Sunday, June 03, 2007

Barren Bitches Book Tour

Over the past few weeks I have been reading this book for an infertility book tour. It is a non fiction book that reads like a novel. The individuals were exhibiting real emotions. I found it very interesting that the character who spoke most to my own personal feelings about this journey was the husband. There were several moments where I felt like I was reading my own thoughts.
I read aloud several passages to my husband. It was nice to find something in print that echoed my own fears and feelings.


Formal Book Tour Questions

When I read how if one had asked the author 10 years earlier, she would have said that she didn't even want children, I felt better. I guess deep down I always knew that I wanted children, but having had a severely mentally and physically handicapped sister, I was scared. It was comforting to read about another woman's ambivalence and feelings of guilt. When I found out that I was losing ovarian function I could not believe that there was a strong possibility that I would never have a biological child. That spurred in me a determination I had not had in many years. Have you ever felt ambivalence towards parenthood prior to receiving your diagnosis?

I have dealt with an ambivalent feeling since we received the news that we might be dealing with Male factor along with my PCOS and insulin resistant issues. The ambivalence has lead me to question every reason that we want to be parents and every route that we might have to take to parenthood. It seems that the fact that it is going to be "hard" has driven the questions to the front and I have had to face them. There are days that I struggle with our decision at this point to put everything on hold due to financial issues. There are days when I say, ah well, better that we aren't parents. There are days that I sit in the dark and weep until there are no more tears that I can't have what I want most in the world (at that moment). I really feel that for most people the decision to be a parent falls more into the gray category than black and white. However, I know several people that knew right away that they didn't want children and took measures to make sure that it wouldn't happen. I wish for that clarity everyday.

Orenstein's friend, Larry, says on p. 47, "you can only feel the loss of something you've had." Orenstein gives her thoughts on the matter on page 50. Do you agree with Larry or Peggy?

I agree with Peggy. I do believe that you can feel the loss of something that you have never had. I had a "presumed" miscarriage while a family member was pregnant. There are times, birthdays, funny moments when I definitely feel the loss of that potential child. It was never confirmed but there is nothing else that it could have been and it still leaves a hole in my heart at time. There is definitely a feeling of loss tied to the events that will never be.



"I felt like the luckiest unlucky woman in the world" (p. 57). This quote really struck me. Do we naturally grasp for the silver lining in things? Do we always have to convince ourselves that something makes us lucky in order to keep going through the difficulties of life?

Do "we"? I honestly think that it is a person by person and situation by situation basis. Personally, especially lately, I am much more pessimistic than I would care to admit. I don't see the good in something, I only see the bad. When did this change? I am not sure. It might have been after I faced the reality of my "presumed" miscarriage. It might have been after the semen analysis results. Or, it might have been after my father died. But there definitely is a difference of how I respond to things is life and I don't like it. I have noticed the difference over the four years... of course this corresponds to our unsuccessful four years of trying to conceive.



Hop along to another stop on this blog tour by visiting the main list at http://stirrup-queens.blogspot.com/. This book club is open to everyone in the infertlity community so you can also sign up for the next book on this online book club: The Kid by Dan Savage.

12 comments:

Bea said...

I like your last answer. I do think it varies - from person to person, and also from moment to moment. Sometimes you want to smack the perkyturd who looks on the bright side, and other times you realise you *are* that perkyturd. And of course, you do tend to expect smackdowns after a while.

Bea

Kristi said...

I agree with Peggy, too. You can most definitely miss something you haven't had. :(

I guess I fall more on the pessimist side, though I try not to show it too much. I'm sure I fail at it more than I think. :D I LOVE the word "perkyturd." ROFL!!! It immediately brought Rachel Ray to mind. *chuckle*

Piccinigirl said...

Oh I loved all your answers, because in beginning this IVF cycle, I tried so hard to remain hopeful through it all, to really work at believing I derserved to be happy to have a dream come true. Yet my life in general has gotten very blah, like everything is gray all the time. I hope that each of us can see the rainbow soon, hear the giggles.

The Town Criers said...

I really liked your wish for clarity and the reality that few see the world in black or white. Even those who know they want or don't want children still take time to consider the losses and gains of parenthood.

Karaoke Diva said...

"Personally, especially lately, I am much more pessimistic than I would care to admit. I don't see the good in something, I only see the bad."

This has been the biggest change for me since we started TTC back in 2002. I used to be much more Pollyanna-ish and the whole glass is half full thing. Now I always expect the worst. I feel like it's a self-defense mechanism. If you expect the worst and it happens, you aren't as disappointed and may not get as hurt.

Stacie said...

I was struck by your wish for clarity. I have a college friend I ran into at a reunion. When I admired a tatoo she had right below her navel she said she had gotten it to celebrate getting her tubes tied; she knew she didn't want children. We were just starting to try to conceive at that point after going from "we don't want kids" to "well, maybe we do" to "OK, we want kids." I remember envying her her lack of grey.

Sunny said...

"I am much more pessimistic than I would care to admit. I don't see the good in something, I only see the bad. When did this change?"

I totally relate! I have tried to turn my pessimistic attitude lately into more of a balance. It kills me that I am like this now. I was always, POSITIVE! Now it is so tainted with reality or my reality.

Great thoughts!

Jackie said...

I can totally relate to the overwhelming pessimism. It has defined my life as late and I see it as a defense mechanism. When I have been overly optimistic, the fall to the reality of a failed cycle has been almost devastating. To be completely honest, I have to fess up that I feel an occasional glimmer of optimism, especially when trying a new treatment for the first time or after being diagnosed with and treated for endometriosis. But those glimmers are typically short-lived as I face the fact that every cycle we don't conceive seems to make it even less likely we will in the next.

Ellen K. said...

Your wish for clarity resonates with me. There's a lot of gray area in our thoughts about infertility and consideration of a childfree life. Some days it's a nice charcoal gray, very distinctive and elegant; other days it's a messy heather gray, like an old gym sweatshirt.

BestLight said...

Deb, it sounds like you've been dealing with a lot

Just sending you cyberhugs...

millie said...

I can totally relate to the pessimism you're feeling. There was a time I knew a good happy ending for any kind of infertility story. Now I know a bad one and that's what comes to mind first. Just how did that happen?

Me said...

I read this one too. Last year while we were at my husband's annual family reunion... while he and I were in the midst of an argument and he wasn't talking to me. Maybe it was the weird context of my life at the time but I found Peggy's voice and experiences SO moving.