Kelly is a Modern Fertility customer who, during the pandemic, realized she wanted to have a single-parent-by-choice family. She froze her eggs in the first half of the year and is now 12 weeks pregnant. Read on for her story.
Sunday Edit: What were your feelings on children before the pandemic began?
Kelly: I always grew up thinking that I wanted kids. But I also grew up with a fairly traditional idea in my head of what a family can and should look like — a mom and dad who get married and have kids and all live together in a home. This was the experience of my upbringing and can be a beautiful and fitting path for so many.
Gradually, as I got older and expanded my community, I was exposed to different kinds of families and life choices around fertility. I was also very focused on my career, where I’ve invested a lot of time and energy. All of this planted the seeds for me to start considering a path to starting a family on my own. The idea was in the back of my head for a while, but it was a slow burn and I hadn’t made any decisions until last year.
SE: At what point during the pandemic did you realize you wanted to pursue pregnancy?
Kelly: At the beginning of the pandemic, I was struck by how much time we all had to consider what’s really important, and rethink a lot of how we structure life once our regular routines were turned upside down. In addition to this personal time, the time spent with family and loved ones (safely) throughout the pandemic time felt especially precious and nurturing. This all helped me crystalize what I really wanted.
The silver lining about the pandemic is that it was a forcing function to embrace a lot more “unconventional” life paths or decisions, mostly because all existing plans went sideways. For me, this felt like permission to pursue the family and life I wanted unbeholden to the “traditional” way of doing things. Of course, I always had that permission, but the pandemic helped me fully see that.
So within the first half of the year, I froze my eggs and created embryos with donor sperm. I’m now about 12 weeks pregnant — and it’s been so much fun and feels so right, definitely reinforcing that this was the best decision for me personally.
SE: What do you think accounted for the change?
Kelly: It was two things — spending time with my family, particularly over the holidays, and finally having all the personal time I needed to create my plan for parenthood.
After freezing my eggs and creating embryos — and then having such a special time with my family over the holidays — I had clarity about what I wanted and felt ready to move forward. I thought, “why to deprive myself and my family any longer of having a kid if that’s what I really want?” It was an incredibly empowering and exciting shift in thinking.
Also, in Covid times, I finally had the time to map out my plan. I was able to look up my school districts, research the costs of child care, weigh other financial considerations, and so much more than goes into preparing to become a parent. The extra time over the last year made a big difference in the logistics, which made it all possible.
SE: How was the process of finding a donor during the pandemic?
Kelly: I was able to find a donor relatively quickly through a cryobank. The process was pretty straightforward, I was able to pick out the donor and go with it all on my own terms.
SE: What has it been like to be pregnant during Covid?
Kelly: I feel incredibly supported, both by my family and my friends. My immediate family felt so much joy and excitement. And I realized ever since I started sharing my plan with friends, that others in my circle had become single-family-by-choice parents as well. I have a close friend who has two kids and an adoring husband, and I never knew she actually conceived her two kids before meeting her [now husband]. This path is more common than I initially realized. I also feel like the pressure is off of dating now. I don’t feel like I’m looking for the parent of my unconceived child, which isn’t really a fair way to enter a relationship, to begin with. Ultimately, I’m just so much more aware of the many possibilities for creating a loving family.