For so many women infertility is a lonely experience to go through. During this time, it’s hard for to not become hyper aware of the stigma surrounding infertility and how poorly women dealing with the issue are portrayed in everything from books to movie. Even well-meaning news article seem to begin and end with the IVF process and focus more on helping women conceive than on infertility’s emotional and social impact. The most troubling portrayal, however, paints the picture that only upper-middle-class, white, straight women in their late thirties experience infertility, something that is far from the truth. It also erases the experiences of Black women who face significant barriers to diagnosis and treatment.
That’s why on this week’s episode of The Suga, Tika and Thai lift the veil off the stigma to discuss infertility amongst Black women and share their deeply personal journeys. The ladies also speak to Reverend Dr. Stacey L. Edwards-Dunn of Fertility for Colored Girls to talk about the intersection of faith and fertility and how more women can find the hope in having options.
“Sisters, where there’s a will there’s a way, and if you believe in the core of who you are that God has called you to be a parent, you hold on to hope. You remain steadfast, but you have to be open to the options. You have to be open and understand that there are different paths to parenthood. All of our paths are different, but just because they’re different, doesn’t make them deficient,” says Edwards-Dunn.
If you’re a colored girl in need of a little hope while on your fertility journey, we’ve rounded up a few books that will help you feel a sense of community and empower and you to keep the faith and never lose hope.
Hold Onto Hope: Stories of Black Women’s Fertility, Faith, and Fight to Become Mothers
Hold On To Hope by Rev. Dr. Stacey Edwards-Dunn is a rich collection of heartfelt, real, and inspirational stories of courageous Black women who have fought emphatically against infertility to become mothers. Their stories offer humor, hope, and practical advice that can be incorporated in one’s infertility journey, and shows Black women that they are not alone among their peers in their desire to have a baby. The book also shows the hope in the options by highlighting the many roads to parenthood. It is joyful and sorrowful tale, but always gives hope and is highly recommend for anyone coping with infertility.
The Way of the Fertile Soul: Ten Ancient Chinese Secrets to Tap into a Woman’s Creative Potential
In The Way of the Fertile Soul, Dr. Randine Lewis outlines ten ancient Chinese medical and Taoist “secrets” that she believes hold the key to successfully conceiving babies, new dreams, and a fulfilling life for women at any phase in their lives. Each page encourages readers to strive toward health, abundance, and a fruitful, joyous approach to life and seeks to help them understand how the elements of nature express themselves in one’s body, mind, and spirit. The book hopes to provide the tools to greatly increasing a woman’s chance of conceiving, identify imbalances, reduce stress, increase energy, and uncovering her intrinsic creativity and express it fully.
Silent Sorority: A Barren Woman Gets Busy, Angry, Lost and Found
In Silent Sorority, Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos’s shares a raw and beautiful story of female infertility in a book that grapples with the double isolation women feel of being not only infertile, but infertile and childless after prolonged treatment. The author shares her anger about the abuses and false promises of the for-profit infertility industry as well as the public stigma that prevents women in particular from voicing their grief over failed fertility treatments and unwanted childlessness. Silent Sorority also raises much-needed questions about how the narrative of infertility has become one of successful medical treatment, instead of being centered on one’s desire, grief, and eventual healing.
Circle of Empty Arms
In LaShaundra Seale’s second novel, Circle of Empty Arms, she tells the story of three women and their journey through the ups and downs of life and fertility. The twists and turns show readers what can happen when wanting your heart’s desire can lead to deception and scandal. Page after page you’ll find yourself begging the characters to think twice before surrendering to dreadful decisions, and sympathizing with them when those decisions turn into disasters. But most importantly, this book will also inspire anyone going through a difficult time in life, while encouraging them to keep the faith. Something the author knows all too well as her dream of becoming a mom finally came true after 12 years when she adopted her son.
We’re Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True
We’re Going to Need More Wine may not be as heavy a book as others on this list, but that doesn’t make it any less powerful for women on their fertility journey. Actress and fellow SugaMama Gabrielle Union discusses her battle with recurrent pregnancy loss and how she found the strength to keep trying after having so many miscarriages that she lost count. The star shares her experiences in often gut-wrenching detail, highlighting the often-erased experiences of Black women with infertility, and how she eventually opened up to the option of surrogacy, which led to her eventually realizing her dream with daughter Kaavia.
Listen to our episode of The Suga with Reverend Dr.Stacey L. Edwards-Dunn of Fertility for Colored Girls as we talk about the intersection of faith and fertility.