Surrogacy, Who's Pregnancy is it?

There is an ancient phrase "Possession is nine-tenths of the law" that 
is about land, property, or other tangible items, but I keep thinking that 
it applies to Surrogacy.

During the Surrogacy journey everyone's emotions swing back and 
forth based on possession. 

Most people are thinking that "it's an embryo," or " a fetus,"
and only later "a baby" what is there to possess before the birth? 

There are many things to possess during the process. A short list is:
  • The thought of a baby.
  • Expecting A Miracle.
  • The Surrogates agreement to Match and join the endeavor.
  • The DNA.
  • The Egg.
  • The Sperm.
  • The Embryo.
  • The Uterus.
  • The Information.
  • The Pregnancy Results.
  • The Heart Beat Results.
  • The Numbers and medical reports from the Dr. Visits.
  • The Pregnancy.
  • The Ultrasound Pictures.
  • The Delivery.
  • The Baby.
Most of the time, the main possession during the 
Surrogacy is information. 

The open, honest, and unfiltered truth about 
what is going on with the
joint endeavor at a particular moment in time.

One side is left in the dark trying to figure out 
what is going on without
the needed details to make an informed decision. 

In marriage they say people "fight about the money." 
In Surrogacy, it's all in the information.
What's happening today? How is the pregnancy, right now?

Why Can't A Gestational Surrogate Rebut Maternity?

One argument that you rarely find in the who's the Mother debate around Surrogacy
is that fact that gestational primacy (the Birth Mother is Shinning) leads to unequal parentage determinations by considering different factors for men - genetics, and women - birth.

Most States and Countries pretend to know what's best for women.

The theory goes - the women might regret giving away the baby at some point
in the future, so we will protect her, by making it against the law.

Sure, we understand that she is willing to do this BEFORE the embryo transfer, and
is BECOMING pregnant on purpose to help another couple have a child, but we the
government MUST protect her from possibly thinking it was a bad choice in the future.

The Nanny State knows what is best for you.

Where are the Gestational Surrogates Equal Protection Rights Regarding Maternity?


When a State assign maternity to the woman giving birth, this creates different procedures for establishing maternity than for paternity.

Women can't rebut maternity but men can rebut paternity.

This is an equal rights violation.





Why should the Surrogate be Compelled or forced to fulfill the role of legal mother
when she has no Genetic link to the child?



How is that in the "State's Best Interests?"

Shouldn't the State be protecting the Gestational Surrogates rights to NOT be the legal mother?
Protecting her from compelled motherhood!

The Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection, the Constitution’s protection of procreative choice—a fundamental right implicating Due Process—must be at least as strong when a woman decides to give birth to a child as when she decides not to do so.

This equal protection should protect the legal rights of the Genetic mother and the Gestational Surrogate.


The mere fact of giving birth cannot equal maternity without resulting in equal protection violations because men are not similarly deemed fathers in such an unequivocal manner.

We are ahead of the curve in California in that we give the Intended Parents Rights and there is a reason that almost 25% of the US Surrogacies happen in California every year, but the rest of the Nation needs to catch up with the science of reproduction.

Surrogacy - A Duty, A Mission, A Cause........

One thing that about my experience regarding Surrogacy was always very clear to me.


I knew why I was here.


We didn't have a uterus, so we had to find one to have a baby. It was a NEED, not 
a want.


A requirement for us that had no other alternative, but to find a Surrogate.


With limited options, our course for action was clear.


Priority #1 for having a baby was finding a Surrogate.


Now why someone would become a Surrogate is a whole different matter.


You hear all kinds of answers.



  • Surrogacy is in my heart
  • I want to help a couple become a family
  • I am full of compassion for others
  • I meet someone that has gone through infertility and they want to help someone. 

The answers are different for every individual, and I probably have poor examples, but recently, I found an answer that I understand, I can relate to, I can appreciate, and I can respect.


It was an answer to what happens when the Surrogacy is over, but has a line for me
that best describes what I would want as an Intended Parent in a Surrogate that I was going to start a new Surrogacy with in the future.


One Surrogate said:
You go from being someone so relied on and you had a duty and a mission and a cause and then that's gone. And then ... what? I think that's why there is so much "serial surrogacy" that occurs. It's HARD to transition back to the world before surrogacy. It's not to say our families and our lives outside of being a surrogate aren't awesome and amazing. It's just a whole different journey and when it's done there really is a sense of "what now".

This statement requires everyone to being part of a Surrogate and Intended Parent team and become involved with something that is larger than yourself.

If I am starting out in IVF and Surrogacy with:
One Goal. One Mission. One Obsession.

I want to be matched with a Surrogate that is starting:
A Duty. A Mission. A Cause.

Surrogate Mother Claims to Be Wife......

Surrogate Mother Claims to Be Wife....Couple Says She Was Hired

In India, it appears to be ok to have multiple wives, but there are no laws regarding Surrogacy.

A local businessman and his wife appeared to have hired a women to be the Surrogate for them.

The Surrogate went on the birth certificate as the wife.

Now she demands protection of her "Rights as Wife."

In the meantime, the police refuse to solve the issue of Surrogacy because it is not covered
under the law of the country.

The Intended Parents have NO LEGAL RIGHTS TO THEIR CHILD.

Here is the Story:

A businessman in the city locked in a dispute with a woman, who he claimed to be the surrogate mother of his child, today said the lady was "hired" for Rs1 lakh.
However, according to an FIR filed by the woman, she has claimed the status of wife and declined to hand over the child to the couple.
Police said the custody of the one-year-old child was granted to the woman identified as Rani in the FIR. The child was born last year in a private nursing homein Ghaziabad. In the hospital register, she is identified as wife of Madan Lal.
The child's father said, Rani, in her 30s, was hired by the couple as his wife was infertile. He said they had given Rs1 lakh to the woman.
Police said she refused to give the child's custody to the couple and went to her house in New Delhi with the boy. Three months back, Lal brought her here and she stayed with the family. But she demanded a separate house to live with him and the child.
Yesterday, she had filed a complaint with police in Kavinagar demanding protection of her rights as wife. Police said she claimed that he had married her secretly, but the man was living with his legal wife.
No case is registered so far, police said adding the custody of the child was given to Rani as mother's care was required for the toddler now.
She is now at her father's house in New Delhi with the child. Police denied to have solved the matter of surrogation as it is not covered under any law in the country.

Surrogacy Delivery at the Hospital....

I understand when the public doesn't "get" the whole surrogate - intended parent
relationship. However, I expected more from the hospital.

Every step along the way, the medical profession treated us as the parents and the
surrogate as the gestational carrier.

Then, for the first time, in our case at the delivery of our baby some members of the hospital
staff clearly didn't get it.

The medical care was outstanding and we couldn't have been happier with
the hospital in that regard.

The emotional care was often left wanting.

The majority of the staff went out of their way to accommodate us
the Intended Parents as the parents.

However, there were a few long time staffers who just didn't get the whole thing.

They would look at us and acknowledge "I know you are the parents" and then
turn to the surrogate and go "okay MOM, what do you want to do."

Our surrogate would then look at us for the answer.

I could understand the mistake if it was only made once. But, it happened again and again.

We corrected them, they acknowledged us, told us we were correct, and then called the surrogate
MOM again.

Sure it was a minor thing, by an uninformed person, and we only had to deal with them for part
of our time at the hospital as the staff rotated through their shift. But, it was uncomfortable every time
it happened.

Overall, it was the last and only time that's happened and nobody is confused now.

More from Mr. Recipient..........

Things I've learned......

I have figured out where the term Mr. Recipient comes from.

I have actually seen it on a lot of websites now and there is
always a common link.

It is a term used by Surrogacy Agencies that started out as
Egg Donor Agencies and then started offering Surrogacy.

It seems that when couples are using an egg donor for IVF
on themselves they are called the Recipient.

Then these websites added Surrogates to the mix, but continue
to call the Intended Parents the Recipients.

I personally, am not a fan of the term and you will not see it used
as a descriptive word on my blog are on Expect Miracles Surrogacy.

One thing that I have really learned during the whole process is
that words mean a lot and terminology is very important.

I for one will stick with the term Intended Parents.

The Intentional Procreator vs. Casual Inseminator

Things I've learned.

OR

I haven't learned anything, But these are
things that I've Come to Ponder.



The Surrogacy Laws in California are all based on Case law as opposed to 
laws written by the legislature.


That means that people have sued somebody in court and the judges ruling on 
that case would be used to decide future cases "like that one."


The most significant case in California regarding Surrogacy is the Buzzanca case, 
which happened in 1998. 


In that case, a married couple used donor egg and donor sperm, and a surrogate. 


A month before the birth of the child, the couple divorced, and when the child was turned over to the intended mother, she asked for child support. 


The intended father refused to pay, claiming that he was not the parent. 


Because we didn't have any law at the time, the trial court found that he was not the father, and the intended mother wasn't the mother, because they weren't genetically the parents. 


When the case was appealed, the appellate court acted very swiftly in correcting the trial court, and came up with the rule of the case, and that is that both intended parents were the legal parents of the child. 


The rule in the case was that if parents through a surrogacy contract intend to create a child, and they set in motion a medical procedure which results in the creation of the child, they are the parents, whether they're genetically related or not. 


The interesting quote in the case was, paraphrasing, 


"The intentional procreator is as responsible as the casual inseminator."


And that is how California Surrogacy laws protecting the "Intended Parents" was born.

The Ideal Infertile Couple

Occasionally you look around the web and find a funny picture.

Here is the ideal infertile couple based on original artwork from India.


How Does a Surrogacy Relationship Change After Birth?

A while ago, I asked the question that is a very tough one to answer.
When does a surrogacy end?

Of course, many people will say "it never ends."

For others, it might be at the moment of birth. And it actually
ended long before that takes place.

I am not one of the hardliners on this subject.

I don't believe that it's a quick fade to black after the birth of the baby.

The more appropriate questions would be:

  • How does the relationship mature?
  • What are the new boundaries that need to be established?
  • How does everyone evolve in a healthy way through the transition phase?
One of the best answers that I have heard so far (I will paraphase) from an experienced surrogate is:

At the end of each of my surrogacies, I plan a big trip for MY family to go on so that we can reconnect. The Surrogacy journey is a long road and takes a lot out of me and my family. We need time to get away and focus on us and enjoy time together. 

For me, it's a very interesting time.

Your told to prepare for the roller coaster ride of IVF.

Prepare for the Two week wait.

Prepare for a Heart Beat.

Prepare for the Birth.

Prepare to bring home a baby.

Where are the instruction to prepare and transition from Intended Parent to Parent and Surrogate to Experienced Surrogate?

Labor of Love or Financial Boost? OR Will Surrogates Never Learn. Part 2

Is the publicity impossible to ignore?

Is there no such thing as bad press?

Once again, a surrogate is talking to the media.

I wrote about this the other day when Military surrogates had an article about
them in Glamour Magazine.

So here we are a few days later and we find out that tomorrow a Military Surrogate
will be on Good Morning America.

The Title of the piece is:

Military Surrogates: Labor of Love or Financial Boost? Some Military Wives Are Making a Living by Carrying Babies for Other Couples

With that title, do you think the reporting will be fair and balanced?

Mr. Recipient..........

Things I've learned.

OR

I haven't learned anything, But these are
things that I've Come to Ponder

#3


Here is something that I've never heard of before on Surrogacy World.


I was looking at an Surrogacy agencies website last night and they were
describing a character involved in IVF and Surrogacy that I have never
heard of before this very moment.


I've been living here for a long time and thought I knew everything.


Boy, was I proven wrong.


Here is a quote from the agencies website that had me confused.
Can you tell where I was stumped?


California offers many legal advantages for surrogacy delivery including birth certificates with the recipients’ names as the mother and father. Our recipients come from all over America and all over the world, so distance is never an issue. Recipients are encouraged to keep in touch with their surrogate by phone calls, email, web cam, and several visits whenever possible during the course of pregnancy

What is a recipient?

I thought that is what the Surrogate was called during the transfer.

When the doctor transfer's the embryo's to the surrogate thye are receiving the
embryo's. Thus, they are the recipient.

Correct?

However, considering that the agency tells us:
the recipients’ names as the mother and father.
and
Recipients are encouraged to keep in touch with their surrogate

Well that tells me that the Intended Parents are being called "the recipients."

The Recipient. It sounds like your catching a disease?

What a wonderful thing to be called?


I know that was my dream when we started.

I wasn't striving to be a parent.

Or one of the commoners, and be called "Dad."
But, a Recipient. That is a unique and special name.
By the way, that's Mr. Recipient to you.

Fertility is a Privilege...

Most people don't give having a baby a second thought.

It's not IF, but when.

When everything is perfect in life - I will have a baby.

No Problems, No Delays, No Worries.

If you've been raised to believe that you can have a child whenever you're ready and it will happen pretty much right away, and it will be beautiful and perfect and it will be hard but it will all be worth it in the end, then dealing with the idea that it might be a struggle to conceive, it might take years, there will be risks, there might be death, and the whole process might leave you permanently changed, even cost you your marriage and friends and job, and you can still have nothing to show for it in the end? 
For infertile couples, it's a whole different ballgame.

Most people never consider that Fertility is a Privilege. I mean:

Babies are everywhere. Not only are babies everywhere, but everywhere you go they are celebrated. Which is understandable, because making more little versions of us is pretty much Job One of any species. Babies are assumed - if you're an adult, you're going to have kids. It's just a matter of time. Don't want them? You'll change your mind. Having trouble having them? Just relax - it'll happen when you least expect it. 

In our case, there was no relaxing while trying to have a baby.
No relaxing while pregnant.
And there has still been no relaxing. Not for a minute.

We are just not capable of relaxing.

Grown adults tell us - "you need a date night." I will babysit for you.

And I think "I don't know you that well." Sure we are friends, and you've raised
five kids of your own, but c'mon were not that close.

Or my mom, who likes to tell me, "I raised 3 kids and 3 nephews and nieces,
and a combined 9 Grand-Children and 2 Great Grand Children."

And I tell her,

You may come over and view the baby if you like. You can hold her briefly,
after you have washed your hands.

We did relax - ONCE - for less than half an hour.

Christy had a friend who is a NICU nurse. She was left alone with the child,

briefly,

Very briefly.

It was torture.

And I am still not 100% sure we should have done it.

Besides that moment, one of us has been within arms reach of our child for 6 straight weeks.

We created life.

And

We are not ready for anyone to take our bundle of joy away from us.

Even for a minute.

Uneducated, Unstable, Financially Drained Uterus Whores.

Things I've learned.

OR

I haven't learned anything, But these are
things that I've Come to Ponder

#2


Why do Military Surrogates continue to talk to the Media?
The current article can be found at:
http://www.glamour.com/magazine/2010/10/the-most-wanted-surrogates-in-the-world

They have a crack investigative teams go on SMO and find a random post
about how many Surrogates are in the military and find a Surrogate Agency
that is all to happy for some free publicity.

And then the magazine slams military Surrogates.

Why do Surrogates never learn that the media is not their friend?

All they want to do is slam the "Commercial" Surrogate!
(Before this article, I have never heard of this term.)

Why does the media always have the same angles -

1) Surrogates in India are being taken advantage of by greedy foreigners. Are they really?
2) Military Surrogates are being greedy by using their health care? Health care that they have earned.
Is this really greedy and immoral?

All the public comments on the article take the normal stance:
1) Surrogacy is prostitution.
2) Their screwing the government by using taxpayer funded insurance.
3) Stop making designer babies

Then you have women that have been surrogates defending the practice - saying this story has been poorly researched and is a bad representation of the situation.

They are upset that surrogates keep being portrayed as "Uneducated, Unstable, Financially Drained Uterus Whores."

Duh.

Negativity sells.

Has the media EVER portrayed a surrogate as anything close to an empowered women?
Does anyone have a link to THAT article?

Intended parents are not working with a 19 year old old, homeless runaway, that just got out of
rehab. If you are a desperate women - trying to escape rough times - Surrogacy is not for you.

The media stereotype of a surrogate is not close to reality.

It takes a mentally strong, financially, and emotionally stable women, with a strong support network of
family and friends to be a surrogate.

It is not for the meek.

Empowered women only need apply!

Why did the Vietnam veteran cross the road?

We've come home from the war.

Not the real war on the other side of the world.

But, the real war in our head.

We've been fighting our own little terrorist.

Our war with infertility.

And we conquered. With the help of our friends.

Our own personal infertility fighting team of misfits and experts.

Every war has casualties, every battle has collateral damage.

We surely had our share along the way.

The veterans who return - and if you stay on IVF Land for long, you are a veteran -
have memories that they won't share with anyone else.

(Insert your private personal thoughts here.)

Your friends and family get divided into "the ones who get it" and "the ones who don't get it."

The ones that "don't get it," "won't get it," "can't get it."

You can't share with them, it's just that things happened, and it's not for them to know.

Just like soldiers that have gone to war don't like to talk about the war.

Some times the past is best left in the past.

Which leads me to an old joke:

Q: Why did the Vietnam veteran cross the road?
A: You wouldn't know, man! You weren't there!

Am I trying to "Rock the Boat"...

I was asked today if I am trying to "Rock the Boat" now that I have gone through a 
successful surrogacy and things have settled down for us.

The short answer is - 

YES.


I will "Rock the Boat" in regards to telling my story in that I will not tip to far to
the extreme sides. I want to have a smooth sailing ship and not one that always leans
to one side -

OR

Gets so lopsided, that it tips over under it's own weight.

A balanced approach, must keep an equilibrium and try to explore and explain
both sides fairly.

This is the only way to sail straight and true.

The feel of the blog shouldn't change. I have made many posts about the unwritten rules of surrogacy and will keep working around those lines.

I don't see things as black, white, and always, but in ever complex levels of grey.

I have been witness to a lot of Surrogacy/IP relationships over the last six years and have thoughts and questions on a multitude of issues.

If anything I am looking for answers as opposed to providing them.


Pregnancy or Baby?

Things I've learned.

OR

I haven't learned anything, But these are
things that I've Come to Ponder

#1

This is the start of a new series of posts that I will be making where I ramble about
my thoughts regarding being an Intended Father (now Father) in a surrogate run world.

What is the main story of the journey that the IP's and Surrogate take together?

If you were writing for a paper what are the 5 W's, (Who, What, Where, When and Why?)
that leap out to you and make this a story?

By reading Surrogate and IP's stories on the web I constantly see two different story lines.

The surrogate's story is about the pregnancy.

The IP's story is about the baby.

They are not the same story. We do not have the same experience - from the same event.

The basic's are the same for both parties.

The who, the what, the where, and the when everyone can agree on.

The WHY!!!

The Why is a wild card and is all over the place.

The Why for the IP is simple -

It's this are nothing.

The Why for the Surrogate is different.

She wants to help others. In the grandest way possible.
She has a huge heart.

As an IP - we are desperate and in need.

A Surrogate is kind and giving.

The IP's have made a very calculated decision to do IVF and Surrogacy.

The Surrogate makes an emotional decision to help others.

The Ip's tends to focus on the "baby."
"How is the baby."

The surrogate tends to focus on the pregnancy.
"I have morning sickness." In IP speak this means "the baby is doing well."

We are coming to the party with two different perspectives.

How do we keep our mutual objective moving forward and keep building a strong
team?

Getting Settled....

Here we are at 1 month 9 days and we are getting settled into our new normal.

Finally.

All of the friends and relatives have had their viewing opportunity.

Our baby has settled in and sleeps a solid 7 hour nights sleep.

We know how to change a diaper and be Mr. Dad.

Overall, the hardest part of the first month was the constant stream of
well wishers.

No doubt, they are all welcome. But how did we get so many of them?

Mom and Dad are just not that popular.

Everyone came to bow down to the new born queen.

Or as her sister calls her:

"Baller Baby."

How much of a baller can you really be when all you have are clothes?

Everything is smooth, simple, and easy.

Breadcrumbs to your destiny........

There is a famous buddhist proverb that goes -

"When the student is ready - the teacher will appear."

This leads to questions:

What does this mean?
Who is the teacher?
How does she know to appear?

If you change Student to Parent and Teacher to Surrogate will it make more sense
on Surrogacy World?

I think that the teacher is not just a person; it's a reaction, a resource, a combination
of opportunities that allow growth to become fertile.

The simple truth is it means when your ready for something you will be presented with "teachers"
or resources to show you the path.

The path was always there, but now you awareness is fertile and ready to absorb the information to make it real for you.

These "teachers" are like breadcrumbs to your destiny, or whatever goal your chasing.

When does a Surrogacy end?

As I am struggling with my own transition from Surrogacy World to Parenthood,
I have finally had the time to check up on other people's progress and blog's.

A post I saw today hits home.

A surrogate wrote her opinion on a comment she read on another blog. The surrogates post
can be read at: http://bumpfairy.wordpress.com/.

On the first blog an IP more or less wrote "it was a business deal
for me and now I am moving on with my life." That is my short summary of 4 paragraphs.

These points have lead my to some questions. They are:

After the birth of the baby what is the role of the Surrogacy?

When does a surrogacy end?

What is the proper way to end a Surrogacy?

How do you successfully transition into the next phase of life for everyone once the surrogacy is over?

I don't know the answer on "when does a surrogacy end" and it's seems to be a major problem time and time again.

In the simplest way, I saw the experience as - we needed a team to accomplish a project.

This project was multi-faceted and required many experts in the fields to complete. We saw specialist in multiple countries, IVF doctors, nurses, lawyers, and a surrogate.

Everyone brought their specialty to the team.

In the spirit of teamwork everyone worked together.

Some teammates made a brief appearance, some cheered from the side lines, and one did the heavy lifting for 9 months.

Our surrogate was the All-star of the team that made everything possible.

Everyone else on the team (including me) was there to support the star and make sure that she had everything that she needed to do her best at every moment.

Only through this teamwork were we able to win and achieve our mutual goal and objective.

That success now brings changes to everyone's lives.

As a brand new parent my obsession has gone from the Surrogacy to being a parent.

I have a new boss. A new star. And she is very demanding.

Our surrogate is no longer a surrogate - but an experienced former surrogate.

We are no longer intended parents, but parents.

Change happens fast and my head is spinning, but I am trying to keep up and make the proper adjustments.

Dropping the "I"........

One of the few blogs that I read that is written by a father is ending. The blog xbox4nappyrash was about a couple trying to get pregnant and have a baby. Over 400 posts later they have a child and the blog has outlived it's topic - so it is ending a natural death and there will be no more posts.

With that thought in my head - I have to ask - what do I do with my blog?

I am not currently in IVF land on Surrogacy World trying to have a baby.

That experience is over.

We were successful. We have a baby.

We climbed the mountain and won.

What do you do after you have it all?

Fade to Black?

So many times in the movies the original is great and then the sequel stinks.

It is still to early to tell where life takes us next, but I know where I am today, and
the first step I need to take.

Today, I am dropping the "I" from my name.

I know what your thinking "there's no I in your name."
"This dude sure is dense."

For many years, we have been called "Intended Mother," "Intended Father," and "Intended Parents."

Or

IM, IF, and IP for short.

We embraced the names because they described us to a "T" and it was who we were.

Well, it no longer describes who we are. In the present tense.

We have changed.

With the edition of our baby the "Intended" part of our life ended.

I think that being a parent is very much like being pregnant.
You are pregnant or not, there is no such thing as being a little pregnant.

Well, there is no such thing as being a little bit of a parent.

Either you are a parent or not.

There is no such thing as being "parent-elect" like there is a "President-elect."

We were not elected parents and are waiting to be sworn in, as the current outgoing
parents finish their term.

The minute our baby was born we instantly became parents.

No if's, and's, or Intended's about it.

A Mom, A Dad, A Baby, A Family.

Sure - there might be "Intended Parents Part 2" in the future.

But, for now we are simply like everyone else with a new born -

A Mother, A Father, and Parents.

Rolling and Growing....

We had our first doctor's appointment the other day and everything was great with the baby.

The only negative was the nurse that couldn't measure very well and told us we are the same
length that we were at birth. I should have asked her to explain how we are already out growing
our newborn clothes.

Our legs are very long.

We also have a little dare devil already.

She loves monkey rolls were she lays on her back and rolls over to be face down and then rolls
quickly to be on her back again. The faster the better.

Of course, this is in brief segments between her normal schedule of eating, peeing, pooping, sleeping, and crying.

Add a long walk around downtown for the parents as she lays in her picnic basket of a stroller and that is a full day.

Infertility Changes The World.....

Being an infertile changes how you view the world. And Changes the world itself in very direct
and long lasting ways.

My current example is from the Showtime Series called the Tudors.

Now I know that I am watching a dramatization and adaption of history and
not a straight and historically accurate telling of history.

And I have only watched Season 1. So I am limited to my knowledge of the show.

But, in a lot of ways, the person that tells the best story is the one that writes history.
And accuracy is seldom obtained.

So, in all fairness, I will twist a tale that has already been twisted,
so that I can tell a good tale.

Bare with me.

As we all know, or have been told, Henry the 8th was famous for beheading his wife's.

In truth, he only beheaded two of his six wives.

Primarily because they failed to produce a son.

(Christy is lucky to be born after the invention of IVF)

The most famous, Anne Boleyn (his second wife) was accused of whitchcraft, adultery, incest and high treason.

Although the evidence against them was unconvincing, she and 5 men were found guilty and condemned to death by their peers.

That is a high price to pay for infertility.

But, Henry the 8th was a very focused man.

He needed a son.

The Catholic church wouldn't grant him a divorce from his infertile first wife.
And he needed a divorce because his first wife couldn't deliver a male heir to the thrown.

He NEEDED a male heir the the thrown.

It wasn't a WANT - It was a NEED.

At least he saw it this way.

Because the Catholic Church wouldn't give him his way and allow him a divorce so
he could marry a fertile woman and have a legitimate heir.

He only had one choice -

He kicked the Catholic Church out of England and started the Church of England.

He gave the Catholic Church's land away - this transferred a fifth of England's landed wealth into new hands. People that saw things his way.

A rebellion of 30,000 men started against the changes and 200 rebels were killed and he got his way.

So - the history lesson of the day is -

If anyone asks you how the Protestant Church started - you can tell them -

It was started by an infertile person. And their pain changed the world.

Forever.

Shopping - On Day 12

On day 12 we need to go shopping and Christy and I take our 12 day old baby with us.

Christy has a disability and can't see over or around the cart when we place the car seat
in the front section of the cart so I end up doing most of the pushing.

Christy has left me to search for an item and I am left alone with the baby and the cart.

I see a lady pushing her cart and child and she is looking past me. I am clearly in the
way so I move to get out of her way when she asks me "how old is your baby?"

I tell her 12 days.

And she responds with "brave man."

Then

"Is she yours?"

And

"Is her mother here?"

Clearly concerned.

This is when I notice that her child that is riding in her cart appears to be around
9 years old.

Christy was nearby and overheard the conversation. As she came over the women left.

Christy found it odd that the women would ask "is it yours." She wanted to know who kidnaps
12 day old babies and takes them shopping.

The 'is it yours question' is one that I have already heard many times and was not fazed in the least.

I was much more concerned with why this lady was pushing her 9 year old around in a cart.

I have already told Christy that I stroller turns into a wheel chair as soon as the child can walk and that
our child doesn't need to be in a wheel chair.

Home Alone - On Day 11

The constant stream of visitors ended (briefly) for the day and I was left home alone with a new born
baby.

This is the first time we have every been left alone.

We both lived.

She cried.

And cried.

And I was left with baby stress syndrome.

But, by the time mom arrived, she was back to her normal happy self.

Just smiles and giggles for mom.

Now, I am pointing a finger at everyone else. It's their fault - not mine.

I have a baby that has been held almost every moment since birth.
And expects nothing else.

This is fine and dandy when we have a room full of visitor's - all waiting for
their turn to hold the queen.

But, when you are home alone with her - she is very demanding.

I could put her down for a minute or two - with a max. of five.

After that, the alarm would sound.

PICK ME UP!

HOLD ME!

PLAY WITH ME!

FEED ME!

CHANGE MY DIAPER!

And Then - - - -

REPEAT!

All Day long.

All Bow to the new queen.

Success and Relief......

We have a healthy baby girl in our hands.

Today is the day Part 3

C-section is set for tonight.


Time TBA.

Today might be the day Part 2

We just got a phone call that our surrogate is in labor
so we are off to the hospital.

Her water hasn't broken.

This news has got me to stop calling the hospital to
verify procedures with them. This has been my project for
the day.

We will find out how things work through live
fire.

Our baby might be here soon.

We are off.

The Teeter Totter Teeters........

We have reached the hardest stage of the process.

For the first time we have not all been in agreement.

Our baby is breech with her foot in the first position.
Ready to kick her way out.

If she does this and dangles her foot out -
she can stangle herself to death.

Fear has set in.

At least with Christy.

She believes that the baby is safer on the outside then on the inside -
so wants her out right away.

Our surrogate wants to wait and see if the baby will flip and go head down
so that she can have a VBAC and not a C-section.

Then there is me -

I am not as convinced of the danger as Christy is, but believe it to be true.

I am most interested in a September birthday.

In most sports leagues the age cut off is August 31st with the new year starting September 1st.

This means that if our baby is born on or before August 31st - she will be the youngest player
in the league.

If she is born on September 1st or after - she will be the oldest player in the league.

They have done worldwide studies on sports and kids born in the first 3 months of their age group
dominate sports until the age of 18 as a group. Roughly, 75% of the Olympic development players from
ANY NATIONAL - AND ANY SPORT - are born in the first 3 months of the age cut off.

With that knowledge, I am fine with a September 1st, 2010 birthday at 12:01am.

All in all, three agendas make it hard to agree.

Of course, my desire for the perfect sports birthday is less important then a healthy baby.
So my desire should have the least priority.

In the meantime, we are on the clock.......waiting.

Today is the day.... and then it's not......

Today was going to be the day for a few minutes.

The Dr. offered to do a C-section yesterday which to us all by surprise.
And we passed on the offer.

Today our surrogate was open to the idea -
we called the Dr. to take him up on the offer and he said "no."

"Nothing is going to happen until the next appointment."

Which is next Tuesday.

At which point, I am sure that he will tell us - we are scheduled for Thursday or Friday let's
go with that appointment.

So it's on for September.

Our hearts are tethered through the heavens....

The topic comes up -

How do the Intended Parents bond with the child when it is being carried by someone else
so far away from them.

I think that this is such a silly question.

The soul burns the connection into the parents and child even before conception and it grows from there regardless of time or distance.

We see the earliest 4D pictures of our child and I am told "she looks like you".

I in turn see my parents.

And Grand Parents.

And Great Grand Parents.

After that my memory of seeing family pictures fades, but I can clearly see the fifth generation of my family under construction from her very first photo. At 15 weeks old.

The connection is clear and it is strong.

I've known her for generations.

Generations of history - passed on to the newest family member.

There is no rational explanation of how this connection develops, but it is there instantly.

You find it told over and over again through stories of twins separated at birth.

Or

Through countless stories throughout history were a son is born, and his father is killed before the child even had a chance to know him. Yet, the son burns with desire to avenge his father's death decades later.

To me, a few things are undeniable:

Our souls have already meet - The three of us are united -
We have briefly been separated on earth -
But time and distance mean nothing -
Every second - We are sharing the same blood -
Our connection is eternal - A man, A woman, A baby -
The core purpose, perfection, and fulfillment of our life -
The essence of philosophy, religion, spirituality, and psychology -
Are all based on establishing this timeless relationship -
A bond - that has no beginning - And no ending -
Our hearts are tethered through the heavens -
And we are one.

The End is Near......

Today, we saw the Doctor and there are some twist and turns.

Literally, a 180 degree turn.

We are now back to being a breech baby.
Feet down and head up.

Who would of thought that the child would be difficult?

The bottom line is that she could come any day, but we
have been given our expiration date.

A C-section is scheduled for September 2nd.

If she turns again by then - the plan is to skip the C-section and
induce labor in which case a September 3rd date is planned.

The crazy disturbing fact that I didn't like about our meeting with the doctor today is that this
is the first stage in the whole process that the doctor can not give me a percentage of probability.

I can't function without odds.

This is really frustrating for me.

I mean - how hard is it to say that she has a 5% chance of coming today and then a 6% chance tomorrow ramping up to a 90% chance of being here September 2nd.

Instead, we are told "she will come when she comes."

Where is the science in that answer?

For now, the end is almost near, and a new beginning is about to happen.

It will finally be time for our baby to join our family.

Locked, Loaded, and Leaving......

We got the good news that we are now locked and loaded in the head down ready position. This means no C-section for us.

At 37 weeks 1 day, we were 7 pounds 15 ounces and everything is looking very positive and healthy.
As I make this post we are at 37 weeks 4 days.

And everyday counts.

In the small chance that a C-section gets scheduled it will be September 2nd. Otherwise, we are looking at a due date of Sept. 7th.

We are hitting the road so that we can be there 2 weeks before the due date. I expect that this to give us plenty of time to sit around and twiddle our thumbs while we wait.

It's the classic hurry up and wait scenario.

Just waiting for the "belly lender" to pop.

Our great reward at this part of the process is only being terrified with boredom. With no medical issues or concerns to worry about we have nothing to fear.

Except of course, being in the delivery room.

And seeing a dirty baby.

If the hospital let's us fill out a birth plan - I know that my request is, I don't want to touch the baby until it has it's first bath. And to have women only in the delivery room.

I have the feeling that I will lose out on both of my wishes.

Despite that - here we come.

The more mature me.........

We all have wants and needs in life.

When my wants start to overpower my needs, there needs to
be a re-balancing of my id, ego, and super-ego.

This is not about me, myself, and I.

But,

"the it," "the I," and the Over I."

My id ("the it") doesn't want to take no for an answer and is only looking at the selfish answer.

My Super-ego ("the Over I") strives for me to act in a socially appropriate manner.
To find the perfect answer, and keep everyone happy.

My ego ("the I") separates what is real. It helps me to organize my thoughts and make sense of them and the world around us.

According to the reality principle:

In Freud's words, "an ego thus educated has become reasonable; it no longer lets itself be governed by the pleasure principle, but obeys the reality principle, which also at bottom seeks to obtain pleasure, but pleasure which is assured through taking account of reality, even though it is pleasure postponed and diminished"

I can hear Christy already..........

What are you talking about? What's your point?

The more mature me - looks at reality - over my emotions.

And reality tells me that the birth experience will be much smoother, easier, and comfortable
under these conditions.

Our surrogate stays in the comfort of her own home until D-Day, D-Hour.
Our surrogate has the delivery done by the OB that she has been seeing all along.
Our surrogates family is able to relax at the comfort of their own home and town.
Our surrogates families daily routine remains unchanged.
Their life can keep it's normal ebb and flow.
That we put them in the best situation possible.

So my point is -

The more mature me wants to know, "how do we make things best for her and her family?"

The wind is at our back.......

We are flying high right now as the wind is at our back and we are quickly, very quickly going to
have a baby in our hands.

99.9% of the stress is gone.

I am sure that it will return when we enter the hospital and the actual moment is upon us.

But, at this moment we are stress free.

The facts are all in our favor.

We are over 35 weeks along. Over 7 pounds in size. We have passed the DNA test. Counted fingers
through our 4D pictures, and have overall proven to be healthy.

If we were born today, we would not, should not, end up in the NICU unit.

That is one less thing that we need to stress about.

Now, Christy's main concern is appearance.

As an Intended Mother it's in her DNA to always be worried about something.

The 4D pictures make it look like our girl has my nose and lips.
She is concerned that I don't look like a girl.

Funny, I have never been concerned that I don't look like a girl.

It's never been an issue for me.

For me, being able to joke about appearance, instead of being worried about health and complications is simply a great relief and not one that I expected to have as I have read everyone else's birth stories over the years.

Finally, maybe one part of the process will be easy for us.

Soft in the Head.......

No, to your surprise, I am not talking about my readers.

We are subscribed to a weekly update from WhatToExpect.com and that is the headline of their email
and how they describe our child and her current stage of development.

And you think that my writing style is fiesty.

On the positive side - it says that our babies brain is growing at an amazing pace.

I think that we have learned today - that while her skull might be soft - her skin is tough.

Well, I am sure that her mother will say that she has soft skin.

So she will need to take after her father - to become hard headed and tough skinned over time.

Barf Towels and Diapers.....

Everyone is excited now and sending us gifts.

You expect things like toys, books, and clothes.

OR maybe something useful like a bag to lug all of the junk around.

Because it is clear that we already have 3 large bags for this child. How can something
the size of a small football need her own landing force and Army so that she can travel.

We don't need to hire a nanny as much as a mover - just to pick her up and bring her home.

I'm thinking - how much does she need?

She doesn't even sit up for the longest time.

All she does is lay down on her back and wait for everything to come to her.
The life of a baby and a surrogate sure seem to have a lot in common.
Or at least my version of what a surrogate should be doing.

But, in my mind surrogates are fragile, like a china doll and break easy.
I have been told that I am wrong.
No Surprise.

The most disturbing thing is that our number one gift has not been clean, nice, cute, little clothes.

But, Barf towels and Diapers.....

It's a good thing that this child has a mother.

To finish, conclude, arrange, and otherwise get things done........

We are reaching the last month of our Surrogacy. Our countdown is changing from months and weeks to days.

Our due date is still Sept. 7th. A mere 36 days away.

Our baby is in the 90-95th percentile so there is a good chance she will race to the finish line and arrive
early.

That means that this segment of our life will be completed.

We will have concluded and finished our - let's have a child through ivf and surrogacy - phase of our life.

In the beginning we though - "It will be so easy."

Look - we can pick the birth date of our child based on when we do the transfer.
"What month do we want to have our baby born in."

We were so naive then and so experienced now.

Not necessarily better for the wear and tear. But, wiser.

Are we ready to exit one world and enter the next? That is up for debate.

My answer is no - I will never be ready - But there's no backing out now - so let's
make the best of it.

I read a quote recently, that might not describe us directly, but sums up how I feel at the moment.

If you know Myers-Briggs, I'm a P (for Perceiver), which means I'm adaptable, open, creative, but not so good at finishing.

If you know ADD, well, that's me; I get distracted.

If you know perfectionism, you know why my P and my ADD drive me crazy:

I NEED it to be right, but I often can't find the discipline to get it just so.

Then there is Christy.

She's a J (for Judger) which is the exact opposite of a Perceiver; J's love/live to finish, conclude, order, arrange, and otherwise get things done.
And that's why I call Christy a bully..........


And

It's also why everything will be ok for our baby.
She has a mother that will make sure that we are prepared.

Through her desires and efforts we are ready for the last step.

Inspire, Challenge, Enable, and Encourage.........

These are the goals I have for myself and this blog. Can and will my posts here inspire, challenge, enable, and encourage others through their Surrogacy journey, all while I haul through my own endeavor.

If you read my last Melancholy post - it sure isn't inspiring , enabling, or encouraging. Though it is challenging.
Challenging at least to me - not others.

This is like many things in life - where fear and doubt of the outcome - is worse then the outcome itself.

I do believe that this is one of those cases.

As a leader, how do you inspire and encourage others - when you are deep into a personally challenging struggle? How do you enable others to make the right decision - when your second guessing your own?

That is my true challenge of the days, weeks, and month ahead.

Who vs. Where Part 2 - OR "My" Want vs. Need.....

Looking back at my prior posts - two years ago - we were at a turning point in our Surrogacy adventure.

We made a choice of  Who vs. Where Part 1.

I came to Surrogacy World with an open mind, open heart - and only one requirement.

The child needed to be born in California. Specifically, Southern California.

We had a lot of people say "that is stupid." It doesn't matter where the child is born.
It will live in California and will never know anything else.

So, with much thought, we made an open choice to pick "who - over - where."
That means we chose to work with a surrogate that wasn't going to deliver in California.

We picked a great surrogate and have had a great experience.

It was the right choice at the time.

The right person for us.

And the right choice still.

Without a doubt......... WE WON with our selection as a surrogate.

We are now weeks away from having our baby in our hands.

We have paid the price and done the hard work necessary to get to the finish line.

Victory is at hand. Clearly, in sight. Mere moments away.

And yet, I am filled with an oppressive sadness as this victory nears.

At this time, I fill like my victory comes with a mark. A mark that will follow my child to the grave.

She will not be born in California.

Sure - this is where almost all of you can laugh. And tell me to get over it. You have a healthy child on
the way. Don't be picky. Especially, over something so minor.

I understand that this is a want and not a need.
I understand that this is a want and not a need.
I understand that this is a want and not a need.
I understand that this is a want and not a need.


I keep thinking - if I repeat that sentence enough - I can start to believe it.


However, it's not working.


Instead, I look at the Obituaries and I read them:

They all say - "So & So was born Date, Place."

This is the FIRST LINE in everyone's obituary.

This is truly a cradle to grave issue.

I understand that this is a want and not a need.
I understand that this is a want and not a need.
I understand that this is a want and not a need.
I understand that this is a want and not a need.

California is a migration state. Everyone is from somewhere else. In High school, I only
had one friend that had both parents born in California. One.

Christy and I both have deep roots in California.

My family arrived here in the 1890's.

And we are the new kids on the block compared to Christy's family that arrived during the gold rush.

My family has been here for 120 years.

I'm giving away my roots to the state - my heritage.

But, it's not my roots I'm giving away. It's my child's roots.

Now every time, my child does something simple - like answer a password question for a bank account - she
will have to say - "I am not from California."

I am not like the rest of my family.

I understand that this is a want and not a need.
I understand that this is a want and not a need.
I understand that this is a want and not a need.
I understand that this is a want and not a need.

My feelings remind me off another quote from Lincoln that he made just as he was leaving to
be sworn in as President.



"Friends, no one who has never been placed in a like position can understand my feelings at this hour, nor the oppressive sadness I feel at this parting. For more than a quarter of a century I have lived among you, and during all that time I have received nothing but kindness at your hands. Here I have lived from my youth until now I am an old man. Here the most cherished ties of earth were assumed. Here all my children were born and here one of them lies buried. To you, dear friends, I owe all that I have, all that I am.
Lincoln's Farewell Address in Springfield by Abraham Lincoln February 11, 1861

 He got everything he wanted, but had to give up so much.

Sometimes, happiness and sadness, arrive at the same time.