Saturday, August 20, 2011

Book Review: The Inadequate Conception by Lori Green LeRoy

It seems that actually visiting the fertility specialist has turned me into a reader of infertility books. Luckily, this one was worth the read. This one also has a great long subtitle to share: From Barry White to Blastocytes: What your mom didn't tell you about getting pregnant.

The Inadequate Conception is not an autobiography, but it does tell us quite a lot about the author's attempts to get pregnant. It's also not a dry medical book, though there's a fair bit of that info in there too. It reads much more like a well organised and well written blog, and it's very clear that the author has spent a significant amount of time in the blogging world (which in my mind is a good thing, and led to an easily read and digested book).

At the time of writing the book, Lori Green LeRoy was a veteran of trying to make a baby, having gone through just about every procedure known. In the book she outlines some of them, plus the side effects, and other people's experiences, all while dosing it up with well timed humour. A lot of her expressions will probably stick with me, such as 'single line syndrome' to describe the feeling you get when you look at another negative pregnancy test. Then there's the bit about seeing the cervix as a Dungeons and Dragons gatekeeper refusing sperm entrance to the castle . . .

Although the tone of the book is relatively light-hearted, it's clear that there's a real story about real people going through real emotions underneath. There's the fear of the internal ultrasound wand, the worries about the costs, the clearly awful side effects of fertility drugs and the 'Case of the Bitters' which discusses a world where pregnancy is revered. But the author also cautions that there is a point when you need to move on.

Particularly interesting was the section on the men's role in it all. Most books/information/websites I've read treat the semen sample with a sheepish grin and quickly move back to talking about injections and examinations. This book took the time to have a male perspective, and to point out that for many men it's not just a case of 'having a good time' while their partner gets poked and prodded.

I'd highly recommend this book. Because it's simply sharing the experiences of others, it never gets preachy or over involved. Instead it's just a nice way of laughing a bit at the problems and pointing out that we're never really alone in this.

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