Finally got around to reading Inconceivable: A Woman’s Triumph over Despair and Statistics by Julia Indichova (it’s also available for Kindle here), and it’s one of the best captures of the rawness and desperation of infertility that I have read to date.
It’s been around since 1997, and I’m not sure how I’ve managed not to find it until now. Perhaps it’s one of those books that finds you when you’re a little more ready for it.
Julia’s account is honest, even comical at times as she visits shamans, embraces her outer porcupine through acupuncture, and brews chicken soup for the (desired) soul. You ride her roller coaster, and I saw myself in her at so many points.
And even if I am not quite ready to ditch my burgers or steaks, and the natural sceptic within me reminds me that this it is a miracle story and that she’s one of the lucky ones, the book did prompt me to take another look at what I am doing and feeling, and how much I had been helping me help myself (mid-way through, I guiltily ditched my chocolate bar, ordered raspberry leaf tea and some wheatgrass, then started googling fertility yoga poses… can you smell my desperation from where you are?). Anything is worth a shot right?
But for that same reason, the book did make me a little uncomfortable. At some points, it had me in the grip of self doubt. Have my many IVF attempts failed because I simply didn’t do enough or make all these sacrifices? Didn’t I want this as badly as she did? Am I really so out of tune with my “inner fertility specialist” that the only voice I hear is the one urging me to retrieve my bar of chocolate from the bin?
I also found myself resentful at times – and she does address this – she already had a child, and one conceived naturally. I wish I were that lucky.
Still, it is worth reading – even if all you choose to take from it is a glimmer of hope, a shot at feeling a little more in charge of yourself, and learning not to hate yourself so much for not being able to do what comes naturally to so many others.
Here is an excerpt, not from her story, but the story of a woman she includes in the book: