I needed my prescription renewed, but I wanted to ask a couple questions about it. First, I wanted to see if there was a chance of becoming inured to it so that it eventually became ineffective. I have read this can happen with some antidepressants. I have never taken one for longer than a year before going off for a few years, but because of so many new transitions at work, I don’t think it would be wise to go off right now. Fortunately, according to my doctor, mine is not one that loses its effectiveness over time.
My next two questions led to a conversation I did not think I would ever have. I wanted to know whether I could take birth control while I’m on my meds. I had read somewhere that birth control can prolong a woman’s fertility, so I asked if that was true. It is not. It’s only true in the sense that it decreases a woman’s risk of cervical cancer and keeps endometriosis from getting worse.
Then my doctor said, “You should just freeze your eggs.”
I’ll be honest. I never thought I’d find myself in a position where someone suggested I freeze my eggs. For starters, I thought I’d be married with kids by now, or married having decided with my husband not to have kids by now. Second, it’s not something I think any of my family or friends would suggest. It hadn’t occurred to me that a doctor might.
I countered with “isn’t that prohibitively expensive?” (Since I’ve literally never thought of it before, I don’t even know how I feel about the procedure from an ethical/moral point of view.) He said, “Get aggressive with your insurance and make them pay for it. Look, you’re 38, if you really want kids, you should start taking steps toward it.”
I answered that I’m actually ambivalent about kids. I’ve always known that. It will depend on who I marry, whether they want kids, because I know I could be happy either way. I told him, “If I never have kids, I don’t think I’ll be devastated.” And it’s true. I have always felt that way, and I still feel that way. Yes, I think baby clothes are cute, and I have amassed an entire children’s library to use in the event I have kids. I have names for daughters picked out, and I know that I would be a kick ass mom. I have very clear ideas of how I would raise my kids and pray that any children I have will be introverts. But I do also enjoy the freedom of not having any obligations, of being able to pick up and go somewhere on a whim, and of being able to sleep through the night. I am kicking around travel ideas right now including climbing Kilimanjaro. That wouldn’t happen if I had a kid.
But there is still something very sad about being advised to freeze your eggs.
It is an indication that time is running out. If I meet someone who really wants kids, I am faced with the reality that an inability to have them on my part could be a deal breaker. Sure, you can throw out the old, “well, then he’s not the right person for you, anyway,” but when you consider that most guys want kids (I would argue, more than most women), it drastically cuts down the dating pool. And as much as some people like to believe in fate or that God plays divine matchmaker, dating is also a numbers game.
It also occurs to me that I may one day really want kids. I mean, chances are pretty good that I’ll stay ambivalent since I have for so long. But I don’t know that. Once I become more established in my job and feel more permanent in my city, maybe once I marry and there’s finally a potential dad in the picture, that sense of feeling settled may finally wind up my biological clock. I don’t know.
But I won’t be freezing my eggs. The cost, the time, the emotional drain: it’s just not worth it to me, even if I were fully convinced it’s morally copacetic. I will jump back into the dating world eventually, but I’m not in a rush. Just as I’m not stressing the kid thing. That’s because I like where I am now. My job gets better every year; I have a strong support network; I am finally motivated to lose weight; I’m no longer thinking like a nomad, considering Alexandria just another pit stop; I have grown bolder and less worried about how others see me. As I told my doctor when discussing my mental health, “I’m almost scared of how happy I am.”