Waiting for Daisy: A Tale of Two Continents, Three Religions, Five Infertility Doctors, an Oscar, an Atomic Bomb, a Romantic Night, and One Woman's Quest to Become a Motherby Peggy Orenstein
Waiting for Daisy is about loss, love, anger and redemption. It's about doing all the things you swore you'd never do to get something you hadn't even been sure you wanted. It's about being a woman in a confusing, contradictory time. It's about testing the limits of a loving marriage. And it's about trying (and trying and trying) to have a baby./i>
Waiting for Daisy is about loss, love, anger and redemption. It's about doing all the things you swore you'd never do to get something you hadn't even been sure you wanted. It's about being a woman in a confusing, contradictory time. It's about testing the limits of a loving marriage. And it's about trying (and trying and trying) to have a baby.
Orenstein's story begins when she tells her new husband that she's not sure she ever wants to be a mother; it ends six years later after she's done almost everything humanly possible to achieve that goal, from "fertility sex" to escalating infertility treatments to New Age remedies to forays into international adoption. Her saga unfolds just as professional women are warned by the media to heed the ticking of their biological clocks, and just as fertility clinics have become a boom industry, with over two million women a year seeking them out. Buffeted by one jaw-dropping obstacle after another, Orenstein seeks answers both medical and spiritual in America and Asia, along the way visiting an old flame who's now the father of fifteen, and discovering in Japan a ritual of surprising solace. All the while she tries to hold onto a marriage threatened by cycles, appointments, procedures and disappointments. Waiting for Daisy is an honest, wryly funny report from the front, an intimate page-turner that illuminates the ambivalence, obsession, and sacrifice that characterize so many modern women's lives.
“Intimate, funny/sad and remarkably self-revealing.” Kirkus
“…a raw, funny and poignant memoir….she writes keenly and with humor about the difficult road her quest takes. By the time I reached the end of the book, I was crying into my latte. Orenstein's memoir is not just hers; it is the story of a generation of women who dared to wait for motherhood, took risks to achieve it and were brave enough to question their decisions every step of the way.” Ann Hood, MORE
“A gripping memoir of one woman's quest for a baby...honest, fascinating, and wholly enlightening.” Cathi Hanauer, author of Sweet Ruin and editor of The Bitch in the House
“Moving and bittersweet, Waiting for Daisy is as funny, thoughtful, biting, reflective, as filled with fruitful self-doubt and cautious exuberance, as its author.” Michael Chabon, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
“An absolutely wonderful book. I couldn't put it down: it reads as easily and yet with as much texture as a novel. As always, Orenstein is both so smart and so human as she tells her story--and ours, too--about her marriage, career, indecision, breast cancer, and whether or not she can, and wants to, and ought to, get pregnant. Sometimes the writing is wrenching, sometimes very funny, but always profoundly honest and engaging.” Anne Lamott, author of Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith and Operating Instructions: A Journal of my Son's First Year
“Add to the best literature of motherhood Peggy Orenstein's searing account of her six-year quest to have a child. The story of what she put her body through is beautifully and movingly rendered, but it's her honesty in examining her own mind and heart that make Waiting for Daisy such a courageous and unforgettable book. I was enthralled.” Ann Packer, author of The Dive from Clausen's Pier
“Waiting for Daisy is riveting ... It's no small feat to write a page turner that gives away the ending on the dust jacket, but Waiting for Daisy is more than just the Perils of Peggy. Orenstein has written a memoir, a confession, a polemic and a love story all at once, describing the most frantic and confusing period of her life with clarity and candor.” Janice P. Nimura, Los Angeles Times
“This may be the most honest book written about the tsunami of emotion that hits women when what should come most naturally -- reproduction -- becomes instead one vast, expensive science experiment.... Daisy is a fine meditation on what it means to live a fulfilled life.” 4 Stars, "Critics Choice" People
“The Rocky of infertility memoirs.” New York Magazine
“Must-read for moms: The story of author Peggy Orenstein's struggle with infertility is riveting, but what really makes her new memoir, Waiting for Daisy, such a compelling read is her refreshing honesty about the complicated emotions many women face on the path to motherhood.” Parenting
“Orenstein's nakedly honest account of her decision at age 35 to have a baby and her ensuing struggle to do so reads like a detective thriller.” Elle, Winner "The Elle's Lettres" Readers' Prize, February 2007
“What sets this book apart is the way Orenstein uses her reporting skills. When she visits an ex-boyfriend who's now an Orthodox Jew, she provides a detailed portrait of his life with his wife and their 15 children. When she travels to Japan we get an investigation into the way that culture ritualizes miscarriage. Best of all, she brings her erudition and intelligence to bear on her own experience.” San Francisco
“Orenstein renders her experience in beautiful prose.” Entertainment Weekly
“[Orenstein] treats her efforts to become a mother with intelligent skepticism and a brazen sense of humor (a quality not often found in Repro Lit)….Unlike many women who have written about the experience of trying and failing to have a baby, Orenstein doesn't leave her feminism at the door. She writes frankly about her initial reluctance to become a mother and traces the complicated evolution of her feelings from "no! never!" to single-minded passion.Once launched on the all-consuming path, she makes stops that will be familiar to many of her readers...But her voice makes all the difference in the world. Far from the anguished, often reverential, super-serious tone of Internet discussion groups….One of the best things about this book is that when she succeeds in her quest, Orenstein refuses to take refuge in the smug pieties so prevalent in fertility discussions. When a friend tells her that everything happens for a reason, Orenstein bristles (bless her!)….As Daisy moves on through life, and her mother and father move with her through the parenting maze, it would be interesting to hear Orenstein's intelligent, skeptical voice ruminate on the next stages. For if any writer has the verve and tenacity to supersede the typecasting of Mommy Lit, it's Orenstein.” Washington Post
“If you have thrown your dreams of parenthood into the chill of the laboratory, this book will bring every memory to the surface. If you are thinking about supplementing old-fashioned procreation with science, this book is a good field-guide to what lies ahead. And if you are a woman in your 30s, this book should ring like a warning bell in the night --- at 37, you move into the "elderly gravid" cohort, and the chances that you'll become a mother start to drop dramatically.” headbutler.com
“Her painfully candid and moving memoir deftly wipes the Vaseline coating off the lens of modern motherhood and exposes it for the messy business it is.” Minneapolis StarTribune
“[A] funny, honest new book….Fertility issues have become Topic A; even the Dixie Chicks have a song about it. Orenstein's chronicle of her baby obsession is both quirkily her own and in tune with the moment.” San Francisco Chronicle
“Peggy Orenstein's journey [is] suspenseful [and]...unsparing….the book describes Orenstein's rapid descent into the surreal community of the subfertile….It's to Orenstein's considerable credit that even when she's naked from the waist down, she never really takes her reporter's hat off, applying the same measured scrutiny to a -junior-high-school boyfriend with a brood of 15 or the plight of women left barren and disfigured by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima as she does to her own ultimately happily resolved situation….Orenstein's interrogation of her own profiteering pregnancy retinue comes across as a welcome, even necessary exposé.” Alexandra Jacobs, New York Times Book Review
- Bloomsbury USA
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- First Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 5.86(w) x 7.83(h) x 0.66(d)
Read an Excerpt
Waiting for Daisy
By Peggy Orenstein
BloomsburyCopyright © 2007 Peggy Orenstein
All right reserved.
Chapter OneTO HAVE OR HAVE NOT
* * *
My first birthday, Thanksgiving 1962. My aunts, uncles, and cousins are all in attendance. I am wearing a blue velvet dress, my chubby legs stuffed into white tights; my feet, which have yet to master walking, strapped into patent leather Mary Janes. A few pale, wispy curls are beginning to sprout on my head, though I don't have any hair worth mentioning. My mother has compensated by taping a blue bow to my pate, which I periodically rip off and stuff into my mouth.
As a Bell & Howell whirs, I tear into my birthday gifts, more focused on shredding the brightly colored paper than on the toys that lay within. My father steps into the frame, his hair still black, his face hopeful. He is seven years younger than I am now. Clearly excited, he presents me with my first baby doll, placing it in my arms. I am his only daughter. I glance at the doll, frown, and fling it out of sight. He fetches it and once again, patiently, sets it in my arms. This time I begin to cry and hold the doll by its foot, dropping it on the floor. My father tries one more time with similar results; the camera jerks and the image sputters.
What happened then, during those undocumented moments? Someone must've continued to cajole. Someone must've expressed disappointment. Someone must've demonstrated what was expected of me. Someone must've said, "Don't you want to be a mommy, like Mommy?" Because when the film rolls again, I gingerly cradle the baby doll, still sniffling a little, seeming anxious. I look up eagerly for approval from my parents, who are squatting next to me. This is my first foray into motherhood.
At eleven, I befriended Tibetha Shaw, who had untamed orange hair and was the only girl in the sixth grade of John Burroughs Elementary School to wear black all the time. Her mother, unlike those of the rest of my friends, worked outside the home and had an apron that read HOUSEWORK IS BULLSHIT in three-inch capital letters. At the Shaws' there was dust on the furniture. There was no adult supervision after school. Tibetha and I gorged on store-bought cookies and pored over Ms. magazine, which had recently resurrected the comic book icon Wonder Woman. Inspired by her, we fastened towels around our necks with clothespins and-in every working mom's nightmare of what the kids are up to in her absence-climbed a ladder onto the roof of the garage. The distance to the next building was slightly longer than a leggy eleven-year-old's stride, yet we took deep breaths and leapt-screaming, "WONDER WOMAN! WONDER WOMAN!"-flying from roof to roof and back again, towel capes streaming behind us. It was my first foray into feminism.
My understanding of the women's movement may have grown more nuanced over the years, but that sense of exhilaration remained. Feminism provided me with an escape route, an out from my parents' limited expectations, a chance to define for myself the person I wanted to be. Yet, even while soaring through space-whether the rooftops were real or metaphoric-I was conscious of the drop, never quite sure how far my towel cape would carry me. As an editorial assistant at Esquire magazine, I was peanut gallery to 1980s literary New York, an extra at cocktail parties for the likes of Jay McInerney, Tom Wolfe, and Tama Janowitz. Occasionally, while stuffing myself with free hors d'oeuvres (popping a few in my purse to supplement my $250 a week paycheck), I'd notice that there weren't many mothers in the room. There were few among the editors I worked with either, and virtually none among the writers. The same was true several years later, when I moved on to San Francisco. Their absence left me vaguely uneasy; was this evidence of progress-women no longer needed children for fulfillment-or its opposite? Could it be that things hadn't changed as much as I'd thought? And if they hadn't, in which world did I belong? "I'm not sure I want to have kids," I told my friends. "I'm not sure I want to have kids," I told my gynecologist. "I'm not sure I want to have kids," I told my editor. (She fixed my manuscripts, why not my life?) They all gave the same reply: "Don't worry about it, Peggy, you have plenty of time."
I believed them; I was in my mid-twenties. I thought I had all the time in the world.
I fell in love with Steven Okazaki on a postcard. We'd gone on one date, an after-work drink that deepened into dinner, but it hadn't gone well. I was newly out of a bruising relationship and knocked back a couple of Stolis to calm my nerves. Here's something to know about me: I can't hold my liquor. As my rational self watched from a helpless, anesthetized distance, my soused evil twin ran her mouth, spewing bile about former beaux and announcing, "If you're looking for anything serious, I'm not interested."
Luckily, he didn't believe me. "Women always say that kind of stuff when they like you," he'd joke later. We hugged goodbye awkwardly in the parking lot. A documentary filmmaker, Steven was leaving the next day for a shoot on the Big Island of Hawaii. "Call me!" I chirped, though after my performance that evening I figured I'd never hear from him again.
Then the card arrived, a photo of the lava flow on Mt. Kilauea. On the back, a note, jotted as if we were mid-conversation.
Last night on the Big Island there was a bad storm. Several boats were beached and sections of highway were temporarily washed out. I was having dinner with a pig breeder and his family near a town called Honaunau. The sound of the wind and rain on their tin roof was nearly deafening. The farmer noted that the roads would get dangerous and maybe I should spend the night. He said, "You can wear my pajamas and sleep in the kitchen." I thought, "No way, man. I want my hotel room." As I took the perilous journey home, I felt ashamed but frankly relieved. One doesn't have to experience everything, does one?
Forget roses; I'm a sucker for a man who has a way with words.
We shared our first breakfast shortly after he returned, gazing starry-eyed at each other across our eggs in a Berkeley diner. Steven was tall and stocky with a shock of black hair that was just beginning to gray, diamond-cut cheekbones, and eyes as warm as anything I'd ever seen. I loved the scratch in his voice, the touch of his skin, his dedication to a life of purpose and creativity. I admired the confidence he had in his own vision; I was still a magazine editor then, unable to work up the nerve to quit and write full-time. Steven was not the man I imagined I'd be with-nearly ten years older, Japanese American, a gentile-but soul mates don't always come in predictable packages.
He mentioned he'd grown up with four sisters. "I always thought I'd have a big family," he said.
I cut him off. "Well, I don't know if I want to have children at all."
"Really? Why not?"
"Why do you want them?"
This was when I first discovered my future husband's habit of speaking in set pieces. "I guess I think of life as kind of like an amusement park," he said. "If you're going to go, you should ride every ride at least once. And having kids is like the big, scary roller coaster. You can have a good time without riding it, but you would've missed a significant part of the experience."
"I get sick on roller coasters," I deadpanned, then added, "Besides, 'One doesn't have to experience everything, does one?' "
He raised an eyebrow.
"Look," I said. "I don't want anyone to make any assumptions about me or how I'll live my life. I don't want to do something just because it's expected, because everyone else does it. Maybe I'll change my mind, but there are a lot of other things I want to do besides have children."
"There's no way I can have a baby now." It had been two years since Steven and I had married, since I'd moved across the Great Waters from my overpriced apartment in San Francisco to his rent-controlled one in Berkeley. I'd simultaneously taken the leap into writing; my first book, Schoolgirls, about the challenges young women face in their teens, had just come out to flattering reviews. Suddenly I was fielding calls from Good Morning America, Nightline, and Fresh Air; lecturing at universities; giving keynote addresses at national conferences. My agent-a forceful, older woman who'd opted against motherhood-warned me, "You have to sell another book idea right now. If you wait a year, forget it. No one will remember you." I'd dreamed of this kind of success since publishing my first story in my high school newspaper at age fifteen. But I wasn't fifteen anymore. I was thirty-two.
How could I possibly cut back to take care of an infant? Sometime later, Joyce Purnick, Metro editor of the New York Times (who did not have kids), would tell graduating seniors at Barnard, "If I had left the Times to have children and then come back to work a four-day week ... or left the office at six o'clock instead of eight or nine, I wouldn't be Metro editor." She was probably right, but how grim was that? Maybe I wanted children, maybe I didn't, but I wanted the decision to be a choice, not a mandate. Last time I checked, childlessness was only supposed to be a condition of career advancement for nuns.
My own mother was no help. She had married at twenty, moving directly from her parents' home to her new life with her twenty-four-year-old husband. Within five years she'd stopped teaching elementary school to raise her children. We shared so little experience that without a child myself, I sometimes felt as if we were, if not a different species, at least different sexes. "Your life is so unlike mine," she'd say. "I can't even imagine it." I longed for a mother who could be a mentor, someone I could turn to for wisdom and guidance. Her limits made me short-tempered. Stop being such a bitch, I'd tell myself, which only turned my anger to guilt. I'd rather not have children, I'd think, than have a daughter who someday felt this way about me.
That's too easy, though. It wasn't just hostility I felt around my mother, it was inadequacy. I had loved my early childhood with her. We'd spent long hours playing beauty parlor and tea party, baking holiday cookies. On Saturday nights I would swoon when she left with my dad in a cloud of Rive Gauche perfume, so glamorous in her fox-trimmed coat. I wanted to be just like her-a mommy just like Mommy. Thirty years later, part of me still did. Although I publicly stood up for working mothers and day care, I knew that, for me, motherhood meant one thing: being there for your children like my mom had been there for me. I believed the responsibility for taking care of children would, bottom line, be mine, even if I was the one who had to swap my dreams for drudgery. It didn't matter that Steven expected to be an equal parent. ("I'll make a great mom," he'd brag.) The issue wasn't whether I wanted to turn into my mother if I had a child or even whether I feared I would; it was that I believed I should.
With Steven, I dodged the subject. "We'll talk about it later," I'd promise when he brought it up. "When we have more time." Or: "When I'm not traveling so much." Or: "When we're on vacation." Or: "At the end of the year." Or, simply: "Not now." There was no way he could pin me down. I bobbed, I weaved, I changed the subject, and if none of that worked, I gave him The Stare. "You have no idea how hard it is to get past that look," he'd complain, though of course I did. The Stare had taken me years to perfect: it was my force field, repelling all comers-my parents, lovers, friends, colleagues-who broached a subject that felt too raw to discuss.
The only time in twenty years that I ever had a fight with my friend Robin was at a girls' night dinner party on New York's Upper West Side, when I mouthed off about mothers who dropped their careers rather than demand that their husbands do the laundry. I was in town doing interviews for my next book, Flux, about how women make their personal and professional choices. A group of full-time moms I'd talked to that afternoon had claimed that staying home was a feminist right. I disagreed. "I don't know why women who make the pre-Betty Freidan choices think they won't end up with the pre-Betty Freidan results," I quipped.
"What about me?" asked Robin, sharply. She'd been a television news producer before staying home with her three kids. Her husband managed a hedge fund. "Is that what you think of me?"
I wasn't sure how to respond; the truth was, yes, I did feel that way about her, though I'd never say so to her face. My hesitation only made her madder. "You have no idea what it means to be married to someone who works twelve hours a day. If I kept working, I'd still have to do everything at home. It's just not realistic.
"I'm not stupid," she added. "I know the potential traps here. I knew what I was getting into. And I chose this."
"But how much of a choice is it," I asked, "if nothing else seemed possible?"
Nearly all of my girlfriends were having children, and one by one, like Robin, they'd dropped out of the workforce. The minds that once produced sparkling prose or defended abused children were now obsessed with picking the right preschool or competing to throw the most elaborate Pocahontas birthday party. Sometimes they seemed to me like something out of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Who were these women and what had they done with my friends? Sure, a few were content, but most, if not exactly unhappy, seemed trapped-fretting over what they'd do when the kids were older, worried that they'd never escape the stroller set. I was disappointed by how readily they'd fallen on the sword of traditional motherhood, how reluctant they were to assert their needs, how loath to rock the boat of their husbands' careers. They weren't the role models I wanted-needed-them to be. These were, after all, women I loved and respected. If they couldn't make it all work, how could I?
My working mom friends weren't much better, perpetually exhausted and resentful. One commented that Steven and I had the best marriage she knew. "That's because we don't have kids," I said, laughing, but I meant it. Steven and I had a great time together, traveling to Hawaii, Asia, and Europe; going to the movies; spending the weekend in bed. He read the first drafts of my articles; I watched the rough cuts of his films. He was my best friend. Maybe a baby would bring us even closer, but that wasn't what I saw around me. So many women were smitten with their children while begrudging everything their husbands did or didn't do: Kids may have been the glue holding couples together, but they were also the wedge driving them apart.
And yet. There were moments when I could almost feel the weight of a child in my arms, when I sensed that if I looked over my shoulder while driving, I would see an infant seat with a curly-haired bundle looking back at me. I would imagine the songs we'd sing together, the games we'd play, the books we'd read. Pasting photos into an album, I would recall leafing through old pictures of my mother, my father, my grandparents. Who would see these? Who would care?
One night, when I was thirty-three, I walked into the living room of our rented house in the rustic (read: lots of weeds, aggressive deer, druggie neighbors) Berkeley Hills. Steven was lying on the couch reading Mojo, a British music rag for guys who own everything-on vinyl-that the Kinks ever recorded. The floor beneath him slanted steeply for reasons that in Northern California were best not to consider; he had put shims of varying heights under all the furniture to make it appear level. On the upside, the house was large, with three ample bedrooms, two of which were glaringly empty.
"What do you think of the name 'Cleo' for a baby?" I asked him.
He put down the magazine and sat up. "Peg, we don't have a baby."
"Well, maybe we should."
"Really?" he said, skeptically. "Is that what you want?"
"I don't know," I sighed. "Maybe we shouldn't."
He shook his head, dramatically picking up his magazine. "Let me know when you want to talk about having a baby and then I'll talk about names."
"Okay," I said, "so what do you think we should do?"
"I don't want to do it unless we both want to. I don't want you ever to say, 'You talked me into this.' And if you don't want to do it, I'll be fine. I won't have that many regrets." It was all very self-actualized, very reasonable, except for this: punting the decision back to me effectively let Steven off the hook. He, too, put a premium on freedom, the time to pursue creative work, to travel, and, in his case, to lie on the couch reading Mojo. This was a guy who had stayed single until he was forty; he wasn't so eager himself to take on the responsibilities and lifestyle of parenting. My indecision played neatly-maybe too neatly-into his own.
Excerpted from Waiting for Daisy by Peggy Orenstein Copyright © 2007 by Peggy Orenstein. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
Peggy Orenstein is the author of Schoolgirls: Young Women, Self-Esteem and the Confidence Gap, and Flux: Women on Sex, Work, Love, Kids and Life in a Half-Changed World. A Contributing Writer to the New York Times Magazine, her work has also appeared in The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Elle, Vogue, Discover, MORE, Mother Jones, Salon, and The New Yorker. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, Steven Okazaki, and their daughter, Daisy Tomoko.
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >
I didn't get married until I was forty. Mother nature is not your friend at that age. It's sad that, by the time you are truly emotionally and financially ready to have children your body is way past wanting to cooperate. I could see myself in Peggy, driven, accomplishing what you set out to do. Not being able to have a child was hard. Once trying to have a baby became another "job" that's when I decided to surrender. If we had a child, or not, I was ready to accept that. I look at my husband and see a great guy who would have been a wonderful dad. But, Steven got it right...you have to enjoy what you do have.
Waiting for Daisy is that rare extraordinary book that takes up an immediate and permanent spot in your heart. This is a book that may possibly change your life. The framework for this amazing story is one woman¿s articulate narration of an infertility ordeal. From the decision to have a child through difficulty in conception, from the grinding trial of the infertility industry to the agony of frustrated efforts, Peggy paints an emotional portrait of what so many women endure. Her sympathetic sharing of her own struggle is an outstanding addition to this field of literature and makes Daisy worth reading for anyone, but for any member of the reluctant sisterhood of infertility, it should be considered required reading. But where most infertility books begin and end with what is unquestionably a consuming drama, Peggy goes beyond and explores topics which enrich the story immeasurably. Her bout with cancer, the saga of the survivors of Hiroshima, the choices of women in a modern professional society: these topics and others are explored with insight and empathy and contribute to the recurring theme of her infertility in an unexpected but rewarding way. Perhaps the most surprising but ultimately resonant thread is Peggy¿s emphasis on her relationship with her husband. Her interactions with him, and the effects of her actions and choices on their mutual relationship, are given equal weight with her attempts to deal with her fertility issues. The book somehow becomes as much a story of faith in each other, of the miracle of unshakeable love between a man and a woman, of making mistakes, of honesty, and of repentance and forgiveness. Her unflinching analysis of how her relationship weathered the storm makes Daisy as much a manual on marriage as it is on motherhood. This book will win your heart. Peggy¿s style, which is so personal and real that you almost imagine her sitting with you as you read her words, draws you in and captivates you from the first page. You will laugh and cry and most of all you will be enlightened and inspired in so many ways. And when you are done, you will tell everyone you know to read it too.
This book is nothing short of a stunning tour de force! At first I thought, why would I read a book about a woman's battle with infertility?? I don't have children and am not trying to get pregnant right now. And noone I know is suffering through this kind of harrowing ordeal. But I read Peggy's last book, Flux and absolutely loved it. I made my bookclub read it and raved about it to everyone I knew. So when I heard 'Waiting For Daisy' was coming out, I thought, why not? And what I discovered surprised me deeply. This book is not just about Peggy's excruciating experiences trying to become a Mother. It's also a profoundly intimate portrait of her marriage and the kind of love that transcends grief, loss and disappointment. At times, her searing portrayal of the toll that her quest for a child takes on her marriage is so intensely personal that I feel as if I am literally sitting at her kitchen table as the events unfold. She spares nothing and shows their shared joy at the first pregnancy and the profound disppointment at the subsequent miscarriage and successive harrowing attempts at fertility treatment. Through it all, she paints her husband Steven in such a fully multidimentional way that I feel as if I've known him for years. And above all I come to see the love they have for each other and the way that that loves sustains in spite of the anger, tears, frustration and longing. As a single woman, witnessing that kind of loyalty and steadfastness in this day and age of 50% divorce rates is profoundly reassuring. It may sound cliched, but her writing is truly transcendent. I didn't think it was possible to laugh and cry at the same time. Peggy has the phenomenal ability to convey heartbreak with wit and humour, and laces in truly hysterical vignettes with bittersweet moments. And all with absolutely no trace of maudlin or sappy prose. And through it all, the book is a veritable nailbiter that you can't put down. It's probably the first book I've ever been truly tempted to turn to the end to find out exactly how it turns out! I strongly recommend this book to everyone woman or man who's ever wanted to see what a truly incredible marriage looks like and how you can survive just about anything if you have love on your side.
I am in the throws of infertility treatment, and this book was a tremendous help to me. Even though I have been open with my friends and family about what I'm going through (I've just completed injections and am moving onto IVF), and even though they have been sympathetic, I have often felt as though no one can truly understand how painful, draining, and frustrating this process has been for me and my husband. Waiting for Daisy captured many of these emotions perfectly for me, and managed to somehow insert a little spot-on humor into the whole situation that, for the first time, helped me to laugh at the absurd nature of everything I've had to endure. At one point Peggy Orenstein writes about the Clomid spiral, comparing it to cautionary tales of drug addiction -- first you pop a little Clomid, then next thing you know you're taking out a second mortgage on your home to pay for IVF. I laughed out loud at this passage. Just last year I took my first Clomid, thinking that I'd immediately get pregnant. Just yesterday I was calculating whether I should consider a home equity loan for IVF. Likewise, when the author describes how she didn't buy clothes for 3 years because she kept expecting to get pregnant, I was moved by how this little detail sums up the experiencing of being in a holding pattern for years because you know that your life will change at any moment once you get pregnant. For example, I didn't take a 'real' vacation for a year and a half, always expecting to need my vacation time to tack onto my maternity leave. Other passages have moved me to tears, since the author gives voice to the pain I am experiencing the roller coaster of periods coming, of trying to maintain some amount of hope when all I have felt is despair, and of trying to protect my marriage throughout the entire process. Please read this book if you are going through infertility treatments, know someone who is, or even if you just want to read an authentic, beautiful story.
I loved this book! It has the perfect balance of detail and storyline. In many ways, it goes through a lot of the emotional issues my husband and I have been working through with our infertility.
This book is very readable, and the author does tell a good story. My only problem with the book is that she is so ambivalent about wanting a child throughout most of the book, you are left wondering where her struggle is coming from. Worth reading, but not that inspiring.
I loved this book. I hate reading technical books on infertility. I like to read real stories about it and how people dealt with it. This book did just that.
I thought this book could have been written just for me! I liked the humor, it read quickly, and had heart. Finally a book I wanted to pass on to a friend.
Peggy Orenstein does a brilliant job of bringing highs, lows, and humor to the hard path of infertility. Bravo.
My twins arrived after 2.5 years of infertility, countless tests, injections, and ridiculous suggestions from people trying to be "helpful"..."Just relax, it'll happen", ect. I felt cut off from lifelong friends and family members who could conceive so easily. Thankfully, I found a wonderful group of infertiles to suffer through with me. I wish I'd had this book ten years ago as well! It is painfully honest and while I'm a decade removed from my own struggle, I could still feel the author's pain. I highly recommend to anyone fighting the fight...if you have ever fought infertility and felt that you were alone, you should read this book. Again, I wish it'd been around ten years ago.
I usually don't write many reviews, but this was a special story. I recommend it not only for anyone dealing with fertility issues, but really for anyone contemplating becoming a mom (or dad) - it is a wonderful book and will make you laugh and cry and actually bite your nails at the end. Thank you Ms Orenstein!
I cannot say enough good things about this book. As someone going through the frustrating early phase of 'fertility issues', i truly felt like someone understood where I am right now and came out on the other side of it. I would recommend this book to anyone tackling their own fertility journey--or supporting someone who is going through difficult times trying to conceive. It's an engrossing read that I could not put down. Peggy Orenstein's candor combined with her amazing strength make for a truly incredible book.
This had to have been a tough book to write. It's so honest and moving. It's rare I find a book that I literally can't put down. This is one.
Peggy Orenstein's portrayal of a quest for a child in 'Waiting for Daisy' is candid and humorous. I enjoyed every chapter of this thought-provoking book. Orenstein's honest eloquence in expressing her feelings throughout her incredible journey moved me so much. Time and time again, I found myself thinking, 'I thought I was the only one who felt that way!' Whether you have ever been through any of Ms. Orenstein's challenges: cancer, infertility, IVF treatments, and adoption attempts, or whether you have simply felt somewhat ambivalent about parenthood.... this book is for you.
I highly recommend that anyone experiencing fertility challenges read this book. After you do, come back and read this review. While this book is beautifully written, entertaining at times and extremely moving, I did not feel inspired to follow in the author¿s footsteps. As someone who is in the midst of infertility, I seek hope at every corner. The author¿s quest to conceive a biological child had many significant costs. While she inevitably succeeds in giving birth to her daughter, Daisy, I wonder how she would feel about her quest now, had she not been so lucky. To what lengths would she have sacrificed her health, her marriage, and even her own sanity to achieve her goal? At what point do you say your own life is worth something, that it should be preserved, nourished, and celebrated to the utmost so that when the time is right to receive a child you can offer him or her the unconditional love he or she deserves? If ¿getting a baby¿ means risking your health, your marriage, and ultimately your happiness, what hope do we have for showing children how to love themselves? While I can relate to the issues the author experienced on her journey time and time again, this book was the final straw that allowed me to redirect my own fertility journey on a path filled with greater love for myself, my husband and my own cherished life. Please also see my review for Julia Indichova's Inconceivable.
Peggy Orienstein really opened up her life to share with her readers. The book was touching, inspiring, interesting and worth the read. Add this to your reading list for the spring or summer!
I found Waiting for Daisy a courageous and honest account of how infertility can turn into a obsessive spiral, blinding people from some of the most dear things in life. Having struggled with infertility, I could relate to many of Peggy's experiences. But I could have never described them so eloquently or honestly, and with humor¿I would have rather dug a hole and never come out. I'm grateful to her for her openness and for willing to be vulnerable. I shed many, many tears throughout the book, which was hard to put down each night. Highly, highly recommended!
This Book Was Very Seductive It Was Interesting I Read It As A Biograghy For A School Project And We Had To Dress Up Like The Author And The Class Enjoyed My Acting.This Book Was Helpful In My Ways!
A few years ago I read her amazing book Flux and it completely resonated. So when I learned that `Waiting for Daisy¿ was about Peggy¿s struggle with infertility and that she¿d been through breast cancer, I couldn¿t wait to read it, as I too, have been through both by the age of 43. I find her writing is eloquent and will take you through the gamut of emotions. There was a sentence in her book that reminded me of the famous quote by author Rilke (try to love the questions themselves¿). Peggy said that she is ¿learning to love the question marks and recognize that closure doesn¿t always occur.¿ After going through infertility and breast cancer, you learn that you can¿t control many outcomes and some of us will never have an answer for why we had to go through such adversity. We can only learn how to keep moving forward with courage and gratitude for the lessons. Thank you Peggy for having the courage to share yourself and your story with us.