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May 30, 2013

The Freedom of Freezing

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One evening while I was waiting for my friend at an Irish bar, a group of businessmen invited me to join them for a whiskey shot. They weren't my type, and normally I wouldn't have wasted valuable husband-hunting time drinking with random strangers. But this time, I said, "Why not?" By 9 p.m., I was blotto, eating steak on someone's expense account, and laughing hysterically at outrageous stories. Even though I wasn't interested in any of the guys romantically, I had one of the best nights of my life.

When a lawyer visiting from London asked me out for dinner, I didn't stop and evaluate the pros and cons of a long-distance relationship; I just said yes. The next morning, after an amazing night of torrid sex and tender conversation, as I strolled from his fancy hotel in my white trenchcoat and smeared mascara, I wondered why I hadn't done this sort of thing more often.

By taking charge of my fertility, I had taken charge of my life, and taken back the power I had given every date to determine whether I felt hopeful about my future. Now that I realized I could create fun, sensual experiences with men, I developed a confidence that I could also find the love and family I wanted.

And so I started telling myself, "You're going to be a mom soon enough; you'd better make the most of this time." I worked my way down my single-girl bucket list: wine tastings, storytelling shows. I learned how to surf in Costa Rica and went scuba diving in Thailand. Rather than just going to bars with my girlfriends, I invited them over for homemade enchiladas so I could actually listen to their stories instead of scoping out guys. In my laser-focused search for a partner, I hadn't realized how much I'd missed them.

Then one afternoon, I received a Match e-mail from a sweet and funny divorced dad who wanted more children. Four hours after meeting in a bar, he asked if I wanted to go for a walk. We spent the next hour kissing in a warm September mist. Two months later, he said, "I think I'm falling for you." Five months after that, he asked when my lease was up. The funny thing is, after all of this time and effort, my frozen eggs might not even give me babies. If they don't, I'll find another route to have kids. And in a way, they've already given me a new life, one more satisfying than I had ever imagined.

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