Facebook Post About Choosing Single Motherhood?

 

I recently saw a post on Facebook by BabyCenter.com about making the choice to become a single mother. Actually, the article posted was a bit ridiculous — it was all about celebrities becoming Single Mothers and asking “would you consider it?”, which I think is a completely different question than “regular people” becoming single mothers due to financial means, full time assistance, etc.  But, the 245 comments that followed about single motherhood were very interesting, so I thought I’d give my thoughts on some of them).


sandra bullock

“I’m a single mom, I didn’t chose it. I don’t think anyone in their right mind would actually chose it over a 2 parent family. Unless they are totally insane and live off of copious amounts of stress and frustration…”

Um, OK then!  So, did I choose this?  Yes, absolutely.  Would I have preferred to have a 2 parent family?  Absolutely. But, would I regret waiting until the “man of my dreams” came along, only to find out that it was too late for me to have a child?  Absolutely.  Might I be insane?  Absolutely! 🙂

“I don’t think I would choose to be a single parent. It’s difficult enough with me and my husband… Plus I truly believe children need a mother AND a father. I can’t imagine not having a dad.”

I agree completely that children need male and female role models. (see my post The Importance of a Father Influence). Whether it’s a boy or a girl, both influences are important.  For me, I DO plan on getting married, and hope it won’t be too long before that happens!  But in the meantime, I will need to find a plan to ensure that my child has enough male influence in his/her life.

“If the choice was to have a child as a single mother or not at all, then OF COURSE I WOULD! Couldn’t even imagine not being a mommy!! It’s such a blessing and unbelievable experience that nothing can replace!!”

Well said!!

“Being in a relationship where your significant other is not around much physically is not the same as choosing to be a single mom. My ex and I have a good relationship and our son is great, but looking back, I’m sorry for all the times he asked why daddy wasn’t home. I don’t mean to offend anyone who made the choice have a child as a single mom, but I believe it’s selfish to knowingly do that to a child.”

“You’re making a choice for the child. every child needs both parents for their development and self esteem. I grew up with mom and no dad, I wished my dad would have been there more!”

Divorce is VERY tough on children, and even tougher when one of the parents is not reliable.  I think this creates trust issues in relationships. So in an SMC family, while it’s not ideal to not have a father figure around on a regular basis, I do believe it is less harmful to children because they KNOW there is no father, rather than being disappointed when he may be unreliable or not around a lot.

Selfish?  I’ll go back to that in a second. But, technically divorce was ALSO a choice!  But, selfish, really?  I’m going to be doing so much for my baby, physically, emotionally, financially, etc., that I don’t even understand know it can be perceived as selfish.  The woman below said it well actually.

“I conceived my son with a donor after a year of trying because being mama was so important to me. So it’s selfish of me that I chose to devote my entire life to being the sole provider for my son? Is it selfish of me that I happily gave up some of the activities and lifestyle I had before pregnancy to be a loving mom to my son? Is it selfish of me that whatever I need or want either comes last or not at all because my son’s needs and wants come first? Is it selfish when I am up at 4 a.m. feeding and playing with him when I know I have to get up soon to start our day? I think a woman who chooses to build a family without a partner is FAR from being selfish.”

Again, well said!

“Statistics prove that without a father in the life of a child, children are more likely to not graduate, get pregnant, have low self-esteem, and even have higher suicide rates. What good mother would choose that for their child?”

Again, this is another arguement I hear a lot. But those numbers are for divorced parents!  There aren’t enough SMCs to affect that data yet, and no SMC-only studies have been done to my knowledge.  I don’t see how a woman who makes such a major life choice to become an SMC is going to allow those things to happen to her child (yes, we can’t control everything, but I just don’t see it happening more than in the general population!).

“Becky, those stats do not account or disseminate for those children raised by CHOICE by a single mother who was situationally able to do so and those raised by a single mother who was abandoned by the father-often times unable to provide for the needs of her child. I think there is a huge difference. I almost made the choice myself: 35 years old, unmarried, career in place, head on straight, supportive family, and stable home. Women are told that our “choice” to have children later in life is irresponsible (due to possible health issues for mother and child). But, if we don’t have a proper partner in our life at the time, does that mean we should remain motherless? Relationships can come at any time, the window to have a child is so much smaller.”

Agree!

“Even though I am married, I feel like [a single mom]. Work full time, do all the house work and all of the cooking. Nothing would change – except I could have cereal dinner every night and no one would complain that there wasn’t a hot meal.”

I’ve heard a lot of people say this to me.  Not that I think it’s incredibly common that the husband does NOTHING to help (including financially), it IS a possibility.

 

So what are your thoughts on the above? I know I’ve expressed some opinions that not everyone will agree with!

 

Acronyms, Acronyms and more Acronyms!

 

I feel like every day, I learn a new acronym in this process, so I thought I’d start an ongoing list. Let me know if you have any to add!

Acronyms

AF = Aunt Flow – that’s your period!

AFC = Antral Follicle Count. It’s the number of follicles you have in your ovaries.  A low AFC indicates a poor ovarian reserve.

AI = Artificial Insemination

B2B = Back-to-Back IUIs (one the day of the LH surge, one the day after)

BFN = Big Fat Negative (negative pregnancy test)

BFP = Big Fat Positive (positive pregnancy test)

CD = Cycle day

CM = Cervical mucus

DE = Donor Egg

DI = Donor Insemination

DPO = Days past ovulation

DS = Donor Sperm

EDD = Estimated Delivery (Due) Date

EWCM = Egg white cervical mucus

EWS = Egg white substance – helps tell you when you’re ovulating

HSG = Hysterosalpingogram. It’s an X-ray test that looks at the inside of the uterus and fallopian tubes and the area around them. It checks to ensure your tubes are open

ICI = Intracervical insemination

ICSI = Intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Per About.com, ICSI may be used as part of an IVF treatment. In normal IVF, many sperm are placed together with an egg, in hopes that one of the sperm will enter and fertilize the egg. With ICSI, the embryologist takes a single sperm and injects it directly into an egg.

IF = Infertile

IUI = Intrauterine insemination, places sperm directly into a woman’s uterus to aid in conception

IVF =  In vitro fertilization — adding sperm to the female eggs in the laboratory to produce embryos

KD = Known donor

LP = Luteal Phase (part of your cycle between ovulation and period)

OPK = Ovulation predictor kid

OTD = Official test day (the day you take your pregnancy test)

POAS = Pee on a stick

SMC = Single Mother by Choice

TTC = Trying to Conceive

 

It’s Not A Baby Daddy, It’s A Sperm Donor

 

I’ve been joking around recently about looking for my “Baby Daddy”. I even titled the email to my friends about my donor choice “Help Picking My Baby Daddy”.  After I sent out that email, I realized that it’s NOT a baby daddy, and I need to stop calling it.  It’s not a daddy, it’s just a donor. Calling it a daddy gives the connotation that he’s more important in my life than he is.  At this point, it’s just a means to an end. He’s got the goods I need.

Maybe some day he’ll be more, if my child chooses to meet him. But for now, and for the next 18 years, he’s just a “sperm donor” to me.

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms out there!  It’s crazy to think that this time next year I could also be a Mom.  So exciting!

Although I don’t always show it, I appreciate my Mom so much.  I think that’s how it is as a Mom… you don’t always feel appreciated. But, the reward is that you’re bring incredible kids into the world. That’s the gift of motherhood.

Right? 🙂  Thoughts?

happy mother's day

Freezing My Eggs and Embryos

 

Early in 2009, I decided to freeze my eggs, and later that year, I also froze embryos.  At the time, becoming a single mother was not a factor in my decision at all. The reason I wanted to do this, was to increase my likelihood of being able to conceive a child with my future husband. Realizing that I was rapidly nearing 40, and hadn’t found anyone to settle down with, I decided that this was important enough to me, to spend the money on to take as much control this as I can.  I looked at it as doing everything I can to maintain my fertility for the future.

Egg freezing

Egg freezing is still considered an experimental procedure. Eggs are made up mostly of water, so freezing and unfreezing them is tough. There have been very few births from frozen eggs. Embryo freezing, on the other hand, has been done for years, particularly for medical reasons (woman going through chemo or something similar).

I ended up getting an introductory rate on a credit card, with a very low interest rate, and got approved for $20,000.  The egg freezing cost about $10,000 at Mass General Hospital, and I did the embryo freezing for $12,000 at Boston IVF. I got the sperm from Xytex.

I won’t go into all the details of both procedures, but basically they’re the same as doing an IVF cycle, except that they just take the eggs out and don’t put them back in. But, all the shots and medication before the egg retrieval is exactly the same.  I didn’t find it too difficult to go through… after a while I got so used to doing the shots that I did them in the bathroom at a movie theater, or even sitting in traffic 🙂

After all was said and done, I ended up with 8 frozen eggs and 3 frozen embryos.  I’m semi-happy with the results from the egg freezing, but am somewhat disappointed by the results from the embryo freezing. 3 embryos is basically only 1 IVF cycle.

Even though I’m still paying off the loan for this, and the annual storage fees, I’m still glad I did both of these procedures, to do whatever I could to help preserve my fertility.