Two Week Wait is a semi-autobiographical graphic novel written by Luke C. Jackson and Kelly Jackson and illustrated by Mara Wild. It is 160 pages long and was published by Scribe Publications on 4 May 2021. Two Week Wait is an honest and vulnerable memoir based on the experiences of the Jacksons, a married couple and parents of two children, who paired with Wild to tell a story about their struggles to conceive. The Jackson's journey to get pregnant started in 2012. After they decided to write a book based on their in vitro fertilization (IVF) experiences, they decided to interview other couples and individuals who had taken the same emotional journey as themselves, to help with research for their book.
Two Week Wait tells the story of Conrad and Joanne, a fictional married couple in their mid-thirties based on the Jacksons, who decide to seek medical help after a year of trying and failing to get pregnant. After consulting with a doctor, they discover that Joanne has endometriosis, which is a medical condition that causes the tissue that normally lines the uterus to grow outside the uterus, this can influence infertility and make it harder to fall pregnant. Determined to have children, Conrad and Joanne decide to explore IVF treatment.
We see funny, memorable and painful experiences shown from both partners perspectives as they go through their IVF journey. We see Joanne struggle emotionally, from worrying that her eggs are too old, to feeling jealous of other women who manage to successfully fall pregnant, and wondering if Conrad should be with someone who isn't broken and can make him happy. We see Conrad worry about the financial impact of the treatment, while also fearing that he has failed Joanne. He feels embarrassed about telling people that they are doing IVF because he is worried there is something wrong with his sperm and he feels ashamed that his role in them getting pregnant has been reduced to him producing a sample in a cup. It doesn't take long until the emotional and financial strain of the IVF treatment starts to threaten Joanne and Conrad's relationship. We see them consider other options, like adoption and alternative medicine, spend time with other children, and even start to wonder if they should give up on their dream of becoming parents.
I really enjoyed Two Weeks Wait. I thought it was a well-written book that handled an incredibly sensitive topic very well and did a great job showing how the difficult and expensive process of IVF works. I learnt a lot about IVF from reading this book. I really liked the social commentary included in it. Joanne feels burdened by societal expectations to want and have children and Conrad feels like he has failed his partner because he hasn't been able to give her children. In the book we see Conrad and Joanne go through two rounds of IVF. How it works is after each successful implantation, the parents must wait two weeks to see if the pregnancy has taken. I really liked the illustrations included in the book. I thought Mara Wild did a great job illustrating the character's emotions and the mental and physical strain that the IVF process puts on them. I liked her use of soft colours and sweeping shapes and lines. She was able to put a lot of emotion into scenes with just the stroke of a pencil. I think this book would be great for couples who are going through IVF or who are considering it.