Tuesday, January 31, 2012

some news

January 31, 2012

We got some news. Our donor developed a cyst and once that is treated the oocyte stimulation can begin. Good fun for her :(

Quick Review of our Timeline so far:
April 2011---Decided to pursue surrogacy aggressively
May 2011--selected clinic in India and flew there for "donation"
July 2011--First retrieval and transfer. Negative.
September 2011--Second transfer (frozen embrys). Negative.
November 2011--Second retrieval/Third transfer (fresh). Negative
January 2012--Second Trip to India for donation when I decided my previous deposit was no good because I was going insane.
Feb 2012--Expected Third retrieval/Fourth transfer. Two Surrogates this time.

More details on process later but I know it always helps to see process laid out.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Getting to the Bottom of Things

January 30, 2012

I’ve just been trying to pin down the dates for the next scheduled egg retrieval and transfer from the clinic we are using. We have been using the same Indian egg donor and are on our fourth transfer. The dates have changed several times now; originally scheduled for late December, the process has been pushed back to late February. I’ve read enough blogs and talked to enough folks going thru this to know this happens all the time, whether you do IVF in the US or abroad. The frustrating part is figuring out the source of the delay. Which brings me to the single biggest complaint people have about surrogacy in India—poor communication.

Having a partner from the UK (Mr. M is from London), I’ve already noticed many of my very-American (and possibly New York) expectations around communication. I expect communication to be direct. I say exactly what I mean (perhaps to a fault). No interpretation and reading-between-the-lines required. I try to leave out as many extraneous words as possible. Mr. Medium instead speaks in the very British manner—passive voice, indirect, and apologetically. When M first moved in we had a serious problem ordering pizza (the foundation of my diet). He would call the pizza store on the corner and say: Excuse me there, would you mind possibly if I could order a margherita? By the time he got to “margherita” (which shockingly is not a pizza with tomato and fresh mozzarella) they had hung up in confusion. I would then call and say: I want to do a plain pie? And all would be right.

The expectation of directness is even more important for me in anything that involves money, and of course most important of all, with having a child. I’ve noticed, and had this confirmed thru reading many other blogs, that communication with Indian clinics often feels “off.” Explanations are often vague. They are perhaps too good at excluding extraneous information. While my friends doing surrogacy in the US get lots of info at every IVF procedure and transfer: # of eggs retrieved, conditions of donor, # of embryos, each properly graded, # transferred fresh vs. frozen, I usually get a simple: procedure took place and two weeks later: pregnancy test was a negative. Sometimes things don’t add up. One person at the clinic says one thing and another says exactly the opposite. I know some clinics are a bit better than others but to keep myself sane I’ve developed a list of rules that I follow (can you say anal neurotic?) which help keep me sane.

1.     I keep communication to a minimum. I understand that by spending significantly less money overseas I will have to forgo all that data that my friends who are doing surrogacy domestically enjoy. When I tell people that we had a negative again and they ask how many frozen embryos do you have left, I just shrug and feel like a moron.
2.     I try to remember that I already made the decision to go with this clinic. They are not trying to sucker me or steal my money. We share a common goal: getting me a baby. After all, this is the best publicity of all.
3.     The only information I really need, that I can’t compromise on, is whether we are pregnant or not and if we do get pregnant, approximately when are we due (I’ve heard stories about shifting dates on this too).
4.     I make sure I remain polite and respectful in all my communications with them. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012


January 29, 2012

I’m a few days back from India and have decided to document this crazy journey for all to see. I’m so glad I managed to work the word “journey” into the first sentence; it seems to be a very important word when talking about surrogacy. Everyone I’ve met or talked to so far has wished my partner Mr. Medium (I can’t quite call him Mr. Big—but I’m feeling too Carrie Bradshaw to pass up the reference) and myself good luck on our journey. I don’t know why “journey” is the right word, it doesn’t quite connote the frustration of the process, unless they mean journey into a land where one must walk in waist-deep mud while birds do their business on you. In other words, journey is way too gentle a term.

But, no bitterness here. The end will be worth it. Mr. Medium and I have been trying to conceive a baby (well, actually, a clinic in India has been trying to conceive a baby) for the past 10 months with no luck so far. It’s been rough and I’m pretty anal/neurotic (I’m a New York Jew—you don’t get more neurotic than that) so I thought why not just record it all. So, what you’ll read here is the whole story: from the surrogacy process itself--dealing with a very “Indian” sense of what communication involves and all those other cross-cultural minefields--figuring out how to pay for this whole thing, especially when Mr. Medium does not like to spend money and just all the narishkeit that comes up when two gays try to explain to their families that they are going to India to make a baby (e.g. we heard a lot of “do you know what a big responsibility it is to have a baby?”—I wonder if many straight couples get this as often?). This is our journey to make a gay-bie (or hopefully gay-bies) and I look forward to sharing it.