Cover image of Not By Accident
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Rank #155 in Personal Journals category

Society & Culture
Personal Journals
Health & Fitness

Not By Accident

Updated about 13 hours ago

Rank #155 in Personal Journals category

Society & Culture
Personal Journals
Health & Fitness
Read more

I became a single mother by choice, not by accident. I’ve been recording our lives for seven years to tell this story, about making choices and taking action to live the life you want. If you’re a parent, want to be a parent, or just love good storytelling, this podcast is for you.

Read more

I became a single mother by choice, not by accident. I’ve been recording our lives for seven years to tell this story, about making choices and taking action to live the life you want. If you’re a parent, want to be a parent, or just love good storytelling, this podcast is for you.

iTunes Ratings

650 Ratings
Average Ratings
529
55
26
8
32

Relatable

By rnadler - Aug 10 2019
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I’ve been listening over the past few months. I have a toddler and loved hearing Astrid grow. Thank you for sharing your lives.

Lovely

By CJ525 - Jan 26 2019
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Just a beautifully made podcast about love.

iTunes Ratings

650 Ratings
Average Ratings
529
55
26
8
32

Relatable

By rnadler - Aug 10 2019
Read more
I’ve been listening over the past few months. I have a toddler and loved hearing Astrid grow. Thank you for sharing your lives.

Lovely

By CJ525 - Jan 26 2019
Read more
Just a beautifully made podcast about love.
Cover image of Not By Accident

Not By Accident

Updated about 13 hours ago

Rank #155 in Personal Journals category

Read more

I became a single mother by choice, not by accident. I’ve been recording our lives for seven years to tell this story, about making choices and taking action to live the life you want. If you’re a parent, want to be a parent, or just love good storytelling, this podcast is for you.

Rank #1: Ep 3: Donor Deliberations

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One day, soon after I left school, my mother told me that she wanted me to have a baby one day and she didn’t care how I did it, even if I did it alone, as long as I did it. I was a bit taken aback. Of course I’d have a baby one day. I’d always known I would.  I imagined I’d do it the way school girls imagine they’ll do it: I’d fall in love with a man, he’d fall in love with me, and the family would naturally follow. It took me another decade to come out. I got cancer and faced my own mortality. My mum almost died too. Things came sharply into focus and I realized as we both went into remission, this was no way to live the rest of my precious life. Very soon after, I made a weekend trip to come out to my parents. A huge weight lifted. It seems crazy that it took so much for me to be comfortable being who I am, but for some reason it did. The thing I felt saddest about letting go of was the idea of creating a baby, biologically, with a person I was in love with and for us to be a family. Eventually I decided the end the best option was a sperm bank. After thinking about it for 8 years, it was an easy decision to make. The clinic gave me a list. Checking out their profiles was a lot like internet dating, but of course they didn’t have to choose me back.  I wanted some input. My mother obliged. It would be my decision, but I was happy not to make it all on my own.    Not By Accident is made by me, Sophie Harper. Thanks to my family, my friends and my daughter for allowing me to record, and for the practical and moral support. Please subscribe, rate and review to help the series find more listeners. Go to notbyaccident.net to sign up to my occasional email newsletter, tweet at me @byaccidentnot and if you know anyone who might like to listen, please share! Music from freemusicarchive.org - CC NC License: Murmur by Broke For Free; One And by Broke For Free; Our Ego (Feat. Different Visitor) by Broke For Free; Pattern 4 (Version 10) by Cyan341; Seeing The Future by Dexter Britain.

US listeners, support the series and eat well. Hello Fresh Has signed on to support me for 2017! Sign up at www.hellofresh.com and use the promo code 'noaccident35' to get $35 off your first delivery. Everybody wins!

Go to www.notbyaccident.net to find out more about the series or to get in touch.
Apr 28 2016
25 mins
Play

Rank #2: Ep 2: Your Grandparents

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In 2012 I went home to Australia for Christmas. I had three weeks off from my job teaching documentary filmmaking in Denmark, just enough time to make the trip worthwhile. I wanted to ground myself after a recent break-up and as I came to terms with the fact that really was I was going to try to have a baby on my own, and soon, before it was too late. A couple of weeks after I returned to Denmark to work, I turned 38. I called a clinic and made an appointment to come and talk to them about choosing a donor and getting pregnant. This courage didn’t come from nowhere. I want to take you back to start unravelling some of the events that led to this point. As I approached 30, my mother underwent devastating treatment for advanced lymphatic cancer. She had two years of chemo and nobody thought she would survive. I had a mole on my arm that I’d been worried about for a long time, but a few doctors had told me it was nothing. It wasn’t. It was cancer. Stage two melanoma. My mother had her stem cell transplant days after I had my surgery. I don’t think there’s been a worse week in my family, ever. Then things turned around. My surgery biopsy results came back clear! Her transplant worked! It took some time to build her strength, but she went into remission! Now she has 4 grandchildren who adore her, who we’d had to accept she’d never get to meet. My father and step-mother came to Europe for a holiday just two weeks after my insemination. I hadn’t told them I’d done it yet so wasn’t totally sure how they’d react to this news. They were the first people I spoke the words to with certainty: ‘I did the test again. I’m definitely pregnant!’   Not By Accident is made by me, Sophie Harper. Thanks to my family, my friends and my daughter for allowing me to record, and for the practical and moral support. Please subscribe, rate and review to help the series find more listeners. Go to notbyaccident.net to sign up to my occasional email newsletter, tweet at me @byaccidentnot and if you know anyone who might like to listen, please share! Clips from ABC TV profile of Diana Lampe on Stateline Canberra by journalist Catherine Garrett. Music from freemusicarchive.org - CC NC License: Wednesday by Adrianna Krikl; Disconnect by Adrianna Krikl; Less Than Three by Adrianna Krikl; Tam814 by LJ Kruzer; Tamz by LJ Kruzer; The Stars Are Out by Dexter Britain.

US listeners, support the series and eat well. Hello Fresh Has signed on to support me for 2017! Sign up at www.hellofresh.com and use the promo code 'noaccident35' to get $35 off your first delivery. Everybody wins!

Go to www.notbyaccident.net to find out more about the series or to get in touch.
Apr 14 2016
21 mins
Play

Rank #3: Ep 4: My Love Life

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I had morning sickness and was trying hard to look after myself, now about 5 weeks pregnant, but it was a struggle with the lack of structure in my life over the summer, and all this travel.  Today though, back to work, just for a week. I was feeling guilty and conflicted about work. This was really the first time in my life that I wasn’t putting work ahead of everything else and it made me very uneasy. I was lonely and felt very isolated. It wasn’t a choice I’d made, to go through life alone.  After I came out at 30, I ventured out into the Sydney lesbian scene. I felt like a 30 year old teenager. It was exciting and terrifying. I started internet dating. I had some fun. I got my heart broken a couple of times. I fell in love with a woman called Lucy and we had a relationship that was intense, exciting and before long, tumultuous. The fact that I wanted a baby at some point added extra strain. She moved with me to Denmark and things unraveled.  I found myself living alone in a beautiful big, empty apartment, broken hearted again, in rural Denmark with no friends nearby and almost no lesbians in sight. I had my dream job but my personal life was empty and I kept wondering why I was doing this to myself in the last years of my youth. I gave everything I had to my work, which I loved.  So much was unknown, and unknowable. It was the first time I really wondered if I could do this. But now I have a long vacation in Europe which I’m determined to enjoy. Six years have passed since Lucy and I broke up, but we’ll always care about each other from a distance, and now it’s clear that the love carries through to the next generation.   Not By Accident is made by me, Sophie Harper. Thanks to my family, my friends and my daughter for allowing me to record, and for the practical and moral support. Please subscribe, rate and review to help the series find more listeners. Go to notbyaccident.net to sign up to my occasional email newsletter, tweet at me @byaccidentnot and if you know anyone who might like to listen, please share! Music from freemusicarchive.org - CC NC License: Like Swimming by Broke For Free; I Don’t See The Branches, I See The Leaves by Chris Zabriskie; Safe In Glass Houses by Dexter Britain; Going Under by Dexter Britain; Level 2 by Total Reboot.

US listeners, support the series and eat well. Hello Fresh Has signed on to support me for 2017! Sign up at www.hellofresh.com and use the promo code 'noaccident35' to get $35 off your first delivery. Everybody wins!

Go to www.notbyaccident.net to find out more about the series or to get in touch.
May 12 2016
25 mins
Play

Rank #4: Ep 24: Health

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I get the feared call from pre-school on the last day of term. You’ve hit your head, badly.

I keep a close watch on you for signs of concussion and thankfully, there are none. I feel shattered from the worry and the shock. I give up on work and pamper you for the rest of the day.

The hardest thing is when you’re hurt or sick. Or when I’m sick. Or worst of all, we’re both sick. That’s when it’s hardest to be a single parent. The worry that I might miss the signs of something serious. Of seeing you suffer. Running out of supplies when we can’t just dash to the shops for more food or more medicine. When I have to miss work and I can’t think of an alternative.

It’s 2015, in Denmark. You’re two. I’ve told Nadia the Principal that this is my last year, we’ll be going home to Australia in the Summer. I want to go out on a high, the way I felt when I left for maternity leave.

You got sick on Friday. It’s flu or something. I will you to be well by Monday. I’m worried about work. But Monday comes and you’re not. I have a toddler with a fever who needs my care and a room full of students waiting for me. There’s nobody to step in for either role.

I miss a whole week. After the course a student write on their evaluation form “It was a terrible course. I don’t understand why she couldn’t just get someone else to look after her sick kid.” No, you wouldn’t understand. It’s not something you can understand. Until it’s you.

When I was nine, I got sick like that, and the disease progressed but I didn’t get better. For weeks, then months I didn’t get better. Tests began. I was tested for everything. Invasive tests, horrible tests, with no conclusions. I’ve always thought of this as my story, but now that I’m a mother I know it’s just as much hers.

It took a year to get a diagnosis. Myalgic Encephalomyalitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I was an active young kid, sport was the thing I did best, I swam for the school, played netball, softball, cricket, distance running, it was where I found my self-worth. And then I was bedridden, for a year. The diagnosis was a relief, I wasn’t dying, but it was a burden and a curse.


This production is made by me, Sophie Harper, in partnership with Wondery.

Thanks to my family, my friends and my daughter for being part of the story.

I’m supported by generous listeners. Story editing by Michelle Webster.


Music from freemusicarchive.org - CC NC License:

Transpire by Dexter Britain, Dolphin and Snow Monkeys by Candlegravity.

 Someone to Watch Over Me by Blossom Dearie (invoking Fair Use).

Ad music from freemusicarchive.org - CC Commercial License:

Drop of Water in the Ocean by Broke For Free.


I’m now on Patreon. If you’d like join the kind people who are already supporting me to produce each new episode, go to patreon.com/notbyaccident.

Thanks so much to Margaret P. Jones, Russell Kerrison, Julie Greenhalgh, Rebecca Reid, Kasey Tomkins, Dianne Firth, Anne Staude, Adam Coulson, Melanie Ann, Lea Durie, Laura Getson, Bill, Sue Giugni, Maia Bittner, Elizabeth Adcock, Jessica Kindynis, Laura Cherry, Bethany White, Paul S Mitchell and Mariele Thadani for your support.


To everyone who’s written to share your stories and to support me in continuing, thank you. I’m very behind with my replies, but want you to know each message means so much.


Go to www.notbyaccident.net to find out more about the series, join the e-newsletter or to get in touch.


We’ll be back with the next installment in about 3 weeks.

Oct 06 2017
38 mins
Play

Rank #5: Ep 5: Travels Through the First Trimester

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My body has seriously never looked better naked. Everything is soft, plump and trim in all the right places. My breasts are growing. I curse the fact that nobody but me will see, but feel fortunate I don't have to negotiate a physical relationship. They hurt so much they wake me up at night! I also have to get up to pee every few hours. I am so tired. I dread brushing my teeth because of the morning sickness. Foods taste different. I can't get enough of pink grapefruit and nectarines. I am put off by the smell of beer. I never thought that could happen. I am vague and forgetful - pregnancy brain I suppose - and happy that holidays have begun so work won't suffer. My body won't let me push through exhaustion. I plan to swim and go to the gym, but instead I nap. Often. I stare for hours at the embryo images on my pregnancy tracker app, but make a deal with myself never to jump ahead. I want to know exactly what you're up to and not wish it away. Knowing you're growing in there is the most surreal and profound experience I've ever had. Summer holidays have begun and nobody is left here but me. I shouldn't be alone. I need to travel to avoid that.  I pack my wheely suitcase and load my kindle with essential holiday reading: What to Expect when you're Expecting; Choosing Single Motherhood; Single by Chance, Mothers by Choice; The Complete Single Mother; Knock Yourself Up; Sperm Donor = Dad; and of course: My Miserable Lonely Lesbian Pregnancy. I have great friends scattered around Europe, I piece together a plan of who to visit and when, culminating in a week in Iceland with my brother. I take off. It is utterly surreal to be an insignificant figure in these astounding places, and at the same time to be so focused inwards. To be so aware of you there inside me. The captivating wonder of each feels somehow symmetrical and profound. I can see I need to pave two paths while I figure out which one to take. So many things to try to understand, to arrange. Two possible new lives, one in Denmark and one in Australia. Two cultures, two systems, two midwives, two hospital bookings, two childcare places, one baby. So many choices still to make.  In the next episode: summertime is over baby. 13 weeks, the second trimester.   Not By Accident is made by me, Sophie Harper. Thanks to my family, my friends and my daughter for allowing me to record, and for the practical and moral support. Story input from Michelle Webster, Cathy Gray and Diana Lampe. Please subscribe, rate and review to help the series find more listeners. Go to notbyaccident.net to sign up to my occasional email newsletter, tweet at me @byaccidentnot and if you know anyone who might like to listen, please share! Music from freemusicarchive.org - CC NC License: Everybody’s Got Problems That Aren’t Mine by Chris Zabriskie; Rain Begins to Fall (Instrumental) by Silence Is Sexy; Blindness Rats by Khonner; Something Elated by Broke For Free; Murmur by Broke For Free; The Stars Are Out by Dexter Britain. Music by permission from the artist: You, You’ll be Waiting by Baby Blue.

US listeners, support the series and eat well. Hello Fresh Has signed on to support me for 2017! Sign up at www.hellofresh.com and use the promo code 'noaccident35' to get $35 off your first delivery. Everybody wins!

Go to www.notbyaccident.net to find out more about the series or to get in touch.
May 27 2016
26 mins
Play

Rank #6: Ep 17: Tomorrow Morning

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I’ve been thinking a lot about the expectation of an exchange: you help me move house, I’ll buy you pizza and beer; you babysit, I’ll do the same for you another day. I had thought it rare that people do things for others without expecting anything in return. I’ve been wrong. People have done things for me, particularly since I became a parent, when I couldn’t offer anything back but friendship and gratitude.

Acts of kindness and generosity have come without judgement, even though I’m judging myself, feeling I should be able to do it all. They come not as an offer I can refuse, but as a statement of how it’s going to be. There is kindness and generosity and community all around, if you slow down enough to let it in.

Summer has well and truly arrived, and I’ve barely stopped to look forward to the holidays. Weekdays have had the usual rhythm of childcare drop-offs, quiet days working alone, and happy reunions in the afternoons.
I’ve been so grateful for this bunch of people who care about you and me and our family, who join me in a laugh or a winge, who let it pass if I struggle to make conversation when my mind is making its way back from somewhere else. Often these are the only adults I talk to all day and they’ve made this a much happier year for me too.

Jenny and Grandpa are hosting Christmas this year. It’s going to be huge.
A proper hot sunny suburban modern blended family Australian Christmas.

This production is made by me, Sophie Harper, in partnership with Wondery. I’m supported by generous listeners and the Australian Cultural Fund.

Thanks to my family, my friends, our childcare centre and my daughter for being part of this podcast.

Music from freemusicarchive.org - CC NC License:
Sidewalk Chalk by Broke For Free; Ink and Lifted by Dexter Britain.

Ad music from freemusicarchive.org - CC Commercial License:
Drop of Water in the Ocean by Broke For Free.

US listeners, support the series and eat well. Hello Fresh Has signed on to support me for 2017! Sign up at www.hellofresh.com and use the promo code 'noaccident35' to get $35 off your first delivery. Everybody wins!

Go to www.notbyaccident.net to find out more about the series or to get in touch.

We’ll be back late in January after the summer break, ready for a new year.

From all of us to all of you, happy holidays!
Dec 24 2016
16 mins
Play

Rank #7: Ep 25: Farvel

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It’s Spring, 2015. Half your life ago. My six years teaching at the European Film College begin the limp to an anti-climactic end. I try to stay focused. But my main focus is you. The upheaval I’m causing. The reasons for doing it. You’re two and a half. I’m taking you home to our family, our culture, but I’m taking you away from the life, the home, the language, the community that make up your world.

Once work wraps up we have some quiet weeks left to pack up our lives. I take you to Trine’s each day, to childcare, and I pack boxes, I write job applications, and I sort out the car with Steen’s help, servicing, detailing and re-registering it, ready for sale.

The removalists come while you’re at Trine’s and take all our things away. I tell you they’ve gone to MorMor’s house, that’s what you call Granny, and that we’re going there too. You seem to cope with that. The shipping will take three months if all goes well. You’ll have outgrown half your clothes by then! You’ll miss your bike, your toys, the stereo. We’re left with the school’s basic furniture, two suitcases filled with summer clothes for here and winter clothes for home, a trainset Jim dropped over to ease your toy separation, and a big echoey apartment.

You’ve been with Trine five days a week for most of your life. She might be the person you’re closest to after me. This is your last day. I leave my recorder with her. I want to hear you speaking Danish. At this point your Danish is probably better than mine and I know you’ll lose it when we leave. She opens a window into the life you have without me.

I’ve made the decision to leave based on what you’ll gain, but I’m painfully aware of everything you’re losing.

Farvel Danmark. Tusind tak for alt.


This production is made by me, Sophie Harper, in partnership with Wondery. I’m supported by generous listeners. Story editing by Michelle Webster.

Thanks to my family, my friends and my daughter for being part of the story.


Music from freemusicarchive.org - CC NC License:

Memory by Creo, Last Night in London by Daniel Birch and Completely Lost by Lee Rosevere.

Incidental music by Justine Clarke and Bjork (invoking Fair Use).

Ad music from freemusicarchive.org - CC Commercial License:

Drop of Water in the Ocean by Broke For Free.


I have some news. I’ve been awarded a grant to write a book! A literary memoir of our story. My plan, for now, is to release one new episode a month as I divide my time between the book and the podcast. Thanks for sticking with me.


Thanks especially to the kind people supporting me on Patreon: Margaret P. Jones, Ellie McHale, Russell Kerrison, Julie Greenhalgh, Rebecca Reid, Kasey Tomkins, Dianne Firth, Anne Staude, Adam Coulson, Melanie Ann, Lea Durie, Laura Getson, Bill, Sue Giugni, Maia Bittner, Elizabeth Adcock, Laura Cherry, Bethany White, Paul S Mitchell and Mariele Thadani and more.

If you’d like to chip in a couple of dollars towards each new episode, go to patreon.com/notbyaccident.

Go to www.notbyaccident.net to find out more about the series, join the e-newsletter or to get in touch.

We’ll be back with the next installment in about 4 weeks.

Nov 24 2017
25 mins
Play

Rank #8: Ep 6: Seventeen Calls

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It’s the end of August in 2012. You have reached a milestone. 13 weeks. The second trimester. For me, it’s a turning point. On Thursday, the day before my first scan, the first time I’ll see you, I put on a baggy shirt and go to meet with my boss, my friend. She is energized after the summer break and excited about the year ahead. Her plans involve me. Of course they do. We’re a team. I realise I have to tell her immediately, not after the scan as I’d intended. I have to destroy her plans, her enthusiasm. I am shaking. I feel like my heart will stop. On Friday I go for the scan. I see you for the first time. Now I don’t have to imagine, I can see! You have all your arms and legs. I am relieved for you, I want you to have as few obstacles in life as possible. I spend the weekend on the phone. 17 calls, 9 hours. I know because I recorded myself and am re-living it making this episode. I’ve categorized my conversations into themes and can see where my preoccupations lie. One third work, one third our unknown future, and the final third divided again: love, lost and longed for, my changing body, and you, my baby, inside me. I feel sad to see how much anxiety over work and the future dominate. We went to Sydney this weekend, to see friends and meet new babies. On the train up, with these conversations fresh in my head, the trip became poignant. I am truly grateful to you, my friends, my family, and my daughter, who accept me when I obsess, when I wallow, when I dominate, and when I’m withdrawn. Who allow me to record, and support me completely. Who share in my sorrows and in my great joys. Who let me share in yours.   Not By Accident is made by me, Sophie Harper. Story input from Rebecca Mostyn. Please subscribe, rate and review to help the series find more listeners. Go to notbyaccident.net to sign up to my occasional email newsletter, tweet at me @byaccidentnot and if you know anyone who might like to listen, please share! Music from freemusicarchive.org - CC NC License: It’s Always Too Late To Start Over by Chris Zabriskie; The Fresh Monday by Dexter Britain; Undercover Vampire Policeman by Chris Zabriskie; Wonder Cycle by Chris Zabriskie; The Time To Run (Finale) by Dexter Britain; Chantiers Navals 412 by LJ Kruger.

US listeners, support the series and eat well. Hello Fresh Has signed on to support me for 2017! Sign up at www.hellofresh.com and use the promo code 'noaccident35' to get $35 off your first delivery. Everybody wins!

Go to www.notbyaccident.net to find out more about the series or to get in touch.
Jun 17 2016
32 mins
Play

Rank #9: Ep 7: Dinosaurs and Pancakes

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It's September 2012. There is a nervous excitement in the building and everybody feels it, from the chefs, to the finance department, and certainly us teachers. 115 students arrive on this Monday afternoon from around the world, about 25 different countries, to start their new life at the European Film College. Most will live on campus like me. They will work harder than probably ever in their lives, make many ambitious films, take creative and personal risks, challenge their preconceptions, find out who they are outside of their own culture, away from their family and friends, as individuals. The 9 months that they are here will feel like a lifetime, but it will go incredibly quickly. Time warps, much like it does in the first year of parenthood.  I know it feels like this because I did it too, 13 years earlier. It was the first day of the best and most creatively fulfilling year of my life, up until the day you were born. I feel incredibly privileged to be on the other side now, to be a part of the team that is invested in giving these students an experience like mine. It is a great responsibility, and one I have put above all else for the past three years. There is an emotional rhythm to the year, almost a narrative arc, and I understand it well now so I hate to be leaving the story before the end. If there was a way to see it through I would, but there really isn't. I will be the best teacher I can be until Christmas time and then hand everything over.  I don't have time to think much about the future. All my energy goes to surviving the present. But there is great joy in the everyday. 20 weeks, time for the second scan. I'm so nervous and excited to see you again, to hear your heart beat again. It's November. Charlotte and I check in regularly as her due date approaches. I long to go home. In only a month, I will. And soon after that, you will arrive too.   Not By Accident is made by me, Sophie Harper. Thanks to my family, my friends and my daughter for allowing me to record, and for the practical and moral support. And to all of you who have left amazing reviews and sent messages, you have brought me to tears multiple times. I am inspired. Please keep them coming! Go to notbyaccident.net to sign up to my occasional email newsletter, tweet at me @byaccidentnot and if you know anyone who might like to listen, please share! Music from freemusicarchive.org - CC NC License: Cylinder One by Chris Zabriskie; CGI Snake by Chris Zabriskie; There’s Probably No Time by Chris Zabriskie; Kqaer by quobe; New Years Eve instrumental 03-12a by Silence is Sexy.

US listeners, support the series and eat well. Hello Fresh Has signed on to support me for 2017! Sign up at www.hellofresh.com and use the promo code 'noaccident35' to get $35 off your first delivery. Everybody wins!

Go to www.notbyaccident.net to find out more about the series or to get in touch.
Jul 02 2016
33 mins
Play

Rank #10: Ep 23: Community

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The school year is away like a fast-moving train. In the past I’d have lost myself in the momentum. Not so much this year though. This year I have you to force me to go home, to switch off, to be still, to be present. But the school is about 50 metres from our home. We’re both fixtures. You ride your little bike through vast rooms, all over the building and bash away on the student’s drum kit. It’s an extension of home for us, for all the students, and for all the teachers. That’s how I can be engaged and still be with you. I can’t imagine there’s another film school like it. I can’t imagine there’s a better place to grow up. If only our family were closer.

My Dad has finished the work that was delayed by his cancer treatment. He’s well and he’s free. The first thing he does is book a ticket. You should know this Astrid. Grandpa travelled from Australia to Denmark, all that way, at the first opportunity, just to see you.

This production is made by me, Sophie Harper, in partnership with Wondery. Story editing by Michelle Webster. I’m supported by generous listeners.

Thanks to my family, my friends and my daughter for being part of the story.

Music from freemusicarchive.org - CC NC License:

You Were in my Dreams and Always by Candlegravity, Transpire by Dexter Britain and Something Galactic by Broke For Free.

Ad music from freemusicarchive.org - CC Commercial License:

Drop of Water in the Ocean by Broke For Free.


I’m now on Patreon. If you’d like join the kind people who are already supporting me to produce each new episode, go to patreon.com/notbyaccident.

Thanks so much to Margaret P. Jones, Rebecca Reid, Kasey Tomkins, Dianne Firth, Anne Staude, Bill, Sue Giugni, Maia Bittner, Elizabeth Adcock, Jessica Kindynis, Laura Cherry, Bethany White, Paul S Mitchell and Mariele Thadani for your support.


To everyone who’s written to share your stories and to support me in continuing, thank you. I’m very behind with my replies, but want you to know each message means so much.

Go to www.notbyaccident.net to find out more about the series, join the e-newsletter or to get in touch.

We’ll be back with the next installment in about 2 weeks.

Aug 31 2017
30 mins
Play

Rank #11: Ep 10: Birth

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It's going to get messy, so if that’s a problem for you, you might want to skip this episode, or you can fairly safely listen to the first 9 and the last 4 minutes. I'm 6 days overdue. I can't imagine it's possible to be any bigger! I'm so uncomfortable and it's so hot! But I need to get out. I go to the little suburban supermarket near home, and think of my mother. Her waters broke with my brother in this very supermarket 34 years ago. I shop quickly, before history has a chance to repeat! I have an acupuncture appointment in the afternoon, and the acupuncturist can barely contain her excitement as she does her best induce labor. I have another appointment booked for the next day, but she doesn’t think I’ll be there. I go home, rest and drink raspberry leaf tea. It's supposed to help too. Labor might begin at any moment. Then again, it could be another week. I go to bed, trying to put it all out of my mind. For me, it had been a bit of a dark week, waiting and not knowing when our life together will start. I wake up during the night and feel a sudden gush. It's my waters, they've broken. There's meconium in them. I know this means it's urgent.  We race to hospital. Labor happens in a blur, with moments of hyper-sharp focus. You are born!    Not By Accident is made by me, Sophie Harper, supported by 152 generous donors through the Australian Cultural Fund.  Thanks to my family, my friends and my daughter for allowing me to record, and for the practical and moral support. Please subscribe, rate and review to help the series find more listeners. Go to notbyaccident.net to sign up to my occasional email newsletter, tweet at me @byaccidentnot and if you know anyone who might like to listen, please share! Music from freemusicarchive.org - CC NC License: Zandzeepsodemineraalwatersteenstralen by Duncan Avoid; Land on the Golden Gate by Chris Zabriskie; Rewound by Chris Zabriskie; Seven by Dexter Britain.
US listeners, support the series and eat well. Hello Fresh Has signed on to support me for 2017! Sign up at www.hellofresh.com and use the promo code 'noaccident35' to get $35 off your first delivery. Everybody wins!

Go to www.notbyaccident.net to find out more about the series or to get in touch.
Aug 26 2016
33 mins
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Rank #12: Ep 8: Leaving and Arriving

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After my maternity leave, in 2014, we did move back to Denmark, just for 18 months. I did make it work, mostly, as a single mother with a demanding job, thanks to my incredible friends and colleagues. It was painful when we left them, your second family, but so worth it for you to know your grandparents, aunt and uncle, and your little cousins. There are three of them now. Nick met Nozomi soon after you were born, little Ibuki followed, and any day now, I mean I’m literally expecting the call, a fifth baby cousin will arrive!  But I'm jumping ahead. It’s December 2012, Denmark. I'm 7 months pregnant. As I eat my nightly 3am pancakes, I research basinets, baby baths, change tables and car capsules.  Work is busy and I'm not so light on my feet now. The documentary project, my other baby, is underway and I’m trying to manage logistics and offer some guidance to the students before they head off to shoot. Working with these courageous students, over years, seeing them make compelling films, has given me the courage and the drive to make this series. Students of the EFC, I owe you a debt of gratitude. I would not be doing this if it weren’t for everything you taught me. On the last day of school, in the morning, we have a staff Christmas event with gifts for everyone. I haven't anticipated that this is also a farewell for me. I'm given presents for my baby, and a speech, by the Principal, that is so moving, that I cannot speak to reply. It's hard to say goodbye. I don’t know if I'm coming back and so much of my heart is here. As I board the final flight to Sydney, I am thinking more and more of home, of the new life I'm about to start, and I'm feeling excited now.  I'm reunited with my family and meet my baby nephew Alexander for the first time. It's a year since I was last home. Life can change so much in a year. Another family Christmas, but this time with a two nephews, and you, so close.   Not By Accident is made by me, Sophie Harper. Thank you to my friends, my family, my former students and colleagues and my daughter for allowing me to record, for your endless support and for believing in me. It means the world.   Also a big thank you to the generous and talented Liz Tran of Blue Sky Designs, who has built me a beautiful new website, somehow, miraculously, while juggling a baby and a toddler. Hooray for Lea Thau and Strangers podcast! Not By Accident was featured on the latest episode. If you don’t already subscribe to Strangers, do it now. You won't be sorry. Please subscribe, rate and review to help the series find more listeners. Go to notbyaccident.net to sign up to my occasional email newsletter, tweet at me @byaccidentnot and if you know anyone who might like to listen, please share! Music from freemusicarchive.org - CC NC License: Say Goodbye by Adrianna Krikl; Fuck It by Broke For Free; Readers! Do You Read? by Chris Zabriskie; Level 3 by ZhangJW.

US listeners, support the series and eat well. Hello Fresh Has signed on to support me for 2017! Sign up at www.hellofresh.com and use the promo code 'noaccident35' to get $35 off your first delivery. Everybody wins!

Go to www.notbyaccident.net to find out more about the series or to get in touch.
Jul 16 2016
29 mins
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Rank #13: Ep 19: Turning One

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Episode 19: Turning One

The shock of being back at work is becoming routine. Even the pre-sunrise race to childcare. I feel sorry for myself, and can't quite believe I made life choices that led us to this, as I force your pram through snow drifts, scarf guarding my face from the elements; you wrapped up like a bundle, bewildered, squinting to protect your eyes from the snow that whips across the landscape. It's ridiculously hard. Comically hard.

I start to look at people with cars the same way I looked at people with jobs as an unemployed graduate: Do you even know how good your life is?! I fantasize about buying one. I've started saving. I fantasize about giving up and going home. Did I really choose this over Australian weather and our family?

Spare moments start to fill with thoughts of your upcoming birthday. Your very first birthday. Packages arrive. I'm happier than if they were for me. The night before, I get a late night burst of pleasure rearranging the furniture and making a birthday display for you to wake up to. Imagining your delight makes me as delighted as anything can. Surpassed only by witnessing it.

This production is made by me, Sophie Harper, in partnership with Wondery. I'm supported by generous listeners and the Australian Cultural Fund.

Thanks to my colleagues, my family, my friends and my daughter for being part of the story.

Music from freemusicarchive.org - CC NC License:
Mell's Parade and High School Snaps by Broke For Free; Weathered Home 3: Bird Split Sky and Fieldtrip by Candlegravity.

Ad music from freemusicarchive.org - CC Commercial License:
Drop of Water in the Ocean by Broke For Free.

US listeners, support the series and eat well! Hello Fresh is my first sponsor. Sign up at www.hellofresh.com and use the promo code 'noaccident35' to get $35 off your first delivery. Everybody wins!

Care.com are our new sponsors! To save 30% off a Premium membership—and receive a $15 credit that you can use toward paying your caregiver, visit care.com/noaccident when you subscribe.
Go to www.notbyaccident.net to find out more about the series or to get in touch.

We're having a survey blitz this month. Could you take 5 minutes to respond at wondery.com/survey? It helps.
So do the iTunes reviews. Thank you kind listeners for the recent ones. I read them all and a nice review in the morning totally makes my day.

We'll be back in two weeks.
Feb 14 2017
20 mins
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Rank #14: Ep 16: The Emails

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Crossing the world from Australia to Thailand to Denmark, ending my maternity leave, ending 2013. A sense of loss, a sense of anticipation and anxiety, a reminder of and reliance on great friendships, and a wonderful holiday. The emails tell the story, starting with this one:

> Sent: Monday, 2 December 2013 1:17 AM
> To: Diana; David; Charlotte; nicholas; Jennifer; Rebecca
> Subject: Hi from Bangkok
>
> We have made it and everything went more smoothly than I'd dared to hope. No
> blowouts, no tears (oh maybe a few from me), no squeals, a bassinet, happy neighboring passengers, successfully distracting toy
> collection and even a decent nap.
>
> We're both exhausted and sensibly Astrid has gone to bed. I will follow
> soon.
>
> Thanks all for your help and support this week. We couldn't have managed
> without you.
>
> Love Soph
This production is made by me, Sophie Harper, in partnership with Wondery. I’m supported by generous listeners and the Australian Cultural Fund.

Thanks to my family, my friends, and my daughter for allowing me to talk about your lives.

Thank you for the reviews, messages, and donations! I’m very very behind with my replies, but hearing from you means so much!

Music from freemusicarchive.org - CC NC License:
Love Breaks, Deliberate Acts of Kindness and We’re Not That Different by Candlegravity; Pattern 4 by Cyan341.

Ad music from freemusicarchive.org - CC Commercial License:
Drop of Water in the Ocean by Broke For Free.

US listeners, support the series and eat well. Hello Fresh Has signed on to support me for 2017! Sign up at www.hellofresh.com and use the promo code 'noaccident35' to get $35 off your first delivery. Everybody wins!

Go to www.notbyaccident.net to find out more about the series or to get in touch.

I’ll be back for Christmas, in about two weeks.
Dec 14 2016
32 mins
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Rank #15: Ep 22: Lessons From Zorba

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The Principal, my boss, has a job offer and decides to take it. The question of leadership opens up. While the Board search for a new Head, somebody will act. Most likely not me, though I’m Vice Principal. We’re living through the worst sleepless nights of the ear infection. I can barely get it together to brush my teeth, let alone to take real responsibility. I want to dig deep, to be as capable and strong as before, to prove something for the sake of all women. But for now I am weak.

Your eardrum bursts. No more crying in pain through the night. Within days I’m stronger, better, more capable. I’m aware of the options being explored, of others being considered to lead until a new Principal is in place. But all of a sudden, I suppose thanks to who I was at work before motherhood, they decide it’s me! Thank god I’ve slept.

I sit in the Principal’s office and feel like I’m in a dream. A bit like a kid wearing their parent’s clothes, a tiny bit of imposter syndrome. But mostly I feel taller, lighter, completely capable and utterly relieved to find motherhood hasn’t erased that. I can still do my job. I can step up. Because of the summer pace, I can stay on top of it and shift to part time for some weeks to spend time with you. For this moment, it almost seems I can have it all.

We need a little summer break too. Time is short, work looms. I book four nights in Crete. A perfect holiday, for just you and me.


This production is made by me, Sophie Harper, in partnership with Wondery. Edited by Michelle Webster. I’m supported by generous listeners.


Thanks to my family, my friends and my daughter for being part of the story.


Music from freemusicarchive.org - CC NC License:

Libertad by Iriate and Pesoa and Other Sources by Candlegravity.

Zorba the Greek by Mikis Theodorakis (invoking Fair Use).


Ad music from freemusicarchive.org - CC Commercial License:

Drop of Water in the Ocean by Broke For Free.


I’m now on Patreon. If you’d like join the kind people who are already supporting me to produce each new episode, go to patreon.com/notbyaccident.

Thanks so much to Margaret P. Jones, Kasey Tomkins, Dianne Firth, Anne Staude, Laura Cherry, Bethany White, Paul S Mitchell and Mariele Thadani for your support.


To everyone who’s written to share your stories and to support me in continuing, thank you. I’m very behind with my replies, but want you to know each message means so much.


Go to www.notbyaccident.net to find out more about the series, join the e-newsletter or to get in touch.


We’ll be back with the next installment in about 2 weeks.

Jul 31 2017
22 mins
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