I mentioned in a previous blog I have been contemplating fertility preservation. In other words, it is the process of harvesting eggs and preserving them for later use via in vitro fertilization (IVF). Well the moment of truth is here and after consults, family discussions and praying, I have decided to go ahead and preserve my eggs. Some of you must be reading this and think I am crazy. Some of you may think not. Some of you may not be thinking anything at all.
Here is what I am thinking….
I am single. I am 37. I want a family (not just children, but a husband too). There are no potential husbands. However, I do have plenty of male friends who have offered to “step-up to the plate” and donate their sperm. While I appreciate their offer, some more than others, I don’t want a donor. I want a husband. I want a father. As my mother recently said, “We don’t want donors, we want fathers.” I just want one. THE ONE. So while I wait for Mr. I Can’t Live Without You and Will Adore You For The Rest of My Life to find me, I figured I would have my little eggs waiting patiently with me on ice.
I am not getting younger. I will be turning 38 in 6 months. The reality is: by the time Mr. I Can’t Live Without You and Will Adore You For The Rest of My Life finds me and we make the decision to be happy ever after, I will be close to 40 (this is the time frame I have in my head). I am not opposed to going to a sperm bank and hand selecting a sperm donor, but that is not an option for me. It never will be. That is not what I want for me or for my child. I want so much more for us, which includes his or her father. This is a whole other topic in itself because I know there are men out there who will be great fathers when they are not the biological fathers. I digress.
There are so many other risks involved in this whole process, with and without a partner. First, the cost of fertility treatment, medications and cryopreservation is expensive. There is the initial cost and then the yearly storage cost. There is no guarantee during harvesting if ANY of the eggs will be viable. They are hoping to harvest at least 24 viable eggs. If there are viable eggs (which I pray out of 24, there will be), will they survive the thawing process? If they survive thawing, then they will fertilize all viable remaining eggs and grow them into embryos. Will they be able to grow into an embryo that will survive implantation? Every step of the way, there could be a loss. A loss of egg in the beginning and in the middle and loss of embryo in the end.
The idea is they implant one at a time because multiple pregnancies have complications of prematurity, low birth weight, etc. We come from a family of twins. The money I will be spending now does NOT include IVF. This is a separate, additional cost. The question becomes: do I wait and see if my 40 year old eggs can and will conceive a healthy baby or do we go through IVF with my 37 year old eggs just because they are younger and healthier? If I do decide to implant, how many embryos do I implant? Do I implant two for the price of one and get all my pregnancies out of the way in one shot since I will most likely be in my forties? Or do I implant one at a time because of the risks? Do I implant at all? Do we try to conceive naturally? Or do we use my frozen eggs? Do we want to spend additional money on IVF if there is a chance we can conceive naturally?
There are so many decisions to make. This whole process has been quite overwhelming. But in the end, it will give me a piece of mind knowing I have my future on ice whatever I or should I saw, whatever we decide.