Rachel Lehmann-Haupt: Egg Freezing and the New Frontiers of Family

03.13.16 In Her Own Sweet Time

 

I really wanted to title this post – “Technology and the Tick Tock of our Biological Clock” but instead went with the subtitle of Rachel’s book. I had the extreme honor of interviewing Rachel five years ago when my show was on a local community radio station and right after the release of her first book. According to Rachel, the ticking of women’s biological clocks and the rise in infertility rates are even more of a concern in 2016. According to the CDC – 1 in 8 couples are having difficulty conceiving.

In addition  the percentage of women who are choosing not to marry is increasing. In 2014 only 7 to 9% of women age 35 and over were single. Two years later the number of single women over 30 to 34 has increased to 21%. Many of these women are choosing to have a child as a single parent – if their mate has not yet walked into their life.

The concept of women’s role as the homemaker is vastly changing as women’s talents and skills are being recognized and supported especially in STEM – science, technology, education, and mathematics.  There is an emphasis on teaching girls to learn how to “code’ at an early age. Technology and engineering careers abound for the millennials.

Now these women are choosing education and a career – always with the fear that their biological clock might run out – and they may not be able to have it all anyway. Rachel’s book provides the education, research and resources on the emerging technology while she shares her life story in an engaging memoir that every woman will be able to relate to.

03.16 Rachel Lehmann-HauptRachel Lehmann-Haupt is one of the nation’s premier experts on the future of family life, career timing, and the influence of science and technology on fertility and pregnancy. In her writing and speaking, she gives a personal face and offers life strategies to the most relevant social trends that intimately affect women’s lives. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, New York magazine, O magazine, Self, Outside, Vogue, Wired, and numerous other publications.

In the six years that have passed since Rachel Lehmann-Haupt released the first edition of In Her Own Sweet Time: Egg Freezing and The New Frontiers of Family, a lot has changed.

In 2009, as one of the pioneers of egg freezing, Lehmann-Haupt went on Good Morning America and declared companies need to pay attention to the changes in women’s lives and better support them by covering this technology on their health plans. Today, delaying marriage and childbirth to invest in one’s career has become the norm, as women edge out men03.16 InHerOwnSweetTime_Cover-698x639 as the new majority in the workplace. To attract and retain top talent, major employers like Facebook, Apple and Google have incorporated egg-freezing coverage into their health benefits packages – and the procedure is no longer considered “experimental” by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.

There’s no denying strides have been made. Now, it’s time to reconsider how this generation is faring in the midst of these rapidly shifting social conventions – and what information is readily available to them about their options.

With the mass-market paperback launch of In Her Own Sweet Time’s second edition [Nothing But The Truth Publishing, February 2016], Lehmann-Haupt shares a timely, hopeful, and profoundly honest account of her own efforts to reconcile modern love with modern life.

The new edition of In Her Own Sweet Time has been updated to include the latest in medical, technological, and social science research, and contains new chapters that reveal what happened after Lehmann-Haupt decided to freeze her eggs at thirty-seven. Her daring journey concludes with the birth of her son as a “DIY Mom” – a term the author coined to describe women who choose to have babies on their own.

Told through the lens of Lehmann-Haupt’s personal journey as a thirty-something, In Her Own Sweet Time brings together the voices of multiple women facing the challenge of perfectly orchestrating the timing of their careers, love lives, and that brief, beautiful window wherein their bodies are ready for babies.

With warmth, humor, and a journalist’s eye for the facts, Lehmann-Haupt shines a light on an increasingly common predicament that women in their twenties, thirties, and forties face – and offers a number of solutions to help women free themselves from baby panic, relax, and enjoy their lives.

“The fact that we don’t have control over the duration of our fertility is frightening, but no matter how scary some information is at first, it’s ultimately liberating to understand our body’s reproductive possibilities, as well as impossibilities,” writes Lehmann-Haupt in In Her Own Sweet Time’s new introduction.

“We have more options than ever,” she continues. “Understanding them can empower us – and, perhaps most importantly, turn panic into peace.”

A refreshing, important and game-changing read that will help women everywhere better understand their options – and make the choices that are right for them, In Her Own Sweet Time explores:

The media circus that surrounds “hook-up culture,” the “marriage crunch” and the new “baby panic”
What the data says about shifting family structures and how they really affect the children born into them
The pros – and yes, cons – of post-35 pregnancy and motherhood
Important facts about fertility, egg freezing, and other modern reproductive technologies
The moral and ethical implications of alternatives to making babies “the old-fashioned way”
The rising number of DIY moms, and a new kind of fairy tale ending that heralds a profound shift in the way we think about forming our families.

 

Show is archived above. 

Unfortunately, the site where my podcast is generally broadcast on Sunday evenings is down for modifications. However, I decided that to post the podcast on my blog since I interviewed Rachel 10 days ago – It will be re-posted on The Liberty Beacon Town Crier site at a later date.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.