Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I'm Freezing My Eggs!

I want have a family one day. To be honest, I never imagined that I wouldn't have a family by now; I'm 35. Don't misunderstand me, I'm grateful for the path my life has taken. I'm just not where I thought I'd be, which isn't good or bad, it just IS. 

I find it interesting that beginning in their teens, women are taught how not to get pregnant rather than being educated on their fertility as a whole. For a long list of reasons, both personal and professional, women are choosing to postpone motherhood.  Unfortunately, the biology of the female egg can't keep the pace. Contrary to a man, a woman's fertility decreases significantly after the age of 35.  In short, as a woman ages so do her eggs. This creates challenges for those of us who choose to start a family later in life. 

Whether I like it or not, my biological clock is ticking. (My mom always said time moves faster as you get older. Man, she wasn't kidding.) As time flies by, I don’t want to feel increased pressure to choose a partner  just because I want to have family.  I know, I could be a single mom, but I'm not there yet. I haven't completely let go of the idea of a traditional family: two loving people, around/involved, doing the best they can to be good parents to their kid(s).

Tomorrow morning I'm heading to the USC Fertility Clinic to start my egg freezing journey. Egg freezing is a break-through technology in which a woman’s eggs are extracted, frozen and stored indefinitely. Technically known as oocyte cryopreservation, it's still considered "experimental" by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM).

The appointments will involve getting blood drawn and an ultrasound to check out my uterus, ovaries and follicles. By the way, before all this egg freezing research, I didn't even know my ovaries had follicles! The number of follicles will give the doctor an idea of how fertile I am or am not. This will allow her to guestimate how many eggs I may be able to get.  I'm not sure if I'm more nervous or excited.  Either way, I can feel myself sweating already.

When I started talking to my girlfriends about the decision to freeze my eggs, they were intrigued. Few of them had heard about the process or knew it was an option. That's when I decided to keep a blog.  Then I thought, "Maybe I should do a vlog too...Well, if I'm gonna do a vlog," I told myself, "I should just make a documentary!" And that's how this project started.

I don't know what to expect emotionally through the egg freezing process. I do know a few physical side effects - raging hormones, swelling ovaries and multiplying follicles (if I'm lucky). I'm sure there will be times when I won't want to blog or have a camera in my face, but I believe this journey is important for me to take and share with others. Who knows, one day, maybe my frozen egg baby will come across this blog.  If you're interested in freezing your eggs or just want to come along for the ride, check back every now and then to see how I'm doing.

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