“So, my story…
I am 43 years old and have a long term Partner Laura. We have three beautiful young children together and have created our own modern day family and are totally happy. It hasn’t always been plain sailing though. I have been faced with work place adversities in the past that I have found quite challenging and sometimes really upsetting. I am not one to shout from the rooftops about my sexuality, if it comes up in conversation it comes up, and I do not shy away from it. I am very proud of my partner and our children.
I was 25 when I came out to my closest friends and my Mum. I knew though from a very early age that I wasn’t ‘quite the same as everyone else’. It sounds really stupid saying that now because I am the same as everyone else. It just never felt it at the time, it wasn’t accepted, as a gay woman the only time I could ever be my true self around that age and younger was when I was in the company of other gay people. I very quickly realised in my early 20’s that I was living two different lives, keeping my true self from my mum, friends and family was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. The shame that came along with being gay at the time wasn’t worth the pain it would have brought. When I hit 25 I met someone and knew that I needed to be honest not only with my family but myself as well.
I had always wanted to be a Mum and that feeling never ever went away. I gave birth to my daughter Lilia when I was 39. My partner had given birth to our other children Gracie and Teddy but I knew something was missing from me. I wanted that whole pregnancy experience myself. There began a very long journey of treatment. From making the decision to have a baby it took us two years to actually get to the stage where I could be ‘accepted’ for IUI. Donor insemination. The process from start to finish was gruelling and I wont go into too much detail but it could not be done on the NHS as I didn’t need IVF. We had to go private using the Hewitt Centre which is based in the Women’s Hospital in Liverpool.
From fertility testing, counselling sessions, proving my status in a financial capacity to ensure that I could provide for my child I was finally ‘approved’ for a donor in December 2018. Exactly 2 years from when I made the initial enquiry. Having my daughter Lilia came at a very high cost both financially (£4,500) and emotionally. Being ‘tested’ in so many ways to make sure I was going to be a fit mother was exhausting. I already had two children, the process was and still is extremely difficult, even privately. Luckily for us the first time I was inseminated it was successful, this is extremely rare. It was meant to be!! I found out on Christmas day 2018 that I was pregnant. It was at that stage I knew that 2 year process was completely worth it, but I have asked myself and continue to do so, why it was so difficult, why is it so difficult for gay couples to have children?? It still baffles me!!! Anyway, that is just a little Snippet of the process we faced to conceive our third child together.
Today, we have a beautiful family.
Working for Steps together in an inclusive environment where so much is embraced is a breath of fresh air. I have never felt as welcomed anywhere as much as I do here in terms of inclusivity.
My message to anyone not being true to themselves in any capacity is ‘You only get one life, other peoples opinions of you are not your problem’. Don’t be afraid to be ‘Different’.”