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This month we have reviewed Going Solo, one woman’s pursuit of happiness through parenthood.

“I wrote this story for all those whose life hasn’t followed the path they anticipated. This is a reminder that more beauty than can be imagined, may be found when life offers a surprise, a twist or a deviation from convention.” Genevieve Roberts.

Mainstream media frequently ignores the idea that a single person may plan parenthood alone. For UK author and journalist Genevieve Roberts, this concept was attainable and she grasped the opportunity with both hands!

Solo motherhood

Genevieve found herself single at 37 after several failed relationships, including a divorce. After also suffering a couple of miscarriages, she decided to embark on solo motherhood.

This book tells her story from her first fertility MOT, which established that she was borderline infertile. It documents her hunt for a sperm donor, her IUI treatment and the birth of her daughter Astrid.

Genevieve said, “When I learnt my fertility was dwindling, I found the thought of not at least trying to become a parent heartbreaking. So, with no time to lose, I decided to do my best to become a parent and then hopefully meet a partner later down the line.”

Emotional journey

On the journey Genevieve pulls no punches as she describes the highs and lows of dealing with treatment. There is frankness in her descriptions to motherhood, particularly the emotional aspect. It brings home the reality of what all this feels like to someone undergoing it for the first time.

On the female body clock, she says, “I’ve never really understood that fertility is inclined to sneak away unexpectedly.” When at 30 she split with her partner, she didn’t rush to start dating again. At the time she didn’t realise the importance of her fertility window.

In fact, what she describes is the burden of a whole generation. A generation who found out about the limits of their fertility too late. For a sizeable and growing portion of this generation, they have desperately avoided conception. Now they are left wondering if it’s even possible anymore!

Fertility success

Genevieve was advised to undergo IUI for a few months before trying undergoing IVF. The reasoning being that a few months wouldn’t make a difference to the chances of IVF. This paid off for her as she became pregnant on the second attempt with IUI.

One of the things she mentions about this phase is the need for positive thinking. She said, “You have to believe this is going to happen!”

One of her consultants told her that he tells his patients to stand in front of a mirror and to imagine their body pregnant. This advice offered her insight to other patient’s journeys. Those patients whose quest for a child sees them return tine and time again for treatment.

What about the issue of going solo?

Women should explore their options for having a child alone. Women need not settle in the wrong relationship just because their fertility window is closing.

Genevieve describes the beautiful simplicity of the relationship between herself and her daughter. She is getting to know Astrid without having to consider a partner. With that in mind she is sad that Astrid does not have a father. She emphasises to Astrid how loved she is by her and all of her relatives. She also encourages Astrid to ask questions about the donor and share her feelings about not having a dad.

Genevieve concluded, “Going Solo is a love letter to my daughter. I hope if she reads it when she’s grown up, she’ll feel the love for her on every page. Secondly, I want people to know they always have a choice. It’s good to know about different types of non-conventional family, that are are brimming with love. Most importantly, I wanted to share my experience of life not following the path I most expected.“

Going Solo is available from Piatkus Books.

For more information please click here.