Saturday, June 30, 2012

Q & A

So many questions. So many answers. I think I've been driving Meg and Margarida crazy with all my emails but I guess they must be used to it.

Here are some of my Q & A, maybe it will help some of you in the process of becoming IPs. It's by no means comprehensive but maybe it will help. Answers are paraphrased.

Do you have references in the US?
While they won't give you a reference, they will send your contact info out with your permission. They asked 4 IPs/Ps and all 4 got back to us providing great feedback.

US companies have 2-hour meetings for face-to-face and to learn about the process. Can we do this with SCI?
No. SCI does not offer a 2-hour Skype call but you can Skype with Meg if you have any questions.

Do you require any type of psychological exam or report on our egg donor?  In the US, surrogacy agencies require we have our egg donor go through a psych evaluation and they require a written report.  Is anything required in that regard?
if you are going through a donor agency, this is generally done by the agency. If this is a private arrangement, then it is up to you as to whether there is a psych evalation. This is preferable, but not essential as this is being treated as a self cycle.

Can extra embryos be shipped back to the US?
Yes, it's about $3,000

How long is our donor in Delhi for?
If cycle is started at home, about 10 days.
If cycle is started in Delhi, about 16-17 days.
(where cycle means medical supervision and meds)

Can my husband and I split the eggs and have embryos created for each of us?

Can we place one of each embryo in the same surrogate?
No. [I didn't like this answer]

Do we both need to travel to India to, um, make a deposit, or can we freeze and ship the swimmers?
You can freeze and send. You'll want to get testing done to ensure they will freeze/thaw well.

My friend is going to be in Delhi for work, can he visit SCI and staff?
Yes, we can make an appointment for him.

Does the hospital offer circumcision?
Yes they do, but you need to request this as it is not the norm.
[hmmm... I think I want someone overly experienced to do this!]

Should I be trying to blog on an iPad?
No, it's a lot of extra work but I'm too lazy to get out of bed and grab my laptop. Plus I can't add pictures! Now it's just long and boring.

Ok so that last one wasn't sent to SCI.

Turning to Allen, lying next to me coughing and sick: "Hey babe what was the name of the shrinky dink we met with? And if you get me sick I'm going to kill you.". He replies "Dr Elaine Gordon. *cough* I love you.". "Love you too, babe. Don't breathe on me."

So we also met with Dr. Gordon this past Thursday. She was highly recommended by agencies here in Los Angeles. When going through a US agency they require you meet with a psychologist. We figured it couldn't hurt.

We talked about whose swimmers go first; what to say if people ask whose swimmer won; the support of our family and friends; the importance of meeting the surrogate for ourselves and for the story for our kid(s); parental roles; the fears of India; and more. It was a great hour meeting. We'll also be sending out friend/egg donor to her for a session. I don't think the meeting was all that necessary for us, and we don't need a second one, but I'm glad we did it.

Lastly, just a big thank you to those keeping blogs and posting comments on ours. We greatly appreciate your honesty and each post helps us learn more about the process and feelings involved.

Now to go back to nursing my sick husband. I better not be blogging next week that i'm sick...

Friday, June 22, 2012

Flying Feathers

Yesterday we met with Stuart, the owner of Growing Generations.  Their office was up on the 13th floor of a high rise on Wilshire.  Ironically the same high rise where I got my first full time job out of college with [At the time it was #2 to  It was also the first friendship I formed with a gay man, my boss, Ritch.  I wasn't out of the closet to anyone, or myself, and seeing him in a healthy long term same-sex relationship was comforting and probably the start of my very long coming out process.  Anyway back to Growing Generations...]

We instantly clicked with Stuart and spent 1.5 hours discussing the ins and outs of surrogacy through his agency and making small talk about common interests, kids, etc.  He briefly mentioned a falcon that regularly devours birds near the windows.  "You don't always see him," he said, "but you'll see feathers floating about."

Growing Generations really has their act together with incorporating technology to assist them (and IP's) with the entire process.  We were also impressed with the extent of research done on the surrogates.

Just as we were about to leave and enjoying the view, there it was.  Feathers.  Floating about.  Full falcon.  Poor bird.

We had about 2 hours to kill before our monthly facilitator meeting -- we both facilitate at the LA Gay & Lesbian Center.  So of course we went shopping and headed to the Beverly Center.  I'm going to go broke when we have kids buying every adorable outfit.  I know they grow out of them quickly.  I know they get stained with spit up and poo.  But I don't care.  Plus Allen and I have a serious sneaker problem.  We're like the Imelda Marcos of sneakers.  This baby is going to be born with a pair of Puma's on their feet.

Sneaker Chart.  Made with love, for me, by Allen.
This is just part of my collection.

And he picture labeled every box!
Best. Birthday Present. Ever.

While shopping and ogling baby clothes, we talked about surrogacy in the US vs India.  Do we spend the money and experience it here?  Do we save the money for a house and backyard to raise our family in and do it in India?  There were many other questions, pros, and cons, listed but that's probably good for another post.

Plus we're supposed to meet with Circle Surrogacy next week.  I think we may cancel the appointment.  

Meanwhile I can't sleep and that's just from thinking about the process!  I'm going to be a wreck once we sign papers.

I think I'll go online and buy a pair of sneakers...

Friday, June 15, 2012

1 Down, 2 More to Go

In our quest to become parents we're looking into and researching 3 U.S.-based surrogacy providers (plus SCI in India, but since we can't meet them in person we've got 2 more to go...)

Yesterday we met with the first one: CSP in Encino, CA. CSP - The Center for Surrogate Parenting - provided us with a four hour free introduction to creating a family. We met with Perla, who would be a direct contact. We also met with Jessica, who would handle the money side of things, Bill the founder, Andrew an attorney, and Karen the co-owner.

Everyone at CSP was great but we've still got Growing Generations next week and then Circle Surrogacy the week after that. Plus the on going research of SCI. The plan is to sign with someone and start out journey to parenthood in July.

Last night we were also invited over to Andy and Mike's, a pair of awesome Dad's with four (4!) kids. [back story: We met Andy a couple weeks back at the LA Gay and Lesbian Center during a "Create a Family" workshop. Andy was the rep for Circle and learning we lived a few blocks from each other invited us over to meet his hubby and the kids.]

I'm always nervous meeting new people - what if they don't like us? What if I yawn? What if I burp, or worse fart! And so on. The evening couldn't have gone better. Andy and Mike were gracious hosts and their kids were adorable, it almost made it seem like we should have 4 -- almost. Allen and I will be seeing them again for our Circle Surrogacy meeting in two weeks along with the owner of Circle, John. But we agreed, whether or not we use Circle we hope we can become friends with Andy, Mike, and their amazing family (the twins even hugged us goodbye, so cute!)

Allen and I then headed to dinner where our conversations now consist only of: "Should we spend the money for surrogacy in the US or save a ton and go to India?" "Do we try for twins? OMG twins! Aaawwwe twins!" "Boy(s)? Girl(s)? Healthy!!!" "Names?" and so on...

Friday, June 1, 2012

Why Love At First Wink?

Love At First Wink has a few meanings for us:

  • It's how we met nearly 4 years ago.  It was love at first wink.  I sent a "wink" to Allen through and (long story short) we met, dated, moved in together, got married, and now we're looking to start our family.  
  • It was the name of our campaign for marriage equality.  More on that here:
  • It's how we know we are going to feel the second we lay eyes on our future little one(s)