As a final acknowledgement to Multiple Birth Awareness Week, I thought it might be nice to share how our ‘Multiple Madness’ came to be. I have outlined a ‘brief story’ over two parts of how things transpired on our Surrogacy Journey from 2010 until mid 2012 when our twin boys arrived. Hopefully this will help shed some light as to why I have certain perspectives on life, family and what drives my thirst for knowledge, inspiration and impressions on life.
When you think of a journey, most people think of a place you start, the delightful scenery along the way and the finale of reaching your destination. Although my journey is far from complete, it took a long, bumpy detour that started in late 2010. My wife and I were dealt a blow that we couldn’t have ever imagined possible…..the inability to have children either naturally or via IVF due to medical complications.
After the initial shock, then denial and finally followed by the anguish of being robbed of our chance of parenthood, we set a course for filling our lives with European Cruises, travel to far distant places and spoiling our nieces and nephews. Then my wife found something on the Internet we had heard of but not seriously considered, until now…..Surrogacy.
There was a sliver of faint hope on the horizon…. could it be possible?
Before the laws were changed in QLD in 2012, it meant adoption was a 10 plus year wait with no guarantees, fostering required us to have our own children first and IVF was not a possibility. A single story in the Toowoomba Chronicle changed everything. If others can do this why not us? The hope of having a child of our became not only a possibility but a reality as well.
Initially we were going to try here in Australia and we had friends offer to help us out, but after testing they were systematically removed from our list for various medical reasons….one even found out she was pregnant! Those who wanted to help were fast approaching or already 40+ years old so things weren’t looking so bright again.
Then there was one more teeny weeny, little thing that we just couldn’t wrap out heads around and that was an Australian law we could not come to terms with. The law stated that the Surrogate is considered to be the natural both mother even though none of the DNA she was carrying was hers. To complicate matters was the fact that if our Aussie surrogate had a husband or partner, that person also had a say over the child. Needless to say this didn’t sit very well with us as a various list of complications just grew and grew.
So, we looked overseas….
The task of choosing the right clinic in the right country was a nightmare! How do you choose from over 1500 clinics in India and a further 750 in the Philippines? Well, six months later (& countless hours of internet research later), we were down to 3 clinics. For us it was a legal & logistical minefield as much as being a morally & ethically responsible decision. Meeting face to face with another couple who had been through the experience was the clincher for us. The words “After you feel like it seems all to hard you’ll just do it!”, still ring in my ears today….and so….we did.
India…here we come!
Unlike the bad publicity on TV (mostly around Philippine clinics), we found the process in India very structured and highly regulated with the clinic we chose. This is not to say there aren’t unscrupulous clinics out there. References and information was the key to finding someone that met OUR criteria as well. My darling wife spent what I initially thought was an absurd amount of hours pouring over information that would ultimately prove to be vital in everything being a success.
One of the first things we were told, (once we passed their criteria of being able to provide a potentially good home to our children), was the possibility of having multiples as a consequence of doing surrogacy. Out of all successful pregnancies, 75-80% of all surrogacies resulted in multiples. The road just got bumpier.
After picking our slack jaws up off the floor, we pressed on…. after all, what wouldn’t you do to turn your dream into reality? This might all sound fairy tale and rushed but the truth is it is a long, complex, emotional and financial decision that would impact us for the rest of our life.
We’re we ready?
Is it legal?
Can we afford it….the list goes on.
Then we realised, it’s not just about us. There was the surrogates life, our possible child(s) life and a team of physicians, clinicians, psychologists, doctors, nurses…..arrrrrrgh! To be very honest, it scare the beejeezus out of us for a while before we finally took the plunge.
As almost all of you went through the physical process of your pregnancy, we were left wondering how we could be possibly be involved half a world away. I will categorically rebuke any person that says you cannot possibly know what it is like if you don’t do it yourself. I would challenge that notion until you have actually been through the Surrogacy process yourself. With todays technology, the world really is a much closer place than you ever imagined.
From a male’s perspective I had every thought go through my head that went through your husband or partners once we found out we were ‘pregnant’ with Twins.
What have we done! o_0
There were tears, laughter, excitement and then the crushing weight of coming to terms with me going to be responsible for two small lives forever and that will also become our family.
Then it hit me…Holy Crap!!! This is really happening!
To Be Continued….