For years I have known that there exists a character in Greek-Australian urban mythology who goes by the name of “Effie”. She seemed unreal to me: loud, brash, unruly, outwardly daft yet quick-witted and brimming with intelligence, the entire package rolled into a pint-sized pocket rocket of a big-haired “wog girl.” Effie was the manifestation of actress and screenwriter Mary Coustas’ very fertile imagination.
But the whacky antics of Effie are a million miles away from the horror real life story that Mary endured in order to make a family of her own. Her own lack of fertility is the foundation of the 15 years spent earnestly attempting to conceive and carry to term a baby of her own.
I am one of the majority of Australians who watched the 60 Minutes interview of Mary Coustas in which she openly wept while reliving the personal tale of her years of heartache and the physical torment endured to become a mum. It is her very private, and now public take on how IVF has helped her to motherhood that is the basis of this her memoir.
Raw, moving and at times very upsetting, I came to understand just a tiny bit of Mary’s ordeal while nursing my own IVF miracle, baby Kingsley. It took four nights of breastfeeding my 10 week old son, one hand cradling his head, the other opening the book, to finish the read. A joy to read, yes; relate to her story, absolutely. In fact, any woman who endures the torture of infertility issues will also appreciate her tale.
I kinda like Effie but I REALLY fell in love with Mary because of this book. Oh and so did my son…