Friday, March 19, 2010

Infertility and Loss in Books and Movies

I love to read.  I wish I would take more time out of my life to read, but sometimes it is hard to do.  Because I do not yet have the willpower to put down a book once I get into it.  So I end up not picking the book up in the first place.  But yesterday, I was tired of cleaning the house and I was still feeling a little sick, so I decided to sit outside in the sun and read.  I read the book Sarah's Key, it was very good.  But it seems like this last year that many stories that I read or watch have one of the characters dealing with infertility or loss.

Sarah's Key weaves 2 stories into 1.  One deals with Sarah a ten yr old Jewish girl and takes place in Paris, July 1942, and the other takes place 60 yrs later in the same place as an journalist Julia Jarmond researches what occurred there.   It is interesting to see how Sarah deals with life and loss through her life.  It reminded me that all of us have so many difficulties and trials in life and that they can make or break us depending on how we deal with them.  Then, (not to spoil the story), but Julia has to deal with her past miscarriages and decide what to do when faced with a failing marriage and unexpected pregnancy.

I remember after our last IVF cycle produced a chemical pregnancy I was so sad and devastated.  Whenever I get bad news, the last thing you want to do it go out and about and interact with people.  So we decided to watch the movie Marley and Me.  We thought that would be light hearted and fun.  Well, unfortunately, I was not aware that the reason the couple got the dog Marley was because they were dealing with infertility issues and had a miscarriage.  I remember the huge tears that were rolling out of my eyes when the doctor tried to find the baby's heartbeat.  The exact thing had happened to me just a few hours earlier.  It was terrible. And then of course she got pregnant in Ireland and named her first child Patrick.  How appropriate that St. Patty's day just came and went.  Anyhow, so watching that movie that night was not good timing at all.  But luckily their dog Marley came on the scene and I was able to finish watching the movie.

Here are other movies I have seen that dealt with infertility:

  • Julie and Julia.  (Julia Childs was infertile.  I had no idea) It didn't go into detail, just occasionally showed her sad that she couldn't have kids.  I also saw this shortly after the sad results of my IVF. So much for going to a movie to forget your troubles for awhile.  And then I felt lost and confused like the Julie who starts blogging.  (Maybe that's what spurred me on to try my hand at blogging--so maybe it was good I saw the movie after all.  Just wish I had waited a few more weeks to see it)
  • UP.  Who knew that a Disney/Pixar movie would have an aninmated couple that had a misscarriage.  It was sad, but poignant.  They were such a cute couple, and when I saw their interactions I hoped that if childlessness was my lot in life, that my marriage could be like theirs.  Pathetic, I know, hoping to pattern my life after that of an animated character.  
Are there any other movies/books that deal with adoption/infertility/loss that one wouldn't know about by seeing the preview or reading the back of the book?

Anyone else had any experiences when seeing/reading ALI (adoption, loss, infertility) movies or books?  


  1. I have every book on loss ever written, stacked up against every book written about pregnancy. ironic.

    I'd recommend The Good Grief Club by Monica Novak. Kind of a hidden gem but I felt like I could relate to at LEAST one thing on every page. It was hard to follow the 7 stories and keep everyone straight, but it was definitely a good book.

  2. Well you know I love to read too! Sarah's Key is such a good book! I've also seen all of those movies & found them to be extremely touching.
    Another book I read was called Waiting for Daisy by Peggy Orenstien, true story about her struggles to conceive, also a very good read! I also really liked Pregnant Pause by Carrie Friedman, it's not so much about infertility, but about her feeling pressured to have a child at a certain time in her life & really questioning what is best...she's a very witty writer & I loved some of her stuff on parenting!

  3. Your thoughts after watching UP are so not pathetic! I thought the exact same thing. I thought that so much that I rented it again so my husband could watch it, and I told him that if we end up childless, I hope we are as happy as that couple.

    I read Marley and Me, so I haven't been able to bring myself to watch it. Not only do I not want to watch them go through a miscarriage, I don't want to watch their dog die.

    I am definitely going to follow the comments on this post, I am interested in other book and movie recommendations.

  4. UP got me, bawled in the cinema almost from start to finish and not just tears but big sobbing gulps....pathetic really lol


  5. I also loved Waiting for Daisy for the struggle she went through and I don't want to give away the ending, but she really lucked out eventually. It just made me feel happy for her since it was a true story, but it wasn't helpful to an infertile.

  6. I do feel like IF is popping up everywhere in pop culture these days--I wonder if it's really becoming a more common topic, or if we're just more aware of it because of what we're going through?

    Up especially got me. Even DH cried at that opening sequence, and he never cries--in fact, the only other times I've seen him cry were after his dad's funeral, at our wedding, and when we found out I was about to miscarry. So that's a pretty impactful movie!