Tuesday, June 8, 2010


I've been in a book club for the past couple of years. I love the people in the club and most of the books we've been reading. But I'm realizing I need to be a little more careful in choosing the books we read. Not that it is solely my decision, but I do have a say.

Our next two books (which I've already read) both have IF as a topic. In the next book (The Help), IF is really incidental to the main story. It affects one character out of several, so you are not reminded of it in every chapter. But the book after that is Handle With Care. There is no escaping IF in this book. It revolves around a wrongful birth lawsuit, where a mother sues her OB/GYN for malpractice saying she would have aborted her severely disabled daughter if she knew earlier about the disease. For those of us trying to do everything possible to get pregnant, that right there might be enough to put us on edge, but then it is revealed that the child in question took 18 months to conceive and so there is a good deal of introspection about the quest for a baby, the quest for a "perfect" baby, how those things might be different, and what it might mean to finally become pregnant and then have your dreams ripped from you again. And if that doesn't stop most infertiles from continuing, there's more. The lawyer in the case is adopted and going through the process of finding her birth mother and is thinking all sorts of thoughts of not feeling complete until this woman is located.

You would have thought I would have thrown this book across the room once I realized what it was about. But I'm the type who has to finish a book once I started it. There were some things I actually liked about it, and if I was in another place I may have enjoyed it. I did read it quickly, but more to get it over with and rip the bandaid off than for any other reason.

The funny thing is, the character I most identified with? The "healthy" older sister of the girl at the center of the wrongful birth suit. She is going through her own painful journey and starts some destructive behavior to deal with it. I don't want anyone to worry that I am going to start doing self-destructive things, but I could understand when this character explained how she made herself throw up because her insides felt like it was filled with toxic material and that cutting herself made sense because it gave her an excuse for all the pain she was feeling.

1 comment:

  1. I think we've all been there in grasping/wondering/understanding such behavior. I remember finding a bit of relief in finally seeing my period start, as it made me feel like I was bleeding out the pain of the failed cycle. A little graphic and dark, but I don't think most of us are strangers to it in the tough moments we've encountered.

    I think your ability to finish the book shows your strength.


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