When I began the Trying to Conceive (TTC) process in April 2009, I joined Single Mothers by Choice (SMC). 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 IUI cycle 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 starting shortening and dilating and strict bed rest quickly became my reality. How would and could strict bed rest work living alone?
Close friends had me move in with them. The next-door neighbor has brought me lunch every day. Friends, colleagues, and fellow SMCs have been incredibly generous with visits and deliveries. When I was sent to the hospital and had to stay overnight, friends took shifts so that I was never alone.
This process has taught me that despite how independent and strong I am as a single woman, I need an army of support and my babies haven’t even arrived! I have learned to ask for help, to let people do things for me, and to allow people to sit by my side and just keep me company. I feel extremely fortunate for such amazing friends who have jumped in feet first to help me in so many different ways. Sharing my decision and rallying my community around me has already been my savior.
Stacey Pearl, 35