The Single Mother Of All Journeys – guest blog
Posted on 8 Feb, 2019 by Sarah Hart
Last week, local mum-to-be, Kimbo, visited my studio for her maternity shoot – she wanted images that captured her bump and who she was …..no flouncy maternity dresses – pyjamas captured her pregnancy bump better she announced! And so we had a lovely time creating images that captured “her” in her pregnancy. Kimbo is also booked in to return for a newborn session when her daughter is born and we discussed colours and outfits, along with instructions of “no teddies please!” With her permission, I’ve shared with you a few of the maternity images from her session and Kimbo’s own words about her efforts to start her own family……..
Hello, my name is Kimbo and I am expecting my first baby. I am what they call on social media a “single mother by choice” which means I have chosen to embark on the journey of motherhood on my own. Many women are choosing to take this route nowadays, it is something amazing and liberating to know we have the choice to having a family this way. In the past women have not had this option and many have therefore chosen to be with a man just because they want children or have had to go with the childless route that isn’t necessarily right for them. We have choices now and I am proud to show the next generation, including my daughter, that they can go after anything they want in life.
All I have wanted to be is a mummy. As a teenager of a millennium I didn’t strive for a great career path, I didn’t want to earn a fortune and have power or success. I dreamt of the 1950s housewife life, I wanted a rich husband and lots of babies. Life doesn’t always go how you want it to, and I am not great when it comes to men and relationships. Pretty shocking at them in fact and have never met anyone who lives up to my dreams or who I am willing to get close to. This can prove a problem when you want to procreate!
My journey began a few years ago when I started a savings account in preparation. It’s not cheap to have a baby on your own and I knew I would need to have a lot of capital to begin with and then have money for when the baby was here. My first official appointment was at Care Fertility clinic in Tunbridge Wells on 9th June 2017. I had an initial consultation with a doctor to discuss what the options would be for a single woman who wanted to have a baby alone. It was decided that IUI (intra uterine insemination) was the best port of call to start with as I don’t have any obvious fertility issues but they needed to test my AMH levels (Anti mullerian hormone) which give an indication of my ovarian reserve. Basically, a test to see how many eggs I have left! This was the first amazing aspect of my journey, to see how amazing our bodies are that they can tell how fertile we are just from a blood test. My results came back with a very high result, so high that the doctor said “we’ll have to monitor you carefully so you don’t end up with triplets!” Could you imagine!
I had to choose a donor next. This was a lot of fun if I’m honest! Donor profiles are a bit like dating profiles but less full of all the nonsense they think you want to hear. I was given some sage advice, to look for traits that would fit into my family not traits I would look for in a man. I knew I wanted someone who looked like me because I want my child to look like me, there is no one else there for people to say “oh doesn’t she look like her daddy!” so she needs to fit into my family visually. I knew I wanted him to be intelligent and creative because they are my strongest traits and I wanted my child to have that coming from both angles. I realised beyond that I wasn’t that fussed what he said about his personality because so much of that development is surely nurture and exposure rather than nature.
I had my first round of IUI in November 2017. I learnt how to inject myself with hormones. I learnt how to endure internal scans. I learnt to hope and pray like I never had before. And then I learnt disappointment like no other 2 weeks later…when my period came and my pregnancy test was negative. The clinic said it was just bad luck, there was no reason why it didn’t work as I responded perfectly to the treatment and they didn’t want to change anything for the next round.
Round 2 happened in February 2018. It was a more complicated cycle as I didn’t respond to the drugs in the way I should have. My ovaries were growing lots of small eggs but not enough large ones, the hormones were latching on to too many different eggs and there were no front runners. We kept going but I didn’t feel like it was going to work. It was discussed that if it didn’t work then IVF would be the next step as the fertility drugs were making my ovaries polycystic. Cue learning to cope with more disappointment.
IVF was the way forward it seemed. This meant a lot more money and more invasive procedures but it was worth it if I got my baby. IVF is an intense process involving a LOT of injected hormones and some not very pleasant ways to retrieve my eggs! They got 7 eggs and 5 of those fertilised. These fertilised eggs had to make it to day 5 before being put back inside me. I had a top grade, perfect looking embryo transferred on 9th June 2018, exactly one year after my initial consultation.
Pregnancy on my own has had its ups and downs. I’ve always done life on my own, don’t get me wrong I have an amazing family and lots of supportive friends, but I’ve always been single, I’ve always lived my every day life as one person not as a couple. I am therefore equipped to deal with it. People have asked me how I manage certain things but I do because I have to. This will apply when the baby is here too, I won’t have a husband to rely on or pass the baby to so I will have to do everything myself and I will. I am enjoying doing this solo though, I don’t have to factor in anyone else’s feelings, I don’t have to compromise on any decisions (She’s having the name that I want!!) and I won’t have to share her.
There has never been a moment of doubt during this journey where I have felt like I am doing the wrong thing. I know that I am meant to be a mummy and I am beyond excited to start the next part of this adventure and learn how to be a team with my little girl.
I am writing my own blog about my journey (www.thesinglemotherofalljourneys.co.uk) and have already had people reach out to me who are considering the decision, I love being so open about my choices and hope I can inspire others to really think about what their options are.