There are a lot of things in my life I wish I had done differently:
In Grade Five, I wish I never let my dad dress me in boys’ tracksuits; I wish I hadn’t stopped jazz ballet; I wish I hadn’t dated a guy who cheated on me by getting hand jobs in our local KFC carpark from a random chick he met one night.
And I REALLY wish I had wanted a baby sooner.
Life doesn’t always work out the way we thought it would – ask Caitlyn Jenner – sometimes life just feeds us a big ball of EAT ME & we just have to eat it.
Unfortunately, that’s the only part of this week’s article in the Daily Telegraph, Having a Baby Is Not A Right, It’s Privilege, that I agree with. In that article, writer Louise Roberts argued that women freezing their eggs is a sign of an out-of-control era of entitled choice:
…That’s the attitude that it is a woman’s right to have a baby full stop. Not a whiff of luck or blessing anywhere in this selfish equation. It’s an increasing and frankly chilling mindset, the bastard child if you like of a generation of have-it-all sisters who cannot see beyond their narcissistic checklist of life.
Sports car, tick. Luxury apartment and Euro vacation, check. Megabucks Hollywood teeth and boob job, no brainer. Husband/boyfriend? Get back to you on that one. But, definitely, at least one or two kids. Tick, tick.Advertisement
When it comes to having a baby it would be so wonderful if it all went to plan: We meet the nice boy, we work in that really cool job, we take lots of Instagram selfies, we nail kundalini yoga and then we have that baby… Wouldn’t that be totes awesome? Yeah, I wish, too.
Lives are complicated and messy. Things very rarely go exactly how we planned. It makes life exciting, and it also makes life suck.
Time is not always on your side, and ageing can be a cruel process. Yesterday, I was 28 and today I’m 42 – wow, so many selfies in between.
Was I thinking of having a baby ? Well – yes, I was. I wanted a baby years ago but it didn’t work out that way. So THANK GOD we have the technology to freeze eggs so that I can have a chance of being a mum. Because I ache for it – I long for motherhood like Madonna wants kale smoothies, like Abbott wants a second term and like Kanye longs for… Kanye.
Technology is amazing in a million ways. We can pay our bills on an app on our phone (there was a time, kids, when you had to stand in a queue at the POST OFFICE to do that). We can stream music from anywhere in the world, we can tattoo new eyebrows…
And then there’s the stuff that’s even more important than brows. Science has brought us vaccination, cancer medications that prolong and save millions of lives, medications that make life bearable for people with mental illness, skin grafts for burn victims, organ transplants… of course, the list is endless.
So the idea that women can freeze their eggs for the possibility (remember, it’s only ever a possibility) that they can become a parent when they are older/wiser/physically capable/financially capable/more mentally capable or just READY in general, is just so wonderful — it’s a blessing for so many. Why would you ever want to judge someone for being able to make that choice?
Watch Bianca Dye talk about her bucket list and IVF. It is truly beautiful. (Post continues after video.)
We need to stop pretending that making babies is all about choices… sometimes, many times, people don’t have “choices”.
Freezing eggs is not mocking mother nature. There are not hordes of women out there saying, “Hey, I’ll be out partying and chasing my dream career but when I’m done buying handbags, I’ll defrost those little eggies and jump right into motherhood.”
It’s just a process that allows women some options in an area of life where they don’t have much control (hint: it takes two, one way or another, to make another human). It’s such a difficult, emotional topic, we need to treat it with kindness and compassion.
Yes, some people decide and know early what they want in life – and hooray for them. Some people stuff things up – like me – meet dickheads and then want a baby and then think “mmmmm, maybe I’m not meant to be a mother” and then change their minds 50 times and then change them back again and should the punishment for that be NO CHOICE FOR YOU?
I have two frozen embryos and seven frozen eggs – the embryos were frozen two years ago while I continued stimulated rounds of IVF to retrieve as many eggs as I could while there were still some to get! Thank God I CAN freeze them because I found out there is no point in putting an embryo back into a ‘hostile’ environment as I have endometriosis – its a waste of a very precious little ‘possible future human’ so they are on ice (so to speak) till I have had an operation (a laparoscopy) that will hopefully make my uterus more “user friendly” and not kick it out like it did twice before with my two miscarriages.
Mine is just one of millions of complicated little stories that lead women to a place in their lives where they haven’t ‘ticked’ all those damn boxes.
Let’s all just rejoice that we do have some options, and have some kindness for other women’s circumstance and yes, even their ‘choices’. My choice right now is to have a cup of tea and flick through my diary to find a date for this damn operation. Good day to you all.
Do you think it is a right or a privilege to have a a child? Do you have any IVF stories?