Surrogacy part 8…

As with the early stages of dating the GTK (get to know) period has so far consisted of daily messages, regular conversations and the excitement and anticipation of meeting up. My girls were excited to be going to see Ali, Andrew & their daughter Honor as they enjoyed spending time with them when we first met. I was excited too however I also had butterflies as this was the first time, I was seeing them after I had offered them the GTK.

The girls very quickly made themselves at home after we arrived at their house, and it didn’t take long before we were all sat chatting like old friends whilst I was being plied with bubbly!! Ali & Andrew went to a lot of effort to make us all feel welcome and had gone out their way to make sure they had dairy free supplies for me.

The following morning, I even had a cup of tea brought up to bed for me…. talk about how to melt me! I can’t remember the last time someone brought me a cup of tea in bed! If I was dating someone who did this, I would certainly be thinking that they were a keeper!!

We shared an incredible and memorable day at Winter Wonderland….it really did feel like I was spending the day with old friends. It was so easy, laid back and fun. The girls had never been on a train let alone the tube, but Ali & Andrew made it so easy, and I was touched by how much they involved themselves with my girls without batting an eyelid. I certainly appreciated their help navigating our way through the busy tube stations especially as its not something that I particularly enjoy.

Ali & Andrew had offered to take the girls ice skating whilst we were there, but I wasn’t sure how everyone would get on as I had to stay in the viewing area with Honor, but they all appeared to have a whale of a time! The girls were all too happy to let them guide them around the ice rink and my eldest daughter would have happily allowed them to do this for hours! It was definitely heart-warming to watch.

Now for whatever reason, Andrew (who must be a softy!) offered to try and win both my girls the most enormous cuddly toys I have ever seen! I couldn’t watch as I thought it can’t be that easy otherwise, they’d never make money on the game, and he was determined to win twice otherwise one girl wouldn’t be a happy bunny. Well, surprisingly he won…twice! I’m not sure he had thought this through though as these gigantic toys now needing carrying around London and on the tube!! I had nothing to do with this as it was his idea!!! Having said that he wasn’t having any of it when I suggested that the cuddly toys stay at their house and so I am so incredibly grateful (can you sense the sarcasm?!) that I now have them in my house!!

After an incredibly busy but wonderful day I was plied with even more bubbly as we realised, we hadn’t captured the moment (any excuse!) and we spent the evening chatting away, including our thoughts about the GTK and what the future may hold. It was lovely to know that we are all on the same page, but I still don’t think it’s sunk in that everything seems to be going so well. It’s almost as if I am expecting something to go wrong but I hope not.

The weekend consisted of lots of giggles, fun, excitement, numerous selfies, and happy memories. I didn’t feel as though I had to put on an act, and I was completely relaxed and felt like I was myself.  

Before we got home, Ali & Andrew in their excitement had announced our GTK to the surrogacy community and their post was lovely to read (even if they had put photos with me on!!) and it made me feel warm inside.

Especially in recent times I think its hard for people to find other like-minded people so if Ali & Andrew are as lovely as they seem to be then I can see us really being good friends. We are all excited about what the future holds!!

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!  

Making memories…

I am currently on holiday with my little girls and with it being the last holiday before my eldest daughter starts school, I am focused even more than ever on cherishing every minute and making memories as a family. Of course, there will be plenty more opportunities to do this throughout their childhood, this feels like a momentous moment before one of my eldest’s first big milestones in life.

For my girls, this week marks more cherished moments together as well as a family. I love nothing more than seeing the smiles on their faces, hearing them giggling and seeing how carefree and happy they are. They are both still so innocent and that is priceless.

Sometimes I wish I could record every moment of their lives so that I could remember every moment because it goes so fast. They are both growing up so quickly and becoming unique individuals.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could just press pause sometimes to hold on to the here and now?!

Being away gives us the chance to fully embrace time together without all the distractions of everyday life from the phone calls to the washing up, washing, shopping, cooking, cleaning…the list goes on.

I know I say ‘in a minute’ or ‘Mummy’s busy’ far too often to my girls when I am trying to prepare tea and put the washing out and wash up all at the same time or similar daily chores.

However, I can’t beat myself up about it because I also know how much quality time my girls do get with me. Not a night goes by without me reading them a bedtime story, singing to them, and giving them oodles of cuddles and love.

You can’t put a price on the love you feel as a mother and being able to have time away with them is incredibly special.

Despite taking some photo’s, I’ve not taken 1000’s because it’s also been nice to not have to carry my phone with me all the time and instead of taking photos to capture our holiday and memories, having the memories just for myself.

Making memories with those that you love and treasure …is incredibly precious. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg or involve anything extravagant, just spending time doing something fun together is all that matters.

Some of the best memories so far this week have included going on adventures without clock watching and being able to fully embrace those moments, whilst having both girls holding my hands, knowing that it won’t be that long in the scheme of things before they won’t want to hold my hand anymore.

Having people in your life that you can laugh with, be silly with, have fun with and share a hug with are those that matter most!

I can’t remember the last time I was able to take the girls away on my own for a week, it was definitely pre-Covid!

So far, it has been amazing, we have made lots of memories and I am looking forward to more holidays with the most precious little people in my world!

Self-Care

I imagine that a lot of people get to the end of the day without actively taking care of themselves. We are often busy, and it can be hard to find time for ourselves, but, if we don’t then it can have a detrimental impact on our emotional and physical health.

Do we know what self-care is? Is it just associated with trips to the spa, or does it bring up images of incense and yoga? Essentially, self-care is taking time for yourself in whatever shape of form that works for you. It can be tiny habits or something that only takes a few minutes, and it can be things that can be incorporated into our daily lives. For those of us who don’t routinely focus on providing self-care for ourselves it may be that we need to try and make it part of our routine just like brushing our teeth.

It’s important to remember that self-care is very personal to you.

There are different aspects of self-care, however the key to remember is to take baby steps and set yourself small goals, otherwise you may end up finding it’s unachievable to commit to or that you end up feeling worse for not doing it.

Self-care can take many forms…here are a few ideas…

1.Physical self-care

e.g., eating a balanced diet, exercising, making sure you get some fresh air, getting enough sleep and having a good bedtime routine.

2. Psychological self-care

e.g., practicing mindfulness, visualisation, meditation, reading a book, colouring, puzzles, learning a new skill, writing or anything that you can get absorbed in away from technology.

3. Emotional self-care

e.g., managing stress effectively, learning what your boundaries are, learning to say no, writing down at least 1 thing you are grateful for every day.

4. Social self-care

e.g., surrounding yourself with supportive people and those that make you happy rather than drag you down or judge you, asking for help when you need it, meeting new people by joining a group etc.

6. Financial self-care

e.g., saving money wisely (this could include saving money that you used to spend on drinking, smoking, takeaways, buying lunch everyday etc), being aware of your income and expenditures, possibly setting yourself a budget.

…..

Self-care has been shown to improve our immunity, increase positive thinking and make us more resilient against mental health issues including stress, depression, and anxiety.

I believe that it is important to teach children about self-care and how they can create healthy habits that they will carry with them throughout their lives.

We live in a world were technology plays a huge role in our lives, but this isn’t always a good thing, particularly for children. Therefore, it can be important to teach children how to have fun away from screens.

Ideas include: –

  • Dancing
  • Having a pillow fight
  • Baking
  • Arts and crafts
  • Building a den
  • Camping
  • Board games
  • Splashing in puddles or the sea
  • Burying someone’s feet or legs in the sand at the beach

(These ideas can be enjoyed by anyone no matter your age!!)

The main thing is to try and do something you enjoy every day and making this a priority!