KJ and Abi, both professional dancers from Chichester, decided that before achieving their dream of a family, they wanted to give something back, through the wonderful gift of egg donation. Both dreams were achieved through treatment at Wessex Fertility, and the couple are now besotted parents to beautiful baby Myla.
KJ and Abi met through a shared love of dance. “It’s a funny story really! We both had the same A-level dance teacher but seven years apart, she taught me in Kent and then KJ in Lancashire, two different ends of the country! The teacher brought KJ to a show I was in, and that was the beginning of what was to be a long journey of friendship and then love. We were engaged two years into our relationship, before we even moved in with each other, and married after 3!” remembers Abi.
As a same-sex couple who would require a donor to start their family, KJ and Abi decided that they wanted to give something back, by first becoming egg donors themselves. The couple were recommended Wessex Fertility’s Dr Jacqui Tuckey by their GP, so decided this is where they would begin their journey. With the assistance of Wessex Fertility’s dedicated donor team, KJ had a cycle of egg donation, soon followed by Abi.
The staff at Wessex Fertility are just amazing. It always felt right to us that we should be donors too, and the process was so rewarding, when we found out that my recipient had given birth to a healthy baby, it was a great feeling!
“It was also a great way to meet the staff at Wessex Fertility who made the process so lovely. Shelley and the donor team were amazing, they knew our bodies so well by the end of the donation process, which really helped when it came to our treatment” adds Abi.
In December 2016, the couple felt ready to start their family and had their initial consultation at Wessex Fertility. One option for the couple, was to have eggs from one donated to the other, who would carry the baby. “I had read a book about someone carrying somebody else’s baby, and I thought what a lovely combination of us both if I could carry Abi’s egg, and birth our baby into the world. I had always wanted to experience pregnancy so this felt like the right way for us” recalls KJ.
Where there’s obviously difficulty as a same sex couple to start a family, there’s also lots of lovely options and positive decisions we were able to make as we went through treatment. Wessex are really good at keeping you informed along the way.
The next step for KJ and Abi was to choose their sperm donor. Wessex Fertility recruit sperm donors that the couple were able to choose from based on characteristics. “We wanted a donor with medium build and chose the donor who seemed the healthiest to us. When we read his description, we felt like we knew him and his characteristics and interests belonged in the family” remembers Abi. Abi began stimulation medication before having her eggs collected under sedation. Abi’s eggs were then mixed with the donor sperm to fertilise and form embryos. In April 2017, one of the couple’s embryos was transferred to KJ’s womb.
We really felt like we’d shared the experience, with one of us going through the egg collection, and the other carrying our baby.
After the two week wait to discover if their treatment had been successful, the couple thankfully received the news they had been hoping for. “We took the test one day early, we felt we had been successful, I just felt like the embryo had implanted. We were so happy when we saw the positive test!” recalls KJ.
It took the couple a while to get settled into the pregnancy. “I’m more the worrier. I didn’t walk very much at the beginning and I’m usually really active! I don’t think I settled properly until I was about 30 weeks pregnant” remembers KJ. The couple were delighted to discover they were expecting a little girl. “We didn’t tell our close family and friends until about 6 weeks. Where we had been monitored so closely throughout we wanted to know every detail, so when people asked us if we were going to find out if we were having a girl or boy, we said of course we are!“ recalls Abi.
On 30th December 2017, KJ gave birth to a baby girl, named Myla Rose Lawson Mortimer, weighing 6lb 12oz. “Myla is just amazing. You hear all these stories about what you will feel like on the day of the birth, but nothing could prepare me for the rush of unconditional love I felt when Myla was first placed on KJ’s chest. After seeing KJ in all that pain and nightmares I had about not recognising my baby, it all just melted away. I thought, I know she’s mine and I recognise her” remembers Abi. “The beauty of it is that Myla looks just like Abi! We couldn’t imagine life without her now, she’s just wonderful” adds KJ.
The couple feel very positive about their experiences at Wessex. “We would absolutely consider having another baby. Wessex are incredible. We are so grateful to them, we recommend them all the time! It’s a demanding process but you really feel like they care about you and the baby inside. IVF can be a sore subject, but we feel so positive about it now, it’s been the most amazing experience”.
KJ and Abi are enjoying life with their beautiful baby Myla.