It’s been 2 weeks since my last post. I spent the time resting and recovering. The bloat is gone, I’m working out again and now I’m 100% back to my old self. Aunt Flow finally paid a visit 10 days later and she stayed for a few days as usual then packed her bags and left, so I’m also back on a regular cycle. Yup and just like that it’s all over. Check out my conversation with Nurse Anna as we recap the process and talk about how much all of this cost.
So it all happened on Friday! I really wanted to do a video but that was too hard so let me apologize for not being able to do that. Anyway I arrived at 8:30 am and got changed into a gown, put my booties and head cap on, emptied my bladder and waited in my “area”. The nurses then came to me and asked me a number of questions making sure that I am who I say I am and that I was born on the date written on the form. I then got instructions and was told what the procedure was all about and all the possible things I could experience after.
The nurses at the Barbados Fertility Centre are LOVELY! You see, I was terribly anxious when I walked in because I have never had a form of surgery nor had I ever experienced general anesthesia in my adult life. Actually they call it sedation which slightly different to general anesthesia. Anyway, the nurses were very comforting along with the soothing Italian music playing in the OR. I finally got situated in the bed, bum down to the edge, feet up (just like at your gyno) and then they gave me a shot in my arm…annnnnd…I don’t remember anything else.
The procedure took all of 15 – 20 minutes and I was knocked out for about an hour and a half. When I woke up I felt no pain. I got up, drank some water and chatted with the nurses who mentioned that they got 16 matured eggs! Yay! That’s a good sign. Honestly I can’t remember how many in all that I had (I will report on that in another post) but they can only freeze the matured ones and that’s what matters most. It’s all over! No more shots. Frankly the last shot gave me the best sleep of my life.
I’m home now and I felt great on Saturday but the cramps really hit me in the wee hours of Sunday morning (today). The cramps feel like an air lock. Apparently this is normal and will only last a couple of days. What happened was that my ovaries got really big to hold all of the follicles. If you saw my last video of the ultrasound you would’ve noticed that my right ovary had more follicles than the left and it’s on that side that I feel the cramping more. My ovaries are contracting back down from the size of an apple to the size of a grape, so this is normal. If I was doubled over in pain, which isn’t good sometimes that may mean that you’re affected by OHSS (ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome) and in that case the doctors would see and take care of you right away. Thankfully that’s not the case here and the BFC hardly has any cases where this occurs. It seems like the question to ask post retrieval is – “So what are you going to do with your eggs now?” No lie, I’ve been asked this question at least 10 times and my answer is – “I’ll keep them frozen until I need them, if I need them.” I’m not having the baby conversation nor am I interested in having it at the moment or anytime soon. But let me tell you…I feel a lot less worried or concerned about my biological clock. It feels like a weight has been lifted. Right now I just want to continue living and enjoying my life.
This whole process taught me something bigger than just freezing my eggs, bigger than the baby conversation, bigger than if you choose to walk this path or not. This process taught me that as women we need to really be honest with ourselves about what we want. You do not have to always indirectly seek direction or permission from your friends and family. Don’t get me wrong, advice is fine, but the answers are inside of you. Practice stillness and listening more with less voices on your choices. You are not boxed in to being one person or brand (as we say today) because of what people around you grew accustomed to. No matter your age or stage in life you can pause, ask questions, soul search and make small decisions that cater to who you are evolving into. Everything isn’t a crazy EAT. PRAY. LOVE decision. You can remain in your environment and make small choices towards your happiness. When you continually love and honour yourself it will change how others respond to you. Comments like:
“That’s not who you are…”
“That’s not like you…”
“You would never…”
…can be very limiting especially when you know within your heart of hearts that it’s just you with dreams and ideas never expressed out loud. Do you, please. It’s beneficial for us all to experience your strength, boldness, awkwardness, beauty, weirdness, etc. Don’t allow yourself to be limited as a single woman, as a wife, as a mother or as a mature woman. It’s never too late to take control of your life. Remember taking control doesn’t have to look like a huge deal, it’s just small choices towards a bigger plan. And one more thing…don’t always look for people to understand, agree or come on board. Strengthen your spirit and seek solace in something far bigger than all of us. I say God!
Thanks for joining me on this journey, thanks for your comments, questions and sharing your stories. This blog doesn’t end today, but we will continue with stories of Egg Freezing and Endometriosis, PCOS and more. There will also be an episode on this topic on the new season of “Hey Vajayjay”. We’ll also soon be hosting some Egg Freezing Cocktail parties so you can come out and meet some other people who’ve walked this road and ask questions, share stories, etc. I know some of you want to know the cost of all of this and that’s coming soon as well. Thank you and stay tuned for more on options regarding your fertility.
By the way check out Just a Dash blog for stories on IVF and fertility, baby and just real mom life – https://symonefowler.com/
Since I’ve been on this Egg Freezing road I’ve met many women and had a number of conversations surrounding the choice of single motherhood vs. becoming a single mother due to circumstance. Many career women choose to freeze their eggs because:
- They aren’t ready for a family as yet.
- They would like to reach a certain place in their career first.
- They know that they want a baby at some point but are unsure about if there will be a partner in their lives.
Also when it comes to Egg Freezing the road towards making this choice for some women can be very emotional and calls for major soul searching questions to be asked, such as:
- When will I find someone?
- Am I open to being a single mother?
- How will it look to my peers that I’m freezing my eggs?
- Should I have made more of an effort in establishing a relationship instead of focusing on my career?
- Suppose I spend all this money and it doesn’t work?
- Suppose I never have a child? Am I ready to face this reality?
This can be quite an emotional tailspin and not a decision you should make over wine. You need all the facts, the consultations, the prayers and meditation, journal it, be still with it, listen to yourself, ask more questions. Do this if you’re at peace with it because no matter what it will all work out how it’s supposed to work out.
Many women have a plan that some may call generic or traditional or old school. That plan is the one with the husband, the family home, the dog and of course the baby/babies. However, life can sometimes take us on a whole other path and can turn out in an entirely different way not close to how you planned it.
To some Egg Freezing is so modern, “cool” and progressive but that doesn’t mean she’s freezing her eggs to continue on an equally progressive mode which is the choice of single motherhood. You’ll hear some women saying, “I only need a donor because I just want the baby, I don’t need a partner.” Some will say, “I’ve just always wanted a baby and when I’m ready I’ll have one no matter what.” This is great with the right financial, mental and emotional support around you. This is also great if it’s YOUR CHOICE. I applaud this woman but it isn’t something I desire. I’m not that modern or progressive when it comes to this. I’m quite old school where this is concerned. Long time ago I made the decision that if there is no partner, there is no baby and I still feel the same way. Quite frankly, I’d like to be married before I have a baby. If have a child, this is the context I’d like to raise my children in. I know it sounds old school, archaic, traditional but it’s a value and an ideal I still hold close to my heart. I’m sure a lot of it has to do with my parents and watching their marriage and also being raised in church. Freezing my eggs for me was a choice to put me at peace, knowing that the option was there and that my healthy eggs are stored and ready for me when I’m ready. Nothing is guaranteed. Nothing is promised. There’s a 96% egg survival rate and you have to be ok with the 4% chance that this could not work. I believe in staying present on my journey because every experience is for my evolution.
Everyone, I’m in the home stretch. It looks like we’re harvesting these babies at the end of the week. I’m ready to stop taking shots! I’m excited to get this done! I am at peace with my decision. Let’s do this!