Shared stories make us smile; they get us through tough times; they let us know we’re not alone. This summer (at least for a little while) ditch the how-tos, guides and all the scientific jargon that comes with IVF – find yourself a shady tree to sit beneath, and spend a few hours with people who have been there and come out the other side.
Making Babies tells the stories behind the statistics, going inside the world of egg harvesting, blatocyst transferral, and hormone injections.
It features fourteen personal memoirs of IVF survivors. Many are inspiring, some are heartbreaking, and others are miraculous. From single mothers, to long-term heterosexual and gay couples, Making Babies presents an array of experiences from those who have been touched by the incredible possibilities that are opened up by assisted-reproductive technology. (Scribe Publications, $23.25)
Every Conceivable Way tells the story of one couple’s nine-year quest to become parents.
After relocating to Australia from New York, Despina Meris and her husband, Bill, settle down to baby-making. What they never expect is a string of heartbreaking unexplained miscarriages, even with the help of IVF. They turn to surrogacy – first in India, then in the Ukraine and finally in Thailand, where their baby is conceived.
But more drama unfolds when, overnight, they are caught up in the Thai government crackdown on commercial surrogacy, leaving them with no way of contacting their pregnant surrogate. Every Conceivable Way, a real-life story that is stranger than fiction, asks how far you would go before you call it quits, when it seems like all the odds are stacked against you. (Hardie Grant Books, $23.75)
After a stellar career as a world champion aerial skier, Jacqui Cooper’s only hope to start a family was IVF. While there’s plenty of technical information out there for women embarking on this process, Jacqui yearned for some real, honest, warts-and-all advice on the highs and lows of IVF. But she couldn’t find it. So, she decided to write it herself.
Frozen Hope is Jacqui’s own story of IVF: the emotional responses she didn’t expect, the things she wished she’d known, the things she wished she’d prepared for and those she could never have anticipated. It’s a story of hope despite disheartening odds, extraordinary perseverance and, ultimately, joy and motherhood. (Black Inc, $24.25)
Former Australian Netball Captain Liz Ellis found herself part of the one-in-six couples in Australia and New Zealand affected by infertility, a road she stayed on for five years. With If At First You Don’t Conceive Liz wants to help other hopeful parents-to-be navigate these often bewildering, almost always uncomfortable and sometimes utterly devastating waters.
Drawing on interviews with specialists and couples, and covering everything medical from alternative therapies, fertility drugs, IVF, donor eggs and miscarriages to the frustration, disappointment and heartbreak that such a journey brings, this book is a must-have, friendly, and more often than not funny guide on how to try, and try again. (Pan Macmillan Australia, $28.75)
Sharing the real life stories of 20 women who have worked their way through fertility and conception problems, this book is an honest, inspirational and comforting read promising to help get you through the roller coaster that is fertility treatment.
It’s not just physically taxing and expensive, but the emotional strain can at times be unbearable. Having to make lots of emotionally-charged decisions at every turn is tough: Should I push my GP to refer me for investigations? Are we ready for IVF? Should we try natural methods first? What shall we do now the treatment has failed?
IVF: An Emotional Companion explains how others in similar situations have tackled these challenges and come through. (HarperCollins Publishers, $29.99)