One local author is hoping to show those struggling with the disease that they’re not alone — and that it’s not their fault.
Infertility, which is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an inability to get pregnant after at least 12 months of unprotected sex, affects about 10% of women in the United States and nearly the same percentage of men.
For Nancy Williams, author of “A Crocus in the Desert,” the issue hits close to home.
Williams and her husband, Mark, struggled with infertility and Nancy developed ovarian cancer, which led to a hysterectomy nearly three decades ago. Still, they were able to have two children — one biologically and one through an adoption, but Williams wasn’t content to just move on; she wanted to help others struggling with infertility.
“In terms of being more open (about discussing infertility), there’s this inherent feeling — even though it’s not justified — of failure,” Williams said. “If you go out and want to get a job somewhere, you just go do it, but this is something you have no control over.”
“In terms of interactions, there’s a lot of fear, anxiety,” she continued, saying there’s “a little bit of a barrier” preventing people from discussing infertility.
Williams also talked about how much her faith, and her church, Westminster Presbyterian Church, helped her while she dealt with infertility, and says having faith — even a “mustard seed” worth — can help women cope as it did for her.
More important, however, is Williams’ desire to change the perception of infertility among those struggling with the disease — and help others be more aware.
I want “to bring to light some of this ache that women experience so that others can recognize that their friends are going through something that’s not something they can easily discuss,” she said. “You need to be able to listen when they bring it up because it is a painful thing.”
“At the same time, my advice to other people is: Don’t be nosy. Don’t ask prying questions — if they’re not ready to open up and talk about it, then that can be very uncomfortable,” she continued.
For those wanting to meet the author, Williams is hosting a book-signing event at Open Doors Coffee House on July 27.
“My mission all along has been to encourage other women in their walk of faith, to trust God with His plans for their lives, and learn the beauty of contentment with Him,” Williams said. “In the process, I want to give back to Christian ministries and will be donating profits to Agape Women’s Services (a local crisis pregnancy center), Daughters of Bulgaria (a missionary agency that helps women escape sex trafficking), and Bethany Christian Services (an adoption agency).”