Cover Photo: Photograph by Tanaphong Toochinda/Unsplash
Photograph by Tanaphong Toochinda/Unsplash

What I Did for the Chance to Have a Baby Someday

I flew to Taiwan the year I turned thirty-six, a trip I’d booked solely for the purpose of freezing my eggs.

This is My Future, My Fertility, a monthly column in which Karissa Chen wrestles with her questions about fertility, motherhood, and future-planning after thirty-five.

to miss and mourn someone who doesn’t exist.

XMyoma

Thank god I don’t have a flat stomachMaybe more fat means less pain!

yesyes I don’t want this.I am ready for this, I am willing to do all of this.

I wish I had done this sooner, I wish I had done acupuncture and taken Chinese medicine to help my fertility, I wish I had drank protein shakes, I wish I had forced myself to eat more meat.

want

What I hope you know is that even when I was miserable and exhausted, I always thought, I would do this again. I want you to know how much I wanted you.

Look how much I suffered to have youyou.

I can’t possibly ever do this again, I don’t think I can bear itBut I would do this again, I would spend all my money, I would inject myself with all these shots, if only it means I can have a baby.

Look how happy they are, how wonderful it isThat could be me someday, bringing my baby to show the doctorThose couples did IVF together because they could. What if I never get to be them?

Despite how grateful I was to have this option at all, I felt so isolated—emotionally, I was walking this path alone.

she

beThat’s it, That’s the egg that will be my baby.

be

Karissa Chen's fiction and essays have appeared in numerous publications, including Gulf Coast, PEN America, Guernica, and Longreads. She was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to Taiwan in 2015-16 and received a 2019 Fellowship from the New Jersey Council on the Arts, and  is a proud Fellow of both Kundiman and VONA/Voices. She currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief at Hyphen, Fiction Editor at the Rumpus, and a Contributing Fiction Editor at Catapult. She is working on a novel.