I had dreamed by this age I would have 3 boys and a kind, caring husband, one that was responsible and trustworthy along with fit and handsome. I envisioned teaching my children tennis and reading to them each night as they smiled in awe as I made each character have a different voice (like I did for 17 years in third grade). I saw us on breathtaking hikes, bringing them home to Connecticut for a taste of east coast life, and making them love travel and exploration as much as me. I envisioned a family, a family that I never had. A place to call home and after a long day, a place to feel safe. The final chapter.
That is not my reality. I am alone in the doctor’s office waiting to hear if I can go ahead to start my first round of shots tonight to pump myself with hormones for two weeks, in hopes that my body produces enough eggs. So then I can be harvested and put my own genes on ice. As the years rolled on of crazy adventures, broken hearted agony, and girlfriends becoming my go-to source of advice, my age has crept up to a number I can’t even say aloud. Although I am super healthy and feel ten years younger than I am, my eggs most likely are not.
Over the last few months I wavered daily whether this “Eggs on Ice” was the right thing to do. As I sat in the doctor’s office today, images of ex-boyfriends flooded back and I wondered if I could have made the only 2 relationships I had in 8 years in LA work. I knew the answer. Could I had caved into a relationship and made it work, solely for bringing a child into the world? Could I raise a child feeling smothered, or raise a child with someone who had no intention of finding a job ever? I remember my mind going blank one morning in bed because I was not sure if I heard the words uttered correctly when the person I madly loved shared, “I have no motivation.” I wanted to scream, “You mean, like ever?” My choices of love had perhaps landed me here.
Do I even want kids? I think I do. I think I can’t imagine going through life without having one. I think of the conversation I had with my LaLaScoop co-founder. “I don’t even feel ready. I’m still working on my career. Will we ever feel ready? Maybe we’ll be ready at 50, but we all know God played a cruel joke on the female race. 50 is too late.”
My biggest concern was the money. I don’t have over $10,000 hanging around. I need that money to live and support myself in Los Angeles. My mother’s response: Adopt. My father’s response: How much money do you have in your investment account from the last two years? What are the figures? I need to see it in writing. What is the bottom line price? My general doctor’s response: Do you really want to have a child this late in life? You are going to be tired. Mothers I respect and admire: Melissa, Do it now!
In the end, I realized this personal choice was mine, and no matter what other people say, I am giving myself hope upon hope, that maybe someday if I can’t have a child the natural way, my “younger” or “younger than older” eggs will be waiting for me. My dad started warming up to the idea the last few weeks. I am extremely thankful for a financially responsible father who has offered to pay for this very expensive undertaking. My original plan was to charge it to my credit card and figure it out.
My mother has never been to LA in 8 years. I asked her to come stay with me and just as I expected, the excuses of work, not being able to leave her husband, and more, continued. So, I gave up trying. Then, recently I got a phone call from my mother’s husband who I had consulted since he is a Yale doctor. He sweetly gave me his blessing to do what I wanted, and that he supported me, offering up a number of a doctor he once knew. Several weeks later, my mother somehow changed her mind and decided to book a flight and come to LA to make sure I was OK through the procedure. Not exactly the reason I wanted her coming to LaLaLand, but I was thrilled she was going to finally make it to California.
I realized after speaking to many women around my age in LA that that they didn’t want kids, or some just couldn’t imagine the financial burden of freezing their eggs, so they were holding back. I knew I had to go through with it, so after talking to a couple friends who went through the procedure, I was going to have to toughen up. First, I would have to endure shooting myself up twice a day with shots for two weeks. Injections! I can’t even look when they take my blood. How am I going to stick needles in my stomach each night?
It’s been weeks now with taking various vitamins, not drinking alcohol, and not working out strenuously (ugh), but I’m getting my body ready for the best possible egg scenario. As I write this, I am waiting to learn if I can start my shots tonight since they found a small cyst and had to take another blood test to see if I could proceed. If not, I may have to try again next month. But, my mom booked a flight. I just want to get it over with!
I wonder if pregnant women feel alone.
How did I even learn about this possibility? Great Possibilities. I happened to be invited as press to cover a Great Possibilities party, an organization that helps you through the process of freezing your eggs for fertility preservation and/or delayed family planning. When I got the invite, you can imagine how much the topic spoke to me. The girlfriend I went with to the event is also freezing her eggs, although she is a few years younger than me. The co-founder Shalene Petricek has been holding my hand through each step as well as negotiating the best prices. Calm, knowledgeable Dr. Winkler at The Pacific Fertility Center in Westwood is whom I am trusting to provide me with the best care. The goal for someone my age = 5 eggs, although ideally it would be 15.