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Conceivability: What I Learned Exploring the Frontiers of Fertility
On paper, conception may seem like a simple biological process, yet this is often hardly the case. While many would like to have children, the road toward conceiving and maintaining a pregnancy can be unexpectedly rocky and winding.Lawyer Elizabeth Katkin never imagined her quest for children would ultimately involve seven miscarriages, eight fresh IVF cycles, two frozen IVF attempts, five natural pregnancies, four IVF pregnancies, ten doctors, six countries, two potential surrogates, nine years, and roughly $200,000. Despite her three Ivy League degrees and wealth of resources, Katkin found she was woefully undereducated when it came to understanding and confronting her own difficulties having children. After being told by four doctors she should give up, but without an explanation as to what exactly was going wrong with her body, Katkin decided to look for answers herself. The global investigation that followed revealed that approaches to the fertility process taken in many foreign countries are vastly different than those in the US and UK.In Conceivability, Elizabeth Katkin, now a mother of two, exposes eye-opening information about the medical, financial, legal, scientific, emotional, and ethical issues at stake. “A well-researched, informative, and positive account of a very long journey to motherhood” (Kirkus Reviews), Conceivability sheds light on the often murky and baffling world of conception science. Her book is an invaluable and inspiring text that will be a boon to others navigating the deep and “choppy waters” of fertility treatment (Publishers Weekly), and her chronicle of one of the most difficult, painful, rewarding, and loving journeys a woman can take is as informative as it is poignant.
My Caesarean: Twenty-One Mothers on the C-Section Experience and After
“No one talks about C-sections as surgery,” writes SooJin Pate. “They talk about it as if it’s just another way - albeit more convenient way - of giving birth.” The twenty-one essays in My Caesarean add back to the conversation the missing voices of a vast, invisible sisterhood.Robin Schoenthaler reflects: “A C-section for us meant life.” And yet, women who don’t give birth vaginally - by choice or necessity - often feel stigmatized. “My son’s birth was not a test I needed to pass,” writes Sara Bates. “As if growing a human inside another human for nine months then caring for it the rest of its life isn’t enough,” adds Mary Pan, herself a physician.Alongside their personal stories, the writers - decorated novelists, poets, and essayists - address the history of the C-section as well as its risks, social inequities, impact on the body, and psychological aftermath. My Caesarean is a heartfelt meditation, offering much-needed comfort through shared experience.Contributors include: Catherine Newman, Judy Batalion, Nicole Cooley, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Lisa Solod, Misty Urban, Jacinda Townsend, Mary Pan, Robin Schoenthaler, Elizabeth Noll, Jen Fitzgerald, Tyrese Coleman, SooJin Pate, Daniela Montoya-Barthelemy, Cameron Dezen Hammon, LaToya Jordan, Sara Bates, Susan Hoffmann, and Alicia Jo Rabins.
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