Those of you keeping up with my blog know I recently touched upon the topic of loving yourself. This year, I promised myself one thing: I would love myself unconditionally (quirks, flaws, potty mouth and all) and practice self-care to its fullest. With all this self-acceptance and self-awareness came the realization that I needed to face something I’ve been putting off for far too long: freezing my eggs.
Quite frankly, the thought of freezing my eggs scared the living daylights out of me. While the option for women to freeze their eggs is thrown around far too casually, I knew what going through this process would entail. After doing some research of my own and falling victim to the rabbit hole that is the Internet (WebMD, anyone?), I came to the blunt realization that this process would be anything but easy.
Egg-freezing essentially means doing a round of IVF (short for in vitro fertilization) without the embryo transfer at the end. You first start off by taking 1-2 weeks’ worth of birth control pills to temporarily shut off any natural hormones, followed by 9-10 days of hormone injections. Yes, that’s right: injections. These injections are meant to stimulate your ovaries, stop them from releasing eggs, and then finally, with an ovulation trigger injection, ripen the eggs that’ll be collected with a needle under deep sedation or general anesthesia.
While many women get along with this process just fine and are able to carry on with their daily lives, unfortunately many aren’t. As someone who has health and fitness down pat (or so I’d like to think), I prioritize feeling healthy and strong. As you can imagine, exposing myself to any physical pain wasn’t something I was necessarily looking forward to. Not to mention, egg freezing comes with an incredibly high price tag and no guarantee.
However, just when I thought there was no way I could undergo this process, I kept reminding myself just how much I wanted this. After all, this is something I had thought about for years, not just days. The reality is I’m in my upper 30s and single. I was constantly worried about how the sell-by-date on my ovaries might not exactly fit in with my future plans to have kids. So, scared out of my mind but clinging onto how badly I wanted to have the option of being a mom someday, I underwent the process.
Was it pleasant? No. Was it worth it? Abso-freakin-lutely. As soon as it was done, I was overcome by an overwhelming sense of peace. For the first time in what seemed like forever, I stopped hearing the ticking of my biological clock in the back of my head— tick, tock, tick, tock… I felt as though I could truly relax without having to worry about never being able to have kids of my own. This sense of relief alone made the choice and investment to freeze my eggs priceless.
With that being said, I’m not 100% sure I’ll ever use my frozen eggs. For all I know, I could meet my prince charming tomorrow, get married and have little Michelles running around. But, should life continue taking me in the direction it’s headed (hey, no complaints! I love the life I’ve created for myself), my eggs will be there for me to use.
All in all, I couldn’t be happier to have frozen my eggs. The whole experience was very empowering for me as a woman. I know now that I will never have to sacrifice having a family or being a mom, and there’s something pretty damn powerful about taking control of your own future.