Saturday, December 31, 2011

20 weeks today!!!!!

Happy New Year Everyone!  We hope everyone gets what they want in 2012!!

On another note, I thought I would re-post this...something I lifted from another blog.  I found it pretty hilarious and a bit frightening all rolled in to one.

11 Lessons For Those Thinking About Having Children

Lesson 1
1. Go to the grocery store.
2. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.
3. Go home.
4. Pick up the paper.
5. Read it for the last time.

Lesson 2
Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who already are parents and berate them about their...
1. Methods of discipline.
2. Lack of patience.
3. Appallingly low tolerance levels.
4. Allowing their children to run wild.
5. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child's breastfeeding, sleep habits, toilet training, table manners, and overall behavior.

Enjoy it because it will be the last time in your life you will have all the answers.

Lesson 3 
A really good way to discover how the nights might feel...
1. Get home from work and immediately begin walking around the living room from 5PM to 10PM carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 pounds, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly. (Eat cold food with one hand for dinner)
2. At 10PM, put the bag gently down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep.
3. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, until 1AM.
4. Set the alarm for 3AM.
5. As you can't get back to sleep, get up at 2AM and make a drink and watch an infomercial.
6. Go to bed at 2:45AM.
7. Get up at 3AM when the alarm goes off.
8. Sing songs quietly in the dark until 4AM.
9. Get up. Make breakfast. Get ready for work and go to work (work hard and be productive)

Repeat steps 1-9 each night. Keep this up for 3-5 years. Look cheerful and together.

Lesson 4 
Can you stand the mess children make? T o find out...
1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains.
2. Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.
3. Stick your fingers in the flower bed.
4. Then rub them on the clean walls.
5. Take your favorite book, photo album, etc. Wreck it.
6. Spill milk on your new pillows. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?

Lesson 5 
Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems.
1. Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh.
2. Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hang out.

Time allowed for this - all morning.

Lesson 6 
Forget the BMW and buy a mini-van. And don't think that you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don't look like that.
1. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment.  Leave it there.
2. Get a dime. Stick it in the CD player.
3. Take a family size package of chocolate cookies. Mash them into the back seat. Sprinkle cheerios all over the floor, then smash them with your foot.
4. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.

Lesson 7
Go to the local grocery store. Take with you the closest thing you can find to a pre-school child. (A full-grown goat is an excellent choice). If you intend to have more than one child, then definitely take more than one goat. Buy your week's groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys. Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

Lesson 8 
1. Hollow out a melon.
2. Make a small hole in the side.
3. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side.
4. Now get a bowl of soggy Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane.
5. Continue until half the Cheerios are gone.
6. Tip half into your lap. The other half, just throw up in the air.

You are now ready to feed a nine- month-old baby.

Lesson 9 
Learn the names of every character from Sesame Street , Barney, Disney, the Teletubbies, and Pokemon. Watch nothing else on TV but PBS, the Disney channel or Noggin for at least five years. (I know, you're thinking What's 'Noggin'?) Exactly the point.

Lesson 10 
Make a recording of Fran Drescher saying 'mommy' repeatedly. (Important: no more than a four second delay between each 'mommy'; occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet is required). Play this tape in your car everywhere you go for the next four years. You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.

Lesson 11 
Start talking to an adult of your choice. Have someone else continually tug on your skirt hem, shirt- sleeve, or elbow while playing the 'mommy' tape made from Lesson 10 above. You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.

This is all very tongue in cheek; anyone who is parent will say 'it's all worth it!' Share it with your friends, both those who do and don't have kids. I guarantee they'll get a chuckle out of it. Remember, a sense of humor is one of the most important things you'll need when you become a parent!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Baby News Leakage

Dear Facebook – I love you and I hate you.

You’re handy, convenient, and always at my fingertips. I use you for remembering people’s names and birthdays (more than once), keeping in touch with friends and family, for a laugh, a cry, a lurk, spy, poke, to joke around, for work, to share a thought, express a feeling, capture a moment, to network, make a statement, and much, much more.  You name it, and I can get pretty close to accomplishing it with you.  As much as I have enjoyed you over the years, you have become both my friend AND my enemy, and I’ve actually had thoughts of ending my torrid and somewhat psychotic affair with you.  

But then I come back in to your welcome arms.  

Facebook, you’re too good to leave, and too bad to stay.

Soon-to-be-Papa Doug

Ok, I had to get it off my chest.  Facebook has been trying my last nerve the last several months.  My latest quandary with this social media phenomenon is what I’m calling “baby leakage”.  I have to say, I have been very good about keeping our baby plans off of Facebook.  The blog is one thing, as we have all benefited from the advice and counsel and heartfelt outpourings from our fellow blog friends...HOWEVER, Facebook is a black hole of nearly 1,000 friends (some who harken back to my kindergarten days).  So while I have no problem with these people knowing our plans once our baby is born (or I guess I should say in the “safe zone”), I was not going to share our aches and pains with infertility, our multiple failed attempts, and my bouts with doubting this whole process with every person in my life that I've brushed shoulders with, or that was a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend.  All that juicy stuff is reserved for you guys -- ha!  

So we slowly start to make our baby plans more and more public in small groups and one-on-one conversations with friends and family, we always remind people "Absolutely, positively, NO Facebook". That, however, seems to be impossible.  That urgent need to share information immediately consumes and overcomes people. Alas!...I get a post of “congratulations!” from my niece that I respond to with a smiley face and a “like”. I take it in stride.  The post is followed by several “likes” from other people “in-the-know”.  I think “am I being paranoid?”. Probably, yes.  

And then the day after Christmas my father posts that he’s so excited for his son Doug’s “Good News”.  I remember explicitly telling my father "Absolutely, positively, NO Facebook about the baby" -- but apparently the almost 80-year-old has selective hearing.  And so I didn’t comment, just let it sit there in cyberspace. And then a mutual friend posts on my wall “I want to know the good news!”…DARN!  And so I text them, in my attempt to circumvent the omnipresent Facebook to avoid further leakage, "we’re not posting this on Facebook but…blah blah blah…we’re having a baby in May”.  They’re excited, congratulate us.  I wait a little longer and there seems to be no more fall out…and then I think, “Am I being outed by Facebook???”  AM I being paranoid?  Probably, yes.

So Mark Zuckerberg, while you’re making it very hard for us to avoid a big splashy baby announcement on my Facebook Timeline (that is what you’re calling it now, right?), please…have no fear because I know, in the not-so-distant future, we’ll cave and start letting people in on it, using your awesome power of information dissemination to mark the day and every day forward that our adorable little angel has changed our lives forever.  And then, only then, will I consider taking you off my "sometimes" enemy status. 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Christmas Cake and Big Baby Gender Reveal

Guess what it is???

Our surrogate coordinated the whole affair, and totally diverted our attention from the present she sent...and had a cake delivered by our good friend Natalie...

We are so happy!  Merry Christmas everyone and thanks for following this small little hurdle!!!  See the color of the inside icing for the announcement.

Cutting the cake...anticipation!

It's a girl!!!

Champagne with Uncle Marco and Uncle Scott after the anouncement!

Love and Aloha,

Doug and Bill

Let the festivities begin

And we're opening the BIG GENDER REVEAL present LAST!!!!  So it'll be a couple hours with five of us opening.  But it's gonna happen SOON!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

19 week (ish) ultrasound -- sans baby "bits"

This morning we received a text from "M" that she was done with her ultrasound so I called and we talked for about 15-20 minutes.  It was about 5 am so I was about half asleep, but was super happy to learn that everything looked good.  Once again, baby was very active and it took over an hour to get all the measurements. At one point they saw our little 10-ounce miracle put its hand in its mouth, and open and close one hand!  I'm picturing one thumb in the mouth and the other four fingers waving around yelling "look at me...look at me! suckers!!!" Heart rate was 149.

All the photos she sent were appropriately cropped or chosen to not include any "baby bits", so again happy to hear that they were able to identify the gender.  She said it was very clear from the ultrasound.  So of course I'm picturing a spread-eagle, thumb in mouth, wiggling fingers and saying "here I am!! hahaha!!"

Sorry, bad baby humor.

Here are some photos...they are photos of the scans so once she has a chance to scan them I'll try to re-post if they are more clear.  Bill said looking at these is "similar to looking at clouds and finding animal shapes"..." that a snake???"

More bad baby humor.

All humor aside, we're so grateful.  These are the first photos of our baby that actually LOOK like a baby.  I see a nose, lips, a formed head and a cute little chin, an arm, and a full belly.  I know we have another month or so until things truly are OK, but this is our precious little baby living and growing in our surrogate!  Created by two sets of DNA that just happened to meet up in the right place, at the right time, under the right circumstances.  This was our 10th attempt and things are looking so, so good. We are just hoping and praying for an uneventful four months so that come around May we can finally meet this miracle that we've been working so hard for over the past few years.  Whilst in the throes of us trying to conceive I could never really see this day very clear, where we would be looking at a BABY, like you see in the pictures below.  It was almost constantly overshadowed by ovulation dates, and fertility drugs, and airplane reservations and beta counts and taking a multitude of vitamins and supplements, and then the preoccupation with the fact that it was just taking so darn long!  But finally it seems the dust is settling, and things should be clearer from here on out (until May anyway, after that all bets are off!).  But if someone would have told me almost three years ago that it would have taken this long I am pretty sure we wouldn't have moved forward.  And now here we are. Yes, we have more wrinkles and lines on our faces.  We have spent a lot of money.  We've argued.  Cried.  At times we've been resentful and angry.  And I am not completely sure what exactly made us continue to move forward, and take the next step after each devastating failure, but I am pretty sure that this little boy or girl had something to do with it.  All the wrinkles and lines, money, arguments, tears, anger and resentment are finally melting away.  And it feels amazing.

Enjoy the photos!

Three days until the Big Baby Gender Reveal!

Profile 1

Profile, neck flexed

Profile 2

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Five days away...

We are five days away from finding out the sex of our child but the crazy thing is that our surro "M" is going to know in two days, actually less than two days! Her scan is on Thursday morning east coast time and I'm sure I'll be fidgeting in bed thinking about it.  Ugh, the suspense is going to make me lose the last hair on my head (don't laugh)!  But oh what a wonderful Christmas morning it will be.  And unforgettable!

In other news, apparently this little baby is making "M" very hungry at all fact, I received an email from her this morning at 3 am east coast time saying she literally could not go back to bed without eating off to get a rice crispy treat she went.  Her prediction in the wee hours of the morning is that it was a boy, since he was so darn hungry all the time.  She then went on to say that her boss calls babies in the womb "tiny dictators" -- I thought that was a hoot.  Jason, reminded me of your post about what Adrian thought your ultrasound looked like.  Ha!

OK, off to twiddle our thumbs, tap our fingers and, oh...Christmas shop!...(I'm so behind).

These five days are going to seem like an eternity!  Hmph!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

18 weeks!

Wow, can't believe we're almost five months...and I'm being just terrible about this countdown to the Big Gender Reveal thing.  Don't ever try to post every day leading up to's impossible with all the holiday parties and shopping.

But who cares because one week from tomorrow and we find out the gender!

We received the two packages from our surro "M" and she'll call us and let us know which one to open.  My sister-in-law Sherri is having a Christmas Day open house and she's already sent out an email saying they'll be a "surprise announcement"...should be fun...though all we ultimately want is a healthy baby.  Though there's something about knowing the sex for me because it just makes it more "real".  I think this is a common issue with an expecting parent or parents with surrogates who don't live nearby (as I'm sure all of you who are working with surrogates in India understand very well)...we wait and cling on to every email, text, ultrasound photo, video and phone call with all the gory details because it's all we really have. Though "M" has been amazing about communicating everything...from belly shots to doctor's appointments to what the latest craving of the day is...including the packages she sent.

One heart. Two heart. Wonder which one we'll open on Christmas Day???

Happy Holidays everyone!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Q: What about Chloe?

18 day countdown...

I grew up with animals my entire life.  As a child, I remember always having puppies, kittens and fish, birds, mice,...and eventually adult animals, elderly animals, and sadly animals that inevitably cross over the "Rainbow Bridge". But the cycle always repeated itself because for some reason my parents never thought that seven of us in the house (sometimes nine with my two cousins), was enough of a challenge.  There was more than enough love to go around for everyone, including at one time when we had approximately 20 cats because someone (my sister) brought home a cat who was pregnant, who had kittens, who then had more kittens, and so on.  Talk about a lot of mouthes to feed.  As a result of always being framed by a cat and a dog or a puppy and a parakeet, I have never been nervous about children and animals.  We just adjusted, treated them kindly, loved them like family, and the animals adjusted, too.  There was never an incident of a dog bite, or a (serious) cat scratch, or a fish swallowing a baby whole, though I do remember being super freaked out when my pet chameleon latched on to my big finger and hung on with a vengeance!  (So much for hand feeding lizards...I'm still a bit traumatized from that incident).

So as Bill and I ponder the entrance of a newborn in our lives, and in turn our friends and family ponder it, we've been asked a few times...

"What about Chloe?"

What about her?  She's still in puppydom, and will most likely be out of it by the time May rolls around.  In fact, her 2nd birthday is May 3, two weeks before the due date.  But I'm convinced that this only "child" will be perfectly fine around our new baby, contrary to what most friends and family may think.  Surely we won't leave the baby unattended in the beginning, but I trust that Chloe will learn to love our baby just like we were loved by our animals when we grew up.  And what a wonderful memory to grow up with animals!

Ultimately, though a bit rowdy when people first arrive, our 55 lb. lover dog Chloe is a cuddler, just like her daddies!

And how could you resist that face?

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Christmas countdown poses another question...

We've got 22 more days until we open the results of the "wee-wee or the hoo-ha appointment", as Michael from Michael's Surrogate Experience so hilariously put it in his recent post.  While Michael does not want to know if he is having twin boys, twin girls, or one of each, we are waiting with baited breath to discover what awaits us on the other side (and as you can tell, so is Ashton Kutcher). As I mentioned before, we'll have several of the "uncles" here to celebrate on Christmas Day when we open the best present ever.  Our surro said she's mailing two sets of gender reveal packages since the ultrasound is so close to Christmas Day.  So we will receive instructions on which one to open, based on the visibility of the "hoo-ha" or the "weenie".

These two slang words for our private parts got me thinking (yes, once again, thinking...), "what will Bill and I call it?"  Boy, girl, no matter what gender this baby is, we'll need to come up with a name for it.  The biological names just will NOT do.  Sorry.  I grew up calling it something totally foreign to most everyone, except for our close childhood friends who heard it in our household.  Since there were four brothers and one sister under one roof in my family, the male name for it was used much more often, which turned out to be "gogi" (prounounced go-gee).  And since my parents really couldn't come up with a unique name, my sister's it was called a "gogette" (pronounced go-get).  Don't ask me the origin of this word but I kind of laughed and shuddered at the same time when I stumbled upon the Korean delicacy bulgogi.  Oh brother...literally.

So on day 22 of the Christmas countdown to the Big Baby Gender Reveal...what do you call it in your family, or what did you call it growing up? Inquiring minds (or at least two in Hawaii) want to know.

Please refrain from any graphic details in your answers, this is a family blog!  

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Answers to the sperm question...

...were classic!  Thanks all.  All these are GREAT.  Some very useful. Others HILARIOUS.

Jeni...Bill Gates? -- nice!  Can we use Steve Jobs?  Or since he had cancer is he now considered inferior? People can be so silly.

And Kevin, you're naughty, but I may use the first one with close friends.  

I still feel we are "not sharing that information" will most likely be our standard answer.  Though people will be able to tell when the little one arrives, as Bill and I look drastically different (think Jason and Adrian but bigger...haha...sorry J&A).

Oh and the Heffernan's, the question about the race of the baby reminds me of when we used my niece as our egg donor in India a couple years ago.  How's this??? People actually thought I was the sperm donor!  I looked at them like they were NUTS and did another squirmy dance.  People, did you take biology or listen at all during sex education?  Last time I checked having children with family members doesn't end up so well.

And Mark, I love your comment.  Your children are your children, biologically connected or not.  I've always said I'd take someone's baby off the street if they offered it to me. For some reason that hasn't happened yet...though there's still time.

Friday, December 2, 2011

24 day countdown and another question...

When I began this countdown to the Big Baby Gender Reveal it unexpectedly started something, and actually got me thinking about some of the questions I/we have about becoming fathers.  Questions we ask ourselves, or questions people will ask us during the pregnancy, and even after our baby is born.  And in the end I was surprised how many QUESTIONS popped in to my head instantaneously.  

Some were making me a bit nervous...Others were just plain funny (like would I subject a girl to the Diana Ross Supremes photo shoot, afro wig and all, like Cam did on "Modern Family"???).  In a way, this little time-passing exercise  I put upon myself leading up to Christmas Day is allowing us to explore what makes us truly giddy and over-the-moon about having a child, but also what we are most apprehensive about or what we may have some struggles with.  Ahhhhh, the irony!

Today's question has been asked many times since we got pregnant and even during the process of trying to get pregnant.  I understand it's done in the most innocent and inquisitive way possible, but every time it's posed, I do the squirmy dance inside: 

"So, whose sperm did you use?"

Again, I know it's an innocent question, but in the end, does it really matter???  Ultimately we will both be fathers of this child (for eternity, I might add), but for some reason this is one of the first questions people ask when they find out we're having a baby.  Our somewhat standard answer is that we both tried, and this time it just happened to work with one of us.  But other times we actually DO say, "does it really matter???"


Thursday, December 1, 2011

The 25 Days of Christmas Countdown...

Yes, I'm doing it.

I'm counting down to Christmas Day when the Big Baby Gender Reveal is planned.  It's a way of distracting myself and having a little fun with it all.

So here goes:  On this first day of the countdown, I have been seriously pondering...

If it's a will Bill and I answer all those "girly" questions?

a) Do our best

b) Advise her to call one of our best girl friends

c) Google it

d) Immediately begin reading Woman: An Intimate Geography by Natalie Angier


e) All of the above