You make a million choices a day while living in LA. It's only going to be 50 degrees outside... do you dig out the winter coat? Should you take the 405 or try your luck with Coldwater Canyon? Do you order the soy latte or the Chai Tea? Decisions. Decisions.
However, lately, my decisions have been a bit more daunting -- ah, err... make that... life changing. Like my choice to go ahead at age 45 and try one last time to get pregnant. Followed by my decision to use a donor egg (since my own eggs did not age very well). Next, was my choice to use frozen eggs instead of so-called fresh ones. And now, I needed to decide where to go hunting for those eggs.
My doctors at the Southern California Reproductive Center made my search a bit easier by telling me the best place to start looking was in... Atlanta. That's where the Reproductive Biology Associates are located. The doctors/scientists there are considered to be the fathers (and mothers) of invention for egg freezing.
Eggs frozen using their ground-breaking techniques are all stored at a place called "My Egg Bank of North America." Now, there is nothing clever about their title -- but this place is nothing short of ingenious. Think of My Egg Bank as the main hen house -- a sort centralized egg collection facility -- where other nationally recognized centers send their frozen eggs for safe keeping until some fertility-challenged woman decides to select them. Right now, My Egg Bank houses eggs extracted from four partner centers across the country (located in Atlanta, Boston, Orlando and Seattle).
And not just anyone can make a deposit to My Egg Bank. The centers only accept frozen eggs from donors who pass rigorous screening for medical, genetic, and psychological issues. Donors are from diverse backgrounds and are all college educated or pursuing a degree (and all under the age of 30).
If you want to take a glance at the eggs they have to offer, all you need to do is simply log onto their website, www.myeggbank.com. But, if you want to take a real close look at the "lots" of eggs (and read the profiles of the egg baby mamas), then you need to put down a $500 deposit. It's non-refundable, but can go towards your purchase price -- which is a flat $10,000 for six frozen eggs. This is where it sort of becomes like a weird on-line dating experience (except you never even have to talk to the one you decide to go out with, and your odds of getting pregnant after this hook-up are very, very good).
That's because this 'frozen egg thing' has become mainstream. In October of 2012, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) lifted the "experimental" label on egg freezing. In large part, because pregnancy rates and health outcomes using frozen eggs are now about the same as those who go through IVF using fresh eggs.
So, I decided, since I had absolutely nothing left to lose, and a family to gain -- I would put down my deposit. I felt like I was finally ready to make a withdrawal from the Bank. But I never counted on what would happen next.