Surrogacy

Part 16: We’re Meeting Baby Smith Next Month!

The Smith baby bump is now fully popped, there’s no denying I’m expecting a baby! So it feels like I’ve been telling more people about the situation than in previous months.

Emiliana Hall

S: We’re having a baby next month! How is it already February! I’ve actually felt like the days have been dragging but then I look back and wonder where the first month of the year has actually gone!

Since our last consultant appointment at the beginning of January, we’ve pretty much had either a midwife check up or a scan at the hospital every week which has been exciting!

E: The Smith baby bump is now fully popped, there’s no denying I’m expecting a baby! So it feels like I’ve been telling more people about the situation than in previous months. The most common question I get asked is ‘is this your first’ so I feel odd saying no I have 2 others aged 2 and 4 and then going into a pretend story about being brave having a third! So I end up telling the person in front of me the whole story! Which they never expect to hear ha!

S: Not long after our last consultant appointment I had a moment of feeling quite sad that the hospital rules stated only one of us could be present at the c section. I felt quite strongly that Jack should be allowed to be there with Em and I due to surrogacy being an exceptional circumstance. I decided to write a letter (after triple checking Em was still comfortable Jack being in there which she has always said she is) to the head of midwifery at the hospital because even if nothing changed from it, at least I would know I had tried. A week or so later I had a call from her. She was honestly so kind and said that the letter had touched her and that of course in our situation they would do everything they could to allow both of us to be there and witness the birth of our son. To say I was relieved was an understatement. Now we can hopefully both be there to support Em and meet our baby boy together for the first time.

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E: Working in the area I do, I know how strict rules and regulations around safety can be in hospitals, and mostly for good reason. But to find out that Soph’s efforts to get Jack permission to be in the theatre were successful was such a relief- I know it would have been quite sad on the day if Jack didn’t have the choice to be there to see his baby be born.

S: In the middle of January, Jack and I started NCT. As I’ve said before it wasn’t really something Jack had ever really wanted to do but he gave in because i felt it was important for us to experience a taste of normality, regardless of how our baby was arriving. It was also the first pregnancy related thing we were doing on our own without Em. It felt kind of odd not having her there but also it’s been good for us.

The first session was of course a little awkward and initially I felt like I had to hide the fact I didn’t have a bump. During the introductions I decided to go first and tell everyone our friend was carrying the baby and I wasn’t actually pregnant and we both felt more at ease after this. Most of the sessions have been labour and pregnancy related so far but we move onto baby related sessions soon which will be more beneficial for us. We’ve met some lovely people which was the main aim.

E: I always said S&J should do things as if this was a normal pregnancy and NCT was one of them. Everyone has different experiences of it but that’s kind of the fun of it- and now they have their NCT story just like lots of other parents do! Which is lovely.

S: At our 31 week midwife check, Ems bump was measuring slightly above average for the second time so we were referred to the hospital for a growth scan the following week. The morning of the scan I felt so excited as we hadn’t seen him since the 20 week one. It was so incredible seeing him again on the screen! Initially (as with every scan!) he was upside down. After that he started wriggling around, poked his tongue out and yawned. It’s funny, the bigger they get, the less you can make out on the screen. But all his measurements looked fine and his estimated current weight was 4lb 3oz. Em always says he thumps away late at night so he’s pretty active!

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E: It was lovely going along to the scan and I was glad that the slightly-above-average measurement was nothing for S&J to worry about. I wasn’t worried at all but this is all new to them so I was wary it may feel a bit odd being sent in for checks. But they were totally fine about it all!

S: Our biggest focus recently has been getting his room ready. Although he won’t be in it a while, this has been something we’ve been able to do to help us bond with the idea of bringing a baby home. Now it’s nearly finished, I often find Jack sitting in there at night reading a book which makes my heart melt ever so slightly! We’ve tried to make it a calming environment and feel connected to him when we go in there.

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The other tick off the list has been washing and ironing his clothes- with a little help from my excited mum! Again it’s something thats helping me to prep for him even when my brain still doesn’t quite believe we will he bringing a baby home in a matter of weeks. I look at the stuff I’ve bought him and just can’t wait for a tiny human to be in them!

Although things are going as smooth as they can at the moment, I still have daily worries in between my periods of excitement. I worry he won’t bond with me because he doesn’t know my voice or my smell and that I’ll be a stranger to him. There is no manual to tell you how to feel when you are unable to carry your own child, so I’m just going through the motions as and when and allowing myself to feel whatever I’m feeling on a particular day. But the countdown is most definitely on!!

E: I love so much that S&J are embracing everything as first time parents. Anxieties are normal, excitement is normal, and I do reassure Soph that the baby will feel the love from them both and know who his parents are. Of course they’ll need time to get to know each other, but I believe all parents do whether mum has carried baby or not. It’s such a mad experience welcoming your new baby into your home, and I’m so excited for them to be doing it in 6 short weeks!!

Up next

Part 17: The Legal Parts

When we offered surrogacy to Soph and Jack, we knew the legal system wouldn’t be plain sailing in the UK from our very limited knowledge on it all, but if there is someone who is going to do their research...

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