Monday, June 28, 2010

San Francisico PRIDE 2010- Surro friends weekend!

We had such a great time this year at San Francisco Pride! It was my surrogate getaway weekend, so we tried to make the most of it. It was a weekend of fun, great eating and showing the love. We had a blast, it was like a slumber party- I hadn't stayed up that late in a long time! :)

Here we are in our shirts at the Parade- you can see the front and the back said "Proud Gestational Surrogate for Growing Generations" with their logo on it
Pride 2010 surro girls

And Sanj even joined us for the festivities Sunday!
Pride 2010 with sanj

Some of the yummy places we ended up eating at:

House of Nanking on Kearny
*just a warning, the more pregnant you are, the more difficult to find comfortable seating. They really pack you in there- I think the person next to me got to know me (and my uterus) very well . . . but the food was marvelous!

SPQR on Fillmore
* not to be confused with the neighborhood a few blocks down ( a bit iffy) . . . where we almost got out of the cab and just knew (call it gut feeling) it would not end well. LOL Here we are at the correct location

Aliotos at the Wharf
*this is my favorite restaurant in San Francisco . . . had my college graduation dinner and 30th birthday (surprise dinner with friends) there. So GOOD!!!

Hot Cookie Castro Street
*If you're in the Castro, Hot Cookie is a must! The macaroons are soooooooo yummy and the staff is great. However, if you're there around midnight on the Saturday night of Pride weekend- be ready for quite the crowd.

We went to Wicked Friday night. It was good. I LOVED the story but Elpheba (or whoever played her that night) . . . . well, she had her moments. It just made me wish I would've seen it with Indina Menzel, that's all. We also stopped by Walgreens on the walk back to the hotel to pick up a pregnancy test for Stacie, who had her transfer a few days before . . . and there was a very faded positive line. Then on Saturday and Sunday she retested and the positive line got even darker each time! YEAH!!!

I was so excited because the NOH8 Campaign was doing an Open Photo Shoot at the W hotel. I've been wanting to do this for a while, so luckily Stacie and Heather wanted to go too. I only wished I would've been farther along, so there was a HUGE Belly in the picture, but my current belly will have to do :) Once I get the picture, I'll post it. But for now, here's just a group pic we took in line
and then when I got to the front they gave me a logo on my face (and duck tape over mouth of course) and another logo once they heard my story. Here's just the belly with both stickers . . .

Once I get my actual professional picture, I'll write a blog about why I posed. Here's what someone else said (it touched me deeply) on why their family posed. CLICK HERE

Oh- and here was one of my favorite posters from this weekend
wives sticker

UPDATE- Stacie had her blood test and she is indeed pregnant for her second Surrogate Journey! Congrats to her Intended Parents!!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Gary and Tony Have a Baby

No, I'm not revealing who my new IPs are (that always happens after the birth). . . I just wanted to write a little post on the program I watched on CNN tonight:
Gary and Tony Have a Baby

I was quite impressed with the piece and I'm hoping that a lot of people who have been interested in learning more on Gay Parenting and Surrogacy watched it too. Of course I put the link and description on my Facebook Page, so others that were unaware about the program could watch/record it if they were interested. I actually got the link from my Dad, who also posted it on Facebook, with the comment, "If you're still against allowing loving, intelligent, successful gay couples to parent, then you either have never seen the unspeakable child abuse that heterosexual couples regularly do or you are beyond narrow minded & possibly a full blown bigot." God, I love my dad!

Anyway, I don't have the time to critique the whole piece but I did want to touch on a few parts that bothered me . . .

* Soledad O'Brien asked them at some point why not just adopt . . . like adoption is something that is easy and readily available to gay parents. Not only that, but why are gay men always asked this but never once in my own three pregnancies, did anyone ever ask me why we wanted our own kids vs adoption?

* My biggest issue is always about Positive PR on Surrogacy. Even though, it wasn't overtly negative, like most TV programs on Surrogacy, I still wasn't 100% satisfied. I guess I won't ever be unless it's about me or some of my close surrogate friends who had a similar journey as me. The part that got me the most is when the surrogate discussed how she did have thoughts of keeping the baby and how she thought of him on a daily basis still. Now I know this was her feelings but there are plenty of surrogates out there that don't have those feelings, including me.

To Clarify- NEVER, EVER, NEVER did I think about keeping Natasha and Anjali. They weren't mine. I have three of my own. I don't want anymore kids hence the vasectomy (sorry to out you honey). And I do not think of them on a daily basis. When I go visit George, Sanj and the girls it's more to see how the girls are growing up and spend hours with GEORGE & SANJ. That is who I have a bond with, not the girls, really. It makes me want to email my new IPs and let them know, if they saw the show, they won't have to worry about that at all with me. I don't want to sound cold but I'm helping make a family, not tear one apart!

Of course there was the quick statement of the surrogate getting $30,000. She must be with a very generous agency because, with Growing Generations, you wouldn't receive that much for your participation in a single baby pregnancy until your third surrogacy journey and that was her first time. I remember seeing agencys that paid more but for me, I wanted to work with an agency in California that dealt with gay families, regardless with what they paid.

Another issue I had was that the surrogate only shared the fact that the parents were gay with some family members. She had some family who didn't agree. Well, neither do my Grandparents but I see it as a teachable moment (the teacher in me). None of my family were surprised by my desire to help two men create a family. Why? Because they know me and my passions, which include fighting for equality.

Oh and by the way- I didn't delete the program because I thought it would be great for my kids to see too. I love how CNN has a Parent and Teacher Discussion Guide available. This is great for those that want to share it with their kids or students and talk openly about it. Perhaps I'll show it in my class next semester.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

SF PRIDE, Here We Come!

I'm so excited because two of my surrogate friends Stacie and Heather are going to join me at PRIDE this year in San Francisco!
I haven't been in years, since I lived in San Francisco, but we're making it a Surro-mom weekend! We even had shirts made!
Stacie used my Uterine Activism slogan and designed the shirts for us. For those of you who now realize you can't live without a shirt like this, you can purchase one HERE. You can get them as a maternity shirt, like the one shown above, or a regular t-shirt, hoodie, etc. I will probably get a hoodie once I'm not pregnant anymore- but for now, not sure they make them big enough! LOL

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Must Have for Your Surrogate!

One of my favorite memories from Ruby's birth was the moment Rick finally said something aloud. It was crazy . . . Ruby, just a few minutes old, turned towards Rick because she recognized his voice! Doctors and Nurses were talking, craziness was all around (remember her delivery?) but the moment she heard her father's voice, she knew.

Remember, babies can hear in the womb and some studies have shown that at 34 weeks they can even recall that information after birth! There has been lots of research on prenatal hearing/development. This is why a lot of expecting parents decide to "pipe in" music, foreign languages, etc . . . and it just got a lot easier!

I recevied this great item called bellybuds™ and I can't praise it enough. Basically, bellybuds™ are wearable speakers for pregnant women that want to play prenatal music and sounds to a developing child in the womb. They plug into any standard digital music device (I'm using it with an ipod shuffle) and are "specially designed to adhere gently to the varying curvature of a pregnant belly." So instead of having to hold headphones to your belly you can stick them on . . . beneath clothing or in full view and go about your day.

For any expecting mother it is a great item, but for Intended Parents and Surrogates . . . THEY ARE PERFECTION!

Depending on how far away and how often you see your Intended Parents, chances are the "Ruby Moment" I remember so clearly, won't be happening for them. Their baby/babies will have heard 9 months of you and your family, not their own. The surrobabies I have/am carrying will recognize my voice for sure. They will also be born recognizing the “da dum” from Law & Order, and they will, no doubt, recognize the most played CD’s in my car which currently are a burned CD of my kids’ favorite GLEE songs, RENT, and Depeche Mode.

So here's my thought- I think all Intended Parents should buy bellybuds™ for their Surrogate. They can accompany this with a digital music device that is full of hours of their own voices. It can just be any random conversation between the parents (mom, dad, other dad, other mom, etc) or, even better it can be a recording of the parents reading children's books or singing lullabies. You could even have messages from your other children or family members. So your baby will recognize your voice, even though you can't be there everyday to talk or read to them. Of course you can also fill the device with classical music, french lessons, whatever you want to share with your growing baby.

Now, some of you are thinking this might be embarassing if the ipod (or whatever you choose to use) is "listened to" by someone other than the occupants of your surrogates womb. Maybe . . . but just explain this to your surrogate. It's also the reason it may be better to fill the device yourself instead of emailing her tracks to download on her own ipod. And, if you don't want to buy your surrogate a brand new MP3 player look around for an old one you have, there are several older versions available on ebay or just tell her that she can borrow it. If my IPs had said, this is for the next few months, we'll get it back after birth, I wouldn't have bugged me a bit!

I like bellybuds™ so much, I emailed the company to see if I can sell them in my own baby boutique.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Visit with my surro girlies!

Had a great Memorial Weekend with my family. Got to visit the inlaws and my surro family all in one fun filled weekend!
Rick, Ruby, Preston and Sawyer joined me this time too! We all couldn't believe how big the girls are getting. We were able to have lunch and hang out for several hours.

We got to see how much they love playing with their dolls and stroller . . . and how the one gets the play bottle wins! The weather was beautiful and we enjoyed George and Sanj's beautiful backyard.

Playing and smelling flowers

Sawyer even taught the girls a new (not so hygenic) trick

Ruby was having a great time having the girls follow her around but the boys, well, eventually the cuteness was no match for Dad's old Game Boy and cuddles

Here are the girls modeling some of the hair clips I brought for them

And of course our must take "The Five of Us" Group Picture

We had a great time hanging out with our surro family and can't wait for the next visit at our place this summer.