Ukraine: Exploring adoption

After a grueling year of trying to conceive as a single female while living a nomadic lifestyle abroad, I began to wonder if this was the right path to parenthood for me. “What other options do I have?” I asked myself, heartbroken and mad at my body for failing me when I needed it the most. Well, I could find a partner to have children with — everyone else does it, why not? — but then I remembered that’s exactly what I’d been searching unsuccessfully for over the past twenty years. Knowing I’m too picky and impatient to continue with the literal manhunt, I briefly considered surrogacy. Briefly, like for five seconds, because that path is rife with emotional and ethical issues I wasn’t ready to consider. So, that left one possible option: adoption.

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Spain: Finding my footing only to lose it all

I remember thinking how odd the light outside was the afternoon I went to Planned Parenthood, like everything was bathed in black light. It was Tuesday, November 10th, so the days were much shorter, but the addition of cold rain dimmed what little light remained at 4 o’clock. This was my first visit to the clinic and the rain should have dampened my spirits as it had done to the fall sky, but it hadn’t. I had thought long and hard about what I was about to do, and I knew I was making the right decision; many people in my situation would disagree with my actions, but that didn’t matter because this was my body and my life. I was ready for my procedure, ready to build a life without this burden, ready to take out my IUD. Continue reading “Spain: Finding my footing only to lose it all”

Minefields in dating while trying to get pregnant

At what point do you tell the guy you’re dating that you are trying to get pregnant as a solo parent? How will he react? And how do you react to his reaction?? Or, maybe, you just avoid the topic altogether and brush off his inquiries on why you’re always tired and you don’t drink at the bar and your boobs are sore AF thankyouverymuch. Fortunately, there are many ways to approach this minefield of a situation, and I attempt to address a few here based on personal experience.

Ever since I began this adventure last year, something inside of me has awoken. It’s hard to describe this raw, deep feeling, like a thirst that can’t be quenched or a hunger that can’t be satiated. I don’t completely understand it, but I know it’s the desire to share my life with someone, my own child; perhaps this is maternal instinct finally kicking in. Suddenly, I find myself bored with traveling to amazing places because I have no one to share the experience with. And after a year of living out of a suitcase, I’m exhausted and desperately want to lay down roots, have a child, and nest with them for a few years before going out into the world again. Continue reading “Minefields in dating while trying to get pregnant”

Thailand & Cambodia: A coordinated disaster

When I arrived in Thailand, issues related to traveling with a dog and negative pregnancy test results following my efforts in Turkey sent me into a downward spiral of depression and anxiety.  But the lure of inexpensive fertility treatments in Southeast Asia got my attention (see costs at end of post), and I decided to try again this cycle.  After being denied treatment in Turkey, I suspected Thailand also had discriminatory treatment policies, but I was in the country so it didn’t hurt to investigate.  As suspected, Thailand does not treat single women, so any online advice that states otherwise is unaware of a Thai law enacted last summer that bans the import/export of human sperm.  Just to be safe, I called a few clinics to inquire and they cited this law when refusing assistance, although a few sources said SAFE Fertility in Bangkok may be able to help.  (I never called them to confirm.)

After exploring various options and not wanting to repeat my Turkish Tinder fiasco, I decided that I’d start the medical process in Bangkok, order sperm from Denmark, and fly to Cambodia for artificial insemination (where it’s legal to have sperm sent to treat single women).  Coordinating everything took a *huge* amount of work, money, and stress, but I managed.  Overall, I ran into issues with the Denmark sperm bank and the Cambodian clinic which make me reluctant to recommend this approach to anyone, as well as repeat it.  But anyway, here’s how it all went down. Continue reading “Thailand & Cambodia: A coordinated disaster”

Turkey: Trying my hand at Tinder

Like anyone in my situation who wakes up to the fact “it’s now or never,” I arrived in Istanbul on the cusp of my ovulation cycle and decided there was no better time than the present to try to get pregnant. And let me tell you, Turkey is not the best place for someone like me to be, as it’s a majority Muslim society that strongly identifies with the traditional, male-led family model as well as antiquated laws that prohibit fertility clinics from assisting unmarried women. Continue reading “Turkey: Trying my hand at Tinder”

Bosnia & Herzegovina: Where my journey begins

I could feel his eyes on me in the dark. He was propped up awkwardly on his elbows, wife beater stretched across his generous belly. He seemed confused, and I could understand why. What the fuck was I doing? Just an hour ago we were sitting at a bar in downtown Sarajevo, drinking local beer and tapping out a conversation on his phone with Google Translate. Emboldened by four beers but still grasping for words, I asked him to help me with “a favor.” This was my first time involving someone else in my quest to get pregnant, and I struggle with asking for help in general, so my fumbling attempt to explain my situation to him and ask him to sleep with me did not go over well. But, being a man with two heads to think with, he understood what I was asking. He seemed on board, or at least that’s what I interpreted “check, please” to mean. Continue reading “Bosnia & Herzegovina: Where my journey begins”