Yesterday, an expecting mom posted on one of the SMC email groups that she was preparing to go to the first meeting of her birthing class on her own and was feeling low about it. She reached out to other SMCs for advice.
The advice was so inspiring that I got teary and filed it for later when I (or others) might need it. Here are some nuggets to show the type of support that we can plug in to (thank goodness for the internet!!!) (w/o identifying info to respect privacy):
- I do know you can do it. I’m a SMC of two kids (3.5 yrs and 0.5 yrs). Know that many husbands do maybe 10%, and then there are two to negotiate every parenting decision. So, yes, the dream husband (or wife!) would be wonderful, most don’t have that. I also remind myself that people do it with less every day. Women get pregnant by accident, the boyfriend leaves, and then she’s stuck. We wanted this.
- I went to my first birthing class w/ a good friend and we had a fun time. She couldn’t make the second one, so I went alone. I ended up sitting next to a woman whose husband was sick and couldn’t make it. We chatted the whole time, became friends, joined a mothers group that still meets — while I am the only single Mom of the group, we were all around 40 having our first kids, and working and those are huge areas of commonality. Now, all the kids are turning 3 and we still meet. You never know when something hard turns into something wonderful. Head up. You can do it.
- I feel for ya! I am single and 25 weeks and gearing up to go to a long birth class completely solo! I went to most of my ultrasounds alone and am used to being the only single gal in the expecting mom’s groups (yoga, etc). I am in the East Bay, but if you ever want to meet up, just holler.
- whenever i used to feel that way, i would just remind myself that…. i didn’t have a husband!, that always cheers me up! 🙂 just think how much more difficult it would be to be with someone who isn’t a good partner. i know so many people who have kids with someone else and they are stuck with them now for the rest of their lives…alcoholics, assholes, whatever. be happy you are not in that situation.
- Guess who i ran into in my childbirth prep class? my recent ex boyfriend and the girl he knocked up after dating me. Talk about awkward. I just kept thinking i was so happy that i chose to go it alone!
- I took a friend who wanted to get pg (and was willing to be my labor partner) to the classes, since I was paying couples’ fees. Maybe there’s a future SMC who’d like to go with you and split the fees?
- Well, there you go. Any one want to take a spin with me in my Bradley Birthing class. Thursday nights in May in Berkeley. I could use the support ! 25 weeks pregnant in Oakland!
- My experience has been that I love, love, love being the decision-maker for my children, with no one to negotiate things with, clear things through, or compromise with (except the kids, as they get older). I miss the option of a second income (enormously!) and the simplicity of being able to run out for a carton of milk or go to a PTA meeting w/o having to pay someone to babysit. Every step out the door costs me money, unless I can take them with me. Sometimes I miss the other adult who will back me up, support me, comfort me, and make my life easier. I’m sure there are a few out there. But it’s a gamble if that’s who you will get. Bless those who found them.
- My favorite experience in this process was a time when I was receiving compliments about the kids from several elderly women in the office of my church. It was early on, and I was still very uncomfortable about “outing” them as donor babies. One of the women commented on how much my daughter looked like me, much more than my son. I steeled myself, pasted a smile on my face, and chuckled, saying, “That’s funny because they are not actually biologically related to me at all. They had a sperm donor and an ovum donor.” NOT an easy thing to say to elderly ladies. The speaker didn’t miss a beat – she responded, “Well, they may not be bone of your bone, but they are blood of your blood.” And so they are. 🙂 Never were there more wanted children than ours.
3 thoughts on “O Solo Mamas”
I want to leave a little heart here, but can’t figure out how…
Dear wonderful Katie, a surmise for your consideration and reflection. The astounding adventure you are beginning to describe really may be the perfect metaphor not only for having a child, but for raising, nurturing and loving a child. The entire experience you are starting to describe is perhaps no less uncertain, mysterious, inconclusive, stressful, joyful, tiring, elating, deflating, enlightening than actually having a child and raising her? Consider this some higher power’s way of helping you train, rehearse, prepare for whatever joy comes your way. Looking forward to seeing you again this summer !! Tim and Mary