The Insurance Policy – Part 2


If you have found this post before Part 1, off you go….

If you read this blog in hope of an occasional saucy tidbit into a single woman’s sex life (come on guys, I know there a few of you and I’m sorry that I so often disappoint you), off you go too….

This is the second half of the story about me freezing my eggs.

Day 8-9 It’s the weekend and I’m glad of this as I’m feeling quite tired. I stay in bed until noon (mostly because I can, yay to no kids!) but I generally feel a bit off with no appetite at all and a slightly upset stomach again.

Fortunately I had no plans anyway so I can stay home and binge on Sex and the City. It’s also good to have a cheap weekend as I’m about to be super poor after spending $11.5k on my potential future children that I’m not even sure that I want now. It may be the raging hormones, but kids are really giving me the shits lately. As are all the Facebook mummy posts complaining about their lives or praising their kids for doing nothing of interest. Yay, little Johnny can drink from a cup. Who cares. I’ve been doing that for years. Where is my fucking prize?


Day 10 Up early on Monday morning for the blood test and scan that I hope will indicate these suckers are coming out on Wednesday. The ultrasound nurse seems really excited about my progress and says I’ll need to take the trigger shot home today as I’ll take it tonight if my procedure gets booked for Wed. She shows me the syringe and it’s huge! I immediately feel queasy but she assures me that the actual needle part is the same size as the one I’m used to. Why do they have to go and do that huh?!? Size matters people, it does.

I head off to work with my new syringe packed in a delightfully discreet black cooler bag with a random bright butterfly on it and some words that indicate it contains medication. I’ll have to slip this into the communal fridge at work and hope for the best considering the fridge is usually a high theft zone.

I’m called at lunchtime and told that I’ve got some nice big eggs, but the stragglers need a few more days to grow, so I’m booked in for another round of the blood test and scan on Wednesday.

I’m not too fussed about this as today I feel great!! I feel like all the sleep on the weekend has given me a burst of energy and because I’ll need to take a day off work soon, I work back until about 8pm to get ahead.

I’m kinda digging this no appetite and stomach bug thing too. Although I feel fat and bloated, I envision that I’ll end up coming out of theatre looking like Giselle when these eggs are out. Maybe I can stay on these drugs forever….

Day 11 Oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck! What the hell has happened overnight?!? I wake up with the most painful boobs EVER! Showering, towelling, dressing, it’s all torture to my nipples!! Driving to work I am for the first time regretting that I have a car with sport-tuned suspension as every single bump is killing me!! The cold office environment is also rather distressing. Could this be revenge from my hateful reaction to little Johnny’s cup triumph?!?

Day 12 Up early again for….you know the drill. Today I arrive and my nurse is unusually young. Up until now they have been older ‘mumsy’ types. This girl is young….and hot….and has ridiculously pretty blue eyes. Ok, this feels awks….

She is also really talkative and whilst I’m laying there waiting for her to get all set up for the scan she is chatting to me about random things. I haven’t noticed this before, but there is a basket of condoms on the ultrasound machine stand that are all unwrapped. The thought had crossed my mind during previous scans that these women were likely at a ‘super expert’ level of putting on condoms considering how many times they would do it a day, even more than a hooker I presume. But now I realise they would likely be foiled by the foil. I also can’t help but think that doesn’t seem all that hygienic, but I guess it’s kinda the same as rubber gloves in a box right?!?

Anyhoo, I also notice today the extreme amount of lube that goes on the condom on top of the ultrasound wand. It’s a blob the size of a large strawberry! Again I’m distracted by thoughts of them buying lube in barrels. Probably easier to just get it on tap. Anyhoo….

It all starts and we continue chatting which is still a little weird until she gets all excited by the amount of eggs she is seeing that appear to be of a good size. I can’t help but like her now, but it’s still weird that she keeps stopping what she is doing to make eye contact with me whilst we talk….whilst her hand is holding a wand in my hoo haa.

I’m told if my blood test is good I’ll likely be booked in for theatre on the Friday. I spend my day at work getting organised to take Friday off, and just before 5pm I get the call confirming tonight is trigger shot time. I’m to take it at the same time that I’ve been taking the rest of my injections, 10pm, then no more shots at all. I have to fast overnight and turn up at the day hospital at 7am for admission. I’ll likely be scheduled for about 8am, the procedure will take 20mins to half an hour and I can go home about 10am with a ‘responsible adult’ escorting me as I’ll be unable to drive following the light general anaesthetic.

Turns out the massive trigger shot needle wasn’t that massive. I put my last needle in my trusty yellow sharps container that’s been perched on my beside table for almost two weeks and get an early night.

Day 13 is bad. If I had known I would feel so shit that day I would have worked from home, but that wasn’t really an option as I’m crazy busy preparing for a brand launch the following week. My boobs are even sorer than before, I’m tired, my stomach is bloated and tender, it kinda hurts to sit and I’m on the verge of vomiting all day….until 4pm. All of a sudden I feel great again! And I stay at work until 8:30pm tying to get ahead considering I’m taking a day off before a long weekend.

Day 14 I’m up and off to the day hospital in the dark at 6:30am. When I arrive there are only men waiting in the reception area. I’m asked to fill out a heap of forms, pay a heap of money for the procedure that day and I’m asked 82 times what I’m allergic to. Unsurprisingly the answer does not change the more I’m asked.

I’m taken down to the theatre prep area and given an open backed cotton robe, with a terry towelling robe to put over the top and a blanket, all of which had been in a warmer. What a nice touch! Once changed I sit and wait for the anaesthesiologist to come and see me. There are magazines in the room with me and I see the top one has a story about Sonia Kruger wanting to have a second baby at 51. Fuck that shit! Sure, it’s potentially possible after doing this that I could do that myself, but I’m pretty sure if I get to 51 and I haven’t used these eggs, I would have stopped paying the freezer bill a while ago!

The anaesthesiologist guy comes and asks me all the questions I’ve answered on the forms. The anaesthetic nurse comes and does the same. My doctor comes and does it too. Then I’m taken down to theatre at 7:45am.

Shit this is a real theatre. There are lots of machines in the room and about 5 or 6 people who I assume are about to see my vagina. Everything is white and bright and I’m asked to lay down on the bed in the middle of the room. I’m not sure what I expected really, but it was probably something more like my doctors office when I get a pap test, the only difference being that I would be asleep for it today.

I’m laying on the bed whilst the anaesthesiologist is talking to me and putting a cannula in my hand and I notice the stirrup type leg rests beside the bed. Again I’m thinking about my vagina on full display with my legs in the stirrups and….

Holy shit where am I?! That anaesthetic guy pulled a swifty on me. It’s like I’ve been roofied. I’m in recovery and I can see a clock on the wall that says it’s 8:20am. I’m really sleepy but I’m feeling ok which is a relief as I’ve woken up from anaesthetic before and been sick over the side of the bed….and been told off by the nurse as I didn’t wait for her to give me a bucket. Sorry lady, I was not in control of my bodily functions!!

A nurse comes over and asks how I am and I tell her I’m fine, but sleepy. She walks away and I drift in and out trying to make my eyes stay open. She comes back a little later when I’m more awake and pulls back the blanket to get my hand out. They write the number of eggs they have collected on your hand so that you know as soon as you wake up and my hand is telling me….


Sweeeeeeeeeeeeet! The scans were showing 8-9 eggs in each ovary so I had in my head I would get 16 or more. This is good!

After a while I’m feeling ok and the nurse gets me out of bed and moves me to the recovery lounge area to eat some breakfast. I’m put in an armchair and given cheese and crackers (WTF do you call this, French breakfast?), some cookies, an apple juice, a bottle of water and a coffee.

My blood pressure is a bit low and I’m told I’ll have to wait until it comes up. I’m offered more cheese and crackers and let’s face it, cheese and crackers are always the best little meal option on a tight ass flight, so I go again.

I’m sitting there alone with a number of other women around me also recovering who are all sitting their with their male partners. I overhear that the couple next to me are both called Peter. Yup, Peta and Peter. Seriously.

Soon I’m feeling better, my dad has arrived to pick me up (because #matureadult) and I’m ready to go home.

I’m told the scientists will analyse my eggs and call me in the afternoon to let me know how many eggs could be frozen. I hadn’t really considered that the number of my hand would not be the final number up until this point.

I get home and mum has made me a care package of her amazing cinnamon scrolls and chicken pot pies for later. The scientist calls shortly after and tells me of the 18 eggs they collected, only 12 were mature and suitable for freezing. Immediately I’m disappointed. A 33% failure rate is more than I expected. Even though 9-12 frozen eggs per cycle is average and I was on the upper end of average, I’m still frustrated that I so quickly went from overachiever to just average.

But I had in my mind originally that I was hoping for 12, maybe I’d get 8 or 9 and if it was 6 or less I would have to go back for another attempt. 12 is enough for me to feel like I’ve got a reasonable insurance policy, so I am going to leave it at that.

My folks leave and I log in to work and respond to a few emails. Everything seems under control so I lay on the lounge for a bit…which turned into most of the afternoon. I could not stay awake and moving around hurt. This was the most painful my insides had been so far.

The day after I’m still really tired and tender and I again spend most of the day on the lounge. I’m really glad my procedure was done on a Friday so I had the next day to recover as well. By Sunday I’m not so tired anymore, nor as sore, but my boobs are still killing!!

Who knows what will happen from here. With my current dislike for children I may never use the eggs, but I’m glad that I will have the option there and available to me. Or I may not use them because I end up having a baby naturally, but at least I know I have back up and I can feasibly delay my choice to have kids (or not) for many more years than nature usually intends.

All in all, I’m glad I did it and it wasn’t that much of a disruption to my life. Assuming my boobs go back to normal. Otherwise I’ll need a new more sensible car….

The Insurance Policy – Part 1


Guys, as in men, you may want to skip this post. It involves girly things and if you are the type that hates the word ‘period’ as much as women hate the word ‘moist’, I think you should stop reading now….

Still reading? Ok, well here is your second warning. This post is about babies…kinda. If you are the type of guy that thinks women in their 30’s are just wanting to have babies with you (which is actually quite frustrating and totally untrue, sometimes we just want to have fun with you too, seriously…) you should probably stop reading now.

This post is about egg freezing. I’ve been on a dating hiatus for a while now, partly due to starting a new job which has been keeping me insanely busy, but also because of my impending egg freezing treatment. I thought it would be best to refrain from dating someone new whilst I’m a hormonal nightmare.

This whole process started early last year. I was approaching my 34th birthday, I had a number of friends who had recently had a baby and I was certainly nowhere close to being in a situation of having one myself, nor did I really want to be. I was dating and I had in my head that I would have kids at some point, but I still felt it was a long way off.

But after hearing many a story of friends my age (or younger) struggling to conceive naturally, I understood that I perhaps didn’t have a ‘long way off’ to play with. Also, I was approaching my ‘scary age’ of 35. You know, the age at which you think it’s make or break for baby making. Many years before this I had thought 35 would be the age at which I would ‘buy a baby’ if I hadn’t met someone, which to me meant going down the sperm donor path and going it alone.

But at almost 34 I still felt very young. My friends that had had children, who were also about 34, also seemed far too young to have children. Not in the irresponsible parent kind of way, more that we were still laughing at ridiculously childish things ourselves. So I got a referral to an IVF doctor and thought about looking into egg freezing. I thought about it for about 4 months. I was busy finishing my MBA, then taking a holiday, then I was enjoying being between jobs, dating etc and finally mid last year I made an appointment at the IVF clinic.

I intended to go and just get the blood test done that assesses your egg reserves and let that make the decision for me. If it was low for my age, I would definitely look at egg freezing. If it wasn’t I would probably give it some more time. I didn’t realise though that I would have to go off the pill for an accurate read on the test and having been on the pill since about 16, it took a few months to even get my period back to normal to be able to do the test.  By then it was about October last year and as well as the blood test I had to have one of those delightful internal ultrasounds that commences with a woman rolling a condom on a giant wand and lubing it up, plus a round of standard STI tests to check everything was in order for the egg freezing to go well.

After enduring all that, I returned to the IVF clinic to get my results. Everything was good and my egg levels were ‘normal’ for a 34 year old woman. The bad news about that was that there was no chance of being deemed fertility challenged and getting medicare to foot some of the bill for egg freezing. The doc ran through the costs with me. $11.5K. Yikes!!! I knew it would be about that, but hearing it still hurt. And it might be more. Many people do it 2, even 3 times to make sure they have enough eggs in the freezer to counter the failure rate. On average I might get 9-12 eggs out of a cycle, but when I choose to use them half may die when they are defrosted, some more will swipe left on the chosen sperm (who I may or may not know the name of…) and some more just won’t implant. On average 1 in 6 could lead to a pregnancy down the track. So all this for a one or two chance, hmmm I don’t like those odds!

All of the things that I would rather spend $11.5K on were running through my mind. A Vegas trip? Part way to a second car (I really want a spare convertible ;p) Hell, I could even get a boob job for that!

But the doc had told me that up to 35 is pretty much the last of the ‘optimum’ time to freeze your eggs. They will of course do it after that, but because fertility declines so significantly from 35 the chances of it being all that beneficial declines significantly too.

I knew I was at least 2 years off realistically being in a position of wanting a child (at best). I was single and even if I met my unicorn the next day, I’m not a quick commitment person and it would be very unlike me to decide I wanted to have a baby with someone too fast, plus I still felt like my lifestyle did not really have space for caring for a baby at this point.

So I decided to go ahead with freezing my eggs with the idea that it was insurance that would possibly safeguard against the decision to have a baby or not being taken out of my hands. I also thought at the time that it would bump out my scary age from 35 to 39. If I still hadn’t met a potential future baby daddy by then, I would go it alone with a sperm donor. Done. Locked in. Let’s do this…

I was about to accept a new job at the time so expecting that I will soon be getting a salary again, I started proceedings aiming to complete a cycle before Day 1 of my new job. I headed back to the clinic for a lesson on how to inject myself with the hormones each night and practised on a little pin cushion thing which was supposed to replicate my flesh. I felt awkward and weird and the pen type syringe was simple, but the proper syringe freaked me out a little. I wrapped up the session quickly and thought I’d work it out by reading the instructions, or surely there would be a youtube vid I could watch later. I’m so Gen-Y….almost.

But then I changed my mind about that job and decided to hold out for something I wanted more. Early this year that opportunity came along and I booked an appointment with the IVF doc to get started again as my original referral had run out. I waited a month or so for the appointment, then again I had to do some more tests, then finally I was ready to go early May.

Just before I was about to start I was up early one Saturday morning to pick up my ultrasound scans. I was stopped at traffic lights, feeling hungover as I’d drunk a bottle of red in the bath the night before after a particularly big week at work and I was watching some parents on the sidelines of a soccer game in drizzly rain. The kids looked really little and clearly had NFI what they were doing on the field, the parents looked tired, bored and like they were hating their lives and I couldn’t help but think, fuck I really don’t want to be doing that! Not now, not in 4 years time at 39. Perhaps my new scary age is actually 42….

Then my period came earlier than expected that day and because I hadn’t sent back all my forms just yet, I had to delay for another month. Hmmm two false starts already…is this a sign?!?

But I decided to just go for it after all the effort I had already expended on the issue and this is how it played out..

Day 1 On day 3 of my period I head into the IVF clinic to do my first blood test and pick up my drugs. When I arrive at reception there is another patient, a man, who is carrying something and looking very uncomfortable. He is told to go downstairs to the day hospital so I assume he is dropping off a sample… There is another girl by herself who looks about my age and seems quite relaxed, as well as a couple who look quite anxious.

I’m called in quickly, a simple blood test is done and I’m given a cooler bag with my drugs, some of which I need to get home and into the fridge promptly. I’m in and out of the clinic within 10 minutes. When I get home and unpack the cooler bag, I’m quite surprised by how many vials of drugs I have!


I was heading out to a dinner that night, which was to involve wine (it’s ok, alcohol is only really an issue when you intend to make the baby as part of the process), so I made sure that I read the instructions before I went with a clear mind so I could take the drugs as soon as I got home. You must inject within about an hour of the same time every night, so I had to be home at a reasonable hour, or be up late for the next two weeks.

When I get home I prep the syringe pen, the needle inserts easily into the skin near my belly button and I think I’ve done a good job until I see the reading on the side of the pen shows only 12.5 units went in, instead of the required 200. I didn’t realise the pen would kind of click each 12.5 units and I had to keep going until it zero’d out. So I had to inject myself again to finish off the job. Not ideal, but Day 1 was done without any drama.

Day 2-3 goes fine, no real side effects that were noticeable at all apart from possibly being a little more tired than usual.

Day 4 Things start to get more real. I’ve got cramps, I’m a bit bloated and I’m feeling a little spacey late in the afternoon at work. I also have a bit of an upset stomach, but all in all the side effects are quite manageable.

Day 5 I’m up early to pop into the IVF clinic for a blood test on my way to work to check how my hormone levels are responding. I’m in and out within 10 minutes again and they call about lunchtime with good news. My hormone levels are rising quickly, so my eggs are apparently growing well and I’m good to start taking the next medication that night. This means two injections each night and it’s now time to use the proper syringe. That needle seems sightly thicker and is definitely harder to insert. It also makes the skin around the injection site a bit red and itchy, but that subsides quickly. I’m starting to feel quite tired in the evenings now but again it’s manageable.

The nurse told me that day that I’ll possibly be good for egg collection by Day 10 based on how quickly my levels have come up. Yippee! Maybe this will be short and sweet…

Day 6 The bloat is getting worse and I’m now looking for the loosest work clothes I own when I’m getting ready in the morning. I had a shit day at work that day and got stuck back at work late finishing something urgent, possibly because my mind was again rather spacey and productivity was low! I was also really cranky and close to punching a number of people in the face….but to be fair, I think they deserved it anyway, it wasn’t the drugs talking ;p

Day 7 I’m up early again today for another blood test followed by an ultrasound to check how the eggs are growing and I get to watch on the screen as my follicles are measured. Not that I can really decipher much, but it looks like there are a lot of potential eggs there. Again the clinic is really efficient and although it’s not the most pleasant thing to experience an internal ultrasound first thing in the morning, I’m glad that it’s over and done with and I’m on my way to work in no time.

When the nurse calls early that afternoon I’m told the eggs are growing well, but not as fast as the previous blood test indicated. So I’m to keep doing what I’m doing and to come back on Day 10 for another blood test and ultrasound. Maybe they’ll be ready to hatch by Day 12 instead.

To be continued….

Read Part 2 now.