Queer Mama for Autostraddle: shots and credit cards, an IVF story

By: Queer Mama

Hello and welcome back I wanted to answer the big question everyone has which is how did we do it it's pretty obvious, being that we are two cisfemale people that we needed some help I've always wanted to carry a baby. I've always thought it would be like the coolest thing ever and my partner Simone has never wanted to carry a baby. It does not jive with her sense of being in her body, and her gender, and all these other things. So we knew that I would be the one to get pregnant, and we decided that I would carry Simone's baby, eventually trying IVF in February of 2014. But sadly it ended in a miscarriage in April of 2014.

I'm feeling self-conscious that this part isn't very fun, but the reality for me is that getting pregnant wasn't very fun. This is not a story like, "we went to Vegas, and we got drunk, and we stopped using condoms..." Queer procreation often isn't like that. What was the hardest part? Well, the miscarriage. Yeah. But you mean the second time? Or? Yeah, just of doing IVF. Well the financial burden is very big, because it's literally like putting tens of thousands of money down on red. We basically put IVF on a credit card. -Two rounds of IVF on a credit card.

Two rounds of IVF. And the first round went terribly awry. The fact that we went back and did it again is particularly ridiculous and maybe going against what we should've done, logically. We were told we had, at best, a 50% chance of having a baby at the end. So it's just liek putting a bunch of money down and flipping a coin. There's like a whole other story about why our first time didn't work, but regardless of the reason, it's like we'd come so far, that to stop would feel..

-It's the gambler's burden. Yeah exactly, it's like you lose, and what do you do? Do you walk away from the table or do you double down? Double down! And basically we doubled down. The first time we transferred one embryo, the second time we transferred three. -We doubled down. -So we really doubled down. This is a prime example of how we live our lives. I was gonna say this actually kind of like who we are.

Queer Mama for Autostraddle: shots and credit cards, an IVF story

And we really wanted to make this baby happen this way. I wrote a lot more about this in the column, but I just really wanted Simone's baby, I just wanted your baby, and I just... Aw. [cry] How could I not marry this woman? I just love you so much, I just wanted a mini you. Haley knows how much it meant to me, and also it became really important to her in the process, right? So we both had this common goal. And we're not quitters, we're very stubborn. No I do not give up very easily, and I don't like to do things the easy way. And I just wanted to have your baby so badly.

And now you are. And now I am. Fucking hormones.

So the way we did it was I start taking stimulation drugs for all of my follicles to grow. And then, when they've decided you're ready, they give you a special trigger shot that basically tells your ovaries to release all of the eggs, and just before your ovaries are going to do that naturally, they go in with a giant needle and suck every follicle empty. Hopefully those follicles are filled with eggs, which they then get.

They fertilized them with our donor sperm, and then they grew them for three days, saw how they were looking and, because of Simone's age and the fact that they were three day old embryos, they decided to transfer three to my uterus, which had been prepared with hormones, mainly progesterone and estrogen. I was nervous going in. We were on our way, we were in the car, and you were like "I don't know if we should transfer 3, what if we end up with twins, and I was like I'm never doing this again, and I really want there to be a shot at having a baby. IVF was so hard. The hormones are awful. I mean not everyone reacts the same way, but - they're really hard for you -for me like it was horrible, I was so exhausted on the progesterone, it's kind of like being in the first trimester before you even are pregnant and then estrogen I felt like super moody all the time.

So I convinced Simone that I wanted to go forward, I wanted those 3 embryos inside me. We worked so hard, I wanted to have a baby. So we transferred 3 embryos.

And that's how we got pregnant. I'll let Haley take it from here. Yeah, I hope that made sense. There's like so much to say about IVF and getting pregnant and why we decided to do it and that was just a small slice of it, so if there's something you want to know more about, let me know, and I'll do another episode. In the meantime, subscribe to my channel if you haven't already, and follow me on twitter, and I will see you soon.

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