The Terms and Conditions
At my recent GYN appointment, my doctor told me I should consider egg freezing. I responded, “Whoa, slow your roll. I’m pretty sure you’re implying I’m old, and as a hot young woman I take offense to that. Please refer me to another GYN with better assessment skills STAT.” Okay, that didn’t happen. Instead, the words came out of her mouth and I sat on the exam table, loosely covered in a paper gown; I took a big gulp and my eyes welled with tears.
After the appointment I was left slightly bummed that I am in fact at an age (as a single person) where this heavy topic should be considered. I did what most girls would do: I told my close friends. The women who “got it,” who knew what kind of gut punch that was (uterus punch would be more apropos), who listened and winced because they knew it was a difficult thing to hear but also realized that the suggestion was based in reality. My lady parts are aging.
With much thought, I chose to be proactive. I booked the egg-freezing consult to hear the skinny. I asked a lot of questions: Is this extreme over-caution? I’m not sure if you noticed how young and hot I am, so feel free to say so and kick me out of the office for booking a consult years too soon. What is the treatment involved? What is the cost? Can I freeze those bad boys in my freezer, because that seems like it will be a hell of a lot cheaper? When it’s time, how do I tell “the man” that I’ve got this egg insurance plan? Second date? Okay, yeah, too soon. Fifth date. Totally normal.
Some lab work was ordered that came back wonky, and then I had an exam to check out the goods. Prior to the doctor sticking a yardstick of an ultrasound probe inside of me, she made a comment. She said the typical follicle count for someone my age is between 10 and 15. She had seen people on birth control with a slightly lower count. She started counting the right side. One, two, three. She moved to the left, and I was just rooting for my left ovary, like, “You’ve got this…give me seven follicles, baby.” She started counting the left. One. She looked for more and just repeated “one.” One follicle. I sat up and immediately asked if this was lower than the typical low of those on birth control. She very sweetly said yes, followed by some other words I couldn’t hear because I was just counting. One, two, three, four, stop. I started to cry.
While I didn’t feel ready for it, it became overwhelmingly clear in that moment how much I’ve wanted to be a mom. There are few things I’ve ever wanted as much as that. Ever. I called my “everything,” my sister, and cried. She listened and empathized. I told a few of my closest friends. And now, the Internet.
Waves of fear come over me thinking about when I’ll have to tell the man I’ll one day marry. This is not a desirable trait. Men who are looking to marry and start a family want a fertile Myrtle, not a four-follicle-count struggling uterus. Of course, had I not chosen to be proactive, I would have been none the wiser and walked into a marriage happy as a clam with the idea of only good days ahead.
The fear got me thinking, which is a funny thing fear does. It keeps you endlessly busy thinking about things while it simultaneously paralyzes. I’m familiar with this broad’s antics, so I shut her up and wake up to a realization.
I realize that I’ve never wanted to walk into a marriage thinking life will be sunshine and rainbows. I realize that the man who is lucky enough to marry ME will not be fazed by the number four. Or if he is, he’ll be just as ready as I am to sign up for the struggle, the infertility appointments, the heartache, all the possibility. I realize again and again that it will all work out perfectly. And more than ever, I realize that, come hell or high water, I will be a mom one day.