My Choices and My Son’s Choices

iStock_spermXSmallI’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

To Be or Not to Be a Single Mother by Choice (SMC)

There are many reasons TO become a Single Mother by Choice (SMC) and many reasons NOT TO. It’s such an individual decision to make. It is difficult to be a single mom, very difficult, but I think it’s also difficult to be a married mom. This decision isn’t one to be taken lightly, and it helps to really look at your whole life while you decide whether being a SMC will fit into it. When I was thinking I worried endlessly about what might happen. What will I say to people when I can’t hide my pregnancy anymore?” How will I tell my family? What if people judge me? What if I meet “the one” right after I get pregnant or after I have the baby?.

What I found out (much to my surprise) was that all those worries disappeared pretty quickly once I became pregnant. I had one or Continue reading

New Beginnings

Scanning of a stomach of pregnant womanOne year ago I began my journey toward single motherhood.

Despite my age (nearly 42), it never occurred to me that I wouldn’t become pregnant right away. I chose a doctor and a donor and by the beginning of April I was ready for my first attempt via intrauterine insemination. Two weeks later I learned I was pregnant, and I was elated! The few people I had told were astonished I got pregnant so quickly, but I didn’t understand why. I assumed I would be pregnant because I wanted to be. Isn’t that the way it works?

Still, I knew it wasn’t a done deal and to get excited too early would be foolish. I would play it safe and wait until the amnio results before telling anyone but my closest friends and relatives. And so I waited.

In the meantime I had one test after another. Genetic testing, urine Continue reading

Losing the First Tooth

 

Portrait of a young boy

Samuel got his first loose tooth last night. It is wiggly and it hurts a bit and Samuel is thrilled and I am sad. OK, I know it is ridiculous. The timing is actually on the late end to lose his first tooth — he will be seven next month. He has a couple of friends who lost their first tooth at age four and many at age five and six so it is about time (in his mind anyway)!

Nevertheless, I feel like the last vestige of Samuel’s babyhood is going. It really seems like he has changed more in the last year (age 6 to 7) than any other single year since infancy. In fact, in many ways, he was remarkably stable in his personality, traits, play and interests between about age three and six. Now he has left those things behind. No more pretend games, no … Continue reading

Get Out of Cooking — Free!

Other moms assume my daughter eats cottage cheese and blueberries for dinner because I’m a working mom and I don’t have time to cook. If I were a stay at home mom, she’d be eating the same exact thing. Cooking is not my thing.

What’s wrong with cottage cheese and blueberries for dinner? I didn’t put her on a diet, I’m not a great role model for diet, it’s what she likes to eat. It’s not the only edible item in the house. I have frozen, canned and boxed things like macaroni. I read the nutritional panels and most of what I feed my daughter is a whole lot healthier than home cooking. Definitely healthier than the Joy of Cooking recipes I grew up with. The meals I ate at my friends houses, that is. Like lasagna and clams casino.

My love for cooking comes from my mom. She had Continue reading

The Adoption “Gestational Period”

Outstanding EvaluationI’ve spent over a year participating in and listening to the posts on the Single Mothers by Choice (SMC) Trying to Conceive forum. I even had my own failed attempt at trying to conceive, and then work, school, and dating postponed my plans until a year later.  I began to consider adoption, an option I had explored before but ignored once I found Mr. Perfect Anonymous Donor and built up the courage (and money) to TTC. But once I really delved into the adoption choice again, it seemed very feasible and appropriate for where I am in my life. Plus, I thought it might be “easier” than TTC.

On the SMC Forum, I read other women’s journeys through infertility and fertility treatments and miscarriages to finally bringing home a newborn sometimes years later. Well, now that I’m pursuing adoption, I realize the adoption journey isn’t exactly “easier”, just different than … Continue reading

A Public Service Announcement

November is Prematurity Awareness Month.

I think the main thing we need to be aware of about prematurity is that it sucks.  It really sucks.

Prematurity takes what should be a normal infancy and turns it into a journey into medical hell. It robs both parent and child of a normal infancy. Instead of filling baby books with milestones like “smiled for the first time” you make note of milestones like “weaned off ventilator.” You and your baby are robbed of quiet, private moments. Instead, the two of you spend those moments in a room filled with strangers, doctors, nurses, monitors, alarms and machinery you didn’t even know existed when you filling out your baby registry. People tell you well intentioned, yet terribly stupid things, like “things happen for a reason,” “God doesn’t give you more than you can bear,” “at least you never got stretch marks since the baby Continue reading

Do I or Don’t I???

womancrossroadsI have just recently made my decision not to become a Single Mother by Choice (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 Continue reading

The Magic of Mom’s Bed

I don’t know what it is about mommy’s bed. But apparently, when a child can’t fall asleep, the only place to go is mom’s bed—and like magic, the sandman comes and knocks said child out. What I found out recently is that it doesn’t even have to be your mom. Marshall was having a friend sleep over the other night. Both boys were snoring happily by about 10 p.m. and I blithely went to bed. About 1 a.m., I sensed a presence by bed. It’s Max saying he can’t fall asleep so I groggily tell him to climb in. He’s asleep in seconds. When I awake in the morning, there’s a boy in bed next to me. No big surprise. But it takes me a minute to realize it’s not mine.

I never intended to co-sleep. But Marshall had other plans. From the minute he was born, he liked to Continue reading

Life Lessons from Klickitat Street

I took Pink and Purple to see Ramona and Beezus at our local discount theater over the weekend. I didn’t expect to spend most of the movie in tears.

In the interest of full disclosure, I tend to cry at most kids’ movies. I don’t know why. I’m a notorious non-weeper in my personal life. Oh, I feel pain and sorrow, no doubt about it. It’s just that I internalize the negative emotions until they settle in the pit of my stomach like a pile of rusty razor blades, or clench them in my jaws like tetanus. But there’s something about movies that makes it ok for me to release all of that. I don’t know whether that’s particularly true of kids’ movies, or if it’s just that kids’ movies are all I seem to see anymore.

Ramona and Beezus was a little bit different, though. Setting aside the fact Continue reading

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