Talk fertility with an expert at the Bookworm
IF YOU GO ...
What: Elizabeth Katkin, Author of “Conceivability.”
When: 6 p.m., Tonight.
Where: The Bookworm of Edwards.
Cost: $10, includes appetizers.
More information: 970-926-7323, www.bookwormofedwards.com.
About 10 percent of women in the United States have trouble getting or staying pregnant. A growing fertility industry seeks to change that. And no one is more familiar with the fertility frontier than accidental expert, Elizabeth Katkin.
Katkin will discuss her journey and sign copies of her new book “Conceivability” tonight at The Bookworm of Edwards. Part memoir, part guide, the memoir is a personal and deeply informative account of one woman’s gripping journey through the global fertility industry in search of the solution to her own unexplained infertility.
Like many women, Katkin never really thought about having children, she just always assumed she’d have them. So instead she focused on college, law school and meeting the right person to start her future family with.
“It never occurred to me that I would have any trouble,” Katkin said. “And I think that I just imagined that after I got married, I would have children.”
Then, 15 years into a successful law career, she was told that her chances of successfully conceiving and carrying biological children were extraordinarily slim.
“I was devastated when I was told it wasn’t likely to happen,” Katkin said. “It wasn’t until we were confronted with challenges that I realized how much I truly wanted kids. I never really believed or accepted that I couldn’t have them. I had a nagging feeling that we were all missing something, and I just had to figure it out.”
This feeling began a nine-year global quest into the then unknown world of reproductive medicine. She endured seven miscarriages, 10 in vitro fertilization cycles, five natural pregnancies, four in vitro pregnancies, two potential surrogates and roughly $200,000 in costs. Throughout this entire struggle, Katkin took it upon herself to become as educated as possible. She is, deep down, a problem solver.
“Or, as my husband would likely say, unbelievably stubborn,” Katkin said.
This unrelenting perseverance was not without its moments of doubt.
“I experienced so many emotions — grief, anger, frustration, sadness — but I never completely gave up,” Katkin said.
She sought treatment in six different countries and saw 10 different doctors, who all had different ideas on how to treat what they could not explain.
“There is no one size fits all approach,” Katkin said. “It was a long education process. There are differing views on egg quality, artificial insemination, donation — the list goes on.”
It was the simple fact that she could get pregnant that kept her going.
“We faced a succession of different obstacles to conceiving and carrying. So we would try the suggested remedy — each pill, shot, intervention — optimistic that it would work, and when it didn’t, we turned to the next,” she said.
Nine years later, Katkin is the mother to two biological children. Her main message for everyone traveling the same path: “Information is power, and anyone can build a family.”