Pub Chat Leads Two Mates on Beautiful Co-Parenting Journey

At 21 years old, Dina Spiegler experienced the sinking feeling that she might not be able to have children, something she had always wanted.

She suffered an ectopic pregnancy which resulted in one of her tubes being removed. Heartbreakingly, Dina experienced another ectopic pregnancy at 28 and lost the other tube. 

I was shattered. I knew my only hope moving forward was to do IVF. When something is taken from you that is out of your control it really is devastating,” Dina tells Mum Central. 

Dina began to come to terms with the idea that she wouldn’t have children and, for over 10 years, focused on friends, family and fun. However, the desire to be a mum was always there. 

Then an old friend named Patrick came back into Dina’s life. 

Patrick and Dinas story
Patrick and Dina have been mates for years. Source: Supplied

Patrick had experienced his own heartbreaking journey. At the age of 30, he had an accident swinging off a rope swing, leaving him in a coma for a long time.

When he woke, Patrick learned he was unable to move from the chest down. Patrick was equipped with an electric wheelchair and told by doctors that he would most likely be unable to have children. 

Like Dina, Patrick accepted this heartbreak and focused on the positives. However, he never fully dismissed the idea of being a dad. 

A conversation at the pub 

Patrick and Dina, who met in school, reconnected after several years when Dina returned back to Queensland for several years. They would often meet at the pub for drinks with mates and, at some stage, the conversation of children came up. 

Patrick admitted to another friend that he would love to be a dad and the friends, jokingly told him to talk to Dina.

So he did.

At the pub, Patrick asked Dina if she would consider having a child with him. As friends. 

When Patrick first asked me on the night out I was having with my girlfriends it really did light me up inside, but I knew it was not the time nor place [to discuss it].

So I suggested meeting after Christmas. When it came to the conversation in the weeks to follow it felt surreal, like this could be my last chance.

Talking it over with Patrick didn’t feel awkward at all, but it was kind of one of those moments where ‘I’ll believe it when we get things moving’.”

We all deserve the chance to be a parent

In 2021, just after Dina’s 40th birthday, she started the IVF journey. 

The first attempt did not work. We had 3 embryos and 1 died, then they picked the best out of the 2 to use. Unfortunately, it didn’t take.

We were not going to attempt a second time, but we had a talk and decided to try once more.

It was an agonizing 10 day wait until they called to tell me the news. They say not to do pregnancy tests in the meantime, but I could not help myself, I think I did 8 which all said positive. So I knew when they called after my blood test on the 10th day the good news, but I needed to hear it from them for it to sink in.


pub chat leads two friends on parenting journey
Source: Supplied

Parenting as friends 

Before undergoing IVF, Dina and Patrick had countless chats about how co-parenting and raising a baby as friends would work. 

Patick and Dina
The proud parents-to-be at their baby shower. Source: Supplied

We agreed within the first 12 months I would be the main carer of our child while on maternity leave from my fulltime job. Of course he would have her here and there for the day with the help of his family and ‘now’ partner. After 3 months our child would start transitioning to night-time stays.

After my maternity leave, I will decide whether to return full or part-time to my position. Then we can work out our 50/50 co-parenting agreement. We understood this could change week to week and not be as calculated as we’d like but we would make it work.

Dina and Patrick both have heaps of family support too – so lots of hands on deck to help. 

‘The little companion we thought we would never have’

Throughout the pregnancy, Patrick was always close by, helping out as much as he could. Patrick also started dating someone who welcomed Patrick’s journey to becoming a dad with open arms. 

Dina pregnant
Source: Taken by 16-year-old Maddison

In early July 2022, Dina and Patrick prepared to meet their baby. Dina was induced with her good friend Lorri in the delivery room with her while Patrick and his partner remained in the waiting room.

After a fairly quick labour, she welcomed their daughter, Kora Mai.  

Dina and Kora - parenting journey with best mate
Kora was born on 6 July 2022. Source: Supplied

We chose her name after we went through so many, and her name from First Nations with the meaning ‘companion’ fitted both of us. The little companion we thought we would never have.”

Kora Mai birth
Source: Supplied

When Patrick first met his little girl, he was speechless. 

I popped her on his lap, and he just stared in awe. It was gorgeous to watch. She sat with him for a while, then his partner ‘Kora’s step mum’ joined us. It really was special.”

co-parenting Dina and Patrick
The companion both Dina and Patrick had always wanted. Source: Supplied

‘Most precious moments’

Kora is now 8 weeks old and surrounded by love all the time. Dina and Kora live in an apartment with Patrick coming over regularly,  plus an influx of family and friends offer help or watch Kora so Dina can have a quick nap.

Co-parenting with friend - Dina and Patrick story
Kora has just started to smile and laugh. Source: Supplied

Kora also goes over to Dad’s house often to get used to both homes. 

dina and Patrick are parenting as friends
The very proud dada Patrick! Source: Supplied

For someone who lives on her own, I am actually lucky. I hear of stories where some mothers haven’t washed their hair in weeks. I am lucky to be able to wash mine regularly.

This morning after she woke early, I put her in my bed to lie with me until we got up and she laid there so content looking at me cooing and smiling.

This was one of my most precious moments so far, but, who am I kidding? They are all precious.”

Dina, Kora and Patrick co-parenting journey
Source: Supplied

They really are. Congrats Dina and Patrick and thank you for letting us share your beautiful story! 

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Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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