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Lesbian couple celebrate miracle baby Jaydon born in Southampton using IVF
THEY literally couldn't believe their eyes. It took no fewer than eight pregnancy tests in as many days for the news to sink in.
But after four rounds of artificial insemination and gruelling IVF treatment, it was undoubtable - Zoe and Donna were pregnant.
“I've still got the pictures of all the tests we did,” Zoe laughs.
“We did one every day and the line got stronger and stronger.
“We had this real faint line and we were there together saying 'what does this mean?' 'are we pregnant?', we were reading and reading.
“We kept going back to make sure, that's why we kept doing more and more.
“We were over the moon.”
After a difficult pregnancy and labour, Zoe and Donna's miracle baby Jaydon was born on May 16 weighing 8lb 8oz.
And the couple who feared they would never be able to have children, have never experienced happiness like it.
“Some people are shocked at first because we are lesbians. They don’t expect you to have children,” Zoe, 36, says.
“But he’s made our life complete. We’ve got a new home, a lovely relationship and a beautiful baby. It’s amazing.”
Despite their overwhelming joy and pride at their new arrival, the couple, who both work in insurance, are under no illusion that being a same sex couple with a baby is easy.
Zoe says: “We did used to get some comments with people saying lesbians shouldn’t have babies. We’d say ‘why?’ and people would say ‘they just shouldn’t.’ “But there’s no difference between us and anyone else.
“You don’t choose who you fall in love with. You don’t choose to be gay, we’d never choose that because it is a hard path and you have to explain your sexuality to everyone.”
But Donna is listed on Jaydon’s birth certificate under parent and the couple have no doubts as two mummies they will be able to provide Jaydon with everything he needs – despite the youngster not having a father.
Donna, 38, says: “People talk about an absent father figure when lesbians have children but half these lesbians could be a father figure to a baby and in male gay relationships, half of them would be the mother figure.
“I’ve been told I am masculine in some respects. Just because I’m not in a man’s body it doesn’t mean I can’t be that male influence.
“We both love football so we’ll be going to football and having a kick around in the park – it’s just a question of who he will support!
“I think with a same sex relationship you maybe realise something might be missing or lacking so you compensate for that. You make sure the children get it.
“Jaydon has a lot of male figures in his life.”
In fact a 25-year study released in 2010 found that children raised by lesbian couples do better academically, have higher self-esteem and are less likely to have behavioural problems than peers who have been brought up in a family with two heterosexual parents.
Donna adds: “If you can’t have something and you eventually get it, you’re going to look after it.
“Jaydon is a very happy spoilt little boy.”
Looking to the future, the couple say they have already discussed how they will react to potential bullying and coping with looks in the playground from other parents.
But they are confident with honesty and early teaching about diversity, sexuality and tolerance, Jaydon will be well equipped.
“We are not ashamed we are a lesbian couple at all so we plan to be completely open with him,” Donna says.
“We want him to come to us with any problems and we will help him as much as he needs it.”
“Hopefully our love will speak and show him just how much he was wanted and what we went through to get him,” Zoe adds as she smoothes his hair while Donna is preparing his next bottle in the kitchen.
“We will always make sure he knows he is extra special because he has got two mums.
“Having Jaydon is the best thing we have ever done and we’d say to other same sex couples as long as you and your partner are going to love your baby, go for it.”
The couple met at work five years ago and fell in love.
Two years later on August 27, 2011, they married surrounded by their families and friends.
They thought life couldn’t get any better when they said ‘I do’ at the lavish ceremony at Botleigh Grange Hotel and Zoe took Donna’s surname.
But something was missing.
“I’d always longed to be a mum,” Zoe, 36, says.
“To be honest when I first came out as gay I never thought I’d get to have that. I didn’t pick my lifestyle but I wanted to live happily rather than be in the wrong relationship.
“When Donna came along I just knew instantly that she was the one for me and I knew I wanted to complete my life totally.
“It’s certainly not an easy subject to bring up in a gay relationship,” she giggles.
“You have to see how the land lies!”
Watching the hit programme One Born Every Minute at their Southampton home, though, provided a perfect excuse to talk about starting a family and they knew it was something they both wanted.
Zoe says: “We went to the GP to ask what help was available for us but she didn’t seem bothered at all. She was really quite unhelpful.”
Undeterred they found Wessex Fertility online and Donna booked Zoe the ultimate present for her birthday in 2012 – a meeting with the clinic’s fertility experts.
They decided Zoe would carry their baby with donor sperm chosen from a database at the clinic.
For the couple though who spent £13,000 in total including some gift treatments from Zoe’s parents, getting negative pregnancy tests after four rounds of IUI was devastating.
“Each time I was inseminated, I’d be constantly thinking about it.
“After four times, I wasn’t sure I could keep going. I put a lot of pressure on myself. I felt like a failure if it wasn’t working.
“Luckily Donna was amazing. She was so supportive. Everything I felt she felt too,” Zoe says.
The couple decided to take the next stage and try IVF. Officially known as In-vitro Fertilisation, the more intricate process involves surgically removing an egg from a woman’s ovaries and fertilising it with sperm in a laboratory.
After the fertilised eggs were implanted into Zoe, the pair went to Yorkshire on holiday taking the pregnancy test with them.
Their news was confirmed with a scan at the Anglesea Road clinic.
Zoe, who talks punctuated by cooing to a gargling Jaydon, even pausing at one stage to take photos of him smiling at her on her mobile phone, says: “When we were told, I was aware there may be women around me who didn’t have such good news. We knew what that was like so inside I was absolutely screaming with joy but I was very aware of my surroundings.
“Holding Jaydon in my arms for the first time was just amazing, the best experience in my life.
“Lots of gay couples may wonder if they can have kids and I hope we can inspire them.
“If we can do it, so can they. We can’t thank Wessex Fertility enough. They supported us every step of the way.”
Zoe and Donna say they will appreciate their miracle baby every day.
Zoe says: “For a lot of heterosexual couples, they can generally go out and get pregnant and they take it for granted.
“There are people out there who don’t deserve kids and then there are people out there you just know would make fantastic parents and they can’t get pregnant.
“For us never the question of it was a mistake.
“He was wanted so so much and we went through a lot to get him and now he’s here, it’s hard to explain.
“We just absolutely adore him.
“He’s such a blessing to us.”
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