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Motherhood, Rescheduled: The New Frontier of Egg Freezing and the Women Who Tried It

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How would you live your life if you could stop your biological clock? If you could be free of the "baby panic" that has tormented an entire generation of women who postponed motherhood to pursue careers or find the right mate? Would you date better? Marry later? Relax more? In Motherhood, Rescheduled, journalist Sarah Elizabeth Richards tells the stories of four women—incl How would you live your life if you could stop your biological clock? If you could be free of the "baby panic" that has tormented an entire generation of women who postponed motherhood to pursue careers or find the right mate? Would you date better? Marry later? Relax more? In Motherhood, Rescheduled, journalist Sarah Elizabeth Richards tells the stories of four women—including herself—who attempt to turn back time by freezing their eggs and chart a new course through their thirties and forties. Their journeys are bumpy, hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking, but always rewarding. Just a decade ago, the idea of women freezing their eggs seemed futile or dangerous. But with new advances in medicine, women who choose this route face no higher risk of birth defects in their babies than other women, and pregnancy rates using frozen eggs are approaching those using fresh eggs. At a time when one in five American women between the ages of forty and forty-four is childless and half of those women say they wish they could have children, Richards offers a hopeful message: women approaching the end of their babymaking days do not need to settle, and even twentysomethings who want to prolong their dating years do not need to fret. Richards tells the history of this controversial science, from its moments of premature enthusiasm to the exciting race that led to the big breakthroughs. She also explores the hard facts of egg freezing—from the cost and practical obstacles to the probabilities of success. Above all, she shares the stories of these women, and especially her own, with emotional honesty and compassion, and makes the journey for all ultimately redeeming.


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How would you live your life if you could stop your biological clock? If you could be free of the "baby panic" that has tormented an entire generation of women who postponed motherhood to pursue careers or find the right mate? Would you date better? Marry later? Relax more? In Motherhood, Rescheduled, journalist Sarah Elizabeth Richards tells the stories of four women—incl How would you live your life if you could stop your biological clock? If you could be free of the "baby panic" that has tormented an entire generation of women who postponed motherhood to pursue careers or find the right mate? Would you date better? Marry later? Relax more? In Motherhood, Rescheduled, journalist Sarah Elizabeth Richards tells the stories of four women—including herself—who attempt to turn back time by freezing their eggs and chart a new course through their thirties and forties. Their journeys are bumpy, hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking, but always rewarding. Just a decade ago, the idea of women freezing their eggs seemed futile or dangerous. But with new advances in medicine, women who choose this route face no higher risk of birth defects in their babies than other women, and pregnancy rates using frozen eggs are approaching those using fresh eggs. At a time when one in five American women between the ages of forty and forty-four is childless and half of those women say they wish they could have children, Richards offers a hopeful message: women approaching the end of their babymaking days do not need to settle, and even twentysomethings who want to prolong their dating years do not need to fret. Richards tells the history of this controversial science, from its moments of premature enthusiasm to the exciting race that led to the big breakthroughs. She also explores the hard facts of egg freezing—from the cost and practical obstacles to the probabilities of success. Above all, she shares the stories of these women, and especially her own, with emotional honesty and compassion, and makes the journey for all ultimately redeeming.

30 review for Motherhood, Rescheduled: The New Frontier of Egg Freezing and the Women Who Tried It

  1. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    This was a fast read for anyone considering egg freezing, but I have a few qualms with the book: 1) It was published in 2013, yet the technology and techniques the women go through in the book are mostly old news. None of the top fertility clinics are using 2004 technology anymore, so I don't think it's terribly relevant to someone considering the process today. It would have been helpful to include some case studies of women who are undergoing egg vitrification closer to when the book was publis This was a fast read for anyone considering egg freezing, but I have a few qualms with the book: 1) It was published in 2013, yet the technology and techniques the women go through in the book are mostly old news. None of the top fertility clinics are using 2004 technology anymore, so I don't think it's terribly relevant to someone considering the process today. It would have been helpful to include some case studies of women who are undergoing egg vitrification closer to when the book was published, even without including an ending to their stories, just to see how the process has evolved. I still enjoyed reading the history of such a relatively new field of medical discovery and feel like I'm the right age for this at the right time. 2) All of the women in this book are getting their eggs frozen because of that ticking clock. I get it, that's in the title, but there are many of us who are going down this road because of other health issues. For example, me! Because I'm a BRCA1 carrier, I'd like my children to not be, and I probably have to remove my ovaries at 35 to avoid ovarian cancer, so freezing eggs make sense for me for several other reasons than I'm in my 30s and single. Not to discount these women and their struggles, but I would love to hear about more women like me. Sure, there aren't a ton of us, but it would have been nice to have one case study about a woman freezing eggs for reasons other than sheer panic. In my case, being 32 and single and keeping these guys on ice is just an added benefit. I'm really doing it for other reasons. (FWIW, insurance generally only covers egg freezing if you already have cancer, if you're freezing eggs for preventative reasons, you're on your own.) 3) I read this book in three sittings over two days and I couldn't keep the women straight. Maybe if their stories were more fleshed out or if each story was told completely it would have been easier to follow, but I found myself thinking "which one is she again?" at the beginning of each chapter. That being said, there's really not a lot of literature on this subject, beyond medical journals, which are certainly hard to access for the average woman. I hope more journalists decide to write about this in an accessible format in the coming years. The more we talk about fertility struggles and women's health, the more of a community we build. So many women struggle with fertility issues and don't realize that they have sisters everywhere who've dealt with the same. The more we communicate and learn from one another the less lonely this pathway will become.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    I found this book thoroughly fascinating though I disagree with the author's worldview. Wish I had time for a more thorough review, but these things stood out to me: * Loved understanding more about the science of egg-freezing and the fertility window women are under. * How strong the desire is, particularly in women, to have children of their own, even when they have many other accomplishments * How unconcerned men are about having children, at least those who are dealt with in the book, particula I found this book thoroughly fascinating though I disagree with the author's worldview. Wish I had time for a more thorough review, but these things stood out to me: * Loved understanding more about the science of egg-freezing and the fertility window women are under. * How strong the desire is, particularly in women, to have children of their own, even when they have many other accomplishments * How unconcerned men are about having children, at least those who are dealt with in the book, particularly the author's longtime boyfriend who was undecided and then firmly a "no". * How much the internet has changed the dating scene. * How little long-term commitment goes into relationships now. * How easily men can get the loving and um, intimacy they want without having to commit to marriage or children. * How hard it is to convince some men that children are valuable and not just a lot of work. * How iffy the proposition of freezing eggs and actually making a baby from them can be.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rachael Vaughn

    I read this book before deciding to freeze my eggs and I would recommend it to anyone considering that option. It's a good mix of the science behind egg freezing plus a discussion of the emotional ramifications. I read this book before deciding to freeze my eggs and I would recommend it to anyone considering that option. It's a good mix of the science behind egg freezing plus a discussion of the emotional ramifications.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    Sobering account of how egg freezing fit into the personal lives of five women. The book follows their love lives, and the complicated twists as men who seem serious turn flakey, men who seem flakey turn serious, and consequent divorces, broken engagements, and break-ups. Many stories do have happy endings with frustrations along the way. I was comforted that a book catalogs these stories to give them greater context. From the outside, it seems like women who are single for so long must be doing Sobering account of how egg freezing fit into the personal lives of five women. The book follows their love lives, and the complicated twists as men who seem serious turn flakey, men who seem flakey turn serious, and consequent divorces, broken engagements, and break-ups. Many stories do have happy endings with frustrations along the way. I was comforted that a book catalogs these stories to give them greater context. From the outside, it seems like women who are single for so long must be doing something wrong, but from reading their stories, it becomes clearer that it's a matter of bad luck rather than bad choices. On the egg freezing side, I did the math based on the most recent published paper in the medical literature, and it's promising but not a magical solution: 100 eggs frozen with vitrification (that's the new technology) before age 35 (earlier than these women froze) can be expected to yield 3.2 live babies, so 63 frozen eggs would yield the 2 live babies that many women want. That requires at least 3-4 cycles, more than most women can do. These women froze just 20 eggs each using the old technology, at older ages; just knowing the medical literature makes it clear that not all of these women will walk away with babies from their frozen eggs. As with all fertility treatments, it's possible to spill blood, tears, and $100,000, and still not have children. Like a previous reviewer, I also found it annoying to read the stories interleaved with each other, so I read all the stories about each woman in a row so that I could keep track of the details. Otherwise, they blurred together.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    I read this on the recommendation of a wonderful blogger I follow, Christina Bartholomew of Hands Full and (Mostly) Loving It. She wrote a post on how the window of your fertility is in actuality a lot narrower than you think it is, and mentioned this book. I thought it was interesting, I was 32 and had just had my fifth baby, so I thought I'd check it out. Something you need to know about me in order to understand my reaction to this book: I came to this book with a lot of strong feelings about I read this on the recommendation of a wonderful blogger I follow, Christina Bartholomew of Hands Full and (Mostly) Loving It. She wrote a post on how the window of your fertility is in actuality a lot narrower than you think it is, and mentioned this book. I thought it was interesting, I was 32 and had just had my fifth baby, so I thought I'd check it out. Something you need to know about me in order to understand my reaction to this book: I came to this book with a lot of strong feelings about the importance of family and how it should be first priority in life (before career or travel or anything else). I also believe that it's impossible to "have it all," and if you are choosing to give chief priority to career and travel and worldly success it will most likely come at the price of family. So there you have it. Coming at it from that viewpoint, I read the book and saw 4 women who wanted to be moms but couldn't quite bring themselves to release their death grip on the world's values and just take the plunge to become a mother. Instead they tried to beat Nature in an effort to assure themselves that they could "have it all," and they spent thousands of dollars and worried away years of their lives. Confirmed my own opinions, and it was an interesting exercise in thought. I didn't give this 5 stars because the back-and-forth telling of 4 separate stories was a little hard to follow. Most of the time I couldn't keep straight which woman was which, unless I backed up and re-read past chapters.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Eleanor

    you could just read a magazine article... switching back and forth between different women's stories was confusing. they weren't very well flushed out so each one just seemed like she was from a generic match.com profile-- the tone was off-putting... and the writing was fine but the style the whole way through was like those non-fiction books that start off each chapter with a case example and then goes on to use it as a basis to explain something else. workable but also tired format. good examp you could just read a magazine article... switching back and forth between different women's stories was confusing. they weren't very well flushed out so each one just seemed like she was from a generic match.com profile-- the tone was off-putting... and the writing was fine but the style the whole way through was like those non-fiction books that start off each chapter with a case example and then goes on to use it as a basis to explain something else. workable but also tired format. good example of "details" included: "she hoped their child would share their love of antiques." .......

  7. 4 out of 5

    Theodora Blanchfield

    The author is a friend of mine, so I wanted to read this to support her, and frankly because I was curious. I had a hard time getting through it not because of the writing but because of the emotions it stirred up. I recommend this to anyone to understand the changing landscape of what makes a family and how technologies like are helping women make new choices about their careers and reproductive health.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Arlian

    Notes to self: I decided I want to read this book based on the mention it got in Moira Weigels "labor of love", specifically to get in to the heads of women who both feel a ticking "biological clock" and also because of her critique that "freezing time" is the "best" idea that the free marketplace can come up with as a solution to the problems that a male dominated workforce has created Notes to self: I decided I want to read this book based on the mention it got in Moira Weigels "labor of love", specifically to get in to the heads of women who both feel a ticking "biological clock" and also because of her critique that "freezing time" is the "best" idea that the free marketplace can come up with as a solution to the problems that a male dominated workforce has created

  9. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    A book about 4 women's decision and experience with freezing their eggs. Thought provoking and insightful. I certainly have a greater appreciation of the effort women are willing to put into becoming moms. A book about 4 women's decision and experience with freezing their eggs. Thought provoking and insightful. I certainly have a greater appreciation of the effort women are willing to put into becoming moms.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    This book delves into the lives of four women who want to become biological mothers but do not have a committed partner. As a young woman who would like to pursue motherhood and a career equally, it was an enlightening read that focuses on the challenges involved in pursuing both.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cari

    I loved this book! Review here: http://www.caridubiel.com/?p=550 I loved this book! Review here: http://www.caridubiel.com/?p=550

  12. 5 out of 5

    Marissa

    A must-read for women of reproductive age, whether you're thinking about freezing your eggs or not. A must-read for women of reproductive age, whether you're thinking about freezing your eggs or not.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    Fascinating read. Very interesting stuff. I did not agree with the choices of these women, but it was very interesting perspective.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    So interesting and thought provoking. Nonfiction that reads like fiction. Highly recommend as it isn't just about egg freezing but covers lots of other topics about fertility and women's choices. So interesting and thought provoking. Nonfiction that reads like fiction. Highly recommend as it isn't just about egg freezing but covers lots of other topics about fertility and women's choices.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Donna Luu

    Going back and forth between 4 women's stories and other chapters was confusing. Glad things mostly worked out in the end. Going back and forth between 4 women's stories and other chapters was confusing. Glad things mostly worked out in the end.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Heather

  17. 4 out of 5

    Megan Griswold

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jenna Schmidtman

  19. 4 out of 5

    Hansell

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tara

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tom Chokel

  22. 4 out of 5

    Eliza A.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

  24. 5 out of 5

    Teresa Gittins

  25. 5 out of 5

    Gello

  26. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

  27. 4 out of 5

    Aurora

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amandla Ooko-ombaka

  29. 4 out of 5

    el_amanecer

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alison

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