Surrogacy: A Dad’s Perspective – Part 2
After eight weeks of swinging between total elation and mild depression, I assessed my life and thought to myself, you know what, I don’t care what others think. This is OUR one and only chance of becoming a family and once I stopped thinking so much the inexplicable and excruciating pain of keeping my mouth shut, until we passed the first trimester, was a nightmare.
*Happy Dance… Happy Dance* 🙂
We received every scan, every medical test result, every ultrasound and daily updates via our private website on how our Surrogate, now affectionately know as our ‘Tummy Mummy’, and how the twins were doing. From the second month we would Skype every second Saturday with our surrogate and an interpreter for an hour. We literally watched our children grow, we fell in love with our Surrogate and felt beyond humbled by what she was doing for us.
The tears we shed being so far from T1 & T2, as they were known then, were many and often. I don’t care how big a brute or how blokie you think you are, seeing the tears of you wife & the joy of having two children enter our lives will change you….forever.
By Indian law we were not allowed to know the gender of T1 & T2. We were crushed at first but found out that in India, if you carry a girl, there is a 80% chance the husband will want a termination. India’s patriarchal belief system had to have a line drawn in the sand and this was it. In the end, we looking upon our situation as more like Christmas than anything else. We could see our ‘gift’ but just not unwrap it yet.
How many good surprises does nature give us these days?
We were just grateful for all the effort the Surrogacy team was putting in to helping us become parents. The logistics were astounding but very well coordinated, again we felt in awe of what was happening half a world away.
In the end we were glad we didn’t know as it made the anticipation worth every second we waited for our two health twin boys, Connor Xavier & Christian Cole, to arrive in this world we share. Although born at 32 weeks + 2, due to the onset of preeclampsia, the NICU Staff were as professional and lovely as we have met at any first world hospital. We arrived the day after the birth and it took another day to get all our paperwork organized before we could see the boys. We were, to say the least, a little anxious & impatient to see our Surrogate and the boys for the first time.
Now I don’t know if any of you have ever experienced the raw nervousness associated with a life event before, but I can tell you that nothing and I truly mean nothing could have prepared me for the next 30 days….
Seeing our boys in the NICU for the first time rocked my world, they were so tiny. Connor, 1850 grams & Christian 2050 grams, I know they are not the smallest ever but to us they were. My beefy hands just felt inadequate with their hands approximately the size of a 20c piece! I was literally shaking and literally out of breathe the first time we saw them. Holding Connor’s head in the palm of my hand, his feet barely stretched half way down my forearm….words do not do justice to what I felt that day. A suffusion of overwhelming completion, pure joy and total inadequacy all rolled into one and then super charged with adrenaline is as close as words can get.
Christian had a mild infection and was pretty much on antibiotics, Cpap & blue light therapy until the fourteenth day. We have recorded a lot of their milestones on an iPad App (Total Baby) and on the 10th day the boys went to 5mls of formula. It seems silly but to be off the IV was a great sign and watching them take it via a syringe (minus the needle) was the first big step to them being released into our care.
On the 18th day we checked into the Hiranandani hospital and anxiously waited for the boys to join us in our room. At 11:45 that day Connor arrived and Christian came up at 5:45pm that same day. We were in heaven and mortified as well. We were so far from home, on our own in a country we barely understood and had 2 little boys now depending 100% on us for everything.
Yet as every one of you knows, that when your kids are involved you just step up to the task and do what you have to do. No ifs, no buts, no maybes….
Feeding every 2 hours on the first night was a shock to our system. By morning we were shattered but we soon devised our strategy to work as a team to get some semblance of sleep. A rotating production line of sterilizing bottles, mixing formula, chaining nappies and 4 hour blocks of sleep became the norm pretty quickly.
Initially we were supposed to be admitted for 5 days until the doctors were satisfied and content with us being competent parents And the boys happily gaining their lost birth weight before being released as a family. To our delight, the doctors asked us on the 3rd night if we wanted to be discharged on the fourth morning & more than happy with our routine and calmness of being parents.
They must have been NUTS! LOL!!!
So off we go The Grand Hyatt for 14 more days of paperwork, stress of still being in a foreign country, interviews, consulate visits, photographs being taken, faxing, emailing visiting the FRRO office & couriering our life’s details all over the country and even a round the world trip for a DNA test for the boys to get their very own passports at only 27 days old.
The Surrogacy Team marveled at how my wife jumped into a ‘Took Took’ cab and journeyed for an hour by herself, with the twins to the office to sign legal documentation while I was laid up ill in our hotel room. They jut couldn’t believe it but we felt that safe there and we were keen to come home. We pushed every boundary from medical sign offs after the test results were all good to exit Visa interviews, to make things happen.
Booking flights via email to our local Flight Centre was made so easy by the staff that has helped us on both trips. The original flight home was going to be over $5000 (thanks to the Olympics just finishing) but they snagged a flight for all of us for $3100 on Malaysian Airlines who were the best! They cleared out two full rows in the middle of the plane, one full row for Mum & Christian & one full row for Connor and myself. So with the boys in their cocoons, a back pack each with formula, nappies, changes of clothes we were off home! (The other three suitcases were on the cargo hold!)
The first leg from Mumbai to Kuala Lumpa took a little over five and a half hours. A two-hour and a half layover and we were then shuffled lovingly on to the 9 hour flight back to Brisbane. With time zone differences the total travel time from Mumbai to home was a mere 27 hours with no sleep (inc the day of us leaving on an 8pm flight) and newborn twins.
Sleep deprived, ecstatic, exhausted and running on adrenaline we touched down at 8:20pm on a cool August evening at Brisbane Airport with one friend to pick us up and another special friend (the one who wrote the original article my wife saw in the paper and drove 2 hours to greet us!) met us at the airport. We asked family not to come as it was a mid week work night and they all have a young family of their own and all a fair drive from the airport. Mind you the next day was chaos at our place and we reveled in it. Glowing and doting parents we now are… can you believe that????
We were home safe and in one piece, well four technically, but we were now a family of dreams that turned into a family of reality….
Tonight I sit here and have recounted about 30% of what really happened, maybe one day a book will become of it but for now we have the two most beautiful sons that will be loved, cherished, fun, spoilt, troublesome & adored that any one of you would be proud to call your own.
Multiple madness (or the Multiverse as we affectionately call it now), has entered our life through the kindness, generosity and skillful hands of to many people to thank here individually. The perseverance of a dream has now become a reality from a possibility.
To our sons, Connor & Christian, you will always know how you entered this world and know that you are the center of our Multiverse. Our love for you both is unconditional and you have enhanced our lives to a degree that words cannot express. We love you and engender our hearts to you both.
Welcome to our world and the madness that you are a very big part of & you know what, we wouldn’t have it any other way….
Dad & Mum…xoxo
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