Jennifer Prudenti's new book One Mother's Journey: Creating My Family Through In Vitro finally gives a voice to the untold thousands of women who quietly suffer the shots, hormone treatments, painful procedures, the emotional roller coaster, and the stress that goes along with In Vitro Fertilization.
"There are no other books written on this topic by an actual woman who used IVF," says Prudenti. "There are clinical books, but no one has written a book about their personal journey."
Q: Jennifer, thanks for doing this interview with us. Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a 47 year old mother of 8 year old twins, Sophia and Michael. I am the Den leader of my sons Boy Scouts troop and I am a very involved parent-they certainly are keeping me young! I work at Marquis Who's Who doing marketing and sales. I also go to school at night where I am completing my BS BME degree. When I am done with this I am going for a Life Coaching certification. I feel as though I spent the first half of my life living through intense experiences so that I could spend the second half of my life helping people!
Q: Your new book deals with IVF. What is IVF?
Simply put IVF is: when an egg and sperm are fertilized manually in a laboratory dish, and once the fertilization is successful the embryo is physically inserted into the uterus
Q: You did mention that many women are not told the details of the process. What knowledge are they missing?
For example, there's a period of time when they retrieve your eggs and then fertilize them; then there's another time between them fertilizing and being transferred back into you. What they don't tell you is that you may start with 8 eggs but then they tell you only 4 were viable and fertilized and then on the day of transfer you are told only one egg made it to transfer.
No one ever tells you about the steps between the 8 eggs and 1 egg, and all the opportunities there are to lose eggs. You go from completely joyous to deflated in a manner of 4-5 days!
Q: I am sure there are many books on IVF, so what's different about your book?
As far as I know, I have written the only book that openly and honestly chronicles my entire IVF journey start to finish!
Q: Tell us about your own process. What were some of the most difficult parts of having IVF?
My process was trying and filled with every challenge you could encounter while undergoing IVF. The most difficult part was the nurse calling you and telling you that you were not pregnant. I got that call THREE TIMES.
Q: How does this book help couples contemplating IVF?
My book is honest and raw and it will prepare a couple for the journey of IVF, and it will definitely help women not feel so isolated and alone while undergoing IVF!
Q: Tell us about your twins now?
Sophia and Michael are 8 years old and the most amazing souls in every way!
They are smart, funny, kind, loving, soulful, brave, insightful, caring, giving kids. They love each other like crazy and they fight like crazy too.
They are healthy and happy!
Q: What advice do you have for a woman thinking of IVF now?
If you want to be a mommy then you do whatever you need to do to make that dream happen. IF IVF is the route you need to take then be strong, be resilient, be educated and MOST IMPORTANTLY have my book on hand every step of the way!