Harry Potter and Infertility

by Davina Fankhauser
President - Fertility Within Reach

The final installment of the Harry Potter series releases in theaters today. I cannot wait to see the film, and although I know how the story ends, I am prepared to sob hysterically. However, it may not be for the reason you are thinking.

My husband and I experienced infertility since 1994. We spent many of our evenings, sans children, listening to the audio of the Harry Potter books. We envisioned these children grow and develop. We cried at their losses and cheered with their victories. They helped fill a void.

I feel very maternal toward the children of Hogwarts. I recently heard an interview with Rupert Grint, who played the character Ron Weasley, and he said he felt a little lost since they completed filming. He’s adjusting to not being around the same people every day, as he had for the previous ten years. My instincts kicked and I thought of all the things I wanted to say, because I understood exactly how he felt and was worried for him. How, would I understand? My husband and I had a common goal for fourteen years; go through infertility treatment and build our family. Once we stopped trying to conceive, I felt very lost. I missed the TLC I received at the fertility clinic. I wondered, “Now what do we do? How do we shift our focus?” Even though our children were finally with us, there was emptiness, a driving force in my life was missing.

So what have I learned? What would I say to Rupert? I would say, “You are more than an actor who played a character, you are a man with character who chooses to act.” Take some time to find out what your interests and passions are. Fill the odd feeling, with something that drives and fulfills you.

I’ve chosen to fill my void with helping people who face infertility feel empowered to advocate for themselves. To those ending or still involved with treatment I would remind them, “You are not an infertile person, you are a person living with the disease of infertility. It is a small, but important, aspect of your life. Give it respect, but don’t allow this journey to take over your existence.”

I will go to the movie and say a reluctant goodbye to this final chapter of Harry Potter and my surrogate children. I owe them many thanks for occupying my thoughts during the hard times. I suspect I am not the only one who feels this way.

Without future Harry Potter books to fill our days and thoughts, I’d like to propose we replace the feeling of loss and emptiness with a determination to find our passion. If you need something to do, I hope you will join Fertility Within Reach as we educate fertility patients to become their own best advocates.

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Davina Fankhauser

President - Fertility Within Reach

Comments (8)

  • Laura

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    Lovely post Davina. Thank you for sharing. I suspect that Harry Potter has helped many of us through different things – it has been a long journey for sure. For me, Harry Potter helped me deal with some of my grief and feelings toward 9/11.

    Reply

    • Davina Fankhauser

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      Thank you Laura. I agree with you 100% that Harry Potter was a support to many for various reasons. I think the release of the first movie could not have been more perfect, coming out shortly after the 9-11. So many of us could relate to the sense of loss and grief. We have grown, as these characters have. And while their story comes to an end, many of us may think, “Now what do we do?” I was hoping the blog might give a solution to that question.

      Thank you again for your kind words, support and participation!

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      • Laneta

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        Way to go on this essay, helped a ton.

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  • Rebeccagrace

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    Excellent article. I know HP has given me lots of solace and escape during the hard times too.

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  • Len Rudnick (Dr. R.)

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    Davina,
    Absolutely outstanding. What you wrote and the message you gave fits most of life, not just infertility. Over the years when my grandchildren said, “Opa/grandpa, I am hungry or tired”, I would say, “No, you are Jill or Caity or Amber or Payton. You feel tired or hugry. How you feel is not who you are”. Those who suffer from the disease of infertility are NOT defined by their condition. You example was perfect. You obviously got your ability to reach people from your mother. I’m good with that and with you.

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  • Julie Walden

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    Davina,

    This post is ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and personal connection with HP and infertility. I too believe that your message can be applicable to most of life’s experiences, and not just for those with infertility. Therefore, your insite and perspective is sure to make a major impact on ALL who read it.

    Your post got me thinking about all the movies, TV shows, books and other things I have used over the years that helped fill a void within me & kept me distracted during my own personal struggle with this disease. I am incredibly grateful for those distractions, but I am also incredibly grateful for the entire journey!

    I have experienced many difficult & heart-breaking moments because of my condition, but I have made it a mission of mine to discover and appreciate at least one positive aspect that comes from each & every negative situation I am faced with. Amazingly, it’s quite easy to do!

    I, like you, believe that we need to discover and act on our passion(s) in order to replace the feelings of emptiness and loss within us. One of my passions has been providing support and guidance to others who are also dealing with infertility. I find it very rewarding, and an incredible privilege! If it were not for my own infertility experience, I would not be able to help so many others get through theirs…EVERYTHING happens for a reason!

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  • Colette Bouchez

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    I think you have hit on something so very important here. I have been researching and writing books about infertility before most people ever heard the word. I have interviewed thousands of couples throughout the last 20 years and I can tell you that you are not alone with your feelings. Many couples never understand what that void is they are feeling when the treatments end – they can’t understand why the children they longed for are not filling the void in the way they thought they would. What they did not realize – as you so brilliantly have – is that they spent so many years being defined by their infertility, that when no longer infertile, they did not know who they were. You are smart and sensitive to have seen the difference and made the distinctions in your own life. I have a new book coming out in about a month (EatLoveGetPregnant.com) and this is one of the issues we address. I know this post you have written will help many couples and especially many women. Bravo!

    Reply

  • Davina Fankhauser

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    Thank you everyone. One of the great aspects of Fertility Wtihin Reach is we disseminate information collected from personal and professional experience. In this case, I mixed my love for Harry Potter with the strategies I learned during a Domar Center Mind/Body program, lead by Dr. Tara Cousineau, Founder of bodimojo. I owe credit and thanks to her and the Domar Center. I am thrilled to share this perspective in hopes of helping others.

    Reply

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