Thursday, September 28, 2006

An answered prayer

Almost two years ago, when I first started Fertility Stories I came across a letter that really touched me. It was written by a young woman "celebrating" 10 years of trying to conceive. I asked for & got her permission to publish it, under the name of Donna.

Some women have chosen to update their stories, others have not. I didn't even think I had kept Donna's address. When I came across it, I decided to drop a line & see how she was doing. Just a few hours later I got this letter from her:

"Just a few days ago I was discussing with my husband how special my birthday will be this year. For the first time I will be celebrating it with my husband and children. Yes, incredibly, after having lost a precious pregnancy along the way, we're now proud parents to twin boys who are 8-months-old..."

I wonder if she ever thought her prayers would be answered.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Quilt Raffle

Just a quick post to let you know that Julie's raffling off one of her amazing quilts for a family who is about to adopt. You can read the story - it's a great opportunity to help a family make their dream come true.

Friday, September 22, 2006


We're celebrating our New Year starting tonight. It's traditional to eat pomegranate - rimon in Hebrew, and when we do, we ask G-d to make our merits be as plentiful as the pomegranate's seeds.

Though long ago, I realized that resolutions don't need to wait for a holiday, it's still nice to be reminded that we should do good deeds without expecting anything in return. I do my best to keep this in mind all year round...

Just recently I ran into a woman who I've known for several years. In her line of work, people don't talk to her much, so I always take a few minutes to ask her about herself and to tell her a little about the work that I do. For the past few years, every time I ran into her I was following the story of her daughter who was TTC. She had a natural pregnancy, an early miscarriage & was then trying to conceive for another 3 years. They're ultra-orthodox & going to get help is a bit taboo. I talked to her (the mom), encouraged her to tell her daughter to get help. She finally did. It took another 18 months or so & she finally conceived. I was so happy for her.

A few months ago she had her baby and everything was looking good. Until she was staying with her mom for a few days & her mom noticed that she was depressed. She told me that she was surprised that after finally giving birth to a healthy baby her daughter could be so down... After a lot of coaxing, the daughter admitted that she was terrified of her husband. I didn't hear the details, but they're now in the process of divorce. I've been through divorce. After infertility. After waiting for too many years. Being in a really bad, abusive, unfixable marriage is "the end of the world". Divorce, in such a situation, is a chance for a new beginning... I felt good being able to tell her this from experience. It reassured me, once again, that G-d has a plan for me & that being able to give some encouragement to people in difficult situations is part of it.

So now for my good blog-deed of the day (week? month?) - a recipe for sweet challah (bread). You can make the dough in a breadmaker, which makes it really simple. It makes the house smell great :-)

Below is the breadmaker version. If you want the hard-work version, email me.

Recipe for 12 rolls or 4 small round loaves.

2/3 cup water or milk or milk substitute
2 eggs
1/4 cup margarine or butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp yeast
3 cups flour

Once the dough is ready, take it out & knead it on a floured board.

Heat the oven to about 175C or 350F.

Optional: add raisins, roll out to a rectangle, spread with margarine & sprinkle cinnamon sugar. Roll from the long side of the rectangle and then curl the dough around to make a spiral shape.

After shaping it, it needs to rise 30-45 minutes the second time. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Paint with melted margarine or egg; you can also add honey to the margarine :-)

Bakes fast, so check after 8-10 minutes.

Have a sweet new year :-)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A Roundup

First, a bit of support for "one of us"... Dr. Lillian Schapiro published her first novel, Tick Tock (the link takes you to an eBook version of the novel) . Lillian had a septate uterus (a layer of tissue going through the uterus) and endometriosis. She discovered she was infertile while working as an obstetrician and treating other women with similar problems. I have not yet had the opportunity to read her book, but it would be interesting to hear the story from the perspective of a woman who understands exactly what's going on from the very beginning (we all, pretty much, become experts as time goes by). Here's a link to the book on Amazon.

On Sunday, I read an interesting article in the New York Times about couples with a history of cancer that is known to be of genetic origin in their families, and their use of PGD - preimplantation genetic diagnosis - to avoid having babies who are carrying these genes. I found the article to be well-balanced - while stating the obvious advantage of knowing your child will not develop a specific type of cancer, it also discussed ethical issues, such as "playing God" and the fact that PGD is only available to people who can finance it.

Connections between drugs and infertility are a frequent question that I find in my inbox. This article discusses marijuana use by women (OK, female mice) and the findings that it can cause early pregnancy failure. Another thing to definitely stay away from.

I'm currently working my way through an article on IMSI - intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection - published in Fertility Weekly. The method uses sperm that are selected in real time and dramatically improves the take-home baby rate. I hope to have a review of the article up in the next few days... stay tuned.

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(Fertility Stories does not get commissions from purchases at eBookMall & was not asked to review or present this or any other book.)