I haven't posted for a while as I have been poorly with the virus everyone had but we have started the 2015 with a bang and tomorrow my hubby is having a sponsored back wax and when we last counted we had received £50 in sponsorship money. I will be putting the video for people to view and if you would like to sponsor him you can do so at www.ourjourneytosurrogacy.weebly.com
We would just like to wish you all a early Happy New Year. We hope 2015 brings you all you wish. Thank you all for your support. Xx
We just want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and prosperous 2015. Thank you for following our journey and all your support. We hope that 2015 is the year we raise the money we need. Jo and James. Xxx
You know I am the kind of person who believes in the magic of Christmas, that miracles can happen when you least expect it. We know that we are usually asking you to share our cause or if you can help in any way then please do but this time it is not for us. Things have happened recently that has shown so much suffering so I ask you tonight to look closer to home and to those closest to you as you never know what is going on in people's lives. The season is about giving and suffering is felt more at this time of year than at any other time. Sometimes we just have to open our eyes and look further to see someone in trouble. There maybe someone close to you that needs your help. We are determined to raise this money in the hope of holding our baby at Christmas and experiencing the joy and excitement other parents have the pleasure of experiencing. We don't feel it is too much to ask. Xx
We have had one of our friends contact us and she is going to do a bungee jump in order to raise money for our surrogacy fund. I have to confess to shedding a little tear as people are just so kind. :-)
I am selling these fabulous cosmetics. The 3D mascara is taking the world by storm. You can shop using the link below. I am a Younique cosmetics presenter and I am using my commission to go towards a fundraiser for myself and my husband to have surrogacy. If you are looking to work from home please contact me. https://www.youniqueproducts.com/kjraine/party/956085/view#
3D mascara to die for.
Get this deal before it finishes 1st Dec
Thank you to everyone for your donations to our fund. We are very grateful but the battle continues to try and get the rest but we are not giving up! Please keep sharing and donating if you can . I sell Younique cosmetics and my commission goes into the fund. Please take a look at my website and do your Christmas shopping! www.youniqueproducts.com/kjraine
Gradually the fund is coming along and we hope that our supporters will continue to support us. We are not having a Christmas as such this year so hopefully we can put quite a bit of money in ourselves too. We are still selling stuff and have lots of other ideas in the pipeline. We are still eternally grateful to those who have supported us. Xx
I have started selling Younique Cosmetics as a way to put more money in the fund by putting in all my commission. You can shop at: www.youniqueproducts.com/kjraine
It has been a while since I posted due to various things. Donations have dried up and we need help to get things moving again. We would be so grateful if you could help by donating whatever you can afford. Here it is a minimum £5 donation but on our own website it is anything. The address is; www.ourjourneytosurrogacy.weebly.com
Please help us to become parents.
Thank you to everyone who helped us raise another £70 towards our total. Once PayPal release the funds it will be added to the total. Xxx
Ok there is still another hour before the event finishes but we have raised £58!! Thank you so very much. You are all so kind and generous, especially when we know how difficult things are for so many people. Xxx
So excited! Had some wonderful news today which means we may have the money earlier than planned! (Fingers crossed it goes the right way) but my lips are sealed at this point. Xx
Happy Easter to those who celebrate and to everyone thank you for your continued support. Xx
We have a lovely lady that has offered to help us raise funds by donating some of her profits. Here is her business statement. "I make & sell glitter glassware, i do a wide range of glasses such as wine, champagne, whisky glasses &sherry glasses, i also do vases and tealight holders with many more ideas to come! all my products are sealed so the glitter doesnt come off, for everyone that places a order with me and quotes the code "surro14" i will donate 25% of that purchases to this fantastic charity!! so come and take a look at my page and see if anything sparkly takes your fancy.... https://m.facebook.com/SparkleDelights?m_sess
*CALLING ALL BUSINESSES* Can you help us? We are looking for businesses that can help us raise money for the fund. Could you please inbox me for more information.
We just want to thank the amount of businesses that have come forward after seeing our story and offering to donate so much of their profits to our cause. We have a great one lined up for this week. We have also had our fair share that promise the world and turn up nothing. All we ever ask is that if you change your mind is that you tell us so you no longer waste our time or your own. Our time is just as valuable as yours at present. Look out for the latest business supporting us later this week!
Thought I would do a little update. We have been taking a little break to recharge our batteries and think of new ways to fundraise.
We are taking a break for a couple of months from fundraising events but rest assured we will be working away behind the scenes to sort out more fundraisers and selling our own items. If you have any fundraising ideas and would like to help please contact us directly. Xx
The psychic reading fundraising event raised £44 which we are thrilled with. Cannot thank Karen enough.
Thank you to the "friend from Lockerbie" for your generous donation. I don't know if you can see this but we are very grateful. It was so thoughtful. Xx
We have smashed the £1500 mark! Thank you so much everyone! Xxx
Ok, we have heard back from gofundme and the minimum donation is 5 pounds. We know this is a lot of money for some so please feel free to donate through our own personal website, where you can donate the 2 pounds as stated in Chat magazine. You can do that at; www.ourjourneytosurrogacy.weebly.com
The following quote is from Deidre Hall The Deidre Hall Fan Page from her film Never Say Never about dealing with surrogacy and infertility.
"Infertility is like giving up your dreams one step at a time. First you give up the idea of getting pregnant on the back seat of a Chevy, like all your friends, then you give up getting pregnant on your honeymoon, then in your own home. Then by anaesthesia. I guess the next part is a little rougher, you give up the dream of ever feeling your child move inside you. You give up dreams you never even knew you had. Like looking in the cradle and seeing your mother's eyes, your daddy's smile and your grandmother's hands, and I guess eventually you give up the dream of ever hearing a child's voice call you mommy........."
It has been bought to our attention that the minimum donation gofundme is asking is £5 and not £2 as stated in the Chat magazine article. This is nothing to do with us as we have no control over the minimum donation set. I am looking into it but in the mean time, we have a website that you can donate the minimum £2. It is www.ourjourneytosurrogacy.weebly.com
We have smashed through the £1,200 barrier! Thank you so much everyone! Xx
Chat magazine comes out tomorrow with our story in, although we have had reports of people reading it already. Eek! Nervous now..........
Chat magazine comes out in three days time! Eek!!
Let's see what happens. There are lots of things in the pipeline so it is going to be an exciting year.
So we have a couple of great events coming up! We have a psychic reading event and a charity ghost hunt! Arranged by two awesome friends. Dates and times to be announced.
Quick update. I am making surrogacy inspired and other items of jewellery to sell for the fund. I sold a scarf last week that my auntie made and put the money in the fund. Chat magazine comes out 23rd January and we are beavering away in the background trying to get events sorted. Please share and if you can afford £2 please make a donation or if you cannot afford £2 please give what you can by going through our own website at; www.ourjourneytosurrogacy.weebly.com
Thank you. Jo and James xxx
We are going to be in Chat magazine 23rd January issue 5. James is selling some of his artwork to raise money at www.jameshilton-artist.weebly.com
I am making and selling a range of surrogacy inspired jewellery through our website, www.ourjourneytosurrogacy.weebly.com
and through a Facebook page. We know January is the worst month of the year for finances but please if you cannot donate money then could you please share our story to garner more attention. Thank you. Jo and James xx
We just wanted to wish everyone a happy new year and hope 2014 is everything you want it to be. Thank you for all your support you have shown and hope you will continue to follow our journey for however long it takes. Jo and James. Xx
It is really quiet at the moment but are taking orders for the surrogacy jewellery I am doing.
Our Internet is down but have managed to find 3G signal. Merry Christmas to those that celebrate and thank you very much for your love and support since we started the fund in October. Xxx
Just a quick update. Chat magazine is coming out 23rd January with our story in it and we are still waiting for the German TV piece to come out. Exciting times ahead. Thanks as always for your support.
We haven't posted in a while as we know everyone is busy just like us! Please share to enable us to get the word out and receive further donations. Should have some news coming soon on further projects lined up.
Things have gone a bit quiet which we expected but we still have the magazine article and German tv interview to complete so it is far from quiet. As usual please share and thank you to everyone who has donated or helped out in other ways. Xx
@Alexandra Rue. I can understand your concerns but believe me this is not something we have undertaken lightly. Of course we have questioned ourselves. Yes my husband may be my caregiver however I am still not rendered incapable. You should know more than any one that despite your illness you can still do things and please don't forget that Fibromyalgia is an illness that varies like many other illnesses. You cannot compare yourself to me as I can't compare myself to another sufferer. You sound like you have it worse than me but in reality who knows? I have a pretty good idea what it will be like for me after withdrawing from the Morphine, like I say I am trying other things. I still do not know what you mean by you "might be more interested if?!" Fibromyalgia is a condition that runs in my family so I have "grown up" with the condition if you will. I know what I can do and what my limitations are and we know we could care extremely well for our child if we are lucky enough to be graced with one. Articles often give off a certain perception without people knowing the real people behind the headline. All any of us can do is the absolute best and that is what we intend to do and we take all this extremely seriously.
@Alexandra Rue. In response to your questions. I am still withdrawing from the morphine based drugs. It takes a long time to withdraw. In the mean time I am currently going through various medicines to try and find things that suit me. Yes I still walk with a walking stick and that will not change. On good days I can get about in the house without always using one. Fibromyalgia affects people in different ways. It affects me with widespread pain but it is amazing what you become accustomed to when you have to. People assume you shouldn't, couldn't or wouldn't do anything and in response I always say being disabled doesn't make you incapable.
We have hit the first £1000!! Thank you so much to everyone who has donated and helped us in so many other ways. Xx
We have been totally blown away this evening. We have had over £200 in donations alone since the article came out in the Daily Mail newspaper. We are closer than ever to get to our first £1000 goal!! Thank you so much. Xx
Had a good day and will hopefully have some great news to share.
We have a charity auction starting next Monday selling handbags and gifts in time for Christmas. Please consider taking part and supporting us whilst doing your Christmas shopping in the process. The link is here; https://www.facebook.com/events/620413324688215/?ref=22
Jo and James xx
Sometimes it feels we will never get to our precious miracle. Its hard to remain positive sometimes.
Ok we need more support and more fundraising ideas. Please share our page and donate if you can. Xx
Things have slowed down so we need ideas on how to raise funds. So do you have any?
We have hit the £500 mark! Still a long way to go and have to keep being positive but we are so grateful to those who have donated so far. Thank you. Jo and James. Xx
We are thrilled to announce that the amount raised from the jewellery auction is £304.00!! Absolutely marvellous news and we cannot thank the people involved enough. It is an incredible amount. Thank you, Jo and James. Xx
I am trying to keep my spirits up, we both are actually. We need more support. I have just published my wedding planning book on Kindle. All proceeds are going to this fund. You can search Weddings by Jo Wedding Planning on Amazon. Xx
Please.....we need more support. Share this and if you can donate. Xx
I haven't managed to share for a few days as we have had so much going on. We are doing well just need to get the word out more. Please share and donate if you can. Xx
Please share our page and help us get the word out. Thanks. Jo and James xx
We are slowly getting there. I have to keep reminding myself not to get down and believe this WILL happen. Please keep sharing. Xx
Okay so we need more donations. If you do not have paypal don't worry as you do not need it. There is an option on the home page to pay by card. Like we have said 20p, 50p, whatever the amount its the thought that counts. Please help us. Jo and James xx
We still have a long way to go but we are starting to get noticed and feel that with the page only been going two weeks we have done very well and we are very grateful to everyone who is helping us. Jo and James xx
Had a few more donations, thank you to those who have kindly donated so far. Xxx
Hi Karen, thank you so much for your kind and generous donation. All this really helps and gives us hope. Jo and James xx
Donations have started coming in again thank God. We just have to keep pushing. Xx
Had another donation, thank you so much. Still a hell of a long way to go but we are not giving up. Jo and James xx
Nothing to share with you guys other than asking if you can please share this page. Xx
We have some possible good news in the pipeline but have to stay quiet for now. Please share this page and if you can afford 50p please donate. Xx
Please share this page to get more support. Thank you.
Quiet day. Been discussing ways to raise more funds.
Things have quietened down today but we have started our own Facebook page and are trying to keep our spirits up. Xx
Been a productive day today. Had another offer of a fundraiser and we have set up our own Facebook page called Our Journey to Surrogacy. Thanks for all your support.
Yet again today has been a phenomenal day. Another offer of a charity fundraiser in honour of us. We are bowled over completely. Thank you for the donations and offers of help. Xxx
Great day today. We have been asked by a group of friends if they could run a charity fundraiser in honour of our quest. We are thrilled. Thank you would never be enough but thank you for the donations and thoughts. You will never know how much it means. Please feel free to share. Jo and James xxx
We are totally blown away with the donations so far. We know we are a long way from our goal but we still have faith in the spirit of human kindness. Xx
We have nothing to lose and everything to gain but it's a huge leap of faith.....
It's a bit of a long story but here goes. I was just 19 when my infertility nightmare started. That was when I had my first ectopic pregnancy. 2nd April 1999. I was 20 minutes away from death and I was 13 weeks pregnant. I will never forget that day. Unfortunately after the surgery I wasn't cleaned out properly and I had masses of adhesions form and they twisted what remained of my ovary and tube and they stuck to my bladder and bowel. Consequently after getting over the surgery I started to black out every time I bent over as the blood supply was being cut off. From the date I had my first ectopic to the date I had my second ectopic pregnancy on May 1st 2002 I had six laparoscopies and another open surgery. With the first ectopic I had to have an open surgery then too. When I found out I was pregnant again I prayed and prayed that the second pregnancy would not be an ectopic. I did a pregnancy test on the Friday went to the hospital that night and I had bloods taken to measure the HCG levels then I was sent home the next day to await my fate. It was the following Tuesday before I heard and yes my HCG levels had dissipated. I was gutted. I was on the pill the whole time none of the pregnancies were planned but would have been wanted.I was married to my first husband and I was also going through a rather unhappy time at the time. Maybe it was God's way of not bringing a child into that environment. To this day I still search for reasons as to why it happened. After the second ectopic I tried to get on with life. You have to don't you? Between 2003 and 2005 I had 5 miscarriages. I never told my ex-husband about these, I passed the pregnancies as you do down the toilet. I was only very early pregnant with each miscarriage but I knew from the reaction I had received from the previous pregnancies there was no point. We were not happy together any way by that point. He never wanted kids you see hence why I was on contraception but I still kept falling pregnant. I apparently didn't need counselling. I never got to have a funeral for my first baby from the ectopic, if you have ever seen a 13 week foetus there is no denying it is a baby and not a sac! I had a priest come around at the hospital but I never received her remains so her ashes were scattered in hospital grounds which is the usual thing to do apparently. Moving on through the years I eventually plucked up the courage to walk away from him and the very unhappy marriage in February of 2005. I filed for divorce. I was 25 and had been with him for nine years.
Well just five months later my life changed forever. I met my now husband and true soul mate James. The picture is of us on our wedding day. I was scared to take the leap but we got married 28th July 2007 - two years to the day; almost.
So of course we wanted our own family. I had told James of my fertility troubles when we met and we knew we would face it all together. It didn't work. I had to have further surgery on my ovaries as I developed Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. I was in and out of hospital dealing with that and other health troubles and I was diagnosed with depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from the very unhappy marriage and the child loss, ectopics and the surgeries.
In 2006 I was diagnosed with the painful condition Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I found out that contraception doesn't work in some women with Fibromyalgia, no one really knows why. Health wise things just kept snowballing and it felt I wasn't in control of anything.
Around the same time we both lost people very close to us. I lost my grandad and James lost his beloved great aunt in 2007. He called her "auntie" she had basically bought him up because he did not have a good relationship with his family. He was so upset by it and of course losing my grandad just the year before it just didn't help matters. James was left a substantial inheritance by auntie but because of our health deteriorating and we went down to one income within the first six months we had to start living off that inheritance. We could not or would not claim benefits due to the amount but it is amazing how quickly the money dwindles when you have to start living off it. We also used some to get married which was already booked by the time it looked like I was going to get finished from work on medical grounds. We used some to take a couple of holidays and the washing machine and television and hoover all packed up on us. We also had to move house 4 times because the landlords decided to sell or move back in themselves due to the start of the economic downturn so it was truly one thing after another. We had to live off the inheritance for everything including car repairs and paying rent, council tax, electricity, gas etc etc..... EVERYTHING! When James was made redundant twice we were thankful we had that money to live off but we were sad too because we were having to use a nest egg we had been given. You might think why are we telling you this? Well we are telling you because we have some vindictive and nasty family members who will probably come out and say; "well they had this inheritance they do not need the money so shouldn't be running this fundraiser!" Well sadly we have not had any contact with them since 2008 so they know nothing about our lives or what we had to do to be able to live. Its a part of our lives that we are telling you about to be as clear and honest as possible but do not wish to air our dirty laundry so to speak as that should and will stay private. It is true what they say "you can choose your friends and not your family!". It is amazing how quickly the savings you have dwindle when forced to live off them. There are many people out there who would testify to that. It was just circumstances constantly changing and not always for the better but it happens to everyone and we are no different. In an ideal world we would have the money and would not have to turn to crowd-funding to raise some of the money and we would not have to put our private life out there and it would remain private. Plus there was the fact that throughout those years until 2010 I could still get pregnant and did not think there would ever be a chance we would have to look into surrogacy. In fact the words surrogacy and fundraising had never even come up! That is all a part of our past which everyone has and this is looking to our future. Sadly by 2009/10 the money had all gone and we had less than the savings limit so we had to start claiming benefits which incidentally we do not like doing but that at the moment is another part of our life. So we have digressed a bit let's get back on track.
So by 2008 I had been diagnosed with OsteoArthritis too and I had to give up work and start walking with a walking stick. I was 27. My husband, James was also having health troubles too. He got up one morning and immediately fell to the floor. He had lost all use of his legs. After having tests he was told discs in his back had crumpled and he needed major back surgery. It was difficult but we got through it. We had a further blow when on holiday in Scotland in September 2008 I had another miscarriage. That made 6 miscarriages and two ectopic pregnancies and yes you guessed it (or not) I was on contraception. In some ways this hurt more than the others because it was with my soul mate. We were distraught.
After this time my periods were getting heavier and heavier. We went to the hospital to see about having IVF but we were in for a shock. Because of the Fibromyalgia etc and having to give up work and being put on all sorts of medication my weight had ballooned and my BMI was too high. Okay so you say lose weight. That's fine but I cannot exercise in the same way other people can, so it's very hard to lose weight. The hospital's solution was to blackmail me, ( at least that's how it feels even to this day) I was told if you have your stomach taken out we will put you on the list for IVF. I was angry and went to the papers. I was in two papers and was on the radio talking about it. The reason for doing that is because you can become desperate when you want a baby and people who have ever gone through the painful process of infertility will understand where I am coming from, that desperation will make you do anything and having your stomach taken out is about as drastic as it can get and it's morally wrong to give an ultimatum to a person who desperately wants a family.
Consequently the IVF route was a no go. Disappointments just kept coming. We felt like we were living under a black cloud that constantly rained on us.
I was getting no relief from my bad periods, I was in so much pain I would be on the floor and was on pain medication galore. I was also losing so much blood I was very drained. The pain started two weeks before my due date so it was a constant thing. I was having ultrasound scans and tests galore and in 2009 I was told the only option was to have a radical total hysterectomy. My world fell apart.
My gynae wanted to put it off to see if I could lose the weight to enable me to have IVF. It didn't work out well. Over that following 6-8 months things got so bad that it was decided I needed the hysterectomy sooner rather than later. I was booked in for Wednesday 6th October 2010. I dreaded it because everything was going to be so final. I remember a few days before the surgery I went into a department store to pick up a few bits and had to walk through the baby department. I just froze and started stroking a baby quilt and looking at all the clothes and cribs etc. I ended up in tears and James had to take me back to the car.
It was the hardest decision of my life agreeing to the hysterectomy I didn't want it but was left with no choice. I was just 31. The hysterectomy itself nearly had to be abandoned my insides were so bad but two gynaecologists battled through and removed a two and a half stone mass. It was a hard recovery process and I got infections in the wound but eventually I got there.
Three months after the operation a lady came forward on Facebook and said she would carry our baby for us. We were of course thrilled but it didn't pan out as she fell pregnant herself.
Happy for her but sad for us. Then a year further on another friend came forward and said she would carry our baby and we spoke about it for two years before we decided to go ahead. We all agreed it was time but every month she would cancel on us. She was cruel and well cut a long story short it didn't happen.
We then watched Giuliana and Bill Rancic go through surrogacy and all we kept saying was "why won't it happen for us?" We are so despondent not helped by people all around us having babies. We are, of course happy for them but it deepens our hurt and disappointment.
So we then said what about fostering and adoption? We have a lovely home and lots of love to give. We were gutted when they said no due to my being on morphine based drugs. It is an awful process to go through and the politics involved by social services makes it a more unhealthy process in our opinion. I am currently in the process of withdrawing from them to try other new things. It's hard because if we could get pregnant our children wouldn't be taken from us but because of the politics surrounding the fact it is someone else's child they said no.
We have found our surrogate who is a wonderful lady and we are looking forward to working together eventually. (Hopefully)
So here we are today asking for your help. You may think it is begging, fair enough, you have your opinion but we ask you this: how many times do you give to the Air Ambulance, BHF, Cancer Research, RSPCA, PDSA, need I go on? Do you think those places are begging? Hand on heart honestly if not, then why should it be different for us or anyone else like us fundraising for a cause? We know it's a lot of money and in an ideal world we would fund it all ourselves and keep our private life private and like we said we are doing all we can to raise money ourselves and put money in ourselves and we know things are tight for a lot of people. Like stated previously we are putting our own money in too from holding fundraiser auctions selling stuff we do not use etc.... Its about working together and raising awareness for surrogacy and the like to stop it being such a taboo subject. This way we could reach our goal and the dream of being able to watch our baby sleep at night become closer to happening. You can see where we are coming from. For those of you with children, look at them now and ask yourself what would you do if they were not with you and you never had the chance to have them. How would you feel? Times that by a million and maybe you would have an idea of how we feel. Just one baby. Is it really too much to ask? The reason the amount is so high is because having to have the donor egg IVF is around £6000 plus the surrogates expenses. It is a minefield and we are learning every day. Looking at Surrogacy UK their website suggests fees are anything between £7,000-15,000. We have to go for the top estimate just in case. We are not against going through a private arrangement you just get scared of being bitten. We are only human. Also gofundme take 5% as their fee which is a small fee to be honest as well as paypal taking their usual fees but again it is a small price to pay to get us where we want to be. We just want to be as clear as possible on where money goes etc. The minimum donation through this page is £5. We are aware that is a lot of money so please feel free to donate any amount through our own website at www.ourjourneytosurrogacy.weebly.com
You can see their website at; www.surrogacyuk.org
I have at this moment in time had 16 operations in 15 years.
We would also like to point out that being disabled doesn't mean you are incapable. There are millions of disabled parents out there why should we be vilified for wanting the same? I have had counselling for my losses but it never changes your yearning for a baby. People have said we will be using their taxes to bring our child up. (If we are lucky enough) wrong! We pay taxes! Everyone is entitled to their opinion and there is no right or wrong but it is easy for people to become judgemental when they know nothing about a situation. You heard the phrase "walk a mile in my shoes?"
If you have got this far, thank you for reading our story. What we can promise is that any monies donated, apart from being eternally grateful, we can promise that any monies received will go for the purpose of the surrogacy. If we don't reach our goal then we will donate the monies to another couple or couples to help them reach their dreams. Likewise, if we do reach our goal any monies left over will also be donated to another couple to help them reach their dream. We are also happy to answer any questions.
Lastly, we would like to say that this is hard for us asking for people to donate and going to newspapers and tv but we may never reach goal by ourselves. We are very private people who don't divulge our private life and problems. We are very honest people and will do as we say, our integrity means everything but above all if we are successful and end up with our baby that baby will be loved and worshipped.
Thank you for reading
Jo and James
Disclaimer: Everything on this website is true to the best of our knowledge. Dates and times may differ slightly due to not always being able to remember clearly but this is not done to mislead anyone.