O ne day, soon after I left school, my mother told me that she wanted me to have a baby one day and she didn’t care how I did it, even if I did it alone, as long as I did it. I was a bit taken aback. Of course I’d have a baby one day. I’d always known I would.
I imagined I’d do it the way school girls imagine they’ll do
it: I’d fall in love with a man, he’d fall in love with me, and the
family would naturally follow.
It took me another decade to come out.
I got cancer and faced my own mortality. My mum almost died too.
Things came sharply into focus and I realized as we both went into remission, this was no way to live the rest of my precious life. Very soon after, I made a weekend trip to come out to my parents.
A huge weight lifted. It seems crazy that it took so much for me to be comfortable being who I am, but for some reason it did.
The thing I felt saddest about letting go of was the idea of creating a baby, biologically, with a person I was in love with and for us to be a family. I found it overwhelmingly sad that my baby would biologically be half me and half some guy, and that if I had a partner, she would be the other mother but not biologically related.
I decided the ideal situation for me would be to find a gay man
to be my donor. I would find a man who wanted to have a child and
otherwise couldnât. He would not be a father exactly. They could
have the fun bits without responsibilities. This could work.
But none seemed to fit. In the end the best option was a sperm bank. After thinking about it for 8 years, it was an easy decision to make. I had years to adjust to the fact I could not biologically make a baby with someone I love. Most single mothers by choice have much less time to come to terms with that sadness. I’ve often thought I’m fortunate for that.
The clinic gave me a list. Checking out their profiles was a lot like internet dating, but of course they didn’t have to choose me back. I narrowed the list down to ten and sent them all to my family. I wanted some input. My mother obliged. It would be my decision, but I was happy not to make it all on my own.
They’re such complicated feelings but at the same time it’s just
practical. You can’t do it alone. This is what it takes.
My sister called just after my insemination with amazing news.
She was pregnant! It made the timing feel perfect when I found out I was too. If all went well these new little cousins would be so close in age! What a change in fortune for my family.
This is an independent production made by me, Sophie Harper.
Thanks to my family, my friends and my daughter for allowing me to record, and for the practical and moral support.
"I imagined I’d do it the way school girls imagine they’ll do it: I’d fall in love with a man, he’d fall in love with me, and the family would naturally follow. It took me another decade to come out."
Music by Broke For Free, Cyan341 and Dexter Britain.
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