It's great to see bloggers getting their books published. Knowing how much work goes into a post, never mind a book, I can only admire and respect the hard work, the dedication and the time and energy that's spent.
Following posts by Damien Mulley and by Twenty Major about the launch of Fiona McPhillip's book and seeing as I was on Grafton Street anyways, I dropped into Dubray Books on the way home.
I'll openly admit that I'm not 'exactly' the target market for the book, entitled 'TTC: Trying to Conceive - The Irish Couple’s Guide', given that I'm missing at least one of the vital components - a partner. However, the book, from the read I've given it on the bus home is a fascinating insight into a world I knew nothing about.
Fiona's own story is impressive. From her blog over at makingbabies.ie:
Since giving birth to her son in 2003, she has had three rounds of Clomid, three IUIs, two IVFs and has suffered six miscarriages. She is currently pregnant for the eighth time and is counting the days until she gets to meet her daughter.The back reads "As Ireland's baby boom reaches child-bearing age, one couple in six is seeking help to have a baby. It is estimated that this figure will rise to one in four over the next twenty years".
With chapters including "Factors affecting sperm quality", "Looking for information online", "Common medical conditions - for men", "Unexplained infertility - for both partners", "Advice for family and friends", "Looking after each other" and then a compassionate, practical section on Dealing with Miscarriage, this isn't by any means a book just for women, I can see how an awful lot of people will benefit from this.
And this was borne through at the launch last night. I didn't want to take too many photos but one could only stand in awe as parent after parent, forum users, blog readers and admirers came to thank Fiona, to give a big hug, to introduce their children and to buy the book. This was real community and this was great evidence of a blog and blogger making a difference in people's lives.
Being adopted by parents who couldn't have children and being all too aware of the emotional and psychological burdens that can happen on both sides from this gives me a personal perspective on the whole thing.
While I passionately support the change in Irish adoption laws to cut the waiting time and allow more people to adopt, I can only wish any couple going through any pregnancy process - or indeed any addition to the family process - the best of luck.
The time, energy and emotions spent to have a child through fertilisation seem as much work - and expense - as the gruelling adoption process and ultimately, given that the child is wanted and will be loved, as commendable and praise worthy.
I have the distinct honour of getting Fiona's first signed book of the evening. Fiona, thank you for your welcome of me, just a random blogger who wanted to support you and say well done. (Sorry I hijacked you!) I was so impressed at the genuine warmth and affection all the fans and supporters there had for you and while I may not be an active contributor, I'm certainly going to check out your blog a lot more.
The website and blog is a fantastic resource as Mulley has pointed out with a forum, recommended sites and help for couples, their friends and family. You can read more about the chapters of the book here.
Best of luck Fiona! You deserve it :)