Going Public

A few days ago, after debating the decision for a long time, I decided to “go public” about my adoption journey on social media.  A year and a half ago, when the full extent of my infertility was revealed and I found myself facing the possibility of never becoming a mother, I took a long hiatus from social media for my own mental health.  I was in a very difficult mental space, and isolating myself in that way was, at the time, necessary to help myself return to a place of balance.  I have since been mostly a lurker on Facebook, which contributed to my hesitation.

The response I’ve received since my post has been so overwhelmingly supportive that, despite my initial reservations, I know I made the right decision.  Going through this without a partner with whom to commiserate, to buoy me through the turbulence of this emotional process, … 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 had … Continue reading

Mentoring Meeting

“I was just thinking last night, ‘I wonder what K will tell me tomorrow?'”

That was my mentor’s response. “What’s new?” asked my mentor. I reared back in my seat to reveal my bump. Her eyes were as big as saucers. I think she immediately knew what I meant, but she had to catch herself and asked, “Are you….?” I confirmed that I was indeed pregnant. She was so happy for me and announced, “Oh, I want to be Aunt L!” She confessed that she was always intrigued by what I would say each month when we met. But, boy, she never expected anything like this! It was nice to see that she was so supportive and offered her help if I needed anything. “Sometimes, you just need to tell people what you need and let them take care of it.” And subtly cautioned me on my ardent independence.

Of … Continue reading

Motherhood Loves Company: The Magic of Mothers Groups

Shortly after announcing my intention to become a single mother, a friend of mine lent me a DVD of The Backup Plan, a far-fetched romantic comedy about a woman who made the same decision to go it alone, only to meet Mr. Right an hour after getting knocked up. Some of the best scenes in the movie take place at a single mothers support group. To maximize the comedic aspect, the film depicts its members as an eclectic, tight-knit group of hippies and man-haters. It was stereotypical but hysterical. It was also the night before my first Single Mothers By Choice (SMC) group meeting, so it was a tad terrifying.

Coming from a family where emotions and serious topics are preferably left unspoken or at least only used as fodder for jokes, the idea of a support group was new and uncomfortable. So walking into the SMC meeting and taking … Continue reading

I’m Not Alone!! Oh Great Goddess, I am NOT ALONE!

Unless you are nearing or over 40, single and childless, you cannot imagine how I feel and that’s not your fault – we are just living different experiences. I have not been able to express to my friends how it FEELS to be in my situation, but I am now connected with other women who TRULY understand what it’s like to want a child so much that they will do it on her own – even when deep down they really want the whole family package. Seriously, if we were given more time biologically, we would wait for the right relationship, but we don’t have that luxury.

It means so much to me to have access to people who are going through what I am going through and to share their experiences too. The more I read on the SMC Forum, the more convinced I am that I am making Continue reading

The ‘We’ Of Single Motherhood

A few weeks before my 42nd birthday, sitting alone on my houseboat on a foggy morning in Sausalito, I watched a red cross appear on a home pregnancy test and was flooded with a rush of joy, relief, anticipation and fear. I had no husband or boyfriend to tell the news, so I first called my mom who with strange intuition said, “I knew that’s why you were calling!” I then began my usual phone circuit of girlfriends, my inner circle of women to whom I have always reached out for moral support. Whether it’s a career crisis or to commiserate on a bad date, each of them in their own way has always offered a dose of reality or a joke to lighten the fact that my date drank red wine with a straw because he didn’t want to stain his teeth or showed me a Facebook slideshow of Continue reading

What is “Single Mothers by Choice”?

I met my friend Rhonda through a local chapter of the national organization Single Mothers by Choice (SMC). She and I both joined around the same time. The first time we met in person I got out of my car, and I was greeted by a tiny woman in a shimmering magenta jogging suit, her eyes hidden behind big round black sunglasses. We nervously shook hands and began talking about who we were and where we came from and how far along we were in our journey as we walked a 3-mile loop that winds along the Mississippi River and back downtown.

The second time we met we sat in a crowded coffee bar, and I drank a decaf latte a week after my second insemination. I played with the lid on my drink and told her that I didn’t want to sound terribly shallow but I was afraid of … Continue reading

Martyrdom?

I was recently approached about submitting an essay on single motherhood to a magazine. I sent the editor a précis of my motherhood to date: began trying to conceive when I was 36, unexpectedly conceived identical twins, babies contracted twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome in utero. Had experimental surgery. Babies survived. Had tons of help from friends, sister, and Mom. Moved half a country away when my daughters were four. They’re now eleven.

The editor asked some follow-up questions. Could I talk more about my support network? In what ways is it harder to build one versus having a built-in one, i.e., a partner? What do I do when I want to brag to someone about something “awesome” my kids have done? And whom do I talk to when I want to tear my hair out?

I thought about this for a while before I responded. The editor seemed genuinely perplexed. “But … Continue reading

“I used to think that becoming an SMC was my plan B, but it was the best decision I ever made. My son is my pride and joy. I can't imagine life without him. I am thankful that I had support along the way through the SMC community. I no longer consider it my plan B.”

– Anonymous