Category Archives: donor

Family Month at Daycare

It’s family month at Norah’s day care and we were asked for family pictures. They make little collages and write the names of family members by them (“Me & Mommy,” that sort of thing). I was so worried about Norah feeling like the odd girl out with our little Single Mother by Choice (SMC) family that I totally overcompensated. I brought in about 6 different pictures — including ones of Norah with me, with 2 different sets of grandparents (my parents are divorced and remarried), and I also included pictures of our dog. I told the teachers that I probably went overboard, and they should just pick a couple to use and give back the rest.

Well, I went in the next day and saw that they made Norah the biggest collage with the most photos and the most family members in it. There were several other kids whose mat … Continue reading

The ‘We’ Of Single Motherhood

A few weeks before my 42nd birthday, sitting alone on my houseboat on a foggy morning in Sausalito, I watched a red cross appear on a home pregnancy test and was flooded with a rush of joy, relief, anticipation and fear. I had no husband or boyfriend to tell the news, so I first called my mom who with strange intuition said, “I knew that’s why you were calling!” I then began my usual phone circuit of girlfriends, my inner circle of women to whom I have always reached out for moral support. Whether it’s a career crisis or to commiserate on a bad date, each of them in their own way has always offered a dose of reality or a joke to lighten the fact that my date drank red wine with a straw because he didn’t want to stain his teeth or showed me a Facebook slideshow of Continue reading

Family Month at Daycare

It’s family month at Norah’s day care and we were asked for family pictures. They make little collages and write the names of family members by them (“Me & Mommy,” that sort of thing). I was so worried about Norah feeling like the odd girl out with our little Single Mother by Choice (SMC) family that I totally overcompensated. I brought in about 6 different pictures — including ones of Norah with me, with 2 different sets of grandparents (my parents are divorced and remarried), and I also included pictures of our dog. I told the teachers that I probably went overboard, and they should just pick a couple to use and give back the rest.

Well, I went in the next day and saw that they made Norah the biggest collage with the most photos and the most family members in it. There were several other kids whose mat … Continue reading

The ‘We’ Of Single Motherhood

A few weeks before my 42nd birthday, sitting alone on my houseboat on a foggy morning in Sausalito, I watched a red cross appear on a home pregnancy test and was flooded with a rush of joy, relief, anticipation and fear. I had no husband or boyfriend to tell the news, so I first called my mom who with strange intuition said, “I knew that’s why you were calling!” I then began my usual phone circuit of girlfriends, my inner circle of women to whom I have always reached out for moral support. Whether it’s a career crisis or to commiserate on a bad date, each of them in their own way has always offered a dose of reality or a joke to lighten the fact that my date drank red wine with a straw because he didn’t want to stain his teeth or showed me a Facebook slideshow of Continue reading

Choosing My Donor

How does one choose the other half of their child’s genetics? On what do you base that kind of decision? In a typical nuclear family, the other half of a child is chosen by love. You fall in love and want to produce a child that is half of each of you. Well…I didn’t fall in love. I didn’t get married. I just want a child. So what do I use to pick that genetic “other half”?

I can tell you it’s a stressful process. I “know”, in my mind, that no matter what sperm I choose, I will have the child I was meant to have. I “know” that whatever choice I make will be the perfect one. But I can’t convince my emotional side. I really thought I could take the emotion out of it. My rational side wins out a fair amount of the time, so why … Continue reading

Martyrdom?

I was recently approached about submitting an essay on single motherhood to a magazine. I sent the editor a précis of my motherhood to date: began trying to conceive when I was 36, unexpectedly conceived identical twins, babies contracted twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome in utero. Had experimental surgery. Babies survived. Had tons of help from friends, sister, and Mom. Moved half a country away when my daughters were four. They’re now almost nine.

The editor asked some follow-up questions. Could I talk more about my support network? In what ways is it harder to build one versus having a built-in one, i.e., a partner? What do I do when I want to brag to someone about something “awesome” my kids have done? And whom do I talk to when I want to tear my hair out?

I thought about this for a while before I responded. The editor seemed genuinely perplexed. … Continue reading