The Baby Trail
Emma has it all mapped out: Go off the pill in December, have sex, get pregnant by January, have the baby in September. And with the help of a personal trainer, Emma figures she'll be back in shape by Christmas. Happy New Year!
But when three months of candle-scented sex fails to produce the desired result, Emma's life becomes a rollercoaster of post-coital handstands, hormone inducing (a.k.a. sanity reducing) drugs, and a veritable army of fertility specialists. Emma and James try everything, from ovulation kits to in-vitro, but all their carefully laid plans seem to go south -- in direct proportion to Emma's plummeting self-esteem. And just when Emma feels she's alienated everyone in her life -- her twice-pregnant confidante, her singleton friend, even her own husband -- events take a ninety-degree turn that will have unforeseen consequences for everyone.
With The Baby Trail Sinead Moriarty brings a wicked sense of humor to a subject of fevered concern for women today. Sizzlingly funny yet deeply moving, this novel is sure to ring true for women who can hear the tick-tock of their own biological clocks.
Reading Group Guide
1) Why do you think Emma wants to have a baby? She resolves to get pregnant at New Years saying, "It was high time I had a baby. I was thirty-three and although I may have felt--and, truth be told, behaved--like I was twenty-five, it was time to knuckle down and get up the duff" (3). It sounds as though she wants to have a baby because she feels as though she should, and that's not hard to believe, given the incredible amount of pressure to have kids she picks up from her social circle. Still, there are other moments, holding her goddaughter, for instance, when even observers can tell she's feeling "broody." What compels her to undergo all the painful medical treatments and devote her life to baby making?
2) How does Emma's character change over the course of the novel? She says herself, "I had been a thoughtful person before I had become an obsessive psychotic" (296). Do you think Emma's appraisal of her behavior is fair? While her Mum thinks she's been tough to take, James doesn't seem to think she's lost her character. He says, "But you are you. You've just had a really difficult time lately" (301). Do you think Emma's behavior crosses the line during her treatments, or would any woman who wants a baby that badly act similarly?
3) Were you surprised when Emma decided not to continue with IVF? What do you think the final straw was? Had she lost her faith in modern medicine? Was she tired of waiting? Did she see more