I was going to wait a little while longer to share this but then I had a change of heart. Whether I have another surrogacy journey or not, things that “might” happen and things that “do” happen still need to be spoken about and they all form part of my journey.
I have been documenting about new IP’s in the background for a while now- always saved as a draft blog, never published! I added tidbits here, tidbits there. I had originally planned to post once things were cemented but there is really nothing stopping me posting now, even though we are not up to that stage.
This is what has been happening with us since August…
I started thinking strongly about wanting to do this again. Not that easy to just say yes, get some IP’s and start the process. I wanted to take my time, think about options and most importantly, have lots of conversations with hubby.
When I spoke with hubby about which IP’s we would consider, we went into a lot of detail, covering:
-History/Reason for needing a surrogate
-Preparedness ie. Have they done their research, do they know all about surrogacy in Australia (and more specifically, VIC)?
-Support they have given me and others online (currently and in the past)
-Suitability for us personally
-Ability to provide support (physical, financial) if needed
We narrowed it down to a few potentials and then looked at them one by one. Through this of course, we were mindful that any couple we approached didn’t HAVE to say yes! I will be honest- one couple stood out. I personally have known these IP’s for a while now. We had run into each other often at meet ups and conferences. They are lovely! They ticked the most boxes and it was a bonus that hubby had already met them at a meet up!
In a nutshell, these IP’s need a surrogate because IM is unable to carry a child due to a cancer diagnosis (and subsequent treatment) in the past. She is now 5 years cancer free which is amazing! They had received an offer from another surrogate who had to pull out very early on in discussions for her own personal reasons so were on the look out again.
I made casual contact with IM, we chatted, had a few laughs etc and I offered to have both of them come over to our place to provide them a bit of support in their journey (We have done this for IP’s in the past and will continue to do so in the future). IF in particular was wanting to pick hubby’s brain about a few things. We booked a date and around they came! Our kids were shy initially but warmed to them (which is a good sign). We had polite conversation and I was really happy with the questions they had asked and they also wanted to know a LOT from hubby about what it was like from his perspective being the main support person for a surrogate. They were informed, not outwardly desperate for a surrogate, knew about the process and how it would all work. We didn’t just talk about surrogacy which was great as well. They were “normal” (don’t you hate that word?!), genuine people whose desire to have a family had hit a road block after IM’s diagnosis. They were in a good place 5 years down the track, having both gone through a grieving process about not being able to carry. We also had a shared sense of humour and didn’t take life too seriously- being able to have a laugh is crucial during surrogacy!
Our conversation was coming to a natural close when I made “the eyes” at hubby. Something that I had worked out with him earlier, all secret squirrel like lol. He gave me the nod so I just blurted it out “would you consider us to carry your baby for you?”. They were floored to say the least. It was very unexpected from their POV. Of course, the offer was conditional on a long getting to know you process that at any stage, either party would be able to say that they didn’t want to proceed with any further. All were happy with this and we started to informally chat about everything.
In between all of this, I needed to have a tough conversation with a wonderful IP about surrogacy. She would make an amazing IM. Just not for me. It was so hard to tell her that we were talking to another couple. But she was so gracious and kind. She understood and told me that the premise of our friendship was never one based on whether I could carry for her. That was lovely to hear and when she does find her surrogate (when, not if!), I will be there 100% to support her, as she will with me on any journey I am on. This beautiful woman is now one of my closest friends and I have no doubt the friendship we share will be long term. I am so lucky to have established friendships like this from the surrogacy community.
Now, as this journey is separate to my first one, I dont want to keep referring to “old IP’s” or “new IP’s” etc. So I am going to give our friends a nickname. They will be known as KiT/CaT. KiT being IM and CaT being IF. Plus I like chocolate, so you can’t go wrong there!!
Our first group date
KiT/CaT came over a couple of weeks later and we had dinner. They knew the way to our hearts was through our stomachs so made a lovely lasagne that was delicious! 2/3 of the kids ate it so that is a win in our book! They helped us bathe the kids and get them to bed and we had a getting to know you session with some drinks, banter, stories and music. We worked out that KiT is 1 month younger than I am. So we grew up with all the same music, style etc. We reminisced a bit about that. Then we worked out that CaT is a couple of months older than hubby so they too had similar experiences growing up! (I remember thinking at the time that it was a good match sign) We spoke about our favourite songs and books, our families, likes and dislikes and everything in between. We then played a hilarious game of Cards Against Humanity. Well… If you ever want to know someones personality or sense of humour (or lack of!), then this is the perfect game! We laughed and gasped, cringed and cried. We spent a small time on the serious stuff at the end but mostly it was a light hearted night that we all really enjoyed. And they left the rest of lasagne. Winning!
We obviously didn’t scare them off after that night so kept talking!
KiT invited me to the movies one night, so we had a lady date. Then hubby went away so she came over to be an extra pair of hands for the kids and was a massive help. We kept chatting online- individually and as a group and then planned our second group date.
This was an out and about date- the kids got babysat so we headed into the city. Holy moly- what a night! Talk about letting our hair down! We ate ribs, had tequila shots, hailed cabs in a thunderstorm, went bowling and played giant jenga! It was sooooo much fun and we laughed the night away. We got slightly serious over dinner as we outlined the appointment we had with the hospital but again, they asked all the right questions and we decided that we still wanted to move forward with each other. We decided the next step would be the “tough questions” so set about jotting down a list of discussions points that would be bought up on our third group date!
In between this, we invited them to the birthday celebration for the twins with family and a few friends. KiT/CaT were so polite, made conversation and mingled. Although there was more than one cringe moment… My mum started getting all serious with KiT! Talk about a baptism of fire! Yes I know there is a time and a place for those legitimate questions and comments but not at a 3rd birthday party!! THEN my FIL followed CaT around like a bad smell, talking about everything and nothing. FIL doesn’t take social cues well and each time we dragged CaT to safety, he would come back around and start talking again. I was mortified! Here I am thinking “great, they will NEVER want to come back and will say “thanks but no thanks” to me possibly being their surrogate”. They took it in their stride although time will tell if they truly came out of the situation unscathed… 🙂
Our “hard questions” date is scheduled for tomorrow night. Fish and Chips accompanied by good wine and good conversation. What we talk about tomorrow will either build the foundations for a successful surrogacy “duo partnership” or make us realise that things won’t work. If the latter happens, a friendship has been forged and the appreciation we have for each other is real. Both parties would support the other in the future, that I am sure of.
Don’t wish me luck. This isn’t about luck. Wish me wine. And self cleaning floors.