I never wanted kids…until I met my wife. Little did I know that this would prove to be a struggle for us. We began trying to conceive in 2019. We chose a sperm donor from a sperm bank. When we began the process of choosing our donor, I was weirded out…is this Gattaca? But, once you see the price tag, you don’t feel so bad about getting picky.
We began with at-home IUIs with a midwife. I tracked my cycle using basal body temperature tracking and ovulation test strips. We did five cycles and six IUIs at home with no success. At that point, I needed a break. The heartbreak of negative test after negative test became too much.
About six months later, we found our fertility clinic and began medicated IUIs. On our second cycle, we finally got a positive test. But I was naive to think that once we got that positive test, the stress and anxiety we’d been holding for the past year+ would just melt away. That was what we were waiting for after all – the positive test.
The HCG numbers started low. The doctors said the numbers were increasing, but not at the rate they should be, and test after test was still positive, but not where it should be. We were told to be “cautiously optimistic,” then, eventually, that it didn’t look good. It was agonizing. We never got to celebrate or feel excited. Eventually, we were told that the pregnancy wasn’t viable. A blood test later put it on paper. We were devastated, heartbroken, exhausted, and really sad. This miscarriage ended up being quite a pain, literally and figuratively. After a couple months of medications, procedures, and blood tests, we were given the go ahead to try again. “Try again” is a theme in infertility.
This is not where I envisioned our journey leading. Yet, the struggle has brought so much about queer fertility and heteronormativity in fertility to light for me. There is little same sex representation in fertility literature and research. You’ll mostly find success rates and other information for IUI and IVF for women in heterosexual relationships experiencing infertility. Research leads to knowledge and with knowledge comes advocacy. With advocacy can come changes and possible laws and legislation that can help queer folks with the cost and inequity that creating a family can bear. The extreme financial burden that falls on queer families and the lack of a federal fertility insurance mandate with LGBTQ+ inclusive language is something we must fight to change in the U.S. It has become a passion that runs parallel to our own journey.
My name is Tracy, and my wife is Lindsey. We have three dogs and three chickens. We live in Portland, Oregon where fertility insurance is not mandated, and we have paid out of pocket for 100% of our fertility procedures. We continue to hold hope for us and hope for the other queer families fighting for their babies.