Single Mother by Choice to be: It takes a village to create a child!
Single Mother By Choice to be Ellen shares her thoughts about deciding to have a child on her own. She tells how she injected some fun by involving her family and friends in the process of choosing the donor.
"It takes a village to raise a child – or in my case to create one!
It’s funny, in many societies in the world there is no translation for the phrase “single mother”. The concept just doesn’t exist. Not because women aren’t raising children without the involvement of the biological father, but because they are raising their child in a community - in an extended family. They are not single, they are not solo, they are not alone."
The decision to become a single mother
"My decision to become a Single Mother By Choice, like many women, was not a straightforward one. My plan A had been to fall in love, get married and raise a family. Things didn’t quite work out like that.
At 30 and after much soul-searching I decided that my priorities (to love and to have a child) did not need to be intertwined. I came to the realisation that, by separating out the two, I was able to follow the path of each of them much more authentically. I was able to follow my plan of becoming a mother without needing to wait for the ‘right’ man at the ‘right’ time and I was able to love without the time pressure of my biological clock.
Comfortable with the choice I had made, and with the most supportive group of family and friends anyone could ever wish for, it was time to select a donor!"
Picking a donor was like online dating
"Now if anyone has ever been involved in online dating you’ll know that picking a sperm donor is a bit like online dating but on steroids! Swipe right for yes and left for no (well, almost!). Nothing about fertility treatment is quite like falling in love over a candlelit dinner! So, I decided that it would be nice to inject some fun into the experience!"
Pick a donor party with family and friends
"Having narrowed down my sperm donor selection (with the help of my mum!) to 9 donors, I shared my shortlist with my family and friends, everyone from my 10-year-old goddaughter to my 86-year-old grandmother! Everyone was asked to read the profiles, pick their favourite and then be ready to justify why they felt that their donor should be chosen.
Clearly, being the independent soul that I am, I had already decided on my favourite donor before the start of the party but it was the most wonderful experience to have all of the people I love and care about taking the time to go through the donors and give me really well thought out responses to which one was their favourite and why. Even more special was that the donor who received the most votes at the party was also the donor I had selected as my favourite! Everyone was 100% behind my decision to go forward with treatment!"
Straight to IVF treatment
"Only weeks after the sperm donor picking party, my treatment began. I had opted to skip IUI and go straight in with IVF. Not because anything in my results indicated I would need to, but because I felt that I needed to spend my money on the treatment with the highest probability of success.
I was accompanied to every single appointment by either a family member or best friend and one of my best friends was even allowed in the room with me when my 5-day transfer took place. That close level of involvement has meant that my family and friends have all felt personally invested in my journey and at no point did I feel alone."
A second attempt to become a Single Mother by Choice in the pipeline
"Unfortunately, my first attempt was unsuccessful, but I have more vials of sperm in storage ready for when I’ve saved up enough money to be able to have a second round of treatment. Thankfully I’m only 32 so I still have plenty of time and in the meantime, I’ll be spending my time surrounded by my wonderful support network, making incredible memories and, you never know, maybe even finding love!
Please keep your fingers crossed for me and wish me lots of baby dust!"
/A Single Mother by Choice to be
Note: Ellen is a fictional name used because the writer wishes to be anonymous.
It takes a village to raise a child - but also to prepare for it. If you want advice on preparing for a baby or if you are interested in the first weeks after birth, we can recommend the two articles.
Connect with Single Mothers by Choice in our FB community
If you are a Single Mother by Choice to be, one way of preparing for a baby, is to join our Facebook group Family Dreams, where you can connect with other Single Mothers by Choice and Single Mothers by Choice to be. The closed group is a kind community where you can ask questions, share your story and support others on their fertility journey. Join the group here.
You may also be interested in reading about how Angie made the decision to become a Single Mother by Choice.