Meet Sarah and Lauren. They are currently on their journey from IVF to mommyhood. I am so happy they took the time to talk to me about it, and I loved seeing their pictures and can’t wait to see their whole family.
Names: Sarah and Lauren
Ages: 30 and 29
Hometown: Birmingham, UK
Social media handles:
Blog: 2bridestomummies.blogspot.com Twitter: @2brides2mums Instagram: @SarahLovesL and @LaurenNune
Number and ages of kids: None yet!
Number (and type) of pets: One tiny rescue dog named Willow. She is four years old, and we aren’t sure of her breed. Scottie dog, King Charles, and Jack Russell crosses have been suggested. She is adorable and has given us great practise for babies!
Day job: Sarah works for a luxury home & lifestyle brand. Lauren is a midwife.
Relationship status: Married
Favorite children’s book: We both adored reading as children and still do. We already have a list of books we want to buy our child; some aimed at LGBT families and some from our own childhood.
Favorite flavor of ice cream: pistachio, maple and pecan – as long as it’s vegan!
How will you create your family?
We tried home insemination using a foreign sperm bank twice, unsuccessfully, so we have moved on to IVF to maximize the opportunity for success. Sarah has never wanted to be pregnant, so Lauren will carry our first child and any subsequent ones.
We used the sperm bank associated with our fertility clinic first, however when we got to the top of the waiting list, the donor refused to allow his sperm to be used by a gay couple. Ultimately, we went back to using a foreign sperm bank. We have access to the donor’s physical descriptions, education level, occupation information, and his and his family’s medical history. We also have baby photos of our donor. In the end, the staff descriptions of him as well as his own descriptions detailing his character helped us choose him.
We had an egg collection in August, which didn’t go entirely to plan and resulted in us having to freeze our embryos. We have two healthy blastocysts waiting in the freezer at our clinic ready to go. Watch this space!
What challenges have you faced during your journey to conceive as a same sex couple?
Although we have have a few obstacles, none of them have been related to our being a same sex couple, apart from the donor who refused to donate to a gay couple. Even that didn’t upset us. It was his prerogative. Donating sperm is an admirable thing to do, and if he wants to decide what kind of family he assists, that’s up to him. And of course, we’d rather our future child inherit less prejudiced genes!
Originally, we planned to use Sarah’s eggs, but subsequent fertility tests revealed this not to be an option, which was fine. Lauren’s sister brought a much adored little girl into our family via adoption a year ago, which has truly shown us that a family is made from love not blood.
Our fertility clinic has been fantastic. The clinic was used to working with same sex couples. We hope we find this degree of support with any health provider we access in the future, but we are prepared to speak up if we are not treated as equals. There is such a great network online of LGBT families that it’s easy to forget that families like ours are not the norm, and we may come across negative attitudes.
What challenges do you worry about experiencing in the future?
One thing we have worried about for our future child is something that’s way into the future – school. When we were at school, attitudes around homosexuality weren’t progressive. Lauren came out at school around aged 15 and faced a lot of bullying. Sarah didn’t come out to friends until around age 18, and she would definitely not have felt comfortable coming out at school. We wonder if it is now acceptable to be out at school and what children’s attitudes to our child having two mums will be. Will our child be the only one with gay parents? Is homosexuality included in lessons about relationships, marriage, and family.
We wonder if we will come across much prejudice from people as a same-sex couple with a child, but we feel we are prepared for that.
Who else will have a role in your child’s life? It takes a village. Who’s in yours?
Our families aren’t especially big, but we are very close to them. We both have our parents, siblings, and a large network of aunts, uncles, and cousins, all who live nearby to us. We are the last amongst our friends to have children, so they are all ready with advice for us! Our parents are all so excited at the prospect of becoming grandparents and have already decided what they will be called by our children. We babysit our niece every Thursday, which has given us great practise, and her mum is ready to return the favour. We are keen for our children to experience the joys of being a part of our family. We can’t wait for our child go for Sunday lunch and family meals out all together!
What values or knowledge do you want to pass on to your child(ren)?
We want our child to be accepting and non-judgmental; treat others the way you’d like to be treated is a good motto to live by.
Good manners have always been really important to us because you demonstrate respect for others and helps form good first impressions.
We hope our child values travel as much as we do. We love traveling, having seen ten countries in our first ten years together. They say travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer and we couldn’t agree more. There’s nothing like seeing new sights and experiencing other cultures.
We hope to instill ambition and confidence. We want our child to believe that dreams are achievable through hard work and self belief.