I have received quite a number of emails from those in the single and married communities, weighing in on the “freezing your eggs” topic. I didn’t know I was going to start a real debate when I wrote about the topic a few weeks ago. I never know which topics are going to hit the target and cause a stir and which aren’t. But this one certainly has. I don’t like to beat a dead horse, but I do want people to get a chance to have their say. I will publish excerpts of some of the emails I have received and then I will leave this topic (for a while) as I have other articles ready to go.
As I always say, everyone is free to feel whatever they feel. We don’t always have to agree on everything.
“…I made the decision when I was 35 to freeze my eggs. It was the practical thing to do. A friend told me that she had the procedure done, and the more I thought about it, the more it made sense for me to do… I went through with the procedure. I didn’t hide it, but I didn’t announce it to the world. A year and a half later, I met my husband. We were able to conceive naturally, but I felt more secure and less pressured, knowing that I already had an alternate plan in case there would be an issue...”
“I thought I’d be married by the age of 47, but I’m not. I still date and want the opportunity to be a father, to be called “Abba” or “Daddy.” I have become proactive and began asking shadchanim or whoever tries redting a shidduch to me if the woman has taken steps to make conceiving a child easier, especially if I am dating someone over the age of 40. At first, I thought it was a rude, invasive question to ask, but a shadchan I have used for years told me I was doing the right thing. Women aren’t the only ones that want to have children. Men do, as well. I’m real and know that a girl under the age of 35 probably won’t agree to go out with me. I’m just making sure that I am doing all I can to cover the bases since, as a man, I can’t really do much more. And yes, I have dated women over 40 who did not freeze their eggs. I just like knowing beforehand...”
“…It’s just not for me. I can’t explain it, but it just doesn’t feel right. I hope that when I do get married, Hashem will let us conceive and have a baby relatively easily. I understand it may be hard or not happen at all, depending on when I get married. But just because you take the steps to freeze your eggs doesn’t mean that it will be easy getting pregnant when the time comes for you. Nothing is a sure bet…”
“Good for you for bringing up this topic, whether or not you are for or against it. Even if someone doesn’t want to have the procedure done, I feel that it is important that people should know that there are options. Yes, I know that freezing your eggs guarantees nothing, and there may be extra heartbreak if the couple still has issues and aren’t able to have a baby of their own, even after she thought she did all the right things. I am a strong believer in “Knowledge is Power.” In today’s age of modern science, since unfortunately the single population is getting older, this is something frum singles should be aware of. It’s not a taboo topic! Do whatever you want, but make an informed decision…”
“I haven’t thought about this at all. I’m almost in my mid 40s and, yes, I do envision myself married with a family, but I never thought about what women would have to go through to really make it easier or a reality. As a guy, there is only so much I can do. Yes, I’m hopeful children will come along somewhere down the road after I get married. Now, I’m thinking of having a conversation about steps the woman may have taken, after I have been out and dated a woman more than a couple of times – when things start to get serious. Maybe you can give me some pointers of how to start that awkward conversation…” [I am in communication with this fellow.]
Now this is a letter a bit different from the rest, but it still deals with the topic of preparing for motherhood when you are still single. I thanked the email writer, who wanted to remain anonymous, with sharing some of her story with me and readers. Hopefully, some can learn from what she did – learn what decision is right for them. Like I said, the email is a little different from the rest. I took out an excerpt:
“…and here I was, 37, a doctor, with this need to be a mother. I would dote over my nieces and nephews and friends’ children. But I never met anyone who was right for me. I was tired of dating. But I knew I wanted to be a mother… It took some time to convince my family, but I knew I’d be a great mother, even without a father to give my child. I was financially stable, had lots of love to give, with a supportive family…Why was I denying myself the right to be a mother just because I hadn’t found a husband. And when I did find a husband, who is to say he would want children or make a good father? All I knew was me and what I felt. I did think about what this child would face in yeshivah and growing up – even about shidduchim – before I even adopted. But I wanted to be real about this. In the end, I made the decision to adopt a child. I went through with the long process of it all, but within a year, I had my one-year-old daughter in my arms and knew this was right for me.
There were tough times when I couldn’t be home and my daughter seemed to think the nanny was her mother, but I knew these busy times wouldn’t last and I’d have a real bond with my child… Three years later I met my husband. He had been previously married with children of his own. He didn’t think it was odd or strange that I adopted as a single, frum woman. He thought it I was a “rare diamond,” someone who did what she wanted, not caring about the gossip it would cause or what people thought of me. But I wanted to be a mother so much that not even being the subject of all the yentas’ discussions could dissuade me, and that’s what he found endearing about me. I know that others thought I did something strange and “ruined” my chances of finding a husband. I know that my parents and siblings have been asked countless times, “Why did she do it? Doesn’t she know it will make it harder for her to get married because she adopted?” But my family is great, as are my husband, stepchildren, and our daughter. A year after we were married, my husband asked if he could adopt my daughter as his own. He loved and treated her just as much as his biological children… Baruch Hashem, I just gave birth to a healthy, happy baby boy. I didn’t freeze eggs or take any special steps. I just davened and Hashem granted our wish.
I am not saying singles should adopt children on their own. There is a lot to consider, for yourself and for the child. But I wanted this so badly. I didn’t care what others thought of me. I did what I wanted that made me happy. I dated a few men other than my husband, who understood and accepted that I had adopted my daughter, but some men didn’t want to date me at all. To them I say, they lost out on having a beautiful, funny, lovable little girl in their lives. Baruch Hashem, I know I’m blessed to have found my daughter, my husband, our son, and to have our blended family...”
Yes, this story is different from others. I included it here to show that everyone needs to do whatever is right for him or her. Freeze or don’t freeze your eggs. Announce it to the world or don’t announce it. People should do whatever makes them happy.
Hatzlachah to you all!