Since I’ve started writing the blog, I’ve received a lot of questions about where I am in the fertility process. I’ve mentioned that I am hoping to have my first IUI (donor insemination) in the Spring but I want to take some time to share how long this process is actually taking me.
For some, the process of becoming a Choice Mom moves quickly. I have a friend who only had a length of five months between her referral for a fertility doctor and her first IUI.
My journey is not going as quickly.
As someone who is anxious, it is incredibly difficult for me to make a decision. In order to ease the stress, I search for signs that I am on the right track. As you’ll see through my timeline, the universe has not always given me positive signs that I am doing the right thing. In fact, the process has even been halted a couple times.
Everyone’s journey is different but today I want to share my timeline/fertility journey with you.
I have included all of the dates of important events as well as some passages from my journal.
One of my closest friends confides in me that she in process of becoming a Choice Mom.
I wonder if one day, I might have the same fate.
September – December 2017
I start dating a guy who I really like. At first, he says that he is open to having kids. Throughout our time together, his decision changes. Eventually, he tells me he doesn’t want kids.
I try to figure out whether to stay with someone who doesn’t want kids or to be with someone whom I adore. I make the decision to stay with him and decide that I’d rather be with him then have kids. However, something inside of me doesn’t feel right.
We break up for a variety of reasons (one of which is the issue of having kids).
Journal Entry: December 23rd 2018
“When looking at my nephew all I ever want in life is to have a kid. What should I do? Breathe in. Breathe Out.”
Journal Entry: January 28th 2018
“Don’t get me wrong. I love my life, my friends, my fam, my job. Something just feels as though it is missing. Self-love? A man? A baby? Travel? Who knows but this year I am getting to the bottom of it.”
“Is it really that great to have a kid or will I feel lonelier?”
January – March
Decide to try dating again.
Meet a couple of nice people (especially one who I am really into). The timing doesn’t work out for the one I like and I worry about whether or not finding a partner is actually going to happen.
I tell my sister that I am taking a break from dating because I just can’t find anyone I am compatible with. It has been years and I just feel lonely and defeated.
She explains that it sounds as though I need a “Date-Tox” – a personal detox from dating. I decide that I am ready for my date-tox.
Journal Entry: March 25th 2018
“Could I have a baby on my own? My life is a shit show. How can I care for a child when I can’t care for me? How can I even afford to have a child? What am I thinking?”
Journal Entry: April 20th 2018
“Nothing can make me happy. Food can’t fill the void. Nothing can get rid of this loneliness and this feeling of not having kids. Every second I am reminded of how much joy a child can bring and I am tired of it.”
I am ready to seriously consider having a baby on my own. I ask my friend who is a Choice Mom if I can talk to her about the process and buy a journal that reads “Nevertheless she Persisted.”
I talk to my sisters about having a baby on my own.
From there, I call my Mom and ask her what she thinks of the idea of being a Choice Mom. I am too afraid to have that conversation with my Dad just yet and know that my Mom will likely talk to my Dad about our conversation.
My Mom reports back that my Dad seems okay with the idea and I feel I have the support I need.
May 15th 2018
I send an email to my parents asking if we can sit down to discuss the baby situation.
I tell my sister that I am going to talk to my parents about becoming a Mom. She talks about how scary motherhood can be. I end up in tears and decide that this is a sign that I shouldn’t be a Mom.
May 16th 2018
I talk to my friend who is a Choice Mom and she tells me that it can be scary but that I have got this.
I decide to continue on (my emotions are absolutely crazy at this point).
I later become too scared to talk to my Mom and Dad face-to-face about having a baby. Every time I think about talking to them I burst into tears. Instead, I settle on just calling my Mom so that I can talk to her about the process without her being able to tell I am crying.
I fully sob to my Mom on the phone and we discuss next steps.
June 5th 2018
I meet with my family doctor to discuss fertility and expect to start crying. I tell her that I have heard Mount Sinai is good.
She just smiles and fills out the form to submit to Mount Sinai Fertility Department. There is a choice of four fertility doctors at Mount Sinai and I read through the description of each one. I decide on two doctors and cross my fingers that I will get either of them and that I won’t have to wait that long.
As I am leaving, the receptionist yells “I can’t fax this to Mount Sinai, you don’t have your partner’s name.”
I am completely embarrassed and whisper to her that I am doing it on my own.
I walk home in tears and text my Choice Mom friend. I ask her if it was a sign and she reminds me that I am strong and can keep going.
I call Mount Sinai to see what is taking so long to hear about a possible appointment. They tell me that they didn’t process the form because I didn’t have my partner’s name on the form.
This time I am much stronger and firmly say “I am having a baby on my own and don’t need a partner.”
August 11th 2018
I send my parents a budget trying to get some help on whether or not they think I can financially have a baby on my own.
Monday August 27th 2018
I meet with my doctor, Dr. Claire Jones who is the kindest doctor a patient could ever have.
I hold in my emotions and start crying towards the last 15 minutes of the one-hour appointment when her assistant mentions that I will need to lose weight because my BMI is too high.
Tuesday August 28th 2018
I go for a series of tests – urine tests and blood tests.
The nurse realizes that I am getting tests done to see whether or not I can get pregnant.
The nurse says she hopes that my “husband will cook me a nice steak dinner after all of the tests that I have had.”
I recognize that this won’t be the first time I hear things like this and feel a little pain in my stomach longing for a partner through this process.
Thursday September 13th 2018
Monday September 17th 2018
Hysteroscopy (will describe this painful test in another blog in the future).
Late September 2018
Meet with another Choice Mom who offers support and who loans me the book “Choosing Single Motherhood.”
I read the book in 24 hours.
Wednesday October 10th 2018
I prepare myself for the absolute worst – I know my results are going to come back and they will tell me I am infertile.
Dr. Jones tells me that I am fertile and that this process can begin whenever I am ready.
Dr. Jones and I discuss the prevalence of breast cancer in my family and recommends I get tested for the BRCA (breast cancer gene). She refers me to Princess Margaret. Dr. Jones says there is a way to make sure that the breast cancer gene doesn’t get passed down to my future baby.
Tuesday November 6th 2018
I determine I don’t have enough money to continue on this fertility journey so I begin a babysitting business with the hopes of paying for my fertility costs.
Monday November 19th 2018
I meet with social worker Jodi Goldstein (recommended through Mount Sinai and mandatory for Choice Moms) and we have a great chat. Jodi asks me when I am thinking of starting my IUI process and I respond “January.”
Jodi tells me that Mount Sinai has lost their funding for the year and that they can’t get money from the government to cover my IUI. As a result, I will have to pay double the costs or wait until the Spring.
I go home and wonder if this is a sign that I should not be continuing on this journey.
Wed December 5th 2018
Telephone appointment with Princess Margaret and the nurse says I am “high risk” for breast cancer. They indicate that they will be calling me with more info.
December 11th 2018
Officially off Cipralex (my anxiety medication) that I have been on for about eight years. My family doctor has helped me slowly withdraw from this medication.
Thursday December 20th 2018
Approached by an agent who has seen my writing over the years and wants me to write a manuscript.
We brainstorm what I can write about and come up with the possibility of writing about fertility and/or motherhood.
The idea of the blog is born (the manuscript can wait for a bit).
December 27th 2018
Receive a call from Princess Margaret. They want me to do a mammogram and MRI before I have my first IUI done. They want a read of my breasts before I get pregnant and start to possibly breastfeed.
I begin to start looking at sperm donors and make a list of qualities that I am searching for.
Monday January 7th 2019
I have my final appointment with Dr. Jones before my first IUI. She is lovely and she asks if I need to see her again.
I respond that I love her and don’t need to ask her anything. Then I say “the only reason I’d be making another appointment is because I like talking to you.”
She laughs and tells me that I don’t need another appointment until my first IUI.
Wednesday January 16th 2019
My Mom goes to a genetic counsellor to determine if she has the BRCA (breast cancer) gene.
I decide that while I am waiting for my first IUI, I am feeling super lonely and will allow myself to start dating for a bit.
Saturday Feb. 2nd 2019
I achieve my financial goal from babysitting. I decide to stop babysitting and focus on my health.
Sunday Feb. 4th 2019
The blog begins!
I start receiving countless supportive messages and feel like I am doing the right thing.
Friday Feb. 8th 2019
I decide to continue babysitting because I can’t say goodbye to the sweet kids I babysit and have a really hard time saying no.
Friday Feb. 15th
Princess Margaret tells me that my mammogram and MRI date is on March 12th.
I make a snapchat video telling friends and family that after one final babysitting shift (from 6 p.m. – 10.p.m.), I will stop babysitting.
I accept a second babysitting shift from 10:30 p.m. – 2:30 a.m. for the very same night.
March 12th 2019
Appointment at Princess Margaret
Once I get the results back from my mammogram/MRI, I am ready to begin the IUI process.
So when I started this timeline I thought it might take me about thirty minutes. 2.5 hours and over 2000 words later, I have finished my timeline. It feels so amazing to re-read my journal and look at my phone to see my calendar filled with past dates.
The whole point of giving you this information is to show you that a) this process can take its sweet time b) nothing is done quickly. You have time to constantly check in and make sure you want to proceed. You have time to decide whether or not you want to be a Choice Mom. The people around you (friends and family) also have time to digest the idea. It can take as little as five months or can take several years.
The craziest thing is that I feel as though I’ve been through so much and the IUI process hasn’t even begun.
Please let me know if you want me to explain any of these topics in more detail. Feel free to comment on this blog, message me on my sarahseekingbaby Facebook page, contact me through my sarahseekingbaby Instagram account, or email me at email@example.com
Now I am off to see what happens after February 17th 2019!