Overcoming the Emotional Stigmas of Infertility

Barren But Not Ashamed

Non-Fiction - Self Help
168 Pages
Reviewed on 08/24/2021
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Author Biography

Frances Jones is the CEO & Founder of Heart Desires Fulfillment Coaching, LLC, certified coach, an Executive TV Channel Producer, and International and National Best-Selling Author. She has been featured on countless media publications such as NBC, CBS, FOX affiliates, Times News, International Business News, Thrive Global, Disrupt Magazine, Women Win Network Magazine & the Los Angeles Tribune.

She is a highly sought-after Keynote Speaker for various Women Empowerment summits and was televised live on Fox Soul’s the Tammi Mac Late Show earlier this year to talk about black infertility. Frances plays an invaluable role starring on her very own TV Show (NSpire Together) powered by the Women Win Network now viewed on Roku TV and Amazon Fire TV. She holds master’s degrees from the University of Mississippi in accounting and educational leadership.

Frances is positively changing lives with the release of her book, Overcoming the Emotional Stigmas of Infertility: Barren but Not Ashamed. For years, she allowed the heartache, pain, and constant disappointment of never being able to conceive rob her of the joy and happiness of life. She was able to break free from her tormenting thoughts and is sharing her story so that others challenged with the negativity of infertility can prevent it from controlling their lives. Frances hopes her story will bring awareness, sensitivity, and compassion when speaking with someone challenged with building their family. She believes that anyone battling negativity from other areas of life can use her tips and techniques to overcome them.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

Overcoming the Emotional Stigmas of Infertility: Barren But Not Ashamed by Frances Jones is a self-help memoir. The author sets out with a message for the world to those who are unable to conceive: you are not alone. Jones begins with her journey and the loneliness she encountered, particularly those around her who filled their hearts and homes with the very thing she could not have. The book is then sectioned into twenty distinct and interconnected chapters, covering a wide range of topics from the expectations of families and the bride herself, discovery, diagnosis, treatments, and loss, to emotional pain, adoption, acceptance, and the purest forms of love. “I operated as though I was broken, unworthy, and blemished.”

Frances Jones does a wonderful job of creating an engaging and compassionate guide in Overcoming the Emotional Stigmas of Infertility. I connected on a level that is only possible when another shares their experiences with profound honesty, which is exactly what Jones accomplished. Fear and pain are acknowledged. So are grief and the hope that springs to life only to be taken away a few days later. The writing style is more like a friend encouraging you over coffee than any guide I have previously read, and Jones opens up with relatable moments, like “bringing flowers to the grave of an empty womb.” This is an insightful, well-written book that is a comfort for those who need it most. Very highly recommended.

Viga Boland

Given the current state of societies worldwide, is it any wonder that bookshelves are bulging with self-help books? With so many problems and disappointments in our everyday lives, it’s just about near impossible to stay positive. Now, toss into the mix the issues faced by couples who are trying unsuccessfully to conceive. You see the need for yet one more self-help book. Frances Jones has written it: Overcoming the Emotional Stigmas of Infertility. Infertility is a stigma? Well, that’s just one of the ways Frances Jones saw it as she and her loving husband, Chris, struggled to conceive for several years. She saw her sisters, friends, and neighbors giving birth not once but several times. Yet, despite medical help, Frances remained barren. As hope gave way to depression and self-recriminations, which Frances bravely hid behind a happy mask, she eventually embraced the wisdom of the Serenity Prayer, accepting that she would never know the unequivocal feeling of life growing inside her. But with that acceptance, with the understanding that one doesn’t have to be a mother to be a complete woman, she took control of her negative thoughts and stopped them from controlling her.

It is how to regain that control that Frances shares, along with some marvelous insights and encouragement. I found myself constantly highlighting sentences, sometimes entire paragraphs, as I read each concise chapter. Though at 75, I’m not having fertility issues, some important people in my life are. For their sakes, I didn’t want to forget essential words like these: “A family is more than just DNA. Love has to be at the root of everything.” Truer words were never spoken, even if the battle one is facing isn’t even infertility. So much of what Jones writes in Overcoming the Emotional Stigmas of Infertility could apply to both men and women in all walks of life who are desperate to feel better about themselves and their lives. This is a wonderful and unique self-help book, written from the heart and from first-hand experience. The style is straightforward, personal, and easy to read. Jones has a way with words that I really enjoyed and has written an excellent and necessary self-help memoir. Between the occasional touch of humor, stacks of information, questions, affirmations, and suggestions for charts and journaling, and the warm memories of her upbringing to her present-day situation. Bravo!

Edith Wairimu

Overcoming the Emotional Stigmas of Infertility: Barren But Not Ashamed by Frances Jones is a candid, hope-filled book that provides insight into infertility. Jones grew up in a large, loving family with siblings she could play with. As her wedding approached, she could not wait to add to her new family and give her stepdaughter siblings she could play with. In 1993, at the age of twenty-seven, she began experiencing pelvic pain. In 1999, she was diagnosed with endometriosis. In Overcoming the Emotional Stigmas of Infertility, Jones shares her emotional journey through the diagnosis, fertility treatments, and the adoption process. She shares the emotional, physical, and financial strain she went through together with her family as they also navigated other aspects, including parenting.

Overcoming the Emotional Stigmas of Infertility shows the raw side of dealing with infertility, including the fear, doubt, desperation, internal and external accusations, and the attempt to mask it all. It goes on to show how these patterns can be broken and how anyone experiencing the struggles associated with infertility can live a happy, fulfilled life. Jones shares how she was able to rediscover her true self and explains how infertility does not have to define a person: that anyone who has received a similar diagnosis can still enjoy happiness and peace. In the book, useful questions for self-reflection and learning are included at the end of certain chapters and Biblical verses and quotes from various famous people are added at the start of each chapter. They add more insight and they introduce the chapters’ contents. Overcoming the Emotional Stigmas of Infertility by Frances Jones is a profound memoir with helpful advice for navigating infertility.

Vincent Dublado

Life isn’t always fair. Sometimes when you want something so badly, it goes in the wrong direction, and the failure to achieve it consumes you so much that it overtakes everything. That’s what happened to Frances Jones, author of the inspirational book Overcoming the Emotional Stigmas of Infertility: Barren But Not Ashamed. It is a concise but detailed memoir about dealing with infertility and emerging triumphant in the end. It is a twenty-year journey not only for Jones but also for the people who love her dearly. From her early beginnings as a young girl growing up in a big family that inspired her to have children of her own to discovering the significant factor in her inability to conceive, she finds acceptance of her own feelings and compassion not only for herself but for her husband as they experience this life challenge together.

Frances Jones’s keen sense of anatomy is medically exact and empathetic without begging for sympathy. She is intensely wrapped up in the drama of her personal ordeal but doesn’t fail to appreciate what she has. Any couple attempting to conceive can understand and identify with the deep biological issues and the childhood influences that drive Jones. She writes about a world that presents family values, fertility treatments, disappointments, and social stigmas. Her style is astute, and you can feel her shared love and support with the people who care for her. Overcoming the Emotional Stigmas of Infertility succeeds as a portrait of that distressing emotion common to those who cannot procreate. But Jones is a fighter, and her book is something that readers should consider because it is not often that you read inspirational memoirs that genuinely create a significant impact.

K.C. Finn

Overcoming the Emotional Stigmas of Infertility – Barren But Not Ashamed is a work of non-fiction in the self-help genre. It is aimed at adult readers and was penned by Frances Jones. The book describes the emotional journey that comes with infertility of any sort. Feelings of guilt or inadequacy, feelings of failure or being lesser than others, all of these feelings and more are addressed in this book in an empathetic approach to discussing the mental and emotional toll of struggling to conceive. Based on the author’s own experiences, the book aims to guide and inspire others who are struggling with their feelings and self-perception in the wake of fertility struggles.

This is a powerful book not only for the highly emotive and stigmatized subject matter that it discusses but for the deeply personal experiences and insights that the author shares throughout. Using her own experience of infertility to support the reader in their emotional journey, Frances Jones creates a unique connection between herself and her readers. As infertility is a situation that people struggle to open up about, this book is an essential resource for providing the insightful and considered support that is sorely needed. Overcoming the Emotional Stigmas of Infertility is a book that knows it has its work cut out for it in a world surrounded by imagery and narratives that link producing children to being happy, successful, and valid. Someone who cannot have their own children can easily slide down a rabbit hole of depression and low self-worth. This book rises to the challenge, however, and is a must for couples struggling with infertility as well as professionals who support them.

Otha V Shaw

When I started out with my husband I too thought I would never be able to conceive. I finally unknowingly got pregnant and running around cleaning house like normal and picked up some weights. I felt this awful pain and immediately had to go hospital. Miscarriage the doctor confirmed. I was crushed and confused. Long story short I lost two and birthed two. Praise God. I was never jealous of anyone over anything, but seeing other women pregnant was probably the closest I have ever been. Ms. Jones outlook and heartfelt explanation of her journey helped me realized I could actually finally let go of the guilt that I felt all these years, that it was because of me the reason I lost not one but two. Even though I had two that survived I still felt responsible for the two that didn't make it. Thank you Lady. Your book is not just for those who never had children, but also for us who after failing finally succeeded. But still carried the barrien burden.