Monday 22 January 2018

'When they’re 18, our child can find the donor' - Same-sex couple on joy at becoming pregnant

Bianca Soares Martin and her wife Emma Behan, who is 30 weeks pregnant.
Bianca Soares Martin and her wife Emma Behan, who is 30 weeks pregnant.
Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

A same-sex couple has expressed how they feel “so lucky” to be pregnant after going through a process of Intrauterine insemination (IUI).

Emma Behan and her wife Bianca Soares Martin will welcome their first child in December, after undergoing intrauterine insemination (IUI), a technique used for artificial insemination.

Emma, who is now 30 weeks pregnant, said they feel so lucky that the process of IUI, which cost them around €4,000, was successful.

“We just realised how lucky we were. I did have a polyp and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) but I think I was lucky they caught me on a good cycle.”

“It has cost us around €4,000, it depends on everything you do, tests, scans, and medication. That’s OK if you get a baby. But for couples that haven’t gotten pregnant and there’s no guarantee that you get a baby, it’s very hard.”

“You could be doing IVF all the time and it still wouldn’t work.”

During IUI, the concentrated sperm is passed directly into the woman's womb through a thin tube called a catheter.

Emma and Bianca decided to use a non-anonymous sperm donor for the procedure.

“When they’re 18, our child can find the donor. At the moment you pay a little extra for that, so we did that just so our child can find the donor if they want.”

Bianca and Emma were lucky to get pregnant on their first round of IUI. They now have the option to have another baby if they wish.

“You buy three lots of sperm. That’s three goes so we can still keep that for the next time.”

Emma says that when Ireland became the first country in the world to approve same-sex marriage by referendum, it gave the couple more confidence to bring up a baby together in Irish society.

“It spurred us on even more to have a baby. The difference in Ireland is still incredible. I think there’s still stuff (discrimination) goes on, but for example, the girls in work are so accepting and even with the baby, they’ve been so excited which is lovely.”

“We had a civil ceremony in the March before the referendum, and then the marriage ceremony after that May. We decided to have a blessing in the December when Bianca’s parents were coming over, we just decided to go for the whole wedding. It was nice to be able to do everything legally.”

Bianca, from Brazil, and Emma, from Dublin, met in Dublin four years ago. They feature in a TV3 documentary Babymakers, which will air on Monday.

“We met four years ago next month. We met in the George just on a night out. She’d been over here two years learning English. We just clicked, that was it. I was 34, she would have been around 27 or 28. We were at that place where we knew what we wanted and things moved quicker,”

“We always spoke about getting married. It was more her asking me, but there was no big proposal, the two of us decided really.”

She added: “The last four years it’s just been so much more settled. Knowing you’re settled, you know where you’re going.”

Babymakers will air on TV3 on Monday at 9pm.

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