Guestpost: Oooh, My Oocytes! Or, My Experience With Freezing My Eggs

B0008308 Xenopus laevis oocytes, originally uploaded to Flickr from wellcome images.Ever considered freezing your eggs, either because you wanted to postpone kids for your career or because the right partner seems to be in hiding?  One of my best friends, “Auntie M.,”  just went through the procedure, and I asked her to blog about it for Corporette. (Pictured: B0008308 Xenopus laevis oocytes, originally uploaded to Flickr from wellcome images.)

I recently completed the process of freezing my eggs. The process was surprising in many ways, and although I was sure I wanted to do it, I could have used a primer, or even some advice from a friend who had gone through it (none of mine had). Here’s my story.

I turned 34 this year. Early in the year, I had made the decision to freeze my eggs, probably sometime in the next year. I hadn’t decided on when. Then, in late September, I pretty much woke up one morning and it came to me: “Yep, AUNTIE M. Now’s the time to do that.”

I was lucky, because it all happened very quickly. Timing is very important – you’ll start the process on the second day of your period, and by coincidence I was getting my period the week I called the doctor. So I was pretty much off and running. This meant I didn’t have too much time to second-guess myself (a good thing), but it also meant the process was a little overwhelming at times. I think I would have found the following information the most helpful:

Skip your OB/GYN; instead, go to a clinic you trust: I originally called my OBGYN for this, but then was referred by a trusted source to a nearby-to-me clinic. I live in a Big City, and the clinic was definitely in Posh Neighborhood, and the referral source Definitely Knew What She Was Talking About, so I decided to just go for it. If you don’t have similar resources, I recommend doing some research on different clinics near you, and then go with your gut.

Timing is everything: The clinic will want to take your first blood test and do your first ultrasound on the second day of your period. I had no idea about this when I called my clinic, and it was my pure dumb luck that I was supposed to get my period that week. The doctor will want to take your blood and have your first ultrasound on the second day of your period. (You might be asking yourself, as I did, You’re going to put WHAT and WHERE during my period? Yes. The ultrasound does happen during your period. The fact that you have your period should not surprise the ultrasound tech, so try not to worry about it. But yes, it was a little weird for me.) If you’re on birth control, as I was, you may not be able to start the process right away, depending on the results of your blood test. Fortunately for me, my tests showed that I was a good candidate despite having been on the Pill for years.

Plan ahead: My first appointment was supposed to be 1.5 hours. It ended up being three. Give yourself plenty of time for that initial appointment, and expect to meet with your doctor to discuss your options and the process. You should also meet with the nurse to go over how to administer your daily hormone injections (more on that below). Also expect to meet with the financial/billing department to discuss payment options. All this, in addition to having your blood drawn and ultrasound – it can add up to quite a morning.

Stay available: You won’t get an exact schedule ahead of time as to when your procedure is, when you’ll need to come in for blood tests, etc. This is because it all depends on how your body is responding to the hormones. After the initial appointment, I went in for a blood test and ultra sound every 2-3 days, and then every other day, and finally in the days leading up to the procedure, every day. My clinic was open at 7:00 every day (including weekends, with limited hours), so I would go in early before work and it didn’t affect my work schedule. It did, however, affect my social schedule, as I had long-standing plans to be out of town over the weekend, which unfortunately had to change because the doctor wanted me to come in for tests/ultrasound on both weekend days.

This goes for the procedure as well, which is unfortunate for those of us who live and die by our calendars and love to schedule things. My doctor decided the procedure date only about 2 days before the actual day. Despite my best efforts (we had tentatively planned for the procedure on a Saturday), I ended up having to take a few sick days, after all.

Be prepared to stab yourself: When I made the decision to do it, I knew I would have to take hormones. For some reason, I naively thought these came in pill form, that I could just take the hormones with a glass of water. Ha! No, instead I would be injecting myself with 2-3 different hormones, at the same time every night, pretty much up until the procedure.

Don’t fear the bloat. Or the soreness. Or the tiredness: The hormones will affect you before the procedure. I was bloated and tired, a lot. I was even more bloated and uncomfortable after the procedure. The good news is it’s temporary, and it all resolved over the course of a week.

Plan on not exercising, lifting, twisting: Prior to the procedure, when you’re giving yourself hormones, you shouldn’t be doing any heavy exercise, even light jogging. I pretty much limited myself to walking my dog. No yoga, no elliptical, no weights. As you can probably guess, straining your insides puts the growing eggs at risk of detaching and not being available for extraction. Again, it’s only temporary, so hang in there.

No sex: For pretty much the same reasons as not exercising. Keep your little oocytes safe!

Think about freezing embryos: Ooof. This was kind of a doozy. Let me back up: in our first appointment, the doctor told me that frozen embryos are more viable children than frozen eggs alone. I hadn’t actually thought of freezing embryos, and my reaction to his suggestion surprised me. Although I have never believed that life starts at conception/fertilization (and still don’t), the thought of creating embryos, freezing them, and then possibly not using them, gave me pause. It just felt more personal, somehow, and like somehow it created the obligation for me to use all of them.

However, I thought it over, and made the decision to half and half: freeze some eggs, and freeze some embryos. This meant that I would need to choose a donor. While I have a good number of male friends, I didn’t want any of them to be the donor, for various reasons. My doctor recommended a great clinic they often work with, and I went through the process of looking for a donor pretty quickly (all the donor information was online). This was a very interesting process: at times, I would think it was great – I could choose a donor of a certain height, weight, eye color, and, most importantly, I could see their family’s medical history. Dad had a history of alcoholism? No thanks! On to the next. Then, of course, at other times I felt sad, lonely, depressed, desperate, and worried that I was destined to be an old pathetic spinster who couldn’t find a man to love her.

As it happened, I did not have enough eggs to do half and half, so I just froze my eggs alone. I’m still considering freezing embryos in a few months, because I think that would be the right decision for me. I do want to have children (ideally, one biological and one adoptive). On the whole, I am comfortable with donating unused embryos to research. But this is a very personal decision, and you should do only what you are comfortable doing.

When it’s time for the procedure, have someone there to support you: This was a tough one for me, as I pride myself on being an Independent Woman who subscribes to the “You Pack It, You Carry It” philosophy of self-reliance. I was totally prepared to take a taxi to and from the procedure, and would have been fine with that (ok, let’s be honest, I would have been really proud of myself for being tough enough to do that). But when I told my parents about my decision, my mom insisted on being there for me, and that’s exactly what happened. She came into town a few days ahead of the scheduled procedure and drove me to and from, when it actually happened. She made me tea and soup when I got home, and got a heating pad for my belly to soothe the cramps and bloating.

The procedure itself: You will be under a light, but general, anesthesia. Here’s my memory of the procedure: I was on the gurney, they administered the anesthesia, the doctor came in, we said hello, I said that my hand felt cold where they inserted the needle, several voices said “that’s normal,” and the next thing I know I’m waking up in recovery. The procedure was done vaginally, I believe using an ultrasound probe with some special extraction tools attached. It took about 45 minutes, and then I spent about 1 hour in recovery. I was in some discomfort immediately after the procedure, mostly when I laughed at my mom’s funny jokes and observations. But overall it was pretty minor stuff.

Some general thoughts:

At first I was frustrated by the unpredictable nature of the process, but then reminded myself it was only a matter of 3 weeks to one month – this whole thing is temporary. More importantly, to me, was to remind myself that this was voluntary, and that I was choosing to do this. This put me in a very different emotional headspace than other women who undergo similar treatment because they are having difficulty conceiving. Remembering why I was there, and that it was voluntary, went a long way toward helping me relax throughout the whole thing.

I am, without a doubt, so glad that I made the decision to freeze my eggs. Yes, my biological clock is still ticking, but it feels a little less loud now. I have some space to breathe – I don’t need to find someone who wants to rush into having kids just because I’m running out of time. This doesn’t mean that I’m going to have (yet another) years-long relationship without any concrete direction; I am 34, and I do want to get married and have kids. At this age I feel better about knowing what I want and more confident in letting go of what I don’t in terms of relationships. Freezing my eggs is not something I advertise on first (or even second, or third) dates – it’s just something I know about myself, and something I’m very glad I did.

Readers, have you considered freezing your eggs? If you’ve already had them frozen, was your experience similar to Auntie M.’s?

Further Reading:

 

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Comments

  1. If I do not find a boyfreind and get MARRIED soon, I will have to do this myself.

    That is why I would want to get a boyfriend and get MARRIED this year. But all the boys are very imature. FOOEY!

  2. I always knew that I didn’t want to be a mother, but in college I thought it might be interesting to go through a pregnancy. I briefly explored being a surrogate mother as there were always ads in my university newspaper looking for robust bodies for that purpose. In the end, I decided it wasn’t something to be taken lightly in the middle of pursuing an engineering degree and dropped it.

    I also briefly considered donating eggs, but reading this article makes me glad I didn’t do so. Kudos to Auntie M for knowing what she wants and being willing to go through the non-trivial physical process.

  3. Oh wow. How interesting. Out of curiosity, how long (age-wise) would you attempt to carry your own child? Would you use a surrogate after that or just adopt? If you never find the right guy, would you just use a donor and proceed on your own? Sorry for the barrage of questions. Just really interesting to me to think about how far you’re willing to push biology when other circumstances aren’t cooperating. Thanks for sharing your personal experience.

  4. Suddenly Anon :

    Thank you for sharing your experience.

    I surprised myself earlier this month when, for the first time, I answered “yes” (and really, really meant it) to the question, “Do you want children?” Alas, I’m 32 and without a boyfriend/husband, which means that I think I might be following in your footsteps in the next couple of years.

    Just curious to those who froze: How much of a financial burden should I plan for? I remember hearing once (when I was young and never thought it would be me) that it could cost $10k. Still the going rate?

    • Ballerina Girl :

      This was also my question–I have heard insurance doesn’t cover any of it. Is that true? And is it about $10K?

      I also echo the other question of how late in life you can carry the embryo?

      Good for you, Auntie M! Seriously, great that you took matters into your own hands! I may do the same shortly! You’re definitely not an old spinster who couldn’t get a man!

    • My husband and I froze an embryo before I underwent a type of chemotherapy that renders women infertile. Though we were extremely fortunate in that our clinic offered deeply discounted rates for pre-chemo “fertility preservation” cases such as ours, the going rate for other patients hovers around $12,000. This does NOT include the hormone injection prescriptions, a week of which cost $1300. It costs $500 per year to keep the embryo/egg frozen. I am aware of no insurance company that would cover even close to everything; however, you can get insurance companies to cover the bloodwork — depends entirely on your carrier. Best wishes.

  5. Anonymous :

    Wow. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Anon Woman :

    This is something I’ve always considered. I’m only 26, but my mom struggled with fertility at 24. I’m married, but I’m just starting out (I’m a 3L) and I don’t want to have children for another 10+ years. I am considering freezing embryos as soon as I begin Biglaw next year, but was a bit scared of the process.

    • Anon Woman :

      PS, Thank you thank you thank you for writing this and putting yourself out there!

    • Similar situation here! I’m 25, but I’ve worked with so many 30-somethings that started freaking out about this that I’d like to freeze my eggs or embryos ASAP. It seems like the price range on egg freezing is pretty varied, so I’d really appreciate some information on how much this costs – should I take the hit right away, or is it okay to wait a year until I’m more financially stable? Part of this would be determined by how much it costs.

    • I just want to let you know that you may not have any problems getting pregnant — both my sister and mom had tremendous difficutly conceiving and maintaining a pregnancy, but I was the exact opposite — pregnant on the first try for both baby #1 and #2. Hopefully you’re lucky.

  7. Thanks for sharing.

    Somewhat related: Husband & I are talking about trying to start a family in the next few months. Any pointers on things we should do (not asking about conception itself!)? For example, I’ve already checked out my health insurance coverage & maternity leave policy at work, but I’m sure there are other things to think about. Any feedback?

    • Though you said you weren’t looking for conception-related advice, I highly recommend that you consider starting to track your temperatures for a few months before you start trying, as it will give you a sense of what “normal” is for you in terms of the timing of the various phases of your cycle, and can help identify some issues early (e.g., short luteal phase). There’s a very good book called Taking Charge of Your Fertility that is helpful on temping and explaining all the things I feel like I should have learned about my body 20 years ago.

      • I second the Taking Charge of Your Fertility recommendation. I imagine that I, like many other corporettes, considered myself fairly well educated in my upbringing. I read TCOYF last year (prior to becoming pregnant), and I was surprised at how much I learned.

        As for the practical stuff- are you planning any job transitions in the near future? Remember that you have to be employed (by a large enough employer) for 1 year before FMLA coverage kicks in. Will you want to increase your life insurance coverage prior to or immediately after having a baby?

      • Diana Barry :

        Ditto. TCOYF is very helpful. If you track your cycles for a few months (temping may be enough, the other measurements are also helpful), you should be able to know when your fertile days are and whether there are any issues you can see right off the bat (esp if you are irregular).

        Fertility friend dot com (no spaces) has good, free charting to use. (Not sure re: apps, I did everything on a web browser.)

        My doc recommends taking folic acid for 3 months prior to TTC – it helps your body build it up in your system, since it is most heavily used in the first few weeks of a pregnancy.

    • Anonymous :

      Nah. Just know it happens when it happens, or doesn’t. Stop or reduce drinking if you want to. I advise *not* stocking up on tests and peeing and peeking and hoping (I thought I was preggo multiple times doing this, and was technically correct but practically incorrect– it’s called a chemical pregnancy and the docs told me not even to think of it as a miscarriage or loss, just as a blink-of-an-eye something we wouldn’t have ever known about a few decades ago before our modern tests)… if you get pregnant, you’ll know it, so wait and see and enjoy the ‘process’ with Husband. Don’t hold your breath and think about it all the time. If in a year it hasn’t happened, you can think about it more. For now, I suggest less thinking, more doing! :) Good luck!

    • We decided a few months ago to begin trying. Now, we’re in a waiting period while we determine if husband is accepted into a program we thought was a sure shot.

      However, here’s what I did.

      Got up to date on my immunizations (tetanus and MMR). Had my bloodwork done to make sure I’m healthy.
      Got a preconception visit. I’m going tomorrow. It’s also going to be my annual, but it’s a few months early so that we can discuss pregnancy.
      Also, I seriously ramped up my exercise program a few months ago, since every doctor seems to think it’s fine to stay at the current exercise level but not increase during pregnancy – I decided I wanted to be more fit the entire time.
      Figured out what we could put in a health savings account for the beginning of 2012 – we’re either going to use it for baby or, if we don’t end up getting pregnant, we’re going to use it for Lasik. Win-win!

      • To jack the threadjack, what’s the story on pre-conception visits? I mentioned to my doc last year that I might start towards the end of that year, and she said don’t worry about it, just call and they’ll send some guidelines and suggestions, but no need to come in.

        I’ve since changed doctors (just because I moved, no problem with that doc), and, at my next annual, I asked whether I should do anything before trying, and she pretty much said the same, just back off the caffine and alcohol, and take a vitamin, but no need to come in. Are pre-conception visits normal/important? Are they maybe a regional thing?

        • I had never heard of pre-conception visits until recently. I had always just gone for my yearly check-up with my OB-GYN and she told me that without some other reason (PCOS, endometriosis, other underlying diseases, etc), they won’t run any extraneous tests until a couple has been “trying” unsuccessfully for a year.

          My doc was the same when I told her we were trying: back off caffeine and alcohol in the second half of my cycle and start taking prenatal vitamins to fortify the iron and folic acid in my system.

        • It may be a new/newish doc thing – especially if the prior experience is with a GYN-only doc. I’ve only had OB/GYNs, so there wasn’t an extra appointment, but if I had a new doc, I’d want to get acquainted because in month 8-9, we’re spending a lot of time together!

        • My preconception visit:

          We moved, so we didn’t have a regular ob-gyn. My old doctor was a gyn-only. My visit is a get-to-know but also it was specifically recommended to me because I’m about 25 lbs overweight and the doctor wants to discuss that issue. I don’t think it’s a required visit, by any means.

        • Anon for This :

          A pre-conception visit is also useful if you want to do any genetic screenings before getting pregnant (Tay Sachs, Cystic Fibrosis, etc.).

        • westwoodmom :

          Many busy ob practices (i.e. the most popular) in major cities will not see you until you are 12 weeks pregnant, they simply don’t have the slots. At least that was the case in the three cities I lived when trying to conceive (two east coast, one west coast). If you have fertility concerns of any type, you need to see a reproductive endocrinologist, who will typically take care of you preconception until your first ob appointment. You usually need a referral to see a RE from your primary care doctor to have insurance cover it.

        • agree heavily with prior comment about exercising as much as you can now- i had a first trimester complication limiting my movement, it’s been awful to be so sedentary.

          pre-conception visit, for me, was about interviewing the doc to see if he was right fit for us.

        • I had a pre-conception visit before both my first pregnancy and now current pregnancy. I love that my OB does this — I had a full physical at both and we talked about the chance of getting pregnant each month, that I should be taking a PNV, how to maximize changes, making sure I didn’t lose any weight (I run a lot and have always been on the lower end of the healthy BMI range), and that sort of stuff. For my second one, I had just weaned and it was more or less questions about when my period would regulalry return.

      • Just pregnant with first. our pre-prep: took vitamins for several months, got obg recommendation, met with him. learned more about the cycle (it was all about the mucus for me, couldn’t tell any other way really). did not stop having a bit of wine etc. wish i HAD done a real vacation prior, since day 1 of preg my life feels over (old life, not new one) it’s been quite hard earlier than i expected, mostly due to working full time as well without much leave time.

      • research lasek, it’s far less risky than lasik!

    • We had an interesting discussion a few weeks ago about Disability insurance, particularly short term disability (which generally pays for about 6 weeks post-birth, as well as time you have to miss during pregnancy if you have complications). A lot of people don’t think of this, and it’s one to consider.

      I’d also recommend that you think really hard about the allocation of responsibilities between you and your husband – that is, whether one of you will take a step back at work, if you’re both going to work, who will be called if there’s a problem, what kind of care you’ll have, who’s responsible for pick up and drop off. There was a thread a week or so ago from a ‘Rette who was dealing with the toils of 2 demanding jobs and her carrying all of the childcare load as well, and it really grabbed my attention. I think that a lot of (dual-career) couples fail to understand how the child is going to fit into their lives and around their careers, and, when that’s not considered, it usually winds up being the woman who carries the burden. Which may or may not be fine, depending on the career (I do not think that it’s fine in a typical big-law or other type A job.)

      • This. Check out “The Mother Dance” by Harriet Lerner for some very useful perspectives on how the power balance of a marriage changes when children arrive.

        That said, how exciting! Wishing you much joy as you embark on a new phase of life!

    • I second the recommendation to check out taking charge of your fertility, its a great book with pretty practical advice. Also, if you’re on hormonal birth control I’d stop it so that your cycle can regulate. I’d also see your doctor for an update on your booster shots as you can’t get some of them (like the MMR/pertusis booster) while pregnant. And its not a bad idea to start taking folic acid or prental vitamins.

    • NE Attorney :

      A couple of thoughts: Have a great vacation with your significant other and enjoy each other’s company. Traveling is possible, but trickier, when you’re pregnant. Head to the dentist. Exercise really hard a couple of times (again tougher while pregnant). Linger at your favorite museum for a while. Get your finances in order (try and budget for daycare, nanny, etc.). Have fun and good luck!

      When it comes to conception advice, I second Taking Charge of Your Fertility. But I found temping to be super stressful. I found the ovulation kits much more helpful. When I did finally head to a reproductive endocrinologist (infertility doc), she only wanted to know about whether I had used an ovulation predictor kit and the results of the kit. (And happy to report that infertility treatments worked! My son is now ten months old!)

    • Thanks for all the advice thus far! I’ll definitely check out your collective book recommendation. I talked to my ob/gyn about 6 months ago, in anticipation of going off BC & trying to conceive in 2012 – she was pretty casual, and just recommended I start taking folic acid and tracking. I’ve been actively looking for a new job because my current position totally blows, but my husband & I discussed suspending my job search until post-bun-in-oven (assuming we can bake without issue) for the sake of timing. All good things to consider, so thanks again!

    • Lots of people have given you great advice already, but I’d add: get into shape and start eating healthy, if you’re not already. I was in the best shape of my life when I got pregnant with DS and was shocked at the toll pregnancy took on me, in terms of stamina and energy. I honestly think it would’ve been worse if I hadn’t been in good shape to begin with.

      • Ugh – ditto this. I intentionally ramped up my workouts prior to getting pregnant thinking it would make me better able to handle the rigors of a pregnancy. The first trimester (and then some) knocked me on my behind. I can’t imagine how much worse it would have been if I wasn’t in good shape to start off with.

        • Ugh, me too! I lost ~20 lbs during the year before I got pregnant by exercising hard and often and working with a dietician. I felt awesome. Now I’m at 27 weeks and pretty sure I’ve gained most of it back…boo! Oh well, I shudder to think where I would have been if I hadn’t started out lower in the first place!

    • Someone may already have said this downthread.. but just in case: start cutting back on your caffeine now. I started cutting down on coffee/soda a few months before we conceived until I was basically caffeine free and I was so glad I did. Most people find the first trimester to be very tiring — I feel like I basically slept all the time — and you can’t rely on caffeine because it increases risks of miscarriage. Since I had cut back completely, I could kind of fool my body with a cup of decaf (which contains a smidgen of caffeine but it’s nothing like actual coffee). It makes it a little easier to stay awake and it can help you keep your pregnancy on the DL in those early months if you want.

      • Anonymous :

        Or you can just continue to have your caffeine during pregnancy. I did, comfortably, with docs on board, and no troubles for me or babe. To each her own.

      • Just to clarify —

        the data on risks of caffeine in pregnancy are minimal. In general, it is exceedingly hard to do good studies on pregnant women around pregnancy risks. There are some weak data on pregnancy and miscarriage, but that was in women taking in LOTS of caffeine. Also, some studies suggest children born to women with high caffeine intake during pregnancy may be more prone to migraine.

        When I looked at the studies during my first pregnancy, I decided less was better but there was no convincing evidence that caffeine in small amounts was particularly harmful. To me, that translated to cutting back from 5-6 shots of espresso a day (I was a surgery resident) to one in the morning, one in the afternoon (if I needed it).

      • Caffeine was the only thing that got me through my first trimesters! I seriously don’t think I could have gone to work without it.

  8. Start taking folic acid — it’s in pretty much any multivitamin. It helps prevent spina bifuda.

  9. What an interesting story. I think most women think about freezing their eggs when it’s already too late, so good for you for being ahead of the curve.

    How did the hormones affect you? Moods, skin, etc?

  10. How much did it cost?

  11. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Did you consider having children on your own? I was in a similar situation earlier last year and decided to have a child. I never considered freezing my eggs because I did not want to go through the fertility treatments that may have been necessary at a later age. Until what age would you consider getting pregnant?

    • Can you talk some more about this? I’m seriously considering doing the single-parenting thing (it’s crazy, but is it worse than never having kids when I really want them?) and would like to hear some real-life stories.

      In particular, do you have friends/family nearby who help you? I don’t and am wondering how that would work.

      • I have always wanted kids and really could not envision never having them. I was 33 when I decided I was not going to wait any longer. I didn’t want to be in the situation where I needed to think about fertility treatments or being pregnant at an older age or being a parent at an older age. I went to fertility doctor and chose an anonymous donor.

        As for help, I have a ton of family near me who loves kids. My life is a bit crazy, I am a full time attorney and by the end of the week I am exhausted. But I am lucky, I have a great nanny and my mom to watch my child. For you, there may be daycare centers that will watch smaller children, but the timing for pick up and drop off is much more restrictive. Also, it is a lot of money, but I have learned to restrict my spending.

        It has required many lifestyles changes, but having my daughter was definitely worth it. She is a joy. If I didn’t have family around, it would be much more difficult. But I think I would be willing to make more sacrifices if it were necessary to be able to do it. For someone who wants kids, it seems unbearable to give that up just because you haven’t met the right person.

        • Also, there are support groups (single mothers by choice) in a bunch of areas. I think they include people like you who are thinking about having children on their own. It seems like a good way to create a support system when you don’t already have one.

        • Thanks a lot for this. I’m 28 now and can’t imagine waiting past 32 or so. But I have no family to speak of and no close friends, which seems like a critical piece – having a support network. I can give up (reluctantly) the travel part of my job (currently about 25%) but what if I end up with a broken leg or something?

          I do expect child care to be expensive, but thankfully I make enough to pay for it (and expect that to continue to be the case). My intent would be to take 6-9 months off for each kid (at my company, this would be an option) and I have enough saved up to do that and then some.

          • It is very scary choosing to be a single parent. You know, going in, that you will be the only one supporting your child. And, as successful women, we seem to be pre-programmed to try to think of and prepare for every possible outcome. In the end, mothers just make things work. Single moms do it all the time, successfully. You can build a support network out of daycare centers and paid babysitters. I would not let the lack of friends and family nearby stop me.

            Btw, I would have killed for 6-9 months off. That sounds heavenly!

          • Anon, THANK YOU. You are so right that I am trying to prepare for /every/ possible outcome. But although I’m not a parent, I read enough parenting blogs/comments to know that this will. not. work. Kids are unpredictable and I need to get comfortable with that now.

            And r.e. time off – I have a great job at a great company that values me a lot, and that also bends over backwards to keep its valued employees happy. And I get paid enough to make 6 mos off + private nanny thereafter a possibility. I am so lucky in this regard.

      • I was a single parent for 10 years of a great guy (who is now 22). Infrastructure is key, as well as having supportive people who can help in a pinch. For work, I was as effective as my childcare allowed me to be. We can’t expect kids to sleep or behave perfectly on demand. It may not take an entire village to raise a child, but it certainly helps to be a good friend to others as well as being an effective community member so when there is a down cycle/tight & competing demands, you are not responding in isolation.

        My support network was good friends in the area, and I joined up with PWP (pre-internet – their adult socials funded kids activities, so we had a healthy child-centric social life, had a great time, and made good friends) Since the internet and meetup, etc., I’m sure there are other options.

      • Anon For This :

        I accidentally became a single parent as a junior in college. It certainly wasn’t an ideal situation, but looking back, I wouldn’t change it for anything. After having my son, I took a semester off school, out of necessity, went back, finished on time and went to lawschool as planned.

        The most important thing to be a single parent is planning for child care. My son was about 4 months old when I went back to college, where I lived 2 hours away from my family. As a result, he went to a day care center. They are expensive, and be sure to do your research to make sure it’s a reputable one. Nannies and stay at home moms who want to make some money are also a really good option.

        When I went to law school, I moved 2000 miles away, with just me and my son, no family. Again, reputable child care is key.

        My son is now 6. We’ve made it through so much together and coming home to him every night is one of the best parts of my day.

        Being a single parent is hard-there’s no one to help discipline, no one to share the happy moments, no one to give you a break. However, in some respects, it’s also easier. You don’t have to blend two parenting styles, no worrying about presenting a united front, etc. (I say this being in a committed relationship now and going from being a single parent where what I said was the law to blending two parenting styles).

        Also, being a single parent is expensive, both financially and emotionally. But, if it’s something you really want, you will figure out a way to make it work. Best of luck to you in your parenting endeavors, if you so choose to go that route.

        • Out of curiosity, where is his father? Do he and your son have any contact or a meaningful relaitonship?

          • Always a NYer :

            Not who you asked the question to but I thought I’d throw in my $.02.

            I’m the only child of a single parent. My mom got divorced when I was a year old and got sole physical and financial custody of me. I’ve have no contact with my father, nor do I have any desire to. He really didn’t want the responsiblity of a child and my mother worked two jobs to make sure I was taken care of.

            She moved back in with her parents and growing up I never felt like I was “without” because I didn’t live with/know my father. I had three parents while most of my friends had two. My grandfather took care of me while my mom and grandma were at work and he was my father-figure/best friend until he passed away two years ago.

            For those of you thinking of being a single mother, the biological father isn’t the only male role model your child will need. I had my grandfather and uncle to look to as the strong/caring males in my life.

            My point is that not having the biological father around shouldn’t deter or make you feel less as a parent. I look at my mom and have nothing but respect and adoration for her because everything she has done was for me and I had/have the most amazing life because of her.

          • Anon For This :

            5:02 here:

            His father was “around” while I was in college, but lived 2 hours away like my family. He would see him on weekends, but he was never reliable.

            Now, he’s 2,000 miles away, and hasn’t seen his son in almost 3 years. My son remembers his dad, sort of, and when he gets bored, he’ll call him and talk for a few minutes, but the first question is usually, when are you coming to see me. The answer to that is usually noncommital and my son will talk for a few minutes and then not want to talk to his dad for a month or so.

            I’ve received zero financial support from the father. I’ve done my very best to make sure I, nor anyone else, bad mouths his father around him. We’ve also told my son (and his dad) that his dad is welcome to come out to visit any time, and could even stay at our house so he doesn’t have to stay at a hotel (thankfully, I have a VERY understanding and wonderful boyfriend). My son also knows that he can call his dad at any time, but I’ve stopped “making” him call or talk to him on holidays. I figure he’s old enough to make that decision himself.

            So, to answer your question, no, I don’t think they have a meaningful relationship, but they do have some contact. I also facilitate his relationship with his paternal grandparent as much as possible (again hasn’t seen him in 3 years, but I make sure he calls every so often).

      • My mom married my dad solely to have children. They had a horrible marriage and a drawn-out, bitter divorce. She raised us as a single mother.

        So, from the time I was teenager, my mom always said that if I wanted children I should just have them and I didn’t need to be married and I shouldn’t wait around for a husband. She thought that it was important that I could have my own choices and that I did not have to bend my life around whether a man would be around.

        My point is, you are definitely not crazy for wanting a child/children and considering doing it solo if the time is right for you and no guy is around. You know what will make you happy and whether you have the resources for a child, so don’t let anyone else tell you that you are crazy to choose to be a single mom. If you can provide for a child and give it a good home, love and support, then it is totally OK to choose to parent solo.

        • I have several single-mother friends – some by choice, some by divorce/separation. I would say that my friends who are single mothers by choice have it way easier, in many ways, than my friends who are dealing with ex-husbands/partners. As someone mentioned, with an ex-partner there are almost always wrangles over financial support, custody, visitation, co-parenting etc. that take a tremendous amount of time and emotional energy to manage – and at the end of the day, you are still the one doing almost 100% of the day-to-day parenting! One of my friends divorced her abusive ex after he hit her, when their son was 1. Her ex is unstable and has tried to use their child against her at every turn; she’s had to get a restraining order against him and get a paid social-worker supervisor for his visits with their son. Another friend was dumped by her partner when she was 7 months pregnant and he has no day-to-day involvement with their daughter at all, so she might as well have had a donor. Except that he will periodically decide he wants to see the little girl (who is 8) and so she has to go through painful and troublesome explanations to her daughter of why this guy wants to see her, only to have him disappear for another year and a half afterwards.

          I know the single-mom route is not easy no matter what, but I think it would be way easier to go to a sperm bank and have an uninvolved donor, than it would be to have a baby with the wrong guy and then be tethered to that guy, emotionally and legally, for the rest of your life. Having a baby with someone is way more permanent than marriage – once that baby is in your life, the other parent is also in your life, in one way or another, until one of you dies (unless they just totally disappear, but that seems rare from what I have seen). There is no easy way of getting away from a toxic guy you’ve had a child with. If it’s getting “down to the wire” for someone fertility-wise, I would highly recommend going the donor route rather than accelerating the partner search. I have not seen the second option work out well for anyone.

  12. Thanks for sharing. I can’t say I would’ve ever thought about this before, but your post struck at something in me. I’m currently struggling with my BF–he isn’t ready for marriage and kids, and while I wouldn’t say I am either, I do see them in the next 5 years (and fertility concerns drive a lot of that). He is unhappy because he feels like that’s what I want and he can’t give it to me, and either he’ll be unhappy if we speed things up or I’ll be unhappy if I give up my dream of a family. I’m terrified of losing the right guy because he’s not ready on my bio clock’s schedule, but I also don’t want to have problems in our relationship later if we wait and then can’t have children, something I really want (and he wants too, just much later). I’m under way too much emotional stress to make a decision like this right now, but your post definitely gave me something to think about a few months down the road if BF and I are able to resolve our issues.

    Like some of the above commenters, I’m also curious up to what age it is still safe to carry the baby, or when a surrogate would be needed.

    • I think it is great that you and the BF are being so honest and upfront about your needs and wants in this area. But it concerns me that you say you’re worried about losing the right guy because he’s not ready on your bio clock’s schedule. If is you two are unable to reach a mutually agreeable plan for something so important, he’s not the right guy. It’s as simple (and as complicated) as that. As much as I am thrilled that freezing eggs and IVF and surrogacy have given women more options, I really hate when people (women or men) put down or judge women for paying attention to their “biological clock” and wanting children at/by a certain time. Your biological clock is just that- biological. It is completely natural to want kids before your fertility starts to wane. I’m not saying you should build your entire life around that, unless it is absolutely your first priority in life, but you should not apologize for it and you should not feel guilty for it. I see this with my female friends all the time- we’re all in our late 20s and lawyers, and everyone is so embarrassed to admit they think about their biological clock and fertility. As if it makes us lesser feminists or lesser professionals to even think it, even though nothing less that the propagation of the species drives us to keep it in mind.

      Sorry to anonm b/c I just seized your post as a chance to let that rant out. And kudos to Auntie M for not being too embarrassed to grapple with the realities of the bio clock and share her experiences with us.

      • No need to apologize, I think you make great points. But the thing with my BF (not even sure if I can call him that anymore) is still so raw that I’m not really capable of being rational. I wish I could see that he may not be the one, but right now I’m just not.

        • I had this issue with a boyfriend that I was very serious with a while ago– we were not on the same page with kids, and as we progressed, it became clear that “sometime” was probably “never.” And even though I hadn’t really cared earlier in my life, it made me realize that I REALLY wanted kids at some concrete point in the future (probably early 30s) and that this was a deal breaker, even if he was an otherwise great guy. I moved on, it was super hard, but I was a step closer to figuring out what was really important to me in a relationship & what I wanted my partner to be like– and then I found that person. ;-)
          I think this is 1 of those sticker points that you have to be on the same page w/ your partner to be in a working relationship.

    • Anonymous :

      He doesn’t sound like the right guy– for you. For someone, yes. Not for you.

      If he’s wishy washy on your definite dream, don’t let this be a wishy washy way of deferring or inertia-killing your dream.

    • The desire for children is fairly black or white, I wouldn’t waste any time on someone who wasn’t really into kids if you know that you are. In ten years time, if you haven’t been able to have a child (because bf said no, or because you delayed it waiting for him to come around and are no longer fertile), will that be okay with you? It’s a pretty primitive desire, and should be respected I think.
      I am a “old” first time mother, close to 40. It is so much work. Basically, mothering is one full time job, then maintaining your relationship with your husband/bf is another, plus doing your actual paid work is a third job.
      You need help, and the ideal is a mate who is willing to cook, clean, do laundry, go grocery shopping, care for baby etc whenever required. It really comes down to the basics of running a household and the little things can become very major issues when you add a baby into the mix. A selfish partner would make the first few months with a new baby really hard. If you do it alone, then a good nanny and a house cleaner would fill these roles and really make it do-able. There are moments where it’s really hard to cope and emotions take over so you really want to have a supportive partner or close friend or family member oncall.

      If a man is not super enthused, then you will be the one doing all the work when baby comes, and there is soooo much work it’s not even funny. Pick a mate who is good at taking care of himself and good at taking care of you because when you come home with a newborn, you really need someone to step in and take over running the house while you get to know baby and get used to being a mother and heal from childbirth. Having a baby is wonderful by the way, exhausting but wonderful!

      • “If a man is not super enthused, then you will be the one doing all the work when baby comes, and there is soooo much work it’s not even funny.”

        This is 1000% true and something I hope young women out there will consider. My husband was scared to have kids but he wanted one, without question. When our son was born my husband was a champ – he cooked, he cleaned, did laundry, stayed up with the baby, you name it. Our son had colic and he was a challenge. I went back to work when he was 11 weeks and he was still crying most of the night. I did it with my husband’s unquestioning and loving help. I probably could have done it on my own with help from my family and a paid nanny. I could not have done it if I had had an adult child – a selfish, recalcitrant, not-into-kids partner – to manage along with everything else.

        I know many women have in their hearts the idea of this perfect nuclear family with Mommy and Daddy and Baby Makes Three. But you are MUCH better off becoming a mother on your own, if you have a partner who really does not want kids and is just going along for the ride. And frankly, in that case, there is a high probability you will end up divorced anyway, or worse, being the “married single mother” who works, takes care of the house, and raises the kids while Hubby is off doing whatever he feels like, whenever he wants. One of my coworkers is in that situation. The only marginal benefit is the financial one, from having two incomes.

  13. I’d be interested to know how much the process costs (and what it would cost later on to use the frozen eggs and have them fertilized and implanted).

    Also, what is the age range when this makes sense – is it something you should do the earlier the better?

    • soulfusion :

      As I stated in my response below mine cost between $12-15,000 all together (including drugs and the first year of storage costs) but will continue to cost $500/year going forward as long as I want them to store my eggs. But I am in NYC so that could put my cost at the high end.

      You have a better chance of getting more eggs in one cycle the younger you are. But then, everyone is different. I have a friend who did this recently and only got 5 or 6 and I got 23 and we are about the same age.

    • Anonymous :

      For my sister it was $10k total (everything included plus 1 yr of frozen storage) in medium-sized midwestern city. She got 14 eggs but her dr thought only 8-9 were potentially viable. She was 31 or 32.

  14. Very interesting article. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Not enough women know that this is an option. You can carry a child way into your 40s if the eggs were preserved or donated.

    I’m 36 and just found out I’m pregnant with my first. I have PCOS (an ovulation disorder) and had to have 5 inter uterine inseminations to get to my positive pregnancy result. I had met with my doctor a week ago to discuss IVF. So thankful that I don’t need it.

    I would suggest that anyone trying to conceive see an reproductive endocrinologist right away. Don’t delay with Ob/Gyns. They cannot help you (although they will try) the way a Repro Endo clinic can. It is always good to have a Plan B. Fertility drops off steeply after age 35 so if you are in a financial position to do so, preserve your fertility by freezing your eggs. Most insurance will not cover it. But you can find a way if you want children bad enough. It is amazing what we will do for them before they even exist!

    Much luck and love Auntie M!

  15. Anonymous :

    Does anyone have advice re folic acid vs. folate for pre-conception supplements? I have read that while folic acid does help prevent birth defects, it is a synthetic that has been documented to cause cancer if ingested in large amounts (which it apparently often is due to fortification in many processed foods.) I would prefer to keep my folate levels high through food intake or through a supplement with folate, but I am worried about keeping my levels high enough through this method, because folate apparently does not get into your bloodstream as easily as folic acid. Any thoughts?

    Please see this article for background info: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/booster_shots/2009/11/folic-acid-and-cancer-new-data-might-add-to-suspicion-or-better-to-discussion.html

    • I asked my doctor and pharmacist about this specific issue and they both said it was perfectly fine to take a regular vitamin with folate instead of folic acid. They didn’t mention the cancer issue, but they said everything is so heavily fortified with folic acid and that although less folate is absorbed, the absorption difference is minimal and a ‘regular’ multivitamin with folate was perfectly acceptable and would provide more than enough.
      They did recommend, as an earlier poster did, that I begin taking the multivitamin 2-3 months before trying to conceive. I hope this helps!

  16. This was super interesting to read. I am personally childfree, and went through the tubal ligation process when I was 20. I have a lot of friends who want to have children, though, and just haven’t found the right person or know it isn’t the right time.

    Thanks for sharing your story!

  17. Anonymous :

    Related, and fascinating omnibus reading if you’re into this subject,

    New York Magazine’s “Parents of a Certain Age”, 9/25/11
    http://nymag.com/news/features/mothers-over-50-2011-10/

  18. soulfusion :

    I have a pretty long response to this so forgive the length up front. First off, as many of you know I was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year and when I was informed that in addition to chemotherapy, surgery and radiation, I would also have hormone therapy which would put me into a menopause-like state for 5 years. I was told I should not/could not get pregnant while on hormone therapy. I was 35 at the time of my diagnosis which means I will be 40 when this is all complete. My head was spinning with the idea that I may never have children but a friend of mine who was at my doctor’s appointment with me suggested I just freeze my eggs. So I did. For me this was the most emotionally difficult part of my initial diagnosis and I had to educate myself and make a lot of decisions in an extremely short time frame.

    First, Auntie M is right about the timing of the blood tests. I had a small miracle happen because I started my period the day before my appointment with the fertility clinic. But that meant I was given a crash course. I am also extremely independent but I was happy I took a friend with me to that initial appointment because it was overwhelming. A few things that stand out: freezing your eggs is not “insurance” (more on that below), the trans-vaginal ultrasound is a scary looking machine the first time, the explanation of all of the shots was overwhelming and finally, the cost.

    I will start with my experience on cost. I believe it totaled between $12-15,000 including all of the drugs. I left my appointment and went straight to the pharmacy where I spent $990 on hormones to inject. This was not a financial burden for me and I am still beyond grateful that I did not have to factor the cost into my decision. My insurance didn’t cover any of it even though I was having the procedure done to preserve my fertility. I had a really awkward conversation my insurance company asking about this where the woman told me “we don’t cover infertility preservation.” Ummm, I would think not since that is not actually a thing. But anyway, I think especially for young cancer patients this is tragic because it is stressful enough without the question of how to pay for it. In addition, it will cost about $500/year to store my eggs.

    I also went through the egg versus embryo decision process and this was extremely difficult. I am single with no boyfriend and the doctor advised (and my research confirmed) that each egg had as little as 9% (if my memory is correct) chance of becoming a viable pregnancy while embryos are closer to 20% (again, if I’m remembering the numbers correctly). I was also told, given my age, not to expect more than 8 or 9 eggs to be harvested and I only had one shot to do this. I looked at sperm donors online but ultimately chose to just freeze eggs (to my mother’s great relief). I was lucky enough to get more than double the eggs expected but I was told that is very rare. My hope is that over the course of the next 5 years while I’m not allowed to even think about getting pregnant that this whole process will improve the odds of successfully frozen eggs becoming viable pregnancies.

    A few other things I would note about my experience. First, you are taking a significant amount of hormones which are always going to effect your body in strange ways. I bloated up to the point where I looked like I was actually pregnant and none of my clothes fit. This bloat lasted a few weeks and actually got slightly worse right after the retrieval before it settled down again. This is especially frustrating when you cannot exercise. The emotional side was also surprising. I can honestly say that I found my every other day (and toward the end daily) visits to the fertility clinic far more emotional than the oncology wing of my hospital. There is a palpable longing for children that permeates the waiting room and had me close to tears several times.
    Finally, in terms of advice, I don’t know that I would have taken this step had cancer not forced the decision upon me. However, I am really glad I did it and feel lucky that it worked so well for me. There is a relief that comes from knowing that although the next five years I cannot even begin to consider having children, there is still a tiny window open to that prospect down the road so I no longer hear a giant ticking clock whispering my age in my ear whenever I think about having kids. I do not know the oldest age at which I would consider carrying a child but for me it looks like 41 is the earliest I can even consider it (since I am 36 now and just started hormone therapy a month ago).
    Finally, when researching fertility clinics ask them about their success rates and their percentages because that makes a huge difference. Freezing eggs is far more difficult than freezing embryos and even if they successfully retrieve a good number, eggs have so much water in them that they can easily get freezer burn in the process of freezing and then the egg is lost. Again, when unfreezing the eggs for use there is a significant chance of losing a few eggs. Also, I was extremely grateful to work with a clinic where I was hand-held through everything. They were open 7 days a week and readily responded to calls and questions. They also called after each blood test to tell me exactly what shots I had to give myself and in what dose. This eased my anxiety about remembering everything. My clinic also does not normally fast track people like they did with me because they usually spend a few months giving some prep-hormones or something so don’t expect to have the eggs retrieved in the same month you decide to go in and have it done. My clinic also tested me for STDs and had me meet with a psychologist before I could start the cycle. I appreciated all of these precautions and even meeting with the psychologist proved beneficial as it was while talking with her that I confirmed my decision to just freeze eggs rather than embryos.

    Again, sorry for such a lengthy response but since I went through this very recently I thought I would share my experience. I will also share my latest and greatest news: my last scan showed that I am now cancer free!! I still have some treatments left but chemo and surgery are both behind me and I’m starting to feel like I belong in the land of the healthy again – or I will as soon as I have eyelashes again. :)

    • Always a NYer :

      That’s great news!!! I’m so happy for you =) And thank you for sharing your detailed experience on freezing your eggs.

    • Anonymous :

      Wonderful, wonderful post and story and news and hope. Thank you.

    • First – CONGRATS on your cancer-free diagnosis! What wonderful news to receive at such a celebratory time of year.

      Second – while I haven’t (and good Lord willing, won’t) needed to consider freezing my eggs/embryos, I have friends and family that have faced similar infertility and/or life problems. I know they appreciate every ounce of helpful information that they can find on this subject, and it’s gracious of you and Auntie M to share your stories. Infertility/frozen eggs/and similar treatments still have such a stigma attached to them, but it’s helpful when people are willing to share and change perceptions.

    • So happy to hear you are cancer free!!! I have been wondering about how you’ve been doing… thanks for sharing your experience with us. We’re all thinking about you here at Corporette!

    • Wow. Soulfusion, you are obviously a tremendously brave and bright woman. Thank you for sharing this. Cheers to you, and know that I’ll be hoping for your speedy return to good health.

    • Thank you so much for sharing this :-) I remember when you posted pre-diagnosis, and I was one of the women that posted about having a benign cyst, and I was just floored and felt so so sad when you posted about your diagnosis. It thrills me to hear that you’re now cancer free and things are going so well for you! I wish you all the best in your recovery as you heal and rock on with your life, and look forward to your continued, thoughtful contributions to this community.

    • Thanks for sharing this. I’ve been throwing myself a pity party all day, and you just offered both a great dose of perspective and a wonderfully uplifting story–so glad to hear you are cancer-free!

    • soulfusion, you are THE WOMAN. Congratulations on being cancer-free!

    • AnonInfinity :

      Huzzah on being cancer free! So happy for you, soulfusion!

    • soulfusion :

      thank you everyone! It has been quite the journey and I’m happy to see the end in sight and will be really happy to have 2011 behind me soon. I’m still amazed at what a bright, engaging, supportive community this is – I’ve missed you all!

    • Congratulations on your recovery! And thank you for sharing your story – it is truly moving to hear such personal stories from other women, even with the anonymity of the internet in place.

    • So wonderful to get to the end of the post and see your good news. Your bravery and good sense in facing down so many challenges are really inspiring.

  19. I’ll have to go home and check which brand I use. I *think* it’s OneADay for Women. That said – I definitely use a regular multivitamin, not a prenatal vitamin, right now, on advice of said regular doctor, whose advice was not to switch to prenatals until I’m actually pregnant. That might change tomorrow with the preconception visit – and if it does, I’ll definitely post tomorrow afternoon.

    • I actually take a prenatal as my regular, because it’s one of the only ones w/ the amount of Iron in it that I want (I’m a vegetarian w/ anemia)– what was the reason they told u for not doing prenatals, just curious. ;-)

  20. on the subject of time clocks… I’ll be a few months shy of 30 when I get married. I hear the clock ticking, but I also want time to enjoy being newly weds without thinking about TTC for a while. How long after you married did you decide to start trying? Do you wish you had done anything differently?

    • My husband and I both agreed to wait at least a year after marriage before TTC. For unrelated reasons, I also went off my hormonal bc pills right after we got married (though we still used barrier methods until we started TTC). I really liked that we gave ourselves a year plus to just be married, but then again we’d also lived together prior to getting engaged and had a 14 month engagement, so we really didn’t feel pressed to have as much “us” time as some of our older friends who started TTC immediately after getting married.
      Honestly, I was shocked when I got pregnant after only 3 months of trying. You hear horror stories about how long it takes/undiagnosed infertility/etc. but you’re young enough that you should have a few years before your fertility really starts to become a concern.

    • There is no perfect answer. We married at 25 and waited 5 years before trying. I would not trade those 5 years for anything and have loved every minute of our time together. That said, we’ve been trying for 11 months and are staring down the gun of some more difficult decisions. Could we have been in the same boat at 26 or 27? Sure. But there is certainly a bit of a niggling “what if…” in the back of my head. Esp. because the only reason we didn’t try sooner was so I could build my career.

      • Ballerina Girl :

        That’s not a bad reason. At all. Don’t beat yourself up. Some people have trouble at 25, some at 30, some have no trouble at 40. Luck of the draw, sadly.

    • If you are almost 30, want to have kids, and you are with the person you want to have kids with, I would suggest trying sooner rather than later. Maybe not right away, but within a year, perhaps. You never know whether you will be lucky or unlucky in terms of fertility.

      Also, parenthood is tiring enough even when you start in your early 30s! Don’t underestimate how your stamina may be tested in your late 30s as kids, career, and aging family issues all start to intersect….

    • My mother had to alter my wedding dress because I was four months pregnant at the time (whoops!). We were already engaged when we got pregnant accidentally, but did wedding followed five months later by our now 3 year old. We didn’t had a very short kid free portion of our marriage.

      It worked out great. Sure, we only went to Europe once before the grommet arrived , but we’re starting to talk about heading to Europe with the kiddo.

      Honestly, right now we’re having a difficult time deciding whether to have a second. We didn’t really go through the process of TTC the first time, though we were both generally pro-kid. Now we have actual conversations about the pros and cons of TTC, and it’s a little challenging. I know women who’ve struggled with infertility would love to have my problem, but it’s another side of the coin.

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