December 19, 2010

After Miscarriage

After Miscarriage: Medical Facts and Emotional Support for Pregnancy Loss by Krissi Danielsson, published in 2008 is another for my "Pregnancy & Birth" reading list.  And again, I chose it because pregnancy loss is not something I know from personal experience (at least, not yet - and at least, not directly - I do know friends, family members, and clients who have had losses.)  I appreciated that this book was written in a very personal style; it's not a clinical description of phenomenon or even a "all about it" kind of book, although it does include both information and advice.  Rather, it's a sort of compilation of reference material and acknowledgement of emotional struggle, and briefly, a description of the author's own miscarriage experiences and her emotional responses.  Best of all, it manages not to be patronizing (I think), which I can imagine it would be only too easy for a book on this topic to be.

December 8, 2010

Everything Conceivable

Everything Conceivable: How Assisted Reproduction Is Changing Our World by Liza Mundy, published in 2008.  I chose this book as one of my Pregnancy & Birth readings for my certification because assisted reproduction is just something I don't know about from personal experience - and I'm sure I've already worked with families using assisted reproduction as a doula and childbirth educator, whether I know it or not.

Actually, I know I've worked with families using assisted reproduction since I was a young teenager; one of the families I babysat for then was a single lesbian mom who eventually had 6 children, 4 or 5 by birth and 1 or 2 by adoption.  The ART she used was pretty low-tech as far as I know.

I learned a lot about how modern ART works, what the options and possibilities are, and what some of the pitfalls and challenges may be.

Favorite quote: "Urologists . . . have refined microsurgery to the point where if a man has a pocket of motile sperm anywhere - if, for example, the majority of his sperm are dead but there is live sperm in one tubule - they can retrieve it and use it.  They're like the SWAT team of reproductive surgeons, trained to get the hostage out safely.  (In military hospitals, these are actually called 'commando extractions.'" (p. 74)