I came out when I was 15 and that did not change anything with regards to my wish to have children. I was in a serious long-term relationship with a female for four years. We often discussed having children in the future.
My current partner is a trans man, who I have been with for nearly 10 years. We intend to use donor insemination to conceive. We discussed having children from an early stage. I started to get more serious about it a few years ago and the sense of urgency has increased as I get older – I’m now 28.
My partner wanted to delay things for various practical reasons – job insecurity, location, having surgery/hysterectomy etc – and probably emotional reasons as well, and this caused a lot of friction for a while. In the last six months or so we have resolved these issues and finally started on the long road to conception.
Now I think we are on the same page. In the last few months we visited the GP to ask for a referral to a fertility clinic. I had to have some blood tests and we are now waiting for an appointment at the hospital.
Quite a long time prior to that we had asked a gay male friend of my partner’s if he would consider being a sperm donor for us. Ideally we would like a known donor so that the child grows up knowing him. My partner is Chinese so we wanted a Chinese donor and suspected that waiting times would be very long for an unknown Chinese donor.
We waited an exceedingly long time for this friend to decide if he wanted to participate, 18 months at least. Eventually, when I had given up on him ever saying yes, I discussed all this with a friend of mine, who then discussed it with his flatmate, who is Chinese. The flatmate told my friend, who then told me, that he would have no problem being the donor.
I had some reservations about this, mainly just because I didn’t know the flatmate very well. With my partner’s friend so undecided however, the flatmate seemed like our best shot. I was planning to have a chat with him about it when my partner told me he’d spoken to his friend and he was interested after all!
My partner and I decided to forge ahead with what we had to do so that we could have more information to present to the potential donors. We visited the GP together to ask for a referral to a fertility clinic. I felt it was important that we went together but it was difficult finding a time when we could both attend because of my partner’s long working hours.
My partner had already seen the GP so she knew his trans status. He described the GP as ‘nice’ but I thought she seemed rather abrupt.
We explained what we wanted and she told us that I would have to have blood tests to see if I was ovulating. I was a bit put out because I felt like I was being treated as if there was something wrong with me when the only known reason for us not being able to have a baby on our own is my partner’s lack of equipment.
The GP also told me that I would need to have a smear test – something I had been putting off for years.
When we left the surgery I was quite upset. I had known that the GP or the hospital would probably want to do tests to assess my fertility but I wasn’t prepared for how it would make me feel. I was angry and felt like we were being ‘interfered with.’ I’m still finding it hard to come to the terms with the fact that something so personal between my partner and I requires the involvement of so many medical professionals.
I saw the nurse for my blood test and smear test. The smear test was about as bad as I expected, the blood test was no problem.
I called the surgery for my results a couple of weeks later. I was told that I was ovulating but that I had to go back to the nurse for a rubella check. I was irritated that she hadn’t done this at the same time as the other test because it felt like an unnecessary delay but I duly went back for the rubella check which came back fine.
Then I received the results of my smear test. I had ‘minor changes’ which means a re-test in six months to see if things have returned to normal or not. I was not overly worried about having cancer or anything like that but I was very upset at the thought of a further six month delay before even getting a referral.
I called my partner and he agreed that this was a possibility but suggested I visit the GP and ask her if I could have a re-test more quickly. He helped me calm down but once again I was quite angry at what I felt was ‘interference.’ If I was getting pregnant ‘the old fashioned way’ no one would know or care whether I had a smear test first.
I made an appointment with the GP to discuss all this. Much to my relief the GP told me that she had already sent off the referral and the smear re-test wasn’t an issue. Most likely I would have had it done before anything happened anyway. Dr Abrupt went up in my estimation that day! She took the time to explain to me what might happen next and to reassure me about the smear test results.
So that is where we are now – waiting for the appointment with the people who will hopefully refer us to the fertility clinic…