My Decision To Have Baby Number 3… By Myself

three children as a single mum

This week I announced my current pregnancy… baby number 3! At 14 weeks pregnant it’s time to share the joy and excitement.

If you know my backstory you’ll know that I’m a single mum and I have been since I was 28 weeks pregnant with my second daughter. If you haven’t read the story, please read it here. The journey to have my third child, and get this far, has not been easy and at times I’ve been ready to throw in the towel. There is never a perfect time to have a child so I’d like to share my story thus far to provide any guidance or support I can for you in your journey towards planning your first or any subsequent children. And of course if you’d just like an interesting story then no doubt you’ll enjoy reading this too!

My other two daughters are both IVF babies, my eggs with donor sperm. I was in a same-sex relationship with my ex so ART and donor sperm provided us with the opportunity to have children. As part of normal IVF protocol we had to determine what would be done with any frozen embryos in case the relationship broke down and we separated, or if one of us died. We both agreed that because the embryos were biologically mine that I would have possession of them if such situations arose and that I was free to do with them what I chose, either have more children or discard them. When we separated the IVF clinic was notified and the embryos were now my responsibility.

I didn’t always want to have children. When I was in my late teens and early 20’s I would try to interact with children, smile at them in shopping lines or just say hello, and they always ran a mile, or hid behind their mum. It happened so often that I came to believe that I was not someone who was meant to be around, or have kids. So it was never on my mind. When I was with my ex, her sister had a son and suddenly I was around a child from day dot. It was AMAZING! As he grew up, he wanted to spend time with me. I suddenly realised that what mattered was not what a random child in the supermarket thought, but what the children who grow up with you in their lives thought of you. I was hooked.

Suddenly my dreams for my future with kids in it became all consuming. It was like the floodgates of years of unacknowledged dreams, fantasies, desires were opened. Knowing that the technologies to allow me to have a child existed, I could really get excited. As I began the journey with my ex I knew that I would want to have 3 children. May 2011 my eldest was born, June 2013 my relationship ended and in October 2013 my youngest was born. Read her birth story and what it meant for me here.

Whenever we enter into a new phase in our life, a new relationship, a new job, having kids, moving somewhere we create a dream, a plan of how we imagine and desire out life to pan out since we made a change. These dreams are usually big, not looking at the negative but only the positive, life through rose coloured glasses so to speak. So when something occurs that could shatter the dream it creates a massive impact. In fact it is often grief that is experienced and you go through a grieving process – grieving for the life or the dream you wanted and planned to have but was taken away from you. And that is exactly what I went through.

The end of my relationship was not an easy thing. It never is for anyone. Part of my anger around it all was that it was out of my control, it was not my choice for my ex to go through what she went through (nor should it have been) and it was definitely not my choice for it all to happen while I was pregnant. I was forced into a situation, and multiple situations that sucked the life out of me. I felt powerless and at the whim of others around me. Almost three years to the day my life has done a complete 180 and I’m here sharing this beautiful story with you today. I have my power back now. Yet it was a year ago I took the first steps towards getting the final piece of my power puzzle back, my third child.

After the split my life slowly got back on track. I got through the adjustment to being a single mum, that tough first year with a baby. I set my my coaching business, Blissed Out Mums, after experiencing the life changing impact that life coaching had on my recovery from PND and my whole attitude towards life and motherhood. My girls and I moved to a beautiful house where there will be ample room for our little family to grow. Life was good. However there was one part of the puzzle missing – that third child. Knowing that I had 5 embryos frozen, just waiting to be used, it was time to get that puzzle piece.

The journey of IVF began again just without the egg collection. Doctors appointments, scans, blood tests, counselling sessions and plenty of paperwork. I had a transfer in November 2015 which was unsuccessful and I chose to wait until after Christmas / New Years to try again. I focused on my health, lost more of the excess baby weight and was feeling good. It was time to go again. And this time I was successful!

As any pregnant woman knows, the emotional journey of the first trimester can send you mad. This pregnancy has certainly been my hardest. Is it just because I’m pregnant? Or is it being on my own? Or is it a combination of both? I would bet both.

No matter all the professional training I have done, the insight I have into the mind and the experience of being a mum, the experience I already have from my two daughters and the hours of experience coaching other mums through their journey through motherhood… doubt entered my mind, many times. Was I doing the right thing? Have I done my daughters a disservice by adding another child to the family? Is this a selfish decision? I’ve been forced to confront limiting beliefs that have come up – that I don’t deserve happiness, that I never get what I want. I’ve worked through the fears and the doubt. I am a better person for this journey and I am a better mum because of it to and the journey is no where near over yet.

I became a stronger woman from my separation. I am a stronger mum for being a single mum and I know that this journey on my own and negotiating and overcoming the many hurdles I will face in the future will only strengthen me more.

Why do I share all of this with you, apart from telling an interesting story?

There is never a perfect time to have a child. Wether you fall pregnant accidentally or planned, along the journey doubts and fears will creep up. Obstacles will present themselves. People will say things, talk behind your back or just be unhelpful. This will happen if you have a partner or not. As with everything in our lives, and particularly everything in parenthood – it is how you choose to react to it that matters.

I chose to follow my dreams, even though some people have disagreed. I chose to continue push through the morning sickness, the exhaustion and the pregnancy complications. I chose to not be overwhelmed by the emotions (even though I came close) and instead seek the help and guidance of those around me who could support and love me through my madness.

So if you are reading this and you have a dream to have a child or a dream for anything, I would tell you to follow it. Create a plan. It doesn’t have to happen immediately – perhaps in 6 months, or a year or 3. Know what you need to do to get organised, within your family, within yourself. In everything you do, keep your dream alive. And most importantly share your dream with those who will support and empower you to chase it.

I coach mums because I know that everything I have been through and the wisdom, understanding and insight that I have can help every mum out there. I know over the remaining months of this pregnancy and beyond I’ll have more stories and teachings to share with you, and I hope you can join me.

Heather

xo

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