With my new booklets now at the design/print stage (very exciting) I am busy choosing illustrations for the front covers and making sure that everything is as it should be inside them. It is impossible for me to proof-read as I am far too familiar with the text so this task is being taken on by DCN’s Manager Nina, who has an eagle eye for misplaced spacing, commas and quotation marks. Meanwhile my head is moving forward to the writing of a chapter on Telling and Talking for a book to be edited by a colleague who is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist. It is aimed at both a lay and professional audience but with insights into the experience of donor conception from a psychoanalytic perspective. This felt rather daunting in prospect but I am assured that I should write just like am used to doing, mixing the personal with observations from my experience over the years.
With publications very much on my mind, I have received two new books deserving of my time…if I had any. They are The Right to Know One’s Origins: Assisted Reproduction and the Best Interests of Children, edited by Juliet R. Guichon, Ian Mitchell and Michelle Giroux. This is a Canadian book and there is much that relates to this country’s laws on assisted reproduction, but some contributors such as Barry Stevens and Joanna Rose are well known in the UK. There are two interesting short chapters from 12 and 13 year old donor conceived young people and another from Bill Cordray, who started the donor offspring site PCVAI many years ago and is an articulate supporter of openness, having been deceived by his parents for 37 years.
The other book is the Second Edition of Having Your Baby by Egg Donation by Ellen Sarasohn Glazer and Evelina Weidman Sterling. This is both a slimmed down and beefed up version of the excellent first edition, now including more information of relevance to the European reader and cutting some extraneous information about treatments. What remains are the wise words and sensitive approach to all the social, emotional and practical issues that are shared by women around the world who find themselves contemplating using egg donation for family creation. I think I have an early copy as I commented on some of the chapters and have endorsed the book, but it will be out and available generally very soon.
But what is really pre-occupying me today is that I will soon be able to hug our gorgeous daughter Zannah who is currently living and studying in New York and whom we haven’t seen, other than on Skype, for five months. Walter and I are flying off tomorrow morning for four nights, but before that going to a family party in an Italian restaurant in Soho (London) to celebrate what would have been my Dad’s 100th birthday. Sadly he died in 1979 but remains loved by all his three children and the one grandchild who knew him. He was Italian and in addition to his NHS post at the Whittington Hospital in London (where there is a ward named after him) he was Consultant Physician to the Italian Hospital in Queen Square (now a parents hostel for children in Great Ormond Street Hospital). Many of his patients were owners of Italian restaurants in Soho who would never allow our dad to pay for a meal. I don’t think that custom is going to prevail tonight but boy do we plan to get through some Barolo to celebrate the occasion!