Advanced maternal age. Egg quality. Single parenting. All the words that have been running through my head lately as I have emerged from the fog of a divorce. I always thought I would have more than one child. Picturing my daughter as an older sister brings me to tears at times because she is so loving and affectionate. She is a gentle soul that loves babies and animals and I know that she would make a great big sister, even though the chance of her having a full biological sibling is not in the cards. I daydream about future possibilities for her to fulfill this role and for me to share my mom-love with another child, while questioning whether or not it will be possible, even when the time feels “right.” So lately I’ve been wondering about, and exploring, egg preservation.
Timing is everything
I definitely don’t feel ready for another child right now, I can barely think about dating again, but as a woman that loves being a mom, I can’t NOT think about more children. Biological children. Step-children. I’ve even thought (briefly) about foster children; but my job as a social worker in child welfare has jaded me on this topic to be honest. At times I think being a “mom-figure/auntie” will do, but I yearn for the feeling and physical experience of being pregnant. The anticipation, those early days of milk-soaked bonding, the smell of a baby’s freshly washed noggin. I KNOW I am remembering this with more fondness than I felt during those newborn days. I vaguely remember running around topless yelling at my mom to grab my pump parts, but why focus on the negative? I’ll choose sweet baby cuddles and tiny onesies any day over the horrors of breastfeeding/pumping!
How old is too old?
But I digress, I am approaching my 34th birthday, which in the scheme of things, is still quite young. Although I feel VERY old some days, due to some unfortunate health issues, I know women have babies well into their 40s. I have watched some of my friends struggle with fertility issues and the heartbreak of loss. The decisions these women have had to make emotionally and financially is agonizing, yet harrowing. The strength they have exhibited in the face of the cruelty of mother nature is nothing short of amazing in my eyes. Hence my desire to attempt to prevent this heartache in my own life when and if a gentleman caller comes along (who hopefully also wants more children). However, I do have to be honest with myself about the possibility of going at the mom-for-a-second-time thing alone. So why not look into the possibilities?
Single lady problems
What are my options as a single woman at this point? I don’t want to rush into a relationship or make hasty decisions about bringing a child into this world. I am a planner, yet a procrastinator, so I definitely will stress about this for years, but not pull the trigger on any decision until the last minute! Some would say to slow down, stay calm, and not worry, everything will work out! Nope, that is not how I roll sister. Panicking now means better outcomes down the road right? So the idea of freezing my eggs popped into my head. Why not, I thought out loud to myself. I am a strong independent woman. I don’t NEED a man/partner, but our basic human needs are driven towards connection and relationships. It will happen eventually. When it does, I need to be prepared for my eggs to fail me.
How do you take your eggs?
I have no idea if my eggs are over-easy or over-hard. Basic biology taught me that I am born with as many eggs as I will ever have, they do not replenish. Therefore, I know I am running lower than other women my age due to getting my period ridiculously early in life (i.e., traumatic). Menopause could be closer than I think, hello hot flashes! So why not act now, put my eggs on ice and stop worrying until the time is right for another child? That time may never come, but at least I will have some insurance in the “bank” if it does. It seems a bit cataclysmic to stress about this topic at my age, but there is a whole industry built on what-ifs. Insurance! Fires, floods, death, dismemberment, disability, etc. Why not insure my future as a potential mom of children (plural) by freezing my eggs?
What do you think about this topic? Have you thought about egg preservation?