The as of yet untitled memoir, which is slated to be complete in Winter of 2018, will be available for pre-order
In 2015, S.J. O’Hara witnessed the birth of her biological girl/boy twins via gestational carrier, bringing to conclusion her six year journey with secondary infertility. S.J. already had a 7-year old son, which put her in the unique position of having given birth herself and watching someone else give birth to her children.
Wearing her heart on her sleeve, S.J. intimately recounts her excruciating and heartbreaking experience through seven miscarriages that ultimately led her to realize her body needed a carrier. In the tradition of Southern storytelling, S.J.’s unbridled musings make us laugh and cry – from almost getting electrocuted in the middle of her husband’s marriage proposal to miscarrying in the middle of Sunday church service.
S.J. is collaborating with Brenda Aréchiga, a Los Angeles based editor whose client list includes designer Rachael Ashwell and television personality, Candy Spelling, wife of the late television mogul, Aaron Spelling among others.
Inspired by the absence of books on miscarriage and infertility at her local Barnes and Noble, S.J. recognized her calling to create support for women suffering from recurrent miscarriages and infertility while bringing awareness to surrogacy.
The as of yet untitled memoir, which is slated to be complete in Winter of 2018, will be available for pre-order.
EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK…
It was the week of my thirtieth birthday and the fall chill had snuck its way into the air bringing an end to the Indian Summer. We were going to visit my boyfriend’s family farm in a small community east of where the Chisholm Trail, a post-Civil War route used for driving cattle from Texas north into Kansas, once was. His Irish Grandfather, Doc set down roots on the property in 1940, a few decades after the first post office was established. About twenty-five years later, my boyfriend’s father built a limestone house by hand for his own large family, complete with a big barn on the other side of the gravel driveway. This was the house where my husband had grown up helping with the disciplined daily chores of farm life and where his parents still lived.
It was only a thirty-mile drive from the town where we both lived to the farm, but the red clay dirt and intoxicating smell of fresh cut alfalfa grass made it seem a world away. Earlier that day, his mother called to insist on celebrating my milestone birthday with a home cooked meal, so I decided a day out at the farm would be a good break from studying for my online math class. Math was not my friend and the Algebra class was the last course I needed to finally receive my Bachelor’s Degree which I had been meandering towards for longer than I liked to admit.
Ironically, it was my boyfriend who had challenged me to get serious about the class and now he was encouraging me to take the day off from studying to spend time with him and his parents. I had no idea what was on the menu. His mother was a farmer’s wife so she always made everything from scratch. When we arrived, I was surprised that she didn’t have anything on the stove. In fact, she seemed to have forgotten about dinner altogether. His father was preoccupied by a new arrival to the farm.
“Ya’ll need to go out and check out the calf. It has the most unusual markin’s.”
Being from “the city,” farm life was charming to me so I was game to see the calf. We hopped into the white farm truck that was always covered in a layer of dust, red dirt and grass. The calf was out on the western edge of the farm by an old cemetery, so we had to drive over a cattle guard and unlock two gates about a half-mile apart. The second gate was just beyond a beautiful ninety-four year old Oak tree.
Even though the golden sun was in my eyes as we headed west in the pasture, I could still see and of course, smell the fifty or so Hereford Cows. For some reason on this day, I was inspired to roll down my window and moo at the grazing cows, which I would later regret. As always, my man was quietly amused by my antics.
My weight bounced around the truck as he made a hard left turn in the bumpy pasture. I looked up and noticed a big blue tent had been set up in the middle of the wheat field. Just beyond it, to the west, the sun melted into a rich layer of pink, blue and purple. The gilded horizon went on for miles because the land was so flat.
“Now remember, there’s cows all around us,” was his gentlemanly way of reminding me not to step in a cow pie as I got out of the truck. This would have been fun since I was wearing flip-flops. His practical words were contrasted by what looked to be a romantic birthday surprise.
Surrounding the tent was a hotwire fence set up to keep out the stubborn Herefords. As I reached to pull the wire down so I could swing my leg over the fence and go into the tent, he jumped.
“No, no, no, it’s electric! Don’t touch it! I’ll get it for you.”
Getting electrocuted on my birthday was clearly not on my bucket list, so I immediately threw my hands up and he came around to unhook the fence. Inside the tent was an old black and blue Persian rug from his living room that I couldn’t stand. On top of the rug were two well-worn Captain’s chairs from his dining room set that he had bought at an estate sale. Three end tables, each with a Waterford vase holding countless red roses accented the room and a silk handkerchief lay on the last table….