Thinking About Becoming An SMC?

At this time of year, SMC usually sees a pop in new members joining the SMC organization, perhaps due to New Year’s resolutions, or maybe just because it’s the start of a new year. And the biggest question for maybe-SMCs (who we call “Thinkers”) is often, “How can I do this? Or, “Can I do this?”

There’s no question that being an SMC is challenging, as well as incredibly wonderful. So I’ve compiled some good tips written by our members on our lively 24/7 online Forum to help answer those questions. For more good advice, join SMC and discuss your “thinking” questions with our members (either online or in person) who are in the same place and/or have been there.  To join, go to: singlemothersbychoice.org/membership 

When my budget would allow it, I hired a babysitter for 2 hours every Wednesday from 4-6 pm.  It really made a difference for me, Continue reading

Forgiving Myself For My Emotions While Trying to Conceive

Why is it when you’re trying not to think too much about something, it’s all you see? When you’re dieting, every commercial is for pizza and ice cream. When you’re dreading back to school, every display in the grocery store is tormenting you with shiny new pencils. And when you’re trying to conceive (TTC), pregnant ladies pop up like dandelions all over the place.

For some women TTC, pregnancy announcements, baby showers, and even events with kids of friends and family can be emotionally gut wrenching. They are reminders of what they so desperately want but haven’t yet been able to achieve. Jealousy isn’t exactly a trait someone strives for, which leads one to feeling guilty and wondering if she’s being selfish. It can turn into a torturous cycle of pain and self-loathing.

Do I know all this from my own TTC experience? Not exactly, but I sure know the … Continue reading

Be Brave Go Your Own Way!

There I stood smiling at my own reflection in the mirror. I was feeling in a good place, a positive space. Is it because I’m in school and enjoying every moment of it? Possibly. Or is it because I’ve surrounded myself with extracurricular activities that fuel my soul? That could be it… Or maybe it’s because my 15-year-old stepson and I have not killed one another yet, despite living under the same roof!

Not sure what the trigger to this great mood was, but the fact remained that I could get used to this state of mind! This happy thought train led me down the path of reflecting on my year. So much has happened in the realm of fertility! I grieved my original plans of marriage before children, I wrestled with the idea of IVF, and I actually completed an IVF cycle. Now my frozen embryos are waiting on … Continue reading

McPiercy

I’ve had McPiercy bookmarked in my mind as a blog topic for a long time, since people are often curious about the process of choosing a donor. I chose him before I created the blog and then I didn’t want to write about him until I was pregnant and then once I was pregnant I thought I should wait until the baby was born and then things were a tiny bit busy. Now that I’ve written about everything leading up to the creation of the blog (which starts during my first two-week-wait), I’m ready to share. Below is an excerpt from my book! (Read all the way to the bottom for McPiercy news.)

I began the search on the donor database of my chosen sperm bank, which felt shockingly similar to online dating. One puts in the parameters of their search (e.g. ethnicity, eye color, height), and the system pulls … Continue reading

Pre-Conception Plans and Decisions

How Single Women Do It

Adoption or conception. Both are great options, and each appealed to me, for different reasons. Since I can’t have a baby without a little help myself, adoption seemed like a wonderful opportunity to in turn help a woman who needed a loving family for her child. Unfortunately, not all adoption agencies consider a family of one adequate, and even those that do were unaffordable to this single chick without taking out a serious loan, something I’d rather not do if I have another option. Luckily, I’ve always wanted to experience pregnancy. I’ve already got big feet and ankles, so I might as well have something miraculous accompany them, right?

Where?

It never even occurred to me that single women had options for this question. I just assumed if Mr. Right wasn’t doing the job that Dr. Somebody ought to be. Actually, though, there are other Continue reading

It’s Just A Date

How Pursuing My Dream of Motherhood Made Dating More Fun

I had always assumed that unlike me, many women were able to date lightheartedly. Unconcerned with a hoped-for long-term outcome, these women could treat a date as just a date. They found a way to relax and have a good time. These women, I further suspected, were free to be themselves with their dates and so were the ones finding the right partner.

As these musings might indicate, my single dating life was often fraught with worry. When dating a man, I was rarely fully present. My mind ran the back story. I’d size him up, then rocket mentally into an imagined future. Is he the right fit for me, and I for him? Is he commitment-phobic? Am I? Are we wasting our time? Of course, sometimes, there was true hope and love. But the stifling “what-ifs” commanded my attention.… Continue reading

Working My Way Toward Becoming An SMC

So, here I am, working my way toward becoming a single mother by choice – reading books and articles, taking advantage of a great local SMC chapter, haunting the online SMC Forum for insights and information, surfing cryobank donor lists. I’m dotting all the “i”s and crossing all the “t”s, taking  pre-natal vitamins, trying to eat better and get more sleep. I’m making lists and generally trying to stay in control of everything I can.

And I’m laughing. Because if there’s anything I’ve learned from my friends who are parents, my own parents and the kids in my family, it’s that being a good (and not insane) parent has a lot less to do with how in control you are and a lot more to do with how well you deal with all the things you can’t control. And, wow, is this process a test of those skills. I can Continue reading

Patience is For Wimps!

I am probably one of the most impatient people I know.  I am also extremely indecisive, but once I finally make a decision I am set,  but that’s a different post. When I am ready for something I am ready NOW!  Not a year from now, not a month, not even an hour!  I plan a lot.  My plans change,  I have no issue with that, but I love to have lists and plans made far in advance.

When I was in grade eight I had planned out all the courses I would take in high school.  I really couldn’t wait to start.  Then in high school I planned for university, I think you get the idea.  Now that I have decided to have a child I am ready now.  I think it’s worse to just be sitting, waiting to start trying, as opposed to waiting for the baby.  Once … Continue reading

Hope and Mourning

Making the decision to adopt was not difficult.  After two summers of failed attempts to grow a suitable uterine lining,  I realized that I had to make a choice.  I could try either more aggressive, entirely experimental, shot-in-the-dark treatments to get my unresponsive lining to grow,, or I could move toward adoption.  Infertility is extraordinarily expensive to address; adoption is extraordinarily expensive to pursue.  If I had to take that gamble, adoption seemed the option most likely to lead to success; my body, in so many ways throughout my life, had shown me that it just can’t be made to understand what it needs to do.  And so I shifted seamlessly from doctor’s visits to agency research and home study paperwork.  My hope was renewed.

And yet… There exists a certain duality in this experience, the bursts of effervescent optimism tipped by periods of startling grief.  I have moments –

Continue reading

The Beginning

I was fifteen. From the window of the doctor’s office, I could see the shapes of buildings on Manhattan’s east side, beyond which lay the East River and a sky that, I remember, was bright with sunshine. It was so long ago, twenty-three years, but I remember the day as a sunny one, autumn and brisk. My endocrinologist was a tiny woman with a rich Scottish brogue, and I had enjoyed, during our many visits, learning about the inner workings of my endocrine system, the complex interplay of hormones and their various failings which had led me to her office. On this day–after weeks of tests involving two sonograms, an ACTH test, endless vials of blood–I would receive my diagnosis: polycystic ovary syndrome. She explained the factors involved, that it was the likely cause of the visible symptoms I’d been experiencing since I hit puberty, that there are various effects … Continue reading

“I joined when I was in the Thinking stage. The forum was exactly what I needed to research the SMC experience. I felt more confident with that support and information, and am now a mom to a baby boy!”

– Anonymous