Becoming A Single Mum By Choice: The Process

Today it started. The process – my process – of becoming a single mum by choice. I’ve no idea how long it will take but I know it’s started. I cycled to the clinic through rush hour in central London… not a good idea as it turns out. At one point a cab driver rolled down his window, “welcome to hell”, he said. It seemed a pretty accurate description, I prayed it wasn’t an omen about the appointment I was heading to.

It turns out I had nothing to worry about. I arrived at the clinic with time to spare. Got out of my cycling gear and tried to make myself look respectable. I’m not sure why, it’s not like it’s a job interview, but still it didn’t seem right not to try to look presentable. After all this is the start of a pretty major life event. Just like before the information evening I attended, I expected to feel nervous, out of place. I was worried it might feel wrong, or at the very least a strange and lonely thing to be doing. It didn’t. As I glanced around the waiting room I realised it was fine. There was a female couple who were friendly and relaxed. We had some cheery banter. It was soon clear that everyone was too interested in their own thoughts to bat an eyelid at me.

The overpowering feeling I had through the whole thing was how right it felt. It felt like the most right thing I’ve done in many years. Speaking to the doctor made it a medical process, it was no longer a moral and personal dilemma about should I, shouldn’t I. Now it was about practicalities, dates and processes. All very matter of fact.

Even having a probe shoved up my vaj didn’t put me off. It was actually very interesting (the pictures on the screen I mean). The doctor pointed out my follicles and ovaries. She showed me my womb lining, which was slightly thinner that she would have liked. We booked another scan for a week later when she expected me to be ovulating, that way they could check if there was anything to be concerned about. I only had a week to wait till I knew for sure if I could try this thing.

Then came the really scary bit. Filling in the paperwork. The one question that worried me most was the one about whether I had had social services involved in my family. I answered honestly. I tried to explain the background to the doctor, worried that she would think this means I’m not suitable to have another child. She didn’t seem overly concerned – the counsellor will go through it with me she said, and that was that. I was on my way home with instructions to await my counsellor appointment.

I’m not sure if you’ve met me, but I’m not very patient – driven I’d guess you call it. Anyway, I couldn’t wait for them to call so the next day I phoned up and made the counsellor appointment. I felt nervous; this is the bit I’m most worried about. The counselling is to check I have thought everything through. It’s to confirm if I will be able to COPE. That horrible word. What does it even mean? I’m pretty sure I’ve had many times in the past few years that people would describe me as very much NOT coping as a single mum. However, I’ve always kept me and my son alive (and that’s not a blase statement, at times that’s been bloody hard). Does that count as coping? If so then why have I often felt like I’m NOT coping? Yet if all of this has taught me anything it’s that I CAN cope, even if coping includes a LOT of tears. In amongst all these worries though, I felt excited. So very excited.

Today I went in for my second scan. It turns out my womb lining is fine, it had looked thin on the first scan because it was early in my cycle. The doctor pointed out the follicle that was about to ovulate. She was very complimentary of how it all looked. It felt a little strange, it’s not like I have any actual control over that. But even still, a compliment is hard to come by these days so I couldn’t help but feel a little bit warm and fuzzy inside.

We discussed the treatment a little. I’ve already done a tonne of research online and thought I knew what I wanted – stimulated IUI (intrauterine insemination). The IUI is basically a medical version of the turkey baster. The stimulated means they give me medication to ensure I ovulate. As we talked though I started to question this. A stimulated process would increase the chance of twins, which although I would LOVE, might be a step too far. My main reason for the stimulated approach was that it would increase my chances of getting pregnant. However, there is a risk that they over stimulate me and have to call off the treatment. What’s more, apparently because I have such attractive looking follicles (according to the doctor) there’s no real reason not to just go au natural. Or as natural as you can in a sterile room with a doctor shoving some strangers sperm inside you. The more we talked the more I started to veer towards the natural IUI.
Over the next few days I thought about the pros and cons of each treatment plan. Eventually I came to a decision. I would try au natural for one go, if that was unsuccessful I’d consider stimulated. In the past few years decisions have been one of the hardest things to do. I felt proud of myself for managing to make this decision and feel content and confident with my decision without any major dramas. I don’t mean confident that it will work – I have no idea of that. I’m just confident that even if it fails I won’t be chastising myself for doing the wrong thing; I’m confident that it’s a sensible plan and the result will be what it is. If it fails I’ll make a new plan. That might not sound impressive to others, but for someone who ended up with major anxiety and depression due to the worst decision of my life, feeling content with any decision, let alone something this major is no mean feat. In fact it’s bloody amazing.
Now I just need to pass the counsellor test….oh and find some seeds. But apart from that we are all systems go!
Watch this space.

If you are interested in my bonkers but brilliant story of becoming a single mum by choice then you can follow my blog on facebook. Just go to my page here and give me a like to stay up to date with my latest blogs.  And follow me on twitter @EllamentalMama I’ll be writing more about this in the coming months.

This is part of my single mum by choice series. You can read all about it here:


4 comments on “Becoming A Single Mum By Choice: The Process

  1. Good luck – how exciting. My wife and I did stimulated IUI last year (I have pcos so they recommended stimulated) and were successful on our second try. It’s so nerve wracking, emotional, exciting… look forward to following your experience x

  2. I am so proud of you. I am an IVF mama so please reach out if you have any questions

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