Guest post by Marc and Steve
As mentioned in our previous blog it was a shock to find out that we will be expecting twins later on this year. It had taken some getting used to idea but now we are counting down the last few months before we can welcome our twin girls into the family.
Both Marc and I knew we always wanted to have more than one child, the main reason for this was so our first (Spencer) always had some company, someone to play with and so he never felt like he was alone. From around the age of three Spencer has been asking about having a sibling, we knew this day would come as inevitably he was going to have friends who had siblings, so at some point he was going to question why he was an only child. We always said we wanted to have as small of an age gap as possible but unfortunately this did not happen for various reasons. Not that it makes that much difference to us now, in fact we believe it has worked out better this way, with Spencer being that little bit older and more independent he can be a lot more involved with the care of his sisters. He is already telling us that he will help us by getting them nappies and wipes.
We have always been honest with Spencer about how he was bought into the world, and he understands that he grew in a friend's tummy until he was ready to come home with us. So this time, we didn't really have to go into that much detail - to him surrogacy is the "normal" way to have a baby. From the moment we matched with our surrogate, we told him that she was going to be the one to help give him a sibling. Our surrogate doesn't live too far from us so we are able to meet up often and it's lovely that we are all able to see the bump grow, and Spencer can bond with the girls before they arrive. We are hoping to feel them kick very soon and I think that will be the moment that makes it very real for Spencer.
Before matching with our surrogate we spent months talking and getting to know each other better before embarking on this journey. One thing we both agreed on straight away was contact after the birth. We always want to remain friends, and for the girls to know our surro and her family. Equally our surrogate wanted that friendship and didn't want to break contact after and it feel more like a business transaction, that is not what surrogacy is about for any of us.
Our surrogate has already been buying the girls gifts, and as soon as they are born and able to leave hospital we plan to go straight to her home so her children and the rest of the family can see them. It's important for them to see what their mother has done and how she has grown not one but two perfect little babies. Besides our surrogate has four older daughters so we will need someone to teach us how to style the twins' hair so we will have many lessons to come on styling.
Only fairly recently we have started the preparation for the twins arrival. Luckily we still have enough bedroom space for when they get older; they can have a bedroom each eventually if they want. Initially we wanted to baby wear and were not going to bother with a pram at all. Realistically I don't think this will be an option, especially in the first few months, so we have got the bugaboo donkey which is a side by side pram. We chose this option so we could see both of them at all times as opposed to the tandem type which didn't suit our needs. The only issue now is doorways. I can see it will be a military operation just to leave the house.
Our house is rammed full of pretty dresses, baby grows, formula, prep machines and sterilizers. I think all we really need now are some car seats and cots then we are ready and it will just be a waiting game.
We have had arguments about who gets the time off with the twins. Both being medical we have stressful, hard jobs so we were both desperately wanting the time off to spend with family. When we had Spencer it was not law for parents through surrogacy to be entitled to any time off, so thankfully the laws have changed now and we are entitled to that benefit. We have decided to share the leave, Marc is going to have the first 4.5 months off and I will take the second half.
Both our families are so excited about the girls arrival. My family in particular as these will be the first girls to be born into my side of the family in 25 years! We have a few names that we are thinking of, but are yet to make a firm decision and won't announce until they are here, but at the moment it's only 11 more weeks to go! So we are going to have to hurry up and decide.