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In Her Own Sweet Time: One Woman's Unexpected Adventures in Finding Love, Commitment, and Motherhood Hardcover – December 29, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Lehmann-Haupt, executive editor of Plum magazine and daughter of author and New York Times writer Christopher, entered her 30s feeling optimistic and in control. The accomplished journalist and world traveler had a great boyfriend, too—and fully expected to achieve her next goal: motherhood. When the relationship didn't work out, the author began to wonder if the love-marriage-baby sequence might not happen for her. Like countless 30-something American women, she didn't worry about her fertility during her 20s and 30s, thanks to advances in feminism and medical technology that have given women more options—and the feeling that the so-called biological clock moves more slowly now. Lehmann-Haupt does an excellent job chronicling the societal and medical trends that have influenced modern motherhood. She also describes her pursuit of a romance that will lead to marriage and family, and the choices she makes in an effort to give herself more options. A mix of science, statistics, interviews and personal narrative form this valuable guidebook. It also serves as a compelling reality check as she lists various statistics: women over 35 suffer higher rates of miscarriage; 50,000 children are born to single mothers each year; a third of these mothers choose to become pregnant on their own. In this informative and frank book, Lehmann-Haupt makes a compelling case for education and preparation: We have more options than ever; understanding them can empower us and, perhaps most importantly, turn panic into peace. (June)
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“In Her Own Sweet Time is a fun, touching, and fascinating trip through the brave new world of technologically enhanced maternity. Lehmann-Haupt hits the zeitgeist and walks women through a new set of choices—all designed to provide more options, happiness, and, ultimately, freedom. A great book for moms, moms-to-be, and women who don't want to stop living life to the fullest while they figure it all out.”
Mary Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia
“This book offers extraordinary fresh and well-synthesized information that will be useful to doctors, therapists, women and couples who are striving to understand the complex worlds of fertility and relationships. Its author is thoughtful, honest, compassionate and funny. She reminded me of my daughter and her friends, all those Ophelias who are now in their thirties and struggling with the stormy seas of motherhood, commitment and work.”
Naomi Wolf, author of Give Me Liberty
“With In Her Own Sweet Time Rachel Lehmann-Haupt achieves something quite difficult: she confronts the issue of coming up against the biological clock and explores the field of fertility technology in a way that is readable, relatable, and engaging.”
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In some ways, biology is destiny. "As a woman ages, her egg quality declines and pregnancy becomes both riskier and harder to achieve." As young women increasingly enter lucrative professions for economic, emotional, and intellectual reasons, many "have therefore put earning power before procreative power." Increasingly, women want to start a family in their late thirties or even in their forties, with or without a husband. As Lehmann-Haupt struggles with similar issues, she opens a window on a controversial subject that is also an ethical minefield.
"In Her Own Sweet Time" is a compulsively readable and fiercely honest account of the author's emotional ups and downs. Women will gnash their teeth when Rachel tells us about men she loved and who claimed they loved her in return, but for some inexplicable reason, could not commit to marriage and a family. On the other hand, she may have broken up with potential life partners because they didn't measure up to her ideal of perfection and/or she was so intent on pursuing her personal goals. As she looks at the big picture, Lehmann-Haupt raises some thorny issues: Should every woman aspire to be a mother? How much money should a woman spend and how much stress should she put herself through to undergo fertility treatments that may not work? Is it morally right for a woman to become pregnant using donor sperm, knowing that she is depriving her future child of a father with whom he can bond? Should a woman freeze her eggs while they are still viable for use at some future time? There are no easy answers; sometimes, it seems, too much choice can be just as confusing and paralyzing as too little choice. It is ironic that our brave new world of liberated women, Internet dating, and reproductive breakthroughs has not necessarily made people's lives any easier or more satisfying.