Tuesday, June 7, 2011

"Sing You Home" Book Review

...this is the newest book out by Jodi Picoult. It's gotten a lot of interest from the infertile world because the whole discussion of this book is about frozen embryos. Now let me tell you this book has LOTS of drama and I mean A LOT! Let me give you a brief synopsis in my own words: A couple struggles with infertility and 5 failed IVFs only to end up getting divorced. The husband, Max, becomes super religious while the wife, Zoe, becomes a lesbian. Zoe and her partner want the frozen embryos but Max doesn't want a gay couple to have them. The rest of the book is the trial and lots of political stuff: religion vs gay rights.

Seriously, every page has a new twist or turn to it. The main reason I wanted to read this book was obviously because it dealt with infertility and IVF. I loved the first part of the book where she talked about how IVF works and the feelings that went along with it. I started reading the book the night I took Matt to the hospital and almost every other page, I would cry out, "OMG! That's exactly how I feel!" or "That is so me....or so you." And it was great for me to get a male perspective, it really made me think of things that I know Mattie wouldn't ever say but I could see how he could feel it.

I really enjoyed the beginning as I said but then it got way too political for me, and maybe even a little off the wall. I believe in God but the stuff in this book was a little extreme and I also thought a few things were beyond far-fetched, but it's fiction so it's allowed to be, right? No matter my views on God or gay rights, I will say that this book made you "feel." I would get my hopes up at certain points, get disgusted at others and when they discussed the frozen embryos and how they might not make it to pregnancy, my stomach would drop and make me think of my 3 little totsicles.

Now this is just me, and being an IFer finding parts of the story that I find far-fetched:
*Max wants to give the embryos to his brother and sister-in-law, Liddy (what is Liddy short for?). The SIL has had many miscarriages and the brother has the same genetic disorder that Max has. So what's to say that the SIL will be able to carry the babies vs Zoe's partner, who hasn't had any fertility issues?

*SPOILER!!! Someone gets pregnant with the frozen embryos and the book doesn't say how long after the trial they do the transfer BUT hello-isn't the first rule of IF, don't be stressed??? After the trial that was put on, I WAS stressed so I'm sure they were.

It was good to read a book that I could relate to although it did get a little cray cray at times in my opinion. I hope that Matt and I don't turn out like the book (divorced and/or one of us turning gay or fighting over our tots). This book has taught me to make sure Matt and I are on the same page with what we want to do with our totsicles and hopefully, we'll be loving them in our arms before too long.

Similiarities outside of IVF to the book and me:

*Max is a landscaper and so is Matt.

*Liddy made a Happy Birthday Jessus cake for Christmas. I've sworn if we ever have kids, I want to start this tradition.

*Zoe's mom calls her on her birthday and "reenacts" her birth over the phone...my mom does the same thing.

*Zoe's mom talks about a water theory and the use of positive vs negative language. I had never heard of it until March when it was discussed at a conference and then it shows up in this book. Odd, I'd  never heard of it but then it comes up again in my life two months later.

Quotes from the book that I related to:


p.10 "I always found it ironic that someone who has trouble getting pregnant begins in vitro by taking birth control pills." I thought the EXACT same thing!
p. 12 "And to think, some people who want to have a baby only need to make love." HA-I've learned that some people in love have to work REALLY hard to have a baby.

p. 12 "There were years I was so superstitious I counted backward from 20 before getting out of bed, or wore the same lucky camisole for a week in an effort to ensure that particular embryo would be the one that actually stuck." During our fresh cycle of IVF, I wore the same socks to every visit, took the same route and parked in the same spot at the clinic.

p.13-14 "But my friendships have dwindled as Max and I began to devote ourselves entirely to combating infertility. Some relationships I'd ended because I didn't want to hear a friend talk about her baby's first words, or go to a couple's home for dinner and be confronted with sippy cups...since the only person who really could understand the cyclone of emotions involved in IVF was Max...We'd isolated ourselves, because it hurt less." This speaks for itself. While I don't think we've ended any friendships over this, I have found myself more jaded and tuning out during baby talk or excusing myself from conversations.


p.49 "I wanted a baby, too...but for a reason much more simple than that (dreaming of fatherhood). Because it's what Zoe wanted." I know Mattie feels the same way, he wants to be a father but he wants to support me more than anything and make me happy.

p. 49-50 "...the touchy-feeling part of IVF and the poking and the prodding isn't something that comes naturally to me." This made me laugh because I know Matt's said this more than once.

p. 50 "Maybe it was the first time, or the fifth, or the fiftieth that Zoe counted out the days of her menstrual cycle and crawled into bed and said, "Now!" Our sex life had become like Thanksgiving dinner with a dysfunctional family-something you have to show up for; even though you're not really having a good time." LOL-this cracks me up! Do I need to explain? I hope not.

p. 51 "A lot of people talk about what women go through, when they can't have a baby. But no one ever asks about the guys. Well, let me tell you-we feel like losers. We can't somehow do what other men manage to do without even trying...what other men take precautions to not do...This may be the twenty-first century, but being a real man is tied to being able to procreate." Wow-very insightful.


p. 298-299 "Did you ever want something so bad you think that hoping is going to jinx it?" OMG! AMEN!!! This has been me for the past year and 8 months, too afraid to hope that my dreams might come true.

If you haven't experienced infertilty, I highly suggest reading this because although it may be totally political and off the wall and definitely a little bananas, it will allow you to step inside the mind of those of us that have traveled this journey. This book was able to say things I feel but could never put into words. For those of you that have experienced infertility, one-you're not alone and two, this book is a nice read because FINALLY there's something we can relate too, someone who can speak our mind for us.

Let me know if you've read it and what your opinion was of the book. Happy reading!!!


Hilary Lane said...

I didn't realize this was out yet until the other day & I couldn't get to Amazon quick enough to order it. Waiting impatiently - can't wait to read it!

Julie said...

I read the book and having no clue if infertility is in my future, it was a good read that allowed me into a world that many of my friends are experiencing. I love that author!

Stephany said...

Ooh...she brings up some very hot topics with this one! It sounds very interesting, though.