Grooooooooow babies!!

How 2 men + 2 women - sex + science = 2 babies!!

This is the funny, heart-warming, tearful, inspiring, and shocking truth about my journey to have a child.

How a man, another man, a woman, another woman, a couple lawyers, a few doctors, a psychologist, a couple social workers and some agencies make a baby.

Friday, November 8, 2013

A Daily Occurrence

I think I have previously written that not a day would go by that I wouldn't think about my surrogate, "Chloe."  I said it because it felt like the right thing to say at the time.  I said it because it seemed deep and sentimental.  I said it because it was a good way to end a blog entry.

Now, 19+ months after my amazing surrogate delivered two great boys, I can say it again because I know it's the truth.

I don't know if every IP feels this way.  I hear about some IPs who cut off contact with their surrogates after delivery.  When the contract is done some parents feel no need to stay in touch with a woman who forever changed their lives.  I don't understand that.  I know some of the reasons for that happening, but I knew it wasn't right for me. 

I swear that I look at my kids and constantly thank the universe for connecting me with my surrogate as well as my lawyer, agencies and egg donor.  My Facebook friends are doing a daily gratitude status for the month of November.  Can I just cheat a little and say that for the next 30 days having Chloe in my life is what makes me grateful?  Well, maybe she gets 29 days of thanks and the grandparents, who visit and let Derek and me have a date night once every few months, should get a day of thanks too.  Chloe stuck with me through all the ups and downs, traveled far for doctor appointments, welcomed Derek into the picture, allowed me to be at all the appointments (and even let my parents see an ultrasound), came to the baby shower with adorable hats for the kids, still loves to read about what they're up to on Facebook and is an all around great lady.  I really do think about her daily even on those days when I'm dealing with random dirty diapers on the floor, exhausting story times, crazy bath time, breaking the law, dirty diaper issues, and general parenthood woes. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Surrogacy on TV

Does anyone else watch The Good Wife?  It's a favorite in my house.  Sunday nights, after the boys go to bed, Derek and I love the show.  I have been a fan of the lead actress since her ER days and I was thrilled that she got another TV show -- especially such a good one.

A couple weeks ago the show had a lawsuit about surrogacy.  I have to say that I spent half an hour yelling at the TV! 

The gist of the episode, called A Precious Commodity, was that the intended parents found out that their baby was going to have an 85% chance of a birth defect.  They wanted the surrogate to abort the baby and the surrogate refused.

I yelled at the TV because I had learned that, regardless of what my contract with my surrogate said, there are some federal laws that overrule it.  Every surrogate has the right to make decisions about her own body and state courts and state laws can't change that.  I remember my lawyer telling me, "It's your fetus, but her body." 

I also yelled at the TV because the surrogate was portrayed to be a candy-eating college student.  Illinois law says that to be a surrogate a woman must have already had a child.  I believe she also has to be raising that child.  It's true that this couple on TV might not have found their surrogate through a reputable agency.  There are certainly ways to get around the best practices and my guess is that could be a reason why they ended up in court.  There was no mention of an agency in the show.

I won't spoil the end, but let's just say that I think the writers realized they had 10 minute left to wrap up the story and they came up with something that wasn't very satisfying to me. 

So while I'm glad that surrogacy made it onto TV, I'm not sure showing this story really was portraying surrogacy in a good light.  Could this happen?  Yes.  Does it happen?  I'm sure it does.  I just know that if anyone asks me about this episode I'll emphasize the great relationship I had - and still have - with my surrogate and the support we gave each other during our journey.   

Friday, October 11, 2013

Where Are My Bloggers?

About two years ago I wrote a blog entry talking about my online family.  I have become Facebook friends with a few of them and have loved to watch their families grow.  A lot of my cyber-families have had success with surrogacy.  There are a lot of new parents out there and a lot of lovely surrogates who update me (and everyone else) on the beautiful babies they now have or carried.  There are still a few families out there who haven't had success and it's hard to watch these online friends go through so many ups and downs.  I'm still hoping these last few couples I have followed will find success and become parents. 

If you look at our lives today and compare them with a few years ago I have to say that the biggest difference, of course, is that we now have kids.  The second biggest difference is that I don't get as many blog entries to read. 

I usually log into my blogs on the two days I work.  A few years ago I was thrilled to get updates on so many surrogacy stories every time I logged in.  Now I only see a couple entries a week instead of a couple entries a day.

I'm busy too.  Life with kids is keeping me much busier (and much more exhausted) than I could have imagined.  I know my time is now spent making forts out of blankets and kissing bumped heads instead of blogging.  Still, I hope that I'll get updates on my online family for years to come.  There is something amazing about what we all went through together - the support, the tears, the ultrasounds, and the joyful endings.  The surrogates, IPs and babies really do have a special place in my heart.

Of course my surrogate is still in touch with me.  She hasn't seen the boys in a while and I really hope to change that.  I had said before that not a day will go by, for the rest of my life, that I don't think of her.  That's true.  I'm always thinking of her as I look at my kids.  My mind then often wonders what's going on with Jenni, Jesse, Doug, Allie, Jude, Baxter, and all the other people who I've met.  Keep in touch and know that I'm thinking of all of you.

Monday, July 1, 2013

To Freeze Or Not To Freeze, That Is The Question

It came again: that letter from the company that freezes embryos.  If memory serves me correctly this is the third years I've had to make a decision.  In 2010 I had my first embryos.  They were frozen of course.  By the end of 2010 I had one embryo and was advised to find a new egg donor, but I still kept that one embryo from the first donor.  In 2011 I had success with a new egg donor, transfered two fresh embryos and froze seven, I believe.

In 2012, about five months after the kids were born, I got my yearly bill again and decided to keep the embryos.  All sorts of "what if..." scenarios ran through my head and I was barely functioning due to the lack of sleep.  I wasn't ready to make any kind of big decision at that time.

It's now 2013 and I am blessed to have two happy, healthy, 15-month old boys and I'm pretty sure my baby making days are behind me, but only 99% sure.  There is still a little "what if..." way in the back of my head. 

I found out some interesting information about freezing sperm, eggs and embryos.  Here's what everyone should know...

  1. Sperm, to put it bluntly, is not valuable at all.  We all knew this.  I asked if there was anything that science could do with my frozen sperm and was told no. 
  2. Embryos can be discarded completely, donated to science for research, or donated to another person for him/her/them to use.  In my particular circumstance I had agreed in my contract not to donate my embryos to other people.
  3. If I choose to discard the embryos completely they are held for 60 days in case I change my mind.  After 60 days they will be discarded.
  4. If I choose to donate the embryos to science there are a lot of steps/parts.  After signing a consent form the embryos will stay frozen until they match the needs of a research project.  The woman I spoke with said she had been working at the lab for two years and has yet to have any embryos qualify for a project.  If the embryos are picked for research I will be contacted and I will have to sign a second form agreeing that I want my embryos donated.  But if, at that time, I decide not to donate my embryos to research, I can decide to reclaim my embryos and pay all the fees for storage in arrears. 
I'm wondering if anyone else has gone through this process and has any thoughts on it.  I don't want to be overly dramatic and say that this is the hardest decision of my life.  It's not.  But it's definitely a weighty decision.  If you have a perspective on this let me know. You can share it in a comment or contact me directly at  Thanks.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Birth

Is there anything baby/pregnancy/surrogacy related that doesn't make me cry?  Apparently not.  Although I was a fan of the TV show The New Normal when it first came out I have to say that I'm liking it less and less as time goes on.  The grandmother changed personalities in an episode and a half, Nene Leakes is an awful actress and one of the dads is so self-absorbed sometimes it's hard to like him.  Nevertheless, I'm still going to keep watching because it's a story about a Jewish and non-Jewish pair of dads (one doctor and one in the entertainment field) who used a surrogate to have a son.  You can't get too much closer to my life! 

Last week the surrogate gave birth!  While the dads were in the middle of a crazy wedding ceremony the surrogate went into labor.  (What a shock.  No one has ever gone into labor in the middle of a wedding in a sit-com.)

While the show may not win any Emmys, what it did do was bring back all those memories from a year ago.  I still remember Chloe calling me with such a calm voice saying that the doctor was going to send her over to the hospital to be induced.  I remember calling Derek 20 times (who was in a meeting without his phone or pager) as I scrambled around my home trying to figure out what the heck I needed to bring to the hospital.  I remember wandering the hospital hallways trying to stay awake as the hours wore on.  I remember Chloe being wheeled into the OR and Derek and I wondering how long it would be until we met our children and found out if they were boys or girls or one of each.  I remember the nurse coming in and telling us our children were born.  I remember the nurse handing me Aaron and a bottle of milk and me telling her I didn't know what I was doing.  I remember seeing Chloe a half hour after birth wrapped up in warm blankets, shivering and wishing she was strong enough at that moment to hold the two beautiful babies she carried.  I remember having to psych myself up to give Chloe her thank you present and card before we said goodbye to her in the hospital.  And I remember crying as we said our goodbyes.

Of course it wasn't a final goodbye.  Chloe and I have kept in touch and she came to the kids' first birthday party.  She even wore the necklace we got her as her thank you present.

So although the show isn't amazing, watching the show this season helps me remember some wonderful memories: being matched with a surrogate, finding an egg donor, transferring embryos, going to ultrasounds and, of course, the birth of my kids.  I hope the show continues on for another few years.  It'll be interesting to see if the relationship between the dads and surrogate continues mimic my real life and my relationship with Chloe.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

One Year Later

It has been a year since the birth of my twins and and believe me that not a day goes by when I don't think of Chloe.  (Luckily I get to see her from time to time too!)  She has changed my life in a way that is indescribable.  So, to show my appreciation, I "stole" this great picture from Melissa.

Thank you, Chloe, for touching my life in the most profound way.

Here are a couple pictures to show what a difference a year makes.  Enjoy the videos of their first cupcakes and all my current adventures at my fatherhood blog.   

Aaron and Jeff the first moment I saw them


Monday, February 18, 2013

Stranger Danger

My kids are in full stranger danger mode.  This past week or two we have had a lot of visitors.  The kids clung to Derek or me, sometimes ventured out to the stranger for a few minutes, and then ran back to whatever daddy was closest.  It's both exhausting and sweet.  When my arms got tired of holding them I'd remind myself that this means they trust their daddies and have bonded with us.

My parents just visited for a few days and the boys certainly were suspicious of them when they first arrived.  Over the course of a few days they became much more comfortable with these new faces.  When I left the apartment the boys were content to be with grandma and grandpa.  If daddy was home, however, then grandma and grandpa became a very distant second and third place.  Oddly enough my less adventurous boy, Jeff, did a little better with new faces than my, daredevil, Aaron who often didn't go more than a few feet away from me and would bawl if I went to get the laundry or go to the bathroom. 

This happened with friends, cousins and grandparents.  Every stranger was a danger.


Chloe recently came over for about an hour.  She had some donations for my workplace and I had some old clothes for her new baby cousins.  I was so happy to see her.  She arrived just as the boys woke up from a nap.  While eating, they were pretty cranky and suspicious of her...but right after waking up and before getting their milk they're always cranky and suspicious! 

After I got some food in their tummies, we went to play.  After 10 minutes or so Jeff allowed Chloe to hold him.  It's not like he immediately left me to be in her arms, but he was OK to be near her.  Aaron was, as usual, more cautious and only crawled up to her but cried if she tried to get too close.  Still, he was fascinated by her.  I really wonder if there still is some connection to her.  Maybe I'm just hoping there was a connection.  Maybe they did recognize her voice.  Maybe there is a familiar smell.  Maybe there's a sixth sense that she was OK.  We'll never know, but it made me happy to see Chloe with her surro-babies again.