How to: Trellis Tips on Telling Family You’re Freezing Eggs
If you are of the many in which talking about sex and your own sexual being with your family is still a great challenge, even in adulthood, then explaining your decision to freeze your eggs is likely to pose similar discomfort. Freezing eggs can be a gateway into a litany of questions about all aspects of your personal life: your romantic relationship or lack thereof, your finances, and above all else your plans for a family and your future. You are not playing God; you are planning as best you can for a future that is starting to come into view. But your loved ones might desire ANSWERS. Guess what? You have them – all that you need, at least – as you have made this decision by educating yourself and dreaming into a possible future. We gathered up some advice from women who have made this decision while in various life circumstances, and added in some of our own, to hopefully aid you in preparing yourself for sharing this decision with loved ones. We truly hope this helps!
Make the decision, or know which parts of it are up for discussion.
By the time you are telling your family or closest loved ones, it is probably best to know quite a bit about the process – the lead-up to the procedure, the cost, the risks, the odds, and even the terminology. Knowledge truly can be power and it can be powerful when presenting a decision that might seem foreign and frightening to your loved ones. Additionally, have you fully decided, or are you presenting this option you feel potentially lead to choose and asking for their input and/or guidance? Be clear on this. If you have decided, stay firm in that but willing to answer questions. If you have not, what elements of this decision are you unsure of? Which parts of egg freezing are you seeking their counsel on?
Find what centers you.
Depending on your family or loved ones, this might be a challenging, emotionally charged conversation, or it might be joyful, simpler than you imagined. Regardless of what your expectations are or how it actually transpires, it is grounding to enter into delivering big news and all eyes on you with a centering totem, exercise, or image that comforts you. After speaking with several women who have made the ultimate decision to freeze their eggs, they each shared their own version of either wishing they had something to ground them when the conversation became activating or evangelized the existence of something centering they chose before the news delivery. So, what might work for you? Perhaps it’s a reminder to focus on your breath throughout this whole conversation, or perhaps it’s an image or a totem to hold. It might even be going for a big run or walk or meditating before you tell them. Or a glass of wine – no judgement here.
Recognize this potentially daunting but powerful talk helps make it real.
Our hope for each and every one of you is that you have experienced the kind of support you need while you began considering this journey – whether it was through the facility you’ll be freezing at, friends, therapists, co-workers or online chat groups. This can be isolating to do alone. Now, you’ve reached the apex – you’re telling your loved ones the decision is made. Take a moment and celebrate this helps make it real!
Share what you have learned and what you love.
In talking to various women who have made this decision, many report, unsurprisingly, that their families’ chief initial concerns are that oocyte retrieval and cryopreservation is too experimental, too immature as a medical practice. This is your chance to demonstrate all you have learned along the journey in making this decision – the basic science, the limited risks and side effects, and the statistics to date. Wrapping loved ones in a blanket of input and facts is a common soothing mechanism. We must remember egg freezing has been researched for decades but was not an offering your parents’ generation had or even something the majority are familiar with now.
What your loved ones are also searching for as you share this decision is the emotional elements of it – what it is you love and are hoping for with this opportunity. If you feel comfortable, share these parts of yourself. Perhaps you are single, and they are curious or concerned as to what options this affords you or if you will be doing it alone. Perhaps you are young, and they believe this to be a risky and unnecessary decision. Again, consider explaining it to them – really sharing some of the dreams you have for yourself that egg freezing can help you potentially realize.
Prepare for any pushback.
Even with all the facts and your whys, loved ones may still have a hard time understanding. Generally, this is fear in multiple forms, but is arguing or agreement what you are looking for? Or do you simply want to make them a part of what is ultimately your decision? Preparing for the best and the worst – and perhaps a somewhat neutral dialogue – can really behoove you emotionally for this chat. Over-preparation might spook you, but just a little contemplation of what you might say or how you might respond to various levels of support or dissent can really ready you for this discussion.
Should you have any other questions, please reach out to us anytime at 347.293.2597.
Your Trellis Family