Spotlight: Rachel Gurevich
Websites: About.com: Fertility and rachelgurevich.com
On the web: since 1999 (for About.com since 2008)
Favorite vacation spot: “My favorite vacation spot is a place you have probably never heard of – Tzipori Cottages in Israel. You get an entire cottage to yourself, it’s quiet, it’s beautiful. It has a loft, a small kitchen, a cozy bedroom, a Jacuzzi, a porch with a view… and in the morning, they bring your breakfast in a basket, with local cheese and breads and veggies and… oh my G-d. I love it there!!”
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Learn more about Rachel Gurevich
What motivated you to start writing about fertility?
I’ve always used writing as a way to express myself and help me cope with difficulties in my life. I write in an effort to use my experience, problems, and troubles to help others. For example: I had a traumatic childbirth when I gave birth to my first son. This led me to an interest in doulas (labor coaches). I went on to write two books on doulas. It was my way to sort of heal my own past, while helping others have better experiences.
My desire to use writing to heal myself and to help others is what led me to write about fertility. I’ve been trying to have a third child for six years now. I’ve gone through three miscarriages, lots of fertility testing and treatments, and plenty of failure too. I’ve looked into natural solutions and dealt with all the emotional blah that comes with infertility.
I know what it’s like to go through all this and feel like you’re totally alone in your feelings and experiences. There’s some information out there on infertility, but much of it is written from a removed, medical perspective. Or it’s written without any medical backing or with crazy promises (“Just do this, and you’ll get pregnant today!”). Some of the information is downright wrong or even dangerous. What I craved was a friendly, girl-friend-to-girl-friend voice that gave me the information I needed but was also firmly grounded in current medical research. That’s what I aim to offer in my writing on fertility.
What was your motivation for getting involved with the fertility conversation via About.com?
I feel About.com is the perfect place to use as my platform to write on fertility. There’s a lot of great writing out there that isn’t found because the internet is so big. About.com helps people find my articles and that’s a huge help. Plus, everything I write goes through medical screening, reviewed by a medical doctor. Though I’m not a doctor, I put a great deal of effort into making sure that I write medically accurate content. Having a medical professional review my writing helps me do just that. I also have a wonderful editor who reviews my writing so it’s not just medically accurate, but also presented clearly and typo-free.
What have been some of your favorite articles/posts?
Oh, don’t make me pick! I guess one would be an article I did on Seven Signs of Ovulation, mainly because it was fun to write and provides lots of information in one place. It’s one of my most popular pieces, too.
Another article that is new is a piece I wrote on coping with the two week wait. The two week wait is a crazy time. And I spent way too many years living in my head and missing out on life during two week waits. The whole anxiety over whether or not this will be the month – and what it will mean if it’s not – can take over your mind. When I wrote in this article, I wanted to share things I learned on my own over time and from my therapist – things that really help! I hope others can both read and use this advice. Infertility is hard enough, but letting it take over your life is just adding insult to injury.
What are some of the first tips/suggestions you offer to people who are in the initial stages of infertility diagnosis or are simply trying to conceive?
If you’re just starting to try and conceive, try to be patient. I hated to hear that in the beginning. But often those who worry that they aren’t pregnant after three months will achieve pregnancy in another three to six months. In school, we’re taught that we’ll get pregnant if we look at a boy – so when it takes more than once, we start to worry that something’s wrong. It’s actually normal to take up to six months of well-timed intercourse to get pregnant.
However, if you’ve been trying for a while, (a year, or six months if you’re over 35) don’t wait to see a doctor. There are many couples that go into denial, not wanting a doctor to say something is wrong. And I really understand that. I’ve been there. But if you wait, depending on what’s wrong, things can get worse. Plus, it may not be as bad as you imagine. I think some couples think, “Oh, but I don’t want to do IVF.” But only a small percentage of infertility cases are treated with IVF. Until you at least get tested and evaluated, you won’t know what the solution options are.
Another thing: make sure that you both get checked out! Infertility affects women and men but sometimes the man gets away without being tested. I know way too many couples who went through treatments for months, only to find out that male infertility was the problem that wasn’t being addressed. He should be tested right away, especially given how easy the test for male fertility is.
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