Thursday, February 28, 2013

Aids Lifecycle Page

Life has been quiet without my sister around. This week at work was very intense but most of the stress is over. Given the hard days at work, I have just been coming home and collapsing after walking the dogs. Wednesday was the most intense day with two very important meetings. They went well but I was quite exhausted by the end of the day. Last night I went to bed around 8pm and woke up at 1am, did some work, then went back to bed around 4am. Let’s just say this morning was … interesting.

Tonight I begin my indoor bike training for the Aids Lifecycle.
Below you will the link to my personal page: 

Not much else to report at the moment.
I’m just waiting on my next report from SCI next Monday.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Ready to Train for the Ride of my Life

On Thursday, I hung out with my friend Jeff. We ate some dindin, kiki-ed(=chatted it up), and watched Scandal (with Cyncere and McFierce).

He had gotten me a present… “Pregnancy Tea” (picture to come). It promotes a healthy pregnancy and he thought it would be perfect for me AND IT IS. I haven’t had any yet but today and every Monday I will have some until they are gone. I thought it was the funniest thing I had ever seen but also very touching. It feels great to know that you have people in your corner rooting for you and your future kids.

Friday, I gave GMA the update and she was super excited. She said she had a feeling that I would have two girls which I don’t believe. I think she was just trying to say the opposite of me, but we will see. I later heard that day that she was speaking in code to my Mom about the jelly beans. Apparently there were other people at her house and she said to my Mom, “ All I can say is heartbeats 150 and 156”. She is such a CIA spy! It is absolutely killing her that she can’t tell anyone. The excitement is killing her. I love it!

The day after my mini-breakdown and right after my last post, I received the Ultimate Pregnancy Checklist/To-Do List from and it has helped me out so much. I am and feel much more organized and have a game plan on the things I need to research, plan, do, and buy. It was a true gift from God /Universe/ Buddha/ Oprah or whatever else people believe in these days! Either way, I am so thankful and I am thankful for all the helpful recommendations from fellow bloggers/parents/to-be parents! The virtual help you all provided really helped to put me at peace with the process and let me know I’m not alone.

Friday night after work, I was finally able to get the bike to start training for the Aids Lifecycle and it is gorgeous. I promise to take a picture and show you all. After my friend dropped off the bike, we went to a bike shop and got more gear for me and the bike. He also helped me with my training schedule which I am so happy with. Basically, the schedule is an hour on the stationary bike on Tuesday and Thursday and an outdoor ride on Saturday mornings. With time, the Saturday morning rides will get longer and longer. I can’t wait!

On Saturday, I went to the Brandy concert. It was so much fun and amazing. I guess I didn’t know what to expect, but she had a ton of hits she sang. She also did a medley of Whitney Houston which was to die for! The theatre wasn’t that big so our seats to the back weren’t actually that bad, all things considered. I went with Jeff and Jeff found some empty seats about 6 or so rows from the stage so we took those instead. So Awesome! A friend of ours stayed after the concert to give her flowers and was able to meet her! I was happy for him since he is absolutely in love with her. I’m not really into meeting ‘celebrities’; I just think they are regular people. After the concert, Jeff and I went out to a local club and danced the night away. Let’s just say I didn’t get to bed until 4am. I had a blast, but I was also reminded of two things. 1) I am too old to be clubbing it and running around like so many of these 25yo and younger kids and 2) my recovery rate is much slower than it used to be. I believe I woke up closer to noon on Sunday. For someone who prides himself on productivity, this was an epic fail (#epic fail).

Sunday, I had a date with a guy named Refugio who I was chatting with before my Mom and Grandma came. He is a guy from Mexico who is currently getting his Masters degree in Public Administration. Before school, he was a social worker doing a lot of community work. He was a cool guy and who had a ton of interesting things to say. I think I will see him again.

All in all, there is quite a lot to do at the moment and I am running a bit behind but I believe that I will be able to catch up this week. Cyncere will be travelling to visit family and friends so I will have nothing but time to get everything done that I need to do.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Everything will be OK. Slow and Steady Wins the Race...

On Tuesday I got this email from SCI:

Dear Anwar,

Greetings from SCI Healthcare !!
We hope you are doing well !!

We would like to request you to please find attached your surrogate mother - L's scan.
Please find attached herewith files of the same.
We are happy to inform you that every parameter are within normal limit.
Dr. Shivani has reviewed the reports and noted everything within satisfactory level.

L is doing well & her pregnancy is growing well.
Please note that her next scan will be done within two weeks.
We will keep you updated.

With Regards,
SCI Healthcare

YAY jelly beans! Keep on keepin’ on.

I probably should have posted this earlier as SCI literally sent this email to me right after I finished my last post but work has been crazy this week. For many of you who already don’t know, I am a fashion retail executive for a large corporation. I manage the Womens Apparel and Accessories divisions, which together, total to about a Billion dollar business. This is a really busy time for us as we are transitioning between Fall/Winter merchandise and new Spring/Summer merchandise. This time shall pass.

Below you will find the scans:

The heartbeats are currently 150 and 156 BPM. This is on the lower side of the normal range of 149-172 but still in the normal range so I am happy and relieved. It is interesting though because at 6 weeks they were in the higher part of the normal range (132, 136 BPM). I am just thankful to be in the healthy range and look forward to more great news. Who would have thought 6 months ago that my life would be consumed by beta levels and heartbeat rates? =)

Now I am beginning to do my research. It seems like a lot, and truth be told, I had a mini-breakdown yesterday because I felt like I have so much to research and prepare. Thankfully, I had my mim-breakdown while I was on the phone with my Mom walking down the streets of San Francisco (people walking by looking quite concerned). She was able to reason with me and make sure I’m taking reasonable steps in my research approach. She also made some really great call outs. I have a lot of stuff in my head and I need to start writing things down. She also began sending me different preparation lists and such.
Thanks Mom.

Has anyone else had mini freak outs? How did you research or prepare?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Tell Me Somethin' Good!

I woke up this morning hoping to receive an email from SCI but I haven’t heard anything yet regarding my surromom’s latest scan. It was weird because they have been very specific about communication timing up until this point. At first, I had a little freak out but then I calmed down and realized that things will be a little less stringent (in terms of communication) as the pregnancy moves forward. I won’t be getting emails every week anymore. I emailed them today so I am sure they will email me tomorrow. I am believing that no news is good news!

My mom told me that she has begun having dreams about the babies. Apparently, the dreams have been centered around her holding, kissing, bathing, and burping the young ones. She said, “ since I can’t talk about them… I am constantly thinking about them.” This is part proof that my Mom and sister are probably more excited about the babies than I am (kidding). =) I guess I’m too wrapped up in prep/research mode at the moment!

As far as my weekend, it went well. On Friday, I organized a social tennis event and after play drinks. We had 32 people come out (vs. the usual 12 people) and about 15 of those people went to after play drinks. I got a lot of encouragement about the event. My co-manager of the event kept on saying I was very organized which really made me feel good. Externally I played the compliment down, but internally it felt good and gave me more encouragement that I will be able to care for the twins. Perhaps it sounds silly, but I worry about this at times.

Saturday I slept all day. I guess I was still exhausted from my Mom and Gma visiting, the workweek, and not getting enough sleep (one night Kaizer peed in my bed in the middle of the night) so I had to clean it up at 4am and couldn't get back to sleep. I guess it is good prep for what will come, huh? That reminds me.. Have I ever showed you a pic of my dogs? Well then.. here ya go:

Me and the doggies (Twix and Kaizer)
The pee-pee culprit, Kaizer

Sunday was a good day where I felt like I was back on my routine. Cyncere slept all day because she wasn’t feeling well so I was taking care of her, did some gardening, read, journaled, studied my German, cleaned the house, did laundry, and played tennis with a friend- overall a relaxing and productive day. I wanted to do my taxes since it is tax season but didn’t have enough time. I will do them sometime this week.
This week I will be starting my Aids Lifecycle training and I’m super excited.
I look forward to getting in better shape, eating healthier, and overcoming another challenge.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentine’s Day

What a nice and relaxing Valentine’s Day I had. Work was good and not stressful at all. Then I came home and Cyncere and I watched the two greatest love stories ever told… “Romeo and Juliet” and ‘Scandal’. After watching R+J, Cyncere had the brilliant idea of naming the kids Mercutio and Benvolio… and I gagged. Not saying those names aren’t great, I just don’t see it for my kids. What do you all think?
I mean... I already have my names picked out but I will share those with everyone in the third trimester =)
Recently I have been having this feeling that I might have a girl. I don’t know what this is all about. Every little brown girl I see, I see a future child. It is hard for me to see how my potential son would look like. Did/Does anyone else have certain feeling about gender early in the pregnancy? What are some of the reasons you felt one gender vs. the other?

I’m looking forward to Monday’s report. It has been two weeks since my last report so I’m excited to see how things are going with the surromom and the jelly beans. I have done my own calculations and their due date will be Oct. 3, which is my GMA’s birthday. I think that is a great omen! Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Taking over my life (already)... and I'm fine with that!

Yesterday was a crazy day.
My Mom left to return to Ohio which was sad. I already miss her a lot because she is super fun and reminds me to have fun in everything I do. I can sometimes get so serious and focused on things that I forget to smile and have fun. Oh, how I already miss her. She has also been my advisor on everything ‘baby’ so it has been great to already learn so much from her about parenting already! She is one of the few women I know who has had 3 children in 3 different decades. She’s an amazing woman. She has really been my catalyst to get deep into research mode. Thank you, Mom!
After work, I was able to catch up with an old friend Leigh who I used to work with about 10 years ago. It was so great chatting with her. She was so excited about the ‘jelly beans’ and told me that her mother is going to be knitting something for them. That really touched my heart! She also mentioned that she has a ton of friends who have just had babies and have a ton of stuff that they don’t use anymore. She said she would This will be a huge help, especially for those higher priced items. She offered to be my own little baby stuff broker! What an amazing offer! She also mentioned that I was glowing and that I had a confidence about me. I guess the change in my everyday manner is noticeable; that’s something I didn’t know. I definitely feel a change inside of me. She also mentioned that she it seems like everything in falling into place (especially with the whole FRRO regulations). Now that I think about it, I think she’s right. Things are falling into place, and I’m super grateful for that.

After catching up with her, I went to a Board of Director meeting for a city tennis non-profit organization. It was a great meeting as it was my first as Social Director and I made a proposal to help membership numbers and it was accepted/ approved by the board. I feel like I am already having an impact, which makes me feel good. I am also managing two events for the organization this week. I’ll let you know how they go!

After the meeting, I hurried up and picked up Cyncere and went to my friend McFierce’s house. We were all getting together to watch the premiere of ‘The Face’, a reality model search show (ala America’s Next Top Model)! Can I just say that it is my new favorite show! It really stars the legendary Naomi Campbell and she is so hilarious, fierce, and amazing. My friends thought she was a bully throughout the show, but I thought she was fierce and real. I laughed so much during the show because of her and I can’t wait until next week! It’s funny… some people think I am a lot like her but I don’t see it. I mean I have my moments, but these moments are getting fewer and far between. =)

So this baby stuff is starting to take over my life. Every morning when I wake up I play a certain song by Beyonce called ‘End of Time’ The chorus goes something like this:
Come take my hand

I won't let you go

I'll be your friend

I will love you so deeply

I will be the one to kiss you at night
I will love you until the end of time

It is like a little ode to my ‘jelly beans.’ I think it is the perfect song to get my day started and to send positive thoughts and love to New Delhi! I have also redone my weekly schedule so now I allocate about an hour a day researching baby stuff, whether that’s child development, baby supplies, India exit stuff, managing twins, single parent stuff, etc. As per a suggestion, I just downloaded the pregnancy app by BabyCenter (per Leigh’s suggestion) and it tells me how the baby is developing, what foods, I should be eating since I’m pregnant, etc. =) It is very informative. It was a real turning of the tide for me as I downloaded this Baby Center app since most of the apps I used to download were gay-specific apps like Scuff or Grindr; those have been uninstalled/deleted. Given my more focused approach to the pregnancy, I have put less emphasis on meeting guys. This relates to dating as well. I haven’t poo-pooed the idea of dating, it just isn’t a focus at the moment… and I’m fine with that.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Family is a beautiful thing!

Friday with Mom:
Friday was a great day! My mom and I spent quality time together by running errands, watching TV (House of Cards) great show BTW,  and visiting Babies R Us! That store is a bit overwhelming (and expensive) but it also got me very excited.  Friday was also amazing because my GMA came into town. She has never come to visit me so I was so honored that she came. She even rode the train and bus which took about 9 hours to get to San Francisco. What a blessing!

Once I picked up my GMA, I picked up my friend Francis, who insisted on cooking for my family and me. Below you will find the delicious plantains, island-seasoned chicken, salad with pears and craisins, and amazing mac and cheese. Below you will find the cook Francis and some of the food we had. Amazing!

GMA Reveal:

On Saturday,  I decided to tell GMA about the babies. I explained to her why I went to India and why I was thinking about changing cars to an SUV. She was amazed about the lengths I would go to to have these children. I have no idea why I was so worried. She was so excited and happy to hear the news. She told me that this would be our secret until I was ready to tell everyone. She also said she would pray for them everyday. For anyone who knows her, they would know She also welcomed me to the "Twin Mom Club".  I had to smile. =) She had twins too. She told me that I shouldn't feel overhwhelmed; it is very doable. That made me feel very good and put me at ease.

The rest of the weekend, we visited a ton of thrift stores and watched all of the movies that were nominated as Best Picture for the Academy Awards. So many good movies. I love marathon-ing with my fam. Tomorrow morning , GMA leaves to go back to southern California and Tuesday morning my Mom leaves, which I am a bit sad about but grateful they were both able to visit me (and each other).

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Some Questions, Some Answers, Some Amazement, Some Suspense

As some of you may know, under new FRRO guidelines regulating commercial surrogacy arrangements in India, gay couples and single foreigners will no longer be eligible to have an Indian surrogate bear their child.

So I ask SCI Healthcare about this new regulation that is supposed to be strictly enforced starting at the beginning of this year. I wanted to know how this would affect me? They responded promptly with the following email:

Dear Anwar
The FRRO has asked for a list of clients currently in visa, the implication is that people on this list will be granted exit visas for babies. With your permission we will put you on this list, it is to be submitted by 18th February.

Ummm, yes, please.
FYI, if you are currently single, LGBT, or a young married couple and pregnant with SCI, I would ensure that they are including you on this list to ensure no problems moving forward.

Paddington Books:
The most amazing thing happened yesterday while my Mom and I were doing some thrift store shopping. I found the following books:

Can you believe that?
I have never seen any foreign language books for children at a thrift store, not even in Spanish, which is saying a lot living in California. But German…. German! Especially since I will be raising my kids in German, I had to snatch them up immediately. AMAZING! Still unbelievable.

Well my Grandma (GMA) surprised me and told me that she would be coming up from Southern California and visiting me while my Mom is here. I think her thinking was to hit two birds with one stone. The only issue is that she doesn’t know about the surrogacy process yet. I have decided to tell her even though my plan was to tell her at 12 weeks. I just couldn’t see us (My Mom, Cyncere, and I) not talking about the babies just because GMA is with us.

So now I have two issues 1) I don’t know how she will react, and 2) I don’t want her to tell anyone as I want to keep this knowledge only among close friends until 12 weeks. The only problem is… hmmm … how do I say this diplomatically… she likes to communicate a lot with everyone (as she is the matriarch of my family). She tells everyone everything. So we will see if she will be able to keep this information sealed tight or not. I will let you all know how it all turns out.

But tonight… tonight all of my East Bay grals and family will have a Scandal TV show KiKi party where we all watch the show and gag over all of the suspense.

Until next time,

Monday, February 4, 2013

Their Hearts will go on… My heart be still…

The email I got this morning:

Dear Anwar,


We hope you are doing fine.

We would like to inform you that as per our schedule we have done USG scan for L to check the heartbeats.

Kindly find the enclosed report for the same.

We are very happy to inform you that two heartbeats have been seen during the scan.

Dr. Shivani has reviewed the reports and found everything fine with her scan reports.

L is doing fine & everything is moving perfectly ahead.

Please note that her next scan will be done within two weeks.

We will keep you updated with her further progress & new status.

Amazing. The heart beats are 132 and 136 BPM, well within the normal range. We are currently 6 weeks old.
I am in awe. This morning I cried.
I’m well on my way to becoming a father.

P.S. The doctor says the two sacs are very distinct but I only see one in each scan. I believe there are two scans of A and two scans of B.

The Weekend

On Friday, I had to take my car into the repair shop. My good ‘gral’friend Jeff helped me out majorly by picking up the car and paying for it before I got off of work. It was a huge reminder why I came to the Bay Area. It was friendship and reliability like that, which makes my Bay Area friends my family. As I rarely ask others for help it is great to know that my friends will be there for me. They will all make such great aunties! It takes a gay village! =)

The weekend was fairly relaxing. No dates this weekend because I had so much to do. On Friday, I went to First Fridays (monthly Oakland street festival with open museums/galleries) with Cyncere and my friend Mcfierce. We had a good time although the next day we heard there was a shooting, so don’t know if I will be attending again. I mean, I’m a mother now, y’all!

Saturday was pretty chill. I had a GLTF gala event (Gay Tennis) and although I was dreading it all day, I actually had a good time and met some cool people. Crowd was a bit older (mostly 40-50 yo).

Sunday we ended up going over to Justin’s house for the Beyonce concert (aka the Superbowl). What a great game! SF 49ers were so close but couldn’t make it happen. Maybe next year! It was interesting… my baby news is spreading like wildfires within my friends circle. At the party, a friend of mine (who has a child) asked me what I’m most looking forward to when the babies come.
It took me a long time to answer but I said:

-I can’t wait for the teachable moments we will have and the subsequent ‘a-ha’ moments

-How their eyes will light up with amazement

-Their specific milestones

-Being a pack master of my own tribe

-Their German language

-Really everything =)

Ask and Receive, or Surrender?

So I try to usually write my blog every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday but this weekend has been taken over by the Tennis Gala, Superbowl, and preparing for my Mom to come, so I must admit I have slacked off a bit on here…. But now I’m back!

This process has required a lot of introspection about the essence of it and how I choose to live my life. One of the major questions I have struggled with for a while is this:
How do I ask for what I want and expect to receive it (aka The Secret) while also being able to surrender to whatever result may be?

In my own philosophical journey that I began intensely last year, this was one of the major questions I struggled with. As I am majorly involved in this process, this question has come up again. As someone who has spiritually always knew I was going to have twins, how do I reconcile the possibility that I might not have them…?

In speaking with my Mother, I came to the following conclusions:

1) I must always ask what I want and therefore set my Intention (Intention being the key word)
2) I must always expect the outcome of what I ask for with every fiber of my body

3) If the outcome doesn’t come out as I have expected, I must trust in the Universe, and surrender to the result.
    a. I must know that the Universe is ‘looking out for me’ and that

    b. Whatever happens will be the best thing for me, if not now, definitely in the future.

This is how I have reconciled these two schools of thought.