The Daily News

LFCA Latest Issue: Friday, September 25, 2009.

Latest Post on BlogHer: Parenting after Infertility.

My Status: Fed Josh's almonds to the squirrels. They needed them very badly.

Monday, September 18, 2006

I'm in Love

It is a rare occurrence when I want to sleep with a work of non-fiction. And by "sleep" I mean actually getting into bed and tucking it under my pillow or looping my arm around it. Not sleep in some type of sick, twisted, apparently-screwing-my-husband-is-just-about-as-affective-as-screwing-a-mound-of-paper-due-to-my-wonky-cycles way. Fiction, definitely. There have been many times that I have been so in love with a set of characters that I just wanted them close to me when I slept. But non-fiction? There has only been one book like that before now. And that was my translator's dictionary.

A small aside from infertility: I love my translator's dictionary. Like really "love it", love it. I had to special order it from Israel and it cost over $75 before shipping. And when it arrived, I slept with it for several nights. Just so I could peek at the pages if I woke up in the middle of the night and marvel at the long passages explaining the etymology of each word. My roommate thought this was strange, and perhaps it was, but she could hardly throw stones because she ate fish eyes. And in America, eating fish eyes trumps sleeping with a book. But I digress.

Last night, I sat down to watch Grey's Anatomy and I took the Infertility Survival Handbook by Elizabeth Falker and plopped it on the bed next to me. "Are you going to be reading or watching?" my husband asked.

I just need her close to me, I explained. She is my new translator's dictionary.

The subtitle is "everything you never thought you'd need to know" and that probably was correct five years ago before we started trying to conceive. By now, I know what I need to know. And Falker delivers. Does prometrium affect when you get your period? Why, yes (p. 234). Can you tell me what questions to ask during a first meeting with an RE? Why, yes (p. 30--54). What can you tell me about reproductive immunology which is the real reason I purchased this book? Every chapter, baby!

I love this book. I really really love it. I wish it had existed years ago. It is essentially like Operation Heads Up in paper form. It's information about tests, procedures, and medications brought to you by someone who has actually experienced all of those tests, procedures, and medications. The author was a patient at Cornell with Pak Chung. She ultimately adopted her son (and her new book about adoption will be out in November--can I wait that long?), but also endured countless IUIs, IVFs, and laps. The book touches upon other paths to parenthood, but mostly focuses on getting you through treatments and tests.

Resolving Infertility is still the Bible of all fertility books. But Falker gives you the insights into just how much that HSG will hurt whereas Resolving Infertility stops at the details of the test. I'm going to put them together on my book shelf. You know, a literary hug.

Which brings me to my other point, I wanted to start a list of really excellent books on different topics in the sidebar. Beyond the two books I mentioned, what other books really helped you understand a path to parenthood or got you through a cycle emotionally? I'm looking for the best books on adoption, third-party reproduction (donor egg, donor insemination, and surrogacy), living child-free, infertility in general. And hey, throw some videos and meditation tape recommendations into the mix. I'll put up a big list with links. And then go purchase a few more books. I'm off to the library to go check out the 8 promising adoption books currently at my local branch.


Anonymous said...

Great idea on a list of books! My husband is always yelling at me about reading self-help books...but they help.

Two great books are:

Miscarriage after Infertility: A Woman's Guide to Coping by Margaret Comerford Freda, Carrie F. Semelsberger (for the ladies who have had to go through both infertility and miscarriage)

Coming to Term: Uncovering the Truth About Miscarriage by Jon Cohen (evem though technically about miscarriage, it has great information in general about IF tests, procedures and such).

Tina (still having to log-in as anonymous)

Kay/Hanazono said...

Three of the books I recommend are:

* Sweet Grapes: How to Stop Being Infertile and Start Living Again by Jean W. Carter and Michael Carter

* Adopting After Infertility by Patricia Irwin Johnston

* Inconceivable: A Woman's Triumph over Despair and Statistics by Julia Indichova

I have many, many more, but those are my top 3 IF/adoption books.

serenity said...

Obviously I am a HUGE fan of "Conquering Infertility..." Ali Domar gets it.

I also really really REALLY liked Randine Lewis's "The Infertility Cure" as well. This is more geared towards eastern mind-body methods - acupuncture, herbs, acupressure, etc.

Those are the only two I've read and I like them both.

I'll have to check out Falker's book. Even if her name reminds me of that crap movie with Ben Stiller and Babs Streisand. :)

Anonymous said...

How does Prometrium affect your menstrual cycle. God, there's so much I don't know. I know, I should go get that book. I had an IUI 9 days ago and I have experienced mild cramping on and off. Is it the prometrium? Last month my period came on Day 24, which seemed really early - was that the prometrium? Sorry for all the questions - but when I call the nurse at my clinic, she's, well, not so forthcoming with all the information I may need.
Thanks in advance.

Momma Bean said...

I loved Baby B by Michael was written with such heart from a father's perspective and helped my husband through our journey.

There are so many more books out there now than there were just two years ago and I am so happy for that.

I can't remember all of the books that I read, but this is a great idea.

Anonymous Infertile said...

Alice Domar's book, Conquering Infertility, was my favorite. It was one of the first books that I got and one of the few where I actually remember things from.

Also, eventhough this is really a different type of book, I loved Brook Shields, 'Down Came the Rain.' It covered infertility, miscarriage and post pardum (sp?) depression following infertility. Although the majority of the book was about her ppd and how she felt following having her child, I really like this book.

Maya said...

I just bought both. Thanks for the tip. They were cheap on eBay.

The Town Criers said... there is somewhere I hadn't thought for book buying. Heading over there tonight...

I'm starting to pull together the list. When you post one, let me know a little about the book. Maybe a sentence or two.

Here's an example of these two books that I placed in a general infertility category:

Resolving Infertity by Diane Aronson and the Staff of Resolve (the "Bible" of infertility books, this covers everything from the various hormones utilized in reproduction, tests and procedures, and lastly, your emotions).

The Infertility Survival Handbook by Elizabeth Swire Falker (a great companion to Resolving Infertility. It gives you an insider's view of tests and procedures while touching upon other paths to parenthood).

Slightly Foxed said...

I really liked What to Expect When You Are Experiencing Infertility by Debby Peoples. It has a nice Q & A format that addressed both the medical and the emotional questions.

The Town Criers said...

To Anonymous who wrote around 2 p.m. :-)

There were two posts recently about prometrium--one was called "Got Prometrium" and you should find it in the September (or possibly the top of the August) archives. It gives a bunch of info about it. The other post is on the sidebar under Operation Heads Up. There is a link to a write up about progesterone suppositories (maybe it says something about oral and vaginal?).

Prometrium will delay your period hence why you need to either use a pee stick or have a beta to determine whether you're pregnant at the end of a cycle. And if you're not, you go off of it and get your period in a few days. If you are pregnant, you stay on through the first trimester. Or, if you're like me an extremely cautious, you stay on it through week 15. You can email me you have other questions. I'm happy to pass along anything I know.

The Town Criers said...


What did you think of that Jon Cohen book? I saw it today and I actually put it back because of the forward. The person who wrote the forward said that though Cohen thinks most of the RI treatments are futile, he doesn't judge those who try them. I was like...gee...thanks. But perhaps I judged too soon. Does he have info in the book on new treatments like heparin or baby aspirin for reoccurring miscarriage? Or does it provide more technical info on how/why things happen?

Anonymous said...

The Jon Cohen book was FANTSTIC! He really did go over everything in great detail: what new treatments (including baby aspirin and heparin) scientifically works, what works because statistically a woman would go on to have a normal pregnancy anyway, what works because you make yourself think it will work, and what works because of good old TLC from your doc.

What was really good about the book is that you also get HIS perspective on loss, as his wife had several miscarriages too. It was comforting to know how a man really feels through the process.

Also, the history as to how miscarriage has been studied - and why it is not a "popular" area of research to be in right now - is addressed too.

The forward does not do this book justice at all. I would go back and buy it - and I am not one to recommend a book at all!

The Town Criers said...

Okay, you convinced me to give Cohen a try. I checked it out of the library today.

Anonymous said...

Great! I really think you will not be disappointed.

...and I can log in with my account again! Yeah!