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Egg Freezing - The Emotional Aspect
a blog by Sherika Wynter, Febuary 18, 2014
Let me start by saying, I am not an outwardly emotional person. I float through emotions quite often during the day (some refer to that as moody) but seldom do I act on those emotions. With that being said, if you are a single woman, egg freezing is not for the faint at heart.
I’ll never forget the day I did my first injection. A friend of mine FaceTime’d me as moral support. I had everything set up about an hour before. It took me around 30 min to calm down. “Am I really doing this? Is this really what I want to do?” and my favorite, “Ahhhh I’m about to stab myself!! Ahhhh!!” It felt like a science experiment of sort… a cool one at that. I was doing something many don’t even dream of, but I wasn’t doing it because I wanted to. I was doing it because I was told I had to.
As the daily injections continued, they became a part of my routine. It didn’t affect me at work or in my free time. I didn’t really have any emotion attached to them. I just knew, around 7pm, I was “out of pocket” to the world. I didn’t share my decision with many people. In fact, I didn’t share it with most of my family. The stigma attached to it was not something I wanted to add to my emotional plate. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I knew family usually makes everything worse than it needs to be.
With that said, I didn’t have much emotional support. My mother is very squeamish and could not and would not do the injections for me. She “watched” once and I believe it was because my grandmother asked her too. My grandmother was my nurse. She would remember which side I injected the day before and speak to me while getting things together to lessen whatever anxiety she thought I had. I never told her how I felt but she was convinced her conversation was needed…and she was right. My father isn’t an emotional guy; being his first born and only daughter, seeing me go through anything is not something he can handle. So I was pretty much alone most of the time.
I had one breakdown during the entire ordeal. That was when I understood the definition of being alone. My final injection, the one you have to inject in your butt muscle was an eye-opening event. I asked a friend of mine to do it for me and her response was, “I don’t know if we are that cool.” Her words hurt. It was, in that moment, I realized how alone I was in the process. So I woke up at 12:20am Sunday morning for my scheduled injection at 12:30am. Surprisingly, my mother set her alarm too and called me to do her part. She tried. I appreciated it. After I injected myself, I just broke down and cried. I cried because I was too young to be going through this. I cried because I felt like a lab rat, pumped with all levels of hormones with no guarantee of success. I cried because this isn’t how I thought life at 27 would look like. I cried because I was alone, without a partner, without anyone, in my apartment, preparing for my future.
The day of my retrieval, I told my nurse, “Make sure I wake up. If I don’t wake up, I’m going to kill you!” We both laughed. I looked at my doctor. I said, “I trust you, you know? Don’t mess this up!” When I was in middle of consciousness, I remember my doctor saying to my mom, “She’s so strong. I don’t know how she does it.” My mom responded, “She doesn’t get it from me.” That’s all I really remember.
I don’t blame those around me for their lack of support because, honestly, I thought I was strong enough to handle it on my own. If I had to do it again, I would’ve shared more with those who showed they cared.
I have a picture of the final injection hanging on my memory board in my house. It reminds me of how strong I never knew I was. I never knew I could inject myself daily. I never knew I would ever go through with the freezing process. It also reminds me that I am a young woman with a low egg count, a double edged sword of sort.