I Totally Know That I am Having a Boy

Just after M found out the sex of the baby

“Are you hoping to have a boy or a girl?” 

I’d get this question at least once a day and my response was always the same.

“As long as it is healthy and happy, I don’t really care.” People would just roll their eyes – they wanted to hear “boy” or “girl.”

Then I started to really care.

For two months people kept telling me that I was having a girl so then I became attached to having a girl. At night I’d talk to my little girl “Hey Girl! Hope you had a great day today. Mama is super tired.”

Earlier this week, a friend sent me a direct message on Instagram about a study she was doing regarding the placenta. She asked if I would want to possibly be part of the study and as a result, I would have an ultrasound every four weeks and I would get more ultrasound pictures.

Helping out with medical research and getting extra pictures of my little one? It was a win/win!

Before long, the forms were signed and on Thursday I went to the appointment.

“Please don’t tell me the sex” I told the nurses.

“Thank goodness you told us because we would have totally talked about the sex in the ultrasound.”

My friend M was with me at the appointment. She was close by, knew I was at Sinai, and wanted to meet. As a nurse practitioner, M could look closely at the ultrasound screen and began speaking in what I could only describe as “nurses talk” to the other nurses in the room.


Then came some words that I finally could understand.

“So you can see right here the gender of the baby” said the nurse to M.

She zoomed in and printed out a pic for M. I still haven’t seen the picture that M has. I don’t even know if anyone wants an ultrasound picture that has been zoomed in on the genitalia.

“Oh my gosh. It is a boy” I said.

Both M and the nurse laughed.

“Why would you say that?” asked the nurse.

“Who zooms in on a pic and says that ‘you can tell by looking right there?’ It is a boy. You two are busted and now I know the truth.”

I watched their faces looking for a sign.

“I have the best poker face” said M. “You won’t find out from me.”

Just before I had my appointment for the study, I messaged my family and asked them what everyone was up to on the weekend. I explained that I was taking part in the study and was pretty sure they would be able to tell the sex of the baby during my ultrasound. My logical sister had planned that we would have a gender reveal party during Thanksgiving weekend (since we were all going to be together anyway). I knew that Thanksgiving would be WAY too long to find out and WAY TOO LONG for me to keep a secret.

My entire family was crazy busy. Everyone had at least 3-4 important things going on during the weekend. Somehow we all agreed that Sunday at 11:00 a.m. we could have our little gender reveal party.

Once M knew the sex, I realized I needed to know. When we walked out of the appointment I kept quizzing M and kept trying to get her to slip up on identifying the sex.

No luck.

Instead, she walked away with the picture and said she would tell my brother-in-law (who I am sure doesn’t care about the sex of my baby). From there, he would get a box and there would be both pink and blue balloons. He would put the corresponding balloons (pink = girl, boy = blue, super stereotypical) in the box.

Since Thursday, I have totally thought I am having a boy. On Thursday night I headed to bed and said “hello boy?”

Over the past couple of days, I have totally gotten used to being a boy Mom. I’ve started to envision attending his hockey games and being a hockey Mom early to the ice on the weekends (yes, again, totally stereotypical). Other women have told me about their connection to their sons and how there is nothing better than being a “boy Mom.” 

I also had a girl’s name picked out for my baby girl and was about 99.9% sure of it. Have tossed around a couple of ideas with regards to boys names but I just can’t settle down on one. Since Thursday I have been taking in every boy’s name. When I went to a restaurant on Friday, I started to listen closely to the different male names of the servers looking for some sort of inspiration. 

As a teacher, you are blessed with some incredible students and other students may be a bit more challenging. You also usually remember the names of the best kids and the kids that have given you a tough time. When I hear a name, I instantly think back to that student. So many beautiful names are out for me because of the connection to the good/challenging student(s).

As you know, my pregnancy hasn’t been the easiest (currently off work which I will get into another time) so this news has totally made me all excited about being pregnant again. To be honest, Thursday was one of my most favourite days being pregnant. As soon as I saw the little one, I felt this intense love.

It was so crazy to get such an in-depth look at all of the body parts. This is a picture of the foot of the baby that the nurse took.


“Are there two feet?” I asked completely frazzled.

“Yes,” said the nurse with a laugh. “I could only get a picture of the one.”

“Look at the cute face” said the nurse as she zoomed in on the face. “Would you like a picture of it?”

“Oh no” I said. “The baby looks like an actual alien. Maybe next time?”

I can’t wait to have so many ultrasounds and to see how much this baby progresses month to month. I also can’t wait to find out the sex because then I might start thinking about what to buy him or what to name him. There are so many exciting things ahead.

On next week’s blog, I will share the sex of the baby with you and will be sure to take some pictures at the gender reveal party. Right now I am 99.9% sure it is a boy so we shall see! What do you think – boy or girl?

First Ultrasound: Not At All What I Expected

It was 9:30 a.m. and the sun was already beating down on me. I had just stepped out of my apartment and I could see my Mom rounding the corner with a huge smile on her face.

“Today is the day” she said as she gave me a hug. “How are you feeling?” she asked.

“Incredibly nervous and super excited” I said with a smile.

I ordered an Uber and we stood outside in the heat talking about what we had been up to the past couple of days. When the Uber arrived, I felt relieved to just sit down. Had no idea I’d be this nervous to go to my first ultrasound at 8 weeks. My legs felt like jelly and it was nice to just sit down and relax.

Our drive was bumpy and my Mom was telling me all about going out for dinner the other night and the server that they had.

“You know. The dinner was exceptional but I think it may have been the servers first time serving.”

I couldn’t concentrate on what she was saying. Instead I was watching the time, watching how the Uber driver was darting inbetween traffic, and I was just trying to focus on my breathing in order to stay as calm as possible.

“What would you like from Starbucks?” my sister J texted me. She was kind enough to make sure that she changed her day at the office so that she could come with us. She had been to so many appointments and it was so beautiful that she could come to this one.

“Just water” I said feeling so thirsty.

The Uber driver finally dropped us off at the fertility clinic and I was excited to show my Mom that this was the place I had been attending for almost a year. It was also a place where I went for about 30 appointments over that time.

“This is it” I proudly said to my Mom.

We went into the elevator and I pressed seven. “This is really starting to feel real” I said. “It also makes me somewhat sad as this will most likely be the last time I come to this clinic.”

When the elevator doors opened nobody was in the waiting room.

“This is so odd” I said to the receptionist. “Where is everyone? It is a weekday.”

“It is eerily quiet right now” she said with a laugh.

My Mom and I sat down for a couple minutes before I was told that I could get changed into a hospital gown. My Mom got to come with me and suddenly all of the places in the fertility clinic that I had described in my blog were coming to life for my Mom.

“This is where I sat when the women all coached me on what to do before my first ultrasound” I said.

“I am here! Where do I go?” texted my sister J.

My Mom knew she would get lost if she went to find J so I just went out in my hospital gown.

“This is so exciting” she said as she followed me into the room with the hospital gowns.

“Sarah?” asked the nurse. “Have you had a chance to use the restroom?”

“I will go right now” I said remembering that every time before an ultrasound I had to empty my bladder.

“Your family can follow me” she instructed to my Mom and sister.

“They get to actually go in?” I asked.

“Of course” she said.

It was so exciting walking into the room with the nurse, the ultrasound equipment and seeing both my Mom and sister sitting on chairs.

“Are you ready?” asked the nurse.

“Great it is an internal ultrasound” I laughed. There is nothing like something going inside of you as you look at your Mom and sister.

“Take her picture” instructed my Mom to my sister. “We need to remember this.”

“Really?” asked my sister laughing.

“Of course” I said with a smile.

The probe was inside of me and my Mom, sister and I just started catching up about various family members and how everyone was doing. I could hear that the nurse was taking pictures and it was taking a bit of time.

From what I had heard from other people regarding ultrasounds, the nurse would not say anything so I didn’t expect to hear or see anything.

“Do you want to look?” asked the nurse.

My Mom and sister stood up and came closer to the screen. I stared closely at the screen.

“Is there a baby in there?” I asked. “Please just tell me a baby is in there and that the baby is okay.”

“Look at this” said the nurse. “If you look close enough you can see the heartbeat flashing on the screen.”

I saw it.

It was beautiful but also made me feel something I did not expect – absolute and total fear.

This was not like the movies. I was supposed to have my belly out and we were supposed to hear the heatbeat. We were supposed to all scream with excitement and I was supposed to start crying tears of joy.

It wasn’t happening.

Instead, I felt this intense feeling of protection.

When I first told people that I was pregnant, they would say “congrats Mama” and I didn’t get it. Yes I had something instead of me, but I totally didn’t feel like a Mama.

Now, looking at this heartbeat I finally felt like a Mama. It was a feeling of so much joy but it also felt like all of this weight being added to my shoulders.

Things were changing.

There was no denying it. I was no longer single independent Sarah anymore. I was a Mama who was going to do anything for that little baby. My needs didn’t matter anymore because all I cared about was making sure that little one was protected. I was going to sacrifice and do anything so that I could to be the best Mama that I could to that little heartbeat.

With that image on the screen my life had completely changed. I was now responsible for something so great and now every single decision in my life would be made thinking of that little heartbeat before my own wants and needs.

“Here are the pictures” said the nurse printing out the pictures of the ultrasound.

“Thanks” I said laughing at how there was really not that much to see in the image.

Yet one thing was for certain – that tiny little seed had a heartbeat and my life was transforming infront of me. I would do absolutely anything for that little seed.

After being in the room we saw my fertility doctor and I thanked her for everything.

“You are now graduating from the clinic” she said.

“I feel like I need a graduation song” I said thinking of Vitamin C’s graduation song that plays at literally every graduation of life.

“Do you want me to play a song on my phone? “asked the other nurse in the room.

“It’s okay” I laughed. I knew that even the words by Vitamin C would be too much at that moment. It was super emotional and I knew that I’d burst into tears.

Mount Sinai Fertility made me feel at home for the past year and it made me so sad (and happy) to be leaving and graduating from the clinic. The nurses had helped answer every single question I had ever had. They had called me and given me life-changing news. My fertility doctor (Dr. Jones) was also the most compassionate, empathetic, intelligent woman. She always had this calming nature and was there to support me through everything.

As my sister, Mom, and I all left I couldn’t help but notice that the waiting room in the fertility clinic was completely full. There were hardly any seats available.

My heart sunk and I just wanted to reach out to everyone there.

I also felt guilty that I was holding pictures of an ultrasound and that other couples had been trying so hard and for so long without their pictures just yet.

“Magic happens here” I thought. “Don’t give up.”

We pressed the elevator to go down to G and I couldn’t help but become very sentimental about leaving a place that gave me so much.

Thank you Mount Sinai for everything and thank you for giving me a little heartbeat inside of me. I promise to make all decisions based on what is right for the little one and to be the best Mama that I can possibly be.

The Results Are In!

Wed June 12th 2019

I was standing in the line waiting to pay for my two pregnancy tests and the man behind me wanted to chat.  For the first time in my life, I didn’t want to chat.  I had tunnel vision and all I wanted to do was get home and take a pregnancy test.

“How does this watch work?” asked the man holding up a watch from the store. Who knew that Rexall Pharmacy sold watches? Not this girl.

“I have no idea” I said (totally lying).  Normally, nothing gives me greater joy than to help someone out but I was on a mission and I needed to know if I was in fact, pregnant.

Once home, I decided it was time.

Yes the nurse told me not to take an at home pregnancy test.  Yes I googled about how one should not take an at home pregnancy test after taking fertility meds as it usually results in a positive.  Yes I was having my blood test at 7 am the next morning but I didn’t care.  

I needed to know the results.

I also didn’t want to see the results on my own.  I have promised to share everything with you on this journey and thought it was fitting that you were with me in that moment as well.

RESULT TIME

After the test I called my sister J. I facetimed her with the positive pregnancy test beside my face.

“No way” she said.

“Way” I laughed. 

I then went on to explain that this was hopeful but didn’t mean I was necessarily pregnant.  I didn’t want to get too excited and wanted to keep all of my feelings in check.

But I wanted to celebrate.

I took the pregnancy test and decided to sleep beside it. 

I couldn’t put it under my pillow because I was afraid I’d break it.  My logic said that if I slept beside a positive test in the night it would be positive in the morning. If you haven’t realized it yet – the fertility process makes you lose your damn mind. Fully aware that I sound like a lunatic. 

Thursday June 13th

Just before I was about to leave for the fertility clinic at 6:30 a.m., I realized that I still needed to take the pregnancy test.

I took it but nothing showed up.  I didn’t really have to go pee so the stick wasn’t fully pink (turns pink when it is fully wet).  A little too much TMI?

I kept checking to make sure that my cycle hadn’t started and went off to the clinic with a smile on my face. 

Something told me I was pregnant.

After getting my blood taken, I stopped and got a decaf coffee. I was finally able to use the restroom and in Café Dineen, I took the pregnancy test.  After that, I put it in my purse.  I couldn’t wait to look at it until I got home, I checked it and it was positive.

Cafe Dineen – the perfect place for a pregnancy test.

Then I waited. And waited.  And waited some more.

By 4:00 p.m., I knew that the clinic was closed and all of the calls were made for the day.  How could the clinic not tell me whether or not I was pregnant?  This was a true test for a really anxious person.  I had the vision of telling my family on Thursday night and I couldn’t tell them, or could I?

After arriving home from work at 9:30 p.m., I decided it was time to call my parents.

“Congratulations” they said.  They were so happy and I recorded the whole thing.  My super kind and talented bro in law promised to make me a video of all of the reactions. My parents were so happy and also a little worried since I hadn’t heard from the clinic so they were afraid to celebrate too much.

Then I called my bro-in-law D and sister E.  They completely freaked out and I was so happy to record their faces.  E indicated that on this date two years ago, she told D that she was pregnant.  That made me cry (again for the 100th time). E said her little one was crying and I begged her to let me see my niece.  The camera revealed that my niece stood up in her crib for the first time.  Then my niece saw me on the phone and started to blow me kisses.  It was the sweetest moment and something I’ll never forget.

My other sister J was sending me a lot of messages and I spoke with her explaining that there was no news but that I was really feeling like I was pregnant.

That night the Toronto Raptors won and there were so many celebrations outside my apartment.  Everyone was cheering and fireworks were going off.  The game brought everyone in the city together and nothing made me happier than falling asleep to the sound of so many happy people.  It was a great night.

Friday June 14th

I woke up and got ready for work and saw that the clinic was calling at 7:00 a.m. (right when they first opened).

“Sarah….the test is positive” said the nurse.

“For real?” I screamed.

“For real” she laughed. She then explained that I needed to wait until Saturday at 10:30 a.m. to take my final test to make sure my levels were high enough.  She said that levels should be anything above 50 and that my levels were at 200 so everything looked “really good.”

On the way to work, Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love of All” came on the radio.  It was part of a mash-up of songs on 92.5, and I started sobbing.  If I were to have a baby, it would be the “greatest love of all” and it was “happening to me.”  HOLY EMOTIONAL.

That’s when I decided to start telling people.  I wanted to tell my closest family and friends before they found out on my blog or Instagram so I decided it was okay to start telling people.

My co-worked filmed my sister J’s reaction and the reaction from my parents.  Hopefully one day I can share that video with you.

Every person I told was so happy.  Every person had believed in me so much. Every call gave me the greatest joy. I laughed and mostly cried when I got to speak to some of my favourite people in the world.  Life was so good. 

Saturday June 15th

I went to the clinic at 10:30 a.m. and every time I went to the washroom I kept checking to make sure that my cycle hadn’t started.  Truth be told, it just felt too good to be real.  Getting pregnant after your second IUI was something that I never thought would happen.

Fertility is completely a game of chance and I have so many friends who have had such difficult journeys in getting pregnant.  I have locked eyes and smiled at so many women in fertility clinics who go there every single day. I have watched as several of my friends have struggled through miscarriages.  I have heard so many stories and I didn’t expect to be lucky.  Yet here I am. Please know that I am fully aware of how lucky I am. I feel so blessed.

When I went to the clinic it was completed deserted except for one other woman wearing a “Mama Bird” t-shirt.  I loved it and realized that if I am a Mom, I am going to wear all the Mom t-shirts and have all the Mom mugs. 

“Sarah?” asked the nurse.

I went into the room to get my blood taken and wondered if it would be my last time in the clinic not knowing 100% whether or not I was pregnant. Then I got teary eyed.

When I flipped my arms over to expose my veins, the nurse said “wow….you are really bruised on both arms. You have had a lot of blood tests done.”

“It is so worth it” I beamed.

From there, I went to the LCBO and bought my sister J and her husband D some champagne.  Little did I know that they had champagne and the cutest sign for me at their place.

Not sure if I am laughing or crying here. HOLY EMOTIONAL.

When I got in their apartment they popped the champagne and J made me a sparkling non-alcoholic drink but put it in a champagne glass.

“Thank you so much for supporting me on my journey” I said as we toasted.

About thirty minutes later my phone rang.

“Sarah?” asked the nurse on the phone.

“Yes?” I said.

“You sound really worried” said the nurse.

“I am so worried” I admitted.

“Everything is great. We will see you in three weeks for your first ultrasound.”

I cried.

It felt amazing.

The world seemed right. 

I AM GOING TO BE A MOM.

My baby is due in February 2020!

What in the What?

As I sat in the dark room with my legs stretched out, I knew something was wrong.

“Hemorrhaging cyst” said the doctor to the nurse who made a note on the computer.  “You are sure she is on her day 10?”

“Yes” said Caroline the lovely nurse whom I recognized from doing my first IUI procedure.

They were speaking to one another as if I was not in the room.

The last time I had an ultrasound before my IUI, things felt different.  There were three people in the room and my fertility doctor was there.  Now, I was with a male doctor and my lovely nurse Caroline but the whole vibe felt different.

I just stared at the wall trying to figure out how to feel.

“You are ready to go” said Caroline.

I searched on the face of Caroline and the doctor for something but wasn’t sure what I was searching for. Was I okay? Was this bad?  Last time it was so positive but this time things didn’t feel right.

I went into the dressing room and changed from my hospital gown into my regular clothes.  Last time I had four women around me and this time I was alone in the change room.

I walked down the hall to wait for the nurse and told myself that it must be my anxiety.  I decided to flip a switch in my personality and become super positive.  The vibe may have felt off but things must be okay. Right?

“Sarah?” asked one of the nurses.

“Yes” I said giving my best smile.  Fake it until you make it, right?

“I just have to say that I love your energy” said the nurse.  “Most people come in here after their ultrasound and they are very anxious and distressed.  You are so positive.”

“Thank you so much” I said, proud of myself for appearing so calm when I was ready to panic.

“Okay well you are not ovulating” said the nurse.  “I am giving you a prescription for Ovidrel and I am going to show you how to use it. You may not need to use it but I need to train you on how to use it.”

I just sat there watching her quickly explain how to use a needle in order to help prepare me for my next possible IUI.  I didn’t take in anything she was saying.  Instead, I was just focused on the words “hemorrhaging cyst” and “not ovulating.” 

“Any questions?” asked the nurse.

“Nope, I am good” I lied.

That happened on Tuesday morning this week and to be honest; this week has been a complete blur.  I have made my own record for visits to the fertility clinic as I was there every morning for four days.  On Thursday, I got to visit Mount Sinai Fertility twice and Mount Sinai Hospital once.

Until Thursday afternoon, I felt sorry for myself.  Sorry that it looked like my second IUI would have to be cancelled.  I knew something was off in my body.  Plus, I had spotted for several days before I found out I wasn’t pregnant last time.

Then I turned to Google and began my search “spotting before period”, “taking letrozole and your cycle”, “hemorrhaging cyst”, “reasons why you don’t ovulate.”

On Thursday afternoon I received a call “oh Sarah.  Thank goodness I finally got you.  I have your IUI booked for tomorrow at 10:45 a.m.” said the voice.

“What?” I asked.

“You are surging” said the nurse.

I had no idea what that meant but didn’t even care. 

“So you need to get here now to sign the consent forms.  You also need to give yourself a needle at 10:00 p.m.”

At 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday night I got over a huge fear.  One of my biggest fears is needles.  I can’t watch someone getting a needle and always look away when I am getting my bloodwork taken.  There was a time (actually a couple weeks ago) where I couldn’t sleep the night before I knew that I’d have to have my blood taken. Now blood tests were so routine that I was slowly getting over my fear of having to take a needle.

I’d also never given myself a needle so I was going to add that new fear to my list. As a single woman living on my own, I started to really worry because a) I could break the needle and the pharmacy possibly couldn’t get me another one so late at night b) I could faint because I am so scared of needles and nobody would know what happened to me. This is what anxiety does to you.  It doesn’t have to make logical sense.

Then I realized something.

I have been kicking ass at getting through every irrational fear I’d been having lately. 

I have challenged myself with all of this fertility stuff in a way that was making me stronger and more confident.

Before I had any more time to think about it, the needle was pressed into my stomach and I was ready for bed.  I slept so soundly knowing that my IUI 2 would be okay.  I had done it before plus I had my first choice sperm donor.  Things were looking up.

On Thursday morning I woke up and I was completely calm and excited.  I went to Mount Sinai Fertility and gave myself a lot of time to get ready and to get there.

“Sarah?” asked a nurse at 11:00 a.m.

“Yes?” I said.

“I am ready for you” she said.

My nurse’s name was Stephanie and she was amazing.  She would totally be someone I’d want as a friend.  She was a bit younger than me but was so friendly and funny.

“I love your tattoo” I blurted out.

“Thanks so much” she said.  “It is a wave but people have asked me if it is sperm.”

“What?” I asked.

“Yeah” she said.  “It doesn’t even look like sperm but people thought it was sperm because of my occupation.”

We laughed and then she went over everything with me.  She reminded me what to do and who to call if/when I have issues. She also booked me for my pregnancy blood test.

“So should I take my own pregnancy test?” I asked.

“Do not take a pregnancy test.  It will just mess with your head and please don’t rely on Dr. Google either.”

It was as if she was reading my mind.

“You don’t want to have a false pregnancy test and then find out later that it was not actually positive.”

“Can I celebrate after the nurse tells me if I am pregnant after the first blood test two weeks from now?”

“You will be pregnant” said Stephanie with a smile.  “Don’t get too excited about the first test” she said.  “You can celebrate after the second test 2-3 days after the first test and then really celebrate at the six week ultrasound.”

Stephanie and I started talking about so many different things and then we got onto the topic of celebrities and child stars.  We played a game where we had to think of a child star who was at their “A” game as a child but who is now at their “Z” game as an adult. Yes, I made up the game.

“Britney Spears” said Stephanie.  “I also need to ask you if you are getting any cramping.”

“Not at all” I said. “What about Lindsay Lohan?  Did you watch her reality show?”

“Yes. It was a train wreck. Your cervix is very easy to find” said Stephanie.

“Thank you so much” I said.

It’s amazing the type of compliments I am accepting these days.

Our convo kept switching from fun celeb gossip to the actual procedure that was happening. Honestly I wouldn’t want it any other way.  Well actually….it would be my ultimate dream if a man was talking about celebrity gossip in the bedroom but my donor was “there” so maybe that counts?

“You are done” said Stephanie.  “I hope we don’t see you back again” she said with a laugh.

I must have made a strange look on my face.

“We don’t want you back because that would mean you are pregnant.”

Somehow, in a span of twenty minutes I was totally in love with nurse Stephanie.  She kept me so calm through everything, talked about issues that I loved, and made me laugh. I hope everyone gets their own nurse Stephanie.

So now comes my two week wait.  This time I won’t be searching up anything on Google (let’s be real….maybe I will search one thing instead of 5,000). I won’t be buying anything on Etsy (because that has already happened and all of my pregnancy announcements are sitting in a drawer).  I also won’t be staying at home (because I’ve made sure to get out of my damn apartment this time so that I get out of my own damn head).

Thanks to everyone who keeps supporting me on this journey.  It feels so amazing to be able to share this process with you and you help me feel like you are my “partner” on this journey.  Wishing you a great week and see you next Sunday!

The Two Week Wait

I just purchased a pregnancy test – actually I purchased two.  

When I went into the pharmacy I had no idea where to find pregnancy tests.  When I finally found the tests, I stood there shocked at all of the different tests I could buy and the range of prices for pregnancy tests.  Friends have told me that the pregnancy tests from the dollar store work just as well but I decided that this first time I wanted to have the experience of going into the pharmacy to buy the test.

While searching for the perfect test a couple came up beside me and started discussing which condoms they should buy. Yes – pregnancy tests are located just beside the condoms.  The whole situation felt so odd – the couple was trying to use something to prevent pregnancy while I was searching for a test that would hopefully tell me that I was pregnant.

When I went up to the cashier I thought she’d give me a smile or do some sort of price check on my pregnancy test.  Isn’t that what happens in the movies? Instead, she just scanned the tests and asked me for $25.00.

It has taken everything in me over the past fourteen days not to purchase a pregnancy test because I am currently going through the dreaded two-week wait.  The two-week wait is the time between my IUI (sperm inside the uterus) and my period.

For the past two weeks, I have felt everything from anger, frustration, anxiety, sadness, and pure joy.  Basically, I’ve felt like I was on a rollercoaster watching my emotions from afar.

Sure I am going for blood work tomorrow to confirm whether or not I am pregnant but the thought of a nurse from Mount Sinai telling me whether or not the IUI was successful makes me too damn nervous.  I want to feel like I am somewhat in control and won’t be as sad if the nurse calls and I already know (according to my pregnancy tests) that it didn’t work. My goal is to take the pregnancy test tomorrow morning just before I go for blood work.

Plus, my sweet sweet sister is meeting me at the fertility clinic tomorrow.  By then, I will know my fate. After I get my blood test she has promised me an afternoon of drinking (if I am not pregnant) or a celebratory lunch (if I am pregnant).

So I’ve learned a lot over the past two weeks and I want to pass on that information to you. I’ve made A LOT of mistakes over the past two weeks and I can’t help but laugh at them.

Here are some of my favourite moments from the past two weeks:

  1. Morning Sickness

The day after my IUI I was feeling really sick to my stomach.  Because I am so freakin’ silly, I googled “morning sickness” and believed that it could be possible that my pregnancy symptoms were already happening.

FACT: Morning sickness usually starts at week six.

2) The Perfect Announcement

I spent hours trying to craft the perfect pregnancy announcement.  How would I tell the people that I love the most that I am expecting (if I am)?

It all started with Pinterest which quickly moved into Etsy.  I have spent $100.00.

FACT: I write a freakin blog and post everything on Instagram.  Anyone who has been following the blog/Instagram knows the exact date I am going for my blood tests.  Plus, my family knows when I will know that I am pregnant. How the hell will this be a surprise?

Please also note that everything I ordered from Etsy did not show up in time.  If I find out that I am pregnant tomorrow, I am screwed.

My brother-in-law was also kind enough to say that he will create a movie of me telling people.  How exciting will this movie be? Everyone knows that is happening. If I hold up my phone, everyone will know what I am about to say. Why did I start a blog and Instagram again?

3) Physical Symptoms

Six days after my IUI, I thought I had a UTI (urinary tract infection).  I googled “UTI after an IUI” and google told me that this was a symptom of pregnancy.  I started crying because this could be a sign.

FACT:  What in the actual hell?  Google should not be used at any time.

4) Leading Other People Into Your Madness

Ten days after my IUI, I started spotting.  I quickly messaged a friend who just had two kids.  I asked her if she experienced spotting and she did with one of the kids.  She said it was called “implantation bleeding” so I started thinking that I could be pregnant.  I got her so worked up and excited that we were both trying to figure out if I should just do a pregnancy test on day 10.

FACT:  Day 14 is the only acceptable day for a pregnancy test. It is best to leave everyone else out of your crazy.

5) Act Like You Are Pregnant

I cut all caffeine (also did this because of anxiety), stopped drinking, and started googling everything.  

Before long, google started figuring out my pattern which was “Can I eat _____ while pregnant.”

FACT:  Calm down.  Just take each day as it comes because you don’t need to become a pregnancy expert overnight.

6) Signs

This is a HUGE one.

The following “signs” have happened this week.

  1. I received a call that my number one choice for sperm donor had finally become available and I was off the waiting list. Sign: This must mean that my IUI didn’t work.
  2. My Etsy packages did not arrive.  Sign: This must mean that I am not pregnant.
  3. Two friends told me that they were pregnant this week.  Sign: This must mean that pregnancy is somehow “in the air” and will happen.

FACT:  Stop looking for signs.  If there is supposed to be a sign, you shouldn’t have to go looking for it.

7) Fertility Clinic

I called the fertility clinic twice this week.  What on earth? The first time I called to find out when I could start my next IUI and if I needed to take a break trying to take fertility meds.

The second time I called was because I was spotting.  Please note that they said this could “mean anything.”

FACT:  Nurses at the fertility clinic are BUSY.  Just wait until your appointment to ask all of the questions.

8) Plans

Somehow I thought it would be best to cancel all of my plans and just be by myself.  I didn’t know if I’d be anxious or sad.

FACT:  Get outside and out of your head.  On Monday night I reconnected with friends to watch the premiere of the Bachelorette (don’t judge) and had the best night in a LONG LONG time. Why are you hiding?

9) Distractions

I read two books over the past two weeks – both psychological thrillers.  They allowed me to escape my own world and forced me to solve a mystery.

I also become so invested in a variety of shows on Netflix.

Fact: “Watching You” by Lisa Jewell is great, “Bring Me Back” by B.A. Paris is not as great.

Wine Country, Dead to Me, Brene Brown’s Special, Amy Schumer’s Special, and the new Ted Bundy Movie are all great.

*Please note that these are not actual facts but to me, they are facts.

10) I am One Strong Badass

I have not had a panic attack over the past two weeks and have been able to sleep again at night.  My anxiety has been A LOT to handle but I have somehow been able to make it through the past two weeks.

I was especially worried about how I’d feel over Mother’s Day and I made it through the day.

FACT: I am a badass and have the best friends and family members who have continuously sent me the sweetest messages. Everyone is so kind and wants the best for me. I am a super lucky woman.

So next week, my goal is to share the news with you.  Please also know that only 10% – 20% of IUI’s are successful for women over 35. You will either hear really exciting news or will see a series of pictures of me drinking on patios in Toronto.

Thanks again for all of your support!

Happy Mother’s Day to Women Warriors

To all the women gathered at 6:58 a.m. waiting for the elevator,

I know where you are going.

In entering the elevator, one woman’s index finger presses the number 7 and we are heading to the 7th floor – exactly where I expected.

Mount Sinai Fertility.

The seventh floor means so many things:

Infertility

Anger

Sadness

Hope

Anxiety

Miracles

The elevator doors open and there is already a long line forming at reception.

Some people are sitting down.

There are no men.

One woman’s hair is dripping wet. She must have left her house quickly – afraid of the length of the lines forming at the clinic.

Women politely glance at one another

And I decide to sit down.

The line will go down if I just wait.

The admin assistant takes her place behind a large desk and starts signing people in.

The line should be decreasing but the elevator door keeps opening and closing.

Each time more women enter into the room.

We all want to be Moms.

I stand up and go towards the line.

A blonde woman looks at me and says “you go before me. You’ve been sitting there for awhile.”

“It’s okay,” I say politely.

“No, I insist,” she says.

The line now has about ten women waiting behind me.

Many are on their phones trying to keep distracted.

Maybe they are anxious.

Maybe they are starting their work days and trying to get some work done.

I hand the admin assistant my health card.

“Busy day” I say.

“It is like this every day” she responds.

Everyone in this line wants to be a Mom.

After signing in I sit on a comfortable chair and look around.

Green images of nature stare back at me on the walls.

They are meant to be calming.

But nobody in the room is calm.

A sign gets my attention “1 in 3 couples will have trouble conceiving.”

“So many people” I think.

I take my phone out and start scrolling through Instagram waiting for my name to be called.

The nurse calls eight names.

My name was not one of them.

I continue to scroll.

My eyes glance towards a plastic display holding up two pamphlets.

“Costs and fertility.”

“Fertility and Stress.”

So many issues in just trying to become a Mom.

A nurse walks into the room. Her skin is glowing and she has a smile on her face.

She reads off names and my name is called.

I walk into a new room with the nurse.

Another woman and another nurse are already there.

I can’t help but watch the needle going into the other patient’s arm.

Then I look away.

“Please have a seat right here,” says the nurse.

I feel thankful to have her as she is the more friendly nurse out of the two nurses there.

“I like your tattoo on your wrist” she whispers.

“Thank you,” I say. “It is the word ‘change’” I hear myself saying even though I know she can read it.

“How’s your day?” I ask.

“Busy” she says. “It is like this every day though,” she says with a laugh.

I fake a nervous laugh while feeling sad at the same time – so many women having their cycles monitored. All of these women late for work and here on their own.

All of the women being poked and prodded because all they want right now is to become a Mom.

I get ushered into a room and smile at four women all seated beside one another in white chairs. There is no space between them – the room is too small.

There is a fifth chair waiting for me.

Curtains hang down into two small areas in the room to make the smallest change rooms I have ever seen.

There are hospital gowns but I am not sure how much of my clothing I am to remove.

“What do I do?” I ask the four women sitting in chairs. “This is my first ultrasound at the fertility clinic.”

“Take off everything from the bottom down,” says one woman.

“Be sure to wear booties. The ground can be cold and wet” says another woman.

“Wear a dress next time so it’s easier,” says the third woman.

“You have got this” says the fourth woman.

Every woman in the small room has spoken.

We all share a commonality – we all want to be a Mom.

The first woman sits in her chair just looking blankly ahead.

The other three are on their phones.

I take out my novel but can’t read. I am too anxious.

I take out my phone and scroll through Instagram.

My eyes settle on a picture of my friend with all of her medication for IVF around her.

“Please help her become a Mom” I silently pray to the universe.

One by one, each of my four new friends have left the room.

But I am not alone.

Three new faces have arrived.

I smile at each face that comes into the room. Each smile says “I’ve got you. This sucks and I wish you well on your journey.”

My name is called and a woman ushers me to a hallway just outside two rooms marked “ultrasound.”

“This is the washroom” the nurse says to me.

“Thanks but I don’t have to use it” I say.

“You are supposed to empty your bladder” says one of the women waiting for her ultrasound.

I open the door to the washroom and sit on the toilet.

A few seconds pass.

I stand up again and wash my hands.

I stare at myself in the mirror wearing my hospital gown.

I look into my eyes and hear an inner voice whisper “you will be a Mom.”

“Sarah?” asks a nurse as she leads me to the ultrasound room.

I go in and am greeted by my fertility doctor and two other people.

I see a plastic wand and know where that is going to go.

The wand is inserted.

“Look at the left follicle” says one nurse.

“It’s a great follicle,” says another voice as she takes a picture on her machine.

“Thank you” I say not knowing if this is something you should thank someone for saying.

I go back to the change room, get dressed and wait to speak with the nurse,

She says it will “happen soon.”

“I really want to be a Mom really soon” say the voices in my head.

It is time to leave the 7th floor.

As I walk out there are more people now.

An hour and a half has elapsed.

Nobody is in a line but people are waiting on comfortable chairs in the fertility office.

But is anyone really comfortable?

Partners have joined now and the room is full of 80% women and 20% men.

I take the elevator down and find myself alone on the ride down.

It almost felt like a factory up there.

Everything was so mechanical sprinkled with some kindness and compassion.

Another day full of so many women wanting to become Moms.

This Mother’s Day I pray for all of you going into fertility clinics, struggling with fertility issues, or just hoping and praying to be a Mom.

My wish for you is that you become a Mom – in some capacity.

May the memories of the days in the fertility clinic be replaced with memories spent with your child/children.

You will be a Mom.

Hanging On?


Friday night I met up with a friend who is going through a lot. I felt as though I could be her confidante and that in listening to her, I’d be able to provide her with some peace.  She talked about work and motherhood and then the conversation turned towards me. Through tears in my eyes, I started to unload everything including all of my fears about having a baby on my own.

I was so angry with myself – she needed me and I liked to be the one who would help others, listen and never judge.  Yet I couldn’t listen because I could just feel the anxiety bubbling over in me and I was just so grateful that she was there. She sat there looking at me full of so much love and compassion and my words just kept spilling out.

This week I received the news I had been longing to hear – Mount Sinai has funding so my first IUI will be in the next couple of weeks. When the nurse gave me this information I felt as though I was floating on a cloud. This was going to happen – I was going to be a Mom.

Within 48 hours the euphoric feeling I was experiencing turned into questions which turned to fear.  Where would I live after giving birth? How would I afford rent? When would I get pregnant? Could I get pregnant? Could I still maintain my friendships if I had a baby? How would I find other Moms to communicate with?

With every question came more anxiety until there I sat on Friday night, unable to take a breath or a pause in the conversation because I was so just full of fear.

Thankfully my friend helped to settle my fears and we both established the fact that nobody really has their shit together. People may appear that way, but everyone is just trying to get by.

On Saturday morning I had plans to have brunch with friends. As soon as we met, we started talking about fertility and anxiety and I started to struggle. Now I was listening to them discuss their anxiety and fears in pregnancy/motherhood and I could feel my own fears/anxiety increasing. Before going through this process, I could have listened to this for hours on end but for whatever reason, this conversation was creating a reaction in my body.

With a strong therapist and a good family doctor, I was slowly able to wean myself off my anxiety meds in December. At first, people congratulated me and I congratulated myself for still being able to function off the medication.  I’m a huge believer in the importance of medication though and it was very difficult to go off the medication after about ten years of meds, eight of this specific anxiety medication.

But I feel like an imposter being congratulated because I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to stay away from anxiety meds. Sometimes I feel like I am barely hanging on by a thread. Other times, I feel like I am in full control and that going off meds was actually a blessing because it forced me to set boundaries and be able to say “no.”

In mid-conversation during a beautiful brunch, I felt a panic attack coming on so I started to try and distract myself – making jokes, looking around the room, taking deep breaths.  Nothing seemed to be working and I could feel the anxiety forming inside of me. My heart started beating faster and my body kept sending a message saying “danger, danger. Run. You need to run fast. Get out now and run.” Yet, in looking around the room, everyone looked so peaceful as they were enjoying their coffee and pancakes.

How could I be having such an internal struggle while the scene was so peaceful?  The outward me looked so calm and collected but my body was at war with my brain. Was there anyone else in the room looking calm while on the verge of a panic attack?

When I went off the meds, my doctor gave me five 0.5 mg of lorezapram that I am allowed to take if I feel a panic attack coming on.

I took the pill, excused myself to the washroom and sat in the washroom talking to myself.

“You are okay. Take deep breaths.  You have got this.” Saying my positive affirmations in the mirror seemed to help a bit and I realized that if I were in the washroom any longer, my friends would have known something was up.

When I got back to the table, we were discussing fertility treatments and I couldn’t take it any longer.

I sat there trying to come up with an excuse to literally run out of the restaurant.  I made a couple of jokes, downed my mimosa, and kept waiting for that moment where I was going to make an excuse to get home.

It’s crazy because the place I feel most anxious is out for a meal.  It’s because I have absolutely no distractions and just have to focus on what people are saying around me. In the past, I have used alcohol to help calm me which makes me realize that it is not a flight or fight situation and that I am okay. Now, I have realized that I need to deal with myself as I will not be drinking alcohol much longer.

After many more deep breaths, I was able to spread a calmness in my body (that or my meds kicked in).

Then I just kept thinking “holy hell. Are all of us just hanging on by a thread?” The more I get together with my friends, the more I am realizing that most of us are struggling and I mean really struggling with our mental health.  We try and hide it but it is present and it seems that the women that I surround myself with (strong, intelligent, communicative, independent, brave, beautiful, honest and empathic), keep discussing how we are all trying to hang on but that we may actually need some help.

Then I wondered if we are all like the people in the restaurant – appearing calm and numb when several of us just want to run away?

After brunch, I headed home and spent the rest of the day on my couch, in my pajamas, wrapped up in my favourite blanket. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that life is tough. Fertility, pregnancy, and motherhood are also fucking tough. Like beyond tough. Yes, I know that all of these things are so rewarding and beautiful but they are also tough and full of uncertainty.

The more I go on this whole journey to motherhood, the more I really see that mothers are these incredible beings that don’t even seem human. Somehow they freakin hold it all together but I am starting to wonder, how many of them are in need of help and just trying to hang on?

Can I Please Start This Process? No? Okay. Cool.

So now that I have my sperm donor, I am ready for my first IUI (placing sperm inside the uterus).  Well, I’ve been ready since January.

As part of the process in becoming a Single Mom by Choice you need to meet with a social worker.  When I told my social worker that I’d be finding my sperm donor in December and starting my IUI in January, she explained that Mount Sinai Fertility had run out of funding and that it probably wouldn’t come back until March.

Please note that with funding, the process is probably going to cost me $6000-$8000 (if everything goes according to plan). Without funding, it is going to cost A LOT more. Funding is ESSENTIAL.

When I explained this issue to my sister over Christmas, she took charge and helped me to figure out finances.  She totalled up her monthly costs for daycare. She then showed me that depending on when I had a baby, it would greatly affect my daycare costs.  If I were to have a January baby, I would ultimately have to pay more for daycare because the child starts school later.

Then we took the daycare costs and added in the amount without funding to see if I should just go ahead and start in January. Turns out, it was less expensive if I just waited until funding came back.

Please also note that nobody really has that much control over when they get pregnant.  It’s like a game of chance. As much as my sister and I could write out figures, in the end, I don’t really have that much control in picking out which month I get pregnant. As a control freak, this whole being patient thing is really getting to me.  I haven’t even started the process yet and already my patience is being tested.

In the meantime, I decided that I would just have fun.  I’d date a bit and enjoy myself until I was ready.  Who knew?  Perhaps I’d be able to meet a wonderful partner and I could just end up eventually having a family with him.  Haha!  Didn’t happen.

When March hit, I checked in with Mount Sinai and was told that funding would be coming back in April.  My cycle hit at the end of March I was so excited!  I called on Day 1 because it meant that by the time I was ready to have my first IUI it would be in April which would mean that they would have funding.

Everything in me told me that the time was right.

Everything until the administrative assistant called to tell me that there wasn’t any funding but that I was welcome to proceed with my IUI if I paid the fees without government assistance.  AHHHH!

When I got the call I was in my office at work and my work friends could tell something was up.  After telling them what happened I found myself blinking back tears of frustration. I wiped my tears and went on with my work day but when I came home I cried more.

I know it is only a month but I feel like something goes wrong every single time the process is *supposedly* ready to officially begin.

Now I am waiting until my next cycle in late April which puts me sometime in mid-May to begin my first IUI. I am doing my first round without fertility drugs which means my chances are LOW (20% low). My fertility doctor suggested doing the first round without drugs followed by two rounds with fertility drugs.  She explained that there have been a lot of cases of twins with fertility drugs and if I didn’t want twins right now, I should try one round without the drugs.

I have also decided not to worry. I am not going to stress myself out by reading books about my chances of getting pregnant or reading about how I should eat/exercise, etc., to increase the likelihood of getting pregnant.  My friend who is a Choice Mom told me that the first two times before her IUI she tried to do everything “right” to get pregnant and it didn’t work. The third time before her IUI she had pizza and drank a bit of wine.  The next day, she was a lot calmer and the IUI worked.

For some, reading about all of these things (stats, ways to help your body get pregnant) helps women feel in control.  To me, facts and numbers make me feel completely stressed out.

So now I am playing a waiting game.  I’m hoping my cycle does happen at the end of April and that I get my first IUI sometime mid-May.  After that, I have heard you wait two weeks to find out if you are pregnant.  This is such a test of patience and God only knows how I’ll be doing at that time.

As for right now, I am trying to breathe, stay calm, and think positive thoughts. I’m also about to enjoy a glass of wine and a damn good piece of pizza.

Hello! I’d Like You To Meet My Sperm Donor

I can never make a decision for the life of me.

What if I end up not liking it?  What if it isn’t the best available option? What if my decision makes someone else upset?  What if I have made the wrong decision?

In the past, I have had other people make my decisions for me.  What make up product do I want to buy?  The reviews tell me which one to buy. What song should I add to a playlist?  The Top100 list is available, so I will just pick something from there.  What should I wear? I’ll just buy everything that is already styled on a mannequin to complete my look. If reviews and experts can’t make the decision for me, I usually turn to my family. I can’t even want to imagine the number of emails that were sent to my family from ages 20-35 with me asking, “what should I do?”

Once my divorce settled and I started living on my own, I began to hear a faint voice telling me what I wanted and I finally started developing an opinion. That being said, I still depend on the opinion of everyone else way too much when making major decisions (people pleaser, say what?)  I don’t want to mess up or have any regrets.  I still don’t know if this is my anxiety or if this is just my personality.

So imagine trying to find a sperm donor on your own when all you want is the opinion of everyone else.  There are no reviews or Top100 lists.  You can’t even physically meet the person and know right away if you like someone.

As mentioned in previous posts, I asked my family to help me with the process of picking a donor but they kept insisting that I do it on my own. At first, I felt unsupported because I thought I needed their help to make one of the most important decisions in my life. Turns out, they gave me a gift. I found my sperm donor on my own and feel absolutely incredible that it was my decision and mine alone. Now, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

I never thought I’d be using a sperm donor, writing about using a sperm donor, or even using three separate blogs to write about the topic of a sperm donor – yet here I am! For me, this was a really important decision and one that altogether took me about 50 hours.

So who is my sperm donor?  Well let me introduce him. Please know that I can’t actually introduce him according to the law or show you his childhood pictures or his donor essay.  I don’t even know his name – all I know him by is his donor number. Here is what I can tell you about him:

  1. He is CMV negative. Most people are CMV positive but I am CMV negative. If a CMV positive sperm donor combines with a CMV negative person, you need to sign a form at the clinic because there is a chance that this combination could lead to developmental delays in children.
  • He is healthy.  When I looked at my sperm donor’s records, I could see that he is very healthy (both physically and emotionally) and that his parents and grandparents are all healthy.  He was also tested for genetic diseases and when reading through this list, everything looked great. There were some sperm donors that I loved but I would have to sign a form that they tested positive for a genetic disease saying that “I fully understood that there were risks associated with picking that donor.”  Those forms scared me too much. No genetic disease form needed for this girl!
  • His baby picture and features are somewhat like mine.  At the beginning of this process, I kept trying to find someone that looked like me.  Then I realized that it was more important to me to have someone with a super clean health record than it was for me to have someone that looked like me. He actually looks A LOT less like me than I thought so I really surprised myself in my final choice.

It’s so funny because when you buy sperm, you send the clinic a donor number.  The whole time I was kept making sure that I was typing out the correct donor number.  What would happen if the clinic got the vials mixed up?  Isn’t that somewhat like the plot of Jane the Virgin TV series?

  • He has a really positive vibe. Sperm donors are interviewed and I got to listen to a twenty minute interview with him.  For whatever reason, I felt as though he was really kind.  This is also partly because of his line of work.  When he was talking about his work and how he likes to help people, I felt an immediate connection.

I also really enjoyed reading his essay.  In a donor’s essay they are asked questions like, “what is your earliest childhood memory.” While reading his essay, I felt a huge connection to what he was saying.

I feel like the donor essay is a really good way to get to know the person better. I was looking at one donor in the process who I thought I was my “perfect donor.” Unfortunately my decision changed as soon as I read that he hopes his child knows that “the kid isn’t important. Kids think they are so important but I would just tell them that they are just another person on the planet. They aren’t special.”  For some, this would be a great answer. For me, this just somewhat clashed with my value system.

5. He is an intelligent person.  This was a complete added bonus.  I did want someone that could write complete sentences but his level of intelligence far exceeds mine (from what I can tell) both in his writing and in his interview. I am also more of a creative thinker and he is more of a logical thinker. 

6. He is an Open ID Donor.  This means that at the age of 18, if my future child wants to know more about him, the child can write to the sperm bank and get his information. This one was probably the most important to me because I want my future child to decide how he/she wants to proceed with this information.

7. His sperm is available – so many sperm donors that I began to love, were no longer available.  It’s also not like I had a lot to choose from.  As you know, I looked at three different companies. After reading about some health concerns from one of the companies, I eliminated that one right away. From there, I could select from either Can-Am Cryoservices (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada) or Repromed (Toronto, Ontario, Canada). I’d say that after going through my checklist, there were probably about eight from each that I could pick from.

8. Canadian ID Release – my sperm donor is from an American sperm bank.  There are two sperm banks in the US (in my knowledge) that transport sperm to both Can-Am and Repromed.  The amount of men in Canada that donate sperm is very few (they also don’t get paid).  In the US, they do get paid so I think this is possibly why there are a few more donors to choose from.

9. He did not already have a positive pregnancy.  This is something that I was hoping would not be the case.  It feels a bit better to me knowing that the sperm donor has been able to get a woman pregnant.  So why did I still go with him?

When I read up on this, I found that people said it wasn’t that bad.  At least I knew that there weren’t thousands of babies born from the same donor. Plus, your donor will not be absolutely perfect so I was willing to still go with him even after this info.

There is also something available called the “sibling registry.” If there is a confirmed birth you can put their info in a sibling registry.  Eventually if my future baby wants to get into contact with his/her sibling, he/she can do so.

My fertility doctor at Mount Sinai told me “don’t get too attached to your sperm donor.”  Unfortunately, I did not follow her advice and knew who I really wanted.  Truth be told, I didn’t get my first choice as a donor.  His sperm was out of stock and they didn’t know when/if he would have any vials in the future.

From there, I got to select my second choice.  He is my donor and the one I am writing about today. Thankfully I got his sperm in time! I’ve said to a couple friends that buying sperm is like buying something at the Winner’s Department Store.  For those of you outside of Canada, Winners is a store that offers beautiful clothes at a fraction of the price.  If you don’t buy the item from Winners right away, it is always sold out when you go back to their store.  Buying sperm is the exact same – you think the vials are there and it appears as though the vials are there.  When I picked my American donor, I saw that he was available at both Can-Am and Repromed so I called both sperm banks.  Although Repromed showed online that there were many vials of my sperm donor available, this was not the case.  They only had one vial left and Can-Am was completely out of stock.

Without hesitation, I bought the first vial and I have the other two being shipped to Toronto, Ontario, Canada right now.

Overall, I feel as though I have made the best choice given everything available to me.  I didn’t get the opinion of anyone else looking through sperm donor pictures or information and did it all on my own. There were a lot of times I needed to pause when finding a sperm donor.  Once I did write about what was really holding me back from finding a sperm donor, I felt so free and was able to start the search again within a week after writing that blog post.

So thank you for supporting me and for allowing me to get through tough times by having this blog as an outlet for all of my thoughts.

Some of you are reading this because you are in the process of becoming a Single Mother by Choice or maybe you are trying to get pregnant, but your partner has a low sperm count so you are finding yourself going through the sperm donor catalogue.  Just wanted to wish you good luck on your search – it can take a lot out of you emotionally.

Others of you are my family and friends who are interested in following me on my journey and for that, I say thank you.  Thank you for being open to learning about this process. Thank you for also feeling as though you can ask me questions about this journey and for not judging me on my path.

A few of you may be reading this and may be actually thinking about going through the process yourself.  If you are thinking about this, know that right now, I feel as though it is totally worth it.  I have found inner strength that I didn’t even know I had.  I’ve also found that this process has been like holding a mirror up to my face and has made me examine and question things in my life that I was trying to avoid.

Please also know that after all of this decision making, it may not even work.  I am trying three IUI’s and I have about a 20% chance of getting pregnant for each IUI cycle.  Altogether this process is going to cost me about $6,000 – $8,000 thanks to government support.

Fingers crossed this all works out and that this entire process of choosing a sperm donor was worthwhile. Time will tell.

Next Week: Can I please just start the process? No? Okay. Cool.

Telling Family and Friends

Since telling people I am hoping to be a Mom, and since writing this blog, I usually get asked the same question, “how did everyone react when you told them?”

To me, the question is really asking “how were you able to move past the stereotypes and the boxes that were created for you by society?” AND  “How were you able to tell the people you love most that you were going to rebel against the stereotype of the perfect heterosexual couple complete with 1.6 children?”

Growing up, I was always the “good kid.”  People often remarked at my politeness and kindness.  Part of me looks back at that person and thinks “girl, did you even have a personality?”  All I wanted to do was to please everyone around me. 

Now, at the age of 38, I have a personality but often find myself wanting to please everyone in my existence and to put everyone’s needs ahead of my own.  For one of the first times in my life, I am saying “screw what society tells me I need to do” and “I have this feeling within me that is so strong that I am willing to run the risk of people not accepting me or respecting my decision.” So what happens when the people pleaser who lives off praise, jumps out of the box and forces the people I love to live outside the box?

A lot of growth. 

A lot of tears.

A lot of pain.

So here’s what happened when I told my family and friends that I was going to be a Solo Mom.

While I was considering being a Choice Mom, I wanted to see if my family would support me. I guess deep down, I was trying to gauge some sort of vibe from my family members about having a baby on my own.

A lot of conversations went like this:

  1. “My friend is going to be a Choice Mom. What do you think?”
  2. “This dating scene is hideous.  Sometimes I just wonder if I should just use a man for sperm so that I could have a baby”
  3. “Do you think a woman could be a single Mom and live in Toronto?” 

My family is pretty smart but nobody really called me on what I was doing – testing the waters to see if they would disown me if I became a Choice Mom. To be honest, not all conversations were pretty.  Some left me pretending I wasn’t crying or cleaning up dinner plates when the family was together so that I could leave the room.

Overall, I bet I asked about fifty awkward questions that were really me just asking them “would you still love and accept me as part of the family if I did something so outside my comfort zone and your comfort zone?”

Phone Call 1: Sister One

This is where I started.  I told my sister over the phone about wanting to begin the process of being a Choice Mom and she said she supported me and then moved to a different topic.

About a month ago I asked her why she responded that way and she said something like “I knew it was coming.  You talked about it and dropped hints all the time.”

I also encouraged sister one to get sister two on board. I remember telling sister one that she could tell sister two.

Phone Call 2: Sister Two

Sister two has two beautiful kids, a wonderful husband, and a beautiful home. She is also known as the logical one so I was really worried about getting her approval.

Her first reaction was to support me which felt amazing.  Then it turned to a bunch of questions that I was not able to answer.

This resulted in me feeling overwhelmed, sobbing, and barely able to make a coherent sentence. 

Since then, she has been so supportive and the questions have stopped because I just don’t know the answers to the questions.  I have planned as much as I can but I have no idea what my possible baby will be like.

Phone Call 3: Mom

I know that I called my Mom before she went on a big trip with my Dad and I remember crying through a lot of the phone call. She was super kind and I remember suggesting that she tell Dad on their trip. That way, she could put the feelers out and possibly get my Dad used to the idea so that when they came back from the trip, he could possibly be on board.

Family Conversation:

Once my parents got back from their trip, we met at my sister’s house and my parents told us about their trip.  My Mom had a couple glasses of wine and just stated “Sarah, I asked your dad about you having a kid on your own.  He said that if it makes you feel as happy as you three girls have made him feel, he supports your decision.”

I just sat there and cried and everyone was there – including my Dad.  My Dad’s approval was the one I was most scared to get. My Mom then said something like “I think I am going to cry” and then someone changed the conversation.

Since then, there have been A LOT of conversations and I mean A LOT.  We have discussed a lot of really tough subjects – moving back home for a bit, paying for daycare, picking out a sperm donor, genetic testing, making my story so public, etc.

My poor family worries for me about the potential backlash of me being so candid.

After I told my family, I started telling some extended family members.  From there, I told my friends, my co-workers, etc.  Before I started the blog, I bet about 20-30 people knew what was happening. Their reactions really ranged – some people didn’t say anything when I told them, others screamed in excitement, a few got emotional. Overall, nobody in my close group of family/friends said anything negative. 

The blog is the topic that really divides people.  I’d say about 25% of my friends/family have said things that haven’t been 100% supportive because they are worried about me being so open at such a vulnerable time. 

Now, every time I tell my story, I feel more comfortable and secure with my decision. Looking back, I don’t know what I would have done if my family said that they didn’t support me if I were to have a baby on my own.  If I didn’t have a sister who was my appointment partner – there with me every time I got a result for something.  If I didn’t have another sister who was always checking in and saving every baby item and clothing item for me.  If I didn’t have parents who said “move in with us and stay here as long as you need us.”

The other main person is this process who has helped me maintain my strength is my therapist. She helps me conquer my fears and the inner voices that leave me up at night questioning this decision. She forces me to examine stereotypes and teaches me how to deal with non-enthusiastic people. 

So could I have done this on my own without a supportive family and an incredible therapist?  I have absolutely no idea and feel blessed that I don’t have to deal with that right now. 

Update: Thank you for letting me vent last week about the reaction I was having in finding a sperm donor.  You allowed me to write down some of my most personal thoughts and the whole experience was very cathartic.  Perhaps that was all I needed – a place to just grieve that I would not experience the life I had pictured. For whatever reason, I no longer feel stuck in finding a sperm donor and my goal is to find one this week!

Thank you: Please know that writing this blog is helping me so much through this process but I want it to help you as well.  Perhaps you are thinking about becoming a Mom, worried about the fertility process, wanting to best support friends/family through the process, etc.  If you have any questions at all, please just message me. If there is anything you have wondered about and want me to write a blog about, please let me know.