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On the Mumsnet Donor Conception forum, you can discuss sperm and egg donation with people in the same situation.

Donor conception

Any solo mums with tips?

7 replies

Invisiblewoman1 · 10/10/2021 10:16

Hello,
I’m divorced and 37, no children. I’m losing weight now in order to do ivf or iui next year with a donor. I’ve had the tests and my fertility is good but my bmi is too high.

While I lose the weight and prepare, I wondered if anyone has any words of advice for how to cope as a solo parent? Anything you wish you had sorted or organised or things which really helped you in early days?

OP posts:
anthurium · 10/10/2021 14:49

Hi Op,

Well done on making a decision to go at it alone, very empowering!

I'm a solo parent to be. I did IVF with a sperm donor this year aged 39 and was extremely fortunate that the treatment worked the first time (inc having a number of embryos in the freezer).

I'm 30 weeks pregnant so no baby in hand just yet! I can comment on the following though that I had put in place before becoming pregnant:

  • secure housing: are you renting/have a mortgage in place?
  • what's your work situation? Are you employed permanently? What is the maternity package like, and would you qualify?

-who can be/is your support network?

I tried IUI aged 38 last year and it didn't work. I do have one blocked fallopian tube and was advised to go straight to IVF but I'd wanted to try (as it was cheaper). I'd spent a lot of time working out finances of the treatments at this point. This year I attempted IVF and other than following my protocol/reading around the subject of the treatment, I didn't really spend too much time thinking 'how I'd cope'. Perhaps that's naïve of me, but I think if I'd started thinking about it, I'd decide against doing this because there are obstacles: in my case, no real life support. I do have family (they aren't geographically near by), so I'm basically alone and will have to rely on paid out childcare and hoping I'll figure it out... I'll have to!

I think it's good to consider these issues however you don't know his the treatment will go, if it'll be successful the first time, second time, third...when do you stop etc. And you may have been told by your consultant, these treatments aren't the panacea to infertility, so it's good to be level headed snout it during the treatment.

I'd advise checking out Stork and I fb webpage and podcasts ad the host is a single mother by choice and discusses all topics to do with this, including the practical side of things.
Invisiblewoman1 · 10/10/2021 19:12

Thank you. Some great tips there and big congratulations to you.

I have a mortgage, tied into a very low fix rate for the next five years. I’m employed by nhs full time so qualify for maternity pay. I live near my family, parents and two sisters. I couldn’t rely on them for regular childcare but definitely for emergency help.

I’m trying to work out how much child care will cost as I will need it…

OP posts:
TataMamma · 10/10/2021 21:15

I'm also an SMC. No real tips, but welcome to the club! I've a 10mo, and am also 5 months pregnant, both girls, both IVF which worked first time twice. I'm 39.

Invisiblewoman1 · 11/10/2021 08:32

Congratulations @TataMamma

So great to hear of success.

I’m mostly worried about finances I think.

OP posts:
Cattenberg · 31/10/2021 22:58

I had a baby with a sperm donor when I was 36. I’m lucky that I had a lot of support from my family.

My first attempt at IVF was cancelled before egg collection due to a poor ovarian response. I read a book by Zita West and virtually cut out sugar (although not complex carbs), before my next, successful attempt. I’ll never know if that made any difference, especially as the doctor changed my protocol second time around. But I lost 2-3 inches from my waist and I felt I’d done all I could.

The first 6-12 weeks after the birth are really tough. If your family can’t help out much, seriously consider hiring a post-birth doula.

Before the birth, do some batch cooking and freeze the portions. I froze several helpings of Scotch broth, which helped.

Make sure your home is thoroughly cleaned beforehand, using non-toxic products. Decluttering really helps as well. I know a lovely woman who was friends with a pregnant single mum. She decided to pay for her friend to have her house deep-cleaned before the birth. Not everyone would appreciate that gesture, but I thought it was super helpful.

Invisiblewoman1 · 01/11/2021 06:59

Thank you @Cattenberg and congratulations

In the first 12 weeks what did you find hardest and what did you need most help with? Will go and research how much a doula is. Thank you

OP posts:
Cattenberg · 01/11/2021 08:08

Staying up for part of the night with my newborn was the toughest part. She was a colicky baby and as well as waking for feeds, she’d often scream for 1-2 hours in the later part of the night.

I was staying with my parents when DD was a newborn, and they’d often take her for a couple of hours in the morning (say from 8-10 am), so I could catch up on some sleep.

The first few weeks are really tough, but then things do get a lot easier.

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