“In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” –Benjamin Franklin
I’ve been seriously debating, tossing around the idea, and preparing to freeze my eggs … AGAIN. Only this time, I am planning to also create embryos. Creating embryos will require extensive planning, careful consideration, selection of sperm, a financial commitment, and the willingness to give up control. This year will be my 35th birthday and the new label of “high risk” will be slapped on my status.
Some friends have been asking me, “why” would I freeze my eggs again, since I got a good response the first time in 2015. Part of my motivation and reason for freezing another cycle is due to my industry fertility friends’ experiences with getting pregnant, egg freezing part 2 thawing frozen eggs for pregnancy, or watching my friends that have waited until their late 30s or early 40s struggling to get pregnant.
One fertility friend who has had a big effect on me is Brigitte Adams. She recently decided to use her 39-year-old frozen eggs she froze 5 years ago in hopes to enter motherhood. She had a number of setbacks that derailed her plans. She dealt with some health problems that had to be resolved before she could transfer any embryos. She also had to endure the brutal egg math when thawing her frozen ice-babies. To the end result of tragically not working after years of banking on this Plan B. Watching her journey has been beyond a hard educational experience for me.
I desperately wanted it to work for her because I knew how bad she wanted to be a mom. I had interviewed Brigitte and told her story on Eggsperience back in March 2016. Her journey was a glimpse into of what my future could hold. Now, I do believe that if you freeze your eggs at advanced maternal age (clinical term used for women over 35 years old) like Brigitte was when she froze, you need more eggs in order to achieve a pregnancy than you would if you froze your eggs younger. Egg health is very important. When freezing eggs, you need both quality (healthy) eggs and have enough quantity (number) of eggs to work with. The chances of a live birth when freezing eggs can range between 2-12% per egg. Here is an egg calculator to help predict your chance of your future outcome.
I’ve always been a fan of having friends in my circle and network that were slightly older and wiser than me. They provide me with a great insight of the future and choices I will be soon faced with as well. It gives me time to process these choices and weigh in all the pros and cons. I believe that these friendships have made me more prepared to face the upcoming changes in my life. Adulting is hard to strike the right balance of work, social, and personal life. There is so much out of our control.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what if my frozen eggs don’t work. It is possible and you won’t know if they work until you try to get pregnant. Nothing is guaranteed in life … nothing except death and taxes. It really can only go one of two ways. I have seen examples of both happening within my friend-group. I have had friends that IVF and fertility treatments worked the first time, but then not the second time. I’ve seen friends struggle for many rounds and then finally when all hope was about to be lost, pregnant naturally. I have had several friends freeze their eggs and now prepare to use them.
The journey to motherhood is an unscripted one. I want to give myself the most options as possible. That is why I believe, while my first hope is to find a parenting partner and have children together, I need to be prepared if the partner never comes. If I’m just going to thaw my frozen ice-babies and make embryos anyways why not do it on my next freeze cycle. I don’t think I was ready to do that the first time. I just wanted to get eggs safely in the bank. Now that I have that, the next logical step for me is to make embryos.
It is not lost on me what a responsibility it is to create life and making embryos. I am essentially choosing the father of my child by making embryos. This is why this choice may take longer to prepare for than just a simple egg freezing cycle. Egg freezing is easy. It is choosing the sperm donor (ie: father) of my future child and getting pregnant that is hard. Not many people talk about that part of the journey. I want to allow myself to be open as I enter this new phase of discovering what motherhood looks like for me.
Today … my real journey to motherhood starts. It is a new year, a new month, and a new phase of realization that because I desire to join the mommy club this is the necessary steps to do so. I don’t want to have regrets or wish I was brave enough to do this later. I have decided that if I do meet the love of my life and parenting partner some day these future embryos don’t have to be used. I could donate them to science or research. Maybe (hopefully not the case) if my future husband and partner had sperm defects or issues, this could be a topic of discussion to explore and bring other options to the table to become parents.
I want to leave nothing to chance. I want to be proactive with my future. Sadly as women, we have to be the one take charge of these things … and often end up doing it alone. But I think doing it with a partner may not make it easier. This touches the ethical side of fertility that everyone has to wrestle with. Many couples are faced with these decisions. I want to give myself enough time to process all of these choices and make the best ones for myself. I encourage you to feel empowered to do the same. There will always be that friend that is an exception to the rule, but that does not guarantee the same outcome will happen to you.
The time is now to prepare and plan to set up your future. You will be thankful later that you did. I’m excited about the future. I have hope that this can work, but I need to give myself the most options possible. Now off for some sperm shopping … wish me luck … more to come.