to have my own family?(141 Posts)
Hello I'm at a point where I thought I'd be married with at least one child by now but I just haven't met a man!
I'm devestated at the thought of not having a family of my own and have considered adoption but wouldn't get through the vetting process due to the fact that I can't reduce hours at work and so I would have to continue working full time.
A lesbian couple I am aquainted with explained to me that single women sometimes access clinics for sperm donation and it's something I have considered for myself. I made an appointment at a private clinic following an open day to explore my options and I have the money saved and it seems possible, and I am just wondering what others think. I feel so very ready to have a baby and would be so unhappy if I never got this opportunity but I am scared by what others may think and the step of having a child alone! But, I can't imagine not having children.
Any thoughts ... ?
Gosh I don't know really.
Hopefully someone will write a daily mail article about the issue soon to help you make your mind up.
Someone else has run a thread on this not long ago OP. Will look for it and link for you.
I am going to be totally no help here but I do understand. I had thoughts of that going alone myself. How can you sure you are not going to meet someone?
I watched J- Lo film lately 'Back Up Plan'.. lighthearted.. poor reviews but really enjoyed it.
How do your family feel?
Ooh thank you for the link. I am 34.
If the daily mail said not to do it I'd probably want to
mrspaddy, I don't really have any surviving family, just one brother. We aren't estranged but we are not really very close as he lives a long way away and he is heavily involved in a sport which takes most of his time.
I suppose I just don't see myself meeting anybody!
The sister of a friend of ours was in a similar position a few years ago. She went out and got laid, and got herself pregnant. Much cheaper, if you're up to it.
She never told the bloke, or saw him again after a few months.
Not sure if I'd do that if I were in that position though - but thought I'd put it out there.
if you want the child and you'll love it and are prepared for how damn hard being a loan parent is then go for it. A lot of children grow up with only one parent without any thought or planning at all so I really don't see why you shouldn't plan to do it that way if you want to.
Gosh Phyllis ... no, that would not be for me at all.
At 34 I was single. And imagining living alone for the rest of my life.
At 38, I'm soon to be married and have a gorgeous 6 month old.
You're THIRTY FOUR. Not 74!
Stop trying to 'meet a man' Focus on you. Get a hobby. Mingle with like minded people. It's so true when people say a man pops along when you least expect it.
I found it was when I stopped trying to find one and tried instead to do things that made me happy. `You have plenty of time.
My DH to be and I met whilst I was doing my new hobby - his hobby too.
wishwehadgoneabroad, thanks for the advice but it doesn't really apply to me, I didn't really come on here to ask for dating tips, thank all the same
If having a child is really what you want, you should do it before 35. Don't worry about what anyone else thinks, it's your life.
Btw, I think you can work full time and adopt as a single adopter. You would get maternity leave and you might have to be flexible about the age of the child. I'd discuss this with your LA and if they say no there are plenty of voluntary agencies with different criteria.
That is quite a response to wish who was kindly offering her advice. Good advice actually.
I know one lady who did this - she had her son aged 45 after donor insemination. He is now 10 and she is devoted mother.
Good luck, whatever you decide.
Personally, I cannot imagine how hard it must be at times to be a single parent. Being a parent is the single most exciting and rewarding thing I've ever done, but also by far the hardest, most unrelenting and challenging thing.
FWIW, I had DS1 aged 37, DS4 aged 44 .
Quite a RUDE response, obviously.
norks was the shock at planning to have a baby as a single parent? I would really appreciate any advice on this, but shocked faces aren't hugely helpful to be honest, sorry
TheProw, thank you also. Unfortunately adoption agencies are reluctant to place a child with a single lady with no family to speak of - they like to see that you have support and since I lost my parents young, this would be another barrier in my way. I did attend an adoption evening where I had the opportunity to speak with somebody about this and she said that this would probably be an issue.
TheProw, is 35 the magic cut off point for women being good parents??
If you have really thought about it, are aware of the limitations and difficulties it will place on your life and you still want to have a child, via insemination, as a single parent, go for it.
Ignore the nay-sayers. Believe me, the fact that you are prepared and really want this child will put you head and shoulders above a lot of couples.
All a child really needs is to be wanted at conception and birth and with at least one parent who can offer a stable life.
Sounds like you can do both.
You may or may not meet someone. At 34 you are still young enough, but there are no guarantees. I applaud you for taking control of your life.
If it's at all relevant, I'm a single parent who's had no involvement with DC's father and I love it. If you have the financial stability (and that's important - I too worked full time from 6 weeks after birth), there's no insurmountable detriment to being a single parent and a lot to recommend it.
A friend of mine has a child through donor insemination. If that's what you want - go for it
I don't see why working full time would stop you adopting though? You could take adoption leave for 9-12 months and then return to your job if you wanted to.
SIL considered the same but decided she couldn't financially cope with being a single mum. She is now 39 but was probably the same age as you are now when she first spoke of the idea.
She has her own home but she works full time, she would have some family support with regards to child care (although at a cost as PILs are a whole other thread full of issues), but she has very little in the way of spare cash and she doesn't feel that she could support a baby alone if something went wrong with her job or the house.
There are lots of things to consider, and you might be financially able but have another issue that makes you decide against it in the end.
But if you think you could make it work then don't worry about what anyone else other than your child might think when you explain to them how they came to be conceived. Single parents can do fantastically well and you know your own circumstances better than anyone here.
I don't think anyone will tell you it would be easy as a single parent, but if you honestly feel that you want to do this, have considered carefully and believe that you can do it, don't let other people put you off.
stuffetz it wasn't intended rudely and I apologise if that is how it came across.
However, it was a very genuine response, I'm afraid I "said" it in my head as a nice, friendly message - "hey, thanks but all the same not quite while I'm here." Unfortunately when you are single and have been for a long, long time people do like to say these things to you and to be honest it gets just a little bit upsetting having to explain that no, you aren't desperately flinging yourself on any man you can find and that you do have a life/hobbies but they haven't found you a partner - so then what?
I'm afraid I did sort of think that the fact I've seriously looked into adoption and fertility clinics was an indication that I am confident I won't be meeting a man - I'm sorry if that was not clear but honestly, really, I do not think it will happen!
Isn't it just the point at which fertilty starts it's decline to the menopause?
No, I'm sorry actually, you didn't come across rude - I've re read a bit more carefully. Just please don't write your prospects of meeting a man off too quickly.
I really hope you find someone to have a family with and if not, hope you can make this work.
Criteria for adoption vary from agency to agency AFAIK.
There is no arguing with biology, fertility does decline with age. But equally the OP is of an age where it is not really a concern
yet. And it only has to work once...
cry, I don't feel I can really advise you as I have not felt broody once in my life, yet was lucky enough to end up with the size family I always hoped for, even at my geriatric age.
It sounds like you have considered your options carefully and have a fair bit of information. Bear in mind that babies turn into toddlers who turn into children, then teenagers, then adults. The baby phase is the shortest, so don't do it if you feel the need to nurture an infant alone.
It's hard being a single parent, especially with no family support.
However you could meet the perfect man, have a baby - and then he dies or leaves you or turns out to be a total bastard who wants to ruin your life.
I think it is better to be a single parent by choice, than be constantly let down and messed about by a rubbish man who should be supporting you/your child.
No no not at all Stuffez!! It's the point at which fertility dramatically declines in human females. My husband researches human fertility and the graphs don't look great after 35, fertility really drops dramatically after this point. It's a fact of life. If having a baby is what you really want more than anything, you should do it before it's too late.
The was at the rude response to someone offering support. And then you were rude to me too.
SomethingOnce, the average age of menopause in Britain is between 51 and 52. Fertility declines gradually, as fas as biology goes, we should all have our babies in our late teens/early twenties.
Fertility does drop after 35, but that does not equal infertility.
Stuffetz, thank you, I genuinely didn't want to be rude or get anybody's back up so sorry again, I honestly "said" that message so nicely and politely in my head!
Pacific thank you; I don't feel the need to nurture an infant, I am aware babies grow!
I'm not so convinced that my age is not a concern actually, looking at the statistics from the fertility clinics it would appear that actually age is a concern and that the longer it is left the less chance it has of working. Perhaps in different circumstances, if I did think I would meet somebody I wanted to spend my life with, it would be worth hanging on but I don't, so it doesn't.
Norks, really? I apologise again if I was rude, but I don't know where I was, I just really didn't want to be told where I was going wrong dating-wise from somebody who doesn't know me? As it was, NONE of that post was actually applicable, and surely I can point this out? I didn't swear or become personal or abusive!
For goodness sake Norks, the OP was not rude to you!
I am a single parent with two children conceived by IVF using donor sperm.
I had met Mr Right, or so I thought, until he announced that he didn't want kids, ever. It was a deal breaker for me, and him too.
I was 36, and really not in the right mind set at the time to find a new partner. However, I knew I didn't have the luxury of time, and I was very ready to have kids.
It cost a lot of money and took many attempts, and it was unbelievably stressful, balancing treatment with work, and dealing with the many disappointments along the way.
When DS1 was 2, I had turned 40, and of course hadn't had time or opportunity to meet a partner, but I wanted another child, so I had more treatment.
I now have two boys, and I don't regret any of it. Having them was the best thing I ever did.
I live in a small village where everyone knows everyone else's business, but I haven't felt judged or criticised. People may think its weird, and may even snigger behind my back, but I have many good friends, and people round here are always ready and willing to help out if I need it.
In an ideal world I'd have had a conventional family, but time ran out for me, so I grabbed my only chance of motherhood.
Being a single parent is hard, and I know I have a rocky road to travel when the boys are older and may get teased etc, but actually I think there are many good things about their lives. I went through so much to have them, I adore them and devote all the time I'm not working to them. We are a very happy family.
You are younger than I was so you don't need to give up on "the dream" just yet, but I hope my story shows there are other options.
Fertility does NOT decline gradually. There is a very sharp decline after 35, as horrible and as unfair as that is.
Of course age is important, but it is not the only factor.
My mum still goes on about how old I was to have children (this is after she had given up ever having GCs) and my only response to that is 'Well, should I not have bothered after a certain age then?' .
You go for it: you've done your 'homework', it sounds like you can afford treatment and then supporting yourself and LO and in reality, nothing can really prepare you for parenthood.
As I understand it these figures are averages. Some women are going to be still very fertile at 40, others will have problems by 30, some may start to decline bang on the 35 midpoint. You can't really second-guess it until you try.
What I gather IS a legitimate concern is that if you do turn out to have fertility problems, the younger you are the more things they can try for you.
TheProw, yes, the sudden decline after 35 does happen, but I still maintain it's an accelerated decline, not stopping of all chance of conceiving IYKWIM.
If the OP has IUI with donor semen she will be closely monitored to ensure optimum circumstances for fertilisation and hopefully implantation.
I wish you the very best of luck OP. x
I don't have personal experience of this but do know a few women who've been down this route and had children on their own - either by adoption (i can think of two) or sperm donor (I know 3). It's not so unusual these days and I think people are more accepting of different family arrangements.
I'm also a single mother - my DD was born after quite a short (1 year) relationship that didn't work out.
Two thoughts on your situation: if having children is very important to you, then try your very best to make it happen, by whatever means. I felt very unfulfilled before having my DD and becoming a mother has changed my life dramatically for the better. It might (only might) make it harder to meet someone (I'm very tired a lot of the time - Its hard managing a job and a child on your own and still trying to have a social life). Consequently I think I'd wait another couple of years if I were you and see if your situation changes. You do still have time in your side.
Thank you. Imagine, what a lovely story. Did you have IVF?
TheProw, the literature I have read certainly indicates this is the case. Additionally, if (ha!) I was to ultimately want to have more than one child, which in an ideal world I would like to, I would really need to start in the next few months because of course of age.
I really am nothing like those awful chick-lit heroines, I just haven't been fortunate enough to meet somebody I care about and who cares about me and these days, if I do meet somebody I think I could care about I generally find that they are married. I realise there are sometimes a flurry of divorces in the thirties (apparently) however equally I am not really prepared to hedge my bets on it - having children is far more important to me than meeting someone I want to marry, I think.
I think it's poor advice to recommend having unprotected sex with a complete stranger, a sperm donor with be screened for sti ect.
Op I would go for it
Before thread derails... glad the link was helpful OP.
OP I have a very close friend who did exactly what you are planning. It was tough for her at times (as having a baby is for everyone regardless of their circumstances) but her son is now about 13 and she is thrilled that she went ahead. They are super close and she wouldn't be without him. As it turns out, she hasn't met anyone that she would want to start a family with and she is now late forties, so she views the choice she made as an extremely smart one.
I think it takes real courage to do this because, as you have seen here, there's a degree of disbelief around it. But if you really want children then I think you should find the courage and do it.
I would never want to have sex with a stranger, so certainly not going down that route.
Thank you DeepRedBetty
I say go for it. I'm 32 and have been ttc for 7 months, I'm terrified if it doesn't happen soon any chances of having two will be gone so I say, if you know in your heart its what you want and you can afford it then do it.
DSD get shipped from CM to DM to DF and because of this I think if you have one strong, loving consistant parent you can have an amazing family.
Familys come in all shapes and sizes now!
I gave myself a deadline of 35 to decide whether to "go it alone" after a long term relationship crashed and burned. Mind you I had known fertility problems so I knew I didn't have the luxury to waiting.
Just as well I didn't wait because at the point I was referred for fertility treatment I was diagnosed with abnormal cells and needed a cone biopsy, which delayed everything, then had fibroids which needed removing then had IUI which failed then had 3 horrendous rounds of IVF which all failed then finally brought (adopted) DS home when I was 41.
So it took 6 years, LOTS of determination and a certain amount of pigheadedness.
I have good support form my mum who is local but I know other singles who have no family support at all and it is possible though be prepared for it to be much harder than you anticipated.
If your fertility id good (though I'm not sure how you would know this!) then you probably have a couple of years more to think about it but frankly based on my experience I'd be wary of leaving it too late. For every woman that touted around as having had a child over 43, there's probably another 20 who haven't but don't talk about it.
Meeting a man and settling down isn't mutually exclusive with having childrne but it is harder because you don;t have the energy you used to.
My bigger concern is that you seem worried about what people will think of you. I can't imagine going through what I did if I hadn't reached the point where I really couldn't give a flying fish about what people thought of me - my need for a family really had to be totally focussed in order to push me through some of the hurdles. I nearly gave up at several stages.
So glad I didn't.
I started off having IUIs (timed artificial inseminations) and had five of them, but it didn't work. There success rates for IUI are lower than IVF, but it's much cheaper, so it's the usual starting point if there are no known fertility problems.
I then went on to IVF. My first cycle was a straight negative, my second cycle resulted in DS1. My third cycle was another negative, my fourth was positive but I miscarried. My fifth and final cycle resulted in DS2.
My advice to you would be to book a consultation with a clinic and talk through your options.
The rules may have changed now, but when I went through this there were quite a few hoops to jump through. As a single person, my case had to go before an ethics committee, before I could start treatment. I had to write an account of how I planned to deal with the adversities along the way, such as the possibility of having a handicapped child or post natal depression, for example. They had to be sure that I had friends and/or family who would be supportive and help if I needed it, and that I had men in my life, so my kids would have male influences, rather than being raised in some sorry of theoretical man-hating women-only environment!
It's probably a lot easier now, as the idea of single women having kids is far more acceptable, and even NHS funded in some areas I believe. This was unheard of 9 years ago when I started out.
My account probably makes it sound really hard and awful - and I won't pretend that there weren't some very low times for me. But I knew what I wanted, I knew I could be a good mum, and I would do it a billion times over if I had to.
OP you havent been rude, clearly there are some very over sensitive people here tonight.
WRT insemination, I say go for it. Why on earth not? If you get a boy, read 'Raising Boys' its an excellent book and will very much help you in making sure your potential son doesnt miss out on the imperative male figure he needs in his life. I love this book.
Kewcumber, thank you, what a lovely story.
I wouldn't say I am worried what people think of me so much as I am worried about my child feeling different or singled out in some way and the fact that my parents are sadly no longer around and my brother is pleasant and affable but not really hugely close to me, means I cannot offer my child grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins or even a father. I do have lovely friends who have been very supportive but I suppose I wanted advice from strangers; my friends will of course urge me to go for it because they are my friends and want to keep me happy
I am sure I have time, but in all honesty, I am fairly convinced by now that my single status will not change and therefore it seems sensible to try now, rather than later when it's harder anyway fertility wise and there are no other reasons not to.
Thank you very much My consultation indicated my fertility was good and that IUI might work but I do think IVF seems to be on the whole more sensible long term as its success rates are so much higher.
I think I would opt for sperm donation if I were in the OPs position. I think it is a perfectly alright thing to do.
Good luck with whatever you decide OP
don;t assume all your friends will say go for it - I had a surprising range of reactions from mine. Lost friendships over it. And the people who say how supportive they will be arent; there at 3am when your child has thrown up all over themselves, you, their bedding and the fresh clean bedding you've just put on their bed!
Lack of family is a bit of a problem as can explaining to a child why they have no Dad at home - currently a bit of an issue with DS. But on the whole single parents by choice tend to have open and honest discussions with their children and they don't suffer the potential hurt and rejection of a birth father in the event of a break up.
Some people will think you are very selfish, some will say go for it. You need to be clear in your own mind that as a working single parent you will need to be both parents to your child and that does tend to use up any energy you have when you have to work as well. I have also had to work quite hard at making sure my DS had positive male role models who took an interest in him when there weren't many naturally around.
I gave myself a fixed time to think it through, talk to as many single parents as I good and promised myself not to make a decision before then. It frees you up to think but doesn't let it drift too far.
I would suggest doing a couple of cycles of IUI before IVF, as you are younger than I was and your chances are better. But certainly no more than 3. I did too many IUIs, wasting time and money (£1000 each).
I have spent a lot of time worrying that I may be being selfish, bringing children into an "abnormal" setting, when I can't offer them what a conventional family would.
But then I remind myself that being conceived by two parents together doesn't bring with it any guarantees. Couples split up, people die, circumstances change. My boys will never lie shaking in bed hearing Mummy and Daddy screaming at eachother, as some of my friends kids do. They will always know that I wanted them more than I've wanted anything in the world, and that I give them as much love a a thousand parents could.
I don't know what the future holds but I know we are very happy now, and I think that's as much as anyone can say really.
Thanks again Kewcumber. Certainly all my friends have been positive and encouraging, to my face at any rate!
Interestingly I have seen many devastated children as a result of marriage breakdown and am grateful that at least that much will not be an issue. Unfortunately many single parents (or at least the ones I have spoken to) do not present a particularly positive picture - it is very much of the vein that they love the child and of course would not swap them now but ... And of course, people are very quick to tell you the horror stories.
On the flip side of that, I am independent and quite used to dealing with things alone so in some ways see parenting as an extension of this.
Please don't skip IUI. At least try a short course 3-6 months. It is way cheaper and way less invasive.
I know I had a particularly horrid experience but truly I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy - general anaesthetics, horrendous bleeding, hyperstimulation. My eggs were in good condition there was no reason for the failures or each of the individual problems but really it is worth trying IUI first.
Number of clinic visits is way more for IVF which if you're working is tricky and if you hyperstimulate then you're in the clinic virtually everyday for scanning/blood tests.
Have a look at the Donor conception Network. They sell books for donor conceived kids. I have two for my 7 year old. I read them to him and he reads them himself too, so he's starting to understand.
yes I know several singles who have found DCN very good both at research stage and subsequently.
God, you lot have very generously written this woman's article for her.
You'll all be in the DM come the weekend
Thank you Kewcumber but even a short course would cost in excess of five thousand pounds; I have ample savings for this but I simply cannot afford to keep paying that amount of money.
Thank you too for the tip about DCN, very helpful.
I can assure you I am not a journalist but I now understand the Daily Mail comment on the first page.
I'm trying to work out how I can offer proof of that but I'm not sure.
I'm not sure why anyone would think OP was a journalist, but even if she was I don't mind at all. I would love the opportunity to set the record straight about women who do what I did. I'd like the chance to remove the image of the selfish hard-nosed career bitch who deliberately left it too late to have kids naturally, then just rolled up at a clinic to have her pretty designer baby (easy and quick of course), and spends her days slagging off men! So far from the truth.
There have been so many articles about single women planning to families alone, I doubt she'd make much on it.
Cost varies dramatically depending on where you go - £1000 per IUI is the most expensive I've heard and I assume that includes drugs, you could get it for half that mount depending on where you live.
IVF with drugs will cost £4k+ each time which might put 3-4 cycles of IUI at say £750 into perspective. But your choice.
My friend did this. She now has a gorgeous 18 month year old DD. it was a long expensive process as it took a couple of rounds to be successful and her mum was a bit funny about the whole thing but now her daughter is here she is part of the family and my friend is doing great raising her alone b
You still have time to meet someone! But I wouldn't think it unreasonable to go ahead on your own if that was what you wanted to do.
I don't much care if OP is a journalist or not, she isn't asking anything particularly sensational (unless you think my life is "sensational" and I can assure you its not) or that isn't difficult to learn from any number of sources.
OP if you are genuinely interested, I would suggest you look at a forum run by the clinic I used. Google "Care Fertility bulletin board", and go to the single parent section, where I think there a quite a few people having treatment on their own. You don't have to be a patient of theirs to use the site.
I hope this doesnt count as advertising! It's just that I know they have a very active chat forum.
I'm off to bed now.
Oh and I still think I have time to meet someone but I had to decide what I wanted to wait for least - child or partner.
I'm off to bed too Imagine - DS same age as yours and doesn't work well me staying up too late!
Why do people always ask "how old are you?"
Thanks Kewcumber It's around £2000 with the donated sperm. With IVF it is £6000 but so much higher chance of success.
I am not a journalist and I am happy to provide details of who I really am in order to prove this, if messages can be sent on here. I realise there is still time to meet somebody but there was when I was 22, 24, 26, and I didn't.
Thanks for the advice about the forum
I'm a stranger who thinks you should do this if you are sure you can provide financial and emotional stability.
If having a child is important to you it seems mad to wait any longer for 'The One' to make himself known.
DH and I met at university and have had no issues conceiving our children but I have friends and family members in their early forties who are still hoping to meet someone to have children with or are coming to terms with remaining child free.
What you're thinking of strikes me as eminently sensible and I wish you the best of luck.
I say do it!
I also didn't anticipate how difficult parenting would be and I would personally struggle a lot I were to become a lone parent I feel. But you never know what would happen in the future and I do have some ideas on what I would do if I did become a lone parent.
I would suggest you think of what you could do if you did find parenting difficult and start planning your support network and strategies now.
Also I don't think planning a child this way is like giving up on a traditional family setup as plenty of lone parents meet new partners.
Honestly, I think go for it. Having kids is exhausting and relentless but wonderful and rewarding too.
My suggestion is to really think about what care will be there for your baby and child, because you will inevitably need to work. Make sure you can afford decent, flexible, attachment based care. Babies and young children benefit massively from one-on-one, long term care relationships so it may be worth investigating a local childminder or nanny, particularly for when your baby is less than 3. These arrangements are also more flexible (and can turn into baby sitters) than childcare centres or nurseries. But they do cost more.
You will never be more tired in your life than when caring for children alone and unsupported. Be aware of that.
Do it! I would not recommend putting your life on hold for a possible man to possibly come into your life.
I did it. DS is now 16 months and I haven't regretted it for a second. I'm 35 and there's plenty of time to meet a partner, but not so much time to have children, and I refused to just settle for someone to begin my family. If I do meet someone now, he'll just have to accept us as a package deal.
I say do it. Maybe give yourself another year to get yourself financially in a good position- think about how your work could work part-time or from home. Could you retrain, set yourself up as a consultant in your industry etc? It is harder to have head space for professional changes once your child has arrived. Try to save hard now or pay down any debts you are carrying around.
My friend went out at 40 and got herself pregnant deliberately
( I get that this is not the way you want to do it). She is now in her 50s with a great teenage boy and they are a very happy unit of two. I know there were times when it was hard but I think she would rate it as the best thing she ever did.
You sound very clear that you want the chance to become a parent. Good luck!
Babies sleep HEAPS. Often for short periods. With one you can get lots of naps.
I love being a mum. Go for it.
I think about this too. I am 32 and I know that is not particularly old but I really would like children soon. I do not have a man to be the father of my child and in some ways I have seen so many awful relationships within families I have sort of separated men and children in my head. I am not sure how I would go about it though. Someone had work has just had a baby by herself through insemination and I am trying to get up the courage to ask her! I think I just have a romantic image of a child conceived in a loving situation and it is hard to change that picture.
I posted about this a while ago and was told by some it was selfish if there was no father. I don't believe this but I think you have to make sure there are people in your life to support you and this should include some male and female role models.
The main thing holding me back currently is the fact I work shifts and I just don't see how childcare could possibly work. It makes me really sad but I do wonder about a nanny.
I would say if you want a baby then have a baby. Don't risk looking back in 10 years when it is too late and wishing you had done it. I can't imagine you would regretting doing it but you will regret not doing it. Sometime you just know when it is the right time. Good luck
Juneybean because it's relevant, fertility wise.
I say go for it, OP. Good luck!
I ended up getting married/upduffed at a fairly young age but if I hadn't, I definitely would have still wanted children and gone for it.
If you do, make sure you have some support. I know a woman in her early 40's who did this, and now has 1 y/o twins. Her mum helps a lot but it has still been hard for her (as it is with any single parent). You will most likely need some support, be that family/reliable friends.
But equally, if you have no support, it is still do-able. I'd say go for it really, you must know you'll regret it if you don't to even be asking
Just bear in mind the (small) chance of twins or if you have a SN DC, and how that might be harder alone than if you are planning a family with a partner. But again, it is still manageable, just something to think about.
Go for it OP. Good luck!
There is no guarantee in life.
My friend has 2 amazing daughters, was engaged and life was very happy until 1 day she found him in bed with another women and he turned into a shit father and no he has stopped even contacted them.
I think you have the advantage of knowing that you are going single mum and you can then start planning around that.
McNewPants - a freind of mine with a DD the same age as DS was happily (she thought) married, planned pregnancy. Her (d?)H left 3 weeks before baby was born, came back after about 10 months then left again permanently the day before his DD's 1st birthday. I think I can count on one hand the number of times he's seen her since.
Its not really an argument for doing it alone but it certainly underlines the uncertainty of life and I do think she has it way tougher than me as a single parent. I just don't have the emotional baggage to deal with.
Oh yes I also know someone who decided to have a baby alone and ended up with twins! She has really struggled, had PND, moved continents to be nearer family, moved back for work. Now they are toddlers and it's easier, but I think it was a nightmare at first.
That said, I've been a lone parent to one since her birth and it's just fine. She slept about 18 hours a day at first - it was brill!
OP I would suggest talking to single parents who are raising their children alone with no support might be a good idea, perhaps on here? I'm a single parent and have a lot of support. I love it but I don't know how I'd manage without my family.
Unlike Yika my baby was usually awake 18 hours a day, had severe reflux/allergies and was a very high maintenance baby.
He is however now a delightful 4 year old and the baby years seem like a bad
nightmare dream now.
Other way round with me. The easy baby has come back to bite as a seriously feisty toddler! I'm permanently exhausted now.
Many thanks to everybody who took the time to respond.
In terms of family support, there isn't much of course I can do about that, they aren't around, that's just the end of it really, so I've never really thought in terms of not doing it for this reason as I can't possibly bring them back! Yes, it makes life more difficult, all the same I just can't get to fifty years old and not have had a child, I just can't.
All sorts of things could happen, I could have twins, I expect, in a way, to get PND, or at least some depression, as it won't be easy, but I do think I'll just simply have to make my way through it somehow and some way.
My child will have a secure home and will be so loved and have all their needs met.
Yes don't know why I shared that story about twins really, you will have your own adventure with your own ups and downs. Best of luck to you!
If you want to have a baby have a baby,
If you think it will be a huge mistake not to have one, then have one.
It's entirely up to you, and if other people don't like it, well tough, it's your one and only life live it how ever you want to,
It is very hard being a single parent, but manageable and fun if you get everything in place.
One of my children has a friend who parents met because when the mother wanted a baby, she found a man who wanted children but not a relationship, so suited them both, they are very good friends, live in the same village and have co parented, two amazing boys, they are a very happy family,
there are many options to explore, do consider finding someone who may want to parent, there are many men who have always wanted children,
Imagine yourself in five years time not having explored the options..... hold that thought and go for it!!
I would do it if I were in your shoes. I really would and I would do it now before your fertility drops (I say this as someone who has had conception issues). It would be so awful to be desperate for kids but be childless in your 40's.
cry keep us posted, Id so love to hear of the eventual outcome to this [grin-].
I will do so Ducks!
Good luck OP. Go for it
Oh and btw you weren't rude earlier!
OP - firstly, 34 is SO not too old to meet someone and have a baby. The media is full of scare stories that make women believe that the day after your 35th birthday, your womb turns to dust and your eggs disappear. Well, it's a crock of shit. My brother, my mum, my BIL, and about 3 other relatives all wouldn't exist if it was that bloody hard to have a child after 35. And neither would my own dear DS - I met my Dh when I was 35 and had DS when I was nearly 39.
Secondly, I'm going to suggest something that you might not have considered: I think you should look into counselling. Whilst your posts have a superficially chipper tone, they are actually very brittle and you sound really down on yourself. It's like you constantly come out with this self-fulfilling dialogue that you can't and won't 'meet Mr Right', that you could've, but missed your chances when younger, so how could you now, when you are older, and so on. It's really negative, really self-hating - and really untrue. You are not the person you were even a few hears ago, never mind ten years ago. And as well, I bet you had this self-defeating talk running through your head back then. Even if you go ahead with solo IVF, you need to work on your self-confidence, because people will be tactless or even rude about you being a single mum, especially if they know the circumstances of your child's conception. Wrong, but sadly most likely.
I honestly think that you are focussing on the wrong thing right now - I think you need to put some of that money into working on your heart and mind, not your body. A mum who has little faith in herself is not great for a child.
Op, only skim read, 34 is soo young!
I know loads of people who have only met someone in late thirties and had DC very late 30's and then early 40's.
Then people who have DC early thirties are still having them in forties.
I know someone who is very down about this, and your bound to be, however, I believe you need to keep up the good positive vibes to invite positivity in .
Keep open, look at people who did meet later on and have DC, it can happen, up beat.
Cryhavoc my DS is donor conceived. I was nearly 41 and in a relationship. DP didn't want to have biological DC due to a hereditary disease issue and in any case, we were not quite there, relationship-wise although we did have plans to adopt in the future. I walked into a clinic and discussed my options which were basically IVF (due to my age, IUI was not really discussed) with donor sperm.
I talked to DP about it and started treatment that cycle, got pregnant immediately. We have DS, now 3 with a known donor. This means we have some details and, more importantly, it means that DS can contact him when he's 18 so he won't have question marks.
I know I was in a relationship and you are single, but I would have gone ahead anyway, whatever DP's reaction and like you had made my peace with being single forever, but struggled contemplating a life with DC.
BTW, when I say known donor, I don't mean we know him. The clinic had its own sperm bank of registered donors who have been screened etc. and agree to be identified at a later date.
I think you are making a very sensible and brave decision. I hope that had I been in your situation, I would have had the sense to follow this course.
You may of course, meet someone in the next few years before it becomes difficult for you to conceive a child. If you do, that's awesome. If you don't, you don't want to be looking back and thinking "had I just done this a few years back..."
Also, I know so many women in their mid to late thirties who are staying in poor relationships because this is their last chance to have a child and if they leave their OH, they don't have enough time to meet someone else (if indeed they meet someone at all), develop a serious relationship and get pregnant. The flip side of this is relationships where the man "isn't sure he wants a child", strings his partner along until it is too late for her, dumps her, then almost invariably goes on to have a child with someone else. Hideous situations.
What you are doing means that if you meet someone, you will be able to be with them solely on the basis that they are a good, decent partner, not because your biological clock is holding you to ransom. Go for it.
I think my posts have a chipper tone because I feel really happy at the thought of having a baby, to be honest - it isn't a front or a cover.
In terms of meeting someone, I don't want to bore anybody with a full biography but there is no doubt that meeting someone when you are younger is easier. You are right in some respects that having had years of bullying when at school and at home in some ways actually, as a young adult I had no confidence whatsoever in myself, and I have no doubt that you are right and that this impacted on me meeting someone.
However, I have made so many positive changes since then, I'm not blowing my own trumpet but from where I was, to where I am now, has been a real achievement.
Perhaps one of the issues is that I don't have the same 'need' for a sexual partner as others have, I would like to be in a relationship if I met somebody I loved, who loved me in return and was someone I respected and who of course respected me. But in the absence of that, I just don't miss it - I do have a lot of friends and a lot of lovely things in my life and am happy and content.
Unfortunately it's always difficult explaining this to people without them becoming convinced that you actually on some level are pushing men away, or that you are secretly unhappy single but I think a lot of that thinking comes from arrogant men who can't understand why a woman might not want to be in a relationship.
I have tried Internet dating, it wasn't for me - I am a slow burner and found it difficult to relate to people in the sort of instantaneous nature online dating is, and in fairness I obviously wasn't for the men either, I got little interest and a lot of the interest I got was from men miles away for some reason, despite it saying very clearly where I lived on my profile.
I am a horse rider, and am lucky enough to live on the edge of a forest and I meet many people through this. I also work full time, have friends/links through work. Never has even the sniff of a boyfriend come from these links, and I do wish people would believe you can just be unlucky, I don't think I'm some sort of bog trotting beast at all, on the contrary I am an attractive person, I am intelligent, have a very well paid job, own home, car, teeth. But I am not used to being in a relationship and it shows.
I'm happy as I am, but would not be happy without a child. I would however be perfectly happy and content without a partner.
Like as said waaaaay upthred, go for it!
I can very much relate to what you are saying about being content without a partner as I have had long stretches in my life without a boyfriend/partner etc and never really missed anything. And yes, of course you can be plain unlucky and not have met the person you 'click' with it and he could be round the corner. Then again, he might not be.
You might find that you will struggle with the relationship your child will force upon you: newborns/babies/toddlers are the most unreasonable, selfish, egocentric, empathy deficient beings on the planet IMO. And the relationship with your child is not something that any of us can walk away from - I could've cheerfully strangled mine on more than one occasion.
What I am leading up to, much as you sound you have considered your options carefully, I second OxfordBags for some counselling for yourself. You have of course already put more thought in to this potential pregnancy that a lot of people who conceived quickly and maybe accidently. Because you are going into this so deliberately and with eyes wide open, I think some exploration of your own weaknesses and strengths and desires would be useful. There is a danger that you might create a child to fulfill a need to be loved and that is unfair on the child. And you. Also having a child will restrict the things you can do - a tiny baby may be quite portable, but as they grow up they have their own ideas and some children are more biddable than others...<<hollow laugh>>
I am sorry if this comes across as hurtful or if I am overreaching. And I, like all other posters, am coming from my own experiences, inevitably. I have been married for many years, I've had my children rather late in life, they were all planned and wanted, BUT: it has been very, very hard at times, and I am not sure I would have wanted to do it alone.
Having or not having a child, is one of those decisions where there is no middle ground or compromise. I am sure a puppy would not hack it .
You sound v sane and grounded etc, but again as I said upthread nothing on this earth can prepare anyone for parenthood; it is the Best Thing, the Most Rewarding, but also the Hardest. I am full of admiration for single parents, whether they are single by choice or circumstance.
Again: good luck.
Cryhavoc people, however well-meaning, can be very annoying when they say, oh, you'll meet someone, or worse still the dreaded, oh, you'll know when you meet the right man. They are the same ones who will tell you, you'll get pregnant or you'll find the right job, etc as if they are somehow tapped into some cosmic knowledge source noone else knows about. You can be unlucky because I was - 39 and single after a series of men who didn't work out. I was different to you though, in that I desperately wanted a partner. Yes, desperately! I had long considered donor IVF but really wanted the whole deal. Eventually though I had to turn to it at 41 when the man I eventually met wasn't really ready and didn't want biological children anyway. He is now my DH and DS's father, but that is another story.
I think your last post shows you are very clear in your own mind about what you want so don't let anything stop you.
My experience of donor IVF was fantastic, mainly because it worked first time, of course, but also interesting, exciting and not painful at all. I think it is the failure that hurts most. I do know that it is not like that for everyone, but it is worth noting that it was for me. I bought 3 shots at IVF on a 3 for 2 deal and decided that if it didn't work I would draw a line under it and then always know I tried my best, if I didn't succeed.
The last thing I would say is that in the UK donors are not anonymous. The child has the right to make contact with the donor at 18, and to us this was very important. I have spoken to lots of people considering donor conception and quite a few have said they want to go abroad to get anonymity and I always think this is a bit selfish as solid evidence shows donor conceived children want the option of casting their eyes on the man or woman responsible for half their genes.
Feel free to PM.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
When I had my IVF treatment, a couple of counselling sessions was mandatory, it was part of the assessment process.
It's easy to say 'you could meet someone and do it that way'. It's not always that simple. I met my husband at 35. We can't have children as he had the snip during his first marriage. I have a SD, but it's not the same. I had to make a choice, a life without my own child with him, or wait and see if I met someone I could have children with. I chose my husband because I love him.
I have thought of other options, but I couldn't cope with the disappointment if it didn't work so I have resigned myself to not having any of my own.
If this is something you will regret not doing then go for it. If you are sure that you can provide for a child emotionally as well as practically and know if you don't do it you will look back and wish you had then just do it.
I think you're great, OP.
I say do it.
It will be hard work but worth it.
Good luck with it all.
Lovely post Kewcumber. Haven't seen you around for a while, great to see you pop up.
OP, your life sounds very fulfilling, exciting, fun.
You will have to let go of many of these things when you have a child.
Are you sure you are ready to sacrifice all your freedom?
To be honest, my biggest concern in your case would be the lack of support you have. Having a child is just so exhausting, without any family to support you it will be so very difficult.
I don't want to sound negative, but why don't you explore other avenues first? For example you become a foster carer and see if having a child is really for you.
There are no guarantees, your child could be born with special needs, your child could be extremely difficult. My eldest has special needs and I really could not cope with out my DH.
Being willing to "sacrifice" your freedom is an issue that every parent has to consider it isn't something that is specific to single parents. In fact from my experience planned single mothers over 35 seem to have the least problem with giving up their previous life.
I was european finance director for a multinational ad agency travelled around the world first/business class and hundreds of people listened to what I had to say
with awe and respect now I am a part time self employed accountant with no disposable income and I spent Easter in a caravan in the snow.
DO I regret it?
Not one tiny bit
Timetoask - sorry but fostering as a trial run for having your own is a terrible idea. Fostering is nothing like having your own children and would you suggest this for all prospective parents?
mind you it could be a solution to the shortage of foster carers. Anyone who wants to have a baby has to foster a 4 year old first.
Anyone who wants to have a baby has to foster a 4 year old first
Are you plotting to end the human race
If you really want to do it, then you should probably do it. But be aware of what you're letting yourself in for: being a parent is immensely hard work, and being a single parent with no support is very stressful indeed. Think about work: your child is sick, and has to be home from school. Who's going to look after it? Or when you're ill, and you just want to stay in bed, but you have an active toddler who can't be left - you just have to get on with it even while feeling you can't stand up. Be prepared, too, for not doing as well at work as you might want and putting your social life on hold for several years.
But of course having a child is rarely about making a rational decision - most of us do it simply because we follow our hearts, not our heads. And there are many wonderful things about being a parent. So I think you will end up doing it anyway.
TheProw, is 35 the magic cut off point for women being good parents??
I know this has been answered already, but I agree that fertility declines fast and that it would be a gamble to wait.
DW began trying at 33, began fertility at 36, finally succeeded at 44, with the aid of egg donation abroad.
With hindsight I would have done less UK IVF. They (NHS) told us their success rate was 38%. They should have told us that the age-related rate of success was (from memoery) only something like 12% once you hit 40. Considering the financial and emotional cost of each cycle, and the years lost, we should have gone for egg donation much sooner.
"Anyone who wants to have a baby has to foster a 4 year old first."
I actually think, that is a genius idea.
And would solve the problem of world overpopulation too.
to be fair if I was genuinely planning to end the human race I would have suggested fostering a 13 yr old. Just a cunning plan to slow population growth down.
But if you want to have a baby it doesn't matter if you're 22 or 42, have a baby.
I don't understand this "you could still meet someone"
What if she doesn't want to meet someone?
Sorry but I have a different perspective than most. Of course you have a right, OP, to have a child in what ever way you see fit but any child you choose to create also has a right to know both people of which they were created and share DNA, mannerisms, etc. To deliberately bring a baby into the world without that right smacks to me of selfishness and a me, me, me attitude.
Call me old-fashioned but I really do not get this 'I want a baby but don't want or need a man' stuff. Consideration should also be given to how the potential child will feel when it is old enough to realise it never has had or will have a 'father'.
a child of donor sperm in the UK will have the right to know both parents.
Yes of course you need to consider the added problems it may bring for a child having an absent father. But parents make selfish decisions all the time. They make the decision to split up when its in their best interests not their child, when they are short of money or patience and what motive does anyone have for having a child except selfish ones?
Almost everyone has a child because They want one not because they hope the world will be a better place as a result . There is no earthly reason in this country for having a child in fact its only going to add more pressure on the scarce resources of the planet and unless you have some special genetic quality there's really no need to perpetuate more average genes - if you or DH discovered a cure for something nasty and there's a chance your child may I will retract that comment.
Everyone should do the selfless thing and adopt.
You are all selfish, I am
and of course I don't need a man, I'm a 48 year old healthy educated woman who can earn a living. Do I want one? Yes I wouldn't mind. But I don't have one just now and I had to choose to wait for the man or the baby, I chose to wait for the man and have the baby whist I was waiting. As I say to DS - its important to wait for the right one because a rubbish Dad is worse than no Dad.
Oh gawd, yes, the desire for an 'own' child is intrinsically selfish - 'tis what The Selfish Gene demands . I'd've considered adoption after several MC, but DH would not contemplate the idea <<shrugs>>.
I think I need to stop overthinking this on the behalf of the OP .
PS: To halt population growth in its tracks, anyone of mine, aged 1-3 would have worked btw. I am in denial re teenagerhood .
I had the selfish gene beaten out of me by the time I'd adopted.
When asked (about 6 years after making the initial decision) I was asked by sw whether I wanted to adopt a girl or a boy I said "whatever comes first, in fact I'd consider a puppy I'm so desperate".
She thought I was joking so a I
TTTT - I think you are being old fashioned. I don't think OP smacks of me, me, me. It is about us, us, us. And she wants to be part of an 'us'. And I think she has a right to want that. We all come from families so it makes sense that it is something a lot of people want. And the fact that OP has lost her parents makes even more sense that it is something she wants. But why settle for a duff bloke to realise that dream? Obviously if the right man comes along, then that would be wonderful for OP. But if he doesn't, does that mean that she should face a lifetime alone? I don't think so.
My mum was alone with four kids for about 5 years. It was much happier than when she was with my shithead father. It was the 80s and we weren't teased or made to feel like it was a disadvantage. I can't believe anyone in this day an age would have a problem with it.
OP - I would echo the counselling thing. Children, I have found, can reflect the things we struggle with in our own personalities, so to have a good handle on that will just be another good tool in your parenting.
Good luck. Going it alone is going to be hard. But it it is also going to be amazing.
Teen I'm guessing you have a husband and never faced this situation. You may feel differently if your situation was different. A mile in someone else's shoes and all that.
Kew I adopted a 12 year old and had a baby the same year
TTT as has already been mentioned upthread, sperm donation is no longer anonymous in the UK and the men who donate their sperm are aware of this. So if the O.P's future child wants to find out where the other half of their genes comes from, they will be able to.
I also wanted to add, I know two women who wanted children and were considering donor sperm, but for various reasons, left it too late. I absolutely don't blame O.P for not wanting to hang around.
I also know of women who have met the right man in their mid-thirties, but by the time they were ready to have a child together fertility was against them.
Have the baby now, you can still meet the right man later.
YANBU to want a family and if I were in the same situation I would do the same. I would add I think you need to go in this with your eyes wide open and find out what single parenthood involves. Parenthood is tough and relentless but also wonderful.
I wouldn't be so concerned about what others think (I am curious that you asked for our thoughts), It doesnt matter what we think, its what is right for you that counts.
YANBU you only get one shot at life and in your position I would do the same thing.
I would give yourself a year, research it to death, costs, implications, maternity package, everything financial and if your still up for it go for it.
I wish you the best of luck
That is something that I have been thinking of but don't think it would be for me.
I always imagined I would be married with a couple of children by now. I have been crazy broody for years now! The idea that I might never have a baby hurts a lot. At the same time I don't think that sex outside of marriage is right for me. Not sure where artificial insemination falls in my moral code though. Probably more acceptable the older I get.
That empty armed ache that hits right in your stomach and makes you catch your breath when you see a baby is tough.
Yanbu and if you have really thought it all through, financially, emotionally etc go for it. Also think about what impact pregnancy and small baby will have on your ability to then meet someone.
How about giving yourself another year or two to meet someone? Be really pro active - Internet dating, new hobbies the lot.
As a first time mother to a 5 week old, I cannot begin to tell you how gruelling these first few weeks have been and there have been two of us, plus help from mums. If you do this make sure you have adequate support - even if it means paid help in the form of a cleaner etc.
another one here who has had a child with donor sperm.
TBH I didn't find the first few weeks that difficult. I just had to think of the two of us and the dog. Everyone and every baby is different.
What I do find more difficult is getting time off work when DD is ill.
You need a sympathetic boss or be creative with regards to working from home/starting your own business or something!
Good luck and go for it. Seems like you've really thought this through.
Oh and I had DD by IUI. If you have no heath issues surely it's worth a go?
Go for it.
I was in a very similar position to you at your age but actually decided that finding a partner was more important to me.
I found him aged 36, married at 38 and started ttc - eventually did on first cycle of IVF aged 40.
Now I have my incredible DS and I feel that I've been sooo lucky.
With the benefit of hindsight, if I had thought (like you do) that I wasn't going to meet someone I would never have risked my fertility like I did. Obviously, it worked out ok for me and I'm very glad to have met my DH and had my DS with him but as none of us know what is going to happen, all we have is what we can control and you can control this, at your age, with donor sperm.
Go for it - having children is fab and if you really want it then go for it.
I married at 37 and have 6 month old DD. Was single at 34. I will go back to work when baby is 11 months old. I have friends who are single parents. I would suggest that you give yourself a year of not planning anything/take the pressure off yourself and decide then. If you want a child then make it happen but give yourself some down time first.
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