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One Good Egg

a blog by Suzanne Rico, June 7, 2012

The largest cell in the human body is the egg. This exclusively female go-to cell is the size of a period (.), yet has the amazing capability to grow into a baby human — with help from a wiggly little friend. I demanded on the spot performance from my dot-sized eggs, when the reality is that for years I ignored their life-creating potential, not to mention their expiration date.

We girls are born with a couple of million eggs — instant fertile myrtles. When we hit puberty, there are about 400,000, left but by the time menopause starts upping the temperature on our bodies and squeezing our female hormones dry, most remaining eggs are pretty much fried. When I had my children in my early 40s (hard fought successes) I probably served up the last two eggs that hadn’t gone completely rotten.

Knowing that I was old by baby-making standards, I used to say a little prayer during my IVF cycles that centered on quality versus quantity. “Please let there be one good one left!” I’d plead to whatever fertility goddess might have been listening. “Please, just one good one!” And then I would imagine that one good egg hidden deep inside my body, elusive and James Bond like, and try to coax it into becoming my future baby. If it sounds like I went a little round the bend during this time, talking to eggs and trying to find a pinhead in an ovarian haystack, this is true. If someone had promised that wearing a burka or shaving my head would get me (and keep me) pregnant, I would have gladly complied.

When infertility is the result of waiting too long, guilt inevitably becomes part of the internal dialog. I was 37 when my husband and I started trying for a baby and I’d spent more than my fair share of time sitting on bar stools, chasing boys and trying not to get pregnant. I hadn’t even realized I was frittering away my reproductive prime, yet I still never missed an opportunity to dog pile on myself. But guilt is a wasted emotion when it comes to the madness of infertility — it doesn’t move you closer to getting that baby, and it may even make it harder.

So kiss the guilt goodbye and let yourself go a little goofy. Let yourself dig deep into your own personal egg bank and see what you come up with. Think small (.), but dream big. I’m enough of a veteran of the infertility wars to know that dreaming doesn’t always get it done, but if you can somehow connect with just one good egg, that may be all you need.

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