Last week I had the procedure to freeze my eggs. As a queer woman enjoying my late 20s, I’ll now have the choice to determine when (if ever) to initiate parenthood.
The decision to freeze my eggs is one I’ve thought about for some time. The spring semester after I turned 21 (drunk in a bar bathroom at a happy hour), I remember being tasked with helping my friend Tatiana stimulate her ovaries. In non medical terms, this means pinching a piece of my friend’s abdomen skin and sticking her with a needle to inject liquid PMS into her body. After watching Tatiana complete an egg donation cycle, I thought lightly about what my own path to parenthood might look like. At 21, coming out as queer publicly was still a far away thought. What does parenthood look like for me? At the time, I didn’t give it much thought.
I feel confident now about having options and giving myself the choice when it comes to parenthood and choosing a partner. As I traveled through life’s most important stages (breakups and all), I blinked and I’m now 28 and have frozen eggs. The possibility of being with someone who doesn’t share the same visions of parenthood with me is significant enough to confirm that I do want children. As a bisexual woman, it’s exciting to know that everyone who’s mutually interested in me could be an option to have as a future partner and co-parent. I’m not limited by gender when making this choice with another human(s). It’s exciting and overwhelming, not relying on a partner or anyone other than myself when making this decision. Part of me wonders if this is what Tatiana was thinking when she donated her eggs all those years ago, if she was thinking about a child free life with her future partner with the same clarity I have when I imagine decorating a nursery with my person, or taking my future kid to the farmers market on a sunny Sunday morning.
The theme of motherhood hits my friends differently than it creeps up on me. One friend announced that she is 17 weeks pregnant, and I got to hold another’s 4 week old baby tonight. As women in their late 30’s, it feels right for them to take this next step now. They have partners, mortgages, and a village to help them with their new life transitions. As a member of that village, I feel beyond excited to support my friends. But they know this is the right decision, and time, for them to enter parenthood. I’m not sure when I will take that step. In some ways I feel behind. At 28, I’ve put my career, friendships, and myself first. I haven’t bended for a partner, been married before, or tackled many of life’s greatest joys that my friends have. Retrieval quite literally means the process of getting something back from somewhere. Through this process of freezing my eggs via egg retrieval, I feel I’ve gotten myself, or my own views of what it means to progress in life, back from whatever void they’ve wandered off to. I can be 45 and have a child if my body allows. I can be 29, meet my person and end up donating the eggs I did freeze. Parenthood remains a mystery to me. Not when I will experience it, but when it will find me. I’m inviting it in when it feels right and letting go of the invisible expectations I’ve put on myself to catch up to my friends who have lived much more life than I have.
I’m discarding society, friends, and my family’s views on what “progress” looks like at 28. I’m investing in the future I want. On many levels, this feels like exactly where I’m supposed to be. Eggs frozen, choice at my fingertips.