This piece by Lena Dunham -- the cover story (!) of the new issue of Harpers -- is already circulating widely among my infertility/CNBC peers. After struggling for years with severe endometriosis, she made the decision in early 2018 to have a hysterectomy at age 31 (and wrote about that experience too -- which I blogged about here).
"The moment I lost my fertility I started searching for a baby," the article begins. Dunham became obsessed, first with adoption, and then with IVF, when she realized she could use eggs from her one remaining ovary, fertilized by her boyfriend's sperm and carried by a surrogate. The article describes her personal experiences at the infertility clinic, as well as her online encounters with "#IVF Warriors." The paragraph that caught my attention was this one:
If there’s one person less welcome among the IVF Warriors than a new mother, it is a woman who has given up on becoming one. For though these communities were created to support women trapped in the fertility-industrial complex, they hold fast to its founding commandment: never quit, because nothing is impossible. In a culture where some mothers are told that their children’s lives are worth nothing at all, other women—women who look like me and most of the IVF Warriors—are told that no expense is too great to bring another child into the world.
The subtitle of this piece is "Giving up on motherhood." At least one comment I've seen thus far speculates that Dunham might not have given up, really -- that she may turn to adoption after all. She certainly has the resources to do so, if she wants to. I guess we'll see what happens...