Learn other women’s stories

Letters to my future self

Not every path in life is the same. That’s why we’ve spoken to different women about their reasons for choosing to freeze their eggs and have asked that they write a letter to their future self about their long term personal goals.

About the writer

Emma is a 37 year-old freelance IT consultant. Highly practical by nature, she moved to London from Ireland five years ago to join friends already living there—and to seek a bigger pool of possible partners. “Ireland can be lonely when you hit your thirties and most, if not all, of your friends are settled,” she explains. “A major city gives you a bigger opportunity not just to meet a partner, but also for a better social network of single people your age.”

Remember how worried you were when you got pregnant with Alex? Shocked at first, of course, but so happy. Then the worry set in. You and Mike had only been together a year. The prospect of being a father made him seriously waver. Would he still want a relationship with you, you wondered. Could you cope if you had to do it on your own?

I want to remind you of these uncertain moments, because now, at 47, you have the full family life that you weren’t at all sure was within your grasp. You have a son and two daughters. They are thick as thieves, their own little gang. They brim with secrets and plans, hobbies and games. Your house is a proper family home, welcoming, friendly and full of friends and relatives.

A family this large could never have happened if you had not devoted physical and financial resources to create Plan B for your future. As it happened, Alex and Jane were conceived the old-fashioned way. But Emmaline came from these precious eggs you froze. You didn’t need Plan B in order to have any children—but you did need it to have the number of kids you now have, the family you always wanted. Your decision to freeze your eggs coincided with a low, lonely point in your life. But it enlarged your options in a way you never imagined.

That is the great gift that grew out of your no-nonsense pragmatism. The other tremendous gift? Starting with your fertility issues and the egg collection process, you began to realize that you can’t control everything. Getting pregnant unexpectedly and growing your relationship with Mike before either of you were ready to be parents, taught you even more. Though you are a Type A personality accustomed to succeeding, you learned the value of acceptance and giving up control when it counts.

This is the heart of a strong relationship and a key reason you and Mike have achieved the family—and the vibrant domestic life—that you have now. Well done, Emma.

With joy about the future,
Emma

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Read her letter

Dear 47-year-old Emma,

Remember how distressed you were to discover, at 32, that your egg count was so low—as low as that of a 40-year-old? Were you going to have the same difficulties getting pregnant as your sister, you asked yourself.

Remember how worried you were when you got pregnant with Alex? Shocked at first, of course, but so happy. Then the worry set in. You and Mike had only been together a year. The prospect of being a father made him seriously waver. Would he still want a relationship with you, you wondered. Could you cope if you had to do it on your own?

I want to remind you of these uncertain moments, because now, at 47, you have the full family life that you weren’t at all sure was within your grasp. You have a son and two daughters. They are thick as thieves, their own little gang. They brim with secrets and plans, hobbies and games. Your house is a proper family home, welcoming, friendly and full of friends and relatives.

A family this large could never have happened if you had not devoted physical and financial resources to create Plan B for your future. As it happened, Alex and Jane were conceived the old-fashioned way. But Emmaline came from these precious eggs you froze. You didn’t need Plan B in order to have any children—but you did need it to have the number of kids you now have, the family you always wanted. Your decision to freeze your eggs coincided with a low, lonely point in your life. But it enlarged your options in a way you never imagined.

That is the great gift that grew out of your no-nonsense pragmatism. The other tremendous gift? Starting with your fertility issues and the egg collection process, you began to realize that you can’t control everything. Getting pregnant unexpectedly and growing your relationship with Mike before either of you were ready to be parents, taught you even more. Though you are a Type A personality accustomed to succeeding, you learned the value of acceptance and giving up control when it counts.

This is the heart of a strong relationship and a key reason you and Mike have achieved the family—and the vibrant domestic life—that you have now. Well done, Emma.

With joy about the future,
Emma

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About the writer

Elisa is a gynaecologist living in Zaragoza, Spain and working at her dream job in a fertility centre. Fortuitously, the centre opened just about the time that Elisa finished her degree. Serving patients there allows her to occupy a very special place in medicine.

You made some very hard decisions to get to where you are. After getting your degree, you decided to stay in Zaragoza, where you got your degree. This meant severing yourself from your hometown, Logroño (La Rioja, Spain), your family and your boyfriend at the time.

The years that followed were even harder. Though you were happy with your job, you made poor or unlucky choices with men and lost confidence in yourself. You worried that you would never have a happy long-term relationship.

You were a bit lost, but you had clarity about an important issue: your fertility. You knew from your work that fertility is not eternal. You saw how some of your patients suffered because they could not get pregnant. So at age 33 you decided to freeze your eggs. You felt more secure right away. You knew that you now had flexibility to choose the best time to have a family.

That was a courageous choice. And the second courageous choice came three years later at 36, when you hit a low point. You chose to break with all of your past and start anew, to improve your life. The trigger for this radical change was the birth of your little nephew, Lorenzo. When he was born you were inspired to be the very best aunt that you could be. For that you had to be healthy and clear-headed. You realised that you needed psychological help, and you got treatment.

The biggest lesson from this time is very important and continues to shape your life even now: You must make your own decisions without depending on anyone else. You do not have to explain these decisions to anyone—and you don’t need anyone else’s approval.

This is the year that you also decided to freeze more eggs. And now, at 45, look what has happened. You have designed your path exactly as you wished. You -made room for both a wonderful career and your family in the time frame that made sense to you. And today? Your nephew is 9 ½ years old and a playmate -to your children—something that would have been impossible if you hadn’t learned how to be true to yourself and your own dreams.

With excitement about what you have accomplished,

Elisa

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Read her letter

Dear Elisa,

I am writing to you 8 years from now, when you are 45. I visualise you in the park, laughing and playing with your five-year old daughter and your three-year-old son. I see you as a courageous woman—a modern woman with a life-giving career that you love and a family you had the foresight to prepare for.

You made some very hard decisions to get to where you are. After getting your degree, you decided to stay in Zaragoza, where you got your degree. This meant severing yourself from your hometown, Logroño (La Rioja, Spain), your family and your boyfriend at the time.

The years that followed were even harder. Though you were happy with your job, you made poor or unlucky choices with men and lost confidence in yourself. You worried that you would never have a happy long-term relationship.

You were a bit lost, but you had clarity about an important issue: your fertility. You knew from your work that fertility is not eternal. You saw how some of your patients suffered because they could not get pregnant. So at age 33 you decided to freeze your eggs. You felt more secure right away. You knew that you now had flexibility to choose the best time to have a family.

That was a courageous choice. And the second courageous choice came three years later at 36, when you hit a low point. You chose to break with all of your past and start anew, to improve your life. The trigger for this radical change was the birth of your little nephew, Lorenzo. When he was born you were inspired to be the very best aunt that you could be. For that you had to be healthy and clear-headed. You realised that you needed psychological help, and you got treatment.

The biggest lesson from this time is very important and continues to shape your life even now: You must make your own decisions without depending on anyone else. You do not have to explain these decisions to anyone—and you don’t need anyone else’s approval.

This is the year that you also decided to freeze more eggs. And now, at 45, look what has happened. You have designed your path exactly as you wished. You -made room for both a wonderful career and your family in the time frame that made sense to you. And today? Your nephew is 9 ½ years old and a playmate -to your children—something that would have been impossible if you hadn’t learned how to be true to yourself and your own dreams.

With excitement about what you have accomplished,

Elisa

Read more ›