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Archive for September, 2011

I got Baby Proofed!

September 23, 2011 | By: | Filed under: adoption, Age and Infertility, child free living, Egg Donation, infertility in the media, IVF, Personal Musings, Thinking Out Loud, Third-Party Assisted Reproduction, Thoughts on Choosing an Egg Donor

Summer reading lists.  What was on yours?  I read several great books including one which much to my surprise dealt with infertility, adoption, egg donation, embryo donation, sperm donation, single parenthood, and child-free living AND didn’t offend me!!  Not only did it manage to avoid offending me (a pretty hard thing to do when you are writing on topics so near and dear to my heart) but it dealt with these topics with such accuracy and such insight that I had to ask my colleagues what the deal was — had this author been infertile and I didn’t know about it??????

The book is “Baby Proof” by Emily Giffin (author of Something Borrowed, recently made into a movie with Kate Hudson).

Written in the first person, the author is struggling through marital problems and decisions about whether or not to have a child.  As she is trying to sort out her own issues, her sister is going through treatment for infertility.  Author Emily Giffin does an amazing job of both describing the issues a person faces when contemplating living a life without having children (and the condemnation that may come with that decision).  And she does an even better job describing what her sister is going through and issues involved with egg donation and the dreaded NOvary, fears about birth mothers, open adoption — heck she even accurately addresses the differences between embryo donation and embryo adoption and the misuse of terminology . . . .  Seriously, you cover that one accurately (as did Ms. Giffin) and I HAVE to put you on the Stork Lawyer’s recommended reading list!!

Baby Proof is a great read and one that very clearly articulates the very complex landscape of third party assisted reproduction and adoption.  I tend to be really harsh and judgmental when it comes to reading other people’s — especially fertile people’s — interpretation of my world (both the part I live on a day-to-day basis and the part I work in) and my hat’s off to Ms. Giffin!  Baby Proof is politically and legally correct down to its core and it is still a fascinating read.

Baby Proof gives us a multi-faceted view of  the myriad of complicated emotional and legal issues faced by infertile couples and singles.  If you are going through infertility don’t be afraid to read this book.  It’s not preachy, critical, judgmental, hurtful, or voyeuristic.  Baby Proof looks at the issues infertile women face every day and with the precision of a plastic surgeon and her scalpel, the author manages to peel apart the very delicate skin (issues) involved when you’re dealing with ovarian reserve issues, third-party assisted reproduction, adoption, as well as the concerns women face as their biological clock ticks away and they lack a partner to help make a baby.

It’s a fun read and manages to be educational at the same time.  I totally was caught off guard.  I thought this was going to be some light chic lit for summer vaca.  Was I ever wrong!  For the first time in a very long time, I wound up thinking and marveling at the ability of someone who doesn’t live my life to totally understand my life.

I may know that she interviewed a reproductive lawyer but I still have to believe that she knows more about this topic than what one can learn from spending an afternoon being educated by someone like me.  I can’t help but think she must have more insight into infertility than just an interview would bring.  I mean she really GETS IT.  I tend to think that you can only understand this pain if you’ve lived it.  Granted the character in the book is going through a life crisis and is incredibly intellectual and so these issues are discussed through a filter of self-analysis . . . but even that, the self-analysis part of it, leads me to wonder if there isn’t some personal connection to infertility that I am unaware of.  Maybe I will re-read the acknowledgment section?  Maybe I missed a thank you to someone who shared their heart.  But if I didn’t miss it, then this is one book that understands the infertile woman (and maybe will help people find their way through their infertility to consider an option of family building that without this book they might not have understood or considered).

It’s been a long week and I am brain dead.  I hope I made the point I wanted to . . . I don’t typically think that it’s possible to understand what we go through and I don’t typically find that people get the legal issues involved in what I do everyday.  You know I analyze every movie and magazine article looking and hoping to find an accurate portrayal of the path to parenthood when you’re not a fertile person.  Did I finally just find one??

I think so.  Maybe I won’t just re-read the acknowledgments. Maybe I will re-read this book.  This might be a first.

Thanks Emily.  You done us proud.

 



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