Written by Emilana
It was December 2014, and my best friend Sophie and her husband Jack came over to our house with our Christmas card. Inside was a scan photo, they were pregnant! It was a moment full of joy and happiness. It was also one that started my journey to becoming their surrogate (even though I didn’t know it at the time!).
A few weeks later, I got a positive test too. We were going to be having our babies’ weeks apart! The same day I told Sophie that I was expecting, was the day she lost her pregnancy.
As the subsequent months and years went by, I gave birth to my daughter and then became pregnant with my son. All the while Sophie and Jack were experiencing losses, ectopic pregnancies and failed rounds of IVF.
The greatest gift
Whilst pregnant with Theo, I decided I wanted to offer to be their surrogate. I talked it through at length with my husband James and he agreed that this may well be their best chance of having a genetic baby and he wanted to help them too.
A few months after our offer Sophie had her second tube removed due to another ectopic pregnancy. It was only then that accepted and the offer of trying surrogacy and the journey officially began!
It was a really eye-opening experience for me into not just the surrogacy world, but the IVF world too. Sophie came to all the appointments with me and Jack to all of the more important ones. My husband James was on duty with our children as we navigated the the appointments, legalities and agreements.
We finally got to transfer day and as we saw the flicker of the embryo be implanted via the screen, I felt more hopeful than nervous. I knew I was doing a good thing just by trying for them, and it’s all I could really do.
A few weeks later, the positive test came and reality hit that this was happening! We were all so over the moon but we knew we had a way to go. It was the first time I really felt a sense of true responsibility but it felt good and I knew I just had to keep healthy as I had with my own two pregnancies.
The pregnancy was plain sailing, each appointment was pretty text book and I really enjoyed the feeling of doing something good for someone that was bigger than me. Anything I had to stop doing in my own life was a million times worth missing out on, and I never actually felt like I missed out on anything anyway. When you have 2 young children life is pretty quiet anyway!
Sophie and Jack came to all of the midwife appointments and when it came to deciding on the birth preference, we decided to plan for an abdominal birth. I had birthed both of my babies at home but this was a very different situation to my own pregnancies. We all knew the risks and benefits of both types of birth and the planned scenario felt right.
On the day we met Leo, Sophie and Jack picked me up from home to go to the hospital. It was like the strangest but most amazing day out for the three of us! We have been through lots of things in life together- school, growing up, holidays, but this was just so surreal. After 6 years of lots of lows for them, we were finally going to meet their baby!
Over the rainbow
Leo’s birth was beautiful. There was an excitement running through the air for us all. I’m pretty sure everyone in the surgery was weeping as ‘over the rainbow’ was playing and Leo was born. He was handed straight to Sophie for skin on skin in the theatre.
Aside from having my own children, being a surrogate is my proudest achievement. Nothing will ever top that experience in my lifetime!