Looking for books to help you through your fertility funk? Here are a few that I used to bring me back when I was teetering on the edge of baby-crazy. You know what I’m talking about. ‘Crazy Baby-Making Lady’ is pretty much like the ‘Crazy Cat Lady’ equivalent. Except we can smell our own HcG spikes and talk to our uterine linings instead of to Fluffy the calico. But I digress..
Move over Kindle, in my house books have prime real estate. I love the smell of them. I love the soft whir of their pages as they brush against my thumb. I love that whether it's Nancy Drew or Freakonomics I feel smarter and..well.. sleuthier when I open one.
Here’s the top 4 I still use as my go-to fertility reference:
The Fertility Journal by Kim Hahn and the editors of Conceive Magazine
If you want to feel vaguely in control during your cycle, and especially during the molasses-slow ‘2 week wait’, this book/journal is for you.
With this great tool by my bedside, I woke up every morning, recorded my basal temperature, thoughts and symptoms, doctor’s appointments, if I’d had sex, if the sex was good, well you get it… it was a very hands-on approach to things and I really liked that it was all contained in one place. It even had a little folder that I could keep all my folded temperature charts in. I kind of felt like I had a new toy.
Plus, each section gives you fertility advice, and asks you little questions that keep you in touch with yourself and the fun parts about conceiving rather than the clinical process.
Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom by Christiane Northrup, M.D.
I bought this 800+ page book years ago when my cycles weren’t regular. I have since devoured each page again and again as a kind of strange estrogen-fueled gospel. If you are even vaguely interested in the connection of your body, mind, and soul, this book is for you. This book focuses on alternative therapies, sure, but it also talks about the empowerment of being a woman in connection with our health.
Suggestions for treatment go from the conventional western, to diet, to chakra cleansing and on into dream interpretation. And there's no need to look for a section on fertility, the whole thing is like a giant paginated uterus filled with womanly secrets. For reals.
Natural Solutions to Infertility by Marilyn Glenville PhD
This is a great introductory book for couples that are venturing into the realm of fertility issues or if you're just being vigilant about pre-conception wellness.
It starts off with the basics to good health – how to cut out the bad/yummy stuff from your life – broaches the topics of infertility in a way that doesn’t scare the crap out of you, and then follows up with a 4-month pre-conception plan. At just under 250 pages, it doesn’t make you feel overwhelmed. Which is good, because after you give up caffeine and alcohol you're bound to be a little anxious in the first place.
We Can’t Have a Baby! By Patrick Hewlett MB, BS, FRCSC
This is one seriously hardcore infertility book. No joke.
It’s a 400-page bible that is cut and dry, straight to the point, and surprisingly one of the most comforting books out there. Now be forewarned — it has no bedside manner or sympathy for your plight. But I actually had the pleasure of working with Dr. Hewlett to bring my amazing Baby Girl into the world and now when I read it I can totally hear him narrating. Yes, that is a little weird. But it’s also sort of cool.
In our first meeting he said with conviction: “It’s not if you will have a child. It’s when.”
His book is exactly the same. Practical, straightforward, and full of promise.
Highlight? The 12 year old in you will be smirking the whole way through. Especially when you get to sections on ‘scrotal cooling devices’.
Oh come on, tell me you didn't just giggle.
It's surprising what a simple comfort a bunch of bound pages can be. Whether it’s a book, the internet, your community, or your doctor, getting in touch with the kind of knowledge and support you need to get through the tough times is key. Remember to keep reaching out.
Hang in there, and..