I’m finally living up to a promise that I made to DayzofRain. (Although I’m pretty sure that she thought I must have forgot about it!) But after over a month of nonstop holiday stuff, followed by the two untimely trips to Virginia Beach, I have finally completed the first of the two tasks I’ve been given. This post, to do a book review, is the second task.
To tell you the truth, I’m not quite sure of the reason why DayzofRain specifically contacted me but I was truly honored to do so as I am an avid reader. Okay, so I mostly dig chick lit (sounds like chewing gum) but I do truly enjoy immersing myself in a good book.
The book I was assigned to read was “Having a Baby… When the Old-Fasion Way Isn’t Working: Hope and Help for Everyone Facing Infertility” by none other than the RESOLVE celebrity spokesperson, Cindy Margolis. For those of you who aren’t familiar with RESOLVE, they are the nation’s leading voice for women or men experiencing infertility. And for those not familiar with Cindy Margolis, she’s a model and an ex-Baywatch girl who is also famous for being the “Most Downloaded Woman on the Internet.”
Now, I can almost hear those of you out there thinking, “How the HECK does a swimsuit actress/model end up becoming a spokesperson for RESOLVE and, to top it off, end up writing a book about infertility?!” Well, it’s because she and her husband have experience in going through infertility; in fact they have almost 10 years of experience in this subject matter.
After marrying her husband in 1998, Cindy and her husband, Guy, set out to start their family right away. Unfortunately it took 3 years, three failed IUI‘s along with three failed IVF’s before bringing their son, Nicholas, into the world. It also took another one failed IVF and one surrogate pregnancy before adding biological twin daughters, Sierra and Sabrina, to their family.
I, myself, first found out about Cindy Margolis’ experiences in infertility a few years ago, before the birth of her twin daughters. One weekday on my day off from work (probably less than a year after my own failed IVF experience), I happened to be flipping through channels and stumbled onto a program on VH1, called “Cindy Margolis Inside Out.” I had never paid attention to Cindy’s career in the past, but when I heard her talking about her struggle with infertility, I put down the remote control and watched. The show documented the one IVF experience they went through as they tried to give Nicholas a sibling. I was fascinated and amazed that a celebrity would be out there letting the world know what it was like, emotionally and physically, to go through infertility and IVF.
As it turns out, Hubby happened to call home during one of the commercial breaks just to check in. When I told him what I was watching, he told me that I probably shouldn’t be watching that program. When I asked why, he simply said that it was better that I didn’t. Well … being the stubborn person I was, I ignored Hubby’s warning and watched the rest of the program. Now, if you haven’t put two and two together from the previous paragraph above, this program was documenting the one failed IVF attempt that they went through before deciding to go through surrogacy. And since I didn’t heed Hubby’s warning, I found myself crying inconsolably.
So back in mid-December, DayzofRain asked me to read this book, I was excited to do so. Ever since seeing that VH1 program (which, coincidentally, I haven’t seen since … nor can I find much about it on the internet), I wanted to know what Cindy had to say and contribute about infertility and options.
In the book, Cindy shares rather candidly her whole experience from trying to get pregnant, to being diagnosed with “unexplained infertility,” to the emotional lows of failed ART procedures, to finally the emotional highs of finally becoming a family. And in between her own stories, she included other’s experiences of success and failures in their attempt to have a baby. For me, reading all those stories and all the emotional roller coasters was simply validation that I was not as crazy as I thought I was.
In addition to other people’s experiences, she does include quite a bit of resources. At the end of each section, whether it be about finding a good RE to finding different agencies for surrogates or donor egg / sperm or adoption, she lists many organizations and their addresses/websites to contact with any questions or request for information. These lists are not all-inclusive, but they do provide a starting point for doing some research.
On a personal level, the only thing I found lacking in this book was information on adoption. The book only includes one chapter of information on adoption to the six or so chapters devoted to various ways to have your own biological child (either through IVF, surrogacy, donor egg/sperm). It skims through the various programs (international vs domestic; open vs closed) over one page within that chapter. While that one chapter did have an inspiring story that deeply touched me, I wish there would have been more information. Especially information about getting through the grief of not being able to become pregnant, to sustain a pregnancy, or to have a biological child of your own. As Cindy’s journey did not take her on the adoption route, I am sure that is one reason why there isn’t much included in this book.
Overall, the book is an easy read, especially for those that are pretty new to the infertility journey. The back of the book contains a glossary of the most basic ART terms as well as a recap of all the resources at the end of each section. For those that are “seasoned” in the quest for a baby, especially for those who are already in the process or have already gone through the various ART procedures, this book may be too simple. However, the personal stories (including the elusive male point of view as well as a surrogate mom’s point of view) are enough to keep you interested in reading.
So. There you have it. My homework is done. Just in time, because I was running out of excuses to make up for not doing it sooner. I can only use the excuse that “the cat used my paper as her litter box” for so long.