Infertility can seem like a terribly lonely journey in the best of times, and 2020 certainly is not the best of times. So when you’re feeling isolated both by quarantine and by the journey to conceive, and when all social activity is being constantly rescheduled, perhaps the best thing you can do is read. Here are a dozen books about infertility that offer wisdom, companionship, wit, and compassion.
Laughing IS Conceivable by Lori Shandle-Fox is “One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility.” Boasting recommendations from top infertility professionals and lauded as “a breath of fresh air” (Alice D. Domar, Ph.D.) and “wonderfully lighthearted and entertaining” (Laurence A. Jacobs, MD, FACOG), Laughing IS Conceivable discusses the deeply emotional ins and outs of infertility with a healthy dose of humor.
John and Sylvia Van Regenmorter detail their personal journey with infertility and all of the social and medical pressures it brings in their book When the Cradle is Empty: Answering Tough Questions About Infertility. The couple explores infertility as it relates to their marriage, their family, their religion, their health, and nearly every other aspect of their lives, and acts as a guide to couple’s exploring their options.
In Wanting Another Child: Coping with Secondary Infertility Harriet Fishman Simons focuses on the stories of parents dealing with infertility. The journey of parents who have conceived before and find themselves unable to do so again is unique and important, and Simons offers the narratives of 60 individuals coping with secondary infertility to highlight that journey. Wanting Another Child is a compilation of stories to offer validation, community, and comfort for parents facing infertility.
Kristine Ireland Waits’s Every Drunken Cheerleader: Why Not Me? Wit, Wisdom, and Warmth From Your Fertility Challenged Friend highlights the frustrations of infertility with humor, honesty, and compassion, making it an excellent read whether or not you’re dealing with infertility. Kristine encourages the reader to “rejoice in finding a friend in this book” as she offers wisdom, support, and her own humorous spin.
Dubbed the “Fertility Goddess” by Vogue, Harvard Psychologist Alice D. Domar, Ph.D. joins forces with Alice Lesch Kelly in Conquering Infertility: Dr. Alice Domar's Mind/Body Guide to Enhancing Fertility and Coping with Infertility to advise people facing infertility in the ways of support, hope, and positive coping mechanisms. Conquering Infertility is “a versatile toolbox for coping” (Mehmet Oz, M.D., Director, Cardiovascular Institute, Columbia University) and “offers sensitive, practical and scientifically documented support” (Christine Northrup, M.D.) for couples facing infertility.
In her raw and insightful book Silent Sorority: A Barren Woman Gets Busy, Angry, Lost and Found, Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos explores the frustrating world of infertility in the face of a society that seems all too happy to ignore it. Tsigdinos uses “raw honesty and humor [to] light the path for millions who have trouble conceiving” (Wendy L. Rogers, Ph.D., Transpersonal Psychologist).
Specialists in reproductive psychology, Drs. Janet Jaffe and David and Martha Diamond join forces to present Unsung Lullabies: Understanding and Coping with Infertility, a guide to dealing with the trials and tribulations of infertility. Unsung Lullabies “gives language to the experience of so many couples” (David B. Wexler, Ph.D.) as they cope with infertility and the emotional challenges it brings to the table.
Rebecca Fett comes through with a best selling guide to pregnancy, infertility, and anything else relating to egg quality with It Starts with the Egg: How the Science of Egg Quality Can Help You Get Pregnant Naturally, Prevent Miscarriage, and Improve Your Odds in IVF. This book is praised as “practical, evidence-based recommendations to enhance their fertility” (Dr. Loretta McKinnon, Epidemiologist, Princess Alexandra Hospital) and “accessibly written with easy-to-follow take-home messages and action plans” (Dr. Claire Deakin, University College London), and is a must-read for those seeking guidance in the struggle against infertility.
Karen Jeffries catalogues her journey with infertility in boldly humorous fashion with her book Hilariously Infertile: One Woman's Inappropriate Quest to Help Women Laugh Through Infertility. Karen boasts a goal to “help other women laugh their way through their treatment,” and is irreverent and real throughout.
The Land of If is named as such for two main reasons: firstly, the abbreviation of “infertility” is IF; secondly, the journey of infertility is one rife with uncertainty. From a place of personal experience and deep empathy, Melissa Ford brings forward Navigating the Land of If: Understanding Infertility and Exploring Your Options. Navigating the Land of If explores perspective, daily life, and everything in between with heart and confidence.
Amy Klein’s The Trying Game: Get Through Fertility Treatment and Get Pregnant Without Losing Your Mind is a compassionate and empowering how-to guide to getting through infertility treatments and all the strife that comes with them. Full of heart, humor, and humanity, The Trying Game is “a real book book for the real woman, written by a woman who has been there before” (Natalie Crawford, MD, MSCR).
While examining the technical and medical aspects of infertility is vital, Cathie Quillet - with the help of Dr. Shannon Sutherland - explores the emotional ramifications in their book Not Pregnant: a Companion for the Emotional Journey of Infertility. Not Pregnant “gives people permission to feel what they feel” (Dr. Ellen Anderson), and provides support for the emotional ups and down that accompany every aspect of infertility.