Breeding in Captivity takes us on Stacy Bolt’s journey to have a child at "advanced maternal age," first with the help of a Really Expensive fertility specialist, and then ultimately through a local adoption agency. But this isn’t your typical serious memoir about struggling with infertility; it’s an entertaining, witty read that perfectly balances humor with its more poignant moments. Breeding in Captivity is about a quirky, lovable couple that you root for through their fertility struggles and adoption adventures. It's about the hundreds of Internet message boards where annoyingly perky women from Kappa Alpha Fruitcake refer to sex as "babydancing" and sprinkle virtual "baby dust" on each other. It’s about meeting birthmothers and deciding on open adoptions. It’s about being chosen and then having a birthmother change her mind. But ultimately, it’s about hope, how life can surprise you, and laughing through the insanity.
Bolt is an infertile couple s best friend. When laughs are required, she refers to the doctor s office as The Spanketeria and greets a negative pregnancy test by drinking straight from a bottle of champagne. Bolt is especially skilled at schadenfreude and not afraid to use it. After all, her difficult experience is destined to make others feel better. Beyond being infertile, Bolt s endometriosis required surgery. When numerous rounds of uterine insemination (think: turkey baster) failed, she and her husband considered adoption and met three birthmothers who changed their minds. In writing about the deepest and darkest aspects of the quest to become a parent, Bolt s prose can border on flippant a girl s guide gone pregnant but she also writes with enviable acuity, as when she describes a visit to the home of friends, raising twin toddlers conceived in vitro: There was a thin sheen of what appeared to be a fruit glaze on everything. The parents, once buttoned-up professionals, were shells of their formal selves . Mark, whose patrician features had always seemed Gatsbyesque, now had the haunted, empty quality of a Dorothea Lange Dust Bowl portrait. Infertility has a profound effect on hearts and pocketbooks, but with a martini glass in hand, Bolt promises comfort and humor to those hoping for as happy an ending as this book delivers.