I am a woman who thought she had found her life partner. I believed I would never be with anyone else. We planned marriage, we planned children. I helped raise his children for seven years.
Then he changed his mind. He still wanted to be with me, but no longer wanted a baby.
I'm 35, and I've had tests that show that my fertility is good now. I know I'm in good health. And I want to be a mum.
There is a reason women feel more pressure than men to have children in their thirties - it is far less likely that a man will have difficulty conceiving a child in his thirties or forties. Sadly, I know many women struggling in this age group. That's not to say that there aren't options, but realistically many may have difficulties ahead.
So should I wait to find another "love of my life", let him decide when we should have children? Do I focus on finding a father for my child at the risk of missing out on becoming a parent all together? And really, is the desire to have a child the best foundation for a relationship?
No. I'm ready to take the decision into my own hands. I'm going to use a sperm donor.
I come from a family full of second and third marriages, adoption, and some illegitimate children thrown in for good measure. I don't have a traditional view on family. The two role models I am closest to in the world are my grandparents, to whom I have no blood relation. They adopted my mother and raised her in a wonderful environment. They are my family, their home is my home, I love them more than I can ever express in words
Many of my friends have blended families and they are raising stable children in loving environments. I am choosing to be a single mother now, but I don't believe I will be single forever. My child is likely to be raised in a similar blended family to most of the families in my neighbourhood - the only difference being that I am prepared for it. I'm going in alone, and will see what happens next.
I'm fortunate; I have flexible work that enables me to manage my schedule. I am not in the position where I will have to rely on government payments to raise my child. I have a great support network and friends who are chomping at the bit to repay some of my babysitting favours. I actually look forward to juggling life as a single mum. I've spent many years looking after other people's children and I know what is involved.
I am aware that some children can struggle with their identity if they do not have access to the details of their biological parents. For that reason I have decided to use a donor who is listed on the NSW ART Central Register. These donors give their personal information to ensure any child born of their donation can contact them if they wish to do so. My mother always knew she was adopted; it was never an issue for her because it was something that was openly discussed. I would like to offer the same honesty and support to my child that was given to my mother. I will explain how my child came in to the world just like every other parent. Our story may be a little different, but it will not be a secret.
I have discussed the selection process with a few clinics and I am surprised to feel so nervous. This decision is likely to have a big influence my child's characteristics. When you date a guy, everyone has an opinion (even if you're not interested in hearing it!). It feels isolating to make this decision alone. I have decided to have a dinner party, invite my closest friends and get their opinions. God knows they'd be all too happy to give it if these were potential boyfriends, but that's part of what I value about my relationships.
I believe that you get out of families what you put into them, and I will give mine my all.