Bookish Witch

The Mess in Her Womb by Dr. Chhavi Gandhi Juneja

Blurb:

Pranay Ahuja and Drishti Kapoor are quintessential young, happily married couples in their thirties in the Garden city of Bangalore. Their seemingly smooth ride through life is jolted by a hurricane when Drishti learns about her issues of infertility. With constant failures, miscarriages, and continuous In-vitro fertilization procedures, Drishti spirals into depression. The chase for the baby leads to a strained relationship with her parents, finding solidarity in the people with the same circumstances, and resentment towards people with pregnancy announcements. Understanding her deteriorating mental health and initial denial of the treatment, she diverts her chase from the baby toward mental peace.
This is the story of a woman who has everything everyone else wishes for, a loving husband, an extremely supportive set of parents, a blooming career, and financial security. In order to pursue what she can’t have, she risked everything she had. While drowning in the sea of sorrows, she finds solace in her best friend Naina, who like her, is trying to be pregnant through IVF, Mrs. Seema, a successful business owner and her next-door neighbor, and her boss and colleagues at her workplace.

In this contemporary fiction of pain, hurt, rage, disappointment, loss, love, and hope, follow Drishti and Pranay in their mission to find their purpose, rekindle the lost love in their relationship, and build the world they have longed for.

Genre: Fiction/Family Drama/Semi-autobiographical

Pages: 188

Format: Kindle eBook/Paperback

Price:

  • Kindle ebook: ₹129/$2.99
  • Paperback: ₹199/$11.99

My Rating: 4.4/5

Pranay Ahuja and Drishti Kapoor have been happily married for over three years. The only dent in their perfect life is the lack of a child; a baby that both of them are struggling to bring into their lives and this world. Despite multiple attempts and doing everything in their power, the universe seems hell-bent on denying them the one thing they are craving for the most aka parenthood. How does this affect them and their relationship?

What I liked about the book:

  • I don’t think most readers would have read a book on the topic of infertility, especially in the form of a novel, and it is this that sets it apart and works as the USP, quite well.
  • Even though it might not be relatable for all, Drishti’s journey does manage to break your heart. It shows us the struggles and challenges of motherhood from a different angle where we look at something we might never have imagined women going through for their desire of becoming mothers.
  • It is an enlightening read about the entire process of IVF from the beginning to the end and the struggles associated with each stage of the procedure.
  • Not just infertility but this book also talks about mental health issues which is another health issue that many don’t take seriously. The story normalises the fact that taking help from a psychiatrist/psychologist or undergoing therapy is not just fine, but sometimes absolutely necessary.
  •  Infertility also affects men, and this is something we generally tend to overlook. This story though does a great job of capturing the mind and feelings of the husband/partner. The author does justification of Pranay’s feelings very well. 
  • Every character in the story has a role to play in making Drishti’s condition better or worse. This makes the story quite inclusive and authentic.

What I did not like about the book:

  • This might come off as a biased negative, but one thing that I did not like was the insistence on having a child at all. I come from the school of thought which does not consider becoming parents as the next step after marriage to be marked off as a milestone in the relationship. I strongly believe and advocate a ‘no child policy’ or ‘adoption’ as a need of the hour thing because there are already too many of us and too few resources. So someone going through so much struggle just to bring new life into the world was something my mind grappled to understand. I know the book doesn’t say so in words, but I somehow felt that it was providing a green signal to having children (again totally a biased view probably). Having said that I do understand this as an individual choice of the woman and of the couple together.

Quotable quotes:

  • The importance of speaking up and embracing self-care is crucial these days in maintaining mental well-being
  • One most urgent present need is for us to come together and nurture one another through knowing that others feel the same way as we do. We crave to be understood.
  • Fighting intensely is not just about getting permanent injuries.
  • We have all the weapons that we keep ready for our defense.
  • You need some real eyes to see through the mess in your mind, some real ears to hear you through and through.
  • There are certain things that a doctor is not taught in the medical education curriculum, like how to understand the patient’s needs, how to console a grieving family member and how to attach and detach oneself from any case for an appropriate amount.
  • We grow up with our parents, but sometimes, in certain circumstances, it takes another level of mental preparation to talk to them.
  • Parents have their own way to show affection, but it comes at the cost of a clash of intentions and stubborn pessimism at times.
  • More often than not, a woman is made to feel that miscarriage was her fault, that she ate something or refused to eat something, or she stressed or worked too hard or she was trying to be a superhero that marriage happened.
  • Sometimes the love of unknown people lifts us in more ways than one.
  • Happy days will come. Till then, find comfort in the fact that the universe is designed to give you everything you want but only when the right time comes.
  • Make sure you don’t get too involved in someone’s problems because at some point it might become complicated and mere help and support can turn into interference. Boundaries are everything.
  • Be sane about your difficult situations but since you have got only one life, you got to choose yourself always. Chase your dreams only until they don’t came back to haunt you.
  • This life has a way to adapt to any situation if we give it a chance.
  • It doesn’t matter if a couple ever have kids or not. If you have a life partner who makes your life worthwhile, then you have everything.
  • Every place has its struggles and assets. By the end, we all have to choose our battles.
  • We need to have an open mind about people. A person’s choices in life do not define their personality and upbringing.
  • Strength is not in enduring pain, strength is in looking for a pain-killer to not ednure it unnecessarily.
  • A strained relationship with the parents, siblings, or spouse has a deeper-rooted cause. How you react to what your parents say is a shallow version of how you feel about them.
  • It is said that the walls of the house mirror the character of the one who owns it. Well, no one says that, but that doesn’t make it not true.
  • Forgive the people who don’t understand your grief for not experiencing what you have experienced and for advising you according to their understanding of your situation. Forgiveness will bring you peace.
  • Maybe people aren’t that bad, they were just not educated enough about whatever we are going through. Maybe they don’t know that the language of compassion is different for the people who are trying their hardest to achieve something that comes easily to most.

Check out the book here:

Author’s social media links:

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