16 December 2012

Who What Where Why

I've been searching the internet for some blogs on egg freezing as it's something I'm about to embark on.  I've come across a couple of helpful blogs but not as many as I'd like, so I thought I'd keep track of my own feelings, and also share them in order to add a voice to what's out there.

First up, I'm not a doctor, and I can't answer questions like that.  But I want to talk about my journey, and how it all goes for me, in the hopes that my experience may help someone else come to what is ultimately, a very personal and unique decision.

This is my story.

I'm 38 years old.  I live in London, although I'm also American.  This is important to the story because some time earlier this year, my mother sent me an email after having read this article in the New York Times about parents who were offering to pay for their daughter's to have their eggs frozen.  She was nervous about broaching the subject, as I should also point out that I'm 38 and single.  I've never had any serious or long-term relationship.  My parents have over time "bothered" me about my single status and I usually tell them off for it if they start to get too pushy.  So I can understand why my mother was tentative about raising it.

However, I wasn't upset by her bringing this up.  At 38, although a number of my friends stayed single and got married very late, many of my friends are having their first children now.  In fairness, some had them a few years ago, although I don't know many who had children before 30.  So my Facebook and conversations have been invaded by pregnancies and babies.  IVF and infertility.  I always thought I would find someone and have a family.  I've started to feel like I was going to miss my chance.

I should also add that this wasn't necessarily new thinking, as I'd had a fertility related issue when I was 33 and I had emergency surgery for an ovarian cyst and lost one of my ovaries.  I remember the doctor saying to me at the time that if I was going to consider having a family, that I should think about it sooner rather than later.  I don't let things like this get to me, but I did feel it was fairly inconsiderate.  It wasn't like I could just magic up a relationship, snap my fingers and have everything in place that would enable me to have a family.  It wasn't like I'd never thought about it before.  It wasn't as though I didn't want it.  I just didn't feel I had control over it.

Last, I've started to consider my legacy and purpose in life.  Not that I never considered these things before, but I've thought about it more.  I'm an only child.  It's possible that at some point in my life I will come in to a reasonable inheritance provided my parents don't blow through all their savings.  What's it all for?  Who will I leave my  things to?  Like I said, I always assumed I'd have kids- a family.  I'm just more and more aware that the window is shrinking.

And I've thought about things like adoption.  But I had no idea how difficult adoption was.  How they don't like to give babies to single women.  Or women over 40.  So when you reach a point in life where you are able and willing to give a child a home, you just aren't a good option.  It's not that I wouldn't consider it, but I learned I can't count on it.

So when my mom brought this up, I thought about it.  And then I thought about it some more.  To be honest, I didn't have any idea what state my fertility was in or if egg freezing was viable for me given my medical history.  But I thought maybe it wasn't such a bad idea.  And I definitely thought it would be a good idea just to find out the basics and talk to a specialist.  So I agreed to go.  And so my journey begins.

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