Sunday, July 06, 2008

Questions for Book Tour Thirteen: The Empty Picture Frame


  1. Depending on where you are on your IF journey, how did this book affect you? For example, if you have a child/ren after IF was it easier or harder to read? If you are in the middle of your IF struggle did the book help or hinder? Give me your thoughts on how you were affected reading the book no matter where your IF journey has taken you so far.

  1. On p. 141, Jenna describes hiding out in the bathroom during her nephew's third birthday party but then realizes, "I couldn't even come close to having fun. I hate myself for that... I don't want to turn every moment into a moment about me and my sadness. It is never my intention, but it is always my impact." She describes how she doesn't like the person looking back at her in the mirror. Have you had a similar "mirror moment"? If so, describe it. Did this realization result in a lasting change in your outlook or relationships with others? How much of the responsibility for "impact" lies on the infertile person's shoulders?

  1. At several points in the book, Jenna describes how she felt that motherhood was a "calling" for her -- the conviction that she was "called" to be a mother and that she would achieve that goal someday, somehow. Do you feel the same sense of "calling" in your pursuit of parenthood?

  1. What one line from The Empty Picture Frame did you identify with and why?

  1. On page 134, the author talks about the failures bringing repeated pain to their families. In what ways did your treatment affect your extended family?

  1. On page 145, the author says, "Infertility can definitely be the process of losing oneself, but it can also be the process of finding oneself." In what ways have you lost yourself, and in what ways have you found yourself?

  1. On page 147, the author talks about being more aware of the pain of others. How do you feel your infertility has affected your relationship with others?

  1. Toward the end of the book, the author talks about things people have said - in what ways have you dealt with the inevitable statements that people make to those trying to conceive?

  1. The last chapter is a guide to the fertiles reading the book on how to respond and not respond to a situation. Some of the reactions and commentary has happened to many people. What was the best reaction you got to your story and what was the worst?

  1. Did your clinic have a Baby Day like Jenna described? Even if not, did you ever have a moment like that in the clinic, with newborn babies being brought in, or a woman cycling who brought her child with her? How did you deal with it?

  1. Did you struggle with your friendships during your infertility journey? Did you lose friends you thought were good ones, or gain close friends in unexpected places?
  1. Jenna discusses how difficult it became for her to go to family events which centered on children while she remained childless. Have you had this experience too? How have you managed to cope with family gatherings?

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