Meet Our Contributors: Teri's Story
Meet the Through, Not Around (essay collection) Contributors! We are excited to introduce you to Teri. I loved her essay from paragraph one. Her work is thoughtful and poetic at times. I'm glad I got to meet her to say thank you in person at our launch almost one week ago today.
1) Why did you decide to share your story in Through, Not Around and with the 16 Percent community?
Having gone through infertility, I feel a certain sense of obligation to share what I’ve learned and to also normalize the experience.
Other people’s words helped me a lot when I was trying to conceive in 2013/2014. The stories I found, both fiction and non-fiction, were a great comfort, a reassurance that I wasn’t alone. (I write about some things I read here: https://themillions.com/…/what-to-read-when-youre-not-expec…) The writing I found was also helpful in practical ways: what was I going to put myself through physically? How would it affect my relationship with my husband? What kinds of medications did people take? What was "normal"?
I would be honoured if someone took comfort in anything I’ve written the way I did when I was going through it all.
2) Has writing about your experience helped you heal in any way? What have you learned through this experience so far?
I’m not sure if “heal” is the word I would choose, but writing has helped me get at the core of my experience. Writing about infertility was a solace when I was in the thick of it, a way to process a situation I found difficult to understand. I wrote about my first failed IVF for The Toast back in 2013 (http://the-toast.net/2014/03/05/odds-omens-superstition-ivf/), and the support I received from friends and strangers made the experience so much more bearable. Now, on the other side, I still find myself thinking about that period of my life, wondering how much of it informs my life today and my life as a parent.
3) Tell us more about you. What are your hobbies/passions/pursuits?
When I’m not chasing after my now 3.5 year old or working, I’m a writer. My last novel, Escape Plans (Invisible Publishing), came out when that 3.5 year old was a baby. I’m now working a new novel and, unsurprisingly, some of themes in my essay in Through, Not Around have filtered their way in.
4) What is your favourite quote?
When I was pregnant, I commissioned my friend Elisabeth (https://www.instagram.com/poppyandpinecone/) to paint this quote from a Frank O’Hara poem, which is also the epitaph on his gravestone:
to be born and live as variously as possible
It’s now hanging in my daughter’s room and I wish only for the most various of lives for her.