The Egg-straordinary Birthday Gift

Nicole was dining with her parents at an upscale restaurant on her 35th birthday when her visibly uncomfortable mother started throwing out cryptic remarks like:

“We got you a nonconventional birthday present.”
“It was your dad’s idea.”

That certainly got her attention. The suspense elevated as other randoms were thrown on the fire:

“We don’t want you to feel rushed.”
“We don’t want you to miss out on the greatest things in life.”

Ok, someone needed to say something quick before things got even weirder. Nicole immediately said “you’re going to freeze my eggs” as a joke to ease the tension. When Nicole’s mother said that actually yes, that was the birthday present, Nicole was floored!

“My father is a doctor and had already done all of the research, so I understood the details and knew that it was safe. Because my parents paid for it, I didn’t have to worry about any stigma or finances since it was a gift. I was very lucky. Also, I have a hilarious story to go with it!”

Nicole had already been involved in a couple of serious relationships, but she was never at the point where she was ready to have kids. She got married in her 20s after law school. After an amicable divorce, she dated a man for several years in her early 30s. He was ready for kids, but she wasn’t, so it ended.

“I wasn’t actively seeking a partner, but was at the point in my life where I was ready if I met the right person. It was more like I had decided I did want kids. I was fixed up a lot and had some short term relationships, but didn’t put any pressure on myself.”

So she was all about the egg-freezing and immediately jumped on board. Clinic visits began a few weeks prior to the actual procedure and consisted of injections and bloodwork. Interestingly, her ovaries were hyperstimulated from the treatment, so she had to return more often than usual to adjust her dosing. She felt positive about her visits and said they were “no pressure, no stress” because she wasn’t going in for fertility problems, like some others in the waiting room. When she was going there, she was being proactive about her fertility, which was empowering.

Her overstimulated ovaries were so responsive to the treatment that eventually her care team started doing daily ultrasounds to monitor her follicle production more closely. In her extreme case, her ovaries were so full she needed to avoid exercise, stairs, boats (yes boats) and was told to take it easy.

On the day of the procedure, she didn’t even feel it. Because she had so many follicles, it took her a little longer to recover than the typical few days, but about a week after the procedure, she was fully recovered and had no regrets.

Fast forward a few months, and lo and behold, 36 year old Nicole bumps into the ex-boyfriend from her early 30s. They hadn’t seen each other for quite a while, and then they had two other happenstance encounters, all within a ten day period. She went all out there and told him:

“By the way, my parents got me a really funny birthday present!”

Now they are living together and in it for the long haul. She said that the egg freezing opened up doors she wouldn’t have even thought about. First, because her boyfriend is now in his late 40s, they will probably use her eggs for IVF instead of getting pregnant the old-fashioned way because of the ability to do genetic testing on embryos prior to implantation.  Also, she has an issue with her collagen and ligaments resulting in a condition of hyper-flexibility. She is concerned about the effects of the pregnancy on her body, other than the obvious weight gain. She has in the back of her mind that when they cross that bridge, surrogacy is a possibility, and sees that option as an added benefit of freezing her eggs.

What next? Children are on the horizon and are definitely a part of their plans as a couple. She, the practical lawyer, is leaning more towards one child due to overpopulation and financial reasons. Until then, she has a fun icebreaker to tell people about her 35th birthday present.