Nearing 40 and single, Hayley Hendrix feared she would never become a mum – prompting her to turn to Facebook in search of an unusual solution.
A Queensland mum is encouraging women to use alternate ways to become mothers after she conceived her son thanks to a stranger on Facebook.
Hayley Hendrix is mum to son Remy and the author of Desperately Seeking Semen, which details her unconventional journey to parenthood.
Ms Hendrix told news.com.au last year how at 37 she had begun dating the man she assumed would eventually become her husband and father to their children.
But her plans of becoming a mum were shattered during an offhand conversation which revealed her boyfriend had no intentions of getting serious with her.
“While we were laying there embracing each other in the early hours of the morning he said, ‘Hals, you’re going to make a wonderful wife to someone one day,’” Ms Hendrix said.
“I was like, holy crap, this guy is going to cost me a family if I stay.”
Shattered, the pair broke up and Ms Hendrix was terrified that her dream of becoming a mother could be out of reach.
Desperate not to lose any time, Ms Hendrix booked in to see a fertility doctor. She underwent several unsuccessful rounds of IUI, otherwise known as intra-uterine insemination, using sperm from a donor bank.
“I had three IUIs and none of them worked,” Ms Hendrix said. “I was shocked when they didn’t.”
Ms Hendrix’s doctor then labelled her “medically infertile” and advised IVF was her only option.
It was at this point Ms Hendrix decided to press pause on her medical fertility journey and go rogue, turning to Facebook to find out what her other options were.
It was there she discovered a group which linked women looking for sperm with men willing to donate.
So began the nerve-racking process of finding a donor by sifting through the profiles of strangers on Facebook.
Ms Hendrix eventually found a potential donor in Melbourne, and the two began chatting.
“He ticked some physical attributes that were important to me, he had STIs [tests] done, he also had his own family so I knew he could create his own children,” she said.
After getting to know each other, Ms Hendrix decided to fly down from Queensland to Melbourne to try and conceive a baby.
It was similar to meeting up for a first date after weeks of texting – except there was no sexual attraction involved.
“It was a combination of fear and excitement … there was a lot riding on it,” she said.
Ms Hendrix and the man went back to the hotel where he made the first of three “alternative inseminations” – providing semen which she injected into her vagina using a needle-less syringe.
Three weeks later the miracle Ms Hendrix had been chasing for two years was confirmed – she was pregnant.
Ms Hendrix gave birth to son Remy in 2018 and says becoming a mother has transformed her life for the better.
“He’s my world. I haven’t had a night off in three-and-a-half years,” Ms Hendrix said. “I just wouldn’t change anything … we have a wonderful relationship.”
Remy has met his donor father and Ms Hendrix frequently shares updates with him. She plans to explain to her son about how he was conceived when the right time comes.
Ms Hendrix encourages other women to consider becoming what she calls “accidentally” pregnant as you don’t need to be married or even in a relationship to become a mum.
“Women overthink it, because we’re too busy looking for ‘the one’ and I think we should stop searching for ‘the one’,” she said.
Ms Hendrix also advises single women to “look within their communities” for donors first if they want to become pregnant rather than just going straight to a fertility clinic.
“Have those conversations with people,” she said.
“Give up on the idea of what you thought life would look like … work with what you’re sitting with right now.”
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