Marie Claire Australia

ALEXANDRA COLLIER Mother to a son (aged 22 months)


It was when Alexandra Collier was in her mid-thirties, a playwright living in New York, that she first developed “baby hunger”, a way to describe her deep longing for a child. After separating from her long-term partner because he wasn’t ready to have kids and she was unable to find anyone who was (anyone she wanted to build a life with anyway), she decided to “pull the trigger” and have a baby via donor sperm. “My reproducti­ve timeline was out of sync with my romantic life,” she says.

Alexandra admits she had to “grieve” for her dream of having a baby with someone else. “So many women have this dream, which I’ve been inculcated with since childhood: that I would meet the person who I was going to spend my life with and we would have children together. It was very hard to relinquish that because it’s appealing to share the making and raising of a child with another person.”

At the age of 39, after choosing an anonymous donor on the internet, Alexandra underwent IUI and fell pregnant during the first procedure. When her son was born, all her reservatio­ns about solo motherhood instantly dissipated.

“It’s taken away a lot of that stuff because there’s so much daily incrementa­l joy and love in having a child. There’s a huge amount of acceptance for women who have children. If you have a kid, you’re instantly in the club. But you’ve got to surround yourself with people who accept your mode of family making.”

Alexandra is proud to call herself a “solo mum” (“it sounds purposeful”) and is open about her son being conceived via anonymous donor. After watching several friends separate or have problems in their relationsh­ips, she’s grateful that will never be an issue for her.

But she’ll also never have a co-parent to share the load. Like many solo parents, Alexandra relies heavily on her family for support. “My family have become kind of co-parents to some degree. They’re very integrated in our life and we check in all the time. You’ve got to use all the modes of help that you can and not pretend that you’re not.” She also occasional­ly pays for a babysitter to catch up with friends, or go on a date, and says she’s never felt less alone.

“It’s given me such a sense of groundedne­ss and purpose to my life that I’m less lonely than when I was worrying about finding someone to have a kid with. The best thing about it is, I wanted something and I went after that thing on my own and

I got it. And that thing is not just any thing. I got a child and that is life-changing and miraculous. So that is very happy making.”


 ?? ?? Alexandra Collier with her son.
Alexandra Collier with her son.

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