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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.
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I wish I had been warned—not because it would have changed my mind about the procedure, but because I might have been more prepared.
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.
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The desire to be a mother is now something that lingers inside of me, an omnipresent hunger.
What saves these lost mothers is different in every fairy tale; often they’re brought back simply by virtue of being recognized. For me, coming back to life took time.