Adopt Change, How to Help
7 min read | 30 May 2022
8 min read | 13 June 2022
Our journey started several years ago when we first went through surrogacy here in Victoria, with the generosity of an egg donor and surrogate (my husband’s sister, Meagan). At the time, we went through two rounds of IVF with no success following the embryo transfers. Surrogacy is quite complex and expensive with no rebates available for same sex male couples in Victoria. The process also required us to attend multiple counseling sessions, meet with family lawyers and also sit before a board of individuals known as the ‘patient review panel’ who reviewed all our documents, listened to our request to become parents and ultimately gave us permission to proceed with surrogacy.
The journey was emotionally draining so when it didn’t work, we parked the idea of parenthood for a few years. In late 2020 we picked up the conversation again and with the generosity of Ben's Sister, Meagan, were pregnant by early 2021—we will be forever grateful for helping us to become parents.
Our experience in public with Harper has all been very positive, we definitely felt that people would stare at us (we are used to it now) and you can see they are trying to piece the picture together. We have also been approached at venues with compliments and people showing genuine interest wanting to hear our story, which we are very happy to share.
Communication is key—I don’t pretend to have parenting down pat, as I write this, I have had a rather testing day with a restless baby who doesn’t want her bottles, crying randomly and wants to be held! But that’s ok because I talk about (to anyone who will listen) and I also post about it on Instagram through stories as not everyday is rainbow and butterflies.
Instagram has been a great tool at connecting with other dads. I don’t personally know the individuals, but we react and comment to stories, might chat about what’s happening with our babies, have a laugh and it really normalises parenting for me, knowing other dads are going through the same challenges.
For me, one of the biggest challenges was the transition from corporate working life and leaving that behind to stay home everyday with a baby! I really felt like I was giving up my identity at the time, I went through so many emotions. Work is such a large part of our life and I really enjoy what I do, so to walk away (which is what it felt like at the time) was a really big deal for me.
The other challenge I had was when Ben first went back to work. We had such a lovely few weeks together when Harper was born and then it was over and I thought, “can I do this on my own?” And the answer is yes!
I have already experienced a couple of down days. For me, it was the sheer exhaustion of having a baby and a husband who travels for work. I remember several weeks back, I woke up and thought, “today is going to be just like yesterday, which will be the same tomorrow and the next day”.
I had a difficult two days when Ben went on his first trip, I didn't know what I was doing and just cried while having a glass of wine and watching The Project (I can laugh now). I raised this with Ben on his return, understanding all I needed was sleep and also a few hours 'off' so I could shift my mindset.
I think a personality change is the very first sign something isn't right and keeping clear lines of communication is so important to how you are feeling. Our partners (or family) can’t help or offer support unless we express how we are feeling.
It's ok to not be ok.
Babies might be small, but they are strong! In my opinion, if there is something wrong, they will let you know. At the same time, if it's bedtime and they have a cleannappy
, full tummy, are warm, feel secure and have been burped, then we know Harper is ok. She is just having a whinge. We let Harper cry for 20 minutes before going in. It might be painful, but they will settle, Harper generally falls asleep within 5-10 minutes as she knows we aren’t going in.
Speak about how you are feeling—your partner can't support you if you don't open up.
Ask for help—there will be many people wanting to help, allow them to step in so you can get a haircut, go for a walk or simply have alone time. It's so important.
Don't stop living—we take Harper everywhere!
This article was written by Ash Glasic and Purebaby in conjunction with Season three, episode 8 of Purebaby’s podcast, Pure Parenthood.
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