An SMC via IVF

I waited for a long time to find Mr. Right and start a family but that never happened. Finally, I was at an age where I needed to make a choice.  I investigated adoption and hit many barriers.  So, I decided to see a fertility specialist.  I decided against insemination because of my advanced maternal age (I was 45 at the time), but decided to go the IVF route.  I initially wanted to use my own eggs, and according to my test results, I could have tried.  However, after much research of my own, the percentages I was finding for successful term pregnancies using my own eggs vs. a donor egg were about 5% vs. 50%.

I thought and prayed about it and finally decided that if I was willing to adopt a child, a genetic connection wasn’t all that important to me.  However, knowing that the fetus was well … Continue reading

Choices

I recently got together with some folks, including a single mother by choice (SMC) who is a full-time mom to her delightful 14 month old son. She was clearly relishing being his mom, and he was equally clearly adoring her. When we got to chatting a bit, she confided to me that she was feeling a little bit guilty about how much she was enjoying being a mother. After all, she said, didn’t the women of earlier generations go through a lot in order for women to have the right to be liberated from being “just mothers”? Was it okay for her to WANT to spend her time being a mom? And to enjoy it so much?

Having been one of those women whose consciousness was raised in the tumultuous sixties, I pondered her question for a moment, and then remembered — it was all about CHOICE. We believed that Continue reading

SMCs With Twins

When I first began my journey towards becoming a mother, a visit with an infertility counselor was mandatory.  It was a mostly predictable conversation for me where I was asked what I would do to cope with parenthood, the stress of treatments, and the potential that the treatments might not work, but then the counselor asked me a question I was not expecting, “What do you think you will do if you succeed…A LOT…as in you become pregnant with twins (or more)”.  My response was, “Aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!”.

Truthfully, before cancer, chemo, surgeries and the impending 4th decade laid waste to my ovaries, I actually had a genetic predisposition towards twins.  Growing up, my family would always say “You know, every third generation is twins and guess where you fall?”.  I have two sets of second cousin twins and my grandfather was a twin.  I don’t know if it is true or … Continue reading

My Journey to Motherhood via Adoption

I am single by choice. Did you know weird girls in high school who never wanted to get married (and/or have children)? That was me. I had my own philosophy about what marriage does to a woman’s career choice and trajectory, self esteem, independence, you name it. My mother worried I’d never “get a man” with that attitude.

Though I knew I didn’t want to marry, I was on the fence about becoming a parent. I put it that way because I never wanted to birth a baby. I always knew that I wanted to become a parent through adoption. At the age of 40 – two failed marriages later – I recognized I did indeed want to be a mom. So I dated while preparing to begin the adoption process.

Like many of us, I went the online dating route. My criteria were pretty strict: no kids, wanted or Continue reading

Hear This Truth

Parenting is hard. I don’t care if you’re a single mom, a partnered mom, a married mom, or something in between. Not one of us is handed a how-to manual when our children enter our lives. And even if you think you have this parenting thing down pat—so much so that you convince yourself to have another, there’s no guarantee that what worked with number one will work with number two.

I’m Nancy, and I’m mom to Marshall, who turned 14 this past May, and believe me when I say we’ve had our ups and downs. I tell people that I always loved Marshall but I didn’t like him till he turned about 4. Sure, I heard some gasps from the crowd, but those first years were difficult for me — trying to figure out how to incorporate this incredible, wonderful, temperamental, opinionated being into my solidly independent life was … Continue reading

On Turning Three

To my little man on turning three,

The first letter like this I wrote to you as you turned one. You were teetering into toddlerhood but still firmly my baby. You were learning new things each day but still needed me for just about everything. I had grown to love you more than I had ever expected, but some days it was exhausting. Some days I wanted to speed up time to when you were just a little more independent. A little less baby and a little more boy.

Flash forward two years, and I do mean flash, and you stand on the brink of boyhood. You still need your momma for a lot, but every month, every day, you learn to do one more thing without my assistance. You defiantly declare, “I do it on my own!” if I butt in where you feel I’m not needed. And while … Continue reading

Lucky Number 2 – Twins!

My twin daughters, Eve and Lily, are 14 months old. I spent the first 12 months of their lives in a state of euphoria. Don’t get get me wrong – I’m a Single Mother of Twins – it was hard, but I felt and continue to feel that for every “part” hard it was at least 3 parts amazing and awe-inspiring. Toddlerhood has been tougher. I remain in awe and in love, but I also find myself feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and scared that I suddenly won’t be able to handle the next challenge.

As I look deep inside myself at this past year and forward to the years to come, what I feel more than anything is… lucky. Pure, found a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, LUCKY.

I did not ask for twins. Ok, more to the point, I did not want twins. I knew there … Continue reading

Who Is My Daddy?

I am a single  mother by choice. I have thought about what to tell my child about his father from the time I started planning my pregnancy. Everything I read said that I child may start asking, “What is a Daddy?” or “Where is my Daddy?” around the age of three. I felt  semi-prepared for his first question. When Bryan was nursing, I practiced. I talked to him about who his father was and why I decided to have a baby by myself. Sometimes I didn’t like the way it sounded so I reworded it.

During the first year of my baby’s life I continued these monologues abut how everyone has a father but not everyone has a Daddy; some fathers live with their children and some don’t.; it takes a lot of work to be a parent and my son’s father, although he is honest, thoughtful and kind, didn’t … Continue reading

The Question Gets Asked…

If you are a Single Mother by Choice (SMC), you know the question to which refer. I’ve waited anxiously for my son to ask the Daddy Question. Everything I’ve read says our young children are eager to know more about their unique family structure and origins. As soon as they learn the name for people in their home and for the people in their friends’ homes, children are supposed to ask. So I waited. I prepared. I rehearsed. You wouldn’t think it would take this much planning just to present the truth. I came up with my script. I wrote out the words. I revised them as I practiced the conversation. I bought picture books that other moms said were good for telling and talking. I read those books to Henry. He much preferred The Cat in the Hat and Goodnight Moon. I waited some more. When would he ask? … Continue reading

What Do We Say About Daddy?

Many of our children ask questions about their fathers, and right now, with Father’s Day approaching, we are all thinking and talking more about it. When we made the decision to become an Single Mother by Choice, this subject was, for many of us, the one which we were most concerned about, and rightly so. Deciding to raise a child without a father has a real impact on our children and on us.

Having some understanding of child development can be very helpful with feeling more comfortable with this important subject. For example. toddlers initially get their view of the world from their parents, and take their cues about how to feel about most things in life from them. So if you tell your toddler, when s/he asks about their “daddy”, that some families have a daddy and some don’t, the child will usually be fine with that, particularly if … Continue reading

“I joined when I was in the Thinking stage. The forum was exactly what I needed to research the SMC experience. I felt more confident with that support and information, and am now a mom to a baby boy!”

– Anonymous