It’s the Village for Me

mature pregnant woman on phoneI have to say when I started this journey, I expected there would be times that I would feel lonely or miss not having a partner. And there have definitely been those moments where I felt that.

An Africans proverb that I love is “its takes a village to raise a child.” It shows that when communities are at its best, its a village. A close knit unit that helps, supports, gives feedback, provides structure, brings guidance, and love to all. The African American community has lived off this for so many years. And honestly I grew up this way as well. I have to say that, my village is awesome and has been essential throughout this journey!!!

Let me start from the beginning…. Earlier this week, I found myself in so much pain dealing with what the doctors have determined is sciatica (really sharp pain going from my lower … Continue reading

T Minus 2 Weeks and 2 Days!

Two weeks and 2 days until my official due date!  I can’t believe it.  In many ways it’s gone so slowly… counting the weeks one by one. But in many ways, it’s gone so fast — a year ago I hadn’t even started trying to get pregnant yet!  My life has turned upside down in the past year, and I know this past year is nothing compared to what I’m about to face

Am I feeling nervous?  Yes, but it’s mostly focused on handling having a child on my own going forward, as opposed to childbirth or handling a newborn baby.  Yes, I’m a bit apprehensive about childbirth itself, only because it’s not even close to anything I’ve ever experienced before. Sure, I haven’t experienced everything in life, but many things are gradual (i.e. aging), or I’ve had similar experiences (I haven’t been to Africa, but I have traveled a … Continue reading

Having an Army of Support

Pregnant womanWhen I began the Trying to Conceive (TTC) process,  I  joined Single Mothers by Choice (SMC).  As I lay here, 32 weeks pregnant with twins on bed rest, I didn’t consider how important a community of support would be before my babies arrived.

While I realize that many SMCs choose to be very private about their decision, I decided very early on to be very open with friends and family. I wanted and needed for people to cheer me on, to support me, and to be a part of my exciting journey. Fortunately, almost everyone “got on the bus” very quickly.

I got pregnant on my 5th cycle and was surprised to learn that I was pregnant with twins. I hoped for a smooth pregnancy but knew the risks. I don’t have family nearby. I live on the East Coast, and my family is in Michigan. At 26 weeks, my … Continue reading

Keeping My Future Child Safe

Pregnant womanI’m pregnant but don’t know if I’m having a boy or a girl. I have to admit that one little part of me, deep deep inside, has hoped Honey Badger is a boy. Someone to carry on the family “name,” which is an absolutely archaic conceit that I’m ashamed to admit that I even give any credence. But, there it is. And of course, I would love a girl too — any baby is a blessing.

But I’ve just been feeling so much pressure now of what it means to possibly be bringing up a black boy in this world. And I am so pre-emptively afraid. What if I don’t teach this kid about how to act in front of police officers? How do I help him understand that he needs to be compliant around people who would find him “suspicious,” even if he’s done nothing wrong, without breaking his … Continue reading

Honesty Over Ease: Why I Won’t Avoid the Daddy Question

As a single mother by choice I expected the “Who’s the daddy?” question to come up. I’ve actually been surprised at the restraint people have shown when I’ve told them I’m expecting while not wearing a ring and still going by Miss. Sure, in some ways it’s none of people’s business, but as someone who is at times overly inquisitive herself, I understand it’s also natural to wonder.

Since I’ve been so open throughout my journey to single motherhood, I didn’t mind the not-so-subtle fishing of some acquaintances. (Saying, “Oh, you and your husband must be so happy!” or “Are you Miss or Mrs.?” when these topics have never previously come up, is not exactly subtle, but I appreciate the attempt at politeness.) And while some single mothers by choice are sensitive to it, I’d never be upset or angry with a stranger for assuming there’s a daddy in the … Continue reading

The Train is Leaving the Station

It’s 6 am on a Sunday, and I get up to do the obligatory pregnancy test thinking to myself, the sooner I get the bad news, the sooner I can bury myself in my bed for the day and wallow in the fact that my 7th time trying to get pregnant failed. Failed just like I failed to get my promotion, failed just like every dating relationship I have been in. Failed, failed, failed.

It didn’t work. I know it didn’t. I don’t feel any different; I have none of the symptoms that you read about on-line. Just Google “when did you have your first pregnancy symptoms” and all kinds of posts from annoying women come up saying things like, I knew 5 days after I ovulated. I had a twinge in my uterus, I had inexplicable burps, my breasts were incredibly sore” etc. etc. Here I was 14 days Continue reading

Is This Really Happening? – Letting It In

I would love to say that I cried with joy, jumped up and down like crazy and have been elated ever since I found out that I’m pregnant, overcome with excitement and relief. Just reveling in it all. Safely living in a bubble of bliss. I truly wish that has been my experience.

To be completely honest, it took me about a week to believe it, to let the news settle in and comprehend that I am actually pregnant. That it worked this time. It’s happening. I was indeed thrilled at first. You bet I was! And 10 minutes later it was as if it wasn’t real. That it wasn’t happening at all. Like being pregnant was just something my mom and I were talking about. Not really real.

Who could blame me- I had 9 failed IUIs and 1 unsuccessful round of IVF. And a surgery. It’s been rough. … Continue reading

An SMC via IVF

iStock_pregAAXSmallI 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

Pregnant and Single

When I embarked on my journey to single motherhood, I knew there would be some serious downfalls to doing this alone, but I also knew, like with being single, that it might have some perks. More than halfway through my pregnancy I’ve certainly had this confirmed. Here’s what I’ve discovered so far about the perks and pitfalls of being single and pregnant.

On the Downside: 

There’s no one to share the bed with.

In the past week or two I’ve begun to feel my little man moving inside me with more regularity. Often he’s most active just as I’m lying down to sleep or as I wake up in the morning. This feeling is so new to me, and so amazing, it’s only natural to want to share it. And while I have a terrific group of close family and friends to talk to, I can only imagine based on

Continue reading

Supermom, and Bump Becomes Baby?

Ten days ago, I attended my first expectant Mom’s subgroup meeting of my SMC group. There were 5 of us there, ranging from 6-weeks pregnant to 39-weeks pregnant. It was amazing connecting with women who are going through the same thing as I am.

We were all thinking that the 39-week woman “A” might not be an “expectant mom” for much longer, although since this was her first baby, she’d probably deliver late. Well, it turns out that she didn’t deliver late… she actually delivered 2 days after our meeting. And, guess what? She showed up with her son “P” in tow at our next SMC meeting 6 days later! Wow, unbelievable that she was able to get herself and her baby out of the house 6 days after giving birth. Not only that, she was walking around breast feeding the baby and taking care of P like she … Continue reading

“I joined SMC when my son was a baby, and he's about to turn 21! The wealth of knowledge and support I've received from SMC got me through some really hard times and I found some great friends. We are a diverse group, and yet we are wholeheartedly there for one another.”

– Nancy N