One week and one day until my baby daughter is born!
In one week and one day from now, if not sooner, my baby daughter will be born. I say my, but of course, I mean our- a baby girl to my husband Mitchell and me. We are both over the Moon with excitement.
Our surrogacy journey has occurred from beginning to end in Brisbane. Unlike many of my clients, we have not had to trek overseas for an egg donor or a surrogate or both, but had the luxury of being able to take all our steps in our home town.
We have been supported by many people- but importantly two extraordinary women. Our egg donor is a friend. I’ll call her Fiona. Fiona values her privacy. She willingly and kindly donated eggs- and endured daily injections, followed by minor surgery, to give us the gift of life. On top of all that, Fiona and we had to take part in counselling, to make sure that she was donating for all the right reasons, and that we were accepting her donation for all the rights reason as well. The other woman – of course- is our amazing surrogate. I will call her Jo. Jo values her privacy, too.
One might think that Jo’s journey is extraordinary enough- being prepared to endure nine months’ pregnancy, followed by the pain of giving birth, all with the aim of generously giving the gift of life- but this particular journey has been even the more extraordinary than most. When Jo told us that she wanted to be our surrogate, it brought tears of joy to both of us. We were so grateful for such an extraordinary gift. At the very same time, I had another emotion swirling around in my brain- much like watching a top loading washing machine at work. I thought: “This is what happens to my clients.”
To get pregnant wasn’t as simple as rocking up to the clinic and asking to get pregnant straight away. There were so many checks and balances in the surrogacy process that at times the process can seem overwhelming. Aside from the medical and ethical checks from the clinic, there is the surrogacy arrangement to be signed, counselling to be gone through, checks about the hospital, and such mundane but vital issues such as insurance.
The three of us sitting together at an antenatal class will forever be a cherished memory for me. The three of us- together- were going to make a baby.
This pregnancy then resulted. It has largely been a smooth journey, although with any pregnancy it has had its ups and downs.
And so in one week and one day, if our daughter is not born sooner, she will then be born. She will be surrounded by love. Our lives will be changed forever. Our daughter will be, in the words of a judge: “a long awaited and precious gift, much loved by (her) family and a miracle of modern medicine.”
I never expected to be undertaking my own surrogacy journey. When I saw my first surrogacy client back in 1988, surrogacy of any kind in Queensland was illegal- commercial, altruistic, gestational or traditional, whether in Queensland or outside if carried out by Queenslanders. It didn’t matter. It was illegal. The idea that I might be having a child later on through surrogacy was simply unimaginable. Since that time I have advised in over 1500 surrogacy journeys. Of course, I could not advise in ours.
My associate of 15 years Karen Gough advised us on the legal process. I could not advise myself about my own surrogacy journey!