We can stop time now – I mean literally! In recent years, the option of freezing eggs has become reality for women. This has been a breakthrough for women in a sense that we can control our time when we want to be mothers, and that we do not have to be dependent on our natural ‘biological clock’ that never stops ticking. We can freeze our eggs at 30, and still choose to become mothers at 40s.
One of our acupuncturists, Caroline Jung, L.Ac., at our institute recently underwent the egg freezing process, and I thought it would be nice to share her own personal experience:
“I feel it is important for me to share this with my fellow women so that this conversation can become more commonly expressed. I feel that the option to go through an egg freezing cycle is not talked about by many OBGYNs to their patients unless there is already an issue at hand. I feel that we have to be proactive with our health and think about going through with an opportunity like this far in advance. I also hope that this process becomes more commonplace and does not seem out of reach or unusual; this option should be available for all women and presented to us before our childbearing years.
In August 2013, at age 39, I had my eggs frozen. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity. This is something I thought about for many months and contemplated all of the pros and cons before beginning the journey. I grew through this experience in so many ways – on a personal level, this experience helped me to realize what is most important to me and what I truly want in my future. Of course the goal of my egg freezing cycle was to have as many healthy eggs retrieved as possible in order to become pregnant in the future, but I discovered so many other things about myself and my relationships. These revelations came to me during the months of thinking about this decision and then actually going through the process.
One of the most challenging pieces of my egg-freezing cycle was moving through each day and treating my body as if it were already pregnant. For several months before I began the stimulation cycle, I stopped vigorous exercise, I gave up refined sugars, alcohol and coffee – all of these sacrifices were tough but so well worth it! I kept in mind that everything I did, any food I consumed, every thought I had, every mile I would run, every emotion I felt. All of this was also felt by my eggs which will eventually become embryos that will hopefully become my child.
This process has so many layers to it that it began a long time before going in for monitoring, blood work, et cetera. One of the most exciting parts of my journey was beginning the medications. Even though the thought of injecting meds into my stomach was a bit scary, it actually did not really hurt and was fairly easy. When it came to the first day of doing it, I was really excited. This part was fascinating to me…that I was given all of the medications to help my follicles grow to nourish the growth of my eggs. To this day it is still amazing to me that for a large part of my egg freezing cycle, I was doing the majority of the work. Yes, I went in for ultrasounds, blood work, and of course the retrieval, but everything leading up to that was my sole responsibility to make sure that it was taken care of every day.
Through all of this, I felt I became close to the spirits housed in my eggs, as they were a part of me, and completely understood what this process was all about. The day came for my retrieval, and I told my mom that I was not ready to give them up, as I had felt so connected to them already through the days leading up to that point. The retrieval itself was a very quick process that I remember clearly, going into the surgery room and immediately afterward. I was very happy with my outcome: five healthy frozen eggs.
Now, I feel like I have gone through the tough part of my egg-freezing cycle and I look forward to the second half involving the transfer.
There are many options/programs available from many qualified and wonderful doctors, so take the time to research, do interviews with the docs and their staff, and take inventory of your own life and wishes. This is truly an amazing chapter you can add to your life!”
This opportunity was not available when I was going through my fertility journey and wished that it did. TCW did a wonderful piece on this topic in the April 2013 issue if anyone’s interested in more information about egg freezing. Also, for more information about ‘to dos’ before egg freezing, visit our TKI health blog.
With this in mind, TKI is offering a special topics workshop on “Fertility Preservation” on Tuesday, May 20, at 6pm with Dr. Eve Feinberg from Fertility Centers of Illinois. I hope some of you can join us! For more information, call 312.260.9000.