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The Column: Why I’m Freezing My Eggs

Hi everyone,

This week we wrapped production on a special show with Sims IVF, that will air on Goss.ie channels on February Wednesday 9th. And working on this campaign has been extra special for me for a few reasons.

I try not to divulge much of my personal life on here or on my social media. You will notice that I’ve actually never shared a photo of any man I have ever dated. I cover the faces of my nephews when I share their gorgeous pictures, and I really do keep my private life to myself.

But for this topic, I know it’s important to get a little bit more honest with you.

I’ve known, pretty much since I was born, that I want to be a mother. It’s something that I’ve never had to truly think about, a decision I’ve never really had to make, I’ve just always known I am meant to be a mum.

I remember some people being surprised to learn this, given I run my own business. But actually, a huge part of why I started this website was to create a nest egg for my children and to secure a good life for myself and my family.

I’ve been maternal ever since I was a little girl playing with my Baby Born doll, washing her in the sink, putting her in a buggy, or playing house with Ken and Barbie. My feelings about motherhood have never wavered, and if anything my want to be a mother has only grown over time.

Even seeing my friends and family go through pregnancies, tough births, and even tougher long nights without sleep, my dreams of having children are still just as strong.

But I, just like many other women, grew up thinking I had to follow a certain path in order to get my dream family. For me, that path originally included “married by 25”, “first kid by 27” (obviously I’ve updated that timeline as I went along).

I’m now 32, and that timeline has gone well out the window. I have found it difficult seeing my friends and family members start their families, and welcome their children when I’ve wanted to have my own family ever since I can remember. And the only reason I haven’t had mine is just because I haven’t met “the one”.

The timing just hasn’t been right yet, and that’s obviously meant to be, and my journey is just going to be different from some of the other women in my life. And that’s okay too.

There is so much pressure on women, in particular, to fast-track their lives. And while some might dub me a successful businesswoman, a good law student, or thank me for the work I did with the Department of Justice last year, it’s nowhere near as strong as the celebrations that come with an engagement, a wedding, or a birth.

It was really only when I turned 30 that I started to genuinely panic. Will I ever get to be a mother? It felt like every second someone else on social media was sharing an engagement announcement, a pregnancy announcement, or a picture of their firstborn. I started to worry that I was running out of time.

It was then that I realised I needed to get my fertility tested. But I didn’t know where to start, and I was also terrified to get the results. What if I can’t have children? It’s literally the only thing in life I have ever been sure of; I’m meant to be a mum.

The pandemic hit just around that time so plans to get tested went out the window. Any feelings of sadness I had around not having a family, got a good bit worse during the lockdown. I ended up cocooning for nearly 8 months on my own, while friends and family were able to stay home together. Some even had new babies. Of course, there were so many trials and tribulations that came with being stuck at home with children, but at least they were all together.

I kept my head down during the last two years and even returned to college to pursue my law degree. Because my previous timeline was completely out of whack, I needed to change the trajectory. As restrictions started to ease, just after my 32nd birthday, I knew now was the time to start this journey.

I went to Sims IVF, an Irish fertility clinic, and although I was sick with nerves on my first appointment, they made the whole process so easy and calming. The first thing I learned was that all I needed was a blood test to get an idea of the number of eggs I have – just one test.

The AMH test is the first step, and it was an easy one. Within a week or so I had my results, and I couldn’t have felt more comforted, knowing that I’m looking into my fertility at the right time.

Next, there was an internal investigation to see how many follicles I have, and therefore how many eggs could be extracted, and thankfully the news was good. I know, this journey for so many may not be as positive and I’m very sensitive to that, but it’s great to know that even if the news is bad there are possibilities out there.

So now I am starting my egg-freezing journey. Soon I will have eggs frozen, which will stay frozen for 10 years. Meaning if I decide to have a family at a later stage, my eggs will be there waiting for me.

But it’s also an option B. Life works in mysterious ways, and there’s a chance I may never need them. But knowing that they will be there, knowing that I have options, has been the most comforting thing.

When I spoke to my friends about what I was going through, worrying about whether I’d still be fertile when I met the right person or questioning whether I need to just do this on my own, I realised that so many of us had never discussed this. We were never taught about fertility in school, and in particular, my single friends had never brought up the topic of what happens if our timelines don’t work out?

 

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This is why Goss.ie has partnered with Sims IVF for a special show, which will broadcast next Wednesday. All Your Fertility Questions Answered was a fantastic show to create and work on. Everyone in the room left understanding so much more about fertility, menstruation, ovulation and so much more.

I only wish I had learned all of this at a much younger age.

After going through this experience myself, I can’t help but want to share this knowledge with as many women as possible.

Getting your fertility checked should be something we all do by 30, or even in your 20s if there is a history of fertility issues in your family.

My most important takeaway from this journey so far is that timelines can be altered. Yes, when I was a little girl playing with my dolls I dreamt of my life in a very different way. But I’ve also accomplished things that were in my wildest dreams. So anything is possible.

After starting this process I finally feel like I can still have my dream life, my dream family at a later time. The idea of having to meet someone by a certain time has finally left my head, and I know now that there are so many other options out there for me, even if I decide to do this alone.

PS it’s important to say here, once again, that I know fertility is a very, very sensitive topic. And some women reading this may be going through fertility issues. Please know my only aim here is to educate young women on the importance of getting tested earlier and to show that women can empower themselves on the journey to motherhood thanks to new developments in fertility testing and procedures.

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