Dear future mother/mother to be/you/friend I haven’t met yet,
It’s taken eight years to be 100% comfortable with my decision to have a child on my own and three years of IUI and cycles of IVF to be now enjoying a healthy pregnancy. Losing my first baby after 8 weeks was, of course, extremely painful. It felt as though it must be happening to someone else. Surely. But many women lose babies early on in pregnancy. It’s just not talked about. I let this knowledge and the fact that one day, one round of IVF would work, carry me through the grief. And then tried again. And again. I used the emotional recuperation time needed in between attempts to save up for the next round of IVF. The NHS wasn’t paying for my treatment due to my age.
Looking back, I’m pleased it took so long. I needed that time to prepare my mind, body and home. Also, although this is a less important point, these repeated attempts meant my friends and family know how much these babies are wanted. And are possibly more supportive as a result.
A huge part of my path involved healing. I believe trauma is passed down from generation to generation, unless a future parent takes the time and courage to heal it. I employed every tool I could find – psychotherapy, meditation, energy healing, exercise, sobriety and acupuncture. It was during a retreat in India when finally, the subconscious released to my conscious ‘You’re ok. Your children will be ok. You won’t be passing on the damage’.
I believe my body only allowed me to get pregnant when I was ready on all levels. I find this a huge comfort. The babies inside me now are the ones that were supposed to be born and will be born in to a safe and emotionally healthy environment. Even if their mother isn’t the youngest in town!
The decision to choose a sperm donor, rather than a friend or, controversially, a stranger also took a long time. Surely a non-involved Dad is better than no Dad at all? But eventually I realised that in my case, an emotionally simple situation was preferable to having a named father.
What are my worries? That I won’t love them in the way they need. That my heart is too closed and my mindset judgemental. That with twins, as a single mother, I’ll become overwhelmed, that my mental health will suffer and cause my babies emotional damage.
But in my heart I know this job, and how the girls will develop is bigger than me. I only need to be a ‘good enough mother’, not win any awards. I know the most important thing is keeping calm and making an effort to enjoy every day. To have compassion for all three of us. And to enjoy scaling this intense and steep learning curve!
Good luck. I’m excited for you.