WHEN I started the process of freezing my eggs I was seeing someone. It was one of those situations where it was very full on straight away, and it felt like we went from first date to a relationship overnight.
It seems like a common scenario these days, especially for people around my age (30). It’s as though we are trying to work out from first hello if this person is going to be the one. For many woman and even for some men this can be motivated by the desire to settle down and have kids, and the feeling that time is running out.
There’s no time for gradual dating, it’s as though the decision needs to be made quickly, because if it’s not right you better get back out there.
When I worked as a family mediator day after day I had couples who had separated in my office who I truly believe got together because they felt they were running out of time to start a family. Their wedded unions were not ‘till death do us part’ but more what I like to call the ‘should do’ curse.
This is doing what you think you should do because everyone else is doing it and assuming it will make you happy. Educating people away from the ‘should do’ curse and helping empower them to discover what they really want was one of the main reasons I started studying sexology.
What if we could give people, especially women, more choices and options in life and love and more time to find the right one, not just the one right now? Could freezing our eggs take away some pressure and give us more time in the quest to find love for the right reasons, not just to make a baby because time is running out?
Some might say the modern woman is selfish and we should just get on with it, but I like to see this as really making the most of all the options and choices we now have available.
Not so long ago woman did not have many choices in life except what to cook for dinner. We couldn’t have jobs and careers or even date freely.
Now we have choices — the right to education, travel, careers, an exciting love life and adventures. Why shouldn’t we make the most of it? And if you can, as a woman, experience life to the fullest and do the things you had always dreamt, I believe you are in a better position to quieten down that side of your life in order to raise children instead of feeling like you are missing out. (Which many of my friends with children my age call to confess to me that they do). The grass might be greener on the other side but wouldn’t it be great to experience both lawns so you can save yourself the curiosity later down the track?
You also might be in a better position to find love. I often think a woman doesn’t really know herself until she reaches 30 (which is when fertility starts declining). If you have time to date, travel and experiment with life, you might be better equipped to differentiate between a healthy and a toxic relationship. You might also know more about what you want instead of living life according to what you feel you should want.
The important element in all of this for women is time. And when it comes to our biological clocks, some of us need more of it. Egg freezing is not a foolproof plan and fertility is something women need to consider and investigate if motherhood is a desire. But for me, freezing my eggs is something I could do for my future self (and stay sane for the future men I date).
Going through the process I began to feel more connected to my fertility and motherhood is not something I want to do too much later in life. But just in case I do, there is more of a chance of it happening because the eggs are there.
It’s been a few months since I had some eggs frozen and my dating life and attitudes towards it have changed.
Ironically the first man I dated after the procedure was getting frustrated because things were not moving quick enough. I thought I had time to get to know him slowly but he was still struggling with that fear of time running out.
But I do feel more relaxed and now more fulfilled dating. I feel as though I have been able to build connections on real emotions and I’m not overanalysing every scenario trying to figure out if it’s right and if it’s meant to be. I enjoy experiencing life and love instead of trying to over-control and work it all out, missing out on the journey along the way.
Egg freezing is not going to be the answer for everyone and it’s not going to be a simple solution to finding love. But I do believe that it is something you can do to help you get there.
Dr Nikki Goldstein documents her egg freezing journey