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Thread: single mothers by choice

  1. #1
    hopeful_mum Guest

    Default single mothers by choice

    i have a 5yr old but i'm no longer with dh and have been that way for several years. i have become financially stable enough to now have another one on my own, which i yearn desperately to do. i was just wondering if there was anyone out there in the same boat, would love to hear from you.


  2. #2
    Abrahams mum Guest

    Default I am in the same boat

    Hi, I have a 19 month old and have been a single mum since I was pregnant. I would love to have another baby, but unsure how to go about it. Would love to hear any ideas you have

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    Hi ladies. I'm not in this situation, but would just love to stop by and say my hat comes off to you and all the other mums and dads out there who manage alone to do what I think is the toughest role life has to offer.

    I have a hands on husband, and great support network of family and friends, yet still find raising my 19 month old (yes, only 1 child) the hardest gig ever, despite feeling as ready as I ever thought I could be to become a mum.

    Greatest of luck to you and I'd love to hear how you manage the day to day ...

  4. #4

    Default

    Hi
    I am single and have just had my gorgeous little 5 week old girl with a known donor. Prior to this I was trying to get pregnant with an anonymous donor through a fertility clinic. I have many friends - mid 30's women - who are choosing to have children while they still can and are using different fertility techniques. I did a fair amount of research about the different options before a embarked on the process... so happy to respond to questions. The best start I think is to book an appointment with a fertility clinic who will chat through the standard conception options... and then explore other options as well. The legislation and processes differ greatly from state to state, and the pro's and con's of the different options have wide variation in them, meaning that its a very personal choice depending on what feels right for you. There are some really useful websites if you decide to go ahead with donor insemination. There are also some that I think seem fairly dodgy. There is one I know of that is a Free Donor site which matches up women who want to have children with men who offer to be donors for free... (its illegal to get paid for being a donor in australia) This site however seems to offer very little in the way of protection and I would be very warey. The key factors are of course protection from transmissible diseases (including HIV which requires a 3-6 month testing window) and legal protection from custody issues. Oh dear, my baby is awake... gotta go... send questions!
    Rhianon

  5. #5
    Abrahams mum Guest

    Default thanks

    Hi Rhianon

    Congratulations on your little girl!

    Thanks so much for replying. I have been looking at various web sites, I looked into the fertility clinic, I just felt like there were too many interventions, and I know for some this is highly reassuring, but I personally would prefer to do it by self insemination.

    However saying that, looking at some of the postings on different websites, you just don't know how safe it is. Some sound ok but you never can tell. I have asked a friend of mine, but he lives in Canada, and actually wants involvement with the child. Even though I have been single since I fell pregnant the good old fashioned way to a friend and he isn't involved with my son, just the limited contact I have with him is driving me batty.

    How did you go about organising a donor? What sorts of things did you need to know from him, and how did you go about it, did you need to draw up any contracts, did you go through the clinic for the insemination, or did you do it yourself, how did you prepare yourself for the pregnancy, fertility drugs, vitamins, how many attempts until you fell pregnant? sorry hahaha lots to ask

    It's' funny, I already have one, but trying to do it this way seems to be like a military operation hahaha so much to think about.

  6. #6

    Join Date
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    I am a single mummy to 2 beautiful kids, and it is the best thing ever.
    I dont know how you would go about having another one- would you use a donor or would it be by someone you know?

  7. #7
    Abrahams mum Guest

    Default hi

    Not sure, I would like to know the person, or have some knowledge of them, so when the child is older and asks questions, I can fill in (a few) blanks. But I don't want them telling me how to raise the child, or input etc.

  8. #8

    Default single mum by choice

    How did you go about organising a donor? What sorts of things did you need to know from him, and how did you go about it, did you need to draw up any contracts, did you go through the clinic for the insemination, or did you do it yourself, how did you prepare yourself for the pregnancy, fertility drugs, vitamins, how many attempts until you fell pregnant? sorry hahaha lots to ask

    :-) yes it is all a bit of a military operation... lots of choices, lots of decisions, and then lots of technicalities to make it all happen... so my story is :
    I had heard about a lovely man who was smart and successful but loved to travel and be free and thus was not interested in a family. So I arranged to meet him and asked him if he would consider being a donor, and luckily he was thrilled with the idea. He loved the opportunity to know that he had a child in the world, but with no responsibility or ties. He was willing to accept having no rights either as the compliment to this. So we discussed the nitty gritty and the research and realities.
    I was quite clear that conception would be by self insemination as the legal implications are very different to conceiving the old fashioned way. Technically if you have sex, then he is the legal father - if you do it with a jar - he's a donor. He wanted to understand all of the legal ramifications so I put together a summary from internet research. I am in QLD and essentially this state has no current legislation - its up to the courts. Other states have bits of legislation but none of it is comprehensive yet. There is a legal precident case that I found from the High Court of Australia which found that a donor was not a legal parent for the purposes of child support requirements.
    So we drew up a contract - there are many samples and examples available on the internet (google donor contracts, sperm donor contracts etc) and we simply adapted a few bits to suit us. The minimum legal requirement is that the donor agrees to be contactable by the child after he/she turns 18 and to provide genetic information if she requires it (health history etc). My contract stated that the minimum requirement was that they meet at least once - but we agreed verbally that there would be the option of regular contact if we were all comfortable at the time. This was dependant on what what in the child's best interest - as decided by me until she is 18 - and he has no right to any more than the one meeting unless I and my daughter agree. By the same token he has no obligation for more unless he agrees. In reality - we have become good friends and will be seeing a fair bit of each other - but the contract covers worst case scenario. There is, of course, no financial responsibility in any way. We decided that he would come to the hospital after the birth and meet the baby - he was initially wary of this in case it made him feel too bonded, but he was glad afterwards and is very excited about her - and very supportive of me...but from a comfortable distance. He went on an overseas trip a week after the birth. I guess his view is that he gets the good bits without any of the hard work (to visit and see photos and to know we are happy to hang out when he is around)... so he is happy...and I am happy because I have my precious child and no pressure from him in any way. It is clear that I am the parent and he has no say in anything at the end of the day. I was so lucky to find a really great donor - but I have also covered my back in case anything ever goes pear shaped.
    The other aspect of the arrangement that we agreed on was that he would not be named on the birth certificate. This is a slight shame as he is from another country and she would have been able to get another passport - but this protects everyone from any potential issues - and stops the risk that the child support agency would pursue him for maintenance regardless of my wishes. It can always be changed later if we decide to, perhaps after she is 18. So her birth certificate will say Donor or Father Unknown...I am not sure, I haven't received it yet.
    When I went to centrelink to sign up for Family Tax Benefit, Baby Bonus etc I also put Donor in all the "father" boxes and I just had to have a brief appointment with the social worker to explain and get an exemption from child support processed. They were all fine with it though, and apologetic for any inconvenience :-)
    In terms of the technicalities - I did work with a fertility clinic for assistance with monitoring my cycles. They are not allowed to inseminate with fresh sperm however, due to the HIV risks, and my donor's little fellas did not freeze well (nor did I want to wait 6 months while they quarantined the sample) so I did an "off the record" home insemination. My doctor was wonderful and noted that I was "cycle tracking in preparation for IVF" which allowed me to have regular blood tests, ultrasounds etc without the fact that I was doing home insemination being on the books. The clinic cannot take liability for the fact that no matter how careful you are at home there is still a risk of HIV or other infections because it still relies on the trust you have in your donor. In order to protect yourself you need you donor to have an HIV (and other STD's) test and then abstain from any risk behaviours for 3 months, then have another test. If both tests are positive then you can proceed, trusting that he takes no risks during that time either. Some clinics are now recommending 6 months but I think that is overkill as the standard window period in which HIV does not show up is 3 months. This is really important as if the donor has been infected then during the first three months he is at his most dangerously infectious... but will test negative - because he has not yet developed the antibodies that are detected in the test. This is the bit that the websites such as free donors.com do not do... they rely on one negative blood test to say that the person is HIV free - and this is simply scary.
    ok - this is getting really long so I will try and answer your other questions a bit more briefly :-)
    Self insemination - I used a new yellow top specimen jar for him to provide the sperm in, and a 1-3 ml syringe barrel (no needle obviously) to insert the sperm. I also got from my doctor a thin tube that attaches to the end of the syringe to get the sperm up higher. Its not easy tracking down the syringes but they are free/cheap from chemists - not withstanding the looks some of them gave me!
    I was successful on my 4th cycle - and did insemination the day before and the day after ovulation each cycle. My doctor would tell me the exact day that I would ovulate from morning blood tests each day leading up to when I was likely to ovulate. If your cycle is very regular you may not need this. There are lots of websites that show you how to chart your ovulation cycle by watching mucus and doing daily temperature readings. You can buy the home ovulation test kits but I found them an expensive option. Oddly it was the only cycle in which I definitely did not feel pregnant and I was already planning the next insemination date when I got my positive test result!
    I didn't use fertility drugs (although I have in the past on a previous attempt - they made me feel crazy!) but I was planning to on the next cycle. I had a script for Clomid - but I had put it off because it makes me very emotional and because it increases the risk of twins by promoting more eggs to be released. I had some ultrasounds initially to check that my eggs were coming out of the follicles properly and all was flowing smoothly...and I had a procedure with a long and forgettable name which flushed out my follopian tubes with dye and tested that they were not blocked or restricted.
    Vitamins - I found that cenovis pregnancy formula was the cheapest and the only one that didn't make me nauseous... its good for preconception as well. I also had accupuncture leading up to ovulation to promote fertility.
    Anything else you would like to know? Happy to share!
    Rhianon

  9. #9

    Default correction

    sorry - just noticed that in my long post I said if the HIV tests are positive then you can proceed - obviously I meant negative! sorry!

  10. #10
    Abrahams mum Guest

    Default thanks

    Wow, thanks for all of that lol you are so lucky to have such a great donor. I guess the most important thing is making sure that the donor is tested and clear of any infections, which is good going through the clinic. Otherwise you would really have to trust the donor, and that is hard going with someone you meet on the net.

    I'm lucky that I actually work for a health service, so have access to all sorts of equipment that I may need. I ran an antenatal clinic and was a sexual health educator, so can track my cycles and can even feel when I am ovulating, I am still taking a pregnancy multivitamin as I am still breastfeeding, just getting the sperm is my main hurdle hahaha

    Thanks so much for sharing your story with me. It is hard talking to people about it, as they think I am weird for wanting to go down this road, (all are happily in relationships) and keep telling me 'you never know, you might meet someone some day, it will make it a lot easier for you to have a partner' etc. They sort of miss the point that I don't want the whole knight in shining armor coming to rescue me And I can actually see Germain Greer's point of view on society and relationships hahaha

    How did your family and friends accept your choice? I've gotten to the stage I don't even want to say anything about what I am planning to do to anyone.

  11. #11

    Default

    :-) I'm 37 and an only child so my family were just so excited they didn't mind how I went about it! My dad did keep trying to persuade me to just marry my donor...suggesting romantic weekends away etc...but in a good natured enough way. I have a lot of friends who are also mid to late 30's and single and wanting a child, so they are incredibly supportive and are now planning their own journeys thanks to my example giving them more courage. Its not so uncommon!
    We are very lucky in QLD that there is no blocking legislation at the moment but I would not hang about too long if I were you because it is no longer so easy in NSW and VIC. In VIC you have to be infertile to access donor insemination and IVF services through a clinic, and in NSW they have a 3 tries and you are out medicare system. Here things are much much easier - for now.... oh - I didn't check - where are you?
    One thing I didn't mention was that going through the clinic meant that we initially had his sperm tested for fertility and mobility - which saved potential heart ache of going through the process and then finding out he couldn't do it! If you donor already has his own children this risk would be reduced. It cost only a few hundred dollars to have this done, and we froze a sample for future IVF use if we had needed to go that far (phew).
    anyhoo
    must go, my angel is fussing...
    let me know if you have any more questions...
    Smiles
    R

  12. #12

    Join Date
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    Default

    Just moving this thread to a more suitable forum

  13. #13

    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trillian View Post
    Just moving this thread to a more suitable forum
    So do I respond to it elsewhere? Or is it fine to do QR here?

  14. #14

    Default

    so where was it moved to?

  15. #15
    Abrahams mum Guest

    Default so where to from here?

    hmmm ok

  16. #16

    Join Date
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    Default

    It was moved to the single parenting forum

  17. #17

    Default

    I just registered with this site as I found this thread. Rhi would you mind if I sent you a PM with questions?

    I am thinkign about becoming an smc in a couple of years (at the moment my financial and career situation just isn't right, plus I'm overcoming some health problems from an accident). I already have one child, but being an only child who's estranged from her parents and no other family around, I really want to have another one!

    Am going to keep a close eye on this thread.

  18. #18
    Abrahams mum Guest

    Default smclater

    Hi

    was wondering if you would be happy keeping in touch, I am also in a similar situation to you. I am not close to my family and as the FOB is not involved with him, would love to have another baby in case anything happened to me, my son would always have someone else.

    thanks
    Anne-Marie

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