Thursday, November 15, 2012

Dream Big

The original purpose of this blog was to provide information on the egg freezing process, encourage women during their egg freezing journey and share my own. 
It has been brought to my attention by my BFF, that I'm not taking full advantage of this blogging business.

"Why are you making it so specific? Why don't you include more experiences from your life journey?"

The first few words of the documentary tag line clearly say "balancing life" so I guess he has a point.  I've been limiting my writing when the truth is:  I have complete freedom.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Egg Freezing "Experimental" Label Lifted

The good news is spreading like wildfire.  The American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has lifted the “experimental” label from egg freezing declaring that the “rate of pregnancy and healthy offspring are comparable to using fresh eggs.”  

Less than a decade ago, human egg freezing was considered a new, expensive and uncertain technology.  Today, the costs will still put a dent in your bank account, but science has made great advances.  
The breakthrough was a process called vitrification or flash-freezing.  “ 80 percent or more of vitrified eggs survive thawing and up to 12% of thawed fertilized eggs produce a pregnancy.”   With significant improvements in freezing and thawing techniques, the probability for overall success increases. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Laura's Aha! Moment

Check out the last article from Laura Naaman's egg freezing journey, What's Oprah Got To Do With It?  My favorite excerpt is from the last paragraph:

"...I have a really good life. God, or whoever (let’s be honest God is probably Oprah anyway) has taken care of me. If I’m meant to have kids, I’ll have them. If I’m not, I still have a lot of other amazing stuff. Hilarious friends, a fun job, parents who—despite what the butt doctor says—truly DON’T give a crap if I give them grandkids or not. In the meantime, I will sleep until noon on the weekends, and do my very best not to make myself miserable trying to avoid some vague possible future regret."

Laura, thanks so much for allowing us to come along with you on your journey!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Me and Kim Kardashian

I never thought I’d be saying this, but it seems that Kim Kardashian and I have something in common.  And no, it’s not a sex tape… She’s freezing her eggs!  

In the season finale of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Kim starts hormone shots to begin her egg freezing journey.  She says, “I decided to get my eggs frozen so that when the time is right I am prepared in case something happens.”   
At 31, Kim is at a pinnacle place in her fertility.  Like the rest of us egg-freezers, she’s making a proactive choice to extend her fertility. Good luck in your journey Kim!
To read more about her story, click here.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Advocacy: Life After Egg Freezing

I read an article on called Advocacy:  Life After Egg Freezing.  When I got to the last paragraph, I noticed my name and a quote!   Here are some other parts that stood out: 
  • "I believe that we are driven to advocacy because many of us just didn't know.  We didn't know how quickly fertility declines after 35." 
  • "What matter is the common bond that unites us.  Once we know more about our own fertility, we want to share our own experience and help ease the way for other women....We are not ashamed to be open about fertility.  It is no longer...ssshhh...the dreaded 'F' word." 
  • "As Jenni who recently froze 9 eggs so eloquently says in her case study, 'There have been many women before you.  There will be countless women after you.  You're not alone.'"
To read the full article, click here. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My Eggsurance "Women Like You" Interview

A few weeks ago, I shared my egg freezing experience with the founder of the Eggsurance website, Brigitte.  To check out my "Women like You" Interview, read below.

Current age: 36
Age eggs were frozen: 36
# of eggs frozen:   9

Why did you freeze your eggs?
I’ve always wanted to have a family. That’s never been a question for me. Turning 35 really threw me for a loop. I was no longer in the early-thirties bracket. I just kept thinking, “I’m halfway to 40.” You know the scene in When Harry Met Sally where Sally is in her bathrobe crying and she says, “And I’m gonna be 40….Someday.” That’s what I felt like. Forty was five years away at the time, but it was looming. I had to be really honest with myself about what I wanted for my future. If having kids was important to me, taking action to possibly extend my fertility seemed reasonable enough. I made the decision to freeze my eggs because I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to have my own children AND I didn’t want to pressure myself to choose a partner just because I wanted to have a family. It’s all a matter of timing.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Rabbis Urge Single, Orthodox Women to Freeze Eggs

The Orthodox faith places a high importance on starting a family.  This article introduces us to Rebecca who is a 38 year old, single Orthodox Jew.  She experienced a stroke at work, sparked by a migraine medication, two weeks before her wedding.  Falling to the floor, she suffered a broken neck which caused both spinal cord and brain injuries.  When her fiance realized the magnitude of her afflictions, he changed his mind about getting married.  With the blessing of several rabbis and the hope of raising a family, Rebecca has decided to freeze her eggs. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Laura's Moment of Truth

Check out part six of Laura Naaman's egg freezing journey.   My favorite quotes from the piece:
  • "Um…the whole point of this is to NOT FEEL PRESSURED TO MEET A MAN, not to feel MORE pressure to meet a man so I don’t have to spend another $10,000."
  • "It occurs to me that I may have been played by the whole Fertility Industrial Complex. First I’m panicked about my fertility, then I am offered a possible solution. But the solution only kinda works, and would work better with more time and money and needles. And even then, it still might not work." 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Should I Freeze My Eggs?

Heather is a 33 year woman getting married in five weeks.  Of course, since she's on the path to matrimony, there's a new question people are looking for her to answer.  Here are a few interesting quotes from her article:
  • "It comes as no surprise that our peers should ask us when we intend to start a family.  Isn't that the next natural step?  First comes love, then comes marriage, the comes...?"
  • "Without getting all women's lib on you, men are incredibly fortunate when it comes to procreation.  Aside from avoiding the obvious nine-month pregnancy and giving birth bit, men can procreate well beyond obtaining their senior status, making their sense of urgency less dire."
  • "Starting a family at 35 or older does raise fertility concerns, so wouldn't it be a viable option to freeze your family-to-be until you were mentally or financially prepared?" 
To check out the full article, click here. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dear Mr. Camera Guy

     I've been thinking about a commercial audition I had a few weeks ago.  We were asked to bring a picture of our kid, if we have one, to the casting.  Since I don't have children, I arrived without a photo in hand.  From past experience, I know this isn't a big deal.  Sans photo, they will ask if I'm good with children (or at least not allergic) and move the audition along.  Honestly, I could bring a picture of someone else's child, but there's really no point.  If I'm cast, they'll hire a precious little, mini-afro girl to be my offspring for the day.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Thanks to My BFF

We've been friends for ten years, but I don't always express how grateful I am that he is part of my life.  To my BFF:  Thank you for telling me the truth.  Thank you for your corny jokes.  Thank you for being smarter than me (sometimes).  Thank you for creating the Huckleberry dance.  Thank you for supporting me from 3,000 miles away.  Thank you believing in me when I didn't believe in myself.  And thank you for the design for Chill!

Thursday, August 30, 2012


     For the last two weeks, I've been congratulating myself on producing the eleven eggs retrieved.  Today was my final medical appointment for the egg freezing process.  Before signing the papers confirming how many eggs are going to the freezer,  I'm given a new total.   Unfortunately, two eggs didn't mature enough to be frozen.  Bummer.  This makes my total nine. Considering I've been high-fiving myself about the number eleven, I feel a little disappointed.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Taiwan's Future Moms Defy Time by Freezing Eggs

An article discussing how future moms defy time by freezing their eggs.   Here are few quotes I found interesting:

"Women who wish to preserve their eggs are recommended to use the service as young as possible or at least before the age of 38 so that the eggs frozen are at the best and most fertile." 
  • "A fertility clinic in Hsinchu in northern Taiwan said the number of clients coming in for egg freezing has increased 150% to 150 in the first six months of this year."
  • "The cost of the service is around NT$110,000 (US $3,367)."
  • "Most of its clients are financially stable and in their late thirties.  Some clients, however, have been as young as 23."
To read the full article, click here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

San Diego's First Babies Born Using Egg Freezing

I read an exciting article about San Diego's first patients giving birth to babies using the new egg preservation technique called vitrification or "flash freezing".  Here are my favorite excerpts from the piece:    
  • New mom Shannon Taylor, who's daughter was born in April, "She's such a gift.  My husband and I are ecstatic.  Yesterday we were running out of options, and today we're a real family.  We are grateful beyond belief."
  • The center's medical director Dr. Gabriel Garzo, "Our recent successes with ongoing pregnancies conceived through egg freezing marks another milestone in fertility preservation.  It's and option for today's women who may be busy pursuing a career or who don't yet have a partner.  They can freeze their unfertilized eggs until they are ready for motherhood.  The center's advanced technique gives these women choices they've never had before."
To read the full article, click here.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Women Like Me

During my own egg freezing journey, I've been searching for other women sharing their stories.   A couple weeks ago I came across a series of articles by Lara Naaman.  They are awesome! I've laughed out loud numerous times, felt her frustration and asked myself some of the same questions. Lara is authentic, comical and freaked out as much as I was, which makes me feel a paculiar sense of camaraderie.  Plus, she loves cake (and ice cream) as much as I do.

My favorite quote from her last article is "I shouldn’t make any decisions while my ovaries are the size of parade floats and my hormones are horribly imbalanced." 

Click here to check out the series.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Egg Retrieval - Part Two

The darkness lifts as they wheel me out of the OR.  I hear voices, but I can’t tell if they’re talking to me or about me.  I attempt to speak and lift my head, but quickly resign.  I really don’t have anything to say.  Plus, my head feels like it weighs a thousand pounds.  Hilari lightly touches my left forearm and says, “They got 13 eggs.”  I smile and drift into slumber.  

Monday, August 6, 2012

Egg Retrieval - Part One

The nurse asks that we arrive an hour before my 10:00 am procedure.  My friend and today’s designated driver, Mandi, agrees to pick me up at 8:30 am.  On our way to the clinic, I envy the purple plastic travel cup resting next to her seat.  My medical instructions from the day before: no eating or drinking after midnight.   I’m beginning to feel the effects.  Of course because it’s forbidden, I now fully appreciate my freedom of consuming beverages.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


My egg retrieval is tomorrow morning at 10:00 am.   I expected to be nervous, but I feel more excited than anything.  Maybe the anxiety will surface once I’m wearing my ever so fashionable blue, paper cap and gown.  Since I’ll be under anesthesia, the clinic suggests I have a friend drive me home after the procedure.  The plan is for Mandi pick me up, meet Hilari at the clinic and finally get these eggs frozen!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Day Ten

My eggs are ready for retrieval on Monday!

I took one injection of Novarel this evening at 11:00 pm. In very general terms, the purpose of this drug is to allow the eggs to become loose so when the doctor goes in to remove them, they detach easily from their resting place. 

Tomorrow’s last visit will include a physical exam and specifics on what to expect the day of the procedure.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Day Niner

About an hour after the evening injections, my stomach feels unsettled.  The discomfort is bearable, but definitely a nuisance.  You know that feeling when your most comfortable stretchy pants seem too tight?  Yeah, well that's what it's like.  I’ve started wearing shirts and dresses that are more flow-y (a very technical fashion term).  It's more comfortable when fabric isn’t clinging or pressing against my abdomen.

I have a routine appointment tomorrow morning.  Hopefully, Dr. Bendikson will be able to tell me which day the aspiration will take place.  Its day nine and I’m happy to report that I’m creeping closer to the finish line.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Day Eight

My eggs may be ready for retrieval Monday.  Once Dr. Bendikson receives the results of my blood test on Saturday, she'll have a better idea.  The guestimation is that ten eggs will be retrieved during the aspiration.  Although that's a good number, it’s not as many as I hoped.  I wanted closer to 15.  Honestly, I know I should just be grateful everything is progressing smoothly this time around.   Plus, ten eggs is better than no eggs.  Right?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Follicles & Eggs

I can definitely feel the physical difference between my regular stomach and my hormone injected, swollen ovary belly.  My ovaries irritatingly ached the entire day.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Let the Games Begin

I’m happy to report, the lingering headache has passed.  This morning I found myself wondering when I’ll feel the other side effects I’ve read about (bloating, physical discomfort, etc).  It's day six and for most part, I feel completely normal.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Day Five

I went to the doctor this morning for the standard: blood work and ultrasound.  After the examination, the doctor announced my follicle growth is on track.  Unlike last time, the meds are being distributed to each follicle; none of them are hoarding.  Her exact words were, “It’s really going to happen this time. They look good. We'll do the retrieval next Tuesday."  Considering the bumps along the way, I'm excited to be close to the end of my egg freezing journey! 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

One Needle, Two Needle, Three Needle, Four

The Lupron injection is simple and basically painless; a 20 unit dose in the morning and evening.  I also take the Menopur at night, but there are a few steps involved. The width of the Menopur syringe is larger than the others so it holds more liquid. The shot ingredients are packaged in two small glass bottles. One contains a powder and the other is filled with sodium chloride.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Pin Cushion

I’m starting to feel like a pin cushion and its only day three. I noticed a bruise on my stomach and I’m fairly certain it’s from the first day when I pushed the plunger too fast injecting the Menopur.

Sometimes the area around an injection site can be tender the next day.  Today I stuck a needle a little too close to previous real estate and almost jumped off my couch!  The spot was definitely much more sensitive than expected.

The only physical symptom I’ve noticed so far is a slight underlying headache.  The emotional, you ask?  A growing resentment toward the needles.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Importance of the Mini Muffin Top

Each morning before my micro dose of Lupron, per the doctor’s orders, I take a low dose of aspirin (81 mg).  It helps thin my blood, which allows the hormones to travel more quickly through my body.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Shots! Shots! Shots! Shots! Shots! Shots!

It’s my first day of shots!  One this the morning and three shots tonight.  The Lupron injections are tiny; total piece of cake.  Let’s just say there’s a little more action with the other two shots so they’re a different story.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Private Decision

 In my egg freezing quest, a particular phrase keeps reappearing - “It’s a private decision.”  In general, I agree, but for some reason the word private nags at me.  Maybe it’s because as a kid I remember my friend’s mom say, “That’s our private family business, she doesn’t need to know.” 

As my thoughts simmer, I realize that I associate private with silent.  When I concentrate on silent, it leads me to the word fear.  My brain continues to process and I decipher the difference between the two words.  Private allows me to be selective with what and who I choose to share information.  Silent prevents me from discussing out of fear.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Back in Business

My body has reset and we're back in business!  This morning's visit to the fertility clinic showed that I have five follicles on the right and ten on the left.  The ultrasound also revealed that the size of each of my follicles is under the size of ten, which is good.  This means my body is calm and my estrogen has leveled out.  

I start shots on Thursday the 26th.   Gonal F (225 cc), Menopur (75 cc) and a new one has been added.  It's a microdose (20 cc) of Lupron twice a day.  Lupron is used to help balance ovarian stimulation.  I will take it once in the morning and then again 12 hours later.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Are You Kidding Me?

Hilari accompanied me to the clinic this morning to film.  During the ultrasound, the doctor noticed one of my follicles was larger than those surrounding it.  Ideally at this point, follicles should be around or below the size of 10.  This particular follicle is a size 14 meaning one of two things.  One, the follicle is growing faster than the others while allowing them access to the hormones.  Two, it's growing larger because it's absorbing all the hormones and denying it to the other follicles.  The best scenario is the first one, but I'll have to wait and see my blood work to get a full picture. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Day Two of Shots

Second day of giving myself hormone shots.  The Gonal-F was simple to administer.  I removed the dosage and injected it as instructed one-inch from my belly button with the small syringe.  I’m still at the dose of 225. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

1st shot

I gave myself the first shot today! 

Before Hilari arrived to film all the action, I got out my box of fertility meds and reviewed the instructions.  The last time I practiced was two months ago and I didn't want to look like a complete nincompoop on camera.    

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Little Behind Schedule

I parked, jumped out of the car and reached in my purse as I walked toward the meter.  My hand frantically grasped random objects inside my purse.  My wallet....please tell me I have my wallet.  I stuck my head inside my giant yellow handbag as a last ditch effort.  Ugh!  No wallet.  My options are to drive home and be even later for my appointment or smile sweetly and politely ask a stranger for change.  I decided on the latter. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Here We Go

My body has reset!  Here's the new schedule for my egg freezing cycle:
  • 6/11/12 -  Office visit for blood and scan
  • 6/12/12 -  Take last birth control pill
  • 6/16/12 - Start fertility medication (finally!)
  • Office visit  - 6/18, 6/20, 6/21, 6/23 and every day thereafter
  • Retrieval the week of June 25th

Monday, May 7, 2012

Square One

The circumstances that brought us together this past week were heartbreaking, but spending time with my family was incredibly healing.  There were moments when the sadness was overwhelming and times when laughter, silly stories and tears eased the pain.   

Sunday, April 29, 2012

In Honor of Papa

Papa loved poems.  Each year on his birthday, we celebrated with a poem competition.  Surrounded by family in the living room, he proudly read each poem for all competitors to appreciate.  As a kid, I had no idea how precious these memories would be.  Of course in Papa eyes, we were all poetry champions.   

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Decision Time

To make sure my hormone levels and follicles are in check before I start the shots, I went to the clinic to get an ultrasound and my blood drawn.  While at the office, I explained to the nurse what was going on with my grandfather.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Phone Call

I got a phone call from my mom today. The doctors at the rehab center aren't sure how much longer Papa has.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Learning to Give Myself Shots

This morning Hilari and I went to the fertility clinic. The nurse taught me how to give myself hormone shots and handed me a box of full of meds shipped directly from the pharmacy (pic on the right). A bonus about filming this documentary - if I can't remember the instructions given, I can always go back and watch the tapes.

We made our way back to the nurse's office and she closed the door. I was relieved to see just the three of us together in that tiny room. I've heard horror stories of single women finding themselves in a classroom full of couples (participating in IVF), feeling alienated for attending the instruction without a "partner". I was happy to realize this wasn't the case for me today.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Fertility Meds - Paid in Full

I paid for my fertility meds today. The total was $2,300. Yes, I know; it’s a lot of money. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

$800 Challenge

I would love to say that I calmly and rationally came up with a solution to my recent $800 financial challenge. Let’s not kid ourselves; I was completely freaking out. Exhausted from a roller coaster of emotions, I took some time to meditate and center myself. I found a solution. I wouldn’t normally ask, but this egg freezing is really important to me. I gathered my courage, swallowed my pride, called my mother and asked if I could borrow the money. Let’s just say I have a hard time asking people for help so it was not an easy thing for me to do. Good news; she said yes! Problem solved; meltdown over. Whenever I’m in the middle of a crisis I can’t possibly imagine how it’s going to turn out positive. When I’m on the other side, holding the solution, it’s so easy for me to say, “Yeah, I knew it would work out.” Thanks Mom!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


I’m having a major meltdown. I spoke with the pharmacy this morning to confirm the total cost of the fertility drugs. They said $2,300 dollars. Yes, you read that correctly - $2,300. Honestly, I expected it to be around $2,500, but I was hoping it would be $2,000. I also envisioned that I would have a little more time to come up with all the money. The drugs have to be paid for in full, all at once, by April 16th. I’m short $800. I was afraid this was going to happen. How and where am I going to get an additional $800 in the next two weeks?  

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Official Plan for My Egg Cycle

I got the plan from the doctor for my egg freezing cycle:
  • 3/29 Start birth control pills
  • 4/16 Office visit for ultrasound and hormone level blood work
  • 4/17 Take my last birth control pill
  • 4/21 Start fertility medication
  • Office visit schedule 4/23, 4/25, 4/26, 4/29
  • After 4/29, I might have to go to the clinic daily depending on my response to the medication
  • Egg retrieval will be the week of 4/30. Egg retrieval is usually 12-14 days after starting medication. This will require one day off work, but they recommend two.
  • 3-5 days after egg retrieval follow up office visit

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Day Three

I had a difficult time sleeping last night. Although I’d like to, I can’t place all the blame on the loud chick upstairs in my loft building. I was just really excited about my appointment this morning. I feel like I’ve been waiting for such a long time and it’s finally here. Honestly, I'm feeling a little sick to my stomach. I’m excited about what this means or the possibility of what this is. One of these eggs could be my kid one day. That’s pretty freakin’ cool!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Quick Review

Here’s a quick run-down of how the beginning of the egg freezing process works. The first day of my period I contact the clinic and make an appointment for the third day of my period (tomorrow). My appointment is set for 7:50 am. For those of you who are not aware, I’m so not a morning person, but I can totally make an exception for this. Anyway, when I'm at the clinic I will get blood drawn and an ultrasound. The ultrasound will show how many follicles I have on each ovary, which allows the doctor to guestimate how many eggs may be able to be retrieved. The blood work will show my hormone levels. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Special Visit

I've decided to wait until next month to do the egg freezing so I can visit Papa, my 84 year old grandfather. He's in a rehab center because his health is deteriorating rapidly. He’s reached the final stages of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Nanny has been by his side since the day he checked in and every day before.