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Surrogacy part 7: The Team Reunion!

S: J and I hadn’t actually seen Em for over a month as she had been in Scotland and then we had been to Sicily on a family holiday. I continued to speak to her pretty much every day just checking in and J and I relaxed in the sun for a week. During this time our private doctor emailed and said Em could come off her progesterone support as the 8 week scan had been ok which I know Em was happy about as they had been making her feel super bloated for weeks. She’d been amazing doing daily injections for the past month so at least this step was over. 

E: Once we got back from Scotland the first thing to do was register the pregnancy with my doctor. The tables had turned and suddenly I knew more about the process- Soph had known every detail up until this point but now it was my turn to fill her in on the process. I completed the form as if it was my own pregnancy, with a big note at the end saying ‘Surrogacy pregnancy for my best friends’- I didn’t know the official way to word it but hoped it would make the recipient midwife smile!

S: The first time we would properly see Em and hopefully our little bean was at our 10 week scan booked in for all 4 of us to go to in Watford. I felt so excited during the 4/5 days leading up to the scan. We had literally never seen one of those screens with anything positive on it so I was hoping this might be the first time that we would. But also knew I’d need to be mindful that we still weren’t classed as being in any sort of safe zone (Is there really a safe zone in pregnancy anyway).

E: I was really excited to see S&J for the 10 week scan- we hadn’t seen each other for so long and so much had happened since the last time we’d all been together.

S: During this time one of my best friends was also 7 months pregnant. She sent me a photo of one of her check up scans as she felt it was the right time to show me and this was probably the first time I’d ever been able to look at someone’s scan and not feel my heart completely sink. I do feel like I’ve missed out on the enjoyment of any of my friends/family pregnancies which has always been something I’ve felt like quite sad about. 

E: Soph knows deep down that we all understand that happiness has been a very hard emotion for her to feel during the last 5 years. But to hear that she can finally feel happiness over anything else really is the best feeling.

S: The day of the 10 week scan the 4 of us were also headed down to a friends wedding in the Cotswolds so we went to the clinic before the journey down. I woke up with butterflies. I was actually far more excited than nervous. I kept asking Jack how he felt and he said ‘I’m just not thinking about it’, which has always been his way of dealing with it. 

E: As always, the morning of the scan was a case of rushing around after Mollie and Theo so I didn’t really get a chance to think too much about it- but I didn’t feel apprehensive at all. It was great that we had a lovely event booked in straight afterwards too!

S: We sat in the waiting room and the nerves kicked in. Em was so calm though. We all went into the room and I held Em’s hand and then a few minutes later our baby could be seen on the big projector screen. It looked more like a baby than the previous scans with a clear head and small bud like arms and the heartbeat I had been longing to see for years was right there beating away. It was totally surreal.

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E: I haven’t had any sickness in any of my pregnancies, so it always surprises me to see an actual baby wriggling around in my tummy- even third time around knowing that this is what happens! It was really nice having James in the room too- it was like we had the full team behind this little being all there watching this complete miracle chilling out, being all carefree and cute! The boys kept making jokes but had to stop as I kept laughing and moving the baby! It was just so lovely, and so surreal too

S: To see that little bean wriggling around was the most incredible thing I’d ever seen. Although I still felt a little detached mainly because I think I’m still in shock from it being our baby in there, I definitely still felt hugely emotional. I actually think Jack went into a trance not quite believing that what we were looking at on the screen was actually a baby. 

We came out and told our friends and family who knew about the scan that all was still ok and I do believe this may have been the first time we both thought ‘Wow what If we do actually have a baby in 7 months’. 

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E: I love that we can joke with S&J about the realities of us passing this little bean onto them in 7 months time. No more chilled sunbathing holidays, no more solid sleep, no more lie ins for a long time... They laugh nervously every time 😂

S: I’m not going to lie the clinic didn’t make it the complete magical experience I had imagined. We were possibly so used to such personal treatment from our London clinic that this did seem very much like a conveyer belt.  

We enjoyed our friends wedding together that evening and had lots of lovely conversations we hadn’t allowed ourselves to have before, like about the baby now being able to taste what Em was eating (she’s a lot more experimental with food than I am and knows what not to eat) and how their children Mollie and Theo were both born with loads of hair and our baby definitely wouldn’t be if it took after Jack or I! 

E: I love having these detailed conversations about their baby with them- it’s like a huge fog has lifted and a normality in an unusual situation has set in. They need to enjoy these moments of contemplation, and I’m so proud of them for letting themselves dream about what this baby is going to be like. I’m intrigued to know if I’ll get heartburn this time around as Mollie and Theo had loads of hair... this one probably won’t 😂

S: The end of the first trimester is so close it’s within touching distance. Could this be the first time we ever make it through? First midwife appointment is at the end of this week. An actual midwife....

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Emiliana Hall