As someone who’s in her early 30’s, but yet pushing her mid-30’s (gasp!), I have been informed by my friends who have kids that my eggs are slowly but surely dying. Yes. Everyday that passes my ovaries are aging at some sort of epic rate like no other person in the world, and I will probably be infertile by later this afternoon. At least this is how it is explained to me, dramatically, with arms flailing and people pleading with me: “Please, Mandy! You’re running out of time! You have to do something!”
When I was a kid I assumed I’d get married and have my own children by the time I was old; which of course when you’re six or seven, “old” is 22 or so. Then the part about having kids stopped seeming appealing, and it was no longer part of my grown-up dream. I even declared this in an interview with the New York Post, despite the fact that my friends and family were making bets with my left and right that eventually I’d have kids, and I’d have to call up the Post and tell them I’m a liar. Because obviously the Post wants to get that call so they can do a follow-up piece on me, as I am quite an important member of this society. Pretending is fun!
In the interview, I was completely honest about my lack of desire to procreate, but then something horrible has been happening in the last six months and I can feel my ovaries pitter-pattering, just like my heart, when I’m around babies. It’s weird, it’s awful and I fear it means I may want to make a baby or something. Although, to be honest, my mom and sister have agreed that I’m not the best person to be a mother because I wouldn’t do so unless I could afford a full-time nanny. As stay-at-home mothers themselves, this mentality doesn’t fly.
“Why would you have a child, if you didn’t want to be with it 24-hours a day?”
“Because I have a life and would like continue to have that life,” is always my response.
So on a whim I started looking into freezing my eggs just to see what it might entail and cost. The results were not pretty. I knew it was expensive, but this shit is ridiculous.
Although prices vary from city to city, and hospital to hospital, each cycle can set you back anywhere from $6,000 to $15,000. In fact NYU, right up the street from charges about $12,000 per cycle. Of course, depending on how your body responds to those 10 days of hormone shots, it may take several cycles before you can can even get some viable eggs. Since I’m quite certain my eggs are already wonky, as statistics have told me, I’m probably looking at more than one cycle to get some eggs that are going to seal the deal later in life for me.
But then there’s also the “seal the deal” factor that actually isn’t a guarantee at all.
Women who choice to have their eggs frozen while between the ages of 32 and 35, because let’s be honest, no 28-year-old is going to think they’ll even need this as an option, are looking at a 40-50% success rate. It’s not very promising. Those women who freeze their eggs between 35 and 38 have on a 35% chance of getting preggers once those babies are thawed; and tragically, the women who are really late to the party and decide to freeze their goods at the age of 39 or 40, are looking at only a 20-25% chance of being able to get knocked up. After 40, forget it, because it’s less than 10% at that point.
So while I fall into that first bracket, do I really want to head up to NYU and drop 12k on something that may or may not even lead to a future pregnancy? And more realistically, do I even have that chunk of money to be able to invest in this? The answer to the first question is I don’t know; the answer to the second question is a resounding NO.
After running this idea past my therapist, she tried to steer me away from the idea of freezing my eggs because of those less than appealing statistics. She explained that if I wanted to freeze anything to procure the chance at motherhood later in life, I may want to consider having embryos frozen, which is not only even more pricey, but involves sperm. I’ve yet to meet a sperm with which I’d like to make the babies — and my mother was so hoping for a granddaughter at some point from me.
At this point, it’s just a thought — this whole egg freezing thing, it’s a serious thought. Because maybe my family is right; maybe I’d be a lousy mother since I think nannies are the best! But honestly, my mothering skills aside, because no one will know for sure until I have one, I am definitely in the market for a baby. I think I’d really like a baby within the next five years. This urge is a foreign concept for me, but for some reason it’s there and I’m starting to get nervous that maybe my chance to have one is non-existent. It hasn’t started keeping me up at night, but I fear that someday it will.
Once again, I’m late to the party. But in this case I wish I would have had these urges early so I could have done something about it. I’m not saying I would have run out and gotten pregnant at 29, but had I known that maybe, just maybe I’d like a mini-me at some point, I may have at least started a savings account for such a procedure just in case Mr. Right was late to the party, too. And apparently, he is.
Photo: Mauricio Alejo