Category Archives: donor insemination

Having an Army of Support

When I began the trying to conceive (TTC) process , I  joined Single Mothers by Choice.  As I lay here, 32 weeks pregnant with twins on bed rest, I didn’t consider how important a community of support would be before my babies arrived.

While I realize that many SMCs choose to be very private about their decision, I decided very early on to be very open with friends and family. I wanted and needed for people to cheer me on, to support me, and to be a part of my exciting journey. Fortunately, almost everyone “got on the bus” very quickly.

I got pregnant on my 5th  try and was surprised to learn that I was pregnant with twins. I hoped for a smooth pregnancy but knew the risks. I don’t have family near by. I live in DC, and my family is in Michigan. At 26 weeks, my cervix

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A Letter to My Donor

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Dear Donor,

We’ve never met.  In fact, you have no idea of my specific existence, but I think about you a lot.  Sometimes on the subway I’ll see a youngish brown-haired man and wonder if we’re connected.  When an older gentleman or woman passes by, I think about your folks —what they’re like and if they have grandkids.  Other grandkids, that is.

See, I have a son, Isaiah, who’s two and a half, and you, my anonymous sperm donor, made him possible.  For that I thank you with all the gratitude I can summon now and forever.  That sounds like a corny love song lyric, I realize, but the sentiment is true.  I’m so deeply appreciative that something—a little extra cash? some desire to change the life of someone you’ve never met? an inexplicable nudge from the universe?—motivated you to head to a sperm bank some years ago.  With this

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Lightbulb Moments On My Way to Motherhood.

Taking the SMC route has been an amazingly interesting journey so far (which is a little like saying we saw some snow this winter in the Northeast!).

There were a couple of moments that stand out in my memory in particularly sharp focus.  One such occasion was a conversation with my therapist before I had even started trying to conceive and was still trying to chase the elusive child-with-partner dream.  We were discussing the guy I was involved with who was not stepping up to the plate (in fact he had left the field all together but I wasn’t able to acknowledge that yet).  My therapist commented: “He may not be a sure bet but you are”,  and it fell into place that I was everything I was looking for in a partner – reliable, dependable, hard working, responsible, thoughtful, caring – and he was none of these things.  That

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The Cat’s Out of the Bag

hes_hereWhen I was pregnant and finally told people (or let my mother tell people), I got the most amazing phone calls. My mom told her sister and I swear within minutes, I got calls from both her sons, my first cousins, telling me that this would be the most amazing journey of my life and the best thing I could do.

When I started to tell my friends, they were uniformly supportive. One friend called her brother who called me and said that of all the people he knew, he knew I would thrive at this because I took such good care of them all in college. (I was the one who routinely held someone’s hair out of the toilet after s/he drank too much.)

So why did I want to have a child? What was that yearning that told me to push forward partnerless?

I wanted to re-experience the

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Motherhood — Part 2

Thinking woman looking up on many question signs above head isolated(This is the second half of Motherhood. The first half appeared in this space  previously.)

If I decide to become a single mother, I would probably also be deciding that my child would be an only child. Not only would s/he not have a father, but also it would be just the two of us. Going it alone would be hard enough financially and mentally, so thinking about a second on my own is probably not in the cards. Some of my best memories growing up involve my brothers: chasing after each other, inventing games, and having a buffer or distraction when we were stuck with our parents for too long in a confined car on road trips. As adults we’ve bonded in a completely different way and I can’t imagine not having these relationships in my life. Who am I to knowingly deprive my child of that

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Motherhood – Part 1

Thinking woman looking up on many question signs above head isolated34…single…female…The age keeps changing, but the relationship status does not. It’s been quite a while since I’ve been in a long-term relationship. While I desire a partner in life, a best friend to spend my days with, what I yearn for even more is motherhood. It’s not just a yearning from the heart, but I feel it from my ovaries…from the center of my being.

Throughout college and adult life, I have gone back and forth on what type of career I want to have and whether I even want to have a career at all. The one constant has always been that I want to have children. I want to bear at least one child and then possibly adopt. A mother is what I feel I was meant to be above all else..

At some point in my mid to late 20’s I decided that if I hadn’t met

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Alone — But Not Alone

When you become a Single Mother by Choice, you expect to do a lot of things alone. In fact, a lot of the thinking and trying stage seems ALL about being alone. Deciding alone to go for it. Attending fertility appointments alone. Being pregnant alone. Most of us have supportive friends and family, but when we hang up the phone, log off the chat, close the door, climb between the sheets, lay in the dark, we are alone again.

Thank God I’m one of those people who think that’s a good thing. Being alone through my journey has meant I’ve been able to take it at my own pace. I’ve been happy when I wanted to be happy, grouchy when it felt right, pregnant and lazy and elated and calm. Whenever I wanted, I felt what I needed to feel, did what I needed to do, with no one to

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The Question Gets Asked…

question markIf you are an SMC, you know the question to which refer. I’ve waited anxiously for my son to ask the Daddy Question. Everything I’ve read says our young children are eager to know more about their unique family structure and origins. As soon as they learn the name for people in their home and for the people in their friends’ homes, children are supposed to ask. So I waited. I prepared. I rehearsed. You wouldn’t think it would take this much planning just to present the truth. I came up with my script. I wrote out the words. I revised them as I practiced the conversation. I bought picture books that other moms said were good for telling and talking. I read those books to Henry. He much preferred The Cat in the Hat and Goodnight Moon. I waited some more. When would he ask? When would he want

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My Choices and My Son’s Choices

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, in several different contexts. One significant example is the issues that arise out of the fact that we’ve started getting into more specific details about conception. It was a non-issue for my son to find out, or more accurately, have confirmed that the donor is his biological father, although I will admit that I haven’t emphasized that specific phrase. But I have mentioned it and also do talk at more length about the fact that the donor is the man who gave the sperm that fertilized my egg to create a baby.

I think kids take their cues from us on this sort of thing so I have tried hard to be very matter of fact about it all and present it as neutrally as possible, while still making it clear that I think a mom and kid family is terrific. And

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Do I or Don’t I???

I have just recently made my decision not to become an SMC. I should also preface this by saying that I came to this quandary late. I am 46.

Letting go of the dream of having a traditional family, i.e. a husband and kids, is a very big deal for most women. That’s probably one of the first steps in deciding to become an SMC. And that’s a rough one. I always had this assumption that it would happen, so it was hard to face the fact that it might not just “happen.” What if it doesn’t? How could it not? How long do I wait?

All kinds of people meet their mates and start families. My confidence about myself as an attractive, smart and lovable woman is a bit tangled up in that dream. I never wanted to visit the possibility that it might not happen. It’s negative. It

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