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Becoming a Single Mother by Choice: A Personal Reflection from Jess


Welcome to 'SMBC Stories: Insights from the Journey'. In this heartfelt series, we delve into the lives of remarkable women who have embraced solo motherhood by choice. Through candid interviews, we aim to inspire, educate, and uplift those considering or embarking on this transformative journey. Join us as we share stories of resilience, courage, and determination, offering support to all navigating the journey to become a single mother by choice.

Jess, a single mother by choice, holding her daughter Elsie

Jess Glover, 32

The most rewarding part about being a solo mum is watching my child grow and develop daily, hearing her laugh, seeing her smile, and listening to her call me Mama. It’s the most amazing thing ever.


The decision-making process

What motivated or inspired you to become a single mother by choice? I had lost my fallopian tube the year before I decided to start treatment due to a large cyst. After some follow-up scans, I was told that my ovaries were very multicystic. The doctor advised me that if I wanted to be a mother, it would be better to consider it sooner rather than later. Wanting nothing more than to become a mum, I decided to jump straight into the process. Being a mum was more important to me than anything, and nothing was going to stop me from exploring my options. I discussed it with my GP, and he was a great help.


A few years before the onset of Covid, I had looked into adoption. However, I felt the need to try having a biological child first, especially if time was working against me. My mom had already lost her ovaries and womb at 29, and my doctor had indicated that I was heading the same way. I had struggled with endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) for years.


becoming a single mother by choice: My FERTILITY JOURNEY

What path did you take to conceive? During my first consultation with the fertility clinic, I was presented with the option of IVF or IUI. I inquired about the likelihood of success with each, and the doctor honestly conveyed that, in his opinion, IVF was the better option for me, albeit more invasive.


My journey with being stimulated wasn't straightforward initially; I wasn't responding, so my medication was increased. Subsequently, progress was slow, leading to an extension of the stimulants. I had 14 eggs collected, of which 13 were mature, 7 fertilized, and ultimately resulted in 4 average embryos. Fortunately, I became pregnant after my first fresh round. However, I was admitted to the hospital with severe OHSS, which took 15 weeks to recover from. I experienced various complications, including massive blood clots, but looking back, it was all worth it.


SUPPORT SYSTEMS

How did your friends and family react to your decision, and what kind of support did you receive?


My family was amazing, especially my mum. My Grandad helped fund my treatment because, even with medical conditions, I still didn't receive any support to fund it. My dad and my sister were incredibly apprehensive about it all – my sister about me being a single parent, and my dad had a lot of anxiety while I was in early pregnancy because I was so unwell. My best friend was my absolute rock through it all, along with my mum; she helped me go through potential donors and talk about everything.


A close up picture of Elsie with a headband and cute Easter dress on

SOLO PARENTING Reflections

Reflecting on your journey, what stands out as the most rewarding aspect of being a single mother by choice?


The most rewarding part about being a solo mum is watching my child grow and develop daily, hearing her laugh, seeing her smile, and listening to her call me Mama. It’s the most amazing thing ever.


FINANCES, WORK & MOTHERHOOD

Juggling career and parenting is a universal challenge; what tips do you have for fellow single mothers navigating this delicate balance?


I feel incredibly lucky because, although I have to work full-time like many parents, I get to take Elsie to work with me daily when I do go back full time, and for that, I’m very grateful. As far as finances are concerned, I try to be really savvy about shopping for her needs. I shop in all the sales, wait for baby events, search for vouchers and coupons, and bulk buy things like nappies and wipes so I’m always ahead of her needs. I started getting a year ahead with her clothes when I was pregnant, and I continue to do the same now, if not further, with the help of sales, bargains, and offers. I save hard for holidays and outings, and it’s worth it all.


SELF-CARE & WELLBEING

Prioritizing self-care is key; how do you ensure your well-being while managing the responsibilities of single parenthood?


I'll be honest; I suck at self-care. I've recently had a massage, and that was bliss. It definitely taught me I need to do it more, but I have yet to find that balance. She's my whole world, so maybe I need some lessons in self-care.

LESSONS LEARNED

If you could offer advice to other women considering or on a similar path, what would it be?


My advice to any mother thinking of going through the journey to be a solo mother is to know your village. Surround yourself with people with babies who know what it’s like to not have slept for weeks on end. Speak to people openly who’ve gone through IVF or other treatments so you know what to expect. I went through IVF alongside a friend, and it helped massively for both of us. Know you can’t do everything alone; you do need a support system too. On days where the baby cries all day, and you desperately need a shower or to eat a meal, it’s important to have those people who will drop everything to help you along the way. We’ve all had those days.


CULTURAL & SOCIETAL PERCEPTIONS

How do you navigate societal perceptions or judgments about being a single mother by choice?


I’ve been super honest about Elsie being donor-conceived with everyone, and I’ll continue to do so. I did the same when I was pregnant if anyone asked, and if anyone is curious, I answer all their questions. My Granny asks the best questions, including all about my daughter's donor. Everyone was incredibly amazing about it. When my younger nieces and nephew ask questions about Elsie’s “daddy,” I always explain honestly that she doesn’t have one, and the doctors helped me have Elsie. As they get older, I will be as honest with them as I am with Elsie about Elsie’s donor.


FUTURE ASPIRATIONS

Are there plans to expand your family further down the line?


At the moment, I have no desires to ever be pregnant again. Pregnancy was incredibly difficult, and midway through my pregnancy, my mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer; it was rough. I really just want to put my all into Elsie and give her my everything. If that desire changes in the future, I have three frozen embryos to try. I can categorically say I will never do the full IVF again, though.


WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMNT

If you could share a message with women considering the path of being a SMBC, what would it be?


If you have the desire to be a mum and you think the only thing that’s stopping you is being single, know you do have options, and it’s worth exploring those options. You can do it!

Jess Glover


 

We hope you enjoyed this insightful glimpse into Jess' journey as a single mother by choice. A big thank you to Jess for sharing. If you want to hear more empowering stories like this one, be sure to subscribe. Want to share your SMBC story? Email smbclife@gmail.com Stay tuned for more uplifting tales from other single mothers by choice!


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I love hearing other SmBCs stories! We all have different paths and it’s life affirming to share!

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