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.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Art Imitates Life

Sometimes it's funny how life works. I had two friends who dated and broke up several times. Through their experience, I developed the belief that people come into your life for a reason and leave for a reason. I try to believe things, in general, happen for a reason.

As my contract negotiations got underway with the third (and hopefully final) egg donor I learned that she was not OK with the Donor Sibling Registry (DSR). That surprised me because in her profile it stated she was willing to be either an anonymous or identified donor. (I have to admit the concept of "identified donor" was never really explained clearly to me because all are anonymous. My understanding was that "identified donor" basically meant that there was possibly some kind of a chance of some sort of contact at some unknown date in the future in some way, shape or form that was not determined.)

I asked my lawyer to see if she could ascertain why this donor was not amenable to the DSR. What we found out was that she didn't want to be responsible for updating her profile all the time as the contract stated. So my lawyer changed the wording and basically asked her to register and not worry about her profile. This DSR would just be insurance in case the agency closed or couldn't find her or me and some contact was necessary. In the general contract and the DSR part there are no-fault clauses for both of us. If she decides to never tell the agency she develops a disease, I can't sue her. If I decide to change my phone number and the agency can't find me, she can't sue me. If she joins the DSR and a year later cancels her profile, I have to accept it. I understand all of these risks and my lawyer wondered why the donor was not open to this. It's an answer we may never get.

Why am I telling you all this?

Because I saw a play and I think it happened for a reason.

Last week I saw a play called "A Twist of Water" about a gay couple who adopted a girl 17 years ago. After one of the dads dies, the daughter decides she wants to connect with more family and goes about finding her birth mother. They eventually meet. (Spoiler alert!) The mother tells her daughter that it was great to meet her and know that she's OK but she doesn't want a relationship with this girl after this one meeting. The girl is devastated. Of course the silver lining is that it brings her closer to her father who she was never really close to.

Watching that was good and bad. Writing this is helpful and scary. I know my child will one day read this blog and I don't want him/her to feel like the egg donor never wants to meet him/her. But at the same time, I did understand the birth mother in the play needed to move on from what happened 17 years ago. She talked about grieving the child about 9 years after she gave her up for adoption. She had to shut the door and not let her thoughts consume her being. I have to respect a donor's decision that she may not want contact in the future because it would be too much to always wonder "what if..." for the rest of her life. It might be better for her to know that she helped someone have a child and be content with just that satisfaction.

I still do get to write a letter to the egg donor to thank her for what she is doing for me. I still do have to opportunity to share information for health related reasons. My lawyer said the agency may be open to sending another letter in the future that is not solely for health related reasons. The contract also talks about the fact that 18 years from now we don't know what the laws will be and children may have a right to find their egg (or sperm) donors. And, as I've said a million times before, no one can predict what the child will feel or want. As we've seen with adopted children or children of single parents some of them want to meet their birth parents and some don't care. Some have great meetings and some meetings are painful or awkward. Maybe it's a little naive ('s a lot naive), but my hope is that my child will have such a good life that the egg donor will be just one small part of his/her history, not an huge void in his/her life.

Friday, June 10, 2011

To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before -- Or So I Thought

First of all let me say that I am not -- I repeat NOT -- a Star Trek fan. Although I do know that vulcans have blue blood...wait. I just Googled that to make sure I was right and apparently it's green. Clearly the one thing I thought I knew about Star Trek I don't. Although my brother was constantly watching it as we were growing up I managed to tune out all the lasers beam, spaceship and computer talk.

Maybe I should have paid more attention to the computer talk.

When I started my blog I wasn't naive enough to think that I was the only person smart enough to chronicle my adventures. I do remember looking online for other people in similar situations and, in true Michael fashion, I probably didn't know where to look because I ignored all that computer talk. I didn't see a lot of blogs about surrogacy, egg donation and gay parents going through this process. I had hoped that my blog would be found by others who were in a similar situation and could provide support, inspiration and advice.

A year and a half later most of the people following my blog are friends of mine and, as I've said before, the support I get from everyone is so valuable. I also have a few people who I don't know who have become followers. A few months into my blogging a woman joined and has made some wonderful comments on a few postings. Recently, another stranger started following me. After some playing around on the computer (remember...I'm bad with computers) I realized that these two followers had blogs of their own and were in similar situations.

It is a weird connection but I am so excited one of them has a pregnancy and the other recently did an embryo transfer. As I look through these blogs I get excited to see the journey is coming to a happy ending for them. It gives me hope that my ending will be the same. I'm starting to feel their ups and downs with them. And while I will probably never meet them, there is a deep understanding of what we all are sacrificing to get our ultimate reward.

I joined their blogs and saw that each one of them was linked to many other blogs. I haven't looked through all of them yet, but it looks like there are blogs from other Intended Parents (IPs), single surrogates, people using surrogates in India, straight couples, gay men, gay women, and more. I am thrilled to see there are others like me out there. I hope to find a blog by a surrogate to see what it's like from her perspective. I'm on the hunt for a good one.

Maybe my final scene in the movie will be dozens of bloggers at my baby's first birthday party and they all brought their own kids. Oscar voters just eat up stuff like that.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I Get Paid to Blog...Sorta

I seem to do a lot of my writing on Wednesdays and Fridays. Those are the days when I work at my staff job and I'm by a computer all day. So I like to think of it as getting paid to blog.

The topic of the day is money. I got an email a couple days ago from the new nurse at the fertility clinic. I guess she should be called "Glinda" since she already brought me good news. Clearly she's the Good Witch in this story. She told me that another worker at the fertility center who had worked with me during the first egg retrieval got some donated medication and will give those to me. The medications for the egg donor and surrogate are a few thousand dollars. From time to time a cycle gets canceled or a donor doesn't need as much stimualation as expected and someone has left of medication. Sometimes those wonderful people will donate those unused meds to another intended parent (IP). I got some this time. I'm not sure exactly how much and which kind I will be getting, but Glinda said I would save several thousand dollars. It sounds like the bulk of the meds will be paid for with this donation. That's a relief. After all of these legal and medical bills the cost is turning out to be much higher than I had hoped.

Glinda is also good because she told me that my new donor "has a great personality" and had a normal ultrasound. So it looks like things are moving right along for a July transfer!