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, April 29, 2011

A Journey of 1,000 Miles Begins With One Step

As you all know (since I know you are all avid readers of my blog), on April 18th I called the new egg donation agency (which is also the agency I'm using for the surrogate) to let them know I picked their donor. As I may have mentioned before, I'm very indecisive when making decisions but once I choose I never look back. After picking this donor I feel really good about my choice. I'm getting more and more excited to get this process going again. It was hard to get through the recent round of disappointments, but now I feel excited and optimistic to start. I guess each step I take makes it a little more real that it could -- and will -- happen.

I waited a few days after picking the donor and didn't hear anything from the agency. I did get money back from the previous egg donor agency. I had to put up a lot of money for travel expenses since the recent donor was out of town. My new donor is local so I don't have travel expenses. It was nice to get a chunk of money back. (Of course a huge part of that just went to taxes...ugh.)

I emailed the new egg donor agency a few days ago to make sure the money was transfered from the previous agency. I didn't hear back. I called them today to find out what is going on and to make sure things are on track because it has been 12 days. I got a few answers. Apparently my donor went to her psychological screening again (donors have to go every time they donate) and passed it. Next we're on to the medical portion of donating. Her file has yet to be sent to the doctor. That explains why I haven't heard much for these two weeks. Whew. Things are on track but we still have a lot of hurdles.

Friday, April 22, 2011

I'm a Hit in Norway

If you know me then you know I'm clearly one of the least technically savvy people on the least for my age group. I still may be better with computers than my mother, but she has learned how to Google people and forward funny emails so my lead on her is shrinking quickly. I've been blogging for over a year now and recently found out some interesting facts and figures. It looks like I can only get the statistics for the last twelve months so I think these are based only on the previous year, not the total time I've been blogging. Here's what I know...

1. Today there were 10 views on my page. Yesterday there were 9. (I'm glad to see people are checking in.)

2. I have had a total of 4,957 people read my blog. (I LOVE the support.)

3. Right now there is someone reading my blog in Slovenia.

4. I have had people read my blog in many countries. I have anywhere from 16 to 122 hits from Russia, Canada, Germany, Japan, South Africa, Belize and the Netherlands.

5. My blog has had 26 hits from people in Iran. (I'm surprised a blog about a gay Jew using a stanger's uterus isn't banned in that country.)

6. The country that likes my blog the most is Norway. Apparently there are 397 hits from people in Norway. (If the musical bombs on Broadway maybe it'll find success in Oslo and be called "Aksel and Astrid" or "Henrik and Henriette" or "Iver and Alva".)

7. The most hits on one entry was for the posting on November 30th, 2010 when "Chloe" wasn't pregnant for the second time. A total of 124 people read that entry.

8. The runner up for the most hits was for the March 2nd, 2011 entry when my cycle was delayed for 2 months. (Apparently my readers click on my blog a lot more when bad things happen than good things!)

9. I have had 40 hits through my friend's blog about his weight loss but only 13 hits from "Michaela's" blog about her surrogacy process. (Hmmm...interesting.)

10. There have been 10 searches for "Neil Patrick Harris".

I just thought this would be fun to share with everyone.

On a more serious note -- the story you've all been waiting for -- I did pick the donor who I was thinking about using a year ago. The more time I have to sit with this decision the more excited I become. One of the few Yiddish words I have learned over the years is beshert which basically mean "destiny", "fate", or "meant to be". Couples often talk about finding their mate being beshert. Picking this egg donor feels right. It feels good. It feels beshert. Now we wait and pray.

Thanks for reading, everyone. Or, as they say in Norway, "Takk!"

Friday, April 15, 2011

Everything Old is New Again

I usually believe that things happen for a reason. That's a pretty good philosophy. It works well until I don't like what's happening. Then I pretty much revert back the the "life is unfair" philosophy.

Right now I'm at a crossroad. After searching through the egg donor databases (again and again and again) my mind was overwhelmed. There were some donors I liked who were not available because they were getting married, already in a cycle, training for the Chicago Marathon, etc. There were some donors I liked who had never given birth or donated and that's a big gamble for a lot of reasons. There were some donors I liked who lived in Texas or Colorado and I had to think if I wanted to go through that process of an out of state donor again. There were so many things to factor in when choosing a donor: looks, family health history, donation history, pregnancy history, education level, geographic area, answers on the questionnaires, etc.

In the end, I found four donors who I liked. The sticking point to them all was that none of the donors had been pregnant AND donated. I have two donors who had been pregnant (one aborted and one aborted twice and had one child) and two donors who had donated before but had not produced a pregnancy as far as we know.

Picking a donor who has been pregnant is great because we know her eggs can produce a child. But we also don't know if she will pass the fertility center's screening and if she will respond well to the medication. Picking a donor who has donated before means that we know how she responds to the medication and that she has met the criteria for donating. There is less testing required upfront.

There feels like no good answer right now. Well, I should say there feels like four good options with none of them clearly better than the others.

I talked with the mean nurse yesterday who turned out to be very nice and compassionate on the phone. I didn't feel rushed with her, she was patient with me, and she even was very understanding when I started to cry a little from the stress of this decision.

I don't want to say she swayed me one direction or the other, but she told me she and the doctor were very confident in using one of the previous donors. They had worked with her on her first cycle and she responded very well to the medication. Any girl who is approved must have certain hormone levels which makes it likely that her eggs are viable and healthy. A donor's age alone makes her eggs desireable. There are definitely perks to using a woman who has had a child, but that alone is not a guarantee her eggs are better than a woman who has not had a child.

The donor I'm thinking about using is a Jewish girl who is a teacher, has a master's degree and, I believe, is working on a second master's degree. Those are important qualities to me. She has a good health history, a good work history and I like her answers to the personal questions. She is also the girl I almost picked on my first attempt. She is the one who was picked by someone else right before I was ready to commit to her. Plus, her donor number is the same interpreter number I was assigned when I worked for my first video relay company.  How crazy is that?  Out of 9,999 possible numbers we had the same number!  

Are all of these signs? Does this mean it was meant to be that she's available now and wasn't available before? Who knows. This process - to be blunt - sucks right now. Once again I feel like this is a leap of faith. It's thousands of dollars and time invested and a horrific emotional rollercoaster so approaching this on a gut feeling doesn't sit well with the part of me that is analytical and scientific.

My first donor was amazing and it didn't work out. My gut told me my second donor wasn't right but I went with her because she had some qualities I wanted. It didn't work out and, in a way, I am OK with that. I don't get gut feelings often but when I do, I feel I'm usually right. Should I follow my gut this time, or follow science?

Does anyone have a story about following a gut feeling that turned out to be right?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My Title is Wrong

I recently entitled my blog "How 1 Man + 2 Women = 1 Baby" and I might have to change that. It might be called "1 Man + 1 Women + 3 Egg Donors + a lawyer + a doctor + 3 agencies = 1 baby".

My first experience with an egg donor was amazing. I was so excited by her and her profile. She was everything I wanted. My second egg donor was kind of picked for me because I was looking for a proven, Jewish donor. There weren't many to chose from who fit that criteria. Now, I'm looking for egg donor #3. I'm still looking for a proven donor, but I'm trying to figure out what proven means. There are some donors who have donated but it didn't result in a pregnancy. And then there are some donors who have yet to donate but have a child of their own. And then there are donors who have donated but the parents froze embryos so we don't know if the eggs are viable or not. So much to think about! I believe my doctor wants me to find someone who has actually produced a child whether it was for someone else or her own child. I need to clarify that a little more, but that seems to be the safest choice.

There are two pieces of good news. First, a message from my surrogacy agency came and stated that my surrogate is on board with me even though there has been a delay. I'm thrilled to learn that I don't have to find a new surrogate. The other pretty good piece of news is that I found an egg donor I like. As I read her profile I liked her quite a bit. I got that gut feeling that we could be a match (like with donor #1 and unlike with donor #2). When I neared the end of the profile it said that she was interested in donating after talking with a gay couple who was going through the surrogacy process. That was so wonderful to hear. As I've said before, I hope my donor is comfortable with her eggs going to a gay couple in case there is any contact in the future. Not only does she seem open to it, but it seems she is inspired by it! The only negatives are that she is not available for a few months and her previous donation has not yet resulted in a pregnancy. I want the doctor to look at her profile and give me his opinion. There are definitely other donors I could choose. I see several I feel comfortable picking. But, at this moment, this one feels right. This whole process is a leap of faith and even though her eggs have not resulted in a child yet, faith and following my gut feels good at times.