Mrs Bambi has a bun in the oven
We found out on Sunday that my civil partner is pregnant. Pregnant. As in ‘having a baby’. I write those short sentences to try and shock myself into believing it. We had been going through fertility treatment for the last 14 months, with hormones, scans, tests, and counselling and many more things that I can’t remember right now, but still I don’t think it has sunk in yet nor will anything sink in until our first scan in three weeks or so.
We decided because she is as healthy has a horse, that she would be the better candidate of the two of us to get pregnant. I am the sow’s ear to her silk purse. We chose to do intra uterine insemination (IUI) with a non-anonymous sperm donor we sourced through the fertility clinic. My partner went through many rounds of ovulation stimulation, and some months we inseminated, some months we did not. Most months it didn’t work, but this month it did. And it’s a little unbelievable. I wanted to write a clear, concise explanation of what we’ve done and what my partner has been through physically, while flagging what the emotional load was as well, but at the moment all I feel is elation, relief and a little bit of fear. It’s a new fear though, adrenaline/excitement/love combo. This does not lend itself to concentration.
We entered into our civil partnership in 2011 along with many other couples in Ireland. Even though civil partnership is the tepid water of legal frameworks for loving relationships, we believe that it is a springboard to full equality and the government cannot ignore us forever. They won’t be ignoring me anyway, because I keep emailing them reminding them about the lack of equality.
We have always believed that we will be a full family, marriage, children, dogs (we have two), the lot. We were living in a country where we had more rights but because we’re bull thick and stubborn, we decided to move home and dig our heels in here. We live in rural (with a capital R) Ireland and intend on raising a generation of mini-mucksavages just like us.
After the civil partnership, we saved for the inevitable money suck that is fertility treatment. It’s fairly obvious that fertility treatment is not cheap. We knew nothing of what we had to do to get pregnant. We actually assumed that it was IVF all the way, and the only thing we knew about that was that it was unbelievably expensive. We didn’t even think of asking our GP for advice, so off we went a-googling and got on the phone to clinics to ask them what the craic is. My advice is not to do that, but go to your GP instead, for the obvious reason that it’s a better, clearer way to find out about your options and it saves a lot of time.
We attended appointments. My partner had blood tests. I had blood tests. She had many, many invasive scans and even went under anaesthetic for biopsies. We attended mandatory counselling. We chose a sperm donor. My partner took many rounds of drugs, different cocktails all with the intention to create the optimum environment for a pregnancy. I saw her cervix a few too many times. We had a few too many two-week-waits. The money we spent nearly crippled us. The negative tests were heartbreaking. But all of it has faded away now that we have had positive news.
The nitty gritty of the last few weeks is fairly clear in my head now so I’ll write it down. We inseminated at Day 16 of her cycle, and by “we” I mean, medical professionals in a sterile room, with the two of us in gowns, her in a slightly more vulnerable position than me. She had triggered on Day 14 which is supposed to lead to ovulation 40 hours afterwards. By my reckoning (and what the midwife spelled out) the insemination happened at 36 hours post trigger. So then the two week wait.
We were told to only test 18 days after the trigger, which was the day of my partner’s 32nd birthday so if it was going to work, it’s fantastic that it happened then. She was fairly symptom-free but I had a feeling that it was positive as it was a different two week wait to the negative ones of the past year. So yeah, the end of that story is that we woke up early the other morning to do the test. She didn’t want to look so I did, and there it was, PREGNANT. So now we wait to scan and cross our fingers and take it easy until we’re out of the first twelve weeks. There are lots of hurdles ahead of us, legally, financially, and probably fifty more issues I’m unaware of, but right now there is nothing, but my partner, me and our baby.