We are the founders of The LGBT Mummies and we have been together for 14 years, married for 10 and we now have three children all by IUI or IVF. We always knew we wanted children and so after we got married, we decided to discuss the options that were available to us.
So many questions! What ARE our options? Do we want to carry a child? Who carries? How? How much does it cost? Where can we do it? How do we choose a donor? Where would we find a donor? How long would it take to fall pregnant? The list of questions were endless.
OUR OWN PERSONAL JOURNEY TO MOTHERHOOD
We are incredibly lucky that we have both been fortunate enough to carry. With severe PCOS and a ‘you’ll never carry a child’ diagnosis from her GP, my wife never thought she’d ever get pregnant. Our chosen clinic The Centre for Reproductive and Genetic Health quickly dispelled that diagnosis and confirmed they would get us pregnant. After five attempts (including a miscarriage) and a lot of medication, rushed trips to the clinic in between work along with lots of tears and stress, we were finally blessed with our miracle first born child.
When three years later, it came to us having a second child, I then carried so both of us got the opportunity to experience being pregnant and we are both are a ‘Non-Biological’ mother to one of our children. It took only two attempts of natural IUI and we were pregnant again – we were incredibly lucky.
This time we felt much more informed, after several years of searching for information, researching and reading to educate ourselves. However it still felt like an uphill struggle to find any real support or information.
In those ten years, we were consistently contacted by other LGBT+ women and people, or those who had ‘friends like us’, or ‘friends that have asked us to ask you’ how we started our family. It even resulted in a very lovely nurse coming in with a pad and pen in recovery after our first born arrived to ask, ‘I hope you don’t mind, but my friends are married and they have asked me to ask you how you went about having your baby!”- Which was a funny but very surreal moment!
If anything, this only cemented for us the fact that there was no central point or source of information and support for women looking to start a family. And this wasn’t just by fertility treatment – but by any route available to starting a family. When you did go searching for advice or support, the internet threw up very disparate and wholly sparse information across multiple websites.
By the time we had had our second child, we decided to set up The LGBT Mummies Tribe with a view to ‘Educate, Share, Celebrate’ and support LBGT+ women and people looking to start a family. And so the birth of the Tribe began…….
We started the journey to having our third child in 2019 before the pandemic began and after three failed IUI attempts, found out that Laura-Rose had secondary infertility – a severely diminished ovarian reserve. We made the decision to move to IVF and then the pandemic struck and lockdown hit. When the world opened again (for a short while!) we had a round of fresh IVF with two embryos being transferred – but it resulted in a negative. Heartbroken, we continued on and finally got pregnant on our 5th attempt. After a difficult pregnancy and rather traumatic birth, our third child was born in June 2021 (our very own Pride baby!)
THE BIRTH OF LGBT MUMMIES
The birth of LGBT Mummies happened shortly after we had our second child, following as we mentioned years of being contacted for advice, and it was born from a need for a community for families like us and those who wanted guidance on starting families of their own.
What started off as a small Instagram page, has flourished into a full blown organization , with ‘Meet’ events, Support Groups and worldwide coverage, with over 40,000+ followers worldwide across our social channels (which may not sound a lot, except the page was private until 9.5k so we know we have grown organically with the right demographic of people who are from our community and allies!)
When we started the page, we didn’t realise how a central source of support for our women and people was so needed and how it would grow so fervently from a social channel to a business.
We now operate our organization globally across our website and multiple social channels, with over 11 private Support Groups for our Tribe to come to get guidance, support and connect with other charities and organizations that can support them, whilst meeting other mothers and parents on the journey. We work tirelessly to ensure LGBT+ women and people get the support they deserve on the path to parenthood, whilst working to ‘usualise’ our families, change policies and educate professionals and society in how to best support us and give our children a safe and inclusive future.