I’d like to invite any Intended Parents looking to match with a Gestational Surrogate to please comment on this post or message me privately. I know of many experienced and new surrogates that are looking to begin a new journey, and thought perhaps we could meet new people here. Please comment or message with a quick note about who you are looking for with contact information.
Well, things are moving forward, but not in the way that you might think. I find myself at the starting gate to yet another journey.. not a journey through surrogacy, but rather a journey towards………
I have no idea where I’m going. All I know is, it’s forward.
In a few short weeks, my body will be under the knife and I’ll be the grudging recipient of a partial hysterectomy along with becoming the home for a few feet of mesh. These last couple of physically traumatic births have done in the ol’ lady bits and if I want to move forward in my life, those bits have to be repaired. It looks like retirement from the world of pregnancy will be less of a ticker tape parade out of town and more of a tornado, ripping me away from the comforts of my body and over the rainbow for a whole different kind of adventure.
Folks, I am FREAKED OUT.
But it’s what’s got to happen. Prolapse after prolapse, my body is telling me something. It’s time to listen. This is one of those risks we hear about when getting in to surrogacy in the first place. One of those scenarios that we accept, but never really think will happen to us. It happens. Thinking of being a surrogate? Understand that along with the amazing magic and life transforming positive that comes out of a journey, this is a possible risk.
Is the risk worth it?
I think so. We were done having our own family, surrogacy didn’t change that. My heart bursts with love and pride when I look at pictures of my stunning surro babies, when I think of the families I have helped create. But surrogacy did have quite a bit more down sides that I’d been prepared for. The loss of many relationships and now this physical complication.. I didn’t count on those. Would I do it again? Yes. But I may have approached things differently if my crystal ball had let me in on just what, exactly, I was getting in to.
Much more to say. I just don’t know how to say it.
Too many pots on the fire means all of my meals are a little bit burnt..
On the second of this month I flew down to Dallas to be greeted at the airport by Jaymee and her incredible mother. I spent a whirlwind mid-week in their beautiful home meeting the family, being (gratefully) over fed, and giving blood. Gallon after gallon of blood. Wednesday saw Jaymee and I at the Sher Institute for Reproductive Medicine where, after a SUPER long wait, we were brought back for some fun. It had to have been seventy two vials of blood, my arm was positively purple from the tourniquet being on for so long. I had to pee in a cup. Then I had to pee in a cup again when they threw out my original pee. WHO THROWS AWAY SOMEONES PERFECTLY DECENT CUP OF PEE??? And then the fun began.
You see, I had a date with the weenie wand.
Our transvaginal ultrasound was both fun and entertaining. As was the mock transfer. Both resulted in a satisfied RE and, while satisfied wouldn’t really describe my experience, I WAS taken out to dinner first, and again after….
But the best part? The part that made me literally squeal while still nekkid on the table?
GUESS WHO GOT A TRANSFER CALENDAR??!!
On August 30th, of this very same year that we are now experiencing, the true fun really begins. On that lovely day I will wake up and inject 10 units of Lupron directly into my belly. With a needle. In my belly. Did I mention that it was in my belly? Because it is. Now this is causing more then a little bit of freaking out to happen as this is very very new to me ( I didn’t have this drastic med protocol for either of my previous transfers but followed a more natural protocol) but I am refusing to acknowledge the freak out. So it isn’t happening. I will also start a daily dose of Dexamethasone, also something new to me. On September 8th I will start the twice weekly intramuscular injections of Delestrogen, which are a piece of cake and not something I’m worrying about. I was weepy last time, but the side effects were totally do-able. And I continue on this injection/medication path until……. at least the 22nd. You see, depending on how Jaymee responds, I could continue with the daily Lupron for several more weeks. As soon as we get some great eggs and grow some beautiful embryos to test, I will quit taking the Lupron and begin injecting Progesterone ( as well as administering progesterone….elsewhere). Then transfer. Then peeing a lot on things. Hopefully one of which is a pregnancy test.
This is a VERY different medication schedule then I’m used to. Lots of things happening and, of course, lots of freaking out happening because of the lots of different things. But I am also super excited. Excited to be starting, excited to see the birth of a new Mama, excited to be a part of something so incredible again.
A Letter from a 10 Year Old LGBT News
I am writing this after witnessing several videos in which hundreds of people protest for what they believe in. Just think about it! There were 18,000 gay-married couples in California who got off easy. But there are more people in this world than that! My family is my 14 year old brother, my mom, and her wife, Tanya. Tanya is part of our family now, and she is loved. I oppose Amendment 2 with all my heart. The HEART is the thing now. We love, and that keeps our world spinning. Never mind who we are, what race we are, what gender we are: Love is an equal right. Love makes a family.
What do you see in the above picture? An insult to marriage? An intrusion to marriage? A threat to marriage? Or do you see what I see? I see all that belongs to a family. I see 2 women who marry and live, even when laws and people and cars drive by and flip them off for standing in the rain protesting the hate that is heaped upon them. But love shall win. Love shall always conquer hate. So we shall stay out here in the rain, wondering: why? Not wondering why we fight, or why the rain comes down, not why the heck we chose this path. But wondering why these people choose to flip us off when they could stop and think: That little girl can’t be much older than my daughter/son. And that woman is drenched but she’s got a purpose and shows no sign of stopping now. Or even: They are all soaked. What drives them on? The answer being, of course: Love. L-O-V-E LOVE!
All you need is love. – John Lennon
What do you see here? 2 confused women? Hundreds of confused people? Guess what I see? Love. Not only do I see love, but I see people ready to defend the rights of that love. What I see are people, ready for whatever might come. For instance, I’m going to post this on my profile and kids in my class might laugh at me. I DON’T CARE!!!!!!! THEY CAN SNICKER ALL THEY WANT, BUT NOT BY A LONG SHOT WILL I LOSE GROUND!!!!!! IF IT BECOMES COMMON KNOWLEDGE THAT MY MOTHER HAS MARRIED A WOMAN, NOT ONLY DO I AVOW IT, I EMBRACE AND TAKE PRIDE IN IT!!!!!!!
What truly saddens me is not only how many people support Proposition 8 and/or Amendment 2, but the fact that they exist. What person is so vain, stupid, or scared that they have nothing to do but sit around and criticize other people’s marriages? What person decided to crash the wedding, the domestic partnership certificate? Who decided love wasn’t enough to make a family?
Guess what? Love does make a family!
Ali T. -10 years old.
I recently came across this article on Gay Marriage and I’ve got to say, it is so spot on with how I think and feel I’m shocked I didn’t write it. Yes, am full of self. Anyway, I thought i’d pass it on as one: it’s a good conversation starter and two: the more people are talking, the further we’ll come as a society in resolving these issues.
Anyone Out There Who Can Explain the Gay Marriage Thing?
By Jacob Dickerman
Is there anyone out there who can explain to me why gay marriage is a problem?
There are issues which are contentious in this country that I have a definite side on. Abortion, for example. I understand where the other side is coming from, I understand where the argument is, I just don’t agree with the pro-lifers. There are other issues where I’m more confused, mostly because I understand both sides of the issue. Gun control, for example, is an issue that has flipped back and forth in my head so much over the years, it gives me a headache just thinking about it. I get it, you know? On the one hand, they kill people, on the other hand, I believe the founders of our country recognized that this new government they were creating would be fallible and would have the ability to become tyrannical, and they believed that if that happened, the people had the right to change that government. Part of the reason for the second amendment is so that all the guns aren’t in the hands of the military, and to be frank, though I think that point of view is a little crazy and I think we’re further away from it being a necessity than we’ve been since Gingrich decided to try and impeach Clinton due to a BJ, it’s something I can hold on to for that side of the debate. It’s something that makes it clearer to me. But Gay Marriage? No. I don’t get that one at all.
Since, apparently, about fifty percent of the country disagrees with me on this one, I was hoping that a couple of them could actually try and explain a rational reason to me why gay men and women shouldn’t be allowed to get married. What I don’t get about it is that well… my fellow straight people, it’s got nothing to do with us. Except of course it might help out the noun issue when talking to our gay friends of more advanced age. You know what I mean. When you’re hanging out with your gay friend who’s in his mid thirties, and you want to ask about Tom, that guy he’s been with for a decade, the noun’s a pain in the ass. Partner? What is it, are they in business together? Boyfriend? They’re in their mid thirties, the term doesn’t fit. Manfriend? That’s the stupidest damn phrase you can make. You know what term would make it easier? Husband. Of course, until they were married, you couldn’t use that one, but once they were? Husband. Clear pronoun, everyone knows what it means, would make the linguistics of our daily life that little bit easier.
So here’s what I’m looking for in an argument against gay marriage. First off? Clarity. I don’t want to have to read through your argument fourteen times to start to see what it means. As a side note – punctuation and vowels are what make written language work. Please try and make sure that they’re there. Secondly? Logic. I don’t want an emotional argument. Civil rights are not about what you like and what you don’t like. We live in a representative democracy that’s supposed to be built on the equality of all citizens, regardless of creed, race, or orientation. If the country actually is founded on the family, how exactly will it hurt the country to legally recognize a few more families? Third, I want a real argument. Don’t pull shit out of your ass and tell me I can digest it again. Don’t tell me that gay people make bad parents, because that’s a) never been shown to be true, b) in my own anecdotal experience (not really useful data, but you should know my own bias) been shown to be false. And if it’s all about “a kid needs a male and a female parent” than we should just outlaw single parent households now. As soon as one parent dies, the kids are thrown into an orphanage, to protect them from not having a mommy or a daddy.
So what have you got? Economics? I should mention here that weddings are a multi-BILLION dollar industry in this country, and that I have no doubt that making gay marriage legal would throw tons of additional money into that system. Devaluing straight marriage? Why? How is it that two people saying “I love you and I want to be with you forever” effects your marriage in any way, shape, or form? I just want to know if there’s anything in your arguments outside of just being uncomfortable with gay people.
Really, I’m not trying to be facetious in this article. I don’t get it. Really. I don’t get it at all, and I want someone to explain it to me, because I don’t like not understanding things. Realize that we’re not talking about religion here, we’re talking about civil rights. If your church/synagogue/mosque decides to not allow gay weddings, well that’s a private issue, not a public one. They can do that anyway with straight people. They probably won’t, but they can, because they’re private institutions and not bound by the same restrictions as legal ones.
Please. Someone out there, just explain it to me. I don’t like not understanding you. What’s the argument against gay marriage?
Some comments about this issue.
Regarding the vehement stance that Gay rights aren’t due the same respect in defense as the rights of other minority groups:
For 400 years of America, we have been decried from the pulpits and religious meetings. We have been burned at the stakes. We have been hung, beaten, raped, murdered, and destroyed. We have been the subject of fears and trepidation. Parents were told to have us fixed. And they tortured us with electricity charging through our genitals to make us … Read More straight. Our young ones kill themselves just so they can avoid being one of us. And when we escape to make a life for ourselves, they prevent the person of our choice from holding our hand when we leave this world.
And these were the good years. 2000 years before that was worse. I know that there are other groups that have been treated terribly. But don’t start saying ours is not as important or as valuable.
Well, I see it as a civil rights issue for one plain and simple reason: the US Supreme Court has declared marriage as a “basic civil right” (Loving v. Virginia). Therefore, to deny law-abiding citizens access to a basic civil right that is even afforded to convicted felons seems wrong to me.
Someone earlier asked what would happen if we compared this matter to Jewish people instead of African-Americans. The historical precedent for Prop 8 lies in the Nuremberg laws, which stated that Jews were forbidden to marry German citizens. It’s directly analogous as a result. Furthermore, homosexuals were put in concentration camps as well.
The most dangerous aspect of Prop 8 is that we now have precedent for an angry majority to take away rights from anyone whom they decide they don’t like. What’s next? No more suffrage for women? A return to coverture laws and the Chinese exclusion act? All it takes is the votes …… Read More
A Straight Ally for Equality
Just wanted to send a word of caution out there to any surros or intended parents who are using or are considering using this insurance company. My surro twins are nearly 5 months old and I still have a large medical bill in their name due to nonpayment by New World Administrators. I am being aggressively pursued by collections agencies. I have been told on three separate occasions via e-mail and phone that “the bills have just been received for re-pricing and the checks will be mailed out with this weeks payments” and no payments have actually been sent. I was first assured of this two months ago. My phone calls and e-mails for this latest round of collections notices have not been returned.
I have been in contact with a group of surrogates who are also having problems with this company and we are considering banding together to form a class action lawsuit/ consumer fraud case. I welcome others who have had these issues to contact me so we can see what we can do together to get this resolved.
moth·er 1 (mr)
So.. Sorry about that. The whole “lets not blog at all about stuff” kind of thing I pulled there. Not at all like……… No, actually wait. That is just like me. Never mind, not sorry.
So! Am told the girls are developmental geniuses, thanks entirely to the fact that my gestational abilities are beyond reproach. Or some such nonsense. Amelia happily holding up her head, Ava close behind her. Am uterine Gawd. Pedestal of own creation. Am literally glowing with pride and get way too much joy out of the frequent pictures sent to me by P-Daddy. Thankful isn’t a big enough word. OK really, I sound so full of myself. Sorry. It’s just, they aren’t my babies and I’m not raising them so this tiny fragment of connection is the only tie I have to claiming some of their awesomeness for myself. Which I’m totally not entitled to but gah. Gonna take it anyway.
Also! Contracts! My fab IM and her weird husband ( and I & my equally weird husband) have diligently had many a belligerent conversation via phone and Internet and voila! Law teams arse kicked! Contracts just about done! By this time next week we will more then likely have things all signed away. Can I get a Whoot and a bit of a squeeeeeeeee??!!
Big worries about going independent? Pshaw. Actually I never had any big worries, I just feel like I was supposed to have big worries, you know? I mean yes, things can ( and maybe did a little) get awkward. We are, after all, discussing compensation, terms of termination, life support, and syphilis. Yes, I said syphilis. Yours truly gets to have a full and detailed STD panel run to make sure the junk is all in order. Which, of course, it is. See reference to deity status of uterus, above. But! Just to make things clear! Well get an official diagnosis of gawd-like quality of other bits and pieces involved in this process. Independent? Shmindependent. Cake, so far.
However, next up in super-fun things happening? Myself and my patient husband will soon be taking an epic vacation to the city of sin to partake in some of said sinfulness ourselves. No worries, my status as clean uterine gawd is not in jeopardy. However, my liver may suffer a wee bit of a setback as I fully intend to spend my first vacation with the husband away from the kids in a near constant state of pickle. They have alcohol by the yard in Vegas, did you know that? Giant cup that clips on to a necklace so you can get so drunk that you don’t even need to hold your beverage up??!! Awesome. It is a reconnection vacation of sorts, and we need it. My daughter is nearly five, the last year and a half of surrogacy was a wee bit straining, and dang. Not pregnant or nursing. Am going to imbibe in my overdue share of hedonistic activities. Thanks. Do the silly grownup acting like a silly child thing. Am very much looking forward to it.
And then? Then? You’ll never guess what happens……………. ha ha ha, teaser post! And knowing me, it could be WEEKS before I fill you in!!
Amanda made a comment on my previous post that I thought was worth sharing up front:
It is nice to see a positive article on surrogacy. One thing I noticed however is how much “talk” is put into the biological aspect of choosing surrogacy over adoption. I believe for many that that is just a small piece of the puzzle…that there are bigger reasons why people choose surrogacy and not adoption. Since you have this article on your blog I thought I might add what I think are major driving factors:1. NOT EVERYONE can adopt! Funny how people think that adoption is the anwser, but honestly not everyone is accepted. Single parents, Gay Parents, Parents who are not in 100% tip top shape healthwise, often times can’t adopt. Private adoptions often times the bio-mother chooses the adoptive parents…they look for healthy parents, cripes they can get really choosy and look for certain religious backgrounds.2. Adoption is a BIG risk. IVF can fail, but so can adoption. If you thought a miscarriage was hard, think about finally having your dream in your arms, caring for it for 29 days (or 3 months, depending on what the procedure is where you live), and then all of a sudden that child is ripped from you on the eleventh hour. The bio-mom changes her mind….your dreams are shattered. That baby you come to love is taken back…I watched my sister in law go through this…it was horrible, like the death of a baby in the family.3. Often times with adoption comes the Bio-mother. Now I get in ideal surrogacy arrangements it would be nice if every team member remained friends and kept in contact, but in adoption it has a different feel, I believe, the bio-mother will always have that “thing” that the adoptive mother doesn’t. It’s awful to have to always wonder if your being judged by the bio-mother.4. It’s difficult to get newborns, most adoptions are not newborn or even babies, and it’s a long waiting list often times.5. Surrogacy helps to ensure the health of the baby. Often times bio-moms are in desperate situations, they didn’t plan for the baby to be, they might have even done bad things and not known they were pregnant, or didn’t care. Babies come out with problems. Surrogates (though there is never a guarentee) generally are in good health, take care of themselves prior and during pregnancy, take the proper pre-natals, eat the right things, don’t drink/smoke/drugs, etc.6. Surrogacy allows Intented Parents to experience the pregnancy as much as they can. Need I say more? It also allows them to experience and be apart of the delivery….I think that pretty much says it all….who wouldn’t want to be apart of all that?7. Surrogacy, at least Gestational, with the help of science can help to prevent disabilities in babies and children. If your a risk factor for certain things, there are tests available to test embryos and/or sperm/eggs. With adoption often times you do not know the genetic history of the baby, who died of what, does cancer run in the family, etc.These are all very big reasons for choosing surrogacy over adoption, much bigger than the “genetic link” that people constantly refer to and use against those who persue surrogacy by saying the parents to be are “vein” that they “have to have a genetic link”, etc. etc.
Most of us have been planning it our whole lives….marriage, house, family. Except what happens when it doesn’t play out that way and six months, even six years later you’re still trying for that baby? Your Reproductive Endocrinologist (aka RE) says your eggs look great, but for whatever reason you can’t get pregnant, or if you do, you miscarry. Your doctor or a friend suggests surrogacy. You shake your head, that’s something only celebrities do — but that’s not necessarily true.
There are many reasons why people pursue surrogacy. Some women have known since birth that they can’t bear a child, while others may have battled cancer or had hysterectomies along the way. When faced with infertility, it is often the only real choice to become a parent outside of adoption. Unfortunately, the media has stirred up a lot of unnecessary fears about surrogacy. We’ve all seen the movies where the surrogate pretends to be pregnant and takes the couple for an emotionally and financially devastating roller coaster ride. Or maybe your local News team aired shocking reports about a surrogate who wants to keep the baby. Well, as former TV producers, we can tell you — it’s just not that interesting to talk about a surrogacy that works. The truth is, that’s what happens with most surrogacies…they work.
The strongest reason for pursuing surrogacy versus adoption is the ability to retain a biological connection with your child. With surrogacy, you have the option to be the biological parent. Of course there are some situations where an egg donor, sperm donor or both are used but even in these cases, surrogacy offers a unique advantage that adoption can’t. With surrogacy, you get to play a significant part in the prenatal care of your baby. You can be there to hear the first heartbeat, you’re present at the 18-week ultrasound to find out your baby’s gender and perhaps most importantly, you can be at the birth to hear your child’s first cry. In many states, your name goes directly on the birth certificate (an agency or lawyer can help you with this information). Basically, since it is a contractual relationship, the baby is yours even before the embryo is transferred to the surrogate’s uterus. You get to make medical decisions and have input in the pregnancy. And unlike an adoption, the surrogate cannot change her mind or take the baby back.
There are two kinds of surrogacy. In a gestational surrogacy, the carrier has NO biological connection with the baby. In a traditional surrogacy, the surrogate is genetically related to the baby. Our personal preference is gestational surrogacy. Sure, it is more expensive — you need to add a reproductive clinic into the equation — but the laws are clearer and the environment is much more controlled. When a reproductive clinic is involved, there’s no chance of ‘faking’ a pregnancy – which unfortunately sometimes happens with traditional surrogacies where home inseminations are done to achieve pregnancy. Even so, in both types of surrogacies, you will need to work with the proper professionals – agency (unless you go independent and that comes with its own challenges), clinics, lawyers, psychologist, escrow company, etc. to ensure that you have a positive experience and outcome. Perhaps the biggest obstacle to overcome with surrogacy is the cost. Unfortunately, there is no way around it… it is a very expensive journey. Most people save for years, mortgage their homes, and borrow the rest from banks or family members, to pursue it. But in the end, when you are holding your child or children, it’s all worth it. While this all may sound daunting, it can be done. Many couples and singles are becoming parents via surrogacy every day. It’s no longer just an option for celebrities. And in many ways, it’s an even surer path to parenthood than adoption, so don’t rule it out when you think you’ve got no choices left at all.
Short but sweet. It’s nice to finally run into a real, accurate glimpse into surrogacy. Despite what most of society seems to believe, the bulk of intended parents are average Joes; real people who want to have a family. It’s good to see a tiny article that isn’t a doom and gloom for once.