The journey to solo motherhood
It was time, a long time in the making, much scrutiny from the world around me, 1 week before my 27th birthday, I was about to become a single first time mum, by choice. You read that correctly, I chose to have a baby on my own with a little bit of science and a whole lot of love. It’s definitely not the conventional way to have a baby, and like many others your probably thinking “she’s so young, she has plenty of time to wait” but that stereotype doesn’t need to exist, who actually decides when one is ready for a baby? The individual I thought.
The journey to solo motherhood via IVF was the hardest yet most rewarding decision I have ever made, both physically and emotionally. It definitely takes a whole lot of determination and a fantastic tribe surrounding you to get you to the finish line, but I have zero regrets, I even got OHSS from being so young with very active ovaries which landed me in hospital for a week following egg collection.
Choosing a sperm donor, was like online shopping for your future, it was really cool but really daunting at the same time, deciding the other half of my child’s dna is not a task I took lightly, and I ensured the donor shared the same values and beliefs I did. It was a bonus that the donor I chose was part Canadian, because I love All things Canada! So now I have a canaussie. Coincidence? Maybe, but I’m not complaining :)
I used to think people who have had to endure IVF surely should be guaranteed a stress free pregnancy after all you’ve been poked and prodded that many times just to get to the positive pregnant test stage, but call me naive because I was so very wrong.
At 7 weeks, I started bleeding heavily out of no where, convinced I had lost the baby I gathered myself and made my way to the nearest emergency department. Following scans, my little bean still had a heartbeat, but was surrounded by a huge subgaleal hematoma three times the gestational sack, which was now threatening the viability of the pregnancy! Devastated to put it lightly. I was told it could go either way and there was not any way of knowing except for time to see what the hematoma was going to do!! So much bed rest and a bucket load of progesterone support was on the cards. Every week my little bean fought on, and we made it to the safe zone of 12 weeks.... phew!! The rest of the pregnancy was pretty uneventful, except I threw up all day everyday!..
I also interviewed for two SBS programs “the feed” and “insight”, talking about solo parenting and why I decided this was for me!! Wow well call me famous, I had that many supporters closely matched by haters, and let me tell you the trolls online at first tried to break my spirit but I just embraced them, because ultimately I was the one who was receiving the biggest blessing at the end of the day, and it would have zero impact on them.
Fast forward to 37 weeks, so much discomfort, nerves and fears, also some self doubt but that only lasted a second, I saw my obstetrician who was also my fertility specialist, and she informed me that this little babe was preparing to make an appearance earth side any day now. I made the decision to calm my anxiety and go for a planned induction, so 3 days later that is what happened.
At first I was like oh labor isn’t so bad, it hurts but bearable, and as the night progressed I was like “yeah okay who am I kidding this really hurts”, after a night on the laboring ward, I was moved to the birthing suite, where my obstetrician greeted me, “oh hey” I said “hope you’ve got the anesthetist running to my room, I’m ready for my epidural” she laughed and said “I have to break your waters first” very eager for my pain relief, waiting for my waters to be broken seemed like forever but reality was only like 4 minutes or something ridiculous. My twin sister along with my best friend accompanied me to the birthing suite, just as excited as me and feeding me vegemite toast in between contractions they were a pillar of strength... hours past and I had the most amazing midwife, no judgement just love filled my room, when I started to shake uncontrollably, convinced I was going into some weird medical episode, she assured me that it was normal and most likely time to push! Hahaha push say what, okay I got this, I’m going to have a baby...
And so here we are nearing the end, I pushed for what felt like forever, and everyone assuring me it was all good, and then my obstetrician calmly said “baby needs a bit more help, we are going to help him out using a vacuum” righto was my response, I was exhausted just get him out already... so my next contraction, I pushed, the Dr. pulled and out came my little miracle!! MADDEN REID was here at last! Such a sigh of relief, but quickly turned to fear, when like earlier in the womb he had experienced a head trauma hematoma from the vacuum and before I could comprehend pushing this kid out, he was being whisked to the NICU. Luckily my twin Ash went with him. It’s so strange to go through all of that and then be laying in the room getting stitched up (yeah he tore me good) but not cuddling your most precious gift. I knew he was in good hands I never doubted his care for one second.
Funny story, postpartum bleed. I had one on day 2 bad but not terrible, I laid on the bathroom floor buzzing for my midwife, adamant I was bleeding out she asked me what I was doing, I said just leave me here that’s it, she responded “don’t be so dramatic Steph, it’s normal” haha well thank goodness for that, laughed it off and walked like the queen I was back to my bed.
Little man spent 2 nights and 3 days in special care before joining mumma up in her room, it was really and still is the most wonderful time of my life... would I do it all again? You bet, I want Madden to have a full blood sibling, you can follow the journey on Instagram @thesoloedition remember beautiful ladies, always follow your dreams, never give up! Never let anyone dull your sparkle.
Beautiful story by @thesoloedition