I’m not sure what I expected the insemination journey to be like but, the process was not as I had imagined. First off I’d like to say that this post is an expression of my own thoughts and experiences and I in no way want to generalize what the process is like. In true lesbian style, my partner and I discussed very shortly after we met that we both wanted to have a child. It was understood from the very beginning that I would be the one to carry the baby and if after 1 year I didn’t conceive, we would end the process and move on. I know that the insemination process can be very expensive for some but, we are lucky enough to live in a place, where at the beginning of our journey, the process was free to couples who had trouble conceiving and that included us. The biggest investment was an emotional one that neither of us expected. We chose not to know who the donor was and we weren’t interested in knowing his GPA. We just wanted to make sure was that the donor was an active, healthy person that had characteristics as close to my partners as possible. I don’t think it’s necessary to get into the nitty gritty details of the whole entire journey but, I will share with you a few things that we learned from this journey that took us by surprise.
I thought that the staff at the donor clinic would be warm, welcoming and excited for our journey but, instead we were treated as just another number in a sea of numbers that they had to check off their list. If the insemination worked they didn’t care. If it didn’t work they didn’t care. If I was feeling sick and something was wrong they instructed me to call the hospital as post insemination care was not a part of their contract. In fact, they didn’t care to hear your story or if you had been there once, twice or a million times. Wait your turn. Turkey baster time. Pay your bill and move on. Next!
You’re not in control.
I also quickly realized that my body was going to do what it wanted to and I had no say in the matter. I’m a Virgo and I like being in control especially when it comes to my body so this was a hard pill to swallow. I’m know that there is medical proof that weight, age and other factors contribute to one’s ability to conceive. I’m almost positive that when the intake doctor saw my medical profile, he was convinced that I wasn’t going to get pregnant easily if at all. In fact, I distinctly remember him saying to me, “Are you sure you’re the one who want’s to have the baby? You’d better hurry up you know. You don’t have much time.” No shit Sherlock. So romantic this process was. I understood that my profile was not an optimal one but, we were willing to give it a try. I was lucky enough to get pregnant in less than a year, with no drugs at all and at the age of 42. It was all thanks to a white bearded doctor who looked at me during my 4th insemination session and said “I’m the good doctor, this time it’s going to work, I’m the best!” The doctor then winked his eye, gave me a smile and a short time later I found out I was pregnant. True story. I also know people who are a lot younger than I that are picture of perfect health who are still unable to conceive. I’m a true believer that your body is going to do what it wants to do no matter what your age or other factors are. I think it’s best to go into the process with a positive outlook knowing that it may take some time no matter what.
Be patient and be kind to yourself.
And lastly, I didn’t realize that the journey was going to be all consuming and emotionally exhausting. Once you start the process you’ll feel like it’s a rolling ball that keeps getting bigger and you can’t stop it. Your life becomes consumed with google searches on everything pregnancy and baby. Most of your topics of conversation are baby. You work, eat and dream the process. It takes over your life and the lives of those close to you and the longer the process is, the more invested you become in it. Your once 1 year timeline has been extended and every time you get that negative result, you wonder what’s wrong with your body and doubt your ability to conceive. It can take a toll on your relationship and your mental health as well so having support throughout the process is something that you’ll need. My partner and I decided to tell only a couple of people that we were going through the process as we quickly realized that it was important to stay low key in order to keep our sanity.
So that was our insemination journey and looking back, I think that we were a little naive. However, this journey made us stronger as a couple and we’re grateful to have gone through this experience. We can’t express how thankful we are that our daughter chose us to be her parents and we will never take that for granted. For anyone who is considering having a child through insemination or IVF, my advice to you is this; be patient with the process and be kind to yourself because whatever is meant to be will be. I’m rooting for you. XO