“We both wanted to be moms. Forever. Ever since we can remember.
We both dated many boys, men, and a few gentlemen. Unfortunately, none of those relationships worked out and turned into our fairy tale.
Last year, at the ages of 32 and 34, we both seriously began considering getting pregnant on our own. We decided to do this together. Two single women, who each wanted to be moms, but all the men were sh*t so we went to a sperm bank. We couldn’t wait any longer.
We thought, well, at least we would have one another for support and help through the early years of having infants on our own.
So we began our research. We learned about the term ‘single mom by choice’ (SMBC), women who have decided to become moms on their own. We learned about fertility specialists, choosing sperm donors, and the methods of getting pregnant medically. We joined an online sperm bank and began exploring options. It is like online dating, but WAY better. It can be quite overwhelming due to the number of options, so we enlisted the help of others to narrow them down. The sperm bank provides you with the results of the donor’s genetic testing to see if he is a carrier of any disorder, details of health conditions of the donor, his siblings, parents, and grandparents, a voice recording of him being interviewed by the sperm bank and even a handwriting sample!
We created an Instagram account to document our journey for the small group of friends and family we had told. Little did we know how amazing the fertility and SMBC Instagram community was going to be. We also didn’t expect to regularly talk about sperm, eggs, ovaries, follicles, and fertility with each other and our families on the regular.
One day, we both hope to get married and have a spouse, but knew we didn’t want to give up on children if that man never came around. So in the meantime, we have one another and this group of supportive, kind, intelligent women that offer advice on unique issues facing SMBC. Like how to explain the process to others, how to talk about the decision with your children, and general support on any topic that arises with going a non-traditional route. Without Instagram, we would have never even known about this wonderful support group.
Unfortunately, fertility changes over time for women. Some women have no issues, ever. And some have issues, even from a young age.
During our journey, the oldest of us got pregnant with her first IUI (intrauterine insemination). This is when the doctor injects sperm straight into your uterus, timed along with your ovulation. She got pregnant in January 2019 and welcomed her baby girl in October 2019.
The youngest of us went through 3 IUIs and then had to do IVF (in vitro fertilization). I had never heard of IUI before but had heard of IVF before beginning this process. As a quick summary, it involved giving myself a lot of shots for about 12 days and growing a lot of eggs. Normally, a woman grows only one follicle/egg each month. Do you know how you feel bloated just doing that? Imagine growing 16 or more in some cases. Yeah, it was interesting, but I didn’t mind the shots. Luckily needles don’t bother me. Now that I am pregnant, the shots and all that was easier than my pregnancy has been. God willing, I get a great reward at the end of this pregnancy.
After the follicles grew large enough, the doctor put me under anesthesia and pulled out all the viable eggs. They then thawed the sperm and injected one into each egg. The embryologist then watched them for 5 days and decided if any were good enough to transfer back into my body. I luckily had success and got pregnant in May 2019 and am expecting my baby in January 2020.
The thought of being a SMBC is still a little foreign to both of us as this is just beginning, but it’s exciting. We both have successful careers, supportive families, and the drive to do this by ourselves. We have been so lucky that everyone we’ve told has been so supportive. I know our babies will grow up with so much love around. Not only from their mom and aunt but also from family and friends.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Lauren Harris and Jessica A. You can follow their journey on Instagram. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more powerful stories from inspiring women:
‘Help me!’ The color drained from my face. I awoke to cramping and blood dripping on the bathroom floor.’: LGBT couple navigate homophobia, reciprocal IVF journey, ‘our girls will be filled with lots of love’
‘I am only 31. They recommended a radical hysterectomy. They wanted to remove everything.’: Through ‘last chance’ IVF procedure mom discovers uterine cancer, attributes fertility surgery to saving her life.’
‘You’re supposed to be glowing, showing off your pregnant belly. Instead, the bones in your chest are popping through as your body wastes away.’ After struggling with IVF, Mom now battles Hyperemesis Gravidarum in surprise pregnancy’
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