Book Recommendation: Everything Conceivable

It seems like it’s been behind us for months now, but it was just a few weeks ago that we were heading in to our reduction procedure. Before we made our decision to reduce my pregnancy from four to two fetuses, I did all the research I possibly could. We talked with our doctor of course, but I scoured the internet for journal articles, blog posts, and firsthand accounts of what the procedure is like, what it does, how it affects families, and on and on and on. There wasn’t a lot out there, (which is part of the reason I wrote about it to the level of detail I do in the posts linked above) but I was able to find some information. One of the most informative sources I found was a book called “Everything Conceivable – How Assisted Reproduction is Changing Men, Women, and the World” by Liza Mundy.

First off, this book is so well-written. It’s not shocking Mundy knows how to write; She’s authors for Politico and The Atlantic and her biography about Former First Lady Michelle Obama was a huge hit. Maybe I’ve become accustomed to the generally crappy nature of online content focusing on fertility and pregnancy (looking at you, The Bump) but this book is incredibly well-researched and journalistically written, which is refreshing to read.

Admittedly, I bought this book for just one chapter. I downloaded it to my Kindle app the second I read the Amazon review and skipped straight past the middle of the book to read about Mundy’s experience interviewing a New York doctor who performs reductions. I was hard up for any information about what it’s really like to go through the experience, and this chapter provided anecdotal stories, described in detail, of women and couples who were undergoing reductions. Most of the information was quite similar to what our doctor had described for us, but it was reassuring know that other people out there were making similar decisions based on situations much like ours.

Once I finished that section, it was the next chapter that kept me hooked: a look at what we would have going on in our future, a chapter all about gestating and raising twins. It was at that point I decided to go back to the beginning and get a full understanding of where the book had come from.

There is information for all parties involved with fertility treatments. Mundy discusses the most common reasons people go through infertility treatments (many of them aren’t what you think), talks with men and women who make it possible for others to conceive, and shares an insane amount of information relevant to parents of multiples. Interwoven throughout these topics are expert medical opinions and personal stories from those who have been through difficult parenting situations. Individual chapters of this book read like single issues in a long, journalistic series about assisted reproductive technology, so you could read each section individually if you want, but if you’re as knee-deep in fertility treatment and the social issues that surround them as we are, the whole thing will be fascinating to you.


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