Once a couple makes the decision to grow their family, they are bombarded with a million questions: Will we have difficulty conceiving? Will our baby be healthy? Who will he or she look like? What if we have twins? All of these questions are common, and perfectly normal.
For many lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender couples, however, the list is much longer. At the top of the list are questions like: How will we be treated? Will this doctor support our decision to have a child? Will they advocate for us if needed? At Duke Fertility, we understand that not every family looks the same. We believe that questions concerning the quality of care that you receive and how you will be treated by our faculty and staff simply shouldn’t make your list.
When newlyweds Emily and Danielle Jensen decided to have a baby, they chose Duke Fertility because of Duke Medicine’s reputation of excellence in healthcare. Danielle, who works for the military, was deployed shortly after the two had begun the process by selecting a sperm donor. Consequently, Emily had to attend her first fertility appointment alone. “I was nervous at first,” says Emily, “but Dr. Eaton very quickly put my mind at ease.”
Dr. Eaton worked with Emily to develop a treatment plan and carefully explained the process of Intrauterine insemination (IUI). After her second round, Emily discovered that she was expecting. Their daughter, Addison, was born in December, only one day before Emily’s birthday. The new family of three celebrated with birthday cake in their hospital room.
The following summer, Emily and Danielle, who wanted their children to be close in age, began the process of trying to conceive again. Again, the couple chose Duke. This time, medication was required in addition to multiple rounds of IUI. Throughout the process, Dr. Eaton worked closely with the Jensens to assuage their fears and ensure that Emily could continue to breastfeed Addison throughout the process¾a relationship which is extremely important to both of them. The Jensens rang in the New Year by celebrating a positive pregnancy test on New Year’s Day, and will welcome their second child in September.
“Even for couples like us who conceived relatively quickly, going through fertility treatments can be a very stressful process, and a good relationship with your doctor is imperative,” explains Emily. “We have loved working with Dr. Eaton,” she adds. “She treats us just like any other couple, and it’s hard to find people like that” she explains. “It makes us feel amazing to have someone who is so supportive of our family.”