Fertility Book Review: inconceivable
BY JULIA INDICHOVA
Overview of the Book
inconceivable (presumably an intentional lower case ‘i’ and not a typo in a one word title?) is the personal story of Julia Indichova’s quest for a second baby. The memoir recounts her two year struggle with secondary infertility, low ovarian reserve and her fight to convince any IVF clinics to take her on as a patient, due to her staggeringly high FSH (follicule stimulating hormone) results. The Western medical community, being its usual positive ray of sunshine, washed their hands of her, declaring that nothing could be done. Donor eggs were her best (and possibly only) solution to carry another baby. At least, that was what she was told.
The book walks the readers through a beautifully written account of her diagnosis (FSH of 42 at aged 42 - that’s the type of poetic beauty and symmetry that needs to bugger right off), her tests, various clinics, specialists and doctors. After not receiving the support she required from the medical community (all who have experienced this please say ‘aye’) she pours her frustrations into taking positive action for her own health and wellbeing, letting that be her motivating factor. From one desperate lady to another I recognised much of myself in Julia’s account of everything she tries to chase her fertility. I would have done practically anything to have a child. Anything. Weird, whacky, expensive, disgusting - you name it, I would try it. Julia’s story mirrors that experience. Amongst other things, she tried:
Visiting an American Indian Medicine Man (OK, so I haven’t indulged in that one, solely due to my being located across the pond)
Experimenting with Chinese medicine (hold your nose and knock it back, darling)
Developing an obsession with nutrition and health food shops (my favourite shops in the world, other than stationary shops for which I have an unusual penchant)
Beginning fertility yoga (oh yoga, how you saved me too)
The strap line used throughout the book is also all too familiar - ‘just one more specialist’. How many of us have been there! Maybe this one doctor, this one vitamin, this one herb, mediation practise, food substance is the missing piece of the fertility puzzle. Why have I not thought to try this before, it is bound to work. Silly me. The one element that I have neglected and is preventing my pregnancy. Just one more….
The Author - an infertile woman with an extraordinary ability to write
Julia Indichova is a Czech lady living in the USA who was desperate for a second baby which she was trying to conceive in her early 40s. She was an infertile woman with an extraordinary ability to write. Secondary infertility forces her down a path of completely altering her focus on to health and wellbeing, something to which I completely relate. She is not an author by background, but boy does she write well. The book is written in a friendly, conversational tone with moments of humour and so many quotable sentences that sang to my soul and articulated exactly how infertility felt to me.
Who is this book for? Those who have been through the infertility wringer
People who are struggling with infertility, primary or secondary, are likely to closely relate to the messages and experiences contained in this book. It is especially good for those who have been enduring the heartache of fertility issues for a while, as the book is heartwarming and uplifting. There are no (annoying) quick win solutions or ‘all I changed was X and I fell pregnant immediately’ infuriating messages that are likely to depress those who have been through the wringer already. Just a long slog that is totally relatable, from one suffering author to one suffering reader. I am personally not a big fan of memoirs or autobiographies, but this book is a total exception to my own rule. I loved it.
How long did it take me to read?
3 days. Just 3 days, which for one of the world’s slowest readers is nothing short of a miracle. Admittedly, it isn’t a very long book at only 180 pages, but credit where credit is due, as this book for me was a page turner.
Is it worth a read?
Inconceivable joins the prestigious ranks of books that I have read more than once, taking that list to two: Pride and Prejudice (WHAT a classic) and this one. Life is so short that I’m forever tempted to read a different book rather than plod over old ground. Even books that I love I don’t usually read a second time. But inconceivable is the literary equivalent of hugging an infertile - comforting, heartwarming, funny and touching. It is all about the endurance of the human spirit and staying strong. Reading it just once wasn’t enough, I wanted that second hug.
Conclusion - Full marks, it’s a 10 out of 10
Buy it. Read it. Pass it on. Inconceivable is such a fabulous book that is relatable for people struggling with infertility and beautifully written from the heart. The thoughts, desperation, willingness to try anything, funnelling the frustrations into positive action outlined in this book mirrored my experience and views so closely that it made me realise something hugely important - I am not alone.