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, March 16, 2012

My Name Is Michael and I'm a Blog Addict

Who knew when I started this blog about two years ago that it would mean so much to me?  I didn't.  I had no idea I'd make friends, find support and encouragement, get advice, and follow some amazing stories that included heartbreak and humor.  When I go out of town and lose internet access I can't wait until I come back home to catch up on my stories.  (Yes, these blogs to me are like soap operas to little, old ladies.) 

I also know that I started this blog to try to help others in the future deal with surrogacy.  Here are some lessons I learned.  At the bottom, feel free to add any more lessons you feel my readers should know.

1. This is not easy.  Had I known what I was getting into I still would have done it, but I might have braced myself better.  I didn't know there were lawyers, contracts for egg donors, contracts for surrogates, fertility center doctors, OBGYN doctors, parentage paperwork, and more.  It was a lot to juggle.  You have to take things as they come and focus on one thing at a time.  Then it becomes manageable.  I thought one agency would take care of everything -- I was wrong.

2. This is expensive.  I knew how much the surrogate cost.  I didn't factor in the agency costs, egg donation costs, contract fees, parentage paperwork fees, estate planning (required in the surrogacy contract), hospital fees, blood work, DNA testing, travel expenses, maternity clothes, sperm analysis, egg donor travel expenses, medicine for the surrogate, and more.  It's a lot.  My insurance covered nothing because I don't have a fertility problem.  (That's a topic to deal with on another day.)  My surrogate picked a health insurance that will cover the OBGYN visits and delivery.  (I was very lucky on that one.)    I'm fortunate that I was able to pay for it all.  Not many people can do what I did and it's sad to know money prevents dreams from coming true.  Just know that it is expensive and whatever you think you're going to pay is wrong and it will be more than you predict.

3. A support system is necessary.  Whether it's a partner, friends, family, other people who have been there before, bloggers, agency workers or anyone else, get people who will help you through the rough patches.  There will be rough patches.  If you can make it through, the payoff is worth it. 

4. Learn to trust your surrogate.  I didn't at first and I'm sorry I didn't.  I do worry.  My lawyer had warned me that if I couldn't trust someone to carry my child that I shouldn't do surrogacy.  I wanted to be a dad so badly I said I could.  It was hard at first.  In a way I'm a little grateful that the pregnancy didn't take until the third time because it gave me more time to get to know Chloe and trust her more.  I still worried, but she proved herself by sticking with me, dealing with headaches and nausea, keeping in touch with me via email, filling out required paperwork and being sympathetic when the pregnancies didn't work.  I really do trust her now.  Trust always takes time.  I'm sure every parent-to-be will worry.  Reading surrogate blogs helped me realize how invested surrogates are in the success of these pregnancies and made me worry less.

5. Think before you blog.  I love having a memory of this whole experience.  I hope my children use this blog to know how much I wanted them.  I also think it has been great for me to remember my journey.  It was great for my friends and family to keep up with what has been happening with this endeavor.  But make sure you know what you're writing.  It's there for anyone and everyone to see.   

6. Get up after you're knocked down. I remember being told that 90% of people leave the surrogacy process as parents. I also was told that there was about a 75% chance of pregnancy with two fresh embryos transferred. I was told there was about a 50% chance of a pregnancy with two frozen embryos transferred. These numbers sounded so good. You all know, though, that my story took three tries and three egg donors. I am part of that 90%, but it took time. It's hard to get back up after being knocked down a few times. Keep remembering why you're fighting and rely on your friends to help you through.

7. Live for now.  I live with very few regrets.  I believe (thanks to my mom's advice) you make a decision at any given time because that's the best decision at that time.  Believing is one thing, doing is another.  I focus on the future.  I am already freaking out about how to pay for two kids in college at the same time.  This 18-years-into-the-future-freak-out last week made me stop in my tracks and say to myself, "Enjoy your babies while they are babies and don't miss this time."  I'm going to try to live in the moment more.  Planning is good.  We have to plan for the future, but not if I ignore the present day.

I'm sure there are more lessons to be learned.  If you have more - friends, family, surrogates, parents, or parents to be/IP (intended parents) let's share them with each other.


  1. I hope many people read your words. I think they are wonderful.
    As a surrogate, I would like IPs to know that a lot of surrogates do this for many more reasons than the money. The money is definitely a benefit but not everything. There are some negative stereotypes about us but try not to go into the journey believing any of them.
    There really is no greater love than the love you feel for your child and we want you to know this feeling, feel this feeling.
    Another thing, this is an awesome journey you will share with your surrogate. Don't jump for the first one that comes your way. If it doesn't feel right then you should move on. You will find the right one.

  2. Oh, I LOVED this post. Thank you. With us it took much longer (2-1/2 years and I think like 11 tries -- I lost count after 7 or 8) but mostly we didn't follow rule #6 after the first two failures with IVF. We were so stunned it didn't work that we could barely breathe, let alone make a decision about what to do next. We were flat on our backs for months, and thank GOD we had a friend who encouraged us to meet our surrogate and just see how it went. And as you can see it went well.

    The other thing I would suggest to others is to remember that with surrogacy, you have options. You can always change surrogates, egg donors (like you did), even (when in a same sex male relationship) sperm donors. Someone once told me to think about how far you are willing to go before you take the next step, that way when you take that step and you potentially fail, you know which way to turn. We did not do that and that's why it took longer. It's also a dynamics things between my partner and me.

    But again, nice post...thanks for being so insightful about this process. You are really helping others.

  3. I just love everything about this post. Very well written and informative. :)

  4. Hi this is a fantastic post. I'm going to email this to my buddies. I stumbled on this while exploring and I'll be sure to come back. thanks for sharing.

  5. I love reading your blog and I am not usually inclined to read blogs :-) I am looking to help a family who wants a baby and seeing this is making me want to even more I am a mother of six yes six LMBO and I could not see my life any other way, But the more I am looking I see so many big companies wanting so much money it is a bit crazy is there a way to find someone and get to know them on a personal level like you did?? Any advice would be great :-) Thank you again for sharing