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In Her Own Sweet Time: Unexpected Adventures in Finding Love, Commitment, and Motherhood

In Her Own Sweet Time: Unexpected Adventures in Finding Love, Commitment, and Motherhood

by Rachel Lehmann-Haupt

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A poignant, witty, and utterly modern exploration of the confusing array of choices women in their thirties confront when they want children but haven’t found the right partner


A poignant, witty, and utterly modern exploration of the confusing array of choices women in their thirties confront when they want children but haven’t found the right partner

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Rebecca Walker, author of Baby Love: Choosing Motherhood after a Lifetime of Ambivalence
In Her Own Sweet Time is a fun, touching, and fascinating trip through the brave new world of technologically enhanced maternity. Lehmann-Haupt hits the zeitgeist and walks women through a new set of choices—all designed to provide more options, happiness, and, ultimately, freedom. A great book for moms, moms-to-be, and women who don't want to stop living life to the fullest while they figure it all out.”

Mary Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia
“This book offers extraordinary fresh and well-synthesized information that will be useful to doctors, therapists, women and couples who are striving to understand the complex worlds of fertility and relationships. Its author is thoughtful, honest, compassionate and funny. She reminded me of my daughter and her friends, all those Ophelias who are now in their thirties and struggling with the stormy seas of motherhood, commitment and work.”

Naomi Wolf, author of Give Me Liberty
“With In Her Own Sweet Time Rachel Lehmann-Haupt achieves something quite difficult: she confronts the issue of coming up against the biological clock and explores the field of fertility technology in a way that is readable, relatable, and engaging.”

Juliet Wittman
…[Lehmann-Haupt] is a skilled, empathetic writer and an excellent researcher, alert to the absurdities and ethical ambiguities of her quest, and she has written a valuable guide.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

Lehmann-Haupt, executive editor of Plum magazine and daughter of author and New York Times writer Christopher, entered her 30s feeling optimistic and in control. The accomplished journalist and world traveler had a great boyfriend, too-and fully expected to achieve her next goal: motherhood. When the relationship didn't work out, the author began to wonder if the love-marriage-baby sequence might not happen for her. Like countless 30-something American women, she didn't worry about her fertility during her 20s and 30s, thanks to advances in feminism and medical technology that have given women more options-and the feeling that the so-called biological clock moves more slowly now. Lehmann-Haupt does an excellent job chronicling the societal and medical trends that have influenced modern motherhood. She also describes her pursuit of a romance that will lead to marriage and family, and the choices she makes in an effort to give herself more options. A mix of science, statistics, interviews and personal narrative form this valuable guidebook. It also serves as a compelling reality check as she lists various statistics: women over 35 suffer higher rates of miscarriage; 50,000 children are born to single mothers each year; a third of these mothers choose to become pregnant on their own. In this informative and frank book, Lehmann-Haupt makes a compelling case for education and preparation: "We have more options than ever; understanding them can empower us and, perhaps most importantly, turn panic into peace." (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
The executive editor of Plum, a magazine for pregnant women over 35, considers the myriad choices available to women who want children but haven't found Mr. Right. Lehmann-Haupt's first book is a personal documentary; she presents statistics, interviews and analysis alongside her own story. She began research on the reproductive options for single women when she was 32, after a relationship she thought would lead to marriage and children ended. The book follows her through a six-year journey: fertility tests, online dating escapades, a serious relationship with a guy who couldn't commit, sperm-donor shopping and finally oocyte cryopreservation (egg freezing) at the NYU Fertility Clinic. She interviewed mothers who were single by choice, the Italian doctors who invented the egg-freezing procedure, marketing executives from the company Extend Fertility, gay "bio dads" who donate sperm and "insta-couples" who decide to get pregnant within a year of meeting and aren't embarrassed by a baby bump under a wedding gown. Most of the stories are positive, but Lehmann-Haupt doesn't try to sell happy endings. Many of the procedures, including in vitro fertilization, embryo freezing and intrauterine insemination, are so physically, emotionally and financially draining that one single woman's doctor asked her why she didn't just have unprotected sex with a friend. The author actively reflects on important questions brought on by this modern reproductive landscape: How old is too old? Would she want her child to meet his half sisters on DonorSiblingRegistry.com? Does the ability to biologically postpone childbearing give career women rightful peace of mind or will it prevent society from "adapting tothe needs of working mothers?" Adoption is addressed only briefly; this is a book for women who are mainly interested in passing on their genetic material (or their future husbands') and in the experience of being pregnant. A useful aggregation of timely information and personal insight that will provide clarity, if not comfort, for single women over 30 still set on having kids. Author tour to Portland, Ore., Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., New York

Product Details

Basic Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.74(w) x 8.46(h) x 1.18(d)

Meet the Author

Rachel Lehmann-Haupt‘s writing appears regularly in the New York Times Magazine, Vogue, O, Glamour, Wired, U.S. News & World Report, and more. She lives in Manhattan.

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