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.