Last time we caught up with The Travelling Gays, Doug and Sanjay, they were eagerly anticipating the arrival of their baby girl, Arya. We sit down with them 18 months on to find out how they’ve been finding their first year of parenthood.
Hi guys! It’s been a hot minute since we last caught up, how has parenthood been treating you?
It’s been amazing. We have loved it! It’s definitely the most challenging thing we have ever done but also the most rewarding! Arya is such a little character and it has been wonderful seeing her explore the world and develop her personality. She is a total joy!
We’ve heard you have some exciting news to share...?
Yes! We are expecting identical twins in the summer! It’s a blessing beyond our wildest dreams and we are so excited.
We know you had a beautiful relationship with your last surrogate, Amber. We’re longing to know, is Amber your surrogate for the Travelling Twins?
Amber is incredible and we love her so much, we feel so lucky to have such a fantastic relationship with her. We never expected that she would want to or be able to support us on our second journey. We couldn’t believe it when she got in touch and offered to help us again – it was our ideal situation. We all know each other so well it has been great to be able to do this again together.
How did you know it was the right time to start thinking about expanding your family?
We had always known that we had wanted more than one child, though we thought we would have 2 in total! Sanj is an only child and had always wanted siblings, plus we had created embryos that were genetically linked to each of us and the plan was always to move forward with two. We didn’t want to leave it too long before having our next child and when Amber said she would help us we already had our embryos ready and knew the time was right!
Your last surrogacy journey was in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. Do things feel different this time?
Yes definitely, though for our first journey we didn’t know any different but it definitely had its challenges. It was still really special and we wouldn’t change a thing but it meant that everything from watching the embryo transfer to scans were all virtual. This time around we have been able to be physically present for the embryo transfer and Sanj is going to the anatomy scan in person which has been amazing to be able to be there with Amber for those moment. There’s also less stress around travel and attending appointments and the birth which has been good.
Have you been faced with any different challenges second time around?
Yes although Covid isn’t impacting in the same way with twin pregnancies there are greater challenges, more scans and potential for complications. Everything is going well so far which we are so grateful for and just hoping that it continues that way.
How did you feel when you found out that you were expecting twins?
So surprised! It was a real shock as we had only transferred one embryo so it was the last thing we were expecting! We joined the zoom for the first ultrasound and Amber said ‘I hope you are sitting down!’ We couldn’t believe it when we saw two little beans on the screen and two heartbeats. We are so excited!
Arya is going to be a big sister! How are you preparing her for the new arrivals?
Yes she is going to be the most wonderful big sister, she’s such a happy soul. We bought her two little identical twin dolls at Christmas and we incorporate them into our routine. She gives them both a kiss goodnight before bed everyday which is so cute! She knows there are two, if you say ‘where are the babies’ she is sure to find both of them not just one.
What are you most excited about doing as a family of five?
It is just the family we never in a million years thought we would have. We are just excited about getting to see them move through their different stages and become their own little people. We can’t wait to go on adventures and take them to their different activities and support them to do whatever they enjoy.
We asked you this last time, but would love to know if you have any new advice that you would you give to anyone who is considering having a baby through surrogacy?
Research it heavily and look into all the different options. There are pros and cons around which country you move forward with so it’s good to make sure you have thought things through. Speak to as many people as possible and be prepared for it to be quite emotionally draining as it can be challenging at times. And be prepared for curveballs to come your way as they would with any other pregnancy, we’ve certainly had a few!
Will you do continue to do lots of travelling once you’re all settled?
Well we will all be getting on a plane back from the USA when the twins are born so that will be an interesting 10 hour flight, we’ve got the grannies roped in to help out on that! Then we might have to look at more staycations for a period we will see how brave we are feeling. We might not be travelling far but we are definitely in for an interesting ride!