We are a same sex married couple. Experiencing pregnancy TOGETHER! Friends, family and even strangers have had a lot of questions for us. So we decided we would share these experiences!
We have decided to attempt to blog this experience. On that note I (Rae) am currently doing the blogging so we will always let you know who is doing the blogging. We are both having two different experiences, just having them together. I conceived on October 23, 2013 and my wife (Anne) conceived on November 29, 2013. Approximately four weeks apart. Since conception, I have been sick, I had morning sickness and was nauseated beyond my control. My wife (Anne) always looks beautiful and maybe 10% of the time might feel a little sick to her stomach, but usually once she eats it goes away. I am grumpier (but this might not just be pregnancy). Anne looks beautiful and radiant with her little baby bump and I now look like a frat boy with a beer belly.
We started going to the Doctor in August of 2011. At this time Anne and I both got checked out by the Doctor to see if we were both fertile and could if we wanted to, get pregnant. The Doctor (who I hated from day one), told me that I should not bother trying to conceive. That I had PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome). He told me it was probably because I had too much testosterone or because I was overweight. I had every possible test ran on my body in regards to the hormone levels and they all came back perfectly normal (he assumed my short hair meant I had too much testosterone). I lost 30 pounds and kept this weight off. I wasn’t attached to carrying a child so I was ecstatic when they told us that my wife’s body was perfect for having babies. That we should have issues getting pregnant with her. We had already picked a donor from the Sperm bank we had chosen so we decided to start trying.
The first month we tried we did IUI (Intra Uterine Insemination) with a trigger shot. We waited those awful two weeks of between insemination and when you use a pregnancy test and the test came back: NEGATIVE. We decided okay lets just try again. The Doctor pushed that we use hormones (the horrible doctor). We were very hesitant with Anne using hormones, considering she did not have a hormone imbalance and was in no way infertile. It seemed very unnecessary to us. So we said okay after him pushing… and bam now the hormones had messed up Anne’s cycle. He told us we could try anyways that month (since the Sperm had already been shipped), but Anne would need to take a different hormone to counter the effect of the first hormone. So we went ahead and tried. After another two weeks of horrible waiting we received another negative test. After the horrible experience with the Doctor pushing hormones she didn’t need we decided maybe we should switch fertility specialist and go to a place that was more accepting of the LGBT community. We had heard amazing reviews of the San Francisco Kaiser fertility clinic. All things considered we really wanted a better doctor and someone who didn’t seem as close minded regarding how I looked. We then both got checked out again (just a second opinion basically) he told us by all the blood tests and the ultra sounds that Anne was all good, and he saw no need to use hormones. Unless we were not successful after several attempts without them. He told us that I would take a little longer, but that it was not something to get discouraged by and that if I wanted to conceive I could. I still was not set on actually carrying around a child for 9-10 months so we continued to try with Anne.
We used up the rest of the frozen sperm (with Anne), that we had purchased (3 additional vials on top of the 2 we already used). None of which resulted in a pregnancy. We were devastated, but both knew that when our time was right it would happen and that if it was never right it wouldn’t. At this time we decided maybe we should look into using a “known donor”. Someone we knew who was willing to sign away their rights as a parent, but also willing to devote a lot of time and energy into helping us make our dreams come true of becoming parents. We asked the person who we had discussed at length and he said yes with no hesitation. We had all the medical tests ran that people have run, and started trying at home (yes its just how you imagine with a turkey baster, but we used small syringes). We did this for a few months with no success, even though we would try several days in a row each cycle to increase our chances of conception.
In April of 2013 we contacted the Doctor regarding using a, “known donor” at the hospital. The Doctor informed us that the laws in California had changed this year and they were now in fact doing IUI with known donors. All we had to do was get the appropriate tests done on the donor and also sign away liability. We were really excited and optimistic that this was now a choice for us. We were also excited for other couples because this could really help a lot of people, including LGBT community as well as infertile couples!
We tried a few times in the spring of 2013 at home and then at the Doctor’s office. In July of 2013 we were hit with a hard blow, my sister who was only 36 years old died unexpectedly. Most of July I spent sorting out funeral details and with my family and her children. In August of 2013 we were hit with another hard blow, my wife’s father died unexpectedly. My wife’s younger brother (15) came to live with us. Two deaths in less than a one month span. Two funerals, lots of lose ends, and more grief than we could have ever imagined.
We continued to try in September and again we received a negative test. In October we decided I would try. The Doctor recommended Clomid (hormone to induce ovulation), a trigger shot (to help the ovulation along) and an ultra sound 2 days prior to when they think insemination should occur in relation to when my cycle started. I went into the Doctor on October 22 for my ultra sound. Before the ultra sound they have you pee in a cup and check your ovulation. They found out I was ovulating early and would need to inseminate the next day. They nurse administered the trigger shot and they told me to come back the next day at 2:30pm. I was so nervous. I thought I had one more day to think about this! Two weeks after insemination I took a pregnancy test, it came back negative. I was not surprised as they had told me it would be harder to conceive. On November 11th we had a birthday party for Anne’s little brother at the ropes course. I was feeling horrible this day and exhausted, I also didn’t want coffee. My first signs of pregnancy. I retested and there it was, the positive sign…. I may have almost passed out. We had been trying so hard now for two entire years with Anne and in one try for me it had worked.
We decided to keep trying with Anne the next month. Anne had always told me how amazing she thought it would be to carry together. I was never on board as I always imagined being the one who is supporting the pregnant wife, not being pregnant! In early November we talked to our amazing Doctor and we decided to do extra ultra sounds in order to really track the cycle and make sure insemination was on the correct day. We were beginning to doubt the accuracy of the Ovulation predictor kits we were using, because sometimes Anne was not getting a positive until very late in her cycle. We learned from our Doctor that as long as her period was coming 14 days after the positive ovulation test that a late ovulation was perfectly normal. We still wanted to be more sure of the timing of ovulation due to the varying lengths of Anne’s cycle. We drove to San Francisco on 3 different dates to check her follicles (eggs), due to this variance. On the the third visit he said he believed that due to the size of the eggs that she would ovulate within the next 24-48 hours. She had two follicles that ovulated that month, and we believe this may be the reason for the long cycle as most women only release one follicle or egg per month. We used a trigger shot and went into the Doctor on November 29th for insemination. This was the Friday after Thanksgiving, the Doctor was the only medical staff we saw in the office that day. He had given most of his staff the day off for the holiday. Anne was on day 24 of her cycle, so we did not have high hopes of it working because it seemed so late. Five days later Anne began feeling heartburn and this was the first time in her life that she felt this sensation. We were optimistic that this was a sign that it had finally worked. Although we were eager to take a pregnancy test, we waited until 14 days after insemination.
On December 13th, 2014 we met for lunch and went for a little hike. Anne took a pregnancy test, we waited anxiously which seemed like an eternity until the word PREGNANT popped up. We were excited beyond belief! This was the beginning of a whole new journey, here we come!