Summer 2008: OH and I get married! ❤ (civil partnership, which is the only option available to same-sex couples in the UK at the time). We discuss the possibility of starting a family, but I don’t feel ready yet.
December 2010: A friend announces her pregnancy on New Year’s Eve, and it’s as though a switch has been flicked: I want to be a mother. The first day of 2011 sees us in the pub choosing baby names.
January 2011: Go to an open day at a private fertility clinic to find out our options for conceiving. As we wish to use an anonymous donor and UK legislation is very restrictive, IVF with egg sharing seems the most affordable option.
February 2011: Blood tests and an ultrasound are normal. My GP believes treatment may be available on the NHS, and refers us to our local clinic.
April 2011: Seen at the NHS clinic. We would have to pay for treatment privately, but can go on the waiting list for their (free) sperm donors. IUI at the NHS clinic would cost about the same as egg sharing at the private clinic, but be less invasive and nearer to home. Decide to go on the NHS clinic’s waiting list.
January 2012: Another friend announces a pregnancy, and OH and I are still stuck on a waiting list. We consider importing sperm from Denmark so we can start treatment sooner, but have no idea how we would afford this. OH just lost her job, and we don’t even know how we’ll pay for the treatment itself.
February 2012: My grandmother leaves me some money that will cover the cost of treatment and donor sperm.
April 2012: Start reducing my antidepressants in preparation for treatment.
May 2012: We choose our sperm donor, and place the weirdest and most expensive internet order ever. 😉 As per UK laws, the ‘product’ is shipped directly to our clinic.
August 2012: IUI # 1 (natural cycle). I have a weakly positive home pregnancy test, followed by heavy bleeding. Blood test suggests I’m having an early miscarriage.
September 2012: Still pregnant. My hCG levels continue to rise, but not fast enough for the pregnancy to be viable. Diagnosed with a pregnancy of unknown location (PUL), i.e. the doctors cannot tell whether it’s an ectopic pregnancy or whether the embryo is faulty and not growing properly.
October 2012: Managed expectantly with more blood tests and scans. hCG levels finally start to fall when I’m ten weeks pregnant.
November 2012: Negative pregnancy test. Referred for an HSG (x-ray of Fallopian tubes) before I can have more fertility treatment.
December 2012: HSG is normal.
January/February 2013: What would have been our second cycle of IUI is cancelled when I ovulate too soon.
February/March 2013: IUI #2 (natural cycle). Faint positive when we test early, but BFN (big fat negative) on the official testing day.
March/April 2013: IUI #3 (natural cycle). BFN.
May 2013: IUI #4 (natural cycle). Fleeting chemical pregnancy.
July 2013: IUI #5 (medicated). BFN.
August 2013: IUI #6 (medicated). BFN. I’m now considered to have unexplained infertility, and am eligible for NHS-funded IVF.
December 2013: IVF #1. Turns out I’m a poor responder and we only get three eggs. Two fertilise and both embryos are transferred on day 3. To my amazement, BFP!! 😀
September 2014: Our beautiful daughter is born. ❤