The Baby Dilemma: Hope in a Tank
“This is it!” I whispered to myself. “This is the value of egg freezing.”
For once, I didn’t have to be that anxious girl trying to beat some fertility
expiration date anymore. I could simply admire a baby and wonder what mine
might look like someday, the way I used to before the biological clock started.
I also got to stop ruminating about where my relationship was going. (I still
wanted to know, of course — just not every week.) I realized that the decision
of when and whether to have kids wasn’t dependent on the wishes or acquiescence
of some guy right now. It could be about — get this — the relationship. We
could nail that part before bringing in kids. If it didn’t work out, I still
had my eggs.
On retrieval day, my boyfriend sat with me until I was led to a table and an
IV was inserted. I asked when it was going to start, but the 10-minute
procedure was already over. I was slightly groggy and felt a dull soreness that
would last a few days.
The clinic later sent me a picture of eight glistening blobs — those were
the eggs that were good enough to freeze.
Eight was enough to make a handful of embryos, but my doctor estimated it
would take 12 to 14 (fewer if you’re younger) to have a “good chance of
Now, I wanted an insurance policy on my insurance policy, and I was hopeful
when I heard that many women produce more eggs on different drug protocols. I
resolved to find a way to pay for another cycle.
As I listed my options, I listened to my friends try to be encouraging, but
I could hear a tone in their voices. It seemed to say, “How far are you going
with this, Sarah?” I wanted to dismiss them as self-righteous or envious, but
they all had a point. I could freeze myself right into bankruptcy, and there
were still no guarantees I would take home a baby.
I got that. The surprising part was that it was starting not to matter. I’d
already gotten my money’s worth. Egg freezing may not lead to babies, but it
has let me put panic on the shelf and be excited about my future again. It has
helped me get closer to my boyfriend and have tear-free Sunday summits about
the pros and cons of parenting. It has restored my confidence that I will
continue to make good, not rushed, choices.
With any luck, when I’m ready to be a parent, my eggs will work like they
should. Or I’ll find another way to be a mom. But the point is, I’ll be
I think I got a good deal.