What is a time of joy for many women was my darkest hour.
The other day, my 28-year-old little brother strolled into our parents' living room and casually asked me, "Have you ever considered freezing your eggs?" Since his opening lines usually involve fart jokes or conspiracy theories regarding aliens, it threw me for a bit of a loop.
"No," I replied.
"You're getting to that age," he said. (I'm 32).
"I don't want to freeze my eggs," I said.
"So you definitely don't want kids?" he asked.
"Um, I think I've got time," I replied.
He gave me one of those "I don't know about that" looks and went off to do whatever it is 28-year-old little brothers do after randomly throwing fertility-related queries at their older sisters.
Although the conversation made me want to throw him through a wall, it actually got me thinking. Maybe I don't want kiddos now, but what if I change my mind in the future? Should I bank my wee ovum just in case I want to spawn one day? And what exactly does that involve?
To learn more, I consulted the website of USC Fertility. Figured since I live in Los Angeles now, I should support local businesses, right?
In short, here's the deal: You pony up $10,000 for the privilege of giving yourself 2-4 weeks' worth of hormonal injections and birth control to briefly turn off your natural hormonal cycle. Then it's time for about two weeks of injections to stimulate the ovaries and make them produce as many eggs as possible. After that comes the glorious harvest ritual, except instead of dancing naked round a bonfire and then rutting in the fields, you get a needle stuck in your lady-business to remove the eggos (apparently it doesn't hurt).
Then they're frozen. Their first year of residence in the freezer is free, and then each year afterward it costs about $500. When you want to defrost 'em, get 'em all spermed up and then implanted in the aforementioned ladybusiness, you fork over another $5,000.
Anyway, I've always figured that if the Good Lord Darwin wanted me to have kids, I'd have kids. And if I waited too long or whatever, that meant I wasn't supposed to have 'em. There are too many people in the world anyway, right? Overpopulation is a problem. But my brother's delightfully insensitive question definitely got the wheels turning in my head. So, as I usually do with major life decisions, I decided to consult a crowd of folks. So first, I hit up my favorite special gentleman friend.
Me: What do you think of me freezing my eggs?
FSGF: Well it's not a guaranteed investment and the payoff is a creature that would suck you dry of up to half a million dollars. But if the goal is to breed, and biology being what biology is, then I don't suppose it hurts to hedge bets. I don't think there's a moral problem with it.
Then I asked my parental units, both of whom have made it known that they crave grandchildren the way a junkie craves that sweet, sweet smack.
Me: Do you guys think I should freeze my eggs?
Dad: I'm vaguely uncomfortable talking with you about your eggs. Talk to your mother.
Mom: It's your personal choice. Are you thinking of freezing your eggs?
Me: Well, I can't afford it.
Dad: We've got room in the freezer.
Me: Ew. From a financial perspective, does $15,000 for extraction, storage, fertilization and implantation sound reasonable?
At this point, my Mom began laughing hysterically, while my Dad commenced hitting himself in the face with a pillow.
Finally, I asked my brother, the weirdo who inspired this whole investigation
Steve: Here's why I think it's a good idea. I'm related to you. You're the closest related person to me because Mom and Dad are each only half of me. If you had a kid, I just wanna know what the fucker's gonna look like. Is it gonna be really smart?
Me: So you want me to freeze my eggs as a science experiment?
Steve: Basically, I'm scientifically curious as to what this freak show will look like. I'm also interested in how damaged you will make it.
Me: Well, what's one way in which I might damage the kid, and one way in which I might make it awesome?
Steve: If we take your behaviors throughout your twenties, and that is how you raise the kid, it'll be fucked up.
Steve: Moving states, serious relationships every two years, changing careers, that'd fuck a kid up.
Me: All right, that's fair. What about the potential good effect I'd have on a kid?
Steve: On the upside, you'd expose the kid to a variety of things the world has to offer. You'd let the kid do a lot of interesting stuff. You'd basically be a Montessori parent.
Me: Um. Thanks?
Anyway, I was just wondering if you ladies had an opinion on this. Have any of you frozen your eggs? Have you made babies out of them? Should I even be considering this move when my current financial situation just allows me to cover my monthly bills? And keep in mind, I'm not sure I want to have kids. I just think I might like to have the option.