I was recently introduced to Stuart Burkhalter, the author of Catawampus, by a mutual a friend. (Hi Amanda!) Stuart and I spoke briefly about our writing, publishing, etc. processes but it wasn't until I read his memoir that I really got to know him.
Stuart's subtitle is precisely why I was interested in his memoir; THE FERTILITY PROCESS FROM A MAN'S PERSPECTIVE!!! How refreshing, right? I can't fathom Danny writing about our fertility clinic experiences - mostly because Danny is aggressively dyslexic - but still.
I'm technically infertile due to my cancer history, but I've always said that I think I got off SO EASY in that regard. Danny and I learned very soon into my cancer diagnosis/prognosis that I was not a candidate for infertility treatment. We therefore had immediate closure and pursued adoption accordingly with no lingering "what ifs".
For so many people, however, like my college roommate or my sister-in -law, its much more difficult because there's always that hope that you could conceive. That hope, that lack of closure, is what I think would be so hard to sit with.
Stuart's story is quick, honest, and often frustrating because there was nothing I, or anyone, could do to help. He and his wife (who I googled half way through to picture her accurately) seemed like such nice people who didn't deserve the cruel hand they'd been dealt.
I by no means think you need to be currently experiencing infertility to enjoy Stuart's story. In fact, its probably best you're not as it could be an especially resonating, and therefore painful read.