Fertility, Parenthood, and “The Great Decline” | The Sun Magazine
Featured Selections

Fertility, Parenthood, and “The Great Decline”

September 12, 2022

Children often evoke our strongest emotions. When we think about them — when and whether to have them, whether we can have them, whether we’ll have the freedom to make the choices we want — we confront our deepest fears and hopes.

This month Tracy Frisch interviews Shanna Swan, an environmental and reproductive epidemiologist. Since the 1990s Swan has studied the way chemicals in industrial products harm reproductive health.

We’ve highlighted some selections from our archives on the complexities of bringing life into the world.

The baby doesn't kick for a whole day. My wife mentions this casually because we both know fear spreads like fire. Even though I feel a rush of worry, I match her calm. It’s like being in the clutches of some great bird as it lifts us toward the treetops.
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Unknowing

Last summer one of our authors reflected on the twilight world between life and death — one that she and her wife inhabited while awaiting the birth of their child. At every step in their pregnancy, small omens of death shadowed their movements and haunted their thoughts.

By Laura Price SteeleJuly 2021
Not aggressive, not in defense, but more, standing over her unmoving baby, with her deft front paws fidgeting, useless, the animal said, What can I do? You know and I know that only when times are desperate do appearances like this occur.

Talking to Trees

In a prose poem from twenty-two years ago, the author reflects on his wife’s efforts to save an injured baby raccoon — only to find the animal is as abandoned by rigid human regulations as it is by its own mother.

By Scott WithiamFebruary 2000


Additional Featured Selections Want more? Click through to discover additional pieces that connect to our September issue, as well as featured selections from prior months. Keep Reading
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