After reading this article from the always amazing Róisín Ingle, I decided to put my thoughts down on paper; someone once said it can be quite therapeutic, so here’s hoping. Myself and my partner were together a few years when we made the decision to try for a small person. That biological clock business, it’s not an old wife’s tail. One minute you’re happy out, next minute you’re brooding over every single baby you see. One of the first things that strike you is that, despite what we hear, it’s not that easy to get pregnant.
Let’s start with the very obvious lack of sperm. As far as we were aware there are no clinics in Ireland who will treat same sex couples. So it became a running joke whenever I was out with my mates, I’d ask them if they knew any nice blokes who would donate his sperm. As you do over a pint, ya know?
Turns out someone did know someone and we met this amazing guy, seriously. He was perfect, he didn’t want any involvement, he was happy to travel up to us every month and he wanted nothing in return. So we read all the books, there’s lots of them about ovulation and sperm and all that.
Turns out the whole ovulation process is a lot more complex then those biology lessons let on. Chart your cycle, calculate roughly when is the optimum day, let the lovely donor know so he can make arrangements. And then go through the whole process again and again and again when it doesn’t work.
I cannot over emphasise how stressful this entire situation can be for the couple. We honestly didn’t expect the emotional roller-coaster that would follow.
When, after a couple of years, that didn’t work out, we decided to have a chat with our GP who is just lovely. She recommended going to a clinic and gave us the name of one which would treat us. We were delighted. Only one problem. We couldn’t use our donor, they provide the sperm as they have a number of checks they have to do. It was the end of the road for us with our donor. We told him the news and he was so supportive, seriously if I could have I’d have his babies. Amazing guy and I am sure some day will make a great dad.
So we tried again. And again and then I felt like we couldn’t do it any more. It was taking its toll on me emotionally. All around me my straight friends were asking me for advice about ovulation and all that sort of thing, and three of them ended up pregnant. Granted I didn’t make them pregnant but I was starting to hate my body for its failure to conceive. I’m a woman, the egg was being released every month, it just wanted nothing to do with the poor auld sperm that hung around. We decided to stop.
It was tough. There was a pregnancy boom in work. Everywhere I looked were women who could conceive, it was so disheartening.
Looking back we were gutted it didn’t work out. We didn’t really talk about it and it seemed every lesbian couple we saw or met had now one or two small people. It was like mother nature was having a laugh. I am a believer in things happening for a reason and I now know that it didn’t work out for a reason. We have a gorgeous niece who we adore and we are the best aunties ever. I think so anyway.
Thankfully, there have been few situations where randomers would ask “have we not thought about children?”. In each instance, we’ve both explained that it didn’t work out and you know what, we’re happy just the two of us.
So, the next time you think of asking someone if they’ve ever thought of having kids, think again. For one, they might not want to, as in Róisín’s article, or there might be a more painful reason.