By JEANNETTE FRANCIS
Jeanette’s story will feature on SBS 2’s show The Feed this evening at 7.30pm.
My father has been trying to convince me to buy property for several years now. Two weeks ago he called with a friendly suggestion that I should open a First Home Savers Account – one that earns you high interest on a capped amount of money each year, until you’re ready to use it to buy a home.
I declined with a very well thought out and reasoned response – I don’t want to be an adult. My father – long skilled in the art of diplomacy – replied, “You don’t have to be an adult now. But if you want to later on, the option will be there.”
I should stress, I’m 28-years-old and for roughly 15 of those years I’ve been waiting to become an adult, to feel ready to embrace the world of responsible co-habitation, lawns, capri pants, murder-mystery shows on the ABC and the ultimate signifier of adulthood; responsibility for other human beings or children as they’re better known.
It hasn’t quite happened yet – which is fair given I’m still in my 20’s – but rather than being concerned it won’t (as many I know are) I’m slightly more concerned it will.
See I’m afflicted with what my sister has diagnosed to be, “Selfish Arsehole Syndrome,” an allegedly common condition known to exist in men and women aged between 25 and 35 who thoroughly enjoy the relatively carefree lives they lead. I’m not saying I bear no responsibility for anything, I’m just saying that on a scale of things, I’m carrying the burden okay.
This not only leaves me with an inflated sense of self but with an increasingly well-honed ability to assert the merits of my lifestyle to naysayers, mainly my mother, who manages to illicit a reluctant summation most times we speak of why I rather like my life and why I intend to prolong it in its current state for as long as humanly possible.
Now, here’s where matters get complicated because as it turns out some thing’s are not humanly possible after a certain age and while co-habitation, lawns, kapri pants and ABC murder mysteries will – with any luck – be around for a long time, one’s ability to bear children will not.
And so it was amid this dawning reality and the ever-increasing number of babies usurping my Facebook feed, that a discussion about fertility was inevitably had among colleagues in the office, an office – I should stress – where one from a team of 15 is over 35 and has children.
It didn’t take long before the discussion turned to the topic of egg freezing. Would you or wouldn’t you? How much does it cost, what’s involved, what’s the likelihood of having a baby later, and so on and so forth. On the whole we concluded two things; that we should do a feature on it that answers all these questions and that being in our late 20s, early 30s we didn’t have to think seriously about freezing eggs just yet.
We were wrong.
According to IVF Australia fertility specialist, Professor Bill Ledger, late 20s early 30s is the best time to think about egg freezing, especially if you’re not planning to have children anytime soon. “I would say if people are not in a stable relationship by 30 and think it’s not likely to happen for a few more years, consider freezing your eggs as an alternative to being disappointed at 42 or 43,” says Professor Ledger.