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Ask Alina–Should I Have a Baby on My Own?

Dear Ask Alina,

I am at a fork in the road and need to make a major life decision about my frozen eggs. I am turning 40 this year and haven’t been in a serious relationship in over a decade. It’s not for lack of trying, it’s just that every guy I’ve dated somehow does not stick around to the marriage phase.

I really want to have a baby. I froze my eggs about six years ago, and now I need to decide whether to use the frozen eggs on my own or continue my search for a partner. Please help me make the right decision.

WannaBeAMama 

Alameda Post - an empty crib. Read on for advice from Alina on WannaBeAMama who froze eggs

 

Dear WannaBeAMama,

It sounds like your desire to be a mother is strong. You went as far as freezing your eggs, which is not a simple process. The choice at hand is a complex life decision that requires consideration of emotional and logistical tasks to come.

Because of ongoing medical innovations, there is a lot less stigma about being a single mother by choice. A recent CDC report showed that nearly four out of 10 babies born in the U.S. were born to single mothers. Another report shows that 4% of births in 2020 were to women over the age of 40.

If you wait to try to conceive until you meet a partner, consider your desired maximum age to get pregnant and carry a child. Consult with your doctors to understand your maximum pregnancy age and alternatives if pregnancy is not an option. Create a plan with a health care provider on preventative measures for your well being as a whole.

It is also beneficial to consider not only at what age you want to be pregnant, but also at what age you want to parent a child. For example, if you bring an infant home when you are 45, how do you feel about celebrating your child’s first day of kindergarten when you are 50 and their high school graduation when you are 63?

On the other hand, if you decide to become a single mother by choice, how do you feel about using a tissue donor? With this option you will need to consider what and how you will share your child’s story with them.

Something else to consider is the kind of a support system you have. Having a strong support system during pregnancy, labor, and first days of taking a baby home will be very important. It will also be beneficial to have local friends or family to help you raise your child, as well as a reliable male role model.

Not having a local support system shouldn’t be a deal breaker as you make this decision, but knowing if you will be doing this in isolation is important to consider.

A woman named Mikki Morrissette has great information about using a tissue donor and life as a single mother by choice. Her research can be found on the Choice Moms website.

I am sorry I am feeding you more questions than answers. The decision you face is very difficult indeed. No decision is a guaranteed path to becoming a mom, however starting now offers you more time to try.

Sending you warm wishes.

Alina Baugh is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. Ask Alina is for informational purposes only. This article does not constitute medical advice, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, mental-health professional, or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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