Having decided that we were going to have a baby, biomum and I began to look into the options. Obviously just having lots of sex wasn’t going to work (though we did amuse at our GP with that) – not without an added ingredient. I’d been the slower of the two of us to admit that children was something I wanted and given we wanted to give biomum the chance to carry the child we did consider using my eggs and her uterus. Briefly.
For those of you who don’t know, IVF is expensive. Our PCT has only just relented and decided to allow one cycle of IVF on the NHS provided you are under a certain age and have been trying for a certain period of time (with sperm, dammit) – we doubted very much that they would fund harvesting my eggs as well as everything else. Going private was looking like it would be prohibitively expensive especially adding in the cost of buying sperm from a bank. The idea of us having a child that could be considered to come from both of us – my genetic material combined with biomum carrying the child and being the birth mother was just not going to be viable. We would be forced to go down the very clinical route of IVF and, expense aside, it all seemed too impersonal unless we had to. The process of home insemination is by not means romantic but at least it would be the two of us, together, making a baby – even if the baby would have no genetic link to me.
As far as the NHS goes – until you’ve been trying to conceive for a while the only assistance or checks available are some basic blood tests for biomum to check things like iron levels. If we encounter problems later than there are things the NHS may be able to offer us but without going private for either IVF or the acquisition of sperm we were on our own.
I found myself really envying my straight friends at this point. Unless there are specific fertility issues with one party or the other all they have to do is have unprotected sex, a lot. I appreciate this is over-simplifying massively. Getting pregnant can take time and be hard work but compared to what we were facing – finding a sperm donor, home insemination etc, it just seemed too easy for everyone else. Especially when you read the cases of child neglect. I had so much pent-up frustration about how unfair it was. This is before you add in the rubbish about being gay being a ‘lifestyle choice’ and that I shouldn’t therefore be able to have children because I chose to be with a woman. Don’t get me wrong, I have no issues with my sexuality – but it’s not a choice. This is how I’m wired. I also want children and it shouldn’t be this hard.