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"Creating Life Against the Odds" Most prospective parents, when arriving at the decision to have children, presume their journey will be an exciting and rewarding one, resulting in the birth of a healthy baby. When those dreams are shattered because they cannot conceive or miscarry, they ask, "Why me? What did I do wrong?" The trauma of infertility is as devastating to one's self-esteem as any other life crisis, it can destroy intimate relationships-or it can bring out the best in us. In her book, "Creating Life Against the Odds," Dr. Higgins, an obstetrician/gynecologist, describes her own experience becoming a mother by ovum donation. She also shares the first hand accounts of dozens of others who have turned to assisted reproductive technology (ART) in order to realize their dreams of becoming parents. These are stories Dr. Higgins has heard from her patients and from hundreds of women (and men) she has counseled or communicated with through confidential Internet support groups. The stories of these courageous individuals became the inspiration for "Creating Life Against the Odds." Dr. Higgins takes us along on their journeys as they struggle with infertility, as they explore the options that medical science now offers, as they meet obstacles, and as they adjust to repeated loss. She also takes us into the minds and hearts of sperm and ovum donors, surrogates, and gestational carriers, looking at what makes them want to lend such an intimate, helping hand. Are they like organ donors? Do they do it for financial gain? When ART enters the picture and donors or surrogates are used, how should we describe their relationship to the children they helped create? And whatabout the children? Are they like adoptees? How do they understand their birth origins? And what should their parents tell them? Dr. Higgins' wisdom as a well-traveled physician, who has delivered babies and counseled patients from many cultures, allows her to tackle tough practical and ethical questions from a global perspective. These questions are answered honestly, with deep compassion and respect for those courageous men and women who have sought the help of ART and who belong, as a result, to a special group of parents whose success in family-building is due to an extraordinary commitment and a selfless expression of love.
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