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  • Becoming a Single Mother by Choice: Dawn's Empowering Journey

    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. Dawn, 35 If I continued waiting for a relationship and ended up missing my chance for a biological child, I’d be devastated. So, I made the decision to go for it! The Decision-Making Process My Fertility Journey Support Systems Solo Parenting Reflections Finances, Work & Motherhood Lessons learned Cultural & Societal Perceptions Future Aspirations Words of Encouragement The decision-making process What motivated you or inspired you to become a solo mother by choice? I always knew I wanted to be a mum, but I hadn’t yet found the right person to have children with. A friend of mine suggested going for a fertility assessment, where I discovered a few medical reasons why I should start trying for a baby sooner rather than later. At that moment, I decided that if I continued waiting for a relationship and ended up missing my chance for a biological child, I’d be devastated. So, I made the decision to go for it! I felt like it was the right time in my life to welcome a child. becoming a single mother by choice: My FERTILITY JOURNEY Can you share your experiences with fertility treatments or the path you took to concieve? I started with a fertility assessment at my clinic to check things such as my egg count and fallopian tubes. On the advice of the doctor, I began with IUI. I went in for a scan around day 8 of my cycle to see if the follicles were growing, and then, when I had a positive ovulation test, I went in the next day for the insemination. Round 1 was unsuccessful, and for the next two months, I didn’t get a peak on the ovulation tests. So, it was decided that I would start on Clomid on day 2 of my cycle to stimulate the eggs to grow, then take an injection of Ovitrelle to trigger ovulation. I would then go to the clinic for insemination the next day. On my 4th round of IUI, the 3rd using medication, I fell pregnant with my daughter! SUPPORT SYSTEMS Building a community is crucial; can you share your experience in finding or establishing a network of fellow single mothers by choice? I didn’t know any SMBC (Single Mothers by Choice) before I fell pregnant, but I knew I wanted to meet others for myself and for my daughter to know other donor-conceived children. I joined a Facebook group for UK-based SMBC and, through that, two WhatsApp groups: one for pregnant people due around the same time as me and one for SMBC in my local area. Since then, I have met up with several mums and children and have been on holiday twice with eight wonderful mums and babies. This has been incredibly important to me because I feel there are experiences unique to solo mums that others in different circumstances may not share. It is also important for my daughter to see others conceived in the same way as her to normalise it. SOLO PARENTING Reflections Reflecting on your journey, what stands out as the most rewarding aspect of being a single mother by choice? Being able to make all the decisions myself, I hope they are the right choices for my daughter. Looking back at our journey so far, I’m super proud of how I have done this on my own and for the person she is growing into. I’ve found it incredibly rewarding to be her mum and to be part of her life. FINANCES, WORK & MOTHERHOOD Being a single mother by choice involves unique financial challenges. How do you navigate these challenges and overcome them effectively? I knew raising a child as a solo parent would have its own challenges, so I wanted to ensure that financially I wouldn’t be struggling once she arrived. I waited until I was secure in my job and home, and I saved up for the treatment rather than putting costs on credit cards (thankfully, I was able to use the cheaper option of IUI). I then saved some money for my maternity leave and claimed universal credit for the months I wasn’t receiving any income while on maternity leave (I wasn’t aware beforehand that this was something I could do; a fellow SMBC informed me). Having that security means I can focus on raising my daughter without worrying about finances, which has been really beneficial for me. LESSONS LEARNED If you could offer advice to other woman considering or on a similar path, what would it be? It can be tough, but don’t listen to anyone else other than your own feelings if this is what you want to do and you can provide a happy, safe home for your child. During my pregnancy, many people told me they couldn’t handle it on their own or how tough it was going to be, calling me brave and offering their advice. As soon as my daughter was in my arms, I knew this was what I was meant to do, and you absolutely can do this on your own. CULTURAL & SOCIETAL PERCEPTIONS How do you navigate societal perceptions or judgments about being a single mother by choice? I am incredibly open about my choice to be a SMBC and use donor conception. My hope is to educate people and help normalise this route to parenthood. I am very grateful that, so far, I haven’t faced any direct judgment from anyone. I hope anyone who knows me can see how happy we are and how going down this route has been ideal for my situation. FUTURE ASPIRATIONS Are there plans to expand your family further down the line? Yes, I would love at least one more full sibling for my daughter. She has donor-conceived friends through the networks we have made, but I want her to have someone she can really relate to as a donor-conceived person. It's just a matter of figuring out the right time for us! WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMNT If you could share a message with women considering the path of being a SMBC, what would it be? Go for it! I always had doubts, especially right after leaving the clinic following each of my IUI rounds. However, the moment I saw that positive pregnancy test, all those fears and doubts disappeared, and I have never had a single ounce of regret. My daughter is the best thing that’s ever happened to me, and she lights up my life. If you are considering this journey and can provide love, security, and happiness to a child, I wholeheartedly encourage you to go for it! Dawn We trust you found this heartfelt glimpse into Dawn's journey as a single mother by choice both insightful and inspiring. A sincere thank you to Dawn for graciously sharing her story with us. If you want to hear more empowering stories like this one, be sure to subscribe. Want to share your SMBC story? Email hello@smbclife.com Stay tuned for more uplifting tales from other single mothers by choice!

  • Connect and Thrive: Must-Join Facebook Groups for Single Mothers by Choice

    Discover a supportive community of like-minded individuals. We've collated below a list of must-join Facebook groups tailored for single mothers by choice. Whether you're seeking advice, sharing experiences, or simply connecting with others on a similar journey, these groups offer valuable support and community. Explore the Facebook groups categorized for your convenience! Click on a category to dive In. UPDATED MUST-JOIN FACEBOOK GROUPS FOR SINGLE MOTHERS BY CHOICE: CATEGORIES Region, Country & Location Support Age & Number of Children Religion Dating, Relationships & Cohabiting Interests Race & Ethnicity Business & Finance Sibling Connections Profession & University If the facebook group is highlighted, it means it has been newly added to the list. 1. REGION, COUNTRY & LOCATION Africa African SMBC Single Mothers by Choice South Africa SMC or SMBC Asia SMBC - South Asian Australia Single Mothers by Choice Australia Solo Mum Society Australia Australian Solo Mothers by Choice - Inc New Zealand - ASMBC - SMC - Mum Canberra Region SMBC Sydney SMBC SMBC Gold Coast SMBC solo mums by choice Gold Coast, Brisbane and surrounds Single Mothers by Choice Using Donor Eggs AND Sperm/Embryos - Australia Canada The Journey to Being a 'Single Mother by Choice' - Canada Single Mothers by Choice Canada Single Parents by Choice to Children with Special Needs in Canada SMBC Alberta SMC Alberta - Alberta Choice moms Private Group Our SMBC Village! Single Moms by Choice - Montreal & Surrounding Areas Single moms/parents by choice Nanaimo and North SMBC Ottawa-Gatineau Choice Parents Toronto (Single Moms, Dads, Gender Variant by Choice) Single Parents by Choice (Victoria BC) Single Moms/Parents by Choice - Winnipeg Europe Single Mom's by Choice (SMC's) Europe Single Mother by Choice - Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg France Association Mam’ensolo : Groupe d’échange entre mamans solos par choix Ireland Single Mothers by Choice (Ireland) SMBC Mums SMBC Mums in Waiting Smbc cork/munster Israel Single Parents by Choice Israel Mexico SMA SMC's & Single Parents (San Miguel de Allende) Netherlands Single Mothers by Choice in the Netherlands New Zealand Single Mothers by Choice New Zealand Waikato Single Mothers by Choice Singapore Single Mothers by Choice in Singapore: A Support Group United Arab Emirates Solo Mothers by Choice in the UAE United Kingdom Solo Mothers by Choice UK Solo Parents by Choice UK United States of America Boston Area SMC California Single Parents by Choice Sacramento SMCs (Single Mothers by Choice) Single Mothers By Choice (SMCs) - San Francisco North & South Carolina Single Mothers by Choice (SMCs) Single Mothers by Choice Charlotte, NC Chicago Single Mothers by Choice SMC - Chicago Colorado Solo and Single Parents by Choice Single Mothers By Choice - Colorado Chapter Single Parents by Choice - Connecticut and Westchester CT SMC Florida Single Moms By Choice (SMBC) Boise Single Mothers by Choice (SMC) Single Mothers by Choice of Southern Illinois (SMBC/SMC of IL) Single Mothers by Choice (SMBC) Inland Empire Iowa City Single Mothers By Choice SMC - Single Mothers by Choice, Central Iowa Single Mothers by Choice // Knoxville, TN & surrounding Single Mothers By Choice Las Vegas Single Moms by Choice (SMBC) in Los Angeles/Ventura County Single Mothers by Choice - Seacost ME/NH/MA Single Moms by Choice New Jersey (SMBC) SMC-NJ Single Mothers by Choice In South Jersey, Philly, DE Single Parents by Choice: New York City SMC NYC (Manhattan) Single Mothers by Choice - Western New York Single Moms by Choice of New England Single Mothers by Choice - Oklahoma Central Pennsylvania SMBC Single Mothers by Choice ~ Philly Western Suburbs Pittsburgh SMCs/Choice Moms SMC/SPC Portland Single Parents by Choice Bay Area Single Mothers by Choice San Diego Santa Cruz Single Mother's By Choice (SMC/SMBC) Single Choice Parents - Seattle Area SPCNW - Single Parents by Choice in the Seattle Metro Area Silicon Valley Single Mothers by Choice Single Moms by Choice South Sound STL Single Mothers by Choice (St. Louis) SMBC - Texas TN SMBC SMBC - Tinley/Orland/Frankfort Single Mothers By Choice In Virginia Single Parents by Choice of Burlington area, VT Single Mothers By Choice: DMV Network Single Mothers By Choice- Madison, WI Single mothers by choice utah 2. SUPPORT FOR SINGLE MOTHERS BY CHOICE Single Mothers by Choice Thinkers (SMC) SMC/SPC - Thinking/Trying Support Group For Solo Mothers/Parents by Choice Single Mothers by Choice Tryers (SMC TTC) IVF/IUI Single moms by choice SMC - Single Mothers by Choice by Known Donor SMBC and Intended Parent via Surrogacy Single Mothers by Choice - Home Insemination with a known donor Single Mothers by Choice or Chance Pregnacy, Birth & Beyond SMCs (Single Mothers by Choice) SMC - 4th Trimester & Beyond Support Group for Solo Moms by Choice IVF/IUI-Single Moms by Choice The Mothering Years Single mothers by choice with preemies Single Moms By Choice (SMBC) Embryo Donors/Recipients Matching group SMCs (Single Mothers by Choice) with Multiples SMCs living after loss Single Moms By Choice (SMBC) Support Group Maverick Motherhood - Single Mother by Choice Support SMBC - I'm a MOM, now what? Solo Mothers by Choice (SMC) - Welcome to reality Being your Best Mom: SMBC with MH/other Health Issues Single Mother By Choice: Survivors - navigating being a SMBC after sexual trauma The SMBC Group For SMBC Peaceful Parenting as a Single Mother by Choice (SMC, SPC) Single Mothers by Choice - Parenting Kids of all ages and stages SPC SMC Single Parents by Choice Home schoolers And Crisis Schoolers Single Parents by Choice with Elderly Parents 3. AGE & Number OF CHILDREN Single Parents by Choice - One and Done Single Mom by Choice - 1+ Kiddos Two Under Two - SMBC SPCs Single Parents by Choice with 3+ Kids SMC (Single Mothers by Choice) with Tweens & Teens (10 and up) Young Single Mothers by Choice Single Mothers by Choice - Parenting Kids of all ages and stages CNY Fertility - "IVF" - SMBC 30s & 40s (SINGLE MOTHERS) Single Mothers by Choice (35+) - Parenting Single Mother By Choice 40+ Old Badgers (40+yrs) SMBC Mature SMCs (45+) Single moms by choice smbc/smc babies due in 2024 SMBC due fall 2024 SMBC Babies Due in Spring/Summer 2022 Spring 2020 Birthdate Group (Single Mothers by Choice) Single Mothers by Choice 2020 Babies Summer 2020 Babies: SMBC 2019 SMBC All Ages SMBC Single Parents by Choice 2017 kids *Donor Conceived Persons of Single Mothers by Choice 4. RELIGION Christian Single Moms by Choice Jewish Single Moms by Choice Jewish Single Parents by Choice - Atlanta 5. DATING, RELATIONSHIPS & COHABITING SMBC Dating & Relationship Chat SMC Dating & Romance (Single Mother's by Choice) SMBC Now Partnered (Married Or In Serious Relationship) Single Mothers By Choice Housing & Cohabitation Network Single Mothers By Choice (SMC) Shared Housing Western USA (momune) 6. INTERESTS SMC Recipe Exchange Journaling, Blogging And Instagramming Single Mothers By Choice TTC Single Parents by Choice (SPC/SMC) - Camping Adventures Single Moms by Choice TRAVEL Sightsee with SMC's SMC Retreats in Greece SMBC Disney Fanatics Single Disney Parents (by Choice) - Travel Single Moms by Choice ~ Disney Cruises & Parks SMC visits, stays, and group rentals Single Mothers by Choice - Positive Affirmations 7. RACE & ETHNICITY Black SMBCs Mocha SMC (Single Mothers by Choice) Melanated Single Mothers by Choice (a Start to Finish Motherhood group) Young Black Single Mothers by Choice Single mothers by choice - Biracial Babies 8. BUSINESS & FINANCE SMC Finances SMCs in Business (Single Mothers by Choice) SMC/SMbC Resource Directory and Connection Zone (Single Mom by Choice) 9. SIBLING CONNECTIONS Single Mothers by Choice Only - Donor Number Sharing and Sibling Connection 10. PROFESSION & UNIVERSITY Single Mothers By Choice in Media & Production SMBC Mental Health Providers SMC Educators Smithie Single Parents by Choice Remember, you're not alone – a community of incredible single mothers by choice is just a click away. So, dive into these virtual hubs, share your stories and make connections. Here's to the supportive friendships, shared laughter, and empowering conversations that await you in these wonderful online spaces. Happy Facebook group connecting! Got a great Facebook group in mind that should be on this list? Don't be shy—share your suggestions in the comments below! Your insights help make our community stronger.

  • Book Review: Liam's Blueprints: A IVF Donor Conception Story for Single Moms by Choice Families

    Embrace your child's curiosity. While you have written the beginning of their story, the rest of the story is theirs to write! - Shubha Swamy, Novo Psychotherapy The Story The Metaphor Clear explanation of donor conception The enchanting illustrations Emotional reassurance Inclusivity Personal connection Why you should buy this book What are other SMBC saying? Shop the book Other books in the series for SMBC "Liam's Blueprints: A IVF Donor Conception Story for Single Moms by Choice Families" masterfully explains donor conception to our children. This tender story begins with Liam, who is eager for his first day of school, celebrating with a set of building blocks gifted by his mother, an architect. As they walk to school, his mother explains her work and how blueprints guide the construction of houses, setting the stage for a meaningful conversation about the blueprints of life. The METAPHOR The brilliance of this children’s book lies in its effective use of the blueprint metaphor. Just as blueprints are essential in building a house, the story explains that “YOU prints” (or genetic blueprints) are fundamental in creating a baby. This metaphor makes the complex process of donor conception easy for young minds to follow. Liam’s understanding of blueprints from his mother’s work as an architect allows him to grasp the idea of genetic contributions in a simple way. Liam’s mother explains how some of his traits come from her and some from the sperm donor, likening these traits to the building blocks of who he is. This part of the story helps children understand the genetic contribution of the sperm donor while emphasizing that their unique personality and identity are shaped by a combination of genetics and the environment provided by their mother. For single mothers by choice, this theme underscores the message that our children are complete individuals, shaped by love, and defined by more than just their genetic makeup. CLEAR EXPLANATION OF DONOR CONCEPTION "Liam's Blueprints" excels in its gentle and clear explanation of donor conception. When Liam asks if a mommy and daddy are necessary to make a baby, his mother explains that there are many ways to create a family, including with the help of donors. The concept of a donor is introduced as a "special helper" who provides one of the essential building blocks—sperm or egg. The book does not shy away from using correct scientific terms, such as sperm, egg, embryo, and uterus. These terms are presented in an age-appropriate context, ensuring that children are not only educated about the biological aspects of conception but also comfortable with the language. The explanation of the roles of sperm and egg, and how they combine to create an embryo, is handled delicately, ensuring clarity. The straightforward approach to explaining donor conception demystifies the process without overwhelming young readers, offering a reassuring and inclusive perspective on family creation. THE Enchanting ILLUSTRATIONS The illustrations by Janne Maru bring the book to life with warmth and vibrancy. Maru's art beautifully complements the narrative, making complex concepts accessible through engaging visuals. Each page is thoughtfully designed to reflect the emotions and themes of the story, from the cozy atmosphere of Liam’s home to the imaginative scenes of blueprints and construction. Maru’s illustrations not only enhance the storytelling but also create an inviting and comforting visual experience for children, making this book a delightful and educational read. EMOTIONAL REASSURANCE A standout theme in "Liam's Blueprints" is the mother's constant reassurance and invitation for open communication. She emphasizes to Liam that he can always come to her with questions or feelings about their family story. This aspect of the book highlights something essential for both you and your child: the importance of emotional security and open dialogue. It's a comforting reminder that your family is built on love and support, extending far beyond just biological connections. INCLUSIVITY "Liam's Blueprints" normalizes diverse family structures, showing that having a single mother by choice and being donor-conceived is just one of many ways to form a family. This theme fosters a sense of belonging and acceptance, highlighting that all families are valid and special. Liam's interaction with his friend Max, who has a different family structure, illustrates the variety of family compositions in a way that is inclusive and affirming. It's a gentle reminder that your family's uniqueness is something to be celebrated, and that love is what truly defines a family. PERSONAL CONNECTION The book concludes with a special feature—a blank page where you can add a photograph or personal information. This touch transforms the book into a personalized keepsake, allowing your child to see their own family story within its pages. Additionally, the discussion guide at the back, written by Pyschotherapist Shubha Swamy, offers practical advice on how to address questions and feelings about donor conception. Covering four key topics, this guide ensures that the book serves as an educational tool tailored to each family’s unique story. WHY YOU SHOULD BUY THIS BOOK If you're a solo mother by choice seeking a heartfelt and informative way to explain donor conception to your child, "Liam's Blueprints: A IVF Donor Conception Story For Single by Choice Families" is an ideal choice. This book will help your child understand their unique and special family story, and recognize the immense love that brought them into your life. Purchase "Liam's Blueprints" today and embark on this enlightening and loving journey with your child. Who is the book aimed at? Children conceived using donor sperm in a medical setting via IVF or ICSI What are other solo mothers by choice saying about this book? They loved the story and the use of a metaphor to explain donor conception the thoughtful advice included in the discussion guide the break away from traditional gender roles with mum being an architect and Liam playing with dolls They wished the book could be even further personalized with their own child's name. SHOP THE BOOK Click the link below to purchase "Liam's Blueprints: A IVF Donor Conception Story for Single Moms by Choice Families" and explore a heartwarming tale that beautifully explains donor conception, celebrating the love and uniqueness of your family. OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES FOR SMBC Did you enjoy Liam's Blueprints Book Review? Thank you for joining me on this exploration of Liam's Blueprints: A IVF Donor Conception Story for Single Moms by Choice Families. Have you read this book? I'd love to hear your thoughts! Drop a comment below sharing your experience with the book or let me know if you enjoyed Liam's Blueprints Book Review and would like more reviews on children's books tailored for Single Mothers by Choice (SMBC) addressing the concept of donor conception. Your feedback is invaluable! Acknowledgment: I would like to express my gratitude to Sharon Leya for granting permission to feature images of the book cover and excerpts in this review. All images used are included with the explicit consent of the author. All thoughts and opinions expressed about the book are entirely my own, providing an unbiased and authentic perspective you can trust.

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