197 – Apologies…and A Happy Update

It has been two months since I’ve posted anything.  For that, I am very sorry.  Needless to say, I haven’t picked up a book since finishing my last reviewed book.  That’s not exactly true.  There are three books I’ve picked up frequently.  They are:

What to Expect When You’re Expecting
Your Pregnancy: Week by Week
Baby Bargains

Yeah...five tests.

Yeah…five tests.

Yep!  After 22 long months filled with frustration, longing, tears, heartbreak, treatments, tons of blood work and tests, and many many prayers we are finally expecting our first child.  August 1st was the most amazing day.  Seeing that second line show up on the five (yes, five) tests I took that day was the best thing I’ve ever seen.  Waking Don up in tears to say, “They’re all positive” is a moment I will never forget.

We are so very excited and terrified at the same time for this new journey that we are on!  I’m currently 15 weeks and 4 days into my pregnancy and am due on April 5, 2014.  We plan to find out if we’re having a boy or girl and have an ultrasound scheduled for November 4th.  How amazing that on the 5th anniversary of the day that Don and I met, we will get to find out the sex of our first child.  Beautiful.

All of this time I’ve had it on my goal list to have our first child by the time I’m 30.  Well…I’ll have this baby when I’m 30…and that’s very much OK!  We couldn’t be more excited!

For your viewing pleasure…….Here is Baby Hack.
Baby Hack 10.1.13-without


185 – Unsung Lullabies: Understanding and Coping with Infertility by Martha Diamond, David Diamond, and Janet Jaffe

Unsung LullabiesAfter an especially difficult month, I went looking for a book that could possibly help me sort through all of my emotions in the midst of struggling with Infertility.  I found this book on Amazon and because of the stellar reviews, I decided to purchase it.  Here’s the Goodreads summary:

“For people experiencing infertility, wanting a baby is a craving unlike any other. The intensity of their longing is matched only by the complexity of the emotional maze they must navigate.

With insight and compassion, Drs. Janet Jaffe, Martha Diamond, and David Diamond-specialists in the field of Reproductive Psychology who have each experienced their own struggle with infertility-give couples the tools to:

*Reduce their sense of helplessness and isolation
*Identify their mates’ coping styles to erase unfair expectations
*Listen to their “unsung lullabies”–their conscious and unconscious dreams about having a family–to mourn the losses of infertility and move on.

Ground-breaking, wise, and compassionate, Unsung Lullabies is a necessary companion for anyone coping with infertility.”

This was an incredibly encouraging read for me. Currently in our 20th month trying to conceive and having gone through treatments, heartbreak, frustration, anger, etc., this book was so refreshing.

I’ve read a couple other books about infertility, but none of them really delve into the real emotion of the experience and how to cope. This book having been written by three psychologists who all went through infertility, they get into the nitty gritty of why you feel what you feel and that it’s OK.

The chapter about grieving the loss of what you always dreamed your “Reproductive Story” would be had me crying. Anyone trying to conceive has this image built up about how it’s all going to fall into place, and when it doesn’t, that dream needs to be grieved. This chapter was especially hard for me but so rewarding at the same time.

The last paragraph of the book has what I think is the best description of how this book was written. They say, “Whether you are still involved in treatment, have become a parent through alternate means, or have decided to remain childfree, your infertility trauma will become but one strand in the fabric of your reproductive life. As you continue to live and rewrite your story in the times to come, we hope you will find peace.”

Wonderfully encouraging book. I will definitely recommend this book to any and everyone I know going through Infertility.

183 – Infertility Survival Handbook by Elizabeth Swire-Falker

Infertility Survival HandbookI picked up this book after an extremely emotional cycle.  I was at Barnes & Noble and was happy I didn’t have to go to the Pregnancy section to find a book on Infertility.  Even though I bought it months ago, I never actually cracked open the book until a couple days ago.  I plowed right through it.  Here’s the Goodreads summary:

“After seven years of tests and more tests, treatments and more treatments, Elizabeth Swire-Falker understands what it means to struggle with infertility. In this frank, reassuring, and thoroughly researched handbook, she shares her own personal experience and offers insight into what challenges to expect along the way-from getting support to finding the right doctor to dealing with insurance.”

It’s hard to rate a book based on something so heartbreaking.

The author really lays it all out for you. The only things I really disagreed with were:

1 – She constantly goes on and on about how the medications you get put on with different fertility treatments will make you bitchy. Nothing I’ve been on has ever given me such mood swings and I know plenty of women who felt the same way. If she’d only said it once or twice, I wouldn’t have brought it up. But I swear she mentions it multiple times in each chapter.

2 – She says that if you’re doing any treatments, even IUI and especially IVF, you should take that cycle off from work. That’s just crazy to me. Honestly, I think that would make me go insane. I’d never have any distractions and would constantly be thinking about what’s going on inside of me.

Other than that, I think this book has some valuable information. It’s a bit outdated now, but it still spells out most of the fertility treatments and what is done and expected of you as the patient.

174 – National Infertility Awareness Week

NIAW-2013-1in8-you-knowWe’ve only “come out” to our immediate families, but here’s the truth.  Don and I have been trying to add to our family of two for 18 months now.  We’ve been diagnosed as Infertile.  And it sucks.

Unless you’ve been through it, you have no idea what it’s like.  You’ve no idea how the littlest comment is like a dagger through the heart.  You’ve no idea that your April Fool’s Day “joke” about being pregnant isn’t funny at all.  You’ve no idea how seeing a pregnant woman makes the rest of your day shitty.  You’ve no idea what it feels like to see negative test after negative test after negative test.  You’ve no idea what it’s like to spend thousands of dollars to try to have a child only for it not to work.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGoing through Infertility has been more painful than anything I’ve ever experienced.  It meant giving up on plans and dreams we had for our lives.  It meant struggling with our faith.  It meant enduring family members being insensitive.  And those are just the top three!

And yet through it all, we’re stronger than we’ve ever been.  Our marriage is better.  We know the love and devotion we have for each other and our future family.  We know we can do it.  We know it’s worth the fight.  We will not give up on the children we’re meant to have.  We press on.  We push through.  We give it everything we have.  Our children are worth it.

If you want more information about Infertility and the very real-ness of this disease, please check out Resolve’s website.  They are the National Infertility Association and have tons of information about Infertility, the statistics of how many people/couples are actually struggling with Infertility, and much more.

The first thing I’d recommend you read is Infertility Etiquette.  Please be aware of what you say when you are speaking to an Infertile.  So often people are hurtful without meaning to be.  Don’t be one of them.

132 – Hannah’s Hope by Jennifer Saake

Hannah's HopeI found this book while doing a search on Amazon.  As I’ve briefly mentioned before, we’ve been having a longer journey to conceiving than we originally thought.  At times, it gets extremely discouraging.  Actually, that’s putting it crazy mildly.  Anyway, I found this book and saw the amazing reviews it got.  I thought I could use some encouragement and bought it that day.  Here’s the Goodreads summary.

“Hannah’s Hope is intended as a guide to assist you in making wise decisions as you struggle through your grief of not yet conceiving, losing a child, or struggling through the adoption process.”

This was a wonderful book filled with exactly the encouragement I needed. I’ve been feeling so down, depressed, and discouraged by the long road of trying to conceive. Reading this book gave me hope. It gave me strength. And it gave me peace in the assurance that trusting God and His faithfulness is the best way to go.

I’m not sure what else to say about this book other than it was exactly what I needed.