By Kaleigh R.
Getting married was the most amazing experience of my life. That is, until now. After seven years together, weâ€™re planning to start a family.
Early on in our engagement, it was obvious (somewhat painfully) just how different our experiences would be. Planning a wedding as a lesbian couple living in Florida wasnâ€™t exactly easy. We felt like we had to come out all the time. There were great experiences, but there were also very awkward ones.
Letâ€™s face it – things are different for couples like us. Gay couples. LGBT families like ours. There also arenâ€™t that many resources out there. Since our wedding, weâ€™ve looked for ways to share our experiences and hope that someone, somewhere finds it helpful. Deciding to have a baby calls those feelings to action.
Honestly, I donâ€™t think the excitement has set in for us just yet. There are just so many things to consider. So many decisions to be made. So. Much. Planning.
Insurance, choosing a donor, IUI/IVF, choosing a fertility doctor, second-parent adoption, home visits, lawyers, cost. Overwhelmed doesnâ€™t really do these feelings justice. And these are just the things weâ€™re dealing with so far.
We decided to start with our medical insurance provider. C is on my insurance as domestic partner, and Iâ€™ll be the one carrying, so this part shouldnâ€™t be that complex, right? Wrong.
Trying to understand medical insurance coverage is hard enough, but trying to make heads or tails of the infertility benefits (if youâ€™re lucky enough to have them like we are) is nearly impossible. After several lengthy weeks of research, hereâ€™s what Iâ€™ve learned so far:
Our coverage requires us to meet one of the following criteria:
â€¢ 12 months of attempting to conceive naturally
â€¢ Diagnosis of infertility
â€¢ 6 unsuccessful insemination cycles
They also require use of a specific network of doctors. Commence panic. We were referred to a doctor by good friends and we are excited to work with him. We also did a lot of research and we know he is gay-friendly. The thought of essentially starting the search for a doctor over again was daunting – especially here in Florida, where the number of gay-friendly fertility doctors is quite possibly in the single-digits. Luckily, we later found out that our doctor is part of the approved network. Crisis averted.
Recently, I actually caught myself saying â€˜So, what happens if Iâ€™m not able to obtain an infertility diagnosis from my doctor?â€™ WHAT. I honestly couldnâ€™t believe the words came out of my mouth. Did I really catch myself seeking an infertility diagnosis? This, unfortunately, is a side effect of being â€˜lucky enoughâ€™ to be provided these benefits. I couldnâ€™t possibly have felt worse.
On a positive note, we found out that all of our doctorâ€™s visits, preliminary tests and medications will be covered by our insurance. Weâ€™re not sure about the actual insemination yet, since we havenâ€™t gotten an infertility diagnosis. Weâ€™re still working through the process though, so we remain optimistic.
At this point, we are taking this journey one step at a time, one decision at a time and hoping for the best. Weâ€™re excited about taking this next step in our lives and we wonâ€™t let the overwhelming process rain on our sunshine.
Kaleigh and her wife, Cecile were married in 2011 and currently reside in Florida. They are the women behind SHE and SHE, a blog about all things lesbian. They hope to become parents in 2014 and many of their blog posts are dedicated to their journey to parenthood.