Showing posts with label Night of Hope. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Night of Hope. Show all posts

June 30, 2011

Have you voted for RESOLVE's Best Blog yet?

It's hard to believe it's that time of year again... RESOLVE has announced their 2011 Night of Hope Awardees and Nominees for Best Book and Best Blog! Now it's up to the blogosphere to vote for the winners. The Best Blog nominations came from this year's National Infertility Awareness Week blogger project, Bust a Myth. The four bloggers nominated - from a field of over 300 Bust a Myth submissions - rose to the top as the strongest, most eloquent voices.

I'm so excited by this year's field of nominees because I've read and interacted with some of these bloggers in the past year and it's wonderful to see them being recognized. Even if someone doesn't win, it sure does feel nice to have that nomination recognition from an organization like RESOLVE! I'd like to take the time to highlight each one, because hey - who doesn't love a little extra recognition?

RESOLVE 2011 Best Blog Nominees

Nominee: Whitney and Erick
Bust a Myth Post: Don't minimize infertility or miscarriage
Why Whitney's Post Rocks: Whitney's post is so down-to-earth and approachable while laying the facts right out there on the table. In addition to exploring the emotional impact of both infertility and miscarriage, she leaves readers with tips for how family and friends can be supportive and sensitive in both situations.
Go vote for Whitney and Erick here!

Nominee: from IF to when
Bust a Myth Post: the truth about resolution
Why Katie's Post Rocks: Katie's post takes us to the land distinct from - but not necessarily beyond - infertility; the land of impending parenthood. She explores how infertility never really leaves us, even if we are lucky enough to resolve in some way. She goes on to say that it's okay if that scar doesn't fade right away and that "there's no rush to heal." An incredibly moving and inspiring post, and Katie's second Best Blog nomination in as many years.
Go vote for from IF to when here! 

Nominee: Tippy and Tidy's Tumultuous Trip to Toddlers
Bust a Myth Post: Infertility treatments are covered by insurance
Why Tippy's Post Rocks: When I finished reading her post, I just wanted to stand up and cheer. Detailing their very expensive quest to conceive, Tippy illustrates what is more the standard of healthcare costs for infertility patients, as mandated states are very much in the minority in the US. She makes one helluva case why we need more affordable access to infertility care with a one-two sucker punch of a post as a call to advocacy and action.
Go vote for Tippy here!

Nominee: Weathering the Storm
Bust a Myth Post: I'm less of a man because I can't get my wife pregnant
Why Rain's Post Rocks: Rain did something rather unique for NIAW - she interviewed her husband. We so often assume that infertility is the result of the female partner when male infertility makes up about 30-40% of cases. In this touching and frank dialogue between husband and wife, we get to see a glimpse of how infertility plays out in the dynamic of a partnered relationship and how infertility affects the men in our lives too.
Go vote for Weathering the Storm here!

Voting ends on July 11th, so go read these posts and cast your vote today! And don't forget to check out the four books nominated for Best Book this year. I've already reviewed Conquering Infertility by Dr. Ali Domar as part of my Infertility Summer Reading Series and my review for Phoebe Potts' Good Eggs will post tomorrow, so check back then before casting your vote for Best Book.

Happy voting and best of luck to Whitney, Katie, Tippy, and Rain!

June 15, 2011

What's Shakin?

(Salem Willows Pier, May 2011)
Random update post = random pic.
I've been fishing a bunch lately.
Figured I was overdue for a "What's going on in my life" post. If you're reading my blog in something other than a reader, you may have noticed I've gone a bit... design crazy. I posted a new header a month or so ago, I've been tweaking the background color, and oh, huh, look at that: ads and paid ad space. Right, so... about that. Rather than just making all these changes and hoping no one will notice, I figured it was time to come clean about all the changes happening around here.

So let's see, where to begin? I've been participating in The SITS Girls 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Challenge. We're on day 11 today. So, between now and when this challenge ends sometime mid-July, I'm sure there will be other little tweaks and changes along the way. I'll also be experimenting with post types and content, just to see how I can play with things here a little bit. Whether it's the occasional list post or dabbling in a bit of creative non-fiction, it's the summer. I want to keep things interesting here and spruce up my blog overall.

Right, so the other big thing: ads. Yes, you too can purchase ad space on my blog. You may notice it falls under the creative "Baby Fund" heading. I'm telling it like it is folks: babies ain't cheap and makin' babies with donor eggs ain't any cheaper. Honestly? Every little bit helps. I'm also signing up for Affiliate programs that are a good fit for my blog. I've been running BlogHer Ads for a while now and have been an Amazon Affiliate for ages. I've only recently begun pumping up the Amazon Affiliate profile a little bit. In full disclosure, I'm an affiliate for Circle+Bloom and AttainFertility. And yes, I'm looking to add more and to do so in a way that's a) clear to you as readers and b) not intrusive beyond the sidebar. I realize ads might turn some of you off. If it does, please be honest and lay it on me (in a comment or an email is fine). Your readership is important to me, so if ads are going to send folks away screaming, I want to hear about it.

Let's see, what else... Remember when Blogger died last month? And I was like, hell no I'm not losing two  years' worth of writing? Yeah, about that. I'm moving to self-hosted WordPress sometime this summer. Tentative launch will be August 1st. The big thing you can do to help me? Make sure your bookmarks and reader feeds point to and not my blogspot URL. That will make the transition easier so you don't lose me in the move.

Other random things...
  • Updated my Resources page. Needed some serious updating and dusting off.
  • Sorted my Blogroll into five categories. I did this for a variety of reasons, but the biggest one being I didn't want any of you to click over to a BFP blog and not know about it and then be totally blindsided. It happened to me a bunch so it was time to clean up my list so it's clear to everyone.
    • Infertility Blogs: General blogs that didn't fit into my other categories
    • TTC Blogs: Folks actively working on makin' babies, typically through some kind of treatment
    • BFP Blogs: Mazel tov ladies on your impending arrivals!
    • Adoption Blogs: Folks who are all about adoption or are in the homestudy/waiting process
    • Parenting After IF Blogs: Folks who may or may not still be dealing with IF but who already have children and thus may have posts or pics that mention their children
  • I accidentally spilled the beans and stupidly posted on Twitter that I'm working on a book. JJiraffe has only helped amplify my super secret news ;) For all intents and purposes, let's just stick to the rumor that it's trashy vampire horror/smut and when I'm ready to reveal, it'll be that much cooler.
  • Linking up to some neat infertility-inspired writing groups online. The first is JJiraffe's Pomegranate Society. Basically it's a small writers' workshop where we pair up with other writers with the intent to get our asses in gear about getting our stuff published. The second is Mel's Prompt-ly group. This is more focused on keeping the inspiration juices flowing, to keep our blog content fresh, and to provide support and share resources. It's already awesome.
  • Twitterview with RESOLVE and blogger Alec Ross of I Want to Be a Daddy for a Fathers' Day Twitter Chat this Friday at 2pm EST. I'll be jumping in and retweeting as it goes on. You can follow the dicussion at #tvFD - best way to follow it is through TweetChat.
  • The Hope Award for Best Book nominations are now openHead over to the fabulous Ladies in Waiting Book Club to cast your nominations. Nominations will be accepted until this Friday, June 17th so go swing by and vote for the nominations listed or add your own. It looks like it's going to be a tight race whoever the Top 5 are, so get your nominations in now!
  • Random: I can't stop listening to Beats Antique. Bellydance music has been blasting out of my car anytime I drive. 

So there you have it. Bunches of random things happening around here and little tweaks along the way. Mostly, I'm hoping it's for the better but if you see something and you're like, "Gosh Keiko, what the hell is with all the pink? I mean seriously - is this an infertility blog or Pretty Pretty Princess Land?" please let me know. You can leave me a comment or shoot me an email. Or hound me on Twitter - I'm all over the place.

Ultimately, here's the thing: I'm making changes because I want to make this a better blog experience for everyone - not just for myself, but for you. So if you don't like something I've done around here, I want to hear about it. I can take it :)

And if you love something, well, I want to hear about that too.

February 16, 2011

Weird Science

Her name was Henrietta Lacks.

She is known to most scientists simply as HeLa. In fact, she's known on an even simpler scale: she is not a person to most modern researchers, rather, she is an "immortal" line of cultured cells. The immortality was that these cells, named HeLa cells, were extremely resilient when grown in culture, becoming the first human cells to be successfully grown in a lab.

Henrietta had an aggressive form of cervical cancer that ultimately killed her in 1951. Prior to her death, cancerous cells from her tumor were taken without her permission and used for scientific research at Johns Hopkins. Informed consent didn't exist at the time. The horrible irony of all this is that Henrietta left behind five young children who would grow up without their mother... and without health insurance. The Lacks' children would never be able to collect a dime from her mother's contribution (one made without her consent, no less). HeLa cells have helped millions of people globablly, from testing cancer therapies to the creation of the polio vaccine, as well as thousands of other studies.

You might see where I'm going with this whole "cells in a petri dish" tangent: HeLa cells helped pave the way for IVF.

The examining gynecologist, Dr. Howard Jones, first witnessed and diagnosed Henrietta's unusually large and aggressive cervical cancer tumor. He would leave Johns Hopkins in the 1970s with his wife Georgeanna, an endocrinologist, to form a reproductive research center in Virginia. The pair would go on to successfully pioneer IVF in the United States. And all because of the knowledge they gained from seeing HeLa cells in action.

Dr. Howard W. Jones, IVF pioneer.
This post was set up to be just another run of the mill book review as I read Rebecca Skloot's compelling account of Henrietta's life and the far-reaching impact of HeLa cells in the last 60 years. It was when I had finished the book and read the "Where are they now" section on the cast of characters in the story that I saw that Dr. Howard Jones was the doctor responsible for the first successful IVF pregnancy in the United States. That's when I realized the weird connection I had with Dr. Jones.

We both received Hope Awards at RESOLVE's Night of Hope this past September.

Dr. Jones received the Barbara Eck Founders Award for his work with his wife in the field of reproductive science. While Dr. Jones could not personally attend (he just turned 100 in December), the award was accepted on his behalf by his grandson. For a video of Dr. Jones at his 100th birthday, check this out from the ASRM: Dr. Howard Jones speaks about IVF in the 21st century.

There's a very powerful line in the book, from one of Henrietta's children, to the effect of, "I don't care if millions of people have benefited from my mother's cells... I just want my mother back." It was not an easy life for Henrietta's children in the wake of her death, as described in the book.

What hit me was realizing that I will be one of those people benefited. IVF wouldn't even be a possibility if it weren't for some borderline shady medical practices in the 1950s surrounding the collection and distribution of HeLa cells. I don't feel guilty for having benefited from this research. However, I do now have an appreciation of and watchful wariness for the bioethical considerations of scientific research. We are lucky to live in an age of informed consent, but that still doesn't mean you have control over your tissues once they leave your body, whether it's for research or even profit from that research. Just ask John Moore. You do however, have rights to your tissue before it leaves your body, like Ted Slavin.

All this talk of tissue and cells before and after they leave your body... kind of reminds me of the complexities inherent to using donor gametes. After reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, this is the first time I've ever really thought about donor egg/IVF from a very removed standpoint, without the context of all the very personal considerations: "Will my child look like me or us? Will I still feel connected to my child?" I'm more than aware of the need for laywers in the donor egg process but I think this is the first time it's really sunk in. I'm not saying legal consultation is a bad thing, rather, I really understand now that all involved parties, recipient and donor alike, each have legal rights. I hate to say that it's about ownership, but at the end of the day, we're talking about human cells and the property rights to those cells once they leave a woman's body.

I'm reminded too of a session on embryo donation I went to at RESOLVE of New England's Annual Conference last year. On one hand, it could be very easy to check off "donate my unused embryos to science." You're simply relenquishing your property rights to those cells. On the other hand (and this is painting the picture with a very broad brush stroke) it's like sending your potential children off to the lab. It's a lot to consider. Again, it's just the ways in which this book has broadened my thinking about modern reproductive science.

If you've read the book, I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments. If you haven't read it, go pick up a copy. It's a pretty quick read because honestly, it's so compelling you can't put it down. And I'll throw this question out there too:

Is anyone else just as marveled as I am at the miracles of modern science?

I mean, creating human embryos outside of the human body, implanting them into a waiting womb and if all goes well... it could be your child?! Mindblowing stuff when you really think about it.

October 2, 2010

Night of Hope Recap

Night of Hope was simply amazing. Held at the very swanky Guastavino's in New York City on Tuesday, September 28, RESOLVE put on one classy gala celebration. Here are my pics from the night.

The lady in red? That's me. That classy lookin' guy in the suit? That's Larry. The fancy lookin' lady in the black pantsuit? My mom Debbie :) And the two other women holding awards in that picture with me? Those would be (from left) Best Blog winner Julie Robichaux, aka, A Little Pregnant and Best Book winner Pamela Tsigdinos, author of Silent Sorority. Oh! And my 1 pic with a celeb: Alisyn Camerota from FOX and Friends Weekend was the emcee for the evening. All the rest of the details after the cut.

Larry and I left bright and early Tuesday morning after making a quick pitstop to Target so I could pick up an evening bag - a girl's gotta have a complete ensemble! We made it to Brooklyn by lunchtime and met up with a friend of ours and had lunch at the famous/omgdelicious Junior's Deli. They are apparently famous for their cheesecake, but sadly, we didn't sample a slice as we were running short on time and we wanted to save room for dinner (more on that deliciousness later). It was great to catch up with Jen who we hadn't seen since her wedding last year and then we were off into the wilds of NYC streets to get to our hotel.

We stayed at the Marriott East Side, made possible only by cashing in all of Larry's Marriott points. It's basically across the street from the Waldorf Astoria, so you can probably guess as to what a nightly rate might be there. We were given the option of a queen bed on a high floor or a king bed on a lower floor. We thought "higher floor, better view" but instead we were looking at the back of the building and thought, hm, let's splurge for that king room. (Oh we were TOTALLY those guests that went up to the first room and changed our minds.) So as we're waiting for a bellhop to key us into our new room, we notice there's a lot of activity on this new floor. When the bellhop lets us in, he says, "I hope you don't mind the Secret Service guy on the terrace next to your room."

Turns out, Vice President Biden was staying in our hotel for the UN Conference this week. That would explain the unusually large amount of NYPD around the hotel and those guys in suits with ear-pieces in the lobby. And yes, there was a guy on the terrace ledge next to our room scoping out everything. Larry has been on a 24 kick lately so he was all like, "It's just like Jack Bauer!" and I replied "Well, Jack Bauer doesn't need to see me get dressed," and I shut the shade. We then made jokes about the no-fly list and bugs in our room as I hustled to get ready.

What I have failed to mention is that I still hadn't finished writing my speech. I had written a draft in the car that Larry thought was nice, but once we were in the hotel and I read it aloud again, this time without the distraction of the radio and traffic, we both realized it was crap and I had to rewrite it. It was 4pm. The event started at 6pm.

Larry insisted that I not memorize it but I was too rushed to try and write the whole thing down, so I ended up typing it as a doc on my iPhone. I know, I know - nerd. I own up to that. Before we left I raised the shade and the Secret Service guy was gone, like a whisper in the night. Cool... and admittedly creepy too.

Then we rushed to get a cab at 4:30 because I figured there would be road closures and rush hour traffic and... we got to Guastavino's in about 10 minutes. I didn't have to be there until 5:20. I proceded to walk around the block practicing my speech and trying to calm my nerves. Finally, at 5pm we went in. When I checked in, I had a lovely bouquet of roses waiting for me from Dr. Lawrence Nelson. He and I have been in touch the last few months and he was scheduled to attend but couldn't at the last minute. It was a really sweet gesture. I was greeted right away by people who knew me by face from my video and as I walked around, I realized that more people there would know me from my video than I would know them... it was a very strange realization and I suddenly felt like I was under a microscope.

As effervescent as I can appear to be in public, it can still be a challenge to mix and mingle for me, especially where the ratio of personal recognition did not favor me in the least. Suddenly, I got VERY nervous for the rest of the night.

I was relieved then, after a quick walkthrough of the stage area upstairs, to see my mom standing with Larry when I came back downstairs. She looked radiant! We got ourselves some cocktails and had a seat. As more folks came in, I said hi to colleagues and finally got to meet several people I had only met online or over the phone - it was great to finally meet these folks in person (like Julie & Pamela). I even managed to stumble a very awkward hello and introduction to Sherri Shepherd, one of the hostesses of The View who was there to accept the Hope Award for Achievement on their behalf that evening. (Her speech, by the way, was hysterical and poignant: "We didn't have insurance so we put the whole IVF cycle on our Amex. Now we have like, 400,000 Sky Miles thanks to our son!")

The evening got underway with a special video message from Guiliana and Bill Rancic as they couldn't be present to accept their award. I had no clue who they were (and still kind of don't because I never watched The Apprentice or E! News) until I looked them up on my phone that night. But apparently, they have a new reality show debuting next Monday on the Style Network that chronicles both their relationship and their infertility journey. In fact, I just watched the teaser trailer online and now I'm all teary-eyed! It looks to be the kind of awareness-building show our community needs right now.

Dinner was delish: flat-iron steak, grilled asparagus, stuffed potatoes, and a delicious salad. And of course: wine. I had to slow down on the cocktails because I hadn't eaten too much and I didn't want to be sloshed when I went to accept my award. (Although, it certainly helped calm my nerves.) At the last minute, I decided to write out my speech and began frantically copying it onto the back of my logistics sheet with the awards order and room layout guide I got when I checked in. Then, it was go time.

I got up one award before mine and waited in the holding area. Jeff Silsbee, Marketing Leader for Merck Pharmaceuticals, would do my introduction. We had a minute to chat before going up and he said it was great to meet me in person after seeing my video. During his intro speech, he mentioned that his team at Merck was very moved by seeing my video. I was floored. I had no idea it had been seen by the Fertility Marketing team of a major pharmaceutical company. They showed a 60 second clip of my video and it was so strange to see a) the video and b) myself on the big screen (two big screens actually). I felt like someone unleashed a whole net of butterflies into my stomach and throat as I was called up to the stage.

Click here to see the full video of my entire award acceptance, including my speech.

The whole 7 minutes from introduction until I came down from the stage felt like a blink. Before I knew it, I was back in my seat hugging my mom and kissing Larry. Afterward we headed to the dessert reception, where I barely ate as person after person came up to me to bestow congratulations and compliments. I am certainly grateful for all of the well wishes; I was just very overwhelmed and VERY out of my element. Thank G-d for Larry- he's a schmoozer by nature- so he helped me work the room and reminded me to hand out my business cards. I got to talk more at length with Jeff; I met Jennifer Redmond of Fertility Authority and we chatted about my possibly writing for them soon; Preya Shivdat, founder of Fertile Dreams, a grant-giving non-profit for couples struggling with IF; and had a very interesting conversation with Dr. Ali Domar of the Domar Mind/Body Center - she's inspired me to seek a second opinion of my diagnosis; I met fellow awardees Renee Whitley and Lee Rubin Collins, both very inspiring women who take advocacy to its highest levels in the US.

I'm sure there were lots and lots more fantastic people that I met, but honestly, the night was such a blur it's hard to remember everyone. If we did meet and forgot to exchange cards, please do feel free to email me, find me on Facebook or Twitter. All those handy links are on my sidebars.

In all, it was a simply gala evening and I enjoyed myself immensely. Thank you so much to RESOLVE for hosting such a wonderful event and for this incredible honor you've bestowed on me. Now I have a very pretty (and very heavy!) crystal award vase to proudly display on one of the four hearths we have in our new home.

...Although, as Julie and I were joking, we might use them for snack storage. Yanno, just eat some M&Ms out of it from time to time.

Larry is convinced Night of Hope is my tipping point. Tipping into what... I'm not sure yet. But I hope it's toward big opportunities, a chance to raise awareness and to continue my advocacy, and hopefully, somewhere soon down this path - towards building our family.

September 29, 2010

Video Clip: Night of Hope

Night of Hope was simply amazing. I'll have a more detailed post in the next couple of days, but here is the footage of me accepting the Hope Award for Best Viral Video last night.

Keiko Zoll at Night of Hope 2010 from Keiko Zoll on Vimeo.

More details and pics soon - promise! Congrats again to all of the awardees and thank you again RESOLVE, for this incredible honor.

September 27, 2010

Gearing Up for Night of Hope

Night of Hope is tomorrow night, sponsored by RESOLVE. I've got the dress. I've got the shoes. And more importantly, I've got the Award (well, at least on paper - no plaque yet).

Then why do I feel so woefully unprepared for tomorrow night? Why am I so nervous?

I've always been a pretty confident public speaker, extemporaneous or prepared. If I need to get up and do a dog and pony show for people, I'm your gal. I make it happen. Hell, I've got a beauty title and a perfomance at Carnegie Hall under my belt - all before the age of 18. In an alternate universe, Keiko Zoll is a world-reknowned opera star. Needless to say, I don't really have a problem getting up in front of people.

For tomorrow night, I've got a minute and a half to say any remarks once I receive my award. I've known since July that I received this award. And yet... I still haven't written an acceptance speech. Why is this so hard? Why am I so petrified about tomorrow night?

There is the chance for celebs to be there, true- Night of Hope is being emcee'd by Fox and Friends Weekend Anchor, Alisyn Camerota amd The View has been awarded The Hope Award for Achievement. Could I be hobnobbing with Barbara Walters? Maybe... I don't know! But the possibility both thrills and terrifies me.

Me, who's performed five times in "The Vagina Monologues," talking about lady bits in front of complete strangers - is nervous about possibly bumping into the ladies of The View.

I'm excited, don't get me wrong. A whirlwind 48 hours staying in a ritzy Manhattan hotel (hooray for Larry's Marriott points!) and spending the day with my mom. Getting all dolled up. And oh, receiving the Hope Award for Best Viral Video. It's been a slow day at work today and I've had a hard time concentrating because I am so excited. And I'm nervous too. It's getting down to the wire and I really need to write my acceptance speech.

But before I say anything tomorrow night:

Thank you - each and every one of you who read my blog, who watched my video, who forwarded it to their friends and colleagues and sisters and daughters and friends, who posted it to Facebook, your blog, Twitter, and all those corners of the internet.

I could have never won a Viral Video Award if it didn't go viral, and I have every single person who hit play to thank for that.

Thank you for watching, reading, advocating, sharing, and above all else:

Thanks for not giving up hope.

I'll be tweeting and prolly twitpic-ing my way through the event tomorrow, so make sure to follow @miriamshope for a little live-tweeting throughout the night. And if I meet any celebs, you better believe there will be pics! You can also check out other live-tweeters by following #nightofhope.

It's going to be a great night and even though I'm nervous, I can't wait. Wish me luck folks.

September 21, 2010


Welcome to another ICLW! I've been missing from the blogosphere recently and I thought that ICLW was just what I needed to get back into the virtual swing of things. Past ICLW intros can be found linked here, but to give you the quick rundown:

• I'm 28 with POF. Hoping to pursue domestic infant adoption with my husband Larry in the next 3-5 years.
• Just bought our first house! Also, had our first (hopefully only) fire. Homeownership is full of adventure, I'm quickly learning.
• Recently featured in Tablet Magazine last month for an article about infertility and reconciling Jewish faith.
• Getting awarded next Tuesday night in NYC at RESOLVE's Night of Hope Awards for Best Viral Video.

So there's the quick schpiel.

This has been a very contemplative start to the Jewish New Year for me. While I don't think our fire was any kind of punishment from G-d, it certainly was a wake-up call. The takeaway message I got from all of this: we have a new home. It's time to really start living Jewishly.

It's time to find a shul. It's time to really start observing Shabbos, perhaps rising to the call of the Sabbath Manifesto, as we were called to do at Yom Kippur services this year. It's a neat concept that Larry particularly finds intriguing that I could get behind too.

For me? On a more personal way of being Jewish? Sanctifying the ordinary, most basic everyday act: saying the blessings before food. If I won't keep kosher (because I'm sorry, bacon cheeseburgers and lobster are too delicious for a foodie to give up entirely) then I can at least make the act of eating holy.

I'll be honest. This is not easy; there isn't one catch-all blessing I can say. There's a blessing for bread (ha-motzi lechem min ha'aretz) but a different one for pasta and crackers (borey miney mezunot). And you say one blessing for grapes and wine (fruit of the vine), one for apples, pears and the like (fruit of the tree), and another entirely for most veggies and contradictingly enough, bananas (fruit of the earth).

But I do it because it forces me to give pause before I eat, to be thankful for daily sustenance, to sanctify the ordinary and to be mindful and take note of what I'm putting into my body. I've figured out that the more blessings I have to say, the more balanced my meal ^_^

And with that, it's time for lunch. Bon apetit and happy noshing.

August 5, 2010

My First Big Giveaway!

We've hit 200 posts, 200 followers, and 200 likes on Facebook. I think it's time for that long-promised giveaway! I'll be giving away five- yes, you read that right- five items for this giveaway! This is my way of saying thank you for sharing my work out there and being advocates in your own ways. I keep writing and doing this for y'all, so... thanks everyone. You all rock my socks ^_^

Kristen Magnacca, author of Love and Infertility: Survival Strategies for Balancing Infertility, Marriage, and Life, has generously offered one copy of her CD version of her book for this giveaway. Love and Infertility was honored with RESOLVE's inaugural Hope Award for Best Book last year at their Night of Hope. Her book is a wonderful resource to infertile couples, as described on her website:

Love and Infertility focuses on the importance of sharing and communicating so that a couple can move successfully through infertility without the stress of becoming all-encompassing and overwhelming. With honest humor and candid personal accounts, Kristen reveals tips, exercises, and rare bits of wisdom to guide couples through the hardships of infertility.
Joanne and Susan, the fabulous ladies behind Circle+Bloom, have generously donated one program of the winner's choice from their website! I personally have used their Energy for Empowerment program and I can't praise their products highly enough. From Joanne's soothing voice to the soul-stirring sense of body empowerment, Circle+Bloom is really the first product of its kind that specifically compliments each phase of a woman's cycle, whether she's trying to conceive naturally or through IVF/IUI, or simply trying to maintain a healthy pregnancy. Circle+Bloom is a truly innovative resource for all stages of your journey with a long list of testimonials to back it up, including:

“Circle+Bloom is a very important tool in the fertility kit. The Circle+Bloom audio mind-body program perfectly provides the support I need each day of my fertility journey. The audio meditations and visualizations so well-researched and well-crafted that I recommend it to every friend trying to conceive.” - Donna, via email.
Find out what three other goodies I'll have in this giveaway and how you can enter behind the cut!

Five (5) Fabulous Prizes Up For Grabs

1. Love and Infertility CD

2. Circle+Bloom Program of Your Choice

3. A pair of my handmade pomegranate earrings that I made for 200th Facebook follower, SomedayBabyT:

4. One very gently read copy of The Infertility Cure by Randine Lewis. If you're exploring Traditional Chinese Medicine as an avenue in your journey, this is THE book:

5. A 15"x15" unframed print of Tranquility by artist Alida Saxon, as featured in my June ICLW intro post:

How to Enter
There are ten (10) possible ways you can enter to increase your chances of winning, as described below:

+ 1 entry = Leave a comment on this post. You may comment as many times as you like, but only your first comment will count for a total of 1 entry.

+ 1 entry = Post the following tweet: "I've entered to win some neat prizes @miriamshope's first giveaway, have you? Details here:" You may retweet as many times as you like, but only your first tweet will count for a total of 1 entry.

+ 1 entry = Leave a comment on the Giveaway thread at my Facebook page. You may comment as many times as you like, but only your first comment will count for a total of 1 entry.

+ 1 entry = Become a follower of this blog. If you already are a follower of this blog, please mention that in your comment to this post with however your follower name is displayed.

+ 1 entry = Become a follower of my Facebook page. If you already are a follower of my FB page, please mention that in your comment to the Giveaway thread on my FB page.

+ 1 entry = Follow me on Twitter @miriamshope. If you already follow me on Twitter, please mention that in your comment to this post with your Twitter handle.

+ 4 entries = Write a blog post about this giveaway. That's right, this will earn you multiple entries! Your post must include my name (Keiko Zoll), my blog title (Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed) and a link to this post ( Once you post it, you can comment here, tweet me, or leave a comment on my FB page with a link to your post.

Deadline to Enter
All entries must be received by 11:59pm EDT on Tuesday, August 31, 2010.
That means all your tweets, comments, blog posts, and follower statuses must be made by that time. Five (5) individual and separate winners will be selected at random using sometime between September 1 and September 5, 2010. That means, once a winner has been picked for one prize, their name will be removed from selection of all other subsequent prizes. (I wanna spread the love here.) Winners will be announced on my blog sometime the week of September 6, 2010.

Good luck!

July 8, 2010

I'm a Night of Hope Award winner!

I've been holding on to this news for over a month, and now that the eUpdate has been sent out by RESOLVE, I can finally spill the beans...

RESOLVE has awarded me Best Viral Video for their annual Night of Hope Awards! I am floored, honored, and truly humbled. RESOLVE described the award in their email blast today:

RESOLVE is proud to announce the inaugural Team RESOLVE Choice Award for Best Viral Video. A viral video by definition is a video that becomes popular by sharing it via the internet. This year’s winner not only created a popular video, but created a video that captured the essence of the “What IF?” project launched during National Infertility Awareness Week®. Congratulations Keiko Zoll and those involved with the video “What IF? A portrait of infertility.”

Congrats also to the other two Team RESOLVE Choice Award winners: the Best Book Award went to Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos, author of Silent Sorority and the Best Blog Award to Julie Robichaux of A Little Pregnant!

The Night of Hope Awards will take place on Tuesday, September 28th at Gaustavino's in New York City. Larry and I are looking forward to making a long weekend out of it. NOH looks like it's going to be a fabulous evening of celebration, and I can't wait to finally meet some folks in person whom with I've only ever corresponded through blogs or emails. I've been going nuts sitting on this news for so long, but the cat's outta the bag now!

But more importantly...

This video could only go viral because of you.

To everyone who's ever clicked play; to everyone who posted it on their blog, or Twitter, or Facebook, or wherever; to everyone who said to someone else, "Hey, you gotta watch this" and showed them my video - thank you all so much.