Son of Claire Fox and Debora Corfield
Born on the 25th of April 2012, At St Helier Hospital
Weighing 3.4kg / 7lb 8oz, Brother to Daniel (2)
’d always known that I wanted to have children, and being in a relationship with a woman never made me think or feel any differently about that. Debs had also thought that she would have a family, but I think I was ready to get started a bit earlier than she was!
The two main options available to us were adoption, or using a sperm donor. We seriously considered adoption, but I’ve always wanted to be pregnant and carry a baby, so we decided to use a donor. Debs didn’t feel the urge to be pregnant in the way that I did, so which of us would try for our first child was an easy choice.
You can use a ‘known donor’ – a friend or someone else you make an agreement with, or an ‘unknown donor’ – the donor is anonymous, but when the children are 18 they are legally allowed to contact him. We were uncomfortable with using a known donor, because we didn’t want to have anyone else involved in parenting our children. Of course, this is something that can be pre-agreed with legally binding contracts, so the level of involvement is decided beforehand – but you can never know how you, or anyone else, will react once the baby is born.
We opted to use an anonymous donor through a private fertility clinic. The process of choosing the donor was slightly surreal – it felt a little like picking from a menu! We wanted someone with features and temperament similar to Debs. Once we had narrowed it down, it was really just a gut feeling. We used a Brazilian donor as Debs is half Brazilian, and it was important to us to keep that connection with her Brazilian family. The donor we chose, from his personal statement, seemed to have a positive outlook on life. We got the impression that he’s a happy guy, and we thought that if there was one thing we’d like to give our children it’s happiness.
We’d always said that we would like two children, and we agreed that after I had our first we would see if, for our second try, Debs would like to be pregnant. I don’t think either of us really thought that this would end up being the case, though, and after Debs saw me give birth it did cement things for her somewhat! She was perfectly happy for me to be the one to try again.
We decided not to go with IVF, initially, as it was so expensive and such an involved process. We thought we would try a natural cycle – just artificial insemination. After some blood tests, though, it turned out that my fertility levels were at the low end of normal, so the consultant suggested that we try a stimulated cycle, with additional hormones to boost my fertility level. This involved monitoring my ovulation very closely, and self-injecting every evening. I also had to go into the clinic pretty regularly for scans, which was quite difficult to fit in around work.
I got pregnant on the second try with both of our children – we couldn’t believe our luck. I was absolutely thrilled when I discovered that I was pregnant with Lucas, though I was also a little nervous about telling people at work, as I was actually still on maternity leave with Daniel when it happened.
I really loved being pregnant. Even though there were aches and pains, and it’s difficult to sleep, it’s such a wonderful, amazing, exciting time. I’ve been extremely fortunate, and had no problems at all. I didn’t even get any cravings. I’d been looking forward to seeing what crazy foods I might fancy, but I just had a big appetite and wanted carbs – not so different from usual!
I went into labour exactly one week before the due date. I got up at the usual time in the morning and got Daniel up and ready for Debs to take him to nursery. I felt really quite uncomfortable, but I was so focused on getting on with the usual morning stuff that it was a while before it dawned on me that the ‘discomfort’ was, in fact, periodic!
When I actually stopped for a minute, and focused on how I was feeling, I was confident that they were contractions. I asked Debs to come home after she’d taken Daniel to nursery, instead of going to work, and I started using the contraction timer app on my iPhone, which I’d been desperate to try!
The contractions were getting much stronger, and I knew that we needed to go to the hospital. With Daniel we ended up having an unplanned home birth, due to the speed at which things progressed. Everything was fine, but this time we wanted to make sure that we got to the hospital!
We arrived at the hospital at 10am, and Lucas was born at 10.58am. I remember shouting ‘I want pethadine, I want an epidural,’ but it was too late for all that! Debs did a brilliant job, holding me and giving me encouragement all the way through. Although I didn’t respond a great deal to what she was saying at the time, it would have been so much harder if she hadn’t been there.
We were home by 6pm that day. My parents were there, and the first thing we did was to give Danny lots of cuddles and introduce him to his new baby brother. That evening my brother visited, and we opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate Lucas’s arrival. The next day Debs’s family arrived and we celebrated again with more champagne. Being at home with both of our boys felt lovely.
Lucas is an absolutely amazing baby, he’s very laid back and almost always happy. Danny is also fantastic – it’s wonderful to see how he’s growing and developing. Having two children is great, it’s so much fun! Hard work, of course, but fun.
People may feel concerned about how others might react to them as a same sex couple having children, and, of course, everyone’s experience is different, but we’ve had nothing but support and interest from everyone – from the hospital/health worker staff and our work colleagues, to the new friends we’ve made through NCT classes. What we all seem to agree on is that the most important thing is having a loving, supporting family.