I’m Laura-Rose, a married lesbian mother, a fertility advocate & LGBT+ family activist. The path to motherhood has been a difficult but amazing journey.
Laura-Rose with wife Stacey
We’ve been together 14 years, married for 10 and started our journey to become parents over a decade ago. We took the route of fertility treatment through a private clinic. My wife had been told from a young age that due to severe PCOS she would never carry a pregnancy so had all but given up on her dream of carrying a child.
However, the clinic we decided upon, The Centre for Reproductive & Genetic Health, ran tests and quickly dispelled that myth. We both agreed we wanted to experience birth and so being slightly older with a condition, we agreed she would be the first to carry and I would carry later. We decided to use a sperm bank in the US called XYTEX for our sperm donor.
It was a difficult journey back then. We didn’t have anyone we could speak to with a family, or much lived experience and so had to muddle through it alone. After three failed IUI’s, we got a positive pregnancy test and couldn’t be happier. Sadly it wasn’t meant to be and we were devastated when my wife miscarried in the first trimester. Mentally we were drained and physically she needed a break, so we took some time out to heal. Then, on the fifth attempt, we were blessed and had a little girl.
"It was a difficult journey back then. We didn’t have anyone we could speak to with a family, or much lived experience and so had to muddle through it alone."
Laura-Rose and Stacey with their children at an LGBT Mummies Tribe event
Unfortunately, we had a bad experience the day after our daughter was born, where the Doctor wouldn’t deal with me. She wanted “the real mum”, which resulted in me struggling for some time after with feeling valid in my role as a mother. It had a lasting impact on me mentally, but it’s an experience I now feel comfortable enough to share and admit I struggled as a non-biological parent.
Because of our own journey and how consistently people were contacting us regarding how to start their own family, we decided to start our organisation, The LGBT Mummies Tribe, to support others like us on the path to parenthood and provide a community to celebrate our families.
Several years later, we decided to start again and this time I would carry. I had unmedicated IUI, amazingly fell pregnant on the second attempt and we were blessed with our little boy. Both being from big families, we knew we always wanted more children and so last year, prior to the pandemic, we started our TTC journey once more and decided I would carry again. “I fell so quickly last time, it shouldn’t take too long” I excitedly told the consultant, who warned me to be cautious and that it wasn’t always the case.
"Because of our own journey and how consistently people were contacting us regarding how to start their own family, we decided to start our organisation, The LGBT Mummies Tribe, to support others like us on the path to parenthood and provide a community to celebrate our families."
Laura-Rose feels blessed to have three miracle children
And it wasn’t. After three failed IUI’s, further testing revealed I was suffering from diminished ovarian reserve (secondary infertility) which was a blow at 33 after falling pregnant so quickly last time. We made the decision to move to IVF, but then the pandemic hit, the country was thrown into lockdown and our treatment was cancelled. We were devastated, especially when they couldn’t even do an egg collection, so had to wait until the clinics reopened months later to start our IVF treatment.
Due to the pandemic, my wife couldn’t attend my egg collection or transfer so I had to attend alone, but we knew how lucky we were to start treatment again. This time- our IVF transfer failed and we were devastated. We then went ahead with a fifth attempt (a frozen transfer) and amazingly after a gruelling two-week wait, I was pregnant.
We know how incredibly lucky we are. Yes, we have had a difficult journey over the years, but we have been blessed to have three miracle children and are fortunate enough to use our voices and our journey to support and inspire others who dream of a family of their own.