Not By Accident
Sophie Harper made herself a promise: if, by 38, she wasn't in a position to have a baby with a partner, she would have one on her own. Harper, we soon learn, is not a person who lives by halves. She is an Australian documentary filmmaker who lives and works in faraway Denmark; she has survived a brush with cancer; and she keeps her promises, even to herself. In 2012, the day after her 38th birthday, she called her local IVF clinic in Denmark and, in her first attempt, conceived her daughter Astrid. This podcast is an accounting of that experience - of choosing to make a scary choice, of others' reactions to that choice, and of what it's like to parent a child alone. Harper's gentle first-person narration is inter-cut with recordings of her family and her daughter and her conversations with friends - her life, in other words - captured over several years. In its intimate tone and delicate form, it's reminiscent of First Day Back, another podcast about motherhood (also, interestingly, produced by a documentarian), and it makes for absorbing listening.
Gateway episodes: Ep 1: Insemination Story (30 Mar 2016)