It is the spring of 1999, and 44-year-old Alice Eve Cohen is deliriously happy. She is raising Julia, her 8-year-old adopted daughter, she is dating a wonderful man and has a thriving career as a playwright and theater artist.
And then one day in early April, she awakens with an upset stomach.
The nausea never abates, and over the course of the next several months Alice gains a host of new symptoms, which her gynecologist diagnoses as early menopause, her gastroenterologist as anemia and reflux, and her general practitioner as a tumor. It is only later, during a CAT scan, that it is accidentally discovered that she is 26 weeks pregnant.
And so begins Alice’s difficult journey in trying to figure out how to proceed. Especially since she has not receive any prenatal care, has been taking prescription medication and synthetic hormones that are know to cause birth defects, is a high-risk pregnancy, and has to deal with an insurance company that offers little coverage or help.
Cohen offers her perspective on the medical system, motherhood and what it means to be a family in today’s society, while providing an honest, entertaining and captivating narrative. She pulls no punches and candidly opens herself to readers, despite how she may appear or be judged.
This is a fast-paced memoir that will preoccupy readers’ thoughts long after the last page has been read.
This Pregnancy Over 40 story was found on JoplinGlobe.com
Read more: Book review: Medical surprise makes for compelling story
Originally posted on December 25, 2009
Photo credit: wn.com
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TODAY'S BOOK SUGGESTION:
What I Thought I Knew: A Memoir
by Alice Eve Cohen
--A personal and medical odyssey beyond anything most women would believe possible
At age forty-four, Alice Eve Cohen was happy for the first time in years. After a difficult divorce, she was engaged to an inspiring man, joyfully raising her adopted daughter, and her career was blossoming. Alice tells her fiancé that she's never been happier. And then the stomach pains begin.
In her unflinchingly honest and ruefully witty voice, Alice nimbly carries us through her metamorphosis from a woman who has come to terms with infertility to one who struggles to love a heartbeat found in her womb - six months into a high-risk pregnancy.
What I Thought I Knew is a page-turner filled with vivid characters, humor, and many surprises and twists of fate. With the suspense of a thriller and the intimacy of a diary, Cohen describes her unexpected journey through doubt, a broken medical system, and the hotly contested terrain of motherhood and family in today's society. Timely and compelling, What I Thought I Knew will capture readers of memoirs such as Eat, Pray, Love; The Glass Castle; and A Three Dog Life.
Paperback: 208 pages
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• You Can Get Pregnant in Your 40's - Sharing articles, discussing options and suggestions
• Stories of Pregnancy and Birth over 44 - sharing news stories I find online, for inspiration!