Note on the drawings: If you are interested in any (or all) of the following drawings, please leave a comment with an email address so that I can notify you, specifying the drawing(s) you'd like to be included in. Note: PLEASE follow the following protocol or another simple-to-figure-out-unless-you-are-a-spambot one for your email address: "handle at provider dot suffix." (I don't want you to get Nigerian scam letters, as I seem to be this month. Seven so far!) I will randomly select winners on June 10th or thereabouts. (If you cannot leave your address, please check back by June 15th to see if you won -- if I haven't heard from you again by then, I'll re-draw for the prize.)
Well. That was a mouthful.
The drawings are for:
1) Real Food for Mother and Baby by Nina Planck. This copy is signed by the author and addressed to Drew at How to Cook Like Your Grandmother. He generously forwarded it, but since I received two copies, my abundance is your gain. Stay tuned for the review below.
2) Conquering Infertility by Alice Domar, Ph.D. and Alice Lesch Kelly. This is an unsigned copy. It is, however, a wonderfully helpful book that I picked up when I was drowning in despair; it turned around my attitude and helped me to see fresh options and the pleasures in my world. It would be immoral for me to keep it if I can hand it to someone else who can use it.
3) A package of 25 ovulation test strips, expiring in about a year. They are internet cheapies and they work great. These particular ones are dip strips requiring the additional use of a Dixie cup or simulacrum (you can't just pee on them for maximum efficiency.) When you are trying to conceive, you go through these things like water: I ordered a huge number of them the month before I quit trying to conceive. I have only used one since then -- as a half-assed pregnancy test that turned out positive. (Does this work? Sure, if only to tell you to go get a quality pregnancy test. But these are not to be considered diagnostic, even so much as OTC pregnancy tests. They are made less carefully.) Note: I have two packs of these, but would like to spread the love if there are more than one entrant for them.
Again, let me know how to contact you and which prize or prizes you are interested in if you enter the drawing. Tell a friend who will loan you his/her new book or share her OPKs, and double your chances! Sorta. :)
Let me tell you a little about these items.
Real Food for Mother and Baby is a no-nonsense, eye-opening look at the pragmatics of feeding one's fertility, developing embryo through all the trimesters, nursing baby, and young child ready for solid baby foods. While there is a "crunchy" emphasis on organic meat, dairy products, and vegetables where practical, the book sets forth an easy to follow program. The emphasis is on eating real, sensible, healthy food -- not on a difficult "pregnancy diet," a laundry list of things that you must eat every day, or nutritional balancing requiring a higher educational degree in a relevant field. It's approachable (unless you are vegetarian -- in that case, it will annoy you badly). It's practical. It's eminently reassuring, or was for me. It's a lifestyle book that can set you free if you, like me, tend to be a stress-monster: it teaches that only the devil is in the details, and how to look at the big nutritional picture. And even if you are not yet Trying To Conceive, it can teach you how to eat a healthy, low-stress diet to increase your fertility and health for later. I loved this book, and it was a perfect antidote to all the "OMG eat this TODAY or else" books I had piled on my nightstand before it.
The only harsher criticism I have of Planck's book is that she occasionally gives advice that directly controverts well-substantiated concerns -- such as her exuberant recommendation of raw dairy products and relaxed view on lightly cooked and organ meats. That said, she never fails to mention the opposing view and to make it clear where her evidence is anecdotal or simply the result of belief. If you do your research for yourself, as she recommends, it will be impossible to say that she steered you wrong.
I think I've said everything I needed to say about Conquering Infertility above. If you are avoiding the phone because you don't want to hear yet another pregnancy announcement, if you cannot look at friends' children without bitterly painful jealousy, or if you think you are out of options to be a happy parent -- please, read this book. It may not be the one to help you, but it was the one for me. If you take a look at this one and it isn't resonating with you, by all means, please don't stop looking for the one that does. You deserve joy and you can have it. I promise you, love surrounds you, and happiness awaits you. Reach out for it.
As for the ovulation strips, what can I say? You put them in your pee. They tell you whether you're ovulating or not. If you're like me, that stresses you out. But if you're not, they can be either a great learning tool (I can tell the day I ovulate now, even without the suckers) or a great indicator of when you should(n't) be doing the "baby dance." And if you are already using them, hey, let me try to save you a couple bucks. :)
Hey! We have winners -- check today's blog posting for details!