Early appointments, blood tests, results, oh my!

Wondering what it takes to become a single mom? Lots of early appointments and blood tests to start! Read on to find out what is involved in becoming a Single Mom By Choice. After that first appointment, I was excited! I couldn’t wait for it all to happen and I have zero patience for waiting for things I want, so this entire process seemed like it would take forever!!!

There are many doctors appointments. And mine were all in the morning. I am so NOT a morning person. Getting up extra early, to be at an appointment for 7 am, when I am usually not even up at 7 am, was hard for me (even with the excitement of what I was doing). I would LOVE to say I got used to it, and waking up got easier and was a delight, but no. It sucked. The whole time. Yes, I loved it because it was going to make me a mom.  But early mornings are not my jam. (Yes the irony of me hating to get up in the morning and wanting a baby that gets up in the morning is not lost on me.)

The first few appointments are all about asking questions, finding out what you need, why you are doing it, and getting referrals for blood work. A lot of blood work. I don’t like needles so this was a treat. I also had to make an appointment with one of their counsellors on staff to talk about what I was doing, to see what my support network would be like (spoiler alert – it’s awesome). Bring something to take notes. If you can, bring someone with you to these appointments (other than the counsellor one for obvious reasons). It helps to have someone there when the doctor is talking to you about everything. My mom came to a few appointments, but I wish she was able to come to more.

I was told that having insemination is the same as having regular sex, in that the chance of pregnancy is the same. This I found very interesting. I kind of thought it would be higher because it is by passing a lot of swim space and getting straight into the uterus. That and they wash the sperm so all the little not so great guys don’t make it!

So with this new information I went and got my blood work done STI tests and I paid to get my AMH test done. Typically they don’t do this test until you are close to or over 40.  But my with my family history of fertility and early menopause, I asked for this test anyway.

Good thing I did.

I suggest EVERYONE should get this test. Push for it if they say you don’t need it. Say you want to cover all your bases, that you want to know everything about your fertility right away. Pay for the test.

Basically, this test tells you how many eggs you have. Now it isn’t going to tell you that you have 5 left, but it gives you a number range.  If I remember correctly,

40-60 (I have no idea what the unit of measure is…) is Excellent

21-40 is Satisfactory

0-21 is low.

Well, I was 8.

Yes, single digit, lucky number 8. (Literally.This is my lucky number….)

This was disheartening of course.

However, I did come back STI free! (not that there was a concern) but I had to celebrate something right?

So in April when I got my results, my doctor and I spoke about what would be best for me.  Now remember, I was older, 36, and had low fertility. I had hoped to start the process sometime in September and asked if I could wait to start. The doctor said, and I quote,

“You could wait a few months, but I wouldn’t wait a year.”

Well with news like that, waiting went out the window.

I decided to try an unmedicated round first, and then I would do medication after if that didn’t work.

So it was time for me to go home and find a donor.

 

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10 Ways to Pick Donor Sperm

Picking donor sperm can seem like a daunting task. There are so many sites and choices. So the first thing you really need to do is check with your clinic and find out which donor sites they use. You don’t want to spend time looking on one site only to find out they don’t work with your clinic.

Also if you are Canadian (or just not American) make sure your donor is compliant with your country.

 

Here are my top 10 tips for picking a donor.

Deciding to be a Single Mom by Choice is one difficult decision. So is picking the donor sperm! The other genetic half of your dream baby. If you are struggling to pick a donor read on for 10 fun tips to help you decide!

  1. Make it a game

While this is super serious, I mean you are picking out the donor of the other half of the gene pool for your child, it should be fun too. I thought of it as online dating. I swiped left so to speak on any donor I didn’t find attractive. That helped to narrow down the search, as it can be quite overwhelming at first.

  1. Get friends and family involved

If you do a search you may come across people who have done Donor Parties. This was not my thing, but it sure did look fun!! People would come up with a theme, many of which were penis-themed. They would then decorate, have treats and games that matched their theme and created a festive mood. It looked like many people did this when they had already narrowed down their sperm donor search. While others did it to narrow down their donor search. The choice is yours, have fun with it!

  1. Wine

No not whine about it, WINE about it. Enjoy a beverage. Sit back, relax, maybe light some candles and play soft music. Whatever gets you in the mood. 😀  The goal is to relax and feel comfortable, well that and pick out the sperm donor to help you create a baby!

  1. Clear your schedule

You need time to go through all the donors. There can be many depending on what you are looking for. Block off an evening, turn off your phone, log off Facebook, you don’t want to accidentally post something to FB! And really zone into what you are doing.



 

  1. Take notes

Print out your sperm donor list and have paper and pen handy. This way as you go through the list and start knocking donors off it, you can cross them out.  You can take notes beside the donors you are interested in. Try writing a little blurb stating why you picked them or didn’t. This way when you go back later you will have something to jog your memory about why you didn’t cross him off your list.

  1. Know what you want

Make sure you have an idea of what you want before you start. It can be overwhelming to see so many options and all the sperm donors that go with them. Know what is non-negotiable and what you’d like and maybe what you don’t care about. Don’t feel bad about crossing a donor off your list, because of a medical condition that you don’t want to add into your genetic mix. This is your child, and you have to do what is best for you and your baby!  It also narrows your choices down because not all donors will have your must haves or must not haves…

  1. Keep your options open

While you may want blue eyes and blonde hair, you may discover that that doesn’t leave you with much choice.  Print off that list and then search again, blue eyes and brown hair for example which will give you a bigger list. Once you have access to their photos you may find that many of these donors were blonde once too!

  1. Time to be picky

Once you have gone through and narrowed down your list, you may still have quite a few donor choices on there (I know I did). So now is the time to get picky. Take your would be nice to haves and apply them to the list. Did you want your child to have the same blood type as you? Cross off that donor (or in my case move their names down the list). Be picky about looks if you want, look for a specific face shape, detached or attached earlobes. Hair type. Anything at this point that appeals to you.  After all, you want your baby to look like you too!

  1. Give yourself time

Now that you have your donor list narrowed down, take a break. Put away your info, let your brain decompress, and give yourself some space from it.  A few days away from thinking about it may give you new insight and help you make a final decision. Just don’t wait too long. There is a chance that some of those donors won’t be there when you go back to it (trust me on this).

  1.  Have fun

While this is a life-changing decision, have fun with it. It shouldn’t be causing you stress or loss of sleep. Remember that no matter which donor you pick, this baby is going to be half you!! Go with your gut. Take what friends and family say with a grain of salt.  Remember it is your choice and you don’t have to share the final pick with anyone you don’t want to.

 

Want to read about how I chose my donor? Click here.

 

Leave me a comment and let me know if there is anything you think I should add to this list. And remember, sharing is caring! 

Happy choosing!

 

 

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Deciding to be a Single Mom by Choice is one difficult decision. So is picking the donor sperm! The other genetic half of your dream baby. If you are struggling to pick a donor read on for 10 fun tips to help you decide!

Deciding to be a Single Mom by Choice is one difficult decision. So is picking the donor sperm! The other genetic half of your dream baby. If you are struggling to pick a donor read on for 10 fun tips to help you decide!

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The day I decided to be a single mom

I have always wanted to be a mom. The 'normal' way didn't work out for me, so I chose to go the Single Mom By Choice route. Come check us out and follow along on my journey in single motherhood.

I have always wanted to be a mom.  Not in the “what do you want to be when you grow up?” kind of way. (And power to you if that was you! You do you girl!) But I have always known that being a mom was on the horizon for me.

Things didn’t work out the way that I thought they should.  We are taught, consciously or not, that we go to school, date someone, get engaged, get married, buy a house, have kids.  Bam.  Life.

I started out on the “right” path, I finished high school, went to college and university.  I dated two guys seriously (not at the same time!) Then it came time for me to finish my schooling.  In 2005 I made the decision to go to Australia for 2006. It was hard, it ended an already dying relationship, but it was the best decision I made!  I had a fabulous time. I finished my education, I travelled, I experienced new things. It was the best.

My Career

When I came home I was focused on my career. Or lack of career… I worked at a sports store while volunteering in a classroom and living at home.  It wasn’t easy and didn’t leave much time for me to date.  But it paid off.  In 2008 I got accepted as a supply teacher! I continued to work part-time on top of this. Talk about busy. But my dreams were coming true!

I was very lucky, I only supplied a few months before I landed my first LTO (long-term occasional for you non-teachers). I hopped from LTO to LTO until I snagged a half time, permanent position in 2010 at a small school in the country.

Now that I was permanent, I stopped the part-time work (not so smart now that I look back on that! Hello extra money is great!) but was still busy with the planning and organizing that comes with teaching a new grade. I dated a bit, but nothing serious.

single mom by choice

Dating

During this time most, if not basically all, my friends were married or engaged or having babies, or some sort of combination of all three. So I decided to join a dating website to see who was out there.  

Not a lot. Maybe I was just being picky. Scratch that, I know I was being picky.  When one is still single after 30 odd years of living, you don’t just settle now! Dating sucks. People who say otherwise are married and crazy.  Dating is like having another full-time job.  But it is kind of like the movie Groundhog Day.  In that you are repeating the same day or in this case, the first date over again, but with a different guy!

This was frustrating on so many levels. I wanted a to be in a relationship so that I could eventually fall in love, get married, travel and see the world. Then start a family. It was incredibly frustrating that it just wasn’t happening to me.  I cried many a tear for this, in what I like to refer to as a pity party for one.

Relationships

Now don’t get me wrong, I did have relationships during this time.  I met guys through friends and through online dating but nothing ‘stuck’ so to speak.

So I began to think I was going to be single forever. This was hard. I didn’t want to to be single forever, I wanted to find someone. I kept thinking:

   ‘What is WRONG with me!!??’

   ‘What am I doing wrong?’

   ‘Why am I so undateable?’

Well-meaning friends kept telling me that it would happen. I would find the one… well, you can only hear that for so many years before you start to doubt them….

Now, I like myself. I think I am pretty neat. I don’t need anyone to complete me. I’m not looking for my better half, I am a whole person, by myself, I complete me.  What I am looking for someone to compliment me.  So while being single was (and to a point still is) upsetting, I have come to accept it. It is not the end of the world. My life is pretty sweet and I am pretty happy.  I have travelled quite a bit. I own a house, I have a car, I love my job, and my friends and family are simply the best. EVER. I have a great life!

But something was missing.

I still wanted to be a mom. That never changed.

I had always joked that I would do it by myself at 30, become a single mom.  Well, 30 came and went. I thought, maybe I will meet someone now, 30 is still young. If I am single by 35…

35 came and went.

single mom by choice
Tick, tock

I was dating someone, I thought maybe…

pweft… who was I kidding. He was NOT the right person for me. I ended that, dated someone else, but just wasn’t into it.  

Becoming a Single Mom

36 was coming up fast and I had a decision to make.  So I broke it off with the guy I was seeing (faded out, pulled away.. ghosted…whatever…) and took the first step to becoming a single mom by choice.

I told a few of my friends that I was serious and was going become a single mom (they were all incredibly supportive). I then found a clinic, printed off the referral form, made an appointment with my doctors and decided it is time to tell my parents about my plan.

Telling my Parents

I was frightened of their reaction. Would they be disappointed in me? Would they want me to wait to find “the one.” I had a myriad of thoughts and questions running through my mind of what they might say. After all, this isn’t how it is supposed to be! I was supposed to be married THEN have a baby!

Well, it turns out that I really had nothing to worry about. My parents were and still are, 100% on board with what my becoming a single mom. They were supportive and even excited! My mom wanted to be involved in the process; my dad was happy for me. I was delighted!

So, the day after I turned 36 I had my first appointment at the fertility clinic. My life as I knew it was about to change forever (so cliche but so true).

March 30th, 2016 was the first day of my journey to becoming a single mother by choice.

 

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How I Made the Sperm Donor Decision

Picking your donor sperm can be overwhelming. There are so many options, so many donors, so much to think about! Read on to find out how I chose my donor.

Before I started this whole process, I pinterested (yes, yes I did) how to find a donor sperm.  I wanted to see what people did to find a donor and if I would be interested in trying the same thing. Donor parties are apparently something that people do.

And no, it was not something I was interested in.

It looked like fun, and almost bachelorette-ish, but in the end, I decided it just wasn’t me.

Since the beginning, I have been very open with what I was doing, I wasn’t (and am still not) ashamed or embarrassed about what I did. I have no issues answering questions when people ask (sometimes I think they think that they can’t). But at this point in my process, I didn’t want to be letting EVERYONE know. This was because I didn’t know how long it would take me to get pregnant or to even pick a donor to GET pregnant with. Or what if that donor runs out of sperm and I have to pick a whole new donor!  So I decided to do it my way.

You may think I am anal, perhaps a bit crazy, but I made a spreadsheet to keep track of my donors. Well, this is after the initial vetting process… Let me start at the beginning.

How it all began – Donor search

After that appointment where I was told, “you can wait a few months but I wouldn’t wait a year,” I felt like I was in a rush. So I got my ass in gear and I went to my parent’s place, pulled up the website for donors and did a quick search. I knew what I wanted for sure, same RH factor as me, as well as blue eyes and the same hair colour. I knew I wanted the donor to have the same blood type as me, but that really narrowed down my search.  So I looked for compatible blood types. I tried blonde hair first and got only about 15 hits, which I printed off.  Then I tried brown hair which got a lot more hits and I printed those off.

I then signed up for the 24hr free pass.

DO NOT do this if you cannot spend the time to sit and go through them. This was brilliant, but you need to be able to dedicate some time to this task.

So my mom sat beside me and told me the donor number while I searched it in the box. This pulled up the pictures, and I crossed off anyone I didn’t like the look of.

Shallow?

I guess….

But I thought of this whole thing like a dating app. I was swiping left on those I wouldn’t date, and swiping right/keeping those I would. I figured if I found my donor attractive and he looked like someone I would date, it would make the process more, I don’t know.. simple?

So my mom and I looked at photo after photo after photo, crossing off those that didn’t strike my fancy. Once we narrowed down the search that way, we went back and searched the donors that I had left.

Getting into the good stuff

This was a bit more methodical. I looked over their profile (which is crazy detailed BTW) and paid close attention to their health history. If there was cancer (specifically breast) they came off my list.

Cancer runs in my family so this isn’t something I wanted to double up on. This may be a non-issue for you though.

This removed, even more, potential donors.

I again searched each donor, and looked closer at their profile, and was able to cut a few more because they didn’t fit the bill. Once I had about 10 or so, I created a spreadsheet.

I named my donors

By this point they all had names. Some were based on who they looked like (one looked like Finn from Glee, so he was known as Finn) others it was what they wore or looked like, but each one had a nickname.

The specifics – on a spreadsheet

First I wanted to know their year of birth and then I wanted to know their blood type, I had a few that weren’t the same as mine, but most were. I wrote down if they were CMV (cytomegalovirus – a crazy amount of us have this and don’t even know it!) positive or negative.  This wasn’t high on my important list… if I was doing this the ‘normal’ way I wouldn’t know if my partner had this or not. The website will tell you if their sperm has resulted in a pregnancy before, so that was added to my list. Then hair colour, eye colour, height and weight. The last thing I wanted was any ‘issues’ medical or otherwise that they listed.

This allowed me to remove a few more candidates (of course I couldn’t delete them at this point, I copied and pasted them below my chart just in case).

I was down to about 5 and needed more information. I added things like siblings, face shape, hair texture, skin colour, eyelashes, ear lobes etc.  Just anything that might give another guy a heads up on someone else.

I then narrowed it down to 3 potential donors. This was hard work!! I saved the top tens information package to my google drive (as their donor number) and left it for the night.

Time to take a break

I went back and looked daily, trying to decide who I wanted to be the father of my child. When you start thinking like that, wow, does it become more difficult! This wasn’t a decision to take lightly!!

About a week later I went back to the site and typed in the donor’s numbers again just to check. Well lo, and behold. Of the 3, only 1 was left! So my decision was sort of made for me.

I called the company and asked how many vials were available. I wanted to know because this would help me figure out how many to order!

Return policy

You can return the unused vials and get 50% back. This is as long as the vials haven’t left their storage bank. So my plan was to send one at a time to the clinic. Just in case.

Well, the women on the phone said there were like 70 vials left. So I decided to order 4 and send 1 to my clinic right away.  I figured they won’t sell out in 4 months… I hoped not! The thought of doing the search over again made my head spin!

I now had everything I needed to make a baby.

Reality started to kick in. I was REALLY doing this!

 

If you enjoyed this, you will definitely enjoy this list: 10 Ways to Pick Donor Sperm.

 

Leave a comment below and let me know how you figured out who your donor was going to be!

 

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6 Ways to know if being a single mom is for you

This is literally a life-changing decision. Don’t make it lightly. It should scare you, but also excite you and warm your heart. Deciding to be a single mom is not always an easy decision. Friends might say to you ‘oh, I’m basically a single mom.  My hubby is never home.’  Well, sorry friend, you are not basically a single mom, you just aren’t.  When you choose to be a single mom, you are the only person that loves that child like a parent. You are the only person that cares about the day to day stuff. Yes, yes, grandparents, family and friends will love your child and their accomplishments. Just not the way a father/partner would.

And that is okay.

Your child isn’t going to be scarred for life because they don’t have a father. They will be blessed because they have such a strong amazing mom, who decided to do it on her own!

Not sure you can handle being a single mom? Check out this short list of 'ways to tell you are ready to be a single mom.' Spoiler alert - You are ready! You can do this! You go girl!

If you aren’t sure you are ready, keep reading for 6 ways you’ll know you can be a single mom.

1. You love children

Maybe you have always wanted to be a mom, single or not. Or maybe you love to babysit or enjoy playing with your friends or families babies. All you know is you love children and you want one in your life. If when you look at a screaming toddler and your heart aches for them, then you are most definitely ready to be a single mom.

  1. You’re good with children

You have been called a baby whisperer, you take a crying baby and sooth that sucker to sleep! You have been told how much patience you have for children that aren’t your own. When you arrive at a friend’s house, you greet the kids first and ask them about their day. Before acknowledging your friend.  This is a good indicator that you’ll be a good single mom.

  1. You’re an independent woman

You do things on your own, or you’re not afraid to try things on your own.  Plus you can follow instructions (even IKEA’s), and do what needs to be done.  Not only that, but you earn money and pay your bills.  And you take care of you, and you do it well.  If you want a baby, you have to make sure you can take care of yourself first, or a plant…Though I have killed my fair share of plants and my baby is doing just fine.

  1. You’re able to ask for help

It really does take a village, and you need to know how to ask for help when you need it. Or take help when offered. Maybe you can’t reach something on the top shelf at a store. Try and find the cutest person around to do it… When you are unloading baby, let people take your diaper bag/gym bag/baby stuff. I know it is hard, you have a system right? But people truly want to help. Being a single mom doesn’t mean you have to do everything on your own. People will want to help. Learn to let them.

  1. You have life experience

You have taken some time to find out who you are. Maybe you have done some extensive travelling, or gone on a few all-inclusive. You have a job or a career that you love, or that enables you to get by. You have friends and family that you hang out with, talk to and can lean on. The point is, you have a life. A baby needs her mom to have a life outside them too.

  1. You have a great support network

A great support network can make or break you. When your baby is crying and you are crying and you don’t know what to do.  It is really fabulous to have a friend or family member to call who can talk you through it or come over and help. Trust me, I lived with my parents for the first “few weeks”…. Even just having some online friends that you can ask questions to, without feeling judged, is so handy.  Everyone needs help or a break now and then, especially a single mom. Your support network can be that break.

 

Now remember these are just my thoughts, and maybe you have some or none of these. That doesn’t mean you won’t be a great mom.  If you want to have a child and you feel like you can provide for them, go for it. Many of these things can fall into place later. You can create a support network, and you will learn to be independent, having a child gives you life experience. You get the idea.

Read this to find out how I decided to become a single mom by choice.

 

Is there anything you would add to my list? Let me know in the comments! Remember, sharing is caring!

 

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Want to be a mom, but not sure you can do it on your own? I was in the same boat. I knew being a mom was for me, and becoming a Single Mom by Choice was the way to do it!

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