CONCEIVING LUC by Liza Freilicher


A Family Story
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Told largely through the voice of 34-year old Manhattan restaurateur Freilicher, this volume is a memoir of frustrating infertility, courageous endurance, strong family alliances, and the extraordinary birth of a baby boy. After failing to conceive, Freilicher embarks on two failed attempts at in vitro fertilization. With painstaking assiduity, she vividly describes the emotional and physical havoc that this procedure wreaks on women and the men in their lives. The injections (sometimes five a day), daily blood tests, repeated sonograms, fluctuating hormones, and the uncertainty of it all demand uncommon forbearance. Unlike the other women stoically enduring the procedure, Freilicher was “angry, resentful and impatient” over the invasive, long, and arduous treatments. When she discovers that a pregnancy would threaten her life, she and her husband—with her mother’s encouragement—decide to pursue adoption. It’s then that Scheu, her Chicago cousin and the mother of two healthy children, suggests to Freilicher, then implores her, to let her have their fertilized egg implanted in her womb. Scheu strongly believes that this ultimate altruism is what her late mother would have wanted. When Freilicher and her husband agree, an uncharted journey begins for them all. More injections, hormones and surgeries follow. Excerpts from Scheu’s journal reveal just how trying this procedure is. But this time the ordeal is a success, and Freilicher’s baby is born to Scheu. There are emotional complications to her giving up the baby, and some complicated moments, such as when Freilicher “wondered if [Scheu] had the urge to nurse the infant she had birthed.” The determination and emotional stamina of the principles is admirable. Inspiring and provocative. (8 pages b&w photos, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-688-15986-9
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1999


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