Nothing has inspired me to be stronger or bolder or more determined than becoming a mom. Motherhood has empowered me to take enormous leaps of faith at times because I’ve had to and at other times because I want to. Because there’s something about raising other humans that compels me to live my life in a way that gives them a living example of what I hope for them. As I agonized over whether I should leave my very stable and secure job to start NeighborSchools, I knew deep inside that I had to give NeighborSchools my all. Being my authentic self and following my dreams is the best way I could inspire Hudson and Brooks to do the same. It was scary as hell to take that leap but it’s wild how motherhood gives you strength you never knew you had.
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Alexandra was born to be a mom and she knew it from a young age. She even remembers as a child volunteering to change diapers so she could spend more time with them! So when she turned 30, still single and determined as ever to have kids of her own, she decided not to wait any longer and go for it. On today’s episode, Alexandra shares her infertility journey, her experience with IVF, her ectopic pregnancy, her life as a single mom to two incredible kids, and her journey coming out as her authentic self to and for her kids.
Tell us about your journey in becoming a parent.
My journey to become a parent is definitely different from the norm at thirty years old. My stepdad was diagnosed with cancer and we really didn’t know if he was going to make it. It just made me realize that life is short and if there’s something you want to do, you should do it. I realized that at thirty I was still single and I wanted to have a child. I realized that I would be okay not getting married and not having a partner in life. I can honestly tell you I would not be okay not being a mom. It’s just what I felt like I was born to do. Life just didn’t have meaning with our kids for me. I know that that’s not for everybody. So I don’t want to insinuate that’s how moms should feel.
So when I turned 30, I knew that I was getting older and it could be a struggle to get pregnant. I knew that I didn’t want to just have one child.. I’m so grateful that I started when I did because if I had waited and started at age thirty-eight, I probably would not have my daughter. I started at 30 with IUI. Then I went to IVF. During the second round of IVF, which was about a year after I started the process, I got pregnant with my son and had him when I was almost 32. Then three years later, I had my daughter.
You shared this beautiful story of how you conceived your son. How long did you wait before having your daughter and what did that journey look like?
I wanted to have my kids very close in age. I wanted them to be a year and half apart to two years apart. Then I had my son and realized, this is a bit harder than I thought. I am not ready to bring another into this world yet. I waited until my son was three to start the process again. I thought the process would be faster because I wasn’t going to do IUI this time. I had two embryos frozen so I just didn’t think it would be a problem.
I started again in October of 2019. And I used one embryo the first month of IVF. I used the next embryo the next month. Neither took and I was devastated because I’m realizing that of the five initial embryos, I only got one pregnancy. That being said, I didn’t genetically test the first batch because I was nervous about it. But the second time I went through IVF, I asked around and learned about it and I did do the genetic testing. Interestingly enough I got six healthy embryos out of this retrieval which was more than I had gotten the first time and they were all normal embryos.
I got pregnant with the first transfer, but that pregnancy was ectopic. It was devastating because that baby was alive and I was going to have to take her out. I had the ectopic surgery which was really difficult in a lot of ways, but obviously the right decision. After healing and cycling, I did another transfer and I got pregnant with my daughter. It was amazing and wonderful, but I was terrified the whole time. I was terrified in a way that I wasn’t with my son but I think it had to do with losing the baby in between.
I really appreciated your post about coming out. How do you use your platform to support and uplift other LGBTQ moms?
I was really late to find out that I was gay or late to accept that I was gay. I wish I had known and accepted that I was gay when I was young, but I didn’t come out until I was in my thirties because of shame and it’s unnecessary. You should never be ashamed of who you are as long as you’re not hurting yourself or anybody else. I think it’s just it’s so sad that so many people are hurting because they’re not living their authentic selves. My hope is that by sharing my vulnerability and by sharing my journey- Twofold one- I hope that it helps people realize that whatever you’re going through, whatever you’ve been taught, be gentle on yourself. And two- I think that we’re hurting ourselves and we’re hurting our children when we don’t live our authentic selves.
Co-founder & COO
Bridget is mom to two little boys, Hudson and Brooks, and a champion of working moms everywhere. NeighborSchools itself was borne out of Bridget’s challenge to find high-quality yet affordable child care, and the realization that so many parents struggle with these same issues every day.