Tag Archives: single mother by choice

On Turning One

You probably won’t remember anything of your first year. Your knowledge of it will come from photos, videos, and stories told to you by family and friends. In other words, you’ll get the highlight reel.

Honestly, I’m not sure my memory will be much different. Already those early hours, days, and weeks have begun to blur into that foggy place we call the past. My clearest memories are those too special—or too scary—to forget.

Waking up from surgery and wanting to meet you so badly it hurt.

Seeing you for the first time, so small, so fragile, so mine.

Watching you find my breast and begin to feed, and feeling overcome with amazement that our bodies worked together so innately to give you just what you needed.

Snuggling skin to skin with you that first night. Secretly enjoying the fact I had no one there to share you with.

The … Continue reading

Our Second “Family Day”

My son’s 2nd adoption anniversary is this month.  It’s so weird that he has only been my “legal” son for 2 years.  It’s almost easy to forget how uncertain things were while I was fostering him and how I lived in fear that something would happen and CPS would take him from me.  Now, he’s almost 4 and he has such a personality!  He’s also starting to understand “adoption” a little more.

I know there’s so much controversy about celebrating Adoption Days. I don’t really look at it as “celebrating,”  I look at it more like “remembering”… talking about how we became a family and reflecting on it.  As my son gets older he will have more say in how and what we do to “commemorate” our adoption.

I actually don’t call it “adoption day” or “gotcha day.”  I don’t really like those phrases.  I refer to it as our … Continue reading

A Letter to My Donor

Thank You noteDear Donor,

We’ve never met.  In fact, you have no idea of my specific existence, but I think about you a lot.  Sometimes on the subway I’ll see a youngish brown-haired man and wonder if we’re connected.  When an older gentleman or woman passes by, I think about your folks —what they’re like and if they have grandkids.  Other grandkids, that is.

See, I have a son, Isaiah, who’s two and a half, and you, my anonymous sperm donor, made him possible.  For that I thank you with all the gratitude I can summon now and forever.  That sounds like a corny love song lyric, I realize, but the sentiment is true.  I’m so deeply appreciative that something—a little extra cash? some desire to change the life of someone you’ve never met? an inexplicable nudge from the universe?—motivated you to head to a sperm bank some years ago.  With this … Continue reading

Meeting Donor Siblings: The Postmodern Family Vacation

I sifted through my Sunday paper yesterday morning, pulling out the usual bits – coupons, TV guide, Target ad, and USA Weekend. On the latter’s cover were pictures of the characters from NBCs debut of “The New Normal” and the corresponding story inside was titled “The Postmodern Family.”

“The Postmodern Family?”  Really?  How could I resist?

The article talked about the multitude of upcoming shows based on non-traditional families. TV historian Tim Brooks notes that television has often presented us with non-traditional families, as it reflects what’s already going on in our current society. For example, The Brady Bunch in its time reflected “the trend of a blended family,” where adults with children from previous marriages came together to form a new family unit.

This particular example rather amused me, as I just had a Very Brady Summer Vacation…

Back when I was pregnant with my son, there was a … Continue reading

Me, My Mother, and My Children

I called my mother last night. Something I generally do a few times a week, but have done less often in the last month or two. I just don’t feel like talking once I get the kids to bed. But I called her.

My mother was a good mom. I never ever ever doubted her love for me. Even when she told me, in so many words, that “she didn’t really like me right now”. As the oldest of 3, I think I carried a lot of responsibility. Some of it placed on me (mommy’s little helper, type things), and some of it just my internalization of my role in the family. My parents were somewhat free-range, pretty normal for the 70s. I had no actual needs that went unmet, but there also wasn’t lots of extra money, until I was in the middle of high school.

But my mom … Continue reading

Child of Mine: A Story of Embryo Donation

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a mom. I started babysitting when I was just 9 years old and continued to do so through college. I have always loved children and “borrowed” my friends’ children on a regular basis. When I was in my mid-20s, I would often say that if I got to be 35, wasn’t married, and had no prospects for marriage, I was going to go to a sperm bank and use a turkey baster. Fast forward 10 years: Me, at age 35, not married and not involved with anyone. And so my journey to a child began.

Fast forward another 2 years. I had moved back to my hometown so I could be near my family, bought a house, lost weight, and was on the brink of my first donor insemination. I was beyond excited!! The morning of my insemination, Continue reading

Who You Talking To?

Every time someone calls me “Mom” I look behind me, like, “are you speaking to me?”

I mean, I diaper, feed and cuddle my girl all day long, but I still can’t wrap my head around being a mom officially. I saw a documentary called “First Comes Love” about a single woman having a kid, and I remember she had been told that the “mom part” of her would emerge slowly. I totally get that.

I’m keeping my daughter (even saying that is so weird!) off of social media for now, but she’s super, super cute. Like, I walk down the street with her and people stop me to tell me she is beautiful. I say thank you, even though I can’t take credit for her creation.

I feel like I should call her Ms. Tittsina on here for privacy’s sake.

Tonight I have a night sitter– she … Continue reading

Goodnight Moon

HiResIt’s been a tough week. Two huge projects at work have left me stressed out and exhausted. And it’s my son’s first week back to school as a newly minted first grader. He seems to be doing ok, but it’s a major adjustment nonetheless, for both of us.

Our rituals soothe us, particularly at night after a long day. And for even more comfort, we’ve retreated into the past. This week’s bedtime selections have been our old standbys, the board books I started reading to my son when he was an infant, the ones I still know by heart. A Color of His Own, The Runaway Bunny, Are You My Mother?, and tonight, Goodnight Moon. Although my son can read these books to me now, we both still enjoy it when I read aloud to him, it’s part of the ritual.

We snuggle in together in his bed, me carefully … 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

First Christmas

My little one is now 4 months old and the light of my life. He has been such an easy baby. Except for when he was born, I didn’t hear him cry until he was about 5 weeks old (because he was hungry in his car seat. Easy fix.) He has been a good sleeper from the get go. I have never been sleep deprived. I had terrible insomnia during the TTC process and while pregnant. The second he was born I felt a weight lift off of me. The stress dissolved and I could finally relax, as it was all over. Maybe he picked up on this because he is a chilled out little guy.

I had no idea that infants have a personality. I had always said that I’d be happy to be handed a six month old and go from there.. How wrong I was! This kid … Continue reading