Insight and frank, friendly advice on overcoming infertility -- from two women who have lived through it all.
We are bombarded by images of blissful older mothers, such as Madonna and Celine Dion. But 'Hollywood' articles about pregnancy and fertility at middle age gloss over the tremendous amount of financial, emotional, and physical effort faced by couples struggling to conceive.
In this warm, funny, empathetic book, journalist Julie Vargo and literary agent Maureen Regan -- women who have experienced personally almost every aspect of infertility -- give readers a glimpse into what to expect when you're not expecting. Hormones, sperm counts -- nothing is too personal for these two outspoken women!
Ranges from technical to humorous and everything in between. What are good, snappy comebacks to the question, 'Why aren't you pregnant?' What is the difference between gonadotrophin releasing hormone and progesterone? Should you freeze your eggs? These questions and many more are answered, and in the tone of a couple of good friends. Between them, the authors have gone through hormone treatments, miscarriages and multiple inseminations -- so they know firsthand the rollercoaster ride of trying to achieve pregnancy.
With wise advice on how to communicate with doctors, husbands, friends, and mothers, this book is an invaluable guide for all women facing infertility.
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About the Author
Julie Vargo is an award-winning journalist and creative director who spent five years as the fashion editor of the Dallas Times Herald; her articles have appeared in The Boston Herald, Baltimore Sun, Beautiful Kitchens, Women's Wear Daily, and the Dallas Morning News. She lives with her husband and two children in Texas.
Maureen Regan, creator of the concept The Beauty Buyble, is the founder of The Regan Agency, a literary agency. She recently coauthored her first book, A Few Good Eggs, about her struggles with infertility, and spoke to Congress to campaign for better insurance coverage. Maureen has been a guest on Today, ABC’s Your Total Health, and FOX’s Dayside and has been featured in People, Town & Country, and New York. She lives in New York with her husband and two children.
Read an Excerpt
A Few Good EggsTwo Chicks Dish on Overcoming the Insanity of Infertility
By Julie Vargo
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2005 Julie Vargo
All right reserved.
Join the Club
We started trying to conceive when I was thirty-four, and I think I knew right away we were in trouble. I guess it was instinct or maybe just a gut reaction to each period's arrival when I knew we were having more than enough sex to satisfy the conception quotient.
My husband didn't believe we were having a problem -- at first. When I lamented the fact we weren't pregnant yet, Robert would toss out comments like "Well, we haven't really given it enough time yet," or "I'll bet it will work next month," or "I'm not worried yet, why are you?" I think this is called denial.
Finally, after more than a year, I went to my OB/GYN who wondered why I hadn't gotten in there sooner.
Although he was a delight, my son, Quinn, was active and didn't sleep through the night for four years. This made me delay having another child. It never occurred to me I would have any difficulty because Quinn's conception was effortless. So I waited ... and waited ... and put it off longer and longer.
Nobody, not even my hip, cool, Harvard-educated Marin County gynecologist, bothered to inform me of the effect my age may have on my reproductive biology. So I didn't think twice about putting off another pregnancy. I thought I had all the time in the world -- at least until I was forty. Why not? All these celebrities were having their babies late, right?
My gynecologist never told me I was infertile. It was a conclusion I came to on my own after my second miscarriage. I begged her to test my fertility, but she brushed me off. To her, I was just a case of advanced maternal age -- not a fertility issue. I shudder to think what would have happened if I hadn't met Julie and gone to a fertility specialist. Well, I wouldn't have had my daughter, Ava. Quinn would have been an only child.
The moral of my story is that "all the time in the world" is really not much time at all. I almost missed the boat. What a humbling experience.
10 Mis(sed)-Conceptions About Infertility
- Infertility won't happen to me.
- I can't be infertile. I already have a baby!
- I can get pregnant, so I don't have fertility issues. I just have miscarriages.
- I'm too young to have fertility issues!
- My doctor told me I didn't need to see a fertility specialist until I had three miscarriages.
- I'm in great shape. I exercise all the time. I can't be infertile.
- I'm not infertile. I'm just not having enough sex.
- You can wait a long time to have a baby.
- Men can't be infertile. They make sperm all the time.
- Normal is a miracle.
Welcome to the wild, wacky world of infertility, where insanity reigns supreme, where the path to parenthood doesn't follow the prescribed "normal" route.
Oh, well. What's normal anyhow?
In reproductive terms, some women get pregnant so easily. They decide it's time to start a family, stop taking the Pill or toss out the diaphragm and -- WHAM -- a few weeks later, they're on the nine-month path to motherhood. Those women drive us crazy. Call it envy.
The biggest mistake we make as women is to assume that we can get pregnant. We take it for granted really, the miracle that it is. We don't know about you, but we spent most of our precious fertile years -- the twentysomethings -- trying NOT to get pregnant. Wish we knew then what we know now!
The easily impregnated don't understand what the rest of us go through to have our children. They just smile their motherly smiles, shrug their shoulders, and pat the tousled heads of the wriggling tots dangling from their perfect pre-pregnancy Gap outfits. At least that's how we see it.
Meanwhile, the rest of us labor like construction workers to build our families. Mother Nature sure isn't fair. We guess she never faced any fertility challenges, so she can't relate. But really, she's a mother, so we personally think she should be a bit more understanding ...
Excerpted from A Few Good Eggs by Julie Vargo Copyright © 2005 by Julie Vargo. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
|Introduction: Why We Wrote This Book||xvii|
|Part 1||That Will Never Happen to Me!|
|1||Join the Club||4|
|2||The Facts About Infertility||19|
|3||You Look Great, but Your Eggs Don't||30|
|Part 2||Baby-making 101|
|6||Baby Production: The Weekly Report||82|
|Part 3||Still Not Pregnant? Now What?|
|7||The Real Deal||98|
|8||Infertility Is a Team Sport||112|
|9||Testing, Testing, 1-2-3||133|
|Part 4||Emotional You|
|11||Who to Kill...Your Doctor or Your Husband?||163|
|12||A Pregnant Pause: Miscarriage||177|
|13||Who Do You Tell? (Or, When People You Love Say Stupid Things)||199|
|14||Money Mind Games||218|
|15||Self-care Is Self-preservation||232|
|Part 5||A Family Affair|
|17||The Man Show||260|
|18||Making Your Relationship Work While Making a Baby||279|
|Part 6||The Infertility Complex|
|19||To Soy or Not To Soy?||297|
|20||The Bun's in the Oven!||315|
|21||Pregnancy After Infertility||332|
|22||Infertility After Pregnancy||345|
|Part 7||Enough Is Enough|
|23||What Are My Options Now?||357|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I read this book a few years ago and I was able to use most of it, although some of it didn't apply to my situation. Regardless, it made me feel like I wasn't "alone" in everything that my DH and I were going through - and that in itself made it worth the purchase. I recommend it to everyone TTC and have bought it as a gift for many women -- all of who rant and rave about it! I'm on my way to purchase another copy tonight - I loaned out mine and don't have the heart to ask for it back. WELL WORTH THE BUY!!!!
This is just a story, not an informational book.
This book mainly talks about older women and how they need to watch their eggs. It's full of common sense things you already know if you're experiencing infertility. I felt like I was reading something a character from sex and the city had written. It talks about how they had, had stds at a younger age and partied and went to college, and they felt bad about that and it later on talks about how any woman can be a mother just adopt if you can't have kids(some of us can't afford to adopt or choose not to because the process is so long and hard) These women seem to taunt rather than offer advice. Don't waiste your thirty bucks on this stupid book, if you want to pay me thirty bucks I'll send you my blog chalked up with ten times more information and ten times more sympathy and I'll be able to relate a lot better as well. OMG please don't buy this book.
Don't be put off by what the critics say in the excerpt from Publisher's Weekly above. They call it, 'obsessive...dismissive of other projects outside of conception...with oversimplified gender stereotypes,' but a woman going through this will see that this book is spot on. Although I have read a lot of infertility books that talk about the medical aspects, this book talks about the emotional side (providing a lot of encouragement) and gave me some information that my doctor and the other books didn't seem to find worthy of mentioning (for example, that fertility drugs will make you gain weight). At first I didn't think I would appreciate the authors' tendency to poke fun or find humor at this very serious problem, but it turned out to be just what the doctor ordered. If you're like me, and you don't know any other women suffering from infertility, reading this book will be almost as good as a good vent session with a sympathetic friend and fellow infertility sufferer.
I picked up this book after hearing someone talk about it. No one knew that I was suffering from infertility. It made me realize that this is more common than I thought and helped me come to tearms with it. It also helped me feel more confident seeking treatment. I recommend it to anyone, it is like haveing a girlfriend (or several) that are going through exactly what you are. I cried, laughed and learned.
I loved the tone of this book and the way it 'spoke' to me, just like a good friend. I also liked the way the authors broke everything down into lists, categories and tips...like what to ask your doctor at your first visit and what to say to friends and family. Yes, these two women were successful, but the message to me was that we can all be successful at building a family -- and they give reasons and how-tos. I am recommending to all my girlfriends!
The guide was fun and breezy but not enough substance, it's a good break from the heavy medicine but not substantial enough. Also the authors were successful but not everyone is medically or financially able to 'go all the way'
This book does have a lot to offer, but not if you're looking for serious medical information about major infertility. Neither of the authors went through what I am going through (IVF/ICSI/PGD and possibly donor egg) and there just wasn't enough information for someone in my situation. It's lighthearted and fun and useful if you're not having to pull out the big guns of infertility treatment.
I personally have never struggled with the infertility issues identified in the book but have girlfriends that have. After reading their no nonsense tell it like it is accounts, now have the tools needed to be a more compassionate, informed friend! Thanks Ladies...