Pathways to Becoming an SMC

If you’re considering becoming an SMC, it’s time to explore all of the different pathways to building a family without a partner 

TYPES OF DONORS

KNOWN DONOR

A known donor is a person that the woman knows and chooses to donate sperm. This option is much cheaper than a donor from a sperm bank since the sperm does not need to be purchased. However, there can be many legal risks with this option (I suggest watching “Nuclear Family” on HBO if you are considering this route).

UNKNOWN DONOR

This is your typical sperm bank route. Sperm donors can’t claim legal rights to the children born through donation so you don’t have to worry about custody issues in the future. You also get a ton of information regarding the donor’s physical traits, medical history, career, etc. Honestly, it’s more information than you would probably k know about a partner!

EGG DONOR… Continue reading

Goodnight Moon

HiResIt’s been a tough week. Two huge projects at work have left me stressed out and exhausted. And it’s my son’s first week back to school as a newly minted first grader. He seems to be doing ok, but it’s a major adjustment nonetheless, for both of us.

Our rituals soothe us, particularly at night after a long day. And for even more comfort, we’ve retreated into the past. This week’s bedtime selections have been our old standbys, the board books I started reading to my son when he was an infant, the ones I still know by heart. A Color of His Own, The Runaway Bunny, Are You My Mother?, and tonight, Goodnight Moon. Although my son can read these books to me now, we both still enjoy it when I read aloud to him, it’s part of the ritual.

We snuggle in together in his bed, me carefully … Continue reading

Giving in to Grief

I was 34 when I first heard about a woman choosing to have a baby on her own. It was over margaritas with my friends one night. One friend told us about a co-worker who was 40, single and had decided to try to have a baby on her own. I remember the moment vividly, my eyes wide and terrified that was where I was headed if I didn’t buckle down and find a man. I thought, “I can’t let that be my life.”

Four years later, as I am in the thick of trying to conceive (TTC), I’ve gone through a lot of emotional processing and grieving that comes with choosing single motherhood.

My first part of grief came when I was 35 and froze my eggs. I did it as a way to buy myself time and hopefully relax in my dating process. But I remember feeling depressed … Continue reading

Egg Freezing and IVF for the Single Woman

I’m about to start my 4th egg retrieval cycle, and my 2nd full round of IVF. I’ve put together some tips I’ve learned along the way, especially for those of you who are starting this journey solo! Good luck!

3 months before: Start your supplement regimen

It takes 3 months for any supplements to truly work on your egg quality. It can be hard to wait that long when time is of the essence, so if you are even considering egg freezing, start popping those pills (with your doctors approval). After reading It Starts with the Egg and various other websites, I take the following supplements daily to prepare for my cycle:

Prenatal – contains many of the substances that can enhance and protect your eggs during maturation

Coq-10 with ubiquinol – powerful antioxidant that improves egg quality and quantity has been shown to increase fertility, particularly for women over … Continue reading

It’s the Village for Me

mature pregnant woman on phoneI have to say when I started this journey, I expected there would be times that I would feel lonely or miss not having a partner. And there have definitely been those moments where I felt that.

An Africans proverb that I love is “its takes a village to raise a child.” It shows that when communities are at its best, its a village. A close knit unit that helps, supports, gives feedback, provides structure, brings guidance, and love to all. The African American community has lived off this for so many years. And honestly I grew up this way as well. I have to say that, my village is awesome and has been essential throughout this journey!!!

Let me start from the beginning…. Earlier this week, I found myself in so much pain dealing with what the doctors have determined is sciatica (really sharp pain going from my lower … Continue reading

One Egg Does Not Equal a Baby

Woman seeing positive pregnancy test.One challenge I encountered with my friends and family was explaining that one egg does not equal a baby. I found that when I told people I had frozen 20 eggs they assumed my dreams of motherhood were all set. I had an insurance policy, my back up plan. But I knew that this “insurance policy” was far from a guarantee. Let’s break down how many eggs it can takes to have one healthy baby.

  • Let’s say you are 35 or younger, have a successful egg retrieval where you get 10 eggs.
  • From there, you can only fertilize mature eggs. About 80% of eggs retrieved will be mature. Now you are down to 8 eggs to fertilize.
  • Next, fertilization happens. Again, about 80% of your mature eggs are expected to fertilize. That makes about 6 embryos.
  • Now you wait a week to find out how many of those
Continue reading

SMC-hood and the 40th Anniversary Event

Moms group in parkAs an SMC, I often get asked “How do you do this alone?” The truth is, while I have chosen to raise my daughter without a partner, I never intended to do it alone. Building a support system of friends, family and fellow SMCs has been a crucial part of my journey.  I do believe that it takes a village to raise a child and in my case it also took a village to make a child. My path to motherhood included donor sperm, 4 IUIs, two rounds of IVF, 2 miscarriages, loss and ultimately the birth of my daughter via surrogacy using my remaining frozen embryos. I wouldn’t have had the resilience to continue on my eight year fertility journey or my first years as a mother navigating parenting during a pandemic without a really solid  support system.

As I look back on my journey I remember the “Choose Continue reading

Another Step Toward Motherhood…

I have a needle phobia. Anyone who doesn’t have a phobia will find it hard to understand just what that means. When I need anything done that involves needles, its a major ordeal for me. I have to have someone go with me. Sometimes my doctor (or dentist) prescribes me Valium (which really doesn’t seem to help much…but I feel goooood after). I’m hysterical. I have panic attacks. I feel like the world is spinning out of control. And it makes me angry. I consider myself a very grounded, rational, and practical person. So to have this crazy fear of something like a little tiny needle, it just doesn’t make sense! But I’ve been this way since I was a teenager, so I’ve mostly avoided needles.

Now, I want to become a mother. More than that, I want to become a single mother. So no wonderful husband to work through … Continue reading

Swiping Right on the Seed: Picking my baby’s donor

Picking my donor was easier than I thought. Once I knew I was seriously considering moving forward with choice motherhood, I started researching sperm banks. Each one was different, and I considered a number of criteria.

What I focused on when picking:

My first instinct was to look for someone that I found good looking, which is trivial, but if I am in the position where I am going to hand pick half of my child’s genetics, I am going to be selective. I decided I wanted someone who either resembled me or someone I would date in real life. Ideally taller than 5’11 to balance my petite 5’3 frame. A donor who was athletic because I always ran the opposite direction of balls on the field, and CMV negative, which I had no idea what that meant when I started this journey.

After I had my session with the Continue reading

Ten Steps to Becoming a Single Mom by Choice

Sperm and eggThinking about having a baby on your own is only the beginning. Once you actually put your plan in action, expect a lengthy process. From my first consultation with my Reproductive Endocrinologist to completing my first round of IVF, it was about five months. Here are the 10 steps I went through, including, of course, joining Single Mothers by Choice.

1. Find a good Reproductive Endocrinologist

Fortunately, I already had one from egg freezing that I liked and trusted.

2. Schedule a consultation

This can be a long wait if you are not already a patient. So if you want to get more information, schedule this as soon as you can. Then make your list of questions, start thinking about a realistic timeline for yourself, and do your research ahead of time so you are familiar with fertility language.

3. Initial consultation

Your brain will be filled with terms … Continue reading

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