For many years Shady Grove Fertility has been sponsoring a monthly group for single women pursuing treatment to become a single mother by choice. For many women it becomes a lifeline- a place to talk about their treatment hopes and successes as well as their difficult decisions and losses. Women talk about a wide range of topics: their sharp disappointment at not beginning a family the way they had hoped to, their concern about raising a child without a father and about how they could manage the logistical and financial challenges of being a single parent . They also talk about the many issues related to fertility treatment . They share information about sperm banks, treatment options and the ways of coping with the ups and downs of treatment. These are topics that family and friends can usually not help with. The topics are serious in nature though leavened with humor. Many women go on to develop relationships which last well into either parenthood or the shift to ending fertility work. Years later many of them are still in touch, sharing life’s ups and downs and giving their children examples of other families built the same way as theirs.
Two women wrote pieces about their experiences as single parents. Jennifer, who has a toddler, writes from the experience of someone who has been a parent for a time and looks back at what has helped her. Amy, a new parent, writes from the perspective of someone who is adjusting to parenthood and a new identity.
Coming soon: Jennifer’s Story and Amy’s Story.