The journey to solo parenthood
Jodie, 37, shares her journey to becoming a solo mum by choice; she is currently pregnant via IVF with donor sperm.
I decided to take this path after not having met anyone I saw a long-term future with for a long time, and really wanting to be a mum. I wasn’t willing to settle for just anyone in order to have a child. I used to joke through my 20s that if I was single at 36, I would do it on my own. It was only a passing comment then, but somehow now I am here, it feels as if it was meant to be this way.
I started my journey by looking into clinics. I found one I warmed to, so booked in for a consultation. I had a very early miscarriage in a previous relationship, and had a worry about fertility, but my tests showed everything was fine, so I pressed ahead with short IVF protocol. The first injection was quite scary, but they got easier.
Prior to this, I had also chosen my sperm donor, which was a long process for me as it had to be right. I was torn between two donors; one looked similar to me and my family, but I was drawn to the other who was a bit of a curveball. They were both in my online basket for a good two weeks.
The night I gave myself the ultimatum to decide, I sat for hours going back and forth, re-reading their profiles and looking at their toddler pictures. In the end, it was pure intuition that I went for the latter and felt really happy with my decision.
I went in for follicle scans to see how my ovaries were reacting to the injections and they were progressing nicely, so I was booked in for egg collection after a couple of weeks. I was nervous but I was lucky that my recovery was only around 24 hours of feeling a little woozy, being taken care of by my parents and dog.
My procedure resulted in ten eggs which I was really pleased with. Of those, nine were mature and fertilised with my donor sperm. Five of them made it to day five blastocyst, meaning they were all viable, so the best quality one was transferred, and the other four were placed in the freezer (next to the fish fingers as my mum likes to say!)
After the initial two week wait, my test was negative. My period came and I was advised to have another natural period before starting oral medication to prepare my lining for a frozen embryo transfer (FET). Again, I went in for scans and everything developed really quickly so I was booked in for my FET. For transfers, you are fully awake – you get to see the embryo drop into the uterus on screen, it’s incredible!
I tested early on day six for this round and had a really faint line. I continued testing every day up until official test day (OTD) and the line got darker and darker. On OTD, my clinic called for my result and I got to tell them, with a big smile on my face, it was POSITIVE!
Looking to the future
I was booked in for an early pregnancy scan around seven weeks, which confirmed that little one was in the right place, measuring perfectly and I got to see and hear its teeny heartbeat. It was magical – I was in shock for hours, but so happy.
If I had any advice for anyone thinking about doing this, I would say, research clinics to find the right one, trust your gut on the big decisions, remember that the scary thoughts are just thoughts, and celebrate the wins as they come. Be proud of yourself for getting through the scarier moments and take it steady – an hour at a time some days.
If you are considering becoming a solo mum by choice or are currently going through treatment to become a solo mum, why not join our Single women online fertility support group.