Recent Book Reviews

15 08 2010

048. Read 50 books (6/50) [more info]
049. Read 10 books that aren’t from the sci-fi or fantasy genres (2/10) [more info]

Over the last couple of months I’ve been doing a fair bit of reading (or more than I’ve done in the last year). Sitting on public transport and waiting for appointments at hospitals will do that to you… but at least I’ve used the time well. 🙂

One recent book I’ve finished is Ringworld (Larry Niven), a story of space exploration and distant races written in the 1970s. The story revolves (pun intended :P) around a narrow band of substance orbiting around a star that appears to be long-abandoned by its creators (the ‘Engineers’), but inhabited by an ancestor of a humanoid species. The story is quite humourous in parts, making droll mentions of a race of giant parrots and interspecies intercourse, to name a couple of instances. Well worth the read, even if it’s a little slow to get into and if you can ignore some scientific and physics-based inaccuracies).

Another book is a collection of tales of Australians who find themselves childless, not by choice. An Inconceiveable Notion: Stories of Infertility and Childlessness (Justine Davies) focuses on the stories of women (and men) who live with infertililty. Interestingly, this book popped up on my COLLECT list from the local library shortly after finding out that I was pregnant (after a long battle with infertility myself, through endometriosis). I wondered whether to pick it up and decided to in the end. Some of the stories were ones I could relate to – IVF or endometriosis, while others related to PCOS, age or finding a partner later in life. While infertility seems like a depressing read, it was actually uplifting to see people working towards acceptance and that life brings so many other opportunities. Do I consider myself out of the infertile backwaters simply because I’m pregnant now? No, I don’t – infertility is something I will identify with for the rest of my life, regardless of where life might lead.

Inconceivable (Ben Elton)

6 05 2010

048. Read 50 books (2/50) [more info]
049. Read 10 books that aren’t from the sci-fi or fantasy genres (1/10) [more info]

Recently my naturopath let me borrow the book Inconceivable from her bookshelf, commenting that it may help me come to terms with a few issues I’ve been going through. Since I’ve always been an avid reader (although, these days, not as much as I’d like — life can get in the way) the thought of reading about a couple’s fertility journey interested me, particularly written from a comedic point of view. (note: It’s also a movie called Maybe Baby, which I didn’t realise until a friend pointed it out to me – I plan on downloading it)

This tale had everything – it made me laugh, it made me cry, it hit home how irrational I’ve been about things at times (oops!) and I could relate to it a heck of a lot. Sure, it’s based in the UK but there are parallels to Australian life (and procedures). My hunch is that either the author and his wife went through an IVF journey, or he did an enormous amount of research on the topic (it lists in the foreword that he has twin children so it’s a likely possibility…).

However, what let the story down for me was the ending. The book went from being realistic quasi-realistic to quite unbelieveable. Maybe I was after a more fitting ending? Instead there was some Hollywood cheese (and not in the way that you think, when you look at the synopsis). I won’t spoil it for anyone, but it’s definitely worth a read. The book wasn’t even science-fiction and it hooked me right in.

And that’s a rarity.

On Natural Therapies

28 03 2010

023. Use a Mooncup for three complete menstrual cycles (3/3) [more info]

Sorry to any males reading this blog, this entry’s mainly for the women.

Well… I did it. I used a MoonCup for three full menstrual cycles (I wrote more about it last month). For those of you unaware of what a Mooncup is, it’s a natural silicone cup designed to hold mentsrual blood instead of using a tampon or sanitary pad. I have endometriosis (a condition where the uterine lining – normally shed each month through a period – grows in areas outside the uterus and remains in the body, causing pain and other symptoms). When using tampons – which is convenient for a lot of women, myself included – they plug up the flow of blood and make that ‘time of the month’  less messy and more manageable.

In the case of having endometriosis, tampons cause the very real risk of forcing menstrual blood outside of the uterus (for exanple, out past the fallopian tubes and ovaries, and onto the back of the uterus, bladder and bowel. This is what surgery found in my situation (January 2008), and the removal of the ‘nodules’ has caused scar tissue building up within my reproductive system that has lead (or so my specialists think) to infertility.

In a nut-shell, seeking natural therapies (seeing a naturopath, cleansing my body of toxins by eating a healthy diet, shunning commercial deoderants, using a MoonCup etc) is more than a simple seachange, it’s a preparation for the journey my body is taking in being pregnancy-ready. Being a mother is one of my life’s dreams – and writing about babies/pregnancy when goal-setting was something I thought long and hard about. By putting a potentially ‘unrealistic’ goal on my list, I was perhaps setting myself up for failure… so I chose not to (NB: instead I chose the goal of “holding a newborn baby” – which could be my own or someone else’s).

Using the MoonCup encompasses just one of the changes that I have been making in my life, and something I will continue to do (ie, not stopping just because I have crossed the goal off my list). Who knows, maybe some time in the next two years I will have the opportunity to write those words I have been longing for in my last ten years of internet blogging… that I am pregnant.