I had been wanting to attend this show for a couple of years, but it always seemed to happen when we were out of the country! Needless to say, I was pretty happy to be going along this year, particularly at this point in our journey when we are beginning to look at other options.
So, we headed out bright and early to get over there close to the start. We arrived at around 10am, the show having kicked off at 9.30am. I had had printer drama and been unable to print off my tickets, but the ladies at the reception were more than helpful and looked us up on the system before giving us our wristbands. Good job really, as our search for an open Internet cafe hadn’t bore fruit that morning!
I wasn’t sure what to expect from an event like this. I knew there would be a few clinics in attendance, but I wasn’t sure what else. When we had a look at the list of exhibitors, I knew some of the names, but not others. Whilst walking around the show, we definitely found some of the attendees more forthcoming than others.
We chatted briefly to the lovely ladies from Pride Angel, a website that I haven’t been on since we ended our donor search. They are a donor and recipient connection website who use a message credit system to facilitate safe messaging between prospective donors and recipients. I told them about a negative experience I had had on the site where a “donor” had said he would only donate via sex, and they reassured me that is not the norm for their members and to report anyone who does that in the future. I filled in their survey and was rewarded with two free message credits. We might not ever need them, but they’re good to have just in case!
The next company we chatted with was Pronippa. I loved these ladies and their business and will be doing a separate post about them in the future. I was very impressed with their knowledge of the home insemination process and with their range of home insemination products. They gave us a full demonstration of how a couple would use one of their kits and how each piece of the kit benefitted the insemination process. I loved that they were so knowledgeable and had their own story to share as a couple… Plus they had sweets and wine, which always helps!
We picked up our complimentary copy of Fertility Road Magazine, which is making strides in talking about fertility, and then headed over to We Are Family Magazine‘s colourful and bright stand. They had an offer where you could subscribe to the magazine for the year for £21 and be entered into a competition to win a pushchair! We took the subscription but sadly didn’t win the pushchair – boooo! We also picked up a complimentary copy of Pink Parenting magazine, featuring Neil Patrick Harris as a cover star.
We continued to wander around the show and found many of the exhibitors didn’t seem to be very chatty. One American clinic told us we lived too far away to use them anyway… Great marketing, guys! Gay Family Web furnished us with a cute pink sperm keyring, which Amy found hilarious and promptly named “Bob”. My dear wife is very easily entertained.
We had a chat with one of the ladies from the Bridge Centre , which was incredibly interesting. We have considered the idea of IVF with egg sharing, but I wondered about a couple of health conditions. We spoke with one of their geneticists, who reassured me that the fact I had asthma as a child would not exclude me from egg sharing. However, when I told her about my mother passing away due to ovarian cancer, she told me that would exclude me if I carry the gene. She advised me to go to my doctor as regulations have recently changed meaning I could be tested for this faulty gene. If I am clear, we could go ahead with egg sharing. I had absolutely no idea of this, so this was probably the most important and interesting pice of information we took away with us. I will be actioning this soon.
All in all I found the show a great way to spend a couple of hours. It wasn’t awkward or intimidating and there were lots of people sharing lots of information. It was a very useful morning for us, and I would imagine it would be even more useful to a couple just starting out on their journey. There was a mix of lesbian couples, gay male couples and traitor couples there and I really didn’t feel that there was any judgement form spa yk e, everyone was just there to share information. Another thing I feared was that it would be like a sales show, but I didn’t feel pressured into anything at any point.
Our tickets were complimentary (thank you organisers!), but tickets were fantastic value for this event. Unfortunately we did not have the time to attend any of the seminars, but these were available at £3 each and covered topics from donors and health, right through to fertility and surrogacy. There really was something for everyone at this show. I look forward to next year!
Visit the Alternative Parenting Show website for details of next year’s show as and when they become available.