Setting a Date

I just turned 29. All the time I hear “you’re so young” “wait for Mr. Right” “you’ve got plenty of time” from people I talk to about my choice to become a single mother. I’m not exactly shouting it from the rooftops, but I’m not shy about it either. People think I have plenty of time, but I don’t feel like I have plenty of time. And ultimately, it’s my choice. So the term “thinker” doesn’t seem to fit me anymore. I consider myself a “planner”. I’m making plans, getting things ready.

I want to have an awesome 30th birthday party. I have my girlfriends all ready to do something big. It’s going to be my bachelorette. I think that’s reasonable. I’m going to go from single girl to mother. That’s way more of a commitment of time, energy, and freedom than getting married. I’m settling down, just not with … Continue reading

Keep On Keeping On

A word to everyone out there who is on the Trying to Conceive (TTC) roller-coaster… whether you just got on the ride or you’ve been on the ride for years and you’re desperately ready to get off, and wonder if it’s EVER going to end…  Our SMC discussion Forums can often focus so much on the difficult parts of this journey, and sometimes it helps to have someone say something different, so…

Keep on keeping on. It is frequently a hard and brutal journey, and it is almost always more difficult than we anticipated. It’s often emotionally overwhelming to be SO ready to move forward at the same time that you’re grieving over the fairy tale. And the longer the ride goes on the greater the emotional toll and the more you question yourself. But be strong and just think about how the last mile of a marathon is always … Continue reading

Telling a Broader Society

I am a Single Mother by Choice (SMC), living in the Boston area; my son will turn two this month.  He’s getting to the age when I can start communicating with him about family structures, and I’m reading him books about different types of families.

While I’ve read a few things about telling your child about the absence of a father, I haven’t seen as much about the issue of how you frame things to a broader society.  Certainly I explain about donor conception, the issue of my biological clock, sperm banks, and so forth, but that just addresses how things came about.  It would also sound like my family structure was a last resort, which in the moment it was.

The whole truth, however, is that I did not want to settle for a bad relationship.  I know that a bad relationship is harmful to the child, and in … Continue reading

My Circuitous Route to Adoption

windingroadjpgAs I sit here writing, my house is filled with baby items from friends and Freecycle. All I need is a baby. At least now I have hope—I’m on an adoption waiting list. But what a long journey it has been…

I became a thinker and joined Single Mothers by Choice at age 39. People encouraged me to move forward, but I was stuck. I wanted a husband, then kids—the traditional family. At 40, I met someone I hoped could be Mr. Right, who turned out to be Mr. Autonomy Issues. At 41, I broke it off. I was devastated. I went into a depression, sought counseling and was stuck—I wanted biological kids, but I also wanted a traditional family. I kept thinking.

Looking back, I see how uneducated I was about fertility for women in their 40s. Despite the many women in the news having children well into their … Continue reading

And He’s Off…

I just saw an ad for The Mystery Science Theater 3000 show. Hey, I think Marshall might like to see this. Maybe even with me. September 19. And my heart sinks a little. I am dropping him off at college on September 13. My baby will be leaving the building.

Now, don’t get me wrong. This is absolutely how it should be. And in all honestly, after 18 years of having him in my house, in my space, in my heart, it is time for him to go. But there’s a small voice inside that keeps saying: “Not yet. A little more time. One more adventure.”

If I say so myself, I have raised an exquisite human being. He is smart, funny, and kind. He has good friends—kids who like him and like being around him. He is kind to my mother, something I am not always successful at, which … Continue reading

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

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