Finally Using My Frozen Eggs
When I froze my eggs I was adamant about two things:
1) I would NOT be a single mom
2) I would NOT try to get pregnant after age 42
Fast forward five years: I am still single, a few days shy of my 44th birthday and finally ready to use my frozen eggs. What changed? I chalk it up to three things: accepting my path, being OK with being single and having a kick ass family.
Accepting my (egg freezing) path
I felt like a failure before I froze my eggs. What was wrong with me? Why was I still single and childless at 39? The “not enoughs” started their toxic dance in my head: I am not smart, pretty, cool, sexy, fun, insert the blank….enough. My confidence, not uber high to begin with, was at an all time low. My drinking started to get out of control. I spent countless hours Facebook stalking high school friends and wincing at their bouncy house kids parties. I wanted the manual that everyone else seemed to have already read. My feelings of failure slowly oozed into the mean reds. Holly Golightly tells Paul: “The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?” Yeah, I got that feeling a lot.
Once I froze my eggs those ugly feelings of self-pity started to dissipate. For me, the process of freezing my eggs, like you hear so many women say, was tremendously empowering. By taking my fertility into my own hands, I was finally able to accept that, thought my life had not followed the perfectly linear path I had expected, I had done everything I could and was finally able to move on.
Being OK with Being Single
When I divorced at 33 the dream, or rather expectation, of having the guy and 2.5 children still seemed attainable. I dated sporadically. Then the long dry spell started and I finally broke down and went back to the world of online love. Reality hit me like a bulldozer. At 43, I was now too old for guys my age who overwhelming followed the 1/2 your age + 7 rule whereby a 42-year-old male’s sweet spot is 28. I’m sure the conversations are riveting – just saying.
My “sweet spot” was with the “young at heart.. and body” mid-fifties to early sixties set who looked like my dad (a young seventy something). These guys professed the ability to “take care of me.” Do I really look like that was on my agenda?? The dates I did go on never called me back. After I was ‘ghosted” five times in a row, I realized that I was waiting for someone who might never show up. And, more importantly, I was beating myself up for not being “call-backable.” This had to stop. I finally knocked some sense into myself and realized that while I could potentially find love at some point in the future, I could not put off having a child. To quote Mindy Kaling “I’m single as fuck” and I’m finally ok with it.
Having a kick ass family
My parents were the ones who pushed me to freeze my eggs. Well, it was really a gentle nudge. They knew how much I wanted children and encouraged me to move forward. I am grateful for their support then just as I am of their willingness now to help me raise a child as a single mom. In fact, I recently relocated to be near them. Without the support of my family, there is no way I would have even considered becoming a single mom.
I have also come to realize that DIY motherhood, the term recently coined by Rachel Lehmann-Haupt author of “In Her Own Sweet Time,” is the new normal. In fact, in my immediate circle of friends, I know four single moms who have had kids via a mix of frozen eggs, donor eggs, and adoption. Not only do I have an amazing family who will help me raise a child, I also have an amazing network of women I can lean on and learn from.
In one month, I am heading back to the fertility clinic for my one day work up. If all goes well, my frozen embryo transferred will be scheduled for the late summer. My to-do list until then consists of quitting coffee, taking prenatal vitamins and sperm shopping. And, I do not have ‘false hope’ as so many egg freezing detractors are threatening. I, like every egg freezer I know, fully understand that my frozen eggs do not guarantee a future baby. I accept these odds.