For Phoebe Potts ’92 and her husband, four years of fertility treatments yielded nothing but a depressing tally: three unsuccessful artificial inseminations, four failed in vitro fertilizations, and at least five miscarriages. Potts, an artist, decided to tell her story in the form of a graphic memoir, and Publishers Weekly gushed that the result, Good Eggs (Harper, 2010), offers as many laughs as it does insights. Potts reflects here on her fertility odyssey and the unique book that ensued.
It was helpful for me to take stock of what was happy and healthy in my life during fertility treatments, so I thought about where I had it good: my husband, my family, my friends, my work. Knowing I had these “good eggs” eclipsed any shame I might feel thanks to diagnoses like “poor egg quality.”
“Coming out” about infertility
It never occurred to me to be silent about infertility. But then I guess I’m not silent about much. It would be wonderful if my story encourages people to talk, and to not feel ashamed of their fertility struggles.
Drawing for catharsis
Drawing about my struggles with infertility was a way to have some control over my immediate destiny when I didn’t feel like I had any; it was a means to create when I couldn’t procreate.
In Good Eggs I tell about trying to fill a baby-shaped hole in my life, and what I find is that life is a rich and complicated pudding. But here’s the spoiler: We are currently deep into the adoption process.
SAQ Winter 2010-11