I first read Jenna's book at the beach last summer. I love reading books from people I've actually conversed with--either face-to-face or via email. It adds an additional layer of understanding to the words. And I think that's why I love it when authors read along with a book tour and leave comments and answer our questions. It just makes for a different read. And this book, like Tertia's, carries with it an emotional component because you've followed their story via their blog for months/years before tackling their book.
So, thank you, Jenna, for writing it.
At several points in the book, Jenna describes how she felt that motherhood was a "calling" for her -- the conviction that she was "called" to be a mother and that she would achieve that goal someday, somehow. Do you feel the same sense of "calling" in your pursuit of parenthood?
I don't know if I was called to be a mother because when I hear the term "calling," I liken it with something that I would be exceptional at doing (or that it needs to be me over another person). I won't know if I was an exceptional parent for many many more years. But I can say that I felt strongly drawn to the idea of parenthood and I wanted to experience it very badly. I was willing to try multiple paths to get there. I made life choices/career choices based on the idea of motherhood and what type of mother I wanted to be. I'm lucky that this worked out for me because I made a lot of choices that I probably would have regretted since I gambled making them.
I knew I also didn't have it in me to stop trying, but I also was lucky that I felt a great deal of comfort with a multitude of options.
On page 134, the author talks about the failures bringing repeated pain to their families. In what ways did your treatment affect your extended family?
I think the pressure I felt was entirely mine, but I couldn't help but think of the joy I felt when I became an aunt. I wanted to give that relationship (aunt, uncle, grandparent, cousin) to the appropriate people. I assumed they wanted it and were looking forward to it. I know they certainly felt joy once the twins were here, but I don't know how much pressure/pain was actually there in our families and how much was assumed.
Did your clinic have a Baby Day like Jenna described? Even if not, did you ever have a moment like that in the clinic, with newborn babies being brought in, or a woman cycling who brought her child with her? How did you deal with it?
We didn't have anything like that. Things are super discreet at our clinic; I don't even remember ever seeing a wall of baby pictures. A few times people brought their kids to the waiting room and it didn't give me hope nor did it bother me any more than it did when I saw a baby out at a restaurant, store, etc. I liked it when people didn't bring their children, but I also understood that the need sometimes existed when a child needed to be brought to an appointment.
The NICU had a wall of pictures in the hand-washing station. It depended on what mood I was in as I looked at it.
I think the biggest mistake is for people to believe that another person's happiness can bring you hope. It may or it may not. I am rational enough to know what worked for one person may not work for another. I am a dreamer enough to hope that the same thing will happen to me.
Interested in joining a book club entirely online? Hop along to the post above to sign up for our next book: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.