“Some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity…”
– Gilda Radner
I feel this way right now. I'm not clear about what has happened, what's happening right now and definitely where it's all going. I'm feeling a bit like I'm at a dead end and not sure what to do about it other than sit down. So this quote gave me a little pick me up that maybe ambiguity is a good thing.
Listen to a glimpse of my personal friend (we met on our infertility journeys) and new author Lori Green Leroy's story in this interview on Sound Medicine. It's about 10 minutes long and well worth the listen.
Lori was also featured on our local Fox 59 TV station on her & her husband's battle to bring their adopted son, Nate, home from Vietnam. Lori and Nick's determination to get Nate home is beyond inspiring.
If you prefer, you can view the segment on the news website here: http://www.fox59.com/videobeta/699c5f88-6c1e-410b-8059-217c3cd1b890/News/Female-Focus-The-fight-to-bring-Nate-home
For more on Lori, visit her blog at: http://theinadequateconception.blogspot.com/
I wanted to make sure to post just so people wouldn't worry too much more. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU from the bottom of my broken heart for all of your loving words and kind support. I heard you and I felt your care. It means so much to have a place where I can be honest, brutally honest, without choosing my words carefully so as not to offend. Thank you for bearing witness to my heartache in the moment.
On that note, I'm proud of myself for falling apart. For once I recognized it and let it out - more than once. I shared my disappointment with my husband and he listened like a trooper, even though I know it was hard for him to not default to a man's "fix-it" mode. I called Overly Fertile in tears and she was a rock star of support. I gave myself distance from people who know how to push my buttons. I drew in my art journal.
So here I am, a few days later, ready to pick up the pieces and they are all seemingly here and in good condition. Now it will be a matter of how they fit together - somehow I think there will be new grooves and edges that weren't there before.
Seriously, I feel soooo lucky to have met 2 fellow infertiles who have put out much needed voices in the infertility genre this year. (Last time I reviewed I'm Taking My Eggs and Going Home: How One Woman Dared to Say No to Motherhood by Lisa Manterfield. If you missed that, check it out here.)
This time I thoroughly enjoyed a very different take on the infertility journey with Lori Green LeRoy, who writes the blog The Inadequate Conception (she formerly wrote Fertility Foibles). I actually met Lori a couple of years ago when I was leading the local Resolve support group. I asked her to come and talk because she was all about finding humor along our journey, which was not common at the time. And make us laugh she did! It was one of the best attended and most fun meetings we had. So I had no doubts that the book would be great.
Lori's book called, "The Inadequate Conception: From Barry White to Blastocytes: What your mom didn't tell you about getting pregnant" is a different behind the scenes look at infertility. She recaps both her own and many other infertiles madcap journeys from the crazy stuff you try, the really crazy stuff you swore you'd never try, the humiliation you suffer at the doctor's office, the money you keep doling out and how ridiculous this whole rollercoaster ride can be alongside the pain and tears. Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from falling apart yet again. It's kind of like sitting around a warm fire sharing infertile war stories with your closest friends. I laughed out loud many times and recalled some forgotten humiliation of my own - maybe I'll share here someday....
Lori closes with a beautiful,(and not so humorous) but heartfelt message of how she defines herself in new and wonderful ways. (She and I both share a deep love and appreciation for being aunts and her niece & nephew are so lucky to have her in their lives!) Since I know Lori personally I can truly attest that she has seen it all and tried it all along this journey. She's been a tremendous comfort to talk to when we both couldn't understand why we weren't able to have kids, as she also has unexplained infertility. She truly deserves her weight in gold for what she's been through and how she's taken it and turned it into a way to help others.
P.S. Oh - the giveaway - if you've made it this far, leave a comment here and I'll be giving away 1 copy of this very funny and helpful book. I'll pick a winner at random by Friday and contact you to get your mailing info. Good luck!
Here are a handful of things I've astounded or astonished myself on being capable of doing, even if at the time they seemed impossible.
- Forgave a loved one who hurt me deeply
- Let a good friend go
- Grieved the loss of 3 miscarriages
- Grieved the losses of my friends
- Found laughter even in my darkest hours
- Find life worth living (and thoroughly enjoying!), through all its ups and down
- Write a blog that people actually read sometimes! :)
How have you astounded yourself?
I am really intrigued by decoupage and combining words. I was decoupaging a little jar and decided to put a favorite saying from a card deck as a reminder at the bottom. (The card deck was from Eckart Tolle's Stillness Speaks Inspiration Deck: 50 Inspiration Cards.) The card reads, "Sometimes surrender means giving up trying to understand and becoming comfortable with not knowing."
Here's the jar from the front:
It's been a while since I put up a good quote. I thought this one seemed very timely - so many of are harried already in the new year. A good reminder that we're likely better off by slowing down and being gentle with ourselves.
“Be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars. In the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.” – Max Ehrmann
Need this magnet? Get it here.
I made a vow/resolution/promise, etc., to myself this year to not buy any new books until I had read all the old ones I bought and haven't even touched. (There are many so it's going to be a while. I might even share the list in a future post.)
However, in the mail this week I received a copy of Lisa Manterfield's new book, I'm Taking My Eggs and Going Home: How One Woman Dared to Say No to Motherhood from the author herself. Wow! We have talked a handful of times on the phone and I have always enjoyed how smart & thought-provoking Lisa is both in her writing and in conversation.
Yet, when this book arrived with it's gorgeous cover, I wasn't sure I was ready to read it. I have felt a nice distance from my infertility focused days and was a bit worried it might stir some old feelings up for me. (Like when I read Silent Sorority: A Barren Woman Gets Busy, Angry, Lost and Found - emotional but excellent!) But after tentatively cracking it open, it consumed most of my day yesterday. I only stopped because my husband was waiting to go have dinner. As soon as we got back, I ran right back to it to finish it. So, here's my review, if you will, on it:
Lisa engaged me right away with her take on her 6 year infertility story. Mainly because it was really about so much more - to me, it's about being a woman in today's day and age. Navigating challenges from leaving your family a country away, to the role you fill in your own family, to the ups and downs of being in & around relationships that work and others than don't. I also love how Lisa really lets you inside her head at each point and the clever dance always going on between emotion & logic including how she struggles to reach her own conclusions in the midst of the two.
Lisa doesn't hold back from delving into feelings about her husband, his grown children, her family, his family, friends and co-workers. You get a sense of her world - the world as we actually experience it in our own heads anyway. I wasn't left with that, "I wonder about this person or that person?" She goes there even if it makes her look less than perfect. It made me feel an even deeper kinship to her.
And yes, oh yes, does she delve into her infertility story. She takes you on it step by step and you feel like you're in the room with each passing moment, whether it's at the latest appointment of the person whose going to "make it happen" or in private conversations with her husband in the car. She gives a beautiful and heart wrenching account of just how all-consuming, exhausting and truly never ending infertility can be.
I really loved the book and felt it was so much more than an infertility story. It was an account of real life and the barrage of situations women face in adulthood. I hope many women will read this and feel comforted, whether they have faced infertility or not. (I hope for those who haven't faced it, this will be one of those books that opens their eyes & hearts to when infertility does enter their life in some way.) In Lisa's telling her story she reminds us how little we know what's truly going on in a person's life and that we should all be more accepting & loving of what's truly going on in our own, too.
Thank you, Lisa, for this book and your story. You have made a terrific contribution to the storytelling world and the infertility community, particularly those of are who are childless not by choice but choose to go on and be happy nonetheless. You can buy the e-book here and the Kindle version via Amazon.com here. The paperback can be pre-ordered through Amazon or purchased directly here.