Thursday, March 28, 2013

42 Things that change when you have a baby

I got this article from; it made me smile:

Forty-two things that change when you have a baby

by Rebecca Woolf

Last updated: February 2012

What changes when you have a baby? A better question may be: What doesn't change?

Here, you can read writer and mom Rebecca Woolf's most notable post-baby observations. Then you can scroll down to read our favorite comments from readers about how their babies changed their lives.
What I love most about parenthood

1. You finally stop to smell the roses, because your baby is in your arms.

2. Where you once believed you were fearless, you now find yourself afraid. [See a reader's perspective in #37, below.]

3. The sacrifices you thought you made to have a child no longer seem like sacrifices.

4. You respect your body ... finally.

5. You respect your parents and love them in a new way.

6. You find that your baby's pain feels much worse than your own.

7. You believe once again in the things you believed in as a child.

8. You lose touch with the people in your life whom you should have banished years ago.

9. Your heart breaks much more easily.

10. You think of someone else 234,836,178,976 times a day.

11. Every day is a surprise.

12. Bodily functions are no longer repulsive. In fact, they please you. (Hooray for poop!)

13. You look at your baby in the mirror instead of yourself.

14. You become a morning person.

15. Your love becomes limitless, a superhuman power.

And from our readers:

16. "You discover how much there is to say about one tooth." — Ashley's mom

17. "You finally realize that true joy doesn't come from material wealth." — Anonymous

18. "You now know where the sun comes from." — Charlotte

19. "You'd rather buy a plastic tricycle than those shoes that you've been dying to have." — Sophie's mom

20. "You realize that although sticky, lollipops have magical powers." — Roxanne

21. "You don't mind going to bed at 9 p.m. on Friday night." — Kellye

22. "Silence? What's that?" — Anonymous

23. "You realize that the 15 pounds you can't seem to get rid of are totally worth having." — Brenda

24. "You discover an inner strength you never thought you had." — Ronin and Brookie's mom

25. "You no longer rely on a clock — your baby now sets your schedule." — Thomas' mom

26. "You give parents with a screaming child an 'I-know-the-feeling' look instead of a 'Can't-they-shut-him-up?' one." — Jaidyn's mom

27. "Your dog — who used to be your 'baby' — becomes just a dog." — Kara

[Many readers begged to differ, saying things like, " I disagree with number 27. My dogs are my additional children," "Nothing about previous babies, whether two- or four-legged, changes when a new miracle comes along," "My dog will never be 'just a dog," and "This is sad to me. My dog is still my baby too."]

28. "You take the time for one more hug and kiss even if it means you'll be late." — Tracey

29. "You learn that taking a shower is a luxury." — Jayden's mom

30. "You realize that you can love a complete stranger." — Dezarae's mom

31. "You find yourself wanting to make this world a better place." — Arizona

32. "If you didn’t believe in love at first sight before, now you do!" — Ciara

33. "You start to appreciate Sesame Street for its intellectual contribution." — Anonymous

34. "You have to quit watching the news because you see every story from a mother's perspective and it breaks your heart." — Brooke&Boys

35. "You just plain love life more — everything comes together and becomes better because of one tiny person and your love for them." — Anonymous

36. "You finally find out the real reason you have those breasts." — Anonymous

37. "In response to #2 [above], I'd say that where you were once afraid, you're now fearless. I was always very timid and shy and let myself get walked all over … but now where my kid's concerned, I'll speak my mind and really connect with my inner 'b'!" — gummismom

38. "The support you get from other people surprises you, because the people giving it are not always the ones you'd expect." — japanese_macaque

39. "Nothing is just yours any longer. You share EVERYTHING!" — DylanLsMom

40. "No matter what you've accomplished in life, you look at your child and think, 'I've done a GREAT job!' " — Anonymous

41. "You want to take better care of yourself for your child." — Treasor

42. "You can have the most wonderful conversation using only vowel sounds like 'ahhh' and 'oooo.' " — littlehulk2008



Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Weekend of Accomplishment

On Friday, I left work a little early to get some final things before my first AIDs Lifecycle Training ride (a tire pump, tire tube, and tire lever). Thank God, I did too. After that, I met up with Fritz (the German MD) for our second date at the Ballet. It was nice to do something that I rarely do. I had an amazing time. I think I like Fritz as a friend, but nothing more than that. After that, I met up with some friends at a bar in Castro. We were having such a good time, I missed my train and Cyncere had to come and pick me up! It was like junior high school, all over again!

The next morning, I woke up early, had a protein shake, packed my new items, and made my way to the meeting place of the training ride. It took me about 20 minutes to figure out how to get my bike in my coupe, but I finally got it in there! Thanks to Carnegie Mellon University for developing my engineering mind. The ride was 40 miles. We started around 930am and I didn’t come back until 1:30pm. The ride was full of hills and downhills. It was actually very relaxing to ride my bike; it allowed my mind to wander and to be just with my thoughts. It reminded me of camping during high school. It was peaceful. The non-peaceful times were when my tire popped during a fast downhill and when my chain got off track during an uphill phase of the ride. Since I rode with the team leaders, I always felt in great hands. Everyone was very helpful in the ride. They even changed my tire for me! I was very touched. It is truly a community. I was truly grateful to have had the experience now versus on the actual ride. After the ride, I had an amazing sense of accomplishment. I would have never thought I would be doing this

After the ride, I went over to my friends Jeff’s house where we watched NCAA March Madness for the rest of the evening. It was nice and relaxing and a great end to a great day. I have been truly humbled this week. After a week I sent my mass email to friends and family, I am halfway to my AIDS Lifecycle fundraising goal. The support has been amazing. I’m the kind of person who rarely asks for help so this experience has been humbling. It has also been helpful in getting me ready for when the twins come. I already know I will NEED to ask for help, help, and more help.

Speaking of the babies, can I just say, I am just so excited that they are coming. I have been slowly telling more and more people as I see them. When I tell them, most everyone is just amazed… BTW I am still amazed! People have been so happy for me, which has been great to feel that love. It is a bit funny. I have noticed that when I tell gay men about this surrogacy journey, they always tell me that they want kids too. I think many men don’t know where to start or how to do it! One of my hopes is that I can serve as an inspiration (through my blog and my story) to those people. I hope all people who want children (gay or straight) are able to have them.

(On my Soap Box)
As the US Supreme Court currently decides on the issue of marriage equality today, I can only hope that law will be on the side of justice!
(Off my Soap Box)

Even though the babies will be coming in September, I have already started high level planning the baby shower with Cyncere and my Mom. They seem to be more enthusiastic about this process than I am. I want something pretty lowkey, but they have all of these ideas/themes/games etc. We will see how everything pans out. To all my friends out there, we are thinking mid-August in the Bay Area and for my family, we will have a viewing party around Thanksgiving in Oxnard. More deets and invitations to come. I am thinking of Baby Registries of Target and Where have others done theirs?


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Happy, Smiling Babies

Thank you everyone for your well wishes in my health. I am feeling much better this week than I did last week. I am officially back on my grind. This week was the last week for my boss, so it has been a bunch of ceremonial goodbye breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. The good news is that 1) they have already interviewed 2 people for my bosses job, and 2) my colleague that I thought was going to leave will be staying at least until May. This is all very good news.

This week I received my scans from the clinic (see below).

Please please please take a close look at these scans. Am I crazy or are these babies are smiling, happy, and cheerful ALREADY!?! My heart jumped when I saw these scans. My little babies…. already having a good ol’ time! My soul smiled as I saw this. What amazing images to capture!

The clinic also provided information that a low-lying placenta was observed. I immediately contacted the clinic for more information, as well as doing the extensive online research with my Mom. The conclusion was made that at this juncture, it is not anything to be overly concerned about, since we are just beginning the second trimester. As the pregnancy progresses, the placenta will probably move on its own, but the clinic told me that they would monitor intensely and give the surromom extra treatment. That helped to calm my thoughts. I just want to take this opportunity to sing the praises of SCI. They have been amazing and I am so happy that I chose them as a partner in this journey.

In other news, I have completely organized everything (or most everything) I need to do for this process by week until the babies are born from Baby Research to SUV purchase to Pediatrician interviews and decision, to Infant CPR classes with the help of Babycenter’s Ultimate Pregnancy list:
Obviously, I had to include many more tasks to organize such as DNA tests, Housing Reservations, India Flight Reservations, US Embassy in Delhi Intro and paperwork, post baby communications via India, etc. but doing this has really enabled me to bite off a little bit at a time to get everything planned, researched, and done … so when they come, I’m as ready as I can be!


Monday, March 18, 2013

Low Energy, but still Optimistic and Excited

All last week I had very low energy. I even decided to work from home last Friday. All weekend I slept, except for the date I had with Fritz Saturday evening, which went well. But right afterward I went home and slept, even though he wanted to hang out more. I just physically could not do it. Sunday I slept a lot as well. When I woke up this morning and walked the dogs, I got very nauseated (I'll spare you the details)so I decided to stay home. I am recovering nicely now that I have been taking medication. I am thankful to be living with Cyncere as she has become 'super nurse' and has been taking care of me all day long. She will make such a good godmother.

Unfortunately, because of my low energy, I was not able to bike ride and train like I wanted to. Although, on Sunday evening I sent out my first 'donation' email for my AIDS Lifecycle event, and the support has been piling in. Even from people who I never thought would donate. It has been quite touching to feel the support and love from so many people and it is only the beginning.

I should be hearing something from SCI tomorrow, which I am so excited about. I have been plugging away in terms of research and planning every day and feel more and more prepared everyday. I recently saw a show called Celebrity Wife Swap where Kate Gosselin switched places with Playboy Playmate Kendra. All I have to say is that Kate Gosselin is my new hero. Single Mom with 8 kids (twins and sextuplets) and a strict daily scheduled routine that will never deviate. It was amazing to see her household in action. She has become my new parenting inspiration (besides my Mom, of course).


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Mini Reveals

New Law

So this new law that was recently more clearly revealed is totally scary and bigoted (in my honest opinion), but life will go on. I am a true believer in everything happening for a reason so I know those future single parents, LGBT parents, and younger coupled parents will complete their families in due time. I will say though, that after I read the post by SCI, I had to email them immediately. They ensured me that I was included on 'the list' and that I will be ok on a tourist visa to pick up my children. I am so grateful that I decided to begin the process when I did. There were friends of mine (early in the process) who thought I was rushing into this or that I should “wait until I meet someone”, but I stayed true to myself and what I knew my path to be and I pressed on. For that, I am proud of myself.
Costume (Drag) Party
So last Saturday, it all finally came together. I, along with Cece and a couple of other friends, were organizing a surprise Drag party for our best friend Jeff. I couldn’t really talk about it because he reads this blog and I didn’t want to spill the beans. It was truly amazing and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Just imagine… 20 people, each over 6 feet tall in wigs, makeup, heels, and clothes in the name of fun! Jeff absolutely loves drag and dressing up, so this was a dream come true for him. The look on his face was truly amazing and I will never forget it. Thankfully Cece caught that moment with her camera. He was laughing hysterically for at least 5 minutes when we all surprised him. It was one of those special times I will never forget, and it felt great to do this for him with my closest friends Franny, McFierce, Jason, and Cece. Just amazing. Unfortunately, we all promised not to show pics to the world to maintain privacy, so I can’t show any, but you all can just imagine. I mean, I shaved my moustache for it, which I haven’t done for at least 10 years, so you know I was taking this seriously!
Telling Family
This past Monday I decided to tell my (extended) family about the process and the babies. It seemed as though my family were very supportive but I don’t think they understood how it was all working together. I believe it was maybe ‘too’ unconventional for many of them. Many were at a loss for words. All in all, it was still great to share this amazing part of my life with them. I must be honest though, I am still not sure when I will be ready to tell the general world. It has given me pause as to how and when to tell people in the future.

Work has been surprisingly calmer than expected. I am looking forward to see how the transition will go after next week when my boss is gone. My bike training has been going well. I can feel my body getting stronger. So I have been chatting with a guy name Fritz via and we have a date on Saturday. He is 40, a physician, and German. We will see how it goes… no expectations.
Nothing but love,


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Latest on FRRO and Visa Requirements

Taken from the SCI blog/website:

SCI ANNOUNCEMENT : future work with non - married clients & those travelling on a Tourist visa

We are all very aware of the uncertainty that recent changes to visa requirement has caused our surrogacy community.

After the most recent communication with FRRO, SCI  believes it has no recourse other than to postpone treatment for non - married clients, rather than expose clients to legal action for violation of visa conditions.

We have included a copy of the letter we have sent all concerned SCI clients ( irrespective of your marital status, we cannot start a new treatment cycle : ie receive samples,sperm collection, IVF, egg collection with any client who travels on a tourist visa regardless of treatment being planned in 2012) :


I know that you are aware of the many issues surrounding the new visa requirement. This has been a confusing and challenging time for us all.
I would like to inform you about what has happening from our end:
1.     After Christmas we were made aware of the new visa requirement and as such we accepted no new non- married and single IPs.

2.     After approaching both the MHA & FRRO, a meeting was held on the 5th of Feb at the FRRO, the FRRO recognized that there are IPs who are already in the process, all of whom may not be able to satisfy the new visa requirements. In the meeting a demand was made to forward a list of all clients who are pregnant and or/in treatment. 

3.     SCI approached clients for names to be placed on the list.

4.     On the 1st of March, the FRRO demanded the list be forwarded

5.     On the 8th of March, we received a letter from the FRRO dated the 6th of March 

The relevant part of this letter which impacts on you reads as follows.

The appropriate visa category for commissioning surrogacy is a medical visa.

Tourist visa is not the appropriate visa category for surrogacy and legal action

will be taken for violation of visa conditions.

o   We were informed that as per the Ministry of Home Affairs directions surrogacy is not allowed in case of single parent. However, in cases where surrogacy has already been commissioned it will be examined on case-by-case basis.

o   We were informed by the representatives that there are some “grey zones” in the present surrogacy requirements, which should he looked into by the government.

 We are currently seeking clarification about your situation as we believe you to be clients who have already commissioned surrogacy. Until we have such clarification, we are requesting that you postpone your trip/procedure until a clear reply is obtained by us from the concerned government authority. 

For those of you coming to India on tourist visa, you will only be able to sign a surrogacy contract, but no treatment can commence until we have further clarification, or you have obtained a medical visa.
We are very sorry for these circumstances; the said postponement is beyond our control and is directed by government. We have no wish to place you in a circumstance in which the consequences are unknown.
SCI will not give up on your dream, we remain hopeful to being able get back to you soon to start the process.

 Please email us with any queries or concerns that you may have, but we would ask that you be mindful that we are seeking further clarification of the definition of " surrogacy has already been commissioned " in writing :
All I have to say is... Scary!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Double the Work!

So as you might be able to tell, I haven’t been sleeping well for the past 1-2 weeks. I think part of it is that I do have the jelly beans on my mind but a big part of it has been work. Work has been super crazy (nothing unmanageable), but still pulling me in a variety of different directions. I just found out that my boss will be leaving in two weeks and a coworker of mine went on an interview for a job that he knows he will get. Therefore, my workload will basically double and I have to answer to the CFO. My only hope is that I am compensated for it which I will use for the jelly beans childcare. Also, if you couple that with getting used to my training schedule, all I can say is …. I need some sleep! This upcoming weekend, I don’t think I will be able to get the rest I need though because I have been planning to do something this weekend that will take up most of the weekend. I will spill the beans next week.

Anyway, I recently dreamed that I met two kids, both of color, ages around 5 or 6. They were speaking fluent German to me and I was extremely impressed. I wanted to adopt them and take them home but felt overwhelmed because I knew the jelly beans were coming. When I woke up, I wanted to know who these kids were. I later realized that these were my future kids I had met in my dream. Sorry but those who know me, know that I am soooooo New Age.

So…. every time I post something or get an update from the clinic, I also call my GMA. She isn’t really into the ‘World Wide Web’ so she will never read this blog. I think she thinks the Internet is evil, but I digress. Anyway, she has been so sweet to me since I revealed the news about the jelly beans. Everytime I start talking about the jellybeans, one can hear 1, 2, 3 doors shut behind her to make sure no one can hear her. She is taking this so seriously and I love it. My own little “Alias” spy. She also called me this week to tell me about an episode of Katie about “modern families”. It focused on people who were LGBT going through the surrogacy process, just like me and the “New Normal” show. It was sweet of her to think of me. She also got mad at me for buying some baby clothes and she said and I quote, “ I wanted to be the first person to buy something for the babies”. She is so competitive. If she only knew, Cyncere bought something for them roughly 2-3 months ago. =)
Current scans (below):
Although in my calculations the jelly beans should have been 10 weeks and 3 days, they are measuring at 11 weeks. Sounds like they are growing exponentially and surromom is feeding them well, so I’m happy! If you look at the scans, it looks like on twin is squishing the other one. I guess I know one of them will be a true ‘boss’.#somuchworkaheadofme

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Jelly Beans are growing and fine @ week 10

Hey Everyone. Hope all is well.
SO the update for the babes finally came today and they are doing well.

Dear Anwar,
Greetings from SCI Healthcare..!!

We hope you are doing well.
We would like to inform you that we have done USG scan for L as per our schedule.
Please find attached herewith files of the same.
We would like to let you know that Dr. Shivani has reviewed the reports and noted that all parameters are within normal limit. Your babies are doing okay.
L is doing a great job and her pregnancy is progressing further as per our expectations. Kindly note that her next scan will be done within two weeks.
We will keep you updated.
So happy to hear this. Anytime I don't get news immediately two weeks (to the hour) from SCI Iget into panic mode, but they have been so amazing and so responsive, it has been great.  Last night I woke up at 4am and began an email conversation with them about the state of the jellybeans and surromom. Yogita let me know that everything was alright and that they would be sending me information at noon their time. So like clockwork, I woke up at 1am to check on everything. I guess my parental instincts are already starting to come in. =)
Anyway, their heartbeats are 164 and 156 so I'm happy about that. The next update will be in two weeks and will be the 12 week mark (over the 1st trimester hump). I'm super excited.

In terms of my life, Life is good. I started training for the Aids Lifecycle full time starting last week which has been good. Tues and Thur I'm on the stationary bike for 1 hour and then on Saturdays I go out on an outdoor ride. Saturday I started slow and went on a 15 mile ride by myself. This Saturday I will be riding with a group that is going 30 miles. On Saturday, I also picked up Cyncere from the airport and had a nice lunch at Dolores Park here in San Francisco. It is great to have her back and she had a nice trip seeing friends and family. I also allowed myself to get baby supplies (clothes) for the first time during the process. I just got a few newborn onesies and bibs, nothing too major.

Sunday, I met up for a Gay Dads Pancake brunch where I met other Dads in the Bay Area and was introduced to an organization called One Family Coalition, which supports both LGBT parents and their kids with different workshops and classes to empower us. I was happy to be in that space and meet others like me. I must say though, most of the gay dads were closer to 50 so I am hoping to meet dads closer to my age in upcoming events.

Monday, I had a meet and greet mixer with other participants and trainers of the Aids Lifecycle. The trainers were great and gave me a lot of great information about training, fundraising, and the event in general. It got me super pumped about the whole experience, not to meantion the trainers were totally hot with sick bodies. I will post scans soon. I'm tired and its 230am already.

Ciao, ciao.


P.S. Started reading Baby 411 and the book is truly amazing. Thanks for the recommendation blog family. =)