My Egg-Freezing Journey Part 5: The Aftermath
The day after my surgery, everything on the outside looks fine. There’s no visible incision, no bandages, no bleeding. Which is a bummer because my boss told me that she really needed me at work. I had planned to text her a photo of me looking pathetically awful so she’d feel guilty and tell me to stay home. Of course, the one time I really need to look awful, I don’t.
I have terrible cramps and am moving slowly, but I’ve used that excuse so many times before, she assumes that is just how I am on a daily basis.
I waddle to work and sit down at my desk just as the phone is ringing. It’s the fertility clinic calling to check on me, and to tell me how many viable eggs they got out of me at the ‘harvest.’
“Let’s see, we extracted 13 from you, and of those, we froze eight. Four mature and four immature.”
“What does that mean, immature? Like they tell fart jokes?”
“Um, ha. No it means that your eggs mature at different rates and so we have to try to retrieve them when the most possible eggs are mature, but not all of them will be.”
“So what are the immature ones?”
“Well, you can’t use them NOW, but in the future, technology may allow for them to—
“THE FUTURE? What? Like when there are ROBOTS?” I shout. See, normal PMS occurs after your body produces one egg. This month, I’ve produced 13. So I have normal PMS times 13.
“You know, you really should talk to the doctor,“ says the unhelpful phone lady.
“Well put her on!!!”
“Um, yeah, that’s not how it works. See, the way it works is that you make an appointment? For her to call you? And she normally does that 10 days after the surgery?”
“So you’ve just freaked me out and now I have to wait 10 days for her to explain what you mean?”
“I have an appointment available next Wednesday between 7 and 9am.”
“I’ll take 8.”
“Um, yeah that’s not how it works. See, she’ll call you between 7 and 9am.”
“So I have to wait for her like the Cable Guy?”
“I never thought I’d say this but CABLE IS CHEAPER.”
I slam the phone down and call my best gay, Anthony. Which is an odd choice, looking back, because he usually makes this retching noise whenever anyone mentions ladybits. I start to cry about how I’ve spent all this money and only got 4 eggs.
He sighs and tells me his new French Bulldog puppy, Jolene, has diarrhea and has pooped all over the apartment, including his beautiful light-putty colored sectional couch.
“Our children are already disappointing us,” he laments.
The following morning I wake up short of breath. After the simple act of making coffee, I’m huffing and puffing. I call the clinic to tell them my symptoms, and they ask me to come in immediately, just to make sure something isn’t horribly wrong. The nurse gives me another ultrasound and informs me that my ovaries are swollen and pressing against my diaphragm. That means my lungs have less room to expand, which is completely normal and should subside in a day. So…that’s gross.
I go home to rest and notice an email chain from a group of my grad school friends I call the ‘Exotic Foreign Ladies,’ because they now live in exotic locations across the globe. One is pregnant with her third child. Another announces she is freezing her eggs! A third says she froze 21 at a clinic in Brussels. A fourth replies that she did the same thing and has 15 at a clinic in Sydney!
I stop reading there, because the panic has set in. Maybe I don’t have enough eggs? And then I do the worst thing possible: I google, “mature and immature frozen eggs.” After an hour in a giant internet suckhole of medical information that I barely understand, I diagnose myself with a malady I like to call “I’ll be alone forever or die shortly.”
Then I get a moment of clarity: I shouldn’t make any decisions while my ovaries are the size of parade floats and my hormones are horribly imbalanced. The best thing I can do for myself is my regular Friday night activity: pajamas, pint of Ben & Jerry’s, TV, cat…repeat until the doctor calls.
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