I spent three years deciding whether or not to become a Mother on my own. During that time I worried a lot about how I would tell people that I had gotten knocked up by a sperm donor. The words stalled in my brain. I worried what people would think and what they might say. Worse still, I worried what my child might think of me.
Anyone who knows me would be surprised to hear this. I’m generally a person who doesn’t much care what other people think. It was so alien to me to be spending time on these thoughts. Normally I’d be a ‘do it now, worry later’ kind of gal. This was too big for that kind of impulsivity. I also work in a restaurant and as such have a lot of people that I’d have to explain a pregnancy to. That’s a lot of reactions to worry about!
In the end I turned my thinking around. How would I feel if I was never a Mother? If I didn’t do this would it be my biggest regret? Would I become a miserable spirit in the afterlife, hovering around babies cribs??!!
I wasn’t sure how I’d field the questions but I was sure that I needed to be a Mother. Nobody wants to haunt babies! I stopped worrying and started trying.
And it took a long time to get pregnant. During that time I sincerely wished I hadn’t spent so long worrying about other people. I was so mad at myself for doubting my path. I was terrified that I had blown my chance at being a Mother by spending too long thinking about whether or not to do it. Thankfully it finally worked out and by then I was so happy to be pregnant that my original fears no longer mattered.
At 16 weeks pregnant, my wardrobe options were running out. I’d gone from wearing figure hugging clothes to baby doll dresses. It was time to tell work (and the general public!)
I told my work colleagues first. I was so nervous. I’d gotten very fond of my giant secret. I got my co-workers in a room and told them together. The response was amazing! I received hugs, congratulations and so much love. I was very honest about having conceived on my own and the struggles I’d been through.
“I’m having a baby on my own. I used a donor and conceived via IVF. I am so ecstatic. It took a long time to get here and I can’t wait to be a Mother!”
I put the tight clothes back on and started telling my customers. Some people asked genuine questions and all said they thought it was great. A lot of women said they wished they had done the same thing.
The one demographic that I sometimes got a defensive vibe from was older men. They would ask questions about the donor (which I would decline to answer as they were often too personal.) I wondered whether their egos were slightly bruised at the thought of a woman not needing a man in her life to get pregnant.
After 3 years of thinking and researching I felt that the sooner I became comfortable with my story, the better it would be for my child. It felt super awkward the first few times I told people I don’t know so well that I’m a single mother by choice who used a sperm donor. It quickly became easier and these days I quite enjoy telling people (when appropriate.)
That said, it’s amazing how infrequently I’m now asked about the other parent. Once your child is born nobody really cares how they got here. Our society is so used to broken homes and single mothers that we just blend into the crowd.
I have however already started telling my son where he came from. As soon as he was born I made him a book that explains his story to him. It has a lot of pictures of us and our family. We read it together about once a week. Right now the words mean nothing to him but before too long they will begin to make sense to him and become a starting point for his questions.
These days I’m so proud of our story. I can’t imagine it being any other way.