Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Good Read

Recently T described this blog as a "Good Read." He's probably a bit partial, considering he is one of the stars of the story. Even so, I'll take the compliment. I'll even pay it forward and share another "Good Read" with you all!

When I met the guys they gifted me a book. I am a bit ashamed to admit I filed it towards the bottom of my reading schedule and moved on. I was excited to read it and grateful to have it no doubt, but I had just started a reread of The Hunger Games, was anticipating a reread of Harry Potter in its magnificent entirety and had recently been turned on to a new series, "A Song of Ice and Fire" that I planned on weaseling into the docket in the near future as well. Team that with two kids house work and house hunting and I just didn't think I'd get around to a new book in the foreseeable.

Well, I felt guilty for that plan almost immediately and decided to put their gifted book, "Down Under" by Bill Bryson into the lineup post Hunger Games.

I am so glad I made that move. 

I dug into the book this weekend while camping with the fam at Deception Pass State Park (which, coincidentally, is a magnificent place all its own.) I was so instantly taken by this author's style. He is beyond witty and pokes humor at himself in ways that had me giggling and out and out laughing out loud during my read. I like the book for many reasons. Among them are that it is about travel, my largest hobby and that I adore the author's style. I decided mid first chapter that either the guys hit an unsuspected home run by suggesting this author, or that they saw similarities in Bryson's style and my own. Having known that they were fans of my blog before our initial meeting, I chose to believe the latter. I asked T about it yesterday and learned that I was correct! He too had noted similarities in style between my blog and this author.

Long story short, I may just have found a new favorite author. I am ripping my way through these pages and will look forward to other titles in the future. But not until after I work in some other material ;)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Associated with Pregnancy

This will be my third pregnancy. While I am no expert, there are a few things I've learned along the way. A few tricks... and a few traditions.

A Trick

One thing I have learned is that it is far easier to lose the baby weight if you start your pregnancy in shape at a healthy weight and on a downward loss trend.
Baby Emrys

Don't get me wrong, I know I am not "fat" and I'm not looking for "Girlfriend, you're beautiful" type sentiments. I weigh just 10 pounds more than my lowest post collegiate weight... I weigh right what I did on my wedding day... I am 10 pounds lighter than when I got pregnant with Adelia, and about the same weight as when I got pregnant with Emrys. Still, I'd like to see another 15-35 pounds gone. Wouldn't want to drop more than that given my past.

I have been motivated by Chris's recent exercise routine and success. So, given my motivation and the fact that I KNOW losing this weight will be easier if I get a few more pounds off now... I am officially starting to join him on his workout routine. Ugh. It also means no more french fries until I am knocked up. So come on, Growing Generations... knock me up!

A Tradition

I also want to talk about a pregnancy tradition I have. I have donated 4 pony tails of hair in my life, 24 inches  to Locks of Love, and 16 inches to Panteene's Beautiful Lengths.

My most recent 8 inches
My first two donations were while in college, just because I could. The next two were pregnancy related. The prenatal vitamins made my hair grow so fast, and truth be told I can't imagine labor without a pony tail.  Then when babies turn about 8 weeks and start pulling hair...it was always time for a donation. It's become a part of who am I, something I am so proud of having done. 
I started growing my hair out already in preparation for my next donation. I haven't had a cut in nearly 6 months (and amazingly I have no split ends). I am tempted to start prenatals now to get things going even more quickly since my hair is currently in that 'not short, not long' phase that I hate. The goal this time around is another 12 inch donation. Because at 52' total, I will have donated my height in hair. I will have also donated the equivilant of enough hair to create an entire wig. That's notable.

So... dieting and growing hair. Two things that aren't usually associated with baby making... but have become such a part of my baby making procedure.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Skype Call

We had our first Skype call with T and MTM, very exciting!  It was awesome to meet their dog Kimba and see their well decorated house and to get the chance to show off our two lovely children.  We are all minimalists, so it was exciting to see another family with a simple setup.  Our house is a bit more busy, but we also have children, so it balances out.  There are plenty of things in the works that we can't quite talk about, but all in good time!  I like the idea of having an occasional Skype call to stay informed, but it is difficult to coordinate times with a place so far away!  As an example, our 6 PM is their 11 AM the next day, so finding a good time through the week is tricky.  We opted for the weekend, and it worked out well.  Hopefully we have more fun conversations and get to share more information as our story progresses.  But right now, we're still waiting for paperwork.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Feeling so Lucky

My case worker at Growing Generations said that the match meeting between M, T & myself would be, "a big ole love fest".

I am reminded of her words tonight. I had a Skype with the guys this evening. I met their puppy an they met my puppies. (Em and D). It was a great conversation filled with smiles and stories. Lots of laughs.

But that's not why I am feeling so lucky tonight. 

It's because moments after the Skype call ended I saw I had a video message from M.

I had told them at the match meeting that if it were my life, I'd tell my close friends and family about every step of this journey as opposed to waiting for the second trimester. Speaking positive things into being has always worked for us.

Well, M sent me a message to thank me for this comment. Turns out they took it to heart and followed through. And it's made a big difference in this journey already.

I am feeling so lucky to have been matched with these two. Because they had an open mind to what I had to say. Because they think enough of me to share their side of this journey with me. Because they're humble enough to say thank you. Because they're sincere enough to go out of their way to send a personal video message to do it, as opposed to leaving it unsaid.

A big ole love fest? 

Yeah, I think so. And I'm so lucky for it. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Golden Egg

I've been sort of MIA, because there isn't much to report.

I am aware that things are not quite so calm on the guys end right now. They're doing several things all at once. But over here in Womb-ville... things are pretty quiet.

I am trying to get a rough estimate of a time table, so I can try to squeeze in a few more Sam Adams (in your honor of course, M&T) Before going dry for 9 months.

While I contemplate bottoms up, the guys are contemplating golden eggs. They're in the search for an ideal egg donor for our little project.

I have to admit, I am so glad that is their job and not mine. Where would you even begin? Someone smart? Someone tall? Someone who looks like you a little bit? Someone who really doesn't at all?

One thing I DO know, is that they are considering some pretty cool options in their search for this golden egg. I'm not going to talk about it just yet, but I have been given permission to share if everything works out. So fingers crossed and stay tuned.

In other news, We are going to Skype this weekend while Chris and I are at the coast. Internet is spotty out there, but we're pretty sure there is a wifi hotspot not far from our campsite. I will be meeting their furbaby, K. And they will be meeting my babies, Adelia and Emrys. I'll post some details from the call Sunday night or Monday morning.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mother's Day as a Surrogate

Tonight I sat down with the girls in my lap and attempted to read them the children's book that M&T sent for them.

In my mind I saw it as a bonding moment with my babies curled up in my lap listening attentively and loving on each other.

Well, that's not what happened. 

Emrys started blowing raspberries on my thighs about a quarter of the way through and Adelia started playing kitty shortly thereafter.

This moment of unplanned parental hilarity got me thinking about kiddos, and about being a mother.

I just think about what being a mom means to me, and about what being a dad will mean to both M &T. Then I was sad for a moment that "bubs" (as they call the yet unmade baby) won't really do much for Mother's Day. I thought of the in class arts and crafts and how it could be an awkward moment for this baby.

Then I came to my senses. I realized this baby is already so loved, and it isn't even made yet. Between aunts, cousins and grandmas, this child will always have someone to call on Mother's Day. Always have someone to be grateful for.  Maybe if I'm lucky I will be included in that batch. But even if I am not, it'll be OK. That's up to M&T at first, and the child later on.

The bottom line (for me at least) is simple. Mother's Day took on a whole new meaning to me in 2010 after Adelia was born. And it's about to take on a whole new definition as well.

And for that, I could not be more proud. 

Friday, May 10, 2013


I am not pregnant. yet.
I am not even on crazy hormone injections. yet.

But I can't stop it with the Golden Grahams.... my first trimester craving of choice with both girls.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Scary Dream

Did you ever get called to the principal's office when you were a kid? 

Well, I didn't. I was the total opposite of a troublemaker. I was a brown nosing, rule following, know it all that you hated to be around.

But I can imagine that if I HAD ever gotten in real trouble, this is what it would have felt like.

I had a scary dream last night that I got a call from Amy, my GG contact. She wanted to let me know that I had really offended the guys. So offended in fact, they were considering terminating our match. When I asked her what I had said to upset them so, she told me simply "Everything. It's every word you speak and blog you write. It's just everything."

In my dream, at that moment, I felt like my world was falling apart.

I am aware of WHY I had this dream. I know why that is of concern to me. At the same time, I just don't think that would happen with my guys.

I woke up feeling kind of panicked and like I needed to Email Amy, M &T and ask if everything was all right. But I know it is. And I know it's just a dream. So I just chose to blog about it instead.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Why Guys?

By now you all know that we will be helping a gay couple have a baby. This was somewhat by design. While it is true that Chris and I were open to helping a same sex couple, we were also open to helping a traditional couple. So how did we wind up with two guys as opposed to a traditional man and woman couple? There are a multitude of reasons, here are a few. 

First off, I have a gay aunt and a gay sister. Both deserve to be married and have children, in my opinion. While I do have a niece (my sister has not always self identified), my aunts never had children. I have always known that I would help a couple like them in the blink of an eye. It suits my personality quite well to help the "underdog." When it comes to reproduction, two guys are about as "underdog" as one can get.

During our matching process Chris and I reviewed three profiles. All three were for intended fathers. Chris asked why this was, so I did some digging and learned that not only is the pool of candidates larger for homosexual couples than it is for heterosexual couples, but also that some states make it illegal to help a homosexual couple have a child. While I do believe in state's rights, learning that these types of hate induced laws are allowed to exist made me throw up in my mouth just a little bit. This made me even more headstrong to help a same sex couple.

Then there are the emotional factors. As I can't state it any better than fellow blogger Kira Sanders did, here are her thoughts

Of course, the main reason why I chose to work with IFs is because, I fully support gay couples having a family, and wanted to be a part of that process for one very special couple! But, there are also two additional reasons why I chose IFs.

Disclaimer: I mean no disrespect to any woman that has battled, is battling, or will battle infertility. The following is my opinion, and what I have found to be true in some(not all) surrogate/traditional intended parent relationships.

The first reason why I chose IFs is because, I felt they would have less emotional baggage(for lack of a better word) than traditional couples. I wanted my first experience as a GS(gestational surrogate) to be a happy one. When a gay couple decides to have a child, it's a no brainer. In order to achieve their dream, there has to be a woman involved in one way or another. Men don't have the expectation that they will experience pregnancy & birth first hand, so there isn't the sense of loss, that a woman choosing surrogacy(usually as a last resort) might have.

As a first time GS, I'm not sure I would have been emotionally equipped to deal with all the feelings an IM(Intended Mother) trying to cope with infertility would have. Not only does she have to come to terms with not being able to carry her own child, but she has to accept that another woman is going to carry her husbands baby. My heart goes out to all the IMs out there, for their strength, and courage :-)

The second reason why I chose IFs, has to do with having a relationship with my IPs/baby after the birth...

While doing my surrogacy research, I'd read many heartbreaking stories written by devastated surrogates. Their IMs/IPs had promised to remain in contact with them following the baby's birth, but lied(maybe not intentionally) to them. Everything was great during the pregnancy, but eventually the IM wanted to be the only "mother" in the child's life, so they cut all ties with their surrogate, leaving her to pick up the pieces. This is clearly not an option for most surrogates. After nurturing a baby in the womb for nine months, it's not possible to simply forget about the baby, or your IPs for that matter. In contrast, most of the IF stories I read had happy endings! With IFs, the surrogate is not viewed as "the other woman," and they aren't typically threatened by the potential relationship the surrogate may form with their child. Obviously, not all traditional couples treat their surrogate this way. However, after reading several tragic stories, I felt like I wasn't willing to take the chance of this happening to me(at least for my first journey.)

So there you have it.... 
Why guys? 
A multitude of reasons. 
Why THESE guys? 
Because they're deserving, and because they spoke to my heart. :) 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Surrogacy: Why Don't You Just Adopt?

Quite often I am asked, "Why don't they just adopt?" when people learn I am a carrier for someone else's child. The short answer is, "None of your business." The long answer is a bit more involved.

While adoption is a beautiful thing, it isn't right for everyone. And I don't believe that all families who can't have a baby the natural way should be forced into this one alternative option.

A surrogacy allows for a biological link to the child. It allows for the celebration of milestones in the pregnancy. It allows the parents to have, if not a direct say, an input on the conditions in which their child will be "baked".

There are tons of other reasons why a family may choose surrogacy over adoption (or vice versa) but the real answer is- it's just not your business. Adoption vs. surrogacy... both are difficult decisions for a family struggling to have a child. Rest assured that whatever choice was arrived at, it was done with tears, heart and tons of thought. Just respect it.

It is frustrating and angering for me as a surrogate to have to defend those who choose this method to start their family. It must be downright infuriating to intended parents to have their family making decisions put in the spotlight.

The surrogacy community is tight knit. Through a friend I have found and begun following an intended mother who blogs. Here she talks about why she is using a surrogate. I agree with her thoughts, so I thought I'd share them.