In the months following that mother and daughter dinner out I occasionally tuned into the good people of Ambridge and the trials of the annoying and headstrong Ms Archer who was indeed pregnant by a sperm donor.
I had had some of my eggs frozen in 2008 after a break up of a relationship so I had already gone through the first part of the treatment for IVF. Gradually I began to gather information on the subject and started to wonder if I could be a single mother out of choice. By Christmas 2010 I was able to whisper the idea to my beloved older cousin and a couple of trusted friends. I have a theory that whenever you start sharing ideas things start moving. I make major decisions in my life with much gravitas and this one also needed serious deliberation, cogitation and digestion as someone once said.
Somehow I had to accept the fact that going down the sperm donor route meant I had to forsake the marriage I had always craved and believed in. I'm a traditional old fashioned kinda gal and it has taken me over a year to accept the fact that I'm not going to be a mother in the way I've always dreamed. I've always wanted a partner to share the planning of a baby, the excitement of going through it all together, the shared birth experience and then the crazy readjusting to life after birth. If I'm going to go it alone it's going to be tough. No one to help choose a name, the right buggy or more importantly chat over stuff at the end of the day or in the middle of the night when sleep is a long forgotten memory. So yes I know I will meet the right guy at some point and I know I can still have a relationship and get married at a later date but it won't be in the way I've always wanted.
At the same time I was also running practicalities through my head. How would I manage financially? My mother had kindly offered to help pay for the treatment but I needed to make sure I could survive independently as a single mother once I had the baby. Was my newly bought second floor flat suitable for a baby? Who did I have as support? Could I really cope on my own with a baby?
Nearly all the chosen friends and family I spoke to were supportive and helpful. Only one friend's husband had difficulty with the idea: “Well I'm sorry but I don't agree with it. You are dealt your cards and that's the life you've been given and you should just get on and make the best of it.” Funnily enough hearing that made me realise how much I did want a baby. It was fine for him to say that, stay at home dad of two gorgeous boys, but why couldn't I have that, even without the partner? The technology and science is available so why deny myself something I know I will regret if I don't at least try.