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  • Taylor Nakakihara

Fertility - Part 1: It's Scary (and It Shouldn't Be)

Updated: Apr 27, 2022

I have a ton of feelings about fertility - mine and the concept in general. I have pretty much always known that I would want kids when I grew up, but then I blinked and I was 28 and it wasn’t a mystical concept to ponder anymore. If I can blink and go from 18 to 28, then surely I can blink and be 38 and that’s scaring the shit out of me.

As someone who has been on birth control continuously for the past 14 years, it’s weird to think about purposely getting pregnant. But it’s even more strange to think about venturing into this area of information knowing that so much of it is kept secret until you’re “in the club”.

I once asked my gynecologist about fertility and auto-immune disorders and he told me that we would 'worry about that when the time came' (which by the way is not the right answer but there’s a lot of reasons to give it and he and his staff are really nice, we’ll keep them). So, no entry to the Fertility Club there. Then there’s the part where not a lot of people talk about how common miscarriages are - according to Clue, 1-in-5 detected pregnancies ends in miscarriage, a figure which goes up to 1-in-3 when accounting for undetected pregnancies. I also haven't punched that slot of my Fertility Club card yet either.

But what about freezing your eggs? I don’t know about you but I definitely thought this was a fairly easy process, guess again y’all. It’s not just one procedure - it’s an entire cycle of hormones plus the harvesting plus then the healing afterward. God bless Amelia Boone for detailing (and I MEAN detailing) her experience with egg freezing on her blog late last year, because everything she was talking about was brand-spanking-ass news to me. And I realized that - like getting pregnant and miscarriages - egg freezing was just another thing no one would talk to you about until you were going through it. I am proud to be part of a generation of women actively demystifying something that can be a big part of our lives as women, and am also really proud to be part of a generation that respects those who choose not to have children.

This month, I am taking my first step towards obtaining some fertility information on my own - an at-home Female Fertility test from LetsGetChecked. I have put this off for months - the first two months the specific day in my cycle (3 days into inactive birth control pill week) fell on a bad day to send a blood sample out for shipping. Then I got COVID (the first time) and it seemed like a really stupid and careless idea to send in my literal blood while I had a known virus. Then it was the day of the week again - then I got COVID... AGAIN.

If I’m honest though, each time I “couldn’t” send in my sample, I was a little bit relieved. My Anxiety Brain has determined that there are three ways the results of this test will go:

  • I can continue to be pretty freestyle about having kids “eventually”

  • I will need more information

  • I will have to make some serious decisions in a much faster window than I wanted/planned to have

I am afraid of the last option because I just started getting my life together to actually be a present and physically/emotionally/financially stable parent. There’s also the part where I’m not married and I’m pretty sure that won’t happen soon. I don’t want to feel rushed to get married to have kids because all of a sudden I find out time is running out *stamps foot*.

I am old enough to know the truth, but I used to think my mom was fearless. I now know that a big part of raising a baby human is sometimes pretending you’re not scared when you’re scared half to death - yes raising my dog taught me this but I’m 99.99% sure it's also true for human babies. I have to accept that since I’m always going to seek information to avoid bad surprises, and want to be a mom, I am going to have to bite a lot of scary informational bullets and then manage my resulting emotional reaction in this lifetime.

Guess it starts now with the prick of a finger.

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