Tuesday 20 December 2011

Some inspiration...

A couple of days ago we had the pleasure of meeting Sophie. Sophie is 9 months old and she lives with her two Dads in Sydney. (Sophie and her two Dads were in London visiting family). It was such an inspiration to meet a family that was created in just the same way we're planning. Sophie is so gorgeous.....

This made us realise that we're a bit isolated here in London. Apparently Sophie knows four families a bit like hers in Sydney. So a project for January is to find some neighbours who are in our shoes. Any suggestions welcome....

Meanwhile, our 8 week scan was completed on Monday and again, everything is normal.

Normal is our favourite word right now....

Merry Christmas All....

Wednesday 7 December 2011

We have a heartbeat...

138 bpm to be precise.

Everything is normal so far.

We wish for a happy pregnancy!

Wednesday 30 November 2011

A Singo on the way!

Our 5 week scan was done today and it shows a healthy singleton pregnancy. 

Two very excited Dads-to-be here!

Our surrogate is doing fine and everything so far is normal - long may that continue!

Happy face x 1000.

Wednesday 23 November 2011

I thought you might like to see how the good news was shared with us...

Dear Philip & Adam,

We hope you are doing fine.

We are here to give you a good news that we have done Beta HCG test & the beta value is 187.38,which is very good.

We would like to congratulate you as you are pregnant now.
We all are very happy for you and wishing you lots of happiness and love.

We wish you Good Luck for this beautiful journey ahead.

Tuesday 22 November 2011

Some news...

Yesterday we waited all day for some news.  Refresh, refresh, refresh.  Still nothing. 

We've been holding out on you.  We began another cycle - the last of our frozen embryos - the other week.  And this time we cultured to blastocyst. 

We were quietly optimistic until the day of our test - we've even been working on a shortlist of names!  But as the day rolled by the tension was becoming unbearable.

Finally at 9.30pm, refresh one final time before calling it a day.  You have 1 new mail.

Our beta score is 187.

After our last experience we're not letting ourselves get carried away.....  But the news is as good as it can be at this stage.  We are sending all our good wishes to our wonderful surrogate and hoping for the smoothest of journeys.....

Tuesday 18 October 2011

No Joy

No luck this time around.  But we still have enough frozen vials of hope for another round soon.

Fingers crossed....

Tuesday 4 October 2011

The Big Thaw...

Today we're thawing four embryos and so hoping for a good survival rate.  And so I consulted the Google oracle to find out more.  Apparently about 70% of embryos survive the process of thawing.  And interestingly not every cell of an embryo has to survive the thaw to be viable.  I also learned that whereas freezing takes 3-4 hours, thawing takes 45 minutes!  Somehow all this detail seems important to us.

Apparently the next stage is to 'culture' the viable embryos for a day or so before transfer.

More important, perhaps, is that we now know that a pregnancy test takes place 12 days after thawing rather than 12 days after transfer. So now after a couple of months of calm, this means we also know the exact date of our next pregnancy test.  So we're back to the now familiar territory of waiting and hoping for good news....





Sunday 25 September 2011

Here we go again

We're about to start another cycle.  Embryo transfer in a few days time.

Fingers crossed.....

Saturday 20 August 2011

Starting Again

At the moment we're having to spend more time thinking about paperwork than thinking about babies!  We realise that as well as being medically suitable, it's just as important for Brits to have a surrogate with good documents. And that's not easy in India.  After umming and ahhing for a week over a surrogate with conflicting dates of birth on her documents, we decided it just didn't feel right and said no.  And we're glad that we did because now have an alternative with great documents.  So we have to wait until after Ramadan to get started, but it seems we'll be on the way again in early September.

Fingers crossed.....

Wednesday 3 August 2011

... and then the bad news.

24 hours after our good news came the bad news.   Our surrogate had some bleeding in the night and after a scan and then an overnight wait for another blood test result, a declining Beta score tells us we had a 'chemical pregnancy' - the clinical term for a very early miscarriage.

Despite my being cautious with our news the other day, I can't tell you how gutted we are.  And with that we both now know just how badly we want this.....

Our thoughts today are with our wonderful surrogate.

Monday 1 August 2011

First signs are looking good....

Today we heard the results of our surrogate's first pregnancy test.  I  must have hit 'refresh' my inbox a hundred times this morning. 

When should we be shouting at the top of our voices "We're pregnant!" ?

Not just yet, we think.

But just between us, our 12-day Beta hCG score just came in....

...and the result is...


Dr Shivani says this means we're pregnant.  I'm not sure it has sunk in just yet. 

Sooooo excited!

(Bec, Michael & Josh, I reckon we're exactly 10 days behind you!)

I'm meeting Adam for lunch and for a big hug....

Thursday 21 July 2011

Some Awesome Stats.....

- 22 eggs retrieved from our donor

- 18 eggs fertilised (4 immature)

- 12 Grade I/II embryos at day 3

- 8 embryos frozen (6-8 cells, Grade II)

- 4 embryos transferred (8 cells, Grade I) to our surrogate

- 2 possible 'Dads to be' (20 fingers & 20 toes crossed)

Monday 18 July 2011

A Big Week Ahead......

Our wonderful donor has had her preliminary ultrasounds. Our equally wonderful surrogate is looking perfect (medically perfect that is......). So we're all ready to go.

Wednesday 6 July 2011

The Big Decision

So we’ve decided that a surrogacy arrangement in India is for us.  After all the ups and downs of thinking we’d found a solution only to find that our path was blocked.  Having put so much time and energy into researching every aspect. After spending so much time discussing how we feel about each complex part of the process.  It’s a great feeling that such a big decision has been made and to be feeling so comfortable with it.

Here’s the briefest of summaries of the legal aspects we’ve learned along the way…

International Surrogacy and UK Law

Our intention, if we’re successful and have brought baby home (I’ll write about immigration learnings later), is to apply for a Parental Order.  This will create a new birth certificate and name the two of us as the legal parents.  This has only been possible for same sex couples since April 2010.  The court will need to be satisfied that,
-          you’re in a stable relationship
-          no more than reasonable expenses have been paid to the surrogate
-          it is in the best interests of the child for the Parental Order to be granted.

The last point is the key one and it seems that the Courts are consistently taking as paramount the best interests of the child.  But problems can arise, especially in the area of eligibility to apply.  There are several conditions, but the most important one is to ensure that the surrogate mother is not married else her husband will be considered to be the father under UK law despite what any birth certificate may say.

Surrogacy and UK Immigration

Some enlightened countries like Australia use DNA testing to prove paternity and so automatic right to citizenship by descent.  The UK process is less straightforward.  It seems that British High Commissions have been tasked with looking closely at International surrogacy arrangements.  Whereas Australians can expect to be going home 2/3 weeks after the birth, Brits can expect to be in India for around three months waiting for a passport.

Monday 4 July 2011

Our Trip to Delhi

First Impressions

We had hoped to meet other couples during our trip but we didn't expect to get this off to such a quick start. We had barely checked in to the hotel when we bumped in to lovely Sam and Phil,
who have just become proud Dads to Ruby and Zoe.  Within moments of our arrival we were sitting at breakfast talking to them and another lovely family (Bec, Michael and their son Josh).  Wow, it's good to talk: after so much Internet reading, it was great to hear some real experiences first-hand.

And shortly after breakfast we were peering, gooey-eyed, into Ruby and Zoe's cot:

Awwwwww, so cute!
So within hours of our arrival we had met some lovely people and had seen for ourselves a wonderful happy ending.

Visiting the IVF Clinic

After having looked at various clinics in Mumbai and Delhi, we had planned our trip with Surrogacy India Centre, run by Dr Shivani (drshivanisachdevgourdelhi.blogspot.com/).  We had been impressed with the their overall approach and the amount of information we'd received from Meg and Margarida, the client liaison team before we travelled.

Meeting Dr Shivani gave us just the right balance of personal care, straightforwardness and a matter-of-factness that only comes with experience.

Dr Shivani (right)
And the facilities are impressive.  I'm used to the contrasts of India, having travelled there before, but your overall impression is of a professionally run, modern facility.

 The rest of our trip

We stayed at the Svelte Hotel & Suites.  It's where lots of families using the clinic stay, so easy to meet people.  It seems to be the ideal place for people who are collecting their babies and expecting only a short stay before departure.  It's also attached to Delhi's biggest shopping mall with great restaurants and a cinema so perfect for avoiding the summer heat.

All of our meetings were efficiently planned by the SIC team and a car service that works closely with the clinic ensured you were never lost.

We even had time for some sightseeing.  The new metro is just a short hop in a rickshaw from the hotel, so it's very easy to get around......
Sam, Bec & Josh wait for the Metro

Destination Old Delhi

And here are some pictures of our cycle rickshaw trip around Old Delhi in the 40c heat....

Adam in a Rickshaw
Old Delhi Markets

Thursday 30 June 2011

I'm gay and I'm gonna have kids one day....

When I met Adam, as well as being sure of himself, he was sure of two things: "I'm gay" and "I'm going to be a Dad one day".  To Adam, there was no contradiction.  Whereas I grew up thinking: gay = no kids - end of subject.  So I've spent the last eight years coming round to the idea that fatherhood is even possible for me.  About six years ago we went to a seminar run by a Melbourne couple who had had kids via surrogacy in California.  A great idea, but where were we going to get $120,000 from?  So having thought about co-parenting and adopting and figured out that co-parenting is not for us and adopting is a near impossibility, we were excited to learn that surrogacy in India is a real possibility....

Welcome to our blog!

We're just a regular couple wanting to become parents.  Families come in all shapes and sizes these days.  For most combinations of couples, deciding to have children is more about when than if.....  For us, it's anything but straightforward.  After considering all the options (there weren't many!), we've decided on surrogacy.  We've been inspired by the stories we've read in other blogs and hope in time that ours will be just as emotional. But for now we're covering two topics: practical information for others considering this path and our journey to surrogacy in India.

Adam and I plan to write this blog together.  Like most couples, we each have our strengths: I'm administration and he's entertainment. So you'll have a pretty good idea who's writing what!

As we set out, our heads are full of the rational stuff.  The how, the why, the what if....  We've read, reseached, discussed, considered, re-considered and researched some more.  I plan to record some of the topics we've covered over the next few posts.

But now it's time for action.  Tomorrow we're flying to Delhi to see for ourselves what surrogacy in India can offer us....

Wish us luck!