When I got into bed on Wednesday night, I opened my laptop and saw that I had a new follower on twitter: Louise Brown, the world’s first IVF baby. Wow, I thought, sleepy-eyed, why would she want to follow me? Unlike Louise, my own test-tube tales are traumatic not triumphant. I read her profile and saw that she was bringing out an autobiography on the 1st August (ie. yesterday). Ah, I thought, that’s good marketing. I didn’t know about her book until she followed me but now I’m definitely going to buy it.
To be honest, I’ve been a bit bereft of books recently. Whilst, they’re good for the beach they don’t survive in the sea (which is where I’m spending most of my time). But, this week whilst on dry land, I did finally get a chance to read Finally Heard by Pamela Tsigdinos which came out on the 1st May. Pamela is one of my idols. Her award-winning memoir Silent Sorority is the only book I’ve read (apart from mine) about a woman who goes through fertility treatment and doesn’t end up with a baby. Finally Heard explores her perspective ten years on. One of the things that struck me most when reading it is that we’re living in unchartered times. Pamela was one of the first women to speak publicly about the prevalence and impact of fertility treatment failure in a world where the media is much more interested in the miracle baby story. Louise Brown is, of course, queen of miracles and the first in a line of new generations to speak out about how it feels to be given life by science.
All of us who have been through fertility treatment are making history and the consequences of our success and failure are only just finding their voice. This makes both books a must-read this summer. Something for the beach (if you’re lucky enough not to be in the sea swimming to France).