Pregnancy Loneliness

Greetings from the other side of pregnancy! A recent post on the Single Mothers by Choice (SMC) members’  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 think about something else. I knew being a single mom would be hard and tried to be as prepared as I could be before I conceived. I knew I could do it. But I had imagined doing it with one baby at a time. With twins, I was terrified that this level of hard would be beyond me. In fact, I already knew that would be beyond me financially, which lead me to a lot of sadness.

This turn of events was the end of my financial independence and the life that I had built for myself and loved so much . I felt pretty strongly that I needed to stay there until after everyone was born and healthy and safe, because there I had good health insurance, excellent medical care and high-risk pregnancy specialists, and a great neonatal ICU, all within 2 miles of my house. I really hate asking for help. I hate asking for money. I especially hated asking my mom for help and money because she had to give up her life for a period to come help me, plus she’s on a fixed income. I hate that I can’t be solely responsible for this decision I made, for these people I’ve created. I was so sad about this. I wanted to be able to do this myself and not ask other people to sacrifice just so I could have a baby.

And the guilt! I felt guilty for being selfish, I felt guilty for feeling scared and sad, I felt guilty for doing something that would cost other people so much. And I felt guilty for not feeling the joy and excitement that I thought I should be feeling. I mean, I asked for this! I did this all myself! I threw every ounce of energy and a fair chunk of money behind this effort, I wanted it that badly! So what was wrong with me that I felt this way? Why was the joy and pleasure in this so hard to access?

I guess I can chalk some of that moodiness up to pregnancy hormones and feeling so unbelievably tired and nauseated 24/7. But having sh**ty feelings is also just part of being human. I read in my book on carrying multiples that when most parents learn they are having multiples they go through five fairly predictable psychological stages, similar to the Kubler-Ross stages of grieving: shock, denial, anxiety/anger/depression, bargaining, and acceptance/adaptation. I guess it’s normal to “grieve” for the loss of the typical pregnancy and family that I had imagined for myself, and it’s to be expected I’d feel a sense of loss over the life that I was giving up in order to do this. And don’t get me wrong, I definitely wanted to do this! I also thought that I had come to peace about letting go of the dream of having a family with a partner, but being alone for the vomiting, the ultrasounds, the kicks… it was just so. damn. lonely. I grieved for that dream all over again.

Well, thank god that pity party is over. We survived delivery and our first (really difficult) six months, we’ve settled into our new home, and now my gorgeous, happy, healthy boys are 10 months old. My relationship with my mom has been pushed and stretched and strained, but we’ll get through it. She adores her grandsons, and she still likes me most of the time. 🙂 And now I can’t imagine any life better than the one I have with my boys.

Thinking about all of those feelings made me fervently hope that everyone’s pregnancies are going well, things are generally uncomplicated and you’re feeling happy and well. But to any of you who might be feeling sad, lonely, guilty, or just miserably huge and uncomfortable: even if you’re reading all those pregnancy and baby books alone in bed, you’re not alone in feeling the way you do. And when your pregnancy is over, you’re going to be cuddling the best thing that ever happened to you.



15 thoughts on “Pregnancy Loneliness”

  1. This post really made me tear up today. i found out five days ago im pregnant with twins, currently 12 weeks. My boyfriend when he heard the news decided he wasn’t ready for this and he wants no part of it. Truth be told i never wanted kids myself but seeing them on the monitor during my ultrasound really changed my mind as i was even considering an abortion. i am torn between being happy, excited, worried, angry. My emotions are all over and what worries me most is if i will be able to effectively care for two babies on my own especially on my limited income as i live in a not so developed country. i don’t feel the loneliness as yet but the sense of loss and constant worry is frightening for me.

    1. Go for it. I did an abortion because he wanted no part of it. I cannot smile the way I used to. Be tough. Your children will never leave you, your man might.

  2. I cried while reading your post, but then again I was already crying. Its so much to think about with having twins and to do it all alone is really depressing me. I try to keep busy to not let it weigh me now, but to know other women have got through is comforting. I pray for not just me, but every woman in the situation.

    1. There are several thousand of us who are members of the Single Mothers by Choice (SMC) organization, and we discuss everything and anything, both at our local meetings and on our 24/7 online Forum. Join us! Go to and then click on “membership” in the top menu bar.

  3. I’m pregnant with just one and also feeling a lot of these feelings… so thank you for the post. One thing I keep feeling guilty about is that I don’t have a great support system in place – as I live in Los Angeles and friends are spread out all over the place. My family lives in a different state – which in the bigger picture is a good thing. Even the SMC moms I’ve met are all great – but again, they are scattered. So I’m wondering just how lonely and scary things will be in the beginning!

  4. Thank you for your post! I cried as I read for your story as it seemed so close to mine. You put into words, all of my feelings that I didn’t know how to describe. I’m a 39-year-old single mother by choice mom who is 12 weeks pregnant with twins. All of my excitement is taken up by my fear, anxiety, and grief. And as you mentioned letting go of my financial independence and life that I had planned if I had one child.

    I am grateful that I got pregnant and I am grateful for twins. Transitions are always hard – emotionally and physically. Thank you for sharing your story and the light at the end of the tunnel!

  5. Dear Rachel,

    I just read this post and it has helped me so much. I am pregnant with a singleton, I’m 34 weeks. I live in DC and I’m trying to plan for childcare. It’s so so scary and I don’t know if I will be able to make ends meet. I totally relate to feeling guilty and feeling selfish and alone. I wonder if I can be a good mom to him with all this going on in my head. I’m SO happy about the pregnancy, but I want to make sure he gets all he needs, and I just hope deeply that I can provide that.

    Anyway, thanks, because I really felt I was the only one going through this.


  6. I really appreciated reading this post. I used a donor and on my 3rd IUI try, got pregnant. I had thought about it long and hard, and decided I really wanted this. I’m only 33, but dealt with a bad fibroid last year that resulted in 2 surgeries and a fertility specialist telling me my best chance of a healthy pregnancy would be to try soon. So I had to make this decision a little sooner than I thought I would. I’m 6 weeks, 2 days pregnant and I had my first ultrasound yesterday. I saw the little fluttering heartbeat and was so relieved! There is only one in there, although I was slightly concerned about twins after really high beta levels the past 2 weeks! But I still wake up sometimes with anxiety and panic – am I doing the right thing? Should I have waited a little longer to try to find a partner? Should I have just stayed with my happy life of being a dog mom and traveling? Whenever I think these things, I feel so guilty! I wanted this – I made this happen! I know, as you said, that some of these can be chalked up to moodiness from pregnancy hormones. But some of them probably can’t. I just didn’t expect to feel this way. Reading your post makes me feel like I don’t necessarily have to feel guilty about having these thoughts. Everything just got very real pretty quickly, and I’m sure it will take me some time to adjust to. I’m happy to hear that you were able to adjust as well!

  7. Will be older mom. . .thinking twins makes sense until I begin thinking of two in college at same time, feeding at same time, daycare costs at the same time. . .achieving healthy pregnancy. . .and many more thoughts. Then I think of what my regrets will be if I don’t do this. I want my baby to have a sibling is the reason I am thinking about twins, but right now, it does not seem practical. Taking action is better than no action.

    I have told no one about my plans. . .have a partial support system, but I try not to count on others.

    I have one relative who may understand, but don’t know her that well. She is going through a similar fertility situation. I am afraid, excited, tired (already!). . .but this has been a long, long journey. I am afraid that if I don’t do this now (the thing I’ve been imagining since 16 years old), then I won’t have the courage at all.

    I so want to be a mom. I want to share my future with someone. I want to celebrate the holidays with my future children (I am so so excited about that!!!). I did not begin this journey alone, but now I am at this place through no choice of my own. My single by choice is not really my choice. Be strong everyone.

  8. I recently relocated to California from Texas in October for a job, and a week after I moved my boyfriend (35 yrs. old) of 1 year broke up with me because he said he was in love with a 22-year-old girl in Germany. He had been lying to me and using me practically the whole time we were together. A week after that, I found out I was 6 weeks pregnant. He has since moved to LA with the new girl and they are living together. These past months have been the most painful and loneliest of my entire life, to say the very least; I even said goodbye to my dog as I would not be able to handle both a baby and a dog by myself. My own family suggested an abortion because they feared I would not be able to financially support my child as a single mother, but at 30 years old, it just was not an option for me. I have had nobody here to lean on, not one, and I hope all the time that I made the right decision. The father has not been here for me and I can’t rely on him for anything really, especially money because he barely has money to support himself being a starving artist. It’s been extremely difficult doing this all alone while he is over there all happy living with his new girlfriend and I’m about to bring his child into the world, so hurtful that I feel he shouldn’t be involved at all because he doesn’t deserve it and would just be a constant disappointment. It’s like a double-edge sword and nothing seems to get me out of this sinking depression. My initial gut feeling was that I am meant to be a mother and that this is a blessing in disguise; I just never thought in a million years that I would be doing it all on my own. To be a single mother wasn’t exactly my choice; however, I did make the choice to keep the baby. To get me through the days and nights, I just keep telling myself that once I hold my daughter in my arms, it will all be worth it.

    1. If you’re in depression, seeing a counselor would be a good idea. You’ve been through a lot and having some good support and someone to lean on would be helpful as you enter this new and very challenging phase of your life.

  9. A very timely post for me, as I just got a positive after a two-embryo transfer this month and am struggling with fear about having twins and guilt at being so afraid in the first place. I guess the motherly guilt starts even earlier than I thought! I’m glad things have settled down with you and your boys, and your mother, and that you have a happy, healthy ready-made family.

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