Faith Salie takes charge by freezing her eggs

The Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded this past week to Britain's Robert Edwardsm the man behind in vitro fertilization . . . which brings us to these thoughts from contributor Faith Salie:

Let's talk eggs.

Not the ones on your breakfast plate. No, the ones I have frozen at the NYU Fertility Center. I want to talk about egg freezing, because I don't think enough young-ish women know about it. I even made a video diary of my eggs-perience, in which I chose to shoot myself up with fertility drugs, visit my doctor twice a day for bloodwork and ultrasounds, and check myself into the hospital for the big retrieval. I knew two things: I really, really want to have a baby; and I really, really don't know who should be the father. Now I know a third thing: The option to freeze one's eggs is just about the most empowering choice a single woman who knows she wants to be a mother can make. I entered my egg freezing adventure from a feeling of lack - a lack of fertility, of the right partner, of biological time. But this perceived lack actually produced abundance - of options, time, peace of mind, and microscopic chances of a child. I've spent my life being responsible, building a career and waiting to find the right partner with whom to start a family . . . you know, like guys do. It seemed a cruel slap in the ovaries to be punished for my prudence. So when my doctor suggested I freeze my eggs, I felt hopeful, albeit scared - drugs, shots, bloating, oh my! And all on my dime - insurance will not cover it. Plus, pregnancy is not guaranteed: You do need sperm. And the success rate is considered to be about 35%. But that's 35% more of a chance to be a biological mom, and I'll take it. Also, freezing your eggs is not cheaper by the dozen: It costs about $12,000. I couldn't wait for each morning's ultrasound, to hear my doctor counting and measuring my follicles - each promising an egg. When she said I have, and I quote, "amazing ovaries," I felt like an ovary achiever with prodigal follicles. I got so good at shooting myself up, I started thinking I should have been a doctor, or a junkie. I took charge of my own fertility. With gratitude, I thought of all the childless women of generations past who wanted to be mothers, but for them, science wasn't far enough along, while time was too far along. The night before my retrieval, my dad sang "Shine On Harvest Moon" on my voicemail in honor of the imminent egg harvest. It must have worked, because they froze 18 eggs - which is a lot for an old broad like me. Then I discovered that 18 in Hebrew is "chai," which means . . . "life." When I learned that I was eggstatic. For more info: faithsalie.com

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