Hello, my name is Danielle and I wanted to share a moment of realisation I had the other day having watched an episode of the Kardashians
Since lockdown, I have tried to be as productive as I possibly can. I have written down my ‘lockdown goals’ which include learning a new language, learning to bake, getting a six-pack (I know this doesn’t tie in with the baking bit!), and finishing the books I started reading but never quite finished. (There are 12 books on my bedside table ready for me to pick up). Despite being in lockdown now for 4 weeks, I have done nothing other than making too many zoom calls to friends and watching way too many back to back episodes of the Kardashians (my guilty pleasure).
However, although this might sound like a total waste of precious time, I wanted to share with you something that happened during one of the episodes. For the first time in my Kardashain viewing history, I heard something that made me sit up and think about my own life. Whist in my Kardashian coma, I heard Kris Jenner, aka the ‘momager’ give her daughter a very frank face-to-face talk, advising Khloe K, (35), to freeze her eggs now while she is still young and fertile.
I am 32, have a very busy job, or rather, I did have a very busy job in events prior to the coronavirus. I was dating before lockdown and was going on ‘dating app dates’ but haven’t met anyone who has really made me want to settle down, and, with no news of when social distancing might be lifted, it might be a very long time before I even get to go on a date. Listening to Kris suddenly made me realise that I need to do something about my future plans of motherhood once the lockdown is over.
Our lives are on hold but my fertility isn’t.
I pressed pause on the TV, then started doing some research. I read that many celebs, career-minded women, and those facing illness choose to prolong and preserve their fertility by freezing their eggs, also called ‘oocyte cryopreservation’. This preserves a woman’s reproductive potential at the age at which they harvest and freeze the eggs. Women at the age of 30 have a 13.2% chance of getting pregnant in each given cycle. When you compare this with just 8.6% with eggs frozen at 40, you can see why so many women are eager to freeze their eggs.
Freezing your eggs provides a backup plan for women who are not in a relationship or are simply not ready to conceive – women like me. By freezing their eggs, they can prolong their fertility for many years
Egg freezing follows the same procedure as IVF, in that the eggs are retrieved from the woman’s ovaries. Usually, 10 to 15 or even 20 eggs are retrieved over 2 or 3 cycles – the greater the number of eggs retrieved, the better the chances for the woman to have a successful IVF later.
But the process isn’t cheap, costing around $10,000. Unlike myself, Khloe can certainly afford it. She is in a position to make whatever fertility choices she wants, as money is no object. Sadly, I am not in such a great financial position.
There are however companies who are offering egg freezing as a benefit to female workers. These companies include Unilever, Deloitte, Uber, LinkedIn, Intel, Ebay, Yahoo, Netflix, Salesforce, Spotify, Time Warner and Snapchat. Annoyingly, my event company isn’t amongst this list of employers.
It is also worthwhile checking to see if you are covered by your insurance company
Again, I am not covered here either. So, my research then went down the “how do I pay for this route?” I did manage to find a couple of clinics with discounted financial programs, one says “payments as low as $195 per month”. This covers the egg freezing and long term storage, but not the medication. There are always hidden costs!
This damn coronavirus really has made life difficult at the moment. With the future full of financial uncertainty, I find myself in a very tricky situation. I know I want to freeze my eggs, but I don’t have any disposable money at the moment.
What I can do though, is do my research
IVF babble has spoken before about their good friend Valerie Landis, one of the women leading the effort to educate others about egg freezing. She speaks openly about her personal egg freezing experiences and family planning decisions along with highlighting a collection of first-hand accounts from other women’s journeys. You can find her here.
I am also going to research a few clinics and have a chat about the process in more detail. I will also talk to them about financial programs. I know that I will use my time more productively to do my research and to plan as best I can so that when I do go back to work and money does start to come in again, I can get on straight away with freezing my eggs.
Can I also just say thank you Kris Jenner for making me think about my fertility.
If you are in a similar boat to me and you want to have a chat, drop Sara and Tracey a line at ivfbabble.com and they will connect us.
Huge love Danielle