URBANA Infertility and isolation are soul sisters, says University of Illinois professor Constance Hoenk Shapiro. As friends, siblings, and co-workers effortlessly become pregnant and deliver babies that become the center of their lives and conversations, an infertile womanand her partneroften feel defeated and alone.
Shapiro's new book When You're Not Expecting has the potential to change all that by providing a sisterhood of survivors who have been there and know how it feels.
The author draws on her 20 years of experience as an infertility counselor to address such topics as the emotional impact of invasive medical treatments; what to do when making love becomes hard work; how to cope with baby showers, family gatherings, and child-centered holidays; recovering emotionally from pregnancy loss; and putting your life on hold while you're waiting for expensive treatments to succeed.
"I've worked with hundreds of people who have been diagnosed with infertility, and my book uses the well-disguised voices of my clients as they talk about their challenges and coping strategies," she said.
"I think readers will feel validated in the emotions they themselves are having and find the women's accounts of their experiences a lifeline to sanity and survival. It's a hopeful book, with compelling stories, humor, and honesty," she said.
But the book provides more than catharsis. At the end of each chapter, Shapiro offers therapeutic tips that take up the issues her clients are coping with.
There's help here too for men and for women with social factor infertility, experienced by lesbians and single women who want to become parents. Medical professionals, therapists, clergy, and parents and in-laws will also benefit from reading the book, she said.
"One of the things a couple has to decide is how much and with whom they're going to share this personal information. How much of their emotional struggle will they ex
|Contact: News writer: Phyllis Picklesimer|
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign