Kate & Catherine's journey
Kate & Catherine started their fertility journey in September 2016 just before they got married. They had just purchased a home and had wanted to see what their options were for having a baby as they are a same sex couple and didn't know where to begin.
By Kate Bohan
We began our fertility journey with Sims in September 2016 just before we got married. We had just purchased a home and had wanted to see our options for having a baby as we were a same sex couple and didn't know where to begin. We met with our consultant Dr. John Kennedy and went for a consultation. We opted for three rounds of IUI treatment as we had no previously fertility history. Unfortunately the three IUIs failed, so we moved on to IVF treatment.
At the beginning of our journey we were so excited to get started and to finally start trying for a family of our own. However after what seemed like endless failed IUIs and negative pregnancy tests we did start to feel disappointed and our dream of a baby seemed like it couldn't happen. We then met with Dr. Kennedy again and decided to go down the IVF route which was more costly but had a much higher success rate compared to IUI.
After our first consultation Catherine got all the different fertility tests done (EU bloods, SIS, internal scans etc.). Catherine's AMH levels were low for her age so that meant it was less of a chance for her to conceive. When we started our IUI treatment, we were issued with a prescription for all different tablets and injections. It seemed like so much stuff and was very overwhelming, the nurses at Sims wrote out a plan for what medication had to be used/taken at certain times and showed me (Kate) how to give Catherine the injections.
We live in Co. Roscommon so every 2 or 3 days we had to travel to Dublin to have daily scans to see how the follicles had developed. We found it was great that the clinic had early morning appointments which meant it could fit in with Catherine's work life. IVF was a much more intense treatment with much more medications and injections, more appointments/scans. For our first IVF we got to egg collection stage and they collected 16 eggs. We decided to opt for the 5 day blastocyst treatment but unfortunately none of them made it to this stage and were unsuitable for transfer. Devastated doesn't come close to how we felt, emotionally we felt we couldn't go through IVF again. After a few months of a break we went back for a second IVF in November 2018, trying to be as positive as possible. Dr. Kennedy increased the medication slightly for this cycle and he recommended getting the Embryoscope (which basically is a little camera that monitors the development of the embryo without taking it out of the temperature controlled unit), everything else remained the same. We collected 10 eggs from the egg collection, 1 made it to day 5 and 1 to day 6. We were over the moon but didn't want to get our hopes up just yet.
Then we had our fresh embryo transfer , we waited 2 weeks which resulted in a positive pregnancy however we had to go back to Sims to verify the pregnancy fully with a blood test. This also came back positive, our wish finally came true.
Choosing a Sperm Donor
We were given access to Cyros European sperm bank based in Denmark. The website gives you different characteristics to select from (hair colour, eye colour, medical history, weight, height, personal profile etc.). For our IUI treatment we selected the donor ourselves by giving Sims the ID number to order. For IVF we wrote out the characteristics and let Sims choose for us. We based our selection on my characteristics as Catherine was carrying.
Family Life Now
Catherine gave birth via C section to a perfectly healthy baby boy Luca weighing 6lb 10oz on the 14th of August 2019. Family life is BUSY, but we wouldn't change it for the world. We finally have completed our family for now.. until we go back to transfer our 2nd embryo that's stored in Sims.