My name is Sophie. I am 42 and my daughter Astrid just turned three. The day after my 38th birthday I called a clinic and booked an appointment to talk about choosing a donor and getting pregnant. I was single and had hoped I’d find myself in a happy, healthy relationship with someone who wanted to embark on parenthood with me. That didn’t happen and didn’t look like it was about to, so I had to take action before it was too late.
Life rolls along and we can’t always control the circumstances or events, we just have to deal with what comes our way. But now and then we can make a big choice, and take action and set life on a new course. We don’t have to just accept things as they are. We can make life more what we want it to be.
I’ve been using my audio recorder like a sketchbook or a camera for the past five years, capturing important moments and conversations on my path to single motherhood. I recorded my end of the many phone calls I made to tell the stories over and over to endlessly patient friends and family.
This series is a record for my child, and for people like her. It’s for anyone who’s had to go beyond a passionate encounter to pursue their dream of having a baby. It’s for women struggling with the momentous decision, some way along the journey or living as a fully-fledged ‘single mother by choice’ or ‘choice mom’ like me. It’s for those trying to understand decisions and actions being taken by someone they love. It’s for all the wonderful unconventional families who make the world a much more interesting place, and for all the wonderful people who accept and support us.
Not By Accident is a new audio documentary series launched as a podcast by Sophie Harper. It is about choosing to become a single mother and coping with being one. Episode 1: Insemination Story launched on 31 March 2016 and new episodes will be out every two weeks on iTunes, Stitcher or wherever you listen to podcasts.