Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 in Review

I've been struggling with a way to summarize 2011, especially since I was a little lax on the blogging this year. Mom got new hips, then broke one, then got it fixed again. Dad got cancer. M. started a journey, only to decide after a few months it really wasn't for him. I applied for a handful of new jobs, got none, but found a little bit of peace in the one I have. We got on a plane and took a huge trip. I came home and had a bit of an existential freak out (every year needs at least one, right?) We got serious about gestational surrogacy - first working with one agency, now starting with another one. Still no house, still no baby. But I still managed to wear myself out most of the time.

This week, I've slept. A lot. And lounged. And watched movies with M. Well more like a few movies and then a lot of documentaries, animal planet, reality TV and Beavis and Butthead.

It's been awesome.

Sure, I got a few things done in between all of that. But not nearly as much as my ambitious little mind had planned. Oh well, tomorrow's another year.

Which brings me to the point of this post. I borrowed this from Loribeth. You can see her answers here. You can check mine out below. And feel free to play along. Who doesn't like a meme?


1. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Hmm, let's see. Last year I said my plan was:
  • to see myself published
  • to open our home to more people more often
  • to practice more gratitude and patience with my parents and show less anger
  • to run at least 3 half-marathons
Well, one out of 4 isn't bad, right? I haven't been published beyond the usual venues - press releases and newsletters from work - but I have been making more of an effort to get my employer in the news. So, lots on the work front, but that's not really what I meant.

I don't think we had more visitors in 2011 than before.

Half-marathons = 0.

But, I've been working hard with my parents. And believe me it has NOT been easy with one of them.

As for next year, I'm not really trusting my 1-3 record, so I'm not sure if putting more to paper (or screen) will help. Perhaps I'll just work a little harder on these 4.

If we're talking about outcomes, I would love to leave 2012 with a baby, a house and a puppy. BHD. That's our mantra. That's the trinity. Right there.

2. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?

Went to Australia. Spent 14 hours on a plane. Snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef. Put a bid on a house.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

M's sister and my cousin welcomed baby girls into the world. Both this March.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Not that I know IRL, but blog friends suffered some awful losses this year.

5. What countries did you visit?

Australia. We had a layover in New Zealand. Does that count?

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

See #1.

7. What date(s) from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Is it bad if I say none?

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Not disowning my father. Seriously.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not showing my mom the compassion she needed when she needed it most.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Phew. No.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Plane tickets to Australia.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

We were blessed with so much kindness and generosity in Australia, I'm not really sure what we did to deserve it. We knew M's cousin's old roommate had a tent for us to borrow. We didn't know he would also share his cooler, his camping stove and two more containers of items that made this the most luxurious camping we've ever done, oh yes, AND A CAR.

If that wasn't enough, he pointed us towards all of his favorite camping haunts, and his mom's house in beautiful Hervey Bay, where we spent more than a couple nights drinking tea and listening to this bad ass woman from Tasmania who still swims in the ocean on nice days.

Every day brought new conversations, new people to know.

Australia, I heart you. I am sorry for saying a bad thing about you, ever.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

Far right politicians whose tea party antics costs us several hundred dollars while we watched the debt ceiling debates go on and on and the American dollar drop lower and lower and lower. If fucking with money isn't enough, those same politicians also seem keen on sticking their fingers up my vagina and keeping them there to make sure I don't get any funny ideas and you know, think for myself.

14. Where did most of your money go?

See #11

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

See #11

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?

For better or worse, probably this one.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer?

I seem to be holding steady on all of the above.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Running. Cooking at home. Creating quality time with friends. Clearly separating work and free time.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Eating french fries and pizza. Procrastinating.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Like we usually do. Eve with my family. Day with M's.

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?

I am completely smitten with my cousin's baby girl and I never would have called that.
PS - she adores me too.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

We seem to be on a bit of a Top Chef bent. But the new Beavis and Butthead has me loving them all over again. Thanks to Netflix, we've exhausted every episode of every season of Black Adder and The IT Crowd (which I highly recommend to anyone who has ever been responsible for even a remote part of your work's IT. "have you tried turning it on?")

23. Do you hate anyone now that you did not hate this time last year?

As Loribeth aptly put it, hate is a strong word. There are actions and words and behaviors that have turned my stomach, but I've been trying to see beyond them. I'm not always successful, but I've been trying damn hard to keep my temper in check. So no, no one I hate. Disappointed in, yes. Hate, no. Hate takes a lot of energy and effort that could be put to such better uses.

24. What was the best book you read?

The Thorn Birds: A Novel Don't laugh. I didn't read much this year.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

VILIFY. This woman. My god. She rocks my world.

26. What did you want and get?

These bad boys.

27. What did you want and not get?

A baby. A house. A puppy.

28. What was your favourite film of this year?

I honestly cannot think of a film that blew me away this year.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I seriously cannot remember. I am sifting through both my blog and my calendar for clues, which tells me it wasn't terribly memorable. Boo. I turned 37.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Must I state the obvious?

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?

I'm trying to find that balance between professional and edgy. Like a suit with an unexpected shirt underneath or funky necklace peeking out. Or trousers and a basic sweater with some sexy shoes hanging out below.

32. What kept you sane?

Running, which is why I should do more of it.
Blogging, which is why I should do more of it.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Last November's concert rekindled my crush on Greg Dulli, even if he is a little chubbier these days. As for pure, hot fancy - Randy Orton is the only fellow I can envision right now. And that makes me a little embarrassed. So just keep that one to yourselves.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Stirs. Present tense. Any threat to my reproductive rights. Any attack on the people with disabilities that I represent.

35. Who did you miss?

Isa. Jovi. My grandfather (still). My grandmother has been appearing in my dreams all week and I'm just a little unnerved by that.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

Too many to mention. See #12.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.

That you cannot ask apples of an orange tree. I didn't make that up. My acupuncturist gets credit for that one.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

I'm that girl who has a lyric to sing for everything that's going through my mind or happening in front of me. So its hard for me to find one line to sum up this year. I'm going to chew on this one for a while. Let me get back to you.


And just like that, there's only an hour and a half left in this year. I'm setting the computer aside and taking my place next to M on the couch. I think there's some bread pudding and wine calling my name.

Later Gators! Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Holiday To Do List - Status Report

On my work calendar is a glorious strip of pink. That's the code for "I'm off. Don't bug me." In the days between now and 2012 I will be:
  • Backing up 433 blog posts. Thanks for the reminder, Mel. [update: DONE!]
  • Cleaning out 4810 emails from my work inbox. Ridiculous. [well, um, yeah, I haven't gotten very far on that. Down to 4,779. But plan to git busy after I ingest my black eye peas and collard greens tomorrow.]
  • Securing a new surrogacy agency. First consult is today at 11. [oh, guys, good feeling about this. We've been working on our paperwork and new profile all weekend.]
  • Catching up on volunteer tasks and commitments [Done. Kinda. Sent a few emails and tweets at least.]
  • House hunting. Yeah, it's on. [Saw 2 houses on Friday. Both nice, neither killer. The quest continues.]
  • Breaking in my NEW BOOTS [Done and holy shit, kids: with these on, I am almost eye to eye with M. His response: "wow, you're finally as tall as you think you are."]
  • Making pasta [yeah. didn't happen.]
  • Attempting to use our new pressure cooker without damage to self or kitchen. [that one either. I did, however, clean out and reorganize our kitchen pantry. That counts for something, right?]
  • Writing resolutions, well, I'll think about it at least. [still thinking.]
  • Year-end posts. That too. Probably a good idea, but well, 2011 kind of sucked ass (except for that Australia part. That rocked). [Working on it. Got some great ideas from Lavendar Luz and Loribeth. Stay tuned....]
How's about you? Any plans for the final days of 2011?

Happy New Year, everyone! We're settling in for a night indoors. Video games, a new felafel recipe, and a cozy couch are helping us say farewell to this year and ring in the next. Hoping you're all safe and warm and happy.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Glad I Asked!

So it seems that I fall smack in the middle between the 0 and 100.

We (read: I) send out about 40 holiday cards, catered to the recipient and their preferred celebrations. For the most part, we do straight up cards but try to keep them a little funky. Back in the day, when we were conscientious, we would get the UNICEF cards from P*er 1 (that's how I justified the totally unnecessary use of so much paper) but whatever. Those shits are expensive. This year, I saw cards I liked early in the season so I grabbed them. Charity be damned.

Most are initial, lick and send. Some folks get a longer note, especially if we've received one from them or have something to say. Love getting photo cards - they don't seem to sting as much as they have in the past - but not sure if that will ever be our route.

In years past I would force M to at least scribble a line before mailing. But I've gotten pretty good at forgery.

I don't only send to folks who've sent us cards but I do make sure all cards are reciprocated. The list is trimmed periodically for various reasons.

I just can't get into eCards - mostly because I'm always nervous that ones I receive will carry a nasty little worm or virus along with them and destroy my computer and then creep into my work server then I'll get fired and then there will be no cash for next christmas....yeah, I just can't get into eCards.

We hang the cards as we receive them, and I've kept all of the cards that we've gotten since we've moved into our current home. Why, I don't know. It doesn't seem right to toss photos in the trash, and part of me holds on to this dream of recycling some of the best into cool ornaments (because M's uncle's wife does and then uses those as holiday cards and they look darn cool. I always think, oh hey, I could do that. Then again, she has her own high end art/craft store in the midwest. Maybe I'm not in that league....)

So, thank you! Thanks for humoring me and sharing a piece of your holidays with us. How was it?

Ours was, hmm, I don't know. Let me get back to you. Xmas eve with my fam (minus mom and dad. Don't ask. Maybe I'll get into it later) was pretty nice. Actually, really nice. Xmas day with M's fam, started off great, got very shaky, very quickly, and then leveled out. Phew.

Note to self: always, always ALWAYS ask Santa to put a new Manchester City Jersey in M's stocking. No matter what. Because that is the gift that will cure all ails, well, most anyway.

So now, today is boxing day. A day for jammies and tea and playing with gifts that fit (new video game for M, ipad over here (holla!!!!!), trying on and making piles of ones to return (later), making some last minute purchases to make up for the fact that the gifts you gave pale in comparison to the ones you received (see: ipad) and possibly a walk.

I'm sure I could fit a run in there somewhere. But, well, you know, I'm kind of digging sloth for another day or two. 'Tis the season for rest and restoration, correct?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Because I'm Nosy....

Hey, do you do holiday cards?

Xmas? Chanukah, Festivus?
Photo cards? Straight up hallmark? Homemade?
Do you write nice long notes or just initial, lick and send?

Do you make your partner sign or do you forge his/her signature to save time (guilty. here.)

Do you only send to folks who've sent you a card?
Do you trim your list?

eCards or paper?

What do you do with holiday cards once you get them? Hang 'em up? Go, oh, isn't that nice? Then pitch 'em? Re-use, recycle them?

I'll check back in a bit and share our answers. In the meantime, behold the golden pierog! [thx to Alexandra for the edit]

Friday, December 16, 2011

Farewell, Christopher

Damn, Friday. You sure took your own sweet time in getting here.

Whatever. Welcome. I ain't madatcha. As long as you don't throw any left hooks into what looks to be an pretty uneventful day. You already started on a little bummer of a note - I was sad to hear of Christopher Hitchens passing. But glad in knowing he was feisty and opinionated until the end.

Sure, there is a lot to not like about Hitchens. In fact, I'm pretty sure I'll get static from M for my status updates and tweets this morning praising him. He glorified the vices of smoking and drinking and I'm guessing he could easily draw you to tears and get some glee from it if you got on his bad side. But I can say this - every time I have read or heard him, there was always at least a moment, often more, where I thought:

"damn. I wish I had written that."

I recall driving a few hours to a work meeting and listening to an interview on public radio. His voice was tired and a bit slow, but the aggression was still there. He wondered aloud about what was so fucking "noble" about "fighting" cancer and questioned the language of the "survivor." I so wish I had exact quotes to share with you this morning but the gist of his questioning was:

how can they say I am fighting cancer when this disease has waged a war on me? AND it's truly kicking my ass. We're all pretty well aware of who will eventually win. This was not my choice, not my design, nothing I needed to prove to myself. I am simply trying not to die.

There is no bravado here. Simply words that I think most people living with or through cancer have often felt. I know I have. Stop making me out to be a goddamn hero and just stop pushing poison into my veins m'kay? I never tried to be brave. In fact, I don't recall ever, ever, ever having a choice in the matter. Which was pretty much Hitchens' point, made far more eloquently.

"He seldom produced an uninteresting sentence," is what the Washington Post said this morning.


What writer doesn't strive for this to be his/her eulogy? What tribute means more than this?

If you've never read any of Hitchens' essay, might I suggest this one? Because I think there are some pieces here to which we can all relate:

" thing that grave illness [or loss, my insertion] does is to make you examine familiar principles and seemingly reliable sayings. And there’s one that I find I am not saying with quite the same conviction as I once used to: In particular, I have slightly stopped issuing the announcement that “Whatever doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.”

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Psst...You've Got Like 5 Days

...To figure out which one of your awesome posts you want to share with the world via the 2011 Creme de la Creme.

I'm browsing through my archives tonight. Oh 2011, you are not the year I thought you would be, but you weren't too terrible either. I'm chuckling at some of our antics, wincing at others. As always, looking forward. Onward and upward.

But taking a few minutes to look through where you've been isn't a bad exercise either. And I do mean a few minutes - did I post at all this year? Seems not a lot. S'ok. I'll make it up to you. Promise. And since I have all this extra time, I thought I would remind you to get in there too. The Creme de la Creme is compiled with love and is filled with great reading for a snowy wintry night (or sunny balcony, depending on your neck of the woods).

Have you hit send yet? Hunh? Didya?

Friday, December 9, 2011

So Much for "For the People, By the People..."

I'm in serious need of a pep talk.

Shit is getting me down, people. Not so much Life, I can manage that. It's the work part. Not my work as in office, office mates, tasks, etc, It's the usual brand of well-meaning loony there and I can easily handle that. It's - how do I explain this - it's the realization that you are coming up against people in power that are saying pretty bluntly, "oh, you're concerned? Oh ok. Hmm, you're worried that this and this will create irreparable harm to that and these people? Oh, that's interesting and all but WE DON'T REALLY GIVE A SHIT. This is our plan and we're sticking to it. And by the way this is all for your own good. I would say this hurts me more than it hurts you, but I'd be wrong [insert maniacal laugh here]"

And this sentiment appears to be endorsed at the highest levels. Except for the maniacal laugh. I added that.

I've been in several meetings this week that have made me feel helpless, useless, ineffectual, victimized, close to tears. And I was not alone. I looked around the rooms and saw my feelings echoed in faces representing other interests, other people in need. And we looked at each other and our eyes said, "Fucked. We are all totally fucked."

I keep waiting for one of my colleagues to talk me down off the ledge. To tell me, "dude, you are overreacting and being dramatic. Knock it off." But no. They are telling me to scooch over and make some room for them.

And I'm not used to this. In my profession, there is always a push and pull, a give an take. Sometimes you succeed; many times you don't. For the most part, there is at least a little, if even the tiniest, place for reason. Rational thought. Logical arguments. And when those fail, appeals to humanity.

I am finding myself in a place where it feels like there is no fucking humanity and I am feeling too angry and hurt to be effectual. Too stunned to react. I'm not used to being this much of an underdog.

Oh, except in that one other arena:

Our friend and volunteer potential maybe hopeful GC requested her medical records and we're waiting around for that process. Meanwhile, that other iron in the fire has gone cold.

I checked in with our agency this week thinking that our last conversation would have opened up all kinds of options for us. Turns out, no. they can think of NO ONE who might want to be our baby mama.

And now I am at the point where I'm like, you know what? I'm pretty sure it's not me. It's you.

I'm not going to break into a Morrissey croon here, because I know that I am NOT unlovable so you can just stop trying to tell me. If we were, why would three women that know us well have already tried to sign up for this gig? if we were so flipping incompatible with other humans, one would guess the whole damn world would want to walk wide circles around us. But they don't. So....

On to the next one.

Some of you who have used surrogates and gestational carriers have shared your agencies and recommendations with us. Thank you. We will be setting up some exploratory conversations with one or two of these. I jokingly brought up the suggestion to head to Canada to M last night and he was ready to pack our bags. I'm guessing international surrogacy brings about a whole different batch of issues, but I'm not opposed to learning more. So, holla at us any one reading who has crossed national borders in your baby making journey. I would love to know your story.

We joked about creating a FB or webpage last night. Only it's not funny. It's sounding kind of like not that horrible of an idea. I know at least one or two of you have (successfully) taken this route for adoption. Would you be willing to share your experiences with us? Legal ramifications? Not necessarily here if you don't want to, but via email or even (gasp) offline?

And meanwhile, we're finding time to sit down and talk with our friend and hopeful GC to put some meat on the bones of that plan. That is our #1 choice, but we just want to be ready if it seems as if it's not going to work out.

I'm not mad at our agency. It's been a learning experience. And I'm hoping we can take what we've learned and move forward towards a family. At least until some batshit crazy senator decides that third party reproduction should be restricted....

Oh you think that can't happen? Go take a look at your elected officials, friends. Things are getting very, very strange out there.

See? Bitter. I'm getting bitter. Pep talk needed in aisle three! Stat!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Grief and Gratitude

7:00 am - hear M dry heaving in the bathroom. Yegads, that doesn't sound good.

7:15 am - M leaves for work but cancels his dentist appt so he's not "smelly of sick." I blame weight of the day. He's more pragmatic and blames cheap beer from the comedy show we went to last night in our quest to avoid staying home for any prolonged period of time this weekend. He's probably right. PBR, you are the devil. A sick-bellied devil.

7:30 am - I check my calendar, and cancel morning meetings and calls. Close my eyes, and defiantly fall back asleep on the couch. Fuck you world. I ain't doing shit for you today. At least for as long as I can avoid it.

9:00 am - call from boss wakes me up. Wondering what's on my plate for today. "As little as possible," I respond. "You ok?" Sure. You? Sure, she says. Reminding me that I am not the only person in the world with woes. She doesn't pry. I don't either. But it's clear we'll be gentle with each other today.

Three years ago, they were here. Today they are not.

Five years ago, we promised each other to do whatever we were able to have a child. Today, we are still longing, and trying, and wanting.

The grief evolves. The absence remains.

Luckily, so does our love for each other (damn, it is solid), and our determination, and the support of our friends and family, even when said family doesn't always know how best to express it. I just got a call from y brother who sheepishly confessed: "I just "liked" you FB status, but that doesn't mean I "like" it but I didn't know what to say so I did that but then I thought oh crap that's not what I mean so I thought I'd better call you and just tell you I love you."

Well shit. You can't really ask for more than that, can you?


Right now, I am home. Skipping a luncheon, avoiding a deadline. Eventually I will have to show my face at a 1:30 meeting I can't figure out how to get out of. Then another at 4:30, then another until about 6 pm. But right now, I am here. Looking through the meager handful of photos we have, feeling their blankets, touching their tiny, tiny foot and hand impressions. How could they have been so small? So beautifully and perfectly formed? How could Jovi have M's nose? How could we see poise and grace in Isa, defiance and spunk in J? If I was projecting, how could M have the exact same thoughts? So much to see in those tiny faces that would be nearing 3 years old today.

When does this get easier?


Right now tears are forming, not from pain or sad, but from being overcome with emotion. Texts and emails and notes started seeping in this morning before I even opened my eyes for the second time. I am touched. We are touched, by the outpouring of love and abiding and simple kindness we are seeing today. It is humbling. And strengthening. Because I know this is not an easy time of year for many of you, for a myriad of reasons. To reach out and share your renders me speechless.

Notes from friends remind me of how much we were cared for when we returned home empty handed three years ago. In the midst of our raw grief, we were weepy. We were cavalier and stone-faced. We made inappropriate jokes. We winced at innocuous comments. We were fragile. We were invincible. We were needy and wanted company. We were offended at social demands and wanted to be left alone. We had to have been simply unbearable.

And yet we were picked up and held and loved and fed and reminded to bathe (um, sorry) and taught little by little how to be human again. And for the most part, I think we succeed. On most days.

Thank you. For everything. Thank you.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Post Script

I've been having mixed feelings about hitting "publish" on that last post.

Thanks so much for your comments, and yes, I'm right there with you. "Cautiously optimistic" doesn't even begin to describe how cautiously we are approaching these possibilities. There are still so many variables in play. So many points in which the story will be over. Enough to fill a spreadsheet.

But being somewhere is better than being nowhere, right?

And did I jinx it by speaking aloud?

This is a constant struggle for me. At work, communication is so related to strategy - what to say to whom and when and who needs to hear it first so protocols are followed and egos are massaged. Communication is a constant dance.

At home, cohabitation with an undersharer has definitely made me more careful about spilling my guts to all I meet. Somewhat out of respect for him and his privacy, and also because as I've matured I do realize that there is such a thing as appropriate dinner conversation and my innards or my crappy day at work or the very detailed critique of your best friend's hair doesn't necessarily fall into that category.

sidenote: that realization does NOT prevent me from sticking foot in mouth:

We met another person who lives in our building last week. As we were chatting I ask (and somehow sensing where I was going, I hear M silently moan...)

me: "hey! do you think there's a stripper that lives on the 2nd floor? There's a girl there. She's really pretty and keeps odd hours. I see her all the time in the middle of day in sweats walking her dogs."
new guy: "You mean my sister?"
[M: audible groan. sharp kick under table]
new guy: "yeah, uh, she's not a stripper. We own a tanning salon together."
ugh. ugh. ugh.
Luckily, I also learned they don't really like each other. But still....

Ok, back to post. So as you can see, sometimes I worry incessantly about when to open my mouth. Other times, not so much. Yesterday's post was one that's been churning in my brain for a while but somehow I'm feeling, I don't know, a little exposed with it out there.

But I think we're all on the same page here: the cautiously optimistic page.

On the agency side of things, we learned yesterday that upon another interview, they decided this potential profile they mentioned was probably not a good match for us, but they hoped to have some next week to share. I was also told that finding a match for us was has become a "personal challenge" for the director.

And that left me a little chuffed. Maybe I was feeling emboldened by Mo's recent post on being made to feel a little high maintenance for simply exercising some patient rights, and perhaps I was wondering if we and the agency were each working off of some different expectations, so I wrote back:

"I'm struggling to understand what makes us such a challenge. How are we different from other IPs?"

This is something I had asked before and that response encouraged us to redo our profile (which I feel much better about this time around). This time, I received another quick and thoughtful response back. Our agency had been working from our "wish list." And two of the criteria they were using to select profiles were dead on. The other two, well, I'm really glad I asked.

They had been assuming we only wanted to deal with in-state GCs. Not so. We only wanted an assurance that wherever the GC was, their state was surrogate-friendly so we wouldn't encounter any legal issues with birth certificates, hospitals, etc. I assured her we are willing to do a nationwide search to get us to the person that can build our family with us.

The agency had also not been sharing any profiles of women who were stay at home moms with us, and SAHMs are pretty much the bulk of their database. This completely puzzled me, but when I looked through old email strings, I had placed an emphasis on wanting to be sure our GC felt financially independent (with or without the GC fee) and really wanted a woman who had outside interests and hobbies, someone engaged in furthering her career or educational goals. Pieces that we said we liked about profiles we had seen so far usually involved women who were pursuing higher degrees, working on promotions....I could see how our agency thought employment was a "must have."

But I wish we would have talked about this sooner. Our wish list was just that - a wish. Describing ideal situations, not eliminate-anyone-that-doesn't-fit criteria. And what the hell do we know about what's ideal? We've never done this before!

Communication = so key. Out of state carriers are fine. SAHMs are welcome. It seems that this will open up a few more possibilities for us to review as we wait for medical records to be obtained and sent from our friend. We're trying to stay on parallel tracks so we don't lose any more time lest one of them falls through.

Cautiously optimistic on both fronts. Braced for the next hurdle. Learning lessons on communication along the way.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

On the GC Tip

As you know, we've taken quite a long and winding path to gestational surrogacy. We never expected the process to be quick. We also never expected to be in the running for hardest couple to match. ever.

Part of this is our fault. I know. Word of advice: intended parents, read. Reread. Then ask other people to read your profiles before hitting send. Ours benefited greatly from the eyes of some wise women once we realized, hmm, maybe we haven't put our best foot forward here.

So, new profile for us was entered. We received one potential carrier profile after that, it was good.....but not quite there yet. Received another that made me pull M out of meeting at work to make him read it. It felt like such a fit. I loved the voice I was hearing in the writer. I saw humor, pragmatism, intelligence, love. I love the city where she lives, found encouragement that she worked in a medical setting. We emailed the agency right away with a "YES! Let's do this!!!" They were thrilled. We were too. We waited to hear what the potential carrier might think.

And waited.

And waited.

Finally, our agency started to gently prod. We know this is a big decision, but this couple have been on this journey a very, very long time. Can you tell us what you're thinking?

She was thinking she needed some time to think through timing. She feared having to be on meds over the holidays. And I thought that was fair. In fact, that made me like her even more. How responsible! How forward thinking!

And we waited, and waited even longer for her to say yes so we could move forward with the papers, contracts, all the good stuff. Finally, our agency gave her a deadline. Which she promptly missed. Weeks after our initial "let's do this," we all agreed this carrier, for whatever reason, was not going to happen.

Funny thing is, at this point, we are pretty un-fazed by things not working out.


In the midst of the waiting, we were hanging out with friends and talking about that other decision - to house or not to house. One of our good friends, who is also our mortgage broker, was walking through the finances with me. And I confessed that there was this one major variable hanging out there that we had to always keep in mind. And that variable was pretty expensive. She furrowed her brows and gave a what the hell are you talking about look and I ended up spilling the whole sack of gestational carrier beans - how we had friends who offered, that didn't work out, we moved to an agency, we've struggled to find a match, we found a match, she seems to be getting cold feet....

Our friend asked tons of questions, I thought because she was fascinated by the whole process. What does it take? What does a carrier have to do? How do the meds work? And out of nowhere said:

"I would totally do this for you."

Hunh? What?

"I need to talk with [my husband] and I need to be sure he is ok with this, and you need to talk with M to be sure he's cool (yeah, he is) but this is something that I would really want to do. What do we do next?"

Well, first, M and I pull our jaws up from the ground. And then we say thank you. And then we think about what we will need to present to her very nice, but very overprotective husband to see if he would be on board. We talked for the rest of the night. About Isa and Jovi. About her family. About ours. About her feelings around pregnancy, About the b*tch that is infertility.

And that's where we are now. Putting some assurances together for hubby (who is ok, not thrilled, but ok) with his wife's decision, and presenting another set of medical records to our clinic for inspection.

As you know, this has been the "do not pass go" point in two previous attempts.

Again, we find ourselves with another amazing woman who we know and love and would LOVE to have as a part of our extended family. She has a teen son, whom we adore, and a brother, who has been M's best friend for decades. Her family is nontraditional, but full of love and acceptance. We can't get ourselves too excited because, you know, shit happens.

And just to be safe, we're not letting go of our agency. Who, in fact, emailed yesterday to say there is a potential profile for us to review once background checks are made.

A couple of irons are in the fire. (and I don't know where to go next with that idiom).