I was 25, I was driving to work and I heard an ad on the radio. That’s how I became an SMC.
The ad was for a fertility clinic and it was aimed at single women. It was my light bulb moment. I obviously knew sperm donation existed, I even knew lesbian couples who had had their children through donor conception, but I had somehow never applied the idea to myself. But as soon as I heard that ad, I knew it was what I was going to do. I called them the next day and I was on my way!
Despite my eagerness, I was 25 and I knew I would regret it if I didn’t travel first. So I did. I spent 6 months backpacking through Asia, Europe and Egypt – solo, obviously! But then I came home and the first call I made was to the fertility clinic.
I got pregnant on my first IUI. It was very much a case of ‘holy shit, that escalated quickly! What the hell do I do now?!?’. But pregnancy is loooong, people. I had plenty of time to adjust and I welcomed my baby girl just after I turned 28.
I loved the baby stage. I loved being a mother. It felt completely natural and right. It was so easy, bub and I had travelled internationally (to New York! By ourselves!) by the time she was 6 months old. And I started trying to give my baby girl a sibling before she even turned one.
Project Sibling was not quite as straightforward. Six cycles, a solid 12 months on the IUI & IVF merry-go-round. Dragging a toddler to countless tests, scans and appointments. Injecting myself up to 5 times a day with a toddler hanging from my leg. Thousands and thousands of dollars I felt guilty spending when it could have been spent on the child I already had. And when I was finally successful, we were deep, deep in toddler hell. TTC was a rough 12 months, pregnancy was an even rougher 10 months, all accompanied by toddler tantrums, attitude and sleep issues. By the time I welcomed my second baby girl, I was 30 and I was exhausted.
But oh my god, it was worth it. My girls are 2.5 & 5 now. The baby that made me a mother is starting school and the baby that made me fight for her is rapidly growing up, too! Their relationship is absolutely beautiful and I love our little family unit. Some days/weeks/months are hard. Incredibly hard sometimes. Solo parenting is NOT for the faint hearted, y’all. But there’s so much joy and laughter in amongst it all, and there’s NEVER been any regret.
And the forum has been here throughout it all. Miserable pregnancies, health scares, milestones, celebrations, big life decisions, the works. We’ve all come here from different roads, but no-one ‘gets’ this solo parenting gig quite like another solo mama. The support has been invaluable and my kids get to grow up knowing other families like theirs.
I’m going to finish with my favourite quote:
Here’s to strong women:
May we know them;
May we be them;
May we raise them.