In a week our daughter turns two. I never thought I’d be lucky enough to be a Mum due to my sexuality, but it is something I’ve wanted for as long as I can remember.
After meeting Lindsey in 2008 our relationship moved quickly and soon we were living together and engaged.
In March 2014 we decided it was the time was right to start a family, however we had no idea how to go about it. We booked an appointment to see our GP and although very supportive, it was something she had “never come across” and didn’t know herself how to get the ball rolling. She’d only ever dealt with heterosexual couples needing fertility treatment, so this was as new for her as it was for us.
Around the same time we also found out that unless we were married or in a civil partnership, Lindsey’s name couldn’t go on the birth certificate as a parent of any children we may go to to have that I carried and she would have to apply for parental responsibility to be given the same rights over the child as me as she wouldn’t be biologically related. As it turned out, we had already planned to get married that year, which is just as well, fertility treatment is enough of a struggle without having the legalities to worry about too.
Later that year we received a referral letter to our local hospital and initial tests were carried out to check there were no issues with my fertility and to explore our options. One of the first drs we met was extremely abrupt, he asked us in no uncertain terms why we were there and how we expected to have a child as a same sex couple. His question to us was ‘why are you here, what do you want me to do about it?’
The Dr told us we wouldn’t be entitled to any NHS funding and would have to pay for it ourselves. It felt as though we were doing something wrong by wanting to have a baby as a same sex couple.
Eventually after all investigations were completed and I’d had treatment for Endometriosis we were referred to a fertility clinic in Leeds. We learnt that the funding worked in the same way as it does for heterosexual couples: you have to have been trying for a baby naturally for 12 amount of months before you can get any help towards the cost of treatment (even though between us we were missing one vital ingredient as two women)
We initially started with IUI, we had to self-fund 6 cycles (none of which worked) in order to qualify for NHS funded treatment and moved onto IVF, and we were entitled to one round on the NHS under our CCG. Unfortunately the embryo failed to implant and out of the 12 eggs collected none of our other embryos made it to freezing.
We took a break from treatment and decided to move our care to a different clinic as private patients. Another full round of IVF later, I had 8 eggs collected. Out of those I had one embryo put back and 5 were able to be frozen.
In April 2018 we found out I was pregnant and in November that year all of our dreams came true when I gave birth to our daughter, Iris - she is everything to us and confirmation that despite the hurdles you should never give up on your dreams.