Tales from the Fertility Frontlines - Egg Freezing
Freezing my eggs was not an easy decision because, as a single parent, life isn’t easy and money doesn’t grow on trees. Let’s face it, we don’t know what direction our lives are headed. I could be single for the rest of my life or I could meet my hero tomorrow. But with the great support team I had behind me and knowing my dream of having more children was possible, no matter where life leads, made the cost of this experience more than worth it.
STARTING FROM SCRATCH
I had a consult with a doctor and one option besides just freezing my eggs, was to use donor sperm or known donor sperm to create embryos for freezing and future use. I did not want either of those routes, due to my dream of finding Mr. Right and having a family with him. Plus, if I don’t find him, I can always choose the donor sperm option later on. Also, during my consult, I mentioned that I was concerned about the fact that I have an IUD, but my doctor stated that it wouldn’t affect anything since I was not intending on getting pregnant. Now it was time to start medications. I started on Lupron and had very few side effects. When I started the stimulation medications I felt okay initially. It wasn’t until the sixth day that I started feeling bloated, sensitive, tired, and scared. Is this what I really wanted to do? Throughout the multiple appointments, ultrasounds, and lab work I continued to wonder “how many eggs do I have?” My heart wanted me to ask, but my head knew different. I know that just because 10 follicles are visualized on one side and five are seen on the other, it doesn’t mean that you will have 15 eggs because not every follicle has an egg. And just because your hormone levels are increasing in response to the medications doesn’t imply that you will have a high number of eggs. Despite my knowledge and frustration with my growing curiosity, I forged ahead, determined to preserve my chances for future kids.
Then the day arrived…the retrieval. Even though I do this every day with patients, this time it was me on the table and I didn’t know what to expect. What if there aren’t many eggs? What if my eggs are bad? What if they aren’t mature and, after all of this, I don’t have any to freeze? My heart was racing and drumming up those questions again.
Once the procedure was over, and I was in recovery, they told me how many they retrieved. I was so excited to hear that I had 27! And then my heart spoke up and I asked how they looked. I wanted to know the answer to all my questions, but I knew that those answers wouldn’t be known for another four hours. So I went home and tried my best to put it out of my mind.
The next day the lab staff called me to let me know that I had 26 mature eggs and they were all frozen. After I got off the phone I cried my eyes out and I didn’t talk to anyone the remainder of the day. I felt like I had the world lifted off of my shoulders. I have something frozen and a future plan if I ever need it, with or without Mr. Right. If the day comes and I decide to use these eggs to make embryos, I know that although there were 26 frozen, not all will become embryos. I don’t want to create “extra” life that I don’t intend on using, so knowing that they all won’t become viable embryos makes me feel better in that department.
Not a day goes by that I’m not happy about preserving my fertility. The stress is over and now I can focus on finding Mr. Right and enjoying all the precious moments with my daughter, without the constant worry of what my future may hold.