I wrote about this author’s book, which I really liked, here:
Despite conflicting emotions, here is Rachel Lehman-Haupt today:
My journey to single motherhood began as I approached my fortieth birthday in 2009. I wasn’t dating anyone at the time and seriously began thinking about taking destiny into my own hands by trying to get pregnant on my own with a sperm donor. Before I actually took the plunge, however, I decided to make a radical change and move away from New York. A few months after my 40th, I traded in my out-on-the-town heels, rent-stabilized apartment and go-go life for a pair of rubber boots, a used VW beetle and a purple houseboat in Sausalito, a Northern California community with a long bohemian history. I hoped this change of scene might open up my chances to meet someone new, or just give me a new perspective.
After a few months of casual dating, however, it hit me that the urge to have a child started to outweigh my desire for a partner. Looking into my future, I believed I had the rest of my life to find the right love with a man, but knew I only had a precious year or so to conceive a baby. Even though I had a fulfilling career and wonderful friends, the image of being childless looked gloomy and made my heart seize up with fear. I felt devastated by the idea that I might never have the opportunity to be pregnant and give birth, that I would be missing out on one of life’s most vital experiences. Becoming a stepmom or an aunt – even with the right partner – didn’t feel like enough to fulfill this maternal desire.
She is lucky; I can’t imagine I would find community like this (nor have a few of the women I know who have gone the sperm donor route):
The collective “we” is what I heard, and is the reason that becoming a single mother has been nothing I imagined or feared: lonely nights, no support, and experiencing every milestone alone. Taking this leap of faith alone has drawn a network around me in numbers stronger than if I had conceived a child inside a traditional relationship and family. In the big and small moments of this new kind of passage, I’ve found love and connection in the intersecting hubs. Whether it was my best friends or distant acquaintances, it has never been just I, but this collective “we.” “We’re on a baby moon.” “We’re shopping for stroller” “We’re heading to the hospital.” It was always “we” even though that “we” never referred to the all-in-one husband and father. And now on the other side of a labor supported by this network and team birth, I now know mother love, and it is indeed every cliché ever spoken.
Author Amy Cohen, author of another memoir I loved– The Late Bloomer’s Revolution–
— also has a baby now– adopted I think?
Yet I remain steady in my conviction that doing it alone would not have been the right thing for me. I’m more fearful of that, I guess!