“I’m a doctor, and I’m a mother but I could only be both because I chose myself first.”
“I was 29 when I chose to freeze my eggs. I’d completed my post-graduation in medicine and wanted to go for a fellowship programme in Germany. At that time, my career was my priority, not building a family. I also hadn’t met the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, so the decision of freezing my eggs felt right.
When I told my parents, they asked why I was opting for the procedure when I was capable of reproducing ‘the normal way.’ I replied, ‘Because this will help me secure my career and fertility.’ I told them about my ambitions, and the fact that I wanted to be a mother when I was ready.
So, I used up all my savings and started the procedure. And I felt so powerful about it–plus, I wouldn’t have to listen to any more of that ‘your biological clock is ticking’ nonsense! So after my eggs were ready, I had a surgery where they were extracted. The doctor said, ‘You can use them whenever you want.’ So, I completed my fellowship and built my practice just as I wanted!
But I didn’t talk about my surgery to anyone else; I didn’t want to be judged by people who knew nothing about the process. At weddings, I’d often be asked, ‘You’re not getting married?’ or ‘You don’t want children?’ I’d say, ‘Yes, all in due time.’ People would look at me baffled, while my parents would come to my support and talk about my achievements. I was 32 when I was ready to marry; my family found me a good match. I was nervous to tell him about the surgery. But when I did, he just said, ‘Let’s use them when you’re ready.’ Even my in-laws were so supportive. So finally, at 34, I gave birth to twins; we were over the moon! I love being a mother, but I’m glad I froze my eggs. Becoming a doctor takes years of study and practice, and I wouldn’t have been able to dedicate the time it needed if I’d become a mom earlier. And now that I’m settled in my career, I can give my kids all my attention and love! I finish work early so I can pick them up from school, and I even adjust my work timings so I can play with them.
I’m a fertility specialist, so women often ask me, ‘Is this a natural way of conceiving?’ The taboos surrounding this simple procedure are still so rampant! I remember, once, a couple backed out because they didn’t want their child to be ‘artificially made.’ Another couple was fearful that their eggs would get mixed up and their child would be someone else’s! So I try to help in any way I can… as a fertility specialist, and as a woman. I often share my story with women who feel pressured to have children and give their careers a backseat. I motivate them to choose a life they want for themselves. Because that’s what I did. I’m a doctor, and I’m a mother… but I could only be both because I chose myself first.”