I’ve thought a lot about solo mums during my pregnancy and after the birth. It’s so freaking fierce to embark on such a big and bumpy and emotional journey on your own, without a helping partner hand. I know, most of us have friends and parents, who doubtlessly will help out. But it will never be the same as having someone who is equally as responsible for a child as a parent.
Gosh, to have gone through all of this without Adam. I wouldn’t think myself capable of it, but then I read a story like Katrine’s, who is so mega cool. And that actually gives me the faith and confidence to believe that I would indeed have been able to manage. It’s possible. Doing it yourself! The love of a small human being can carry you through it all.
How it happened that a young women like Katrine decided to become a mother with a helping hand is something you’ll get to read today. Please welcome her (and her gorgeous little boy).
By Katrine Rosborg Bak
My story is a bit untraditional, but relatively simple and simultaneously a wild journey, where lots of people have voiced their opinion about my choice.
I was 23 years of age. Alone. And you could refer to me as broody, because I was really broody. More than most people at 23. The only thing I had been thinking about for the past few years was this child, which I was longing for so badly. I realised that I wanted a child more than I wanted a man, because the only thing I was looking for in men was a ‘dad’ for my child, and that just wasn’t feasible in the long run. Especially not when you’re on Tinder and just 23 years old.
I found a lot of information about fertility treatment, wondering whether it even was possible to have a child on your own, especially being younger than the average solo mum. And would I be able to manage? I arrived at the conclusion that my answer to both questions was in the affirmative. I was financially ready for it, and I had spoken with a private clinic, which had come highly recommended. I was quickly invited to an introductory conversation at the clinic and was received by the sweetest midwife, who didn’t show the slightest sign of prejudice. Making the decision about doing this on my own had also created this sense of calm and confidence in me. Having a child with myself. Which probably helped quite a lot.
As all of the test results were fine, I was able to get an appointment in my following cycle. Before the insemination, I had to order sperm straws, which in itself was a surreal experience, prompting me to wonder whether it would work with this or that donor? What would my child end up looking like? Etc. I was scanned on the 12th day of my cycle, and my follicle was the infamous 18 mm, which meant that I later that night was able to take the ovulation injection and 36 hours later become inseminated.
Two weeks later I found myself with a positive pregnancy test. Such a crazy feeling. I was going to be someone’s mother.
I shared the news with friends and family quite quickly, and I was met by insanely many questions. Lots of inappropriate and curious ones, such as how much it had cost, whether I was a lesbian, whether I had been unfortunate on a night out, etc. I tried to take most of it with a smile, and often I really did/do want to explain, but people are generally very quick at asking very personal questions about my child’s creation, which can sometimes be quite uncomfortable.
I had a pretty straightforward pregnancy, except for heartburn, swellings and lots of Braxton Hicks contractions. I gave birth to a boy 3 weeks before my due date. It was a really good delivery, with me receiving him and cutting the umbilical cord myself. Being the first to touch my child felt amazing. In the first 6 weeks, we went back and forth to the hospital a lot due to jaundice, though, and it was hard to have to do everything on my own and be a new mum.
It has been the best thing in the world to become a mum, but it is also a tough choice to do it solo, as no one’s there to catch you. You have to do everything yourself. Neither is it easy to be the first in a group of girlfriends to become a mum. I have lovely friends, who all support me. But it can be incredibly lonely to be the first in a group to have a completely new life with a baby, as it hasn’t quite occurred to your friends that spontaneity and clubbing is no longer your first priority.
Today, my child is almost 2 years old, and it’s still just as crazy to have become a mum as I’d imagined. It’s incredible to love another human being this unconditionally. It’s almost impossible to explain to people, who don’t have kids, what it’s like to love your child, because you never quite get to finish your explanation. It’s like a wave of happiness that just keeps washing over you.
Another thing that’s hard to explain is how I’ve made the decision to become a solo mum at just 23. Maybe I could have waited for a man, but when your entire heart is screaming for this child, it just couldn’t be any different for me. This feeling that nothing else in the world is more right than becoming a mum this way; it’s hard to verbalise. I know that there are many opinions about having a child using a sperm donor, but I am trying to focus on the fact that my child is thriving and I am happy and feel good about the situation, and I hope that my child will share this focus.