May 4, 2013

"In my case, egg freezing gave me the confidence to go back on Match.com at nearly 40..."

"... and proudly tell men 'I can have kids whenever I want. It feels so nice not to have to rush relationships.'" 
Eight months ago, I met a wonderful 45-year-old single dad who wants more kids and wanted to hear all about my frozen eggs. Four hours after meeting at a New York wine bar, we were kissing in Central Park in a warm September foggy mist. I don't know if it is me or the eggs, but I am more relaxed in this relationship than I have ever been in my life.
ADDED: The author, Sarah Elizabeth Richards, spent nearly $50,000 freezing her eggs, and she says:
In the future, a woman who registers for law or medical school — and knows ahead of time that she will spend her prime baby-making years in the trenches — would ask for loans for tuition and egg freezing at the same time. 
What the hell? While you're in the crazy fantasy-land part of your relationship with money, why not go $50,000 deeper in debt?
Or she might ask a boyfriend who wants to wait a few years to start a family to pony up for the procedure.
If you were married to this person, the $50,000 would already be shared, but somehow a man who's not ready to marry might fork over $50,000? But Richards isn't predicting this "boyfriend" character will hand you that kind of money. She's saying you could ask. It's a parry in a negotiation, where he's saying we need to wait, which he'll presumably put in terms of needing to build up sufficient wealth. She can be all: "Well, I'll need $50,000 right now to freeze my eggs."
In either scenario, she would assume control of her fertility from the outset....
Assume control! Freezing eggs! This is an incredibly romantic way of thinking about forming a family. Quite aside from demanding big money from banks and boyfriends and quite aside from the literally cold concept of freezing, the whole idea of having eggs feels so detached from love and humanity.

81 comments:

bagoh20 said...

What do you mean someone accidently turned off the egg refrigerator? I simply can't go on without 50% of my personal DNA replicating. Goodbye cruel world.

Achilles said...

It isn't the giving birth that is the hard energy consuming part. These older parents also tend to act more like grandparents when raising kids and I believe this is part of the spoiled brat syndrome so rampant among the generation raised by baby boomers.

Michael K said...

I wonder if she knows that eggs aren't frozen, only embryoes so the father is the guy she had fertilize her eggs before they were frozen.

It's kind of amusing when people spend all that money and don't understand what they spent it on.

Synova said...

Are you sure Michael? Why can't eggs be frozen?

Alan said...

Couldn't she just wait for Mister Right and adopt if she's no longer fit to have children naturally? It seems like the people who would do this are the types society shouldn't encourage to reproduce.

wyo sis said...

As a person who had her last child at age 43 I don't recommend it.

Michael K said...

"Are you sure Michael? Why can't eggs be frozen?"

Here's the description <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_vitro_fertilisation'> of the process</a>.

Here's a description of the problems of unfertilized eggs (mouse eggs). I don't know of an unfertilized human egg process;

Fertil Steril. 1989 Nov;52(5):778-86.

Problems in the cryopreservation of unfertilized eggs by slow cooling in dimethyl
sulfoxide.

Trounson A, Kirby C.

Centre for Early Human Development, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria,
Australia.


<i>Maximum success rate (42% of frozen eggs developing to two cells) was obtained when DMSO was added at 0 degrees C and the eggs slow cooled to -80 degrees C. Removal of cumulus failed to improve freezing success rates. Addition of DMSO at temperatures above 0 degrees C significantly reduced the fertilizing capacity of eggs. Excessive exposure of eggs to temperatures around 15 degrees C also caused a significant reduction in fertilization rates. The effects of DMSO and cooling on fertilization are likely to be due to zona hardening by cortical granule release and to disorganization of the egg cytoskeleton and plasma membrane. These problems will be difficult to overcome if cryopreservation of the unfertilized human egg is preferred to the fertilized egg or early cleavage stage embryo in clinical in vitro fertilization.</i>

That is the ONLY article in Pub Med on unfertilized eggs and it is an old one. I suspect nobody has done it since.

Fred Drinkwater said...

I finished reading the entire thing not 15 minutes ago. Creepy is the only word to describe it. Her approach to becoming a parent is so different from mine (My kids are in their 20's now) that I frankly hope she never uses any of those frozen eggs.
Or, to put it another way: "Family? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Michael K said...

Sorry

of the process.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Michael K: Whatever the state of the tech actually is, she clearly states in the article that fertilization is to be post-thawing.
However, judging from the tenuous connection of the rest of the article to the real world, I would not be surprised if she got that part wrong.

Michael K said...

I guess the proprietor doesn't want my posts. I was trying to explain why eggs can't be frozen, only embryos.

Synova said...

"Last fall, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine removed the procedure's experimental label, citing improved success rates with a new flash-freezing technology known as vitrification."

Synova said...

I saw your post Michael. I can't imagine why it went away.

In any case, the article cites a different process so maybe the other didn't work but this does.

El Pollo Real said...

Calm down everybody. It could be that the egg basters will just lose their game out of sheer high cost. Unless the procedure is foisted on everyone via Obamacare.

ricpic said...

Oh lucky her, a teenager to deal with in her mid-50's to early 60's.

Paeonia said...

Cryopreservation

If I'm understanding this correctly it is possible to freeze human eggs.

Synova said...

I'm generally not creeped out by reproductive technology but I'd really rather, by far, the freezing be done to non-fertilized eggs. Sperm can be kept too, of course.

I have a controlling attitude toward my own DNA though, so the idea of donating to an egg bank or sperm bank does bother me. I couldn't do it, anyway. But being controlling of my own DNA means I do understand that biological children and non-biological children really are not interchangeable. Yes, you love adopted children just as much but that doesn't make it the same.

I can see the virtue in banking eggs or sperm if you're in the military during war, for example, with explicit permission that your folks can produce grandkids if something happens to you (or you have a backup if you're injured.) You'd probably only do that if you trusted your folks, but I would do that if it were me and I was 20 and I hadn't had any kids yet. At this point I'm starting to think about those future grandkids.

Maybe some people don't care if their DNA is a dead-end but in general it's a biological imperative that life not end with you, isn't it?

Bender said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bender said...

Re: older people wanting/planning to have kids

Because every kid at his high school graduation wants to explain that grandpa is actually his dad. Because we want our kid to have the benefit of a parent who dies of old age when the kid is in his early 20s, and we want our grandchildren to have the benefit of never knowing their grandparents because they died years before they were born.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

You know, every increment of "reproductive technology" I've seen in my lifetime has been just that tiny increment creepier. This is just another one.

Goju said...

Ah yes, she wants to control her reproductive rights. Of course, she also wants someone else to pay for it. Notice in all her financial pipedreams she has not mentioned what happens if the relationship with the man who pays for the egg freezing breaks up.

Goju said...

Ah yes, she wants to control her reproductive rights. Of course, she also wants someone else to pay for it. Notice in all her financial pipedreams she has not mentioned what happens if the relationship with the man who pays for the egg freezing breaks up.

Renee said...

The idea of having a child in college, while I'm 65 doesn't seem a smart idea.

Many women do indeed have children naturally past 40, but they many have other children who are older I may assume in case they get ill.


Didn't Murphy Brown end up with this scenario, but it was a TV series so she lives on and works some more.

David said...

Bender said...
Re: older people wanting/planning to have kids

Because every kid at his high school graduation wants to explain that grandpa is actually his dad.


Times have changed. When my oldest daughter was in high school, people would think I was her date.

Nowadays not so much.

wildswan said...

It's all beyond weird and into delusional

People who would insist on fresh local food think nothing of freezing the substance from which their own children would form - freeze it for years - no problem. People who talk about ecological relationships in nature disrupt their own hormonal system by using contraceptives - for years on end.

edutcher said...

There's a reason you have kids in your teens, 20s, and 30s.

PS When I saw the post, I thought it was Martha Stewart.

She's very hot on Match, you know.

Paeonia said...

Perhaps I missed it, but it appears that she paid for the freezing and storage of her eggs herself, Goju.

Fred Drinkwater said...

El Pollo Real, Goju: The author does mention insurance not covering these procedures, in a way which I interpreted as suggesting that they ought to be covered.

Renee said...

I agree with David, older is the norm.

I was with my daughter and people thought I was her sister. Not because I was young enough to be her sister, but because I wasn't old enough to be her mother.

I had her at 24.

Birches said...

I'm amused that she thinks she's solved all her problems by having her eggs frozen. She obviously doesn't live in reality.

Older parents aren't necessarily a problem. There are crappy parents of all ages. My mom had me three weeks before she turned 37. By the time she was 40, she was divorced with 3 kids (I'm the youngest). We couldn't get away with anything.

On the other hand, I know some parents in their 20s who are still trying to be teenagers and bring their kids along for the ride. Those kids probably won't turn out well.

sydney said...

...so detached from love and humanity.

Yes, it is. Very cold, technological, and possessive. Thinking of those eggs as a possession to be put away and stored for later use runs the risk of transferring the same thought process to the children they may become.

Also, frozen eggs aren't as good as naturally fresh. More likely to have some accidents in the genetic material from sitting in a refrigerator.

madAsHell said...

biological children and non-biological children really are not interchangeable

No kidding!!

It was a lot easier to accept when my son was thrown out of school for smoking reefers......cuz I knew where THAT came from!!

I've also seen the heartache of trying to raise a bastard.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Once again, the much-maligned letter, Humanae Vitae, by Pope Paul VI is vindicated. Separating the unifying and life-giving parts of the marital act creates all manner of Frankenstein monsters.

Such as human children being commodities and possessions, and all about the adult--rather than gifts to be received for their own sake.

"Ye shall be as gods" isn't working out too well, either.

El Pollo Real said...

There's no reason to become anti-science over it though. The technology helps otherwise infertile people have kids.

What's not addressed is the evolutionary pressure it puts on other women were it to become more common: you too can have it all--a rewarding first career in the trenches followed by motherhood if you're willing to egg-freeze. Objectively speaking, it's hard to fault her as an individual.

pm317 said...

There are enough people on this earth. Adopt a child whenever you are ready. You would be giving a safe and loving home to an otherwise deprived child.

MadisonMan said...

In what universe is a Kardashian mention a stamp of approval.

I feel sorry for the writer...she seems to be seeking something, and is always disappointed. Wants kids, apparently, but spends her 20s with a man she doesn't want to have kids with (then why be with him, I ask myself?) Then she spends her 30s with a man who doesn't want kids (then why be with him?).

You can't have it all. At some point she'll have to settle. I suspect she'll be writing, soon, about the joys of being a single Mom.

SOJO said...

I think it's fine. It shouldn't cost that much, all things medical are shockingly priced, and in the future it will likely be covered.


People sometimes freeze/store a few units of their blood, too, in case they need a transfusion. It's not exactly flowers and organic tofu, but what is in modern health care?

My most traditional cousin, got married at 19 to her high school sweetheart, spurning the abusive rich kid in the process, never wanted a career etc., ended up having to have in vitro for years until it worked in her 30s. You just never know.



argasdoc said...

If only thawing & baking the bun in try oven was as easy as frozen pizza from the freezer....

n.n said...

Her priorities are money, ego, and sex. Not necessarily in that order.

El Pollo Real:

Yes, it is. That does not change the dysfunctional nature of her behavior. As you have noted, this can be tolerated, but it should not be normalized. It represents an experiment to override the natural order, without a known outcome.

She could also adjust her priorities. Unfortunately, the concept of investment seems to evade the comprehension of many women and men. Too many people dream of material, physical, and ego instant (or immediate) gratification. These people are vulnerable to be exploited by others who promise them fulfillment without functional or perceived consequences.

Synova said...

"There are enough people on this earth. Adopt a child whenever you are ready. You would be giving a safe and loving home to an otherwise deprived child."

Why should a person who sees having a child as a bad thing because "there are enough people on this earth" be trusted with an adopted child? So they can teach those adopted children to be anti-human genetic dead-ends too?

(If you think that children are a *good* thing in the world, by all means, please adopt a couple of them.)

Brian said...

I keep hearing this sort of thing from feminists and future-enthusiasts, but as a person who's been through the IVF wars (two complete cycles, two frozen transfers, two babies) I don't see it catching on for people that don't desperately need it. It's extremely costly in ways quite apart from money.

Synova said...

Brian, my BIL and his wife did IVF and had one child. They'd say it was worth it, certainly, but that they wouldn't do it a second time.

Brian said...

We said that, too, Synova. Life intervened --- our oldest daughter died abruptly at six months old, leaving us childless again. A second cycle gave us our second daughter. After that, we did the two frozen transfers because we believe the embryos have a right to be transferred. We're done now. My best to your family.

Saint Croix said...

she will spend her prime baby-making years in the trenches

You'd think in her Cultural Studies she had seen some photographs of pregnant women working in a field somewhere. Or at least seen Demi Moore do pregnant cartwheels on a TV show. You would think she would say to herself, "Hey! Women can take the bar while pregnant!"

But of course the idea of not using birth control is unthinkable. This is the Obama era, after all, where we are taught to control everything. While simultaneously going into debt as much as possible.

That pretty much sums up liberalism. "Let's fuck up our future while we deny that our future is fucked!"

Fuck, by the way, is how poor people make babies. This will be a very important word for us in the future. We will say it a lot.

cassandra lite said...

Fascinatingly creepy: No discussion of the affect on kids of having ancient parents. Me, me me me me me, me, me, me!

Saint Croix said...

Google says that frozen eggs are safe to eat. Good to know!

I added "reproduction" to my search and found this website. Apparently y0u can freeze eggs.

ReinventingMarta said...

whether you wish to agree or disagree with the choices offered, women can now successfully freeze their ova (eggs) for later use. Many babies have been born as a result of frozen eggs because of the cryovitrification, or flash-freezing process. Women no longer have to select a partner to create embryos if they wish to postpone childbearing. The technology is greatly advanced, giving women greater reproductive freedom and control over their fertility. This technology also offers hope to women who are facing cancer therapy. Many can have their ova frozen prior to therapies they may destroy their fertility, thus giving them a chance to have a biological child after they have recovered. As with anything, this is a personal choice.

ken in sc said...

My dad said he would not take a million dollars for one of his kids, but he would not give you a nickle for another one. I feel the same way. I have nine grand kids and I love them all.

But that's enough.

Bruce Hayden said...

The author does mention insurance not covering these procedures, in a way which I interpreted as suggesting that they ought to be covered.

Sure that ObamaCare will ultimately cover this, just as it does Sandra Flake's birth control costs. They are Womyn and the right type of people, so this is Important. Never mind that people may die of cancer as a result of this funding decision. ;-)

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Bender said: Re: older people wanting/planning to have kids

Because every kid at his high school graduation wants to explain that grandpa is actually his dad. Because we want our kid to have the benefit of a parent who dies of old age when the kid is in his early 20s, and we want our grandchildren to have the benefit of never knowing their grandparents because they died years before they were born.


There is a reason that you are biologically geared to have children at a young age. YOU HAVE THE ENERGY. Raising children is hard. Having teenagers is even harder. Try dealing with a teen at the age of 65 or 70 years old. O.M.G.!!! what a nightmare.

In addition, the selfish aspect of having children when you are so old is ...well.....selfish. Children need to have a family structure and not knowing any of their relatives, because they are all DEAD already....and having parents who have one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel is scary for children.

So, when you die and your kids are still young enough to need you, young enough that they can still benefit from your presence and you are a decrepit old hag, drooling into your oatmeal, you think your kids will be thrilled that you had all that YOU time in YOUR younger days? Or do you think that they might wish that you had had them when they were younger and you, their parent, would still be around.

I guess seeing Grandchildren is something you also don't give a shit about? Because you will be DEAD and GONE.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

That all was not directed AT Bender, but at the person in the article.

I agree 100% with Bender.

Paeonia said...

Tricare already covers fertility treatments

Renee said...

DBQ,

Grandparents are more helpful at 55, then 75.

Icepick said...

Clearly a rich, white person solution for a rich, white person problem, i.e. forgoing family to pursue one's faaaabulous career opportunities.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

DBQ,

Grandparents are more helpful at 55, then 75.


Absolutely. Even at 55 having teens and little children around all day (as the parents who are probably also trying to work in their jobs and careers) is so incredibly tiring. However, being a grandparent at that age is something else. You have the energy for the kids and love to see them come to visit or you go and stay for a while to help. BUT, you know that you will be going home and so will they.

Have your children while YOU are young. It is biology 101.

leslyn said...

Shouldn't starting a family be based on more than "romance?"

Paul said...

No no no Ann!

Boyfriends don't need to pony up for the cost of freezing eggs. Why that is A CIVIL RIGHT! And a new ENTITLEMENT! And thus we tax payers need to be taxed more to pay for freezing eggs.

Yes OBAMACARE needs to be expanded to cover abortion pills, egg freezing, condoms, etc....

IT'S A RIGHT!

Synova said...

Telling people to have their children young is a different issue, I think.

It's up there with telling gals at Princeton to marry the boys at Princeton.

But I'd still rather tell someone not to have kids until they find a husband or wife that wants them too. I'd rather see a 45 year old woman who finally finds a man who is upfront about wanting to have children have them late than to tell her to go ahead and get pregnant with the guy she's dating when she's 30, or 24, even if he doesn't want kids.

It's *stupid* of course, but it's very human to keep hoping that with another year or two of maturity he'll change his mind and "be ready". After all, he's *probably* been saying "I'm not ready" so it's understandable to think that's what he meant.

And then you're old... but the guy doesn't have a sell-by date at all when it comes to having children.

wyo sis said...

Now I feel even more more awkward about having my last child at age 43. Not that I didn't either think of or experience a lot of the negatives.
Try having a new baby, children in college, children getting married and a full time job if you think first time momhood at 40 sounds difficult.

The good thing for us has been that our daughter is mostly a blessing and only occasionally more trouble than she's worth. I can thank the fact that some of her siblings are old enough to be her parent for some help with that.

Now, being near retirement with a university bound student is going to be the next big adventure.

El Pollo Real said...

leslyn wrote:

Shouldn't starting a family be based on more than "romance?"

Eggsactly, but the author wished to break such traditional yokes.

Sam L. said...

Oooooooohhhhhh. I am sooooooooo impressed!

El Pollo Real said...

Now, being near retirement with a university bound student is going to be the next big adventure.

Hopefully, they will have saved quite a bit during their years in the trenches and not squandered it all on Manolo, Fendi, and Gucci. See SATC.

ken in sc said...

If you are old and can still have Children, have them. Remember Sarah and Abraham. God wants babies. I do too.

wwww said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

Good luck chasing after that 5-year-old when you're 60.

Henry said...

For a split-second I thought this was about Martha Stewart. Did she freeze her eggs when she was 40?

Fred Drinkwater said...

I have a proof by demonstration that one does not need to skip having kids in order to have a high-end career. My wife had our first when she was 32 and a VP in corporate finance / M&A at a major Wall Street firm. She also tells a true story of a top-end Street analyst who jumped the line to talk to a CEO during that company's quarterly call by announcing that she was going into labor.
(There's a magic word in my story, of course. Hint, it's the 4-letter word starting with "w".)

Fred Drinkwater said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fred Drinkwater said...

Synova: I think guys DO have a sell-by date for having children. Sure, it's not the biology, but it definitely is (as others have pointed out) the energy available to be a good father.
I suppose there's a segment of the population that doesn't prioritize that though. Humph. I wonder if there could be a downside to that way of thinking?

Freeman Hunt said...

I like the idea of there being a biological bailout for all the women who were sold the idea that they should delay having a family indefinitely. I want those women to have a shot at family life.

She's not old, sheesh. You'd think she was planning on babies at seventy-five by some of the comments!

William said...

The converse is that the children will inherit the estate while they're still young enough to enjoy fast cars and cocaine binges.

Freeman Hunt said...

I do think this could give some women a false sense of security though. Isn't it harder to get eggs to successfully implant as one ages?

Nomennovum said...

Only a fool would come anywhere near a woman like this. Only an idiot would date her. And only a complete loser would marry her and finance her self-centered delusions.

wwww said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wwww said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
El Pollo Real said...

One day, her child will be known as "a good egg."

Angela said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael McNeil said...

Freezing one's eggs (at least in the expectation that you will be running out of them — plus they're aging to boot) is so 2000-noughts. Last year it was discovered that there exist, in both mice and humans, stem cells that will grow into wholly new eggs. At the rate of biological technological development these days, that technique will almost certainly be available for women before anyone really needs their recently frozen eggs.

Michael McNeil said...

As far as having children “too old” is concerned, my mom had me when she was 36 (my brother is 17 years older than me). I'm now 63, and she is still going strong. Indeed, I'd hate to be much older and have to take care of a really aged parent. So, you see, it cuts both ways.

santamonicafert said...

Very interesting article about women choosing to freeze their eggs so that they can choose to conceive later and reduce the risk of birth defects.

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Sandy Potter said...

Oh!!! Very interesting topic. I am first time going through this type of article. Nice one.


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