In a year’s time…

Given that it’s now over a year since my first cycle, and I knew that I had to pay an annual fee for storage of my eggs, I’d started to worry that I hadn’t heard from the clinic. Maybe they’d tried to contact me and I’d missed their calls/deleted their emails/not received their letters… Maybe they’d thrown away my eggs… Obviously, I didn’t worry so much that I actually got in touch with them, becausethe part of me that wasn’t worrying about it hoped that they might just have forgotten to ask me for more money. I’m an optimist, alright?

Anyway, unsurprisingly, turns out they hadn’t forgotten, or thrown my eggs away, and I got a letter from them, reminding me that they had, as they put it “14 oocytes in storage for your future use” and that should I wish them to store them for another year, they’d want £360 from me. If they’d retrieved 14 eggs in a single cycle, I’d have only paid £120, but because I had three cycles, irrespective of the number of eggs retrieved on each one, I still had to pay £120 for each batch. I had rather hoped that they’d shove ’em all in together and charge me just £120, but obviously that’s not how it works. (As you may have noticed, when it comes to egg freezing, if there’s a possibility that you could save money doing one thing, or spend more doing the other, you can pretty much guarantee that things will fall on the “spending more” side.)

So, I paid it – OBVIOUSLY – but it struck me that, although technically, according to the law, those eggs could be frozen for ten years, the likelihood is that this time next year, I’ll be making a decision about whether or not I’m going to use them. A year ago, I shied away from putting a deadline on it. I felt like egg freezing had bought me time, but I couldn’t really say how MUCH time. It felt a bit like committing to something that felt out of my control. Because the idea was that I’d freeze my eggs, find the man of my dreams, and have kids with him, using my frozen eggs if necessary.

But, how long do you give yourself to find that person, who is apparently just around the corner, where I’m least expecting them to be? How long is a piece of string? Because for all that I know, as I’ve said before, that it’s binary – you’ve either met them or you haven’t and not meeting them this week doesn’t mean that you won’t next week – how long do you wait for that 0 to become a 1?

(Incidentally, I hope all you mathematics fans appreciate that bit of geek wordplay/numberplay – if you have no idea what I’m talking about, take it from me, it’s a stroke of genius that I’m very proud of.)

I suppose I still don’t know the answer to that, but I do know that if I’m going to give myself a fighting chance of becoming a mother, I should probably embark upon that before I hit 40. Because yes, I’ve frozen the eggs and nominally stopped time, but realistically, who knows whether one’s reproductive organs are in good nick until you start trying?

At the time I chose to freeze my eggs, I did so because I was ONLY 36, I didn’t think I should have to give up on the conventional dream of the man and the children (although even then I conceded, I’d have to be going some / having twins to have more than one.) But if I get to 39, and I’m no closer to that than I was three years ago, it will probably be time to have a rethink – one way or another… Let’s give it a year though, a LOT can happen in a year.


11 thoughts on “In a year’s time…

  1. From my own experience I remember the turning 40 milestone as a Major one in the planning of treatment. It so happened that the schedule of the clinic picked the exact day of that milestone for the official pregnancy test, but yes, it did help with planning the year before that. Of course my unknowns are not comparable to yours, but planning all the decisions step by step (and figuring out how much time you have left for each step) did help me.
    Wishing you loads of miracles for the year to come.

  2. I think Valery’s expression is the best one. I too wish you happy miracles. I just turned 36 and don’t have the means to freeze eggs or anything like that. Whilst I haven’t given up I’m currently more accepting of my potential fate. I’ve learnt not to look at every date (there are squillions) as a potential “one”. Maybe just by giving in and letting go of that fate will step in.

    You know they always say you meet your match when you least expect it – maybe spend your time wandering around in jogging bottoms and ripped leggings and you’ll bump into him 😉


  3. Hi, I just read your article on the Herald Sun and I think you are very brave to make this decision. I too am at a similar crossroads in my life as I turn 36 this year, still single (spent the good part of my 20’s/30’s focusing on career) and it’s been weighing on my mind for some time. In Australia we can now access donor sperm for single women which is good as previously this was not available and I think that if I get to 38 and have not settled down I will consider this option. All I can say is, I hope you can realise your dreams of motherhood. I also hope you stay positive and keep an open mind to meeting the right guy, you just never know. 🙂 one thing which annoys me about being female is this damn biological clock and the burden it has on women to procreate by a certain time or risk missing out forever. I hate having this restriction placed on me because although I do love kids, I don’t feel like I’m mentally prepared to have kids just yet and lose momentum on advancing my career but delaying this process might cost me having them at all so i feel like I’m forced to make a decision before I’m ready. I will consider egg freezing though. All the best to you and I sincerely wish you the happy ending you seek.

    • Hi Michelle, thanks for reading – and for your comments and good wishes.
      I totally agree with you about having this feeling that you have to make a decision within a certain period of time, in a way that men don’t. But the one thing I would say is that, looking at my friends who have had children, I don’t think ANYONE ever feels “mentally prepared” to have children.
      I always used to think you’d get to a point where you thought “well, I’ve done everything that I wanted to before I had children, so let’s have them now” but actually, I don’t think you ever get to that point. I think it’s more that you get to the point where you think “on balance, if I want to have children, now’s as probably as good a time as any to try.”
      Obviously it’s a very individual thing, and while egg freezing, as I’ve said a million times, guarantees you nothing, it might give you the breathing space you need. Hope this blog, in some way helps you find some answers, if only to the practical questions of what it’s like to freeze your eggs – because as you’ll see, I’ve not really figured out answers to any of the philosophical stuff! Best of luck, and do stay in touch.

  4. A friend of mine mentioned that she had read your blog, how interesting it was and recommended I should have a read. Looking at it from a male point of view (so completely the opposite of someone you might expect to read the blog) it’s a compelling read. I think you are very courageous in telling your story and you are giving real hope to many who may be considering doing the same but don’t know what is involved or where to start. It also makes me realise even more just how fortunate we males are that we don’t have to go through the same worries – we sort of have an easy task (which, let’s face it, may be over in a flash) and if the worst happens there’s always a little blue pill available to help us complete the job! We can even go on when we are well past our sell-by date. Women, on the other hand, have far more to contend with (and that includes having to deal with us men!)

    Life doesn’t always give us what we deserve or be like the fairytale we might have imagined it would be and sometimes it forces you to make difficult choices, especially as we get older. At those moments in life we need someone to guide us down a path which may not be well lit and that’s what I think you are doing for many with your story – lighting a pathway. I hope this doesn’t come across as patronising or anything like that because it’s not meant to. I genuinely think you are incredibly brave for being so open and honest. It’s clearly not a decision to take lightly and I’m sure many will take inspiration from it.

    • I’m so flattered that someone recommended my blog to you – and really intrigued to have a male perspective on it. I don’t feel patronised in the slightest – the blog was, in part, intended to do exactly that – give people, who wanted to take a step into the relative unknown, a bit of insight into what it’s like.
      As for being open and honest, I think it’s less brave when you do it anonymously, as I have done, but equally I think it’s made for a better blog that way so… swings and roundabouts.
      Thanks again for reading, and for leaving such a thoughtful and kind comment.

  5. Thank you, thank you for writing this blog. It’s so great to read someone being so honest and reflecting what has been going through my mind as well, but which I’m too afraid or ashamed to speak about (could have a whole feminist rant on that topic!). Please do keep posting.

  6. Thank YOU for commenting, it’s really heartening to know that I’m not the only one who feels like this, and that what I write strikes a chord with other people – feel free to feminist rant whenever you like, either publicly or just to me via the Contact Me page – and I promise I’ll keep posting (albeit in my usual sporadic and slightly random fashion!)

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