After spending nine years battling infertility with IVF, adoption and then surrogacy in three different countries, the last thing you expect someone to do is write a book about it. But Despina Meris did exactly that. Her new book, Every Conceivable Way, documents her incredible journey to have Evander, her ‘miracle boy.’
Talking with The Greek Herald, Despina shares how five unexplained miscarriages made her even more determined to have a baby, and describes how writing about her experience was ‘cathartic and healing.’
The ‘unexpected road’ to having a baby:
Initially, Despina and her husband did not expect to have any difficulties falling pregnant. With no health issues and at a young age, they started trying for a baby naturally before turning to IVF, where they proceeded to have five unexplained miscarriages.
“They conducted every test under the sun, but no doctor could tell us why we kept having these devastating miscarriages,” Despina says.
“I had to do a lot of soul-searching during that time to try to make sense of what was happening, and whether I wanted it as badly as I thought.
“Clearly I did, because we went on to have very challenging surrogacy experiences in India and Ukraine before ultimately having our miracle child via surrogate in Thailand.”
However, despite all these setbacks, Despina says the birth of her son Evander, who is now 5, changed her life forever.
“The first time they put Evander into my arms… was the most surreal, magnificent, overpowering feeling. I really felt like I was having an out of body experience,” she explains.
“This was our very last attempt, and here was my child being presented to me and my life would be changed forever.”
The healing process of writing:
And boy, did it change. Whilst at first Despina didn’t want to relive her dark and challenging experience, speaking to friends and even strangers who were moved by her story pushed her to start writing Every Conceivable Way.
“Writing the book became this very cathartic, very healing experience. Just because we ended up with our beautiful baby didn’t erase the pain and hurt and confusion from those years,” she says.
“But this book was the greatest gift I could have given to myself because it started to heal my old wounds.”
The one downfall however, was the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic at the same time as her book was due to be published on April 1, 2020.
“My launch and all my public speaking engagements were canceled, and my book has been delivered to all the bookstores, but I’m not there to see it,” Despina says sadly.
“I was so shattered. It took four years of hard work and a real emotional investment to write the book. But life is all about perspective. There are far worse things happening in the world right now.”
Life in Perspective:
It is this positive attitude which has paid off somewhat in the end, with Despina explaining that book sales are still up because ‘people have more time to read and they’re looking for an inspirational story, something to lift them up.’
“But more importantly, at a time when everyone feels so disconnected, this book is connecting people. People who are struggling with infertility are reaching out to tell me how the story has inspired them and given them hope,” she says.
“And those who had no problem having children have shared with me how the book has moved them, that it opened their eyes to how some families struggle and persevere so much to have a child.”
With such an inspirational story, people can expect to see the book translated into Greek as well sometime soon.
Every Conceivable Way is available through all major bookstores and global online retailers. To order, click here: https://booktopia.kh4ffx.net/5ENK3