Disclosure: Nothing I write is meant to shame anyone who has experienced unplanned pregnancy, or any decisions that they’ve made leading to the pregnancy or thereafter. This is simply my personal experience.
I’ve known I’ve wanted children for as long as I can remember. I’ve also made the conscious and responsible decision not to rush the process. I chose to do everything in my power to prevent unplanned pregnancy or pregnancy at a time when I didn’t feel as financially, emotionally, or physically secure as possible.
When Ron and I made the decision to try to start our family, we had been together for 6 years, and had been discussing the possibility and getting our ducks in a row for at least the latter half of those 6 years. We waited until we were at one of the strongest, happiest points in our relationship; we waited until we were financially comfortable and secure in our living situation; we waited until we both felt that the joy of welcoming and raising a child would outweigh the sacrifices we’d make to do so.
In the several months we spent actively trying to conceive, it was one of the most exciting things we’d ever decided to do together, and we both wanted it more than anything else. We would spend evenings talking about baby names and visions for our future and hopes and dreams for our future child–as well as things like which medical insurance would be best, how we’d manage childcare and work schedules, and what we could cut to add room in our budget to save for a down payment on a home.
The decision that I’ve recently made to move forward with starting a family was made with the same thinking, planning, and scrutiny now as it was when it was Ron and I were making the decision together. It was not made in haste. It was not uneducated–as a matter of fact, I think there are very few things I have researched more extensively. It was not made to fill a void–and if anything, the reality of the situation and the gravity of now making these decisions and experiencing this process without Ron has deepened the sense of loss that I feel.
While I certainly don’t owe anyone an explanation for my decision, I have already faced criticism for sharing my joy, and I’m hoping that some of these answers will clear the air and prevent more criticism before it has the chance to arise.
Without getting too in depth, I have a lot of chronic pain and imbalance with my hormones. My health is the first reason I’ve decided to move forward now rather than wait. These imbalances and pain have only gotten worse as I’ve gotten older, and it’s not worth the risk of waiting for the worsening to continue. Additionally, I currently have the physical, emotional, and financial support and stability that I need to do this comfortably and with the lowest stress level possible. It is a good time, and I don’t know if it will always be, so I’m jumping on the opportunity now.
Where is the “male role model” and/or “father/father figure?”
I don’t believe that a nuclear family is necessary to raise a happy, healthy child. I am certainly not knocking nuclear families or doubting the benefits of a nuclear family, and in an ideal world, I would still be married, and I would be having a child with my husband. However, it is not an ideal world. I am approaching 30 (and once I hit 30, my chances of successful pregnancy drop approximately 1-5% every 5 years). I am not one to jump into major life decisions with people that I don’t know, so I’m certainly not in the market for a fast-tracked relationship in order to achieve a “perfect nuclear family.” I would rather be a single mother than risk the drama and complication that inevitably comes with rushing into starting a family with someone I don’t know well or who may not be on the same page as I am.
There is research indicating that there is minimal, if any, difference between the emotional, mental, and physical development of fatherless children and those children born to nuclear families. There is also research indicating that children of single mothers by choice are healthier, physically and emotionally, than children of divorced parents or children resulting from unplanned pregnancies, simply because they are less likely to be exposed to parental conflict, economic struggle, etc. In terms of providing positive males to involve in my child’s life, I have plenty of friends and family members that will be more than happy to step in from time to time.
Are you sure you aren’t “playing God” with your life?
100%. Though I don’t identify as your traditional Christian, I do consider myself spiritual, and I do believe in God, pray regularly, and consider Him when I make life decisions. I believe that I don’t know God’s plan–no one does. Perhaps when Ron passed away and I was left with this empty void from losing him, as well as losing our future family together, God blessed me with the financial means to pursue single motherhood with the help of science and modern medicine. Or perhaps He didn’t, and for all I know, this entire endeavor will burst at the seams and God will point me in a new direction once I grieve again. I pray that the former is the plan, but I don’t know. What I do know is that ultimately, the decision to move forward is in my hands, but the results of moving forward are entirely out of my control.
How do you know you are ready/can handle this/are prepared for the sacrifices?
How does anyone know? I’m ready enough that I have a plan in place, that I have a team of medical professionals that I trust, that I have the support of my family and friends, that I have a bank account that will cover my ass each step of the way, that no romantic relationship, amount of free time, opportunity to do things alone, etc. is more important to me than being a mother. I think that’s more than most people can say.
What is the expectation for the next few months? How much will you share and where will you be sharing?
As of right now, I’ve completed all my preliminary testing and general physical health exams. The next step is my consult with the fertility clinic on March 15th, where hopefully any additional testing I need will be ordered, I will be informed as to how and where to find donor sperm, and we will schedule dates for starting necessary medications. I will likely be going the medicated route (with the use of Femara or Clomid), which, from what I understand, requires daily bloodwork and ultrasounds until mature follicles are detected, at which point I give myself a trigger shot to encourage the egg to finish maturing and drop, and then the IUI procedure in which donor sperm will be injected directly into my fallopian tube will be completed within 36 hours.
I’ll be sharing as much (or as little) as I feel like sharing, and I’ll do so here. I won’t directly post updates to Facebook, as, knowing myself, I suspect I’ll be keeping a pretty detailed account of everything that happens (it’s kind of a big deal!) and I don’t want to overwhelm anyone. These blog updates will, however, feed to my Facebook as a link, giving all my friends the opportunity to choose to follow or not.
And with that, this will be the end of my Day 0 post. I’ll be back after my first appointment!