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Empty Womb, Aching Heart

Interview By Allison Martin

Book review of Empty Womb, Aching Heart Marlo Schalesky has published over 400 articles in Christian magazines and rights regularly for Power for Living. She has published two novels and is also a licensed minister in the Church of the Nazarene. She is the author of Empty Womb, Aching Heart, an anthology of stories about infertility and faith.

What inspired you to create Empty Womb, Aching Heart?

When my husband Bryan and I first started down the road of infertility and infertility treatments, we found a lot of information on the more intellectual side of the journey - on medical interventions, ethical issues, possible causes and tests. But those weren't the issues I was dealing with every day. There were no pamphlets or books telling me how to cope with the monthly cycle of hope and disappointment that was tearing me apart, or what to do when I walked down the toilet paper aisle at the grocery store and cried when I saw the diapers, or when I opened the paper and saw an increase in teen pregnancies and abortions and cried out, "It's not fair!" It was only when I met others struggling through infertility that I found they dealt with the same issues I was struggling with, and some even had invaluable insights that helped me in my own journey. That's why I wrote this book - to share the stories, wisdom, and insight of Christian men and women who have traveled the road of infertility and found hope and deeper relationship with God in the midst of it. I wanted to share the stories that have helped me.

What advice would you give to people who are struggling with infertility?

Physically, I'd advise not to waste time being treated by your local OB/GYN. Once you've tried to get pregnant for a year and not been able to, go straight to a specialist - a reproductive endocrinologist. They're up on the latest technology, are specially trained, and deal with infertility all day, every day. Emotionally, I'd say live your life to the fullest now. Do the things
you enjoy. Don't put things off "just in case" you might get pregnant. Infertility can consume you. And it's going to be emotionally taxing, so try to make time to do things that you find refreshing. Spiritually, don't be afraid to go to God with your doubts, fears, and even your angry accusations. Yell, scream, pound on his chest if you have to. Just go to him. He can handle your frustration. What he can't do much with, however, is your silence.

What did you learn from the experience of creating Empty Womb, Aching Heart?

I learned that I am not alone in this journey through infertility. There are literally millions of women and men out there who are going through the same things, having the same doubts, shedding the same tears. And among those who are traveling the road of infertility with me, there are some who have discovered glimmers of hope, of peace, in the midst of it. They showed me that the meaning of my life is more than whether or not I'll ever bear a child. Their stories have helped me to face my own pain, accept it, and learn how to live more fully through it.

What are your plans for the future?

As far as infertility goes, I plan to continue with treatments and hope they work some day. If not, perhaps God will give us an adopted child. We'll see. As far as my writing goes, I'm working on a new historical novel now and am planning another nonfiction book.

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Infertility Begets a Family
Act of Love
Infertility Solution
Anna's Adoption
Intrusive Questions
Choosing Adoption After Infertility
Resolving the Loss of Fertility
Nothing I Do Helps
Coping With Infertility
Men and Infertility
Empty Womb, Broken Heart
Discussing Adoption And Infertility With Your Partner
Persuing IVF and Adoption?
The Promise of Adoption

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