How surrogate sister gave the ultimate gift
An Armstrong Creek woman has received the ultimate gift from her sister: a longed-for child.
The dramatic process to bring baby Logan into the world has involved heartache, fears coronavirus could stop the family experiencing the birth together, and an emergency caesarean.
Anthony and Jess Armistead struggled for five years to conceive, undertaking gruelling rounds of IVF and spending more than $50,000.
After watching their painful journey, Mrs Armistead's sister Kylie Jablan offered to carry their child.
Baby Logan, who is biologically Mr and Mrs Armistead's, was born on October 2 via emergency caesarean section.
Ms Jablan, 42, had been induced earlier than expected after displaying symptoms that could indicate pre-eclampsia.
She had been in labour for seven hours when her blood pressure went "through the roof" and the baby began showing signs of distress.
Ms Jablan was rushed in to theatre for an emergency caesarean, and Logan's birth elicited mixed emotions for his parents.
While they were thrilled when they saw Logan for the first time, Mrs Armistead was simultaneously terrified for her sister, who was moaning in pain and struggling health-wise.
"It was very dramatic," Ms Jablan said.
Ms Jablan stayed in hospital for five nights, and following discharge, was sent back to the emergency department at a follow up appointment with well-known Geelong obstetrician and gynaecologist Sam Sabary.
She was readmitted to hospital and found to have blood clots and fluid in her lungs, and an infection.
Ms Jablan was prescribed antibiotics and blood pressure medication, and is set to remain on blood thinning medication for months to come.
The health drama comes after fears Mr Armistead may not be able to attend the birth of his first child, due to coronavirus restrictions.
However, cases dropped towards the end of the pregnancy and the family worked with St John of God Geelong Hospital, which helped accommodate their unique situation.
Both Mrs Armistead, 34, and Ms Jablan were admitted as patients to the private hospital, allowing them each a support person, meaning Mr Armistead could be present for the birth.
"It was our privilege to be able to support this family on their very important journey," a St John of God Geelong Hospital spokeswoman said.
"We are incredibly proud of our midwifery team for being able to respond to the unique needs of the wonderful family."
The family was the first surrogacy case taken on by Dr Sabary, who the Armisteads and Ms Jablan were full of praise for.
Surrogacy cases are uncommon at Monash IVF Geelong, which treated the family, and it was their first surrogacy case in some time.
Ms Jablan has three kids of her own, two adults and a 12-year-old, who the family explained the unusual situation to.
"We're already a close family which has helped," Mrs Armistead said.
"Logan will have that story told to him about how Kylie carried him.
"I just look at him, and can't believe he's our baby and he's here."
Originally published as How surrogate sister gave the ultimate gift