How did I get here? I was actually thinking about freezing eggs? As a teenager, my ‘plan’ was to get married by 28 and have kids by 30. I jumped the gun, by a lot, and married at 22. That lasted roughly five years. But I was still on track with my childhood vision.
Even as a divorcee, I had a few years left to make that happen, right?
I quickly jumped into another long-term relationship. And although having a family was still priority, I was gun shy in the marriage department and figured there was plenty of time.
We almost did get married in India but I bolted at the last minute. Instead, we bought a house together. Fast forward another five years. Relationship dissolved, house gone, alone. At 32 years old, now with two long-term relationships down the proverbial drain, the ‘there’s plenty of time’ attitude was seriously waning.
This time, I set my sights on finding a partner who wanted a family. After allowing my anxiety to find ‘the one’ skew my judgment that lead to a drama-filled doozy of a six-month relationship that I left my home and job for, I met a man that was exotic, kept my attention (I get bored easily), and had no kids but said he wanted one.
We tried for years with not even a false-positive; I was diagnosed with unexplained infertility. Other things went sour and seven years later, I found myself at the same place I was after my divorce in my twenties … just shy of a decade later.
So, that’s how I got here.
With the big four-oh staring me in the face, I took stock of my current situation and hurled hot, mean judgment on myself. I wasn’t even one of those women who purposely delayed children for their career. No judgement on their choice, but DAMMIT!! According to the ‘plan’, I should have 2.5 kids by now. How did I screw this up so badly?
But, then, like I always do when I feel cornered by life, I rolled up my farm girl sleeves, put on my ‘it’s all good’ face and got to ‘work’ to solve this dilemma.
I started swiping on several dating apps obsessively, going on a whirlwind of first dates. Friends joked that I should make a spreadsheet just to keep track of all the suitors’ names and interests. In hindsight, I was probably oozing desperation. Most of the men that I went out with either called it quits on me or were simply unavailable emotionally. I eventually stopped dating altogether.
Now what? Do it alone and have a baby on my own? With what money? The unanswered questions were maddening. However, there was another option I hadn’t considered for myself yet.
Lindsay, my friend and business partner of this travel blog, froze her eggs a few years ago. I was supportive of her choice, but at the time, I thought it was a bit premature. She was only 35 after all. Isn’t that what you do as a last ditch effort at preserving some shred of the desire to be a mother?
And this was exactly what it felt like for me as I was weighing the value of freezing my eggs versus the burden of incurring more debt. (I would have to take out a loan to afford it and was already up to my eyeballs in credit card debt from years of a fluctuating income as a freelance writer)
As I considered the decision, I walked around for weeks mumbling to myself, “How did I get HERE!?” Sometimes in anger, other times grieving, but mostly indignantly incredulous feelings of entitlement. Me? Of all people?? I was kind hearted, attractive, fun, responsible, industrious… what the hell?
After a lot of soul searching and meditating, the only way I could go through the freezing eggs process is if I had a major attitude shift—to view it as an act of empowerment rather than resignation. And there was only one way to do that: surrender my desire to have children and to find a soul mate. This took months of working though the feelings of entitlement and failure. Months of journaling on pages stained with tears. Months of talking out the barrage of emotions I was experiencing with friends. Months of repeating the same affirmation:
I surrender my desire to have children. Universe, you’ve given me this very real and strong desire to be a mother and also you’ve given me natural knack with kids, but you also know what’s best for me and how these desires and abilities should be used. I surrender trying to force this. I open my heart and release this right now.
Like mourning a death, peace finally came. Peace about the future. Peace about the uncertainty. Peace about the nagging ‘why me?’ Peace to move forward with freezing eggs at 40. Instead of doing it because I was freaking out and using it as fire insurance, I could honestly walk through this huge decision in strength, hope and dignity. Rather freezing eggs out of a place of failure, I saw it as a pro-active demonstration of self-care.
Now, how the heck would I afford it?
Stay tuned for how I did it with the help of Great Possibilities an organization assisting women through the entire egg freezing process…