My Egg Freezing Journey
Here at IRMS, we see so many unique journeys to parenthood. Some have bends & loop de loops and others follow a straight line. Few come with heartache and most full of joy. All empower & encourage us. We would like to share one such Egg Freezing journey below. The power is in our patient Kristen’s own words.
Dear Dr. Cekleniak,
I don‘t know if you remember me, but I was your patient back in February 2020 to March 2021. I’ll understand if you blocked out those years due to Covid…I‘m a teacher and I don’t remember much of those years…except for my experience working with you and IRMS.
Anyway, I saw you to freeze my eggs. I had just turned 36, was single, and was fully convinced that I would be a single mom by choice because online dating (and dating in general) was so incredibly hard. I was convinced I was going to die alone without a life partner.
Anyway you worked with me, alongside the phenomenal Dr. Serena Chen and the rest of your team at IRMS, to do 3 rounds of egg freezing which yielded 31 mature eggs. What a rollercoaster ride! I still remember telling you, “Do you think this all will be worth it? At this rate, I’ll be driving my 2008 Honda Civic forever.” To which you replied, “Yes, but at least you have a chance of having a car seat in the back seat of that Honda Civic…”
During my last visit with you, you told me, “I‘ve had patients like you. I want you to focus on this final round of egg freezing. Then you will go out and date, fall in love, have a baby naturally for your first baby, and then come back to see me if you have any problems giving that baby a sibling. We can help you.“ I literally thought you were crazy. I had been ghosted so many times with online dating, and Covid added another layer of challenges in the dating world.
The week after my third round of egg freezing, I met a guy named Tom at a restaurant in Downtown Jersey City. We began dating and then he moved out of NYC and to my NJ town just 3 months later to be closer to me. Six months later, Tom bought me my dream home here in New Jersey.
I had been living with my sister to help her raise her 3 kids since her husband had passed away suddenly 8 years prior. Tom immediately jumped into the kids’ lives, and we became a close family. Just two months after I moved out of my sister‘s house, the house next door to me and Tom became available, and my sister purchased it. Now the kids and my sister live 100 feet away from us (this was Tom’s idea too). Everything in my life was coming together. My two worlds merged as one.
In July of 2022, we were on a family vacation with the kids and my siblings, and Tom got down on one knee to ask me to spend the rest of my life with him. I then remember going to my OBGYN, Dr. Saitta to tell her we wanted to start a family right away. Me being 39, I was nervous about having a hard time getting pregnant. She told me to start trying and if I couldn‘t get pregnant, she would connect me back to you.
July 31… I ovulated and I remember feeling different. I then took a 2 week planned trip to Peru to go explore Machu Picchu on the Salkantay Trail. In my trekking group, there was a reproductive endocrinologist (just like you). I told her all about my experience freezing my eggs, and she told me “Sometimes women who freeze their eggs can have an easier time getting pregnant because they can relax because they have a backup plan in case they need it.” I told her I felt like I was pregnant, but it was too early to test.
August 28, 2023…. I came home and took a pregnancy test. It was positive. Holy (#$#) My fiancé and I were over the moon. We then went back to Dr. Saitta and worked closely with her to make sure we had a healthy pregnancy.
On this Wednesday, April 19, at 9:45 AM I will be giving birth at Valley Hospital to my first baby. Dr Saitta, Tom, and I are pumped and ready to do this. I‘ve dreamed of being a mom my entire life. I was open to all forms of being a mom-foster mom, adoption, IVF, surrogate, you name it. I just know it was my lifelong dream to pursue.
I’m wiping my eyes and I type this email because honestly, I wouldn’t be in this position if you hadn’t given me those words of encouragement to keep going and to dream big. So, thank you. Thank you for helping me dream bigger than I could have ever imagined for my life.
I’m still keeping my 31 mature eggs on ice and my goal is to NOT have to use them. However, I feel happy to know they are an option if I need them.
I will be spamming you and the rest of IRMS of baby pictures of the baby this week. I just wanted to make sure I had the time to truly thank you for the impact you and the rest of your team had on my life.
So, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
From Doctor Cekleniak:
Kristen you completely made my day with this wonderful story! I love the pictures! You are a special person and so deserving of a wonderful partner and motherhood! Thank you so much for reaching out to me. It means so much!
All the best to you and your family! GOOD LUCK with delivery tomorrow
I will be thinking of you all! I hope everything works out exactly the way you want it….and if you end up trying for another baby without success on your own (don’t try for too long before calling me), you know where to find me (and your eggs! LOL). XOXO
Hi Dr Cekleniak!
I’m so excited to introduce to you my baby son.
He was born on Wednesday, April 19, 2023, at 10:23 AM, 6 pounds 11 ounces.
Dr Saitta was incredible with my C-Section. I love her so much! If you ever have patients looking for the world’s best OB – she is seriously the go to doctor.
We just got home last night and are soaking in all the moments (also due to the lack of sleep).
Thanks again Dr Cekleniak. I honestly never thought I would see this day had you not inspired me 3 years ago to not give up hope of one day becoming a mommy.
(My husband won’t admit it, but he was hysterically crying when this picture was taken. I was high as a kite thanks to the “happy juice” the anesthesiologist hooked me up with the second our son was out. Overall – 10 out of 10 experience delivering at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood).