Friday, November 05, 2010

“Hey Jenn, Maybe You Should Freeze Those Eggs.” Your Thoughts On Waiting To Have Kids.

(A semi-serious post….it happens now and then.  Sorry for being so long!)

So in the last 2 weeks it has been mentioned to me not once, not twice, but thrice – yes THREE times that I should look into getting some test/s done to check my fertility and one person even said I should consider freezing my eggs and/or T’s little swimmers.

Uh, OK?!  I am only 30… know that, right?!

I guess my haggard appearance has led some to assume I am older than what I am and that since we do not have kids we should take precautions.  For the record, one of those people I confided in about some fears and that is why the suggestion was brought up about testing and the advice as well as listening to my concerns was very much appreciated.  The other two, well they just offered unsolicited opinions based on the observation of us not having kids yet.  And though it may not be appropriate to say freeze your eggs, I guess I get where they are coming from….especially when I know so many people who have had problems with conceiving a child.  It just catches me off guard when I am a young 30 year old and told I may need to freeze eggs.

Now before we get to all that, here is a little about our situation and how I have felt about it the past year.  I have kept a lot in for awhile and it is good to talk about it now that I am working towards being in a better place… sorry for the long post but I have had this written and in my head for a few weeks now so it is hard to keep that short!  You can skip to the bottom if you don’t want to read the other stuff but I feel it is important to see why we are waiting and exactly why I am posing the below questions.

For those that do not know our story when it comes to having a child, I think T & I both would agree that we would love to have a child NOW…maybe even before now.  We always wanted to wait until we had been married for a few years and had “our” time together before we tried to have a baby.  After we got married we bought a house, we both had good jobs and we wanted to travel and do things together before starting a family…..basically we had a timeline all planned out (event planner in me) and we were excited about taking time for ourselves to do things we had always wanted but never had the opportunity to do before.  About 6 months after getting married and buying our house, I found out I was going to lose my job.  Shortly after that T. had new management at his job, and that changed how he made money (the assholes even took away bonuses) and we both had substantial pay cuts that year; great way to start a new marriage with a new house.  Luckily, our relationship was strong and this didn't even dent it and by the end of 2007 I found a job that, even though not in my field, offered me the security I needed and is a wonderful place to work.  T. on the other hand, well his job was getting worse and worse and he started looking into other options.  That is when he decided in the summer of 2008, to go to school to become a Mortician.  Random…yes!  

 It all seemed so far away at the time and a great idea.  At that time neither of us were ready to have kids and the whole kid thing wasn’t even on our radar and therefore not a big factor in our decisions as it seemed so far away.  The priority was getting Terry through school.  It was decided with ease that he will get his Associate’s Degree at Owens, moves away for a year to finish school, we’ll start a family when he gets back, & life = good!  (In theory) However, it has been rough the past year and while not only the reality of him moving away in less than a year* is setting in very hard, so has the desire to start a family with the realization that we can’t.  It is a strange feeling when you finally KNOW you are ready to have a child, that day when it just hits you…. “Huh, I think we are ready”; but then are unable to do so.  Whether that is because you are trying and are unable to conceive or you are just not in a place in your life where you are able to bring a child into this world.  And I am not trying to compare our situation to the frustration of someone who is trying to conceive and can’t is going through, but I think people may forget that sometimes others have to make that decision and sacrifice to not have kids NOT because they do not want them at that moment, but because it is not ideal to have a child.  It can still be very emotional and frustrating.    

Now please, I am not looking for any sympathy with this post as we have made our decision and I know it is what is best, I am just sharing our story and looking for honest feedback.  I am actually at a much better place than I was six months or a year ago.  I am doing stuff for myself and finally getting myself healthy and Terry is doing stuff that he likes and has always wanted to do and we are both embracing the time we DO have together before he moves and we one day start a family.  Sometimes it is easy to lose sight that this is a fantastic time in our lives and we need to enjoy being kid free and not tied down while we get our lives in order.  And while I am not as focused on having a child, though it is always in the back of my mind, I know in my heart this is how it is suppose to be and with patience, one day it will work out the way it is supposed to.  However, awhile back it was definitely not the case.  I was very sad about the entire situation and thought it was all unfair.  If I was in one of my frequent “moods” I wouldn’t do anything or go places with Terry and just stay inside and cry or feel down on myself.  I was so angry and resentful.  I was mad that T. was doing all this so late in life….I thought, why couldn’t he have done this earlier!  We have been together 10 years and he is just now figuring it out?!  I was frustrated that it prevented me from going back to school and instead being at a job not in the field I enjoyed.  I was sad that we had to wait so long to start a family.  I was furious when one of our friends told us that we do not have kids because we hate kids, while inside I  It broke my heart every time we were asked when we would have kids.  I was confused when people told us we should just have a kid anyways.  I was mad that I was letting emotion and desire trump logic and reason. I was angry at myself for using words like ME and I all the time and ignoring Terry’s feelings on the subject.  Eventually…ok more like a year later (just a few months ago to be exact)… all hit me…..I am being VERY desperately wanted a child. VERY selfish. 

What changed for me was that while I was worrying SO much about myself and our situation and things that may or may NOT happen I was missing out and losing sight of a lot of the present and not keeping the big picture in perspective. Terry isn’t going back to school as some evil plot to make things worse for us.  He doesn’t want to be in more debt than what we already are.  He sure as hell doesn’t want to leave for a year.  He doesn’t want to have to make such a big change so late in his life.  He surly doesn’t want to spend his evenings in class instead of watching TV or doing something else he wants.  He doesn’t want to wait to have kids either.  He goes to school fulltime while working over 50 hours a week.  The boy is working his ass off and I am the one sitting at home whining about the situation. WTF, Jenn?  He is doing all this so he can provide for his family and be someplace where HE IS HAPPY.  He is doing the most unselfish thing he can do, by sacrificing now so we can have that life we want later. All points I overlooked.  T. has been at his place of employment for 14 years and is so unhappy and very under appreciated.  He deserves to be in a better place and I will never ever take that away or make him feel guilty for making that choice.  We are in this together and I was not doing a good job of recognizing that.  And it breaks my heart that I forgot that.  I missed out on some great things this past year because I was in a mood and angry with our situation and thought things were “unfair”. Seriously Jenn, really?!  I MEAN REALLY. We have so much to be thankful for right now and most of all I am thankful I am with a man that through all my complaining supported me the entire time….when I should have been there to support him.  Good thing he knew I was crazy before he married me!   This past year I lost sight of what is important and what marriage is about and now I will not spend the next couple years sulking about this.  I also forgot what I told Terry before we got married; that if, for whatever reason, we do not have kids I am ok with that.  It would be hard but I married TERRY and if it is just the two of us for the rest of our lives, that is a pretty fuck’n fantastic & a fulfilling life. Perspective, Jenn.

So, back to the subject at hand. 

With all this being said, I am finally getting to a place of acceptance of the situation.  While I still have days where I can’t help but smile at seeing a child and imagine that someday that could be T & I with our child….it is not preventing me from living my life right now.  However, I am now being given this concern from others since turning 30 and Terry turning 37 of when we DO start trying to have a child it may be hard and not happen right away.  I have seen many friends have a hard time conceiving a child and I know it can be a real possibility for us.  Especially if we have to wait till T. is all done w/ school and I am 33 and he is nearing 40.  While I do not think I will be old (T. not so much!!) I do think it could be a valid concern that we may need to consider.  And in all honesty, I personally do not want to have a child too late in my 30’s so it gives us about 4 years to have at least one child. (Which, if everything goes well is plenty of time.)

While I don’t believe we will be freezing any eggs or sperm anytime soon, I do get what they are saying.  That maybe we should look and see what our chances of conception are now so we will have an idea of what we will have to deal with a few years from now or if there is anything naturally we can do to help.  My concern is that while we are choosing to wait to have kids due to our current situation, it would suck if we have to wait even longer to have kids because of those types of medical issues.  And honestly, we are spending so much money to put T. through school, we will not financially be able to afford any assistance when it comes to trying to have kids….it is all going to have to be natural.

So I come to you and ask (finally!)….what are your thoughts?  Should fertility issues be a concern for us now or do we have time?  Should we be getting tests done or are they a waste of money?  What tests should get done if any?  When should we be concerned and how much should we try to do NOW to help the process in the future?  Is there anything naturally we can do to help? Should we just wait and let nature take its course? 

I know the questions may seem a bit premature as we have not even tried to have a child!  I almost feel ridiculous for bringing it up.  But honestly, it has only been a thought of mine recently because of things people have said to me and stuff I have read about on the blogs.  But the realization that we are infact (deep breathe) getting older *shivers* has set in, I don’t know if and more importantly WHEN this should become an actual concern or an issue to worry about.  If people agree I shouldn’t worry, then fine. Done.  But I am curious.

And honestly, I do not want to spend the next 2-3 years worrying about “what-ifs” and I really do not want this to be something I become afraid of or stress so much about that is puts an unnecessary strain on our relationship.  Since getting married we have had a barrage of stressful things to deal with and we are stronger now in our relationship than ever before….but I really do not want the process of having a child to be another one.

I know this is a crazy long post and perhaps more than you cared to know, but sometimes I get serious and I am really interested in knowing everyone’s thoughts....especially yours so thank you for reading and sharing.  I want to know from people who have had to deal with infertility, from those who haven’t, and those who like us are waiting later to have kids….do you too have similar fears or am I just being my usual nuts-o self?!

*Less than a year. WTF. I think the past two months it has really hit me that he is leaving.  Before I would say not till Sept 2011 or in over a year or a year and a half before he leaves.  Though I dreaded just the thought of him leaving, in my mind it was still far away.  But when September hit this year the connection was made that this time NEXT year we would be moving him to Cincinnati. And now with each month that goes by I can officially say in less than a year and it scares the shit out of me. We are already getting him stuff he needs and making preparations for his move. It is sad to think that after spending the last 10 years together and with me being gone only once for a couple months, how this will work….how can I not see him every day?  We are really one of the most un-needy couples and do SO much without each other and even travel without the other.  It is not that we NEED each other around all the time. But that doesn’t mean that it is not going to be hard only seeing him once a month and the thought of not seeing each other at the end of the day to just chill for a few minutes’ – well that kills me.


  1. I can totally understand the anxiety regarding when is the right time to have a child. Let me tell you, there is never a right time. When a child comes into your life, everything changes, something new becomes 'normal' and you just make it work.

    With that, I don't see any problem with waiting. 30 is not OLD! I am 30 (my husband is older) and most of my friends do not have children yet, nor are they even married yet. ...and they still plan on getting married someday and starting a family. I think having children later in life (past 30) is becoming the norm. My mom's two coworkers both got married late in life, late 30s and didn't have their first children until they were 40 (their husbands are older). My husband's friends are all in their late 30s and just starting families. Personally, I wouldn't stress yourself out about fertility until you knew for certain it was a problem. Enjoy the here and now.

    ...question, have you talked to your OB regarding your concerns? Maybe he/she could calm your fears...

  2. hugs Jenn! This is a hard situation to be in, but it sounds like you have the right perspective. It doesn't mean things are any easier, though, and that is fair.

    If I were in your situation, I would not get those tests done. I would, however, just talk to my OB/GYN about your plans, and just see what she has to say.

    Having gone through a number of fertility tests I can tell you that they, in themselves, are stressful. Some are down-right uncomfortable. And they're just hard, emotionally. DOn't put yourself through that unnecessarily. (and they are expensive. We spent a few thousand bucks just having tests done, before we even started treatment for our infertility!)

    Plus, what is going on with your body today may or may not be going on in 2 or 3 years. What if they gave you the "all clear" today, and something were to develop down the road? You'll just have to put yourself through them again. Or, what if they do say something is "wrong?" Do you really want to spend the next few years worrying about it?

    I say you just focus on you for the time being. I know you're already trying to be a healthier you, so keep at that. And I don't think it's ever too early to start taking prenatal vitamins, just to get them going in your body. Get yourself as ready as you possibly can to getting pregnant, and then when the time is right, you'll know that you've done everything possible to make your body ready.

    I'm no physician, this is just as I see it.

  3. Jenn! Hugs to you, my friend. Hugs to you.

    I get your worries, I get the frustration. It's got to be hard not really knowing the exact timing of when everything will happen, and then wondering on top of that if when you are fresh out of the gates READY - if there's even more waiting involved due to any complications.

    I agree with Sassy Times - I would suggest it to your OB and see what they say. Although, personally, I would be worried like say if there IS a problem (God forbid) then you have to worry about THAT for the next while here. Is it better to just not know?

    The people that are asking you about kids need to freaking shut up! Seriously! I *hate* *loathe* *detest* SO MUCH how people feel they can ask about something that is so incredibly personal. How dare they? Really! Obviously you and T don't hate kids, you're GREAT with kids. Obviously you've got a plan. Ugg.

    Having said all of that - I am a firm believer in that everything happens for a reason and at the perfect time, no matter if it's on our time table or not. That's so hard to remember in the moment but when you look back, when you have time to reflect, it's clear that there was a plan for you all along.

  4. Thank you ladies :)

    No, I haven’t talked to him. I don’t know if, like I am sure I am in this post, I just come across as a complete worrywart! Two years ago I never thought of this or thought of it as a potential concern. Nor did I feel waiting was that big of a deal. But it seems that the older I get (and maybe the stronger the urge is to have a child) the more this appears to be an issue that I should be aware of. Plus the number of times I have been asked questions like this AFTER turning 30 is ridiculous. Seriously. It blows my mind how many times I have heard things about us waiting till mid 30’s to have a child!! I would never tell some to freeze eggs “incase”! I thought maybe there was something I was missing and didn’t know about.

    And on top of that I feel I have NO control of the situation and just have to sit back for a few years and let things happens & I don’t know how to handle that. Yes, I like to have control and plans and timetables and timelines. And with our current situation I cannot really have that…I literally do not know what to do or how to handle it!! Yes, I am crazy :)

    I know 30 isn’t old at all nor is 35 if that is when we have our first kid. You are all TOTALLY right though, I need to enjoy the here and now and not think about this. But it is crazy how hard that is for me. I agree, I wonder if getting those tests would scare me more than just waiting and letting things happen as they are suppose too happen.

    I know this isn’t what T. wants to talk about and who could blame him with as busy as he is and especially with me being a nut job the past year. I needed to hear thoughts, but was afraid to seem completely unjustified in thinking this way.

    I really appreciate your thoughts on this!

  5. oh, dear. i just want to punch people who insist on asking questions that really aren't any of their business. back it off, people, this is sensitive stuff.

    i commend you for waiting until you feel ready. you're self-aware of what your goals are; you want to bring a child into the best possible situation for your family- ALL of you– clearly, you will be an amazing mom.

    fertility is one of those huge things that the planner in you is just going to have to learn to deal with. there are so many questions and so many things you can't plan. it sucks when you're a planner (when, where, how, etc), but i'm not sure there's a lot you can do about it.

    my two cents would be not to worry about any testing or talking to your doctor. continue getting healthy (which you've been doing). take vitamins. ENJOY your time together. when things chill out with your schedules get to babymaking. after a few months if you need to reevaluate your plan with a doctor, worry about it then. i'm just concerned that you are going to totally pscyh yourself out about it and really worrying will only make it more stressful.

    i don't think your 30's is "too old" or anything like that, but not to bum you out i *do* think that over 35 it can have an effect on your fertility, especially for a first time mom. they say that for moms with multiple children already the age thing is less of an issue? i don't know. tricky stuff, you won't know until you try. (again, just my opinion.)

    jon's oldest sister and her husband recently had their first baby and they are in their 30's. however, they didn't tell anyone they WANTED kids, or that they were TRYING! i'm sure i said some stupid ass things about it, having no idea what they were dealing with privately. the moral of the tale is that you never know the whole story and i should probably keep my mouth shut. (and also, the more people you share your journey with, the more people you will have there to support you)

  6. Hoo boy. This is a hot button issue for me. You and I really need to go out and have dinner some night. For reals. (I think I may have been crying on and off for the last hour.)

    T and I are in a very similar situation, in that we decided we wanted to wait to have kids. Not forever -- we both knew we absolutely wanted them -- but for a while. An undetermined amount of time. And, as my ever-tactful 85-year-old grandmother once told me, people just assumed we didn't want them. Not just because we didn't have any -- but because we didn't talk about it.

    I'm not someone who feels OK talking about this stuff, as it relates to me. I know our friend Two Pretzels opened up about their infertility, and I think it's wonderful she can do that. I can't. I just can't. It's something that's so deeply personal to me, it's hard to imagine sharing it with anyone but T.

    All that to say: People who pressure other people about kids -- and especially those who make snide remarks about whether or not you even LIKE kids (OMG) -- need to be smacked. Hard. In the nuts and/or boobs. Because that shit is not cool.

    I think it's perfectly normal, OK, sane, rational and GOOD to wait until the time is right for YOU. Not just emotionally, but situationally. Yes, the chances of conception are affected by age. But you also don't want to bring a child into a situation that's filled with stress and worry and doubt.

    And, I agree with these guys about testing and stuff: Seems like unnecessary stress and worry at this point. Being healthy (which you're doing anyway) seems like the best course of action.

    Big hugs to you, friend-I-haven't-met-yet. This is really rough stuff -- not just the baby stuff, either -- and it seems like you really have things in perspective. :) I hope you feel encouraged by all these comments! You have my support, for sure!

  7. Both my sister and my brother said to not even begin THINKING about kids until 30. Neither one of them had one until after that and they wouldn't have had it any other way. School stress was over, careers were on track, and they had had their fun.

    I agree with the testing. Don't put yourself through that if you don't have to.

  8. i am totally single and can't relate to much of this (although i READ the WHOLE thing and am with you on spirit). i will not ever forget, at age 31, when my dear friend from HS suggested i look into freezing my eggs. i was a). appalled and b). concerned that she was right.

    then i just let it go. definitely can't control the having babies thing until i am married, but i DO get anxious. i would be lying if i said i do not get anxious.

    i am with you, commend you for your bravery in sharing and writing and know that the very best thing will work itself out in your lives. hugs to you.

  9. Jenn, this is my first time reading your blog. I was led by the post about the spearmint chapstick. But anyway, back to your current discussion. My sweetheart and I were going through a similar situation. We decided that it is no one else's business what we do with our bodies or when we decide to have a family.

    The biggest thing is that you have to change the energy around this situation. Worrying about having kids can often lead to the inability to have children. This is counterproductive. Just envision a life for you and T that will be filled with joy and vibrant experiences as parents. Change your "What ifs" to "I am excited about when". Keeping a positive outlook will increase the good energy and vibrations. This will benefit your body, mind, and spirit.

    Besides, age is just a number. My grandmother had two sons after 30. One is my age which is 31 and the other is my brother's age which is 26. So, she was 42 when she had her last child. I'm sure she wasn't worrying about whether or not she was able to conceive. It was a surprise to everyone.

    Forget the naysayers and your own critics. Be happy in the moment.

  10. Thanks ladies :) I really do appreciate your thoughts. I haven't really had people to talk to about this.

    Besides sharing WHY we are waiting, I was also thrown by people who are more like aquaintances saying this was an issue and I just got to the point where I needed to talk. I think it is best for me to not think about testing (as much as possible) right now as we already have so many other worries and we don't need more stress. Focusing on my health is good. I know I will still be thinking about kids....hopefully just not as much :)

    WP: HUG to you. We HAVE to have dinner some time and talk!

    Darnita - thank you for reading my post. Hello :)

    Thanks again so much!! This really helped

  11. Jenn, first off - I couldn't commend you more for transparently and authentically baring your soul with this post.

    I know it wasn't easy to write. Thank you. Thank you, friend, for sharing that with all of us.

    Here are my random thoughts:

    1. YOU are going to be a phenomenal Mommy. A loving, kind, who-larious, sweet Mom. I can't wait for that day.

    2. Knowing that this past year has been so difficult for you breaks my heart. I hate it that you had to struggle with this. They say that these types of struggles often times give way to incredible moments of clarity. Still, they suck. And I'm so, so, so very sorry.

    3. Regarding testing - if it were me? I'd more than likely tell my gyno the plan and the proposed timeline and your concerns. If I were you, I'd just make sure that you're ovulating regularly. If it were me, because I like to have SOME level of control at all times, I'd begin tracking my ovulation JUST to confirm that I was ovulating. (I'm certain you more than likely are.) If you are - you'll be GOLDEN when it's time to have that sweet baby. If you are not - you'll know what you're getting into and can deal with everything prior to trying to conceive.

    4. You mentioned that you're a young 30. YES, YES you are. I have met so many people who haven't had their first baby until they were 35+ and all were healthy and all was good -- so don't be alarmed. (How old was your Mom when she had K?). And Terry? He'll be **JUST** fine. Men can conceive babies up until they're 112. Just look at Larry King. (EW.)

    5. Take your vitamins, eat healthy - do all the things you're already doing. Maybe get a good book that explains the process (there was SOOOO much I didn't know about conceiving since I had been on the pill for so long... there were "conceiving signals" that I didn't even KNOW about that I had to read about.) That way when the time comes, you'll feel more equipped.

    Again, HUG, HUG, HUG, HUG to you.

    I'm so sorry that this past year hasn't been a journey in happy. I certainly hope the next year is. You deserve it, friend.