The Art Of Waiting Book Summary By Belle Boggs

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The Art of Waiting (2016) is a book that explores the social narratives surrounding birth, pregnancy and parenting.

Like many books of its kind, it gives readers an intimate look into the experiences of family building through anecdotes accompanied by data and historical accounts.

This comprehensive look at the way society looks at these topics also puts a spotlight on adoption, in vitro fertilization and forced sterilization—stories that often go unheard.

In total, this book provides readers with an insightful look into the various paths to family building—including its joys and struggles.

As such, The Art of Waiting is not just a simple book about gathering up facts and stories; instead it examines pregnancy, childbirth and parenting from a deeper perspective.

You will walk away from this informative read with newfound insight as to why families are built differently but are all loved just the same.

Book Name: The Art of Waiting (On Fertility, Medicine, and Motherhood)

Author(s): Belle Boggs

Rating: 3.4/5

Reading Time: 12 Minutes

Categories: Health & Nutrition

Author Bio

Belle Boggs is the author of "The Art of Waiting".

She is an award-winning fiction writer, essayist and professor in North Carolina State University's MFA program.

Her stories and essays have appeared in such highly acclaimed publications as Harper's, the Paris Review, Orion and Slate.

On top of that, Belle is also the author of the critically acclaimed novel Mattaponi Queen.

Uncovering The Struggles Of Parenthood: How People Overcome Infertility And Adopt Children To Find Meaning In Life

In the book The Art of Waiting, readers get an eye-opening look at what it really means to have children.

It examines the struggles some people encounter when attempting to have children and explores different options available for those unable to conceive traditionally.

The stories highlighted in this book provide a new perspective on parenthood and give insight into misunderstandings around infertility, such as why one-third of American women have had an abortion before age 45.

You’ll even learn how adoption might not be their only solution to childlessness, as it is often viewed or portrayed.

This thought-provoking book gives readers a unique opportunity to uncover the complexities of birthing, raising, and parenting children in today’s world and discover more about what it really means to become a parent in the face of possible adversity.

The Culture Of Birth: How We Value Procreation Despite Contradictory Messages

In The Art of Waiting, author Belinda Bass explores the contradictory narratives around birth and pregnancy that pervade our culture.

From a young age, we are taught to value reproduction and child-rearing, as evidenced by the Hebrew Bible’s command to ‘be fruitful and multiply’ and the Hindu belief that children are gifts from karma.

This is further backed up by ancient artworks depicting fertility goddesses with exaggerated sexual characteristics.

At the same time, we are also warned about disease prevention and contraception, resulting in 62 percent of American women using some form of birth control – up to 30 percent having had abortions by their 45th birthdays.

With this conflicting information, it is not surprising that humanity has been so successful at reducing births – a worldwide average of just 2.5 children per woman – with figures lower in developed countries and higher in poorer societies but nothing out of the ordinary.

Is The Human Yearning For Children Socially Conditioned Or Biologically Driven?

Whether this desire is innate or socially conditioned, its roots are deeply ingrained in culture and language.

For example, the English refer to women with this longing as “broody” while Americans acknowledge the sense of urgency associated with it by saying that their “biological clock is ticking.”

This debate surrounding the evolutionary drive for childbearing has been a source of strong disagreement among scientists for centuries – particularly between Edward Westermarck, who argued for its existence in his 1891 book The History of Human Nature, and Havelock Ellis who debated against it due to the biological redundancy of having two reproductive drivers.

As a result, Westermarck removed all claims regarding this drive from future editions of his book.

More recently, Anna Rotkirch conducted a study on what Scandinavians refer to as “baby fever.” She found that not only did those who had always wanted children report feeling this urge but so did those who hadn’t initially planned on having kids.

This phenomenon was experienced by people regardless of current plans or intentions and often drew them into considering motherhood more seriously.

The findings indicated that Finnish society played a role in creating this drive within many individuals due to low-fertility rates which place considerable emphasis on individualism and education.

Overall, there is still considerable scientific debate about the evolutionary drive behind childbearing which could have both social and biological influences.

Infertility Is Not A Rare Or ‘White’ Problem: The Dark History Of Forced Sterilization

The physical pains of infertility can range from mild to debilitating, but the emotional pain felt by people wanting children yet unable to have them is often overlooked.

Infertility has a profound impact on one’s life, creating feelings of dejection and loneliness, as well as shame and embarrassment that are hard to express.

Therapist Marni Rosner specializes in reproductive trauma and longing, and has seen firsthand how infertility can create a sense of disenfranchised grief – suffering that can’t be openly grieved or supported by others.

This makes it an incredibly isolating experience for those affected.

In addition, infertility is often inappropriately assumed to only affect white, educated upper-middle-class citizens.

In reality, it disproportionately affects minorities and the less fortunate – with an estimated 1 in 8 couples having difficulty conceiving or carrying a baby to term.

On top of this natural suffering, certain groups in history were actively forced into sterilization programs -such as those suspected of being promiscuous or having mental deficits – furthering their sense of powerlessness and despair.

For instance, take Willis Lynch who was sterilized at the age of 14 despite growing up in a large extended family where he had looked forward to becoming a father one day.

The anguish someone like Willis must have experienced gives us insight into how deeply wounding infertility can be – both then and now – despite the lack of discussion surrounding it in society today.

Adoption Is A Complex, Expensive And Uncertain Process For Couples Who Wish To Start A Family

Adoption is more challenging than most people think.

From the costs to the time that it takes, the process of adoption can be lengthy and expensive.

It can also be difficult to match with an unborn child, as there tend to be more adoptive parents than newborns available for adoption.

On top of that, even when a match is made, many birth mothers back out of the agreement after delivery.

Not only does this make adoption a trying process for all involved but it’s especially hard for LGBT families who are often discriminated against in the foster care and adoption systems.

While there has been some progress in the US towards recognizing same-sex couples’ right to adopt, just seven states take any explicit steps to protect their rights during this process.

Overall, it’s clear that adoption is much more challenging than most people expect and requires plenty of patience and dedication from both sides.

Humans Willing To Go To Great Lengths And Make Huge Commitments For The Chance To Have Children

It’s become clear that animals will go to great lengths in order to reproduce, but humans are no different.

From developments in science like In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), which was developed in the 1970s and hormonally controls a woman’s cycle to harvest and fertilize her eggs, to adoption or surrogate pregnancy, people are sacrificing a lot of time, money and effort to become parents.

IVF alone is an incredibly grueling process with no guarantees of success.

Months have to be spent prepping for IVF treatments, researching and making financial preparations.

Each cycle can cost up to $10,000 and many people complete more than one cycle before they succeed or give up – meaning the total cost can easily reach between $50,000 and $100,000 depending on insurance coverage.

But despite these extreme heights that must be climbed in both physical and psychological ways, it doesn’t deter those determined individuals who strive for parenthood through any means necessary – just like animals out in their natural environment do every day.

Wrap Up

The final takeaway of The Art of Waiting by Dr.

Zakiya Luna is that parenting and birth are complex processes, but they’re all equally valuable.

No matter how your family story was told or what culture you hail from, this book emphasizes that every birth narrative is important.

According to Luna, children should be at the center of human societies, and those who make the choice to wait for a child—whether it be due to circumstances out of their control or by personal choice—can experience joy and growth in the process.

Ultimately, this book shows readers how powerful it can be to construct a patient and intentional path towards loving yourself as you wait for whatever life journey you’re on.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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