How Can a Gay Couple Have a Baby: Moe and Tamar’s Story
In honour of Pride Month, we are sharing the story of Moe and Tamar, one of our lesbian couples who used reciprocal IVF to get pregnant this year.
We sat down with Moe and Tamar to learn what they went through, the good and the bad, on their journey to building a family. Their story was not only honest, but it left us a little more hopeful for other LGBTQ+ folks starting their fertility journeys.
If you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community and wondering how you can have a baby, take this moment to learn what the process can look and feel like, from a couple who is living it right now.
How did you get to the point of seeking fertility help?
We always wanted to grow our family, but we were waiting for the right time. Now it feels like the next chapter in the book. We’ve been together for 14 years, we’ve traveled, bought a house, planned financially for IVF, and we have a lot of love to give. So we talked to our family doctor, who recommended Dr. Tanya Williams.
What were your beliefs about having a child before you started this process? How have they changed?
We knew IVF was the only option other than adoption. Going in, we had no idea what the IVF process looked like, but we didn’t think it would be as hard as it was.
The truth is, the Jennifer Lopez movie where she decides to have a baby through IVF and then gets pregnant a month later, was a lie. IVF is an emotional journey, and you have to be invested. We’ve never had to wake up for so many appointments or injections. And you do all of it without knowing what will happen at the end.
Walk us through your process of getting pregnant.
We did reciprocal IVF, so everyone was involved. We used Moe’s egg and a donor sperm, which was transferred to Tamar, who is the carrier. The first step was tests and cycle monitoring for both of us. Then, Moe had the egg retrieval. We had already found a sperm donor (which was a process in itself). Dr. Tanya’s clinic monitored the process of fertilization for a few days in the lab. Then, we did genetic testing, which took a few weeks. 2 of the eggs retrieved were safe to use. Dr. Tanya recommended an ultrasound called Matris, which takes images of the uterus prior to transplant and provides a score that determines whether it’s a good time to transfer. We had a score of 7, which gave us a 60% chance of success.
We picked our transfer date – April 26th. The day of the embryo transfer was one of the hardest moments, because Tamar was carjacked. She started breaking out in hives from stress and worrying that the transfer wouldn’t work, but she couldn’t take anything in case she was pregnant. On Mother’s Day, we found out that Tamar was pregnant.
How would you characterize your fertility journey? The good and the bad.
The good is that it absolutely worked. Also, everyone at the clinic has been extremely kind and helpful. Dr. Tanya guided us through every step of the process, and answered questions we didn’t even know we had.
The bad is that the process is very invasive. There’s the physical invasion of so many ultrasounds, but also the anxiety of waking up for all the procedures. We didn’t think it would drain us so much. There have also been some unlucky hiccups, like a blood clot in Tamar’s leg from the fertility meds. But jumping through all these hoops just validates how much we want to build a family. It’s all worth it in the end.
As a lesbian couple, what has the support been like throughout your fertility journey?
We’re blessed to have an amazing tribe behind us, so the support has been overwhelming. We’ve been together for so long that everyone is rooting for us. Plus, we can’t stop telling people. Basically, the whole world knows we’re pregnant.
What do you want other LGBTQ+ folks to know about building a family?
First, we would recommend Dr. Tanya to anyone and everyone who wants to grow their family. You don’t always know if a doctor will be supportive of LGBTQ+ folks, so we couldn’t be more grateful to have found her.
Above all, we’d say, don’t get bogged down by what anyone else thinks, or how hard the process might be. Not everyone will be happy for you, but not every family looks the same, with a mother and a father. If you want a family and you have the love to give, go for it. The journey is every bit worth it.