One of the questions I’ve been asked by friends when I’ve started talking about Faith Departed is “Why did you write a book about infertility?”
The answer is multifaceted. On a personal level, it’s something I’ve dealt with and I know I would have loved to find fiction that handled the topic rather than tiptoeing around it (or just picking out the worst case scenarios that make it look like something that only rarely rears its ugly head.) So we circle back around to the fact that I tend to write books I would want to read and just really hope there are other people out there like me.
On a less personal level, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 12% of married women have difficulty conceiving after one year of trying. That’s 1 in 8 couples. That’s…a lot. And yet it’s not something you hear a lot of talk about. (Heck, it wasn’t something my husband and I talked about – because it’s effectively opening the door into your bedroom a crack. But still, that’s a stigma that I’d love to see go away. Yes, we all know how babies get made – but the medical issues and the emotional pain of infertility deserve to be something you can discuss without embarrassment.) A lot of that infertility (there was no specific stat that I could find quickly – they just said “a lot”) is age-related. Once women are over thirty five, their fertility declines. So as we, as a culture, wait longer to get married and start families, it becomes harder just as a matter of course.
And while the pain of infertility is shared, in Faith Departed I wanted to focus in on the men and women who try to start their families young, the ones who haven’t made sexual mistakes in the past that can have repercussions on their fertility. Because there are a lot of them, too, and I felt like their story–or at least one version of it–needed to be told.