Pregnancy

If Kim Kardashian Has Taught Us Anything, It’s As Soon As You Freeze Your Eggs You Will Meet The One And Have Babies

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shutterstock_131411447Who can forget the Season 7 finale of Keeping Up With The Kardashians? Ok, fine, I didn’t watch it either, but we all know what happened. Kim Kardashian, still married to Kris Humphries and in a very serious and exclusive relationship with Kayne West, decided she needed even more options in her life. To cover all her bases, she enlists her mother to inject her with hormones as part of the process of freezing her eggs – you know – in case her divorce was ever finalized and West never came home from his most recent trip to Paris. For all her dubious decisions, this is one I can get behind.

At 31, Kim felt the ticking of her biological clock — no doubt pressured by her sister Kourtney’s two children and Khloe’s solid marriage — but refused to be a slave to it. Instead she was proactive and took her fertility into her own hands. Fast forward just four months and Kim is seriously in love and pregnant. Rest assured though ladies, this doesn’t only happen in the land of celebrities.

Sarah Elizabeth Richards, author of Motherhood Rescheduled: The New Frontier of Egg Freezing and the Women Who Tried It, had an even more profound experience while freezing her eggs. When we take the reins of those things we can actually control, the rest often seems to just fall into place. She explains in the Wall Street Journal:

Egg freezing stopped the sadness that I was feeling at losing my chance to have the child I had dreamed about my entire life. It soothed my pangs of regret for frittering away my 20s with a man I didn’t want to have children with, and for wasting more years in my 30s with a man who wasn’t sure he even wanted children. It took away the punishing pressure to seek a new mate and helped me find love again at age 42.

Richards speaks candidly about the release valve she found in taking charge of fertility. We commonly hear stories of the women who use vitrification (egg freezing) to pursue their career with fierce intensity, but Richards’ point of view boasts about the freedom she took back in her personal life. With her eggs safely stored, she was able to lose that mid-30s anxiety.

I spent the majority of my 30s alternately panicked about my love life or feeling kicked in the gut every time I saw an adorable child. Fertility anxiety isn’t exactly helpful when you’re trying to snag the locker next to Sheryl Sandberg in the executive gym. And it’s a buzz kill on dates when you feel compelled to ask the guy sitting across from you, clutching his craft beer, “So do you think you might want kids someday?”

Having children isn’t for everyone, but some women who are certain they want to be mothers don’t have great options once they reach a certain biological age.

Up until now, a woman who bumped up against her baby deadline could visit a sperm bank, make peace with being “child-free” or eventually break her heart and bank pursuing futile fertility treatments in an attempt to “snatch a child from the jaws of menopause,” as the economist Sylvia Ann Hewlett so famously warned a decade ago while encouraging women to plan their families as carefully as their careers.

Richards would encourage women to freeze their eggs even earlier than she did at 36. If you don’t, she believes you are surrendering a powerful tool in your arsenal of options.

As soon as I woke up in the recovery room, I no longer felt as though I were watching my window to have a baby close by the month. My future seemed full of possibility again.

Amid all the talk about women “leaning in” and “having it all,” the conversation has left out perhaps the most powerful gender equalizer of all—the ability to control when we have children.

Although Richards comes from a traditional heterosexual, career-driven point of view, her lessons resonate with any woman who is interested in forging their own path to motherhood – or at least wants to keep the option open for consideration.

(photo: patpitchaya/Shutterstock)