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  • Rodney and Jeff are a gay couple living in Richmond, Victoria
    Added: 04 July 2006

    Several years ago my mum taped a documentary on SBS called "Man Made" which featured a couple called Lee and Tony and their story about creating a family through surrogacy. It was then that my partner Jeff and I knew that this was going to be the option for us.  It took a while before we got our act together and went to a information session set up by Lee and Tony in Prahran.  William Halm from Growing Generations in California came out to talk to people about surrogacy.  We were amazed at the level of interest at the meeting, expecting it would be a small turn out.  We were pleasantly surprised.  About 6 months later we began the process with Growing Generations.  It was not a difficult process but it certainly was an emotional one.  About 3 months after we signed up we were matched with a surrogate called Kelly, from Ohio in the US. About 6 weeks later we flew over to LA to meet her and her husband.  It was a very nervous couple of gay guys meeting Kelly and Mike for the first time. Would she like us? Would we like her?  It turned out that we clicked immediately and got on famously.  It was now time to start the process!

    We travelled back to LA in late March 2006 for the IVF proceedure.  Our fingers crossed, our hearts in our mouths, and every other cliche applied during this trip.  We wanted so much to become parents and we wanted so much for this to work.  We were told that "these things happen when they are meant to" and that we need to be "patient".  Neither of us could be called patient!

    Ten days after the transfer, Jeff and I were back in Australia.  We were awoken at 3am by a phone call from our doctor in LA who told us that the transfer was a success, we were pregnant!  It is now 3 months on and we have just finished our first trimester.  Everything seems to be going fine.  We plan on visiting Kelly, Mike and their family in September 2006 and then returning for the birth at the end of the year.

    One of the most amazing things about this journey we are on is the friendships with other gay dads and gay dads to be that we have made.  Gay Dads Victoria was our introduction and the friendship and support has been invaluable.  The journey is not easy, but it is not hard either.  It is, without question, a very emotional journey that we have been on (and are still on).  It is still early days and our child's birth is still many months away.  But our dream of having a family is now so close.

    If there are other couples thinking about surrogacy as a way to start a family, both Jeff and I would be happy to share our experiences with you. [email]
     
  • Doug and Brett are a gay couple living in Prahran, Victoria
    Updated
    : 10 September 2006

    Just over 12 months ago my partner Brett and I started discussing the possibility of having a family through surrogacy.

    We had mentioned it in conversation from time to time but never really looked at it closely until one day over lunch we decided to try and find out how it was done.

    We had briefly met Melbourne Dads Ben and Arthur and their beautiful twins Emma and Brooke at the Midsummer Carnival day a few months earlier.

    The next day after our lunch discussion Brett set off to try and find a contact for the boys we met at carnival day as I started surfing the net. Up pops a contact for Lee Matthews, who we now know as Lee, Tony, Xan and Lucy. At about the same time Brett tracked down the number for Ben and Arthur Emma and Brooke.

    Within a week we had met Lee who was about to leave with his family for the U.S.A. and the birth of Lucy. We also met up with Ben and Arthur and the twins.

    For us, what followed was weeks of discussion, soul searching, agonising but amazingly, not one argument.

    The discussion fell into two groups.

    “Why not have kids. We would be great Dads. We can do it. You only live once”. Then, “This is ridiculous. Are we nuts? Our life will be over. We can’t get to dinner on time let alone raise children”.

    The pro family argument won out and on August 21, 2005 we got the ball rolling (not to mention the bank account reducing!).

    After initially being matched with a surrogate (who we later decided against for various reasons) we set about searching for an Egg Donor. Just imagine trying to choose who will be the biological ‘other half’ of your child/children – very difficult. After obtaining access to three separate websites loaded with a plethora of prospective donors, we chose our donor. We went for a donor who had donated previously, as we wanted to reduce the risk of getting ‘poor quality eggs’ which may result in limited or poor quality embryos.

    After a few false starts with surrogates we were sent a profile on March 16, 2006 of our surrogate Anna and her family in Houston, Texas.

    After a phone call match we decided that we were happy with Anna and her family and they with us.

    On June 24, just before our IVF transfer, we flew to Houston to meet everyone and as expected after having chatted on the phone and emailed for months, we got on like a house of fire. We really bonded with them all and fell in love with their two beautiful children aged 5 and 8 months.

    We flew back to L.A., Anna followed the next day and we transferred on July 2. This was a very emotional, stressful, exciting and exhausting time. It was just a series of incredible highs and lows, especially when we found Anna’s progesterone levels were low shortly after transfer. Then we found out, that we had no embryos left to freeze as they were such poor quality. Fortunately, the two in implanted were textbook perfect – but none in back-up! We had visions of having to go back and start afresh with another egg donor.

    As of now we are pregnant with twins. It is only 7 weeks into the pregnancy so we remain cautious, but pleased - very pleased.

    We will update as our journey continues………..

    07 September 2006

    We are at the end of the first trimester. Yeah!! Our surrogate Anna is not emailing us as much as she is suffering morning sickness and is very tired all day. You feel helpless being unable to do anything about this but we still email regularly. We also call about once a week.

    Anna has moved on to her OB (Obstetrician) and we intend touching base with him this weekend. He sounds very gay friendly which is important. We want to look at the possibility of getting a room at the hospital to be close to the bubs after birth.

    We have entered a kind of odd ‘nothing zone’, after all the planning and excitement of meeting our surrogate family, undergoing the IVF process, then being told we are pregnant. Now we just have to wait and keep sending our best wishes to Anna.

    We are planing to go over to the US is November or early December, to see Anna and family, meet our OB, and organise things like accommodation for us when we go over for the birth.

    We will update as our journey continues……….

    02 November 2006

    We have now hit the five-month mark with our pregnancy. We have had a few dramas along the way. Our surrogate has suffered some bleeding which at first, for us, seemed to spell diaster. But our OB and others who are experienced in pregnancy assure us that bleeding I not uncommon during pregnancy.

    We leave on November 28 for another trip to Houston to meet up with Anna and the family again – try and be a bigger part of our pregnancy - meet our OB, hospital staff, and book accommodation for the February birth. It will be good to get to Houston as it certainly seems a bit surreal waiting for these two little people to enter our lives when there has been no real change to our lives at this stage. Being so far away from our surrogate is hard. Such are the joys of being an international surrogacy IP. It seems everyone has the same or similar experience.
     
    10 December 2006

    We have just returned from the USA and everything now seems very real. Anna is clearly pregnant and we are all very excited. We spent four days meeting our OB, visiting the hospital where the birth will take place and seeing our lawyer - oh and yes, we hit the malls. We strongly recommend you make similar trip before the birth, at say the 6-month stage, as a range of issues can be sorted. Mainly it allows you to tell everyone in the medical chain that YOU are in fact the parents. If you can get a 3 D scan – do so. That’ll knock ya socks off. We have posted some updated tips for those who are interested. 

    10 January 2007

    Today we hit the 30 weeks mark. Phew! Anna is going along well and is always happy and chatty when we speak with here. She must be getting very uncomfortable but she never says anything beyond saying she is losing a bit of sleep. Anna and Nick have been wonderful in organising cots and car seats for us at the Houston end. We will only need them for a short time but we will need them there after we all leave the hospital. We are busy organising the same and more at this end. It’s hard but fun. For instance. You just don’t go out and buy a pram. The range is endless. Today we purchased bottles, bunny rugs and nappies. 400 nappies to be exact. Hey, they were on special. Prams, cots and other hardware will have to wait, as they need more research. But we will move on that within a week in case the babies come early. We need to be set up here in case we have to dash to Houston. We were lucky today to have a visit from a good friend who had twins about 5 years ago. This was an extremely good move, essential in fact. Also an essential thing as it alerts everyone at the hospital to what exactly is going on. Airfares were booked this week. We will arrive in the US about ten days before the planned birth date in order to increase our chances of being at an early birth. We will try to take a short holiday close to Texas in order to be close to Houston in case things happen early. Better to be a few hours away then a few days.   

    27 March 2007 

    Well our twins were born on January 24 (Melbourne Time). 
    Our surrogate lost her mucus plug and Daniel and Leah were born about a week later. 

    We got the call to come at 10am on the 24th, but they were born 2 hours later.  

    We arrived at Texas Children Hospital 48 hours after the birth and at last saw our beautiful children.  

    They were born at 32 weeks, 2 days. 

    Despite being disappointed that we missed the birth we are delighted that they are both well and now back home with us in Melbourne. 

    We are enjoying being parents very much and wonder what we did with our life before…..we certainly had more sleep I know that!! 

    Good luck to all who go down the surrogacy path.   

    Yes - It IS worth it. 



    Doug & Brett have prepared some tips for those thinking about surrogacy.  Click here to read.
     

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