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I’m not sure what Michelle was really expecting when it came to the intended parents. Who did she picture? A young couple struggling to conceive a child for years and finally taking another route? Perhaps an older couple who had beat back a challenge such as cancer but were left infertile.

They could have white, black, asian, latino or a mix thereof. I know that didn’t matter to Michelle. Perhaps they would be local. Or someone from another state where surrogacy laws are more restrictive.

I’m guessing she didn’t forsee a couple like M and B. And once she did, things only got better.  Here’s Michelle:

It interesting now to recall my first reaction to finding out that the couple wasnt a man and wife, but a wife and wife:

It was a possibility I had been made aware of from the Melissa Brissman Agency early in the process. So I had known may happen and my head was understanding of the possibility. But in my heart I hoped it would not happen.

Why? It’s not a simple explanation. It was nothing against a same sex couple — not in the least. It was more about what I could do. Think of it this way: A same sex couple doesn’t enter into their relationship with the expectaion or even the hope of creating their own children. Of course they can adapt and have the same opportunities of a family unit, but it is not a pure biological connection.

But a man and wife…at least many of them…become joined with the expectation of creating a family together, their own flesh and blood extended.

I imagined myself working with a man and wife who had experienced years of frustration and sadness, trying so hard to conceive. And being in the position of preserving their chance for children of their own.

I suppose I was being naive thinking that this was the most usual call for surrogates, especially in this day and age. 

And then, very soon after I had been accepted into this program I got a call from the Brissman agency informing me that they found a couple for me. I was stunned, because this had happened so soon.  I guess I thought that this process would take months not days.

The agency was so insistant that this couple was most deserving because they had worked with them not once but twice before and knew them very well.

And then of course they told me about B and M. I had to go forward and read the two page letter of introduction…..

This couple has a beautiful family, were hard working professionals who deserved this last chance to be parents once again.

Right then and there I thought: Who was I to be placing my own judgement on the why’s and the what-for’s upon their decision. And more importantly, who was I to judge who should and shouldn’t have the chance to have another child. 

So the agency asked: Did I want to go forward with a phone interview with B and M?

Yes, of course…..if only to see how we would hit it off. And to keep an open mind.

We did and slowly moved forward. We exchanged emails, letters and phone calls. Openly talking through everything that we would go through together as a team. We just took this day by day, very slowly, crossing every t and dotting every i. Just to be sure.

Well now… I couldn’t imagine doing this for anyone else but B and M. And not just because of the two lovely people they are.

No, it has everything to do with feeling pressure. After learning — and experiencing so much — I didn’t realize the kind of expectations that would be placed on me. Imagine if I was carrying the only two embryos that could be produced by this desperate couple that I described above. What if, God forbids, something goes wrong? I would be absolutely devastated and feel so responsible.

Now it’s not to mean I don’t feel responsibility for carrying B and M’s baby(s). But as I’ve learned, they’ve already experienced the joy of having children themselves. If the worst happens and something happens with this pregnancy, of course we would all be sad. But I wouldn’t feel as if I’ve ruined their hopes and dreams for children.


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There are two more people I need to introduce before we go much farther. That’s the IPs — Intended Parents. They’re the reason we’ve arrived at this place and time: early September, just days away from Michelle begin her contractual duties of hosting a new life.

I’d like to tell you their names, where they live, what they do, all about their families, and much more. But I can’t — at least not yet. Because in the contract we’ve signed, there’s a specific clause the prohibits us from divulging this information. We can tell our families, friends, etc. But not to the press, and I’m taking that to include a public blog. It’s a standard term in these contracts, and we’ll abide by it if needed.

But I hope that won’t have to be the case. As soon as Michelle is confirmed as pregnant — in a few weeks if all goes well —  I’m going to ask their permission to use their identities, their names…all of it. Because their story adds a whole other dimension to this still evolving tale.

It was pretty early in the process that we were tenatively matched with this couple. Things progressed quickly after Michelle made first contact with the surrogacy attorney. They had her fill out reams of paperwork, and then interviewed her over the phone. Obviously she passed through the first few rounds of the application process because it was within the first three weeks that the agency called Michelle back. They told her they had found a couple who might be right for her.

Their names were B— and M——-. I can’t list them exactly of course. But to clue you in on why this journey took such a sudden turn to the left, I’ll give them some code names. Let’s now refer to them as:

Beyonce. and Madonna. 

That’s right, two women. A gay couple. The L word.

But most importantly: Two Mommies-to-be.

In the words of the now departed Paul Harvey:

And you know…..the rest of the story….

Which is yet another reason why this is the story that just had to be told!


Insulin syringes are marked in insulin "u...
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There’s nothing quite like the sight of a needle — on a daily basis no less — to bring out honest and clarity.

From the mind of the Blog Hereone:

This past week I have been having more than a few second thoughts. Right about now I’m in need of some positive encouragement to keep me focused on what I need to do..

I’ve been scanning the internet, looking for others who are going through the same process has anything good to say. Something I can use as encouragement. So I start reading another would-be surrogate’s story about her entire journey, all drugs, what she’s feeling and more. 

And great — Now I feel even more scared than before.

What if this doesn’t work out? What if my body isn’t responding to this cocktail of drugs I’m jamming into myself? What all this work was for nothing?

This is what I lie awake thinking about as we get farther down the line. I dont want to go there. In fact, I’m a very positive person and these kinds of feelings of doubts really aren’t me. Maybe it’s the drugs surging me through. Lately I’ve been blaming a lot of stuff on the drugs!

But these are more than just nervous thoughts going through my head. It’s still very much a possability that despite all the tests, doctor’s opinions….everything… it could happen. I could still fail on this very special mission.

Worry, worry, worry. I worry about who’s going to give me my shots when they become daily. That happens in the very near future, maybe even sometime this week. I know I can’t give them to myself. We’re talking big needles.

My husband becomes weak in the knees at the mere thought of having the drugs in the house. (EDITOR — WHAT THE HELL!?!?!)

So I leave this task up to my new friend, a nurse I met while accompanying Emma on a choir trip to England, and the occassional drive by injection by another nurse in my primary Doctor’s office.

But what if neither one are availablbe? My options are pretty limited. I started thinking, ‘What about our vet, who is j ust down the street’? Or maybe posting a Craigslist ad, reading something like: “Good with needles?  Searching for someone to stick me on a daily basis…..”

Betcha I would get plenty of responses. But somehow I dont think that I would find what I was looking for.

To help me deal with all these swirling doubts and second thoughts, I finally thought abot going to the source. She’s partly the reason why we’re even here. Plus she’s actually been through this process three time herself. Not as a surrogate but to bear her own children. I’m talking about my intended parent.

I called her last night and I’m so glad I did. All is right again with the world and I have a renewed sense of why I am doing this, and for whom.

I can do this! I will make this happen.

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surrogate

Saying it out loud helps. Or writing it down, like right now. Because sometimes I can’t even believe it still.

My wife Michelle is going to have a baby. But the baby isn’t mine. Or hers.

Confused yet?

Welcome to my life, since the beginning of this year when we viewed one Sunday morning telecast. A short, 7 minute broadcast that put into motion an amazing adventure for Michelle, myself, our family and dozens of others.

So what’s GuestWomb all about? As the title of this blog states, my 40-something wife has decided to become a Gestational Surrogate. What does that mean, exactly?

Well, Michelle has applied for, tested through and been chosen as a gestational carrier, using her body to grow a child.

It’s been a long process for her to get to this point, full of paperwork, interviews, doctor visits, shots, lots more shots. And careful thought. But she’s cleared every hurdle that’s been put in front of her.

This fall she’s going to be implanted with a previously frozen embryo or two. It’s not her eggs. Or anything from me, either. In fact, she is simply a baby garage as it were for an anxious and infertile couple unable to conceive their own child.

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

A lot it is going to be a ‘hurry up and wait’ scenario, as Michelle goes about her daily life, coping with kids, family, her growing home-based busienss. Oh, and this huge bag of baby hanging off her front.

Until the day of the blessed event. Going into labor. Push, push…puuuuush. Crying baby. Crying parents. And the baby is handed over to the deleriously joyful couple. They hug Michelle, shake my hand (or punch me if they read this blog) and the rent-a-womb has completed its work.

Rent? Oh yes, there’s that little detail. Michelle is being paid handsomely for this 9-month long inconvienece. That’s an issue for us; in fact it’s the one down side in my mind.

That issue is just the tip of an iceburg full of them. Some above the waterline and a lot of them hidden from view right now.

Starting with: What do the kids think? Our two teenage daughters who constitute her successful and happy pregnancies so very long ago. Are they proud of their Mom for an incredibly selfless act? Or things it’s just plain weird and embarassing.

And what of her family? Do they get it, or do they think she’s just in it for the payday? Or my own side of the family for that matter. We barely talk as it is; what is this going to do to our family unity?

How about the fact that she’s….well, no spring chicken? Not many women in their middle 40s are giving birth. Her friends are going to day spas and shopping at the malls, not ‘baby and me’ aerobic classes and buying maternity clothes.

Then there’s the intended parents. What if they aren’t exactly your Norman Rockwell typical portrait of the traditional American family? So much to cover here.

And what about me, your  narrator? What’s going to be running through my mind these next 9 months? Is it just another wacky idea by my slightly crazy wife? Or will I truly admire her for this incredible act of generosity?

And there’s so much more to discuss. From legal and religious issues, to the whole process itself. The issue of infertility and the extreme lengths that people go to in hopes of creating a family is amazing by itself.

Well, stay tuned. Because we’ve got a lot of things to talk about in the next few months.

It should be fun. I promise it will be entertaining.