Why I Chose To Freeze My Eggs Instead of My Career
June 18, 2019 .7 min read
I don’t think egg freezing is ever something a woman knows she’s going to end up doing when she gets older. I believe it slowly just becomes one of those things that makes its way into your life as you realize that children might not be in your near future, but you know the fight against your biological clock isn’t a fight you’re going to win.
In fact, egg freezing was something I never thought about until this past year.
To be honest, I was one of those girls who had the cliche idea in mind that she would get married in her late twenties and I would be working towards having my first child right around my thirties. I thought at this point I’d have a starter home with a white picket fence (I did say this was very cliche), a husband and of course, a dog. But when I thought about this, I never truly thought about it all in much detail. I just figured all this would happen when it was supposed to happen and that would be that. What I didn’t realize is that the person I would become would have a significant effect on that storyline.
So, the person I am today? Well, today, I am a thirty-one-year-old female with:
a thriving career,
two bachelors degrees from Penn State (note: I paid out of state tuition and paid for everything via private loans),
am completely debt free,
and living with my boyfriend of six years plus, who just did a career pivot, a few years ago, and is now in his first year of medical school.
But with all that, I did get one of part of my cliche storyline; we have a little dog named Zoey.
But with everything I’ve accomplished thus far, especially being able to pay off all my student loan before the age of thirty-one, I don’t think having children when my cliche storyline wanted me to, would have been possible. Here’s why:
After graduation, I was in a sea of debt.
After college, I was over $160k in debt and working a job in Boston, MA, that only paid me $35k in salary. I had to defer my loans and then when I ran out of options on putting off my loans, I had to go on an income-based plan.
For years, my loans took up my finances and was a complete struggle. It was when I finally went to a consulting firm (a few years later) and was able to work my way up the corporate ladder and was able to start paying more than just the minimum payments each month.
During this time, I was also in a stable relationship with a guy who was a few years into his career as well. We dated for a few years when he told me he wanted to go back to school. He was around twenty-seven when this happened. I was twenty-eight. He told me he wanted to go to medical school but had to complete a 12-24 Month Post-BACC Premed Program and would be doing that at the University of Vermont.
So, I set a very ambitious goal.
We went from living together to driving to see each other on weekends for at least a year. It was when he started his second year of his Post-BACC Premed Program that I decided to move to Vermont to be with him.
But to make that happen, I thought I would have to leave my job at my firm. So, I went to my boss, thinking I was giving my resignation, but because my firm valued my work ethic and skill, they gave me the option to work remote for the year. So I gladly accepted.
My role was, however, modified, and I took on additional projects. During this time, I was more than willing to work aggressive hours as I knew my boyfriend would always be studying, and I needed to work to pay off my debt. I can honestly say during this time; I worked at least 70-80 hours a week. I was, however, rewarded for my efforts. And when I saw my compensation increase, that was when I made an aggressive financial plan.
I gave myself roughly two years to pay off my student loans.
The reason I gave myself such an aggressive deadline was because I wanted to be debt-free as my boyfriend started his first year of medical school.
I also wanted to work for myself after I paid off my debt. I wanted to set my own hours and work from home (wherever that was) without it being an issue. And after almost two years of working 70-80 hours a week and dealing with severe anxiety, I think it’s safe to say that I wasn’t exactly living my best life and I could use a change.
With that, I left my firm in November 2018 and made my last student loan payment on December 31st, 2018. At this time, I was already thirty years old, debt-free for once in my life, and finally working for myself.
The feeling was euphoric.
And while I wasn’t exactly living my best life in those two years, those two years of hard work has allowed me to live my best life now.
I’m now working myself and creating options.
In November, I started consulting for varies startups and spent the next few months putting money away into a savings account. This was something entirely new for me as I never had a savings since I was always drowning in student loan debt.
But it was during this time that I realized children was something I wanted and needed to start thinking about.
While I knew I wasn’t ready to bring a child into the world, I also knew that I wanted options. I wanted options for my future so when I was ready to have children, I could.
I especially knew my boyfriend and I were not ready for children for several reasons:
I consider myself somewhat traditional or old school and as of right now, my ring finger is pretty naked, so that would need to change before I considered children.
And last but not least, for the first time in years, I’ve finally been able to put money away while my boyfriend is well on his way to racking up student loan debt of his own.
So, when it came to having children, we both knew that not only were we not mentally ready for it but we were also not financially fit to do so. But at least we were on the same page about it.
My family, on the other hand, were not.
Don’t get me wrong, my parents couldn’t be more proud of me and all of my accomplishments, but at the end of the day, they still want grandchildren. My parents are very very old school, to say the least. So for me to not even be engaged or married at this point is almost worrisome for them. But the fact that I don’t even want to get pregnant anytime soon, is absolutely heartbreaking for them.
So almost every conversation I have with my parents, especially over the past year, has revolved around the idea of children, my relationship status and relationship statuses of all my girlfriends who are either getting engaged, married or having children of their own at this point, mind you. So dealing with my parents, at this point has been somewhat difficult.
But at the end of the day, I knew that I wasn’t ready for children and I would never allow social pressure to alter my decision. But I have to admit that it has made me more aware that I needed to make sure I had secured options for when I was actually ready to have children.
So, that’s where egg freezing finally came into play.
Freezing my eggs.
When coming to this decision, I knew right off the bat, I didn’t want to fight my biological clock. I just wanted options.
No offense to my boyfriend, but if a man can suddenly career pivot in his late twenties without having to worry about any biological clock ticking… why did I?
So the first thing I did when I thought about the option to freeze my eggs was Google everything.
I looked into possible cost estimates for everything and how long the entire process could take. When I felt a bit comfortable about potentially going forward with the process, I talked to my boyfriend, and we both agreed it would be the best solution for not only me but us as a couple.
I then talked to my mother about it and surprisingly she took the idea well. She even offered to fund the procedure, which prevented me from dipping into the savings I just started to form.
But before I went to visit a specialist, I went and had my IUD removed and I gave my body a few months to adjust.
After the consultation, I decided I wanted to give my body a bit more time before taking on a series of hormonal shots. It was sort of fear-stricken as in the past when I took hormonal birth control options, my body didn’t adapt too well, so I opted for a non-hormonal IUD option.
Finally, towards the end of May of 2019 was when I officially started the egg freezing process.
I started taking a series of shots which were taken daily and I did my retrieval just a little over a week ago.
I have to say the entire process is something I could only go through once in my life. It wasn’t an ideal process for me as the hormones made me feel absolutely crazy, but thank goodness I have a boyfriend who kindly reminded himself that it was the hormones talking and not his girlfriend. But while the experience wasn’t the best, I’m thankful I did it. I now have some kind of insurance on that matter and it gives me more relief than you know.
This option has allowed me to take control of my life in ways that we couldn’t have even fathomed before and instead of allowing a biological clock to dictate my future, I now have the power to create my own narrative that’s more in line with the person I’ve become.
Romana Hai is a marketing consultant who has worked for several years in the financial services industry.