Ollie Locke of the British reality TV show ‘Made in Chelsea’ has opened up about the realities of pregnancy loss, after he and his husband Gareth revealed their surrogate had miscarried.
34-year-old Locke said they told people they were expecting late last year. Within a few weeks, they got the heartbreaking news. The loss happened in December, when their surrogate was about six weeks pregnant with twins.
"I filmed a scene for the Chelsea series finale, where I told a friend we were five weeks pregnant. It was so exciting to let everybody know,” Locke told The Sun. “Then a couple of weeks later we had to call the producers and say ‘we’ve lost the babies’ - it was two babies.”
The producers of ‘Made in Chelsea’ asked if the couple wanted them to scrap the episode, but Locke said absolutely not. Behind the show and the red carpet events, Locke said he wants people to know "we’re all human," and that fertility doesn’t care how much money you’ve got, sometimes there are painful hurdles on the path to parenthood.
“I felt it was important to let people know that there are difficult times before happily ever after."
Known for his frankness and honesty on screen, Locke said it was difficult news to receive for many reasons. Apart from the grief of loss, the couple has spent over £100,000 ($130,000) trying to start a family so far, and now they’ve got no embryos left.
"I’m going to be completely real and say that, although we hold each other’s hands and make sure we’re both doing ok, it’s caused us stress and it hasn’t been easy,” he said. "I wouldn’t be a real person if I said the experience has brought us together because that’s not how life is. If anything it’s pulled us apart slightly.”
"You sit there and think ‘where has that money gone, have we done something wrong?’” he added. “We get angry at each other. That’s what a relationship is."
Locke also addressed the hurdles many British gay couples face when it comes to starting a family, which he said need to change. Despite gay marriage being legal in the UK, there are rules that make surrogacy a tough route to take for gay men in particular. Surrogate carriers must be altruistic, but it’s against the law to advertise for a surrogate.
Also under English law, a surrogate carrier is always treated as the legal mother of a child at birth, even if the egg is donated. And if the surrogate is married or in a civil partnership, her husband, wife or civil partner is treated as the child’s second parent, until a legal parental order is approved to grant rights to the intended parents.
"When it comes to fertility and surrogacy, the British law is not very good, especially for gay men," Locke told The Sun. "You are not allowed to advertise for a surrogate, they are not allowed to advertise to be a surrogate. You can make embryos on the NHS but then how do you find each other? The law hasn’t been touched in 32 years. It was all very exciting when gay marriage was legalized, but you can’t be like ‘You can have the happily ever, but you can’t have the ‘after’ yet’.”
While they are still dealing with the loss, the Lockes said they are determined to continue on their journey to being dads, and they’re hoping to finally become parents by next year.
"It hasn't been easy at all," Locke said. "But having a community of people around us who I didn't know [has helped] I've had thousands of messages from that one post alone from people going through the same.”