Pricks & Periods

We have spent the last month detoxing Keren’s body – she has made the ultimate sacrifice and consumed no caffeine or alcohol, and has popped more pills than the local retirement home. This has been our preparation in the run up to starting our daily Buserelin injections, which officially marks the start of our treatment. These injections have caused a whole heap on anxieties within the household – Keren is nervous about the hormones and possible changes in behavior/mood , whilst I am absolutely petrified of needles and administering the jabs. All puns aside, I’m really not great with pricks.

22752067_10159656888370045_1225483247_nWe went to our injection lesson at Care Fertility in Manchester last week, and as always we were blown away with the quality of care given. The Donations Team could tell that I was particularly uneasy, and really took their time to explain everything thoroughly and answered all of my stupid questions (“what will happen if I inject air??”). We both did some practice jabs into a fake piece of skin – just ‘pinch an inch and pop it in at a 90 degree angle’ – easy right? Right…

Protocol

  • Buserelin will essentially start menopause – the clinic needs complete control over what Keren’s body is doing and when it is doing it, so both her and the recipient of our donor eggs will be doing this at the same time.
  • After approx 21 days, we will be called in for a ‘downreg’ scan to see if her body has successfully stopped natural cycle.
  • Once confirmed, we will have to inject Menopur in addition to the daily Buserelin. This is a stimulating drug that will prompt the ovaries to produce more eggs (the more we get, the better chance we have!)
  • Once this starts, everything is closely monitored, and we are given an exact time to administer one dose of Gonasi – this is the GO signal for the ovaries to start pumping those eggs out!!
  • 36 hours after this, Keren will be sedated and her eggs collected. Fertilization will be almost straight away, and transfer usually three days after.

We have been counting down to this weekend, where the injections start and after months of appointments, blood tests, internal scans and intense document signing, the process for making our baby actually starts! So, you can understand our frustration at not actually being able to start this weekend at all. Without wanting to discuss my wife’s body functions in too much detail, we have to start injecting on day one of her “cycle” – the first full day she is bleeding. Her periods are always so regimental – we could set our watches by when it starts and finishes – so the one time we actually want it on time, it is now three days late! ARRGH!

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Who’s The Daddy?

When I first tell people my wife and I are going through IVF, they always ask the same three questions.

Who is carrying?

Are you using your eggs?

Do you know the sperm donor?

People often don’t know how to react when I tell them I’m not biologically involved – like I will be some sort of pseudo-parent. Let’s get one thing straight (ha) – DNA has very little to do with parenting!

At 18 years of age, any child conceived by IVF/IUI/ICSI will have the ability to trace the donor which made their very existence possible. When you donate, your details are put on a database with a unique ID – a system we can also use to trace the success of eggs we donate, and discover potential half-siblings. Should the need to use this database ever arise, I will fully support it, and it would never make me less of a Mother. After all, wouldn’t you be curious? I sure as hell would be!!

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The truth is, it scares me a little but it’s not something I will ever regret doing. I will be that child’s parent from the moment Keren’s egg is fertilized, and I am lucky that now I also have the law on my side to legalize that fact. I have signed documents to secure in the event of my death post insemination but pre-birth, I will still be the legally named parent.
Both Keren and I will get to sign the birth certificate.
I don’t have to adopt or fight for my right to call myself my own child’s mother, and that is a real 2017 win.

After all, I will be there at their birth (potentially passed out – big wimp here), their first day of school, and their graduation… how could I not qualify for that title!? Parenting is in the relationship and upbringing, not just genetics.

Sam Warren-Close

And so it begins…

I have wanted a family ever since I can remember and i’m lucky enough to have found a beautiful girl who wants the same thing. After discussing, researching, crying and thinking…A LOT, we finally have a meeting with a fertility clinic tomorrow that we are both excited and terrified about. But let’s start from the beginning.

Sam and I met around two and a half years ago, we live in a cute cottage together with our two cats: Tallulah and Pete and we are getting married in June!!! But what we both want more than anything right now is a family – the cats just ain’t enough.

When we first started looking into how this was possible our minds were pretty much blown! So much terminology, so many options – it was overwhelming to say the least. The first point of call was the NHS. Which after a A LOT of reading made me feel sad, frustrated and helpless. The thing with the NHS is that for lesbian couples to qualify for IVF treatment they need to prove that they have been trying to start and family. While this is all well and good for heterosexual couples with infertility problems, for a homosexual couple the only way to prove this is by first paying for private treatment. The inequality here makes me feel vile. I’m frustrated at myself that I was born gay and i’m frustrated at society for not seeing this as a major flaw in the NHS.

So…what next? After this initial setback I trawled the trusty internet. This again was horribly confusing, with so many different options to consider: IVF, IUI, egg donation, sperm selection…and don’t even get me started on the prices! So, tomorrow we are embarking on our first journey to talk to professionals at a fertility clinic, where hopefully we will leave with a little more understanding and a plan of action.

We will keep you posted!