Table of Contents
FROM THE EDITOR
Here’s hoping you are all healthy and happily heading toward the next step of your journey, whether it’s thanking goodness for the upcoming start of school or for a tough decision finally made. Here’s to The Next Step.
Make no mistake, SMC sisters, The Next Step is huge. Take time to be proud of yourself for taking it, whatever it is.
Your next step you may be a relatively easy one—how to get more (any?) sleep or how to get a date. I don’t have an answer for either. I still rush to the nursery at every nighttime sniffle or cough. And dating? …[crickets]…
Sometimes the next step is bigger—like building a blended family, specifically bringing another parental figure into your child’s life. Emphasis on your child.
Not to say that the child of an SMC is more her child than a traditionally conceived child is of her mother. But. There is always that “but.” Our babies are our babies in way that’s hard to articulate. So what happens when you decide to take another step in your life by adding a partner, only to hit a wall when that partner wants to be/expects to be/possibly should be(?) a parent to your child?
There’s obviously not an easy answer to that one. But it does raise another point that I have to remind myself of from time to time. Some of us have “giving up the dream” stories that led us to single motherhood. As in, giving up the dream of having children the way we originally intended.
The thing is, though, how we got here should have no bearing on where we go from here. Be careful not to over-plan your life as a single mom. If you’re too busy checking off your list, you may miss things that Just Happen. Plan your path, but be ready for detours!
WHEN PLAN B IS ACTUALLY PLAN A
Who says part of becoming an SMC is giving up the dream”? Who says you have to let go of eventually finding The One?
Conversely, who says you have to even want to find The One in the first place? As we’ve talked about on the Forum, becoming an SMC teaches you so much about yourself. And some of us are finding out that, really, it’s not necessarily the case that becoming an SMC is Plan B.
If you’re wondering Is it ok to just not want a husband?, you’re not alone. Join the conversation on the Forum.
One poster mentioned that now her life feels complete; the drive to get married just isn’t there anymore. Remember how you may have attacked dating and finding a relationship with a drive, sort of the same way you attacked your other passions or your career with a drive? Where that drive now? Has it disappeared or has it simply been redirected? That’s one to ponder.
Oh, and when you realize it’s time to give yourself a break, take a page from this SMC’s book and laugh.
IS COLOR-CONSCIOUS THE NEW COLOR BLIND?
Yet another layer of this journey can be the mix of cultures and race. The option to choose the race of your child coupled with being the sole parent of that child creates twists in your path. While it’s 100% true that we here just want to be mothers and love a child, some of us have to think about what it means to be one race or culture and parent a child of another race or culture. Should it matter? Should you make it matter?
Do you treat the issue of race as you would the “Daddy” issue and get it out in the open as soon as possible?
Race and cultures are issues some of us face as we’re trying to conceive. Perhaps the donor we have our hearts set on is of a difference race. Or adopting a baby of a different race could happen much faster than adopting a baby of our own race.
We talk about it in White and considering adopting mixed-race embryos.
SPEAKING OF DADDY ISSUES ...
We know the question will come up—from our child, from your friends, from our parents. Someone is bound to ask what happens when your child asks about his father.
You may have a plan and a book and note cards all prepped for this talk. You may have a few chosen words to use. Or you may just wing it when the time comes. However you choose to handle it, the point is we will all have to handle it.
Read some tips and suggestions from our fearless leader Jane, and consider this: Your tiny human adores you. Every single day you teach her how to be strong and gentle, fierce and silly. He is learning from how to be respectful and open-minded. And comfortable with who he is. So don’t worry. And don’t overthink it.
Jane writes, “The most important thing is really for you, the parent, to work on being as comfortable as possible with your having chosen to be an SMC. Your comfort level and ability to give a balanced response will be a tremendous help to your child.”
And that’s it really. That’s the foundation of this journey you’re on. As you go, so goes your child. The weighty issues deserve their moments. You’ll have plenty as the years go by. But if you’re not stressing or worried or giving the dream, chances are you child won’t either.
The “Daddy Question” topic, as you may imagine, is one of the most popular ones on our Forum. Do a search for “Daddy” or “Daddy Questions” on there and enjoy the many thoughtful and helpful posts — and ask a question of your own if you’d like!
WHAT'S THE BUZZ
Please welcome our newest CPs!
Signal Mountain, TN
Does your area need a Contact Person (CP)? Might you want to be one? Do you have any questions about being a CP? Just let us know and we’ll be glad to discuss it with you. Contact Jane at our office: SMCfirstname.lastname@example.org
New Admin for SMC!
We are delighted to welcome Caitlin as our new Admin in the SMC office! Feel free to contact her with any questions you may have. Her email is SMCemail@example.com
Jessie, who has been with SMC for the past several years, has moved on to her dream job. We wish Jessie all the best, and we are thrilled to have Caitlin with us!
THE THINGS KIDS SAY!
While playing today…
Me: Where is your Lego motorcycle?
G: I let Max borrow it till he’s a teenager.
On the way to camp this morning…
G: I wish God made the world a better place.
Me: Why do you say that?
G: Because — no offense Jesus — but I think everybody should be able to do what they want whenever they want.
Here’s one from bath-time today, when my razor accidentally fell off the shelf it normally sits on and into the water…
K: “What’s that?”
Me: “A razor.”
K: “What do you use it for?”
Me: “To shave my armpits.”
K (holds her arms up high and looks at her armpits) : “I’m bald!”
Today at lunch…
L: MOMMY I FINISHED MY WATER. (For some reason it’s really fun to talk about this LOUDLY)
Me: OH NO! WOULD YOU LIKE SOME MORE
L: YES PLEASE ICE WATER
Me: OK I WILL GET YOU SOME.
L: I take it with ice.
Rowan is trying to entice me into a tea party and I’m really not up to it….
R: “Do you want some tea?”
Me: “No thank you.
R: “Do you want some water?”
Me: “No thank you”
R: “Do you want some wine?”
Good thinking, kid. For more cute quotes, check out the thread on our forum HERE!
SMC- Fertility IQ
Have you heard about FertilityIQ? I am very excited to share this great resource. FertilityIQ is a platform where verified fertility patients anonymously assess their fertility doctor, nurse, clinic, billing department and more. The data is free and really helps in choosing (or avoiding) a doctor or clinic.
SMC has an opportunity to both contribute to Fertility IQ and to benefit SMC. Thinkers and tryers can look up other women’s experiences with clinics and doctors. Those who are pregnant and already moms can help those just starting out by providing information about their experiences with fertility doctors.
We would appreciate your filling out a survey about your experiences with fertility doctors. FertilityIQ will make a donation to SMC for everyone referred by us who assesses their fertility doctor on their site!
To ensure that SMC gets credit for your survey, just type in “SMC” in answer to the question at the end that asks, “did someone suggest you assess your doctor?” (You can also forward this to anyone who may be interested in doing a survey. As long as they put “SMC” as the answer to that question, we will get a donation.)
Please be as detailed as possible so that others may benefit from your experience.
Thanks to all in advance for filling out the surveys and for spreading the word about this!
ASK THE DOCTOR
ACUPUNCTURE AND FERTILITY
Dr. Joseph Davis is a board certified reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist with Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York. He is an accomplished lecturer and author, having written numerous scientific research articles and manuscripts in leading medical journals, and has a passion for helping couples and individuals to achieve their goals of building a family.
The journey to building a family is different for each woman. For some it involves medical treatments or surgery and for most some element of stress or uncertainty. Dealing with these challenges can be hard. Many women preparing to be pregnant want to focus on wellness and try to be as natural as possible. Acupuncture is a great way to improve wellbeing while minimizing risk of potential side effects seen with some medications. Many aspects of the family building journey can be addressed with acupuncture. Treatments can assist with ovulation problems, miscarriage, as well as stress and anxiety to name a few. Often it can be an adjunct to fertility treatments and may improve the body’s ability to respond to medications if needed.
It is important to find a provider that is adequately trained and licensed to treat the conditions you have. Much like medical doctors, some acupuncturists specialize in particular areas like fertility or stress management. Discuss with your provider their experience with your situation and make sure they are a good fit for what you need. Often Chinese herbs are an additional treatment with acupuncture. These can be hard to know if they are safe or not especially if the herbs are grown in areas of the world with poor environmental standards. Always talk freely with your providers about herbs and supplements and ask about safety.
Ultimately your goals and your providers goals should be aligned and focused on helping you achieve a healthy and happy pregnancy. Incorporating healthy eating, exercise, sleep and behaviors into your journey is so important. Acupuncture is an additional component to consider that can be helpful and more natural than some medical treatments.
Have some questions for our next Ask the Doctor column? Send them our way at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll pose them to one of our experts for an upcoming issue.