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.
to miss and mourn someone who doesn’t exist.
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.
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.
beThat’s it, That’s the egg that will be my baby.
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.
More by this author
I didn’t know, anymore, how to date like a normal person—how to give a potential relationship the space to grow into the family I dreamt of.
I wanted to know more about my fertility because I thought it might help me prepare for a someday I wasn’t willing to give up on.
More in this series
Too many people are fed one version of a story, a false one, and do not interrogate it. But the world of fairy tales is rife with opportunities to practice critical thinking, if only we look closer.
I’ve been wondering what my edges really are, and finding they don’t exist. I feel myself shimmer with every conflicting thought.