Surrogacy stories: A family shining bright
At the beginning of 2018 Chris and Andrew came to visit Brilliant Beginnings to talk through all the different surrogacy options and how they might achieve their dream of bringing a child into their lives. Just over two years later their baby daughter Lyra was born.
The constellation Lyra has five main stars, and it wouldn’t have been without the help of Chris’ brother and his wife Katie that this new family would have been created. Here is their story, and it is great testament to how family helping each other can make for an amazing surrogacy experience.
Starting the journey
After their options review meeting with BB, Chris and Andrew went away feeling positive and optimistic, and were keen to share their thoughts about the journey ahead with friends and family. When they spoke with Chris’ brother Andy and his wife Katie, little did they know that only a short while later Katie and Andy would offer to help them.
Katie said she wanted to find out more, and to see if she could be their surrogate. She spoke with Brilliant Beginnings to learn more about the realities of being a surrogate, what she would have to do, and how this would impact her and Andy’s day to day life with their own children.
After careful consideration Katie and Andy decided that this was something that they wanted to do. To give Chris and Andrew the gift of becoming parents was something that they knew they had to try. Chris and Andrew could not have been more happy or grateful for this chance.
Surrogacy planning and practicalities
After much discussion between each other on when and how, the team decided they were ready to move forward together. They also decided to have some help from Brilliant Beginnings navigating some of the key decisions, particularly around bringing together a surrogacy agreement that outlined their key thinking, their mutual expectations and what would happen with some of the ‘what if’s’.
The team got legal advice so everyone was clear on how the law would recognise Katie and Andy as the legal parents at birth, but that this would only be temporary as Chris and Andrew would apply for the parental order as soon as their baby was born.
At the same time as bringing together their agreement, Chris and Andrew also began to work with a clinic local to Katie where they created embryos with the help of an egg donor. Once the embryos were ready, Katie visited the clinic and then had her womb prepared for transfer.
Over the next few months the resilience of the team was tested as they had a number of unsuccessful transfers. Like the five main stars in the Lyra constellation, it was the fifth transfer that stuck, and everyone breathed a sigh of relief, and even more so as each subsequent appointment and scan came back all good.
As their journey together progressed, Chris and Andrew managed to experience quite a bit of the pregnancy. Despite the distance between them and Katie (London and Scotland), they managed to visit regularly.
Then the arrival of the coronavirus presented its own hurdles, but by the time Lyra was due they had planned the birth alongside the hospital, and were able to be there for when she arrived. The final few weeks of pregnancy were not quite what Katie had anticipated, with her children home from closed schools, but the team remained strong and they knew their goal was in sight.
When Lyra was born everyone’s hard work, not least Katie’s, was instantly forgotten and the realisation that together they had created this beautiful little baby girl became all that mattered.
Those special first moments were filled with joy and happiness, and Lyra shone brightly both in their arms and in the sky.
After leaving the hospital, Chris and Andrew spent a few days in Scotland before heading back to their home in London. In this time Katie saw them being the amazing fathers that she knew they would be and was happy that Lyra’s preference for night-time activity was something they would now have to contend with.
Katie is continuing to help by expressing milk, and getting this frozen and shipped down to London on a regular basis.
The journey continues
Their journey together continues, and longer term this family will continue to grow having experienced something very special together. One thing that everyone is certain of is that Lyra’s story will be one of celebration, joy and a true example of family coming together to help each other in a truly amazing way. To be a part of such a story is why we in the Brilliant Beginnings team do what we do.