Episode 112: The Trying Game: IVF, Miscarriage, and a Book
We’ve said often on this podcast that sharing a journey can be very cathartic for both the person sharing as well as for the audience. This was certainly the case for author Amy Klein, author and fertility advocate who chronicled her four-year journey with IVF and recurrent pregnancy loss through a column in the New York Times and eventually, a book.
Amy’s story consists of ten doctors, nine rounds of IVF, four miscarriages, an international move, and eventually, a healthy baby girl. And while Amy’s experience was unique to her and her husband, her stories and advice have already helped thousands out there struggling with their own version of infertility.
Guest: Amy Klein, The Trying Game: Get Through Fertility Treatment and Get Pregnant Without Losing Your Mind
Host: Dan Bulger
If you want to purchase ‘The Trying Game’, you can find it here.
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Here are some highlights from this episode:
Writing About IVF
2:05 – 3:28
Dan Bulger: When she did enter the world of fertility treatment, she knew right away that it was something she should write about.
Amy Klein: I felt like I entered this secret world — you go into a clinic, and suddenly, there’s a long line out the door, where people are lining up at six in the morning. And your husband must go to a sperm collection room, which is basically a porn room. So as an author, I just thought, wow, this is like a crazy world. It was like I entered this Dungeons and Dragons place that no one’s talking about; I felt like I entered the secret society. Because I have a health background, and I write about what I’m doing, I just started writing articles and essays for the New York Times, completely unsolicited. One day, my editor called me, and she said, “Why don’t we make this a column?” And we were both so naive. She suggested I write about this for like three or four months, and then we would transition it into a pregnancy column. We had the same misconception that if you can’t get pregnant you do IVF and in a few months, you’ll be pregnant. Well, I ended up writing 30 more columns over three years before I finally had my daughter.
Moving Overseas for Coverage
4:01 – 5:28
Amy Klein: We moved to Israel because IVF is free in Israel.
Dan Bulger: It certainly says something about the systems we have in place when people are incentivized to leave our country in order to access the care that they need. At Progyny, we believe that everyone should have access to fertility treatment. But Amy didn’t have good coverage for IVF. And IVF is very expensive.
Amy Klein: It’s not really free because of the ancillary costs. I guess you just always have to figure out what the other costs are involved when you’re doing this. We did end up saving about $100,000 on those four rounds of IVF with genetic testing, but there were other costs we didn’t foresee. Plus, being away from my support network was hard.
Dan has been in the healthcare industry for the last six years as a multimedia content producer. Better known as ‘Video Dan’ he as interviewed numerous doctors, patients and other experts in the world of fertility. He’s also the producer for this podcast, This is Infertility. On a personal note Dan’s parents started fostering kids when he was four years old, and he considers himself a proud older brother to over 100 foster children.
Amy Klein is the author of The Trying Game: Get Through Fertility Treatment and Get Pregnant Without Losing Your Mind (Penguin/Random House), which is based, in part, on her New York Times “Fertility Diary” column, following her four-year journey (ten doctors, nine rounds of IVF, four miscarriages and two donors) to have her daughter. Part memoir, part prescriptive, The Trying Game talks to doctors, therapists, scientists and patients to deal with the medical and emotional struggle of baby-making. Library Journal says “Klein’s compassionate writing style makes this an excellent book for anyone dealing with fertility issues.” Find her on: Instagram Twitter Facebook.
Music From This Episode:
Track: Chill Out Theme
Artist: Lee Resevere
Track: I wanted to live