Review — Books on Infertility

Published September 18, 2014 by Kattie Sivley

Review

This is another blast from the past review.  I had a hysterectomy in 2012.  Prior to this I read a lot of books on infertility. A LOT OF BOOKS.   None of them affected my decision to have the hysterectomy, or keep trying for a baby, but some of them made me feel better (and some of them didn’t.)  Here are my thoughts on some of the books I read.

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Goodreads Summary:

Infertility – it’s the latest “trend,” and for most couples there isn’t a darn thing funny about it. Well, don’t be so sure. In Laughin’fertility, a guide to laughter by “baby-making challenged” author Lisa Safran, discover a funny, new perspective on the procedures, experiments, and studies so many people go through to make a baby. Laughin’fertility is a must for couples dealing with any aspect of infertility. And best of all, it will help sharpen laughter skills and prepare for what will hopefully be the next highly amusing challenge: parenthood.

My Thoughts:

This book makes light of the infertility situation, which actually helps while you are going through it.  There are so many emotions, that you go through while you are struggling with infertility, and laughing is really helpful.  The book is divided into little sections that each talk about one step of the fertility process.  Each section is filled with Lisa’s thoughts and funny anecdotes.  My favorite section was the Crib Sheet: How to Respond to Friends and Family Who Say Really Insensitive Things, because I went through this a lot.

This book was kind of like reading emails from a girlfriend talking about the things that you are going through.  The book is very direct and to the point, she doesn’t sugar coat anything, but it’s written in a very funny way.  I really liked this book.  I would recommend this book to anyone going through infertility issues, or family and friends of people going through infertility issues.  Lisa Safran has a humorous take on the subject, and the book leaves you feeling like you talked with a close friend.

 

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My Thoughts

This was the worst infertility book I have read.  This book is surprisingly unhelpful. The authors talk about how a person can choose to stop being infertile and start living child free.  They claim that these are different, in that child free is a choice and infertility is a diagnosis.  I felt like they repeated the same information over and over throughout the book.  This book explains what they feel child free living is, and how it has helped them.  They do point out that you are only diagnosed infertile after actively trying to have children, and that if you never tried to have children, you would not know that you are infertile.  While this is true it did not help me feel any different.  This book was meant to be comforting; however I felt it was condescending. I do not recommend this book to anyone.  I regret having read it in the first place.

 

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Goodreads Summary:

Lisa Manterfield was a sensible 32-year-old when she met The One—a man who sparked a passion for tango, an urge to break down closed doors, and a deep-rooted want to reproduce. Five years later she was a baby addict, hiding her addiction, plotting a maternity ward heist, and threatening anything that got in her way, including her beloved husband and his pesky practicality.

In this gritty and honest memoir, Manterfield traces her spiraling route from rational 21st century woman to desperate mama-wannabe. She examines the siren song of motherhood, the insidious lure of the fertility industry, and the repercussions of being childless in a mom-centric society. But this isn’t just another infertility story with another miracle baby ending, nor is it a sad introspective of a childless woman; this is a story about love, desire, and choices—and ultimately about hope. It is the story of a woman who escapes her addiction, not with a baby, but with her sanity, her marriage, and her sense-of-self intact.

My Thoughts:

 

I was really looking for something that would make me feel better, and less alone.  This book did just that.

Lisa writes about her life and how she goes from maybe wanting children, to falling in love with someone and knowing that she wants children, to becoming a crazed mother-wannabe.  Eventually she decides to live child-free.  Her writing style is humorous, which is refreshing when facing such an unfunny topic.  The book isn’t a how-to get pregnant or a walk-through of every possible infertility treatment, it’s just the story of her own struggle with infertility and the  how she copes with it.   Lisa really lets you into her mind on everything from her husband’s family; his daughter’s pregnancy; and all the treatments they decide to do.  As someone who went through this, it was nice to know that someone else was struggling with the same emotions; jealousy of other people’s pregnancies, anger at being infertile, etc.  Only someone who knows what it is like to be unable to conceive can truly appreciate plotting to steal newborns from the maternity ward at the local hospital.  This book made me realize that I am not “crazy”.  This book is a great contribution to the infertile community. I would highly recommend this book to anyone dealing with infertility, or knows anyone dealing with infertility.  It really helps you understand what women go through.  Lisa is an excellent writer, so the book is a quick read (I finished it in one afternoon).

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Goodreads Summary:

Marc Sedaka stood by while he and his wife endured endless rounds of drug therapies, sixteen artificial insemination, ten in-vitro fertilization, three miscarriages, and, finally, a gestational surrogate (“womb for rent”) who carried their twin girls to term. He was as supportive and loving as he could be, but he really wished he’d had a book like What He Can Expect When She’s Not Expecting during the process. Most books about dealing with infertilityare geared toward women, leaving the man to his own devices when it comes to comfort and encouragement (never a good idea).With the help of his own infertility doctor, Sedaka provides straightforward guy-friendly advice on situations such as:
What questions you should ask at the consultations. How to help rather than annoy. What kinds of tests you and your wife should expect. How to console a wife who appears inconsolable. How to enjoy procreation sex. Sedaka’s accessible, empathetic voice, combined with the fact that he experienced everything he writes about, makes this a must-have book for any infertile couple.

My Thoughts:

I got this book for my husband, but decided to read it before him, that way if I didn’t like it he wouldn’t have to read it. Turns out I did like it, and he had to read it also. LOL.

A lot of what I have found on infertility just deals with women, and no one really talks about how the men felt. It is very refreshing to get a man’s take on what is going on, plus it has tips on how to deal with your wife during the infertility process, including a psycho meter, which I enjoyed. He talks a lot about the process they took (IVF and eventually surrogacy) and what happened during each step, and how to deal with your wife along the way. Dr. Rosen chimes in every now and again with medical facts and terms, but nothing too overwhelming. I like that the Dr. puts in his two cents and is actually pretty funny.  It was a short read (one afternoon), but very informative on all of the procedures. This book is definitely written by men for men, including sports references, however I also found it insightful, and would not hesitate to recommend this book to any couple dealing with infertility.

 Have you read any other books like this that you would recommend to people struggling with infertility? Are you going through this yourself? Do you plan on checking some of these out?
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