A day or so has passed though, and I continued to get responses. The responses have helped me feel less helpless. They've been encouraging and supportive, which I appreciate, It makes me feel much better that others are listening and maybe learning something for their girls. It makes my experience hurt a little less knowing it could help someone else someday.
I'm sending this email with a great amount of hesitancy. I send it not to be preachy, or to push some science on you, or suggest that "traditional families" are the only way to go in this world, or to tell you how to raise your kids.
I’m emailing you because you all have a daughter. Maybe even more than one. I wish I’d known to ask the right questions while there was time to ask, so I’m sharing this with you so that you know to answer the questions before your daughter knows to ask.
I share this very personal information not for encouragement, pity, sympathy, or out of some weird need to over-share.
I share this because if in sharing this I can spare your daughters the same disappointment in their future that I’m feeling right now, it will be worth it for me.
At 38, still single, and with no interest in having a child by myself, this summer I looked into having my eggs frozen. I’d considered it a few years ago, but thought “oh, I’ll meet somebody. I have time! I’m sure it’s not too late for me!” Cut to present day and wouldn't you know, it’s too late for me (and before you tell me that “miracles can happen!”, I’m telling you, the results of my test could not have been worse.)
I believe in adoption. I’m all for it. And I hope I get a shot at parenthood, still, with an adoption scenario someday. This entry is not a knock on that amazing, awesome option.
Here is the point; according to the doctor I met with, genetics plays the biggest role in predicting your child-bearing deadline. Whatever the deadline was for the other women in your family, it will likely be for you too (and your daughter). I had no idea that menopause starts relatively early in my family. I just never knew to ask or that it mattered in some way. About five years before you start menopause (from what I’ve read), you become increasingly less fertile. Assuming you have had no major medical procedures like chemo (which can damage your reproductive system), it’s genetics that can tell you when you’re running out of time (and healthy eggs). Genetics and a blood test (for those of you who might have adopted girls).
So basically, I’m hoping that you will simply learn from my experience, and consider a conversation with your 25-30 year old daughter in the future (mark your calendar). You may not believe in this sciency stuff and that’s totally fine, obviously this email isn’t for you, (and I have not sent it with any intention to promote the procedure). You might think, well, if my daughter wants to have children surely she will be with someone by the time she’s the age to have children!
Ask Cheryl and Peter Scott. I’m pretty sure they would have said the same about me.
Maybe your daughter will be totally career driven but still hope for kids at some point. Egg freezing can take some of that pressure off to meet a deadline, but it needs to be done when you’re eggs are still healthy and young (something I learned the hard way).
The thing is, if she chooses to not have her eggs frozen, so be it! If she chooses to have her eggs frozen but then never uses them, so be it! If she chooses to not have kids at all, or adopt from the get-go, super!
I just wanted to share my story with you so you know what I learned, in case you didn't happen to know this fact yourself.
Dear Cydney,Thank you. Sharing this is really important and I really appreciate it. I am more often than not totally surprised at what we don't know and have to find out the hard way. I think you and the other intelligent, thoughtful women of our generation are changing the rules and being open and honest about issues that for many years went undisclosed, and not talked about. Thank you and thank you again. This is information that I will share with (my daughter) someday probably around the same time I tell her to never have sex anyway. No really, this is so important to know and I know that menopause also starts early in my family as well. I cannot imagine what you are going through personally, but please know that I have you in my thoughts and am hoping for strength and peace within, and that you carry the same amazing attitude that you have had as long as I have known you. You are such a great, cool, funny, and daring woman and you will get through this. By sharing this is taking action and that is such a big step in the process of healing. Much love to you sister:)
Oh, Cyd. I'm so sorry you had to face this difficult life lesson. It's totally unfair and disappointing and sad. This was a very personal and heart felt email. I certainly appreciate your hope to spare these girls the same disappointment from lost opportunity or ignorance. I promise I will keep this message in mind as I watch my girls grow up & wrestle with love and family choices down the line. I hope you find other opportunities for your own future as a woman and mother. You'd make a fantastic mom, Cyd, however that may work out. I'm glad you have that hope. & perseverance. Xoxo. I love you, friend. -Suzanne
I love you and Thank you! - Meg
Thank you so much for sharing this. I think it is a very important point. You are an amazing person to take this news and turn it around to try and help another's situation. I will certainly remember this . :)
Hope your summer is winding down nicely. Sunsets and the golden hour are getting earlier and earlier. Talk to you soon.
I read this yesterday, cried and have been thinking of you and what I wanted to say since then. I am so sorry you are going through this, life really sucks and is not fair sometimes. I cannot imagine how disappointing and difficult what you are going through is. I applaud and appreciate your honesty and willingness to share such a personal difficult matter. Your email was wonderfully stated and as a mother of a girl I really really cannot thank you enough for being willing to put your situation out there. Kids do not come with an instruction manual and you just hope to do your best raising them. They say it “takes a village” right? Having friends who help you fill in the pieces on what your children need to know and things you should tell them is critical and we are all lucky to have you provide us with this important information.
Honesty, caring, ability to share, being willing to open yourself up…you will be an amazing mother one day.