BLOATED, EMPOWERED, AND HORNY: WHAT IT’S REALLY LIKE TO FREEZE YOUR EGGS

The decision to freeze or not to freeze is going to happen gradually. Don’t stress. Live your life but PAY ATTENTION.

“I don’t ever want to have kids. EVER” My new dude casually mentions as he’s trying to unhook my bra. First of all, it’s a sports bra. Second of all why is he bringing this up now? I flashback to an hour earlier when we were out eating tacos and I went all goo-goo for a random baby then made a joke about kidnapping it. I’d forgotten all about it, apparently, dude hadn’t.

Though we’d only been dating a month, I was so pumped: he had a job, a Prius, and went down on me on my period — the holy trifecta! I couldn’t lose him over a stupid little thing like kids. He climbed on top of me probing “Do you want kids Jessie?” “No! Ew! Whatever! My films are my babies” I defend as I pushed his head downward. I mean loved kids, especially my nieces, but making babies was something that real grown-ups did. Though I had just entered my 30’s, I wasn’t like a real adult (What’s a crock-pot?) Not to mention I’d spent my entire 20’s pouring everything into my career and it was just starting to pay off. And though my gynecologist, mother, and the rabbi had all warned me my childbearing window was getting smaller, I couldn’t abort my career just because my biological clock was ticking. Fuck the clock. Fuck kids. Dude and I will have a wonderful life filled with tacos and period sex. But something was pulling at my heart, even though I didn’t want kids like today, saying I NEVER wanted them just didn’t feel right. The truth is my movies are my babies but they aren’t actual babies…only babies are…

As I transition out of the heroin addict, married guy, “entrepreneur” phase I’m ready to date the fuck out of the good guys. I want a true partner, someone to build a life with. But I know that you can’t force it, you need time to build trust, to fall in love. Because real intimacy isn’t getting fingered on the beach in Cuba (Shout out to Javier!) It’s like when you’re ordering lunch and there’s a long line behind you-you feel rushed so you just go with the tuna melt but that tuna melt might be an alcoholic.

A few months later I was writing a television series about a twenty-something who becomes a surrogate for an infertile forty-year-old woman. For the project, I interviewed dozens of 40ish women who experienced fertility issues. Some chose adoption, some chose multiple rounds of IVF, some chose to stop trying to have kids entirely but all of them said the same thing to me — I WISH I WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE PROACTIVE WHEN I WAS YOUNGER. Meaning, by freezing their eggs they could have possibly avoided some of the emotional and financial stress that fertility treatment entails. Even though it is widely known egg freezing is not a “foolproof” plan it does give you more options in the long run. Like having multiple Xanax prescriptions. For my career, I have taken every action, hustling 24/7. Why not do the same thing for my own body?

For these reasons, I decided to bust out the bottle service and put my eggs on ice. Or at least go talk to a doctor about it…

Your uterus is not going to fall out. And other bullshit the internet tells you.

Before freezing me eggs, I was pretty ignorant about how my own lady shit worked. Though I would constantly tell internet trolls to kiss my Jewish ovaries, I wasn’t exactly sure where they were located. So I scheduled my initial consultation with a fertility specialist, stayed up all night Googling, and arrived with my list of questions:

Will the procedure damage my ovaries? No. Will it decrease my chance of having kids naturally? No. Will the hormones drive me to the brink of insanity? No. Then I started to spin out…Will freezing my eggs make me look desperate to men? What if you don’t harvest the smartest, prettiest eggs? Am I too fucked up to have kids?

My doctor patiently listened to all my concerns then earnestly made her case for why egg freezing could be an option for me.

Everyone’s experience is going to be different. That’s why it’s important to get that one-on-one consultation. Fertility is like a Fuck Boi: unpredictable, shady, and mysterious. You may be hella fertile and require little hormones, or it may take more than one round to get enough eggs. Making the actual decision to freeze your eggs is the last ounce of control you’ll have throughout the entire process so trust your doctor, call your bestie, masturbate, and STOP GOOGLING.

The hormones do not make you crazy. Wait, define crazy….

First of all, CHILL. The entire hormone thing is less than two weeks. I’ve had farts last longer. The actual injection is pretty painless. Though there was some light bruising, plucking my chin hair is more uncomfortable. They give you hormones so that your ovaries will get super oversized and produce more follicle sacs aka where your eggs grow. It can feel scary and alienating at first but, like your roommate’s smelly boyfriend, you get used to it.

The effects of the hormones made me go up and down and everywhere in between. One day I’d be nauseous and depressed the next um….ya know that horny that’s like scary? Like holy crap, I’m about to climax in the middle of this Quiznos. In my estrogen-fueled haze, I asked out a guy I’d been crushing on only to be told by my doctor that I couldn’t have sex until two weeks after the procedure because I could risk twisting my ovaries. So we made out on the hood of my pollen soaked Toyota Yaris and I went home, ate ice cream, and passed out to Gossip Girl reruns. Which is better than sex anyway.

You will hate your partner even if you haven’t met them yet.

While on the hormonal roller coaster I grew to resent the future Mr. Kahnweiler. Here I am nauseous, bloated, and the only exercise I’m allowed to do is have panic attacks, while he’s somewhere playing Candy Crush and jerking off in the shower.

You will feel shame. The shame of privilege.

Freezing your eggs is a financial burden. It’s over $10,000! There are payment plans but I personally would not have been able to freeze my eggs without help from my parents. I recognize the extreme position of privilege I am in. I feel grateful. I also feel totally ashamed…

How can I waste my parent’s hard earned money? The world is so overpopulated, does it really need my offspring? How can I be so selfish?

I panicked.

When the shaming voice inside me gets this loud it’s hard to think clearly. I have to remind myself that this decision is not simple or without flaws. But ultimately, I want the choice to carry my own child. And in this nightmare of an administration, where Trump is waging a war on our pussies, freezing my eggs feels empowering, radical, and fucking dope.

You’ll still be able to kick ass at work.

Two days before the procedure when I was at peak hormonal cray-cray I had to meet with the head of a TV studio where my pilot was being considered. My only instructions “Be charming. Be hilarious. BE JESSIE” Usually, I can psych myself up for these meetings and “turn it on” but I was terrified at having to win someone over while I wasn’t feeling 100%. How was I supposed to be Jessie if I felt like dog poop? Nauseous and exhausted, I drove to Santa Monica chugging ginger ale, eating saltines and silently praying for a fender bender so I could bail…

But I crushed the meeting because I showed up exactly as myself, bloated ovaries and all.

Your past trauma will be all “You Up?”

As a bulimic in recovery, I am always haunted by the ghost “What if I damaged my body beyond repair?” This process of being so “in it” with the fertility treatment forced me to confront some of my past self-abuse. It was like I had to visit a spouse I used to beat up — there is nothing you can say that can do justice to what you’ve done. So, I tried to treat my body like a mother would treat her newborn. Lots of care, patience, and breasts. I’m serious, ain’t nothing like a self boobie-massage. I also tried to listen to the cues of my body instead of letting my brain run the show. My brain told me to go to spin class but my body just wanted a hug.

So whatever past experiences come up for you just know it is natural and transformative and beautiful — just like your pain.

The egg retrieval is intense but oh the sweet, sweet drugs.

It sounds a lot worse than it is. Basically, they take a crazy long needle and poke your extremely oversized follicles sacs in order to suction out whatever eggs are inside. But they give you those sweet Michael Jackson drugs and you’re totally knocked out for all of it. Nervous about the procedure, I asked them to play Drake in the operating room to help me feel at home. The last thing I remember was DMX crooning “Stop, drop, shut ’em down, open up shop. Oh, no That’s how Ruff Ryders roll” “Yes,” I thought as I slipped away into the deep-fried cosmos, “this is how the rough riders roll.”

When it’s over, you will miss it.

When any big creative project ends I get a huge case of the feels. Back alone in my apartment, I really felt a loss. Even though I didn’t actually have a baby my body low key thought I did. I missed my doctor and the whole team of boss ass nurses. No one cared about my vagina anymore. Whatever, my doctor misses me too even if she refuses to follow me back on Twitter.

You will feel empowered AF.

Bottom line — — Best. Decision. Ever.

Maybe I’ll defrost the eggs in ten years, maybe I’ll adopt, maybe I’ll be the quirky stepmom, or maybe I’ll just get more cats.

Point is, I am now an educated woman with choices.

Fuck yeah, baby.

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