Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Waiting for Daisy and other Writings of Infertility

Perhaps it is my age or my station in life, but suddenly everyone seems to be talking about infertility.  This past monthI was mesmerized both by this memoir of infertility and this account of an alternative family formed by surrogacy and donor eggs in the NY times magazine.  A good friend of mine has been undergoing fertility treatments for sometime and I had the opportunity to be in her company for a few days last summer.  When she talked with another friend on the phone about the procedures it felt to me like she was speaking a foreign language.

This book was fascinating in the "I can't look away" way.   I really am tired of knowing and hearing all about the intricacies and worries of mechanized baby making, but at the same time, I waited around to hear the good news at the end.  Ms Orenstein's story touches on all aspects of the quest to start a family late in life: adoption, new age techniques, cancer treatment getting in the way, and good old fashioned IVF.    I could never picture myself headed down this particular road of infertility treatment and all its heartache, but understand that everyone pictures their life differently than how it actually turns out.  This is why we read stories.

Before I read this, I did now know how little regulated the infertility treatment industry is. There are a lot of substandard practices out there.  Also,  there is a Japanese infant adoption program.  I had not realized that the Japanese had babies to adopt but this family was offered not one but two different Japanese babies.  Who knew?!  Also there are great chapters on the Hiroshima Maidens and an orthodox Jewish family who has...fifteen children.  Good Stuff!

The comments at the end of the NY times article are a must read.  People have a wide variety of very strong opinions about going to great extent to have babies.   I was a little taken aback at how many people thought the NY times couple was just plain wrong.  The world would be a less interesting place without the varied and intriguing ways we choose to live our lives.

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