It’s out! The book is out! Although only locally I am afraid. For all the non-South African residents, please hang in there and hold on to those kind promises to buy the book, I am working my ass off on getting the book published in the rest of the world. I am hoping to have it available internationally by the end of the year.
But as of today, I am officially a Published Author.
Please carry on reading for details on where to buy the book (order online here), what it is about and for some of the early reviews and endorsements.
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This is the heartbreaking, exhilarating, devastatingly funny story of Tertia Albertyn’s battle with infertility. Tertia wanted a baby so desperately, that she went through nine IVFs. Most people give up after the third.
I don’t think I am being brave at all. I am just too terrified not to try again.
In her worst nightmare she could never have imagined that making a baby would take her four years, each treatment bringing her and her husband Marko closer and closer to making a family.
During Tertia’s journey everything that can go wrong does go wrong. Until, finally, everything goes just right.
Tertia is as hilarious as she is irrepressible, as approachable as she is knowledgeable. If you are struggling with infertility, have triumphed over infertility of have felt empathy with someone who is going through this experience, you will find a friend in Tertia.
More on the book here
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I sent the book to two people to review, and both people loved it. They are both psychologists. Here are their reviews:
Dr Sheila Faure, specialist in perinatal psychology:
‘So Close is a compelling and inspiring book for couples who are struggling with fertility difficulties. It is also an invaluable guide for those who care about them. With unflinching truthfulness, Tertia Albertyn describes the crushing cycles of hope and despair entailed in infertility treatment. At the same time, the book resonates with a wicked sense of humour and is an extraordinary testament to the power of mother love.’
‘Dr D’ (Dorianne Weil), well known clinical psychologist:
It is rare and an honour to witness and participate in a journey written from the point of view of participant and observer. It is only with the highest level of self awareness and insight that it is possible to BE your story, open your heart and mind and invite others in.
This is a ground breaking documentary for anyone who travels this route and anyone who wishes to understand. Most of all it is for everyone who feels they can’t do it again. Not again, whatever the ‘it’ is……. usually another IVF or some invasive treatment that has taken its toll financially, emotionally, socially and sometimes spiritually.
It is Tertia’s story - but it’s everybody’s story about possibility even probability, courage, tenacity, determination and the undoubted value and healing power of support.
And then, from my Doctor.
Dr Sulaiman Heylen, MD, Cape Fertility Clinic
Infertility treatment is different from other medical interventions, the stakes are so high and the results so unpredictable, which makes it all incredibly difficult to deal with. Tertia Albertyn's book gives an accurate, first person description of the ups and downs of infertility treatment. It will provide great help and inspiration to couples struggling with infertility, and is also a source of information for those wanting to understand people affected by it. Tertia's book is a harrowing reality show between two covers and will appeal to anybody who appreciates a real story that comes straight from the heart.
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The initial reviews:
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Where to buy the book
In store at Exclusive Books this week!
And it should be available at other bigger book stores like CNA and Wordsworth etc
Rest of the world, its coming, soon!
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Some thoughts from me
I have been so so sooooooo excited to tell you all about the book, but I haven’t wanted to say any thing until it was available. I think we ended up with a great tag line – remember how I was struggling to find the perfect tagline, well my lovely editor came up with the idea. The tagline suits the book perfectly:
So Close: Infertile and addicted to hope
(I do give Julia credit in the book for coining the term “Hope Addict”, thanks Julia!)
When you click on the links at the end you will see the cover. Remember how we spoke about the cover as well! Well, you will be happy to know there is no picture of a baby on the cover. When I first saw the cover I didn’t like it. I felt it was too light, too ‘chick lit’, but the cover grows on you and I love it now. It has actually turned out even better in print, the blue is softer that shown online and the spoons are embossed metallic silver, v cool.
The manuscript I handed in to be edited is different to what has ended up in the book. And it was hard for me to go through that process. My fault of course. The brief was for a 70,000 word manuscript. I wrote 112,000 words. So they cut; a lot of stuff. The original manuscript was a lot harder, rawer, more full of pain, but having earned my school fees by going through the editing process, I now totally agree and support the decision the publisher made to lighten the script up a little. It is still me, it is still my voice, but it is not as raw and sore as before. They cut some of the really raw, pain filled parts. And rightly so.
The book is very sad in places, of course it is. It is impossible to tell the story of Ben without being sad. But it is also funny, hopeful, entertaining in others. It will lift you up, and then make you come crashing down again, only to lift you up in hope once again. I wrote the book purposefully like that, to reflect what it is like to go through the ups and very downs of infertility.
I am really proud of the final product. I can’t wait for you all to read it. You will be able to buy the book through some of the online links I will add, but it will be so expensive with the shipping etc, please wait until the book is published in your country (and on Amazon). I promise to make sure that it is! Soon, hopefully.
I feel so, I don’t know what. Proud, excited, petrified, sad, happy, exhausted, rejuvenated, amazed, happy. I can’t believe I have written a book. I can’t believe I was afforded the opportunity to do so (Thanks Michelle, you are fabulous). I can’t believe I stuck to it, that I actually did it. I am a terrible procrastinator and a lazy asshole, I am very proud of myself for having done this. Having a signed contract with deadlines and delivery dates helps, hugely ;-)
But mostly I feel so emotional about it, not about writing the book but about reflecting back on what I have been through, possibly for the first time in it entirety. I’ve suppressed so much of what happened. I can’t actually believe I went through what I did. I can’t believe I made it out the other side. I never imagined I would ever have been able to survive what I did. I had no idea I had so much inner strength. I am so immensely proud of myself.
I’ve been petrified about the book coming out. So much so that I haven’t let anyone read it, besides those who had to, like my editor and the reviewers. But I haven’t let Marko read a single word, or my mom, the two people closest to me and who know most about my journey. I was so shy about the book, so scared they would hate it. So scared that it was shit, that I couldn’t write to save my life (thanks you one or two who wrote that I can’t write, you certainly know how to lift a person up). I am still shy and extremely nervous that people will hate it, but the significance of what this is all about is overshadowing that fear, at least a little. I am proud of myself, I am proud of the fact that I have written this book. If people hate it, well then, so be it.
And to be sure, not every one will like it. I swear a lot in the book. I had no idea how much until the one reviewer said “I loved the book so much I didn’t even mind the swearing”. Oops. I say ‘fuck’ a lot in the book. But lets be honest here, infertility is fucking terrible, it is hard not to say ‘fuck’ a lot when speaking about it. Plus I am totally honest about how I felt at the time and about the decisions I made. That is bound to piss at least a few people off. I am sure I will get judged for some of the decisions I made.
I am so excited, I can’t believe I have actually done this.
This is a hugely emotional, significant moment for me. This is not just about writing a book, this is certainly not about making money (South Africa is a tiny, tiny market, if I sell all the copies of my first print run I will have made the equivalent of one month’s salary!! Which is why I must get the book published internationally.) No, it is not about any of that. This is about remembering and honouring all the children I have lost, especially my son, Ben. The book is dedicated to him. It is also about Adam and Kate, about what went into their making. It is a journal for them as well, it is also their story.
It is also for my friends, family and colleagues to hopefully help them understand a bit about what I went through, to help them understand why I was the way I was. I hope that reading my story helps them understand a bit more about me, and a bit about what it is like for many other infertile women out there. Because this book is dedicated to all the infertile women, all over the world. It is part of my promise never to forget, to continue fighting for recognition of the issues that infertile people face. It will hopefully help them and help educate others.
And lastly, the book is my final ‘fuck you’ to the shit I went through. Fuck you fate, I never accepted your initial plan for me. You tried your best to beat me down, but you never did, you came close, but I stood up every time and carried on fighting. It was so hard, there were so many times when I wanted to give up, there were so many people who said things like “maybe it is not meant to be’, ‘maybe God doesn’t want you to be a mother”. There were so many, many occasions of inordinate bad luck, of terrible misfortune. There were so many occasions where I came so close to rolling over and dying. But I didn’t. And this book is my release note, my parole letter, my graduation certificate.
It was damn hard, it nearly killed me, but I made it. And I am so proud of myself for doing so.
Thank you to all of you, for every thing. Much love to you all.
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My new project
All of this has given rise to my new project, Nurture Egg Donor Program. South Africa's premier egg donor program. Please see Nurture's website for more information about our egg donor program and to view details on our available donors. Although we work with any reputable fertility clinic, the majority of our donations take place at Cape Fertility Clinic.