Planning for The Odds of Infertility

I apologize in advance for the incoming froth of baby posts, but in advance of my 33rd birthday without so much as trying to get pregnant yet, I’ve got DNA salvation on my mind – in other words, my biological clock is ticking so loudly I can no longer ignore it.

The other week, I wrote a post where for the first time I seriously considered freezing my eggs or embryos. Even though it seemed like it might be a good idea in the past, I always felt like I’d have my first kid by 32 and my second by 35. If for some reason the second was taking a bit too long I could invest in IVF and there would be my half-million dollar rugrats to take me and Mr. HECC and create a family.

Mr. HECC really wants to be a dad. Some guys don’t have the dad gene but he definitely does. When we hang out with our friends who have kids, and the kid’s parents realize their kid has started to wander off, Mr. HECC is always with that kid, staring innocently at them partially amused and partially in awe. He’ll be a great dad. I’m lucky to have found a man who will truly be a wonderful father. That makes me even more obsessed with this whole procreation thing… had I been single at 30 or married to a man who hates children then who knows where I’d be. But I’m married to a guy who is a great father type. He may not be the “provider” but I’ve got that covered (well, sort of.) Anyway, I want kids. I definitely want kids. And soon.

One challenge I do have with Mr. HECC is that he doesn’t like to plan much for the future. As I’m a worry-bot, it’s usually good for me that he reminds me to focus on the present vs constantly thinking about what’s going to happen a year from now. Worrying has some value (I don’t think I would have saved nearly $400k by 33 if I didn’t have this constant anxiety) BUT mostly it’s a bad thing. He’s right that focusing on the present is the ideal.

So when I brought up the idea of freezing my eggs, I was surprised and almost off put by his nonchalant response “oh, that may be a good idea.” Logically, it probably is. If my current eggs are in any sort of shape to make babies, why not save them for later should we need them?

Ok, so Mr. HECC is game for this whole egg freezing thing. But it’s a lot more complicated than that. And the more I read about what it takes, the more I don’t want to do it. First of all, the whole stabbing self with hormones thing for a month sounds bad. I don’t do well with any sort of hormone fluctuation. I’ll be a mess. And I’ll still have to work through all this. I don’t know how I’d handle that. Then there’s the issue of now having these embryos (we’d prob go that route vs eggs) that cost money to store every year and may or may not ever actually turn into real babies. I read this horrible article about what happens after you’re done with your embryos and then you have to decide to destroy them, donate them to science, or give them to an infertile couple which basically means you’re giving your full-on genetic child away, which is just a weird concept, though I’m sure one that is appreciated by infertile couples.

I do feel like it’s a good idea to wait on the whole trying to have kids thing until next summer. I’ll be well into 33 and I think that’s a good age to have a kid. I’m hoping I can have the first naturally. It’s my second I’m most concerned about, especially on timing. If I give birth at 34 or 35, that means no matter what I’m going to feel rushed to have #2. I do like the idea of having kids not too far apart in age (my sister and I are seven years apart and while we get along we definitely didn’t connect as kids) but having one at 35 and being pregnant again by 36 seems like a lot, especially considering I’m definitely going to be the breadwinner of the household (slash I can’t lose my income and I can’t afford to take a lot of time off work.)

If I freeze my embryos now, I can make the choice then. Maybe I will be ready to have a second child at 36 and it will seem like a great idea. Maybe we will have moved somewhere way more affordable and I’ll be working from home and it would be easy for me to pop out another kid or two without any issues. But the real risk is not knowing. We could also have complications with our first child that makes it hard for me to work for a few years, making it impossible or ill-advised to rush into having a second. I don’t have a desire to give birth to a child at 45, but buying a few extra years, should natural childbirth no longer be an option at 38-40, might be worth the investment and peace of mind.

Yet, say we do have embryos stored, we’ll feel awfully silly to rush to have our second child when we’ve been paying to store these for so many years. Maybe just letting nature take its course is the right thing to do. I don’t want to end up at 36 (which is only 3 years away, mind you, excuse me while I step away for a minor panic attack) and feel like I shouldn’t be “rushing” into having child #2, even if I could have it naturally, which is still a heck of a lot more affordable than using the frozen eggs for artificial insemination. Freezing eggs complicates life choices a lot, but it also provides options. Maybe at 43 I’ll have saved $2M, own a home in a suburb of a smaller city, and want a larger family. Then I have that choice.

And, of course, I can find out that I’m just infertile from the start and all this is moot. I wonder if I get my period if that means I’m actually ovulating these days. I went from having about 2-3 a year to now probably more like 6-7. It’s definitely getting more regular as I get older, which is apparently a thing with PCOS. But who knows what is happening inside of me.

I just wish Mr. HECC would realize that even though worrying about the future is not always a good thing I’m not getting any younger and this is pretty serious stuff. He’s ok with us freezing our embryos but definitely not with trying to get pregnant right now. I don’t want to rush things (no matter how much my parents want me to – oh, I won’t hear the end of it this holiday season) but… maybe I should?

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One thought on “Planning for The Odds of Infertility”

  1. Have you and your husband talked about what your game plan is if you can’t get pregnant? Perhaps if you are worried about putting things off but he is saying you are being too much of a worrier, it might be worth it for you both to see a fertility specialist together?

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