Posted by Kate Weldon LeBlanc
I was pleased to learn that the Center for Early Relationship Support is a co-sponsor of Mayyim Hayyim’s “Drawn from Life” exhibit, but I must admit I was a little wary when I heard that one of the featured artists, Phoebe Potts, has written a graphic novel about infertility. My first thought was “a comic book about such an intimate and heartbreaking subject?!” Now admittedly, I have no experience with graphic novels, but I do have experience with infertility and could not imagine how this could work.
Then I heard Phoebe on the radio, immediately liked what she had to say and how she said it, and I was intrigued. So I bought Good Eggs and read it over the span of just one cold winter night. This alone is praise because lately it takes me two months to read a book. Good Eggs is clearly no comic book. It’s a heartfelt memoir that just happens to be in this format, and it makes total sense that Phoebe would tell her story this way since she is an artist.
Good Eggs is tender, interesting, and often, very funny, especially the imagined observations of their cat! What makes the wit even more impressive is that infertility is just one of the tough topics that Phoebe tackles. There is also depression, religion, and complex family dynamics. But then, is this really so strange? Many of us use humor to cope with and explain the challenges of life.
Phoebe does a great job using this graphic style to share the story of the infertility that she and her husband Jeff have experienced. I think couples who have struggled to become parents will recognize many of the physical, psychological, and emotional impacts featured here. I greeted some of the pages with knowing nods and laughter. However, although infertility is the central theme of Good Eggs, to me this is not an “infertility” book, it is a love story. I rejoiced when Phoebe and Jeff find each other. The strength of their relationship seems to be the reason they can cope with such heartbreak and still find lots of reasons to smile.
Kate Weldon LeBlanc has been the administrative director of CERS since August of 2009. Kate is passionate about child and family issues, particularly on building communities of support for parents. Prior to her arrival at JF&CS, she spent nearly ten years working in the departments of Child Advocacy and Government Relations at Children’s Hospital Boston. She holds a BSW from Skidmore College and a MPA from UMASS Boston.