A Single Mother By Choice

Written by: grow-admin

The biggest blessing, the greatest miracle, and the most empowered act of my life was the creation of my daughter at the age of 48 by myself as a ‘single mother by choice’ using donor sperm and donor eggs. 

For decades, I had held onto the hope of finding ‘the love of my life’, dreaming of starting a family in the traditional way. (I have always been a true romantic, the kind of woman who will literally sob with joy at the end of a romcom). But life has its own plans… It wasn’t until I reached the age of 46.5, still single and still dating, that I had a powerful realization: the path to motherhood might have to be different than I had initially imagined. I needed to open my mind!

At that moment, I made a decision that would shape the course of my life. I decided to start on this path BY MYSELF, without waiting any longer for Mr Right. I knew that if I didn’t take action to become a mother on my own terms, I might miss out on the incredible experience of motherhood altogether. The clock was ticking, and I needed to act swiftly.

I embarked on a journey of research, exploring all my available options, such as adoption and becoming a foster mother. I researched all the different IVF protocols, to see which one might possibly work with my almost-47-year-old eggs. I read books and scoured SMBC Facebook groups, and I learned about the challenges and the extraordinary strength it takes to be a single mother by choice. Despite the long odds, I remained undeterred.

My first attempt involved IVF using my own eggs. It was hard to find a doctor who would even work with me, given the chances of success were less than 0.01%, and I would have been the oldest woman in Australia to ever have had success with IVF with her own eggs! But I knew I had to try. We managed to get some eggs and even made an embryo, and my 2 week wait felt totally magical knowing that there might be a miracle baby inside me… but alas, it didn’t work.

But instead of being crushed, I was now even more motivated. Because in the moments after I saw that negative pregnancy test in my bathroom, as I was lying sobbing on the floor, I realised that there was NO PART OF ME that was relieved it hadn’t worked. I was wanting to do this, really wanting to, even though I was 47, single, with no family living anywhere near me… Whatever the cost, I was now ALL IN.

After grieving the loss of my own eggs, my next decision was to try IVF once more, but this time with donor eggs. However, life had a new challenge in store for me – the COVID-19 pandemic was now in full swing. Usually women from my country (Australia) would go overseas to use donor eggs, but we weren’t allowed to fly! So I had to put my dream on hold for the whole of 2020, even though the clock was ticking and I was approaching my 48th birthday!

Then in December 2020, I learned that the Australian government had made an unexpected change in rules, allowing us to import donor eggs, and this was the green light I had been waiting for. I no longer had to fly in order to do this! My embryos would fly to me!

In a mad, magical, heart-opening few weeks I chose both my sperm donor and my egg donor, and was really happy with both of them. Whenever I looked at both of their childhood pictures, I just felt pure joy. Both donors were from the USA. So I asked all of my friends to send love to Arizona on the day that the eggs were fertilized with the sperm at the World Egg Bank. And by the hand of providence, three precious embryos survived!

My three strong little embryos then embarked on a remarkable journey themselves, flying across the world in the middle of a global pandemic to reach my clinic in Australia. (They were the only people to travel that year!) Against all odds, I had the privilege of welcoming one of these tiny embryos into my womb. They told me it was the size of a full stop (period) in ten point font. So I called it “My little dot.”

I spent the 2 week wait touching my tummy and singing to the little dot, marvelling at the science, the love, the miracles, and the magic that had conspired to put this little being inside me.

In April 2021, just before I turned 48, I experienced the joyous life-changing moment when I discovered I was pregnant. The path to this point had been filled with heartbreak, disappointments, challenges and delays, but it was all worth it! 

My pregnancy journey was unexpectedly smooth, and in December 2021, at the age of 48.5, I had the incredible privilege of holding my beautiful daughter, whose nickname is ‘Baby Star’, in my arms. πŸŒŸπŸ’•

These past two years raising her by myself have been a journey of love, play, resourcefulness, and boundless joy. Taking this path to motherhood as a single woman has been surprisingly rewarding and fulfilling. Baby Star has filled my life with purpose, and every day with her is a testament to the magic that resides within us all.

I share my journey with you not as a tale of triumph over adversity, but as a testament to the incredible strength and determination that lies within each of us amazing BabyDreamers. Motherhood knows no one-size-fits-all formula, and your journey, too, will be uniquely yours. I’m here to offer my support, insights, and guidance as you navigate your own path to motherhood. I’ve been sharing my unique story in a YouTube channel called ‘MyBabyDream’ since my daughter was 3 months old and have been moved to tears by the response from women around the world. I have now created a community of strong, resilient women who have chosen to create our own definitions of motherhood, called the ‘MyBabyDream Community’.

Together, we can embrace this journey with open hearts and open arms. I am so inspired to mentor and support other women on this path. https://www.mybabydream.club/
TJ Woolf

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