Category Archives: trying to conceive

Keeping Your Sanity and Your Self While Trying to Conceive

How do you keep your sanity during this stressful time? I am past the Trying to Conceive (TTC) stage, so I say this with some perspective.

Some of it is simply that who you are is changing. The version of you who could afford this vacation, and that fancy dinner, and whatever else – – that woman is changing. She is planning for her future differently. So if you were saving for a down payment on a house, or saving vacation time so you could go spend a month in Australia next year, or other major investments of time and/or money, who we are and how we allocate our resources changes.

You may be looking at your social life, realizing that all those dinners out are pretty expensive, and choosing to eat out less to save money. That can happen for lots of reasons, not just TTC. It happens with … Continue reading

Choosing Your Sperm Donor as an SMC

Michele Ottey - Fairfax CryoThis post was sponsored by Fairfax Cryobank

When someone is ready to start their family using donor sperm, they have many choices ahead of them.  It can be a fun, exciting, and empowering process to navigate. Choosing a sperm donor is incredibly personal and there is no one right way to get started.  When selecting a sperm donor, one is choosing fifty percent of the genetic contribution to their child, therefore my first recommendation is to work with a dependable Cryobank. With Fairfax Cryobank, the trusted source for donor sperm since 1986, our recipients can be confident that they will be choosing from the best tested donors and will be receiving the highest quality donor sperm. Knowing that, they can move on to finding the donor that meets their needs. 

When asked how to choose a sperm donor, I recommend asking yourself, “what do I admire and value in the … Continue reading

Moments of Doubt

emotional womanI’m starting to doubt if I can really handle becoming a single mom. The universe has thrown some tests at me the last few weeks. One of my friends is having a really hard time with her newborn where she isn’t getting any sleep even though she has a supportive partner, I’ve been invited on my dream trip to Greece this summer which I want to go but I don’t know how I will feel if I am pregnant, and I recently went on a few dates that reminded me about the way I always envisioned having a family. In short – the life I will be giving up is being thrown at me. I won’t have my relaxing evenings binging bravo shows, getting 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep, trips exploring new parts of the world won’t exist for a long time, and will I really be able to invest … Continue reading

When You’re Ready to be a Mother but Don’t Have a Partner

Infertility is defined as “not being able to get pregnant after one year of unprotected sex”. But what about the women who are single and ready to be an SMC? We don’t take the conventional path to become pregnant, so we must rely on fertility treatments.

Deciding that you want to pursue single motherhood is only the beginning of a long journey towards getting pregnant. Since many of these women are in their mid-30’s to early 40’s, they are finding out that getting pregnant later in life is not that easy.

It’s been 6 months since I decided to become a single mom by choice, and I haven’t even attempted to get pregnant yet. That’s not because I haven’t wanted to, but because of all of the hoops I’ve had to jump through as a single woman. We don’t have the romantic trying to conceive nights with cuddles and a … Continue reading

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

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

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