Surrogacy…part 4

Last weekend I went across to Manchester to spend some quality time with the boys and I had such a lovely time. I think I was a little apprehensive about going, partly because I knew we would be going through the surrogacy agreement and I would be telling them how much my expenses would be and partly because somewhere at the back of my head there was a little niggle of doubt, that the boys would change their minds or once I opened up to them about my past that they would get cold feet.

However, the boys made me feel very comfortable and whilst chatting over a cup of tea they revealed that they had booked an escape room for us that evening. I have never been to an escape room before and didn’t know what to expect but I was definitely up for trying something new.

We decided to get the official stuff over with before we headed out and so we all rather officially sat around the table with some nibbles and worked our way through the 12-page agreement! It certainly covers everything you could think of and more…from where insemination will take place, to discussing wills, life insurance, me agreeing to abstain from sexual intercourse in the months of trying to conceive (the things we have to put ourselves through!!), to expenses, what happens if there are complications during pregnancy, birth arrangements including the first feed and the kind of relationship we all would like throughout this journey and afterwards.

I was very touched that the boys asked if I would be happy to consider giving baby its first feed and of course I said I am more than happy to if I can, and the boys also said that they would like to see me every 4-6 weeks during pregnancy and once the baby is born. Nothing came up throughout the agreement that posed a problem or raised any issues for any of us and it all went really smoothly.

The main thing that is on my mind is becoming pregnant in terms of will I get pregnant? G has had his sperm analysed and his results showed that everything was in full working order so if it doesn’t work, I feel it will be my fault. I’m also thinking about the deed itself in terms of the practicalities when it comes to my girls and managing to do it ok whilst being relaxed!!! But I know that all I can do is my best.

Once we had all signed the agreement the prosecco was popped open and despite going tee total the boys wanted me to have a glass (or two!) to celebrate this special moment together. Of course, being a lightweight I ended up feeling rather tipsy!! I didn’t have high expectations of being able to get out of an escape room in my tipsy state!

When we got there, we were told what would happen and what we needed to do and then the three of us were locked in a room and given 1 hour to escape! I enjoyed every minute of it and felt we all worked well as a team…there were no arguments or desperation to escape! I was in very safe hands and can’t take much credit for us escaping as both boys are mathematicians, which no doubt helped when it came to solving the logic problems! In the end we managed to escape with 10 minutes to spare and whilst me and G got straight out, O stayed behind to tidy up!!!

Then we went to the Corn Exchange for something to eat and they took me to a really nice Vietnamese restaurant where I had another first…the meal was served with chopsticks and because the boys could use them, I felt the need to try and use them too! I had never used them before but stubborn me powered (slowly) through my noodles…at least its good for the diet, eating slowly!!!

We ended up rolling in way after my bedtime and I slept like a baby and even enjoyed a lie in (and yes, 8am is a lie in for me!!).

Throughout our weekend together we talked about anything and everything and I even opened up to them about my past. I enjoyed probing the boys about their ‘gaydar’ especially when they both claimed to have a fairly good ‘gaydar’, yet both admitted they wouldn’t have known I was gay.

We certainly had a giggle and I felt very relaxed around them.

We have arranged to meet up with my girls and their baby (their dog) before the first attempt in November. G is already counting down the weeks until the first try!

I know I have said it before, but I really do feel so lucky to have met them and cannot think of a nicer couple to be going on this journey with. If there were any niggles before last weekend, there certainly aren’t any now. As far as I am concerned, I have made friends for life!  

Surrogacy…part 3

When I first started looking into surrogacy I initially considered registering with Brilliant Beginnings as I got the impression that they would be incredibly supportive throughout the journey, and I felt reassured that they did the matching for you after getting to know myself and the IP’s. I even had a zoom call with them, and they were lovely. It was only when I found out how much they charge IP’s just over £15,000 to join.

I have nothing negative to say about Brilliant Beginnings and I am sure that they offer a lot of support and guidance along the way however for me personally it didn’t sit right with me as I knew in my heart that I wanted to help IP’s like myself to have a baby who couldn’t afford to pay that before they have even paid expenses and any fertility treatment costs.

This led me to SurrogacyUK who still offer support and advice however the matching is down to you. They provide you with what is almost like a dating app to look through and surrogates can swipe right or left depending on if they like the look of the IP’s or not. I would definitely have gone with SurrogacyUK if I hadn’t already met my IP’s and we could have all joined as a team, however the boys have decided not to join as they don’t necessarily see the benefits now, they have found me.

I respect the boy’s decision and having joined various surrogacy groups on Facebook as well as knowing that P is there for me (as I am for her), I believe that I will have all the support I need throughout this journey.

Therefore, we have decided to complete our surrogacy journey independently which means we won’t be using an agency. Now there are pros and cons to this, however whether you join an agency or not there are no legal agreements or guarantees in the UK. We’ve completed most of the checks that an agency would recommend such as DBS checks, medical checks including sperm analysis and STI checks.

There is an agreement that surrogates and IP’s complete with surrogacy organisations however this isn’t legally binding and having found a template of this agreement this is something that we will be completing together.

Before November we still need to make our wills and the boys need to take out life insurance for me, we also need to officially agree the total cost of my expenses and how that will be paid. This is something that I will cover more in another post as it is definitely a grey area in the surrogacy world.

Before we made the decision to go down the independent route, the boys came over from Manchester to join me and my girls at a SurrogacyUK social which was happening near me. I had already signed up to go as I didn’t expect there to be one near me and thought it would be a good opportunity to meet others who are on this journey or who have already completed theirs. I also knew there would be people from SurrogacyUK who I would be able to talk to. However, the boys felt that it would be a good opportunity to meet my girls as well as ask any questions they had about joining etc.

To begin with I felt anxious about the boys meeting my girls as I had it in my head that they would be judging me via my girls however P quite rightly pointed out that it was my chance to see how the boys were with my girls. I wasn’t sure how my eldest daughter would be around the boys as she can take awhile to come out of her shell around people she doesn’t know, particularly men and she can be rather protective of me.

Although she was shy to begin with, I was surprised how quickly she felt comfortable with them and before long she was soon playing with them both. It was lovely to see, and it didn’t take her long to have them wrapped around her little finger! I’m not sure if G realises that she now associates him with having a magic hood that produces treats!! So now, every time she sees him, she will no doubt expect there to be something in his hood!

When I started this journey one of the questions on the application form talked about how and when you might talk to your children about surrogacy and although I had no reservations about how my girls would feel about it, I had decided to not say anything until I was pregnant.

However, I realised that my eldest daughter in particular picks up on everything so unless we intended to speak in code for the entire time that she would pick up on something. So, I decided that I probably should talk to her before meeting G & O. I kept it very simple and basically said that G & O would like to have a baby, but they can’t make one without a little help, so Mummy is going to try and help them make a baby. She was fine with this and the only things she said were, will Liam (their dog) eat the baby, and could she cuddle the baby?

This weekend I am looking forward to staying in Manchester with the boys, seeing where they live and spending some quality time with them. We are also going to be going over and signing the surrogacy agreement and going over everything before we start trying to conceive. Oh, and the boys are planning on taking me to Canal Street!

I feel so incredibly lucky to have them in my lives as so many positive things have come out of meeting them, and I am truly excited about what may come out of this (aside from a baby!).