One year ago we started this blog and went public with our desire to have a baby.
It was scary. We weren’t sure how everyone would take it with us being two women. We had done our research and we had an inkling about exactly how complicated it all would be, but most of it was in front of us still. I remember telling Jo that I didn’t think I would have much to write about!
I was wrong though. There was the baby-making speed date I had gone on back when we considered co-parenting with a gay man and having a baby that way. There were the completely different dilemmas when we changed our mind to using donor sperm. The most logical place to go do that was in a local hospital, so we went for a fertility consultation at the UZ Gent, and left overwhelmed by their demands and questions.
We thought about fertility, and what it all meant. Jo blogged about why she doesn’t want to be pregnant, and she will tell you that no, seeing me go through it has not changed her mind at all!
We decided that Belgium wasn’t going to cut it for us, so we went looking abroad. We were asked terrible questions again and again. Will your child have enough of a male influence in their life?
I signed up for sharing my eggs, and it’s only because that clinic turned out to be absolutely horrendous that we didn’t go through with that. I still feel somewhat sad I couldn’t give that gift to someone else, if I had, there could be another woman pregnant with baby Sunshine’s half sibling right now.
And then we found Abc IVF. They were right for us and we knew it, and once we made our choice, it all went quickly. We chose a sperm donor, smuggled medication onto the Eurostar, and then right around my 32nd birthday, I started injecting myself with hormones.
A week into the IVF process both Jo and I travelled to London, where we found out I had a lot of follicles. And then a bit too much. And then that it was making me seriously ill. I can still remember the disappointment when we were told that I wouldn’t have an embryo transferred after that round of IVF because I was too ill with hyperstimulation. It was the right call to make though, I do know that.
There was the egg collection surgery, and I recovered at home while we got daily reports about our little eggs fertilising and then becoming blastocysts, a glorious EIGHT of them! We got incredibly lucky with that number, I’m still stunned when I think about it now.
A few months later I had recovered enough, and it was go-time all over again! I started medication, and our best little embryo was thawed and placed into my uterus.
We waited for a very exciting two weeks in which my breasts suddenly gained a cup size and I could swear I felt implantation twinges. We did a pregnancy test earlier than we were supposed to, thinking that maaaaybe there would be the slightest of hints that… It was more than that, we saw a bright beautiful positive!
Soon after that we got to hear a strong heartbeat, and that was it, baby Sunshine was a reality!
The first trimester of pregnancy absolutely wiped me out. It was horridly exhausting and demanding on my body and I won’t pretend that I enjoyed the experience at all. The best thing ever was hitting that twelve week mark, stopping the medication, and suddenly I felt so much more human again.
We had the NIPT test done and found out baby Sunshine is a healthy little girl. Soon after we felt her moving for the first time, it is still my very favourite sensation. It is so glorious to feel her with me throughout the day <3
The second trimester hasn’t always been easy on me emotionally, which was a whole other surprise I hadn’t counted on. But the baby is growing well, and I am feeling healthy and good right now. I know there is much more to go, but my god, it’s been a lot!
We were recently featured in the podcast of Mensje in de Maak, and I think discussing our whole journey to get here brought it home for the both of us – we have done so much! This has been a crazy two years in baby-making, and we are so grateful that I have the ever-expanding baby belly to show for it :)
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