Episode 26 – Dane – gay dad

Dane and Ben from Newcastle became parents to baby boy Rupert in January 2022. Rupert was carried and birthed by their surrogate Chelsea who was previously a stranger and who lived on the Gold Coast. Dane’s sister is their egg donor so there is a whole village involved to create their son!

This episode was recorded in May 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). 

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Are you an Intended Parent (IP) who is looking to find a surrogate, or a surrogate looking for Intended Parents? Join SASS.


Welcome to Surrogacy Australia’s podcast series. I’m your host Anna McKie. Thank you for sharing your time to listen to this episode. These recordings are from the regular one-hour free webinars that I run which I invite you to attend if you haven’t already. They take you through how surrogacy works in Australia, including how to find a surrogate or intended parents, there are opportunities to ask questions and you hear from a co-host each time about their own journey.

This episode, recorded in May 2023, features Dane. Dane and Ben from Newcastle became parents to baby boy Rupert in January 2022. Rupert was carried and birthed by their surrogate Chelsea, who was previously a stranger and who lived on the Gold Coast now in New Zealand. Dane’s sister is their egg donor, so there is a whole village involved to create their son. In this episode, we covered lots of interesting topics, including making embryos with your

the average cost and range of a journey, engaging with a surrogate, but when it doesn’t work out, how to manage those feelings of desperation, and then how to put yourself out there again to find another surrogate. He shares some advice for new intended parents, IPs, on being transparent, and talks about some of the challenges of being an interstate team and COVID restrictions. I hope you enjoy this episode.

Alrighty, so we’ve got Dane joining us tonight and we’ve got some lovely photos that he shared with us that we’re going to work our way through and we’ll use them to weave in his surrogacy story. So Dane, who’s in this photo and what was happening here? This was the first time that my husband Ben and I, so Ben is the one in the navy blue shirt, met our surrogate Chelsea and her husband Matt. So it was a long time coming. We had been chatting for I think about four months prior to this because they were in Queensland. It was the first wave of COVID.

for I think it was just maybe a month. So we only got like, no, actually that’s like, I think six months. But anyway, this was our first time that we officially got to meet face to face as opposed to screen to screen or text message. Very exciting and nervous day. Yeah, well, it was nerve wracking, but it was funny because we actually picked them up to go out for dinner. This was actually taken at the car park of the Star Casino, which is quite funny.

This is where we went after dinner when we did go to meet them for the first time we knocked on the door and we just saw these hands and a face of like their little kids split up against the door with the glass. It was so funny and they were very excited because Chelsea and Matt had been telling them who we were and yeah so this is our very first photo. Wonderful and so that’s probably a good opportunity to say so you met Chelsea online through the… Yes sorry yes we did meet on the uh Sorry-Va-See Facebook group and I had…

a little about us on the page and she had messaged us privately to discuss what she was looking to do and what we were after and then just kind of blossomed from there really. Wonderful. Yeah. I’ve got questions about that but we might think we can come back to that so we’ll work through our photos because then I think we move on to…

some exciting things happening here, two different things happening in these photos. Tell us about that. Yeah, so the one on the left, well, that’s obviously Chelsea in the blue dress, her daughter, Talia, Ben in black, and that’s my sister, Kate, who was our egg donor. And that was our first transfer, which unfortunately didn’t work, but it led us to our second transfer, which Matt flew down for, and we didn’t purposely match with the black and white checks, but it obviously was maybe good luck.

because that’s me holding our transfer, which actually isn’t the transfer dish, but I asked for it and they said there was too much glue in it. So I said, just give me one with the sticker because it’s going to work. Right. Yes. Because when you sent me that photo, I’m like, I’ve never seen that before. I’m going to guess that’s something to do with the transfer. Yeah, that’s the, that’s what a little embryo was, but not ours, but they put the stick on it like it was. Excellent. And here we are breaking the myth of what’s actually in there. And so then was this a little announcement?

Chelsea surprised us and flew down. So she contacted my sister and mum to surprise us. And my sister was asking Ben and myself to take her daughter to netball and her son to football because she had to go to something.

And I was skimming because I was like, you’re running late. X-Files and I walked in here’s Chelsea and I was like, what are you doing here? And then I read the balloon and I was about half an hour before Ben. So I got to watch Ben being shocked as well. It was very exciting. It was so, it was lovely. I’ve heard a surprise with it. Wonderful. And I think there’s a couple of things you’ve hit on there tonight.

brand new IPs listening, you’re hearing there that Chelsea helped arrange this with your sister. And so that’s a great example of how it’s not just you doing this with Chelsea and her family, the network expands, doesn’t it? And the connection that everyone’s making. She became part of the family. She still is. So they still always, especially with my mom, they stay in contact a lot. That’s beautiful. Yeah. So I can see the big smiles that it would have been such a great fun thing to organize and then moving on to some more pregnancy scans and announcements. That was just mine and Ben’s photo announcement. And that.

of Chelsea, I think, oh that was actually the day that Rupert was born. Yes, that was the day. So she actually got induced, they broke her waters and that was them just checking Rupert. And I think we’ve got some birth photos. No, I’ve stuffed up the order there. I thought that might be one of the steps.

Yeah, so that, the one that left is obviously Ben, myself and Chelsea and Kate again. That was on our baby shower day at our house. And then Chelsea arranged some maternity photos for her to keep with her and her family as well. They’re not in that image, obviously, but that’s just one from the photos that were taken. Yes. Did you go up to her for those photos? Yeah. So again, we didn’t have any in the mix in between because COVID raised its little head. And Chelsea got pregnant and then at…

11 weeks before our 12 week scan, the borders closed and they didn’t open until she was, so this, at our baby shower, that was the first time we saw Chelsea that pregnant because we hadn’t seen her until the day of our baby shower. So we weren’t actually going to have one because she couldn’t make it, but then the borders did finally open and she flew down and I think she was from memory.

she had been maybe 32 weeks then. And then we were going to go up after Christmas on Boxing Day, but COVID started spreading like wildfire in Newcastle. And we thought we were gonna close the borders again. So Ben and I actually went out. We stayed in Queensland for six weeks, I think it was. And we actually just moved into our house, that house that we got a photo of three weeks prior to us going there. So we were in Queensland for longer than we were in our new house. We got to know our Airbnb a bit better. Yes.

Oh, that’s surrogacy, isn’t it? Just very sad as in the works. And I’m sure that was not the plan as a team when you got to know each other, thinking what pregnancy would look like, how often you might be visiting to help her. And then you just… Oh, yeah. Yeah, it was crazy. So it was obviously just kind of work it out as you run along the course of it all. But yeah, we didn’t. I only got to go to the first scan, which was five weeks, I believe. Hear a heartbeat? No, we didn’t get to hear one. So it was a little bit disappointing, I guess, but they were like, there’s a…

Yeah, you can see there’s a yoke there. I was like, oh, we’re still at the egg stage. Yes. The rest were all via FaceTime, which was good. So we were still there in spirit. I’m sure she appreciated having you there for a few weeks before birth since you went up early. Yeah, yeah. We got some good times. We spent Christmas up there as well. Cause he was born on January 14th. So we were there, Jack Christmas and New Year’s. So we got to enjoy it all. Lovely and help her out with the kids and just be around and see her.

heavily pregnant. So, and then… So this is us with Chelsea’s kids and her mum, Jo, and that’s us trying to walk the baby out. She actually, yeah, she was so pathed. She was smashing out the steps and little did we know, she actually was COVID positive at the time. So she was doing this while trying to get Rippa to bring on labor and she was, had COVID. Wow. Yeah. So she was 38 weeks pregnant.

Yeah right. And so, and I have to comment on the person taking a selfie in the background too. That’s great. Photo bomb. And so then when Rupert was born, a little while had she finished COVID? I think it was literally two days after she came out of her little isolation lockdown. So she she went into, I think they call it false labor I guess, when she was in the middle of her isolation process.

But Chelsea has a, not quoting it correctly, but she has a rare blood condition. So she has to have medication prior. And so they didn’t hook her up to the medication because it was false labor at that stage. So, and of course she had COVID, it just was too risky with all the PPE and everything like that. So they sent us home and then waited until. Real labor.

Yeah, real labor kicked in. Strong contractions, yes. I remember at the time in 2020 for me, so I did home birth, but that was planned, but it certainly created more conversations, not just surrogacy team, but for pregnant women, about home birth because then you had a bit more sense of control over what was happening. Yeah, yeah. You didn’t have to navigate hospitals and things. Yeah, and well, with Chels, so Rupert was her fifth birth and her four, she’s always had her labors, her water’s broken.

She was hoping that Rupert was going to be the baby that had the waters break naturally, but unfortunately didn’t get a plan, but it was the perfect labor. And then I think we’ve got some beautiful birth photos here. So she had a water birth. Yeah. And she was so in control of that whole labor. Like she was, she knew as soon as they broke her waters, he was born, I think exactly three hours after. It was very quick. I just remembered her. She was eating. We wouldn’t have had like

Prior to them breaking her waters, she was having hot chips and the nurse was like, you’re going to bring them up. And she just looked at her and she was like, no, I’m not. This is my fifth go. And I’m not, there was this day that I was like, oh, she’s eating a word. She’s about to vomit, but she had control. Obviously for anyone that’s watching their child being born, it was incredible. And just like, it was so like animalistic, I guess, in a, in a beautiful way, um, to watch it just happen so naturally and watch how.

in control she was but also out of control and just like following my natural instinct. Oh that’s so lovely to hear you summarize that birth. I know having had a very similar type of birth I reckon I can hear in your voice and see your pride in her and your joy at being at that birth. Do you look back at these photos and are you transported back to those? Oh yeah we have a video which like she’s very proud of as well and even Ben and I have had like family members that have had…

had kids obviously and when they broke her waters I was strapping myself in for 12 hour labour and Matt her husband text us and he was throwing out times predicting when he was going to be born and it was two hours after they broke her waters and I was like two hours that’s downright and then it was only three hours I was on the money but yes it was crazy. Just on that you said her husband there was he not there at the birth?

Was he looking up? Yeah, he took that photo of Ben and I there, so he was there as well. Excellent. So he was her other support person. Yeah, yeah. He was great. And after she birthed, he said that was her best one. It was just right out. End on a high, perhaps. Yeah. And then these photos, being dead. Yeah, so it was very overwhelming. Didn’t feel real. Didn’t feel real for probably six weeks, to be honest. I just was like, yeah, it was very, very surreal. The sleep deprivation probably has a hand in that, the interrupted sleep. But…

Do you mean just going, wow, there’s a person in my house in my arms and I’m responsible for his life now? Yeah, it was almost like, oh, right, he’s all mine. He’s mine, he’s going nowhere. Yeah, that going nowhere idea, it’s not just here for a sleepover. Yeah, exactly right, yeah. You’re on. Newborn photos here with the team. Yeah, so my sister and dad drove down after Rupert was born and Ben’s parents also flew down, but the photographer.

that took Chelsea’s maternity photos. She was also scheduled to take the birth photos, but because COVID came back in Queensland and came on strong after New Year’s, they were limited to who they could allow on the birthing suite. So she did some post-birth photos for us and Kate came along for those as well. So that’s the four of us and Rupert. Beautiful, some pretty special photos there for everybody to have in your house. And then a more recent photo of your cheeky little guy, hey? Yeah, yeah, that’s him now.

that was a few months ago. So we’ve even changed more so now and probably more cheeky than what you would get in that photo. I’ll just mention there that yes I follow Dane on Instagram that’s where we’ve connected and I’ve really enjoyed watching Rupert grow up and Dane’s sense of humor with the commentary in the background of all the antics that he gets up to. Yes he’s got a personality. Such an expressive face. He’s gonna be a cheeky one we reckon. Yes, yes definitely.

Well, actually somebody has typed something in the chat section, so I’ll read that out as our first question. We have a surrogate and they’re wanting to know how long it takes to go through the process to get to embryo transfer. Dane, perhaps share your side of the story then. How long did you date, but then also how long do you remember did it take to do the paperwork? It was actually quite fast for us, to be honest. I don’t know exactly, but we met them face to face in January, and then the first transfer, I believe, was April? Of the same year!

Yeah, we had already got all our paperwork and things sorted. And then once we met, and we obviously met a few times after that as well, we started to do the process. So it was quite… And then I think we were dating for like, I think it was dating six or eight months before a transfer. Oh, yeah, yeah, right. Good. So we didn’t meet in January for the first time, but we had been speaking like, I think it was from August or July, something around that. Yeah. And so then was it a couple of months to do the counselling and legal part of the paperwork?

Yeah, so that actually went quite quickly. So I think it was maybe two to three months from memory. Yeah. And then now, and had you made embryos at that point or you’re doing that in parallel? We actually did embryos prior. So we had a surrogate that we met again through Australian Surrogacy about 12 months. Oh no, it would have been eight months prior, but it didn’t, unfortunately, it didn’t work out. Unfortunately, unfortunately, because Rupert’s here, obviously, Kate, I and Ben had started the process of.

getting embryos sorted before everything with Chelsea. The conversations with Chelsea. Yeah, so they were on ice, so to speak. Yes, they were in the freezer. And so this is often a common question, new IPs ask, were you able to do that egg collection from your donor, even if you didn’t necessarily have a confirmed surrogate? Or- Yes, that’s a really good question because we had initially gone with one clinic and unfortunately the counselor kind of laughed at us when we said we wanted to create embryos but we had our surrogate.

and I at the beginning, the first one didn’t work out. And she kind of laughed and said, we can’t just create embryos. And I was like, oh, she’s like, you’ll have to find a surrogate. And I was like, well, I’ve just, my sister at the stage was 38 and obviously age was a factor. I expressed that we were a bit nervous about that and could take another two, four years to find a surrogate because of the process. And anyway, I’m rambling now, but then we went with Hunter IVF.

and they had to go to the panel, is that what they call it I think? Yeah I think they often have ethics. Yes, yeah. And basically because of Kate’s age, although she was creating eggs like probably an 18 year old, because of her age they did allow us to start the process without a surrogate. I think the feedback I’m hearing from that then is if you gently nudge your IVF clinic, you should be able to. We went with Hunter IVF which is I think

is at IVF Australia, they’re affiliated with. So I think most people use them. There is another local clinic here who we engage with first, but once we transferred across and our doctor was beautiful and we were happy and everything went to plan, obviously. I know someone that’s here with us tonight who’s used them as well and some feedback in the chat section there. So that’s some double good feedback. Yes, yeah. I’ve got other questions I could ask about that first surrogate and timing, but we can come back to that. Maybe a cheeky question that Craig’s asked here.

Are you planning on another baby? Yes. So we do have two embryos on ice and the plan is to obviously utilize them. Otherwise we’re just paying for them to be stored for no reason. I wouldn’t, I mean, if it was a very easy process for us, I think I’ll be on to baby number three, but then on the other hand, as he said, we’ll utilize the two, which would probably be, you know, I mean, being realistic, it could potentially be one transfer because we did have eggs.

that didn’t make the thawing process. So we might only have one shot the next round, but yes, we are in the process of looking into baby number two. And I’ll expand on that cheeky question then. Would that be with Chelsea or it would be a different surrogate? No, we, one of our close friends has, yes, we’re very lucky. Congratulations.

Yeah. Thank you for sharing that with us here tonight. We’re not in the process right now, I just want to close. No, but having an offer is a great thing. Yeah, yeah, it was very beautiful of them to offer and obviously it lets you kind of just enjoy your time currently now with your firstborn without having the pressure of searching for someone and taking you away from just enjoying the current moment with them. Agreed, yes, because that searching is, that unknown is a tricky one.

Yeah, yeah it is. Michael asks here, you don’t have to answer if you don’t want to because I can answer with a range. Did you find the process expensive? Yes. Because people like to prepare. Do you have a rough average? We were expecting it to be expensive and I’ll be transparent because I think it’s quite helpful. I wish I had a known prior but ours was probably expensive just based on a lot of things being one COVID, two Chelsea was in Queensland and we were in

Three Rupert was due around that holiday period. So we had to get an Airbnb throughout what turned into Christmas, New Year’s. So that was very expensive to book an Airbnb in the Gold Coast for six weeks over the Christmas, New Year’s period. And I guess the egg collection process was expensive as well but I’m happy if anyone wants to ask questions about costing in more detail.

them to message me as well. Like I don’t need to divulge all my ins and outs. But we were in a situation where we were thankfully able to, we sold our house to free up some equity and we were doing with my parents for a period of time until we had enough funds to help us with the whole process. So it’s sacrifices that people make to make this happen. Oh yeah.

And we’re not, and that’s I guess, I remember you said at the start of our little talk beforehand, things that you struggled with. And one of them was asking for help. And this whole process is about asking for help. And we’re not ones to ask for help at the best of times. So that was a difficult thing to get your head around. Mm. The surrogates struggle to ask for help, but so do the IPs from elite networks, don’t they? Yeah. Michael, I can expand a little bit more because I have a data collection that I’ve done. And Dane, I’ll be emailing it to you to…

to fill out so that we can try and get a rough estimate for what does it cost in Australia. So from the data gathering that I have done, the average is about 60,000. That’s what it costs my guys, 30,000 of that was IVF for them because there was two collections from their donor and not getting Medicare rebates. And the range is about 35 to 90,000. So for those listening, those at the lower end, the 30, 35, they live locally to each other. So they don’t have interstate travel.

It probably works first transfer and they don’t have loss of wages to pay. And then those at the upper end, it might be multiple egg collection cycles from the intended mum or the donor. They might have interstate travel and accommodation and they might have to pay loss of wages and multiple transfers. It might take as well to happen. There’s a rough range. Do you remember Dane going into surrogacy? Obviously you didn’t have every dollar saved at the beginning. No. Did you have like 10 or 20,000 saved? Uh, I honestly, I.

I can’t recall, I know that we had money aside for the A collection. I think ours was about 35 to 40. So we must have had that. It’s a long time ago. It was, and we were just in the, we were renovating and we just got married. So it was just kind of like, well, we’re handing money to everyone at that stage.

Yes. We have been saving and we’re used to saving. So we did have that aside and then we didn’t have to, but we chose to sell because it was an easiest way to free up a lot of cash. Yes. And it just makes it easier for you then not to stress all the way and for you surrogate to know that. Exactly right. We didn’t want Chelsea to feel like she couldn’t ask for financial support where she needed it for the pregnancy. So and we didn’t tell her that we sold the house because of that. Like she’ll probably find out that now because it’s not her problem.

no one’s problem, it’s just the situation. I’m sure you could do it without having to do that as well. But yes, it was just something that we thought, and thankfully at the time the market was crazy, so it worked out well for us. Yes, these are very wanted children, these surrogate babies. They’re very planned and expensive children. Yes. Just to answer another question there, somebody asked about already having embryos. So if you have already gone through the IVF process and have embryos on ice, then yes, you’re probably saving yourself tens of thousands.

The embryo transfers themselves still cost money and you don’t get Medicare rebates on those yet. That’s something we’re working towards changing. Getting your embryos made ahead of time for surrogacy is definitely recommended if you can get them. So you mentioned there was a surrogate beforehand. And so how long had you been in the community before?

And then why didn’t it work out? I had been looking into how we would have a baby. I was probably 26 and I didn’t know there was, you could do it in Australia. I thought you could only do it overseas. So when I was looking at when I started, I think I typed into my email, sorry to see, and I had contacted overseas things, being young and just trying to get my head around it, obviously. Yeah, then we found someone locally in like our hometown, like here, in my hometown, but it unfortunately just didn’t go to plan.

didn’t sit right, it just wasn’t the right fit for each other. Yeah, I guess that would be probably the best way to say it. A polite way of saying it. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Because I mean, at the end of the day, it’s a relationship that you want to exist throughout birth and post-birth. And I guess it’s really hard to talk on someone else’s behalf. That’s not part of the conversation. Maybe I’ll add in my bit saying.

I was initially dating IPs different to Matt and Breton and they were in Victoria and they called it off with me after six months of dating. And although that was shattering at the time, I think I then…

become the good example that as IPs, you are allowed to say no to a surrogate. Even if somebody offers, be it a friend or family, if it just doesn’t feel like the right fit, don’t do it. Don’t be that desperate to have a kid that you have to like work with somebody because this person should be connected in your life forever. And if it just doesn’t feel right, it’s OK to go your set foot ways. It doesn’t mean anybody’s not a nice person, but it just means you shouldn’t do this project together. Yeah, that’s that’s a great way of saying it as well.

I mean, for us, it was, we were desperate. Yeah, that’s exactly the best way to say it. But at the end of the day, like we could read the signs that maybe the person that we were engaged with wasn’t ready as what they thought. And then when the process started moving along, there was a bit of a pushback. I mean, we didn’t want to force her to go ahead. So we called it for the best outcome for all of us. Which worked out well because otherwise we wouldn’t have met Chelsea and Matt and their kids and who knows, it might not have been Rupert that ended that way. Like, who knows? Yeah.

So I think it’s got to be right, but IPs are desperate, aren’t they? Because you’re asking this of somebody and if you don’t know of anybody in your friends or family that can help out, you’re left with limited options. And so that must’ve been hard to sort of go separate ways and pick yourself up and go back in there again. Yeah, it was difficult. I think I allow myself, I said to Ben, I’m giving myself 48 hours to be an emotional wreck. Because obviously it was like saying goodbye to the possibility of having a child. It wasn’t just saying goodbye to that.

person and it was such a long time like until we found her and then to say it’s not gonna work out was a hard one. But um yeah so I like gave myself and I just I just cried, I called my mum as you do. I gave it a I think maybe three or four, no we’re living a bit longer than that but anyway I gave myself a few months before I rejoined the group on Facebook because I if you don’t interact I’m not sure if it’s still the same case now because I’m not part of it now but if you don’t interact on a regular basis or you you

get bit off. I’m not in it anymore. They do a roll call every six months or something. Waited till you were ready. Yeah and I must admit I had a few wines that night and joined the grid and then felt the courage to like, I don’t even know, my spelling’s not the best. I could at the best of times but I have no idea how it was. I kind of don’t want to go back and read it but anyway that’s how I found Chelsea which felt was perfect. It worked out very well. It was my first post back

a month or two after I posted. So she must’ve gone and done some research. And on that, she had obviously done her research, but she, I remember her saying, I’m speaking on her behalf here. So I do apologize, but I loved how when we first met, she actually said to Matt, her husband, that she wanted to do surrogacy. And he said no, but then he went and did his own research and listened to a few podcasts and then he was on board and just about having a really good team there, isn’t it like? Yep.

And because the partners of Surrogates have to get on board too, they’re huge partners. Oh yeah, they’re massive. He was very important, key driver of it all too. Yeah and you develop a whole relationship team there. Sounds like it was a tough year because if only you could have said to Dane at the beginning saying the first one’s not going to work out but it will work out. Yeah, yeah. You just don’t know if it’s going to work. You can’t get your head over, like get your head around that when you’re in the thick of it though. Yeah and when you’re in a breakup.

Doesn’t matter if you hold it off or not, it’s still a breakup. It’s hard. Yeah. When you’re talking to someone most days and then all of a sudden it kind of like arms a whole and then it’s ended. It’s a bit. Yes. Yeah. This has been, I’m sure, so valuable for those listening to hear what happens when it doesn’t work out and you’ve picked yourself back up and you put yourself back out there and it works. So I think that’s really encouraging for new people. Yeah. Casey has asked then what advice would you give to other IPs then starting the process?

I have written down a few things here, but I don’t think they’re going to answer that question. Okay. Advice to give. I’m not sure. I think you just need to… Well, actually, no, an advice I would say probably not with starting the process, but throughout the process is you dab it on it as well. Counseling. I think if you do have a good psychologist, I do see someone, but Ben is also a psychologist, but I don’t go to him about my problems. I go to someone about the problems. About him. Yeah.

post-birth continuing to see someone speak about it. Because it’s a very, it’s a strange dynamic. Like you’re looking after a newborn baby, but you also are trying to keep in contact with someone that you had kept in contact with every day for nine months or before that as well, because they’re carrying your child. And then they kind of fall back into, you form into a friendship like you do your other friends where you might talk every now and then that week or.

and one week might be two weeks. And me personally, because I struggled with my time, I was feeling guilty that I wasn’t touching base every day. So helping someone, speaking to someone to help navigate that was really helpful. That’s something that I would suggest is even if it’s not a paid psychologist or a counselor, maybe just a friend that you can speak to. And also another thing I guess for when you’re starting out is when you do find a surrogate, transparency is…

I think like you can’t, I remember saying like Chelsea was pregnant and it was probably a week before Rupert was born and I was like, now I’m so nervous that once Rupert’s born that I’m just going to be asleep deprived and not checking in on you. And I’ve lined up my mom to check in on you and that’s why they’re very close as well because they do, mom always checks in on Chelsea as well. So it’s always like, you know, being transparent and making sure you’ve got backup and family involved and yeah. That’s some great advice I reckon for those listening there. Transparency and.

And I think just expanding on that, be yourself. Don’t put on a front as to who you are. They’ve got to see you and you’re a daggy and whatever jokes you crack and like who you are. Oh, 100%. We’re about to see that woman birth your child. So she needs to see you at your most vulnerable as well. Yeah, good point. Yeah. Was there a particular challenge or something as a team? Challenge would have to have been the distance. Like I don’t think it would have been a challenge if we weren’t restricted to.

the border being closed. So if we had the freedom of visiting, it probably wouldn’t have been. But I think that would have been the hardest part, especially for Chelsea, because it would have been quite lonely. I could only assume, like you’re carrying someone else’s baby, you can only communicate with them over the phone. So we had a lot of guilt around something that we couldn’t control, but that’s what I personally, for our situation, found the hardest. And I probably found the hardest was the birth certificate. I didn’t expect to be so emotional when we first received the birth certificate and didn’t have either our names on it.

process, but it was almost a little bit like, oh, like when is he out legally? One of the things, really, they’ll fast track that eventually. Oh, I would hope so. Yeah, eventually. You just kind of have to surrender to those situations, I guess, because it’s out of your control for now. But that was probably just something that I had to get my head around. But the rest of it was, I think I had mentally prepared for cost. I mean, everyone’s situation is very different. If we weren’t in that situation, I would have struggled with that as well.

with having out-slinged our house. What you’ve touched on there is even with the birth certificate, being emotional. I think that’s really valuable for IPs to hear that it’s okay to be upset about this process at different points or the path that’s laid out for you. Yes, eventually you’ll accept it and you’ll move on and you’ll do it, but it’s still okay to not be okay sometimes. Oh, 100%. And that goes for both IPs and sorry-its as well. I think as a sorry-it you, you’re offering so much. You might feel like a burden.

I can only assume when you’re, you know, you’ve offered to do this for someone and now all of a sudden you might have like a window of where you’re feeling really emotional and not sure how you’re going to go about it. But I think being open and honest about that is going to help you a lot more than not sharing that information and same with IPs too. But again, like as I said previously, it’s transparency. As long as you’re transparent with each other and that you can be vulnerable with each other, you probably have the best team. That’s great advice. Transparency and vulnerability. I think that’s some…

Key takeaways there. You have had some really key points tonight that’s been really valuable to hear. A journey that didn’t work out at the beginning, even then you’re on with bumps along the way. I think really honest answers about IVF and costs and things too. So anyone who’s come tonight, well done. Good one to come to. Yeah, well I guess my.

As you said, we’d like the figures. I mean, if you prepare yourself for the worst amount, which I think you said the high end was around 90, which is probably correct. I think ours was a bit more because of Airbnb cost during Christmas. That was a big hit. I think if you prepare for that large amount, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised if it’s lower. Well, it’s funny. I know of another team that will have two kids. Second kid was, you know, the first one was that 90, because again, they were a Sydney to Queensland team. Yep.

second one because of COVID and a lot of things, it was much, much cheaper. Just a couple of 10,000. It sounds like the next one will be if they’re local to you, are they? Yeah, yeah, they’re local. This will be the cheap kid. Yeah, that’s right. Hopefully one embryo transfer already got the embryos. Yeah. No, walk in the park, walk in the park, but pay it with pocket money. Yeah, that’s right.

Thank you for joining me. If you’d like to see the photos shared in this webinar presentation, head over to our YouTube channel to watch the webinar. You can head to surrogacyaustralia.org for more information about surrogacy. Also check out our Zoom monthly catch-up sessions which are a great way to connect with others in the surrogacy community. Attending a Zoom is scary the first time, but there’s only ever one first time. We have all been beginners at some stage.

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