Monique was born and raised on a Gulf island in British Columbia, and after finishing university, she left the coast and began almost two decades of adventures, global travel and living in places like: Sydney AU, Calgary, Toronto, and now lives back on the coast in Vancouver.
When she isn’t busy playing with her friends in the mountains, or on her bike, or snuggling her cat, Monique can be found balancing her love of play, with a career in the Tech space, currently as a VP of Product Operations.
Tell us a little about yourself.
As my bio alludes to, I try to live a life that has allowed me to explore and experience different places and people.
I have always aspired to live in a way where I can carve out a lifestyle that allows me to find time daily to enjoy where I live, and what and who I am surrounded by. That vision for myself has led me to live in different places, and meet incredible people along the way. It has also meant that I haven’t always taken the “traditional” route aka: school -> career -> marriage -> kids
What has your fertility journey been like so far?
I honestly didn’t think too much about my fertility until I hit my early 30s. Like many women, I just assumed it would all just ‘fall into place’ and eventually, I would end up having children with someone I loved one day.
I actually used to cringe a bit inside when I would hear women talk about their biological clock ticking, or I remember watching Sex and the City, and being so put off by Charlotte’s seeming desperation to have a child...and then around the age of 32 - it hit me like a sack of bricks! I literally could feel my ovaries fire up and that clock start ticking, and it just got louder and louder for the next 5 years until...
How did you come to the decision to freeze your eggs?
The decision to freeze my eggs came after the end of a long term relationship, where after 6 years together, the final two years were spent in circular discussions about having children and finally coming to a point where my then partner decided that was not something he wanted in his long term life plan.
At that point I was devastated by this outcome, as I had come to very deeply want children during our relationship - that biological clock that I felt fire up around the age of 32 just happened to coincide with falling in love, and seeing a future which included creating a family with the person I loved.
As that relationship ended, I was now 36. I started to embark on a new life which would include dating new people, and going down the path of falling in love again, and exploring these big life decisions. I knew that I did not want to feel the pressure of my biological clock, which at 36 I could hear louder than ever. It was a pressure I wanted to take off of myself (and the people I would be dating), to enable me to go into new relationships with a clear heart and clear mind - rather than feeling I needed to find “the one”, or even worse settle on just anyone, to have kids with because I was ‘running out of time’. I looked at it as getting myself peace of mind insurance.
So at the age of 37, I decided to move ahead and freeze my eggs.
What information did you need to learn before undergoing the procedure and what information did you wish you had?
Anyone who knows me, knows I love to research things that I am interested in. So, I actually spent a lot of time reading everything there was to know about egg freezing and fertility. I spent time getting to understand how to optimize your hormones naturally through diet and lifestyle. I read the book Woman Code, by Alisa Vitti, which I found very informative. I am not someone who takes things like surgery or invasive procedures lightly. I spent time preparing my body and mind for what I knew would be an intense few months, and I am so grateful that I did this as I ended up having really optimal results, which I am sure I can attribute back to this.
What have you learned about your body as a result of freezing your eggs?
Well I really learned so many things! ha!
- I learned what it is like to think through having an elective procedure
- I learned what it is like to get blood tests and really be interested and analyze your own health
- I learned what it is like to inject yourself daily with hormones
- I learned how powerful hormones can be
- I learned what it is like to feel the effects of said hormones and observe the changes to your body and emotions
- I learned that your ovaries can swell up to the size of small oranges during this process and hold soooo many eggs (more than the usual 1/month)
- I learned to trust the science and the doctors who analyzed my bloodwork daily, and then finally calling me on the day for the procedure to tell me “today is the day”
- I learned to give myself the space and time I needed to both prepare for and recover from the process - mentally, emotionally and physically
- I learned to trust my inner-knowing that this was the right thing for me to do for myself, regardless of the outcome.
Was there anything surprising you learned about fertility and female health along your journey?
What really became apparent to me is how incredible and resilient our bodies and minds are! Just observing the process over a year; from my decision to do it, the initial consult and bloodwork, to the actual process itself, and all of the incredible changes that my body went through under the guidance of doctors, resulting in a successful procedure, is all quite incredible to look back on. Especially now, it almost seems like a faraway dream. The process itself is actually so fast, for me it was more of the mental build up in deciding to do it that took the most time.
What piece of advice would you give to someone who wants children “one day” but not yet trying to conceive?
When people ask me about my process, I do recommend it for people who are sure they want children “one day”, and also those who maybe are NOT sure, but feel that clock ticking and the pressure that comes with it.
The funny thing is, as soon as I had the procedure done - that clock was silenced, and since then I have felt free to let my life play out on its own schedule. Today I am at a very different place in life than I was when I froze my eggs, and I don’t know if I will actually ever use the eggs that I froze, but the peace that it has brought me to know that I have that option is priceless.