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Synopsis

“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.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Holly Finn, a former editor at Google, was a writer and editor at "The Financial Times" and a reporter for "The Times of London." She’s a contributing writer to "Think Quarterly," a new publication from Google. She lives in Northern California, having arrived there by way of her native England, also the birthplace of Louise Brown, the world’s first IVF baby.

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”

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