Beccy and Rhian's success story using IUI with donor sperm
Beccy and I decided we wanted to conceive our own children in early 2011 and that it would be me to have a child first for a variety of reasons. We looked at lots of fertility clinics within about an hour’s radius of home and immediately liked the sound and look of Complete Fertility Centre (CFC) in Southampton from the website compared to most other fertility centres. They seemed to have a good holistic approach which we liked and they had a section explaining the kind of treatments available for a same sex couples. We also met some of the Complete Fertility Team at The Alternative Families Show and we were struck by how friendly, welcoming and informative everyone was, and knew from that point that we wanted our journey to starting a family to be with them.
We spoke to our local GP and with the support from CFC we were referred to Southampton to have fertility tests. Once we had these results I had a laparoscopy and hysteroscopy to make sure everything was ok and they straightened out my wonky cervix! The great thing was that we had the same doctor for the NHS bit as we did then going forward to have the IUI.
Once we had established that I was ready and able to conceive everything moved very quickly on the road to actually having treatment. Everything was explained fully and the main difficulty was actually deciding on which sperm donor to choose! Having counselling as part of our treatment was great and the counsellor was easy to talk to; very warm and caring. One of the things we really liked was the fact that they have their own sperm bank and that all the sperm donors also have to speak to the counsellor before donating as they aren’t necessarily anonymous forever; and we felt it was really important that any children we had would hopefully have a positive experience if and when they ever choose to meet their donor dad. We also discussed being prepared for our feelings around certain areas like how Beccy would feel not being biologically connected, and how we feel about our children not having a Dad, as well as how we might answer questions they ask as they get older. We signed paperwork to say that we agreed that Beccy would be the other legal parent and that she was responsible as soon as any child was conceived. The other thing which we valued was the advice about looking after me to give myself the best chance of conceiving so we felt that my body was as ready and as healthy as it could be.
So, once we had chosen we very quickly started our first cycle at my next period. I had regular scans and Beccy administered the injections to control the follicle growth. The scans were fascinating as I could see the follicles growing and it became apparent that there might be 2 eggs released. Within 8 days we had the instruction to give the ovulating injection and to come in the next day for our IUI. It was very exciting but we were also nervous and trying to not get too excited, being informed of the chances of it working first time. We arrived at CFC in the morning and we soon were in the treatment room, everything was explained again and then the insemination was very quick and painless. It was a kind of strange 20 minutes afterwards where I lay there with Beccy and me imagining what was happening and cheering on the sperm!!!
Within a couple of days I was convinced I was pregnant and then I was convinced it was twins and once we had the twins thing in our heads we always imagined that if I was pregnant it was probably with 2! The 2 week wait to do a pregnancy test was so incredibly long, but it was worth the wait for the magical moment when the faintest of lines showed up on the test..... and again on the 2nd one..... and again the next morning but definitely a line! We called CFC who were very happy and explained what happened now. If we thought 2 weeks was a long time to wait for a pregnancy test, a further 5 weeks for the first scan was excruciating!
It duly came around and off we nervously went to Southampton. We just wanted to see the heartbeat and for everything to be ok. I couldn’t see the scan screen at first but Beccy could and she almost immediately saw what I felt I already knew..... there were 2 sacks and 2 heartbeats - twins! The nurse said she had never seen anyone so relaxed at the news they were having twins but I just knew!!
After that we returned to our local NHS for our antenatal and maternity care and after a really good 37 and a half week pregnancy, albeit an enormous one, our 2 beautiful sons, Otis and Xander were born.
They are now 9 months old and being a family is just the most amazing thing. We may be crazy, but we have already reserved sperm from the same donor for Beccy (hopefully) to have a child / children some time.
At Complete Fertility we never felt like we were different in any way, or that any of the process was anything other than normal; we were just another couple who needed a little help to realise their dream of having a family.