Dismiss Notice
Hey Texans—join us for a DFW meetup! Click here to learn more.

Becoming a single mother by choice

Discussion in 'Women in Healthcare' started by cantwait2222, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. cantwait2222

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm a long time reader, first time poster, and am finally deciding to post because I really need some advice from women in similar situations. I apologize for the length, but I know this topic is very controversial, so I'm trying to give as much background about my situation as possible.

    I'm a first year dental student, and have three years of school left, but I can't stop thinking about having kids. It has always weighed heavily on my mind, but even more so lately, because of a slip up with birth control (I know the father is not interested in raising a child), and I am considering becoming a single mother. I was practically the primary caregiver to my younger brothers growing, as my mother was always busy with her friends (even though she never had a job outside the home) and my father was always busy with work. My parents relationship has always been very volatile, and they have separated countless times, but always end up getting back together "for the kids".

    I've never had any real desire to be in a long term relationship, and my longest relationship (two years) ended because my boyfriend felt I didn't spend enough time with him. I know this is not just because of my parents horrible example, but because I feel that I don't need (or want) to depend on anyone. I'm not really against the idea of being in a long term relationship, but I'm not optimistic about it happening anytime soon.

    I realize every girl (almost) feels the desire to have children as soon as they are able to, but I have always felt it so acutely. Whenever I see a pregnant woman, or see children, it seems like my uterus physically aches. I have been feeling this way for a long time, and I have tried to push it out of my mind by babysitting and being a nanny throughout college, hoping that I will convince myself to wait, but this only seemed to be counterproductive. I am in dental school because I believe it will lead to a fulfilling career, and I can't see myself doing anything else. I have just started my second semester, but I can't seem to focus on the schoolwork, because my mind keeps wandering to thoughts about having a baby.

    I know that single mothers are fully capable of raising healthy and confident children, although I know the majority of people disagree. I have weighed the pros and cons many times, but I keep coming to the same conclusion. I am seriously considering taking a semester or year off from school, and then coming back after having a baby. It is a lot easier to get through schoolwork when I only have a limited amount of time. I could care less about being at the top of the class, or having free time to go out.

    I have read through past posts on the best time to have a baby, and it seems like there is no real consensus. I know that most of you are in medical school, and the clinical years are very different, but I would still like to hear from anyone with advice.
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. cantwait2222

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    53 views and no one has any advice? or opinions?
     
  4. jinx520

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    Messages:
    5,868
    Likes Received:
    10
    Status:
    Non-Student
    Well, I'm not in med school yet (or dental school,for that matter), but I am a mother who started undergrad with a 6 month old infant and got pregnant in both undergrad and grad school. If you are pregnant now, then from what you said about yourself in your post, I think you would have the intestinal fortitude to make it work, although it would be extremely difficult. But if you are just thinking about getting pregnant, I would strongly advise you to wait until after school. Unless, of course, your biological hourglass has only a few grains of sand left. Still, I would advise you not to have any kids with anyone you wouldn't want to have as a co-parent.

    Reason: school is hard (duh, right?) and unless you have someone to share in the responsibility of childrearing, it will add an untold amount of stress into your life. And right now you are reasonably sure that the guy you are with won't want to participate, but you can't really be sure unless the situation really presents itself. By then you may find out that this guy demands his "rights" as a father AND is a major douche. Which means even MORE stress.
     
  5. lilnoelle

    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Messages:
    2,892
    Likes Received:
    6
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I'm a bit confused by your post, are you already pregnant?
     
  6. Auriga

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    Messages:
    597
    Likes Received:
    1
    MDApps:
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I wholeheartedly agree.

    If you are already pregnant, it sounds like you have the drive to make the best out of a seriously tough situation. But if not, don't go get pregnant now just because you feel strongly about it.

    Use that energy of longing to prepare for the child you will bring into the world. As an outlet for your hunger, take time now to shop around for baby things. Research the best educational toys. Save money. Decide what kind of camera you want to capture the baby's life on. Make clothes. Start a college fund. Pick out furniture.

    Bring a child into a stable life. Your childhood forms your life. Don't be selfish just because you desperately want a child. Parenthood is a lot about sacrifice - start with the sacrifice of waiting a few years.

    Take your energy and funnel it into preparation rather than spending the next 4 years shuffling the most important thing in your life around with your education.

    Otherwise, you'll short change one or the other of the two - then, both will suffer.
     
  7. dragonfly99

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    Messages:
    5,092
    Likes Received:
    46
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    <I realize every girl (almost) feels the desire to have children as soon as they are able to>

    Not true. Many don't want/need to have children for many years, and most people don't want to do it alone. It's possible to do it, but it's extremely, extremely difficult.
     
  8. dragonfly99

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    Messages:
    5,092
    Likes Received:
    46
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    You need to think about this more and harder, and I recommend with the help of your school's counseling services. Not because there is anything wrong with you, but because you grew up in a difficult family environment. Nobody has mentioned this, even though it's the elephant in the room on your original post - clearly.

    As a primary care physician, I have seen that if people don't learn to productively deal with past issues, they tend to rear up and bite you later. There's nothing wrong with being able to benefit from an outside, objective opinion (i.e. nonfriend, nonfamily member trained in human psychology and interactions).

    You don't say what your age is, but if you're in your 20's or something, you have plenty of time to have kids. Don't have a baby just to fill up a gaping hole that you feel inside.

    <because of a slip up with birth control (I know the father is not interested in raising a child)>

    You need to think about why the "slip up" happened. Was it truly an accident or did you subconsciously want something to happen? Also, you need to be honest with potential dates/partners. You would never want to "trap" someone into having a baby with you; that's not fair to the father.
     
  9. Pemberley

    Pemberley Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2005
    Messages:
    1,078
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Quoted for truth. If you have a baby, you want to do as right by it as possible.

    My advice: prepare now (research childrearing, take advantage of whatever parenting-focused psychiatry you can find, construct a reasonable loan pay-off schedule) and execute, if you decide to do so, ONLY when you are financially sound and professionally stable in a job that involves reasonable work hours.
     
  10. cantwait2222

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Everyone, thank you for your responses... I really appreciate them, because I really don't have anyone to talk to about this without being judged. So, I don't know if I'm pregnant, because I can't bring myself to actually take the test. Even though everyone say to wait, I really don't think I can (if I'm not pregnant already). My mind agrees with everyone, but my emotions don't. I know it would be a lot easier to wait, but it's sooo hard seeing so many people with children around me. I know I'm being selfish, but how many children are brought into this world unselfishly?

    Dragonfly99, I don't think that I grew up in a difficult family environment, or at least not one more difficult than most. Don't most people have issues with their parents?
     
  11. teucer

    teucer I'll take an M-14 any day
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2008
    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Rehab Sci Student
    Years ago this would be an embarrassment, to the point of moving from one's hometown to escape ridicule or giving up the child to foster care to avoid judgement. You are considering doing this of your own volition? In your first year of school at that? I'm not a religious man, myself--rather, I lean heavily towards atheism. I do, however, believe that children should be raised in a stable nuclear household that will be able to support them throughout their (oftentimes) 22+ year commitment. You'll be hard pressed raising a baby & going to school full time. I think you know my opinion, for what it is worth...if you haven't figured it out, I don't just think you're having some misguided thoughts--I think you've downright lost your cookies!
     
  12. NonTradMed

    NonTradMed Perpetual Student
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Messages:
    2,307
    Likes Received:
    10
    Status:
    Medical Student
    It would be really hard to raise a child by yourself. Do you have *any* support? Relatives or parents nearby? I mean, a young child is extremely difficult to take care of by yourself. If you can get some local support, I think you may be able to make it. Going it alone while in an intensive program will be very hard.

    I think you may want to ask for a deferement for a year to take care of the baby and then come back. A better option may be to put up the child for adoption since you would be ill prepared to take care of the child.

    However, if you are older and this child may be your only chance of having a baby, I can understand if you wanted to keep the baby. In that case, try to get a deferement for the first year of life, since it is the most time consuming.
     
  13. Dr.Millisevert

    Dr.Millisevert Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    Messages:
    1,577
    Likes Received:
    5
    Status:
    Dentist
    Thank you! Most people forget this fact or simply don't care what happens to the guy.
     
  14. cpants

    cpants Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,624
    Likes Received:
    250
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Why the quote marks around rights? And why would the father be a douche if he demanded his share of custody and visitation? Fathers should and do have rights. I think it's a disgrace that custody of children is granted automatically to mothers in this country, even if the father is a much more capable caregiver.
     
  15. jinx520

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    Messages:
    5,868
    Likes Received:
    10
    Status:
    Non-Student
    Sorry, I was speaking from personal experience here. I really do believe that caring fathers NEED to be involved in their kids' lives. But my ex-husband kept filing endless suits in court against me alleging this or that wrongdoing during the marriage (14 years after the marriage ended when he filed his first BS complaint). He spent 5 years filing document after document alleging my bad wife-ness without any intention or effort on his part to re-establish a relationship with my daughter. Hence the quotation marks and also the "douche" comment.

    All his actions did was cause my daughter endless heartache and me a few thousand dollars I could have spent on something more productive. Like shoes. But because he kept crying about his "rights" as a father, I could not simply ignore his stupidity and it had to be handled through the courts. The point I was trying to make to the OP (not clearly enough, obviously) was that, as an equal provider of the child's DNA, the father will have rights, no matter how honorable his intentions may or may not be.

    You are totally right about fathers rights, though, Mr. Pants. Again, I didn't mean to offend the good daddies out there.
     
    #14 jinx520, Jan 14, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2009
  16. tr

    tr inert protoplasm
    Physician PhD Faculty 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 1999
    Messages:
    1,486
    Likes Received:
    396
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I would *not* do this unless you are hitting the biological wall, and by that I mean in your mid-thirties.

    Finishing dental school is hard. Having a kid is incredibly hard. Having a kid alone is much more than twice that.

    If you are really having the baby hunger, I would put that energy towards finding someone who wants to play this game with you. Traditionally a man, but if that's not your bag, what about finding someone else to co-parent? Maybe another single mother or wannabe mother?

    You need a support system. When you're running to the toilet every twenty minutes to puke your guts out; when you are so fatigued you can't get up in the morning; when labor makes you think you are going to die; when the kid is waking up every two hours to eat; when he gets sick and you have to go to work; and on and on and on. Parenting is a two-person job.

    Here's a great article by a single mom about the tiny details you just don't think about until they happen.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/louise-sloan/single-mom-serial-killer_b_84153.html

    Now magnify that by a billion.

    Anyway, I would post your question at
    http://www.singlemothersbychoice.com/
    as you may get more firsthand, sympathetic info on the parenting side of this - which is really a much bigger, harder, deal than the dental school bit.
     
  17. potato head

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]

    biological wall at mid-thirties? i say early 40s. but on the whole, i agree.
     
  18. kelaskov

    kelaskov Junior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2005
    Messages:
    171
    Likes Received:
    9
    Status:
    Medical Student
    After doing a rotation in infertility, I would definitely say the biological wall begins at 35 if not earlier in somecases....this is definitely something to consider and I would look into the statistics regarding pregnancy and age if you are nearing your mid 30's..
     
  19. Dr.Millisevert

    Dr.Millisevert Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    Messages:
    1,577
    Likes Received:
    5
    Status:
    Dentist
    Yeah... that is.. if you want to have to rely on having expensive IVF treatments and heaps of fertility drugs.

    You know what they say.. be careful what you ask for.. you might just get it. See... you want a child and you may end up with 8 just like that woman in California recently after all the drugs make you release so many eggs at once. :)

    Studies show that fertility declines significantly at around 32.. and halves by 35.
     
  20. Dr.Millisevert

    Dr.Millisevert Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    Messages:
    1,577
    Likes Received:
    5
    Status:
    Dentist
    That is why if a man wants to get married and have kids. He should marry someone who is young enough such that by the time he is ready to have kids she should be somewhere between 21-28 years old. (for peak fertility) And.. if you want to have 3 or more children.. it would be wise to for her to start around (21-24). :thumbup:
     
  21. potato head

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]

    yes, i realize this. i was playing with semantics anyways. to be honest, women hit a "wall" at menopause. fertility is difficult at any point mid-30s, there are risks, but it no way are they fully prevented from it.

    regarding the original poster, and realizing how women in healthcare are in situations that delay them from having a family, if she were still say 34, i wouldn't advise her to throw in the towel just yet because her biological clock has stopped ticking.

    and addressing the original poster more directly, i think if your issue is that you have an unrelenting desire to have a child right now (i'll assume you're in your 20s), i would go about it through different means. rather than slip-up on birth control and involve a second party, it might be safer - and more issue-proof - to simply pass by a sperm bank and pursue a pregnancy that way.

    i have no issues with single parents, just make sure you're doing this as cleanly as possible.
     
  22. Dr.Millisevert

    Dr.Millisevert Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    Messages:
    1,577
    Likes Received:
    5
    Status:
    Dentist
    Thank You! Thank You!

    I completely agree with you.

    For women to pretend to "slip up" and trap men on purpose is simply wrong. This is the entire reason some men are pushing for what's called a male abortion.
     
  23. tr

    tr inert protoplasm
    Physician PhD Faculty 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 1999
    Messages:
    1,486
    Likes Received:
    396
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    If I were 34, knew I wanted kids, and had no male partner, I would start looking for another woman in the same situation and pair up with her for a trip to the sperm bank. Just because I think having and raising a child is too hard a job to do without someone to share the load. I would not, though, intentionally put off the decision at that point. Lots of women can and do have children naturally in their early 40s; but there are also women who are already infertile at 32 but who wouldn't have been so at 22. You don't know which kind you are until you start trying.
     
  24. cantwait2222

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Okay, so I hear what everyone is saying. I'm not pregnant now, and I will try to not get pregnant until at least the end of 3rd year. I have considered using a sperm donor in the past, but I don't really know how that would affect my child. I actually think it is a great idea, because you can't miss a father if you never had one to begin with, right?
     
  25. cali-ob

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2006
    Messages:
    224
    Likes Received:
    7
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    wrong. Are you serious? You can absolutely miss a parent you've never met. Haven't you heard of people tracking down their sperm donor dads? I don't know you other than what you have posted on this forum.
    I have no problem with a woman making an informed decision to become a single mother via an informed male partner (ie. sperm bank or male friend who is aware of your desires and agrees) but I don't think you are in the place of "informed" at this point. I have to agree with dragonfly that you might benefit from talking some things out first with an experienced counselor. There is some deeper issue that I sense needs to be addressed first.
     
  26. cpants

    cpants Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,624
    Likes Received:
    250
    Status:
    Attending Physician
  27. dragonfly99

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    Messages:
    5,092
    Likes Received:
    46
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I know tons of people in their mid and late 30's having kids. One must understand the risks, but I promise that hitting 30 (or 33, 34, whatever) is not the end of the world, reproductively speaking or otherwise. Really,
    I promise :)
     
  28. dragonfly99

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    Messages:
    5,092
    Likes Received:
    46
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Oh, and this isn't aimed at the OP, but nobody should have a baby out of desperation. I mean, don't go to a sperm bank as soon as you hit 30 just out of fear...must consider the long term repercussions of every decision, as well as effects on your future child. Having kids (and when, how many, etc.) is one of the most important decisions we all make in our lives, along with who to marry (or not) and picking a career.
     
  29. xscpx

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Other Health Professions Student
    The very fact that you cannot separate your emotions from what you know is logically right proves that you are not ready for children. Thinking with only your heart when it comes to kids is a terrible idea. To raise a child, you need to be practical, rational, and emotionally stable, all things which by your post, you do not seem. Wait. There is always time for kids when you are ready. Right now you sound selfish and almost childish.
     
  30. ohio23

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    You might want to give being a single parent a trial run by being a foster parent. It is by design a temporary setup. The financial strain is also lessened because you will be given an allowance to provide for the child. You would be doing some child a great great deal of good, and helping clarify things for yourself as well. It would be a very unselfish way to test your true motives.

    It is easy to paint a rosey picture of motherhood when you're high on the procreation drive hormones. The reality of a baby who cries all night with colic when you need to study, or has to stay home sick from day care when you have a final exam might make you reconsider going it alone.

    I agree with the other posters who say if you want to do it alone, you should seriously consider adoption. Your biological child would want to know her biological father; it's unfair to deny her that.
     
  31. LADoc00

    LADoc00 There is no substitute for victory.
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2004
    Messages:
    6,327
    Likes Received:
    379
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Hold it, stop. This is insane. Seriously, get a grip and try to imagine for a fleeting moment how INCREDIBLY F'ING HARD it will be to launch a career in healthcare in this economy while raising a child single-handedly. You are literally committing social suicide.

    You will have a very hard time EVER finding a long term mate, you think you have a hard time now? Watch them run.

    You will be poor, lonely, isolated and ostracized from married mothers with traditional working husbands.

    If you were standing in front of me I would rip you apart until you were sobbing uncontrollably if only to save you from yourself.
     
  32. Pharmavixen

    Pharmavixen foxy pharmacist
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,043
    Likes Received:
    14
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    A friend told me if she didn't have a baby by 35, she would get pregnant, and she did just that. Anyway, she is an awesome mom, but a couple of years ago she had to declare bankruptcy. There's very little support for single moms, both financially and emotionally. And having kids is really really hard. I have two of them, and though I have a partner, the little kid years were very stressful.

    When people think of having babies, they think of a cute wee one asleep in a sling. They don't think of toddlers throwing tantrums in supermarkets, or you're back at work, or you have a big test, and baby comes down with an ear infection that keeps him - and you - up half the night.

    My girls are over 10 now, but those little kid years seem endless when you're going through them. Think about not being able to go anywhere, and even if you could find a sitter, you've got no money. And oh yeah; if you're friends don't have babies too, they'll stop calling. Though you'll find you don't have as much in common with childless people any more.

    I know some fabulous single mums, two of whom got pregnant on purpose, one of whom has had 2 kids this way. But if somebody asks me what I think, I'd say, don't do it!!!!!!!!!!
     
  33. 235750

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    636
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status:
    Non-Student
    Let me understand this:

    You are unable to keep interested in a man long enough to have a proper relationship, so your solution is to get a sperm donor?

    Aren't you afraid that you might show the same casual disinterest to your child?

    I don't think the problem you should be figuring out is, "where should I get my sperm from?" I think you need some 'me' time to figure out why you can't keep interested in other people who care about you.

    Take Ohio's advice, be a foster parent in dental school see how that goes. That way you'll not only learn how hard it is, you could also make some money too from the courts :D And please, keep us updated!
     
  34. LADoc00

    LADoc00 There is no substitute for victory.
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2004
    Messages:
    6,327
    Likes Received:
    379
    Status:
    Attending Physician

    Actually good point, that is a serious red flag.

    Seems like being able to keep a relationship afloat is a fairly effective natural litmus test for baby raising.
     
  35. Pharmavixen

    Pharmavixen foxy pharmacist
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,043
    Likes Received:
    14
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    I would tend to disagree with this actually. Babies and husbands are completely diff...

    ...what am I saying??

    Um, yes; you're completely right. Men and children are equivalent :D
     
  36. xscpx

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Other Health Professions Student
    I think she means more on the lines of learning to have patience and how to compromise to make it work with a partner. Anyone who has ever been in a serious relationship knows that there is an amount of work that goes into it. Much work and patience also goes into child rearing. I think there is a reason why most of us have a partner first, child second (other than the purely physical reason of course) It seems to me that what you learn from a relationship directly influences you and helps to to further develop the skill necessary for good parenting.

    Anyone can be a parent....very few are actually decent parents.
     
  37. malpractician

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    OH The similarities, my ex, the single mother, also had a "slip up" (with her ex, not me). She also admitted she wanted 3 kids WITHOUT EVEN FINISHING HER MS DEGREE

    It took me way too long to put all the pieces together in the relationship, but once I figured it out I cut her off. She was fine with throwing away academia for **** jobs and poverty, i was not.
     
  38. SmKN808

    SmKN808 ♥...6102 o/ɔ doɔlʇs
    Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1,028
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Pre-Pharmacy
    sorry... NOT for me :D
     
  39. eyegirl23

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Optometry Student
    Do any single mothers on here have any opinions on this?
     

Share This Page