Something started happening about a year ago, when I was mid-32. I was getting more and more invested in my career, I’d just left a relationship that had included discussions (however fantastical) about marriage, and I was spending a lot of time with women who were slightly older than me, looking to them for mentorship and guidance.
One day, out of nowhere (to me) one of these women casually asked me if I was freezing my eggs.
At first (because I’m a fat kid at heart), I was like, “What are you talking about-you don’t freeze eggs, you’ll ruin them! I guess if you’ve made a quiche, you can freeze them in individual slices?”
She just looked at me.
Ohhhh. My eggs. Like, egg eggs. Like, pre-babies. Proto-human materials (and yes, I’m Pro-Choice, but we’re going to leave that post for another day).
I was flummoxed. It had never, EVER occurred to me that I should do that. That I would need to do that. That I was even a remotely appropriate candidate for that.
But since that moment, the question has been everywhere. Popping up on Facebook ads, coming into my gmail, on the Pandora breaks, and from other women. “Are you going to freeze your eggs? It would give you options.”
I’ve written a lot about how I’m deeply ambivalent about having kids, so it does make sense on some level. It’s hedging my bets, albeit for thousands of dollars. My period has always been wack as fuck, so there’s no guarantee that I’m even remotely fertile, so aging isn’t likely to help. In the back of my mind I’ve always thought that since my grandmother had my mother at 38, I would be fine. But I don’t know, they don’t do any tests on you until you’re actively trying, and I’ve been spending the last 13 or so years of my life trying real hard to NOT get pregnant.
Because I’m getting all these ads, articles, and other things in my inbox daily, I know that a lot of women feel empowered by freezing their eggs. Even on the Mindy Project, women in college are being encouraged to freeze their eggs to give them time to find the right man/woman/family arrangement, career, life in order to have children. My mother always said babies bring their own luck, her subtle way of telling her daughter to stop overthinking the fuck out of everything. Things happen when they happen, you can’t make it perfect. Except science begs to differ, Mom.
But it makes me BEYOND anxious. The entire thought of it ratchets my already high anxiety about dating into the stratosphere. The immediate thought I have is “HOW DID I GET HERE???” How did I get to this place. You meet someone, you get married, you have babies, you live your life. That’s how you do it. That’s the blueprint. I’ve never been big on the blueprint, but being confronted with the actual truth of it, that my choices (and choices of the universe) have put me so far out of alignment with the blueprint that I’m here, considering egg freezing, leaves me shaking my head a bit.
Because when I think about it, this doesn’t feel like options. It feels like I’m admitting, and even embracing, that my life is not where I want it. And maybe that’s where growth starts from, but I’m not there yet. So many people have trouble conceiving children they desperately want, and my heart breaks for them. I’m not anxious to join their ranks, and I guess I hold onto the fairytale that if I do end up wanting and having children that it will all work itself out. Freezing my eggs would be me admitting that I want it all, and I don’t have it. And I may never have it, so I’m contingency planning. But possibly too late already: at 33, do I even want to spend the money to freeze these old-ass eggs? Shouldn’t I have done this at 19?
It might be the most logical thing in the world, but I’ve never been even remotely logical about anything having to do with my personal life- and maybe that’s been the problem. For a rational, responsible, analytical woman, perhaps this is the last bastion of fantasy, and the girl in me is not ready to give it up.