S: I had only ever made it to a midwife booking an appointment during our first pregnancy, which ended up being an ectopic, but other than that, I had never gotten this far and didn’t really know what to expect.
E: I was hoping we’d see the midwife who had looked after me with Mollie and Theo. Geraldine was such a lovely person who I completely trusted- it would be lovely for her to see us through this journey too!
S: Em, Jack and I went to Hemel hospital to meet the midwife, and as we were called in, I’m sure the other people in the waiting room were trying to suss out the situation. I said I need to get us t-shirts made speaking ‘my bun’ and ‘her oven’!.
E: I reckon people think Soph and I are sisters, and Jack has to go around with us for everything, haha!
S: Our permanent midwife had gone home the previous evening due to a home birth, so we had a stand-in midwife taking the appointment. She had only been qualified for 18 months and hadn’t dealt with a surrogacy case before, but I have to say she handled it quite well and was very friendly from the offset.
E: It was a shame not to see Geraldine, but we will see her from 16 weeks onwards; yay! The stand-in midwife was brilliant, though and put us all at ease.
S: It was a lot of form filling in, especially on Em’s part. I would say the NHS are not formally set up to deal with surrogacy situations, as the questions on the forms didn’t really cater for gestational surrogacy where Em isn’t related to the baby she’s carrying.
E: It’s not a common situation the NHS see- probably because of the laws and the way the surrogacy process works in the UK. But the main thing is the people make it less awkward, which so far has always been the case!
S: The midwife did try and include me and Jack and took our CO levels on the machine as well as Em’s which was a nice gesture. All 0% thank goodness!
Although Em has had 2 home births with Mollie and Theo we have been discussing for a long while requesting an elective c section for the surrogacy. Em said to me she can visualise this better and feels comfortable doing it this way and for Jack and I knowing when our baby will arrive and the hospital staff being fully aware of the situation means a lot. The midwife decided to refer us to a consultant at 24 weeks to discuss the elective c section request.
E: Elective C-section… a big topic! I think I’m going to write a post on this by itself and my personal reasons for choosing this route. I have really thought about the pros and considerations for all involved, including me and the baby. We just have to hope the hospital will accept our request!
S: One question I did ask ask the midwife was whether the baby could wear a ‘Smith’ hospital bracelet but she said for security it needs to be ‘Hall’ as Em is ultimately the patient. I kind of felt a little deflated though understood it’s to do with extra security for the baby. However I don’t think there’s any harm asking the consultant when we meet him whether Smith could be written next to Hall (even be in brackets). For some reason it feels important to me
E: The hospital are going to be very safety conscious in any situation, and ours won’t be an exception to that rule. They did say they would make a bracelet up for baby Smith to keep, with their intended name on!
S: A few days later we received the 12 week scan date letter. Big milestone. Tuesday 24th September couldn’t come quick enough.
A couple of days before the scan I started questioning things. What if the baby stopped growing after the last scan? I send Em a message asking if she feels the same as she did 2 weeks ago and she said absolutely yes and her tummy is starting to get harder. Surely that’s a good sign?
E: Symptom wise in pregnancy- I pretty much feel nothing- which is great for me but not so great for Soph and Jack! But I keep reassuring them that this is a good sign- that it’s just like my previous pregnancies.
S: We both woke up about 5.30am the morning of the scan and I started to read every post I’ve ever written on my fertility account to make the time pass quickly! The weather and traffic were horrendous getting to the hospital so we ended up being 5 minutes late. That didn’t help my nervous stomach!
E: It was a shame James couldn’t come with us- it was so lovely having him at the earlier scan. But it was also really amazing to be walking back to the same hospital where we had seen M&T- it was feeling a bit more normal now! I think we may have a bit of a gang with us at the 20 week scan!!
S: We went into the scan room which also happened to be the room Em had scans with Mollie and Theo. The sonographer started asking questions about the situation as she hadn’t dealt with surrogacy before and I ended up having an emotional moment because I was just SO nervous.
E: The tension and emotion as I start to lie down on the bed is always going to be through the roof- it’s totally different to prepping to look at your own babies on the screen. I’d always be nervous with M&T, but this was off the scale!
S: Within seconds the sonographer said look that baby is fine! Heart beat flickering away and so much bigger than 2 weeks before. Although it was lying on its side for quite a while so we were sent out and Em had to down some water and do some star jumps!
E: Yes!! Yes yes!! And breathe again…
S: We went back in and baby was behaving finally so she could get all the measurements she needed and we were bang on 12 weeks 3 days. Jacks little face broke my heart. He kept saying wow that’s definitely a boys head!
E: The gender conversations are hilarious- I think I’m going to be more nervous about the gender scan than anything! This baby is so very loved whoever they are- it’s just such a lovely flurry of finally being able to imagine if they are a boy or a girl!
S: There were a lot of hugs and tears coming out of that room and we had hit yet another milestone. The biggest yet. I felt like I messaged the whole world that morning. I couldn’t stop smiling. My team decorated my desk when I got into the office and I felt so overwhelmed. The celebrations continued into the evening with more prosecco being drank and my brother already buying a baby blanket from the white company! It’s not just us that has waited 6 years. My closest friends and family have been there by our side through it all so 12 weeks is a big deal for them aswell. You can imagine what mum was like!
I’m conscious there is still a way to go but for now – As if we are having a baby! As if!
E: I did leave that too feeling very proud of my body- this is the craziest but most rewarding thing I have ever done and getting to this milestone really made me think about how incredible science is. They’re having a baby!!!!