Making the Leap

I just purchased my first vials for intrauterine insemination (IUI)! I was terrified to pull the trigger, but I feel surprisingly excited and relieved! After almost 4 years of “thinking” it feels so good to take control and actually move forward. I thought it might make me really sad to actually purchase the vials because it would mean it is all becoming very real that I’m doing it on my own. But it actually made me feel so happy to know it is now becoming real and I am one step closer to having a baby!

After purchasing, I called my mom and announced, “I am now the proud owner of $4000 worth of semen!” We both laughed hysterically. When I told her I joined the “Semen Club” to get special discounts and offers, she almost peed her pants!! I have found that keeping a sense of humor about this … Continue reading

Who Is My Daddy?

I am a Single Mother by Choice (SMC). I have thought about what to tell my child about his father from the time I started planning my pregnancy. Everything I read said that I child may start asking, “What is a Daddy?” or “Where is my Daddy?” around the age of three. I felt  semi-prepared for his first question. When Bryan was nursing, I practiced. I talked to him about who his father was and why I decided to have a baby by myself. Sometimes I didn’t like the way it sounded so I reworded it.

During the first year of my baby’s life I continued these monologues abut how everyone has a father but not everyone has a Daddy; some fathers live with their children and some don’t.; it takes a lot of work to be a parent and my son’s father, although he is honest, thoughtful and kind, … 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

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 Single Mothers by Choice (SMC) online 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 … Continue reading

Having an Army of Support

When I began the Trying to Conceive (TTC) process in April 2009, I  joined Single Mothers by Choice (SMC).  As I lay here, 32 weeks pregnant with twins on bed rest, I didn’t consider how important a community of support would be before my babies arrived.

While I realize that many SMCs choose to be very private about their decision, I decided very early on to be very open with friends and family. I wanted and needed for people to cheer me on, to support me, and to be a part of my exciting journey. Fortunately, almost everyone “got on the bus” very quickly.

I got pregnant on my 5th cycle and was surprised to learn that I was pregnant with twins. I hoped for a smooth pregnancy but knew the risks. I don’t have family nearby. I live on the East Coast, and my family is in Michigan. At … Continue reading

My Decision to Try to Conceive

So before I even joined Single Mothers by Choice (SMC) this week, my “thinking” had been going on for a couple of years. These past couple of years I had become the relationship chameleon placing all hope in adapting myself to the next guy I would date in the hopes that he could be the father of my child. Ah, yes, the old rhyme “First comes love….then comes marriage”. Despite being in a relationship right now, I have decided that I have all the time in the world to get married, but not so much if I want to become pregnant.

For the record, I am dating someone who has amazingly survived cystic fibrosis, however this condition does not allow him to have children naturally. He makes sperm, but it does not leave the testes. It is a genetic vasectomy. We have been dating for 8 months now, but neither Continue reading

Flower Power – A Child After 40

It’s a mother of an evolution —launching Mothers’ Day 2011.

If you’re on a journey to motherhood after 40 —whether via natural fertility, IVF, egg donation, surrogacy, adoption, or you’re parenting in progress —it’s your time to stand up and be counted.

In 2010, the CDC reported that the only age group in the United States to show a RISE in birth rate were women over 40.

I have a theory that everyone is now just 1 or 2 degrees away from a mother over 40 or a woman who’s going to be.

We talk of supporting the next generation of children who are faced with saving a planet nearly crucified by human greed.

Who’s empowering the mothers who will raise them? A growing number of them are mothers over 40.

The evolution of women having children later is bringing change at the bedrock of our culture.

And take heed: … Continue reading

Who Knew What Would Happen?

As a proud Single Mother by Choice (SMC) of amazing seven-year-old twin girls it’s sometimes hard for me to remember the feelings of fear and failure I had when I embarked on this journey. In fact, like most SMCs I meet, I am so happy with my kids, so clear that single parenting (though hard) comes with distinct benefits, that I sometimes wonder if the world has changed to the point where the feelings I had have become anachronistic. But I made a documentary on the topic, and women thinking about becoming SMCs sometimes contact me to ask questions or just to talk and when they do I see my embarrassment and terror all over again.

Obviously women calling for support are a select group. I know women who say they didn’t sweat the decision. But what I see when I get these calls are smart, capable, relatively financially stable … Continue reading

Falling Off the Family Tree

It started as an email: Catherine, I know you wanted to talk to me about your son’s adoption before we tackled the first assignment about family, his teacher wrote; but with the beginning of the year being so busy, I forgot to ask you before today. This morning the students are going to be asked to write about their family. Is there anything special you would like me to know beforehand?

With three minutes until my own homeroom bell, I knew this was not going to be an optimal setting for our conversation. Email feels less and less adequate as a form of communication to me, but I didn’t have a choice. I was very pleased she had reached out, and felt that she was right on the mark for asking.

My answer looked something like this; Encourage him (privately if possible–to avoid him having to answer a zillion Continue reading

Lightbulb Moments On My Way to Motherhood.

Taking the Single Mothers by Choice (SMC) route has been an amazingly interesting journey so far (which is a little like saying we saw some snow this winter in the Northeast!). There were a couple of moments that stand out in my memory in particularly sharp focus. One such occasion was a conversation with my therapist before I had even started trying to conceive and was still trying to chase the elusive child-with-partner dream. We were discussing the guy I was involved with who was not stepping up to the plate (in fact he had left the field altogether but I wasn’t able to acknowledge that yet).  My therapist commented: “He may not be a sure, but but you are”,  and it fell into place that I was everything I was looking for in a partner – reliable, dependable, hard working, responsible, thoughtful, caring – and he was none of … Continue reading

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