I joined Single Mothers by Choice (SMC) a few months ago and I have been reading every post on the members’ Forum since then. The first and only time I posted I shared how I’ve been “thinking” for nearly two years. I was overwhelmed by the support and kind messages everyone wrote in response. But it’s been the posts by everyone else struggling with the same decision, the shared fears and excitement that have truly helped me make the right choice for me. I cannot say thank you enough for letting me, a stranger, into such an important part of your lives.
So this is how I made the decision: I had planned a weekend away with my mother and my goal was to have made a decision – one way or another – by the time we were flying home. We had fun, we enjoyed the vacation and we … Continue reading
One day in 1990, the title of a workshop caught my attention: Last Call for Motherhood: Are you a woman over 35 that has always thought motherhood would be part of your life, but it has yet to come to pass? Are you willing to contemplate becoming a “single mother by choice” despite the potential disapproval of family and friends? If you would like to devote some time and emotional effort into answering these questions for yourself, join us on Saturday, May 15,1990 for a workshop. Bring a notebook and a willingness to share your deepest thoughts.
I immediately signed up. It was just what I needed to help me figure out if, in fact, single motherhood was the right path for me.
In a small room I sat with five other anxious women as we silently awaited the arrival of the instructor. There was an aura of shame … Continue reading
Recently I’ve made the first move into becoming an SMC. I paid a visit to my doctor-it was as simple as that. Technically there were many unofficial first steps before that, such as the research, the saving, and of course, joining the SMC organization. But this, however, is the first concrete action that I could mark on the calendar as the first day, a tangible act that will propel me closer to my goal.
Such a small act to accomplish, yet it took me forever to muster the courage. Reaching out to my doctor was the first time I had ever vocalized wanting to be a mother to another person. Everyone who knows me has known me by my no-child-having stance that has stood firm for the last 20 or so years. I haven’t really updated anyone on this yet; for now I like keeping the secret to myself, it … Continue reading
As Mother’s Day comes and goes once again, I’m left with a strange mixture of longing and apprehension. Since finding out about Single Mothers by Choice (SMC), the supposition I could be a mother, albeit on my own, is a new development I’ve let take root. Stronger than ever, it’s now an eventuality I’ve accepted is going to happen. A radical departure from the trajectory I thought I wanted to follow, from the figment of my life I held in my mind’s eye. After the warm balmy vision of having children fades, however, I’m reminded of the reality of my situation — my non-existent relationship with my own mother, and how it complicates the matter.
I wasn’t surprised that when I started my journey toward SMC-hood, I found myself with the familiar affliction of ignoring the influence of my own mother. I’ve endeavoured over a lifetime to not end up … Continue reading
With the help of the members of SMC, I have just recently made my decision not to become an SMC. I should also preface this by saying that I came to this quandary late. I am 46.
Letting go of the dream of having a traditional family, i.e. a husband and kids, is a very big deal for most women. That’s probably one of the first steps in deciding to become an SMC. And that’s a rough one. I always had this assumption that it would happen, so it was hard to face the fact that it might not just “happen.” What if it doesn’t? How could it not? How long do I wait?
All kinds of people meet their mates and start families. My confidence about myself as an attractive, smart and lovable woman is a bit tangled up in that dream. I never wanted to visit the possibility … Continue reading
I’m starting to doubt if I can really handle becoming a single mom. The universe has thrown some tests at me the last few weeks. One of my friends is having a really hard time with her newborn where she isn’t getting any sleep even though she has a supportive partner, I’ve been invited on my dream trip to Greece this summer which I want to go but I don’t know how I will feel if I am pregnant, and I recently went on a few dates that reminded me about the way I always envisioned having a family. In short – the life I will be giving up is being thrown at me. I won’t have my relaxing evenings binging bravo shows, getting 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep, trips exploring new parts of the world won’t exist for a long time, and will I really be able to invest … Continue reading
One challenge I encountered with my friends and family was explaining that one egg does not equal a baby. I found that when I told people I had frozen 20 eggs they assumed my dreams of motherhood were all set. I had an insurance policy, my back up plan. But I knew that this “insurance policy” was far from a guarantee. Let’s break down how many eggs it can takes to have one healthy baby.
- Let’s say you are 35 or younger, have a successful egg retrieval where you get 10 eggs.
- From there, you can only fertilize mature eggs. About 80% of eggs retrieved will be mature. Now you are down to 8 eggs to fertilize.
- Next, fertilization happens. Again, about 80% of your mature eggs are expected to fertilize. That makes about 6 embryos.
- Now you wait a week to find out how many of those
… Continue reading
As 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
Thinking about having a baby on your own is only the beginning. Once you actually put your plan in action, expect a lengthy process. From my first consultation with my Reproductive Endocrinologist to completing my first round of IVF, it was about five months. Here are the 10 steps I went through, including, of course, joining Single Mothers by Choice.
1. Find a good Reproductive Endocrinologist
Fortunately, I already had one from egg freezing that I liked and trusted.
2. Schedule a consultation
This can be a long wait if you are not already a patient. So if you want to get more information, schedule this as soon as you can. Then make your list of questions, start thinking about a realistic timeline for yourself, and do your research ahead of time so you are familiar with fertility language.
3. Initial consultation
Your brain will be filled with terms … Continue reading
So I had finally made the decision to start trying to get pregnant on my own. I had found myself a Reproductive Embryologist, a handsome Italian doctor with full-sleeved tattoos on both biceps. I wrote the story in my head of how my doctor would inseminate me and then become my lover, my partner, my child’s father. It definitely seemed like the rom-com I had been waiting to star in my whole life.
I was sitting at my desk at work, just a few days away from insemination, and all of a sudden, an invisible brick fell out of the sky and hit me on the head. I could almost see the pebbles of concrete rolling down the sides of my hair and the dusty clouds billowing up around me like in a cartoon. Blamo. No way, I thought. No f-ing way.
You can not do this, I thought. I … Continue reading