“We are so thankful to be going through this process—we aren't sure if we’d be able to have a family otherwise.” Katrina Buckmire shares her egg freezing experience, including why she opted to do it, how she felt after and what her next steps are on her path to parenthood.
Name: Katrina Buckmire
Location: Virginia, U.S.
Diagnosis: Male-factor infertility
Bird&Be Product: TheEssentials for Females
Best piece of advice: You are more resilient than you realize, you got this!
How did you first learn about egg freezing?
Our fertility clinic brought it up when our doctor discussed the IVF process with us. My husband and I knew we wanted to expand our family and IVF and egg freezing was the best way for us to do that, since we had not been able to conceive on our own. Our clinic confirmed that we were experiencing male-factor infertility. We opted to freeze eggs (instead of embryos) because at the time they were retrieved we were unable to fertilize them due to the sperm issues we were experiencing. We did wait to start the process until the summer as I am in higher education and my schedule is much more relaxed in the summer—it allowed us to go to multiple appointments, injections and doing the actual egg retrieval.
Was there anything that held you back initially?
I had to reframe the way I thought we’d start our family. After reconciling my own expectations and that I’d potentially not have a child without intervention, I was ready to move forward.
Did you have a pre-egg-freezing plan?
I had already been taking prenatal vitamins (Bird&Be The Essentials for Females) and I live an active lifestyle. I was more conscious about the food I ate leading up to retrieval and making sure I was giving my body what it needed.
What was the process like?
The preparation for egg retrieval (including injections and getting and organizing medication) was probably the most overwhelming for me. Throughout the process the nurses and our doctor were very communicative and let us know what we'd be doing next. The egg retrieval process was very smooth; it felt like I took a wonderful little nap and I woke up to 18 retrieved eggs, 12 of which were mature and frozen.
How long did it take?
We had our initial appointment in December, 2022. From January to May, my husband and I had appointments. After getting the all clear from my HSG and trial transfer, we began our injections June 1, 2022 and we did our trigger shot on June 11. Our egg retrieval was on June 13, so about a week and a half process once we got the go-ahead. The egg retrieval procedure itself was 20 to 25 minutes long.
How much did it cost?
Our total for the IVF cycle and egg freezing was $12,850 USD. I am sure that if we were only doing egg freezing, it would be cheaper.
Did you have support?
My husband has been the most amazing support system, from doing the injections, coming to appointments and just being so encouraging on the hard days. Our clinic has been a great support during this process, as well as my family. My mom didn’t know much about IVF, but it's been good to be able to share my journey and more information with her, and she offers support and cheers us on.
How did you feel after going through it?
I feel great! I know that this was the best decision for my husband and I. We have 12 wonderful eggs stored away and ready for when we begin the next steps of this process. My husband will be going through sperm extraction in the coming weeks, then our eggs will be fertilized, and we’ll hopefully be doing our first transfer in late August or early September. 2023.
Did you have any regrets or second thoughts during or after the process?
There were some moments where I questioned if this was the best decision and felt overwhelmed with medications and appointments. I am in counselling so, I processed through my feelings there and with my husband as well.
How has freezing your eggs influenced your outlook on family planning and parenthood?
This process has reminded me that it's okay that your journey to parenthood looks different. We are so thankful to be going through this process because we are not sure if we’d be able to have a family otherwise.
Did the process of freezing eggs change your perspective on fertility and reproductive health?
It has made me so thankful for the doctors, nurses and all those that work in the field of fertility and reproductive health. The support, guidance, and wisdom from our clinic and doctors has been amazing.
What advice would you give to someone considering egg freezing?
Think through the pros and cons for you. If you can try to not plan much during the time you’re preparing for egg retrieval—you'll be at a lot of appointments—that’s ideal. You are more resilient than you realize, you got this!