Episode 11 – Jemma – surrogate
Jemma, from north QLD, birthed as a surrogate in Brisbane in March 2023 for a couple who were initially strangers and are now life long friends. Despite her waters breaking 10 weeks early and an emergency C-section, she had a little boy, Rupert, at 32 weeks for two dads James and JimBob. Jemma is also an admin of EDA (Egg Donation Australia), has donated 13 times for 6 different families, with 7 babies born and 2 on the way!
This episode was recorded in August 2023.
These podcasts were recorded as part of the free webinar series run by Surrogacy Australia. If you would like to attend one, head to this page for dates and registration links. The recording can also be found on our YouTube channel so you can see the photos that are described. Find more podcast episodes here.
The webinars are hosted by Anna McKie who is a gestational surrogate, high school Math teacher and surrogacy educator working with Surrogacy Australia and running SASS (Surrogacy Australia’s Support Service).
Are you an Intended Parent (IP) who is looking to find a surrogate, or a surrogate looking for Intended Parents? Consider joining SASS.
Thanks for watching!
Or if this is your first time, thank you so much for taking the time to listen to Surrogacy Australia’s podcast series with me, your host Anna McKie. My guest on this episode was a co-host on the regular webinar series that I run. Those one-hour webinars are free and will take you through the surrogacy process in Australia. You will hear from a surrogate or parent and there are opportunities to type in your questions and we will try to answer them. You can find upcoming dates on our website at surrogacyaustralia.org.
This episode, recorded in August 2023, features Jemma. Jemma from North Queensland, birthed as a surrogate in Brisbane in March 2023 for a couple who were initially strangers and are now lifelong friends. Despite her waters breaking 10 weeks early and an emergency C-section, she had a little boy, Rupert, at 32 weeks for two dads, James and Jim Bob. Jemma is also an admin of EDA, Egg Donation Australia,
has donated 13 times for six different families with seven babies born and two on the way. In this episode, Jemma talks about having a village of supporters to help with her kids with the early birth, how important the emotional payment was to see the dads bring their son home after two weeks in intensive care, how to maintain the friendship post-birth with alternating who visits who, keeping in touch via FaceTime, talking about the what-ifs and being willing to adjust to a plan changing.
Jemma makes reference to meeting her intended parents at a growing families conference where she was volunteering and speaking as an egg donor. Check them out for when they’re running a seminar or conference in your capital city because you never know you could meet your future surrogacy team at one of those events. Jemma is glowing in how she talks about her journey, which I’m sure you’ll hear in her voice. I hope you enjoy this episode. So with Jemma we’ve got here, we’ve got some beautiful photos to work our way through.
And I think Jemma, we might go from sort of this point in the journey onwards, the pregnancy and birth and beyond to now, and then we’ll go back to the beginning of how it all started. So tell us who’s in this photo here. So this myself on the left, my husband on the far right, and Jim Bob next to myself, and James next to my husband Will. Wonderful. So this was the first time that
James and Jim Bob had actually met, well, my fiancé at the time. Wonderful. Right. Lots of story in there, I’d imagine, to get dating in the chatting stages. Yeah. So then we’ve probably got a bit of a jump here. So what’s happening in this photo? So this is Embryo Transfer Day. So this is literally right around this time a year ago was Embryo Transfer. So big.
crazy, crazy day. Yeah. Is that the famous IVF doctor? Oh, that’s my beloved Doctor Ke Ong. Sure is. I love him. Wonderful things about him. Yeah. So, the embryo transfer, was that in a Brisbane clinic where the the dads live? Yeah. So, that was um Gold Coast. So, the James and Jim Bob were incredible. So, they knew that I already being a multi-time egg donor, loved and trusted Doctor Ong. Um so, they they had the embryos created
different clinic in Brisbane, but beautifully and, you know, we’re willing to sort of allow the transfer to take place at my preferred clinic. Yeah. I mean, that’s a great example of conversations to be had among teams there. And you’re the one with the experience there too. So yeah, that’s great as a team you went with that. It was just the comfort and trust, you know, like I’ve been through.
years with Dr. Ong and you know that’s crazy to say but um. Do you get a loyalty card? Look I need to. I need to. I’m gonna ask him. No. Yeah. And and did it work first embryo transfer for your team? It sure did. We were blessed enough that yes the first first one uh took not without um a few scares along along the way. You know obviously when you first early pregnant we did have a um even before the first scan an early
bleed, which was a bit scary. The guys were about to, you know, jump on planes and get to me. And yeah, so but luckily, Bob stuck in and all ended beautifully. Yeah. And so just for a bit of context, they’re based in Brisbane, but you’re North Queensland, is it one plane flight away? It is. Yes. So we’re, so you just fly, we’re in Tannum Sands. So just off on the coast of Gladstone. So yeah.
quick very one hour flight from a drive. do it too so it’s about six around the corner saying I’m having a bothered cooking tonight can you come yeah that’s it that’s it but you know yeah. All right and these two photos?
the guys came up and we did the home pregnancy test. I’d prepared a shirt just in case. I had a jumper on all day when the guys got there and I thought, all right, I’m either keeping this on or I’m taking it off. And so yeah, when we got the positive pregnancy test I was able to take it off. We all are rugby union fans. We sort of bonded over that. And so little a scrum and scrum being a term in rugby union.
member on board. So that was really cute to take off and go, oh look, it was special. And then the other photo is James’s sister and beautiful egg donut Zoe. She’s divine and you know feels like a sister to me now as well, myself and Jim Bob at their baby shower that we just made it to. Yes, I remember hearing about that. And so that means
So it was one of their sisters is the egg donor and the other’s sperm. So that means the child is genetically connected to both deaths. Both of them, yeah. And honestly, I can see it that he is definitely both of them, the ruined through, I love it, yeah. Beautiful. And that’s a great example of the people coming together to create this life. Oh, 100, and it is, you know, the family love is divine. And I think, as you said before, you know, you don’t just create parents,
family, you know, I’ve created an aunt and another grandchild for beautiful divine grandparents and you know cousins and you know it’s it’s a domino effect isn’t it and I think that’s selfishly one of the biggest privileges is to watch is that that beautiful ripple effect that it has. Yeah and even though the connection might have started initially just with James and Jim Bob that’s where your connection started as you say it grew and rippled out.
to the other people in their lives. Oh, it does. And, oh, that’s us again. So that was, we just had our, oh guys, correct me. I think it was our big scan. Like the 20 week morphology scan? Yes, I believe so. We were having the blood test as well to find out the gender around.
Yes. Yeah. So I came and visited again. Harmony scan. Thanks, Jax. They’re on the chat. Thank you. The Harmony scan. So roughly, I mean, we know he came early. Roughly how often were you seeing each other or was the plan to see each other during the pregnancy? Was that planned or just however? Yeah, look, it was because I was travelling to the clinic a fair bit, obviously in the first couple or trimester to do a lot of our scans with Dr. Ong.
So the plan was that I would travel to do all of that. A lot of them then sort of could be done here, but backwards and forwards. So that dynamic, you know, gets a little bit crazy. And being that I’m part of a blended family with four children, that dynamic gets a little bit difficult sometimes, but you know what, you make it work. And I…
lucky enough to have such an amazing village around me, the guys support and you know we um we get through it but yeah. Yeah. We should we should unpack that one later too in terms of who is your village. So we’ll come back to that. It’s huge. And so. How long have we got? Yeah. I know, right? We can go for days. This photo was um so my waters broke at my hometown at 30 weeks. Um I was flown I I thought that I had
you know, as most pregnant after having two babies of my own, thought I’ve just peed myself like I’m fine. Nothing’s wrong. My husband had left that morning to travel for work, eight hours away. So he just got into sight and I called one of our very good friends and said, my daughter was home sick from school. And I said, can you come and watch my daughter? I’m just going to go get checked out.
not realising that, oh no, that was my waters. So that afternoon I was put on a Royal Flying plane to the Sunshine Coast where we stayed for nearly two weeks, also using beautiful wishlist house once I was discharged from there but couldn’t travel home. So this is, I think our mantra was we just have to get to green slope. So our original obstetrician was beautiful Dr Brad
um who I loved trusted this man was another key on to me um and so you know just stay in mate stay in stay in and so our whole mantra for those two weeks was we just get to green slopes but their cut off was 32 weeks so we had two weeks to to wait with waters broken not knowing anything and that was the you know within half an hour of us going yay we made it to green slopes
unexpected for a team here who’s heading towards 40 weeks of pregnancy at everything to be thrown out with the water so to speak at 30. And I imagine for you as a family too, you know, the logistics that are involved in that and with kids to juggle to change that, that’s and then people look after your kids too, there’s lots involved isn’t there? Oh 100% honestly I am very blessed with the people around me.
I was going to be, sorry, just on James’s comment, we were going to be staying at Hotel Greenslopes. I was going to have room service every day. Like they were worried about how they were going to entertain me for six to eight weeks and I was here for it. But little Rupert had other plans apparently. But I just knew and trusted in my village. You know, people were so supportive of the surrogacy. They loved James and Jim Bob. They loved what we were doing. But it was never the big conversation of what if.
this happens, what would happen. But I was just so lucky and grateful enough that the guys were where they needed to be. I was taken to where I needed to be and everyone just jumped into action. So our good friend ended up staying with my children. We got hold of my husband who then jumped on a plane to get to us as well. Like my mom got to us and our friend then drove the children to us and everything just fit.
And it was like a well-oiled machine. And I think that was the stress that was taken off. Yes, what was happening was out of our control, but how everyone managed, how the village just came together and went, we’ve got this, made it so much less stressful, you know? And being a mum, as you know,
being there for your children and stressing where your children are and are they okay and are they, what have they eaten for dinner? Because that’s, you know, it’s trivial and it’s silly. Who’s packing their lunchbox? Yeah. Oh my gosh, that was a big one. I never had to worry about that. I knew that everything was taken care of. I knew that my husband had them, my mum, my aunt, my, you know, every single component so that my husband could be with me, James and Jim Bob could be with me. And you know, there’s a
Oh gosh, you know, the laughs we had. I remember walking through the hospitals and the nurses and midwives were jealous. They wanted to stay in the room with us because we were just a hoot. Oh, it’s a credit to your team then that you and the village you built around you. And so then we get to birthing day. So yeah, woke up 4.30, 4 a.m. That next morning after that photo was just taken in severe pain going wash.
Contractions had started and I sort of was, what’s going on, what’s going on. I was wheeled downstairs. So Dr. Armstrong was called and he was like, look, let’s just take, do the stop labor. Sure, that’s all it is. Had a bit more blood, but I’d sort of been having that with waters broken. It wasn’t crazy yet. I remember them taking me down because they just wanted to check out. Dr. Armstrong was coming. I usually have my phone glued at the hip. Did I this day? Absolutely not.
stairs. Um Doctor Armstrong severe pain like I am in the arrives and he goes, Jemma, it’s baby. I’m so sorry and all I phone. Um or ring the guys, know they’d been to gym already such early riders and god, I
They’d been to the gym and they were at the IGA getting me my favorite red licorice to bring up to the hospital when they got the call to say and it’s me going get to hospital not in room birth suite and I think that’s that’s literally all I remember. Wow and so they were there they made it. They screamed on in sweat pouring off them because Jim as had Dr Brad he’d just been at the gym as well so they’re both sweating. The guys reckon they went through
about two lots of scrubs because they just kept sweating through them. Bless, it was just, you know, a true Hollywood story, honestly. No A’s and Graces. Look at the smiles on their faces though, hey? It was just like I was, I’d had natural births with my own, you know, a C-section was, you know, and they knew that was my biggest fear and it was so worth it. And the health of the baby wasn’t it? Like had to be.
And that’s all that mattered at that time. And now, you know, I talked about the village, Anesthetist, our obstetrician just became part of this village. Our obstetrician was the best birth photographer you could ever have. The photos and videos that I’ve got are insane, better than any birth photographer could have done. Honestly, like he came out screaming and I think that was all, we were all holding our breath going, he’s so early, he’s so early, but look at him there. And…
proud daddy’s arms and oh my gosh you know. It was good and and how much did he weigh? He was five pound one. It’s pretty good for that. He. Yeah. That’s it. Everyone kept saying what’s his secret? How do you grow babies? Mine was nine pound one. So he was a bigger one to push out. But I think two months early like I’m sort of like we we laugh about me being grateful that he didn’t make it to full term because that’s. Yes. I’ve been a big lad.
So then you guys had to stay in hospital for a bit. A classic question is often, were you in rooms next to each other or something like that? So because Rupert was, because he was so early, he was in the NICU. So I had my own room in the hospital. There was a pullout bed. People could stay there, take shifts, blah, blah, blah. The beauty of it was the hospital’s literally 800 meters from the guy’s house. And so it was perfect.
Rupert obviously couldn’t leave the NICU. He was there. So during the day or during the night time, I’d walk in and visit. The guys had come in during the day. You know, like he sort of always had a presence around him. You know, the guys would take shifts or we would all be there together. That I sort of miss though, like it was so special. And yes, that week post birth is such a bubble together as a team celebrating what you’ve done, isn’t it? It was a blessing because our original
in my hometown or sort of an hour and a half away because our hospital was on bypass at the time, unfortunately. It’s been a bit crazy here in central Queensland, but the plan was once we were discharged after a natural birth, so after three odd days, the guys would go home and then I would sort of follow a few days later. It was a blessing in disguise that all of a sudden we had this two weeks of justice.
beautiful bubble that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Like I remember, you know, so many times I’d send a photo of me in the NICU with Rupert having a cuddle with the guys had gone home and they were so torn, you know, they hated leaving him there because the original plan was to be in the hospital room with Rupert. You know, that had to change and I loved that they loved seeing those photos that they knew that he was still being loved on and cared for even when they couldn’t be there.
That was really special. I bottle down with my bottled breast milk that I’d expressed and that was amazing. OK, so there’s a question there. So you did some expressing of breast milk for a little while. It wasn’t the plan. Originally, I’m like, no, no, I never really liked it with my own. But I think this real pull, especially because he was preemie. Look, I always said, yep, get the liquid gold. You know, like colostrum is so important, and especially now more than ever.
And I just thought, you know, while I’m here, why not? Like I can do this and it’s only gonna benefit him. It’s got so many good vitamins, it’s so good for him. And so, no, I was very proud. I was a proud auntie to be able to, you know, and I purely just expressed it. That was sort of a personal choice for me. It was the most- It was good for your recovery too and yeah. It was divine.
Yeah. You’re still glowing. You sound like you’re in the third trimester and still glowing about it really. It’s my favourite subject and I, you know, I was really just coming into this but I’m like, ah this is easy. We had it, you know. When you talk about something close to your heart and we love hearing from it so everybody wins. And so is this, did your family fly down to visit? Is this how it worked? Um so
This is still in the interim. So this is when we’re at Sunshine Coast University Hospital. So I’m still pregnant in this photo. My daughter’s on my lap. My husband’s pushing me. My aunt, my mom was there. So they would drive up constantly from Brisbane to just come and check in, just visit and just lay eyes, drop the kids to and from. So they would…
take my children back to Brisbane. So they had a little bit of normality just around. So they weren’t in the hospital setting. So Will and I at this stage were about to go to Wishlist House where we got amazing accommodation and looked after sort of like a Ronald McDonald house. And the guys then were booking accommodation literally across the street. So we were all a skip like walk across the street to the hospital if anything needed to happen. But yeah, there’s that’s in the mess. We used to meet up and have lunch down.
Um, in, in the Met, because it was like a full, it was, the services there are incredible. Um, and the other photo on the other side was, um, yeah, that was our amazing midwife. And she, she was a bit scary to begin with, but we learned to love her. She was incredible. Just, um, yeah. So that was the day that Rupert went home. And how many weeks post-birth was that?
weeks. He was the youngest baby in Greenslopes history. Youngest gestational baby. So he was home exactly at thirty four weeks gestation. Yeah. Wow. Good lad. Strong lad. Yes. And then these are the four kiddos in your family? Yes they are. So um my uh Cooper in the black uh Grace my bonus daughter and Theo next to each other in the middle. Um and my husband’s holding Miss Evie at the back.
And beautiful baby Rupert. And then you can just see down the bottom for babies Marvin the white and Miss Maple. Yes, they’ve become part of it, don’t they? Yes. And so then at some point in time, you went back home. Yeah, so we planned that my obstetrician sort of said don’t fly until two weeks post caesarian.
So after I was discharged, after a week of having Rupert, I went and stayed with James and Jim Bob and their family, which was just down the road, which was great. And trying to find that little independence and that little bit of separation. So the guys then were still in between the hospital and the house. And I’d sort of go up in the morning for the very early morning visit. We’d say hi, we’d bring the breast milk and then I’d sort of go back. And it gave me time then to…
see my sisters and Nana and family and friends as well, trying to sort of get back into a normal rhythm of life, which was really great. It was the best of both worlds before I fully was like, I have to go home. So what was beautiful, we’d already booked my flight. We knew when I was coming home. And the surprise was that he was come, Rupert was able, was being discharged from hospital the morning of me leaving.
So I was able to watch the beautiful moment that these beautiful proud daddies walked their baby into their home for the first time. And I videoed the whole thing from the garage opening and them walking up the stairs. And I never realized how, because I think that was a lot of the emotions, being back at the house was, it’s not fair. He should be here. I shouldn’t be here. And it’s so emotional. And he was being so- You wanna birth them a healthy baby.
That’s weird. And have him come home with his dads, how you had intended it. Absolutely, and that was heartbreaking. That was really, really hard. But we all managed it so beautifully. And as I said, the support and the village that just wraps their arms around. And my gosh, you never get sick of hearing how amazing he was by every doctor, by every pediatric, every midwife and nurse.
they’re just, they couldn’t believe how amazing he was. He never needed breathing support. Like he was, he hated when he tube fed them. Like him, he wanted to suck feed. And so it was like, yes, keep going, keep going. So no. I think a credit to you too, Jemma. You were pretty amazing at what you did too. You know, early scares and, you know, unplanned caesarean there. So, and just being a surrogate is pretty amazing, Jemma. Well done to you. Thank you. Oh, it’s,
As I said, I never considered being a surrogate. If it wasn’t for these two amazing dads, I wouldn’t have, but I call them my brothers now. You know, they are, they’re my brothers. And if I’m sad and for any, so, you know, we’ve moved on from the IP surrogate or P surrogate relationship and they’re just family. And that’s- Yeah, they become your modern family, don’t they?
That’s the biggest blessing of all. Oh, that was only a couple of weeks ago. The guys came up and visited for a long weekend. So that’s Miss Evie and Mr. Rupert, little chunker. Yes. That on the other side was our parenting, the court order and- And I think that’s really valuable for people listening to see the team often go together to the parentage order and celebrate that. And then also the photo there of your daughter holding Rupert and you said they came up for a visit. And so that’s what life-
after surrogacy, looks like sometimes you go to them and sometimes they come to you. That’s how you continue the friendship there, isn’t it? And that’s it. It’s so funny, you know, people, because they knew I was pregnant with Rupert, you know, but might not know the story. And I remember once my daughter, we had to go to hospital for something while I was pregnant. And the one of the nurses said, oh, wow, you’re going to be a big sister. And she looked at them so dumbfound and went, no, I’m going to be a big cousin.
just so matter of factly and they’re sort of like, what is she, what? And so it’s like, okay, yeah, good job, Evie, well done. But this is our normal and she loves her cousin. All of my children love their cousin. He is the light of their life. And every time we FaceTime, which is basically daily, let’s be real, you know, maybe not as much, but you know, we do talk often and the kids love seeing him.
he’s getting a lot more animated now and can hold that stare and giggle at you. Well, it’s wonderful to hear again, like how you keep in contact and stuff. It’s really valuable for people to hear. Thank you for sharing those beautiful photos with us to talk through your story. The question is then, do IVF clinics prefer not to do people not to do pregnancy tests and to wait until the blood tests about 10 days post that transfer, or do do some people as a team decide we’re going to?
pee on a stick anyway. How did your team make that decision? So we did decide that we would do a home pregnancy test together, but as close to the blood test as possible. So the guys arrived, I believe it was a Saturday and our blood test was booked for the Monday. And so, yeah, we did decide as a team, good or bad, that we wanted to be together for the response. We felt like that was important.
we were celebrating together or hugging each other going, it’s okay, we’ve got this next time. So, because you’re sort of sitting around waiting for a phone call and being that we don’t live close to each other, the dynamics of that had to shift a little bit. So I think that’s why we chose to do the home test a few days early, but I know other people that wait and can have that still closeness. But yeah, that’s what worked for us. And-
And I think you’re right, each team will do what works for them. We did pregnancy tests, but then sometimes you’re on some medication that tricks it and makes it look like you are pregnant. And so you have to sometimes wait for that to fade. Absolutely. Yeah. So, yeah, everyone works differently there. Take us back to the beginning then Jemma. I think I was there about the time that you met these guys. So we met in person at the Growing Families Conference two years ago in Brisbane in the June. Yeah.
presenting, like helping out, but being on panels as an egg donor. As an egg donor. That’s it. I was, I was wholly solely an egg donor. The guys obviously didn’t need beautiful Zoe had already donated her eggs. They had beautiful embryos already on ice, ready to go. And I think that’s what we found it so easy because, you know, they didn’t need anything from me. I didn’t need anything from them. And it was just this insane natural connection.
that drew us from, you know, I was checking people in at the front door at this growing families conference. And I remember catching there, I going, yeah, I think I like them. And so throughout the day, we sort of mingled and then, and then we, you know, I was catching up with a few other friends that night and we went out to dinner and I’m like, now I’m gonna go back to where everyone’s having dinner because I need to continuously, shamelessly flirt with these two gay men because I love them.
There is something telling me, go back, give them your number. And, you know, I remember during the process, like Jim Bob would sit there. Jim Bob would have been way too nervous to talk to you if he thought you’re a surrogate. Exactly that. Because it was just so easy. Neither of us. So the lads are listening to this. And so they type this into the chat. So because you were coming at it from an egg donor point of view, not that, oh, my gosh, this is a potential surrogate. We must put on our best act.
They were just being themselves and asking you questions about the community really. It was incredible. Yeah, absolutely. And it was just so easy. We talked about Rugby Union, you know, like we talked about my children and where I live and you know, it just flowed. So and the big word was organically. Everything just felt so organic. And I remember leaving the conference and leaving the guys having given them my number and going up or catch up on Facebook,
would you feel if I ever was a surrogate? And that’s how the conversation, but as his answer, and he was like, you know, I’ll support you doing whatever you want to do. And it wasn’t even my husband. So that was the thing. Like we met in the June, was it? I was getting married May, the following year. So the poor guys, I’m like, look, we’ll do this, but I’m not being a pregnant
Can you wait? And of course they can. And so little Rupert was born just under two years from when you first connected. And I think that’s about an average amount of time there. It definitely took the pressure off. We were able to get the, you know, you don’t realize how long the paperwork side of things and putting everything together, how long that can actually take. You know, you might be quick at it, but you know, you’re also waiting for the professionals to get in and do their part as well. So yeah, I think that.
sort of made it easier. All the eggs were in a basket. We all knew what to do. So um August I believe it was 11th was was transfer date. So yeah. Crazy. So that’s coming up. Yeah. Yeah. I know. Crazy. So a question here that’s been typed in for you Jemma. What were the expenses you planned pre-pregnancy? I suppose just talk us through a bit about how you manage that as a team. Did you have a debit card attached
Yeah, so way back in the early days before, you know, anything without even prompting the guys what on it, they just, you know, what we don’t want Jemma to have to ask for a thing, whatever she needs. They went to their bank and got a card drawn up with my name on it that was attached to one of their accounts. So it was fantastic for any appointment, I could swipe the card. As you said, you know, if I wasn’t feeling great during pregnancy, I could
get take away for the family maternity clothes, you know, and, and bras. The guys had to buy me bras while we were away. It was fantastic. I love it. But, you know, it’s all these things. There were no airs and graces towards the end. Yeah, they learned so much. My dad bought me the maternity clothes too, even some secondhand pickups.
But they did. It was just divine. Like I wouldn’t change it. We were just so open and you know I’d be on the toilet after birth going, Jim Bob I need you to come in here. And it just became so natural. Sorry. But expenses that were planned. Yeah. Anything. Like if I had to drive because a lot of my appointments then at the time when we decided we would sort of birth locally to me for a bit of time.
before the world fell out from under us, was driving to Rocky, so even fuel expenses to travel because that’s a 300K sort of round trip if I need a babysitting, just anything that would be out of the ordinary and was pregnancy related, baby related. But it was beautiful that I had that card that I didn’t have to constantly go back and forward to the guys and go, oh, hey, I need reimbursement for this or hey, I need money for this. Like it was- It was trust.
No one likes, there was no one likes to put that money. It’s such a bugaboo topic and to automatically for that to be taken out of the equation took such a pressure off our team. So if that’s, that’s my biggest advice is just be preemptive. Just go with that. If you trust them enough to carry your baby, you’re going to trust them enough to, you know, be good with the finances and reasonable.
Be reasonable. That’s it. Yeah. And so it’s OK to have some paid babysitting, some extra takeaway meals. You know, yeah, I had a clean up towards the end. I finally succumbed. I’m like, by the time I get to the trimester, I’ll get a cleaner. I mean, yeah, so that was good. And then obviously recovering from a C-section coming home. So I use that a few more times as well. And just all those little things that that really helped. And I could just do it. I didn’t have to, you know, the guys knew what I was doing all the time anyway.
you know, not having to ring them up constantly when they’re, you know, new dads as well. So, yeah. So tell us something, yeah, in the team. So I suppose, you know, you’re having a baby with four adults really, you know, and there’s lots of different views on how things should go. So communication, I’d imagine, would be quite key. Is that any advice to people listening there about some things that your team did well or lessons learned about communication?
Yeah, look, nothing was off topic for us. You know, we always had a very open line of communication. My gosh, I’d ring them and go, I don’t feel well. I’d whinge and they’d whinge back, I’m worked sucked. And that was great. I think I was, you know, I’d had two natural deliveries, full-term deliveries and, you know, induced for goodness sake. Nothing bad was gonna happen to us. So I think maybe one thing I brushed under was talking about the what ifs.
know, and what ifs can happen, you know, it happened to us. And so I think, for me, I was lucky enough to have a huge village around me, to have friends, to have family that could jump into gear. But I guess have those conversations with your surrogate, what if they don’t have a village? What if they live away, you live away, and an emergency happens? Just communicate, have those conversations about what would happen if.
They’re not nice. They’re not, you know, no one wants to think bad thoughts when you’re in such a joyous time and you’re pregnant going, oh my gosh, no, it’s just gonna be so amazing. I think that, as I said, I was just so blessed. I felt like relief that whatever would happen or nothing was gonna happen, but you know, we had this, we got this, but my biggest advice would definitely be communicate, you know, cross all your T’s, dot all your I’s.
make a game plan for every possible scenario. So they could almost learn from you and talk as a team going, hey, this happened to Jemma’s team. 100%. When the boarders broke at 30 weeks and she birthed at 32 weeks, what would we do in that scenario? Yeah. Particularly long distance apart. Who would be looking after the kids? Yeah. Where do we fly? Where are we staying? Well, that’s it. So the day that we arrived at Green Slopes, we decided because well, it’s going to be at Hotel Green Slopes for a minimum of six weeks or so. But
But so my husband and my kids drove home the day before I had Rupert. So they didn’t make it. So that was something that we had to adjust. That was hard, you know, not ringing my husband crying on the phone going, oh, my gosh, get here, but knowing he’s not going to get there. You know, and so adjusting, being willing to adjust to a plan changing, both IP side, both surrogate side, you know, things don’t always go as you plan, as you expect.
doesn’t make it any beautiful. Like I. And it’s okay to be upset about that for a bit and to wallow and go, this is not part of my plan. And then. I had a pity party. Absolutely. But I now look at it and I smile and go, it’s Rupert’s journey. It was his, he was meant to be here and you know, his smile, his little giggle, his, my gosh, FaceTiming him on Monday and he’s just chatting. He’s actually, you know, he
you know, it just makes it all worth it and and I yeah loved every minute. I love the guys, they know that. You know, I love my village. I’m in awe of my incredible husband who, you know, supported me through this and you know, yeah, no, it wouldn’t wouldn’t change a thing. If I went into this knowing the outcome would be exactly the same, I still wouldn’t change a thing. Well, I think it’s a credit to you and Steve. I mean, you’re still glowing talking about that.
everybody listening I’m sure can hear that too. No thanks. We could talk for hours I’m sure but to wrap it up have you got any other last bits of parting advice or lessons from your team that you wanted to pass on or have we covered it all? I think we’ve covered it but you know if you’re considering surrogacy do it you know it’s the most selfless rewarding thing you know I if you meet your person you know you just know and it just comes easily and and
As I said before, I think it’s not just about making parents or a parent. It’s a it’s about the ripple effects. Watch the family grow. Watch the joy that you bring to so many. And, you know, you now get that beautiful heartwarming fuzzies of watching this beautiful little boy grow. And I can’t wait for that. Thank you so much for having me. It’s been amazing. Thank you for joining me.
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