Tuesday 31 July 2012

One or Two?

There is an option of implanting two surrogates at the same time instead of just one. Of course, it’s an additional cost if both do get and remain pregnant. Plus you can end up with multiples – a blessing for some and a handful for others. You do have the option of reducing each pregnancy by one but that is not an easy decision or one that some believe in. All these factors must be considered.

Based on the number of embryos they implant, pregnancy rate, and live birth rate, I am leaning towards implanting one surrogate but there is no guarantee that it will work. Nor is there a guarantee if two surrogates are implanted; however, my chances of success would be higher.

So why am I even considering two surrogates when I have a baby already in the surrogacy oven? I ask myself that question sometimes. As mentioned, a minimum of three children would complete my family and with me taking a full year off in 2013, I’m a bit concerned that taking another year-long break for a third baby down the road may hinder my progress with my career. Career is important to me not because of status – it’s more about a higher salary that can allow me to continue to provide a comfortable life for my children as well as their futures.

So if I can have this third child soon after my second, I can take the time off in one fell swoop.  If all goes well with the first transfer, the babies will only be 4 months apart. This would be perfect timing but I have learned that life doesn’t always work out the way we want it to. I think the best decision for me would be one surrogate but I can only say that with 99% confidence at this time. Stay tuned!

Thank you for letting me share this part of my world with you!

Monday 30 July 2012

Egg Donor Chosen

As mentioned, I decided to select an Indian egg donor and was given several profiles to review. It's a daunting task at first but I separated them into three files (i.e., no, maybe, yes) before shortlisting them down to a handful of profiles. I made the first cut based purely on their look. I was offered donors with fair complexions - a safe assumption in my case given the racial make-up of my son and baby on the way. For each egg donor, you receive one or two photos plus other details such as:

  • Age - most appear to be in their 20s but rest assure they are tested for fertility
  • Occupation
  • Height - my minimum height requirement is 5'3 appreciating it's not a very tall race
  • Personality - usually one-word descriptors
  • Eye and hair colour - mainly black although some do have light-coloured eyes
  • Diet - vegetarian or not
  • Marital status - separated, divorced, married, or unmarried
  • Gender and age of any children - I want an egg donor who had delivered at least one child
  • Reasons for being an egg donor
  • Brief message to intended parents
  • Education - those with higher education cost more

On each profile, there might be a note indicating any previous donations including the number of eggs retrieved and any pending pregnancies; however, it is not always noted so don't be shy to ask. My chosen egg donor had no note on her profile but she had 18 eggs retrieved in her last donation. Unfortunately, due to low-quality sperm, that donation did not result in a pregnancy. My little guys are strong so I don't have any concerns.

One final thing - some egg donors don't remain available long so when the time comes, put in your request for the ones you want. Don't be discouraged if your top choices are already chosen. There are seriously enough egg donors available to have many top choices. Of course, if you insist on a particular egg donor, you can wait for her to become available.

So what happens now? I'm impatiently waiting for the treatment schedule so I can start planning. However, I must first decide if I would like to implant one or two surrogates - a decision that needs to be made 6 weeks prior to egg collection or when I confirm treatment schedule if it is less than 6 weeks away. I believe I will receive surrogate profiles closer to egg collection.

Thank you for letting me share this part of my world with you!

Sunday 29 July 2012

Why It Works

Why does single parenting work so well for me? Firstly, I can honestly say, with every ounce of my being, I enjoy being a parent more than anything else on this Earth. People sometimes ask me if it’s difficult being a single parent but when you’ve never had someone else to lean on, you just make it work and work well. I can’t miss what I never had. Secondly, I feel parenthood comes very naturally to me although I'm not perfect. I know that sounds arrogant but I wish I could be a full-time stay-at-home parent – no other job or business on the side. However, until I win the lottery, I will have to settle for being a most-of-the-time, stay-at-home parent.

For other singles out there thinking about pursuing parenthood, I believe the following additional factors contribute to living a stress-free life as a single parent:

  • Have a reliable support network
  • Enjoy being at home and do not feel trapped when home all day
  • Enjoy spending time by yourself and do not crave adult interaction after work
  • Are emotionally strong and stable, plus financially responsible
  • Possess a positive outlook on life and are extremely patient
  • Are resourceful, problem-focused, and solution-oriented
  • Are resilient and do not sweat the small stuff
  • Are an efficient planner, organizer, and manager of time
  • Are independent but know your limits and when to ask for assistance

One other important factor that you don't have much control over is your child. My son was a great baby and toddler, and wonderful preschooler. Of course, if he was more challenging, I would still love him as much but I wonder if my desire to have more kids would have been impacted. Anyway, it's a moot point now - I look forward to the future with an open mind and heart.

Thank you for letting me share this part of my world with you!

On My Own

Some people are curious why I pursued parenthood on my own. I have always wanted to be a parent – in fact, I once thought six kids would be a nice number. LOL! Finding a life partner was also important to me and for the longest time, I thought I had to be in a long-term committed relationship before I could pursue parenthood. Of course, life is never that simple so as time passed, my priorities evolved and I knew without a doubt that I could easily handle being a single parent. In fact, life as a single parent is not that stressful for me at all. More about that in another post.

Although I am pursuing surrogacy on my own, I am definitely not raising my kids on my own. First of all, I am very blessed to have my family around. My parents are wonderful grandparents. My sister (who is expecting her second child, another boy) and brother-in-law are great – my nephew is a year younger than my son so the kids spend a lot of time together. My brother and sister-in-law, who got married last year, are fantastic with my son. I also have good friends who are extremely supportive. However, don't get me wrong – I am a single parent and it's just my son and I most of the time. But, it brings me immense joy to see the wonderful influences my son has in his life. I think if I did not have positive relationships with my family or any friends, life would still be an adventure but sharing our lives with loved ones, makes the adventure that much more fun and fulfilling.

Thank you for letting me share this part of my world with you!

The Word "Chindian"

Chindian can refer to any fusion of two elements or entities that are Chinese and Indian. For example, this can include cuisine and fashion. For the context of my blog, Chindian is an informal term used to refer to a person of Chinese and Indian ancestry.

I am Canadian - been living in Canada since the age of 3 - and I am of Chinese ancestry. I have decided to go with an Indian egg donor so any child or children resulting from this journey will be Chindians. It will be important to me that all my children, no matter their racial make-up, are exposed to various cultures.

In the end, if asked, I will refer to all my children as bi-racial. I have no desire to explain the specifics of my children's ancestries and heritages because I do not feel it is anyone's business to know. I also don't think it's anyone's business to know if they are genetically full siblings or not. They are full siblings because we are a family based on love and support - not blood and genetics. So I consider this a rude question unless I so desire to share that piece of information. After saying that, I would have no problems sharing that information with intended parents pursuing surrogacy - I personally believe and feel there is an invisible but present link to others fulfilling their parenthood and family-growing dreams via surrogacy.

Thank you for letting me share this part of my world with you!

The Journey Begins

Not too long ago, I did not have much of an opinion about surrogacy in India. However, after doing some research, reading some blogs, and connecting with a handful of individuals online, I believe pursuing surrogacy in India would be a great way to grow my family. Specifically, I have decided to work with Surrogacy Centre India (SCI) in New Delhi.

Within a matter of days, I completed my medical tests and applied for a tourist visa to India. I have the test results and should hear back about the visa some time next week. I have also connected with SCI and am in the process of selecting an egg donor. I've looked into flights and hotels. In fact, on a recent work trip, my cab driver - who was Indian - passed along the name of a local travel agency specializing in India. He said they have great prices so I will contact them once I get my tourist visa approved.

Although I already have a child via surrogacy and another child on the way, I'm very excited and nervous at the same time about this surrogacy journey into India. It's international so that makes me a bit nervous but SCI appears to be a great organization with dedicated staff plus the fact that other parents have taken this journey successfully helps build my confidence in taking this journey.

No, I wasn't going to leave you hanging - yes, I already have another child on the way. Why am I pursuing another surrogacy when there's already a bun in the surrogacy oven? Well, it's a bit complicated but it makes perfect sense in my mind and that's all the matters. My family will be complete with at least three children. I plan on taking a full year off from work but I would also like to progress with my career. Taking another year off in the future with baby number three will likely slow down my career progression to senior management ranks (e.g., VP or Chief Officer). If I would like to have a third child, this is the time to do it.

I am extremely lucky to have my family and long-time friends all live in town so resources are nearby and available if required. I'm quite aware that having a second let alone a third baby will come with its challenges especially as a single parent but I am fully committed to growing this family of mine. Being a parent is a dream come true for me... growing my family and giving my son siblings to grow old with would be another dream come true.

Thank you for letting me share this part of my world with you!