The Stork and I
S5; E10 Chatting to donor conceived Skyler who was raised by a solo mum

S5; E10 Chatting to donor conceived Skyler who was raised by a solo mum

April 20, 2022

In todays episode, the last in series 10, I speak to 21 year old Skyler. 

Skyler and her twin brother were conceived using egg and sperm donation and raised by their mum in a solo parent family. 

Skyler shares her experiences and thoughts about being donor conceived 

 

In todays episode we cover: 

- The things we do when we want to fit in as a child

- Growing up being the only solo parent family in the area

- When something happens to your only parent that prevents them for caring for you as they would have liked

- Finding your own male role models

- Whether solo parenthood through donor conception is a selfish decision

- Ways you can struggle growing up without a father

- The importance of honest communication 

- What language to use with our children

....and much more!

 

Connect with Skyler

You can connect with Skyler on Instagram at @skylergranat

She would love to hear from other donor conceived people to share experiences. 

 

Thank you for listening to The Stork and I Podcast! I would love for you to share this episode and let me know what you think! Please take a moment to rate and review, it really helps others find the podcast which can be a great source of support!

 

About Mel Johnson

Hi! I'm Mel, The Solo Parenthood Coach and following my own journey to solo parenthood, I created The Stork and I to support others going through the same journey. 

I'm also on a mission to change the narrative around solo parenthood

Learn more about me and the coaching I offer at www.thestorkandi.com

 

Newsletter

I have created a monthly Solo Parent Stork and I Newsletter that you can sign up for at www.thestorkandi.com (scroll down to the section where it says subscribe) 

 

Instagram:

Join our Instagram community for more support: www.instagram.com/the_stork_and_i

 
Thriving Solo:
You can sign up to Thriving Solo, The Stork and I Membership Community for solo mums here: https://members.thestorkandi.com
 
Future Events: 
You can see our planned future events here:
 

 

 

 

 

S5: E9 Being connected to donor siblings families as a baby

S5: E9 Being connected to donor siblings families as a baby

April 6, 2022

In todays episode I speak to Emma. Emma is solo mum to a 9 month old daughter using sperm donation and she talks to me about her wonderful experience of being connected by her Sperm Bank to the other recipient parents who have all used the same donor. 

 

In todays episode we cover: 

- Being a solo mum with a very limited support system

- Being connected to donor sibling families when the donor siblings are still all babies

- The language we use and whether we should use the term 'diblings'  

- What makes a family and the importance of genetics

- Ways of finding donor siblings through Facebook Groups

and much more....

 

I mentioned being really interested in whether more sperm banks will follow what Seattle Sperm bank is doing, but actually the legislation in the UK will not allow it, so if we think this is something that should change, we would need to change the legislation in order for this to be able to happen for people who have used sperm from the UK. 

 

The whatsapp group I referred to in the podcast for people who have used Manchester Fertility / Semovo has been replaced by a Facebook group that you can access here

 

I have a live event planned with Seattle Sperm Bank to learn more about the programme Emma describes. You can get more information about that and how to join here

 

Thank you for listening to The Stork and I Podcast! I would love for you to share this episode and let me know what you think! Please take a moment to rate and review, it really helps others find the podcast which can be a great source of support!

 

About Mel Johnson

Hi! I'm Mel, The Solo Parenthood Coach and following my own journey to solo parenthood, I created The Stork and I to support others going through the same journey. 

I'm also on a mission to change the narrative around solo parenthood

Learn more about me and the coaching I offer at www.thestorkandi.com

 

Newsletter

I have created a monthly Solo Parent Stork and I Newsletter that you can sign up for at www.thestorkandi.com (scroll down to the section where it says subscribe) 

 

Instagram:

Join our Instagram community for more support: www.instagram.com/the_stork_and_i

 
Thriving Solo:
You can sign up to Thriving Solo, The Stork and I Membership Community for solo mums here: https://members.thestorkandi.com
 
Future Events: 
You can see our planned future events here:
 

 

 

S5: E8 Hearing from donor conceived Natasha who was raised by a solo mum

S5: E8 Hearing from donor conceived Natasha who was raised by a solo mum

March 30, 2022

In todays episode I speak to Natasha Fox. Natasha is 29 and was raised by her mum in London and then later Scotland. Natasha's mum was the first single woman in Scotland to use donor conception to conceive. Natasha has always known she was donor conceived and openly shares her experiences in this episode. 

 

In todays episode we cover: 

- Using a homemade book to talk to our children about their conception

- The importance of being honest and open about our childrens conception

- The influence we have over how our children feel about their conception

- Emphasising who we have in our life without labels

- Natasha's thoughts about growing up without a father in her life

- Why curiosity about a donor is not a reflection on the quality of parenting

- The best time to find donor siblings

and much more....

 

Resources

I have created a guide of how to create your own My Family book that is referred to in this episode available here 

You can listen to the webinar I recorded with Natasha here

 

Thank you for listening to The Stork and I Podcast! I would love for you to share this episode and let me know what you think! Please take a moment to rate and review, it really helps others find the podcast which can be a great source of support!

 

About Mel Johnson

Hi! I'm Mel, The Solo Parenthood Coach and following my own journey to solo parenthood, I created The Stork and I to support others going through the same journey. 

I'm also on a mission to change the narrative around solo parenthood

Learn more about me and the coaching I offer at www.thestorkandi.com

 

Instagram:

Join our Instagram community for more support: www.instagram.com/the_stork_and_i

 
Thriving Solo:
You can sign up to Thriving Solo, The Stork and I Membership Community for solo mums here: https://members.thestorkandi.com
 
Future Events: 
You can see our planned future events here:
 
 

 

 

 

S5: E7 Being donor conceived and using donor conception to conceive

S5: E7 Being donor conceived and using donor conception to conceive

March 16, 2022

In todays episode I chat to Freya. 

Freya is donor conceived and was raised by 2 mums. Then, her and her wife used donor sperm to conceive a daughter, so she has perspectives of both being donor conceived and also being a recipient parent. 

**Warning: we discuss some characteristics of the sperm donor Freya used in the episode**

 

In this episode we cover: 

- Feelings about being donor conceived

- A good age to meet donor siblings

- Finding your donor through DNA testing

- How it feels to connect with your donor

- What language feels comfortable

- Considering using a known donor

- The importance of constantly learning

and much much more!

 

Connect with Freya: 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/unicorndcp

 

Thank you for listening to The Stork and I Podcast! I would love for you to share this episode and let me know what you think! Please take a moment to rate and review, it really helps others find the podcast which can be a great source of support!

 

About Mel Johnson

Hi! I'm Mel, The Solo Parenthood Coach and following my own journey to solo parenthood, I created The Stork and I to support others going through the same journey. 

I'm also on a mission to change the narrative around solo parenthood

Learn more about me and the coaching I offer at www.thestorkandi.com

 

Instagram:

Join our Instagram community for more support: www.instagram.com/the_stork_and_i

 
Thriving Solo:
You can sign up to Thriving Solo, The Stork and I Membership Community for solo mums here: https://members.thestorkandi.com
 
Future Events: 
You can see our planned future events here:
 
 

 

S5: E6 Julianne Boutaleb, Perinatal Psychologist

S5: E6 Julianne Boutaleb, Perinatal Psychologist

March 9, 2022

In todays episode I speak to Julianne Boutaleb. 

Julianne is the Clinical Director and Founder of the Parenthood In Mind practice. She is a passionate and highly experienced perinatal psychologist who has worked for over 20 years in the NHS and private practice with parents and parents-to-be and their babies (and bumps) who have needed support with a wide variety of issues. 

 

In todays episode we cover: 

- Our reproductive stories and coming to terms with the fact that they might be different to how we originally thought they would be

- Dealing with feelings of loneliness and shame

- Managing the 'ouch moments' beyond the fairytale

- Projections on our beliefs of motherhood

- The feelings of finding parenting hard after a difficult fertility journey

- The importance of finding our village

- The importance of filling our own cup

- Tips of how to manage tricky questions that catch us off guard 

and much more.....

 

Connect with Julianne: 

Website: https://www.parenthoodinmind.co.uk/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/parenthoodinmind/

 

Thank you for listening to The Stork and I Podcast! I would love for you to share this episode and let me know what you think! Please take a moment to rate and review, it really helps others find the podcast which can be a great source of support!

 

About Mel Johnson

Hi! I'm Mel, The Solo Parenthood Coach and following my own journey to solo parenthood, I created The Stork and I to support others going through the same journey. 

I'm also on a mission to change the narrative around solo parenthood

Learn more about me and the coaching I offer at www.thestorkandi.com

 

Instagram:

Join our Instagram community for more support: www.instagram.com/the_stork_and_i

 
Thriving Solo:
You can sign up to Thriving Solo, The Stork and I Membership Community for solo mums here: https://members.thestorkandi.com
 
Future Events: 
You can see our planned future events here:
 
 

 

S5: E5 Finding out you’re donor conceived in your teens

S5: E5 Finding out you’re donor conceived in your teens

March 2, 2022

In todays episode I speak to Emily. 

Emily was conceived using a sperm donor and raised by a solo parent. Because it was pretty common to be a solo parent family where Emily grew up, she didn't ask many questions about her father until her mum showed her a documentary about donor conception when she was in her teens, and she realised that she was conceived with a donor. 

We explore the impact of not having those in depth conversations at an earlier age. 

 

In todays episode we cover: 

- Finding out you're donor conceived through watching a documentary

- The impact of not having conversations about donor conception from an early age

- The experience of meeting your donor

- How it feels to connect with donor siblings 

- Advice for others 

and much more.....

 

Thank you for listening to The Stork and I Podcast! I would love for you to share this episode and let me know what you think! Please take a moment to rate and review, it really helps others find the podcast which can be a great source of support!

 

About Mel Johnson

Hi! I'm Mel, The Solo Parenthood Coach and following my own journey to solo parenthood, I created The Stork and I to support others going through the same journey. 

I'm also on a mission to change the narrative around solo parenthood

Learn more about me and the coaching I offer at www.thestorkandi.com

 

Instagram:

Join our Instagram community for more support: www.instagram.com/the_stork_and_i

 
Thriving Solo:
You can sign up to Thriving Solo, The Stork and I Membership Community for solo mums here: https://members.thestorkandi.com
 
Future Events: 
You can see our planned future events here:
 
 

 

S5: E4 Hearing from the US Donor Conceived Council

S5: E4 Hearing from the US Donor Conceived Council

February 23, 2022

In todays episode I speak to Melissa from the United States Donor Conceived Council. 

Melissa was conceived using anonymous egg donation and her parents told her and her brother when she was 21.

Melissa is part of the US Donor Conceived Council, which is a nonprofit organization run by and for Donor Conceived People. They connect with other DCP, recipient parents, donors, industry professionals, and the general public to increase awareness of issues that impact DCP and promote change that advances their health, welfare, and human rights."

 

In this episode we cover: 

- The important topics that the United States Door Conceived Council are fighting for

- The feeling of burden that can be felt by DCP trying to find family members

- Some of the challenges with worldwide donor limits

- The differences in experiences of a RP and a DCP

- How societys view of what makes a family, might impact our thoughts about the term 'parent'

- The importance of not making the subject of donor conception taboo for our kids

- Why we should try not to take criticisms of the industry personally

....and much much more. 

 

Connect with Donor Conceived Council

To connect with the US Donor Conceived Council you can follow them on Instagram

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/donorconceivedcouncil/

 

 

Thank you for listening to The Stork and I Podcast! I would love for you to share this episode and let me know what you think! Please take a moment to rate and review, it really helps others find the podcast which can be a great source of support!

 

About Mel Johnson

Hi! I'm Mel, The Solo Parenthood Coach and following my own journey to solo parenthood, I created The Stork and I to support others going through the same journey. 

I'm also on a mission to change the narrative around solo parenthood

Learn more about me and the coaching I offer at www.thestorkandi.com

 

Instagram:

Join our Instagram community for more support: www.instagram.com/the_stork_and_i

 
Thriving Solo:
You can sign up to Thriving Solo, The Stork and I Membership Community for solo mums here: https://members.thestorkandi.com
 
Future Events: 
You can see our planned future events here:
 
 
 

 

 

S5: E3 Chatting to donor conceived Nikita who was raised by a solo mum

S5: E3 Chatting to donor conceived Nikita who was raised by a solo mum

February 16, 2022

In todays episode I chat to 24 year old Nikita. Nikita was donor conceived through sperm donation and raised by a solo mum in Birmingham. 

Being donor conceived inspired her to work in fertility which has allowed her to better understand the process from the parent perspective. She believe's it is important to hear the views of both parents and donor conceived people for future generations to have a more positive experience.
She started looking for her donor and siblings aged 16 and feels very lucky to have a supportive family. 

 

In todays episode we cover: 

- Talking to your childs friends parents about donor conception

- The benefits to our children of knowing other donor conceived children

- How it feels to find out your donors non identifying information at 16

- Finding half siblings and 3rd cousins!

- The benefits of RPs doing the work when it comes to finding donor siblings to give the options for DCP and not leaving all the investigations to our children

- Changing feelings about a donor over time

- How a sense of identity can be linked to understand who your donor is

- Creative ways of trying to find your donor

- The part genetics plays in our lives 

and much much more! 

 

Connect with Nikita

To connect with Nikita you can follow her on Instagram, where she will be more than happy to answer any questions:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/itsnikitaxx

 

Thank you for listening to The Stork and I Podcast! I would love for you to share this episode and let me know what you think! Please take a moment to rate and review, it really helps others find the podcast which can be a great source of support!

 

About Mel Johnson

Hi! I'm Mel, The Solo Parenthood Coach and following my own journey to solo parenthood, I created The Stork and I to support others going through the same journey. 

I'm also on a mission to change the narrative around solo parenthood

Learn more about me and the coaching I offer at www.thestorkandi.com

 

Instagram:

Join our Instagram community for more support: www.instagram.com/the_stork_and_i

 
Thriving Solo:
You can sign up to Thriving Solo, The Stork and I Membership Community for solo mums here: https://tinyurl.com/yckpfd9k
 

 

 

S5: E2 Jana Rupnow, Family Building Therapist

S5: E2 Jana Rupnow, Family Building Therapist

February 9, 2022

In todays episode I chat to licensed professional counselor and international consultant specializing in fertility and family building, Jana Rupnow. 

Jana M. Rupnow, MA, LPCis best-selling author of the book, Three Makes Baby-How to Parent Your Donor-Conceived Child. She introduced the field to the “five common fears” that parents face as they contemplate having a non-biological child. Thousands of readers around the world have trusted the wisdom and guidance because she knows firsthand what it’s like to be in a non-biological family, as an adoptee and adoptive mom.  

Jana also faced infertility and has helped thousands of people face the challenges of infertility as well as those preparing to grow their family in non-traditional ways. Working as an independent, she has fostered relationships with endocrinologists across the United States. Jana’s work, including the Three Makes Baby podcast, encourages communication between donor conceived parents and donor conceived adults, to raise awareness of the inherent challenges donor conceived families may face across the lifespan.  

 

In todays episode we cover: 

  • The importance of giving DCP a voice
  • The importance of working through any unresolved grief
  • How our children are influenced by how we discuss donor conception
  • The importance of language and what to call a donor
  • Why its important to own our mistakes
  • Advice about when to start talking to our children about their conception

 

Connect with Jana

For consultation, counseling, training for professionals, or a speaking engagement you can contact Jana on any of her channels below

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/janarupnowplc

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jana.rupnow

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JanaRupnowLPC

Website: www.janarupnow.com

Email: Jana@janarupnow.com

 

Thank you for listening to The Stork and I Podcast! I would love for you to share this episode and let me know what you think! Please take a moment to rate and review, it really helps others find the podcast which can be a great source of support!

 

About Mel Johnson

Hi! I'm Mel, The Solo Parenthood Coach and following my own journey to solo parenthood, I created The Stork and I to support others going through the same journey. 

I'm also on a mission to change the narrative around solo parenthood

Learn more about me and the coaching I offer at www.thestorkandi.com

 

Instagram:

Join our Instagram community for more support: www.instagram.com/the_stork_and_i.

 
Thriving Solo:
You can sign up to Thriving Solo, The Stork and I Membership Community for solo mums here: https://tinyurl.com/yckpfd9k
 
 

 

S5: E1 Conversations with Kiara who is donor conceived with a solo mother

S5: E1 Conversations with Kiara who is donor conceived with a solo mother

February 2, 2022

In episode one of series 5 of The Stork and I Podcast I chat to Kiara.

Kiara is a 24 year-old donor conceived person who was raised by her solo mom, Nicki. She lives in Chicago and is writing a book about being donor conceived and her story of navigating life and finding her donor related family. She is trying to redefine society's notion of a "traditional family". You can check her out on instagram @kiararaeschuh and get a free preview of her book at kiararaeschuh.com.

 

In todays episode we cover: 

- The impact the way you are told you are door conceived can have on you

- The importance of language around donor conception

- Finding donor siblings 

- How it feels to connect with your donor

- Whether genetics makes a family

- Advice for solo parents

and much more....... 

 

Connect with Kiara

Instagram: https:https://www.instagram.com/kiararaeschuh/

Website: kiararaeschuh.co/

 

Thank you for listening to The Stork and I Podcast! I would love for you to share this episode and let me know what you think! Please take a moment to rate and review, it really helps others find the podcast which can be a great source of support!

 

About Mel Johnson

Hi! I'm Mel, The Solo Parenthood Coach and following my own journey to solo parenthood, I created The Stork and I to support others going through the same journey. 

I'm also on a mission to change the narrative around solo parenthood

Learn more about me and the coaching I offer at www.thestorkandi.com

 

Instagram:

Join our Instagram community for more support: www.instagram.com/the_stork_and_i.

 
Thriving Solo:
You can sign up to Thriving Solo, The Stork and I Membership Community for solo mums here: https://tinyurl.com/yckpfd9k
 
 

 

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