Last year my daughter started kindy. I knew when she started kindy, it would start to dawn on her that she didn’t have a dad – and other kids did.
I’ve always been open about her and her brother’s situation, but she never made comments about her dad until last year. I’m a teacher, and I wanted to be prepared for the questions she, and her brother, might ask. I’ve decided honesty is the best policy.
You see, both of my children are from the same anonymous sperm donor. My daughter is four, my son 20 months old.
The fairytale – meeting a wonderful man, having a family – has been Missing In Action for me. I have had a few good relationships, and two relationships that could best be described as disasters. In my early 30s, I thought ‘If I don’t find Mr Right, I’ll pop to the sperm bank and get some sperm at 40’.
In my late 30s, and in a terrible relationship, I decided come hell or high water I was having kids. I contacted a fertility clinic and started the process.
It’s not as easy as you think to ‘pop down and get some sperm’ to get pregnant. The waiting list are as long as your arm, it’s very expensive, you can’t be too old – and you actually need to be fertile.
Big tip … actually MASSIVE tip: Don’t think you can just fall pregnant because you want to. It might look easy for celebrities to fall pregnant after 40, but it’s not. After 40, it’s hard work, and your fertility plummets into nothingness by 45. At 45, most fertility clinics won’t even take you on with your own eggs as your chance of falling pregnant is zero per cent. Do it earlier rather than later if you can.
I fell pregnant, and Katie was born when I was 40. When I was 42, I desperately wanted a brother or sister for my daughter.
I was sprinting against the fertility clock. Some months my cycle would bust as I ovulated to early. I ran out of embryos and had to harvest a new set. I had to juggle daily blood tests and internal ultrasounds with a toddler in tow, and I nearly ran out of sperm straws from the same donor.
It’s not for the fainthearted, and you don’t have husband or partner to cry to or talk to about IVF’s daily grind.
I finally fell pregnant just after my 43rd birthday.
The big question is – do my children know? My toddler is too young but Katie has started to say things.
Around Fathers Day, she mentioned her dad for the first time. She came running out from the classroom, saying she wanted to give her picture to her dad. I was a little bit shocked, but only because I wasn’t expecting it on that day. I don’t know what day I was thinking it was going to be.
I just said “Sweetheart, you don’t have a dad, but you can give it to Uncle Craig”. She was happy with that.
Then, over Christmas, we went to look at the Christmas lights. Katie pipes up and says “I wish my dad was here”.
I said: “Katie, you don’t have a dad.” She said: “He’s gone away”, but I replied “No, you don’t have a dad. He was never here”.
She seems to accept my answers and moves on with what she is doing. Although she is mentioning her Dad more and more and I know more question will being coming.