Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Hopes

With a success rate of 15% (that is about one in every six attempts) I knew that the chances I would succeed in my first trial were very slim. But still I had high hopes. For the first week I was absolutely sure I was pregnant. I had these "signs" like getting my period on the first of April, being inseminated on the 13th of the month (I love the number 13!) and I can't remember now so much of those signs, but there were many of them. I even didn't want to drink the four cups of wine in the Seder - just in case I was pregnant. Who knows.. better be safe than sorry.

The first week went by and the second week came, and slowly slowly I became less & less convinced I was pregnant. It was probably a lot of the logic that was doing its work.. As I said at the beginning of this post, the chances are low, and better prepare myself to the worst then expect the best outcome and be highly disappointed. Well, although for the last day or two I was preparing myself to the fact that I probably didn't succeed in obtaining my goal and acknowledging the tell tale signs of my approaching period (real signs this time..), I am a bit disappointed with my reaction. Beforehand I was very much afraid I might take a failure too severely. But now that I got my "bloody" period, I am only too relaxed, not really feeling disturbed by the matter. Maybe I am still not feeling really ready (still not being able to get my house into a state where I can up bring a child). Maybe I don't yet believe that I have actually began and that someday I will have a child of my own. There was a time, not so long ago, when I could hardly believe that I will ever begin inseminations. Well, I should probably keep saying to myself that - one day I will have a child!

Saturday, 26 April 2008

A jump in time

Skipping a bit to the present. Want to write this post before the new week begins tomorrow..

Finally last month I got my period which enabled me to start. To actually start with the insaminations! It took me about a year to get to this point, and of course I was very excited!
There are two main places involved in the process - a sperm bank and a fertility clinic. Some choose to do the insamination in the bank's clinic, I prefered not because it would involve too much bureaucracy.
Anyway in the fertility clinic they check to see when and if you are ovulating (done at about the middle of your periodic cycle by ultrasound that checks the presence and growth of your follicle and a blood test). When you are ovulating (or just about to) they send you off to bring the sperm and then, of course insaminate you..
Anyway two weeks ago, on Sunday morning, I was told by my fertility clinic to go fetch my "dose". I buy my sperm in city A and my fertility clinic is in city B, and oh, I don't have a car. The distance between the two places isn't too great, and on a good day (i.e on the weekend or in the middle of the night!) it can be done fairly quickly, but usually is full of traffic. And being dependent on a bus... well, at the sperm bank I asked them to fill my thermos with an extra dose of liquid nitrogen - the last thing I wanted is for the sperm not to arrive at the clinic in its best condition. Well, when I arrived at the clinic, they had a hard time fishing out the test tube with all that liquid nitrogen. That was a bit of a laugh, seems I was a bit too worried..
When I left the sperm bank, I was given a sealed envelope to hand in to the lab at the fertility clinic. Well on one hand Curious George is nothing compaed with me. I'm as curious as a cat! On the other hand I can be trusted, I'll bite my tounge but won't open something that's not ment for me. Well, surely a sealed envelope is not ment for me. But hey, it's about me, and they never told me not to open it or anyting of the sorts, and... well... what can one expect.. If it cotained such information that were not ment for my eyes, then they shouldn't have given it to the lab through me! So yes, I opened it. All they wanted is details of the lab's improvment on the dose for statistical perposes. But it also contained my donor's I.D number! Well no, it doesn't mean that I have anymore information than what I already know (annonymous donation - colour of hair & eyes; blood type; ethnic origin; height and one or two more minute details), and of course I can't find out who he is or anything of that sort. But it does mean that if one day I'll want to try and find my child's siblings, then it might be a bit easier!
The insamination itself was a little painful, but hey - what does one do to become a parent.. It was funny how they kept showing me the tube with my name, asking me to verify that I am the one.. After that was done. I have about two weeks to wait to see if I'm pregnant or not. The first week went by, I was sure I was. There were all sorts of "signs" - from getting that desired period on the first of April (me pregnant is a good joke!) and things like that. The second week I felt sure I'm not. I believe I got off the chair way too soon (was supposed to stay put for a few minutes, I hardly waited a minute or two), and can't be that my first insamination will be the successful one. So, the next few days will tell..

help¬helped¬helper¬helping¬helps

Wow, I have so much to write about! I thought that I'll write one post about the past, the next about where I am currently standing, and continue from there. But writing the first post I realized I had to break it down into smaller parts..

In this post I would like to discuss the issue of being a single parent. It's not so easy being the sole caregiver of an infant. Luckily I am surrounded by a family who is willing to lend a helping hand now and then. I have my single mother's by choice forum as a support group (it's important for us also for the kids to physically see that they are not the only ones with no dads, that there are other kids in their same situation, but also as a platform for discussing issues that are unique for us) and my friends who support me and of course my ever so important support of my family.
My family.. I was suprised how I cried when I first spoke to my father about this and more so how he so quickly gave his blessing. He knew it was important for me to become a mum, and if this is the way, then this is the way. I was also surprised to hear my mother's positive respond. I was a bit disappointhed with the initial reactions of my sisters - wait a year or two; you are not trying hard enough to date (no, but that won't change, especially if all I'm thinking about is a baby..) etc. Well, as I said those were their initial reaction and now they are very much supportive. But even so I fear the uneasiness in which I might ask my mother to help me out as opposed to how freely my sister can ask her for help. My sister quite recentally had her first child and got a lot of help from our mother. It seems quite natural - a young couple, a new born baby, grandma to the rescue. But what about when you are a single parent - is it still legitimate to expect help? If you are two, doing it the "proper" way, then if you need help, you need help. I feel as though although I probably would need more help than my sister, I will be in a position where I am supposed to ask for less help. In a position - I think it's a combination between my own feelings on the subject and my understandings from things my sister said. I decided that this is how I will become a mother, so I have to live with all the consequences - the hardships are mine, as well as the pleasures. Well, I really hope that when time comes and I should need assistance, that I should feel no less (and no more, but that goes without saying..) than any other sister of mine to ask for help..

From the beginning...

Well I have decided to record in writing my pathway to motherhood. So let me go back a step or two from where I am standing right now and start my story from the beginning.

Well I always wanted to be a mother, I was a child who loved kids and knew that someday I will have my own kids. Except.... well, hmmmm... the bees and the birds.... well I was never too great with men (and no, I am not a lesbian, just a loner). Anyway in my mid thirties I began to realize that if I wanted to be a mother, I had to do something about it and not sit and wait for prince charming who apparntly has too many women on hold. So for the next two years I was occupied with thinking about the ways to fulfil my evermost desire, my longing to become a mother.

Ways to become a mum without a guy.. There are two main ways I know of - the first is to find a guy who also wants to be a dad but doesn't necessarliy want to live with the woman. There are several orgnizations here who help join together such couples, so the finding part is less of an issue. But still, I meet a guy and in such and such numbers of meetings have to decide if our fates will be tied for the next 18 years? The advantage may be another pair of hands to help raise my kid (although do take into account that these hands will not live in the same house as the mother and child, so it is a limited help) and being better of financially . But still I wouldn't like my child to begin his/her life with "divorced" parents, parents who have to sign an agreement on every little detail - and what if we didn't think of X or Y!? and what if the guy turns out to be a not so nice guy!? Well, this way to parenthood might suit some people, but not me. I have a bad enough example close by of a terrible divorce and prefere not to go there.
So that leaves the other way to become a mum without a guy - sperm donation. The greatest disadvantage is also its greatest advantage - I am the sole caregiver of the infant. That means that for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, I am in charge. No matter if the child is sick or whatever, no helping hand. And of course being a single parent means there is only one provider, only one pair of working and earning hands. But as I see it, the benifits overweigh these disadvantage. I can raise my child as I see fit, don't have to compromise with someone else's thoughts on bringing up, and most of all - I have my child to myself, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (of course untill they grow up and hate being kissed in public by their mums, etc.).

Anyway about a year ago, I came across an internet forum of single mothers by choice, and straight away those two years of thinking what and how (actually more "realizing" that I probably will never become a mother in this life) came down into a decision - I will be a mother and I will do it through sperm donation! That's my pathway to motherhood for me.