Book Shelf

Here is a selection of books, cds and dvds that I have enjoyed and found useful: 

Fertility and Pregnancy Books:

The pursuit of motherhood by Jessica Hepburn - BUY NOW via INUK Amazon link, the charity receives a commission on each sale.

I have just read “The pursuit of motherhood” in under 24 hours, I could not put it down. It felt like having a long intimate conversation with the author or having stumbled across her diary and once you join her on the rollercoaster ride of trying, and failing, to start a family, you are desperate to see if there is a happy ending. I held my breath at each pregnancy test and cried for the first time in awhile. I cried for Jessica, for myself (I'm six weeks post failed IVF) for a friend who let me know today that her IVF has ended in a negative result and for all of us experiencing the devastation that is infertility. Many excerpts from this book will stay with me but the following resonate so deeply I thought I would share them with you:

'One of the hardest things about starting fertility treatment is facing off the enduring opinion that human beings should never meddle with what nature decides.'

Thought it.

'no...but I do have some news...'
She's hesitant, and I feel a familiar crumpling in my chest as I realise what she's about to say. Why isn't there a word in the English language for feeling happy for someone and sad for yourself at the same time?'

Felt it.

'I long to experience the excitement of the family going to buy the tree and decorating it to the sound of cheesy Christmas classics. This year we've decided to go away. Somewhere hot. Somewhere we're not reminded of the family we haven't got.'

Done it!

This book is heartbreaking, informative, inspiring and funny! An excellent read for anyone experiencing infertility or for anyone who wants to understand a little of what it is like. (Possibly hand out to friends and family if it's too difficult to find the words yourself.)

Hepburn has noted how she wishes she had reached out and asked for more support earlier in her journey, that the secrecy and shame of hiding infertility added to the strain. I agree, for two years I told only my closest friends and felt so alienated from those having babies. I am now an Infertility Network UK volunteer and run an online support group. Realising that you are in no way alone on this journey and being able to talk openly with others going through the same is at once liberating and healing.

I cannot recommend this book enough it is absolutely fantastic. Anya experienced infertility first hand and now works with fertility patients. Packed full of practical coping strategies, exercises and case studies this book is a must read at any point on your journey.

The Baby-Making Bible: Simple steps to enhance your fertility and improve your chances of getting pregnant

Brilliant book which gives you practical information and techniques to enhance your fertility. This book really has been my Bible for the past year and has revolutionised the way I view my cycle and has assisted me in optimising my diet, taught me EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and is my excuse for eating jelly every month! 

What to expect before your expecting
You may think you know how conception works but unless you can already pinpoint ovulation purely by examining your cervical mucus and know all of the technical terms for fertility tests I would recommend getting this book. It teaches you everything you need to know from exactly how your cycle works, what changes to notice to pinpoint ovulation and a full breakdown of all fertility tests, treatments and options. This book helped us immensely when first referred to the fertility specialist and I really think they should hand out this book to everyone in their first appointment! 

3 Steps to Fertility: A couple's guide to maximising their ability to conceive

Clear concise information on your choices, both in terms of treatment and alternatives. Written by a lady who experienced infertility and now has a family.

Marisa is a hypnotherapist and this book helps you to work through your negative beliefs linked to pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood. Packed with inspirational stories and includes worksheets and text you can use for self hypnosis. (She also has a fertility boost CD) I really enjoyed this book and it helped me to overcome my fear of birth. I'm still using her techniques so will report back when I am successful! (She teaches you to say when instead of if when referring to your fertility journey!)

Mama Glow by Latham Thomas

A gorgeous book, the pre-conception section is really inspiring if you're interested in preparing your mind body and spirit for pregnancy. Looking forward to reading the rest when I'm pregnant: 
In Mama Glow Latham Thomas shares the tips and techniques to support a blissful journey to motherhood. As your certified 'glow pilot', she'll guide you through every stage of your pregnancy, giving you practical advice to make your journey a joyful and vibrant one. 

Not read this one yet but plan to: 
'Infertility never leaves you no matter what the outcome is - it does shape you and it shapes the way you bring your children up' One in six couples finds it difficult to conceive, and many thousands of babies are born in the UK every year as a result of fertility treatment. For women who finally have that long-awaited positive pregnancy test, the expectation is that they will now be the same as any other pregnant woman. The reality is that the experience of infertility continues to resonate during pregnancy, birth and often long afterwards.' 

The charity Infertility Network UK now has an online bookstore which is linked to Amazon. Each time you buy a fertility or pregnancy book from Amazon via their website they receive a donation. (The links above go to their bookstore unless not yet featured.)

Maybe Baby - Film

I watched this film in my 20's and until about a year ago it represented half of my knowledge of infertility and IVF! The other half coming from Charlotte of Sex and the City of course. This film is a true English comedy, full of heartache and likeable and loathable characters. The scenes with Rowan Atkinson as the OBGYN are hilarious and all the more so now I have been in that position! This film will probably make you cry but may also help you see the ridiculousness in TTC and ART.

Great Books/CDs on Mindfulness: 

Proceeds from these links go to the charity

Personal Development:

If you have a book/CD/DVD which has really helped you on your journey and would like to add it to the shelf as a recommendation to others just let me know. 

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