Bad Takes

Kelsey Breseman
5 min readJun 18, 2024

Back when I was trying to have a baby on my own, I was astonished by the extent of support I received from my community. Almost nobody questioned my decision or autonomy to make it— and I was, and am, grateful.

But it's the "almost" that sticks out in memory, even though my social experience strikes me as far better than average. Getting told that I could definitely find a husband, or asked if I knew how expensive babies could be— well meant, but not helpful. I preferred the (many) people who suggested I could save on the sperm bank expense by just going out to a bar. They were mostly joking.

Presumably, the assumption behind any of these suggestions is that I haven't considered this carefully, assessed risk, evaluated possible alternative routes to motherhood.

I did in fact get married, got pregnant in a much more straightforward fashion, and also have a broader base of financial support. I'm happy about all of that. But it doesn't make the advice givers any more credible.

Mostly, it just makes me lucky. I did and do have confidence in my own abilities and resourcefulness. I can do hard things, and am comfortable discovering and finding solutions for my own limits. I learned a great deal about myself, my body, my community, and my mental health over the course of two years actively trying to conceive on my own (and in the year or so I spent…