Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Calling All Prospective Parents & Parents! (reviews, prize giveaways)

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!


Drew @ Cook Like Your Grandmother said...

"It's approachable (unless you are vegetarian -- in that case, it will annoy you badly)."

Oh. My. God. She should totally put that on the back cover. No, wait ... the front cover.

Ducks said...

Heh. I was vegetarian for years, and know a few veg*ns who stop by the blog now and then. I thought it was best to warn them; Planck is a big believer in (quality) meat in the healthy human diet. It was a totally offhand remark, not meant to be cute!

Thanks for stopping by, Drew, and for everything!

Kayla said...

Hi! I am absolutely interested in your giveaway! My husband and I are trying for our second child and we just haven't gotten there yet. For our last child, I worried over what to eat so much-my doctor didn't or wouldn't give me any information about it. I would liove to read this book! I am kayla dot aylward at gmail dot com. I found your site through Drew at Cook Like Your Grandmother. Thanks!

Amy S. said...

I read about your giveaway on How to Cook like your Grandmother. My husband and I got married in November and are trying to conceive. No luck so far. I know it hasn't been that long but I would be interested in either the infertility book or the strips. (amy.tuggle at gmail dot com)

Anonymous said...

I would be interested in #1 or #3. I like your frank assessment of all the items!

Thanks for the chance to win!


ejm6x (at) yahoo (dot) com

Muppet said...

Hi, I would be interested in the Real Food book. :)
Thanks, Maggie
mbenedette at gmail dot com

Eleanor said...

Hi i'm currently pregnant with my first child! i would LOVE to receive the 1st giveaway. it would be SOOO helpful!

etodd472 at gmail dot com

Tiff said...

I would love to win this book. I just found out this past Tuesday I am pregnant.
5 weeks as of tomorrow. :)


Anonymous said...

I would love a copy of Nina Planck's book. I have a special friend who doesn't have a clue about eating healthy. sejotess@yahoo.com

Unknown said...

I would like to enter the drawing for the Mother and Baby book.


chrishullboy at gmail dot com

Anastasia said...

I entered to win the book on htclyg and i'd still like to win it. we're probably two years away from a baby but i'd like to get myself in order before then rather than adding one more thing while everything else is going crazy!

Stasigh at gmail dot com

Ducks said...

Thanks for stopping by, everyone -- I will be sure to enter you in the draws.

Amy, I know from experience that 7 months can seem like eternity. If you are younger than 35, they're going to make you stick it out for another 4 months before recommending an infertility specialist; if you are over 35, you might want to contemplate seeing one. "Infertile" is a temporal (and can be temporary) state rather than a strong diagnosis for most couples, and it helps to have all the information at your behest. It can be expensive to get the testing, but -- in my case -- it may have saved my life in the long run, because I learned how easy it would be for me to have a serious blood clot or stroke as a result of the same condition that caused me to miscarry. A few simple changes in my life have probably prolonged it -- a lot. Hugs, and please feel free to email me at literaryequivalent at yahoo dot com if you need a compassionate cheerleader.

And HUGE congratulations, Big Momma T and Tiff! I have a couple posts that you might find helpful -- my opinionated rant on cloth vs. disposable diapers earlier this month, Heather's great comment on this post: http://i-regret-nothing.blogspot.com/2010/04/pregnancy.html, and I tried to catalogue some useful links here: http://i-regret-nothing.blogspot.com/2008/01/well-since-you-all-know-were-trying.html.

I am LOVING the Babycenter site, too. It's got an exhaustingly lively community, lots of info (calmer sources are the American Pregnancy Association and -- sometimes -- March of Dimes sites), and will hook you up with other moms due around the same time of year. Then you can compare notes, which is sooo much fun!

kellie said...

I would love a copy of the book Real food for Mother and Baby. This is my 3rd pregnancy and I am very careful about what I eat, as well as what I feed my children when they are little. I make all my own baby food. But, information that is based in fact and gives details, yet is readable is hard to find. I am currently in my 12th week of pregnancy and looking for updated material. The book would be wonderful!! Thanks so much!!

Emily said...

I'm interested in being included in the book giveaway. I tried for the giveaway on Drew's blog, so I hope I get it this time!

Ducks said...

I'll include you in the drawings, ladies. Kellie, congratulations on baby #3!

Ducks said...

I just drew winners with the help of Random.org -- please see today's post for details!