to Kansas City locals to help with the cost of treatment or adoption.
Now, if you’re watching for more information about that throughout the day, this is expensive.
Speaker 4: Since college, I rarely tell people I’m adopted; it’s not an important part. That’s
my mom. And I don’t really care what people have to say, even if I looked different.
It’s a frame experience; you know, I finally get to dictate my narrative, which is really
important to me. I may look different than my family and it may be obvious that I’m adopted
when three of my brothers are black, but I don’t care because I don’t have to tell people.
I don’t have to be a people pleaser; it’s my family. And I’m very un-defensive of it
that this is my family. So, I did not have a choice of adoption, but
if I did, I would choose a million times over to be adopted by my mom and my dad.
Naturopath Breakout Dr. Roose: As introduced, I am Dr. Laura Roose.
I’m a naturopathic doctor. A lot of people don’t really know what naturopathic medicine
is. So, we’re going to talk about that today and I’m really hoping that today you’ll
feel empowered to ask your providers about some alternative interventions to help boost
facility and to really kind of start to take control with things that you can do even starting
today at home to help with your overall balance. Keynote
Anna Almendrala: Wouldn’t it be amazing to drop by a brunch with all of your friends
and just casually announce that you’re 12 weeks pregnant with a {indistinct 02:40} baby?
Because does that text and that kind of announcement to people like us is like, “I’m so young
and juicy down there. My ovulation is so regular, you can set a clock to it. My line is nice
and thick and my man’s shooting that superhero sperm.”
You can see that I’m a little bit there, but I think it’s okay because I’m in the right
{indistinct 03:02}. Me: Okay. So, after that conference, I was
totally wiped out. I had a great day of talking to other infertility warriors, to listening
to speakers, which I just showed you. But I wanted to go over what was in the swag bag
and what I learned from the speakers. Because the talks were an hour long, so I took notes
and I will now share with you what was going on.
It’s been a minute since the conference though, so this will be a good test to see what information
actually stuck and what didn’t. But let’s get started.
Alright, first things first, everything came in this really nice reusable bag. One of my
favorite things that I got (I guess we’re just starting up with a bang here) is this
sweet t-shirt with the definition of infertility on it. Yeah, there. Now you can see it.
There was also a bunch of different books that they were handing out. This one is Tuesday’s
Grace; A Modern-Day Miracle by Sarah Howard. So, there was a bunch of infertility and adoption
related books there that you could choose from. I just thought this one looked really
sweet. They handed out Kleenex, which I thought was
really pertinent. I guess pertinent would be the right word; like good call on that
one. There was a bunch of snacks and sweets in the bag, some of which I ate. They gave
out these one-in-eight buttons which you wore throughout the day, which I really liked.
A buncha pens from the various sponsors. American Adoptions was there and so was Perry Drug,
which is our local fertility drug pharmacy here in Kansas City.
They gave out these just-here-to-learn stickers and a bunch of the people that were running
and working the event, they had different stickers that said, “Ask me about PCOS”
or “Ask me about adoption” “Ask me about IVF”, so that you could ask them various
questions if you wanted to. And then there was a bunch of pamphlets from
the various companies that were there and they had a bunch of the fertility clinics
around town represented as well as the holistic naturopath doctor that is in town. There’s
a few adoption agencies, doctors’ offices and about like their 5ks and stuff.
So, a lot of goodies in their bag and then there was also a bunch of different talks.
This was the schedule for the day, so you can look and see all the different talks that
they had. And you just got to choose from two different talks during three breakout
sessions. So, the husband and I went to naturopathic medicine, the adoption experience and adventures
in babysitting inside the IVF lab. And I’ll go through my notes from each of those really
quick. So, during the first talk, Dr. Rousse spoke
and she’s a naturopathic doctor in the area. And I kind of went into this talking being
like, “Hey, man. I don’t know how much I believe in all of that.” But I came away
like really respecting her practice and what she does.
She runs a lot of tests to get a really informed look at how your hormones and vitamin levels
are sitting and then take steps to correct those.
She works with you in kind of three-month chunks because that’s how long it takes to
really get effect. But she’ll work with both the man and the woman and try to fix your
hormonal imbalances to see if they can actually correct the underlining cause of infertility.
The other thing I really like about her is that she doesn’t just treat people. To treat
people, she will tell them, “No, you need to go back to more traditional Western medicine”
like if she can’t help you. If you’ve tried her way and it’s not working, she doesn’t
just keep stringing you along. She tells you like where to go. So, I really like that kind
of integrity, but I just liked the science that was backing all of her choices and it
was just really cool. But she talked about people who don’t get
enough calories, who gets too few, overweight, underweight, deficient in this, deficient
of that; like she just went through all the different causes of infertility that are kind
of not naturally occurring, but taking benefit from some holistic medicine naturopathic medicine.
So, that was actually really informative; way more informative than I thought.
The second talk we went to was The Adoption Experience. It was actually a mother and daughter
that spoke. The daughter was older now (like in her 20s) and spoke about adoption and the
process. And the thing that really stood out to me
about that is just how much it’s changed. It was a closed option because that’s what
happened 20 years ago and they didn’t tell their daughter that she was adopted. She found
out accidentally like through her aunt. It was just really interesting to see like
how much has changed and the repercussions of the old ways of doing adoption. So, that
was just a very intimate story. That woman had adopted five children in total; two through
domestic adoption and three through international. So, it was just really interesting to hear
their story and very heartbreaking, you know, very personal obviously, at this point.
And then finally, there was an embryologist from Blue Sky that talked about Babysitting
Embryos in the IVF Lab. And I had never really seen the inside of one of those labs; it was
really cool. And it was cool to see what they are looking
for. She actually had photos of like, “This is mature and this is immature” and “This
is how we grade embryos.” Oh my gosh, no one’s ever explained to me how embryos are
actually graded and what they mean. So, I’m just going to tell you now. An embryo
usually has a number and then letter letter. So, the number is the stage of the blastocyst
and six is the best. So, they can go from one to six and six would mean that it is way
ahead of what they would expect, as far as how large it is.
Then the first letter is grading the part of the embryo that will become the baby. So,
there’s an A to C grade on that. Obviously, A is the best and that’s just how healthy
and normal-looking it is. Then the second part of that is grading what
will become the placenta and there’s an A to C rating on that. So, a really the best
rating you get is a 6AA because that would mean that it’s really advanced for how many
days old it is, the baby part looks great and the placenta part looks great. I didn’t
know. And she says only A B scores are viable. So, if they get a C rating, then that’s not
viable. She answered the question of what component
is having a quality issue, depending on what day of the waiting you see the biggest drop.
So, from days 1 to 3, the egg is in full control. So, if you get a bunch of eggs and not a lot
of them make it to day 3, that’s kind of indicative of an egg quality problem, while if it’s you
go from your day 3 count to your day 5 count and it’s really poor, that’s probably the
sperms fault because that’s what kicks in right after day 3 as the sperm actually starts
driving some of the growth within the embryo. Again, things I hadn’t ever learned and I
really enjoyed that. And the last thing she mentioned was there
was a lot of questions about PGS testing. A lot of people ask questions about PGS testing
and her view is that it’s essentially almost risk-free to an embryo and no matter the grade
of the embryo, it has no bearing on the genetics of it at that stage.
So, a perfect 6AA embryo has just the same likelihood of being genetically abnormal as
a 3BB embryo. So, you can’t take the quality of the embryo as an indication of its genetic
components and she just really encouraged genetic testing (PGS testing). She said it’s
required a Blue Sky and a lot of clinics are switching to that, just because it increases
their success rate so much. And finally, the keynote speaker was Anna
Elamandrolla, who is the person who records IVF amount. She does a very funny podcast
and she just went through her journey. And I think the key take away from that was
just making sure to be vocal about your needs. She had a friend that she had a falling out
with after her miscarriage and she was so hurt that her friend was nowhere to be seen
and wouldn’t talk to her about it and wouldn’t acknowledge the miscarriage.
And at the end of the story, it turns out that her friend had dealt with someone else
who had a miscarriage and that woman had said, “I never want to speak of it. I never want
to acknowledge it. Let’s just move on.” So, she had applied that experience to the
keynote speaker’s experience; just never talked about it. But that wasn’t what Anna
needed. She needed someone to come over and cry with her and eat ice cream and watch a
TV show; like that’s what she wanted. So, it’s just important to know that all the
time you’ve got to be vocal about what you need or else you’re not going to get it in
this scenario. Anyway, overall the conference was really
great. I got to meet up and talk with a bunch of other women. It was just nice to be in
a place where everybody is level set; we’re all going through the same stuff and to have
a bunch of new information that you can’t necessarily find on the internet. I think
it was really cool; definitely worth whatever small amount we paid for it.
And if you the Kansas City area, I highly recommend you look up the conference for next
year. And in the meantime, start coming to the KCIA support group or just join our Facebook
group; it’s also active. And if you’re looking for support and you’re
not in the City area, you can look for a resolved group or look for a similar Facebook group
in your area. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed today’s video.
Subscribe if you want to follow along and learn some more cool stuff. And until next
time ladies, keep inviting.

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