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'Emotionally Devastating' IVF Is Even More So for Single Women

Alicia Lombardini advocates in the 'NYT' to ease logistical, financial obstacles for moms on their own
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2021 8:14 AM CDT

(Newser) – Alicia Lombardini became a mother right before the pandemic hit, and she's now the proud mom of an 18-month-old son. But hers wasn't a typical or easy journey to motherhood, and she's hoping maybe someday it will be for single moms like herself, she writes in the New York Times, in which she discusses the obstacles to going the in vitro fertilization route alone. After fleeing a troubled relationship, Lombardini found herself in her mid-40s and yearning for a child, and so she started researching what it would take to make her dream come true. Quite a lot, it turns out, with plenty of logistical, financial, and societal challenges along the way. For starters, the costs of IVF are huge—the average cost per cycle, with meds, is about $25,000, she notes—and insurance often doesn't cover it. When there is coverage, there are often conditions, such as a woman not being able to get pregnant via intercourse, which leaves single and LGBTQ women out.

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The stigma of being an over-40 single mom also followed Lombardini, with her own mother telling her, "I really wish you would just meet a man. I don't know how you are going to manage this on your own." Lombardini even researched IVF in Europe and Israel, where she met similar age and status roadblocks. Doing it all solo made it more overwhelming. "IVF can be emotionally devastating even when you are sharing the burden," she writes. "When you are all alone, you dig deeper than you possibly knew you could." Thanks to a compassionate doctor back in the US, Lombardini was finally able to achieve her goal: She gave birth to Romeo in December 2019, at the age of 46. She calls her son "an absolute joy" and says she has "zero regrets," but she wants this happy ending for all women who wish to be moms. "Single or queer, regardless of our age and demographics, we all deserve the chance to become parents," she writes. Read her story (which Aziz Ansari documented in a Master of None episode) here. (Read more IVF stories.)

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