Friday, March 30, 2012

Our Children Are Listening

We live in a time where parenting advice is given every which way we turn. Often times, the advice is unsolicited and non-relevant, off the wall, and even bizarre.  Those of you who follow Love Makes A Family on Pinterest, may have already seen that I pinned this exceptionally beautiful blog post from The Maternal Lens.  I love this post for so many reasons, but mostly because it takes us back to simple and pure parenting.  The things that really matter.  I hope that you see the beauty and inspiration in it, just as I did.

{ They are listening }

So, this is part photography blog, and part mommy blog, and with this post I am attempting to give you a taste of both.

I was reading an article today, and found it impossible not to share some of it. Hopefully you will love it as much as I did, and put some or all of it to good use.

With our busy, day to day lives, sometimes it is easy to forget to be really present and 'talk' to our children. Of course they know we love them, but sometimes we forget the things that they need to hear, and hear often.

{19 Things we should say to our Children}

1. I love you! There is nothing that will make me stop loving you. Nothing you could do or say or think will ever change that.

All you need is... (edit)

2. You are amazing! I look at you with wonder! Not just at what you can do, but who you are. There is no one like you. No one!

Is anybody up there?

3. It’s all right to cry. People cry for all kinds of reasons: when they are hurt, sad, glad, or worried; when they are angry, afraid, or lonely. Big people cry too. I do.


4. You’ve made a mistake. That was wrong. People make mistakes. I do. Is it something we can fix? What can we do? It’s all over. You can start fresh. I know you are sorry. I forgive you.

summer afternoon

5. You did the right thing. That was scary or hard. Even though it wasn’t easy, you did it. I am proud of you; you should be too.

Tiny Snail 092(3)watermark

6. I’m sorry. Forgive me. I made a mistake.

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7. You can change your mind. It’s good to decide, but it is also fine to change.

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8. What a great idea! You were really thinking! How did you come up with that? Tell me more. Your mind is clever!

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9. That was kind. You did something helpful and thoughtful for that person. That must make you feel good inside. Thank you!

Sheriff ²

10. I have a surprise for you. It’s not your birthday. It’s for no reason at all. Just a surprise, a little one, but a surprise.

"It's for you."

11. I can wait. We have time. You don’t have to hurry this time.

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12. What would you like to do? It’s your turn to pick. You have great ideas. It’s important to follow your special interests.

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13. Tell me about it. I’d like to hear more. And then what happened? I’ll listen.


14. I’m right here. I won’t leave without saying good-bye. I am watching you. I am listening to you.

15. Please and Thank You. These are important words. If I forget to use them, will you remind me?

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16. I missed you. I think about you when we are not together!

my girl...

17. Just try. A little bit. One taste, one step. You might like it. Let’s see. I’ll help you if you need it. I think you can do it.

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18. I’ll help you. I heard you call me, here I am. How can I help you? If we both work together, we can get this done. I know you can do it by yourself, but I’m glad to help since you asked.

Making cinnamon rolls with Grandma...

19. What do you wish for? Even if it’s not yet time for birthday candles and we don’t have a wishbone, it’s still fun to hear about what you wish for, hope for, and dream about.

The best place to seek God is in the garden.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Surrogate's Point Of View

This post is a long time in coming.  I've thought and thought and thought about how to present this information so that it best represents how surrogates feel, and also allows Intended Parents to get a better idea of where their surrogate is coming from.  Allow me to begin this post by saying that although I believe many surrogates will agree with my point of view, I am only speaking for I feel and view things.

I have not been an Intended Parent.  I will never be able to fully communicate all of the emotions and feelings that an Intended Parent has.  This post is not designed to imply that I know where an Intended Parent is coming from. However, I am able to put myself in your shoes and imagine what kinds of things you must be feeling, thinking and wondering.  There must be many questions. Sensitive questions that you may have and may or may not feel comfortable asking.  I strongly believe in honesty and openness.  I believe that honesty and openness prevents misconceptions and assumptions.  Open communication is key, but sometimes, it's also awkward.  My hope is to address a few of the awkward topics found in surrogacy.  By being being honest, I hope to shed some light on what a surrogate is truly thinking and feeling about carrying a baby for someone else.

First and foremost, once an Intended Parent chooses surrogacy as the way in which their child will be brought into this world, I imagine one of the scariest thoughts is:


Talk to a surrogate...any gestational surrogate, and she'll tell you the same thing.  We do not, in any way, shape or form consider this our baby. We are very aware, from the get-go that this is your baby.  And we're happy about that.  Think about it this way, a surrogate is very capable of having her own children.  If she wanted to have a baby, it's a fairly simple process.  We would certainly choose to have our own baby if having one was what we desired. We've spent many months, sometimes years, researching and thinking about being a surrogate. We have a pretty good handle on what it might feel like to carry a baby for someone else.  We want to have a baby for you!  We want YOU to experience what we already have...a family. That truly is the main reason we do what we do.


I've got news for you.  We will definitely become attached to your baby.  We love your baby very much. Turn the tables and imagine the opposite.  Let's say we didn't care about your baby.  We wouldn't bother with all of the injections and medications.  We would blow off Dr.'s appointments and instructions from our medical providers.  We wouldn't care about being healthy while we're carrying your child.  We would angrily endure the aches and pains of pregnancy, along with the difficult act of giving birth which does not exactly provide the most serene environment for your unborn baby. I would like to think that if given the choice, you would choose a surrogate who was going to love on your baby for the 9 months that she is carrying it, knowing that your child is in good hands.  And yes, even though we love your child, even though we are attached to your child, we want nothing more than to see you with your child.  It is not sad for us to see the baby we have lovingly cared for in your arms. In fact, it's the moment we live for.


You'll never find a healthier group of gals.  Well....maybe you could, but surrogates are definitely a healthy bunch.  If you're working with an agency, you probably know that we surrogates have to pass many medical and psychological screenings.  We are required to be healthy to begin with, and during the pregnancy we have the health of your baby in mind at all times.  We eat right, take care of our bodies and avoid anything that might harm your baby in the slightest.  A personal example: While carrying the twins, I was concerned at one point while in a movie theater, that it might be too loud for the babies.  That's right.  Too loud. I muffled the noise with my coat and arms.  :)  We want to make sure your babies are happy and healthy at all times. Now, this doesn't mean that we won't go back to our diet soda habit AFTER your baby is born, but during the're good to go.  ;-)


Simple.  We want you to care. Being pregnant is so consuming.  There are very few moments in any given day where we are not 100% aware that we are pregnant. Pregnancy effects virtually everything we do. Eating, drinking, walking, sleeping, heck...even breathing! We gladly deal with it all because it's part of the gift we are giving.  We simply want to share the pregnancy with you.  We are experiencing every moment of every day of the pregnancy and we really want you to be a part of that.

We hope that you like us.
We hope that you trust us.
We hope that you appreciate us.
We melt when we learn that you are thinking of us.

We simply want to know that you care.


Possibly.  But not for the reason you might think.  We are not sad that the baby is not ours.  We are not sad that we are not becoming a mother.  The sadness that we feel is due to the fact that the journey that we have been on with YOU has come to an end.  We feel proud that we have succeeded in what we set out to do, and at the same time, we feel sad that the journey is over.  We may feel nervous and unsure about what our future looks like with you and your new family.  We sometimes worry that you'll forget about us. Some of these feelings are legitimate, some are fueled by hormones, but it's important that you know that it is in no way sad for us to be pregnant with, deliver, or see you with your baby.  Those moments are, in fact, some of the happiest moments of our lives.


Please know that you should never feel threatened that your surrogate is going to want to be the "mother" of your child. We have our own children.  We are happy moms already.  We are thrilled to see you in your role as "parent".  After the journey, what we really want is to know that you haven't forgotten us.  We miss you.  We think about you every day, and we would love to know that you think of us too from time to time. Skype, phone calls, emails, texts...we'll take whatever we can get.  After delivery we are very sensitive about giving you your space.  We recognize that you are busy and that the transition into parenting is consuming, so we hesitate to "bother" you with contact.  That being said, we live for updates about you and your new family.  Pictures of you and/or your family absolutely make our day. We are very proud of the gift we have given and getting to see and hear how happy you are with your family is icing on the cake.

Every Intended Parent/Surrogate relationship is a little different. Some are very personal and some are more business like.  The journey is unique for each of us.  My hope is that by addressing some of the fears and worries that may exist, there are fewer misconceptions, fewer assumptions about what a surrogate might be thinking and feeling.

In the end, no matter what YOUR journey looks like, the goal remains the same.

Surrogacy = One family helping another to create theirs.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Do you like cheese?
I do.  A lot.
But not nearly as much as I love this girl.

I officially met Jesse in February of 2011.  I had been reading her blog for quite some time and reached out to her in a comment.  She emailed me back about 5.2 seconds after I posted my comment.  We spent the next few days emailing each other back and forth.  We clicked.  We got each other.  We had a lot in common including a very similar twisted sense of humor.  We exchanged phone numbers and the rest, my friends, is history.  Jesse and I are now Ling Lost BFF's (our nickname is a result of a mis-typed text)  No need to point out who did the mis-typing (ahem).  

Obviously, I became pregnant shortly after Jesse and I met.  Although we were dying to meet in person, time got away from me and before I knew it, I was into the NO FLY ZONE.  14 days after we delivered the twins, Jesse became pregnant with a little boy for her IF's.  I was determined to meet this amazing woman in person, and decided we needed to MAKE it happen. 

This April...April 20th to be exact, I will be headed to Wisconsin!  The land of cheese.  I am so very excited to meet Jesse and her family.  I am really looking forward to spending some time with this ling lost friend of mine whom I have yet to meet in person.  I am quite certain that we will have a fantastic weekend together filled with lots of chatting and laughing.  I can't wait to see her beautiful pregnant belly and I am hoping that baby boy will give me a kick that can be felt from the outside while I am there.  I have already begun the countdown...

26 DAYS! 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

One Year Ago Today

The view from our hotel room.  George and Farid really spoiled us.
One year ago today, I woke up from a 3 hour sleep feeling incredibly excited...and a little scared. It was transfer day.  My mom, Jill and I took turns taking showers, and began getting ready for the trip from New York City to Connecticut.  Our morning consisted of Jeni "losing it" for a brief moment, as I was really feeling the pressure.  I wanted SO badly for this transfer to be successful.  Our morning also consisted of losing all power to our hotel room.  Did you know 3 blow dryers at once is too much juice for one hotel room?  :-)  Fortunately, hotel staff fixed the problem quickly and seemed to find the humor in 3 chicks trying to blow out their hair at once.  Hey!  A girl's gotta look nice when she's getting knocked up!

Stress much?
We made a quick stop at Starbucks for breakfast and we hit the road.  We made great time and arrived at Connecticut Fertility with time to spare.  This gave us some time to sit in the parking lot and process what was getting ready to occur and how amazing it all was.  It also gave me some time to become a little more nervous!

Mom and I.  Yes, I know...she's gorgeous.
We waited only a short time in the waiting room before being called back for the actual transfer. After they took me back to get changed, Dr. Doyle stopped by to say hello to Mom and Jill. They told him I was very nervous.  He asked what I was nervous about. They explained to him that I really wanted the transfer to work. He reassured them that it would work.  He felt extremely confident that I would become pregnant.  He was right.

These 2 beautiful embryos were transferred to my uterus.  
It was such an amazing moment. 
 I will never forget how full my heart felt at that moment.  

The 5 of us left the clinic with  two precious babies in tow.  
We grabbed a bite to eat on our way back to the city.

Once back at our lovely hotel, we took some time to chill.  I did a whole lot of this:

That evening the guys picked us up at the hotel and we all went to George's volleyball game.  It was super fun to see George and his team doing their thing and especially exciting that they won!  After the game, Farid and George took us on a little driving tour of New York City.  I absolutely adore New York City at night. I love New York City during the day too, but I think it's especially beautiful at night. We ended up ordering some dinner and having it delivered to our hotel room. We got a chance to eat, hang out, and chat.  We were all wearing our good luck bracelets that Skyler had made for us and we made lots and lots of  twin wishes.  I remember laying in bed that night, thinking...wondering.

Was I pregnant?  

Was I pregnant with twins?  

Yes, I thought.  Yes to both.

One year ago today I woke up after a 3 hour sleep feeling incredibly excited
...and a little scared.  

This morning I woke up after a 7 hour sleep feeling extremely happy
...and incredibly proud.  

For today, there are 2 men in Brooklyn who woke up to 2 beautiful babies.  

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tell Me What You See

Here's a fun game!
Take a look at the cheerful word search below.  
Scan the letters for words.  
The first four words you spot are said to describe you.  
Let's see if it's accurate.

Here's what I saw first:
1. Peaceful
2. Witty (Pronounced whitty)
3. Outspoken
4. Outgoing

Interesting...and eerily accurate.  
How about you?  What were the first 4 words you saw?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

4 Laptops in 50 Days

I am on a real roll as far as laptops are concerned.  Not that you care much but allow me to tell you about my recent electronic nightmare.

For the last 5 years, I've owned a Toshiba laptop.  It was a dinosaur...weighed...oh, I don't know...maybe 200 pounds.  She breathed her last breath on February 1st.  RIP Dino Toshiba. You lived a full life.

I can't say I was really all that sad to see her go.  It was time.  Time for something fresh and new.  I did some research, went and looked at new laptops, and was quickly sold on the idea of an ultrabook.  Smaller, lighter, faster.  Yes please.

I purchased my new (Toshiba) ultrabook, which may I add was NOT INexpensive, and got her all set up.

30, yes 30 days later.  I'm diligently working on DQ end of the month paperwork, which is something I don't necessarily love to do.  Jeni gently places new ultrabook on the kitchen table, carefully lifts the screen up, and proceeds to hear a very small popping sound. The result of said popping noise looks a little something like this:


I marched my big angry self back into Best Buy.  I was promptly told by the Geek Squad that my screen had cracked.  Gee, thanks for the diagnosis.  Geek, my a$$.  What could they do about the problem? Nada.  New screen for an ultrabook: $900.  New ultrabook:  $900.  Mr. Geek was especially sweet when he said, "I'll bet you wish you had purchased the extended warranty."  Jerk. I huffed and I puffed and I pretended to be strong...until I got to my car.  Cue the waterworks.  I allowed myself a few tears and then had a good ol' heart to heart with myself:

The computer is broken.  
Nothing you can do about it.  
You can choose to continue to be sad and angry, or you can move on.

Move on.  

Back I go to Best Buy.  It was a little hard for me to not give Mr. Geek the stink-eye as I passed him.  Instead I chose to give him my very best smart aleck grin. I purchase yet another ultrabook.  I learn that I am entitled to return any (unbroken) laptop within 30 days of purchase.  And yes, I add the stinkin' extended warranty.

This ultrabook has not broken, but she's quirky.  She runs hot which I do not enjoy.  She likes to power off at random.  A few other functions are legit, but annoying.  As much as I like my humans quirky, I like my electronics to operate with perfection.  I do not handle electronic glitches well.  A very large portion of my life takes place from my computer and phone.  Some say that's a shame.  I say that's my life.  And as you all know, I love my life.  

I've been talking with others.  Here is what I express to them: 

I am unsatisfied with this laptop.  I L-O-V-E the ultrabook style.  It suits me perfectly.  I love the size, the weight and the speed.  I need an ultrabook that operates with 100% precision.  I don't have time for malfunctions, viruses or quirkiness.  I need something that is completely reliable.  What should I get?

Everyone tells me the same thing.

Can you guess what they tell me?

What would you tell me?

Did I do the right thing?

Since I now own a Macbook Air, it only makes sense that I also needed this, right?

Let the learning curve begin.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

This One's For the Ladies...

...and some of you guys might enjoy as well!  :)

I'll bet your day just got a lot better, didn't it?  I know mine did!

Check out all of the Hey Girl Surrogacy Pics (yes, there are more) at 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Have Passport, Will Travel

A passport I did not have.  A passport I desired.  A passport I applied for. 
 A passport I received.

Sad but true, I have been out of the country two times in my life.  That's right. TWO times.  Once was for approximately an hour and a half, 15 years ago, when we crossed over the border from San Diego to Tijuana.  This trip doesn't even really qualify in my book as leaving the country.  The second time was a great trip into Canada.  We enjoyed visiting Victoria and Vancouver very much.  These trips both took place before passports were necessary in order to cross the border.  Since passports became necessary, I've not had the need for one because the thought of traveling to other countries was a little scary for me.  


I am very much looking forward to exploring new countries!  I am ready to experience this great big wonderful world of ours!  

Do I need a passport at this very moment?  Probably not.  
Do I have a trip out of the country planned?  Unfortunately, no.  

But I will.  Soon enough.  You just wait and see.  This passport book will have her first stamp in it before we know it.  I can't wait!

For all of you world travelers out there...what countries would you recommend be on my top 10 list of places to visit?
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