Surrogacy Journeys

Our babies, Christopher and Katherine, were born in the spring of 2010. Our book, Getting to Baby, also came into being in the spring of 2011. In it we chronicle our optimistic expectation of easily achieving pregnancy, the disappointments of the world of infertility, the trudge through failed IVF, miscarriage, failed adoption, and then finally our joyful SUCCESS through surrogacy.

Ours is just one story with a happy ending. Every year, hundreds of others forge their own successful paths through surrogacy. Many have stories just like ours — gay or lesbian couples who find a path to parenthood through the generosity, trust, and love of surrogates and donors.

When you are riding the roller coaster of infertility, adoption, surrogacy, and pregnancy, the support not only of friends and family but of others going through the actual experience is so important. The blogosphere gave us essential information, encouragement, and support  — and is one reason we created GettingToBaby. We want to create a central, collaborative place for the kind of support, referrals, and education we had to really work to find, and really depended upon to make our dream of becoming parents a reality.

I thought I’d share a few great blogs of babies in progress—and babies brought home:

Babies in progress:
Special Delivery follows the journey of Kelli, a gestational surrogate carrying twins for Ian and Troy.  Ian’s sister Leandra donated the eggs, which were fertilized with Troy’s sperm. Kelli is halfway through the pregnancy, and their story is being made into a movie called “More than a Village” by documentary filmmaker Edward McDonald. Follow the film by following Edward on twitter: @edwardmcdonald

Bernadette and Duane share their roller-coaster ride of surrogacy in India at Rasta Less Traveled. We look forward to following their tale to a happy ending.

Babies at home:
George and Farid are the proud parents of Gustavo and Milena, born on November 6, 2011, to gestational surrogate Jeni. Their beautiful story is chronicled on Jeni’s blog Love Makes a Family.

Jeni, Kelli, and Bernadette also list other blogs they follow — so check them out.

Brings a smile to my face.  How about you?

Decision Making when Making a Baby

“When I have kids we will bake Christmas cookies every year.”

Becoming a family. Carrying on traditions. Creating new ones. Replacing ones that didn’t work.  What motivates your decision to become a parent?  It seems so simple in the beginning. Find “the one,”  commit to each other, and create a child to bind you together, forever, as a family.

For many, the most difficult decision is the first one – do I become a parent and when? We assume that once that decision is made, the rest is easy. After all – we’ve been told since middle school that if you’re not very, very, very careful you might make a baby by just being too close to someone! But for some of us, making a baby is not a simple cause and effect.  It is process, a continuum, a collection of small – and monumental – decisions.

When you don’t get pregnant within a few months it’s confusing, and a bit scary. Or if you do get pregnant and suffer a miscarriage it is even more confusing.  What does it mean? Miscarriage is common you’re told, up to 1 in 4 pregnancies ending in miscarriage. And there is hope – after all, a positive pregnancy test means it can happen again.

But for some of us, the first miscarriage is not the last. For others, the pregnancy test never turns positive. Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term after 12 months of trying to conceive.  If you are over the age of 35, infertility is declared after 6 months of actively trying to conceive.

Infertility can involve making hundreds incremental decisions – day by day, month by month. This is not only emotionally exhausting, if decision fatigue sets in, can be expensive.

If you’re over 30 and a pregnancy isn’t happening easily, it’s important to look reality in the eye and put a plan in place.

  1. Recognize that infertility can happen to you.  Infertility rates range between 15 – 30% for women over the age of 30.
  2. Develop a personal decision making strategy.  How far are you willing to go to become a parent?  How much medical intervention is right for you and your partner? What can you afford? What will you do if you cannot conceive a biological child?
  3. Know your options.  Depending on your situation, what medical intervention is right for you and your partner?  Are alternatives like donor insemination, surrogacy or adoption something you need to know about?  Getting To Baby is a step-by-step guide that will help in your decision making process.
  4. Find support.  Find a peer-led or professionally led support group through Resolve, the National Infertility Association.  By connecting with others who have been down this path, you will be in a position to make better, more informed decisions.

Finding your personal path to Getting To Baby can result one of the most fulfilling decisions of your life – becoming a parent.

Showing our Support!

We’ve been waiting for weeks to be able to announce this, but now it’s time!  Getting to Baby is the official Book Sponsor of The Mid-Year Conference of The American Academies of Adoption Attorneys and Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys. We are so excited and honored to be a supportive vendor of this conference which is so close to our hearts.

The Mid-Year Conference of The American Academies of Adoption Attorneys and Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys
November 3-4, 2011
The Sir Francis Drake Hotel
450 Powell St. | San Francisco, California | 94102

The theme “Exploring the new frontier of assisted reproduction law” is near and dear to us, as many of you know. Our greatest two joys (our twins Christopher and Katherine) came into our family through surrogacy, so we’re eager to hear more about this new frontier!

The Conference will be held in San Francisco, early November, (3-4) which is perfect seasonal weather in the Bay area. The two-day event will cover topics such as rights, contracts, ethics, medical advancements, trends in assisted reproduction, international surrogacy and so much more. Read more on the event agenda.

There’s something so uplifting about being surrounded by like-minded individuals, who share the journey while having their unique experience. We encourage all ART professionals and adoption attorneys who are not Academy members to register for this exciting event. We think you’ll find the agenda was created to address the interests of both Academy Fellows seeking CLE credit as well as professionals in all fields of adoption and ART practice.

For more information on the conference, visit their website .

You can even find the American Academies of Adoption Attorney’s on Facebook.

We hope to see you there – we’ll be showing the video of our journey, on Friday the 4th before lunch, and each attendee to the conference will receive a complimentary copy of our book “Getting to Baby” chronicling our experiences that finally led us to not just one baby, but two!

And if you need more reasons why you should consider attending, here’s their top ten list:

TOP TEN REASONS TO REGISTER FOR THE THE ///A AND //ARTA MID-YEAR CONFERENCE NOW!
SAN FRANCISCO, CA  NOVEMBER 3-4, 2011

1. Summer’s over. It’s time to plan your fall getaway.

2. Finally, the kids are back in school. You can concentrate again. Concentrate on planning your escape to San Francisco!

3. Did you know the average high temperature in San Francisco in November is 64 degrees? Don’t forget your fleece.

4. The stylish and historic Sir Francis Drake Hotel, conveniently located just off Union Square, is a bargain at $175.00 a night.

5. You don’t want to miss the cutting edge conversation on the frontier of assisted reproduction. The agenda is full of thought-provoking issues and has something for everybody

6. Love Richard Serra’s work? Don’t miss his drawing exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, mere steps from the hotel.

7. The networking cocktail party will be the event of the fall season.

8. Cable cars. They stop right outside the front door of the Sir Francis Drake.

9. Restaurants, from famous to dives and diners. There’s something for everyone! More on eating at a later date.

10. Your ///A and AAARTA buddies. Fun together. Learning together. Life is good.