A surrogacy journey, jointly documented by Surrogate and Intended Mother.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

*insert shamed face here*

I've been slightly lacking in the blogging department lately and have shamefully left all the updating to Em :/
The thing when writing these things, especially when it's about such an important and emotive subject is that you've got to be in the right frame of mind to even begin to sound coherent.
With sickness and tiredness I've not exactly been 'there' recently so for that I apologise.

I'm happy to report I'm now feeling better (and as Em rightly pointed out, fatter!) so I will endeavour to update you all on my part :)

So, lets rewind 4 weeks and revisit the viability scan. With the bleed the week before and all the hopes pinned on seeing a heartbeat I have to admit I was a little nervous. I knew we should be seeing a heartbeat by then but had told myself over and over (and told Em too) that if we didn't see one it could just still be slightly too early and not to panic. I'd been feeling so rubbish that, deep down I knew everything was progressing nicely, but the worries were still there...
After donning my attractive white paper wrap around skirt and trying desperately not to flash my bum to Em and Adam (who was kindly looking everywhere but at me at this point bless him) I hopped up onto the chair and waited for Anna to do her stuff.
The relief and pure elation in the room when, within seconds she announced there was a heartbeat is really quite indescribable. I was completely overwhelmed with emotions at that moment. We all just looked between each other, tears in our eyes, almost in disbelief. The realisation hit that it had really worked and I had a tiny Little Hitch-hiker growing rapidly inside me making dreams come true. Teeny baby Assen starting his or her journey back to it's parents. We all kept looking at each other with goofy grins and I almost felt guilty for intruding on such a precious moment. It was amazing.
The rest of the day was pretty much filled will random squeals and 'Oh my Gods' and lots more happiness.

That was a huge personal milestone for me and I relaxed lots and worried much less afterwards. I was aware that once you'd seen a heartbeat the chances of a miscarriage significantly drop, so although I appreciate that there is a long way to go, that was a big big hurdle and getting past that really put my mind at rest that things were going well.

Fast forward 3 weeks and on to the booking in appointment.
I was worried about this for very different reasons. I knew full well it was a bucket load of questions and paperwork but I also knew what a MASSIVE deal this was for Em. As she put it to me, she was going to the place where people go when they are having babies!!!!! Hugely exciting stuff!!
I had no idea who the midwife we would see would be and was quite concerned she'd be negative, disapproving, rude or just plain unhelpful. I really wanted this first appointment to be a positive experience that Em would come away from feeling even more excited and not one that would spoil the journey.
As it happened we had THE most perfect midwife who was just fabulous and even with going 45 minutes over, extra paperwork and column editing she made the whole experience enjoyable and light hearted but most of all exciting.
I'm really not fussed who I get for my 5 minute, pee in a pot appointments now as that first one was just perfect, and it meant a lot to me for Em to get that :)

So here we are today. 10wks 5 days and I'm officially a fatty. Maternity jeans have surfaced and normal wardrobe is slowly being packed away.
I'm loving the fact that Em and Adam are now starting to believe this is all actually happening and can finally get excited and plan for a future involving a much wanted squidge.

The next milestone is the 12 week scan. The hospital have already been helpful and added it to my notes that I will require 2 people to accompany me (there policy is only 1 person and they can be quite strict about that) so hopefully this bodes well for the coming months and the inevitably complicated birth and post natal care plan we will be presenting to them.

1/4 down, 3/4 to go...


There's a bump. There's a bump, there's a bump, there's a very clear little BUMP!!

Niki & Steve sent a photo to Adam and I earlier and then I chatted to them and saw it "live" this evening. I did actually cry when facetiming with Niki, Steve and kids as they proudly showed it off. It's appeared so quickly over the last week and is the most beautiful bump ever.

That's our baby in there, I cannot believe it!

That all folks, as you were...

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

The booking in appointment

A booking in appointment is seemingly mundane appointment for most women out there I imagine, but I woke up on Monday morning raring to go and feeling very excited. I think not being the one carrying LHH, days like Monday feel extra special and precious, as it makes it all seem much more real, rather than like an incredible dream.

I drove up to Coventry as our care has now been taken over by Niki's local hospital. After some cuddles with the kids and a lot of nattering, Niki & I set off for our appointment. Once we got to the waiting room a sudden wave of nerves hit me. What if the midwife didn't approve of this situation? Could she make things difficult or perhaps not even want me in the room? (Not that Niki would have let that happen - we already have some good arguments lined up for any difficulties we may encounter!). It's a shame that these things cross your mind but sadly not everyone fully understands surrogacy, and with ignorance come negative reactions.

As it turned out, I was worrying about nothing. Our midwife (sadly only covering short term) was absolutely lovely. She was chatty and cheerful, and excited for us all. When I explained a bit about my history and how long it's taken us to get here, she exclaimed "well no wonder you're so excited!" so I'm assuming my attempt at giving off an air of cool calm and collected mother-to-be was not very successful.

Unfortunately I think we must have given her a headache as we certainly did not fit into her booklet of tickboxes which she had to fill out. After a call to a more senior midwife and some creative adding of extra boxes and columns, the form filling began. It was tricky because some of the questions applied to Niki (eg: previous birth history) some to me and/or Adam (genetic screening information) and even some to Steve (environmental factors). She did a fab job of squeezing all the info in and making it a very positive hour and 45 minutes (seriously - the poor woman) despite the huge number of questions and large amount of information.

Our next appointment will be the 12 week scan, which we don't yet have a date for. I'm already very nervous and very excited about that day, one of my concerns being whether both Adam and I will be allowed into the scan room (standard regulations are 1 person plus the person being scanned) but we'll tackle that when we get there. In the mean time, it's our wonderful Niki who's suffering all the morning sickness, heartburn and tiredness, and Steve who is supporting her through it and therefore supporting our LHH. Two utterly amazing people who are taking us a step closer to this incredible dream each day, and who we will never be able to thank fully for this gift.