Our journey to our girls

I always knew I wanted to be a mumma

I am J, living in South West England with my wife N and our 2 beautiful girls.

I always knew I wanted to be a mumma, we began our fertility journey in 2015 with a visit to our local fertility clinic’s open evening, it was mind boggling but so exciting! We felt quite overwhelmed by the huge costs involved but knew that we would do everything we could to start our family. We began saving every penny we could. As the birthing individual I started the tests needed from, battling NHS GPs at times for basic fertility tests, our clinic were so supportive and fought our corner to receive simple blood tests through our GP with no additional costs. Other tests did come at a cost, we were undergoing these at the same time as my best friend who was receiving the very same tests with no costs as she was in a heterosexual relationship – a hard pill to swallow but we did what we had to do.

Our first daughter was born

We used the European sperm bank for our donor – using a lot of N’s characteristics to narrow down the search we soon found our ‘perfect match’ – who knew sperm was so expensive though!

With consultant guidance we chose to do IUI (intra uterine insemination). It took us multiple months to track my ovulation but with the help of fertility drug clomid we got our smiley face on 9th September 2016 – we were ecstatic!! Fast forward 2 weeks and we were completely over the moon to find out it had worked!! Our first round of IUI and we were pregnant!! Our first daughter was born on 5th June 2017 – beautiful and perfect in every way!! It never escapes us how lucky we were to fall pregnant so quickly!!

We were desperate to try for baby #2

Fast forward 3 years in the midst of covid and we were desperate to try for baby #2 – we had 2 vials of donor sperm remaining at our clinic and after taking clomid for a couple of months and taking out a loan to cover costs we tried IUI once again, July 2020.  This time we were not so lucky – despite knowing the chances were slim we were so disappointed and disheartened. Our journey with our first had set expectations so high!

With just one vial of sperm remaining we decided to go for IVF – we began the journey in September 2020 and our egg collection happened at the end of October 2020 – 12 eggs collected!! This became 9 embryos and on the 25th October our perfect little 5 day embaby was put back inside…. fast forward 2 weeks and it wasn’t meant to be.

We were devastated!! I really struggled with this emotionally, we knew the chances were slim but it still hit so hard!! We needed to take a couple of months to try and raise more funds as we had spent all of our loan on the IVF.

Christmas gifts from family meant we were able to try a FET (frozen embryo transfer) in January 2021 and this time I tried unmedicated, I tracked my ovulation and got our smiley face on the 15th January, 6 days later on the 21st January our embaby was put back and this time it worked!! We were so grateful and excited for what was to come!! On October 15th 2021 our 2nd baby girl joined us earthside – how blessed we are!!

We don’t know what the future holds but for now we are enjoying every moment with our girls.

We have 7 embryos frozen at our clinic and we don’t know what the future holds but for now we are enjoying every moment with our girls. We feel so blessed to have them here, raising them to be strong, kind, independent people – we talk about how they were made with them often and Willow, our eldest, is very confident in her journey, we know Indie will be the same!

We are always happy to answer questions and share our journey with others, things are changing so much all the time and it always feels so special that these exact girls would never exist if not for mine and N’s love for one another – science is a magical thing, we are forever grateful!!

There is a long way to go for equality for LGBTQ+ individuals with regards to family making but I hope it continues to move in the right direction!

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The Queer Parenting Partnership was launched in 2020, in response to the shocking lack of birth and parenting support services for LGBTQ+ people in the UK.

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