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

Grieving a Bio Child

As 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 SMC 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 40s, I didn’t Continue reading

Our Last Weeks Alone

happy familyDuring the last few weeks the world around us has changed suddenly. Hot sticky days with harsh bright sunlight have been replaced by cool, crisp dry days that smell of fresh mown grass and distant fires. Many of the 6-foot-high corn fields have been mowed down, and the guy selling 12 ears for $4 out of the back of his truck has sold out for the season. The soybean fields are starting to turn golden, and maples and ash here and there are flaming red and yellow. It isn’t fall yet, but fall is definitely in the air. We leave the windows open at night, and some nights the brisk prairie winds from the west cool the house so much that I have to get up and close the windows. We leave for town every morning just as the sun is coming up, and as we turn east to head … Continue reading

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