“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing.” ― Author unknown
Culturally speaking, we are so obsessed with infertility, fertility, and pregnancy that we romanticized the idea of it. Our society is on the cusp and shift of how we talk about fertility and infertility. Slowly the walls about these issues are coming down, brick by brick. If you want to judge us for our non-traditional choices, we can’t stop you, but let us explain all the experiences that led us here. Women want modern tools to help them prioritize fertility and health too, not just dating apps. The dating process feels more like an endless circle of mazes swiping left and right with too many options and no real results. No one wants to start a cultural baby panic, that is not going to help anyone women included, but we can’t deny the importance of motherhood biologically. I’ve heard how some people express egg freezing similar to buying car insurance or playing the lottery. These examples don’t do the idea justice in my eyes. I like to think of egg freezing as one more elevator to get me to where I want to go.
Life feels like a series of elevators … up, down, up, down, up all day long. Elevators physically represent the necessary step to get where you want and need to go. You may encounter a few pit-stops, meet people along the way, get deterred from your destination, re-routed, change what you think and want, or accidentally get off on the wrong floor … which could lead one’s life in many different directions. The path of our lives stems from how we make choices, deal with conflict, or solve problems. Similar to realizing you have been dating the wrong guy or finally meeting the right person or maybe finding someone you connect with, but it is at the wrong time.
Egg freezing is like an express elevator to the top (ie: to your future) that you have been dreaming about. You can go speeding up to the top, see all of the possibilities, realize how beautiful the views are, and create a path for it to be yours some day. In my mind, egg freezing is the gateway through this journey to motherhood. We never know what life will throw on our plate next or how it can change on a dime. Regardless where our path actually takes us, it is our responsibility to send the elevator back down and help the next woman facing the same dilemmas with dating, family planning, and be the voice to educate others on fertility options.
Our culture looks at freezing a woman’s eggs like a catch-22. However, I refuse to view egg freezing as if I was gambling my money away. It is a matter of priorities. What is important to you? Children within the right setting are on that list for me. I take control of my life in almost every other aspect, so why not give myself the best opportunity to become a mother if I choose. Egg freezing is something that is worth my time and effort no matter the outcome. There are no guarantees in life except death and taxes. Personal, I know that I would never regret freezing my eggs. However I would regret not taking advantage of the technology, especially since I know it exists.
Freezing my eggs and acting as though I didn’t freeze my eggs is the plan. It’s like the old money saving trick, where you move cash into a different unused account so you don’t spend it. So until new technology like growing an immature egg into a mature one from the PC lining of the ovary is created, egg freezing is the best technology we have at this time. I’m reminded of the quote, you miss 100% of the shots you never take. Sure it wouldn’t be awesome if my frozen eggs failed to produce a live birth some day, but I am going to take the necessary steps to at least give myself the options. The experts say true effectiveness of egg freezing remains relatively unknown until enough frontrunners join the experience for data to show a clear-cut picture of the most effective choices. I like to think of egg freezing as a fertility funnel. Just like it sounds a fertility funnel is really a numbers game, because the truth is not all your eggs will survive the thawing, embryo creation, or implantation process.
Basically each egg frozen has about a 2-12% chance of becoming a live birth according to the only old data collected thus far. There are many variables in these statistics. It is estimated that between 80-90% of the eggs will survive the thaw. Then if the egg does survive the thaw only some will fertilize. A portion of those fertilized eggs will actually progress to embryo stage (day 3 embryos to day 5). When getting pregnant is desired, there is the matter of successful implantation of the embryo(s) and completing the 40-week pregnancy for the desired result of a live-birth. Depending on the individual and age when she freezes her eggs, the chances of carrying a healthy baby to term is between 67-85% from that point. As you can see it’s statistically a numbers game. I want to stack the odds in my favor. Why not have more options than not enough. Having the option is better than no option regardless how many eggs I am able to freeze.
I’m trying to build an environment that presents true, raw, hard facts verses a sugar coat version of the truth. I plan to be exposed and vulnerable during egg freezing and my journey to motherhood. I feel that knowing is better than keeping my head in the sand. I am willing to share my feelings, my dreams, my opinions, and my journey in hopes that it helps someone. If we don’t talk honestly about it, you may not know that others have been going through or how they share your same struggles. So on this journey of freezing my eggs, I want to hear about you. What is your opinion? Do you have egg-freezing story you would like to share? Why did you choose to freeze your eggs? What do you think about women electing to have this procedure? Would you do it? Would you recommend it? Your journey might help someone else, so please be open to share and join in the conversation.