This is National Infertility Awareness Week. The theme is #StartAsking. One of the most central questions of the infertility journey is “why me?” It’s a question I pondered during the years I tried to conceive a child. It’s a question I wanted to explore in fiction.
That’s Our Story
“We read to know we’re not alone.” That’s one of my favorite quotations from author C. S. Lewis, and this sentiment was a major motivator for me as I wrote and edited INCONCEIVABLE. I wanted to show other couples going through infertility that they’re not the only ones experiencing such strong emotions month after month: extreme hope early in the cycle, followed by anxiety and anticipation as you endure the two week wait, and finally grief and despair when they get yet another round of negative pregnancy tests.
The need for more in-depth infertility stories in fiction and movies is clear. When my husband and I were trying to conceive, we felt extreme isolation. I was hungry to see our story represented somewhere. Rarely was infertility broached in a serious way on television, in books, or in movies. If it was mentioned at all, it was merely the pretext for dramatizing an eventual pregnancy. Of course, many couples who struggle to conceive never get pregnant. They have to make peace with the reality that their happy ending is not the one they’ve dreamed of since they were young. Many couples wonder if that means they will have to settle to get any kind of decent happy ending or worst of all, never live happily ever after.
Dramatizing Our Story
Here’s another favorite quote: “If you don’t like the conversation, change it.” I didn’t like the myths pop culture perpetuated about infertility. In writing a work of fiction about this medical challenge, I wanted to use the story to dispel some of these misconceptions. For example, I wanted the couple in my story to be young. This wasn’t a woman who had delayed childbearing to focus on her career. That’s an important story to tell, but it plays into the stereotype that only women in their mid-30’s to mid-40’s experience trouble conceiving.
Another aspect of the journey that I wanted to tackle was the merging of faith and infertility. This is definitely an area of discussion that rarely gets air time. I wanted my main character to wrestle with how to reconcile her faith with the realities of her difficulties. It’s a theme that’s very familiar to anyone who experiences infertility within a religious context.
Finally, I wanted to show that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all happy ending for infertile couples. While we’re all striving to achieve a healthy pregnancy, we can also find other paths to parenthood that are just as fulfilling. So, I wanted to address this issue as well.
A Message of Hope
For all the seriousness of this topic, I wanted the majority of my novel to be infused with humor, heart, and hope. The message of hope that shines through the pages of INCONCEIVABLE whispers, “Happy endings come in all varieties. It is possible, and even beautiful, to reimagine your own happily ever after.”
About the Author:
The best compliment Tegan Wren ever received came from her sixth grade teacher: “You always have a book in your hand!”
Guided by her love of the creative process, Tegan grew up acting in theatre productions and writing poetry, short stories, and plays. She turned her eye to writing about real life when she worked as a journalist, producing reports for various radio and television stations in medium and large markets in the Midwest and also filing some stories for a major national news network.
She’s had the opportunity to travel overseas, and uses those adventures to inform her writing. She also draws inspiration from her own struggles and life experiences. Tegan and her husband, Patrick, struggled with infertility for five years before becoming parents through adoption.
Tegan is excited to have her debut novel, INCONCEIVABLE!, included in the launch of the new romance imprint Curiosity Thrills from Curiosity Quills Press. She’s a proud PRO member of Romance Writers of America.
Find her here:
(click the cover for more info on Amazon)