I got married late in life, at 41 to be exact. I could tell you that I never met the right man, which is certainly true, but I think that’s because, for many years, I put my career ahead of family.
After graduating from Cornell, I went to graduate school in Chicago, and then lived in Washington, D.C., Tallahassee, Orlando and Dallas before making my way to Phoenix and finally settling down.
I have no regrets about my journey, but I do wish I had thought more about freezing my eggs.
Freezing your eggs is expensive: About $10,000 per round plus $500 a year for storage. That’s a lot of money, especially for a young woman just starting out in life with student loans to pay off.
That’s why I was excited to learn that Facebook and Apple, two of the biggest tech companies in the world, are now paying for female employees to freeze their eggs, making them one of the few major employers to subsidize the procedure.
When you’re in your 20s or even your 30s, you think the world is your oyster and you have your whole life ahead of you. That’s true, but what’s also true is that after 35, it’s harder to get pregnant. Once you hit 40 it becomes even more difficult. Your eggs are simply not as viable.
Here’s the deal: I believe you can have it all, but maybe not all at the same time. Having a high-powered career and being a mom is doable, but probably easier once you establish yourself on your chosen career path.
Let me be clear, I’m not suggesting that women should wait to start a family. Not at all. What I’m saying is that I think it’s wonderful for women to have the choice on when to have children. By freezing their eggs, women can decide when to get pregnant without the pressure of their biological clock ticking.
Not surprisingly, not everyone is thrilled with Facebook’s and Apple’s new company perks. Some say an employers’ decision to cover egg-freezing in their health insurance plans is a cynical ploy to convince women to put off getting pregnant until they leave the workplace.
Personally, I think Facebook and Apple have good intentions and are on the leading edge when it comes to this type of health care. I think surrogacy and adoption should be covered by all employers too. Why not give women more power to choose what’s right for them and their families?