The chicken or the egg?
And with this question, my egg freezing journey began…
When I was young, around 11 years old, I vividly recall the conversations with my best friend about having a family, and more specifically, children.
In no uncertain terms, I stated, “ I’ll definitely have 2 kids by the time I’m 25!”
My mother had me at 23, which was quite normal at the time I was born, and to my friends and I, 25 seemed like not only a lifetime away, but it sounded so OLD.
25 came around, and I was just graduating from University with a minutiae of my senses still intact, barely even thinking about getting married anytime soon, let alone having children.
And then, just as quickly, it seemed, I was 37 and in serious contemplation of egg freezing – and I don’t mean for making tempura.
Expectation vs. My Reality
So how did I get from the assured 11 year old in the school playground, to the apprehensive 37 year old, sitting in the pink palace of Melbourne’s top fertility specialist?
This is the question I was asking myself, as I sat, slightly bewildered, in a hot pink velvet shell (aka my seat), feet not touching the floor (who has chairs so high?), in a space that would be akin to what I imagine Willy Wonka’s house would look like, had he been female and running a day spa facility for colourblind baby mamas, waiting for my appointment with the Queen B herself.
I jest, but it was a solemn moment in my life, one that, as with most solemn moments in my life, I handled with restraint and self-control, choosing first to deal with facts and figures.
I have been surrounded by, and in the scientific and medical fields almost my entire life.
I can Cochrane Review randomised controlled clinical trials with the best of ‘em.
It seems though, that Cochrane Reviews for what your next step is when you find yourself divorced at 35, with no children, are slim to file not found.
I have always been ambitious and goal-orientated. Determination and focus are my strengths. Marrying someone who was even more so, it seemed inevitable that our careers would take centre-stage.
We were always working towards building something more – more security, more success, more, more, MORE.
Until all that wanting more pushed us so far from each other that my now former husband decided, on his own terms, that he did not ever want children.
As with all relationship breakdowns, there are many words, decisions and broken promises that lead to their eventual demise, and this, for us, was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
During the early stages of our separation, a work colleague took me aside and without sugarcoating (excuse the dental pun!) told me, “Kristina, you have to freeze your eggs.“
In the midst of a heart-wrenching, soul-crushing, lengthy divorce process that went on for a number of years, this was literally so far removed from my mind that she may as well have been telling me it was time for a career change to go and join Richard Branson’s space expedition team.
What finally made me take matters into my own hands though, was finding out that my former husband, while we were separated but not yet divorced, and while I held out some slim hope for a reconciliation, was going to have a baby, with a woman who he had claimed in the final year of our marriage, was “just a friend.“
Some life lessons can, quite literally, take a lifetime to learn.
Some come at you so hard and fast that you barely have time to blink.
And the biggest awakening for me, after this thunderbolt shook me right to my core?
It was that I had been living my entire adult life for others, the people-pleaser in me taking centre stage at all opportunities that involved my nearest and dearest, in order to be loved, to gain approval, and to keep the peace.
And look where that had landed me at this very point in my life (hint: not in Kansas anymore Toto!).
It was written in the stars, of course.
Fun fact: we Aquarians (especially a Double Aquarian with a Libra moon like me!) are the Peacekeepers and Humanitarians of the Zodiac.
But that meant that for the longest time, I didn’t really know who I was, and I had sacrificed my happiness, my own peace, for the false belief that if everyone around me was happy, then so was I.
My awakening back to my authentic self – who I Be – has been and will continue to be an ongoing process of personal growth and transformation.
And I really had to sit with the big questions and get completely honest with myself – do I really want children? If so, how far am I prepared to go to have them? Would I have a child on my own? Do I have what it takes to be a great mother?
Some of these questions, I have answered.
Others are swirling around in an ongoing discussion with all of my spirit guides… 💫😉
The Beauty of the Present
I absolutely adore children. And they generally adore me. I deal with patients who are children on an almost daily basis, and I love to spend time with the incredible children of my amazing friends.
But, I also love my life, sans child, now more than ever.
I have finally had the freedom to discover ME – not in the context of being a partner, or a professional, but in the context of conscious self awareness, in that of my passions, my desires, my drive, what propels ME forward.
I have discovered new and exciting hobbies; I have the freedom to go where I want, when I want, with whom I want; I have travelled the world, chasing Auroras and discovering the Cradle of Mankind; I have fallen completely in love with the beauty of Nature and found true kindred spirits and soul mates.
And my Sleep App tells me my SleepScore is in the 95th percentile (I’ve always been a high achiever!), something I’m sure would be drastically different were I to find myself in mummy land.
Of course, there are difficult days. It seems every week, there is a new pregnancy or baby announcement, and somehow, the majority of conversations that I’m surrounded by seem to gravitate towards babies and children.
Sometimes, during those conversations, I find myself thinking of whether that is something I will ever have the joy and blessing to experience.
But, more often than not, I am so incredibly grateful that I have this day, and every other day that I am blessed by, to be able to continue building a beautifully meaningful and flawed life from the rubble that was, and to truly cherish that, no matter what.
An Epic Journey
I recently spent over a month volunteering in Africa – something that has been on my heart for as long as I can remember and an experience that has profoundly transformed my life, in every way (that in itself is another blog topic!).
Most of that time was spent with children – beautiful, innocent, resilient, joyous children who cracked my heart open in the most incredible of ways.
The love I felt from and for these children is unlike a love I have ever felt before. I imagine it is close to the love a mother feels for her child.
It reinforced for me that a mother is not necessarily someone who has given birth. It is a feeling of unconditional love that never dies, it is having infinite patience, being a protector and guide, the greatest source of comfort for a soul.
So, do I really have what it takes to be a great mother, however it may come about? I believe so.
And when the spirit guides conspire with the Universe to finally make their decision, there’s just over a baker’s dozen chilling in their freezer, just waiting to hatch! ✨
A Final Note
Assisted Reproductive Technologies, of which egg freezing is one, are costly, invasive, time and life consuming procedures.
The fact that I am on a first name basis and know the life stories of the hospital staff after multiple procedures is evidence of this!
They are not for the faint of heart.
I am in awe of the women who go through these procedures, all holding out hope for an outcome that will change their lives, one way or another.
Women truly are incredible.
And more than anything, I hold so much gratitude that in our lives, we have the incredible opportunity to have such procedures available to us, to be able to create true miracles.
Written by Kristina Cakarovski