Rachel Lehmann-Haupt was enjoying a good life. At 31, she had a boyfriend, a fulfilling career, and the prospect of marriage and children. When her relationship ended a year later, she was close to 35, facing the dividing line between a regular and a "high-risk" pregnancy.
So she traveled the world to consider her options for having children: egg freezing, single motherhood, and instant families. In "In Her Own Sweet Time," learn about one woman's effort to have it all: a career, a family, and the perfect mate.
Read an excerpt of the book below and head to the "GMA" Library for more good reads.
We are sitting on the giant root of an oak tree at The Cloisters, a medieval park filled with lush formal gardens on the northern tip of Manhattan. It's late summer. The light bounces off the Hudson River and flickers in the leaves. He looks nervous. I'm shaky too. We've been together almost a year, and I'm wondering whether he might be getting ready to give me a ring.
Instead, he looks away from me. Silence. Then he turns back, and in an awkward tone, he says that he doesn't feel the kind of "intangible connection" he needs to get married and start a family with me. Instead of starting our life together, he is ending it.
My stomach lurches. I ask him if we can go sit somewhere else, as though moving might make this feeling go away, push back what was about to happen.
No. He wants to break up. And with those words, everything that I have imagined about our future abruptly blurs: walking on my father's arm down the aisle dressed in a white hourglass dress; living in the downtown loft with the sky-light office where I would write; being in my parent's suburban backyard, where our baby would splash in a plastic pool at a Sunday barbecue.
"I'm sorry I wasted your time," he says.
And with that, it's over.
Alex and I met at a rooftop party in Greenwich Village in the summer of 2000. I was thirty-one, and more intensely focused on my career than on my romantic life. I was dating a lot, but I was more interested in meeting up with groups of friends for after-work drinks and lingering over dinners at the latest hot spots than I was in nesting at home with one man or starting a family. Getting serious in a relationship that would lead to marriage was in the back of my mind, but I was in no rush.
Alex came to the party on a date with another woman. I was charmed by his shyness; his big, wistful blue eyes, the way he quietly lingered on the sidelines of the gathering. At the bar, a mutual friend introduced us, and after a few minutes of small talk he complimented my social ease and made a self- deprecating comment about his lack of it.
I responded to this subtle flirtation by offering to do the talking for him; then we exchanged cards. A few weeks later I decided to take the chance and email him. I told him I wanted to write a story about his company as an excuse to get together and find out if he was still with his date from the party or if he was available. He responded a few days later by inviting me to a party at his apartment, but by then I had gone out of town on assignment. When I got back, I returned his email asking him to get together for drinks. He thought my late response was charming.