Amy’s Stats: Froze @ 38, # eggs retrieved: 14, # eggs frozen: 10
Recent Update from Amy:
I didn’t use my eggs from the bank. I got pregnant naturally/spontaneously they call it – on the first try, at age 40! Gave birth at 41 with no issues. I still have my eggs in the bank and still pay to store them, but our plan was: one and done.
What made you decide to freeze your eggs?
My girlfriends and I used to have a running joke as we would get into and out of relationships in our mid 30’s. We’d always joke that the backup plan was to freeze our eggs. This would roll off our tongues rather easily and I don’t think we ever really meant anything by it or even attempted to explore the option any further. It was a backup plan. But, not one we ever intended to utilize. I think saying it made us feel better. It was just one of those things that single in the city girls say to justify our desire to date and find love and put the idea of having children on the far back burner. The option of egg freezing also helped me to explore the idea of NEVER having children, which was my plan for many years. The IDEA of freezing my eggs was a great insurance policy just in case I had second thoughts at age 45.
The turning point in deciding to freeze was multifaceted. The first was biology. After years of feeling like I could happily live my life without children, something changed in me only recently.
My niece was becoming quite adorable and likable as were many of the 2 year old little girls I spotted around the NYC streets. I am in a relationship that is going on 2 years and as that relationship has become a stable and happy force in my life, some space recently opened up in my heart and head for many of the traditional societal elements that I had since rejected or just simply not felt comfortable with nor desirous of.
My feelings about having children moved from 70/30 on the NO side to 70/30 on the YES side. And, in all honest, it was my friend who is a therapist (and an egg freezer herself) that suggested egg freezing since she deals with lots of older clients who are struggling to have children through IVF. And, since I was on the fence about kids, she also suggested that I spend a few weeks actually imagining my life WITH a child instead of spending my energy denying them. Once I explored my own life PLUS ONE, I realized that I did indeed want this as a possibility and so egg freezing was the answer since I still (at age 38) wasn’t 100% sure for myself and for my boyfriend that we should go down the baby making road.
The final straw in the decision to freeze my eggs actually came from my parents. I was a bit nervous about telling them about this option. I figured they would just tell me to have children right away and ignore my reservations. Instead, they listened and in the end, I think they appreciated the fact that the egg freezing would afford them the option of a grandchild and otherwise, they would have none (from me anyway). My parents respected the fact that I was not ready to have children at this moment and they immediately provided emotional support, physical support (through the process, with the injections) and even financial support. I had not expected them to be so open minded.
Once I realized they were into the idea and even had a contact person at NYU Fertility – I was 100% sure that I was going to move forward.
The process (and seeing the struggling IVF patients in the waiting room) made me realize that even though I was taking these efforts, there are really no guarantees in life – frozen eggs or no frozen eggs.
What was the most difficult part of the process for you?
Strangely enough, the process was a pleasure. The reason for that might have been because I was highly aware that by freezing my eggs, I was taking control (as much as the universe would allow) over my future. Knowing that made the whole experience very positive for me. I was surprised to find that giving myself injections became an incredibly easy and comforting ritual for the two week period of time. The injection videos online were also a lifesaver. The whole process was incredibly smooth.
Some aspects BEFORE the egg freezing cycle were a bit stressful. I called 2030 different pharmacies to find the cheapest prices for meds. After going with IVF meds (an online pharmacy) I encountered some stressful situations related to several factors all connected with this pharmacy being located in England. The time zone difference made calling them difficult, the meds had a different brand name (although the same medicine) and that caused a HUGE stress until we (nurses and I) discovered that all was well, and lastly, the delay in the meds arriving (due to backorders) had me nervous until they did indeed arrive at my doorstep with time to spare.
In general, having family and friends for support made it all that much better. The hardest part, I guess, was the waiting beforehand for it all to begin and having to navigate work and clinic visits. But even this was made very easy with NYU’s 7 am to 9 am check in hours. The only part of the process that was difficult was my own nervousness that I brought to it about how many eggs I would get and whether they would one day ‘work’ for me. But there isn’t too much that can be done to quiet those fears other than just carrying on with life and accepting what comes.
Finding a two week period where you have minimal activities/travel/commitments going on and can focus on this process can be a challenge. I have to say that almost nothing was very difficult since the NYU Fertility clinic was amazing from day 1 with their Egg Freezing Class to the final phone consultation. Each and every nurse and assistant and doctor and intern and even the lady in the billing office they were all on top of everything, kind and caring throughout. I only have positive things to say about the experience.
….allow the process to wash over you and to help you decide what truly matters to you be it children (biological or adopted), a love life, career, hobbies and make room for that in your life whenever possible.
Has anything changed now that you have frozen your eggs?
Yes, indeed. As a result of the two week process of freezing my eggs, and the reflection that came along with that, I actually came to the conclusion that I do (or at least I am more sure than I was before) want a child. This is a strange and unexpected result but certainly a result that is worth the $13,700 spent. I may not have come to this conclusion had I not gone through the egg freezing process. There was something unique about taking my future into my own hands (through egg freezing) that made me take a step further (mentally) to take even more of my future into my hands (through making the decision to have a child). So as a result, my boyfriend I have begun those conversations and are looking at and re-evaluating our timeline and life goals.
The process also gave me a bit of peace of mind with those 10 eggs awaiting their use. But the process made me step back and think about how much (or how little) I want to mess with mother nature.
I am thrilled for the medical advances and so happy that I have these 10 eggs on ice should something go awry for me in the next year or so. But it did make me take a step back and realize that even though life and circumstances might not be PERFECT, they might be right enough that I could handle bringing a little one into this world.
Additionally, the process was so smooth that if I had not decided that I will try to have a baby naturally in about a year, I might actually go through it for a second cycle in order to bank a bigger insurance policy.
I also realized through the process that even with the advances in technology, sometimes the future holds a variety of things for us (that might NOT include children) and that whatever those things are, they are all valuable and worthwhile and meaningful. The process (and seeing the struggling IVF patients in the waiting room) made me realize that even though I was taking these efforts, there are really no guarantees in life frozen eggs or no frozen eggs.
Freezing your eggs is a commitment, as is actually having those children. And the path of having children may or may not be for me and it may or may not be for you and we all have to be OK with that result as well.
Life, without kids, might be a pleasurable breeze and that might be AOK too. So whether you freeze 5 eggs or 10 or 22 and whether those eggs turn into babies or not, we all still need to be OK with what the world provides, while still trying our best to reach out and make efforts towards our dreams. The process taught me a bit about OPTIONS and BALANCE and that there are many options in life if you just look deep enough there are sure to be many that will suit you. So I was able to release the pressure of needing a baby (and needing to bank 30 eggs to ensure that baby) and just let life take its semi-natural course.