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.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

All's Fair In Love and War (And Apparently Surrogacy Too)

Last night I got the news that Chloe isn't pregnant again. Last time I cried inconsolably. This time I cried a little but I was more angry and upset and frustrated. I'm at a loss as to what to do next.

I know that this is not the P.C. thing to say, but I'm going to say this anyway: it sucks to see unfit parents having kids when I'm trying so hard and not succeeding. I work for a hospital where about three-quarters of the people are on public aid, many have no job, some don't breast feed because they want to start using drugs again, some are high when they deliver, some are HIV+ with five kids and are completely living off the government, etc., etc., etc. I'm sure if I talked with more of the OB/GYN staff I would get more stories that would blow my mind. I's not nice to judge these people. I know that many of them grew up in an environment that lacked the opportunities that I had. I know while my parents were going to work every day and planning to take me to Disney World their parents might have been absent or struggling to make ends meet or maybe using drugs or in prison. I know this sounds arrogant of me like I think I'm more deserving of them. But right now I just want to be selfish and say that I do.

Derek turned to me last night after we heard the message and said, "I just want you to be a dad." I will remember that for a long time. What on earth can you possibly say to someone who is going through this? Apparently those are the right words. It made me feel supported and loved and was realistic. Sometimes it's hard to hear the "I know it'll happen for you" words of encouragement. A lot of my friends have said it to me and I know the intention behind it comes from loving me and wishing me the best. But sometimes, when I hear that, I just want to say "You don't really know that" or "It doesn't feel like that." After two failed attempts it is hard to say "It WILL happen" because after it seemed like all the stars aligned twice, they really didn't.

I also read "Michaela's" blog late last night and thank goodness I did. Michaela is in the egg retrieval stage and is plunging a needle into her stomach 3-4 times a day for the next month. Not fun. And yet her blog made me literally laugh out loud. Her take on the process is still upbeat and optimistic. I need that right now. Soon I'll get back to blogging about fun topics like why Eva Mendes will be wet in every scene in the movie or maybe I'll organize a protest against Neil Patrick Harris. But I need a few days to recover from this.

I'm off to call the doctor and the surrogacy agency to get more information and see what happens next.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Hey Universe, Are You Listening? You Better Be!

It has been two weeks since the embryo transfer. My life has been busy so, to be honest, I haven't thought about it all that much. I do think about it from time to time and pray "Stick, little embryos, stick!" Then I go about my day until the thought pops into my head again several hours later and I repeat the same mantra. And, every night, I write a few sentences over and over again in a little journal. I write sentences saying things like: "my surrogate is pregnant now," "I will be a dad," and, as Chloe's uncle says, "Grooooooooow baby!" with nine "O"s because I need one for each month of growth. A part of me thinks it's silly and I know my pen and paper doesn't make an embryo stick to the uterus of a woman 15 miles away, but I also think it can't hurt. There are unexplained phenomena in this world that go above our understanding and so my putting it out into the universe may be just the thing my baby needs.

It has been interesting for me to see as I write these sentences every day how their meaning has changed for me. For a while, I wrote them without really thinking about them. One day I noticed I underlined a word in a sentence. Then I'd underline a different word the next day. Words like "pregnant", "dad", and "baby" started to have more meaning and truth. I started saying the sentences out loud as I wrote them. I'm hoping the universe is listening.

The thought that is always in my head now is "What will my child be?" I wonder if my child will be a teacher or an athlete or a scientist. I can't wait to see what kind of child comes from me. It will be exciting to see my child's personality and interests grow and develop.

The pregnancy test is on Monday. These last few days have been harder than the first week and a half. As we get closer and closer the excitement and nerves increase. But I'm imagining that moment that I'm told "She's pregnant" and the tears of joy that will come after that. This just has to succeed.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


The alarm went off at 6:00 a.m. Derek and I got up so we could make our way to the fertility clinic for today's embryo transfer. I made waffles with syrup. Last time we did an embryo transfer we had eggs for breakfast and later realized the flaw in our logic - we already had the eggs! Now we needed something to make them stick. That's why we ate syrup today.

Right as we left my place I saw "Life" cereal in a shopping bag. I had bought some last night since I knew that Derek liked that cereal and I meant to offer him that for breakfast. All of a sudden, it hit me at that moment: Life! We should have eaten Life cereal!!! I grabbed the box and decided it couldn't hurt to take a few handfuls before the transfer.

When we got to the fertility clinic about 7:15 a.m. I asked the receptionist if "Chloe's" friend, "Steven", could go into room during the embryo transfer so he could capture it on film. I wasn't sure if filming would be allowed. The receptionist said that would probably be ok and she would check with the doctor.

After a couple minutes the nurse called me to go into a room even though Chloe wasn't there yet. Then she looked at Derek and wondered why he wasn't coming too. I'm not sure if she knows that he's my partner or if she just assumed he was a friend but I have to say that it has been so nice to never have felt judged throughout this whole process. The doctors, lawyers, nurses, agency representatives, etc. have never hesitated to use the word "partner" and never looked at Derek with a "who are you?" expression on their faces. Even some of the forms sometimes say things like "Partner 1" and "Partner 2."

Getting back to today, Derek came back to wait with me. The nurse gave scrubs to Derek and me. Once again we said that we wanted the filmmaker to be in the room and we weren't sure how many people could fit. The nurse said she would check with the doctor and there would probably be room for all.

Next, the embryologist came in to talk to me. He said that they had thawed the first two embryos and both were suitable for transfer. That was great news. I breathed a sigh of relief. It's nice to know I still have one embryo frozen for use in the future if I want.

Chloe and Steven arrived a little while later and they were getting ready in another room. The nurse asked Chloe if it was ok for Derek and me (and Steven, of course) to be in the room and she agreed. A few minutes later we all piled into the room: Derek, Chloe, Steven, the doctor, the technician, the embryologist and me. Someone was telling everyone where to stand and sit. It was almost like setting up a shot for a real movie.

I saw the dish with my name on it and my two little embryos! There they were on the screen, magnified 400 times, and they were no bigger than the size of a pea. I watched them get sucked up into a tube and then the embryologist came into the room. This time, it was hard to see the embryos get shot into the uterus. Last time Chloe and I saw the outline of the equipment on the ultrasound monitor and even saw the embryos get shot out. This time, the technician had said it would be hard to see and he was right. I'm not sure why. Derek and I are hoping it's because her uterine lining is a lot thicker this time, but we might be wrong. I'm trusting that they're in there, searching for a place to attach as I type this. A technician checked the tube to make sure that it's all clear before we were allowed to leave the room. He said nothing was left in the tube so the procedure was done and it was time for us to go home.

One day, when my child is small, maybe I'll show him/her the video and say, "That was you when you were 5 days old!"

Now I have 16 days of waiting. I think I might go have a bowl of "Life" for lunch.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Grooooooooow Baby!

One more day until the embryo transfer. It's getting exciting. I mentioned on Facebook that the embryo transfer is on Saturday and two of my friends said that they had dreams about my baby. One said she asked me how the baby was and I smiled and said, "Great!" I'm hoping that putting all of this out into the universe is telling the universe that I am ready to meet my baby -- or babies. I still have to remember that having twins is possible.

The first time we tried to become pregnant my surrogate took a pregnancy test 12 days after the transfer. Twelve days after this transfer is Thanksgiving day. I'm hoping I'll have something very big to be thankful for this year. Of course the clinic isn't open on Thanksgiving day so I won't find out on that Thursday. The pregnancy test is set for November 29th so stay posted for that news.

From what I remember the embryo takes anywhere from 2-4 days to implant. (I may have that wrong, though.) Regardless of the actual number of days, I know that it's within a few days after the transfer. So this weekend we'll all be thinking about that little baby latching on to the surrogate! And, as my surrogate's uncle likes to say, "Grooooooooow baby!"

On a completely non-clinical note, a friend of mine who is a playwright said he is writing a play about a gay couple adopting a child and he wants to talk with me about my process. How exciting! I'm not only going to have a documentary made about this process AND a Hollywood movie made about my life, now I'm inspiring a play too. If this becomes a movie-of-the-week and someone writes a hit song about me I can achieve an EGOT. (There's my "30 Rock" reference for all you fans.)

Friday, November 5, 2010

On Your Mark, Get Set...

I can't believe it has been close to a month since I last wrote a post. It makes sense. Not much has happened over the past few weeks since we have just been waiting for the doctor to "reset" my surrogate's cycle. Now we are eight days away from the embryo transfer.

I decided to look for some quotes to add to my blog and sum up some feelings that maybe I couldn't express in my own words. At first I decided I would write "Michael's Soliloquy" and start off with "To birth or not to birth" or something clever like that. Then I remembered I hate Shakespeare and don't understand him so spoofing him wasn't going to work. Instead, I just have a few quotes I found online.

Parents are often so busy with the physical rearing of children that they miss the glory of parenthood, just as the grandeur of the trees is lost when raking leaves.
-Marcelene Cox

I have no idea who Marcelene Cox is. I tried googling the name and all I got were her quotes. But I liked this quote because I hope that I will remember this when I am frustrated or angry or stressed. I'm not at the rearing part yet, but I'm at the making part and so far this hasn't been a walk in the park. There have been times when I have forgotten the goal because of the heaviness of a certain part of the process. I have to remember that the good will far outweigh the bad when my dream comes true.

Ah! what would the world be to us If the children were no more? We should dread the desert behind us Worse than the dark before.
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Last time we did an embryo transfer I was scared to get my hopes up. This time, my hopes are up. I know I will have a child and I will be a dad. That is the only option in my head right now. A few weeks ago my surrogate went in for blood work and an ultrasound (I think of her uterus...I'm not sure. I don't pay attention to girly parts) and everything was fine. Yesterday she went in for a check of her uterine lining. The nurse called me to say it's at 12.5 mm which is great. The doctors want the lining to be at least 7 mm so she is well above that threshold and this is better than it was last time we did the transfer. Things are looking good. My parents are flying to town today. If we have time we plan on looking at baby furniture. My parents said that they will buy me a crib. A few months ago I wouldn't have agreed to do this, but now I want to start planning. I'm trying to put it out to the universe that I'm ready for this baby!

Always be nice to your children because they are the ones who will choose your rest home.
-Phyllis Diller

Just had to add that.

In other news...

Chloe's friend did make a short video of the surrogacy process. He submitted it to a one-minute film festival. There were 26 entries and he took 3rd prize. I hope I get to see it. I asked Chloe is she wanted her friend to film the embryo transfer this time. Maybe that's why it didn't work the first time. Maybe we need my child's very first few minutes of life to be on video. I asked Chloe if she minded having her uterus on film. She didn't. She's so easy going. Plus she mentioned she just watched "Whip It" and wants to go skating. Derek loves the movie "Whip It." Maybe that's another sign I have the right surrogate!

Also, Neil Patrick Harris still has not posted on my blog. I don't care if he has newborn twins, it's not hard to write "Good luck Michael" on my blog. Can we all agree to boycott his show?

On the plus side, my friend who is going through surrogacy is moving along. I just wrote her a note and said that we should arrange a play date for our kids. She lives a few thousand miles away, but I think our kids should meet. Maybe February 19th, 2012? Can I pencil you in for that, "Michaela"?