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Expecting Miracles: On the Path from Infertility to Parenthood, by Christo Zouves, Julie Sullivan

Expecting Miracles: On the Path of Hope from Infertility to Parenthood

by Christo Zouves (Introduction), Julie Sullivan (Contributor)

Purchase at:  Amazon.com 

Format: Hardcover, 1st ed., 266pp. 
ISBN: 0805060464
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company, Incorporated 
Pub. Date: August 1999

Description from Amazon.com

From Booklist

Zouves and Sullivan describe the former's successful work with 20 infertile couples, and although some procedures are used by more than one couple, the story of each is unique. There are cases involving shared-owner ovum donation, various types of surrogate motherhood, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, and various combinations of techniques. One couple had experienced secondary infertility after successfully giving birth. One couple, at least, was originally attracted to Zouves because of his money-back guarantee. Different cases allow Zouves to look at egg donations from the donor's and the receiver's perspectives, and another presents an RN who donated three times because she so enjoyed bringing happiness to despairing couples who had often been through long and unpleasant procedures that failed. Among the most unusual cases are those of a gestational pregnancy involving two sisters and one that eventuated in twins for a lesbian couple. Throughout, the book is upbeat, lively, and free of unnecessary technical terms. William Beatty

Book Description 

An encouraging exploration of reproductive medicine for the 6 million Americans struggling with infertility

By the time a couple walks through the door at Pacific Fertility Center and meets Dr. Christo Zouves, they have probably been through the fertility medicine mill; they've consulted with other fertility specialists and been told they just can't have children. With his unique combination of hope, compassion, and cutting-edge technology, Dr. Zouves changes that for many of his patients. Twelve weeks later, after rounds of in vitro fertilization (IVF), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), testicular extraction of sperm (TESE), ovum donation cycles with known and anonymous donors and gestational surrogacy, he sends couples back to their ob/gyn, often expecting one or more children.

Expecting Miracles provides a moving, in-depth look at the options, the decisions, the unexpected twists, turns, and disappointments that these couples experience as they work with Dr. Zouves. As he shares his own story and those of the patients, egg donors, and surrogates he has known, Dr. Zouves gives readers a rare view of the human side of reproductive medicine and all that goes into helping infertile couples realize their dreams of parenthood.

Book Info 

Pacific Fertility Center, San Francisco. In-depth account of the options, decisions, and unexpected disappointments infertile couples face. Author shares his own story and those of the patients, egg donors, and surrogates from his practice. For consumers.

About the Author 

Christo Zouves, M.D., is the medical director at Pacific Coast Fertility Center in San Francisco and a member of the Medical Advisory Board of RESOLVE, a national resource organization for those battling infertility. He lives outside of San Francisco. Julie Sullivan is a reporter for The Spokesman Review in Spokane, WA.

The publisher

Henry Holt & Company , August 20, 1999 
A hopeful look at infertility by a top specialist. EXPECTING MIRACLES is Dr. Zouves' story and the stories of over 20 of his patients as they made their way from infertility to parenthood with his help. The 6 million people in this country facing infertility will be drawn to this hopeful book that does what no other title on this subject really has - it provides a positive, encouraging look at reproductive medicine today. It gives them reason to hope - no matter what they have been told - that they can be parents too.

Description from BarnesandNoble.com

Annotation

"...an encouraging exploration of reproductive medicine for the millions struggling with infertility...provides a moving and in-depth look at the options, decisions, and unexpected events couples might face on the road to parenthood."

From the Publisher

The hopeful, human side of state-of-the-art reproductive medicine as seen through the eyes of the fertility doctor profiled in the "New York Times Magazine" and 20 of his patients.

From Library Journal

This is an excellent book with a captive readership: the one percent of infertile couples who must resort to high technology to conceive children. Zouves, a medical director of a large San Francisco fertility practice, writes convincingly and with great feeling about seemingly impossible cases. The patients are as diverse as the procedures: lesbian and straight couples, older and younger couples, several of them adoptive parents seeking more children via intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) with or without surrogacy and donor eggs. Zouves is himself the father of two children, one autistic; he displays real empathy for his patients, dealing as they do with a medical condition that alters every aspect of family life. Not only the infertile but their families and friends can benefit from this book; buy multiple copies. Highly recommended.--Catherine Arnott Smith, Ctr. for Biomedical Informatics, Univ. of Pittsburgh Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

From Publisher's Weekly - Publishers Weekly

Motivated by the desire to have a child, many couples have overcome infertility problems with medical intervention. Zouves, who is the medical director at the Pacific Coast Fertility Center, now recounts, with the assistance of Sullivan, a reporter for the Spokane, Ore., Spokesman-Review, many stories of the women and men he has treated by performing in vitro fertilization, by ISCI (the direct injection of a single sperm into an egg), by implanting frozen embryos and by recommending the use of egg donors and surrogates who are paid to bear a child for the infertile couples. However, with the exception of Carol and her husband Steve--who decided to adopt after becoming psychologically exhausted by Carol's painful and expensive fertility treatments--all of Zouves's anecdotes end with ecstatic parents who bring home a brand new baby. Given that these technological procedures have a high failure rate, it is difficult not to view this account as a rosy advertisement for the services of the author's clinic. Several of the cases suggest that the doctor rarely turns down anyone who expresses a desire to have a child and can back it up with the financial wherewithal to gamble on new medical technologies. Zouves includes descriptions of how he helped a couple in their 50s to have a child and how he treated a menopausal woman who had a history of breast cancer with dangerous hormones in the hope that she would become pregnant. Even more disquieting is his spirited defense of the fertility clinic's money-back guarantee program, which the AMA has condemned as exploitive and misleading. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

From Kirkus Reviews

This testament to the pain of infertility and the promise of reproductive technology relentlessly accentuates the positive even as it describes the utter desperation of couples who are willing to do whatever it takes to have a child. It's not that Zouves, who is medical director at the San Francisco–based Pacific Fertility Center—one of the few in the country to offer its clients a money-back guarantee—is blind to what his patients are going through. On the contrary, he does an excellent job of recounting the physical, emotional, and financial toll that infertility treatment can take on his patients and their families. It's just that in a book that considers every possible obstacle to having a baby—advanced age, endometriosis, fibroids, cancer, vasectomy, low sperm count and/or motility, immune system problems, to name just a few—nearly every couple depicted here emerges from the infertility ordeal with at least one healthy newborn. To be sure, most of them had to go pretty far afield; many underwent multiple cycles of in vitro fertilization, others had to rely on sperm or egg donors. Some even resorted to surrogates. The details of their treatment are described unflinchingly: hundreds of hormone shots, multiple miscarriages, the heartbreak of being "a little bit pregnant!" after embryos are implanted, only to have the "pregnancy" vanish, and the irony of "selective reduction," i.e., aborting one or more fetuses when fertility treatments work too well. For those grappling with infertility, Zouves's work, which makes the intricacies of biology understandable to the lay reader, offers a useful primer on cutting-edge science. And while it holds out much-needed hopeto those who yearn for children, the book would have been more valuable had it reflected the reality that miracles do not happen every day.
 


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