Guest Post Stuart Burkhalter

Today as part of National Infertility Awareness Week - I am pleased to have a great guest post.  
Stuart Burkhalter
A great book from the male perspective.
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Dear Mommy Dreaming Readers,

Hello. I hope you're doing well. I wanted to let you know that I have recently written a book that will be released this month called Catawampus: The Fertility Process from a Man's Perspective. It’s a memoir detailing my wife and my experience through approximately two years of fertility treatments in our struggles to have a baby, told from my perspective.

I wrote this book for a variety of different reasons. First, through what is obviously a very personally challenging and emotional process, I was shocked by a host of different things, but specifically by (1) how many people I personally knew who "had" to undergo some type of fertility treatment; (2) what a fundamental disconnect can exist between those going through this struggle and, essentially, everyone else out there in the world who is (happily) not; and (3) the fact that there did not seem to be any resource out there -- book or otherwise -- by a man detailing the man's side of this maddening experience. 

Thus, I thought, I would write a book. In doing so, I wanted to provide a resource for women and men who were actually going through the process itself -- women in order to understand a little bit of what the men in their life might be thinking and men in order to maybe feel a bit less isolated when they were tramping into a fertility clinic to provide yet another "sample." But, also, the goal was to provide a glimpse into a process that many of you all will hopefully never have to go through, so that you have a better understanding of what a difficult, imminently frustrating, and bizarre experience it can be for people you may know. 
And, yes, the final reason I wrote this book: I enjoy writing and, apparently, I think I am pretty clever. Actually, I am very proud of a few things I was able to do in this book. A random compilation of some of these is below:

1. I use the word "mellifluous." (Correctly, I think; actually, it's kind of used ironically, but, I think correctly, although I'm not sure I used ironically correctly just now either.)

2. I use "Zinedine Zidane" as a verb. (Perhaps not the most timely reference, but, at the same time, a classic)

3. I have an amazing Who Framed Roger Rabbit? simile. My copyeditor asked me to clarify this particular paragraph, but I told her, no, no, ma'am, I really can't do that. Everyone is going to know exactly what I am talking about, trust me. 

4. I reference a quote by William Gay. William Gay was a brilliant fiction writer from Hohenwald, Tennessee. I’m sure many of you have not heard of him, but, at the same time, I’m sure a handful of you have and I know one of you at least is a big fan. And that’s the point. If you’re a random fan of a movie or book or song that you might think has absolutely nothing to do with fertility, infertility, or “processes,” in general, there’s actually a pretty good chance that I probably reference it in Catawampus at some point or another. (ST:TNG? Jorge Luis Borges? The Neverending Story?).

So, to be clear, this book is for everyone! If you're anywhere from 20 to 50 and have ever struggled with fertility or known anyone who has ever struggled with fertility, this book is for you. Also, if you've, say, never had a baby, never wanted a baby, had plenty of babies years ago, don't plan on having a baby anytime soon, or, in general, have no interest in learning about how babies can be made, then this book is also definitely for you, because it's entertaining, relatively short, funny, and, in general, is an important story that needs to be told.

Anyway, early reviews are good:

"[H]as the potential to get...a label like 'definitive' [i.e. the definitive book on the topic]." - My friend Peyton (Princeton grad)

"I loved it!" -My sister

"Riveting!" -My publicist

"Definitely picks up steam in the third chapter and rides it pretty well to the end. Great Roger Rabbit reference." -Me

I will be following up with more information in the coming weeks. Please contact me if you or anyone you know might enjoy this book. Also, I invite you to sign up for my newsletter at You can also contact me via Twitter at  

Stuart Burkhalter is the author of Catawampus: The Fertility Process from a Man’s Perspective. He is a Nashville, TN native and lives there with his family. He is also an attorney for the firm Riley, Warnock & Jacobson, PLC. Catawampus is available for purchase through his website. In May, Catawampus will also be available through Barnes & Noble and Amazon.


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