Freezing Your Eggs and Moi, an interview with Sarah Cichy by Kacy Byxbee
Sarah owns a very successful, Australian based, PR firm called Piccolo PR. She is kind, generous, warm and we feel very lucky to have met her through Your Zen Mama. We were delighted when she offered to tell her story about starting her journey to freeze her eggs.
Where did you grow up?
Melbourne in the family home where my parents still live.
What is your most poignant memory from childhood?
Oh gosh I have so many beautiful memories growing up. Every summer my mum and dad would rent a very humble hotel in Rosebud and my sisters and I would play cricket on the beach with them until the sun went down.
From what I know about you, you have a serious work ethic. Where do you think that comes from and what values have you carried with you into adulthood?
I love working… I love everything about business.
My parents taught me the meaning of a strong work ethic and the value of a dollar. Dad is a teacher and Mum a nurse and they put all three girls through private school at one of the best Colleges in Melbourne. They didn’t need to- we could have been sent to the local public high school, but they wanted to expose us to brilliant opportunities. I have a deep respect and bond with each of them.
We would come home from school, have dinner and then clean offices till midnight to help pay for the school fees. I wore my blazer with pride.
I’ve applied this energy and determination to my career- I guess I don’t know any different.
What is your favorite book?
Women who Run with the Wolves.
How did you start your PR firm?
I was fiercely determined and incredible naïve.
The launch of Piccolo PR was completely serendipitous. I relocated from Melbourne to Sydney and was working at a PR agency. After realising Sydney was extraordinarily expensive I asked for a pay raise, but my boss said no (because of her bottom line, which I completely respect), and so I placed an advertisement on a freelance site and three days later was contacted by one of the largest exhibition companies in Australia to represent them. That afternoon, my entire world changed. I didn’t tell anyone what I was doing in case I didn’t succeed and was literally googling how to register an ABN and business name. The beginning was all very clumsy really.
What are the most important values to embrace to run a successful business?
New business owners, make sure you get into it because of your vision, not your ego.
Do your numbers and check your finances, but also make your decisions on your gut feeling.
Have a clear definition of success and what it looks like to you.
Chase opportunity, and not money.
Why did you decide to freeze your eggs?
I never actually thought about having children to be honest. And I never pictured myself to be pushing a pram.
My head was buried deep in my business during my early 30s, and then I looked up and I was single at 36! I’ve finally decided to go down this path as I would hate to finally meet someone and have that option taken away from us.
How long does the process take?
Around 12 days from first injection to egg retrieval/harvest.
What sort of investment can you expect to be making?
Expected to cost between $10K and $15K
What was the most challenging part of it?
A few years ago, I broke up from my long-term partner and at the time I was in project management mode and didn’t realise how strong I was trying to be.
Half way through the consultation I burst into tears…How the F&CK was I doing this alone?! I apologised to the doctor, left the room and came back to the idea three years later.
The most challenging part is committing to the procedure.
I’m also a little nervous about the side- effects to be honest. Hormonal fluctuations are inevitable and I’m conscious that I may be tired and moody, so I’ve started a mediation program which helps me better listen to the natural rhythms of my body and identify when I’m sensitive and need rest. From a vanity perspective (which yes, sounds so shallow) I’m conscious of weight gain and being swollen ( I know they’re temporary side effects and really in the scheme of things just not important).
My sister was diagnosed with Type One diabetes when she was six years old, so I’ve always been exposed to needles and not worried about the injections. I just have to make sure I have a few glasses of water as soon as I wake up, as the more hydrated you are, the plusher your skin is, the easier the needle pierces the skin, the less you feel, the quicker the whole process is over with. Also, I must make it a priority to check in and go to the clinic every few days for a blood test.
Is there anything you wish you had known before you started the process?
Between the age of 35 to 40 there is an exponential decline of egg quality. I wish that at a younger age I had thought that maybe, just maybe, I may want to push a pram later in life and had them frozen a little earlier. It’s very empowering to be independent, take control and insure the future of your fertility. There’s so much emotional support and information out there. And that in itself is comforting. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll find me pushing a pram 😊
Contributed by Kacy Byxbee, editor, Your Zen Mama