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I’ve always known that I wanted to be a mom someday. It’s something that I was looking forward to as soon as I was married. But, life doesn’t always unfold as planned and it certainly did not for me. For years, I would watch my birthdays pass by, knowing that my biological clock was running out and that if I wanted to have a baby, I needed to find someone soon! My friends and family would often ask, 

“Don’t you want to find someone and get married?”

But that was easier said than done, especially since online dating was not for me. The notion that there was a biological clock ticking away in the background was a constant source of anxiety and pressure.


Challenging Tradition and Family Expectations

As I approached my mid-thirties, I told my family that I may just have a baby on my own, to which they all reacted poorly. They were not supportive of me bringing a child into the world without knowing who’s the father. My Indian mother actually said, “Wouldn’t it be better to have a one-night stand, so that you at least know who he is?” Choosing to be a single mother was a significant contrast from the culture I grew up in, where my parents had an arranged marriage. I knew I didn’t want to settle just to have kids.  And so I was ready to go against their wishes to fulfill my dream if it came to that. 


Contemplation vs. Commitment

I spent a couple of years getting my head around the idea of doing it on my own. But I would soon learn that contemplating it and actually making the decision to do it, are two very different things. As I turned 35, I decided it was time to assess my fertility and consider egg freezing. I was aware that some clinics wouldn’t freeze eggs past a certain age, and I desired multiple children, so I needed to take action.

During the initial consultation, I was confronted with the harsh reality of my fertility decline over the next five years, even if I miraculously found a partner soon. My AMH levels, which measure my ovarian reserve, were on the lower end for my age group. I was crushed. I was healthy, and in good shape, I didn’t do drugs or drink much alcohol… How could this be? I realized once again that maybe I didn’t have as much time as I thought. And so it was time to commit and move forward with the egg freezing process…

 

The Egg Freezing Rollercoaster

 At 36, I began the process of freezing my eggs, and it was a rollercoaster of emotions. My follicle count had already dwindled from 12 to 10 between the time I got my fertility assessment and the time I started egg freezing,  leaving me disheartened. After a disappointing first attempt with only three follicles (none guaranteed to have viable eggs), I decided to cancel the cycle and switch clinics.

The change made all the difference. A new clinic, a different protocol, and a dedicated nurse to guide me through the process restored my hope. At the end of my injections, I was informed that I had 9 follicles and I went into that retrieval with so much hope! But after the retrieval, I was in for another round of disappointing news. I had been hoping to freeze at least 6 eggs, but instead, they were only able to retrieve 2. I was gutted. It was at this moment that I realized my fertility window might not be as open as I thought. The time I thought I had to potentially find someone and have a baby naturally with my frozen eggs was no longer feeling like an option. My doctor agreed;  it was time to consider trying to get pregnant. 

This was when I had to confront a profound question: Did I want to have my own child and find love afterward, or did I want to continue searching for love and risk not being able to have a baby of my own? It was the beginning of a series of questions I needed to answer before making the most significant decision of my life.

 


Grieving the Fairy Tale

Reading Mikki Morrissette’s book, “Choosing Single Motherhood,” there was one topic that really stuck with me – grieving the childhood dream. My sadness around becoming a single mother by choice was finally starting to make sense. Like most of us, I wanted to have a baby with someone. I wanted to share the joys, the milestones, the hard days and the good days… All of it… With someone. And so I cried many tears, wondering if my child would feel something

missing without a father. I questioned whether I was being selfish, how I could be both a provider and full-time parent and what I would tell my child when they asked about their dad.

I wondered how I had ended up here – alone at 37, yearning to have a child on my own. I wondered if I had done something wrong, because this wasn’t the way it was supposed to be. It took time, introspection, journaling, coaching, and meditation to work through these emotions.

 

The Ultimate Revelation

Ultimately, I came to the realization that becoming a mother was more important and meaningful to me than finding a partner. My greatest fear was to go through life without experiencing the joys and challenges of motherhood. The clock was ticking and I couldn’t just watch the clock run out without trying. I couldn’t let it dictate my happiness.

While this was not how I envisioned being pregnant, or raising a child, it was time to let that go. It was time to create a new vision of being a mom, raising my child, doing it all, and finding love after I had my baby. It was time to focus on what I did have vs. what I didn’t have.

So, I made the most empowering decision of my life and chose to become a single mother by choice. Little did I know that the journey to motherhood would be filled with unexpected twists and turns. It took years of multiple IUIs, rounds of IVF, and trying different donors to finally achieve my dream of becoming a mother. Today, I write as a choice mom with an eight-month-old bundle of joy who is the light of my life. Every day brings its unique joys and challenges, but it’s a journey I am forever grateful for.

Looking back, I only wish I had made the choice to be a choice mom sooner. This journey to becoming a single mother by choice was a rollercoaster of emotions, self-discovery, unwavering perseverance and resilience. It taught me that sometimes the path we least expect is the one that leads us to our destiny.

 

Reema Kiran’s Bio

In an age where women no longer have to settle, Reema Kiran is an embodied voice in support of the growing number of career women choosing single motherhood. With her own experience through unexplained fertility and conceiving her daughter as a single mother by choice, the ‘Choice Mom Coach’ founder merged her established career as an executive coach with a management consulting company and coaching as a Professional Certified Coach with the International Coaching Federation, to intentionally empower those no longer compromising on their motherhood dreams. 

Knowing that many women forgo this path due to societal and familial expectations, especially as an Indian-Canadian woman, Reema harnesses her deep empathy and familiarity with diverse cultural sensitivities when working with women on this journey. It is her belief that with aligned support and an unwavering commitment to one’s own personal growth, women can find the strength, resilience and courage they need to pursue their innate purpose of becoming the mothers they’ve always wanted to be. Because, no woman needs to go through this process alone.

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