My Choices and My Son’s Choices

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, in several different contexts. One significant example is the issues that arise out of the fact that we’ve started getting into more specific details about conception. It was a non-issue for my son to find out, or more accurately, have confirmed that the donor is his biological father, although I will admit that I haven’t emphasized that specific phrase. But I have mentioned it and also do talk at more length about the fact that the donor is the man who gave the sperm that fertilized my egg to create a baby.

I think kids take their cues from us on this sort of thing so I have tried hard to be very matter of fact about it all and present it as neutrally as possible, while still making it clear that I think a mom and kid family is terrific. And … Continue reading

Coping with the Growing Up

Pre-kids, I predicted that I would enjoy parenting an infant a lot, and would really love the years from two to five. I expected I might lose interest after that, based on my experience with other kids. I found it easy to talk to toddlers and preschoolers, but found the fads of grade school tough to follow, and always felt like I reverted back to that shy, awkward kid I’d once been, when I tried to engage friends’ school-aged kids.

I wasn’t as much of a “baby person” as I’d expected to be. Maybe that was having two infants at once, but I was exhausted for the whole first year of my daughters’ lives and while I do still sometimes long to do it again (with a singleton!), a large part of me experiences a mild version of PTSD when I see really little babies. It’s fading, but it’s there … Continue reading

Bringing My Son Home

The day had finally arrived for me to receive my baby. My mother had flown to San Antonio the day before in order to accompany me when I picked him up. She also planned to spend two weeks with me to assist with the adjustment process. We were both nervous and excited as we made the two-hour drive to the agency.

When we arrived at the agency, I spent approximately an hour completing paperwork and paying the agency fee . Finally, after all the administrative details were done, the agency staff began taking pictures of my mother and I while we waited. Next, the foster mother entered the room carrying my baby. What a moment! Words can not explain the emotions I felt. Suddenly, I forgot about all the uncertainty of the past 19 months. All I could focus on was my beautiful baby boy.

He was three months and … Continue reading

Modern Family

Years ago, when I made the decision to become a Single Mother by Choice (SMC) and began perusing the profiles of dozens of potential sperm donors, I was clear about one thing: I planned to use an open donor. Like most people, I’d heard plenty of stories about adopted kids who yearned for details about their biological parents, and I wanted to make sure that if my child ever felt like one of those kids, she’d have the information she needed. An open donor is a sperm donor who is open to meeting the children whom his sperm produced, and when my daughter turns 18, she can contact the bank I used, and they will release contact information about her donor to her.

After I gave birth, there was an onslaught of media attention directed towards the Donor Sibling Registry (DSR). As the DSR website states, “the focus of the … Continue reading

How I Made the Decision

 

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 most wonderful experience of my adult life to share everything I thought and everything I felt with my mother without hesitation and without filtering anything. I’m 35yr old (financially stable, professionally successful, home owner) and although she had initially thought I should wait until I was closer to 40, after really sharing with each other, she is the one who helped me decide to start trying. She is now 100% supportive and excited. And has an opinion about everything!

Last weekend I sat down with the rest of my family (which is no easy feat), my father, … Continue reading

Plan B?

I never pictured myself as a single mom; but then again, I didn’t always picture myself as a mom, period. Unlike some of my friends who were always talking about having babies during their 20s and 30s, I said things like, “I’ll have kids if I marry a guy who I know will be a great dad, and who really wants to have kids,” but I wasn’t obsessed with being a mother at all. I wasn’t even comfortable around children, and didn’t think they liked me very much. In fact, before I had Jayda, I’d never changed a diaper, and could count on the fingers of one hand how many babies I’d actually held. And yet, as soon as the nurses put my newborn child on my chest, I knew I was put in this world to be Jayda’s mom and care for her.

There was a point in my … Continue reading

Alone — But Not Alone

When you become a Single Mother by Choice (SMC), you expect to do a lot of things alone. In fact, a lot of the thinking and trying stage seems ALL about being alone. Deciding alone to go for it. Attending fertility appointments alone. Being pregnant alone. Most of us have our SMC network, supportive friends and family, but when we hang up the phone, log off the chat, close the door, climb between the sheets, lay in the dark, we are alone again.

Thank God I’m one of those people who think that’s a good thing. Being alone through my journey has meant I’ve been able to take it at my own pace. I’ve been happy when I wanted to be happy, grouchy when it felt right, pregnant and lazy and elated and calm. Whenever I wanted, I felt what I needed to feel, did what I needed to do, … Continue reading

Do I or Don’t I???

I have just recently made my decision NOT to become an SMC. I should also preface this by saying that I came to this quandary late. I am 46.

Letting go of the dream of having a traditional family, i.e. a husband and kids, is a very big deal for most women. That’s probably one of the first steps in deciding to become an SMC. And that’s a rough one. I always had this assumption that it would happen, so it was hard to face the fact that it might not just “happen.” What if it doesn’t? How could it not? How long do I wait?

All kinds of people meet their mates and start families. My confidence about myself as an attractive, smart and lovable woman is a bit tangled up in that dream. I never wanted to visit the possibility that it might not happen. It’s negative. It … Continue reading

The Postmodern Family Vacation

I sifted through my Sunday paper one morning, pulling out the usual bits – coupons, TV guide, Target ad, and USA Weekend. On the latter’s cover were pictures of the characters from the debut of a new tv show, and the corresponding story inside was titled “The Postmodern Family.”

“The Postmodern Family?”  Really?  How could I resist?

The article talked about the multitude of upcoming shows based on non-traditional families. TV historian Tim Brooks notes that television has often presented us with non-traditional families, as it reflects what’s already going on in our current society. For example, The Brady Bunch in its time reflected “the trend of a blended family,” where adults with children from previous marriages came together to form a new family unit.

This particular example rather amused me, as I just had a Very Brady Summer Vacation…

Back when I was pregnant with my son, there was … Continue reading

The Daddy Questions

Sometimes I hear members of Single Mothers by Choice (SMC) talking about the “dreaded Daddy questions” but I don’t think it needs to be a “dreaded question”. In fact, I set things up so it wasn’t a question at all. By that I mean that from the time he was born, I told my son “our story” about how there was a mama who was sad because she didn’t have a baby, and she didn’t have a husband to be a daddy. So a nice man called the donor gave the special seeds to a doctor who put them into the mama to make a baby with her eggs, who of course turned out to be my son! (That was my version of it, I never bought any of the books on this topic). When he was around 3, he could tell the story back to me and it was … Continue reading

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