MNHQ here: long-term MNer writing a book on infertility wants your views...

(11 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 04-Mar-19 16:16:18


We've been contacted by a long-time MNer, now posting as uberbarrensclub, who has experience of infertility and is writing a book about the topic. She describes it as 'a book featuring women’s stories about the reality of infertility, inspired by the incredible community of women supporting each other in places like MN.'

To help inform her writing, she's asking women and men with experience of infertility to share their stories with her.

So if you're up for doing that, you can contribute by adding your story here if you're a woman and your story here if you're a man.

You can find out more about the proposed book here. If you've got any questions about the process or about how your stories might be used, you can contact her via her website.


EDITED BY MNHQ: The linked surveys include questions about all kinds of pregnancy loss, but also include direct references to infertility and the 'Uber Barrens Club' (see subsequent posts by uberbarrensclub on this thread to explain the context for that name). If you've experienced incidents of miscarriage or pregnancy loss but are still TTC or have gone on to have full-term pregnancies and live births, some of the questions on the surveys will be appropriate for you but there will also be references to infertility and 'Uber Barrens' which you might find upsetting, especially if you're getting over a pregnancy loss. Apologies for not flagging this up more clearly initially.

OP’s posts: |
ViolaD77 Mon 04-Mar-19 16:53:11

I've just done 3/4 of this and there's a reference to being part of the 'uber barren club'.... Do you think that's appropriate? @rowanmumsnet this is very insulting and insensitive

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 04-Mar-19 16:55:40

I'm very sorry Viola - should have spotted that. Let us have a look into it. Apologies again.

OP’s posts: |
uberbarrensclub Mon 04-Mar-19 17:05:10

Hi all, and thanks @MNHQ for the very kind intro

I'm a longtime MN-er, some of you may remember me as bananafish over many years posting about infertility related topics. MN was my lifeline during all my fertility treatment: although my treatment sadly wasn't successful, the silver lining I take out of a very dark cloud was the incredible women I've had the privilege to get to know through communities like MN.

This hidden community of women supporting each other through these journeys is full of incredible wit, humour, and kindness. And amazing, heartbreaking, inspirational stories. Stories that don’t get told, because everyone only wants to hear about the success stories.

I got fed up with everything I read in books and in the media. I didn't want endless inspirational positivity. I wanted to read a book with real women's stories. I wanted to read a book that acknowledged that infertility and pregnancy loss can be deeply traumatic, desperately unfair and utterly unrelenting.

So I decided to try and write one.

I'm working on a book to share real women's stories: that acknowledge the ugly, weird - and often distressing - truth about experiencing infertility and/or pregnancy loss - as well as the amazing camaraderie and friendships found along the way. <waves to the uber barrens>

It's essentially a love letter to the incredible sisterhood, solidarity and support I found in communities like MN flowers

I'm keen to represent as many different voices and perspectives as possible, and would be honoured if you'd consider sharing your thoughts too.

My goal is to represent as many different perspectives as possible about people's own experiences of their journey - whether current or past, whether successful or not. All and any experiences ‘count’.

As well as more general questions about the overall experience of infertility and / or pregnancy loss, the questionnaire also includes sections for primary infertility, secondary infertility, donor conception, surrogacy, parenting after infertility, adoption after infertility, as well as moving on from trying to conceive. And by ‘pregnancy loss’, that includes the full spectrum of experiences - everything from miscarriage, ectopic or molar pregnancies, terminations for medical reasons or stillbirth.

The direct links to the questionnaires are in the OP (there's one for the guys too, so please do get your DP/DHs to consider sharing their thoughts too!), or you can find them both here - they're is completely anonymous, so I won't know who any of the responses are from

(I do know that some of the many I've received so far are from MN-ers only because quite a few have mentioned MN as a key source of emotional support - so a huge thank you to those of you who have already completed it!)

It's quite lengthy, but not all sections will be relevant to everyone. Each section can be saved (you don't have to do the entire questionnaire in one go, you can save a section then come back and skip through to the next one) - but not each question, so some people have said that they found it easier to type up their answers separately and copy/paste them in

If you have any questions then please do either PM me or contact me via the website, or on twitter, instagram, or carrier pigeon... grin

Thank you all - it's a club no one wants to join but it means the world to know you're not alone

Katy xxx

uberbarrensclub Mon 04-Mar-19 17:32:34

And just a bit of context behind the very provocative name:

The reason it's called 'Uber Barrens Club' is because 'barren' has been used as a derogatory term for so many years - and on MN many of us started to try and reclaim the word barren, to take ownership of a word that's been such an offensive slur to infertile women over centuries. (there's a thread in Infertility called the uber barrens for that very reason)

The aim is that by re-appropriating oppressive language we can drain a slur of its negative power - recasting it as an empowering identity label (like queer, dyke, the 'n' word)

Infertility doesn't make us devoid or lacking - we're strong and courageous. And the word 'barren' shouldn't be, as it's historically been, an insult - but by showing the stories of so many incredible women, that instead it represents resilience and strength of character, and some of the bravest, funniest, most kick-ass women you could ever wish to know.

It's a horrible word, and we think it's time to take it back

Rspu3 Mon 04-Mar-19 19:23:03

Is it anonymous?

uberbarrensclub Mon 04-Mar-19 19:34:53

Yes absolutely anonymous

Lottie2017 Wed 06-Mar-19 19:53:15

This book sounds fascinating. I have not personally struggled with infertility, but I am interested in how to support a family member through it. I would love to read this once it is finished.

uberbarrensclub Wed 06-Mar-19 20:22:42

Hi Lottie, thank you! I wrote an article for Metro's Fertility Month series with some advice for anyone supporting a friend or loved one struggling with infertility or pregnancy loss, which might be helpful in the mean time? Wishing your family member all the best and so glad that they have such wonderful support, that will mean so very much thanks

How to support someone with fertility problems

Lottie2017 Wed 06-Mar-19 22:03:54

Ah this is great, thank you x

Mol5 Thu 07-Mar-19 14:20:10

I have sent in my submission and for what it's worth I agree with 'barren'. I find its usage comedic and raw and honest.
Thank for you taking the time to try and help this community @uberbarrensclub x

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