Last weekend I went away for a mate’s 40th. I’ve known J since 1997 when we first met in a hostel in New Zealand. Over the years I’d met most of the other woman that went, either at J’s Birthdays or summer BBQs. However, there was one woman I was really looking forward to catching up with again.
I met Sarah about 4 years ago when she was about to embark on an amazing adventure, for lack of a better word. Her story absolutely fascinated me. I’m not talking about a trip around the world, bungee jumping or sky diving but something much more intrepid.
Before I carry on I must state that I have Sarah’s explicit permission to share her story as she would be very interested in meeting other women in the same position.
Sarah and Nick were married for 1 year and 11 months. However, they’d been together for a few years before. Nick had two children from a previous marriage. They’d spoken about children and had decided that children were in their future. Unfortunately, Nick went to work one day and didn’t come home. He suffered Cardiomyopathy, which is the same condition that strikes many young footballers. He was only 43.
Sarah now found herself on her own and in her late 30s. She knew that by the time she met someone else, got to a point of discussing children and then got around to having children the odds would be stacked against her although not impossible. So, she decided to go it alone.
As she was not infertile and was a single woman there was no chance that the NHS would pay for fertility treatment and she didn’t expect them too. So, in the end she decided to fund it privately (£7000 in total) through an Infertility Clinic. She had the choice of two but one came out on top because it was the only one with sperm. With the new change of confidentiality laws fewer men are donating. She was only given very limited information about the donor which included 4 hobbies. She chose one that she could see herself dating.
She did not have IVF, as she wasn’t infertile, but something called intra-uterine insemination (IUI) where sperm, which is fluorescent according to her, is injected into the cervix. She was also given drugs to stimulate eggs. At one point she released 9 eggs so they wouldn’t perform the procedure. In the end, it took 3 goes but she is now the proud mother of a gorgeous 18 month old little boy.
Sarah said that for the most part people have been very positive and supportive. She was nervous about telling her father. His reaction surprised her. He said ‘Good! I’d rather you did it that way then just choose any old bloke’. A few gossipy parents at school jumped to the wrong conclusion and assumed that she was a lesbian.
My hat goes off to Sarah, I grew up in a single parent household and never appreciated how difficult it was for my own mother until I had a child of my own. Sarah has a great group of friends, two of which were in the delivery room and family nearby to support her. Unfortunately, her father had a stroke 5 weeks before her son was born so her mother isn’t able to help as much as she would like to.
Although, she has never been felt ‘calmer’ and ‘her body now feels right’ she doesn’t plan on doing it again.
Sarah I wish you all the best!
If you or anyone you know has a similar story do get in touch so I can connect you with Sarah.