No Pain, No Gain, No Baby
Last week I froze my eggs.
The ones in my body, not the ones in my kitchen.
I always considered freezing your eggs something women did so they wouldn’t feel pressured by their biological clock while they were advancing their careers or vacationing in Mazatlan.
It seemed breezy and smart and modern.
But “breezy” isn’t exactly how I’d describe it.
There were pills, blood draws, ultra sounds and hormones. (Oh, were there hormones.)
But I’d say the least breezy part of the whole thing were the injections. I’ve never been a fan of needles, so when the doctor told me I had to inject myself in the stomach with shots everyday, I almost decided babies were overrated and we should just have dogs.
My husband, Jason, thought I might be overreacting. I thought he might be underreacting and maybe I should jab something sharp into his abdomen to find out.
In the end, I decided to do the shots.
I tried to be brave the first night but I guess my “brave” was sobbing in the bathroom, clutching the syringe and begging Jason to squeeze my knee as hard as he could so I would focus on that pain.
“Just hurt me!” I screamed.
There was a long pause as Jason took his hand off my leg and said, as kindly as he could, “Okay, I think we need to take a step back.”
I eventually did it and each injection got easier until finally I found myself being rolled into surgery where everything became milky and dreamy and I woke up in the recovery room.
My doctor reported that I had far exceeded her expectations for how many eggs she thought I would produce and in my groggy state I muttered, “Well, I do like to be on the honor roll.”
That week, as I laid on the couch recovering and watching reruns of “Fixer Upper,” I thought a lot about the last year. I never imagined this would be my path to motherhood. It’s been so full of physical and psychological pain.
I feel like I’ve already been hurt by my future children and I haven’t even given birth or had my kid tell me she hates me in front of an Old Navy.
My friend once told me that every step we take gets us a little closer to our family – to becoming a mother.
I guess every woman interested in becoming a mother begins that journey in a different way. For my mom it was carrying around such a giant baby (me) that when it finally came time to push, she spent 36 hours in pain until the doctors finally agreed to a C-section.
My great-grandmother began her journey secretly, with a hurried wedding and surprisingly robust “premature” baby.
So I guess mine begins with a bruised stomach, a surgery, and about ten hormonal fights with my husband.
That’s okay. I’ll take it any way it starts.
This piece was originally written for the Fargo Forum. You can find them (and me) here.
Photo by Jason Elias.