Karen and I met in fifth grade at our weekly gymnastics class. Though we went to different schools, we soon realized our homes were walking distance from each other and we would often meet at the library (the halfway point) to hang out. Soon, we were inseparable. We had sleepovers all the time, hung out nearly every weekend and shared all of our hopes and secrets. We share so many fun, crazy, wild and sweet memories together.
(raise your hand if you had the “Club Monaco” sweatshirt, ha)
We ended up going to different high schools and over the years saw each other less and less, but we did keep in touch via social media. Karen and her mom even came to Harper’s first birthday party when we visited Canada several years ago. Though we don’t talk as often anymore, I still have so many fond memories of our childhood together – she’s one of those friends I will never forget – sometimes, it felt like we were sisters.
One day, while scrolling through Facebook, I saw that Karen had announced her pregnancy – and very openly shared her fertility story. Karen was 34, single and decided she was ready to be a mother. I so admired her openness, vulnerability and for pursuing something so important to her – motherhood.
I often recall thinking, from my teenage years on – that no matter what, I wanted to be a mother. I remember telling myself I’d find a way to do it on my own if I hadn’t met the right person or under any other circumstance, for that matter. That is a determination that never left me and maybe that’s why I was so moved by Karen’s story. I was so proud of her for choosing this journey.
I hope you enjoy reading about Karen’s journey to motherhood – in her own words. Karen, I am so proud of the incredible mother that you are to Leo and so delighted to share your story today.
Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be a mommy. I always thought that I would be a mommy with the help of a daddy. Never did I consider doing this alone. I married young at the age of 24 and wished to get pregnant as soon as I could. My husband at the time didn’t agree and rather than a pregnancy, after 3 years, I requested a divorce. In 2010, I started my search once more for the love of my life. I had a couple of great relationships with amazing men, but none of them were “the one.”
Fast forward a few years and I start to hear about my friends getting divorced, even though they appeared to be the perfect couple. Suddenly, children are being shared between homes and have two sets of rules and oftentimes warring parents. Sometimes women think they’re going to be co-parenting with dual income but that’s not always the reality and it’s sad.
I examined my life and what I want my future to look like. I’m well employed with permanent government role, have great investments (primarily real estate), great friends, very close family, and even a spare bedroom (hello nursery!) I’ve partied (a lot), I’ve completed my university degree and post-graduate certificates, and travelled all over the world. I thought what’s next? What if I never find the man of my dreams? What if I find him when I’m 45 and I’m no longer able to have children? It can be hit or miss as we (women specifically) age and this was not something I wanted to miss.
I did my research and around my 34th birthday (March 2017) asked my doctor to be referred to Hannam Fertility Clinic on Bloor St. in Toronto as I had read many great things. I had a donor selection party at my house with some close family and friends and the perfect donor came on the market at the sign time. Hannam did blood work and I took the Anti-Mullerian hormone test to determine my ovarian reserve. Even if I hadn’t continued my journey from here, I still think this was a fabulous test to take! We found out that I should be able to have children, based on my eggs, though they were beginning to decline.
I began cycle monitoring, but then I travelled, which messed up two months. Then I didn’t want to go back because of the astrological signs that my child could have (I’m crazy, what can I say?). When I went back in October 2017, I was so ready. I had one failed Intrauterine insemination (IUI). When I got the negative pregnancy result back, I was devastated. I spiraled downwards, thinking maybe I could never have a child. What is my worth as a woman? What will I do with my life? My heart had so much love to give. At this point, I really tried to let go and just see what happened.
The second IUI was completed on December 10th and on December 22nd two pink lines appeared on the pregnancy test. I was over the moon!! I had the perfect pregnancy and Leonardo was born in September.
To be perfectly honest, I never once questioned my decision. He is the happiest baby and has made me the happiest mommy. My mother loves being his “Mimi” and I know he’s going to have a good life. I still think that one day I will find a good man who can add to our already perfect little family. But if the relationship doesn’t work out, I know Leo and I will be okay. My heart has never been so full, and my life has never been so complete! Thank you so much Karen for sharing your motherhood story!