You’re 35! Are You Freezing Your Eggs? My Response to Everyone Who Asks…

by Emily Macintosh on February 10, 2015

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.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelly February 11, 2015 at 6:04 am

First, let me thank you for putting this uncomfortable conversation out there. I too have struggled with these issues, and have had to make some hard choices – ones that I never imagined myself having to make. (let’s face it – when you’re 16, or even 20, you don’t think to yourself “one day I want to grow up and freeze my eggs, just in case…”) I don’t think that all women should be made to feel that their life is somehow “incomplete” if they don’t have children. It is a different journey than most, but equally fulfilling in a different way. We shouldn’t punish each other for our choices. Freezing eggs is terribly expensive, painful and invasive, and doesn’t necessarily give you the outcome you want. But if you know it’s your destiny in life to be a mother (and you haven’t yet met the one) – freezing your eggs is a way to ease that anxiety. Again, it’s all about choice. We are very lucky to have choices – the women through history before us – motherless and not – fought for our right to have choices about what we can do with our lives. So instead of judging each other if we make a choice that’s outside the “norm” – that is a good thing. As Jennifer Aniston said in a recent interview, “we’re all mothering in some way” – just because we don’t have a child doesn’t mean we aren’t compassionate, caring, nurturing. It doesn’t mean that we can’t make a huge impact on someone else’s life—(hello, teachers???). I applaud your decision. You are making a difference in the lives of those around you – including your niece and nephew. You’re showing them what success, independence, and strength are. Thanks again for sharing.

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Emily Macintosh February 11, 2015 at 7:46 pm

Kelly, I can’t tell you how much your comment means to me. Thank you for reading and for sharing your thoughts as well. I think this is a tough subject, but oddly something people are becoming more and more open about (and asking about!).

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Viney May 20, 2017 at 2:25 am

Sweet blog! I identified it whilst browsing on Yahoo News. Do you have any sueggstions on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a even though but I never appear to get there! Thank you

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http://goanalyze.info/blackmonsterterror.com May 31, 2017 at 5:53 pm

There must be some mistake. Blagojevich–”or Grabojevich,” as they call him in his home state–is a liberal Democrat who recently pushed a strict new ethics law through the Illinois legislature. Can’t be his fault. Got to be that darn George W. Bush again. Or maybe Sarah Palin made him do it. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Those darn Republicans!

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clj February 12, 2015 at 3:46 pm

This is an awesome post, Emily. Thank you for sharing! I got the same questions at the same points you did (we are the same age) and after I got married, forget it… it’s been a constant barrage of baby-related harassment. We just bought our first house in the suburbs and every “congratulations” was followed up with “so which room is the nursery??” Sorry, but unless you are close to me and know my heart, don’t assume to know anything about my level of desire for procreation. What if I didn’t want kids? Or if we’d be trying and found out we couldn’t have them? It’s just awkward. Personally, I want to have my own criteria met in terms of accomplishments/goals achieved before kids. Whenever I tell this to someone, I am asked the same “are you planning to freeze your eggs?” question. Ask me about my job, ask me where my next vacation is, ask me what’s the next goal on my horizon… don’t ask me about my ovaries.

Like you, I adore and love children, and I do want to have them – but I feel it’s up to each person to determine what works for them, and when. I may be in the minority, but I don’t believe in living life for the “what if”… you are doing what feels right to you in the now, and it’s NOW that you have to live in. You are still young, Emily – in fact, according to my obgyn, women under 35 are the minority for first time mothers in/around the big cities! – and you still have a whole world of choices ahead of you. Some may involve kids, some may not. Like everything else in life, you will take things as they come and do what feels right. Maybe I sound like some cliché Pollyanna but I firmly believe in happy endings – even if they aren’t the ones we would have written for ourselves in our bright-eyed 20s. Happiness and fulfillment come in so many different forms, and continually shift as we evolve. Enjoy being an auntie, enjoy being YOU, and let the pieces fall where they may in the interim.

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Emily Macintosh February 13, 2015 at 12:28 am

This is everything… “Ask me about my job, ask me where my next vacation is, ask me what’s the next goal on my horizon… don’t ask me about my ovaries.” Thank you so much for your comment and for reading. So glad I wrote this :)

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PrinceFuckingCharming February 23, 2015 at 4:38 pm

You have a great attitude, girl. But really not to worry, there’s a good chance there will be some PFC Macintosh Jr.’s running around in the not too distant future. Just have to make it over to the west side at some point to make it happen. I agree with Kelly and clj to a point. Perhaps having your own biological children is not in the cards for everyone, but for those who have the desire, fostering/adoption/big bro or sis is a wonderful way to literally save a child’s life while also fulfilling a need that resides in almost every soul. In my younger years back east, I was a big brother to two boys who lived in dreadful circumstances. As stupid as this sounds, I was inspired by the a cliche movie that Keanu Reeves did way back when about an inner city little league team. Right then I decided to get off my ass and give back a little. It was a most rewarding experience and I got to help two kids through an otherwise unguided adolescence, coach some baseball and just try to help two kids have a semblance of childhood as I knew it. It would be arrogant to compare it to parenting, but I now have two little brothers for life and Lord knows it’s been rewarding beyond description. For me, the experience affirmed a belief that, should biological children not be in the cards, I could love and raise a child that was not my own biologically just the same. In some ways, a child you take in will be even be more rewarding and more bonded than a biological child, because those children will eventually know exactly what was lost and what they have gained. So my travel schedule and insatiable enjoyment of the fairer sex has not been conducive to starting a family as yet, but it just goes to show that many people, even some you might not suspect, have a lot to give to the unwanted children in this world. Where I diverge in my opinion with clj and Kelly is that, for the vast majority of people, they can tell themselves all they want about a fulfilling life without children; however the cold reality is that 99% of us want/need the companionship of a family, the laughter of children, the unconditional love that goes two ways and fulfillment you simply cannot get without it. You can be a big brother, you can be a cool aunt, you can be an inspiring teacher – but none of these things is a substitute for what the soul really needs. Emily, I always champion your efforts at love, and every yo yo who reads this blog knows you are the real deal. So I’m not worried about you as much as you might be right now. Things will turn your way and will happen quickly when they do. Maybe even with your boy Single Steve, but more likely with PFC, or a reasonable facsimile. Keep on truckin’ Em.

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Emily Macintosh February 23, 2015 at 5:38 pm

Thank you PFC! But, I’m not worried… I’m totally at peace with everything. It’s everyone else who seems to be concerned and think it’s their business Also, fun fact… I LIVE on the west side. LA in general is a tough place to date! Thank you for reading and as always, thank you for your support!

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clj February 27, 2015 at 8:31 pm

I see your point, PFC, but don’t entirely agree. It’s certainly true that not every woman wants children. I will say that the majority probably do, however — and for at least half of these women, kids are simply not in the cards right now. And wanting children doesn’t mean, for whatever the reason, that we can have them (while adoption sounds like an easy solution, I know for a fact it is not quite so black-and-white.)

At a certain point, it becomes self-preservation. Much like telling ourselves when we’re single that we’re okay being single. Yes, of course, the ideal is to be partnered off. But there’s a level of being okay with being single that needs to be achieved first. So being okay not having children has to be somewhere in our collective consciousness – whether male or female! Just my $0.02.

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Emily Macintosh March 5, 2015 at 6:42 pm

You rock.

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erin October 1, 2015 at 1:58 pm

I’m clearly late to the game here and just recently found your blog- I’m sad that you won’t be posting as much! This particular post really spoke to me though- thank you. I am in a similar position and it’s so validating have another successful, accomplished and HAPPY woman speak about her love for a life that doesn’t necessarily go with society’s track of marriage and 2.5 kids. As someone who can’t have kids, it feels like a knock against me as person when people give me the whole “ohhhh, I’m SO sorry- but you could always adopt!” as if my life isn’t worthwhile otherwise. Anyway- good for you, and thanks for sharing your own thoughts.

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Emily Macintosh April 10, 2016 at 2:49 am

Thank you and good for you! Thinking about writing a bit more… I’ve learned a lot in the time I’ve taken off.

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Jay King December 2, 2015 at 10:02 am

Good day!

I was searching for some dating advice from different blogs until I came to this. Thanks for sharing!

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