One of the questions we seem to get asked the most is – how?
Woman + woman = Umm.
The old adage of ‘Adam and Steve’ does ring true, however thanks to the marvelous miracle of SCIENCE (yay for test tubes) unexpected occurrences can happen. You take an egg, you take some donor sperm and whammo…baby. Or in our case babies.
But, maybe we should take you back to the beginning. We have a number of friends who have had success by trying without the use of science and are lucky enough to have beautiful, bouncy babies. So that’s what we did, tried at home.
At this point you can *insert relevant joke about turkey baster*.
Details will be left out of this part of the story but there was equal parts of awkward, hysterical laughter and dry heaving at the sight of sperm. Seriously, that stuff is disgusting.
On and off almost 13 months this didn’t work. It sucked. It was draining. Each month the dreaded period arrived and we went through emotions that ranged from…
I’m super depressed that didn’t work…
…to…But it worked for other people, we had it planned to the last detail!
It didn’t work. It was craptastic. Everyone around us seemed to be babying like no one’s business. It was like a giant party that we didn’t get an invite to.
The whole process of baby-making seems to be very taboo subject at times. The highs and lows of trying are complex, many of us have loved ones who have tried for years and have failed. We all know that it is an emotional ping-pong table, but I don’t think some people understand just how difficult the journey is.
Take me for example, did I want kids? Yes, I did. Did I want to physically have kids? No, not really, the idea childbirth to me ranges somewhere between ‘teeth pulling’ and ‘you’ve got to be joking’. Susan on the other hand, as with other women who have the emotional and physical need to have a baby, the process is, gut wrenching.
Did you know there is actually a term called “baby fever” and that it is a real emotion? An emotion that can be all consuming and hard to control. A study in America looked at hundreds of answers to questionnaires that covered the desire to have a baby. Unsurprisingly at a young age women had a great desire for babies, whereas men had a desire for more sex (which is odd, because doesn’t one lead to the other?). However, further research found that by mid to late 30s both men and women started to desire the same thing – both reach the age where there is a profound need to procreate. Joint baby fever.
The only issue with this age is by mid-30s your internal bits and pieces might have already started to go down hill. So here you are at prime baby wanting age and your body starts letting you down, unless you’re a man, and that gross sperm stills works fine. The cruelties of life.
Here’s some stats for you – chances of getting pregnant without IVF:
- Starting at about age 32, a woman’s chances of conceiving decrease gradually but significantly.
- From age 35, the fertility decline speeds up.
- By age 40, fertility has fallen by half.
- At 30, the chance of conceiving per cycle is about 20%. At 40 it’s around 5%.
So basically, after you hit 30 those eggs become over cooked. Even if you are lucky enough to not have any medical conditions, the uterus starts to age and ends up as useful as Captain Hook at a gynaecologists convention.
I could probably spend many words on our emotional journey. I’ve seen us laugh, cry, hate each other, hug each other and spend endless hours analysing a change in body temperature. To those of you who have been there and done that, we know how much it sucks and that we are the lucky ones ♥. To those of you who make throw away comments such as ‘Oh so why haven’t you guys had kids yet?’ or ‘When are you having kids?’ – please think twice.
As I climb back down off my emotional horse, back to the story…
Thankfully we have the bestest of best donor and together the three of us continued with ‘The Project’ and continued to joke about sperm.
Grandma 1: I overheard a woman on the bus telling her friend that she needed a sperm donor. Grandma 2: They'll sell anything in kebab shops these days.
Nothing nothing nothing. So we arrived at the point where we had to think of an intervention, so in true Dr Phil style we went to the relevant people for advice.
Doctor – “Yes, IVF is a relatively easy process”.
Susan/Zoe – “Yay. Sign us up.”
Doctor – “As you are using donor sperm you have to have it quarantined for six months to make sure there is nothing wrong with it.”
Susan/Zoe – “Shit.”
So Mr Donor produced the goods and exclaimed that he was very surprised that these kind of clinics still had magazines.
“Why don’t they have Ipads?”
I squirmed at the thought of sticky Ipads.
He was even more surprised that 80% of the magazines were aimed at gay men.
“Good job I brought my own,” he said.
So his sperm met the eggs, they joined, they were happy and they were safely frozen away for laterzzzzz.
So for six months we enjoyed ourselves and refused to think about it. We partied, traveled and generally didn’t give a damn.
Six months actually flew by, and the time had arrived. IVF Day arrived! Yay. It took around 4 minutes and 32 seconds to complete the procedure (should I say something about this maybe taking longer than a man?) and we were sent on our way with a blood test booked in for two weeks.
On the day of the blood test we were excited, well, beyond excited. We had been waiting for 18 months for this moment. Results came back – now please bear in mind if you were pregnant you would have a pregnancy hormone level of around 200. We had… drumroll… a reading of….
FOUR?! A stupid measly pathetic under par crappy four? It hadn’t worked.
So we cried a little then did what most people do to escape depression. We went to America.
We came back off holiday a little more relaxed and a little fatter (deep fried pickles do that to you.)
Take two. We were this time given the option of having two eggs inserted at the same time.
Doctor – “You do realise there is a chance of twins, don’t you?”
Zoe/Susan – “Yes but knowing our current luck even getting one will be a miracle.”
So a further 4 minutes and 32 seconds, another blood test booking and off we went. Two weeks later, blood test time, knots in the stomach arrived.
1586. Fifteen hundred and eighty bloody six.
High reading, twins confirmed. The following emotions followed:
Pure, unadulterated, 100% natural fear
So there you have it, how two women have a baby.
Today’s lesson: we have learnt that baby making can be either ridiculously easy or heart-breakingly sad. I wish you all happy and healthy uteri!