“There is a need to spread awareness that people of our sexuality can have a family. Twenty years ago what we’ve just done would not have been possible for a same-sex couple”
When Cirencester couple Lizzi and Emma Watkins wed in February 2020 after living together for two years they had already decided they wanted a baby and taken the first steps towards achieving their dream.
The recent arrival of their daughter Margo on 14 May, has inspired them to share their story during Pride month because, according to Emma: “there is a need to spread awareness that people of our sexuality can have a family, and with the end result we’re celebrating it’s honestly all so worth it: just the best thing ever.”
Emma said she had not necessarily envisaged being a parent, but Lizzi always had, and their fertility journey began in January 2020 with one of the free consultations which are routinely offered during Open Evenings at Bristol Centre for Reproductive Medicine (BCRM), where Lizzi’s aunt Corinna Gibbons happens to work as manager of the embryology laboratory.
“The open evening was very informative, providing us with everything we needed to know about the investigations and treatment available, plus pricing plans and details about procedures. And everyone was so welcoming, with a really nice atmosphere – just lovely really,” said Emma.
Initially the pair had hoped that Lizzi, 33, a para planner for a firm of financial advisors, would carry an embryo created using one of Emma’s eggs, but investigations revealed that Emma’s ovarian reserve was low, so they opted instead for Lizzi to try intrauterine insemination (IUI) – a fertility treatment that involves directly inserting sperm into a woman’s womb.
“We had two unsuccessful goes with IUI – it doesn’t work for everyone – and then decided to go for a two-cycle package of IVF treatment,” said Emma, 37, who is a business sales and marketing manager.
“Lizzi had 10 eggs removed which resulted in six embryos being created, of which four were considered suitable for freezing and using.
“Sadly, the first cycle ended in a miscarriage at six weeks, but one month later Lizzi was pregnant with Margo, and we were thrilled.
“Our baby was delivered nearly four weeks early because Lizzi developed pre-eclampsia, which is dangerous to both mother and baby, but she weighed in at a healthy 5lb 13oz even though she had to be born before her due date, and she is just perfect.
“We are loving being mums, and since we have two more frozen embryos, we are hoping to produce a little brother or sister for Margo in due course.
“To any other same-sex couples currently considering their options regarding starting a family, we would say: do your research and choose a fertility clinic which clearly demonstrates a commitment to helping families like ours and has a good track record.
“There are many problems in today’s world, but 20 years ago what we’ve just done would not have been possible for a same-sex couple, so we’re feeling very grateful to be living in 2022 and to be able to become a family in the way we’ve done.”
BCRM treats heterosexual couples, same sex couples and single women, and can help with male as well as female fertility issues. The clinic has some of the best success rates in the country for IVF and the team is well-known throughout the fertility industry for the dedicated care and support they provide to patients throughout their whole fertility journey and treatment.
Further details are available by emailing Contact@BCRM.clinic, call 0117 259 1159 or see www.fertilitybristol.com
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) explained
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