Cathleen: A Solo Mum by Choice Story
This is the story about how Cathleen became a solo mum by choice.
Like many other women, Cathleen waited a long time for the right partner to pursue her desire to have children. But at one point it also became clear to her that her desire to have children was greater than her desire for a partner.
Entering into a relationship and having children immediately afterwards was out of the question for her.
That is why, after much consideration, she decided on plan B.
Plan B: Becoming a solo mum by choice
Cathleen’s sister and friends already had children, so Cathleen knew what was in store for her – even without a partner by her side.
In order to prepare as well as possible for the solo mum journey, Cathleen also knew that she should adapt her life. She moved close to her parents, changed department at work and discussed her options with her family doctor and gynecologist.
Where to realize the solo mum by choice dream?
Finding the right fertility clinic
After various preliminary examinations, Cathleen contacted a fertility clinic in Germany. Unfortunately, it quickly became clear that the clinic couldn’t help her. They didn’t offer fertility treatment for women without a partner.
After that, Cathleen contacted a doctor who primarily supports lesbian couples in their desire to have children. Unfortunately, it turned out that he wasn’t the right person to talk to either.
After a very unpleasant conversation with the doctor, Cathleen had to admit, with tears in her eyes, that finding a suitable clinic was going to be more difficult than she first thought.
She then discussed her situation with an acquaintance and was advised to contact Diers Klinik in Aarhus.
The preparation: Initial consultation and donor selection
Cathleen booked an initial consultation with Diers Klinik to find out more. Due to Corona, the first interview took place over the phone.
“It worked out great, and I felt comfortable right away. For the first time I knew I had come to the right place.”
Cathleen had previously had an examination of her fallopian tubes due to endometriosis. So, she knew that her body should be ready for pregnancy and becoming a solo mum.
After the initial consultation, she started to monitor her menstrual cycle, tried the ovulation tests recommended by Diers Klinik, and considered donor selection.
The choice of sperm donor was very important to Cathleen. So, she decided to make a depot with 3 units of her selected donor in order to secure her favourite donor for possibly several attempts.
“The choice of donor is very individual, and you have to make the right decision for yourself. For me personally, it was important that the donor was an ID-release donor. Among other things, I also made sure that he didn’t have any allergies because I’m allergic myself.”
37 years: First IUI was successful
Cathleen’s wish was to have a summer baby. So, she planned her first IUI treatment accordingly.
In October 2021 the time had finally come – the ovulation test showed a smiley in the display😊. Now it was time for Cathleen to make her way to Aarhus.
“Just get into the car, set off towards Denmark, and don’t rack your brains, I said to myself. I didn’t expect it to work on the first try – maybe that helped in the end.”
Because that’s how it was for Cathleen; 14 days after the treatment she held the positive pregnancy test in her hands.
In June 2022 Cathleen gave birth to her daughter, Luisa. A magical summer child, just as Cathleen had hoped. She finally became a solo mum by choice.
Solo motherhood: Thoughts and concerns
Before Cathleen decided to become a solo mum by choice, she naturally had thoughts and worries.
She was particularly concerned about whether she would make it financially. She was also a bit worried about her own health. What if something happened to her?
Cathleen mentions that all soon-to-be parents, whether in a partnership or single, likely share similar concerns and anxieties beforehand.
“Many have warned me beforehand that being alone with a young child will be incredibly hard. But that’s not how I felt. Maybe I’m just lucky, but my daughter and I are a super relaxed team. I have absolutely nothing to complain about.”
Advice from charity organisations
Here at the clinic, we often get questions about financial support for solo mothers by choice. When we asked Cathleen about it, she recommended that German solo mums contact the charity organisation “Pro Familia” for advice.
“They helped me to fill out the application for parental allowance and they gave me advice on all aspects of this topic. They also gave me great advice on other financial subjects and various preparations I could make before the birth.”
In addition, Cathleen tells us about the so-called child allowance that you can apply for, as well as housing allowance and a household help for childbirth. This, however, probably varies from country to country.
Cathleen’s message to future solo mums by choice is very clear,
“Seek advice and guidance where you can!”
Solo mum by choice: Accept Help!
Cathleen would also like to emphasise that as a new solo mum, you should accept all the help that is available.
When friends and family offered help, she simply said, “yes please”. Because even small actions can make a big difference. Family and friends have been shopping for Cathleen, walking the dog and supporting her with everything else that came up.
“My priorities have changed, and household chores often become a side issue – but luckily there is no one else around to bother.”
Although it is not always easy to reconcile everything, you should definitely not be put off from going the solo-mum-route,
“I didn’t expect how much I would love this little human. This love is unconditional and unique.”
Single woman: Dare to walk this path
Although Cathleen thought about the financial situation in advance, after the birth she quickly realised what was most important,
“You don’t need a huge apartment, lots of toys or a ton of baby clothes. Closeness, love and security are what really matter”.
She herself would have wished that she had dared to go down the path as a solo mum by choice earlier and not first at the age of 37.
When we ask her what she would like to say to other women who are considering becoming a solo mum by choice, her answer is,
“It’s going to be the greatest adventure of your life, and it’s so nice to be a mum – even nicer than you can imagine. Don’t worry too much and enjoy every moment!”
Thank you, dear Cathleen, for your openness!
Blogpost by Line, Fertility Coordinator at Diers Klinik.