A note from RMACT: Stephanie G. is a single mother by choice who reached out to RMACT in March of 2018 while we were promoting a Facebook Live event for single moms-to-be. Although Stephanie is not a patient at RMACT, she feels very passionate about being a resource for other women who are trying to decide if single motherhood is a good option for them. Because of her desire to help other moms-to-be, we wanted to share Stephanie's story on Path to Fertility in the hopes that it might help those who are thinking of becoming single moms turn their desire into their reality. Read on for part 1 of Stephanie's 3 part story.
By the time I turned 30, I had already accomplished quite a bit in my life. I had done my fair share of traveling, bought a home, held a steady job, had a great group of friends, and a dog that was my world. However, despite all the wonderful things in my life, there was still something missing, a gap in my life that needed to be filled. That gap?
Well, it was my yearning to be a mother, a desire that just couldn’t be ignored. Although I didn't have a partner, that was not going to be a barrier that held me back.
I had been single my entire life and quite enjoyed being on my own, but being on my own didn't mean I didn't want to have a child of my own. So, it was time to figure out how to turn my desire into my reality.
I started my path to motherhood by talking with family and friends and that's when the option of single motherhood presented itself. Through my discussions, I discovered that one of my family friends pursued sperm donation and had a six-year-old and three-year-old from the process. She was able to tell me about her experience and answer some questions I had, but my mind wasn't made up just yet. I continued to research single motherhood by reading blogs and journals to inform myself more about the process and eventually, I felt confident enough with what I had learned and scheduled a doctor's appointment because why not get even more information from the experts?!
Meeting with the doctor was extremely informative, but the decision to pursue single motherhood was not one I could easily make, even after my initial appointment. Although my family was very supportive, I knew that I was only going to be able to do this if I believed I could take it on completely on my own. I also had to think about my potential child and what growing up without a biological father in his or her life would mean. Being close to my own father, I agonized over if this was the right decision. I started talking more seriously to friends about what I was planning and heard so many stories of friends of friend's whose husbands died while their wives were pregnant, husbands that cheated before the baby was born, husbands that were the wrong fit for wives who just wanted a baby, and on and on and on. That's when I realized that even if I tried to live a supposed ideal life, there was no way to guarantee everything would work out exactly as I would hope and dream. Of course, there are plenty of healthy marriages out there, and I am happy for the people living them, but I had no luck in finding that for myself. Plus, I wasn’t giving up, there would still be time to date and marry when I was ready - my child would just be part of the equation now.
Believe it or not, one of the most shocking parts of my journey was the push back I received from some of my friends. I would have almost expected more push back from my family, but my friends? Not so much. In fact, I actually lost a friend because she didn't feel it was right to bring a child into this world without a father. And another one of my closest friend had just had a baby when I decided to pursue this path and although she is my biggest cheerleader now, at the time, she was overwhelmed with the early days of motherhood and thought it would be too much for me to do on my own. However, watching my closest friend throughout her pregnancy and then as a new mother motivated and encouraged me to continue on my own journey because I truly wanted that for myself, my desire to be a mother was just so deep that I had to make it a reality. Not only that, but I wanted my baby to be friends with my friends' kids. I wanted to be on par with my peers, not 10 years older than all my mom friends. Solidifying my decision even more was my fertile window. I knew I had to act fast because I didn't want to miss out on the opportunity of having a child; I didn't want to look back at my life when I was older and regret not having a child because I was too old to do so.
So, in July of 2016, I finally made the (exciting!) decision to try to get pregnant...