* Author Topic: Considering Surrogacy?  (Read 12985 times)

0 Members

Offline Debs

  • Gold Member
  • *****
  • Will we be friends for ever? Even Longer
modify
Considering Surrogacy?
« on: 11/07/11, 20:54 »
Surrogacy

What is Surrogacy?

Surrogacy is where another woman offers her body to nurture your baby. When the baby is born, he/she is then handed over to you, the IPs ((intended parents).

Straight Surrogacy is where a woman is inseminated with the sperm of the male IP (or donor if being used) either through IUI or sometimes through self insemination or intercourse. The baby is genetically the child of the male IP (or donor if used) and the surrogate.

Host Surrogacy is where the IPs undergo IVF, producing embryos which are then implanted in the surrogate. The baby is genetically the child of the IPs. It is also possible to use donor eggs or donor sperm and a host surrogate.


Anything Else You Need To Know?


In the UK it is illegal to advertise to be a surrogate or pay a person to be one for you. You can only pay reasonable expenses.

UK law also states that a child’s mother is the person who gives birth to him/her. Until legal dealings are settled, the surrogate mother can pull out at any time, right up to the point of birth or even after. Obviously this is very rare but highlights that it is important to be 100% certain of your choice of surrogate and to have a good relationship with them before embarking on this path.

Many surrogates are found through friends or family (i.e. a sister or cousin offering to carry a baby for an infertile couple) and this is by far the easier and cheaper path as a relationship already exists. If that is not an option available to you, the two main organisations that help surrogates and IPs in the uk are:

http://www.surrogacy.org.uk/About_COTS.htm

http://www.surrogacyuk.org/

But there are a number of other organisations out there who can also help.

In order for IPs to become the baby’s parents, legal documents must be drawn up whereby the IPs essentially “adopt” the baby through something called a Parental Order.

In cases where surrogacy is sought outside the UK, you should ALWAYS check local laws (independently from what a clinic/agency tell you if possible) before entering into any agreement. You need to research what effect having a surrogate child abroad will have on your child’s registered nationality and your status as his/her parent. Things are often a lot more complicated when surrogacy is sought abroad.

Although UK surrogates are only paid reasonable expenses, with other factors (IVF if used, and legal agreements etc), surrogacy can often run into several thousand pounds. It is not a cheap or easy option but can be a very rewarding one when it all works out.


Experiences from those who have been through the surrogacy process:

To be added. ;)


For More Information:

Check out the Surrogacy section here on FF: https://www.fertilityfriends.co.uk/forum/index.php?board=57.0

FertilityFriends

  • Advertisement
  • ***

    Offline Debs

    • Gold Member
    • *****
    • Will we be friends for ever? Even Longer
    modify
    Re: Considering Surrogacy?
    « Reply #1 on: 28/07/11, 20:26 »
    Quote
    Hi there
     
    This is my story  :)
     
    I was 26 when I got pregnant with my first husband, a bit of a surprise but a very much wanted baby. But early on Christmas morning, at 18 weeks pregnant I went into labour after several weeks of discomfort. Not long after the baby died and I finally gave birth on Boxing Day to a little boy, Ben. This marriage ended shortly after. Six years later I met my second husband and we started trying for a family immediately. But it wasn't to be and I lost two babies in as many years. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidsim, high NK cells and connective tissue diesase - so I was put on a cocktail of Humiera, Prednisolone, IVIG, Intralipids, Clexane, Asprin, Gestone and Cyclogest. But at 24 weeks we lost another baby, this time a little girl, Clover - to an incompetant cervix.
     
    We had had enough and began to look for a surrogate. It wasn't long before we were very lucky and found a lovely surrogate who said she would like to carry our baby. After a lot of emails and texts we decided to meet for dinner, and although it was a bit stilted and we were all very nervous we knew it was right and we could work together as a team. 'Team Baby' asked COTS to do the agreement and shortly afterwards we all went to London for the day to have a million tests. This was followed by several counselling sessions, which we all found pointless (our surro had done it before), upsetting ("how do you feel about not being a 'proper woman' in terms of carrying a baby"  ^bigbad^ )  and very intrusive. We just put up with it and answered all the questions in a positive manner. I had already done IVF so not long afterwards the first cycle started with frozen embryos. Initially it was a natural cycle but as her hormones were never 'right' for the clinic we opted for a medicated cycle. AND it WORKED!!!!! pregnant first time  :-* . Our surro told me before the test date and I just sobbed over the phone to her. We had a worrying time at the beginning with some bleeding, but we now believe it was a twin being lost as the initial HCG levels were very high. We went to see all the scans we could (we were snowed in for one!) and of course I cried every time!!! At 20 weeks we found out we were having a girl - the icing on the cake for me. We opted not to have any testing done as we knew we would love any child no matter what problems she had.
     
    At 37 weeks our surro was huge and very uncomfortable with suspected diabetes. So it was arranged for her to be induced at 38 weeks. By this time we were near our surros hospital and sharing every appointment with her and her husband. It was such a special time, and tense with anticipation and excitment. She was admitted on 12 July and induced. By mid afternoon she had gone to the labour suite and we were waiting to be called for the last part of labour. But nothing happened and she came back up to maternity  >:(  humph!!! So she was booked in for a C-section and she and I spent the night in the hospital together chatting and giggling until the early hours.
     
    Finally at 3pm the next day she was taken down to theatre and my husband and I spent the time making a video for the baby saying just what we were feeling and how excited we were. Just before 4pm we were taken down to theatre to wait outside the door and to peek through the little window. As we talked I heard a cry and suddenly realised it was my babys cry. I rushed to the window to see her being brought out from behind the green theatre curtain covered in vernix with a mop of dark hair. She was quickly checked and moments later she was out in the corridor for us to meet and to begin a lifetime of love and laughter. My first words to her were "Hello darling it's mummy" and she opened her eyes for the first time and looked at me. Of course I cried a river again!!!
     
    The whole experience was amazing, exhausting, emotionally draining, expensive, worrying, very special and totally unique. I feel so blessed to have experienced the whole wonderful, crazy whorlwind. It is definitely not easy and managing everyones expectations is incredibly hard, but I wouldnt change it for the world. We have tried for a sibling, but the first transfer failed and now sadly our surrogates son is very ill, so she is rightly concentrating on her own family  ^hugme^ . Incredibly I have been offered a transabdominal stitch on the NHS, something that just wasn't available 2 years ago - so I am taking my courage in both hands and trying again myself this autumn.
     
    I can't pretend surrogacy is easy - it isn't. I can't pretend its cheap - it isn't. BUT it can be an incredible and life changing experience. I am definitely a better, more understanding and tolerant person as a result. And I think I am a better parent that I would have been otherwise. My little daughter just turned one and I am totally in love with her. She is an absolute joy and makes me a better person. My wonderful surrogate made this possible and I will be forever grateful. We are still regularly in contact and I hope we always will be. She is a special person and I hope that my daugher will always have a relationship with her too. It really is possible for surrogacy to turn despair into hope and then into a life filled with love and laughter. Even after everything I have been through I feel so blessed when I look at my daughter - every morning when I go to get her up and that little face is looking at me, my heart melts. Its totally magical and I am so thankful that I get to spend another day with my daughter.
     
    I so hope my experience helps someone - I was in a very dark and sad place after we lost each baby. After we lost Clover I really didn't think I would ever smile again - I couldn't imagine any happiness in life. But although I will never forget the babies I have lost I do smile again, every minute of every day. Sometimes the smile is bittersweet, as I remember the other babies, but I am smiling and loving every single day.
     
    Lots of love, hope and smiles.
     
    Apricot xxxxx


    With special thanks to Apricot for sharing her story - I hope it helps some of you to make your decision regarding surrogacy  ^reiki^

    Offline Debs

    • Gold Member
    • *****
    • Will we be friends for ever? Even Longer
    modify
    Re: Considering Surrogacy?
    « Reply #2 on: 28/07/11, 20:31 »
    Quote
    My Story:

    On the 24th June 2005 I was diagnosed with womb cancer, I was devastated not least because the only treatment option was a total hysterectomy, I had just turned 37 and my husband and I had been ttc for 5 yrs, I was worried about the cancer, the operation, menopause, and most of all the un-ending sadness of never having children..

    My Op was booked for the 8 Aug 2005, I was in shock, depressed and in a total daze, but most of all ironically or stupidly the infertility was crippling me more than the cancer, I had an excellent infertility consultant I had seen just prprior to the diagnosis who asked me if I had thought about surrogacy, I had never even heard of surrogacy, but that was about to change big time!

    My consultants agreed that me having one go at IVF which would speed up the cancer as hormone related was probably ok if I wanted to do that and delay my operation, so I began a whirlwind of cancer diagnosis, MRI scans, and found myself at the IVF clinic learning how to inject myself, this was a biggie for someone who had always fainted at all injections, but I was a driven woman and started the injections determined that I would try to have one chance to have a family,

    A few weeks later I was told I had produced 24 eggs, I remember thinking how this wasn't very many considering how the viable numbers drop after fertilisation and then again when they're defrosted, I was soon to learn though that this was a lot, the day of egg collection came and I remember wakign to hear they ha donly collected 17 of the 24 eggs, I was so upset, but apparantly I had been in a lot of pain colllecting from my left high up ovary so they had decided to call it a day, we later learnt that we had 14 embryos which dropped to 12, so we now had 12 little embies on ice waiting for a chance to become our family.

    My op had now been delayed due to the IVF cycle and me seeking a 2nd opinion re the hysterectomy, but it was to be further delayed as 2 days after egg collection I fell very ill and was rushed to hospital with OHSS, this was so painful sometimes worse than the pain after my operation, yet another thing to face but thankfully I got through it after being drained of over 15 litres of fluid that was fast approaching my lungs, my op was delayed by my surgeon again due to the risks of the op with swollen ovaries, so now my op would be ion Oct.

    During the period waiting for my operation and the IVF all done I started to look into surrogacy, I was sat online day and night joining all the forums I could and learning and chatting woth lots of others in a similar position to me, it was such a releif to know I wasn't alone in needing the help of someone else to have a baby.

    Just before my operation date came along I joined a surrogacy organisation and received some great support both before during and after my op; once I was well again we threw ourselves into the world of surrogacy meeting lots of other IP's and some surrogates and became friends with many that we met along the way, the months and indeed over a year passed and we saw and knew many other couples get offered help by surrogates and we often wondered if we ever would be lucky enough to find someone, however in the end it was a bit like the bus analagy 2 years of waiting and we got offered help by 3 different surrogates, we were so happy and the next part of the journey was underway.

    We spent a long time getting to know our surrogate and her husband, approx 6 months but we had chatted for a few months before too, finally once all the tests etc were done we were underway and found ourselves very anxiously in our first ever 2ww, we spent the weekend of the test date with our surrogate and family and though it was very faint it was a BFP, we were gobsmacked !! Sadly at 5w 2d our surrogate had a bleed went for a scan and was told she had miscarried, devestation reigned again :(

    We had to wait 3 months to try again, but onwards and upwards we went and the 2nd time we had everything crossed but sadly it was a BFN, the clinic advised we could move quickly onto the 3rd and final go so we did, this was by far the most stressful go as it was our last hope, this time unknown to us our surrogate had felt she was pregnant and had tested early every day until the day she text me a pic of the pregnancy test and WHOOO BFP :)

    All was well until one day just as I had got in from work our surrogate called us to say she was bleeding, she was exactly as before 5w 2d pregnant, my heart just fell, she went for a scan and I waited expecting the worse news possible, then she called back and asked if Iw as sittign down (I was) she said you're having twins !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I could not speak, I was truly shocked and amazed...

    The bleed had been because it was twins (common in twin pregnancies) we felt more than lucky, our last go at a family after all the heartache and we were expecting 2 lil miracles, it was also strange as I'd always joked I'd have twins as my mum is a twin.

    The months seem to pass very slowly at first, our poor surrogate had terrible morning sickness, which finally eased at 16 weeks and by 20 weeks we learnt we were having 2 lil girls :)

    The last 3 months of the pregancy went quite quickly, we saw our surrogate regularly and I helped her out at home etc at weekends when I could and when she would let me LOL, unfortunately the last few months were hard going for our surro as her BP was up and down and at one point the hosp said one bab y had lost fluid and she was in the hosp a couple of times near the end; the hosp had said they wanted her to get to 37 or 38 weeks if possible as this would be best for the babies and a section was booked for 38 weeks, we arrived to stay with her the week before and thank goodness we did as at 37w2d she was resting in bed and shouted me that her waters had broken, the ambulance was called and off we all went all flashing lights to the hospital.

    Sadly within 25 minutes she was being rushed to theatre for an emeregency section as she had placenta abruption, she was so upset as she hadn't wanted a GA and it meant none of us would witness the birth of our miracle girls :(

    It felt like we waited forever for any news and infact we heard crying babies an hr before we saw our beautiful girls, it was a wow moment a day I never thought would happen. It was a week before we took them home but when we did from that day to this they truly are the best most precious thing in my life and without the help of a surrogate mum who was willing to help us achieve our dream none of it would have been possible.

    So for those of you struggling with infertility, whatever the reasons and feel like there is nowhere esle to go, there is, adoption may be something you'd like to consider but please know there is another option, it is like a roller coaster but surrogacy can and does work, even if like me you only have frosties or need DE or want to try straight surrogacy, it isn't for the faint hearted but it also shouldn't be seen as some of the horror stories most people read about surrogacy in the news, surrogates are kind selfless women who give hope and joy to many otherwise childless couples and with help and support it is an option for many.

    I hope sharing my 'story' helps others and if nothing else educates and gives hope.
    Sam

    With special thanks to Nostalgic Sam for sharing her story too  ^reiki^