Shari Hill, 31, always knew she wanted to be a mum and for her, single parenthood was the goal.
Shari, from Boston, Massachusetts, has always been very independent.
Even though she’s had relationships in the past she realised only dating to have children and not because she was in love.
So, as she approached 30, and she decided to become a single mum by choice, and after four artificial insemination attempts, baby Ruthie was born.
Shari said: ‘I always knew that I wanted to become a mum one day, but I also always knew that I wanted to do it alone and be a single mum by choice.
‘I’ve always been very independent and like to do things my own way.
‘As my thirtieth birthday approached, I decided to get the ball rolling.
‘I was in a great relationship before I started my journey to becoming a single mum, but I wasn’t in love and I would have just been getting married to have a baby, and that’s not the right reason.
‘I’d found the “perfect guy” but I still had the urge that I wanted to do this journey alone.
‘So I put an end to the relationship and began my solo journey to parenthood. I started doing lots of research and made appointments with fertility specialists.
‘I went down the route of medicated IUI and chose my donor. I decided to choose a known donor, which means that when my baby is 18 they can reach out to the donor if they choose to, and he is required to respond at least once.
‘It took four attempts for me to get pregnant, but luckily for me, my insurance covered the entire thing apart from the donor which cost around $5,000 [£4147.83].’
Not long after she turned 30, Shari learned she was pregnant, which she describes as the best birthday present possible.
Shari said: ‘Everyone was so supportive of my decision to become a single parent.
‘My baby is named after my grandma who passed away two years ago due to Covid. She would say that she always saw me as a mum but never married because I am is so independent.
‘So it just made sense.
‘When I discovered I was finally pregnant with Ruthie, I couldn’t believe it was finally happening.
‘It was one of the best moments of my life, aside from when I was finally able to hold her in my arms.
‘I was slightly scared, of course, but becoming a parent is always a scary thing to some degree.
‘However, I always knew that I would figure it out, and it’s been the best decision I have ever made.
‘During my pregnancy, I had lots of family and friends around me, so I never felt like anything was missing because I always had people to share the special moments with.
‘My parents came up from South Carolina a couple of weeks before I was due to give birth to help with the final touches on the nursery.
‘My mum and dad drove me to the hospital, and my two best friends were there when Ruthie was born. One of my closest and longest friends even cut the cord.’
Shari has found settling into single motherhood a joy, with just a few particularly challenging days to reckon with.
She said: ‘Adjusting to our new life has been amazing. I am still on maternity leave and we go to lots of groups which is so beneficial.
‘I love spending every moment with Ruthie and seeing her hit all little milestones. It’s bittersweet because it makes me sad that she is not an itty bitty baby any more.
‘She is rolling and becoming more interested in the world around her, and developing new skills all the time.
‘People say that don’t know how I can do this alone, but I have always had the mindset of knowing that it would just be me. That’s how I wanted it to be.
‘Being a single mum was the right thing for her, and doing it as I turned thirty was the perfect timing.
‘I’m not saying I am closed off to love in the future, but it would have to work for Ruthie and me.
‘I’ve been single more of my life than in a relationship, and I am so content single.
‘I couldn’t imagine doing this any other way.’
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