Sunday, November 30, 2008

On a lighter note

We're headed to the valley to celebrate Turkey Day with Frank's family. I made some kick butt cinnamon rolls, but the recipe made eight, yes EIGHT trays of them. So if you live in the valley and know me, there might be a cinnamon like surprise on your front doorstep later today.
I used the pioneer woman's recipe and added pecan's and green apples. YUUUUUUUMMM.

Now, just get through the visit.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Explanation for the title of last post

I was just reading that and thinking, "Hey, I never really got to my point in that long rambling diatribe."

Without further ado, Real, semi-real, fake. What place do those words have in parenting, especially in reference to the status of your children?

What got me thinking about it was the conversation with a friend that started the last blog post wherein she said, "Once Frank has a real child, he'll be so happy." Needless to say I mentioned that Sarah is very much real. But I knew her intent, even if her delivery was sloppy. My guess on her intended statement, "Frank will love having a biologically related child to see grow and marvel at the coincidences and quirks of nature and nurture." I was perturbed, yes. But will I end a friendship over it. Not likely, although I will be more careful about interactions that have the potential to hurt my kiddo.

There is, in my opinion, an underlying belief in this world that for you to be a real parent, you must have had sex, gotten pregnant, and then squeezed the infant out your vagina. Any other path is seen as "less than". "Not equal". "Not the same". From c-sections, to adoption, to step parenting, to fostering, to surrogacy, to egg donor adoption, to egg donor adoption, sperm donor adoption with surrogacy, gay partner adoption of baby via ivf and on and on there are many ways to be a parent. None of those ways are better than another, none convey a greater status, or love or statement of family. Some are harder than others, some are easier. Some convey greater intent to parent than others. But their validity is all there.

So, to all those who might ask, "Is she your real child?" I answer, emphatically, "Yes, as will be any child who comes into our family via any means." or maybe I'll just say, "Yeah, I squeezed her out my hooha, wanna see my scars?"

Friday, November 14, 2008

Real vs. fake vs. semi real?

What is the difference between parenting a biological child, a biological child via surrogacy, an adopted or fostered child? (even leaving out the constructs of race, class and how they will affect opinions)
What terminology is correct to identify the differences between these children? When does a person take offense at what's said, do they understand the underlying meaning?

I was talking with a friend regarding my in laws acceptance of surrogacy and how it would hinge on their knowledge about surrogacy. I felt that we should have been educating them about gestational surrogacy for a while before letting them know it was our choice. That way they would understand the science, see the benefits and come to accept our decision over time, instead of having a lot of information thrown at them quickly. I think if they understand the reasoning about why we're trying for this (a bio child is important to Frank, most likely BECAUSE of them) they would feel respected and honored. Instead they feel sad, let down and disappointed about the situation.

Why are we choosing gestational surrogacy? Why go through these hoops instead of adopting a waiting child? Number one reason, is that Frank wants a bio child. As a first generation child of immigrants family and family ties are paramount. Family traits and resemblances are legend in his family. He is much more modern than his parents, but still more traditional than I am. Number two reason is his parents. I feel my in laws won't accept a non biological child in the same way they would accept a bio child. Number three, it would be wonderful for Sarah to have a biological sibling.

I see a difference in how they interact with Sarah contrasted to their other grandchildren. I know that part of that is they haven't seen Sarah grow from a baby to a child. They aren't who I call if I need a babysitter or support or help. I know my distance from them leads to some of their distance from us. And for the most part, I'm okay with it. But I think a bio child or a non bio child, hell any way we put it, having another child is going to open up a can of worms with them.

My MIL has already mentioned that if our surrogate gets pregnant she wants to come talk to the baby all the time. Talk about boundary issues!! Umm, no you can't go visit our surrogate to talk to her belly. Not cool. We know you would be excited, but I wouldn't let you talk to my belly as that would cross my comfort boundary, so of course it wouldn't be something that is okay for our surrogate.

As a long time child care provider I can attest to the fact that your love for any child grows. Whether the child is biologically related to you or not, being responsible for that child, being that child's parent and caregiver is what matters. The first time I saw Sarah my heart wasn't overcome with adoration. I thought she looked kind of odd and was just so thankful that the delivery was over. But my love for her grew and steadily became this all encompassing force which I think would happen with any child. I know that adopting brings it's own challenges, but accepting a child into our lives seems like something we could do if surrogacy doesn't work out.

But then we have the fact that adoption is our third choice. Pregnancy was obviously number one, surrogacy number two and adoption three. What message does that send to a possible child? Yes, we love you but we tried all these other things before we found you. Since we couldn't do that, having you was "good enough". What load for that kid to carry, whether it's true or not, the underlying thought of being the third choice could be devatstating. How would we handle that to make sure an adopted child would feel treasured and cherished?

How would my in laws handle that? What type of relationship would they have?

Will I stop stressing over this if the surrogacy works?

Thursday, November 13, 2008


So it begins. I had my day 3 FSH levels checked this week. Our gestational carrier will get her pretesting done next week. I think. It's all tied to cycle times etc.
I have normal FSH levels. Which is good. At least one part of me isn't screwed up.

If all goes according to plan and there are no screwups we will transfer between Jan 15 and Feb 15 2009. It sounds like a long wait, but it's less than 60 days.

I have a lawyer set up for the contracts, therapist set up for the testing and financing somewhat shakily arranged. I have picked the Canadian pharmacy we'll use for some meds along with the meds from our RE. I have researched induced lactation and set up my plan for meds once we get a positive pregnancy test. My OB is okay with prescribing the domperidone, even though we'll have to get it from Canada. She just wants to read about the Newman Goldfarb protocol before I start. The RE has been warned repeatedly about my heart conditions and the nurses have made large notes for my file about it.

I have started birth control pills to keep me from ovulating till we do the stims. What irony is it that I'm on the pill the month after having my tubes tied?

Frank's parents were told about all this last week. There's a whole post about that somewhere, but I doubt I'll ever write it. Needless to say, they are very disappointed.

Our GC is being very, very open about the surrogacy. She works at the same place my stepmom works, so my stepmom found out that we were proceeding before I was able to call and tell her. No big deal, but it does reinforce what a small town it is down there and how glad I am to have moved.

What haven't I done? Started believing this will actually work. Planned for how we will proceed if it doesn't work.

I foresee a very interesting holiday season.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Just heard this...

Rosa sat so Martin could march.
Martin marched so Barack could run.
Barack ran so our children could fly.

I have tears in my eyes thinking of what all this means. To me as a white woman who is the mother to a half black, half white daughter. To my daughter as she navigates life between these two worlds. With hope in my heart that healing is beginning.

Election Day

Have you voted yet? Starbucks and Krispy Kreme are offering freebies if you need some incentive.

I voted by absentee ballot, but today I went to the Democratic Headquarters in Solano to volunteer. I had my phone and charger, my bottle of water all ready to sit for a few hours and help. But alas, they were swamped with volunteers and didn't have a task for me. Who knew?

So I'm home instead, reading the paper, checking blogs, filling a few new orders (woohooo for people feeling better about the economy).

I have a yummy fun dinner planned that we will eat upstairs while watching election returns. I've got a bottle of champagne chilling and sparkling cider for Sarah.

I feel this is the most important election of my life to date. Possibly the most important election I will ever vote in. A true third party, centrist, female, minority candidate with a good chance of winning would be the only election in the next 40 years I could see trumping this one.

I am so proud to be able to say that America is ready. That the vast majority of Americans can look beyond race. I am proud to show Sarah a man who is like her, about to ascend to the Presidency of the United States. I hope my daughter grows up with the certainty that she can be whatever she wants, with role models who truly the reflect the diversity of America.

Yet, I am still disappointed by much I see in America today. When Sarah's dad and his girlfriend dropped off Sarah this weekend, they related an incident that happened at the restaurant here in town they had lunch at. (okay, crappy grammar, forgive me.) It seems the restaurant was almost empty, except for them and one other table of older white women. The white women kept moving across the room farther and farther away from them. The older women kept sending glances their way and whispering. It is despicable that this kind of fear and blatant racism still happens. A black couple with a young child eating lunch are the same as anyone else sitting and eating lunch. They aren't after your purse, your wallet, your life. They are eating lunch with their child. End of story. Get over your own fear and be respectful.

I remember those kinds of things happening often when I was married to Chris. I guess I had hoped that having a child around might temper people's responses. My bad for believing the best of people eh?