A month or so ago I married a couple in my courtyard. In the lead up to the legal signing, the bride and I had been emailing each other for a while. In one of her emails she told me she was about to undergo IVF treatment. On the morning of the signing she sent a mail to me to say that her friends didn’t know that they were doing IVF.

For gay couples embarking on fertility treatment there are rarely such secrets. I don’t mean that as a criticism – I mean that as a fact. Lesbian couples are unconventional and the ways that they have children (whether they choose to carry or adopt) are also unconventional. When the bride told me her friends didn’t know about the IVF, I felt so much for her. I thought about how lonely that must be. So I thought I’d share our IVF journey here in the hope that maybe one person will read it and feel less alone.

People often refer to link IVF and journey together, but I once heard someone talk about how it’s more like a trek. Another friend refers to it as a game since there are so many stages where you can get knocked out: Egg retrieval, fertilization, blastocysts, transfer, the first pregnancy test, the second pregnancy test…

I’ll talk retrospectively about our IVF trek to Kit and pretty soon I’ll write about our IVF stroll (being positive here) to our next child. At some point in the ‘journey’ I may decide that I don’t want to share everything here, and that’s okay, too. I hope I won’t get there but I will leave that possibility open. IVF takes a toll. It’s so full of hope and so often full of heartache.

Today I emailed our fertility doctor, Dr Oosthuzien who I cannot recommend highly enough. True to form, she took all of 12 minutes to reply. The subject of the email: Trying for our second.

Jess and I have embryoes on ice. That means, essentially, we’ve already done egg retrievals and fertilized those eggs and those zygotes became blastocysts and then they froze them for future use.

One thing that may be obvious already: I’m no doctor. My intention in writing about our IVF experience is not to give technical advice (speak to Lizle for that) but to speak about the emotional (and physical) journey we took as a couple and the decisions we made in the lead up to it.

That’s all for tonight. I’m very tired and need to sleep, but oh so badly.

Photograph of the day: The courtyard.

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