The word 'father' is used to describe a male figure who is the parent of a child. Not just used to describe a child's biological parent, a 'father' may have a parental, legal, or social relationship with the child that affords them the right to be a father. Whilst some children may have a biological father or a father figure, some are lucky enough to have both.
In celebration of Father's day on Sunday 21 June 2020, we caught up with @twodads.u.k Michael and Wes who took the exciting decision to become fathers via surrogacy.
In his own words, Michael shares their surrogacy journey.
"We’re Michael and Wes, and Talulah who’s 3, and Duke who is 10 months old, make up our little Modern Family. We write about our family via our social channels. I guess we’re a little different to most families as out tribe was created via surrogacy, but the one thing we have in common is the love we hold for our children and the dreams we strive to make happen for them. We’d do anything for them ..."
Finding a Surrogate
We enquired to the three main Surrogacy not for profits in the UK, but back in 2013/14 their registrations for Intended Parents (IP’s) was closed due to a shortage of Surrogates – so we opted to go down the ‘Independent route’ and complete our own research. We joined a number of networking forums where Surrogates and Intended Parents chat online and over time build relationships/friendships. We met our Surrogate after around 6 weeks of being active in the Surrogacy groups, and we hit it off immediately. She was married, had never been a Surrogate before, but had four children of her own and always yearned to help make and complete another family. Over the next 6 months we met regularly, went out for meals, weekends away and spent time with all her family. We were ready to start exploring clinic options. Caroline was a ‘Gestational Surrogate’ which meant she wasn’t using her own eggs, which is what we wanted anyway, she would simply be a ‘Host’ and keep our embryo safe for 9 months, then give us back our baby.
We found a clinic, with an excellent Surrogacy programme and we tasked them to find us an egg donor that met our criteria. If we could have children naturally, what would they look like? So, as we were using my gametes first, we asked them to match the donor to Wes. Fair skin, blue eyes, and blonde hair. After 6 months a donor was found. Our Surrogate began hormone treatment, all our tests were completed, and our egg donor had her eggs retrieved. We fertilised five eggs in the lab with my sperm, by day five of them being cultured, three were viable blastocysts. We transferred one fresh embryo on the 13th February 2016, two agonising weeks later our Surrogate took a pregnancy test, and messaged us asking if we could speak, we answered the call and she simply said and sent it ‘Congratulations, you’re going to be Daddies!
We had an amazing pregnancy, and 9 months later on the 16th October 2016 at 6am our lives changed forever – Talulah was born weighing 8lb exactly. Two and a half years later we began treatment again, as we always had spoken about a sibling journey with our Surrogate, after a failed transfer in June 2018, we had a little break, we transferred an embryo in December 2018. On the 31st December our two-week wait was up – we were pregnant again, we were over the moon and could celebrate New Year with a bang! This time, our incredible, selfless surrogate was carrying Wes’ biological child who would turn out to be our incredible Son. Duke was born on the 20th August 2019, 9:16am weighing 7.2lbs. You can read about the birth here on our blog. Our Surrogate’s goal of creating and completing a family had been achieved. She gave us the greatest gift anyone could for Fathers Day – our babies.
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