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The Baby Chase: An Adventure in Fertility (Kindle Single) [Kindle Edition]

Holly Finn
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

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Book Description

“I’m not over 40 and childless for no reason,” writes Holly Finn. “I smoked in my twenties. I preferred red wine to sparkling water. I ate too much milk chocolate. I liked limericks. I know all the wrong I’ve done. But also, more than any of that, I’ve always longed for children.” Yet there she was: successful, social, mostly happy, and not a mother. Knowing that her chances of becoming pregnant naturally were quickly fading, Finn decided to gamble: she—like some 85,000 other women in the U.S. each year—would attempt in vitro fertilization. Almost three years later, she’s still trying, and in the process has become an accidental pioneer (and, at times, a guinea pig) in the ever-evolving science of IVF.

“The Baby Chase” is a primer for anyone contemplating or undergoing IVF. More than that, it’s a story of longing, hope—and hormones—that will appeal to all parents, present and future.

Finn’s engaging and honest account sheds light on a subject that few people who undergo IFV are willing to talk about: what happens when the science doesn’t work. “Usually, it’s only the people who come out on the other side, beaming, with a baby on one hip, who speak up about IVF,” she writes. “We never hear from those IVF has failed - it’s too crushing to talk about. We don’t hear from men and women in the middle of treatment, either.... People like me.”

In this Byliner Original from the new digital publisher Byliner, “The Baby Chase: An Adventure in Fertility” chronicles what it’s like to go through the IVF process at a time of rapid changes in fertility medicine. Finn takes readers on her intrepid, at times comical, journey through the IVF frontier—from her selection of a fertility clinic to her first hormone shot to her most recent experiments with new treatment methods (testosterone gel, anyone?). Candidly, and with good humor, she discusses dream-date sperm donors, nightmare boyfriends, and rampant emotions. And she addresses thorny issues such as adoption, egg donation, and the loneliness and social ostracism associated with IVF. Will her story end with a baby? Only time and technology will tell.

. . .

Early praise for "The Baby Chase":
"Anyone wanting a baby but putting it off should read Holly Finn’s 'The Baby Chase' now, or should probably have read it already. But even if you don’t think you’re interested in fertility, this thoughtful, witty, breathtakingly honest essay will tell you things you didn’t know about your friends, your colleagues, and possibly your own body. Finn has been to the frontier of reproductive technology and sent back a generous and harrowing report.

— Maile Meloy, author of "Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It"


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"Usually it's only the people who come out beaming on the other side, with a baby on one hip, who speak up about IVF. We never hear from those IVF has failed--it's too crushing to talk about." In The Baby Chase, it is also crushing to read about. Holly Finn's journey toward hopeful parenthood is one of disappointment, loneliness, and regret. Through the long, extensive treatments that ultimately end in failure, the schedule of injections and drugs she must follow religiously, and the openness with which she explains her past and the decisions that led her to this point, the reader is given a real sense of who Holly is. She becomes more than just words on a page, but a person who has experienced heartbreak again and again, and will probably continue to do so. For women--and men--who find themselves in situations similar to Holly's, The Baby Chase may provide a small comfort in knowing they are not alone in their grief. Parents who read her story will be more grateful for their own children. The rest of us can consider it fair warning: "I didn't want to settle at 25. I wanted adventures. I just didn't imagine their cost, and how I would struggle to keep paying it." We are left to wonder if we really can have it all, and if we try, will we regret it or be among the lucky ones? The answer, like Holly's own ending, is unknown. --Shirley Hong

Product Details

  • File Size: 249 KB
  • Print Length: 50 pages
  • Publisher: Byliner (July 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005BW2ZLY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last...the truth can be told July 12, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Thank God for Holly Finn...For those of us who have struggled in the dark and largely silent swamp of IVF it is a ray of light to hear someone speak. Holly accurately articulates the horrible 'aloneness' of IVF. The terrible isolation that leaves you so profoundly on your own during some of the worst moments of your life and the hardest choices. Even the people you rely on most are often useless; 'Why anyone would want to have a child at your age I can't imagine'...and that was my mother. Don't even ask about my husband or my friends or even many of the doctors. But then in the end I was one of the lucky ones - I have my two boys...and I do mean lucky - with all the science we can throw at it as Holly says..'one third of fertility...' is due to unknown factors. So maybe all those people who told me to just 'relax and stop thinking about it, then you'll get pregnant!' were right but I'd still gladly machine gun every one.
And I completely agree - if you want children - DON'T WAIT. Turns out the advice I least wanted to hear and fought the hardest against was the most accurate...Just do us a favor and try to be kind with it...
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Proves Fantastic Storytelling Can Enthrall Everyone July 12, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I am a 22-year-old male. I have a girlfriend of two years, yes, but children aren't even minor blips on the radar yet. If you were to predict the demographics of the average person who read and enjoyed this piece, that person would not look like me.

And yet I read it from start to finish, as if transfixed, and hardly noticed the passing time. Writing like this, writing that bears incredible emotional truth and packages it seamlessly alongside cultural trends and statistics that tell us something about the age in which we live, is hard to come by. It's hard to come by, which is why Holly Finn's piece deserves a read.

If I found it enthralling- and I'm one of the few people to type this cliche line and actually mean it- surely you will too.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring Story July 13, 2011
By golding
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm not over 40 and childless for no reason either. As a guy, my baby-desiring clock however ticks intermittently at best, although it does tick, and as Holly suggested to me, guys who want children will benefit from knowing about IVF.

Holly is an extraordinary writer, generous with her story (her triumphs and her insecurities), compassionate and open. Admittedly, my gender will never undergo an invasive procedure to save eggs, and on the top of my "to read" list is not a book on reproductive issues. (I read this book though, on my iPhone, in one sitting.) Yes, a tremendous amount of information is provided and you will be forever better prepared to cheer, console, sympathize and empathize with the women (and their partners, families and friends) in your life who choose IVF.

What I found most compelling is the under-theme -- Holly has risked everything for love. Yes, she could foster and/or adopt (if we read this book solely as a tactical manual on getting to motherhood). And yes, she could spend her dollars elsewhere. And in about two sentences I can summarize why, for guys, "over 40" + "fatherhood" is a dimming prospect.

This book is about a journey, a victim-less one, and having the balls (or as Danica Patrick remarked, the ovaries) to follow your passions, and how hard it can be to do so. I was inspired by the story. Whether he is a Lucas (or a Lucy), IVF, donor egg, foster, adopted, god-mothered or special-aunted, a child today (or a pre-person tomorrow) can count on having a courageous role model in his/her life.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Field Report from the Fertility Wars July 12, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"Trigger shots," bad odds, abnormal chromosomes, testosterone gels, syringes, car crashes, reckless smoking, psychological distress, and finally "the bazooka of protocols" -- Holly Finn has sent us a battle report from the front lines of modern fertility. This is the book Sebastian Junger might have written if he was trying to get pregnant.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly moving essay July 12, 2011
By JJM
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
After reading Holly Finn's essay, The Baby Chase, you will hate:

-- The cop who gave her a jaywalking ticket
-- X (may everyone he knows read this essay and know him for real)
-- Y (kindness is easy until it's hard)
-- Carlo Caffarra (and everyone who mistakes cruelty for piety)
-- the fiancé (a made-for-TV villain)
-- Dr. Subtle at UCSF
-- Car parking mother (I almost can't believe she exists)

But, you will love Holly. She bravely shares her experiences where so many have felt compelled to stay quiet. In doing so, she tells a heartbreaking tale with grace, wit, and humor and gives valuable advice to those who follow her -- may they read this and heed it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun read on a difficult topic August 1, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
My wife and I used IVF and we had healthy identical twins, first try. But we were lucky. For many others it's a lot harder, and Holly Finn's book lays bare the personal side of this process. We were both very healthy and didn't have much experience with the health care system before this, but we were pretty surprised by how invasive the whole process is.

One of the most important lessons for younger people thinking about kids is not to assume that medical technology will fix it for you no matter how long you wait (true for both males and females, the world is now learning).. And even if it works for you, it's still a very hard process, so don't discount the difficulties of going this route. IVF isn't for sissies, that's for sure. It's magical when it works, but never easy.

Another lesson is to make sure your IVF doctor really knows his/her stuff. If you are a difficult case, find the best doctor you can. Don't go with practitioners who are just average, because time's a wasting and a lot of this treatment regimen is based on the doctor's judgment, not on massive double blind studies. Many of the drugs are prescribed "off label", which is legal as long as a doctor does it, but it's really a judgment call by the doctor.

You need to do your homework--ask about success rates for IVF practices you are considering, and ask about success rates for people with health issues like yours, not just on average. If you don't like what you hear when you ask these perfectly legitimate questions, then go elsewhere.

Finn's book is a great window onto the challenge of IVF. I think men and women in their twenties and thirties should read it so they can be fully informed about their reproductive choices, now and in the future.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars just ok
Some good information. Style is just okay with a few powerful lines sprinkled in. Ending could have been much better, more creative if not hopeful.
Published 29 days ago by snowhawk
4.0 out of 5 stars The baby chase
Interesting reading and could relate to the stories. Very easy to read Would recommend this book to those who are unfortunately going through fertility issues.
Published 17 months ago by Jo-Anne Karabelas
5.0 out of 5 stars Most interesting read.
I truly feel for the author for what she knows and for what she does not. As someone who has experienced IVF, I would not wish it on anyone. Read more
Published 23 months ago by J. Pickens
3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of information, but kind of boring.
This book contains tons of information for anyone experiencing infertility, but there really is no plot. If you are looking for a fertility resource, this is a great book. Read more
Published 23 months ago by lesley robbins
4.0 out of 5 stars Hormones, syringes, and drugs: Oh Dear!
In vitro fertilization is "intensive, invasive, and long." The author knows all the things she has done wrong. She knows at forty, she is late to the dance. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Amelia Gremelspacher
2.0 out of 5 stars Narcissistic much?
It's not clear if Ms. Finn wants to have a child because of a deep maternal instinct, which she insists, or a self-centered need to have the perfect little accessory for her... Read more
Published on December 1, 2012 by Lori Lowthert
3.0 out of 5 stars A painful process ....
This book is informative....for me, something i can relate to....unfortunately. There is a lot of useful information in her book.
Published on November 23, 2012 by JOANN CHINO-OLIVIERI
5.0 out of 5 stars Rock & Bible
Having personally battled with infertility due to PCOS and been through IVF twice, I have to say that Holly has it spot on - it really did feel like a battle. Read more
Published on April 3, 2012 by Everette Wyatt
3.0 out of 5 stars not bad
While this book was filled with humor and not a bad read, I think I was misinformed about what it would contain before reading it. Read more
Published on January 22, 2012 by S
1.0 out of 5 stars Why Not Adopt?
If you are adopted or adoption is important to you or you're even thinking adoption might be the path for you in this infertility journey, just skip this one. Read more
Published on January 19, 2012 by red
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