Children of Men

I read this book by PD James as part of a virtual book club.

However I’m feeling really ill so the responses I’m posting are   a bit feeble – only 2 questions rather than 5.

Though there are interesting female characters in the forefront of the novel, the cast of thousands of infertile women in the background are portrayed as crazy, desperate, and delusional. Did you feel P.D. James captured the emotions of infertility or do you think she merely repeated the image presented in the general media–infertile women are desperate and single-minded and obsessed with babies and pregnancy?

My experience of secondary infertility has been via recurrent miscarriage. After a miscarriage, there is an overwhelming urge to get pregnant again immediately, to literally replace the lost baby. If we continue to lose babies, we become adept at the babymaking game, moving from natural concption no strings attached, to charting, temping and OPKs.

It seems to us that noone in the medical profession really cares about the cause of recurrent loss… maybe because so often they just don’t know why it happens.  It’s only via online communities that I have been able to get the knowledge which is power, sharing also the incredible warmth and strength of other women. Are these women singleminded? yes, and no surprise. Is it fair for us to be labelled obsessed or desperate? If only the critics had walked a mile in our shoes.

In describing the world’s “universal bereavement” over its lack of children, the narrator tells us, “Only on tape and records to we now hear the voices of children, only on film or on television programmes do we see the bright, moving images of the young. Some find them unbearable to watch but most feed on them as they might a drug.” How is this like your life dealing with infertility? How do you cope when you are confronted with images or reminders that are painful to you?

I saw a post somewhere else where someone commented that women with children already find it impossible to avoid pregnant women and newborns – and that’s so true. I have so often sat heartbroken in the park, watching other women happy with their bellies or their baby slings, while I’m waiting to miscarry my latest pregnancy. I find myself watching women with a big gap between child no 1 and no 2 and wondering about their stories. Did they have problems getting pregnant, did they miscarry?

Intrigued by this book tour and want to read more about Children of Men?  Hop along to more stops on the Barren Bitches Book Tour by visiting the master list at  Stirrup Queens
Want to come along for the next tour?  Sign up begins today for tour #3 ( The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger) and all are welcome to join along.  All you need is a book and blog.

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~ by drownedgirl on March 5, 2007.

9 Responses to “Children of Men”

  1. You chose two of the same questions I did – interesting responses. I’m sorry about your miscarriages. I’ve been through three myself. It never gets any easier, does it?

  2. I hope you’re feeling better soon. Your responses were so thoughtful. Your description of the “babymaking game” is heartbreaking.

    I have also had similar thoughts when I see families with big gaps between the children – wondering what the story was.

  3. I hope you are feeling better soon!

    I have been all over the spectrum of IF now – but, I think the hardest part for me has been the recurrent pregnancy loss. I am lucky – my doc really pushed to find out why I keep miscarrying. He ran every test he could to find the answer – which we did find. But, I do think my doc is a rarity.

    There is a strong need to get PG again after a miscarriage – and when it happens again (the miscarriage), the blow is so much harder to recover from.

  4. I hope you’re feeling better. I too look at other people who have been married for a long time without children or who have a large gap and wonder about their story. Not everyone wants children and not every gap is due to infertility or loss. But you notice what you know.

  5. I do the same with families of multiples or different race child (likely adoption). I wonder how hard it was for them to build their family. Did they go through the same experiences or something completely different?

  6. It is so easy to get caught up in the babymaking game — sometimes I have to stop and re-assess why we’re doing this. I posted recently about the reasons why I want children, and I keep going back to those over and over again.

  7. I think about that too, especially when I see older parents. When we were going through IF treatments, it was harder for me to be around pregnant women than even babies. I still have a tough time with it. Hope you’re feeling better soon.

  8. I do the large-age-gap-wondering too. Also when I see a child of a different race to his/her parents I wonder if the parents struggled with infertility prior to choosing adoption.

  9. I too hope you feel better soon! I would definitely agree that it is difficult to see other pregnant women.

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