Book signing party at Warwicks!

I’ll be signing books at Warwick’s Bookstore in La Jolla on Wednesday, May 9th at 7:30pm. All are welcome!

They’re at 7812 Girard Ave. They have a parking lot behind the store & there’s also street parking that’s fairly good (I went to a signing there last month and had no problem).

Hope to see you there!

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USA Today; Q&A on Conceive Online

The Impatient Woman’s Guide to Getting Pregnant was featured today in USA Today!

And thanks to Conceive Online for doing a Q&A about the book (and here’s the second one).

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Reviews are in!

It’s been a fun release week. The Impatient Woman’s Guide to Getting Pregnant has gotten some nice reviews around the web (the first is my favorite!):

http://blogs.babble.com/being-pregnant/2012/04/18/wanna-get-pregnant-right-now-this-book-could-help/

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/04/17/the-girls-guide-to-getting-pregnant-type-a-style.html

http://jezebel.com/5902610/theres-now-a-pregnancy-how+to-guide-for-type-a-overachievers

I will cop to the “Type A overachiever” part. I’m not as sure about the premise that we’re impatient just because of our age. Sure, I did the over-35 thing, but I would have been impatient even if I’d started at 25 instead. Trying to get pregnant is stressful and it’s nice to plan things as much as you can, so younger women can still get a lot of benefit out of ovulation prediction, etc.

Not to mention that it’s better for women of every age to prepare for pregnancy by taking the right vitamins & supplements and eating well. The risk of neural tube birth defects and autism can be reduced by taking prenatals — and they’re most effective if you start taking them at least a month before you get pregnant. 

So if that’s Type A, sign me up.

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paper or ebook?

A few people have asked me if they should get the paper book or the ebook (Kindle, iPad, etc.) I have a Kindle so I understand the question — books with lots of illustrations and charts don’t work very well on the Kindle.

Impatient Woman’s Guide should work fine on the Kindle or iPad, though, because I didn’t include any graphs, illustrations, or charts. I figured you can get those online now. A lot of books include temperature charts, for example, but almost everyone charts online now so I didn’t see the point. Same for a BMI chart — easier to do that in an online calculator. There is one table (for troubleshooting fertility problems), but that should look OK. 

You might want the paper version if you’re going to use lots of Post-it notes to mark the location of your favorite tips. You can do this on the Kindle too, but I’ve always found the function to be awkward.

So bottom line: Either is fine.

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Why trying to get pregnant is so stressful

The book was published yesterday! 

Here’s a cross-post from my Psychology Today blog, on why trying to get pregnant is so stressful.

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Why be impatient?

The Impatient Woman’s Guide to Getting Pregnant will be published tomorrow! The day is finally here — almost three years after the idea popped into my head when I was swimming laps while pregnant with my second daughter. She’s now 2 1/2, and we’ve since added our third.

A lot of people have asked me “Why did you write this book?” Most of the time, I think they mean why would a research psychologist, with two books on cultural change, go a completely different direction and write a book on fertility?

The quick answer: Because I’m a little crazy. During my first two TTC experiences I read so much of the medical research on fertility, and so much that gave me great new information, that I wanted to share it with more women. I love data and research in general, and hate seeing misinformation. And there was so, so much misinformation out there about fertility! I figured if I was crazy enough to spend so many hours reading medical journal articles I should justify my craziness a little by sharing that information with others.

And it was such a fun book to write. TTC is stressful but (especially when looking back) there’s a lot of humor to be had as well. My favorite part of the book is the list of what I thought about each day of the two-week-wait. I really was crazy, but it’s funny craziness because I know other women feel the same way.

Sometimes people ask me why I wrote the book because they wonder if women really need a book about getting pregnant. These days, I think the answer is yes. First, it really pays to prepare for pregnancy by taking the right vitamins and eating well. Second, TTC is so anxiety-provoking that it’s good to get it over with as soon as possible. Of course it’s fun in some ways, but no woman wants to get her period when she’s TTC. Many of us also want to plan our pregnancies around work or other kids or planned trips or kindergarten cutoffs or a myriad of other reasons. So if you can get pregnant as fast as possible, it helps.

So it’s good to be impatient!

After the kid arrives, though, then you have to learn patience. 🙂 And when you have 3 you really do. I am still working on that. 🙂

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Why your “egg count” isn’t that important

CNN recently ran a weekend special called “Baby Quest” with Kyra Phillips. It’s great that fertility issues are getting more attention, and I know the producers and reporters had the best intentions. But one of the first things mentioned was that women should get a blood test and/or an ultrasound to find out their “egg count” or ovarian reserve, because that will give them an idea of how fertile they are.

Except it doesn’t. Egg count matters a lot if you’re having IVF, but that’s a tiny percentage of women. For natural conception, most of the research finds that low egg count lowers fertility somewhat but doesn’t mean you won’t get pregnant. Why? IVF needs to get out a lot of eggs at once, but for natural conception all you need is one.

So: Don’t waste your money and emotional energy getting your egg count tested (unless you know you’re headed for IVF). Instead, learn the best ways to up your odds for natural conception. For example, in The Impatient Woman’s Guide, I describe three techniques for predicting your ovulation — and how if you’re really impatient you can use all three at once!

Egg count tests are a personal issue for me as well. I had my last two children at ages 38 and 40 — AFTER being told I had a very low egg count of 5. A friend of mine got pregnant with her third child at the age of 40 the same cycle that her FSH was 25 — an indicator of very low egg count. I later found out that these were not isolated cases, because the medical research finds that FSH isn’t a definitive predictor of natural fertility.

I’m a researcher, so I usually love having more information. But this is one case where I wish I hadn’t had the test. I was devastated after I got the news that I had a low egg count. I cried for a long time — it was like grieving, because I was afraid this meant I wouldn’t be able to have the family I wanted. But thankfully that turned out not to be the case.

Did you have your egg count tested — through a urine test (such as the First Response Fertility Test for Women), blood test (of FSH or AMH), or an ultrasound? How did you react to the results? Or did you make a conscious decision to not worry about such things until you had to?

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