Fertility Musings, Questions & Answers and News

Monday, April 16, 2007

Barren Bitches Book Tour #3 - The Time Traveler's Wife

This is the first time I've joined the Barren Bitches Book Tour and to be honest, aside from reading Blink, The Time Traveler's Wife is the first book I've read in quite a while (actually, I didn't manage to finish the book in time, but I'm definitely hooked).

A few days ago, each participant received a list of questions - one question from each member of another group - and we were asked to choose & answer three questions. Here goes :-)

If you were able to communicate with a past or future version of yourself, how much would you tell them? How much would you want to know? Discuss how well you think Clare and Henry struck this balance, giving examples of points and ways in which they conveyed or withheld information.

I like the Henry and Clare's balance - with Henry keeping most things about Clare's future from her. Telling her that her mother dies from ovarian cancer, for example, seemed to alleviate her fears that something else might happen to her mother. Telling Henry, when he bounced back to the present while at mass, that everything was going to be OK and that no one would notice, also seemed like a stress reducer - without changing anything else. Knowing that she was going to marry Henry in the future, however, is something Clare probably would have been better off not knowing - she lost some of the mystery and excitement...

I think I wouldn't tell myself much, in my visits from the future, but my facial expressions would give it all away :-) Being an optimist, I always hoped that I would have a happy marriage (I had many miserable years in my first marriage) and I am glad that I didn't know how the change would come about. I don't mean that I was unhappy as a person, but I just got sick thinking I might end up growing old with the person I was married to... I only would have wanted to know about my first marriage if there had been something that I could have done to prevent it. Otherwise, knowing what it was like in advance would have made my future seem unbearable.

I learned both through infertility and life in general, that we can take a lot more than we think we can.

This is not exactly part of the question, but in many cases, when I read other people's blogs, I feel like a time traveler, as if I know the future. A part of me wants to say to women going through their first steps with infertility that it's all just part of the path they have to go through before they become moms... That they have to make it through this time and that there's a baby (or two, or more) waiting for them at the end.


In the "TTW" the main character can at times, know what happens in the future, even though he can't change it. In terms of infertility, I often wonder if I had been able to know what the end result of all this would be if I could be at peace with it, even if I couldn't change it. How do you feel about that? If you could know what was going to happen sometime in the future in regards to your IF would you choose to know and not be able to change it, or continue the way you are and get to that place unaware of the final destination?

If I had known that I would someday be a mom, I would definitely have been at peace with everything that came between that time and the time that I did... Despite the fact that it took 3 years of trying, testing and failing, I was very lucky and got pregnant with my 2nd IVF. I had an uneventful pregnancy my daughter was born when I was 24 (married 4-1/2 years) I would have liked a message from the future that someday I would have a child or children - not how or how many, but that someday I would hold a baby of my own. It would have taken away that horrible feeling that here I was, in my early 20's and I might never have a child. It might also have helped let me let go enough of my own feelings to be truly happy for my friends who had babies while I was struggling with the knowledge that it might never happen for me. (My doctors were very pessimistic.)

If you were to travel to emotionally important events and even play different roles in these events, such as Henry did throughout the book, which event(s) would you revisit? These events could be ones you'd want to revisit, or not.

My father had a sister who died of hepatitis, when she was 16 (my middle name, Sara, is after her). As soon as I understood this, I felt like I desperately wanted to be able to meet her. My father, who was 13 when she died, had a lot of trouble talking about her and I'm not sure I ever even saw a picture of her before I was 11. I remember looking through a notebook of hers from school (by then, my father had kept it for over 25 years) and wondering if she was like me, looking at her doodles on the sides of her notes and inspecting her handwriting, even more than the words she had written. It would be incredible to be able to meet her at that age - I've always felt that I lost something by not having met her... The only other part of the past I would be interested in visiting is Ohad (my husband) as a child. I can picture so well what he must have been like. I believe that, like Henry fell in love with Clare, I would fall in love with the small child too. It would be amazing to be able to tell our daughters what their dad was like as a kid.

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Hop along to another stop on this blog tour by visiting the main list at http://stirrup-queens.blogspot.com/. You can also sign up for the next book on this online book club: Waiting for Daisy by Peggy Orenstein.

Also feel free to visit FertilityStories - the web's largest collection of real infertility experiences.

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3 Comments:

  • I love what you say about feeling like a time traveler on other people's blogs. It's such a brilliant thought.

    I like that you chose (in addition to Ohad) someone you never met. And to get to have those moments with someone who is deeply connected to you via heritage and the name, but whom you've never met.

    By Blogger The Town Criers, at 12:52 PM  

  • That's a beautiful idea, to visit your father's sister and become more connected with your family.

    While you and I have come to different conclusions about whether we would want to know the outcome of infertility, I can completely see your side of things and frankly vascillate about how I would really feel.

    By Blogger Samantha, at 7:00 PM  

  • I love your thoughts on the people and events you would visit. That's an interesting question, too. And it links in well to the other questions - there are things I would like to say to a younger version of myself or my friends/family. Just to let them know it will be ok.

    Bea

    By Blogger Bea, at 10:47 PM  

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