I haven't heard back from the radio station about my letter, except a short email to say that they've received it. I listened in last Sunday, but didn't hear the subject of donor eggs revisited. Sometimes they skip a week before they decide to read listener comments, so maybe they'll talk about it this Sunday. Or maybe they are avoiding the whole thing because they are so ashamed about putting crap* on the air. I can sympathize. I would be embarassed too.
I mentioned in a recent post that I have been reading Alice Domar's book called Conquering Infertility. (Now, I realize that many of my readers have conquered infertility. I am amazed and very thankful that you still read my blog and offer me so much support). I know that some of you have read this book and I think it is from reading some of your recommendations that I finally got it.
Frankly, I wish I had read this book 3 years ago.
It's not that there is any rocket science in it. I think that for most seaoned IFers, there would not be unexpected information found in the book, although I did learn new things reading it. I think one of the facts shared in the book that's given me pause for consideration is the fact that from her reading of the literature and her clinical experience, she identifies depression as most deleterious to the process of conception. She sees it as more harmful than stress or anxiety. She doesn't say: if you're depressed, forget about getting pregnant. It's more that she sees that resolving an epsiode of depression or reducing depressive symptoms as a primary target of intervention. (oy vey, that's clinical speak). That certainly got my attention.
The content of the book is presented in such a way to normalize the experience of women struggling with infertility, which is darn useful. I had already made this rule for myself a long time ago, but it was still validating to read that selective avoidance is a perfectly healthy strategy to utilize when going through the crisis of infertility. My "no baby shower" rule has served me well, indeed. It was nice to read about other small but significant ways she suggests to cope with IF. For example, it made me think about asking my close friends to let me know about upcoming pregnancies in a specific way that may help me cope better with this difficult situation (and let me be clear here, the difficult situation isn't that my beloved friends get pregnant and have babies, but that pregnancy announcements feel devastating and that when they happen, I feel the desire to share in the joy of the news and at the same time honour my grief. And then just feeling my grief makes me feel guilty because I can't be 100% joyful for my friends.)
What I'm appreciating most about the book is the very structured plan she suggests we take to reclaim power over our lives. IF has certainly felt like a thief and a dictator to me, and honestly, I feel ready for a coup d'etat (which is French for coup d'etat). So, without too much pomp and circumstances, I have taken heed of her suggestions. One important change I've initiated comes from her assertion that it is important to find ways to achieve the relaxation response each day. Starting from her list of suggestion, I've made my own list of things I can do to reduce my feelings of tension and shift from being driven hard by my sympathetic nervous system to letting my parasympathetic nervous system take over for a few minutes. I've learned so many ways to feel calmer and more connected with myself and in the present moment. Why was I not using them?
|Photo by Sarah Bettencourt|
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So, just to come clean, I work for Domar's publisher and I had been infiltrating myself into this community for the past 3 years just so I could sell you a book. So please go buy it or I'll get fired**
*And by crap, I mean third-rate, under-researched, over-sensationalized journalistic bullshit.
**The book publishing industry is how I moonlight, since you know, my work is really not challenging me quite enough.