Mothers’ Love: Two-Fold!

Issue Date: 21 December 2015

Charlie and Cat with Harrison and Mya
Charlie and Cat with Harrison and Mya

Becoming a family was something Charlie and Cat Thompson thought was out of their reach before they met in 2006, and then married in 2008.

Soon after the decision to try for a family felt like a natural progression and the same sex couple began to research how best to do this.  Charlie (36) and Cat (47) of Cannock considered various methods of conceiving, including home insemination with donor sperm – but they quickly discounted it as ‘unsafe’.

Charlie, a company director and Cat, a sister in a local hospital, attended an open evening at Midland Fertility to get further information about potential fertility treatment.

“Although not really sure what to expect, we felt really comfortable at the clinic and by making the decision to visit Midland Fertility we were one step closer to our dream of becoming a family,” said Charlie.

Both Charlie and Cat told their families about their plans for a baby and found total support.

“Like with many same sex couples, there was a point in both our lives when our parents thought that becoming grandparents by us was never going to be an option. But telling them our plans to have fertility treatment, gave them an excitement about new possibilities,” said Charlie.

The couple were counselled through the process of intrauterine insemination (IUI) by the team at Midland Fertility, about purchasing donor sperm through the clinic, and guided through the screening checks.  Guidance also included the emotional and legal implications of using donor sperm.

“We wanted a donor with similar physical characteristics to me, and expected to wait a while for donor sperm.  But we got a phone call from the clinic within weeks to say that they had found us a donor match and were ready to proceed.  We were shocked and very excited,” said Cat.

Charlie added: “I had been working hard to get myself in the best shape, both physically and mentally, to give us the best chance of this working.”

The insemination procedure was followed by a romantic day together and then they decided to get away from it all on a holiday.

“It was important to us that our child was conceived surrounded by love,” said Cat.

“I was thinking positive thoughts as much as I could,” said Charlie. “We had told all our family and friends about our journey so we had lots of support throughout the wait to do the pregnancy test.”

The couple were delighted with a positive test and Mya Amy-Lily arrived very quickly but safely on Mothers’ Day 2012 making it extra special for both the mums and grandmothers alike!

“We never thought we would be mums ourselves so when Mya arrived it was a dream come true,” said Charlie. “Mya means ‘most wished for child’ and she truly is.”

“We had enough donor sperm for two or three inseminations.  This meant that as we were lucky enough to be successful the first time, we had a real chance of a direct sibling for Mya,” said Cat.

When Mya was two, Charlie and Cat started to think about a sibling, and so they tried another IUI cycle in autumn 2014.

“I really tried to look after myself again in preparation for the insemination,” said Charlie, “So when we got our second positive pregnancy test result it was all worth it.”

Their son Harrison was born in June 2015 – a double blessing for the couple.

“We are mommy and momma to both our children and we didn’t want any blank spaces on their birth certificates,” said Cat. “As we are married, both our names are on there, making our family official.”

“When I first came out, my parents were really supportive, but my dad was upset that he wouldn’t see me get married, and that he would ever be a granddad,” said Charlie.  “A few years later, he’s done both!”

“For many years Midland Fertility has helped same sex couples become families,” said Dr Gillian Lockwood, medical director of Midland Fertility. “Almost 6,500 babies have been born after treatment at the clinic – and many of these to lesbian couples who looked to us to help turn their dream of a family into reality.”