Fertility Musings, Questions & Answers and News

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Do you love someone who is infertile?

If you do, Shari DeGraff Stewart and Julia Fichtner Krahm from the Stewart Institute have written an informative & helpful magazine-style book by that name, which provides insight into what infertility is really like for people who are experiencing it. When Julia first wrote me, I surfed on over to their site and thought, “I can’t wait to read this”. It’s a resource for which there is a real need – parents, friends, siblings & even husbands don’t always know what to do when they know someone who is going through infertility. Aware of this need, I asked my mom to cooperate with me and we co-wrote a page for parents on FertilityStories.

Do you Love someone who is Infertile ($12.95, currently available only in the US) presents real experiences, alongside practical advice for husbands, parents, siblings and friends. In addition, the design is fabulous – using photos, typography, layout, and graphical elements to make the book incredibly appealing. I picked up the book and my first thought was, “I love this!” – and reading it made me happy to see that people were writing the things that I’d felt, from both sides. You can see sample pages of the book here – and you can order the guidebook here.

Want a chance to get my review copy? Leave a comment on this blog post. Want another chance? Tweet about it & let me know. Want a third chance? Write a blog post or even just send people to this one. Good luck!

Drawing will be on Feb 11, 2010.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Free IVF Cycle & Book Giveaway

It turns out that there are clinics that give away free IVF cycles. Apparently HRC Fertility offered 20 such cycles - each couple had to write an essay of up to 500 words, stating their reasons for wanting to have a child.

Here's one of the stories of a couple who won a free cycle - http://www.dailybulletin.com/ci_13794655.

Want to read more stories? Sign up below for a chance to win a copy of Making Babies: Personal IVF Stories by Theresa Miller. Ms. Miller interviewed people involved in 14 stories of IVF on their way to try to become parents (some were successful, some not). One of the stories discussed "sensing" an unborn baby's thoughts and wishes, which I couldn't get in touch with. Another discussed the decision to stop treatment - an important topic I believe far too few people have written about. Overall, the book was interesting and provided plenty of opportunities to shed tears (mostly joyous ones). Leave a comment below by November 26 for your chance to win it! Tweet this post for another chance (and let me know in the comment that you have).

Coming up soon on FertilityStories Blog:
  • A giveaway for a shopping cart cover from CNS
  • An excerpt from The Stewart Institute's book, "Do You Love Someone Who is Infertile?" - a guide for a spouse, sibling, parent or friend. (They actually sent me a copy it looks fabulous!)

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Review: The Real Deal Guide to Pregnancy

The Real Deal Guide to Pregnancy
I received a copy of The Real Deal Guide to Pregnancy by Erika Lenkert which I offered to review.


In a word: Refreshing.


In a sentence: A colorful, fun, magazine-style book for the pregnant woman and her partner.


Erika Lenkert is a writer who decided to write the pregnancy book that she wanted to read while she was pregnant. The book focuses almost exclusively on the mom and her experience (and not on the baby & its development). It's refreshing in that it's really easy reading, broken up into small chunks; no topic goes on for too long. The design of the book is colorful and appealing, with nice (not cutesy) illustrations and typography (though the font they chose for the book is way-too-small for my eyes, which made me wonder if they were trying to say I'm too old to be reading it). Once I put on my reading glasses, I was drawn into the book and found myself turning the pages eagerly, waiting for the surprise on the next page. In addition to her own experience, Erika had 111 moms fill out a survey and she includes their feedback throughout the book. An OB-GYN reviewed the medical information.


Things I liked (in addition to those already mentioned):


  • Nice sections for the dad-t0-be, including tips on understanding his partner.


  • No avoided topics - sex during pregnancy, hemmorhoids, moodiness - it's all there.


  • Survey results like, "Top 10 Cravings" and "Creepiest Moments".


  • Recipes - e.g., Avocado Cream Pie & Tortilla Soup.


  • Tips about maternity clothes, including the fact that you're likely to be wearing them well after the birth.


  • Links & recommendations for sites, shops & books.

Things I didn't like:



  • Statements like, "It feels like an instant Charlie horse and fortunately goes away rather quickly." (about leg cramps). This seemed to be too much of a generalization based on her own experience. I had terrible-horrible leg cramps in my calf, in the front and the side of my lower leg. I had them going up my entire leg. Sometimes they lasted 10 minutes and longer & were intensely painful. Sometimes I had them in both legs simultaneously. (There were not many of these, just the ones there were really annoyed me. Another example is "Shopping is depressing". I loved buying maternity clothes...)


  • Use of terms like "Leaky Faucet" for urinary leaking and "Scary-olas" for the changes in the areolas. Personally, I prefer grown-up talk...


  • Erika claims to minimize the list of things you need for a new baby and some people might actually want to buy all the things on her list, but trust me, nothing happens if you don't have a changing table, a rocking chair and a bottle sterilizer (to mention just a few). After her introduction, I was disappointed not to find a "bare minimum" list. (I also never used a nasal aspirator and have no clue why you'd need 2.)
Overall, I'd say it's light reading, interesting and informative, with a lively, modern design. The Real Deal Guide to Pregnancy is a book a pregnant woman would enjoy having even if she already has a stack of pregnancy books, because it really is different.

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