I spent approximately 15 years of my life trying to create my family. As a good friend notes, “It took more than just dinner and a movie!”
I tried through a variety of methods including the old fashioned way, artificial insemination with Clomid and donor sperm, domestic adoption, international adoption and surrogacy using donor sperm and donor egg. I was fortunate enough to stop my journey there which resulted in two lovely baby boys.
Despite my protracted process, I never went through years of depression, sorrow or regret about my process. I don’t know what enabled me to pursue my children passionately, yet escape sorrow about not yet having them in tow. Interestingly, I did not even tell myself everything will work out in the end.
Early in my journey, I came in contact with several women 15-20 years my senior, who had little to no access to many of the baby making avenues available today. As a result, these women were unfortunately rendered childless. They were denied the baby of their dreams. Each of these women, who I met in shops and boutiques, cried on my shoulder as they told me their story, after I told them mine. I shuttered each time I heard such a story, because I was not through my journey and still didn’t know if I would end up like them, forever an auntie and never a mom.
Somewhere in the middle, I had the chance to participate in a group with women quite a bit my junior, who were frustrated and upset about not getting pregnant, when they wanted to be pregnant. I realized I didn’t really fit in this group because I was not feeling the amount of stress they were experiencing. I felt their distress was totally legitimate, yet still had no answer as to why or how I had been protected from sorrow and seemed to float somewhere else oblivious to this seemingly typical pain while pursuing my goal.
I did have some sense of wasting time and being out of sync with my peers, but it was never something that caused me to fall apart or end up curled up in a ball in my bed. All I can say now is, “Thank God I didn’t have to experience that part.” It would have made it so much harder to rally and move forward in my process.
Since my children have been born, I have become active in a Single Moms By Choice group on Facebook. Through this process, as well as, general discussions with women trying to conceive, I have become even more acutely aware of the strife that goes on when trying to conceive and coming up empty handed over and over again. Our group is highly responsive and champions each other, as well as helps in problem solving when needed. Our group’s focus is not only about getting pregnant and being pregnant and delivering babies, but also about helping each other once the babies have arrived.
The Single Moms By Choice that I’ve come in contact with are strong women who have decided that for one reason or another that it’s high time to move forward and create their families, without a man or a partner to share the journey with. Each one of us decided to have families without spouses or partners. We have all had a strong drive to mother that couldn’t be denied.
Many forces have come into play for those of us who have delayed conception while allowing other goals and dreams to come first. Some of us have not felt ready yet, or simply never found the right partner to embark on such a journey with. Delaying the process has been the outcome which, of course as the years pass by, reduces the chance of success occurring naturally, without some type of intervention. However, today as never before, there are so many more options available to help those who want to have a baby.
Once my children turned 5, I had frozen embryos to deal with. I found someone who was looking to expand her family after difficulty getting pregnant with her own DNA. She desperately wanted a sibling for her young son! Once all the legal documentation was in place, I donated my remaining frozen embryos to her. Despite adequate thawing, the transfer was not a success. The wished for babies would not be born.
Interestingly, my emotional response to donating my frozen embryos was nothing short of heart wrenching, despite the fact that I no longer had the resources nor wear withal to raise more children. Go figure? All I can say is emotions are funny!
It occurs to me now in retrospect that I saved up or postponed all of that angst until the bitter end, when I was giving up my last hold out for a fertile moment. I had two thriving boys, but no girl. Was my baby girl right there amongst those frozen embryos? I come from a larger family with six kids. What held me back from reaching for that last child? I can tell you in one word! Practicality! I already had my boys and they were enough. I was lucky to have two darling ones that call me Mommy. I really didn’t need to upset the apple cart. I didn’t need to spread myself thin. That said, I can tell you with certainty that it did hurt!
What I know is that facing fertility woes on your own is tough. Weathering the storm can be made easier by having someone in your court who cares about you and is ready to hear about all the nuances of the process as you set sail on your journey.
If you are feeling like you’d like to have a fertility coach at your side, reach out to me at Contact Lisa and we can schedule some time together by phone.
All my best,
Lisa J Lafave, PHD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
The Fertility Coach at Coaching Rocks
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, OH
Leap Into Action!