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The Maternity Labyrinth

The author and her husband got pregnant easily and after that everything was hard. In elegant, spare prose, Ariel Balter unflinchingly and courageously chronicles the couple's five-year-long quest to have a child on the frontlines of the fertility industry. And though the journey ends successfully, this is not a simplistic or feel-good story. Instead, The Maternity Labyrinth raises difficult questions not only about the costs–emotional, financial, moral–of assisted reproduction but also the very human desire to become a parent. Balter has written a moving, graceful, and deeply honest book.

–Alexandra Enders, author of Bride Island

The Maternity Labyrinth offers a window into the very personal experience of one woman as she navigates the often bewildering, frustrating, dehumanizing and heart-wrenching experience of family building for the infertile. Ariel Balter gives voice to this experience and to the feelings that accompany it–a voice that will be welcome to many who feel alone in their struggle through the labyrinth.
–Shana (Susan) G. Millstein, Ph.D.

Every woman who has faced infertility and maintains hope for a baby learns to traverse the labyrinth that awaits her, but Ariel Balter has both the courage, insight, and eloquent expression to translate her deeply personal experience into a poignant book that brings to the light of day a complicated, sometimes excruciating, and usually hidden journey—making a baby in “new-fangled” ways. The Maternity Labyrinth is a must read for anyone who has gone through fertility treatments, assisted reproductive technology procedures, and the terrible tensions between hope and fear; along with anyone who is a professional working in the field of infertility, assisted reproductive technology, maternity or maternal mental health; and any family member or interested reader looking to understand every emotional nook and cranny of playing against the odds to have a baby of one’s own. With no holds barred in sharing the losses and the trials and tribulations of negotiating the medical world of reproductive technology and establishing a bond with a stranger who will take part in making your baby, be it surrogate, gestational carrier, or donor, The Maternity Labyrinth is a treasured gift to all of us–making sense of the twenty-first century fertile new world in the words of a mother who has lived it from the inside.
–Diane Ehrensaft, author of Mommies, Daddies, Donors, Surrogates:
Answering Tough Questions and Building Strong Families