Auckland/Waikato girls' lunch

Lunch at Willow Glen – Saturday October 30, 2010

So the Auckland/Waikato girls caught up again last weekend and what a great day it was. Three of us car-pooled down from Auckland to meet the Waikato girls at Willow Glen restaurant. It was in a beautiful spot and we had a gorgeous sunny day – even though the clouds in Auckland had looked ominous as we left!

Not everyone knew each other so it was really nice to forge some new friendships and also for those who met at our Rotorua conference to re-connect.

Unusually, for one of our catch-ups, everyone there (except me) was a mum – some naturally and some via IVF. And then, not to forget the star of the show, Helen brought along her beautiful adopted 11 month-old daughter Amelia who was very generous with her cuddles and her throaty giggles! But there was still a lot of discussion about IVF and how to decide when your family is complete (or, in my case, when to stop trying). It is such a personal decision and, ultimately, one every couple wanting children must face. But we in this group have a unique take on this subject as the options for us are very limited. Many of us could relate to the heartache of making that decision and weighing up the emotional, financial, physical, social and spiritual implications. Obviously, the key is to be really honest with yourself to come to the best decision for your situation. Although no-one can really help you make the decision, it can be helpful to bounce ideas off other people (you could use our forum to do this) or talking to a counsellor. I think we women really need to talk when we’re facing big decisions, so please feel free to use this support group as a sounding board if you feel it might help.

HRT is always on our minds and Saturday was no different. With no clinical data to back up the doctors claims that it ‘should’ be safe for us to take until the average age of 50, this treatment option, although it sounds like common sense, still causes many of us a lot of concern and confusion. The latest information coming from groups like the International Menopause Society, and the North American Menopause Society suggests HRT is safer for the ‘younger’ woman going through menopause. Of course, what they mean is that it is safer for 50 year-olds than 60 year-olds, but here are some good articles you can read to learn more about this complicated subject:

From the NAMS (2010) – small paragraph on POF/POI on p7.

http://www.menopause.org/PSht10.pdf

From the IMS (2008) – perceptions vs evidence of HRT

http://www.menopause.org.au/consumers/position-statements/382-hrt-in-the-early-menopause

From Kathryn Petras’ site (2006 or earlier) – what the WHI trial means to us

http://www.earlymenopause.com/hrtstudy.htm

From the NICHD in the US (2003) – all about POF

http://www.nichd.nih.gov/publications/pubs/pof/sub2.cfm#treatments

Another phenomenon we keep encountering is doctors giving out very little or unreliable information. I heard somewhere that a GP might see one or two cases of POF in his/her entire career so it is understandable that they feel out of their depth when we show up at their clinic. But seriously, how hard is it to refer a patient to a specialist when something isn’t adding up?! If you feel like educating your GP, I could send you a few of our flyers for you to drop off at your next visit. I’ve investigated contacting all the NZ GPs myself, but with over 1000 in Auckland alone, I very quickly gave up on that idea. I’m working my way through the gynaecologists, but if you have some money you’d like to donate to help me buy the RNZCGP’s email list I’d be very interested to hear from you!

Speaking of money, Anita brought along the book she wrote for her twin boys about their donor egg origins. It is beautifully written and she’d like to get it published one day. If anyone has publishing contacts, or money for a very worthwhile investment, please get in touch with me. There are so few resources out there for parents of donor-conceived children and this would be a great book to have at your fingertips.

Sadly, it was 3 o’clock before we knew it, and time to get back to the outside world. But we all were very grateful for this special time when we could discuss our unique issues with friends who understand what we’re going through. Thank you all for making the time for yourselves and for each other; when we share we provide invaluable support and knowledge to others. I hope you all enjoyed your afternoon as much as I did and I look forward to catching up with you again soon!

Nicole.

If you've read this and think you might like to meet others in your area, please email me and I'll do my best to help you.

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