Title: Two-Week Wait: An I.V.F Story
Authors: Luke C. Jackson and Kelly Jackson
Illustrator: Mara Wild
Genre: Graphic novel, Health/Reproduction, IVF
Publisher: Scribe Publishing
Published: May 2021
Two-Week Wait: An I.V.F Story by Luke C. Jackson and Kelly Jackson, illustrated by Mara Wild is probably the first graphic novel I have read. I never really read comics growing up and the closest I’ve gotten to a graphic novel is reading books that contain verse and small imagery. Before reading Two-Week Wait I knew that graphic novels were very popular—especially with fans of YA graphic novels, manga, and cult classics—but never really thought that a graphic novel could work as both a narrative and an educational text. Luke C. Jackson and Kelly Jackson have created a beautiful and gut-wrenching story of infertility, relationships, and hope centred around the two-week period waiting to find out if the implantation resulted in a successful pregnancy.
Two-Week Wait follows Conrad and Joanne’s I.V.F journey, from their struggles to get pregnant before starting I.V.F, trying to uncover the cause of their infertility, to starting treatment, and the trials and tribulations that come with I.V.F. Conrad and Joanne dream of becoming parents and their fertility struggles strain their relationship, social lives, and their job performance. Two-Week Wait tells a story that is familiar to 1 in every 50 couples. Conrad and Joanne’s story is beautifully accompanied by small glimpses into other couple’s lives which represent different journeys to parenthood; whether they’re single and looking for a sperm donor, a same-sex couple wanting to have a child, or another couple who are starting I.V.F. The authors have created a multi-dimensional narrative that shines a light on modern-day fertility and the emotional, social, and psychological side to I.V.F treatment.
Accompanied with the Jackson’s narrative is Mara Wild’s beautiful illustrations. Wild has drawn in a digital, minimalist style with a simple powder-blue, navy, grey, red, white, and peachy orange colour palette. The simplicity of their illustration style leaves room for emotion to burst off the page. The happiness, pain, love, and dejection that the character’s experience comes across so clearly in Wild’s illustrations; readers will become emotionally invested within the first chapter. Once you pick up Two-Week Wait it’ll be incredibly hard to put it back down again.
Two-Week Wait works as an educational text as it shares the emotional side of I.V.F, which is often pushed aside. While I.V.F has been discussed in light of finance, bioethics, and healthcare in the past, it is now a very common method for people needing help to get pregnant. The authors explore how people choosing I.V.F are often faced with derogatory and inappropriate comments. Conrad and Joanne have to navigate their friends, family members, and sometimes even strangers who feel like they have the right to comment on their choice to use I.V.F treatment. The external, judgemental pressure on Conrad and Joanne also takes a toll on their emotional relationship with each other, which highlights how I.V.F treatment often becomes more of a public affair than a private one. Two-Week Wait captures many facets of the I.V.F experience, hence making it an excellent graphic novel to educate people and start a healthy conversation around the highs and lows of I.V.F. Moreover, the language and illustrations within are very easy to understand and follow, making Two-Week Wait an accessible text which could be used in a high-school-aged educational setting.
I encourage lovers and novices of graphic novels to pick up Two-Week Wait and share in this moving story. Even if you’ve never gone through the I.V.F journey, like myself, you’ll be warmed by the very personal and intimate moments in Two-Week Wait.