Posts Tagged ‘infertility’

One of the delightful surprises of self publishing has been the opportunity to meet other authors through book exchanges. One such author is Jennifer Brown. We met online through circles of like minded Spirits where I discovered her book Turtle Hope. When I learned her story was a memoir of her infertility I was intrigued.

It takes tremendous courage to share such an intimate part of your life. To be seen when we are most vulnerable is terrifying. Yet with the heart stripped of all facade, when we no longer hide in isolation, we find our humanity. Her story is her medicine. The gift that Turtle Hope shares allows every woman to be uplifted, find their voice and come out of hiding. This is what draws the reader in. The raw exposure of Jennifer’s heart as she shares the naked truth on infertility.

Women facing infertility feel isolated. Abandoned by even her own body, it can be the loneliest time of a woman’s life. All that is feminine is fertile. Unable to conceive, infertility is fraught with shame. The clinical approach of Western medicine to infertility takes a huge toll; financially, emotionally, physically and spiritually. The heartache of starting my family reverberates throughout Turtle Hope. Infertility is a distant echo on my path as my daughters are now 18 and 19.

I had been pregnant before. One ended by choice, one did not. With no preparation and utterly alone, a miscarriage at 14 weeks left me hemorrhaging in blood, loss and fear. “I wish I could leave you with a beautiful sunset. However that is not where we lose ourselves time and time again. Each time we pee on a stick, each time we notice the start of yet another cycle, each time we hemorrhage, the thought of yet another child we leave behind another tiny piece of ourselves. We, the infertile, find alternative ways to celebrate motherhood and as sisters we must know that we are united by a deep breath and the power to overcome.” (excerpt Turtle Hope)

After my miscarriage I was diagnosed with secondary infertility since after months of trying to get pregnant I was unable to conceive. Secondary infertility implies there is no known reason for why you are not pregnant. After my miscarriage, every month I started bleeding was a reminder of my hemorrhaging. The loss was driven deeper into my womb. I was not interested in what seemed the torturous path of in vitro. Instead we decided to adopt. The open adoption process seemed to leave us at the mercy of a birthmother who could change her mind. Unable to withstand the loss of another baby we looked to foreign adoptions. Our daughter Sarabeth arrived from Korea on September 13, 1993. On September 13, 1994 I arrived home from the hospital after giving birth to my youngest daughter Danielle.

I came to see that the cause of my secondary infertility was rooted in fear. After the terrifying anguish of losing one baby in a miscarriage my body shut down to insure that would not happen again. Foreign adoption felt like a sure thing. It meant starting a family with a baby that was already born. I became pregnant without any plan or preparation three months after Sarabeth arrived because I had become what I longed to be. I was a mother.

Every family has its own creation story. The love for my daughter born in my heart is no different than the love for my daughter born under it. I thank Jennifer Brown and her courageous story in Turtle Hope. Her voice helped give rise to my own.

Thank you my friend!


Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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