This week on the Mommy Labor Nurse podcast, I was joined by Sara who reached out to me because she wanted to come on the show and talk about her journey to becoming a single mother by choice. The big day of Sara’s embryo transfer happened just two days before we recorded, and I loved […]

This week on the Mommy Labor Nurse podcast, I was joined by Sara who reached out to me because she wanted to come on the show and talk about her journey to becoming a single mother by choice.

The big day of Sara’s embryo transfer happened just two days before we recorded, and I loved that timing because everything was so fresh in her mind.

During our conversation, you’ll hear her talk about the decision and process of freezing her eggs when she was in her early 30s, and all of the thought and steps that went into actually deciding to become a single mother by choice when she turned 40 years old.

She opens up about the egg freezing process, the emotions surrounding her decisions, how she selected a donor, and all of the ins and outs of the embryo transfer process.

I loved getting to learn about this unique path to motherhood, and especially loved Sara’s thoughtful and informed perspective on the entire journey. She shares a wealth of information surrounding every step of the way, and it was such a pleasure to have the opportunity to chat with her and learn so much.

It is my honor to share her story with you today!

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Sara’s decision to become a single mother by choice

At the beginning of my interview with Sara, I asked her to kind of share a bit about the background to her decision to become a single mother by choice. You’ll hear Sara talk about how in her late 20s she had it in her head that if she wasn’t in a committed relationship by 32 she wanted to take matters of motherhood into her own hands.

It was clear to Sara that she wanted to be a mom – but at that time she wasn’t sure what “taking matters into her own hands” was even going to look like. So then when 32 rolled around, she decided to go through the process of freezing her eggs. What was interesting was that at the time (she is now 40), egg freezing was still considered an experimental process by the FDA. But even so she moved forward!

The years passed by, and Sara shares this,

“Last year, when I turned 40, I think it really struck me that if I’m going to have a child, it’s going to now or never.”

The trouble was that going through this process alone in California, across the country from her parents, felt so lonely. When her parents made the generous offer to move to CA and help her through the first year, she decided it was a go!

The process of freezing her eggs

Before we get too much into where she’s at right now, and the process of choosing her sperm donor, I asked Sara to elaborate on the process of freezing her eggs.

Here is a little bit of what she shared regarding where she was at mentally during this time,

“So I met with the fertility doctor when I was 32. And she kind of explained the process. And to be honest, at that stage, I didn’t feel a whole lot of emotion around it.

It felt like, Oh, this is just my backup plan. And I’ll probably never use these eggs, I just want to have them [just] in case.”

She opens up about the fairly involved process, how she had to give herself injections over the course of a few weeks, and what goes down the night before the actual retrieval.

Tune in for all the details of the process.

Flash forward to December of 2020

As our conversation continued, we flashed forward in Sara’s story from when she was doing egg freezing at 32, to December of 2020 when she scheduled to do an embryo transfer. You see, her eggs were stored in Maryland so she needed to travel their to have her transfer done.

She flew to North Carolina where her parents live, and she and her mom traveled to Maryland by car together. Sara was all set to do her embryo transfer but in the final days before, she explain that panic started to set in.

Sara opens up about the emotions she was feeling, some of anxieties she was having, and her ultimate decision not to go through with the transfer at this time and to postpone thing until May.

At that point, Sara hit another obstacle in her journey when they found a polyp. Again delaying her scheduled embryo transfer.

Be sure to listen in to hear all of the details!

Selecting a sperm donor

So before we continue in the timeline of her journey to pregnancy, I asked Sara to detail the process of selecting a donor and what that felt like emotionally.

It was really fascinating to learn about the process, and how you are able to sort through all different potential donor profiles. You see a bio and description, baby photos, and photos of the male donor as an adult too!

Sara also details the two different types of donations you can choose from:

  • Anonymous donor: An anonymous donation is exactly what it sounds like – the sperm bank does not allow any way for your child to correspond with the donor
  • Open ID donor: This type of donation says that at 18 the child can contact the sperm bank and receive contact information for the donor

For Sara, an Open ID donor made the most sense, so this was her first criteria for narrowing down her options. Beyond that, you can select things like blood type, eye color, hair color, occupation, etc. Sara said that for her, health history was most important.

“It was a really odd process because essentially, you’re, you’re buying your child’s genes.”

Find out more about Sara’s selection process, the emotions surrounding it, and more during this part of the episode.

The big day of the embryo transfer

So at this point, we flash forward further in her journey to what was just two days before she and I recorded this episode – the day of her embryo transfer! When you listen to the episode you’ll hear Sara talk about what she had to do leading up to the transfer in terms of her hormones and manipulating ovulation, etc.

She explains just how calculated and controlled the whole process of IVF is, and I think this part of the episode will be really insightful for women interested in being single mothers by choice, but also for women contemplating is IVF is right for them too!

She went back to Maryland again and had her embryo transfer. In her words,

“Of everything I’ve done, it was the fastest, most straightforward procedure, really.”

She goes in for her first pregnancy blood test 10 days from when we recorded and promised to keep me posted on what happens!

Liesel Teen, BSN-RN
Founder, Mommy Labor Nurse

Meet your host

Hi there. I'm Liesel!

As a labor and delivery nurse, I've spent countless hours with women who felt anxious — even fearful — about giving birth. I want you to know it doesn't have to be that way for you!

When you know what to expect and have the tools to navigate the experience, you'll feel confident and in control.

I believe you deserve a better birth — no matter how you deliver.