My wife, Jennifer, and I are both law enforcement officers in the area and we actually met during the police academy! Jen is originally from New York and I am from Kansas, so we have quite different backgrounds, but we fell in love and got married.
We always dreamt of expanding our family. Jennifer and I had heard about Shady Grove Fertility from friends and colleagues. We know several people who have had successful pregnancies as a result of the care they received from SGF. Being a same-sex couple, it was important for us to have a healthcare team that was supportive of all different types of families, and we had even seen SGF participating in local pride festivals.
Coming to SGF
After an initial consultation with Dr. Joseph Osheroff and our fantastic nurse Natalie, we knew SGF was the right place for us. We really appreciated all of the wonderful resources provided to us, even beyond the medical team. SGF had us meet with a member of their psychology team, which really helped us make sure we considered all aspects of our family planning, both for considerations now and in the future. We were also provided with a lot of information about donor sperm options and LGBTQ family planning resources. The staff guided us through our journey, taking time to explain all steps involved and keeping us grounded in our expectations.
Starting IUI treatment
The treatment process for us was very straightforward. After evaluating our medical history, Dr. Osheroff suggested that we start with IUI treatment. Our medical team in Columbia, MD prepared us for what to expect for the procedure in Rockville, so there would be no surprises. The Rockville staff was wonderful as well. They also explained everything to us several times and when the actual procedure took place, we were relieved with how smooth and easy it went for us.
Using donor sperm
We began this journey with an idea of how to choose a donor, but SGF actually gave us more resources than we had expected. They provided Jennifer and me with several different options on where to receive donor sperm and helped us understand some of the medical and genetic screenings that were important in selecting a donor. We learned that several donor sperm companies had different levels of membership regarding what you could see about each donor, and we found that additional information was really helpful in choosing the right match.
For anyone else going through the process of using donor sperm, make sure you don’t limit your options before doing your research. There are a lot of really wonderful donors available to help start your family. If you are using an unidentified donor, take the time with your partner to consider whether or not it is important that the donor be completely unidentified, or if you prefer to be contacted later in life.
The best phone call
The phone call confirming our pregnancy was so wonderful. It made it all so real! The day after our first IUI, Jen actually made some comments about how she felt like she had a heightened sense of smell, so she was convinced that the IUI was successful. Dr. Google gave us some anecdotal advice on early pregnancy signs, but only after the phone call from Shady Grove Fertility did we really allow ourselves to get excited!
The monitoring and support that SGF provided after we found out we were pregnant was reassuring and showed us that the medical team didn’t just disappear after fertility treatments.
When it came time to graduate from SGF, it was honestly a little scary for us. Jennifer and I had really come to love our SGF team and felt comfortable with the level of care they provided. After reassuring us with many, many sonogram photos, we felt confident that SGF had set us up for success and we transitioned into “normal” pregnancy care.
In May 2019, we welcomed our sweet boy Henry into the world. Our family is now complete thanks to the inclusive care and support from Shady Grove Fertility!
New mom life is amazing. Watching our little boy change and grow day-to-day is awesome. We are so fortunate to have a wonderful support system of family and friends that have helped us feel confident as new parents. Being a new parent includes a lot of burps, diaper changes and sleepless nights, but all of that somehow fades away when that little baby snuggles up to you and lets out a tired sigh on your shoulder.
Advice to other LGBTQ couples
For anyone thinking of starting treatment, go for a consultation and see what the process is all about. We had actually done a consultation about a year and a half prior to starting treatment to really get an understanding of treatment options and expectations.
My wife and I were eager to start a family, but we were also very aware that other couples may not have the same type of emotions going through the fertility treatment process. While in the office, we made a strong effort to be respectful of what might be a potentially uncomfortable environment for some, but the Shady Grove Fertility staff made it clear to us that our journey was just as important as any other family that they were helping, and they didn’t let us lose our excitement of growing our family.