Our journey to parenthood
We met our surrogate Caroline after 6 weeks of being active in the surrogacy online groups, and hit it off immediately. We were delighted, and very lucky – meeting someone this quickly who you just ‘click’ with is rare. Over the next 6 months we met regularly, spending time with all her family. With the nerves in the early days long gone and replaced with excitement, we were ready to start exploring clinic options. Caroline was a ‘Gestational Surrogate’ (so wasn’t using her own eggs), she would simply be a ‘Host’ and keep our embryo safe for 9 months, then give us back our baby.
The next step was finding a clinic - we chose one that had a great LGBTQ Surrogacy programme, with a team that made us feel at ease. Next, the clinic had to source an egg donor that met our criteria. Most clinics have a waiting list for eggs, some over 8-10 months, so bare this in mind. Myself and Wes asked each other, ‘If we could have children naturally, what would they look like?’ So, as we were using my gametes (sperm) first, we asked them to match the donor to Wes. I’m dark, olive skinned and have hazel eyes. Wes has fair skin, blue eyes, and blonde/brown hair, so that was our criterian. The process was fascinating - in the UK, egg donation is regulated by the HFEA and classed as ‘non anonymous’ - we don’t see photographs of our donor, nor do we know who they are. We only get non-identifiable details such as eye, hair, skin tone and BMI as a marker. When our child turns 18, they can request full details of the donor, should they want to.
After 6 months a donor was found - we were so excited. Our egg donor’s cycle was being stimulated by medication, and when her eggs were ready to be retrieved, I was invited to fertilise them and provide my sample. The fact we were both in the clinic at the same time was crazy! We had fertilised five eggs in the lab and by day five, three were viable, a great result. We transferred one fresh embryo on the 13th February 2016 and what is meant to follow is two agonising weeks (the 2WW – 2 weeks wait). On day 10 our surrogate took a pregnancy test, and messaged us asking if we could speak - we were concerned as she sounded urgent, but she simply said ‘Congratulations, you’re going to be Daddies!’ We cried, we hugged, and we cried some more. We were pregnant!
We had an amazing pregnancy, and 9 months later on the 16th October 2016 at 6am our lives changed forever – Talulah was born weighing 8lb exactly.
In 2019 we began treatment again. This time, our incredible, selfless surrogate was carrying Wes’ biological child. Again, the pregnancy moved along without any major issues, and our son Duke was born on the 20th August 2019, 9:16am weighing 7.2lbs. You can read about the birth here on our blog.
Our partnership with Mini First Aid
I guess we’re a little different from most families, but the one thing we have in common is the desire to create a family, the love we hold for our children and the dreams we strive to make happen for them. We’d do anything for them, just like you would do for yours. We’ve recently discovered Mini First Aid, and we wanted to share with you why it’s going to make such a difference to so many intended parents.
Our partnership with Mini First Aid was one of the easiest partnership decisions to make. Our members have often been on an emotional fertility journey, possibly faced with infertility coupled with gruelling rounds of IVF. Offering first aid to all our new parents is morally and sensibly one of the best benefits we’ve given members. We’re thrilled with the partnership, and we know our members are too. Why wouldn’t they be?
Why we do what we do
Whilst our journey has blessed us with two healthy babies, we’re all too aware that for many this isn’t always the case. With infertility affecting 186 million globally, those struggling to conceive are sometimes right under our noses, yet they do so in silence. This is why we’ve dedicated our lives and careers to helping others navigate through surrogacy.
Want to learn more?
In the UK if you need to build your family via surrogacy, you can work with a surrogacy organisation (not for profit), but the waiting lists are typically over 12 months to become members. Or you can explore surrogacy alone, classed as an independent journey and the route we took. This involved choosing a clinic, finding a surrogate and getting legal advice to help us bring an impossible dream to life.
Throughout our time growing our blog and social media account TwoDadsUK, our aim was to raise more awareness about families like ours, and help more people understand surrogacy. We’re passionate about helping people become parents, and ensuring people are properly educated about surrogacy. We’ve helped campaign for law reform and have influenced government and NHS policy, ensuring others have a positive pregnancy and birthing experience.
So, if you want to learn more about surrogacy in the UK, (or surrogacy abroad) or want to ask us anything – contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or check our website here. Feel free to follow us on Facebook and Instagram too.