Every parents journey is unique and every parent has a story to share. There is a great power when parents share their journeys, secrets and top tips, because what parent doesn’t love some advice or reassurance that they are doing their very best?
Today, we are lucky enough to talk to the fabulous lesbian mama’s, Jessica and Claudia (@jessieandclaud). With a huge Youtube following of 884k, their newfound life in motherhood has taken over, and everything is all about their gorgeous baby Rupert. We chat with them in a Q&A about their journey to conceive, the very small obstacle of a global pandemic, if LGBTQA+ effected their decision to become parents and any advice they have to other same sex parents who are about to embark on a similar journey.
Can you tell us about your journey to become parents?
Having children has always been part of our plan, however that might happen, so we’ve been talking about it from the start and thinking about all of the different options. We first started exploring it seriously in early 2019 and hoped to have a baby in our arms in 2020 (because Jessica liked the sound of the year and clearly doesn’t have any prophetic powers about pandemics and memes!). We were advised to try IUI initially as there was no evidence of any fertility issues for Claudia and this was the least invasive way to conceive. However even going privately there was a waiting list and we didn’t actually have our first attempt until January 2020. Things were obviously disrupted at the clinic by multiple lockdowns and the new rules meant that Jessica often couldn’t also attend. In the end, we tried IUI a total of 5 times, all of which failed and left us feeling broken hearted, before deciding we would move onto IVF. Claudia took to administering her cycle of fertility injections like a pro (Being a dentist probably helped with the handling of needles!). We had our first fresh embryo transfer in mid September 2020 and were told to wait the agonising 2 weeks before testing but 10 days later, we nervously took a home pregnancy test together that revealed it had worked! The little embryo had taken and we were pregnant!
What was the hardest obstacle you faced in your journey?
The hardest obstacle for us would be that we tried to conceive during a global pandemic. When we first started the fertility process Covid was not something people were talking about or worrying about, but as we all know this rapidly changed and we had to face hard decisions on whether to continue our fertility treatment or not. We decided to continue as we had our hearts set on getting pregnant and starting a family, and we didn’t know how long the pandemic would last and how long we would have to put everything on hold if we decided to wait.
Claudia, what was your favourite part of pregnancy?
My favourite part was feeling my belly grow every week and knowing there was a little life in there who would soon become our whole world. I loved rubbing my belly and found myself doing it without thinking, usually whilst daydreaming about him or her. To be honest I sort of missed the rotundness of my belly after Rupert was born! I couldn’t rub it or rest my hands on it like a little Mrs Tiggywinkles anymore!
Did you always know you both wanted children and did being LGBTQA+ affect this decision?
I think we shared how we both wanted children and a family on our first date! Family is important to both of us and being gay hadn’t stopped us from both dreaming of a future that involved children in it. Love and unity are what makes a family and we have never felt any lesser for being two women.
If you could give some advice to same sex parents-to-be, what would it be?
We are very privileged to be living not only in the England where gay rights, marriage, fertility and adoption processes are possible, but also in Brighton, known as the gay capital of the UK where we feel safe and recognised as valued members of the community. So to us, becoming same sex parents was not as difficult as it might have been if we had lived elsewhere. However it is always important to check your local laws before starting the journey, e.g we discovered we needed to conceive through a fertility clinic to both have equal rights over the embryos.
If you could give your past selves some advice on becoming parents what would it be?
You’re never as prepared as you think you are and try to appreciate time on your own doing hobbies you love before the baby comes, as we soon found out the time you have spare rapidly diminishes!
How did you come to the decision that Claudia was going to carry the baby?
Jessica has a disability which means she can never easily carry children so it was a pretty easy decision. Luckily Claudia had always wanted to carry herself too.
Are you both ‘mummy’ or do you have different names for each other?
Claudia is Mummy and Jessica is Mama
Now you’re going out, where is your favourite place to go with Rupert?
We love to take Rupert for our morning daily walk with Tilly and Walter our dogs. He currently sleeps in his bassinet for some essential baby nap time, but as he gets older we look forward to it becoming more of a shared experience for him taking in the sights and sounds, and in probably sooner than we realise he will be throwing the ball for Tilly too.
What are your 3 changing bag necessities for a day out of the house?
Mamabamboo nappies, Muslin squares for dribbles, milky burps and nappy changes and a clasping toy or rattle for Rupert.
Jessica and Claudia have our best selling Robyn Convertible Backpack Vegan Leather Pale Grey.