What ACTUALLY Happened When I Froze My Eggs
Bonjour Rich Person,
I am writing to you from bed as I recover from my EGG RETRIEVAL! Yep…your girl froze her damn eggs. As modern women we all know that we “should” freeze our eggs but it's impossible to know when the right time is or how we are gonna afford it or what the process is actually like!
In this blog post, we will cover MY story (yours will be different, of course). I'll provide my “why”, walk you through the entire process from injections to appointments and hormones, and of course, talk through the cost and finance info. If there's one thing I learned during this process, it's how important SUPPORT & information is. So I hope this can be a resource for anyone who is thinking of going through this.
I also want to emphasize that freezing your eggs is, at its core, an expensive lottery ticket. Yes, I'm glad I did it but it's really pricey and the results are always a crap shoot so it's really a personal choice to do this or not. And I love ya either way!
So I always knew I should freeze my eggs. My sister did it when she was 30. And then, after seeing how intense my best friend's pregnancy was last year, it strengthened my desire to have options when it came to child bearing! I wanna have kids for sureee but def later and who knows- maybe I go full Khloe Kardashian and not carry my own? Surrogate life could be the life for me! IDK! The key word here is options. I want a diversified portfolio of ways to motherhood!
I also found a lot of inspo from my fav celebs. I read an article where Mindy Kaling said “I wish every 19-year-old girl would come home from college and that the gift — instead of buying them jewelry or a vacation or whatever — is that their parents would take them to freeze their eggs” and then when Jennifer Aniston said “she would have given anything" for someone to have told her to freeze her eggs at a younger age I dead ass immediately booked an appointment.
You sort of need that kick in the ass. For me it was Jennifer Aniston. Because truly — the timing is never right. You'll never wanna get bloated or gain weight or take hormones or do injections. It's a rough process. But no matter how long you push it off, what waits for you on the other end isn't gonna change or get easier. You sort of just have to force yourself to get it over with.
So yeah, I was like: let’s get the show on the road and went for an initial consultation (without telling anyone) at one of those cool designer fertility clinics that have fun snacks in the waiting room & offer you flavored seltzers. It was there that I had my first *ultrasound* and learned more about the reproductive system than I had ever cared to know!
Turns out you have two ovaries. Let's call them Mary Kate & Ashley. And in my body, Mary Kate was thriving! Great news. Ashley? She was making less eggs though. I was still within the normal “range” but it was the first of many times during this experience that I felt scared, confused about my body & honestly, empathy for other women. We all hear about fertility struggles but this really puts them into context.
It was a lot to take in, so when I left the fancy fertility doctor I did what any adventurous woman would do and called my mom! She was excited for me but also said “Haley, you're a financial pop star. Would you bank at a place that was not FDIC insured?” Absolutely not. “So don't go to a doctor that's not backed by a hospital.” She had a point…
While this fertility clinic was white glove and had a great reputation, I decided to go old school. I called Weill Cornell and got an appointment there the next day? They had a cancellation! Incredible luck. There I met Dr. Spandorffer. He told me even though Ashley wasn't making as many eggs, he was still hopeful we could get 12-15 because Mary Kate was thriving. This sounded good to me! He also told me I could start my cycle Friday. It was Wednesday. Wow. I like to move fast but this was giving me whiplash.
They slapped an estrogen patch on my stomach & I walked out and got ready for my injections to arrive from the pharmacy.
We all know injections are a major part of freezing your eggs but like how many & when & like how do we do them? I know! I felt the same way. Like- I'm a financial pop star, not a nurse. How am I supposed to use a needle? But turns out, it's not so bad.
I did 2 injections/night for the first 4 days & then 4 injections/night for days 4-11. The first night was def the hardest because you're just like... umm. Are you guys sure I should be allowed to do this? I cleared a spot on my counter & organized all my meds so it felt like Marie Kondo was my fertility doctor & numbed my stomach with an ice pack (expert tip from my friend Genevieve who had just done it). Then I did the thing and it wasn't painful at alI?
Did I watch the instructional videos 12 times & call the emergency hospital hotline beforehand? Absolutely. Was I fine? Sure was! And you will be too.
Yo the cocktail of drugs they have you on def makes you super tired & anxious. You def don't feel like yourself. But you're also growing a legit football team in your stomach so no need to overthink it! Of course you're gonna feel funny! You also feel really bloated. I felt like I was practicing for pregnancy dressing during the whole experience lol. Am I the drama? I think I'm the drama.
A huge time suck of the whole ordeal is you have to go in EVERY SINGLE DAY for monitoring. They take your blood & do an ultrasound which is basically when they stick a dildo with a camera on it up your puss and tell you what's happening with your ovaries lol. My doctor did these appointments first thing tho which was nice because you just get it over with and get on with your day.
Like I said, I thought this whole process was a sure thing. I truly believed the hardest thing was gonna be getting myself to do it. But I quickly realized the hardest thing was having a successful retrieval and growing healthy eggs of the same size.
On Day 3 I went to the Tribeca office of Weill Cornell & saw a random doctor who was wearing Prada loafers so immediately I liked her lol. She was SOOO encouraging. She shoved the dildo cam in & was like WOO HALEY! This is great! Your body is responding to the meds. One of your eggs is getting so big.
I left that appointment feeling like a fertility GANGSTER. Literally skipping through Tribeca feeling like egg freezing was my bitch. Then, literally the NEXT ASS DAY I saw my regular doctor and he was like ooo that big egg? Not a good thing! It means one of your eggs is hogging all the medication & we may have to stop the cycle and try again in the future??
My heart dropped. STOP THE CYCLE? It was the worst feeling.
But then two days later…We were fine again! They just added in an extra injection to stop that big egg from growing too much & we were back on track. But this is just a tiny snapshot into the daily emotional rollercoaster that is a fertility journey. Every day they gave me a different estimated egg count, a different retrieval date. It was a lot to manage!! I wish I could have trusted the process and not be connected to the outcome but like, this shit is expensive & invasive & I was really trying to do it once so it was hard to be zen about it. Which I know a lot of ladies can relate to.
I ended up getting 16 eggs retrieved – 12 were frozen. But they literally told me to hope for 8. So I have no idea what to think about the process. The doctors I think are so used to so many fertility heartbreaks that they keep your expectations really low but it's hard to know how to feel during it!