016: Joanna: Reduction, The Surprising Surprise About Having One Genetic Child and One Egg Donor Child

Joanna is a single-mother-by-choice who conceived two children, one with her own eggs and the other with a donor’s eggs. As an only child having more than one child was very important to Joanna. She tells me about the process of conceiving her first child, and the painful decision to reduce her pregnancy when genetic issues were discovered with one of her twins.

Joanna explains how she chose her sperm donor, whom you used for both pregnancies. Then she shared the much harder process of conceiving her second child with an egg and sperm donor. Although the pregnancy was more difficult, Joanna shares that parenting her second child was somewhat easier.

There is a blessing about being able to do a lot of things before you have kids. Now all I do is kid stuff, I don't do grown-up stuff, but I did grown-up stuff for forty years. - Joanna Click To Tweet

We discuss the differences between children and how the genetic connection plays into it. Joanna explains what she enjoys about parenthood and what she dislikes, her answers are honest and inspiring to anyone considering an alternative path to motherhood.

If you have one child and are contemplating trying for a second, Joanna’s story will encourage you to weigh your options and make the right decisions for you.

I was tired of the needles I think I had 3 sharps containers of needles at that point. I remember thinking, I just want someone to hand me a baby, and I do not care where it comes from. - Joanna Click To Tweet

Some highlights of today’s conversation:

  • Joanna’s early ideas of motherhood.
  • Why she felt the need to have more than one child.
  • The rigorous fertility treatments and the IVF (In vitro fertilization) that worked.
  • How Joanna picked her sperm donor.
  • The devastating news that one of her twins was not likely to survive.
  • The decision to reduce the pregnancy and what followed.
  • The exhausting year that led to Joanna’s second pregnancy.
  • How she chose her egg donor.
  • The bonding experience with Joanna’s children and the surprising results with each child.
  • Why Joanna is a big fan of making the 4th trimester easier.
  • Joanna’s support system and how being an introvert can interfere.
  • Joanna’s opinion on maternity leave and how the return to work differed from child to child.
  • Why nature versus nurture is bogus.
  • Why self-care is so important to your sanity.
One of the things about having kids late is I had a lot of friends who also struggled with getting pregnant and two of my closest friends had to do multiple rounds of IVF. I couldn't muster up a lot of pity for myself.- Joanna Click To Tweet

Resources

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Motherhood Reimagined: When Becoming a Mother Doesn’t Go As Planned: A Memoir by Sarah Kowalski

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Thank you for joining us for Motherhood Reimagined. You can contact us through the website or Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook. I am currently looking for guests for the show so if you have an alternative path to motherhood, I’d love to talk with you!  Also, Tribe is live! So check it out and connect with women who are exactly in your shoes and can relate. Please join us for our next episode when we talk to another inspirational mother!

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