avoidance  n 1. the act of keeping away from or preventing from happening.

Lord knows: These last few months have been full of so many surprises. Enough to last a lifetime or 4. But last week, here came a new one:

 I couldn’t bring myself to open up my laptop and work on GuestWomb.  After months and months of setting aside the hours for thinking and writing…suddenly there wasn’t room in my day. Not even 15 minutes.

 God knows it’s been a crazy busy time, and that was a legitimate excuse. And when those rationalizations ran short, I found a dozen other things to do.

 And wouldn’t you know this would come about just at the time things are getting REALLY interesting. We’re about four weeks away from the end of this voyage. I should be spending MORE time on the keyboard documenting the home stretch, not less…or none.

This little episode I’m experience only deepens my appreciation of the TRUE writers out there in the world. The guys and gals who toil in their 9-to-5 jobs and yet always find time for that blog entry, or another page in the great American novel to be. I admire their discipline and drive. Their need to express themselves.

I’m not in their class. Not by a longshot. But it’s something to aim for.

And here’s hoping that this post will break the ice.

 

I knew this journey was going to be full of surprises. But here’s one that I really didn’t expect: I’ve found a new guilty pleasure.

It’s keeping score of the blog. In other words, watching the trickle of folks come and go into the site. This blog is created in WordPress and they’ve got a pretty nifty dashboard that lets me see all kinds of stats and numbers. I go up there 3-4 times a day to view the scoreboard.

Which is pretty silly because the traffic is more like a two lane dirt road in the middle of Nevada than a street scene in midtown Manhattan. But it’s slowly growing.

The charts go from just a couple of people wandering in. Then some more. And a few more. And now it’s a pretty steady stream everyday. My traffic. My audience. And it’s nice to know that my words are becoming a part of a few people’s day.

Most of the people who come upon this place are because of my participation in others’ blogs, adding comments or messages with my web link. But more than a few have literally stumbled upon this place by doing Google searches. WordPress actually records what search term people are using to click into GuestWomb. So this abridged list below are actual search terms from Google that brought people to my site:

  • Guest Womb. GuestWomb. Guestwomb.com Yep. This must be my Mom, forgetting the name of the site.
  • Gestational Surrogacy. Surrogacy. Sure, all those make sense.
  • Tila Tequilla. Tila Pregnant. Tila Tequilla Smoking Yeah, those Tila updates have been popular.
  • Embarrassing Facebook Pictures. Hm.
  • Mexican Mowing Lawn. What?
  • Dallas Cowboy cheerleader, courtney
  • Surrogacy Horror Stories. Horror Stories of Surrogacy. Well, hopefully not.
  • Funny Man Mowing Grass Images.
  • Electromicroscope.
  • “Bobs Mail Order” sample. Scratching head.
  • Baseball Throwing Yips
  • It is illegal to paint sparrows to sell. I should hope so.
  • Michigan law wife’s hair. Uh, ok. I hope they found what they needed on GuestWomb.
  • Bear stained glass.
  • Scariest Roller Coaster. Well, maybe.
  • Lollipops banned in washington state
  • Oldest Dallas cowboys cheerleader girl. Would that be Courtney?
  • Virginia law tickle woman
  • Pimp suit
  • Paris Hilton baby photo. Oh please God no.
  • Misdeeds. You’ve come to the right place.
  • Ted Kaczynski timeline.
  • Illegal fishbowl on bus

And I’m not making this up:

  • Baby pic with big dick.

Stealing a line from a famous internet author:

Yep, these are my readers.


The fact of the matter is — we can see the finish line. Yeah, it’s still 13 weeks off, but the days are flying by. (Well, they are for me. Michelle might have a slightly different take).

I’ve always been the kind of person who looks downstream, straining to see what’s around the next bend. Is it rapids? Is it a long slow shallow. Or is that faint yet growing roar going to Niagra Falls!

My eyes stray to the horizon not because I’m bored or unhappy with where I’m at. It’s usually just the opposite, as it is now. Michelle’s journey has been rewarding in a surprising number of ways and we’ve focused on making the most of this challenge. Dare I say I’ll be sad when it’s over? Maybe.

No, I just like to know what’s next — and what are my options?  I’m a world-class ‘muller’, and you can usually find me sifting dozens of things over in my noggin in the background.

In fact, let’s take a current inventory of the things that are churning in the sub-routines of my mind while most of my brain is engaged elsewhere:

I know I can lose that 25 lbs. and do an old guys basketball league next fall….like I’ve vowed to do the last 10 years. (Back when it was 10 lbs. and it was a not-so-old league).

If I move my spatula fast enough, could I really make scrambled eggs on the BBQ?

That useless dog. Why can’t I train him to run out and get the newspaper in the morning? Yeah, if the paper came wrapped in bacon.

And why are all my subconscious thoughts revolving around FOOD in some way? Stupid company weight loss challenge.

In fact about the only non-food related thought crossed my mind lately is this: What come after GuestWomb.com? When all the contracting-pushing-beathing-screaming-it’s-a-baby-boy-crying is all through…. what’s next?

Do I really try to package this amazing story into a book? Backfill it with more content from the IPs — which we haven’t explored in any detail here. Add back in all the really juicy content that would make a book sales zoom. (WAS TIGER WOODS REALLY THE FATHER?!?!) Find an editor who could hold his/her nose and really whip it into shape? And then trawl for a publisher who might want to take a risk on a promising, not so young writer?

Or am I content to simply leave this wonderful tale on this cyber platform, add any postscripts this summer that might give it closer and then just let it float in the ether.

The one thing I’m sure won’t happen after GuestWomb — to become a fulltime surrogacy commentator. I’ve encountered some simply amazing people in the blogosphere who have made surrogacy issues practically their life’s work. My hat is off to them — they’re performing a great service to those wanting to explore this world. But when this kid is safely launched into the world….I’m done with this topic.

As you can tell on your first glance at GuestWomb, this blog is ANYTHING but a ‘how-to’ guide to this journey. It’s much more of a “OH MY FUCKING GOD WHAT HAS SHE GONE AND DONE PLEASE HELP ME” kind of narrative.

Or will THIS blog spur me on to write something that doesn’t involve Michelle’s private parts. Maybe even blogs that go something like this.

I don’t know just yet. But if you see a faraway look in my eyes during a meeting — or heaven forbid during tomorrow morning’s rush hour — you’ll know that I’ll be thinking about the possibilities.

Or pondering this eternal question:

What doesn’t go well with bacon?


How in the world did I manage to include this picture in a blog about my pregnant wife? Amazing!

My wife is fond of saying that men are simply incapable of multi-tasking. And of course I always rise up to this challenge against my entire gender by dismissing her claim as baseless.

“That’s bunk,” I say, “I know plenty of men like me who can watch a football game on TV, text their friends on their cell phone, call to order pizza on the land line, and check their fantasy football stats on ESPN.”

“OK,” she says. “How about doing laundry while dinner is cooking, overseeing the kids’ homework and talking to my Mom on my bluetooth headset? OH, and be 5 months pregnant with a child for another couple.”

“Um…….,” I quicklycounter. “I can also think about the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders at the same time, too.”

OK, she’s got me there. Especially about that pregnancy part.

So it’s true that I may be multi tasking challenged, especially when it comes to this blog. While I”ve been busy living life to the fullest for the past few weeks, it’s been damned hard to find the time to write about all that living.

I need to learn what the other 800 million bloggers out there seem to have learned — to find a balance between:

#1 Doing.
#2 Thinking about what we’ve been doing.
#3 Recording the product of #1 and #2 for posterity.

Easier said than done on a daily — or even weekly — basis. I’m thinking that I’m going to be a streaky kind of blogger. Punching out a few posts now and then. Then once in a blue moon: Exploding with numerous posts during those all-too-rare moments when creativity intersects with a high energy level, combined with five spare minutes where I can find time to put fingers on keyboard.

And with the football season sadly coming to an end, maybe those times will occur more frequently.

And yet I am pretty sure I can both blog AND think about the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders.


OK, back to the silliness.

Every so often, while scribbling some new post for GuestWomb, I pause to reflect and ponder:

Why in the hell am I blogging the play-by-play action going on inside Michelle’s internal organs?

This is the next in a series of posts offering a few of the  infinite number of subjects, themes and ideas I could be devoting my valuable keystrokes to. Here are just a few prospects:  

Tiger Tales — Targeted towards the uber rich and high profile who limo among us, ghost-written for a certain world famous golfer,

dispensing hard earned lessons and advice for guys trying to keep it very discreet. Sample posts include:

  • FOREwarned! — Golf Clubs CAN be weapons.
  • Is She Hotter Than Your Wife’s Temper? — Only you can make that call.
  • Cell Phones = Smoking Guns — Her divorce lawyer’s best tool.  
  • Look out, Trojan Man — NOW what can I endorse?

Wrap/Don’t Wrap — a handy checklist for clumsy gift givers who need help confronting that timeless holiday question: Do I really need to wrestle with too-sticky tape, too-sharp scissors and wrinkled ripped paper? Or can I just put in a garbage sack and call it good for that Holiday gift? 

  • Rotweiler — Do not wrap. Under any circumstances.
  • Oven Mitts, Vaccum Cleaner Bags, Toilet Brush — Wrap with yellow pages starting with first listing of: Divorce Lawyer.
  • Private Carribean Island — Wrap with sheets ofuncut $100 bills from the US Treasury, made from Brazilian rain forest trees.
  • .25 ct. Diamond Engagement  — Wrap with newspaper circular from Walmart, K-Mart, or any other store that ends in -Mart.
  • 10 ct. Diamond Engagement Ring — Wrap with Pre-Nup agreement.
  • Omaha Steaks Filet Mignon — Wrap in Bearnaise Sauce and bacon.  Keep for self.

Bubba’s Guide to the Holidays– Forget the Griswolds or the guys doing those synchronized light shows that show up on YouTube. This is the real guy’s guide to celebrating the season:

Start with your outdoor decorations:

Then finish your decorating inside the house.

Pick out that favorite Christmas Sweater….

And how abour a little music to set the mood?


The last time you’ll see their pictures in the blog.

So now everybody knows. About Michelle’s very special project. And about my part in this journey, the blog.

Even Barb and Michelle, the IPs.

Yes, they’ve given me permission to use their first names in the blog.  So while referring to them as Madonna and Beyonce might have a great way to drive traffic to the blog, I’m happy to leave those pseudonyms behind.  

It was never my intention for Barb and Michelle to be the last to know. It just kind of played out that way. My Michelle (Hmmm two Michelle’s will be difficult to keep separate in this story but I’ll do my best) and I talked at length about when and how to discuss Guestwomb.com with them. When the time was right, I had planned to take a day off work, ask them out to lunch, and spend a quiet afternoon exploring the subject. I would get the chance to really explain my thinking, outlining my reasons and motivations for telling the tale.

We decided to broach the subject AFTER it was official — that Michelle was pregnant and it was game on.  When confirmation came from M’s doctor we were ready to have ‘that talk’. And then events got in the way. I had a business/family trip to the west coast. Michelle’s business had a surge of rush orders and her time was limited.

On top of that — Barb and Michelle had a huge project on their hands. In the space of just a few weeks, they sold their home….and bought another…and moved!  Their free time was precious, and so they remained in the dark.

Over the last few weeks, as I plugged away on Guestwomb.com entries, had the site and logo designed, and scheduled a launch date…I was getting anxious. I wanted them in on MY part of the secret. To be supportive and understanding. Or at the very least, not hating it!

As I worked on the blog late at night, my mind would begin to conjur up worst case scenarios. What if they didn’t like it? What if they hated the idea of going public with our story? What if they think I’m trying to exploit this situation for my own gain?

It was critical that the IPs were in favor of Guestwomb — much more important than I ever admitted to my Michelle. If Barb and Michelle had been opposed to the blog…..if they had not understood our reasons for sharing this story…..well, I doubt very much you’d be reading this right now.

I always knew I didn’t absolutely NEED them to approve or contribute to this journal. I could legally abide by our contract by having them remain as Beyonce and Madonna. I could soldier on, telling a one-sided story and omiting anything that involved the IPs aside from the absolute minimum. And I was preparing myself for the possibility. But not really.

Because if I didn’t have their support — I would have ended this blog right then and there. Over and out. Because the four of us have quickly progressed from simple Carrier and IP. And I wouldn’t even call what we have together as mere friendship. It’s beyond that as well.

It’s a bond that’s strong today and growing stronger every day. We feel privileged to be in their lives and to play such a part in growing their family. And I know they have similar feelings towards us.

I wouldn’t have dared let Guestwomb.com get in the way of what promises to be a special kind of relationship. If they had any concerns or doubts…..this website would be blank.

Finally I just couldn’t take the uncertainty any more. It was time to tell all. I spent the better part of three nights constructing a lengthy, detailed email, laying out all my reasons for wanting to play the part of scribe in this unique story. I ended it with the link to the intro page that I had sent out to family and friends, and invited them to explore it all.

After hitting the ‘send’ button I spent a long, agonizing day watching my email account for a response. I had a pretty tough time concentrating at work, wondering what Barb and Michelle thought of my humble blog. Many more worst case scenarios ran through my mind.

Finally that evening, the message I was hoping for arrived. They got it. They understood all of the ‘why’s behind this journal. I felt a huge sense of relief and joy. 

Going forward, Barb and Michelle might make ‘appearances’ in this blog. Or not — it’s their call. I’ve asked them to contribute as much or as little as they want. For right now, they’re happy about their portrayal in these ‘pages’ to date. And they’ll keep an open mind about how much they’re willing to share — through me — of their story. I can tell you they’ve built an amazing life together, full of love and warmth, and I hope I have the opportunity to tell you all about them.

It’s a MUCH better story than Madonna and Beyonce, believe me.


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After inviting a tiny piece of the planet to learn about our little secret, I took a much-needed break from the blog.

The last couple of weeks has reminded me of buying our first house. Before we could even take a deep breath and relax…we were eager to show it off to friends and family.  Sure, lets add some more stress on top of stress. A lot of cleaning, some touch up paint, making sure that everything looks just right. And then you throw open the doors and invite everybody in.

And you wonder what people think. Did they really like the place? Were they just being polite? Even more stress on top of stress.

I’m not sure what kind of reaction I was looking for. A round of applause? A huge influx of traffic to the site? Angry emails from pissed off family members? A call from Barack Obama?

Well I got most of the above. Alas, the President was unavailable; must have been playing a lot of pick up hoop games lately.

But the comments were nice. Surprisingly so and I’m thankful to those of you who have gone out of their way to discuss the blog with me. And a huge thank you to the dozens that have already subscribed to it! I hope I’ll be able to continue to earn your attention, and to entertain and educate.

Speaking of educate: that’s what we’ve been doing with our own families in the past week. I burned through a cell phone battery trying to explain to my Mom why it was important to share the news. Electronic publishing…blogs…RSS feeds…it’s not part of her world. And neither is an open discussion of the subject of surrogacy. I think that’s what bothers my parents the most. It’s not that they object to what Michelle is doing. It’s our willingness to let other people in and experience this with us via GuestWomb. It’s a completely foreign concept to them, and it’s probably an area where we’ll agree to disagree.

As for Michelle’s family, well I’ve certainly given them something for them all to talk about! I drew some pretty sharp protests from a couple of them who insisted they did not share what I perceived to be a family-held view — she’s doing it for the $$. Lesson learned, I made some bad assumptions and edits have been made.

And it triggered a lot of phone calls and emails, back and forth between Michelle and the rest of her family. And frankly, I’m glad. Not that I may have caused some hurt feelings — that’s not my intent. But that it allowed Michelle yet another opportunity to explain the ‘why’ in her decision.

This flurry of communication even extended to our IPs. Michelle shared some of her family’s lack of understanding about her motives. And B and M responded with a moving, emotion-laden note for Michelle to send back to her family.

Will her family ever really get it? Will my own family feel comfortable with sharing this amazing journey with the rest of the world?

Will Obama ever bookmark this blog?

Stay tuned, please.

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