Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Memoir

Finished September 4
What I Thought I Knew by Alice Eve Cohen
This is a memoir of a certain time in Cohen's life and she is very open about her feelings and thoughts during these time. Cohen and her husband had tried to have a baby and found that she was infertile. Her own mother had taken DES during pregnancy, and this affected Cohen's own reproductive health. Cohen began hormone treatment to treat some of her health issues. They adopted a daughter and later divorced. A few years later, Cohen is in a new relationship, engaged to be married and happier than she has ever been. It is at this time that her story truly begins. She feels ill and takes her myriad of symptoms to her doctors who run tests and diagnose her with gastrointestinal problems. Months later, when she is still feeling badly and is told she has an abdominal tumor, she is sent for an emergency CAT scan that shows that she is six months pregnant.
Cohen is in her mid-forties, has had no pre-natal care, has been on drugs that could harm her fetus, has minimal health insurance, and is bombarded by opinions on the possible outcomes for her child. She vacillates between doubt, rejection and acceptance, and is extremely honest about her thoughts during this time. She worries about the health of her child, family finances and her own ability to handle the whole thing.
This is a memoir like no other I have read, and one that was gripping to the end.

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