When you’re in your 20s all people ask you is… “when are you getting married?” When you enter your 30s it’s “when are you having kids?” When you hit 35 and you haven’t done either of things because you either don’t want to or it just hasn’t been in your cards yet (rude), people start asking you “are you freezing your eggs?” Seriously. I’ve gotten this question several times in the last few months. And, because I have a blog and some awesomely dedicated readers, I thought I would answer this question for everyone to read.
So, am I freezing my eggs? No. I’m not. But, this isn’t an answer I came to lightly.
(Please note, these are MY thoughts and opinions! Please don’t comment about how I know nothing about science, breast cancer and egg freezing. I’m sharing my personal beliefs with you and would love for them to be respected.)
The science of it all.
Breast cancer runs in my family. My grandmother died when she was 49 after losing her battle with breast cancer. We have no idea what kind of breast cancer she had, it was the 70s! Yes, I can get the BRAC test done to see if I’m likely to get cancer as well and to see if that cancer is estrogen positive. I’ve had a few sit-downs with my AMAZING OBGYN over the last few years and collectively we decided against testing me. My doctor has been studying BRAC testing for years and while she thinks it can be an incredible resource and lifesaver for some, for others it may not be the best option. Because breast cancer is in my family history I am diligent about monthly self-breast exams and get an ultrasound every other year. My doctor believes this is enough for me right now. She also believes (as do I) that often people can test positive something and mind over matter can manifest that problem. What impact does this have on egg freezing you ask? In order to freeze your eggs you need to take hormone packed fertility shots. These shots make you drop several eggs at the same time so they can be harvested. My doctor is nervous that with my family history in cancer, pumping my body full of hormones probably isn’t the best idea for me. So, if I look at it like I could be giving myself cancer to freeze some eggs, I’m going to pass on this option for now.
Also, they say that they best thing to do is to freeze fertilized eggs. Now, knowing Murphy’s Law any woman who would freeze eggs fertilized with an amazing sperm donor would most likely meet the man of her dreams a couple of weeks later. Then, you’re left with your hot new husband raising some other guy’s kids or destroying those eggs and/or trying your luck the natural way.
Why does it have to be so hard!?
Kids aren’t cheap! And neither is egg retrieval and freezing!
1. I did price this out recently while I was weighing my decision… egg retrieval and freezing is around $10,000 + $500 a year for storage. Yup… not cheap!
2. I LOVE kids. I really do. I’ve nannied for three families and started babysitting when I was 12. I even took that babysitting class from the YMCA when I was in Junior High. I remember being in my teenage years and thinking, “my biggest fear in life would be not being able to have kids.” To some degree, I still believe this. There is nothing more I want in life than to have kids, but I also have to be realistic. I’m on my own and working my ass off to support the life I’m living. I live in LA… it’s not cheap! Adding a kid to the mix would be such a joy, but also such a challenge. In order for me to afford to have a kid, I need to be working full-time. This also means that there is then no one to be taking care of said kid… so I would need to hire a full-time nanny. Nanny aside, a child is VERY expensive… housing, food, healthcare, clothes, diapers, etc. Just the basics add up fast! And, do I really want to do this alone and have someone else raise my child? Again, I’ve thought about this a lot and decided no.
Also, I truly commend all of those single parents out there. I had my niece for the day and was EXHAUSTED. They are SO much work! This is not me being dramatic… I know my mom friends would all agree. It takes two people to get pregnant with a kid (scientifically) and in my opinion that’s probably for a reason. It’s a lot of work to raise a child and I’m honestly scared I wouldn’t be able to do it alone.
So, what did I decide YES on?
I decided that at 35 if I was going to live my life and still be happy, I needed to put kids on the back burner until either there was a constant man in my life who could help me raise our kid and/or just accept that kids might not be in my cards and be okay with that. So, I’ve done a little of both. I also made the decision that I am going to continue to be the best aunt I can be. I thought a lot about it… do I want to be tired, poor and struggling to fulfill my dream of having a child or do I want to step back, figure out what it takes to truly be happy and enjoy the life I’m currently living and take my hard-earned money and spoil my niece, nephew and MYSELF.
After almost two years of deliberation I chose me… (and my niece and nephew). I would rather be the cool aunt that takes my niece to Paris for high school graduation than be running after a toddler when I’m 45-years-old.
At this point in my life I have lived independently for the last 14 years. I have worked my ass off creating a company (my baby) that is now thriving. I’ve accomplished a lot in my life and won’t be shamed because one of those accomplishments isn’t childbirth. The sad thing is that while my friends were off backpacking through Europe and on their honeymoons in Bali, I was home working. So, I’ve made the decision that now is the time for me to be selfish and accept that that’s totally ok.
Do I still want kids? Yes. But, right now I choose me first. If it happens it will be amazing, but am I going to force it through science? No.