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Fertility Team Supports Pregnancy Journey

Jennifer and Susan

Jennifer and Susan knew they wanted to build a future together and quickly realized children were an important part of that dream.

"We talked extensively about our fears and hopes," Jennifer says. "I was certain that if we weren't on the same page, it would come back to haunt me when our then-theoretical child made a 'poo-casso' painting on his bedroom door."

Soon after Susan proposed to Jennifer on Memorial Day weekend of 2012, they called the fertility specialists at The University of Kansas Health System. They planned to marry the following spring and wanted to start trying to get pregnant as soon as possible.

Though Jennifer and Susan felt nervous sitting in the waiting room before their first consultation, their anxiety was quickly alleviated.

"Once in the office, we met and instantly loved the incomparable Judy Gay, RN," Jennifer relates. "She made us feel valid and deserving of our dream to have a family."

Jennifer and Susan

They decided to undergo genetic testing and insemination at The University of Kansas Health System. They left their initial appointment with "giddiness, hugs, a timeline and a handful of appointments."

Even though they were excited about the journey ahead, Jennifer and Susan recalled that in the back of their minds, they were holding onto the stereotype that "You're either gay or you're a mom – not both."

"I only knew 1 or 2 gay couples who had children. It felt like such a pipe dream," Jennifer says.

"If I'm completely honest, that feeling still haunted me right up until the moment the medical team placed my son on my chest. I still have to pinch myself from time to time," she adds.

Their "gorgeous boy" James was born August 12, 2014. Thankfully, James was born completely healthy (and chunky).

"I'll never forget bringing our baby to visit the team when he was a few months old, and seeing our nurse pinch his chubby little toes," Jennifer expresses.

When asked what advice they had for other couples navigating the process of choosing a sperm donor for the first time, they answered without hesitation: "We bought our sperm before I had my genetic test,"Jennifer relates. "If you're using a donor service, you should be sure to have your genetic testing done first to filter for any potential health hazards."

Though Jennifer wanted to try for a second child that spring, their doctor encouraged them to wait a calendar year to ensure the best chance of success.

They were disappointed to see just a single pink line on Jennifer's pregnancy test after another round of intrauterine insemination (IUI) the following October. They decided to have a date night to get their minds off of things.

When they came home from the movies, Jennifer noticed the test still sitting on top of the trashcan lid.

"It now showed two lines! We were pregnant again, and we were beyond thrilled," she says.

July came, and Jennifer delivered their "little dose of perfection," Tierney, at 39 weeks.

"Our family is complete, and I truly do not think that it could have happened without the wisdom and guidance of our doctor, the kindness of the technicians and the support of the women at the front desk," Jennifer concludes.

"We have an immeasurable amount of affection and appreciation for the team at The University of Kansas Health System."

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