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#1 of 5 Old 09-13-2006, 04:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi All. I’m writing a novel in which the main character is a partnered lesbian woman TTC (with eventual success) with a known donor; she’s in her late twenties with no fertility problems. I’ve been developing this character for several months now, and I really love her. I want her story to feel/be true; that’s why I’m asking for your help.

I’ve been doing some research online and have found a lot of good information, but a lot of it is dry/technical, or else it’s so buried among other blog entries that it’s hard find what I want. I’m looking for personal stories that talk about the process and the emotions involved with finding a donor, going through the legal process, doing IUI at home or in a hospital setting, especially the logistics of IUI or ICI at home--where do you get supplies? Do you have to have a midwife or someone to help? Does the sperm have to be washed in a clinic before you can take it home to inseminate? Have you been able to conceive without docs forcing Clomid, etc. on you (found answers to some of this on the medicalization thread)? What were the costs/ has insurance covered anything? Any websites or books I really should read (is “The New Essential Guide…” worth finding)? Do you feel that, as an MDC member, your experience differs from the mainstream? Is there anything else I’m not thinking to ask?

Sorry if these questions seem hopelessly obvious. I did read on someone’s blog that a co-worker had asked if you get the sperm out of a vat. I hope I’m not that dense! I’m trying to come up with a picture based on what I read, and it’s sometimes confusing. I have no experience TTC; I just want to make sure I get it right.

Thanks in advance for your help.
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#2 of 5 Old 09-13-2006, 04:41 PM
 
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Hi Molck,

We conceived in the Bay Area! Used to live there, our donor still does. I'd be willing to talk more with you, if you want to pm me. Our first TTC process was wonderful in many ways, and we have a wonderfully amazing relationship with our donor, which really grew threw the whole process (even down to the legal nitty gritty!).

Some of our story is actually on a video called MOTHERS AND BABIES: Lesbians Creating Families, put out by birth talk productions. It's meant to be used in childbirth education, specifically aimed at lesbian families. It really talks about things, though beyond childbirth. And yes, we feel/felt different being less mainstream than many lesbian couples......

I'd check out the video if you can. We took a childbirth class with the woman who made it. It gives you many stories from which you might be able to draw.....

good luck!
megin

Mommy to an amazing 8 year old, wife to an inspiring principal, and welcoming Wylie Grace! Our July 4th babe!
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#3 of 5 Old 09-14-2006, 04:16 PM
 
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Hi, there!
I'm a 29 yo partnered lesbian who gave birth to my daughter in July 2005.
We used an anonymous donor from a New England sperm bank and conceived via IUI.
In August 2004, I met w/a fertility specialist & underwent a series of tests (Clomid, hysterosalpingogram/HSG) to determine if I had any problems. Thankfully, everything was fine; although I probably could have done w/o the more invasive tests like the HSG, my partner and I wanted to cover all of our bases instead of diving right into the insemination process. We felt that if we were going to invest our savings into something as huge as ttc, we should be as well informed as possible. We didn't want to plunge ahead only to discover that I had a blocked fallopian tube or something like that.
My employer-provided PPO did not cover a single test or pill since there was no medical basis for me to undergo fertility testing or treatment (read: I was not utilizing assisted reproduction technology after ttc w/a man).
Anyhow, all of my tests came back normal. In October, I began tracking my ovulation using an at-home kit. On November 9, I underwent the IUI. On the advice of my Dr., we had ordered an ICI (intracervical)- ready specimen from the sperm bank in MA and had it shipped to her office on my second day of ovulation so that it could be washed and made IUI-ready. 2 weeks later, I found out I was pregnant! Alina was born July 29, 2005 w/no complications.
That's my story in a nutshell. PM me if you'd like more info!

Proud WOHM veggie mom to Alina 7/29/05 & partner, Jackie, since 2001, m/c 1/2009
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#4 of 5 Old 09-15-2006, 01:18 AM
 
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Books:
Read:
R. Pepper's "Ultimate guide to pregnancy for lesbians"
and Toevs/Brill's "Essential guide"
And "A Donor Insemination Guide: Written by and for Lesbian Women "

For nuts & bolts (e.g. how you get the sperm ,do you need to use a doctor, etc) read websites of sperm banks.

Read the forum here for stories of stuff like what asking a guy to donate is like.

And a lot of this will depend on the character. The nuts & bolts as well as the emotions - there is no one way to do it. FWIW, my sperm did sorta come out of a vat...a vat of liquid nitrogen.
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#5 of 5 Old 09-26-2006, 05:42 PM
 
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We are quite close to your character's situation (using a known donor, having no fertility problems)... no sperm banks, medicalization, IUI's here (so far, that is--we will be ttc #2 soon, and are on the other side of the country now from our donor--sigh! It makes everything so much more complicated...).

Our costs for both successful inseminations:
<$6 small animal feeder from the pet store (syringe)
$6 or so: plastic speculum from woman-friendly sex toy shop (Toys in Babeland)
free: recycled small jam jar for the sperm
various pg. tests: same as for a heterosexual couple

our daughter: priceless!

It can all be very low key and homey (this last time we got pg--miscarried, unfortunately--our other daughter had a stomach bug, so while our donor and his girlfriend did their part, we hung out with our throwing-up little girl, and then after the handoff (where our donor's gf passed the jar of sperm to my partner with a candle, which we've done every time...) they took over. all very extended-family-like and comfortable...well, except for dd of course, who was not such a happy camper at the moment...)

A funny movie is "Chutney Popcorn" though I do think they use a turkey baster (which is, of course, not really done). Also, "If these Walls Could Talk" with Ellen DeGeneres, etc, though that situation is with an anonymous donor. Neither was similar to my experience, but it might be fun to check out other fictional representations of your situation, so you can see how personalities might impact decisions/choices/etc.

good luck and have fun!
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