From Publishers Weekly
In 1978, there was one successful in-vitro fertilization baby; less than 30 years later, "more than a million" IVF children have been born worldwide. Kohl, mother of three IVF babies, has wrestled with the questions people contemplating or experiencing IVF suffer through ("Are science-babies exactly like the traditional kind?"; "How far should we go to ensure that our investment of time, emotion, and money yield a healthy baby?"; "So who am I to tinker with God's Plan and/or Mother Nature?") and the dilemmas associated with multifetal pregnancies and frozen embryos. While leading the reader step-by- step in a leisurely meander through her own successful experience, Kohl informs the naïve ("Ovaries are a woman's primary reproductive organs and the warehouse for her lifetime supply of eggs"), shares the physical ("I inject Lupron into my thigh"), drops in the technical and statistical, addresses public policy issues ("how public schools... accommodate these children, some of whom have special needs as a result of their low-birth weights") and enters the religious and political debates concerning artificial reproductive therapy. In this insightful and honest narrative, Kohl shares her experience and offers comfort and companionship for readers dealing with physical challenges, personal and marital stress, and ambivalent answers to heavy questions. (Aug.)
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Until a few decades ago, making a baby was a highly intimate act involving two people. It's still intimate but can involve dozens of people within a decidedly public arena. Some might shy from such an openin the most embarrassing sense of the wordprocedure. Yes, procedure, for as Kohl compellingly and mindfully reports, making a baby these days may take several physically and emotionally invasive, to say nothing of expensive, procedures. Adapting her journal from the time she learned that a decade of taking birth control pills had been unnecessary to the births of her three daughters, she lays bare her angst over such artificial means of facilitating procreation. Does God frown upon this? Are artificially procreated children marked or damaged in some unseen way? Might they be subject to discrimination in the future? She also discusses the inevitable stress brought upon her and her husband during the often unsuccessful, hope-charged, and time-consuming processes they endured. Chavez, Donna