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.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My Online Family

First of all, I know I haven't written in a while. When people in my life have asked about the pregnancy I've told them, but I've been hesitant to blog about it more. It's funny how the prompt to start writing came from total strangers. "Mike and Tony", whom I have never met, wrote a comment asking what was going on. It's amazing how this online family has started to feel more like a family. I feel like I've been through horrors of injecting lupron, the ups and downs of delivering triplets, the boredom of bedrest and more with my online "family" of surrogates and IPs. We all are pulling for each other and it's amazing to know that "Mike and Tony" (and others I'm sure) are invested enough in my life to want to know how my journey is going.

So here is the update...

I never thought I was very superstitious, but I'm learning that I really am. I recently saw an episodes of "Hoarders" in which a guy felt he couldn't throw out his dog's hair because it was like killing part of the dog. While I am more than happy to throw out and donate anything and everything I can, I can't judge the dog owner because I do silly things that I know aren't helping the babies grow, but I feel better knowing I do them.

1. I now have 3 ultrasound pictures and I won't take them out of my bag until the babies are born.

2. I have been nervous about blogging because we haven't made it through the first trimester yet but I'm happy to finally update my friends in the cyberworld because I know you've all been wondering what is going on.

3. I have a little wooden cat I bought a year and a half ago. I was in Epcot a couple months after starting my surrogacy journey and was waiting on line in the Japan store to buy something and saw these cats. The red cat was to bring luck for a healthy child. I bought it. Yes, Disney suckered me into it. I carry that cat around with me every day (when I haven't misplaced's really small, y'all!).

4. I've already received a few baby gifts but they are with stored friends. Jewish superstition says you can't have a baby shower or buy baby gifts until the baby comes home. (In 2011 it's a little impractical but I don't plan to have anything in the house until we're well into the third trimester.)

5. I really want that cool "days left until the baby is born" countdowns some blogs have. How do I get that? (I'm already not as good as other parents. I can't figure out how to do that! LOL)

6. I wonder how I'll ever make it through parenthood if I'm this anxious already! :-)

I also bought my surrogate a pregnancy massage. I was hoping she could use it before the transfer but because of timing she wasn't able to do so. She tried to redeem the massage recently and was told she can't get the massage because twins are considered a high risk pregnancy. To get a massage she needs a note from her doctor. From what I've read, massages aren't a great idea in the first trimester. I'm hoping the doctor tells her to at least wait another month or just wait until she's close to giving birth. And my surrogate mentioned somthing about getting a manicure. While I know I can't control everything she does and I have to trust her, I've read that while a manicure isn't the worst thing, there are chemicals that are used that can be dangerous to a fetus. However, there's also the positive of feeling good and taking care of one's mental health. I'm sure if manicures were awful then we would have warning signs and no manicurist would be able to work for 9 months. So I'm concerned, but not super worried.

We're in week 10 now so we still have a month to go before I'll feel safe. But then we have testing and I'll worry about how they're growing. And in the third trimester I'll be worried that they'll come too early. (Are you all laughing at me and my neuroses yet?)

I'm wondering if a couple surrogates reading this blog might be able to answer a question. If your IPs asked you to do something/not do something (like take fish oil supplements, not get manicures, etc.) would you feel like the IP was micro-managing your life? Would you feel insulted? Would you be open to discussing the requests? Or maybe some IPs can talk about how you felt giving up control of the pregnancy to someone else. Overall I do trust my surrogate. I like her more and more every day and she has proven herself to be wonderful time and time again. I am thrilled to be matched with her. But as we get further along I worry more and want more control. That's just who I am. Of course every IP-surrogate relationship is different so I know there's not one right answer. Any thoughts from anyone could be helpful.

My surrogate contract does have a paragraph saying that the surrogate has to follow the doctor's orders and do things to not harm the baby. It's a very general statement. It also specifically states a few things are forbidden like changing kitty litter, but of course a contract can't address every situation that pops up in life during nine months. After reading an amazing article in Time magazine about how what happens in the womb can affect a person's life (,9171,2021065,00.html -- read it if you're an IP who is not a worrier like me or if you want to be a surrogate who impresses her IPs) I want my surrogate to eat only organic broccoli and live in a bubble of purified air and have a magical unicorn as her best friend. (Hey...let me have me dream, people!)

I'll stop babbling. You get my point. I guess I just want to know how a surrogate might feel if I mentioned something about pedicures, hair dye, getting a massage, etc.

And to answer Mike and Tony's original question. The babies are fine, thank you again for asking. They have good, strong heartbeats and when I figure out how to add pictures to this blog I may be able to get some ultrasound pictures online.


  1. Oh yay! You're back. How did I miss that you were having twins!? How exciting!

    To answer your question frankly, that is going to depend on the surro. Some people don't mind some "micromanaging" but others get quite offended. I fall somewhere in the middle. If it's something I made my IPs aware of beforehand and my doc is fine with it but then they ask me not to do it, it's kind of annoying. It's a hard line to walk though as no one can anticipate exactly how they will feel. But, what I usually end up doing is accomodating my IPs b/c I can't imagine how out of control it must feel to have someone 4 hours away making all of these decisions about your baby. I think some things are valid requests, but I would suggest to any IPs that lifestyle changes (such as dietary or occupational changes, cancelling trips that had been planned, etc.) be addressed during the match. If you want them to eat all organic and they haven't been, that could be a big change. Yes, it's positive, but it still can be seen as a big change.

    I guess my advice is to pick your battles. :) If there are 30 things you want, find the most important 5 or so and start with them. Feel your surro out and see what she thinks. She might surprise you. :) I think it's all about finding a good compromise.

  2. Thanks, TXSurroMom. I appreciate the perspective. And I certainly agree I wouldn't want to change her whole life. We have a good relationship so far and she has done so much for me I don't want to jeopardize that. I love surro blogs because I can learn a little bit about what she's going through and it's also nice to see that some surrogates can understand an IPs perspective too.

  3. Here's a link for the due date tickers:

    Once you create the ticker of your liking, copy the code. Go to blogger, designs, add a gadget, and choose HTML/JavaScript. This is where you will paste your ticker code. And that (should be) it.

    From a surrogate's prospective on special request from the IPs....I think that special requests definitely needs to be discussed before hand, and especially during your match meeting. Some requests can be a deal breaker for some surrogates. Simple request down the road I would most likely be happy to accommodate, but asking me to refrain from getting pedicures is a little much for me, personally. I have given birth to 2 healthy children with no complications...and I did get pedicures during both pregnancies. I would hope that my 2 healthy children are enough proof for my IPs to trust my judgement during the surrogate pregnancy.

  4. I am SO glad you are back I was dying!! I looked all over your blog for an "email me" link so I could stalk you privately, LOL! Glad babes are ok. I understand totally where you are coming from with the control thing.. I have been walking that fine line with my friend and it's more complicated it seems because we are friends. She is kinda like "oh girl hush I got this" and I am like "no but seriously, that's too heavy to carry!" So we are talking all of that out again since we are in a holding pattern right now.. I think depending on y'alls relationship if you ask her certain things that can be put off that could be harmful (like waiting until 2nd trimester for dying hair or something like that) she would probably be understanding. My doctor told me not to dye until then many moons ago, not sure what the rule is now though.. I'm just glad you're back! Don't go away for so long next time!

  5. It's probably one of the most awkward things. I'll admit, my knee-jerk reaction is like, "I am more cautious with your baby than I am with my own" but then you stop and think about what it's like to have someone in complete control of what happens to your child and you try to be a little more sympathetic. :) Like I said, ask her about the biggies and see what she says. That'll open the door for communication. That's the important part here, keeping those lines of communication open so that the journey can be enjoyable for both of y'all. Compromise on both ends can make for a good arrangement.

    I no longer eat McD's burgers, I skipped a planned massage and I take fish oil tablets to appease my IPs. :) Believe me, as surros, we WANT to take the best care of your babies!!! :D But it's okay to have requests too. :)

  6. I just want to say thanks to everyone here, everyone on Facebook and those who sent personal emails who reminded me that I'm not crazy for feeling this way. Some of you even found a positive spin by telling me it just shows how much I care. Thanks for letting me vent, get out my concerns, and telling me that things will be OK. I have to learn to not freak out over everything. And I especially want to thank another blogger who wrote about how his surrogate did everything and anything to keep her IP's babies safe. She had triplets and went on bed rest for weeks, missed a family member's wedding, had risky surgery and told the doctor to do whatever it takes to keep the babies from being born early. (I'm sure many of you who follow a lot of blogs know this story.) It shows me how surrogates don't take their task lightly. A lot of your surrogate stories have touched my heart. So keep 'em coming. I feel reassured knowing that surrogates really do cherish their IP's kids and are strong enough to keep them safe.

  7. Your concerns are certainly valid. I can only imagine how hard it must be to not have any real control over your babies while in the womb.
    From a surro's standpoint I agree with a lot of what some of the other posters have said. While most major things should be discussed during the matching/contract process it can't possibly cover everything; so just communicate your feelings with your surrogate. I know my IM worries a lot, so to make things a little easier for her I ask her opinion of things that I'm thinking about doing before I do them (i.e. massage, pedicure, travel) Sometimes, yes, we disagree on things, but in the end it feels much better to talk these things out rather than harbor feelings.
    As for your current concerns:
    I don't think it would be a problem to ask your surro to take fish oil supplements; doesn't sound like a deal breaker to me.
    As for pedicures...well, if you read my blog, you know I can't live without them, lol. That would be a hard one for me. I think the main concern with pedicures is the massaging of the feet (certain pressure points have been shown to cause contractions). When I went for my 1st pedicure after I was pregnant I simply asked the lady to stay away from rubbing those areas and to only do light pressure on the rest of my foot. All was well! :) (And my IM was there with me :))
    Just know that most surrogates (at least the ones I know) will do all they can to keep their IPs baby(ies) safe and most requests from IPs are granted, but it's also nice to feel like you aren't having to walk around on basically, like the others said, it's a fine line. But if you communicate, everything will be okay.

  8. Congratulations on the twins and I think that the concerns are completely valid. It is a hard process to go through and at this point you have to trust your surro to make the right choices.

    I am ten weeks pregnant with my IP's baby and we discussed as much as we could beforehand but like you said there are things you could never plan for or anticipate until you are actual in the midst of pregnancy. I think the important thing to do is to be honest and open with your communication every step of the way.

    It is a completely different experience for me as well. I am in charge of protecting this baby for nine months and I take that responsibility seriously and do try to confer with my IP's with what I am doing and if they have any special requests. I want what is best for this baby and want to take their concerns into consideration along the way.

    Just talk and be open and I think that you will have a great journey! Congratulations again.

    PS...Can I make one suggestion. I am going to have my IP's record themselves telling stories, talking to the baby etc so I can play it daily for the baby in the next few weeks here so that the baby will recognize their voices when he or she is born. Perhaps you can look into it!


  9. I'm so glad things are going well!

    Worrying is a way of life for parents everywhere. I started worrying from day one and some 20+ years later I still worry. The good news is, worrying becomes a smaller percentage of all of your over-all feelings as time passes.

    You're going to be such a great Dad!!

    --And I just know that Mark will be a wonderful Uncle too. : - )

  10. Most surrogates, me included, will do just about anything to make our IPs feel more connected to and more in control of the pregnancy. So yes, there's not much that I would not do. Just don't ask her to give up chocolate....that's torture and unacceptable.

  11. How are you Michael, it's been almost a month again! Come back, we miss you!! Hope things are going well with the babies! xoxoxo Tonya