Many times along our path to pregnancy through ICI I wished there was an outline of someone else’s experience. I didn’t know what I needed to do, should do and could do without. Success stories only offered a piece of the iceberg when it came to the journey of at home insemination. At times our journey was discouraging, lonely, and many times I felt lost.
Besides the occasional dreams about women in my early teens and a brief love affair my junior year of college with a woman, I had always dated guys until I turned 28.
I always said that I would be disappointed and would feel like I didn't live my best life if I had never explored a relationship with another woman. So one night I downloaded Tinder and when they asked me my preference I selected women not men.
That night as I picked out the pictures that would establish me in the dating women scene I wasn’t thinking of anything other than what would be the next chapter of my crazy life.
I wasn’t worried about my family’s acceptance, my friends’ understanding, what having a family would consist of, or the road that would soon become my journey. None of it actually ever crossed my mind. While I was busy galivanting around with the woman that would become my wife it hit me, slowly but surely, that there were hundreds of things I never thought of.
Most importantly I never thought about the obstacles family planning might bring us. Two women having a child never crossed my mind as an obstacle, challenge, nothing...I usually assume that things will work out. But how does one exactly get pregnant when her spouse is a woman and how much does it cost? I wondered.
So, like with most other big questions I have in life I hit the internet in search for how I’d get pregnant in the future. I found sperm online. I could order sperm and then somehow I would put it in my body!? For some reason this was the strangest thing. I never even considered this option. All I had ever heard of or assumed existed was going to a doctor and having them figure it all out. I scrolled through a sperm bank site website absolutely amazed, clicking on anything and everything. People actually do this? But the more I looked into it the more normal it seemed. Why couldn’t people order sperm? You basically can order everything else.
But I didn’t know the half of it, what insemination consisted of.
What inseminating entailed for me is doing everything the best I could do it. Tracking, eating healthy, getting well, using the right whositswhatsits, doing everything I could to accomplish pregnancy.
Over the course of five months my wife and I did three inseminations at home. My first was in December and when we tried we were both overly optimistic, relied almost solely on apps to track and were under the impression whatever was meant to be was meant to be. That time there was just no way I would have gotten pregnant because of our lack of knowledge.
The second time, in March, I had been tracking a lot more closely, I was eating healthy, going to the chiropractor and the acupuncturist regularly and bringing spirituality into my everyday life. We were confident but still I second guessed myself and the tracking I was doing. I didn’t go with my gut but instead went with what apps were showing me.
The third time I took charge. I ate the meals I had researched, I walked every morning. I went to the chiropractor and acupuncturist. I did my essential oil routines. I tracked with my own calendars. We used the tools available including the ovulation tests, the apps, we even went to a fertility center the week before our pregnancy test tested positive.
One more time. That’s what we decided on, that we would try one more time and then we would get some outside help, some testing to see if my body was all good, to see if there was anything medically stopping me from getting pregnant.
April. The third and last time we would inseminate without intervention. When my wife got done inseminating me she said “that was the one, that was the time, you're going to get pregnant.
A week before we got the positive pregnancy test we went to see a fertility doctor. One of the best ones around. Sitting in the waiting room was depressing. It was filled with people, sad people, worried people. Lesbians, women alone, and women with men who looked completely beaten down. The journey is tough. I believe it’s tough even if you get pregnant the first time, and if you don’t, the stress multiplies so rapidly seeping into every orifice of your life. We sat there like every woman in there but besides the worry, there was hope. Maybe there was a quick fix? Maybe nothing was wrong except my poor plotting. Maybe this or maybe that but at least we were taking action. A doctor will know best about what we need to do. Our names got called ,we walked quickly in with our piles of papers in hand, ready to take charge. They did an ultrasound to check my follicles, the nurse said I had plenty of them, I checked that off the list of things that could be wrong. We went in to see the doctor presenting him with all the evidence, all the charting, plotting, everything we had done. Our problem he said? My window couldn’t possibly be on the 18th day of my cycle, it's way too late. He packed us with knowledge, the steps we were going to take to get me pregnant. We’d check my fallopian tubes, blood work, this and that, by the time everything was done, within a month or two, I’d be on my way to pregnancy.
Just a couple thousand more dollars for these tests, for some new, better sperm, and the help from this doctor and we would be good to go. We left with hope, we knew the steps we had to take, our next month was outlined perfectly. My gut had been wrong, the apps were right, everything else I wasn’t listening to was right.
Wrong. A week later on Mother’s Day we got a positive pregnancy test. The 18th day of my cycle was exactly on point, whether it’s too late for most or not it was just right for me. My gut was right, my wife was right when she said that was the one.
The biggest difference? I listened to myself. I knew I was doing the best I could do. I felt good, I was healthy. I was tracking what I needed to track and listening to my body. So, when it came time and lots of signs pointed to “not the right time to inseminate” but my body, heart and soul said it was, I went with it.
I wanted our story, our steps, our path to empower other women going through similar situations so I wrote a book detailing exactly what we did. I wanted to make it an easy to understand, quick and easy guide to inseminating at home to help other people get started on their own journey!
You can find Amanda on Instagram @alittelooseleaf
Yu can also find her book at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08CHLPTM4