Monday, June 29, 2009

Barren Bitches Book Brigade: Navagating the Land of IF

I have never been part of a book club, so this was a completely new experience for me. I loved this book, and have purchased some extra copies to give to friends and family (you can too! Just follow the link on my sidebar!) that are struggling with infertility.

I hope I did this right, and I apologize if my answers aren't clear. For some reason, I felt like I was writing a term paper or something. I always stumbled through those.... sorry.

Here are my answers:

Chapters four and five cover the issues of telling others about your IF struggles and handling the comments if you do. What approach (proactive, reactive, evasive, or lying) have you used with your close friends and family? If you have told, have you gotten any surprising reactions, and how have you handled those? If you haven't told, has this omission created any friction as people make assumptions or comments about your lack of pregnancy?

Most of the time, I tend to be pretty open about my infertility if the subject of babies every comes up. However, there are those in my family that I just plain don't want to talk to about it. To those people I tend to be pretty evasive. I'm sure it just comes off as me being a bitch, but I'm okay with that. ;)

For those that I have told, most are pretty stunned. The first question I get is usually, "Did you have a hard time getting pregnant with LJ?" Of course, they have no idea what secondary infertility is, so that's usually starts the conversation. I'm happy to talk about it (to most people) as long as I can make it as impersonal as possible. Even though I am telling people of our experiences with infertility, I tend to detach myself from what I am saying. I spout off statistics, and talk about options, but they are very generalized. I guess it still hasn't sunk in even after 6 years that it is US that I am talking about. Instead of saying "when we have done (fill in the blank procedure)", I say " When people are going through (fill in the blank procedures)". It makes it easier for me to discuss.

What part of the Land of IF are you currently residing in, & do you think Melissa paints an accurate picture of the situation there?

I am currently residing in the "Secondary Unexplained Infertility with Recurrent Pregnancy Loss" neighborhood. We're a diverse bunch.

When Melissa was describing the differences between Primary and Secondary Infertility, she wrote that those going through secondary infertility "know what they're missing...". I was so grateful that she spun it in a way that it was clear that this is not always a good thing. I had to put the book down because I was tearing up so badly that I couldn't see through my tears. It was wonderfully gratifying to have someone else say what I feel. It was only a few words, without further explanation, but it was wonderful to see.

Chapter 7's opening page also left me an emotional wreck. Because both of my loses were early on, I have very much felt like I was expected to just move on; no big deal... get over it. But I haven't felt that way. Each loss was horrible, but in different ways. In reading the chapter, I really felt Melissa's understanding, and it made me feel better about my own thoughts on miscarriage. I felt more accepted, if that makes sense.

I think that Melissa did an excellent job of explaining what each type of fertility is, and the options that are available.

Did you read the whole book, or skip the parts that you feel don’t apply to your situation? For example, if you are not entertaining adoption or living child-free as options right now, did you skip those parts? If you read them, did you discover anything about those options that you hadn’t understood prior to reading the book?

Actually, I feel kind of guilty. I skipped most of the parts discussing the different procedures, or options that I am not yet looking into. I find that I get overwhelmed with all the "possibilities" surrounding infertility. It still hurts to think that these are options that I may have to consider. It took me 4 years before I had the courage to try IUI. I'm still stuck on the thought that this was not supposed to happen to me. So I guess I figured those parts of the book were not applicable. Yet.

Hop along to another stop on this blog tour by visiting the main list at Stirrup Queens ( You can also sign up for the next book on this online book club: Moose by Stephanie Klein.

(ETA: I'm sorry I haven't got to anyone's blogs yet to comment. I been taking care of my Dad all week, and by the time I get home I am too exhausted to even think of blogging. He has all but lost the use of his right leg, and we are just waiting for his surgery to repair a back injury. He is very down, and scared to death so I've been trying to keep his spirits up. I am not avoiding anyone, and I really am going to comment, it's just that family comes first. I'm sure you understand. Please be patient with me. I promise to get to them all soon. Thanks!)


loribeth said...

Thanks for some thoughtful answers (you did great!). I understand how easy it is to get overwhelmed with all the possibilities. Isn't it great to know that now you'll have this book to help you through your future decisions?

Kristin said...

My neighborhood was slightly different than yours. I was in the "Secondary Infertility with Recurrent Pregnancy Loss" neighborhood. Although I guess you could say mine was unexplained until we found the solutions (and I am eternally thankful I had a great OB to work with to find the solutions)...LOL.

Sunny said...

I totally agree with you that I loved Mel's statement about those of us with secondary infertility knowing what we are missing. I think that is a big part of it... now it's just not a nebulous, unknown baby/parenthood situation I am craving, but another opportunity to experience again all of the amazing "firsts" and other aspects of parenthood that I known exist very specifically.

Sunny said...
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Karen said...

Reading this made me tear up for you; I hope your secondary infertility is resolved soon. It must be so difficult to deal with everyone who assumes that it can't be that hard for you because of your first pregnancy. I remember feeling that way when we started to adopt...that our casual acquantainces were thinking that we just hadn't tried hard enough, or hadn't relaxed enough, and they all though that we'd get pregnant while we were waiting to adopt. Joke's on them I suppose?

I think that when we decide to adopt again it will be similar to secondary infertility for me and I think it will be hard to wait patiently again, knowing how wonderful it is to hold your new baby and all of the little magical moments of parenthood.

Cassandra said...

I completely understand not wanting to get into certain things "yet" (if ever). My thought was the same as Loribeth's -- that it will be a helpful resource if you ever do need to deal with any of those options to have this book, as well as the rest of the blogosphere.

Good luck, and congrats on your first Book Brigade!

Lollipop Goldstein said...

I am so glad that you joined along and I hope you'll keep doing the book club.

There was a whole chapter on secondary IF that was cut. It was probably 20 pages or so. I really wish it could have remained in (as is, the book was over 600 pages so a lot had to be trimmed).

I actually think it's smart to skip reading them if you're not ready (and hopefully, you won't need them). It's always there to return to if you want to read it in the future, but why do something uncomfortable?

Lavender Luz said...

So very nice to "meet" you in this book club. As Loribeth said, you did a great job!

I come from a different neighborhood than you (adoption) and you helped me understand yours better. Wishing you the best as you pursue Baby #2.

And best wishes to your dad as well.