Anyone who knows us personally either individually or as a couple will know that we have always wanted a family. Both in previous relationships and on our own we have tried to have children and since being together we have been through a great deal in our most important quest to become mothers.
We are both big believers in things happening for a reason. Yet we are also both realists in that without help and support we knew that this would never happen for us.
Having a child is not simple for everyone, even when you’re a heterosexual couple. However, it was never going to be straight forward as a lesbian couple. We knew from early on in our relationship that we were soulmates. I’ll never forget the day when I first met Em. She was, and still is, the most beautiful woman I have ever met and her personality exuded confidence, wit and charisma. Never could I have imagined years later that I would be the luckiest woman in the world and be engaged to her. It is true that when you find the one you just know. This moment hits you with such an incredible force that you’re knocked over in love and you know that no one else in the world will do.
It is with great certainty that we can say now that our love combined with the ingenuous skills of IVF Spain have granted us our greatest wish. Our dream to become mothers has finally become a reality. As we have dreamt this dream for over 15 years it often feels like we are still sleeping. There is that famous quote I often think about… You know that your life is so great when you don’t want to go to sleep for fear that your dreams will not be as great as your reality. Well this is how we now feel almost every moment of everyday.
As a couple, we wake up every day happy in the knowledge that we are with each other and can say with real honesty that we cherish each other to the core. We knew that we would do whatever we could to become a family. We have been mothers in our mind and in our hearts for what feels like an eternity. It’s like we’ve been waiting our whole lives for this time to come.
When we started actively exploring routes to having a baby we went down many roads including donors and co-parenting. We interviewed a gay couple for co-parenting and even a friend of a friend. However, when we received the newsletter from Fertility Road about IVF Spain’s competition we just knew that we had to apply as it all sounded so wonderful. When we researched the clinic, we were very impressed. Not only are they clearly an advanced clinic, but they also have a section on their website specifically for lesbian women. In our experience women like us often feel excluded and it was a breath of fresh Spanish air to see that we would not be an after-thought.
If it were not for IVF Spain we know that we would still be dreaming. As both Em and I had been to other clinics in the UK and Spain we are not simply being biased in saying that IVF Spain are the BEST! We were cared for so wonderfully and so carefully and we got pregnant the first time! What more can we say. The nurses and doctors were magnificent and we must say an extra special thanks to Alicia Alvarez whose skills medically as well as her incredible heart made us the luckiest women in the world.
The day of the insemination was relaxing and joyous. This is partly because Em was so focussed and in the moment and also because IVF Spain made us feel comfortable, at ease and special. What is more the clinic planned the day to coincide with Emma’s birthday. December 22nd is now by far the best day of the year. From the moment when we arrived to the moment we left it felt as though we were in a romantic movie and this one has a happy ending too!
We had to wait two very long weeks and rather unromantically we found out that we were pregnant via email through blood test results. We were told after our test that the results would be sent to us within 2 days and we were constantly checking our emails every hour. It was actually in a supermarket when we read the email and we both screamed with joy. I actually broke down with emotions so raw and with a happiness so real that we just couldn’t believe it. We were actually PREGNANT and we had the paperwork to prove it.
THIS WAS IT!
The first 12 weeks of pregnancy felt like 12 years. Normally our lives go so fast that a few months fly by, but our first trimester was slow and rather frustrating. Based on our past experiences we wanted to make sure everything was okay before we told everyone. For this reason, we held onto this incredible secret for what felt like an eternity.
Telling friends and family has been emotional, wonderful and exciting. They are all obviously happy for us and also in awe and amazed by how it all happened.
Em is now over five months pregnant and although she is experiencing a huge array of symptoms, she sometimes forgets that she is pregnant. It’s so overwhelming and unreal that it’s not surprising that we sometimes need to remind ourselves that we are actually having a baby. Soon it will be impossible to forget especially as she is already showing. I talk to the baby every night before we go to sleep (it gives Em a break from listening to me) and it brings me closer. I can’t wait for the moment when I first feel our baby inside Em’s belly. As for me, too, I sometimes can’t believe it is actually happening.
Last week at our 16-week midwife appointment we heard our baby’s heartbeat for the first time and it was as if time stood still. The heart beat was echoing our years of waiting and we cried once again with sheer joy and emotion.
Our lives have already altered beyond imagination. Everything now feels different and our perspectives are changing. What made us stressed before now becomes more manageable and day to day life is more enjoyable and worthwhile. I know how important it is for us to have a happy and healthy environment for our child and therefore we are preparing for this now. Having a support network is vital when you’re pregnant and also when you have a baby and a young child. We were aware of the fact that all our friends already have older children and that we would potentially feel quite isolated. Also, when we start our pre-natal classes, which is often where parents meet their support circle, we know that we may feel a bit old and don’t want to be the grandma’s of the group. We therefore set up a group locally on Meetup for expectant parents and parents to be over the age of 35 and have already had a couple of get togethers. We emphasise that it’s not just about the woman giving birth but also her partner and really want to be inclusive of the dads and other mothers as well as for women doing it on their own! It’s also so great to hear from the Fertility Show and the magazine that more and more lesbian couples are coming forward for treatment based on our story. Yes, lesbians can become parents and we are the perfect example of this. However, it is still difficult in the UK and we were incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to receive treatment at IVF Spain who are experts in helping female couples and individuals.
Em and I are both fortunate in that we both work together running our own company. This way we can begin to plan ahead and what is more we will both get to be together with our baby and be part of our child’s upbringing. Now that Em is half way through her pregnancy we are investigating the different types of birthing options or at least what we would like to happen. Plus, we have of course bought a few things already as it all makes it that bit more real.
We know that although the pregnancy is going very slowly before we know it we will be mothers. We are already planning our first holiday with our family to IVF Spain in Alicante to proudly revisit the centre that gave us the greatest gift. There are no words to describe our gratitude to IVF Spain, to Fertility Road and to our donors.
I will never forget the day that I first met Em and fell in love at first sight. In less than 5-months time we will both fall in love at first sight again when we see our child born into this world. Dreams certainly can come true.