Q&A 6 months ago My Brother's Surrogacy Story
I cannot begin to tell you how elated I was to hear that my brother Justin is going to be a father.
I always knew he would make such a wonderful parent and seeing him with all of our friends and family’s kids has time and time again proven this. It is taking everything for me tonight blast the news up until recently that he and Josh are pregnant. After letting you guy in on the news, a lot of you wrote with questions about the process so I thought it would be fun to do a little Q&A with them.
How long have you guys been married?
Justin: We got married on June 6, 2015 so…two and a half years.
How many kids do you two want?
What are the biggest things that influenced your decision to do surrogacy?
Josh and I both knew we wanted children. We are very fortunate to be in a position to go the surrogacy route.
When did you begin the surrogacy process?
Josh: We first started looking into it in the summer of 2015, and signed with Growing Generations in December 2015.
What is a surrogate?
Justin: A surrogate is someone who carries a child for a family who cannot.
In a nutshell, how does it all work? With the eggs, the swimmers, the surrogate?
Josh: The eggs come from a donor we picked from an online database. We both donated sperm. The fertility clinic fertilized half of the 14 or so eggs with each of our sperm. After 5 days they do a variety of tests to see which embryos are good and they toss out the ones that aren’t—we were left with only a few good embryos each. These embryos were frozen until the surrogates cycle synced up (1-2 months). Then we unthawed a boy and a girl, waited a day to make sure they would continue to grow, and then they were implanted into the surrogate. 7-10 days later we found out if the surrogate was pregnant or not.
What was your criteria for picking the egg donor?
How long did it take for you to find a surrogate?
Josh: 10 months, I think? We were on a waiting list that whole time. Ashley was our first match and she was perfect!
Have you met the surrogate and where does she live?
Justin: Yes, we text her on a weekly basis. The first time we met her in person was for dinner the night before the implantation here in Pasadena. We wanted our surrogate to be in California. This is part of the reason it took longer for us to match.
Did you use your sperm and Josh’s or a donors?
Justin: We used both of ours, and each of us have embryos.
How do your family and friends feel about your decision to do surrogacy?
Josh: Everyone is super excited and happy for us. Everyone is also a little weirded out in different ways. Being gay, this whole process is a first for most of our friends and family. It will be a big change for everyone!
What are your greatest concerns about doing surrogacy?
Justin: Its fu**?! expensive. Like a nice house in Texas expensive.
What was the high and low moment of the surrogacy experiences thus far?
Josh: The low was finding out only one of the two embryos took. The chances of both taking are pretty low (~30%), so we were mentally prepared the whole time for only one (or none) to take. I was expecting to be ecstatic to see any heart beat, so I was surprised feeling sad to only see one.
The high was definitely telling our families. So much happiness just starts gushing out of everyone! I’m glad we have it all on video, it’ll be fun to show the little guy when he’s older.
Justin: The low was the waiting. It took over a year from signing up to matching with a surrogate. You just have to not think about it otherwise the waiting drives you crazy.
The high was when we found out we were pregnant. Even with all this modern medicine I feel at the end of the day it is still all up to percentages and chance. We got lucky on our first try.
The high was definitely telling our families. So much happiness just starts gushing out of everyone!
If you could give yourself advice in the beginning of this journey, what would it be?
Josh: Be ready for it take a long time and be prepared to research every decision on your own. The science is still evolving and no one actually knows what’s “best”, so you’ll probably get different answers at different times.
What does “family” mean to you?
Josh: Family is the people in your life that you love and who love you, unconditionally and forever. I was adopted, so I don’t think family has anything to do with genetics.
Justin: Family is knowing someone will always have your back. Someone who is always there for you in the good times and the bad. Someone you can always come home to.
Will you be in the room during birth?
Josh: No because it’s a C-section and only one person other than the surrogate can be in the room.
What are you most afraid of after the baby is born?
Justin: Having a tiny human that depends on you 24/7.