My Journey to Solo Motherhood: The First Year- Episode 2

30th March 2013

On Monday I took my mum and my best friend to the open day at the Agora Clinic in Hove.

We were met by a very friendly receptionist and sat down to a presentation by Dr Carole Gilling-Smith , the Consultant Gynaecologist and Medical Director. My eyes skimmed the room, checking out the other attendees. There was one same sex couple, two women I helped use the coffee machine who looked about my age, and about 5 other couples, men and women who all looked in their late 30s early 40s.

Looking around I felt lucky knowing that as far as I know my fertility isn’t in question. For some people in the room this must have been their last option after years of trying to conceive.

The presentation was really interesting. Did you know that by the time we’re 5 months gestation in our mother’s wombs we’ll have all the eggs we’ll ever have, by the time were born we’ve already lost half our eggs and once we hit 12 years old we’ve only got a fraction left!

The team were completely non judgmental, and didn’t even ask about my circumstances when I said I wanted to be a single mother by choice. I found out the next part of the process (blood tests and base line ultrasound scan on day 2 of my cycle) and went away with a price list!

Carole said a tubal patency test wasn’t needed at this point as I didn’t have any known fertility problems. The only thing that worried me slightly is being constrained by their office hours. If day 2 of my cycle is on a Saturday I’ll have to wait till day 4 on the Monday and then try and get time of work to attend. Still I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it, and as I’m not planning on being ‘basted’ till September I have a few months on my side.

So now I’m just waiting for my next period.

Since then I’ve been trying to remember to do my daily BBT (basal body temperature). The temps I’ve taken so far are quite erratic. BBT should be lower during the first 2 weeks of your cycle and then should raise by half a degree following ovulation and then stay that way till your next period. So far mine doesn’t seem to follow any pattern but then my cycle might not have quite settled down since coming off the pill in January.

I’ve also started to think of other ways I can help get myself ready, I’m going to start looking at the best diet I should be on and the vitamins I need. I really need to start exercising too!

So that’s it for now, I’ll check back in on day 1 (hopefully in the next week or two).

Chockablock checking out!

📷 December 1984 – Me with my first baby!

My Journey to Solo Motherhood: The First Year – Episode 1

25FCC4B4-3AD0-4AA0-9FDD-3B07DF9135FD23rd March 2013

Finally I’m ovulating!

Today is day 20 of my cycle and the 2 little boxes on the test show dark pink lines down the centre of their apertures making me think of two little trumpeters standing bolt upright to attention proclaiming my fertility! 

I never imagined my future quite like this but then I’d never thought much about my future at all, all I knew for sure was that one day I’d be a mother. In this hazy dream of motherhood I had a wonderful husband, funny, smart, ambitious and completely in love with me. I presumed I’d meet this person somewhen in the future and things would just slot into place. But things seemed to be slotting into place without him!

I wasn’t in a rush to find Mr Right under the illusion he’d just pop into thin air right in front of me when I least expected it, so I just got on with my life.  And my life was good. An exhausting but worthwhile  job, a flat I bought on my own, the best family and friends anyone could wish for, holidays abroad, nights out, dancing till 3am, nights in curled up with a book or planning another ridiculous adventure like sleeping in Trafalgar Square or camping at Easter in -4’c! 

10 years on and I started to think that my Mr Right might not just magic himself into existence and maybe I better start looking for him a bit harder. A number of blind dates and months on months of Internet dating later and I soon realised that wasn’t for me.

I sold my flat in the city and bought a lovely little house in a quiet little town with 2 bedrooms and a beautiful, if slightly wild, garden, perfect to bring up children. I was still thinking I’d meet a man soon and we could start a family here although in the back of my mind I think I already knew things might not work out quite like I’d imagined.

I unpacked my possessions and carefully arranged my books on the bookcase, the whole bottom shelf was dedicated to children’s books. Books I’d been slowly buying over the years whenever I saw something I’d like to pass on to my children, favourites like Alice in Wonderland, Chronicles of Narnia and Brambly Hedge.

I asked friend’s partners  if they had anyone suitable to set me up with but there didn’t seem to be anyone single, apart from me!

I started to think I might never meet someone, that I might be on my own forever and was surprised when the thought of growing old without a man by my side didn’t seem nearly as heartbreaking as I had imagined.  But the thought of a furture without becoming a mother seemed unimaginable.

I found my self looking at adoption websites ‘just for future reference’  I told myself and wondering whether to buy that travel cot on offer ‘for when friends with kids come to stay’

Then one day in November 2012 I met a friend whose colleague was pregnant, ‘She’s doing it on her own’ my friend said ‘she went to a clinic here in Sussex and is becoming a mum in her own’ she went on to say. That moment a seed was planted,  I hadn’t even realised that this was an option, and without me even realising it the idea was implanting itself and starting to grow.

One day 2 months later while planning my 34th birthday I felt that embryo of an idea start to kick and within days I felt like the proverbial pregnant woman, glowing with the knowledge of new possibilities, that I may be able to sculpt a different future for myself than the one I seemed to have been dealt.

And that’s how I come to be here today, ecstatic after the 4th test of the day confirms I am ovulating. After discussing my plans with my family and friends who have promised their support and in most cases were remarkably unfazed by the notion of me going it alone I’m booked in to an open day at the fertility clinic tomorrow.

I’ve been on the pill since I was 15 due to heavy periods so I have absolutely no idea about my cycle so I am waiting to see what my body does. 

As promised by the girls on the forum I am already obsessing about my BBT (basal body temperature), periods and OPKs (ovulation predictor kits)! I spend most of my time fluctuating between total contentment with my choice and panic about whether I can do it alone.

I know it’s going to be hard but I’m lucky to have the most supportive people around me.

All of my friends (couples and single mothers) have told me how hard being a mother is but when I ask them whether they would recommend it there is never any hesitation before them proclaiming yes, yes yes!

Please feel free to comment or ask any questions below.

Episode 2 coming soon!

📷 July 2012: Me in my single days, having fun at Latitude festival