3. Adoption, ICI, Sperm, Oh My!

So, we were going to grow our family and had to figure out how to do it. This is a vital step for same-sex couples, one that many opposite-sex couples take for granted. We could choose to adopt, carry a child, use a surrogate, etc. If we chose to adopt, there are the laws around same-sex adoption that might impact our ability to do so. To carry a baby, one of us could get pregnant. To cook a baby, biologically, you need three things: an egg, a sperm, and a uterus. Many, though not all, opposite-sex couples come equipped with all of those. As two cisgender women (two women assigned female at birth who identify as women) we had an egg (or a few) and a uterus (or two). Given that sperm is relatively the easiest of the three of these to get, we admittedly had an advantage over some LGBTQ couples in this way.

Wanting to have the experience of carrying a child, if at all possible, we decided that each of us would go that route initially, with the plan to potentially adopt a third child in the future. With this plan in place, we also knew that I would be the first to carry, followed by B. This was because I have rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and we wanted me to to try to to conceive first so as to not combine RA, and any potential complications that may come with that, and being older.

Deciding to carry a baby was one decision. The next was how the baby would get in there in the first place. There are so many options these days for people trying to conceive, not just same-sex couples. For us, we could have done intrauterine insemination (IUI; where “washed” sperm is put directly into the uterus by a professional), in vitro fertilization (IVF), or even reciprocal IFV (where one partner’s egg is fertilized outside of the body and then implanted into the other partner’s uterus). We settled on at-home insemination, also called intracervical insemination (ICI), which I will definitely explain in my next post. However, that was only the first step in all of it; we still had to figure out where and how we were going to get the sperm.

But, before we put any sperm anywhere, I went in for some medical check ups. This, after all, was a very purposeful pregnancy, so there was no reason to start prenatal care after I got pregnant. It was nothing too involved, but just got the go ahead from my primary care physician. I also found a trusted OBGYN who gave me my yearly-exam, took my history, and gave me the thumbs up. Finally, I touched base with my rheumatologist about the medications I was taking for my RA and we switched to ones that were safe during pregnancy. After that, we got going about the business of makin’ a baby! When we planned our wedding anniversary celebration at Disneyland in January 2016, we were thinking it would probably be our last anniversary without a baby (gee, were we wrong! But, I’m getting ahead of myself here.

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