Item description for Empty Womb, Aching Heart: Hope and Help for Those Struggling With Infertility by Marlo Schalesky...
Overview If you yearn for a child. . . When the professional advise isn't enough, and you've had your fill of well-meaning comments from those who haven't experienced infertility, Marlo Schalesky wants you to know you are not alone. The true stories she tells of couples who share your hopes, fears, frustrations, and the comfort only God can bring will encourage your heart. Infertility strikes at the core of what it means to be a woman or man, tests marriages, and shakes faith. The honest, open, and emotionally resonant first-person stories in Empty Womb, Aching Heart will touch your life-as you "cry in the diaper aisle," wonder if you "are less of a woman," ask "How far should we go?" or whisper to God "It's not fair."
Publishers Description Hope and Help For Those Struggling With Infertility
When the professional advice isn't enough, and you've had your fill of well-meaning comments from those who haven't experienced infertility, Marlo Schalesky wants you to know you are not alone. The true stories she tells of couples who share your hopes, fears, frustrations, and the comfort only God can bring will encourage your heart. Infertility strikes at the core of what it means to be a woman or man, tests marriages, and shakes faith. The honest, open, and emotionally resonant first-person stories in Empty Womb, Aching Heart will touch your life--as you "cry in the diaper aisle," wonder if you "are less of a woman," ask "How far should we go?" or whisper to God, "It's not fair."
Citations And Professional Reviews Empty Womb, Aching Heart: Hope and Help for Those Struggling With Infertility by Marlo Schalesky has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Christian Retailing - 05/07/2001 page 18
Publishers Weekly - 03/26/2001 page 90
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Studio: Bethany House
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.52" Width: 6.02" Height: 0.67" Weight: 0.64 lbs.
Release Date May 1, 2001
Publisher Bethany House
ISBN 0764224107 ISBN13 9780764224102
Availability 0 units.
More About Marlo Schalesky
Marlo Schalesky is the author of several books, including "Veil of Fire, Only the Wind Remembers, Cry Freedom, "and "Freedom s Shadow. "A graduate of Stanford University, Marlo also has a masters of theology with an emphasis in biblical studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. Married nearly twenty years, she lives with her husband, Bryan, and their four daughters in California."
Reviews - What do customers think about Empty Womb, Aching Heart: Hope and Help for Those Struggling With Infertility?
Great resource for loved ones of Infertile People. Not as helpful for patients themselves Mar 6, 2008
Empty Womb, Aching Heart: Hope and Help for Those Struggling With Infertility is not what I expected it to be and is unlike any of the other books I've read or perused on this topic.
Because the Infertility world, especially the Christian, online Infertility world is such a small, tight knit community, I find it difficult to be critical of anyone's love offering, for fear of hurting feelings. However, I don't think empty reviews, or false positive reviews really help anyone, and don't accomplish my goal of broadening conversation on and knowledge of the resources available. So with that in mind, I will attempt to tread lightly.
Empty Womb, Aching Heart can best be described as "Chicken Soup for the Infertile." It is a collection of stories gathered from women (and a few men) in their thirties and forties, detailing their personal experiences with various points in their infertility. This is not a teaching book.
I will say that it is an invaluable resource for anyone wanting to get a broad exposure to an "insider's view" of various Infertilty related heartaches. This would be great for a pastor or a friend who wanted to glean a smattering of different reactions and experiences, many of which are very typical of many Infertility journeys.
However, because the book is just a collection of other people's stories, I found little helpful in it on a cosmic, capital T Truth level.
My first critique is that only two passages in the entire book came from anyone in their twenties. Most passages were from people in their upper thirties and in to their forties, with a few from people in their young thirties. This made me, a late twenty something, feel particularly isolated. So many times in this journey people say "oh you're still young!" as though the only people allowed to truly wrestle with this issue are those who are nearing the end of their childbearing years. In truth, my youth makes this harder because if my body doesn't function right now with time on its side, I have little hope as time marches on. It also made me feel that I am years and years away from being able to really identify with a lot of things shared in the book, or that it will take me that long to come to the same kind of peace that some of the authors exude. So I found that element of the book to be particularly discouraging, especially because in one or two stories was the author's age even relevant, so this isolating factor could have been avoided altogether by the omission of ages.
Second because this is just a collection of stories, the only significant value is the comfort of the knowledge that others have been there too. But because God works in every life differently, there is no universality to any of the lessons. While I can marvel at God's work in another for the sake of His goodness and power, that does little to teach me about His plan for my life. Perhaps that was never the point of the book but I have to hope that if it was published for worldwide consumption, there was some goal of enhancing the reader's own picture of God.
Also, it was hard for me to really accept any of the assorted "truths" that were offered because we know absolutely nothing about the various authors, save for their name (real or pen) and an age, and in some cases, a location. This is not always relevant, but when someone is making assertions about God, I know it's at least easier for me to process when I know the bias of the person making the assertion. No scripture referenced was exegeted nor was the article author's interpretation substantiated. I realize that criticizing anonymity is an ironic statement in this review where I am anonymous to those of you reading it, and I realize that everyone has something offer, regardless of their "credentials" but for that very reason, I try to be very upfront with my biases and convictions and with the fact that anything I offer is opinion.
I try to be careful for not faulting something for not being what it was never intended to be. I realize this book was never intended to be a treatise on God's truth for infertile couples. But in recognizing that, I found a lack of a convincing purpose for the book, again aside from the end result of getting exposure to other people's emotion and knowing that one is not alone.
I can never fault anyone for trying to address this issue. I feel like a broken record when I say again that I appreciate that Ms. Schalesky (I think a better title for her is editor, not author) was willing to break the silence. And I am confident that her vision for this book was borne out of a sincere desire to equip, encourage and validate. All of those things are noble and good and as I said, this book is very good for exposing someone to a lot of feelings and experiences with IF. And if someone is at the point in their IF journey that they're just looking to hear from other people who have "been there, done that" this book is perfect. I will applaud Ms. Schalesky for her wisdom in including many stories that do not have "happy" endings of successful pregnancy or adoption, which would lead I think to a lot of false hope. The point of all the stories is that God's goodness is not confined to fixing biological problems. This is a very significant Truth that this book does tackle well. So for all of those things, I appreciate Ms. Schalesky and all those who submitted their stories.
The question of whether or not I would recommend this book I guess depends on what your intended purpose in reading it is. If it's to glean exposure to "our" world, such as would be appropriate for a pastor or friend of an Infertile couple, this is an excellent book. However, if you're an Infertile person at the point in your journey where you're hungering for solid, biblical teaching and encouragement, this may not be the tool for you at this time. I can't say that I would refuse to recommend it because there is nothing "wrong" with this book, morally or spiritually and I don't think it does any harm or disrespect. However, it has a very specific purpose and I think intended audience, so falling outside those bounds may make this book little more than a time passer for you.
Good pick-me-up just when I needed it! Oct 16, 2007
This book is a collection of short stories written by both women and men. I usually pick it back up when I feel like there is no hope for us. Even if children are not in our future, there is always hope. I wanted something written for a Christian household and this was it. I heard of this book on one of the radio stations several years ago when we first tried starting our family. The book stores did not carry it, so I was happy to find it here. You're not alone! If you're sick of the good standby's from people that don't have anything else to say, this is something that will make you cry, laugh, and see that not all is lost. Enjoy the time with your spouse! Infertility is hard, but this book let's you see that there are more of us out there dealing with very similar issues, and that you are not alone.
Empty Womb, Aching Heart: Hope and Help for Those Struggling with Infertility Aug 31, 2006
This book has helped me mourn and FINALLY move on from my infertility. It made me realize that my feelings of anger and sadness were normal and it makes it easier to hear that others have experienced the same frustration and inconsolable feelings. It's so important to mourn so that you can move on to other options if that is your plan and I am finally able to do that with the help of this book.
Wonderful comfort Sep 10, 2005
I took so much comfort in realizing I was not the only one with the thoughts, emotions, and fears that go along with the infertility struggle. I found myself laughing and crying along with the women (and men) in these stories as I realized they were speaking about what I felt. Such an encouraging book!!
Helps one look at the "big" picture Sep 8, 2005
after reading this book, it really helped me to explore many different ways to look at infertility. The best part of this book is that it allows insight into the many emotions that one can have when dealing with infertility by sharing stories of many who live with it daily. It is a spiritual guide as well. The only drawback is because it is centered around faith and spirituality, it only discusses infertility for couples- no mention here at all for those of us who are single and want to have a child but have not been blessed to have found the perfect spouse. Not a book for open-minds and open-hearts, but definitely helpful with the emotional roller coaster ride that is infertilty.