Frozen Egg Lifeboat
What a wonderful world we live in! Not only can one get life insurance but now one can get egg insurance, preserving the reproductive potential in women.
We live our lives thinking, “What are the chances that I will remain childless? Zero to none…” until we suddenly find ourselves getting close to being 40 years old without having met Mr. Right. Unfortunately, our mothers may make us feel like it was our fault for having spent too much time involved in our careers, or because, as I was told many times, I presented myself as being too smart in the eyes of Mr. Right.
So, instead of focusing on something I had no control over, like finding a man who fulfilled all my requirements at the same time as I fulfilled his, I decided to focus on something that I could control: my ability to have a family. Very early on I decided that I would have at least one child, even if I never got married. Early in my 30s, I visited a fertility clinic to learn all I needed to know about freezing my eggs.
Besides learning the protocol I would have to follow to have my eggs retrieved, and later on frozen, I learned that 37 is the oldest age that a reproductive endocrinologist would consider for egg freezing (ovum cryopreservation). I saw charts showing the tremendous decline of number of eggs after age 35. I was clear on the point that between 36 and 37 years old was my window of opportunity to get this done.
By age 36 I had the funds and started preparing myself to get started.
I was surprised to see that I had to go for a psychological pre-screening. Many questions swirled in my head, “Were they concerned that maybe there is something wrong with me because I wanted to cryo-preserve my fertility?” I was very hesitant going to a psychologist. Contrary to my preconceived notions, she had some good questions for me to ponder. She asked me how many children I would like to have. I said emphatically, “One would be amazing, two or three would be over the top!” She explained that it is recommended for every desired child, 10 eggs should be frozen; however, at my age only 10-12 eggs were expected. In that case, would I go through more than one stimulation and egg retrieval? This meant having to go through injecting all those hormones two or three times, being put under, and experiencing retrieval three times. Even after all that, it was not a guarantee that these frozen eggs would result in a pregnancy.
I decided to trust God in His plan. A parable comes to mind where the captain of a sinking ship helps all the passengers get on lifeboats and then, when a helicopter comes, he packs the remaining few in it, and then hands the few remaining life vests to members of his crew. In the end, he is left alone in the ship and water is coming up to his neck. He asks God why, if he was a such good person who saved everybody else, could God not save him. God responded, “I made sure you had lifeboats, then I sent you the helicopters and finally showed you where the life vests were. You did not take any of my offers. What can I do now?”
With this story in mind, I decided that egg freezing is my lifeboat, my helicopter, and my life vests. This is my opportunity to do my part to have a family. Although this does not guarantee me the outcome I want, I know for a fact that if I do not freeze my eggs, I can be sure that I will never see my very own “mini-me.”