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Old Apr 25th, 2013, 20:54 PM   1
dlachicago
Waiting To Try (WTT)
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newbie--seeking advice


I'm new to this forum and to the mommies-to-be club in general, really. I'm so happy to see a same-sex parenting thread on here, though!

So, a quick introduction: My partner and I have been together for 12+ years; we were married last year. We are both 31. We live in Chicago, have pretty great jobs, and we think (keyword: THINK) we're ready to start family soon. It is something we've both always wanted.

For a long time, we delayed the inevitable "how should we approach this baby-making, eh?" conversation. We talked a lot about adoption. I was always the frontrunner in the "who wants to be a mommy more" race, and I've always wanted to adopt. It was the only option we explored--casually, of course--for years.

Then my wife drops a bomb: she wants to carry a child. Since I would never take that experience away from her, that completely changed our thinking about starting a family.

Since I have Type 1 Diabetes, it just wouldn't be smart for me to carry. Plus, I've never had the desire. So, she will definitely be the one to get knocked up.

Now, we are at a crossroads.

Road 1: We do reciprocal IVF, using my egg, an anonymous sperm donor, and she carries. This would be a long and tedious process--not to mention expensive. As you all probably know, we're looking at around $20,000 with no guarantee of success.

Road 2: We get an anonymous sperm donor and inseminate my wife. It's a lot easier, A LOT cheaper, but I play no part biologically.

The funny thing is, as enthusiastic as I've always been about adoption, I struggle with the idea of her carrying, using her egg. With adoption, as I saw it, we'd both be on a level playing ground. If she carries, using her egg, I feel completely isolated from the process--as selfish as I know that sounds.

In a dream world, if we didn't want a big family and if someone handed us a free ticket to reciprocal IVF, I think we'd both go that route. She "wants to have my baby."

But I find it harder and harder justify the additional emotional, physical, and financial stress when, at the end of the day, it should matter whether or not I have a biological connection with my baby. I know I'll love it either way.

So, I'm taking to this forum as a way to hear some stories. We don't have many lesbian friends, unfortunately. And we don't have any that have been through this process.

I'd love to hear any and all responses, thoughts, words of wisdom, recommendations, etc. We're truly "newbies," here--newbies to this forum, newbies to this conversation.

Thanks, in advance, for listening.



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Old Apr 26th, 2013, 01:14 AM   2
MariposaTam
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Welcome to BnB! My partner and i are near Chicago too I love seeing new faces in here, this section is unfortunately not frequented as often as we'd like it to be, but several of us pop our heads in here from time to time. I think the reason for its emptiness is because all of us are on different paths and this forum section is just so generalized!

Anyhow, my partner and I are also newbies to this whole thing, however we both want to give birth so the plan for us is that we each have one child. I do understand wanting to actually be a biological part of your baby- it sucks that it's so hard for us to do that. Honestly for us, it isn't even an option to follow road one financially speaking, so I think that we just grin and bear it, knowing that regardless of genetics I will be mom just as much as she will.

I am a teacher at a daycare- and I have seen my fair share of children and parents. I see no difference in the love between a child with biological ties to the parent versus one who is not, with the exception of, quite possibly, the children with no ties are shown love even a smidge bit more on a regular basis! I know that I love all the babies that come to my room, and I can only imagine how much stronger that love would be if I cared for a child 24/7. I think that in this I have an advantage-I just KNOW in my heart that regardless of anything, that child will be as much mine as he/she will be my partner's. I wish I could pass my feelings to you, I know how hard this must be.

Unfortunately I can only offer limited advice in the sense of how I'm going about things, as my partner will be the first one to get pregnant (she's older) and I of course want to be involved and be as much a part in this as I can. I started as you did, by joining bnb! I am doing research, and helping her go through this process from start to end. I'm tracking her period and ovulation, planning on helping her start taking temps, and finding out what vitamins are best and when to take them. I already feel more involved than I did before I joined here.

The subforums most helpful to me so far are the assisted conception forum-there is a post on there for at home insemination using a known donor that has so much information, I read through 90 pages believe it or not.

The other forum I'm regularly on is the Waiting To Try forum- as that is our current status (yours as well I think). You should come check us out! Its a great group of ladies.

Also, you are definitely not alone in feeling this way-check out the post labeled “gutted" a few posts below. I replied there as well. I think you will find that if you do a little digging around, this forum is really a very helpful and supportive place!

Sorry for the long reply, I really hope I helped at least a little, and I hope I made sense. It's kind of 1am and I have gotten a bit obsessed recently and have been getting no sleep from browsing bnb ha ha! Feel free to private message me or check out my journal if you want to chat anytime!



 
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Old Apr 26th, 2013, 12:39 PM   3
gingmg
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Hi,
It is a very personal decision to decide how to go about becoming parents as a same sex couple. You have to do what is right for you and your partner. Each couple may view the process differently and what is right for one couple may not be right for the next.
My wife and I are using an open donor (meaning when the kids are 18 he has agreed to meet them at least once if they choose) through artificial insemination at a clinic. For us it was important to use an open donor. For some people that may not be important. Some people do at home inseminations, but for us going to a clinic seemed the right choice.
I have always had the desire to carry children, my wife does not. If we had the money, I would carry using her egg, but we don't. At the beginning of this process she had a very very hard time that our children will not be biologically hers, but as we get further and further a long in this process, she doesn't feel that way anymore. Now we are both just hoping that one of these months I actually get pregnant!!!
Best of luck in whatever you feel is the best decision for you!



 
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Old Apr 26th, 2013, 13:03 PM   4
gingmg
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Also, when we were married I took my wife's name. I never thought I would change my name, but I figured if I was going to carry our children they should have her last name. She's VERY happy I decided to that! I think that's when she started to feel better about the biology of it all.



 
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Old Apr 26th, 2013, 14:52 PM   5
chickenlegs
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Hi, myself and my partner have a 13 month baby boy, so can share our story! When we were about to start the process, we intended on using my egg and her carrying, or the other way round. We had money from a divorce settlement so went for IVF - expensive, but a higher success rate. Unfortunately due to something called AMH levels (a hormone that indicates the number of follicles present) neither of us were able to "donate" eggs, even to a known donor (ie partner) without basically going through panel, where doctors meet, discuss cases and either agree, disagree or agree with conditions. We didn't particularly like the idea of our baby's future depending on the decision made by people who didn't know us, so we went for our best option - for her to carry, and use her eggs. I was obviously gutted. This wasn't part of the plan. But to be honest, once I got my head around the fact that he wasn't coming from me, we just got on with it! It was hard, but to be honest the hardest bits were seeing her going off on maternity, being treated more like the "mum" during pregnancy and that was irrelevant to whose eggs were used! So basically, as soon as he was here. And I mean literally, at the second that he was born, the eggs used to create him were irrelevant. He is undoubtedly my son, and I adore every inch of him. I have NEVER considered him anything other than my own, and fortunately for us (I know not everyone is as lucky) neither has anyone else. So my advice is: just have a baby. In the quickest, cheapest and easiest way. Because however he is conceived and whoever he comes from it will be the best thing you have ever done. (Apart from and 4:30 in the morning!) Good luck!



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Old Apr 26th, 2013, 16:39 PM   6
dlachicago
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Thanks so much for sharing your stories in these replies, everyone! Because--as I mentioned before--we don't know any lesbian couples who have started a family, we don't really have anyone to talk with about this stuff.

Your reassuring messages confirm what I know in my heart: I will love our baby and it won't matter whose eggs were used to conceive. It really helps hearing that from people who have experienced it, though.

We're still not 100% decided. I'm getting chromosome testing done next week. I have a few genetic irregularities and, if the test comes back saying that our child would likely inherit those things, it'll be an easy decision. If the test comes back that I'm "all clear," we'll probably be in a bit of limbo for a little while longer. I think that, regardless, we'll set-up an appointment with a fertility clinic in the area--just to survey our options!

Any of you know of any Chicago-area fertility clinics with high success rates and known LGBT friendliness?

So glad to have this community to share with as we move forward!



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Old Apr 26th, 2013, 18:53 PM   7
gingmg
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I've found this site to be a wealth of information, and was happy as well for a same sex forum section.



 
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Old Apr 29th, 2013, 15:03 PM   8
SLCMommy
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Unlike heterosexual couples, this is a unique situation that is mostly laid with lesbian couples, were as gay couples obviously have options but they are not as emotionally demanding, unless of course one of them wants a sperm in a surrogate, for example.

Hearing what you said, if I was your partner, I would do adoption. But, at the same time, it's such a catch 22 because I wouldn't want your partner to be robbed of the dream of carrying for herself. I would sit down with your partner, and tell her exactly what you told us. Your feelings about feeling displaced biologically if she does not carry your egg. This is such a very personal choice between you and your partner, but from just what I've read, my suggestion would be to do the adoption way. That way both you and your partner would never have to feel displaced for the situation, and can just focus on raising a happy, healthy family.


Good luck to you and your partner in whatever you choose xoxox



 
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Old May 6th, 2013, 09:24 AM   9
krysb
Pregnant (Expecting)
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my wife carried our son. i have pretty much no feelings about the fact that he is related to her and not me. it has nothing to do with our parent/child relationship whatsoever.

before she had sean i thought i would never want to carry. now i'm nearly 6 months pregnant with #2.

about all the "thinking you maybe might be ready soon"...there is never really a good time to have a baby. it's always going to throw a wrench in everything! and if you're doing any assisted reproduction the timeline gets all dragged out.



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