Dear Cheryl, were glad we used sperm donors – Express

Helen Craven is 45 and lives in York. She gave birth to twins Finlay and Harrison two years ago and says it was the best thing shes ever done.

I have had several relationships over the years, but have never found anyone to settle down with, she says.

When my grandmother died, she left me some money and I decided to have IVF treatment. My grandmother had always wanted me to have a family, so this was her last gift to me.

I knew that if I ever wanted to be a mother, I would have to do it now. I went to a fertility clinic and had one embryo put into my womb, and amazingly it split into identical twins. There was a size difference, so I was scanned every week. At 28 weeks they found that one wasnt getting nutrients so they had to be delivered by caesarean, which was worrying.

When they were born, and they were side by side, the difference was remarkable. Harrison was nearly twice as big as Finlay. They were like David and Goliath.

At 2lb 15oz Finlay really was tiny but he caught up. Now, age two, they are both doing really well. I love being a mum and even though I did it on my own I wouldnt change a thing.

Kimberley Godsall, 36, lives in Tunbridge Wells. She gave birth to Scarlett in February last year using a sperm donor.

I had relationships in my 20s and 30s that hadnt worked out, and I knew that time was running out, she says. Ive wanted a baby my entire life even at 15, I would tell my friends how much I wanted to be a mum. I even made a pact with a male friend that if I didnt have a baby by the time I was nearly 30, then wed have one together. But at 30 I still wanted to find the right man.

Ive been on dating websites, but nothing worked out. So in 2017 I decided to go it alone and looked for a donor. Its a little bit like online dating, I just looked at potential donors at the Care Fertility clinic and chose someone with characteristics I wanted in a child. A friend said choose someone who would fit into your family and thats what I did.

In May 2018 I fell pregnant and I was thrilled. I suffered with pelvic pain and was on crutches from 18 weeks but Scarlett was born safely, 8lb 8oz.

Ive battled depression because of wanting a child, so going it alone was the best thing I ever could have done.

Sophie Barker, 30, lives in Haslingden, Lancashire. She gave birth to twins Jacob and Toby in September thanks to a sperm donor.

I found myself single at 28, not something Id imagined,she says. Id come out of a three-year relationship. He wanted to concentrate on his job. I wanted to start a family while I was young enough to enjoy it.

Id always loved children but I was the only one of my three siblings who didnt have any. I knew I didnt want to waste my life waiting for Mr Right. I know lots of women give birth later in life but that wasnt for me.

So I started to think about whether I could do it on my own being a single mum didnt faze me. There was no reason why I couldnt look after my children by myself. My mum and dad were totally supportive.

I went to the Care Fertility clinic, chose a sperm donor and had the insemination. I went to my seven-week scan on my own and I was in for another surprise two little heartbeats on the screen. I went into labour at 33 weeks, got myself to hospital and an hour later Jacob arrived, Toby 20 minutes later, both 4lb 10oz.

I couldnt believe I was a mum and Id done it alone. Id prefer my boys to grow up without a father than to be in the wrong relationship, then split up.

Id say to Cheryl, if I can do it, then she can too.

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Dear Cheryl, were glad we used sperm donors - Express

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