Without even one basket to put all of my eggs in, I put them in the freezer.
A Texas native, I thought I’d be married by my mid-20s. But here I am on the other side of 35.5, and I (Chandler Bing voice) could not be any more single. I’m relieved I wasn’t a child bride, but I want to be married, and I want children. Four serious relationships, the last of which ended in 2019, didn’t work out. Neither have any of the brief situationships since.
I had a habit of settling for less than I deserve. (I say had because I sure hope therapy is working!) I overlooked my last boyfriend’s bright red flags, including the time he asked earnestly if I was attracted to my brother, after I said he and my sister-and-law were an attractive couple. (And they are. The many professional photoshoots they’ve done with their two daughters easily trump the stock photos that come with picture frames.)
“It’s fine,” I told my sister-in-law, a phrase I often repeated to myself. It’s fine that he didn’t want me to go to dinner with girlfriends or talk to other men. It’s fine that he didn’t want me to wear makeup when I went to my apartment pool without him, and it’s fine that he wanted to spend every minute of our free time together.
It’s fine that a boy I went on a few dates with this summer made a pastime of spying on neighbors with binoculars. Is it weird? It’s not that weird, right? He has a good job. He has abs, I reasoned. We have fun together. I had no business dating either of these people, but I rationalized things because I want a family so much.
The first time I thought about freezing my eggs was in 2020, during an interview with Kristy Katzmann, a woman who tried to find a man to have a baby with on Fox’s “Labor of Love.”
“The truth is, I think we all know that this could happen, but no one thinks it’s going to be their story,” she told me of being childless. “So the question is, what do you do when it is?”
It’s like a lightbulb went off. I could do something to help preserve my fertility. This summer, I was finally ready to act. I knew I would be overwhelmed with looking for a clinic so I asked a friend who had recently done it. Thankfully the company I work for has special insurance to help with egg freezing, which I only learned about through my doctor’s office. (I’d like to shout about the benefit from the rooftop now that those checks have cleared.)
I did two egg retrievals, one in November and one in December. Each cycle required about two weeks of shots (up to four injections a day) to produce multiple eggs.
I’m fine with getting shots and having my blood drawn if I don’t have to look at the needle. But stabbing my own tummy initially felt so unnervingly unnatural. By the third day I was OK. Shoutout to my sister-in-law who gave me two shots in the keister, one in a naughty nurse’s uniform to make it more fun. (Pro Tip: Ice your cheek for 30 minutes and you won’t feel a thing.)
Each retrieval only took about 30 minutes. Then followed a 10-day recovery period in which I adopted a high-protein diet and chugged Ensure and Gatorade.
I am now the proud owner of 40 mature eggs, which is a great number for someone my age. Unfortunately, you can’t test the viability of an egg the way you can an embryo, and my level of a hormone predicting fertility is on the lower side. So my fear is making a baby with my frozen eggs will be like trying to make an omelet with confetti Easter eggs (cascarones). But even so, having my maybe-babies on ice provides such a feeling of relief.
My doctor warned that I shouldn’t sit on them forever and recommends I have a plan in 3-5 years. Is being married and ready to have children (not at all necessary but my preference) in just a handful of years likely? It certainly seems like a tall order (or Venti at Starbucks), but knowing I’ve done something to fight the sands of time makes me feel like I don’t have to settle for the peeping Toms, Dicks, or Harrys.