What’s this all about? Let’s cut to the chase:

My lovely wife Michelle is going to have a baby.  Due in May or June, 2010. (!!?)

But the baby isn’t mine. (?????) And it’s not hers either. (?????!!!!?????)

Confused yet? 

Welcome to my life…our lives to be precise. At least the one we’ve been living since January, 2009.

Here it is a little more clearly: My 40-something wife has decided to become a Gestational Surrogate. I’ll explain it in exhaustive detail elsewhere in this journal. In layman’s terms, Michelle is carrying a child for another couple. And to chronicle this journey, I’ve started this blog called:

GuestWomb. If you want to jump right in, click here.

How did this all come about? Predictably it’s a long story, but for right now we can fast forward to September. Michelle was implanted with two frozen embryos. It’s not her eggs. Or anything from me, either. In fact in language as plain as I can make it: Michelle is a baby garage for a couple unable to conceive their own child.

For nine long months she’ll grow and grow. Be poked and prodded with tests and ultrasounds. Pumped full of drugs. LOTS of drugs. Surrounded by her loving yet eye-rolling husband, slightly shocked kids, and very supportive and positive IPs. (In Gestational  Surrogacy speak, IP =  intended parents of the baby (or babies) to be.)

Until the day of the blessed event. When the baby is handed over to the deliriously joyful couple. They hug Michelle, shake my hand (or maybe punch me if they read this blog) and the rent-a-womb has completed its work.

Did I say rent? Oh yes, there’s that little detail. Michelle is being paid handsomely for this 9-month long inconvenience. That’s an issue for us. In fact it’s the biggest down side in my mind.

And that’s just one of dozens of issues surrounding the concept of surrogacy — an area that, quite frankly, I know way too much about now.

Starting with: What do the kids think? Are our two teenage daughters proud of their Mom for an incredibly selfless act? Or do they think it’s just plain weird and embarrassing.

And what of Michelle’s family? Or mine? Do they get it, or do they think she’s just in it for the payday or the attention?

How about the fact that Michelle is……well, no spring chicken? Not many women in her age bracket are reading “What To Expect When You’re Expecting”. Instead of going to day spas and mall shipping with her friends, M will be spending time in ‘baby and me’ aerobic classes and buying maternity clothes.

And finally, how will our relationship with the intended parents evolve? Without sliding down into sitcom cliches, the IPs that our agency matched us with wouldn’t likely be cover subjects on Rockwell’s Saturday Evening Post. 

And there’s more, so much more. As I say in the tagline of this blog: This is a story that just has to be written. So much to discover and discuss. And so that’s exactly what I’m doing.

GuestWomb is about the journey our family, the IPs and many others are taking. Plus a few features, interesting information and other observations that may or may not be tasteful.
That’s your call.

If fact, a lot of it is your call now. I invite you to stay tuned. Put this blog in your bookmarks. The web address is: www.guestwomb.com. You might want to start at the very bottom of the blog to meet the entire cast of characters.

What’s the best way to stay informed? You can click on the link to the right side of the page and subscribe to receive email updates. Every time I come up with witty, pithy or poignant post you’ll receive a brief email announcement. And if it’s just plain crap that I’m scribbling down? Well, you’ll get notified about that too.

Please feel free to share this page and link with others. As my first serious writing attempt in many years, I welcome comments and critiques. I’m not expecting that everyone involved in this story is going to enjoy each and every post. (I’ll just issue a blanket “Sorry” to my and Michelle’s Moms right here and now).

Just a few posts in I’m discovering that blogging isn’t quite as easy as it looks. So please help me to improve. Tell me what you like. What you don’t like. Feedback is solicited and appreciated.

And away we go.

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7 Responses to “The Journey Starts Right Here”

  1. Claire Donohue Says:

    Steven

    As a woman who never could have a child and surrounded by many who can, did, didn’t, can’t and will, I find it a fascinating topic and am interested in your experience. I’m sure you read the NYTimes magazine story recounting the columnist’s experience with a surrogate — unbelievable!! I look forward to following your journey.

    Jack’s daughter, Amy, is co-chair of an event Help Us Adopt which seeks to help people with the tremendously high costs involved in adopting (American babies). Why??? I’m betting that by the time you complete this experience you’ll think you live in a parallel universe.

    Claire

  2. Steve Bogner Says:

    Unique and selfless. My one concern is the age of the IPs. As a father of 2 children, in their early 30’s, I’ve seen first hand that parents need to be around for a while.

  3. leslie Says:

    an amazing gift ! congratulations 🙂

  4. Andre C Says:

    You are a man of many mysteries. And apparently so is Michelle. Well, she’s a woman of course, and a good thing, too. Wow. I don’t have too many coherent things to say about this at the moment, but I had to post to wish you the best of luck and my God, this is a pretty colossal decision. Very brave. Very noble. Wow.

  5. Sara Says:

    Great Job! Sounds like you have an amazing family! Your youngest daughter has the same picture as me, I wonder why? 😉

  6. Amanda Says:

    It will be so interesting to follow your story from a surrogate husbands point of view! I too am a Gestational Surrogate, this is my 3rd journey I’m entering. You can follow my blog at
    http://growingfamiliessurrogacystyle.blogspot.com/
    as well there is a link to my previous journey there. It’s Canadian so it’s a bit different, but still, fun to follow along.

    I have added you to my blog list as well, will be great to read up on your thoughts!

  7. Sue Says:

    Need a shot Michelle??? Very proud to of been a part of this!!!

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