Published (adjective): Of a book, prepared and issued for public sale or readership
I know that Summer’s name is in this particular book, as I put it there.
I’ve spoken a lot about how the baby loss community and Instagram, in particular, have put me in touch with people all over the world, helping with my own ‘healing journey’, so when I was approached to help others with theirs, of course, I said yes.
Last year Sheila and Yemi got in touch, asking if I wanted to tell my story in their co-authored book about infertility and baby loss. The focus was to support women in ethnic communities and to highlight the challenges faced in differing cultures.
Originally I said that I was interested, but I didn’t feel strongly that being an ethnic minority had exacerbated my upset: as far as I can see, baby loss is still a taboo in every culture – it had little to do with my ethnicity (so this is the part where I lack humility and give you an excerpt from my section of the book):
“It’s important for me to note that causing inadvertent offence transcends race, religion, culture – no one section of society has the monopoly on this – there is no pattern to the people who have managed to upset the grieving parents in the baby loss community.
I am a British Indian, married to a white Christian. We straddle two cultures and both families have managed to upset us. On my husband’s side, it is his family’s silence that I will never forget. The so many things unsaid. On my side, it’s the (sometimes advertent) offence caused by the unhelpful comments which have been made.
I’m not sure which is worse: the silence or the verbal diarrhoea?”
Once I started writing, I realised that I did have a few comments to make on the topic, but rather than tie myself in knots, trying to sum up this entire website in just a thousand words, I decided to rework and merge two of my blogs (what not to say and helpless) and added a section on the “cultural curiosities” of my experience with baby loss.
The result? I am one of 30 bruthful writers that feature in this book!
If I haven’t yet piqued your interest, I’ll let Sheila and Yemi speak for themselves:
“Infertility doesn’t care about your ethnicity is not a book that cures infertility, gives medical advice or guarantees that IVF will work. It’s a book for ethnic and women of colour around the world. All the women involved in this book share the emotional realities of their personal struggle. Most of them aren’t writers – their stories are in their own words with phrasing authentic to their culture, which will be recognisable if you’re from that community. Situations they share haven’t been embellished to shock you – they happened. They understand like no-one else does, what you are going through, and they know that reading their words will bring you comfort, validation and possibly hope; that however your future turns out, you too will be okay.
All of us hope that this book helps to open the narrative for ethnic women around the globe, and that it will be a survival guide for women who are finding it a challenge to conceive. We also want it to be an excellent resource to people who haven’t experienced this struggle, especially healthcare professionals; doctors, nurses, midwives, sonographers, embryologists and receptionists, as well as those practicing alternative therapies, counsellors, coaches and therapists. Religious and community leaders can also offer much better support for these very valuable members of their organisations by understanding the trauma and devastation experienced when getting pregnant isn’t easy.”
So for anyone interested, whether you’re an ethnic minority or not, give the book a read – I definitely will be doing just that (it only arrived last night). I’m already wondering whether there will be more gasps or tears, for both are surely guaranteed in the bizarre world of baby loss and infertility. As always, feel free to let me know your thoughts, I’m sure Sheila and Yemi would appreciate them (or better still, a review on Amazon) too. “Enjoy”.
P.S. James says this doesn’t count as me being a published author and he still wants a book out of me, grrr!
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