Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Review: My Little Soldiers by Glenn Barden

One unequivocal fact about the infertility scene online is that it's dominated by women. It makes sense; we're the ones who do most of the testing and treatments, we're the ones who can symptom spot, and for the most part we don't mind analyzing sticks other women have peed on. But this is not just our journey, most of us have a man beside us every step of the way. It affects them too and I think a lot of the time we don't realize how much. Being able to see inside a man's head is one of the reasons I loved reading My Little Soldiers by Glenn Barden.

When I was first approached to read this the idea of it being a comedy made me a bit wary. Infertility is not joke and I didn't want to feel laughed at Thankfully my fears were unfounded. A lot of times it's funny in an inside joke kind of way. I can laugh about dildo cams and nasty fertility smoothies because I've been there. Other times the humor doesn't necessarily have anything to do with infertility at all, it's just part of Mike's character. There are a few very serious scenes (as you might expect) and their serious nature is respected. The author doesn't let comedy take away from the heavy topics the nature of this book requires.

Since we've started down this journey it's become painfully obvious that the media doesn't know what it's talking about when it comes to adoption, loss, and infertility. It can become frustrating to be watching TV or reading a book and see them get everything so very wrong. Sometimes they even make things up out of the blue that has no basis in fact at all (I'm looking at you, House of Cards)! I haven't run the full gamut of fertility treatments but what I have experienced rings true. What I've learned from infertility blogs and forums seems to match the description of what I haven't experienced in the book. It even includes a little bit of history regarding treatments and those who developed them along the way. For this reason I think this would be a valuable book not only for infertiles but their friends and family or anyone who doesn't want to remain ignorant of what we go through. And speaking of friends and family, My Little Soldiers does a remarkable job of portraying interactions with fertile people. Unsolicited advice is unsolicited for a reason!

Reading this book made me reevaluate my husband's outward appearance of strength and detachment. For a while now I have been contemplating giving the baby we lost a name. It's been a year and a half since I miscarried and now seems an odd time to name him or her but I think it would help me. I think my child deserves a name. I was scared to bring it up to my husband because what if he thinks it's silly? I still think about our child every single day but what if he doesn't? What if he rejects the notion and calls it ridiculous? I really don't give him enough credit. We talked about it and agreed. We haven't settled on a name yet, but we will - together. This is his journey too and he's just as invested as I am.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review purposes but all thoughts are my own.

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