In 2015 I decided to start a family on my own. Over the course of three years, I took many difficult steps to make this happen, ultimately choosing donor conception and in-vitro fertilization (IVF). To say this experience was “life-changing”, is a sheer understatement. It was so many things: more arduous than I ever imagined, and insanely hard to balance, but also immensely rewarding.

Starting a family in this non-traditional way means I have to work extra hard, not only as a single parent and sole provider but as a role model, educator, and example for my son. I had delayed my dream of having children to my 40s, writing a book, and starting a business. I wasn’t sure if I would ever accomplish all three, it seemed so unattainable working full-time and juggling life at home.

Then in 2021, I found myself suddenly unemployed. I had been working in corporate communications for nearly 20 years, and all of a sudden amid a global pandemic, the universe signaled it was time for a change.

Realizing that my son is always observing how we live life, I wanted to teach him the invaluable lesson of how to live it fully – meaning, now was the time for me to show him how we bring our dreams to life.

My first book, Mimi, the Solo Magician Mom, and Cameron – A Donor Conception Story, was born soon after and in early 2022 appeared on virtual bookshelves around the world. I’m super excited that this project, that’s near and dear to my heart, will be a resource for parents raising donor-conceived children and will help others start conversations about non-traditional families, like ours.

In 2022, I reached another personal milestone when I opened up shop with my first product “Real Firsts” inspired by my early days of parenting. To cope and cut through the isolation I would often post adorable photos on social media for family and friends who lived far away. Most often using a “warts and all” approach. I soon found that sharing the not-so-glamourous parts of parenthood helped me connect more with other parents and also eased the burden of perfection (a completely unachievable parenting myth).

Soon after I created a complimentary second product “My Age” milestones that will be in stock in mid-October. They are beautiful Woodland-themed milestone age markers and keepsakes – and the perfect gift for new parents.

What does the future hold? Well, I am a communicator at heart and it’s time to get back to the career that I’ve built while running my ‘side hustles’. I’m fortunate to have had this opportunity to follow these dreams and hope there are many more milestones to come.

I’m hoping these products that I created bring you and your loved ones joy! Please check them out at melissamacdonaldauthor.com and bebemilestones.ca.

Melissa


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