Our conception journey as a queer couple

Z and I met at University in Eastbourne, all fresh-faced and young. We coupled up quickly after meeting, and graduated together 3 years later. Gender transition became a next big life change, as well as finding jobs and moving into our first independent place together in Bexhill.  We bought a place in Eastbourne, got married 7 years after we’d first met, and always wanted to build a family unit together.

We are a queer couple, but do appear a bit heteronormative to the outside world. This has it’s pros and cons in the sense of privilege and discrimination.

Unfortunately we had a few bits of misinformation along the way, like GPs not knowing the most appropriate path for us to have children. Or thinking we might get funding, but actually it turning out that using donor products means you have to fund everything yourself.

We found a colleague who had been through the process as a same-sex couple, so that’s actually how we found out where to go!

But we got there in the end with help from the Esperance clinic in Eastbourne.

Couple holding pregnancy test in their hands

Choosing a sperm donor is weird!

Choosing a sperm donor is weird! But amazing. We need more sperm donors in the UK – so please encourage eligible people to consider it!

We became pregnant the first time we tried IUI with donor sperm, but it was a chemical pregnancy so we suffered a very early loss. This was really hard, and luckily we had a couple of friends we could talk to about it and share our pain.

Two more attempts at IUI didn’t bring us any more pregnancies, so we moved on to try IVF.

It’s a huge decision to put your body through so much – especially as I’d never even had a general anaesthetic before! But, in retrospect, it was so very worth it for us.

Our plucky little embryo-baby stuck on our first try, and grew into the fabulous little human he is today.

My biggest advice to anyone about to start this journey is to make sure you’ve got someone to talk to along the way. Conception is usually surrounded in secrecy, but that doesn’t help if things aren’t going well or get complicated. Having someone you can open up with really helps ease some of that pressure. Don’t deal with that on your own, or even just as a couple.

We’re always happy to be approached if someone going through a similar journey wants to talk.

If you’d like any help or advice from any of our members please do reach out to us, we’d love to be able to offer support. Contact us at: bournethisway.lgbt@gmail.com

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