In a Bangkok hospital in 2015, Australian fashion designer Jayson Brunsdon and his partner Aaron Elias Brunsdon were waiting to meet their son.
After years of wanting a child, the couple took a leap of faith and decided to go ahead with a surrogate in Thailand.
Aaron and Jayson sat down with Mia Freedman to talk about becoming fathers for the first time, and the book, Designer Baby, that Aaron has written about how they’re family came to be…this is an extract from that book.
I confidently hold the camera up while following the nurse’s every step, first through a tall, narrow door that feels like you are entering into a space odyssey.
My first peep of the operating room is through two circular windows in the door.
I tremble slightly as she opens the door to the operating room, and as it flings open it reveals a sea of scrubs. I hear the wailing of a baby, his loud screams echoing as vibrations inside me.
He wriggles on an aluminum bed, his body smeared with blood and slimy white mucus. He wails louder, and the nurses wrap him in a green hospital blanket.
Jayson and Aaron tell Mia Freedman about meeting Roman for the first time:
I turn around to glance at Porn (the surrogate) who is unconscious.
Dr Nitwat and others work on her – stitching her up, I think, but I can’t see because I am blind with inexpressible happiness. I am blown away to a different realm. “Hello, darling, Daddy is here…Daddy is here,” I say before I start to cry. I am so still – I can’t move.
It is like I’ve been struck by an angel. This baby is crying; my baby, and my son. I sense he is frightened and wants to be held, comforted. “He’s OK, normal, healthy baby.” I hear the calm voice of a female doctor, who seconds ago I didn’t know existed. “Don’t worry; I think you must sit down before we take photos,” she adds.
The moment is unforgettable. I want to hold him to let him know I am here and that he is not alone. I will never be far from him. I promise to protect, love and guide him, as long as I live.
The nurse brings him to me, and when I hold him he settles a little and then starts screaming again. The nurse takes pictures of us. I beam, holding him. My emotions are wild, trembling. I can’t believe he is here, in my arms, me holding him. The feeling is indescribable.
“Papa wants to meet you. He is outside, my darling.” I know he won’t understand me but it doesn’t matter because I want him to hear my voice. The woman with the calming voice, the English-speaking one who asked me to sit a minute ago, is a pediatrician, I later learn.