This book is a devotional I received from a friend last year after in vitro didn't work. I looked at it, set it aside and didn't pick it up again until today. First of all, I couldn't get past the title. Really? A barren land? Not how I want to be thought of by others. I didn't want to ever be considered "childless". I just haven't had children yet. I also won't believe I will ever consider myself childless because we plan to adopt in the future if that is path we are to follow. However, when I picked up this book and actually started reading it, I realized it's so much more that just a label about me. This book is a devotional for 121 days for women that have been struggling with infertility for any length of time. You could have just found out or you could have been struggling for 10 years. Whichever is the case, this is a wonderful book. Piggy-backing on my last post, it is a wonderful tool to help you stay strong in your faith during this difficult time. Yet, it doesn't just give you the "be a good follower and he will provide" type of devotions. Vicki Caswell, the author, does a fantastic job of sharing her personal stories with some anecdotes that could help you survive the daily struggle. It gives you topics to think about that you might not have ever thought about before. Of course I had to laugh when one of the days was titled "Say Nothing" which went on to describe what you shouldn't say to someone going through infertility. Her words are exactly how I would think and write them so I felt connected to each story. She has a sense of humor that is exactly like mine, and at the same time feels all the pain of hurtful or insensitive words. Anyone that enjoys this blog, might just want to pick up this book. Even if you don't struggle the entire 121 days of this book, it might help you get through the days you do until you are fortunate enough to conceive.
One of my favorites is Day 51, titled "Lady-in-Waiting" where she explains her thought process after seeing a billboard asking, "Expecting a baby?". She goes on to say, why yes, as a matter of fact, I've been expecting a baby for about ten years now. She turns it to the sentimental side of how she still has no one to discipline, feed, cuddle, nurture, love, etc. She hit me hard when she said, still no one to name. Yep, that's me. I want that. But in the end, she explains that it's okay to keep expecting that and to keep waiting, but that we can't allow the waiting to get in the way of us living our lives. Hard to do, I know. A daily struggle for me, when that's all you think about when you are going through the treatments. At the end of that devotional she suggests a book if you are a detail-oriented person (which I am!). It's called, Wishing for a Baby: A Preconception Journal, published by Conceiving Concepts, Inc. From the reviews I've read, it seemed to be very helpful for the women who used it. However, I'm not sure how available it actually is. Let me know if you find some that aren't "used".
Another favorite is Day 75, "What My Best Friend Does Right". It just goes through and lists all the things that her best friend did for her and with her throughout it all. At the end it gives the suggestion to make a list of the things your family and friends do right for you to help you through the pain of infertility, show it to them and thank them. Not a bad idea. Also a good way to open up the lines of communication if you don't feel supported enough.
Some of the daily devotionals are devoted to focusing on the husband as well. Make sure he doesn't get left out. He can often get depressed as well and not deal with it in the same manner. You have to help each other through it and keep ahold of your marriage throughout the process. Stay strong and connected and fight the good fight together.
So even if you don't want to be considered "barren" this is still a good book to check out if you are having trouble conceiving. At the end of each day in the book, she has a "bearing fruit" section which suggests ways to apply what you have just read about to your life. Pretty helpful or therapuetic I've found! Let me know what you think if you pick up this book!