Single Mom By Choice...One Woman's Journey
If you haven’t heard of Alyssa Garrison of @randomactsofpastel, you may want to head over to her Instagram and blog to inject a little more color into your life. Alyssa’s 60k following didn’t happen overnight, she's grown her following by influencing people with her whimsical and color-filled feed. But the most colorful part? Her daughter, Summer Honey Rose, a baby she chose to have and raise as a single mother.
Alyssa always wanted to be a mom. At twenty-five years old, she was happy with her life, she had three pets and a career she loved. But something was missing.
“I couldn't enjoy the rest of my life, I was so sad because I just wanted to share my life with a child,” Alyssa said.
She decided to give herself a deadline: if she wasn’t in a serious relationship and headed toward having a baby by her 27th birthday, she would become a mother on her own.
When her 27th birthday came and she was still single, Alyssa began researching her options more seriously. She visited her doctor to learn more about having a child on her own.
She decided on a route to parenthood: using a friend as a sperm donor. She made this decision because it was important to her to know the sperm donor and understand his character.
“I wanted someone kind,” Alyssa said. “Kindness was big on my list.”
After choosing the sperm donor, things moved quickly. Within three months, she was pregnant.
Alyssa’s friends and family were supportive and excited for her – but she was nervous about breaking the news to her 60,000 Instagram followers.
“I was just a single girl having fun in the city," Alyssa said of her followers. "In the Instagram world, it's like boyfriend, engagement, wedding, then you expect a baby but…I was just kind of like 'surprise’!"
Alyssa shared the details of her path to pregnancy on Instagram and her blog because she wanted her followers to know why she chose this journey.
"I wanted them to know this was something I've wanted more than anything," she said.
After she announced her pregnancy with a gorgeous Instagram picture, a follower messaged her and said “If you're gonna be a single parent, you have to get the SNOO – this thing will save your life."
Alyssa had heard of SNOO before from fellow Instagram star @studiodiy and after she got that message, she decided to look into SNOO more. The more she read about it, the more excited she was by the prospect.
"Especially in my situation when there isn't someone else getting up in the night with me to do feedings or diaper changes, having something to help with calming her and soothing her just seemed like the best thing in the world," Alyssa said.
She decided that SNOO was her must-have item for her coming daughter. One week before her due date, Alyssa gave birth on a snowy winter day in January to her beautiful baby girl, Summer Honey Rose. Read about her unexpected birth story here.
The first time she put Summer in SNOO, she was three days old and "kind of fussy" but when SNOO began rocking her, "automatically she was so calm and happy."
Now, at 5 months old, Summer sleeps an average of 8 hours a night!
"I put her in it at bedtime when she's sleepy but not asleep and it'll rock her and I'll read a book and sing," Alyssa said. "If I didn't have SNOO, I couldn't be rocking her and reading her a book all at the same time. I just don't have enough arms. It's what I imagine a partner would be."
Alyssa and Summer have settled into a routine that works for their little family.
"I feel like I'm a better parent because she has my full attention," Alyssa said. "It’s just me and her and the dog. It’s going so well."
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