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This recipe needs eggs–fresh ones

JULIA MCKINNELL April 24 2006
THE BACK PAGES

This recipe needs eggs–fresh ones

JULIA MCKINNELL April 24 2006

This recipe needs eggs–fresh ones

help

If you want a baby, age matters. So does the right doctor. Oh, and you need to have sex.

JULIA MCKINNELL

Dreaming about having a baby? The authors of A Few Good Eggs have a message for you. Actually, they have several, and you may find yourself wishing they’d mince words. “Age really does matter if you want to get pregnant. So if you look 25 but are really 38, you’re operating with 38-year-old eggs, not to mention a 38-yearold uterus and Fallopian tubes that may have more scars on them than antique furniture.” Authors Julie Vargo and Maureen Regan— the “Two Chicks” who “Dish on Overcoming the Insanity of Infertility”—have been through the fertility mill. Vargo, a writer and fashion editor, was 36 when she tried to get pregnant for the first time and couldn’t. “Suddenly I was a walking science experiment,” she writes. “I spent more time at the fertility clinic than I did at work.” Regan, Vargo’s friend and owner of a literary agency, had her first child at 32, but when she tried again at 37, she was shocked to find she suffered from “secondary infertility, the inability to carry a child to term when you already have one child.” Both Vargo and Regan are driven career women and, if nothing else, this book is intended as a wake-up call to their peers. “Super Woman needs to hang up her cape for a while and focus on family earlier rather than later,” they write. The statistics don’t change, not even for multi-millionaire pop stars. Vargo and Regan refer to Madonna and lambaste other nameless celebrities for not sharing the truth about infertility and for making mid-life motherhood seem so effortless. “We don’t want to hear another girlfriend say, ‘Well, you know, I read in the paper that (fill in the blank with name of famous celeb) had her first baby at 45, so there’s no rush. If older celebs would cop to fertility issues

and/or donor eggs, other women would feel more comfortable doing it as well.”

Fertility problems can be caused by a myriad of factors. Vargo and Regan tell women to look carefully for signs. If you’re aware of your cycle—heavy flow, light flow, its frequency—tell your doctor. It may speed a diagnosis. The problem could be medical and treatable. On the other hand, “denial and self-sabotage are often the biggest challenges to overcome.” Here are signs it’s “time to deal with the real,” according to the authors.

1. You won’t give up your gym membership and 15 per cent body fat ratio.

2. Breakfast is three cups of black coffee, lunch is a diet pop and bag of chips.

3. You’ve been on the pill for 18 years and wonder if it’s time to get off. (It is.)

4. You haven’t met Mr. Right yet.

5. You tell everyone you want children but secretly a change in lifestyle scares you, so you keep putting it off.

As simple as it sounds, Vargo and Regan also don’t think women are having enough sex. They write, “It seems many couples who should be boinking like bunnies are not having much sex. Too tired. Too stressed. Working too late. And these are the ones without kids!” Their point? “Sex is fun and sex is necessary if you want to get pregnant.”

If you already suspect a fertility problem,

believing a gynecologist can treat it is, they write, “a major oops and a huge waste of precious time.” Find a good reproductive endocrinologist, they say, and when calling fertility clinics, ask questions. A good clinic is open weekends and willing to stay open late if that’s what works best for your body. It keeps plenty of tissues. It is discreet and understanding when accepting “deposits” from your partner, and it updates the sexy magazines in the “deposit rooms.”

Where your partner is concerned, educate him but “don’t freak if you end up doing all the work,” the book says. It reminds wives:

1. He’s going through it, too.

2. He’s a guy.

3. He doesn’t really get it.

Here’s the really unfair part, they say. A woman will undergo a “zillion tests” while the man has two or three. “Get used to it,” they write. Vargo and Regan note that “half of all marriages end in divorce, and going through infertility doesn’t help this. The whole concept of lovemaking changes.” They suggest a list of ways to keep your marriage together.

1. Have sex when it doesn’t fit the fertility calendar.

2. Force yourself to have a conversation that doesn’t revolve around fertility treatments.

3. Hold hands.

4. Pick your battles.

5. Have sex when you don’t really want to but he does. M