‘If you asked me as a child what I wanted to be when I grew up, I’d say, ‘A mom.’: Lesbian single mom by choice finds sperm donor through app, thanks friends for support

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“I’ve always known I wanted to be a mom. In fact, for as long as I can remember, it’s been the only thing I’ve been 100% sure of in my life. However, I would’ve never imagined I’d be on a journey to become a single mom by choice. When I was younger, I always gravitated toward kids. If you would have asked my younger self what I wanted to be when I grew up, I’d say, ‘A mom.’ Even as a child, I found myself caring for the younger ones around me. I was always excited when a new baby came into the family because it meant I would get to help care for them. My aunt and grandma both share the same love for children as I do and ran daycares in their homes.

Little black girl playing with a black baby doll in a pink baby stroller
Courtesy of Vessences Jackson

I loved getting to spend time with them and help with all the little ones they cared for. It was truly my idea of fun. When I was in middle school, it became hard to spend as much time at my aunt’s and grandmother’s home since my mom moved my siblings and me to a new state. My teenage years were rough. We moved quite a bit, which was hard for a shy kid like myself. And being highly sensitive as well (I would cry at the drop of a dime if someone asked a simple question), with lots of feelings, it was hard having a mom who was emotionally unavailable.

Black woman taking a nap with two young children resting on her chest
Courtesy of Vessences Jackson

For years, I struggled with depression and thoughts of suicide. It was during these years I also started to realize I was attracted to girls, something I knew my mom wouldn’t accept since my older brother had come out just a few years prior. Knowing I was gay but thinking I’d never have the courage to come out added even more stress and anxiety. With all this going on as a teen, I didn’t think I’d make it, and honestly the only thing that kept me from taking my life was the thought of one day being a mom.

I knew I wanted to give my child the love and support I wish I had growing up. On one of my hardest days, I remember crying on the bathroom floor, feeling overwhelmed with sadness. I knew I had to keep going if I ever wanted to have a child on my own. Honestly, this baby I’m now growing saved my teenage self. Like most people, I thought my life would follow the path of falling in love, getting married, and starting a family. However, after a failed engagement to a woman I thought I’d be with forever, I found myself on a new journey of self-discovery that included a lot of soul searching and a ton of therapy.

My past relationship was less than ideal to bring a child into. I know this now after reflecting on the dynamics of the relationship. I didn’t feel fully seen or understood and was trying hard to be someone I wasn’t just to make someone else happy, and in return abandoning myself. Days after the break up, I realized I felt so disconnected from myself. It’s crazy how living in a toxic environment can have so much impact on your mental health. During my first therapy session after the breakup, I was filled with so much sadness. But by the end of my session, I felt a strong sense of relief. It was in this session I was able to be completely honest about how the last few years had been, and I made it my mission to rebuild who I was and never abandon myself again.

woman sitting on the floor lighting a incense on a little table with crystals and candles
Courtesy of Vessences Jackson

It was time for me to rediscover what truly brought me joy, and how I was intended to live my life. It was during this time of soul searching when I began creating the life of my dreams. I did a lot of work on learning new healthy habits to live a life built on intention, love, and understanding. And I spent even more time unlearning unhealthy habits I’ve carried with me since childhood that are no longer serving me (something I’m still working on). It was also during this time I learned the true meaning of community.

Black lesbian woman walking on a pedestrian crossing painted like a rainbow
Courtesy of Vessences Jackson

After hard therapy sessions, it was my friends who lent an ear or offered a hug when I needed it most. Healing my inner child has honestly been the hardest work I’ve ever done, but having friends who supported me on this new journey made the hard days more bearable. I’m a huge believer in the saying ‘people need people,’ and it’s been my people who lift me up and remind me we’re not meant to carry the weight of the world on our own. My heart became more open than it’s ever been, and I found myself living a life more grand and full than I could have ever imagined.

Group of 5 adult friends hanging out in the patio of a restaurant
Courtesy of Vessences Jackson

I have and overflowing amount of love and understanding from those around me. As a girl and young adult who struggled to find relationships where I’ve felt seen, heard, and validated, I’m proud of the women I’ve come. I love holding space for those around me to feel all there is to feel, and to be as human, as real, and as raw as possible. Holding this type of space for my community and having this type of space held for me has been life changing. I realized as long as I have myself and my village behind me, anything is possible.

woman holding a baby girl hanging out with two friends
Courtesy of Vessences Jackson

Once I began to feel like I could do anything I set my mind to, I began brainstorming ways to calm my very intense baby fever that was stronger than it’s ever been. I started having conversations with my friends about possibly adopting or becoming a foster mom, and during one of these conversations one of my good friends suggested finding a donor and having a child myself. My first reaction was, ‘Wait, what?’ But after putting more thought into it, their suggestion sounded like a great idea. I’ve always wanted to carry a child, and as a lesbian, I’ve always known to make that dream happen I’d need a donor. So, why not now? Who cares that I was single. I wanted to raise a child more than ever!

selfie of two adult girl friends looking excited and hugging each other
Courtesy of Vessences Jackson

With the support of my people, I felt it was time to take the next steps. It was time to find a donor. I began googling how other lesbians found sperm. I was open to going through both a sperm bank and also using sperm from a friend. But while doing some heavy research, I found a video of a lesbian couple mentioning they found their donor through an app called ‘Just A Baby.’ At first, I didn’t believe it—an app that matches those in search of sperm with donors open to sharing this gift with strangers at little to no cost. No way! But after doing a lot more digging, I found the app to be legit. It wasn’t long after I downloaded the app I was matched with a local donor.

selfie of a black woman with long braided hair with a cup of hot tea
Courtesy of Vessences Jackson

He had all the qualities I was looking for, and after messaging back and forth for a few weeks, we decided to do a video call. After chatting, I felt so relieved – this guy was genuine and cared so deeply about helping singles and couples start a family of their own. We both agreed this felt like a great match, and soon we were signing contracts and getting them notarized. I had been tracking my ovulation for months, so I knew exactly when my fertile window was, and after three cycles of artificial insemination, I was pregnant!!

Supplies for artificial insemination on top a towel
Courtesy of Vessences Jackson

When I first saw the two faint lines, I was in disbelief. The month prior, I had gotten a false positive after suffering from a chemical pregnancy. So this time around, I refused to get excited until I knew the lines would gradually get darker. I tested everyday, sometimes two or three times a day in hopes of seeing the two lines remain. By day 11 of testing, the lines were clearly getting darker and there was no denying I was pregnant. Even after seeing the two dark lines, I wouldn’t allow myself to celebrate. I needed more proof, so I went out to get a digital test. I wanted to make sure this was all real, and when I saw the word ‘pregnant’ on the stick, I immediately began to cry.

pregnant woman blurred in the back holding a digital pregnancy test that says 'pregnant'
Courtesy of Vessences Jackson

I couldn’t believe my dream of being a mom was finally coming true! After getting myself together, I called my twin sister who’s known how much I’ve wanted this. She’s one of my biggest cheerleaders, so I knew she’d go crazy. We cheered and we cried. She had recently found out she was pregnant and carrying twins, so we were both excited we would be sharing this journey together. At my first doctor’s appointment,  I found out I was also pregnant with twins. How crazy—twins, I was pregnant with twins! But unfortunately, one of the embryos stopped growing. Since I wasn’t bonded with two babies when I found out I was pregnant, the news that only one embryo had a heartbeat so early on wasn’t hard to hear. I was just so thankful there was at least one.

Black twin sisters sitting on a big patio chair
Courtesy of Vessences Jackson

The first trimester was pretty difficult. I was worried about a miscarriage and felt like I was holding my breath the entire time. However, when I had my ultrasound at 14 weeks, there was a big sigh of relief hearing my baby’s heartbeat, and finding out they were growing right on time. It was after this appointment when I felt I could truly start enjoying my pregnancy. I announced it on social media and was blown away at how supportive everyone was. It filled my heart with so much joy knowing so many people, some I hadn’t spoken to in years, were in celebration of this new being I’d created.

pregnant woman holding the fetal ultrasound of her baby
Courtesy of Vessences Jackson

I’m currently 16 weeks pregnant and so happy with the decision I made. Of course, there were fears that has crossed my mind, like if I will ever find love, or if I am absolutely crazy for making this decision, but when I remind myself this is something I’ve wanted for so long, my worries seem to ease. Watching my belly grow bigger by the week is something I’ve been in awe of, and I love celebrating each weekly milestone. This week, I read my baby can hear the sound of my voice, and holy cow, how wild is that?! I’m so excited for the day my little bean can hear voices from the outside world. They’ll know the sound of my favorite people before they’re earth side, and that thought alone makes me want to cry.

Mirror selfie of pregnant woman holding her belly
Courtesy of Vessences Jackson

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I truly feel I have full support of mine. Which brings my heart so much comfort. I’m a single mom, yes, but my village is strong, amazing, and the most supportive. I know this baby will be surrounded by so much love, understanding, and diversity. I feel so thankful to have such great people in my life, and thank the universe everyday for placing such amazing, wonderful, loving humans in my life exactly when I needed them. This baby is already loved by so many, and so so wanted! I can’t wait to give them a life full of love, intention, understanding, and most importantly, I can’t wait to teach them about the importance of community.”

Group of four girl friends sitting in the entrance of a house
Courtesy of Vessences Jackson
two adult girl friends hanging out in a car taking a selfie
Courtesy of Vessences Jackson

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Vessences Jackson. You can follow her on Instagram and Facebook. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more stories like this here:

‘If I’m not in a relationship when I’m 30, I’m using a sperm donor!’ I never took it seriously.’: Single mom by choice pens journey, ‘I hope she’s proud to be my daughter’

‘I want to be a single mom by choice.’ I hadn’t planned to tell anyone. ‘Will you wait until we can be together?’: After 10-year infertility battle, woman becomes mom, finds love

‘Here…AND HERE!’ The reality of having TWINS hit me. I cried alone at night, thinking I wasn’t doing enough.’: Single mom by choice delivers twins, shares parenting journey

‘I said if I wasn’t married by 30, I was going to have a baby on my own. They laughed, told me I was crazy.’: Single mom by choice shares journey with infertility

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