Category Archives: Surrogacy

Comme les Autres… a must see!!

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Hi …. a few years back I found this awesome movie: Comme les Autres.

This is the plot:

Manu, a gay pediatrician in his forties, would be perfectly happy if he could adopt a child and bring him or her up with his partner, Philippe, a lawyer. Where the shoe pinches is that Philippe is pleased with his present life and will not have it spoiled by the invading presence of a wailing brat. Unable to find an agreement the two lovers part. Manu, although shaken, is single-minded about finding a surrogate mother, willing to give him the child he craves. Fina, an undocumented Colombian beauty might do the job for him in exchange for a marriage of convenience. However, as Blaise Pascal would put it, “The heart has reasons that Reason cannot know”.
Cast: Lambert Wilson, Pilar López de Ayala, Pascal Elbé, Anne Brochet, Andrée Damant, Florence Darel, Marc Duret, Liliane Cebrian, Luis Jaime Cortez, Catherine Erhardy, Eriq Ebouaney, Agathe Chouchan, Esther Sironneau, Juliette Degenne, Sophie-Charlotte Husson.

Here is the Movie Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAV-dFklknU

Please if you get a chance watch it , is a nice comedy with s special kick!

Enjoy 🙂

What happens until conception is achieved?

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August 15/2011:
Today I had my first appointment at the SCI Clinic.

It was raining cats and dogs out , I have never seen rain coming down so hard and in so much quantity. Thankfully Dr. Shivani sent her driver to pick me up.

The Clinic is very nice , modern and comfy. First I walked in and they took me took to the waiting lounge.

A few minutes later a very kind guy entered and offered me a bottle of water , then a few minutes later Shilpi arrived , she is extremely beautiful and tiny!!!

Here in Ecuador we say hello with a kiss and I didn’t realized that probably was not the right thing to do in India , that’s why she looked so surprised when I jumped to give her a kiss on her cheek ( sorry Shilpi!!!), anyways she was cool about it.

We where chatting for a bit and then I went to Dr. Shivanis office , I was totally amazed by how young and pretty she is!!! As soon as I met her I felt lots of trust. She walked me trough the main steps of the process and was kind enough to answer all my questions ( I should stop asking so much, Chapal you are right I talk more than enough).

By the end of our meeting I had already the dates for giving my samples ( actually one of them was like in 15 minutes hahaha) and the possible IVF date. My egg donor had produced 21 eggs so for sure we will have to freeze some embryos after the first fertilization is performed.

I went to the SCI Hospital wich is right behind the Clinic for my sample. No need to get into details…. but everything worked out just fine. ( by the way , there is no “visual aids” as help when one has to give the samples…. so , get working on your imagination!!).

I was extremely happy that actually everything was starting to move so I went to M-Block Market for a cheesecake and a coffee.

August 16/2011:

Early morning I received the result for my samples , thankfully everything is ok. Now in 2 more days I have to go back for a second sample.
I also received an e-mail from Arpana telling me that tomorrow I have to go in for an appointment with the Lawyer . They will send a copy of the agreement by e-mail tomorrow morning for me to go over before I go in for the appointment.

August 17/2011:

Today I decided to go shopping to some markets…. lets see what can we discover.

Chapal gave me another guide of places to visit!!!! I can’t wait to see them all.Thank you for that , and by the way… last nite coffee was awesome ( I will never forget the foam mustache , and also the fact that I was not brave enough to wipe it off with a kiss… please forgive me . We will have another chance).

For some reason after today I have the most weird feeling inside , a feeling of simplicity and clearness. Everything is working out so great so far. Is there such thing as destiny? are things meant to happen?… I don’t know the answer but I love to feel the way I feel.

If my baby was a star , now I feel that the star started moving very fast towards its daddy… cant explain how amazing it feels!!!

Totally mesmerized ( Part 2 )

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So we are finally here , at the end of the Charbag garden lays the Taj Mahal.

It was amazing to see the contrast of that huge structure and its colors , so impeccable , so breath-taking. You know , was like seeing something manufactured by a God.

Pradeep and I started walking around the gardens and as usual  I was basically asking him 1 million questions. He summarized pretty well the story about the place … how amazing it is that this place is  tomb dedicated do an emperor’s wife that died during childbirth to their 14th son! An act of love.

Either I am a hopeless romantic or just someone who expects great things to happen when one finds true mature love.

The story about the Taj brought me directly to the marriage situation in India. Pradeep comes from a Brahman family so in his family they are very strict about some topics. I asked him about the arranged marriages and he gave me so much information. In India most marriages are still arranged by the family. Probably for western minds is very difficult to  understand this conception of meeting the person you are supposed to spend the rest of your life with for just a little bit of time before you get married. Maybe the idea of trying to discover as much as we can about our partner before we “tie the knot” is not the best way to go. We see marriage as a big step , but the big step is the commitment that we make with our significant other … so why not do things int he wrong order?

It was very interesting to get the inside view of someone who’s marriage was arranged and now he is madly in love with his wife.

Thinking about tis it made me realize that not all the “important” things in life come in the expected order…. just like this adventure I am on. Most people usually wait until they find the right person or the “love of their lives” before they even start thinking about having a kid of their own. Is it right? Is it wrong? is it crazy?…. for me, none of these questions matter because I believe that when someone has a feeling that overcomes everything else , then it is right , it is wrong and it is crazy… as long as one is aware of it then one can manage it.

Maybe listening to Pradeep´s story made me realize that it is refreshing to find different types of relationships and realities and how people get involved in those realities so easily.

Anyway , time to put the slip covers in our shoes and go in the Taj. The slip covers are required to avoid damage in the translucent white asian marble of wich the Taj is builded. The experience for me is hard to describe , there are so many details , so many facts about the Taj that I recommend to everybody to go there and experience it. For sure is a good idea not to just read about the facts about the Taj but also to get a local tour guide that can explain all the little things that truly make this piece of art a one of a kind wonder.

Look at this cool pics:

            

Here are some interesting facts about the Taj Mahal:

– There are 2 almost exact looking buildings beside the Taj , one is a mosque and its twin sister is  a guest house.

– In order to build the Taj , more than 1000 elephants were used

– More than 20000 men worked on its construction.

– It is a blend of Persian and Mughal architecture.

– The central dome is around 35 meters high.

– It took 12 years to build the tombs and around 10 more to finish the rest of the buildings .

– Between 2 and 4 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year.

– Some scientist predict that the Taj might suffer serous damage in 2016.

So , as thrilled as i was it was time to go back.

First Pradeep took me souvenir shopping to great places and then to a really good restaurant were I had chicken  ( chicken , lots of cumin , whole pealed almonds and peanut cream) it was delicious.

Then Satish took me home. The trip took more than 6 hours because today is The Indian Independence day!!

I slept most of the way home…

Tomorrow I have my first appointment with Dr. Shivani !!! sooo nervous. Daddy is coming my little one 🙂

What do you guys think about India so far? isn’t it a wonderful country?

Thanx for reading…

Totally mesmerized ( Part 1)

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At 5:30 in the morning  Satish picked me up to go to Agra.

When we left was still dark , but I was lucky enough to see the sunrise along the green fields of the highway ( it was raining but still very nice) :

The ride was very smooth , there were little villages along the way and for some weird reason I was amazed at the buffalos and cows along the way :

Yesterday evening , dear Chapal was explaining me why the cows and buffalos ( they have the same status) are considered sacred. He said that the cow/buffalo represents the mother nature ( nurtures) and is also the favorite animal of some of the Indian Gods. The Buffalo was introduced in India as a milk producer ( it produces double the amount of milk that a cow does). Hinduism is a very interesting polytheistic religion , there is very good and reliable information at :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinduism , here you can get all the answers you seek.

After about 1 and a half hours of driving I asked Satish if he was as hungry as I was , so we stopped at a Hotel to grab a bite. I had a great Chicken Sandwich with Chai Tea and orange juice ( with chunks of fruit in it…a bit strange).  Teh hotel was very colorful , lots of elephants in different sizes and shapes around and outside, a real elephant that I couldn’t see.

We continued to Agra and we arrived around 10 , there are around 200 km  between Delhi and Agra.

The city was very nice , the areas around the Taj Mahal are very well maintained. Satish first took me to pick up his friend that was going to be my tour guide.

His name is Pradeep , and besides being the nicest guy on earth he knows lots of history. Later on I will post his e-mail address so that you can reach him if you ever go to Agra. We took a little tuk tuk ( is a usually three-wheeled cabin cycle for private use and as a vehicle for hire )

that took us directly to an office where the driver got the entrance tot he Taj ( approx. 750 indian rupees), along we the entrance I received a bag with a postcard, a bottle of water and slip covers for my shoes. We started to around the Taj Ganji that is a big plaza right before the entrance to the main garden and the Taj. Is all constructed in red sandstone. In the past the Taj Ganji was a bazaar and a caravanserai. There is an official web page of the Taj Mahal where you can get lost of information and maps : http://www.tajmahal.gov.in/

Then , we started walking down the  jilaukhana that is basically the place for the assistants of the tombs and 2 subsidiary tombs. At the end of the jilaukhana there is an arabic arc that perfectly frames the Taj. This was the first glimpse of it I had. I just fell this rush to continue walking to get a closer look…. by the time I reached the Charbagh garden ( long garden just before the tomb) I was totally mesmerized.

         

This fun adventure will be finished on the next post.

Keep up!

Thank you for reading…

Afternoon and evening delight…

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Hi again!…last time I posted I was telling you about the first day I was out in Delhi. Morning was busy with Lotus Temple , Humayun´s Tomb and India Gate.

The afternoon was different. After lunch Satish took me to Qutub Minar. This is the tallest minaret ( a distinctive architectural feature of Islamic mosques, generally a tall spire with an onion-shaped or conical crown, usually either free standing or taller than any associated support structure). The place is amazing , there are so many ruins full of beautiful engravings.

There is lots of space to walk around and try to picture how the site was in its golden age ( aprox. 1199 AD). probably one thing that s very interesting is the red sandstone and marble used to construct this huge mosque. If you are in Delhi , try to go there but avoid doing it on the weekend because is very crowded. I had to go back during the week in order to really appreciate the beauty of it. Great gardens surrounding the ruins.

              

After this I was ready to fall apart , very tired so Satish took me to the Hotel.

Sitting in my room , feeling  a bit lonely , my tongue needed to express itself hahaha so I met a friend.

I must say that Chapal Mehra is probably one of the most special persons I have ever met . We talked for hours , obviously he was amazed at the way that I keep going on and on and I never shut up hahaha.  We talked for hours and for sure he got a glimpse of my thirst to get to know as much of India as I could. besides being the best company ever , Chapal is also a great tour guide , he recommended several places for me to go and get the real Indian experience. everything I wrote down so that I can accomplish as much of the “tour” as I could.

You know when you get a chill because a strong connection was made with a special person , well the chill I felt with Chapal was not just a chill… it literally almost knocked me out. Will never forget those times… or the places , the smells the faces the simple facts. Thank you for being such a  great guy , I will see you soon again. This quote is for you:

“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.” – Anais Nin

Bed was calling my name because tomorrow I am going to AGRA!!!!!!

Today I got an email from the SCI Clinic , they need me to go there for the first time the day after tomorrow!!!!! I am so exited to get to know all the guys and Dr. Shivani. One step closer to you my little love.

Delhi … surprises all over the place…

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Like a swiss watch , at 11 this morning Satish ( Rahuls friend and driver) was at the hotel to pick me up.

I had no idea of where I wanted to go or what I wanted to see , most of the time I am lost in the world inside my head .

Before getting to Delhi I had only few time to research about the city and its wonders , so I was pretty much ready for anything.

Satish was very helpful and kind , I was dazzled by his peaceful way of talking and doing things. Told him to take me wherever he wanted, so on the way we started talking about his family , is weird but since I decided to be a parent I get more interested in people kids. It seems like there is a wise advice in every person that already has a kid…

So , the first place he took me was the Lotus Temple. This is a Baha´i Faith Temple built in 1986. Is a unique building not only because of its shape and design but also because is the only Baha´i Temple in Asia. For those of you that are not familiar with Baha´i Faith , is based in the Oneness of God, the Oneness of Religions, and the Oneness of Mankind. Here is the link of the Lotus Temple , read it you will enjoy it very much: http://www.bahaihouseofworship.in/.

The line to get in was very short , the weather was perfect so everything was going smoothly. Is amazing but as soon as you walk in the Temple , peace and quietness surrounds you in a very special and deep way. Maybe I was still amazed by the fact that I was able to  distinguish at least people from 5 religions sitting peacefully  at the same temple , thanking and talking to the same God or energy or whatever they believed in. Is this the kind of union and peace  that should unite mankind? … Maybe.

After walking for a while , Satish was ready for the net surprise , he took me to the Tomb of Humayun that is the tomb of one of the Mughal Emperors built around 1569 AD.It was built with red sandstone and te complex is extremely beautiful. Here is some info and story about the tomb: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomb_of_Humayun                                                                                                                        

The gardens surrounding the complex , are very nicely taken care of , full of little trees with white flowers , the color totally catch my attention. If you ever go to Delhi , take the time to discover this site and its information centre because it is quite interesting to understand how it was built and the implications of it.

              

The place was so peaceful that I spend almost 2 hours just walking around the complex , a tomb where one of the Great Emperors is buried.

Back to the car with Satish , our next stop India Gate. This monument was built in 1931 in order to commemorate the 90000 indian soldiers who lost their lives while fighting at the British Raj in World War I and the Third Anglo-Afghan War. When you look at it , you can say that India Gate resembles the Arc de Triomphe in Paris , but India Gate has a great engraving on the front that reads: “To the dead of the Indian armies who fell honoured in France and Flanders Mesopotamia and Persia East Africa Gallipoli and elsewhere in the near and the far-east and in sacred memory also of those whose names are recorded and who fell in India or the north-west frontier and during the Third Afghan War”.

Near India Gate there is an empty canopy that is now used by  President and the Prime Minister, as well as visiting Guests of State, to pay homage at the site on occasions of State ceremonies, and each Republic Day, 26th January, the Prime Minister pays homage to the soldiers along with Heads of Armed Forces, before joining the annual parade at the Rajpath.

India gate is surrounded by a big and nice park. I was walking  around and i saw a game of cricket for the first time… still don’t get the game but it was interesting!

Hunger started to strike once again , so went back to the car and Satish took me to a very good restaurant. I had a great lunch that consisted of: butter chicken , spicy sweet and sour chicken with red curry , rice and a big bottle of Kingfisher Lager Beer…. yum yum.

I asked Satish to join me for lunch but he refused. By then I was not aware of the Caste System in India. Here is some info about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caste_system_in_India. i now understand is a cultural issue , but still made me feel a bit uncomfortable knowing that he was not allowed to eat with me 😦

This was the morning part of my day , I will tell you about the afternoon ont he next post… don’t miss it because is about a must see in Delhi!!!

Thank you for reading, I love sharing this with all of you.

15500 kilometers away…

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Yes, the approximate distance between Quito ( capital of Ecuador , where I live) and Delhi. I travelled all by myself and the itinerary was something like: Quito-Panama-New York-Delhi.
It took around 27 hours but it was so much fun !!!
I started getting a taste of Indian food at the flight from New York and Delhi , totally love spicy pickle.
I arrived at Indira Gandhi International Airport around 20:30 on August the 13th , Rahul was there to pick me up , he is such a great guy. Thank you very much for all your help and again , thank you Shilpi for getting everything organized, it worked out just perfect. Indira Gandhi airport is very nice , specially this art expression:

I really liked this so i did a little research. Here is an interview with the company that designed and manufactured the mudras represented in Terminal 3 of Indira Gandhi’s International Airport :http://buddhistartnews.wordpress.com/2010/08/22/qa-delhi-airport%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98hands%E2%80%99-sculpture/

Of course I started making 1000 questions about India and about the Clinic to Rahul , poor guy for sure was overwhelmed and wanted to kick me out of the car after the first 3 kilometers ( by the way I was very surprised that in India people drive on the right side…. a bit awkward). Weather was lovely, a bit humid but nice and warm.

He drove me to the Glitter Hotel (http://www.agoda.com/asia/india/new_delhi_and_ncr/hotel_glitter.html) , the staff  was very helpful and the accommodations very comfortable and clean. The thing that I like about this Hotel is that is very close tot he SCI Clinic and also to metro station , M- Block Market and other fun stuff. In Delhi location is very important because is a huge city.

My biological clock was all wrong , so it was around 23:00 and I felt like if it was time for me to wake up. I guess I must have been tired from the flight because I slept like a baby until 9:00 next day. Hunger , as usual was part of me so I ordered an indian breakfast that was very tasty, a bit weird to eat it with pickle , but loved it anyway, here is a pick:

On the next post the first day “out and about” in Delhi… Thanx for reading.

The easy part…

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When I started this journey I said to myself  that if something bad or negative came up , then I will stop and think things over.

One of the things that scared me the most , was going to the fertility doctor in order to find out if I was able to have kids.

The exam as you might guess was pretty “manual” , the hard part was having to wait.

My mind was all over the place , thinking about all the possible scenarios. Those were very long 48 hours.

As much as one tries to be positive , there is always a part of us that tends to look at the dark side of things.

Now I realize that I was not ready to deal with the dark side.

The test came back and I was good to go… there was a little angel waiting to come to earth….

That day I decided that July – august would be good to travel and try the first IVF.

The Clinic gave me green light so all I needed to do was to get the trip organized.

I have to give special thanxs to  Shilpi , she works with Dr. Shivani and she was amazing getting everything organized for me .

everything is working out just fine…. cant wait to get there!!!

 

How can I do it?

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This was the big question , probably because it involves so many issues.

Considering I am a single man , I took a long time to think whether it was the right decision to raise a kid by myself. I started reading about the implications of being a single dad and I found  lots of studies, lots of information , lots of debates, but who knows the answer?

The main issue was clear to me , parenting is different for everybody. Is not a matter of your marital status or your sexuality , is a matter of how much love and effort you invest in it. Being aware and preparing yourself for parenting is wise , but I believe one learns along the way.

Kids don’t come to the world with an instructions manual so a parent learns every second, maybe the clue is how much do we want to learn and how important is for us to learn.

So , I started looking for more information about the available methods for having a baby and I decided that Gestational Surrogacy was the way to go.

There are several countries around the world where surrogacy is legal, but in most countries there is a legal “void”.

The countries I researched were: USA, Cyprus and India.

There are several clinics that will offer a full service, the next step was to look for the right clinic that would fit my requirements.

I lost count of how many e-mails I sent asking for information and feedback about each clinics policies about single parents , payments , legal aspects , success rate , etc. The information I was receiving was totally overwhelming so I decided to go with the experts. I signed up for  a group in Yahoo ( Gaydads), that only deals with parenting issues. I posted a message and it was incredible how many replies I received.

One of the replies I got was from Glenn and Per from Sweden, they went through with surrogacy and they were about to pick up their baby in two weeks. I have to give special thanx to them because they gave me the information about Dr. Shivani ( links are available at the blog).

I contacted them and form the begging I had all the information I needed , the staff was amazing ( thanx Margarida you are still my favorite!!). Since the first time I contacted them , everything started flying really fast. By the time I realized i was on a flight to Delhi……

Lots of thing involved in the middle…. tell u more in the next post 🙂

And so it begins…

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Surfing the net the other day , trying to find the right words to express what I trully feel, I found this   great anonymous poem:

                                                                                     Daddy’s Heart

When I heard the news of you,
I did the things most Daddies do.
I opened up my heart so wide,
For you to have a place inside.

As each day passed, I’d think of you,
I’d watch you grow, I was expecting too!

I tried to imagine the person you’d be
Would you look or act like me?
I thought of the things that we would do,
The times we’d share, just us two.

I would give you piggyback rides,
Push your swing and watch you slide.
I would teach you how to ride a bike,
Catch your first ball and throw your first strike.

I would hold your hand in mine,
Be your protector, strong yet kind.
I would be your hero and friend,
Give love and advice on which you’d depend.

I will always remember the day you were born,
I cradled a miracle, small and warm.
What words I had were scarce and few,
A tear and a smile were the best I could do.

Life gave me a moment, precious and rare,
Bursting with pride, excitement and care.
I promised you then, all that I had,
See, you were my child and I was your Dad.

When I heard the news of you,
I did the things most Daddies do.
I opened my heart so wide,
Where you will always have a place inside.

 Simple , yet very powerful describes what is it that a single man can feel when inside our heart, the warm feeling of parenthood start to do its magic.

Around june 2010 , something started changing inside me. A new feeling started to take shape. At first I didn’t recognize it or didn’t acknowledge it but soon enough it all became clear. I wanted to be a daddy.

Thoughts and feelings at the beginning where like endless chains with no end and a very confusing beginning , but then I learned to organize them in order to understand them. I had only two clear things in my head: I was going to try it until something significant stopped me , and that my life was about to take the most amazing turn.

It is interesting how one thought caries you to the next one and then to the next one and so on. By the end of the day you have a unique ready to explode piñata of feelings and thoughts and none of them make any sense. An authentic avalanche that can overwhelm you when you least expect it.

I remember that emotions where bursting out of my being , it was interesting to feel and understand that this new “thing” was so big ,so important , so unique, so full of expectations …. but also so difficult , so heavy with responsibility and in the eyes of some… so selfish.

It took me several months to start doing something instead of just sitting there , waiting for the answers to arrive.

By december it was clear so I decided to tell mom and my sister. I can remember their reaction so clearly , it was like if I was telling them that I was already pregnant . I now understand this because I know that when a gay man comes out of the “closet”, people assume that the one thing he is giving up is parenthood.  Mom and my sister are like two beautiful painless strong growths attached to my whole being. We are like the 3 musketeers…always there for each other, loving in a uncoditional way by stripping out all the layers that makes us individual human beings. Is a blessing having them and being what we are , who we are when we are together. A great part of me going through on this journey is because  their support , love and confidence pushes me to discover new things , grab a taste of life , walking with my head up high , thinking and  wishing that everything is going to work out just fine.

The next step was to tell  my dear and closest friends… the remaining members of my family. Their reaction was as warm as moms and my sisters.

With all that support , how can anything go wrong? I felt that the intentions , thoughts and feelings were multiplied.

Now , the questions in my head were , How? when? where?….