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Becoming a Sole Support Mom By Choice

My name is Shelley and I am a single mom by choice. I spent the majority of my 20s travelling, dating, finishing my degree and deciding on a career. In my early and mid 30s I developed my business, which took a number of years. I didn’t start thinking about kids until my mid 30s when I noticed that a number of my friends were having babies. It hadn’t been on my radar because I had always thought that it would come eventually – first a relationship with the “right” guy, and then kids would be a natural result. But after a number of failed relationships, I still wasn’t in that “right” relationship, and as I got close to my 37th birthday, I started to wonder what if he doesn’t ever come around?

I started to think about what it would be like not to have children in my life and it made me sad. I really felt like my window of opportunity was passing and if I was going to jump, I better jump now. I made an appointment with a counsellor in my area and talked through my reasons for wanting to have children and my fear of regret if I didn’t. My counsellor helped me explore options of using donor sperm to get pregnant and work through the implications of this way of building my family. I’ll never forget the night I scanned the donor websites while drinking a glass of wine with a couple of my close girlfriends. It seemed strange, but we made a celebration out of it.

I selected an identity release my donor so that my child could find out more information about his or her genetic father if that’s something s/he wants to do when s/he’s older. I ordered 6 straws (that’s what they call them at the clinic), through my local fertility centre. I decided to try basic intrauterine inseminations (IUI) first without any fertility meds. My first IUI didn’t work. I was devastated. My second IUI didn’t work and I was heart-broken. I decided that I was going to give it one last try, this time with fertility medications, and would you believe that it worked? I was so happy when I received the call from the fertility centre that I had a positive pregnancy test.

Then the worry set in. I felt overwhelmed. How was I going to provide for this child? Was he/she going to wish that s/he had another parent? I was nervous to tell my family, but they surprised me with their supportiveness. The longer I stayed single, the more afraid my parents were that I’d never have a chance to become a mother and they wouldn’t get to be grandparents. So they were happy for me. It was weird going into work being pregnant and having my colleagues ask who the father of my child was – since they know I’m single. Now I’m almost at my due date. I’m nervous, but my mom has come to all my prenatal classes and will be with me for the delivery of my son (it’s a boy) – her grandson. I wonder if I’ll be a good mom. I worry that my son will wish he had a father. Will he want to know his donor? When I start feeling overwhelmed I think of looking down into his chubby little face and how I’ll feel when he first smiles, or when he takes his first step, or says “Mama”. Mostly I’m confident that this was absolutely the right decision for me. I just have to take things in small steps…one foot in front of the other… one step at a time…

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