On Being a Single Mom “By Choice”
For anyone who hasn’t heard the term single mother (parent) “by choice”, what it means is, the person has decided to intentionally have children, on their own. I didn’t go into parenthood, partnered up, or even as the result of a quick fling. I came in, on my own, using (anonymous) donor sperm, and fertility treatments and doctors, to have my kids. And, it took me about a year to get pregnant with each of my two children.
With my first, my 5 year old son, I did IUI (intrauterine insemination) for about 7 months. I started unmedicated, and when it didn’t work, I switched to medicated. I tried doing one vial of sperm a month, and I tried going two days in a row, while I was ovulating. For me, IUI was a bust.
After a solid attempt at IUI, I did an egg retrieval (which involves a lot of hormones, shots, medications, doctors appointments, and feeling pretty gross). And then, on my second round of IVF, I got pregnant with my son (the first round was a fresh embryo transfer (FET) with one embryo. The second round, I used 2 embryos, and got pregnant with my son- only 1 embryo took).
With my second, my 1 year old daughter, I skipped IUI and went straight to IVF. Since I had gotten pregnant before, my doctor wasn’t willing to use 2 embryos at a time, this time. Honestly, I was pretty upset, BUT, in hindsight, he was right. (I cannot imagine being a single mother with a toddler and multiples). However, neither of those 2 rounds (and 2 embryos) took. I was surprised, to be honest. Out of 5 embryos, I “only” got 1 baby.
I went back and did another egg retrieval, except now, with a toddler in tow (as wonderful as they are, kids make everything more “complicated”. I mean, lezbehonest!). This time, I had the embryos genetically tested (which I hadn’t done the last time). Once I got the embryos back, I started the IVF process, all over again.
The next round of IVF, I got my BFP (big fat positive)!! I was pregnant. And, since I had gotten the embryos genetically tested, I knew I was pregnant with a girl. However, my numbers (HCG- the pregnancy hormone) were low. But, they were rising, so there was still hope. I have a post that goes into further detail about it, but basically, that was an ectopic pregnancy. I ended up needing emergency surgery, and I lost my first baby girl.
My fourth round of IVF, I got my second BFP, which resulted in my having my daughter. I always tell people, “there is nothing fun about making a baby by IVF. It’s scary, it’s painful, it’s emotional, and it’s exhausting. BUT, in the end, that baby in your arms, makes it more than worth it.
Not to sound cliche, but I feel like the luckiest person in the world, to be able to have my two babies, all on my own!