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Waiting for Daisy: A Tale of Two Continents, Three Religions, Five Infertility Doctors, an Oscar, an Atomic Bomb, a Romantic Night and One Woman's Quest to Become a Mother Hardcover – February 6, 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 80 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The author of Schoolgirls: Young Women, Self-Esteem, and the Confidence Gap, Orenstein now offers a very personal account of her road to becoming a mother. Orenstein was a happily married 35-year-old when she decided she wanted to have a baby. While she knew it might not be easy (she had only one ovary and was heading into her late 30s), she had no idea of the troubles she'd face. First, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, fortunately treatable. After waiting the recommended recovery period, she miscarried with a dangerous "partial molar pregnancy," so she had to avoid becoming pregnant for at least six months. Soon she was riding the infertility roller coaster full-time, trying everything from acupuncture to IVF and egg donation. She endured depression and more miscarriages while spending untold thousands of dollars. Even her very understanding husband was beginning to lose patience, when, surprisingly, she got pregnant with her daughter, Daisy. While readers don't have to be fertility obsessed to enjoy this very witty memoir (with its ungainly subtitle), for the growing number of women struggling with infertility this book may become their new best friend. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

It was Peggy Orenstein's husband, documentary filmmaker Steven Okazaki, who encouraged her to write Waiting for Daisy—on one condition: she had to be brutally honest. "I couldn't let myself off the hook or make myself look better than I was or make it all OK," she admits. Reviewers praised Orenstein's willingness to put her life, in all its awkward moments and embarrassing details, under the microscope. Her self-deprecating humor and lively prose balance the anguish she describes with such stark sincerity. Though Entertainment Weekly found Waiting for Daisy just another addition to the recent deluge of "Repro Lit" (Washington Post), most reviewers considered it a heartbreaking and surprisingly suspenseful account of the lengths to which people will go.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; 1st Us Edition edition (February 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596910178
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596910171
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #664,316 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I am in the throws of infertility treatment, and this book was a tremendous help to me. Even though I have been open with my friends and family about what I'm going through (I've just completed injections and am moving onto IVF), and even though they have been sympathetic, I have often felt as though no one can truly understand how painful, draining, and frustrating this process is for me and for my husband. Waiting for Daisy captured many of these emotions perfectly for me, and managed to somehow insert a little spot-on humor into the whole situation that, for the first time, helped me to laugh at the absurd nature of everything I've had to endure. At one point Peggy Orenstein writes about the Clomid spiral, comparing it to cautionary tales of drug addiction -- first you pop a little Clomid, then next thing you know you're taking out a second mortgage on your home to pay for IVF. I laughed out loud at this passage. Just last year I took my first Clomid, thinking that I'd immediately get pregnant. Just yesterday I was calculating whether I should consider a home equity loan for IVF. Likewise, when the author describes how she didn't buy clothes for 3 years because she kept expecting to get pregnant, I was moved by how this little detail sums up the experiencing of being in a holding pattern for years because you know that your life will change at any moment once you get pregnant. For example, I didn't take a "real" vacation for a year and a half, always expecting to need my vacation time to tack onto my maternity leave. Other passages have moved me to tears, since the author gives voice to the pain I am experiencing; the roller coaster of periods coming, of trying to maintain some amount of hope when all I have felt is despair, and of trying to protect my marriage throughout the entire process. Please read this book if you are going through infertility treatments, know someone who is, or even if you just want to read an authentic, beautiful story.
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Format: Hardcover
After reading Orenstein's book, I was left with mixed reactions. Her ambivalence about managing motherhood and career captured the struggles so many of us face today. Her tales about the crazy maze of infertility treatments captured the process perfectly. At the same time, the book felt a bit too much like reading someone's journal. It was too self indulgent to be very funny to me, especially when she talked about adoption. I was sad reading about her ability to treat these children as disposable in her quest for pregnancy. As she made the decision not to follow up with the adoption of Kai after learning she was pregnant and learning the process would be difficult, she reinforced the old idea that adoptive parenting is less meaningful and important than biological parenting.
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Format: Hardcover
I have to go against the grain here with everyone's positive reviews... this book tried my patience. Ultimately my test of a book is if I start skimming it or jumping to the end (yes!) - and I did both with this book. While I appreciated the author's candor about her ambivalence towards having children and her honesty about the conflictions that infertility pose, I wanted to side with her husband to basically "get over herself". Maybe I've read too many like books - but in several cases the women have a career in publishing, digress into statistical research (what woman going through IVF has not read every stupid statistic there is?), whines a lot and comes across as an affluent/snob. I know this story is about her life and I'm very happy that there is a great outcome (which in IF circles ends up being a cliche on how it happens) but I couldn't relate to someone I should be able to relate to.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is nothing short of a stunning tour de force! At first I thought, why would I read a book about a woman's battle with infertility?? I don't have children and am not trying to get pregnant right now. And noone I know is suffering through this kind of harrowing ordeal.

But I read Peggy's last book, Flux and absolutely loved it. I made my bookclub read it and raved about it to everyone I knew. So when I heard "Waiting For Daisy" was coming out, I thought, why not?

And what I discovered surprised me deeply. This book is not just about Peggy's excruciating experiences trying to become a Mother. It's also a profoundly intimate portrait of her marriage and the kind of love that transcends grief, loss and disappointment.

At times, her searing portrayal of the toll that her quest for a child takes on her marriage is so intensely personal that I feel as if I am literally sitting at her kitchen table as the events unfold. She spares nothing and shows their shared joy at the first pregnancy and the profound disppointment at the subsequent miscarriage and successive harrowing attempts at fertility treatment. Through it all, she paints her husband Steven in such a fully multidimentional way that I feel as if I've known him for years. And above all I come to see the love they have for each other and the way that that loves sustains in spite of the anger, tears, frustration and longing. As a single woman, witnessing that kind of loyalty and steadfastness in this day and age of 50% divorce rates is profoundly reassuring.

It may sound cliched, but her writing is truly transcendent. I didn't think it was possible to laugh and cry at the same time.
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