Bridging The Motherhood Divide Pt. 3: The Egg-Freezing Boom

Bye bye, baby boom. Hello, fertility preservation.

  
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This is the free edition of Rich Text, a newsletter by Claire Fallon and Emma Gray. Rich Text is a space for the indulgent and the incisive, for witty and wistful explorations of the cultural, the personal, and the political in both written and audio formats. If you like what you see and hear, consider becoming a paid subscriber. Rich Text is a reader-supported project — no ads or sponsors!

When the pandemic began, there was talk of a baby boom. More than a year later, that never materialized. But know what did? An egg-freezing boom.

Turns out that lots of women, predominantly in their 30s, decided there was no time like the Covid present to explore their options for fertility preservation. (If you peruse Instagram, you’ll even find a number of “Bachelor” ladies who publicly documented their egg-freezing journeys.) It was a perfect storm for women of a certain socioeconomic class: time to reflect on their desires and life choices while not going to the office, paired with the pre-existing trends of delayed parenthood and more employers offering coverage as part of their benefits packages.

Our dear friend — and OG Here To Make Friends producer — Katelyn was one of the many women who chose to undergo egg freezing in the last year and a half. She joined us to discuss fertility preservation, the terror of regret, and the general mindfuck that is being a 30-something woman during Covid.

More resources on egg freezing:

“How Egg Freezing Went Mainstream,” NYTimes

“Everything You’ve Ever Wondered About Egg Freezing, Answered,” Elle

We’ve been reading…

Ghosts by Dolly Alderton, about a 30-something writer in London who gets on dating apps for the first time after ending a long relationship, meets a guy she really likes, and then gets ghosted. It’s wry and well-observed and it broke me wide open. -Emma

A Touch of Jen by Beth Morgan, a sly and sardonic novel about two thirty-something servers, Alicia and Remy, whose romantic relationship is sustained by their joint obsession with Remy’s ex-coworker Jen, a microinfluencer he has long fostered a crush on. After the pair runs into Jen in real life and strikes up a new friendship, things rapidly get weirder and darker, even downright supernatural. Instagram addiction, the service economy, woo-woo self-help and the alienation of (what else) life under late-stage capitalism all take on an eerie sheen in this book, which is equally funny, disturbing, and uncomfortably revealing of the world we live in. -Claire

We’ve been listening to…

“A Little Bit Culty,” a podcast by former NXIVM members Sarah Edmonson and Anthony “Nippy” Ames. I would especially recommend their bonus interview with India Oxenberg. -Emma

The recent "Decoder Ring” episode on selling out, which actually offers a new insight on a topic I thought I’d already considered exhaustively: Jonathan Franzen’s selection for Oprah’s Book Club for The Corrections, and his public comments expressing that he didn’t want the Oprah’s Book Club sticker on his book because it would scare away his coveted male readers and diminish his artistic cred. Willa Paskin is a razor-sharp critic and, as always, I learned a lot from her analysis and research. -Claire

We’ve been watching…

Ok so this might be embarrassing but I am low-key obsessed with TLC’s “Welcome To Plathville,” and season 3 just premiered. -Emma

I just finished AMC’s “Kevin Can F*ck Himself,” a high-concept drama built around a traditional multi-camera sitcom featuring a schlubby, prank-pulling, Pats-obsessed, cable-repairing dude named Kevin and his hot, long-suffering wife Allison. When Kevin is offscreen, Allison, played by Annie Murphy (“Schitt’s Creek”), lives in a gritty drama about marital dissatisfaction. Fed up with his endless capers, his narcissism, and his inability to leave space for her to be anything but a tireless servant and comedic foil, Allison decides to kill him. The premise is a neat bit of commentary, if a bit heavy-handed (as is the execution). -Claire

We’ve been buying…

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen in SPF 40 so that I can carry it around in my tote and hopefully actually be reminded to put it on every day multiple times a day. -Emma

The Ordinary retinol serum, in hopes that I’ll soon have successfully weaned my son and be allowed to contaminate my breast milk with aggressive skincare products again. Optimism! -Claire

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