I was very lucky to have been sent an advance copy to review of “In Due Time” by Jen Noonan, which is published today.
Jen is an American who has struggled with infertility. The book takes us through the period in Jen’s life just before she met her husband to the point at which she finished with fertility treatments. Through this time, Jen talks about the lows and highs of her experience trying to create the family she desperately wanted.
Very early on in the book, Jen describes a situation which many of us will be familiar with: the moment of shock when we realise that having a baby will not happen quickly or easily. Unless you know at an early age that you have a problem which will make conceiving naturally difficult, I think it’s fair to say that most women assume that getting pregnant will not be a problem. (As a side note I am sure that the fuss around preventing teenage pregnancies has an awful lot to do with this misconception, if you’ll excuse the unfortunate expression!)
Now I don’t want to say too much about the specifics Jen’s story so as to spoil it for any of you who plan to read her book, however there are three elements of her experience which struck a chord with me in particular:
- Jen suffered from a miscarriage. I am so grateful that I have not personally had this experience. I know people in real life & on-line who have had suffered from miscarriages (some having had a great number) and for them the heartbreak is so hard to bear. The closest experience I have had was when I was expecting my daughter and I had bleeding at seven weeks. It was proper full bleeding (not spotting) and to this day I have no idea what caused it. I do however remember the panic at thinking the worst was going to happen. I know many people can be blasé about first trimester losses, but I really believe that any loss is devastating whenever it occurs and I think it is important for this to be more widely understood. Reading about Jen’s loss was really interesting because not only did it give a perspective on someone who has this horrible experience, she also talks about some of the things that happened as a result which caused additional pain which I could never have imagined.
- Jen’s infertility diagnosis. Ok so I’m not going to spoil it by disclosing her specific issue but I want to say that although she had a totally different diagnosis from me, there are some similarities in terms of effect on menstrual cycle (sorry being deliberately vague!) which enabled me to draw comfort that my IVFs might yet work.
- The length of time Jen spent trying to conceive. I know there are women out there who conceive on clomid or their first IUI / IVF cycle but there are so many for whom this is not the case. There are women who spend years doing treatments with long waits in between whilst they have other related treatment / surgery. I think this is an important thing to publicise so that those starting on the ART road don’t feel too disheartened if treatment doesn’t work straightaway or seems to be unending.
In Due Time is the third IVF related book that I have read. I have found each book interesting (for different reasons) as they have all given me food for thought. I did worry that I would get jealous / depressed by reading about someone else’s tale of happy-ever-after (which is why I have only started reading these books so late into my TTC experience) but I can honestly say that this is not the case. Not two peoples’ stories are the same yet we can learn & derive hope from others’ experiences.