Three Wishes: A True Story of Good Friends, Crushing Heartbreak, and Astonishing Luck on Our Way to Love and Motherhood by Carey Goldberg, Beth Jones, and Pamela Ferdinand is a recounting of three women's quest to have children later in life. While I knew that was the basic premise of the book, I don't think I had a much better understanding than that. I fully expected this to be a memoir of three couples going through fertility treatments. While I was totally off base regarding this book, I still enjoyed Three Wishes.
Three Wishes is narrated by three friends: Carey, Beth and Pam, all successful professionals who have been independent until their late thirties when they begin trying to find a way to have a child on their own.
Carey begins the procedure by buying vials of sperm from Donor 8282. The vials seem to have a form of luck attached to them because as soon as they are in Carey's possession she meets Sprax, someone she begins a relationship and eventually starts a family with.
Beth had been married for several years, only to return from a trip to find her husband asking for a divorce. She receives an enormous (at least by my standards) settlement, giving her some freedom to pursue her interest in rock climbing and different travel opportunities. When Carey becomes pregnant she gifts her donor sperm to Beth. And Beth, much like Carey, eventually becomes pregnant without the use of Donor 8282.
Pam, the third friend is also interested in becoming a mother but can feel the clock ticking signaling the end of her opportunity to have a child. When she meets Mark, someone she is attracted to, she is hopeful that this her chance at having a family. However, Mark is already married and the two must make some big decisions before starting a family together. Donor 8282 is gifted to her from Beth, and once again it's mere presence seems to bode well for Beth and her ability to have a baby of her own.
None of the friends end up using the donor sperm and all were able to have healthy children of their own. However, if ever there was a book written to encourage women to have children before they were leaving their thirties, this is it. Some people probably would feel Three Wishes is a hopeful story about mothering later in life, yet the emotional roller coaster these women were put on and the many disappointments they experienced also show how trying to have a baby does not always produce happy results. The fact that these women had plenty of money to follow their dream of motherhood is also something that not everyone has at their disposal.
Three Wishes is well written and interesting, but certainly was not what I was expecting (due to my own lack of research about this book). While I didn't necessarily agree with some of the choices Carey, Beth and Pam made, their account of the quest to become mothers provides an interesting perspective to "older" moms.