During the last few weeks the world around us has changed suddenly. Hot sticky days with harsh bright sunlight have been replaced by cool, crisp dry days that smell of fresh mown grass and distant fires. Many of the 6-foot-high corn fields have been mowed down, and the guy selling 12 ears for $4 out of the back of his truck has sold out for the season. The soybean fields are starting to turn golden, and maples and ash here and there are flaming red and yellow. It isn’t fall yet, but fall is definitely in the air. We leave the windows open at night, and some nights the brisk prairie winds from the west cool the house so much that I have to get up and close the windows. We leave for town every morning just as the sun is coming up, and as we turn east to head… Continue reading
Greetings from the other side of pregnancy! A recent post on the SMC online Forum got me reminiscing about my pregnancy. I found being single and pregnant with twins one of the most difficult and lonely periods of my life. I had planned and budgeted for a singleton and kept my fingers crossed that I wouldn’t have a multiple pregnancy, but lucky me, I got a two-for-one discount from the sperm bank. I’m actually quite happy about it now, but it was not good news for me at first.
At the time I was definitely excited, but the feelings of excitement were so overwhelmed by intense fear, sadness, and guilt. I was so scared about being a single mom to two infants that if I thought about it for too long I would get the shakes and my eyes would well up. I would just take a deep breath and… Continue reading
When I turned thirty-five the last thing on my mind was becoming a mother. I had spent my late teens, twenties, and early thirties so wrapped up in myself, the thought of having the responsibility of a child was submerged somewhere between marriage and home ownership. I was content being a perennial student, keeping a day job, and sabotaging potentially long-term relationships. Then, some time in my thirty-fifth year, an unprecedented urge pierced my thoughts, rattling my body like an alarm clock, only this was purely biological.
My boyfriend at the time did not want children. I wasn’t asking him to marry me, I remember thinking. In fact it did not matter if we even stayed together. I just needed him to get me pregnant. I could handle the rest on my own. During the next few weeks, it became apparent to me that there were many reasons for me… Continue reading
Four years ago this month I conceived my first child by a non-medicated, interuterine insemination. I hadn’t been a Thinker for long. Or perhaps, I had been a Thinker my whole life. The certainty that I would never marry and have children was something that haunted my thoughts since I was in my early twenties. Until I separated the two life events, becoming a mother seemed all but hopeless. I thought about it only in terms of what would never be.
For over a decade, I mourned the loss of what came so easily to most women: a family.Once I gave myself permission to research the possibilities of single motherhood, things happened very quickly. Within a month I had read everything I could find on the topic. I began contacting adoption agencies. The official responses were consistently negative. A social worker at a domestic agency said to me, “No… Continue reading
A few weeks before my 42nd birthday, sitting alone on my houseboat on a foggy morning in Sausalito, I watched a red cross appear on a home pregnancy test and was flooded with a rush of joy, relief, anticipation and fear. I had no husband or boyfriend to tell the news, so I first called my mom who with strange intuition said, “I knew that’s why you were calling!” I then began my usual phone circuit of girlfriends, my inner circle of women to whom I have always reached out for moral support. Whether it’s a career crisis or to commiserate on a bad date, each of them in their own way has always offered a dose of reality or a joke to lighten the fact that my date drank red wine with a straw because he didn’t want to stain his teeth or showed me a Facebook slideshow of… Continue reading
I am thankful for:
My two beautiful, healthy, smart, funny girls.
My amazing family, who are supportive, though many miles away.
My job, which was at risk for many months, but is once again mostly stable and secure.
My friends, without whose help some weekends would last months, and who have provided a local family for my family.
The internet, without which I never would have found SMC and the incredible community of women you are.
For parents who, after struggling to accept me, are excited and supportive of my journey.
For friends, past, present and future, some of whom are other SMCs I’ve met through this wonderful community.
I am finally on my way to
I was married when both my kids were born, but in many ways I feel a kinship with those who identify as single moms by choice.
My daughter, now 4, was born to two parents in a reasonably happy marriage with a bright future ahead. But my son, 2, was conceived just a couple months after his father suffered a terrible accident that resulted in a brain injury. By all accounts the recovery was a miraculous one – despite signs of major damage my husband was walking and talking normally afterwards. But the anger, personality changes and lost cognitive skills were apparent immediately. I struggled bitterly to connect with the man I’d known and loved for 7 years. Everything I read told me that his future would certainly be troubled, and our marriage more… Continue reading
I met Rhonda through the national organization Single Mothers by Choice. She and I both joined last summer. The first time we met in person I got out of my car, and I was greeted by a tiny woman in a shimmering magenta jogging suit, her eyes hidden behind big round black sunglasses. We nervously shook hands and began talking about who we were and where we came from and how far along we were in our journey as we walked a 3-mile loop that winds along the Mississippi River and back downtown. The second time we met we sat in a crowded Caribou Coffee in Eagan, and I drank a decaf latte a week after my second insemination. I played with the lid on my drink and told her that I didn’t want to sound terribly shallow but I was afraid of what being pregnant would do to my… Continue reading
It’s 6 am on a Sunday, and I get up to do the obligatory pregnancy test thinking to myself, the sooner I get the bad news, the sooner I can bury myself in my bed for the day and wallow in the fact that my 7th time trying to get pregnant failed. Failed just like I failed to get my promotion because of this stupid economy, failed just like every dating relationship I have been in. Failed, failed, failed.
It didn’t work. I know it didn’t. I don’t feel any different; I have none of the symptoms that you read about on-line. Just Google “when did you have your first pregnancy symptoms” and all kinds of posts from annoying women come up saying things like, I knew 5 days after I ovulated. I had a twinge in my uterus, I had inexplicable burps, my breasts were incredibly sore” etc. etc.… Continue reading
Back in 2008 I was a divorced 44 year old woman, busy, happy, fulfilled. Had my own business, loved the freedom, I used to say it was no coincidence that I didn’t have a boss or a husband, or that I drove a stick shift car — I liked to be in control! I was in an on-again-off-again relationship with a great guy who (ironically) I thought was too busy with his sons from a previous marriage to devote enough time to ME (!), and we were in an “off” period. I got on Match.com, and met and briefly dated another guy, it was honestly just a 6 week fling, he was not someone I was interested in long-term, he was really just to get my mind off the OTHER guy! As I said, I was 44, I knew the facts of life. But given my age, and the fact… Continue reading