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Ask Miss Dinna: Half-Full or Empty? by Dinna Alexanyan, MFT

Photo: Dear Miss Dinna, I am a 40-year-old single woman who is seriously contemplating the idea of having a child.
Ask Miss Dinna

Dear Miss Dinna,

I am a 40-year-old single woman who is seriously contemplating the idea of having a child.  Let me rephrase that:  I want to have a child and I know that the clock is ticking and now is the time to make some decisions.

I still am holding on to the fantasy of meeting the one and making this happen naturally — but because of biological time constraints I'm feeling like I might just need to become more focused on finding a partner to co-parent with or other options.

There are a few men that I am close to that may be up to the task or have expressed interest, but I am overwhelmed with the idea of how the future might play out with each one, as well as the idea of being tied to that person for the rest of my life.

I am desperately afraid of making some treacherous mistake in choosing the wrong father for the child, and yet don't want to become so paralyzed that time moves on and I have missed my opportunity.

Funny enough, I am not as afraid of raising the child on my own as much as I am saddened by the idea of not being nurtured/being alone during the pregnancy itself.  I don't even know where to begin with all of this and yet, time keeps moving and if I don't make some moves I am scared I am going to regret this the rest of my life.

I want to add that I have support — via friends, family, good job etc.

Any suggestions?  Please help…..


Empty Womb Syndrome

Dear Empty Womb Syndrome —

Let's try to change the heavy, anxiety-driven perspective a bit, shall we? 

How exciting!  You're a grown woman who is ready, truly ready to have a child!   You have friends and family to support you and not once have you mentioned a financial fear….all of that is wonderful and a HUGE bonus when it comes to planning for a child.

You know what else is super exciting?!?!  You live in a time an age when you CAN do it by yourself and you have various choices of how exactly to do it.

Let's begin with the logistics — the make or breaks first.  I strongly encourage you to visit your OBGYN and begin to understand how "young" or "old" your ovaries/eggs are.  Please don't freak out if they tell you they are "old"….doctors are not the Universe or the Creator  - "miracles" or wrong estimations have been made and many a woman have left a doctor's office with discouraging news only to find themselves pregnant a month later.   You are just going for a visit to get a bit of an understanding of how things are running in your body.

Secondly — I would start to "prepare" your body for pregnancy.  What I mean by this is physically and spiritually.  Eat well, eat organic, exercise, lose any excess, unhealthy weight (I cannot tell you how many women I know have become pregnant after many struggles simply by changing their diet to an organic diet and becoming active and fit), I would suggest acupuncture, particular herbs, supplements etc. (this is out of my scope of practice so legally I cannot specifically suggest any herbs….but they are there for sure).  Spiritually, I would begin on meditating and visualizing this child that you are so ready to embrace into your life.  Make space for this child not only physically but mentally, emotionally, spiritually as well.

Now for the elephant in the room….the sperm.  Half-Full Womb (not empty, but half-full I will begin to call you) this is a question you have to be very honest with yourself about answering.  Many women believe that they want a child, but are not honest with themselves around the fact that they really want the family.  This is very important to acknowledge.  Some are not so focused on the family, and some don't want the family portion at all and just want the child.  Whatever if may be for you, you must be honest with yourself about this ideal or else it will catch up with you later.  If it's family you want, and not just the child, then you might want to look into freezing your eggs asap.

If you realize for yourself that the child is the most important factor with or without the nuclear family — then know this as well:  In all my years of practice, I have very rarely heard a woman say that she felt truly adequately nurtured by her male partner during the pregnancy.  If anything, she felt misunderstood and relied mostly on her girl-friends and maternal caregivers for support. I don't say this to knock men, but it is impossible to expect them to fully understand and/or empathize. 

I have often heard, however, that it is the moment you bring the baby home and ooh and ahh over it with your partner that can be quite blissful…that might be the more difficult transition.  Then again, if he's truly a good friend and the co-parenting is planned out — the two of you as well can share in that experience together.  If you choose the route of a sperm donor, well don't forget that those very friends that stood by your side through out the pregnancy are almost equally as invested to greet that child upon birth.  All that to say, that experience can be had with someone other then the traditional father.

If you are choosing your co-parenting partner and there is an understanding of each other's roles clearly as co-parents, then the answer of who this person should be to you appears obvious.  He should be your best-friend Womb, the person you best communicate with, the person who you truly feel thinks the most like you, has the most similar goals, ideals and ethics as you, and who most importantly, you can discuss anything and everything with in an objective, respectful manner.  If you have someone in the running like that who is as committed as you are — I say go for it! 

Lastly, I want to say that in all my years of working with people, I have NEVER heard a mother who had a child with conscious conviction say that she regretted the child or the circumstances.  That mother wants that child so badly, that she makes whatever situation work and no problem or strife seems to outweigh how happy she is that this child is in her life.  Meaning  - you will work it out, no problem will be the end of the world, no problem is unsolvable, you have all the answers right there with in yourself AND breathe….everything is exactly as it should be.

Wishing you a Full Womb

Miss Dinna  

Ask Miss Dinna a question — any question—  regarding relationships, sex and sexuality by emailing her at:, Subject: "Ask Miss Dinna." She may answer your question personally or in a future column (your name will be kept anonymous). 


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