I was dating a man with a child from a previous relationship when I first considered having a baby with a sperm donor. Witnessing the two parents battle over different parenting styles and conflicting priorities made me appreciate the prospect of “no strings attached” motherhood. The relationship ended soon after and I decided that I was done with dating. I was tired of lowering my standards and wasting energy in pointless relationships. I realised that at thirty-eight I wanted to have a child more than I wanted to be somebody’s wife.
I had watched several friends of a similar age struggle to start a family and decided to make an appointment to discuss whether I needed to be concerned about my diminishing fertility. My GP laughed, refused to refer me to specialist and told me not to be so picky about men. I eventually saw a private gynaecologist who confirmed that the quantity and quality of my eggs were rapidly decreasing because of my polycystic ovaries. I also had fibroids which were likely to make it even harder to conceive as they grew over time. I needed to make a decision soon.
I come from a two-parent family and was intimidated by the idea of being a single mother because films and TV shows made it look so hard. At the time there was also a lot of bad press around the impact of “absent fathers” and I worried that I would be doing my child a disservice by depriving them of an involved dad. I have two brothers and a few close male friends who were happy to stand in as father figures, but I was not sure that this would not be enough.