When I turned thirty-five the last thing on my mind was becoming a mother. I had spent my late teens, twenties, and early thirties so wrapped up in myself; the thought of having the responsibility of a child was submerged somewhere between marriage and home ownership. I was content being a perennial student, keeping a day job, and sabotaging potentially long-term relationships. Then, some time in my thirty-fifth year, an unprecedented urge pierced my thoughts, rattling my body like an alarm clock, only this was purely biological.
I thought there must be other women like me. There were. Single Mothers by Choice (SMC) was founded in 1981.
I pulled the top down to my Jeep Wrangler, wearing my skinny jeans, and drove to my first SMC meeting. I walked into a room of tired-looking moms whose kids were all around the same age. They undoubtedly drove safe cars with secure … Continue reading
In the popular media, single mothering by choice is sometimes about these crazy women who go looking for sperm donors like they’re ordering pizza toppings — Tall? Check. Good SAT scores? Check. Mushrooms? Check.
In reality, it’s not about the sperm. It’s not about the donor. It’s not about the turkey baster or the petri dish. It’s about the milky smell of a newborn, the little fingers that clutch mine when we cross the street, the worries about paying for college and whether the plastics and the scented baby shampoo will poison my toddler. It’s about motherhood, not hatred of men. So that’s why I’m leaping to add my voice to this blog. I want people to understand why so many of us are doing this. I’ve always known I was a mother, I just needed a little help to get there. And I thank God — thank God thank … Continue reading
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
I’m about to start my 4th egg retrieval cycle, and my 2nd full round of IVF. I’ve put together some tips I’ve learned along the way, especially for those of you who are starting this journey solo! Good luck!
3 months before: Start your supplement regimen
It takes 3 months for any supplements to truly work on your egg quality. It can be hard to wait that long when time is of the essence, so if you are even considering egg freezing, start popping those pills (with your doctors approval). After reading It Starts with the Egg and various other websites, I take the following supplements daily to prepare for my cycle:
Prenatal – contains many of the substances that can enhance and protect your eggs during maturation
Coq-10 with ubiquinol – powerful antioxidant that improves egg quality and quantity has been shown to increase fertility, particularly for women over … Continue reading
Picking my donor was easier than I thought. Once I knew I was seriously considering moving forward with choice motherhood, I started researching sperm banks. Each one was different, and I considered a number of criteria.
What I focused on when picking:
My first instinct was to look for someone that I found good looking, which is trivial, but if I am in the position where I am going to hand pick half of my child’s genetics, I am going to be selective. I decided I wanted someone who either resembled me or someone I would date in real life. Ideally taller than 5’11 to balance my petite 5’3 frame. A donor who was athletic because I always ran the opposite direction of balls on the field, and CMV negative, which I had no idea what that meant when I started this journey.
After I had my session with the … Continue reading
You should know that I have been yearning to meet you for a very long while. It’s been a tough fight and at times I’ve wanted to give up, but meeting you is so much more important.
As long as there is the slightest bit of hope, I won’t give up. Seeing that pregnancy test say pregnant, learning about increasing HCG levels, and finding out you’re on the way have been the happiest moments of my life. During this journey, I can’t wait to hear your heartbeat, feel you move around, or hold you in my arms. Most importantly I can’t wait to give you all the love I’ve been storing up. And honestly you’ll have more love than you will ever need because your support system that is patiently waiting your arrival is ready to love you too.
I know that you are worth every second and … Continue reading
I’m putting this out there: why not consider that me becoming a mom IS going to happen, rather than always thinking it ISN’T going to happen?
They say that if you think positively, this attracts positivity. I’ve always felt this is nonsense. I have always believed that if I think positively, then that is exactly the way for something bad to happen. You know how Wile E. Coyote is always running around trying to do things, and the Road Runner always seems to drop an anvil on his head? That’s how I view myself in the world– that an anvil is always about to drop and crush me.
Now that I say it out loud, it seems kind of sad.
Also, let’s analyze this critically. Wile E. Coyote always has dastardly intentions: to kill the Road Runner. So really, it makes sense in the Looney Tunes world that his evil … Continue reading
I know lots of women who always knew they wanted kids. I was never one of them.
We already have enough people in the world, I always thought, so why do I have to go through the bother of having more? Plus, kids seemed like a total pain. They shit in their pants and whine and generally get in the way of you having a good time.
I wasn’t particularly excited when I learned my brother and his wife were pregnant, and when my baby niece came I didn’t care much. She reminded me of all the other babies I had ever seen. I remember my brother bringing this little bundle of boring humanity into the bathroom early in the morning, saying “look! Auntie is brushing her teeth!” It was too early for baby talk, and I barked at him to leave me alone.
I did have to admit she … Continue reading
I was lying in bed this morning in the pre-dawn light, gazing at my son and thinking like a million women have thought before me, “Wow. I made that!” And then I remember that technically I didn’t. I didn’t contribute eggs or womb to the final product. But the final product is so much more than a complex collection of cells. He did not inherit those curls from me, but it is because of my care they hang soft and shiny in ringlets. He did not get that golden skin from me, but it is so golden and plump because of the care I give to his diet. And that’s the physical.
If I were not his mother would he still be obsessed with elephants? Would he laugh so much that in time that will effect the musculature of his face and therefore even how he looks. I have said … Continue reading
Though I have been thinking about this often, I am finally forcing myself to sit down and write about it. I am (pause pause pause) giving up on the idea of (no that isn’t right) choosing to move forward with my life by (here goes, breathe) having a baby on my own. There I said it. Technically, I am choosing an anonymous sperm donor, buying vials of sperm that will then be put up into my uterus by a doctor. No sex. No relationship. No man. No wedding. No. Just me.
This coming to terms with the fact that I am doing all of this solo is making me cry presently, sitting at a table with a giant latte on a rainy, winter Sunday in LA. Wonder if they have Baileys here. Kidding. Kindof.
Back to the point. It is devastatingly difficult for me to admit to myself that this … Continue reading