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I know that as I write this I am going to have tears in my eyes, if not streaming down my face.
I feel them coming already. This is something quite vulnerable to share, but also something I know many women have felt too. I am sharing so you know you are not alone, even if the circumstances are different in your world.
I have deeply wanted to become a mother for a few years now. And in case you are wondering, yes, I am single. Something changed for me, mentally, emotionally, and perhaps even physiologically during my early 30s—a big shift. I felt like I was moving from girl to woman; preparing myself for the potential of creating life.
I first felt it deeply while in meditation just before New Year’s Eve. I was envisioning what I wanted for the year ahead. I imagined myself being pregnant and birthing a baby girl—a picture in my mind that had almost come from nowhere. At that moment, I felt an indescribable wave of energy move over my whole body—like electricity, like fire, like the most intense form of love I have ever felt. It was such a strong emotional reaction in my body, and I knew, at that moment, it was meant for me.
I was ready.
I still have times where I wonder in my mind if it will work out. I am 36 years old now, and I still don’t know how or when I will become a mother.
But I feel it. I know it, deep in my being.
So, here is my story:
Months went by after that meditation before New Year’s eve. I had moments of wondering and strategizing how I might make my desire to have a child come true. And I had moments in many meditations following this one where I felt it again—that incredible electricity while imagining this picture of being a mother…of holding my baby. I cried during some of these meditations, but it wasn’t from happiness or sadness—it was a deep feeling inside me that is not possible to verbally express.
Being single for so long, I started to entertain the thought of going it alone. I kept hearing stories of women using a donor or being left as a single parent in co-parenting situations, and I began to think, perhaps, I could do it, too.
It wasn’t until mid-last year that I felt really ready to pursue this path. I knew I could meet a man anytime in my life, but to make a baby, well, time was kind of ticking on my biological clock.
One night, I saw a friend post something on social media, and immediately, I felt that it could be him. We dated briefly some years ago—I didn’t really feel that spark, but stayed social media friends ever since. The only issue was that he was now living in another state. I messaged him anyway.
Gosh, that was a funny conversation. I pretty much outright asked if he had ever considered donating sperm.
To my surprise, it was actually something he had been considering, and after some debate, it seemed we were both equally excited about the prospect of it. And he just happened to be coming to South Australia in a few weeks, which just happened to line up with my predicted fertile window.
Wow, I was really going to do this.
I ended up taking the week off work. I researched a lot about the old “turkey baster” method. Yes, we could have had sex, but, to me, it felt almost symbolic to try this method because I was going to be doing it alone. And there was a reason we never had sex while we were dating.
Now, the details of that week are quite hilarious. I will definitely have to write them in another article, but, for now, just know that, yes, he shot his sperm into a cup and, within a pretty short window of time, I syringed it up inside of me, legs up the wall and all.
It wasn’t a simple process, though, as he was staying with family, and I was in a one-roomed glamping tent in a caravan park in the Barossa Valley, just an hour and a half from my house.
But somehow, we made it work—gosh, and hats off to him! We gave it six red-hot goes. The final time I had no accommodation and had to drive to the nearest park at seven in the morning. I put my hips up on the folded down seats in the back of my car, with a courtesy blanket over the top, hoping as hard as hell that no one would drive past me. And that’s only a few of the details…
Certainly, not the usual way conception tends to happen. But hey, I was certain I would do what it took.
Then, the waiting game.
If you have been through this, then you know. How early can I do a pregnancy test? What are the first signs of pregnancy? And other somewhat inconclusive questions were thrown into Google over the next week or so.
According to my cycle monitoring, which I have done for some years now, I had timed it perfectly, but even then the chances of actually conceiving are quite low.
Long story short, I definitely thought I was 100 percent pregnant several times, and 100 percent not pregnant several times over the following few weeks. I did the initial pregnancy test way too early but still felt deflated when it came back negative—with just a whisper of doubt that I could try again in another day or two.
Meanwhile, I was sure there were some mild symptoms—like a little bit of cramping on one side, sore boobs, and some tiredness. But after the third pregnancy test, I lost about 95 percent of my hope, and when my period started the next day my heart sunk.
I had been so convinced that this was meant for me and going to work. I had even written a letter to my little girl—yes, I am still convinced I will have a girl, and her name will be Ruby—the night before my period came. I felt so much love, had so many tears, and really felt that she was coming to make me a mother.
But as with about 75 percent of cases, I did not get pregnant. And I think now, nine months down the track when I would have been giving birth, I know why.
We tried to line up a few more chances to shoot his sperm up me, but with Western Australia in lockdown, my focus on it fell by the wayside for a while. I wondered if I had been too rash trying to make it happen like that. Maybe, I was still going to meet someone who wanted a family and it would all work out.
Maybe, I would grow old and grey and never bring children into the world.
The tug and pull—yes, pun intended—of control and surrender to my dreams was like a see-saw. One minute I’d still want to go into action mode and try this whole thing by myself, the next I’d feel like I should relax and just let it happen when it’s meant to. Alone, in partnership, with a donor, in vitro fertilization…I have absolutely no idea how or when it will happen for me.
I am actually no longer in contact with this man. He bailed on another attempt when I expressed some vulnerability about being able to go it alone, and I knew I didn’t want him to father my child anymore. I mean, we had written up a proper contract so it was clear he wasn’t the father anyway, but still.
Just the other day I saw a quote saying something that hit me hard—like a small explosion in my heart. The quote had a picture of many sperm surrounding an egg and simply said this:
“The egg will choose the sperm.”
To all women still trying to become a mother:
Maybe you will scoff at this story because I am only talking about one unsuccessful attempt, when, maybe, you have had so many that you feel annoyed at me for being disappointed. Whatever your situation, I know you feel what I felt, too, on some level.
I know you yearn to grow a little human inside of you—to create a part of you as something new into the world, to become something that you will never become, to grow in a way that cannot be felt by any other means.
Becoming a mother must be the single most amazing experience of a lifetime.
It is a dream deep inside of me that came from somewhere bigger than I will ever know how to explain.
A part of me knows it will happen when the time is right. I just have to trust all of that part.
And I have to continue to feel what I know is meant for this world.
Lots of love to all the mothers and mothers-to-be.
I feel you.