Reciprocal IVF allows both partners in a lesbian relationship to participate in the process of creating a child.
For lesbian couples considering having a child, Reciprocal IVF allows both partners to participate in the process. One partner provides the eggs while the other provides the womb, with the egg fertilized by donor sperm. Reciprocal IVF is becoming more popular with lesbian couples because it allows both women to play a vital role in welcoming their child into the world. Many couples feel that this strengthens their bonds with their child and each other.
Patients Loni and Alli strengthened their relationship and found success with reciprocal IVF at Fertility Answers.
Alli and Loni went to school together, graduating in the same high school class. They were friends but it wasn’t until after graduating that they both realized they were more than just friends. “It wasn’t until we both experienced big heart breaks that we came together,” remembers Loni. “As we got closer, I fell more and more in love with the person that she was. There was something about her that just clicked inside of me. Her pure heart and soul was everything that I had been longing for in a partner. I know in my heart we will grow old together,” she adds.
That was in 2010 and in 2016 when same-sex marriage finally became legal, they both decided to make it official.
Throughout their relationship, Alli always felt like she she could never carry and have a child because that was just not who she was. But Loni was determined to find a way to have the family they both dreamed of. “We had heard about a couple in a different state who had performed reciprocal IVF and I knew that was our way, our path!” says Loni.
The couple eventually sought out Dr. John Storment at Fertility Answers. When Alli and Loni met with Dr Storment, they instantly connected. “He never looked at us differently or passed any sort of judgment on us for wanting a family of our own,” says Loni. “We felt very comfortable with him, and that he was going to do the best he could to make us a family. To conquer our dream!”
There are hurdles that every infertile couple experiences that need to be addressed to give them the best possible chance.
There were necessary hurdles to leap over to give Loni and Alli the best possible chance of making their dream a reality. Legal counseling was required to ensure both partners had a clear understanding of their rights and responsibilities. Social/psychological counseling was offered to help guide them through potential difficulties that may be unique to couples going through reciprocal IVF. Once these hurdles were addressed, they were ready to proceed. “Now we were crying happy tears and we were ready to go!” they said.
After settling on their treatment plan, Alli went through the egg retrieval process and produced 22 eggs. Of those 22, fifteen were fertilized and seven made it to the blastocyst stage. “We had seven embryos! What a miracle!” exclaimed Loni.
Then it was Loni’s turn. “I did everything by the book. I had alarms set for every shot, every pill. I could not have done anything more perfectly,” remembers Loni. “We had several fertility prayers that we would say consistently every night.” One embryo was transferred to Loni’s uterus and two weeks later they got the call that they were pregnant.
On May 9th, 2018, the couple welcomed their baby girl, Demi. “She has brought so much joy to our lives and we owe it all to Dr. Storment and his staff!” says Loni and Alli. The couple is already planning for their next IVF cycle and their next baby. They have considered using Loni’s eggs this time with the same sperm donor so that their babies are genetically connected. “We understand that we are bringing them into a unique family, and we want them to have that sibling bond that any other siblings would have,” says Loni.