We spoke to Mel Johnson of the Stork and I about empowering single women about motherhood choices.
I’m about to celebrate my 40th birthday as a single woman. I’m totally comfortable with being single, although I’m still hopeful that I’ll meet a great guy to settle down with at some point. In the meantime I’d much rather be on my own than settle for someone who doesn’t make me happy. The issue with being single and approaching 40 for me was less about not having a partner and more about the worry of whether I would miss out on having children.
Luckily for me this is no longer an issue. After years of unsuccessfully trying to meet someone and going on no end of dates that didn’t amount to anything, I felt that time was running out for me to become a mum, based on my declining fertility due to my age. For this reason I decided to have a baby on my own using IVF and donor sperm. This was not a decision I took lightly. I spent over 3 years considering whether this was the right route for me.
It got to the point where I realised that if I did not choose this option, I might miss out altogether and this was not something I could imagine. After undergoing IVF at Manchester Fertility Clinic, my second embryo transfer resulted in a positive pregnancy test and 9 months later I welcomed my gorgeous daughter Daisy into the world.
After sharing my journey on social media, I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of women who’ve contacted me explaining that they are in exactly the same situation and looking for advice and support. For this reason I decided to put my Life Coaching Qualification to good use, and start The Stork and I, a coaching business that supports single women in their 30s and 40s who are considering whether solo motherhood is the right route for them. I also offer coaching for those who’ve already embarked on the journey, but would like additional support and to become part of a community.
It’s been quite challenging to start a business whilst on maternity leave and being fully responsible for a young baby, but it’s something I’m so passionate about I wanted to utilise this opportunity to get it launched.
I’ve received a number of saddening messages from people in their late 40s and 50s who feel regret that they missed out on having children and wished they had considered solo motherhood. If I can help even just one person to avoid that regret and to achieve their dream, then it will be worthwhile.
Becoming a solo mum has been the best decision I’ve ever made. I would love to have started a family in a more traditional way, but eventually I accepted it wasn’t an option for me and now I would not choose it any other way. At times it’s been really tough, but it’s the most fulfilling and amazing thing I’ve ever done.
Mel's wonderfully inspiring story will be up on our Launch Pad this autumn.
In the meantime, you can follow Mel's journey of solo motherhood on her Instagram, Facebook, and by visiting her blog or if you have a question then don't hesitate to send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Photos by @nchopesphotography