A woman decided to do it alone after turning 40 and became a single mother by choice. Michele Elizaga, now 43, from Arizona, US, was fed up with waiting for the right man to come along and decided that after celebrating her 40th birthday with her girlfriends she was going to have a baby by herself and gave birth to her son, Matthew, now 2.
After spending years dreaming of meeting her ideal man and starting a family, Michele decided it was time to take matters into her own hands after turning 40 as she felt like time was running out.
In June 2019, Michele welcomed her baby boy, Matthew, who was born with Down Syndrome – he is now 24 months old.
Michele says that during her 40th birthday celebrations she sensed that something big was on the horizon for her and had a baby on her mind.
She added: “I have never been married and it has been such a long time since my last serious boyfriend.
“I have always wanted to get married and I’d hoped I’d become a mum, but it just wasn’t working out for me.
“My birthday is in January and every year I think to myself that this would be the year I would meet someone.
“I was away in Costa Rica with my best friend to celebrate my 40th birthday and I was hoping more than ever that this would be my year to meet my perfect man.
“I wanted to have a family and now that I was turning 40 I was aware that the clock was ticking.
“I was talking about how much I would have liked to have been a mum and that I feared my time was running out.
“And then one of my girlfriends said something that shocked me.
“She told me that I could have a baby without a man.
“That next morning I woke up with a baby on my mind and I felt compelled to pursue this path.
“So I started googling the process and that’s where it all started.”
Michele had £3.5k [$5k] in her savings but knew the process was going to be expensive.
She chose to go with IUI as it was the most affordable option and her £3.5k [$5k] would cover one vial from a sperm donor.
Single mother by choice says it is an empowering experience
Michele said: “The doctors told me that it would be unlikely that it would work after the first time and that I should have bought more sperm.
“But it was all I could afford, so I kept moving forward with the process with the faith that it was going to work out.
“Two weeks later, I woke up anxiously at 3am and I took a test.
“I looked back at the pregnancy test and I saw those two lines show up.
“I couldn’t believe it. I still can’t believe it.
“I was in complete shock but I was so happy.”
At 12 weeks pregnant, Michele underwent prenatal testing, which looks out for genetic conditions, due to her age and to find out what gender her baby was going to be.
Michele was told that she was going to be having a boy.
However, this was also the moment that she found out that there was a nine out of ten chance that her baby was going to have Down Syndrome.
Michele said: “I was devastated. I cried a tonne.
“But I knew that I was still going to have this baby.
“There was no way I was going to terminate the pregnancy.
“When I heard the news that it was likely that my baby was going to have Down Syndrome I was in shock.
“I had no experience of Down Syndrome, so I spent the rest of my pregnancy doing research.”
After a smooth pregnancy, Michele had an emergency C-section and gave birth to her baby boy, Matthew, on 3 June 2019.
She says that by the time she came back around after the surgery, he was already in NICU.
Michele added: “A nurse told me he was alive, beautiful and looked just like me.
“I went down to meet my baby a few hours later.
“It was the sweetest moment and I was so happy to be reunited with him.
“He spent two months in NICU before coming home. It’s been quite the journey.
Single mother by choice even if the baby has special needs
“Being a single mother is exhausting and hard, especially as Matthew has additional needs.
“But I wouldn’t change it for the world and I couldn’t imagine him any other way.
“It has been such an empowering experience and I have been astounded by my strength and ability.
“Matthew is a hilarious and sweet baby with the best energy.
“He is just amazing and I am so grateful for being his mum.
“I do still hope that I will meet someone one day as I would like to share my life with the right person.
“But I have been single for so long and didn’t meet anyone, so I can’t see how I will meet anyone now especially with a baby who has Down Syndrome as I am constantly busy making sure I am doing everything I can to support him.”
Also read: Online etiquette to teach your kids – Part 1