Not By Accident
About This Show
A documentary podcast series about choosing to become a single mother and coping with being one.
Series launch 31 March 2016.
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(Search terms: single mother by choice, choice mom, pregnant, parent, donor baby, rainbow baby.)
Most Recent Episode
Episode 12: Father's Day
1 day ago
Episode 12: Father's Day It was father's day here in Australia this month. Last year you were too young to be aware, but now, surrounded by talk of fathers at childcare, and in books, and on TV, you’ve started to wonder, and to ask. This was our biggest test of handling the Dad question so far. We've been figuring out how to talk about it since my nephew first asked, three and a half years ago. We're going back there. You're six days old. I apprehensively pack my things and prepare to be discharged. It’s been a surprisingly idyllic little sanctuary, this hospital room. No demands on me except gentle ones from you, people regularly dropping in to say hello, and I'm so hungry that even hospital food seems ok. That and medication are delivered when I need them; painkillers, iron supplements and laxatives which I feel utterly dependent on thanks to the disturbing haemorrhoids that came with childbirth. I'm not sure I'm ready to leave yet, but we have to start our real life together sooner or later. And we won't be alone, not yet. My mother arrives to take us home. I carry you and she wheels the suitcase. It feels almost comedic, the weak leading the weak, as we make our way through the hospital to the car waiting just outside. It's your first time outside, breathing fresh air, seeing trees, birds and the sky and I take a deep breath and gaze up, as if it's my first time too. Your bassinet is ready, on wheels so you are always near me. I establish breast feeding stations in different parts of the house, equipped with shaped pillows, lanolin for cracked nipples, water, snacks, baby care books and the iPad with an app to time feeds and keep track of which side we're up to. I'm obsessive about this, creating data to back up my unreliable memory. I seem to need something concrete as I figure out what I'm doing and whether I'm doing it right. Midwives comes each day for the first week. I really look forward to their visits. They take their time, let me ask questions and talk, and make me feel that I'm doing well. In contrast, when the child health nurse comes she succeeds in making me insecure about your routine, or lack of routine, about my general approach to parenting, and even about how crowded our coffee table is with books. She has such an abrasive manner, that my mother and I both feel like we're back at school and in trouble with the principal. I'm instructed the routine should be: sleep, feed, change, play, slee