Ruth and Emma’s story – same-sex couple

We talked about wanting a baby together right from the start. We knew it was a serious relationship, and we knew we wanted a baby. We started off looking online as some friends of ours were doing it that way, and we met up with this guy who said he was also donating at a clinic. We thought that meant he was OK, he seemed nice and very normal, and we agreed to start trying using his sperm. He’d call us when he was ready, and we’d go over in the car and pick up the sample right away. We’d researched it all online so we knew exactly what to do, but it wasn’t working and we were going on for month after month with it, driving over to him and then doing the insemination.

We all met up for a drink after about five months of it, and the guy started saying he thought it was because the samples had been hanging around for too long by the time we did the insemination. It wasn’t clear quite where he was going with it at first, but then he just came out with it and said that we’d have a better chance if we did it naturally. We walked out at that point and we knew we’d have to do it properly. Going to a clinic was going to be much more expensive, but at least we knew it was safe.

We spent quite a bit of time researching it and found somewhere that we liked the look of, but it was going to be really expensive. They wanted to do lots of tests first, and it all added evem more to the cost – and they told us we’d have to pay to buy sperm from overseas because there was a shortage here and a long wait for a match.

We were surprised at how much choice there was using sperm from overseas, and you could just go on these websites and look at the sort of person you wanted to be the genetic father of your child. They had all kinds of details and it was weird, sitting at home with a cup of tea, deciding which one to choose.

We started off at the clinic with IUI. As Em was going to carry the baby, they had to check her out and they thought at first she might have polycystic ovaries. They said we could try the IUI but might have to go on to IVF. We didn’t want to even think about that as we knew we could never pay for it. We did three goes at IUI and it was much more intrusive into life than we’d expected as we both wanted to be there for every appointment so there was a lot of time away from work. And then every time, Em’s period came before the end of the two weeks and we’d have to gather ourselves up to start again.

When the third one didn’t work, the clinic started pushing the IVF again but we said we wanted to try once more. I think we both had a gut feeling about it, but neither of us admitted that. We just said we wanted to give it another go. We did a pregnancy test a couple of days before we ought to – and there was this faint line there and we just knew. It was the most amazing moment.

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