Eggcentric or Not? For the Love of Grandchildren!
I gave birth to my only son when I was 39 years old. I had been listening to the proverbial biological ticking clock but not paying much attention as I was enjoying my career. When my son was about 8 years old he asked me, “Mom, shouldn’t I be older or you be younger?” Most of his friends’ parents had their children in their early 30s.
Back in 1991, when he was born, there were not as many options for infertile couples. I have friends who battled infertility due to a variety of causes such as endometriosis, poor ovulation and low sperm counts. Some tried in vitro fertilization, some went on high dose prescriptions and some opted for adoption. Some gave birth and some did not. Freezing eggs was not an option as far as I know.
Today many women are worried about postponing childbirth for many reasons. There are more options ranging from surrogate pregnancies to freezing eggs and embryos. I recently read in the N.Y. Times that grandparents who desperately hope to enjoy grandchildren are now helping their daughters pay for the costly procedure of freezing multiple eggs. One potential grandmother reported that she now had 25 possible grandbabies!
I can appreciate the hope that accompanies this effort but I find it a bit disturbing. How many years can frozen eggs last and could they get “freezer burn” like other things do? What about disposing of the leftovers? I read that divorced couples have custody battles over frozen embryos and eggs and that they are considered legal property that should be included in a will.
I once saw a program on Oprah Winfrey dedicated to a group of adult children searching for their sperm donor fathers, similar to the way adopted children try to trace their roots. It was very emotional and a few children were able to find siblings but very few found their sperm donor fathers. You can visit the website, http://www.DonorSiblingRegistry.com, to learn more about this.
I just celebrated Mother’s Day with my 87 year old mom surrounded my sister, my brother and his two daughters and my son. My mother is so happy to have three, not twenty-five, grandchildren and I am grateful that she has them too. I just put some eggs in her refrigerator, but they were the family favorite – deviled eggs!