Infertility is such a raw, lonely and vulnerable thing to deal with. Sometimes it can seem impossible to know where to turn. You talk to your friends, you talk to your family, but ultimately you want an escape. It can be so hard to find someone to talk to who truly understands how you feel. If you’re anything like me, you’ll have spent hours searching through Netflix, trying to find a binge worthy series about infertility; you know the series doesn’t exist, but you’ll look for it anyway.
Infertility is portrayed in books, in films, always in the same way. The sad woman with something missing, the surprise pregnancy at the end, the miracle. On the contrary, they’re evil and their infertility or lack of child means this woman is some heartless, callous creature – take Nicole Kidman’s character in Malice, for example. The arts appear to follow the same lead: the feminine, beautiful women who breed versus the bitter, butch female that is barren.
When dealing with infertility, you may find that people don’t know how to talk about it and when they do, it’s short and sweet. It’s a repeat of the conversation you’ve had with everybody else you’ve told. Thankfully, there are multiple books in the world published specifically about infertility. I have not read all of these books, I am making my way through, but here are 5 books to help you feel less alone throughout this journey.
1. Izzy Judd – Dare To Dream
This is a book I have read and I rave about to anyone who will listen. Izzy Judd fantastically narrates her own fertility journey, from beginning to end. A book that made me laugh, smile and sob uncontrollably, reading this was the first time I really felt there was someone else who understood. Dare to Dream is a brutally honest, transparent and heartbreakingly raw account of Izzy’s own struggles whilst trying to conceive with polycystic ovarian syndrome. I truly recommend this to anyone looking for a companion when struggling to conceive.
You can purchase Dare to Dream here.
2. Warrior – Tori Day
A fairly new book, Warrior, was published in March 2019 and 10% of all proceeds are donated to Fertility Network UK, who also lead the #CryingShame campaign featured on my blog last week. Tori Day writes a very real account of infertility in today’s society.
“Ever had to leave the room when someone announces their pregnancy? Ever felt like weeing on sticks is your only hobby? Wondered if you’re losing your mind? Then this book is for you.” “Hope prevails throughout the crushing monthly disappointment, the medical appointments, the setbacks and the waiting. Oh, the waiting…”
You can buy Warrior here.
3. Not Pregnant – Cathie Quillet
Whilst many infertility books are written from an emotional, first person account, Not Pregnant is written with an added scientific perspective, including stories from other women. Cathie Quillet, who is unable to conceive herself, has put together the multiple lessons she has learned with the lessons and stories of those in a similar position, with a medical touch. If there was a way to make you feel less alone, it’s to put a group of people in the same boat in one book for you.
“This motivational and comforting book addresses: infertility’s effects on sex and marriage, handling the public’s general ignorance about infertility, miscarriages, the plethora of emotions experienced, hormonal changes with fertility medications and, how to move on with your life… Not Pregnant is the emotional companion you need when it seems like no one else gets it.”
You can buy Not Pregnant here.
4. It Starts with the Egg – Rebecca Fett
I feel like this is a book everyone having IVF treatment has read, except me. It Starts with the Egg is an evidence-based book as opposed to a personal account. Revised most recently in 2019, Rebecca Fett addresses all things fertility, providing programmes regarding the improvement of egg quality, assisting couples to fall pregnant both naturally and with assisted reproduction. Covering all bases such as supplements, vitamins, toxins and practical solutions, It Starts with the Egg covers what really matters when it comes to conceiving successfully.
“Poor egg quality is in fact the single most important cause of age-related infertility, recurrent miscarriage, and failed IVF cycles. Based on a vast array of scientific research, It Starts with the Egg provides a comprehensive program for improving egg quality in three months, with specific advice tailored to a variety of fertility challenges— including endometriosis, unexplained infertility, diminished ovarian reserve, PCOS, and recurrent miscarriage.“
You can buy It Starts with the Egg here.
5. Down the F’n Tubes: An Ode to Fertility Futility
You can bet your bottom dollar I’ve just ordered this on Amazon Prime! Infertility is sad. It is really sad. It makes YOU really sad, so hallelujah for a book that handles the situation with hilarity. Sometimes, we all need a good belly laugh and so to belly laugh at a situation that cripples you is perhaps a wonderful way to deal with it.
“A hilarious, profane, and brutally honest look at the taboo topic of infertility. Down the F’n Tubes combines the rhyming, illustrated style of Dr. Seuss with the irreverent humor of “Go the F to Sleep.” 1 in 8 couples experience fertility issues. This book expresses what infertility FEELS like. Help keep the conversation going!“
You can buy Down the F’n Tubes here.
I’m making it my mission to get through every one of these and more. I hope you’ve found one you can love on this list! What are your favourite books to help you deal with things in a time of crisis? Let me know!
Love, Amber x