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Inconceivable: A Woman's Triumph over Despair and Statistics [Anglais] [Broché]

Julia Indichova

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Description de l'ouvrage

9 octobre 2001
A memoir of hope for the thousands of women struggling with infertility, from one who beat the odds by simply tuning in to her body and tapping her well of sheer determination.

At a time when more and more women are trying to get pregnant at increasingly advanced ages, fertility specialists and homeopathic researchers boast endless treatment options. But when Julia Indichova made the rounds of medical doctors and nontraditional healers, she was still unable to conceive a child. It was only when she forsook their financially and emotionally draining advice, turning inward instead, that she finally met with reproductive success. Inconceivable recounts this journey from hopeless diagnoses to elated motherhood.

Anyone who has faced infertility will relate to Julia’s desperate measures: acupuncture, unidentifiable black-and-white pellets, herb soup, foul-smelling fruit, even making love on red sheets. Five reproductive endocrinologists told her that there was no documented case of anyone in her hormonal condition getting pregnant, forcing her to finally embark on her own intuitive regimen. After eight caffeine-free, nutrient-rich, yoga-laden months, complemented by visualization exercises, Julia received amazing news; incredibly, she was pregnant. Nine months later she gave birth to a healthy girl.

Unlike the many infertility books that take a clinical “how to” approach, Inconceivable simply professes the wisdom of giving expert status back to the patient. Julia’s self-discovery, and her ability to see her body as an ally once again, yield a beautiful message about the importance of honoring the body’s innate powers, and the power of life itself.

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1

Diagnosis

Oh, if there were in me one seed without rust . . .

--Czeslaw Milosz, The Song

I love teaching. After twenty years of working in the theater, I recently got a master's degree and was lucky enough to land a job teaching Russian and musical comedy in the hottest junior high school in Manhattan.

But Kathryn, our daughter's baby-sitter, has quit. Now Ellena wants to have nothing to do with any of the possible replacements. Except one. Me. She is only ten months old, and every time I leave the room her wailing reels me back in. There is only one thing to do: stay home until she becomes more comfortable with new people.

After a couple of weeks at home, I realize Kathryn's sudden departure was a gift. I would never have dared to choose full-time motherhood over work. Never found out how much I enjoyed the preciously unhurried hours with my daughter: cruising with the baby backpack through our morning errands, walking around the Columbia University campus just north of us, or savoring our raisin bagel in the nearby bakery. We live in a fifteen-story prewar building across from Riverside Park, and if I lean far enough out the kitchen window, I can see a patch of green. It's not unusual to meet up with a cluster of park-bound strollers in the lobby. Within a week, Ellena and I are part of a neighborhood play group. As long as we can manage financially, I will teach in the evenings and continue being a full-time mom. Thankfully, my husband, Ed, supports my decision.

There is an added bonus to all this. With no teaching schedule to consider, the second baby could come anytime. Let's see, if it arrived nine months from now, my two children would be only nineteen months apart. Lying in bed at night, I take a deep breath and imagine movement under the slope of my belly. I see myself lean against the weight of a double stroller and wonder whether it will fit through our front door.

Three months later, I'm still a full-time mom, now a part-time teacher of English to speakers of other languages at Hunter College. It seems Ellena's sibling is taking a little longer than we anticipated. I'm not really concerned. After all, the last time I got pregnant on the first try. Three months is not very long. But I'm forty-two. A consultation with my gynecologist might be in order.

"We should take an FSH test," suggests Dr. Y. "It's one of the first things we look at in women over forty." A week later I call for the results.

"Oh, yes," reports the nurse, "your numbers are fine, within normal range." A sigh of relief, a phone call to Ed, all is well. In a few days I call to schedule further testing. I am stunned to find out that, although the numbers are not "abnormal," all is not well.

"The follicle-stimulating hormone helps the follicles inside your ovaries to develop into eggs. If the level is--over 20--" Dr. Y pauses--"your ovaries are not working as well as they should be. With an FSH of 42 there is not much I can do for you. You'll need to see a fertility specialist."

I sleepwalk through the rest of the day. How could I have been so arrogant, ignoring my age? Did I think my biological clock had stopped ticking just because it took me so long to find the right man? We should have started trying sooner. And what is my problem? Why does this hurt so much when I already have the most wonderful daughter in the world? How dare I lament with all those childless couples out there? Yet I can't undo the feeling of despair. I know how much Ed wants to have another child and how much we would love Ellena to have a sibling. Dr. Y refers me to a specialist. That must mean a specialist can help.

Dr. N strikes the first blow.

"I'm sorry," says the receptionist. "Dr. N will not accept you as a patient. Your FSH is too high. He doesn't feel he could help you." A decent man, he is saving me money. Yet all I hear is that it's so bad, he doesn't even want to try.

"What happened? You look sick," says Ed as soon as he opens the door. Of course, he's shocked. Last week there was nothing in our way except a few months of practice until we got it right. My impulse for self-flagellation wins out once again: "If only we had started right after Ellena's birth. They say that's the most fertile time. We should've known!"

A line of fear cuts across his face, but he is enlightened, as always: "We couldn't have moved any faster, we were not ready. Everything will work out. Do you remember when we first held Ellena? How tiny she was? How easy it was to love her? We'll love this baby no matter where it comes from."

Ed is right. I mustn't for a moment forget how lucky I am. Ellena, Ellenka. Her name combines the names of her two grandmothers (Edita, Helen) for double protection. In return she carries sparks of them in her blue eyes, the color and texture of her sun-bathed hair. I must be there for her. I can't give in to the feeling of defeat that sneaks up on me when I least expect it.

My friend Lisa and I went to college together. Our relationship has gone through its ups and downs, but still my hand automatically dials her number in times of crisis. She and her husband, Gary, have been members of the infertility subculture for the past four years, having gone from specialist to specialist to finally adopting their son, Sam, three months ago.

"This is the worst part, when they tell you something's wrong. It gets easier after that," says Lisa.

On Lisa's recommendation I call Resolve, a national organization for people with infertility problems. They might have some new information. I'm hoping for a recent breakthrough in research, someone to discount the FSH alarmists.

I leave a message briefly describing my situation. The woman who returns my call, Shelly, is only thirty-seven. She has an FSH problem as well. Like me, she has one biological child, though she had trouble conceiving the first time. Our hormone levels create an instant bond.

"I know how you feel," Shelly says sympathetically. "Our doctor suggested IVF, but it's not an option for us. We can't go through it again. We're in the midst of the adoption process."

I ask her if she ever tried alternative treatments. "Like herbs? No, not really," she replies. "I guess you never know, do you?"

Across a haze of information, a list of doctors and IVF clinics, I hear a certain resignation, a weariness I fear might be contagious.

The complimentary Resolve newsletter arrives a few days later with an entire page filled with information on support groups. I am not ready to join one, but it's comforting to know they're there.

I'm surprised no one mentioned the effect of a high FSH on your environment. Seemingly overnight the entire Upper West Side of Manhattan swells into a giant, mocking belly. The playgrounds are invaded with mothers expecting their second or third child, or cradling newborns against their breasts. It seems almost daily there is joyous news of yet another one of Ellena's playmates becoming a big brother or sister. Each time the news feels like a humiliating betrayal to me.

Dr. C is at the top of Lisa's list of referrals. Getting an appointment is surprisingly easy. His office is on the street level of a lovely brownstone in Greenwich Village. Ed takes a late lunch hour to meet me for a two-thirty appointment. Finally, my first specialist.

A young woman with two screeching bundles is holding court in his waiting room. That's what I call a good omen. "They're Pergonal babies," she says to no one in particular. "We worked hard for them."

I imagine her gravely injecting her thigh while staring at a Gerber baby taped on her refrigerator door for inspiration. She walks out energized by her new motherhood and proceeds to load her car with the precious cargo.

Dr. C is an elegant, gray-haired man in his late fifties. On his desk sits a photograph of a beautiful woman holding twin girls. His daughters? Maybe his very first Pergonal twins? Nothing's sacred anymore.

Unaware of my silent indiscretion, Dr. C begins to take a brief medical history. He asks me about first menstruation, first pregnancy, Ellena's birth, and the regularity and duration of my ovulation cycles, all of which he finds satisfactory. Prior to this visit, Ed was asked to get a sperm count, and it's comforting to know we're not lacking in that department.

Dr. C looks at the lab report with my FSH. "Forty-two is high. Very high," he says, sounding concerned.

"Doesn't the number fluctuate? Couldn't it just drop on its own?"

"Of course it could, but the fact that it even once went up this high is discouraging. Ordinarily, I would recommend Pergonal. It's a fertility drug that helps you release more mature eggs. You could administer it to yourself by daily injections into your buttocks. Only, I don't think with these numbers it would do much good. I wouldn't want to give you any false hope. The prognosis is poor. In vitro fertilization is an option. Of course, you would have to get an egg donor.

"I still think we should run all the basic tests," he adds. "To make sure everything else is all right. And you'll need to have them if you elect to go the IVF route. One more thing: before we schedule the tests I'd like you to meet with our staff psychologist, Dr. R.

"Hope we can help," he says, shaking hands. Later I hear him repeat the phrase to another desperate, smiling couple.

Three weeks later, as we go through subsequent visits and discuss lab results and additional options over the phone, it becomes quite clear Dr. C has no idea who I am. Literally. I have a feeling he loses track of his patients in the maze of sonograms, biopsies, sperm counts, and referrals. Maybe he doesn't need to know me, as long as he knows his trade. As long as he updates my chart. Knows not to give me too much ...

Biographie de l'auteur

JULIA INDICHOVA is the founder of FertileHeart.com, one of the few independent fertility related advocacy groups with a global community of patients and healthcare providers. The website offers a wide range of support services such as studies, Guest Teacher Teleconferences, and ongoing fertility -support-circles for US residents as well as European and international participants. Indichova’s work and story have been featured on the The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, Oxygen, and NPR’s 51%, as well as in in Natural Health, San Francisco Chornicle, People magazine, Health magazine, USA Weekend,  and other outlets.  Her second book The Fertile Female: How the Power of Longing for a Child Can Save Your Life and Change the World documents her original mind-body program The Fertile Heart™ Ovum Practice developed through a decade of and a half of counseling and research. 

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 étoiles sur 5  129 commentaires
85 internautes sur 88 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An Inspiration! 15 janvier 2004
Par Penny - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Far from adopting the attitude that "all infertility doctors are jerks and out to take their patients' money" as one reviewer asserts, Indichova sought alternatives when her doctors gave her no hope of conceiving with her own eggs. In conjunction with adopting a myriad of lifestyle, dietary and other changes, Indichova continued to periodically assess her medical condition with conventional Western doctors. In fact, if this reviewer had really read the book carefully, he/she would have remembered that Indichova had an appointment with yet another RE to discuss the viability of an ART procedure based her decreasing FSH levels on the day that she learned she had beat the odds and conceived her much-wanted second child!
Some of the reviewers seem to have a negative attitude about anything that doesn't fall within the strictures of conventional Western medicine and thereby assign the corrollary attitude (incorrectly!) to Indichova (that she is into "hocus pocus" and "wacko" stuff and disparages Western medicine (she does not).
I will agree with the reviewers who've noted that this may be a tough book to swallow for those infertility patients who are struggling with primary infertility *and* have never conceived any children. Indichova suffered secondary infertility, and until I emotionally reached the point where I desperately want a 2nd child (my first miracle baby was IVF 3 years ago), I too would have had little sympathy for someone in Indichova's position. My perspective now is definitely different, but women who've never conceived any children should be forewarned of Indichova's situation.
I've been diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserve, and though my FSH numbers aren't high, I've been largely written off as a lost cause by Western medicine. I have found new hope and inspiration in reading Indichova's story, and I'm grateful that she wrote this wonderful account. I'm certainly willing to give some or most of her ideas a try! I've adopted many of her suggestions over the last few weeks and I already feel better, regardless of whether my body is producing a good egg this cycle. True that she has no scientific backup to support what she did ... maybe all those dietary and lifestyle changes did absolutely nothing toward her second pregnancy. But maybe they did. Maybe they did.
This review has been edited in June 2003 to say that I am now 12 weeks pregnant with my 2nd child, conceiving 3 months after I adopted many of Indichova's suggested dietary and lifestyle changes. Thanks for the inspiration!
47 internautes sur 50 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Thank You, Ms. Indichova!! 24 novembre 2003
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
As a 37 year old IF woman, with high FSH, I thought all was lost. Then I found this book. With an FSH of 25, and doctors all telling me that I could never have a child of my own without an egg donor, life looked very bleak to me. But upon reading this book, I decided to make some life changes. I gave up going out to lunch (and brown bagged it instead) and going to movies (nothing wrong with renting) to be able to do my acupuncture sessions. I also bought yoga tapes and guided imagery tapes, and started drinking wheatgrass. I did not do the vegetarian diet though. From 25, my FSH is now 9. While I will still go through with my IVF, I am going into it with absolute belief that it is finally going to happen for me.
When I received the results, I was overjoyed. And my doctors were shocked. They continued to test my FSH because they were sure it was an anomaly. They've been disappointed in seeing that my tests remain within a healthy range. I would encourage any and all who believe that in their body lies the key to fertility to at least give it a shot.
25 internautes sur 26 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Success Story 29 janvier 2002
Par Carol - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
The title of this book hit home and I tried everything else, so I bought the book and followed the recommendations as best as I could. A few months after I started, I did an insemination, went to the doctor (who originally felt my chances of getting pregnant were slim to none) and found out I was already 8 weeks pregnant! (What I thought was my period the month before was apparently blood from the embryo attaching to my uterine lining.) My doctor, who still couldn't believe it, recalled all my bloodwork from the month to retest, called me in for a sonogram the next day and, lo and behold, found and embryo with a beating heart. This doctor (one of the most respected in the business) said he'd never seen anything happen like this. I'm 42, have had 5 miscarriages and, as I've said, had a pathetic prognosis. The doctor said he'd be talking about my situation in his lectures and writings and he'd be sure not to mention my name.
I now have a 7 month old girl who is a joy every second of everyday.
I know how tough trying to have a baby can be when EVERYONE is telling you to pack it in, but believe me, if the advice in this book can work for someone like me, it can work for you too.
27 internautes sur 30 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Wonderful book 21 novembre 2006
Par Liesl - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
I was diagnosed with endometriosis about two years ago and had laproscopic surgery
six months later. I tried to get pregnant for about two years, before and after
the surgery, to no avail. I did two IUI's, which didn't work and finally
decided on my 37th birthday to move on to IVF. My husband and I went to see a high-flying
fertility doctor in Manhattan and he gave us a pep talk about IVF, saying that I
was an ideal candidate. He did some routine hormone tests and I resigned myself
to doing the procedure, though my heart wasn't in it. I did a day 3 FSH test
on a Sunday and got a call later that day from a nurse who reported back to me that
my hormones looked fine except for my FSH, which was worryingly high. I didn't
even know what FSH was and she said that all she could tell me is that I may have
"premature ovarian failure". I just about dropped the phone. What? I asked
her to please give me more information because I was very disturbed to hear this
out of the blue. She said she couldn't tell me anything else and my doctor was
not available until midday Monday. I asked her what made her think it was ok to
phone someone on a Sunday and give them half-baked information without being able
to explain exactly what she is reporting. She replied curtly, "What did you
want me to say, that everything was just fine?"

She told me my FSH was 17.8 and that the "cut-off" for IVF was 12 or 14.
I looked this up on the web after talking to her, desperate for information, and
read numerous reports confirming this. What I read turned my blood cold. "You're
as good as your highest FSH, even if the number comes down later." "No live births
above an FSH of 17." "Premature menopause." I went into shock. My husband and I
spent the day crying, feeling like someone just read us a death sentence. Then at
one point I got up off the couch, marched over to the health food store, got myself
a huge green juice and made up in my mind that I was going to fight this. On the
way home I passed Barnes and Nobles and floated up to the childbirth section to
look for any shred of information on high FSH. Julia Indichova's book Inconceivable
caught my attention and I immediately bought it and brought it home. This was the
beginning of an extraordinary process that would change my life and affirm to me
the potential of my own power to change and create circumstances in my life, even
beyond pregnancy.

I raced through Julia's excellent book, which was arresting in its honesty,
candor and straight-forward telling of her incredible story. The book was full of
excellent information, sometimes deceptively simple, but what I now know to have
been the key to what later shifted the course of my life. I was extremely impressed
with her emphasis on trusting your own resources and treating doctor's advice
as just guidance, and not the word of god. I learned, to my immense relief (there
is no way now to capture the desperation I felt at the time, I think it amounted
to trauma) that high FSH as an obstacle to conception is overdiagnosed and misunderstood
and that many women like me got their own little death sentences from hot-shot doctors
happy to dismiss their chances of motherhood in a two-minute cell phone conversation
(I was on 12th street and University in Manhattan when mine told me I would probably
never have children without an egg donor).

I immediately logged on to Julia's website [...] and found out that
she was having one of her workshops the very next day in Manhattan. Yippee! I cancelled
my plans and showed up to a room full of women at all stages of experience -- some
were pregnant, some had just happily adopted, some were just embarking on the conception
route and some had been at it for a while. In the center of this circle was a small,
Eastern European magician with a disarming, irreverant manner that I instantly loved
-- Julia Indichova. What she taught me that day and in the one-day workshop my husband
and I subsequently attended in Woodstock will last me a lifetime. Her well-considered,
intuititve, intelligent and extremely powerful techniques are described in her soon
to be published book, The Fertile Female, How the Power of Longing for a Child can
Save Your Life and Change the World, which I encourage everyone to read.

To sum it up, Julia believes -- and is able to transmit that belief -- that the
power of creation lies within us and while there are of course medical considerations
in the process of conception, our own ability to create a child in the world is
too often undervalued and unrecognized. This basic premise is coupled with loads
of practical advice about how nutrition, lifestyle, exercise and numerous other
factors influence the body's power to conceive, so don't think this is just
wooly advice on "positive thinking". It's also not just valuable for
women -- my husband learned a tremendous amount from Julia as well. Julia's
wisdom addresses all levels of body, mind and spirit and most importantly, accepts
that the deep longing for a child is not something to be repressed but rather bottled
and utilized as rocket fuel to bring your baby in to being. She speaks to those
of us who are more zen about creating change in our lives, as well as those who
tend to be highly motivated "doers" -- whoever you are, there is something
for you in her toolbox. Also, and I am convinced of this, what Julia teaches will
become commonplace at some point in the future. It's just taking a long time
for doctors to catch up with her vision.

Today I am 20 weeks pregnant with a little boy and girl (twins!). I did do IVF in
the end -- after cleaning out my body and doing Julia's "body talk"
and other techniques, I ended up bringing my FSH down to 5.2 -- a huge drop my doctors
in London, my second home, said they had never before seen. They also told me that
because the FSH level fluctuates, I may wish to do IVF right away, to take advantage
of the low number. So I did and with extra phone sessions with Julia, I navigated
my way through fertility treatment. For me, it worked the first time and I now feel
like the luckiest girl in the world. Julia will say I just got out of my own way
and let the power of creation take its course. And I think this is actually a good
example of how combining self-belief and medicine brought me what I wanted so dearly.
There are of course medical limits to the body but they are often overestimated.
Julia's advice is also a formula for creating almost anything in your life that
you really, really want. Conception can be a baby but it can also be an idea, a
project, a political movement, anything. Julia is a gem in the world and way ahead
of her time. I highly recommend both of her books and best of all, time spent with
her directly in one of her workshops. What she has taught me will stay with me long
after my children are born.
99 internautes sur 120 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Deceiving, if somewhat inspiring. 5 mars 2002
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Although I found parts of Indichova's story inspiring, overall I found this book more annoying than enlightening. Women who are struggling to conceive their first child should be warned before reading this book. Indichova's struggle is about secondary infertility. As someone who is still hoping for one child, I found it difficult to read page after page of Indichova's angst about trying for her second child. It made me feel that she didn't really appreciate the gift and miracle she already had with her first healthy child. I know secondary infertility is a serious problem for many women and I respect that it is, but for women who have not been able to have any children, this book can be an odd and unsettling read.
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