Thursday, April 30, 2009

Shared Pain Shared Joy

I heard somewhere that shared pain is halved and shared joy is doubled. I have been thinking about that sentiment a lot over the past few days and have to say that I'm a believer!

Many people go through the 1st trimester in seclusion/secrecy and don't let anyone know they are pregnant until they are out of the "danger zone". I think that's such a personal decision and respect whatever approach a couple takes in revealing that type of information. We made a conscious decision to be open about this process, sharing the good news and the bad news openly, honestly and as it happens to us.

When we found out that we had lost the pregnancy, one of the first things I thought about after the initial shock was that I had to let our family and friends know. At the time, it seemed daunting to put into words what had happened and I second guessed our decision to be so open about this journey. It was a short-lived thought and immediately took me back to the shared pain/shared joy concept.

Once I started writing about what had happened and speaking to our family and friends on the phone, I realized that sharing this "bad" news was the most cathartic thing we could do to deal with our emotions. We received an abundance of loving, caring emails and calls from people we are close to and people that are peripheral acquaintances. At the end of the day on Tuesday, I felt so serene and had a real sense of hope rather than doom, as I had felt on Monday night when we received the initial news from our doctor. 

We will continue to be an open book about this process. WHEN we do get pregnant again and as the pregnancy progresses, we will continue to share the full spectrum of emotions we are feeling and that sharing and exchange between us and our support network is a very powerful experience. We are fortunate to have people to hold our hands and hearts throughout this journey and know that open, honest and timely communication is what works for us.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Emotional Resilience

Oh what a difference a day makes!!!!!

Yesterday was a difficult day for us emotionally. Getting the news that we had lost the pregnancy was both unexpected and disappointing. Intellectually, you know that the first trimester is precarious territory, filled with an endless array of things that can go wrong (approximately 15 - 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage in the 1st trimester) but you hope hope hope and believe that it won't happen to you. When it does, you are shocked but at the same time not shocked because you knew that it could happen. Know what I mean (KWIM?)? 

A day later, things look different from an emotional perspective. We've accepted what happened and know that we must move forward and stop looking in the proverbial rear view mirror. We can't change what happened but can celebrate the joy and excitement we felt over the past week and be thankful for the ability to live through and feel the totality of the experience. This is a classic case of life on life's terms. We are not promised that things will always go our way know matter how much we might want them to.

A few weeks ago, our friends Scott & Ron, introduced us to services at the Sacred Center New York. What a blessing. Thanks guys! At one of the services I attended, the minister, Rev. August Gold, spoke about a change in perspective. She suggested that we ask the question "Why did God do this FOR me?" rather than the default question of, "Why did God do this TO me?". WOW, what a powerful change in perspective. Isn't it amazing how much of a difference one word can make in how we process and interpret events in our life. It made a HUGE impact in my life and has been a valuable tool in helping me to review and make peace with the ups and downs of this journey. I asked myself that question many many times since Monday and have found a lot of peace in working through my feelings with that question as my guide. 

I don't completely understand why things happen but I do firmly believe that everything happens for a reason and that the things that happen, both good and bad, occur exactly as they are supposed to. 

Today, I am happily looking forward to continuing our journey and KNOW with certainty that we will be successful in creating our family soon. The question is not if it will happen but when it will happen! I don't have to figure out the answer to that question, I just have to be willing to stay on the path and remain positive in my thinking and actions. 

Today is a great day, a day to be grateful for and LIFE IS GOOD!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Another Bump in the Road

The process of having a baby is filled with ups and downs, starts and stops and we are living that reality right now. We found out last night that we lost our pregnancy and are working through the emotions and feelings of loss we are experiencing right now.

We have each other, a loving and supportive network of family and friends and FAITH so we are in a very good place. We are so blessed in so many ways and this setback only heightens our resolve to continue on this wonderful journey of creating our family.

We also have a GREAT surrogate. Kira is incredibly knowledgeable about the surrogacy process and was able to recognize signs that the pregnancy was in trouble immediately. She saved us all a lot of heartache by taking action to get in touch with our doctor and we are extremely grateful to have such a wonderful, well-informed woman to go through this experience with.

We will be getting ready for our next embryo transfer immediately so stay tuned and keep sending out lots of positive energy and prayers for us!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Considering being a parent? Come OUT then!

Yesterday, Kira sent us a link to an article published in the North Texas Daily (Thanks Kira!!!). Here's a link to the article:

The article is about a gay couple considering creating a family through surrogacy. They have been together for eight years. Within the first few paragraphs, you learn that there are a couple of "odd" issues this couple is struggling with (I'm being generous by using the word odd.). First, they are not using their real names in the article. OK, I'll let that one go. You never know what kind of crazies may try to track you down if they know your name! The LARGER problem that comes up is that this couple, the one that wants to have a child, the LIFE PARTNERS, are not completely out. As in, not everyone knows they are gay. HUH????? 

Call me crazy but isn't it, I don't know (?), somewhat important that you be comfortable in your own skin before you bring a life into the world and embark on the journey of raising a well-adjusted, loving, accepting child. If you aren't completely comfortable with who you are how can you raise a child to be comfortable with who they are? If you're ashamed of your sexuality, I feel fairly certain that your child will be ashamed of it too.

There are so many gay people out there with hang-ups about their sexuality. Internalized homophobia is a reality and I don't, in any way, discount the reality of those feelings nor the emotional context in which they developed. BUT before you bring another innocent life into the equation, deal with your own issues so you don't immediately burden your child with your unresolved feelings about the totality of who you are. 

What do you think?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Faith & Fear

Yesterday I heard a great comment from someone in casual conversation. The comment was that where faith exists, fear cannot reside. 

The comment could not have been more timely, considering the emotions we are feeling right now. We are extremely happy that we are pregnant. At the same time, we have a lot of anxiety about the 1st trimester of the pregnancy (well pregnancy in general). You hear so many sad stories about the things that go wrong in pregnancy and hearing those stories is scary. The reality is that about 12% of pregnancies do miscarry in the 1st trimester BUT that means that 88% don't. Once you get past the 1st trimester, the chances of miscarriage drop to about 1%. That said, why am I even focusing on those negative statistics? Am I being prudently cautious? Am I just being a neurotic New Yorker? Am I managing my expectations?

No matter what the reason(s) are for my anxiety, I've decided that I'm going to live in the positive throughout this journey and have FAITH that everything will go exactly as it should. What I do know is that Chris and I have a beautiful, loving, supportive relationship and no matter what challenges we may face along the way, everything will be fine.

My mother told me recently that she thought that Chris and I were such loving people and treated our families so well and that God (yes, the big G-O-D word has crept into the conversation) wanted us to share that love with a child. I believe her and know that we will have a family.

I chose to live without fear today and celebrate the reality of today.......that we are pregnant and moving happily towards the day we will meet our little girl or boy.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Tyra Today

Tyra is interviewing a young girl who wants to give her baby up for adoption, primarily because she's too young to raise the child and also because she doesn't like kids. It just occurred to me how many gay people there are that would love to adopt her child but would not be allowed to simply because they are gay. Isn't that sad and infuriating?

We considered adoption before deciding to pursue surrogacy. One of the deciding factors was that in many states we would not be allowed to adopt as a couple. (Yes, there are ways around that issue.) We have been together longer than many heterosexual couples are before they have children, are financially equippped to handle the expense of a child and have an extended family support network but aren't deemed good candidates for adoption as a couple by many states and countries. Sad. Unacceptable. Reality.

That said, we know many couples that have successfully navigated the adoption system and succeded in creating wonderful families. I applaud them.

This issue just hit a nerve in me today and I thought I'd share my thoughts and gratitude that there are many different ways for us and other couples to create our families.

Victor & Chris

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

We're Pregnant!

Yep, it's official, we're pregnant. We got the call we'd been waiting for from our Dr. on Monday (April 20, 2009) afternoon. Now, Kira (our surrogate) had been doing some HPT (home pregnancy tests), and they were coming up positive (see the pics!) so we were hopeful BUT there's nothing like receiving that phone call.

It's a surreal feeling to have someone say "you're pregnant". First because, we're men so technically we can't be pregnant (LOL!) but also because it's such a big concept. I mean clearly, we were trying to get pregnant but to have it actually become a reality felt.......REAL! Chris was away on business in DC so I called him after I got the call and he was in a meeting so he couldn't really react but when he called back he was equally excited and in awe.

It's starting to sink in!!!!

More later.............

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Starting our Adventure

We are very excited to share our experience in creating our family with you. It has been quite a ride so far and we are looking forward to the rest of the journey. 

We've learned a lot about ourselves and what it takes for couples and individuals to create families through surrogacy. For us, it has certainly not been an easy, linear process but with the support of our family and friends, we are moving through it and learning to appreciate the totality of the experience. 

We've started this blog as a way to snapshot our experience and hope it allows you to share in our joy, anxiety and anticipation throughout this journey. We will keep you updated every step of the way!

Victor & Chris