In celebration of LGBTQ+ Pride Month, we’re sharing the stories of same-sex couples who are successfully building their families with assisted reproductive technology. Happy Pride!
Lauren and Brenna’s journey to each other was not a direct path, but it’s one that was meant to be. With 4 failed IUIs, their fertility journey has also had its ups and downs. Fortunately, they are now expecting a baby boy this fall, conceived with effortless IVF® using donor sperm.
I set eyes on Brenna for the first time thirteen years ago, when I had just come out as my authentic self and was at my first ever LGBT+ club. I was with friends, basking in the newness of the atmosphere, when I spotted her across the room.
I can still tell you what she was wearing that night; a black and white solid baseball tee, black jeans, converse, the classic lesbian Tegan and Sara mullet of that time, and a girlfriend. I wouldn’t speak to her that night, but I certainly mentioned to my friend several times how attractive I found her.
Flash forward to an entire year later, and I’ve just moved to a new city, and I’m getting my hair cut downtown. In walks Brenna, and sits right in front of me for an appointment. I immediately recognize her and start swooning again. I even mentioned to my hairdresser how attractive she was to me.
Two years then pass, and I’ve already ended two serious relationships and a series of dating in between. Circa 2010, I got a Facebook request from Brenna out of nowhere. I didn’t even know that she knew I existed.
We became Facebook friends and, of course, right as I was entering a relationship with someone else. Not long after, she followed suit, and we both spent the next 5+ years in serious relationships with other people. We reconnected as those relationships were coming to an end.
Our relationships were both very painful and difficult to get out of, and we found comfort in one another. We endured the most painful, evolutionary, and transitory year during that time, but we became inseparable. There are SO many additional details where our paths have aligned or synced in some shape or form. We’ve had this interconnectedness for years and years. Quantum entanglement, I like to call it. The Universe brought us together.
Undoubtedly, our paths were always meant to collide when the time was right.
We decided in 2018 that we wanted to grow our family in the near future, and we started doing research and reaching out to other couples that we knew who had gone through fertility treatments to ask questions and gather information.
We started following a TTC group on Facebook for other LGBTQ couples, and we started asking questions about what the process was like and what to expect going forward. It was a highly informative resource and we recommend joining a group to assist with the journey.
We had a few friends who’d gone through CARE Fertility in Bedford, and had successful pregnancies and great experiences, and so we selected CARE Fertility based on their recommendations.
We didn't have a choice but to go through fertility treatment, being an LGBTQ couple. We originally decided on starting with IUI procedures, as it was more cost-efficient and less invasive of a process.
However, after 4 failed IUI procedures, we re-evaluated our plan and decided to move into IVF treatment.
Our biggest concerns were financial, as is the case for a lot of couples considering IVF. It is a costly treatment plan, and if not budgeted for, it can cause couples to go into debt or strain financially.
We were also concerned that we wouldn't have a good egg count or any embryos that made it to maturity, or that the procedure would not ‘take’ and leave us out a significant amount of money with nothing to show for it.
It was more cost-efficient, as we didn't have to pay for as many appointments and medications. We had fewer appointments to plan our schedules around, too, and we were able to get the same results as traditional IVF.
Still, the fertility journey is not for the faint of heart, and there is so much waiting involved. It can be exhausting in many ways. We made sure to do things together to distract us during the waiting periods, and we gave each other patience through the emotional ups and downs.
We also heavily relied on the information and support from our TTC group.
Fertility treatment can be grueling and all-consuming. It is both a physical and mental challenge. It has given us a deep empathy for anyone struggling with fertility.
It has perfected our ability to be a solid support system for one another, and it has given us a newfound appreciation for all that we have to be thankful for in our lives.
With the success rates for IUI being lower than IVF, we could have saved ourselves a lot of money and time doing it that way.
For those who are in similar shoes and considering fertility treatment, my advice is to make sure that you are well-researched and prepared for the financial, mental, and physical burden of such a journey. Be ready for a change of plans, as sometimes things come up unexpectedly and you have to be flexible to make a new plan. And make sure you have a good support system in place first.
We are now expecting a little boy, 16 weeks along, and we couldn't be more at peace with the road we took to get to this destination.
Be kind to yourself. Keep hoping, keep holding on.
You've got this.