Book Review - The Baby Chase: An Adventure in Fertility
The Baby Chase: An Adventure in Fertility by Holly Finn is a mini autobiography of her journey through fertility. I strongly recommend this story to anyone who is trying to conceive (ttc) because they will be able to relate to Holly's story all too closely. Though everyone's story will be different because everyone's fertility story is unique, there is a lot of common ground.
One of the most important points that Holly makes is one that I think about all the time: a woman's fertility has a very limited shelf life. Even in our 20s we only have a 20% chance of becoming pregnant through unprotected sex. Yet we spend our twenties and often well into our 30s and 40s trying not to get pregnant. Women in their late 30s and 40s having reached a certain level of success and, when they want to get pregnant, wonder why they can't. Many suffer under the illusion that, because of IVF and highly publicized celebrities parents having children in their late 40s and 50s, if they are still menstruating they can still become pregnant. It's just not true.
We are born with a finite number of eggs and the quality of our eggs starts dropping dramatically at age 35 and, by the time we are 40, we are in the single digits for being able to conceive, even with IVF. Too many women find themselves in "An Adventure in Fertility." It is time to plan ahead. We need to start a new movement with a message to our 25 year old self. If you are in a secure relationship, don't postpone having children. You can go to grad school later in life; you can build your career later in life. We are working later and later into our 60s and 70s but we can't have babies in our 40s and expect IVF to allow us to have children genetically related to us when our eggs are no longer viable. If you are not in a stable loving relationship, freeze your eggs while they are viable and plentiful, not when you are 37 or 40.
I help intended parent who have reached a point where they have diminished egg reserves or have a health issue that prevents them from using their own eggs. Being able to build a family via egg donation is an amazing option but it requires a period of mourning the loss of one's biological child. I would like the next generation to not need to mourn their genetic children. Read Holly's story.