Category Archives: donor insemination

Baby Steps

athenareichbaby2.web1“When I grow up…”

As I am typing this, my five-day-old baby boy sleeps soundly, fetal position, curled tight against my body. It’s as if I’m still pregnant, his quiet presence barely there except for the mild ache in my back.

I’m 39 years old, single, and I’ve been out as a lesbian since my teens. I am a performer (actress, singer/songwriter and occasional Lady Gaga impersonator), and I have been longing to be a mother since I was four years old.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

“The first female astronaut. And a mommy!” I’d answer, my grin barely contained within my gleeful face.

At age 19, I came out to my mom, and she said, “This is really cliché, but I always pictured you with a white picket fence, a husband and kids.” “Nothing’s changed, Mom,” I replied, “I’m still the same person. I

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How I Made the Decision

I joined the SMC Forum a few months ago and I have been reading every post since then. The first and only time I posted (before now) I shared how I’ve been “thinking” for nearly two years. I was overwhelmed by the support and kind messages everyone wrote in response. But it’s been the posts by everyone else struggling with the same decision, the shared fears and excitement that have truly helped me make the right choice for me. I cannot say thank you enough for letting me, a stranger, into such an important part of your lives.

So this is how I made the decision: I had planned a weekend away with my mother and my goal was to have made a decision – one way or another – by the time we were flying home. We had fun, we enjoyed the vacation and we talked. It was the

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Love (While Being an SMC of Two)

Artwork with loveWhen my daughter (via Donor Insemination) was a baby I had little time or interest in dating. I was loving motherhood, but motherhood and working full time took all my energy. There were many times that I was grateful that I didn’t have to put any energy into a relationship because I didn’t think I could have managed.

When she got to be a toddler and I began to get out of the house occasionally without her I began to think about dating and had a profile up on The first thing I noticed is that I got hardly any interest compared to the profile I had up before becoming an SMC. I was now 37-38 yrs old.

About that same time I had a few dates with a former HS classmate and we really liked each other but he lived long distance and was not interested in a

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Making the Leap

Just purchased my first vials for intrauterine insemination (IUI)! I was terrified to pull the trigger, but I feel surprisingly excited and relieved! After almost 4 years of “thinking” it feels so good to take control and actually move forward. I thought it might make me really sad to actually purchase the vials because it would mean it is all becoming very real that I’m doing it on my own. But it actually made me feel so happy to know it is now becoming real and I am one step closer to having a baby!

After purchasing, I called my mom and announced, “I am now the proud owner of $4000 worth of semen!” We both laughed hysterically. When I told her I joined the “Semen Club” to get special discounts and offers, she almost peed her pants!! I have found that keeping a sense of humor about this whole

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Who Is My Daddy?

I am a single  mother by choice. I have thought about what to tell my child about his father from the time I started planning my pregnancy. Everything I read said that I child may start asking, “What is a Daddy?” or “Where is my Daddy?” around the age of three. I felt  semi-prepared for his first question. When Bryan was nursing, I practiced. I talked to him about who his father was and why I decided to have a baby by myself. Sometimes I didn’t like the way it sounded so I reworded it.

During the first year of my baby’s life I continued these monologues abut how everyone has a father but not everyone has a Daddy; some fathers live with their children and some don’t.; it takes a lot of work to be a parent and my son’s father, although he is honest, thoughtful and kind, didn’t

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Keep On Keeping On

A word to everyone out there who is on the Trying to Conceive (TTC) roller-coaster… whether you just got on the ride or you’ve been on the ride for years and you’re desperately ready to get off and wonder if it’s EVER going to end…  Our SMC Forums can often focus so much on the difficult parts of this journey, and sometimes it helps to have someone say something different, so…

Keep on keeping on.  It is frequently a hard and brutal journey, and it is almost always more difficult than we anticipated.  It’s often emotionally overwhelming to be SO ready to move forward at the same time that you’re grieving over the fairy tale.  And the longer the ride goes on the greater the emotional toll and the more you question yourself.  But be strong and just think about how the last mile of a marathon is always the

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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


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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