My husband Adam and I got married in 2017, and we had always talked about starting a family of our own. Being a cheerleading director, I always wanted a little girl, while Adam wanted a little baby boy. We decided the only way this could ever happen would be to either adopt two babies, or go through a surrogacy journey and try for twins. We started looking into clinics and found RMA of Connecticut and their Gay Parents To Be program. We met with Dr. Leondires, or “Dr. L” as we came to know him, and we trusted everything he told us.
We matched with our amazing surrogate and then started looking for an egg donor - which is a big decision, since that person contributes their genetics to your future children! We first fell in love with a donor who ended up not being a genetic match for us, which was devastating news. However, a few weeks later, we matched with our current egg donor - who was originally matched with another couple and wasn’t able to proceed due to genetics, just like what had happened to us. We took this as a sign that we were meant to be matched!
Fast-forward over a year later, to our scheduled embryo transfer - a weekend we will never forget. My sister had her rehearsal dinner for her wedding on Friday. My father, who had been battling pancreatic cancer for over 2 years, passed away on Sunday. My family gathered to celebrate my sister’s wedding on Sunday, and then on Monday morning we drove up to Connecticut to meet our surrogate before her double embryo transfer.
When our family needed joy and comfort in our lives after losing my father, RMA of Connecticut gave us a positive memory to end that weekend. These two babies are currently the greatest gift our family has ever received. We know my dad has been a big part of our success, and we cannot wait to meet our little baby boy and girl.
What We Wish We Knew About Surrogacy
Before our first appointment, we honestly did not know what we were getting ourselves into. We knew we would be paying more out of pocket than most parents do to have kids, but we did not know much more. We originally thought we had everything planned out, from egg donor to surrogate to birth, and we thought the process would take us about a year to complete.
Now, we’re two and a half years into our surrogacy “journey.” There was so much to learn throughout this experience that we wanted to share with others, and we even started posting videos of our experience for friends and family to learn what we were going through!
Check out Dan & Adam on Instagram - they’re one of our favorite families to follow!
Surrogacy Highs & Lows
Choosing to “try for twins” or transfer two embryos at the same time is a decision to discuss with your physician, your surrogacy agency, and your gestational carrier. While choosing to attempt a twin pregnancy is the path that some parents do take, twins have a higher risk of prematurity and complications during pregnancy for both the babies and the woman carrying them. The ASRM (American Society for Reproductive Medicine) recommendation is to transfer only one embryo for all parties’ wellbeing, but we understand that there may be other financial or situational factors to consider for your personal journey. We will always recommend that you speak to your fertility specialist to help guide you on the safest path to parenthood.
When we started our journey to parenthood, we both knew that we were set on “trying for twins.” Once the time came to start this process, we actually reached out to several doctors in our area (we live in New Jersey), before we found RMA of Connecticut and Gay Parents To Be.
Since the ASRM recommendation is to transfer only one embryo, a few physicians let us know that they were not comfortable moving forward, but one of them recommended we talk to RMA of Connecticut. Once we met Dr. Leondires, learned about his own personal journey, and met the rest of our team, we fell in love with the staff at RMA of CT.
It’s important to remember that there are so many variables in the surrogacy process, and throughout this journey we have experienced our own ups and downs. I consider it our personal rollercoaster ride! We had low points - like getting our hearts set on one specific egg donor, who was not a genetic match. We had built a relationship with this donor and wanted to try anything to make it work with her.
Fast forward a few weeks later, we matched with an egg donor who had just been added to the database, and we have now built a relationship with her. Our highest of high points would have to be the day that we found out we were pregnant. The picture that our amazing surrogate sent us made us cry - and we’re still so excited to meet our babies!
Next Steps of Fatherhood
What’s next? For us, our next step is to learn how to be dads to twins! We are so excited to finally become parents, and we cannot wait to start our journey of parenthood. We have met so many amazing people through this experience, and we truly feel supported in many ways. Simply talking to other couples about what we went through made us realize that things do happen for a reason! As the twins grow, we are busy setting up our new home and designing a nursery for them both.
My advice to any new patient, or prospective dad, would be to trust the process and enjoy every second of it. There may be times where things seem not to be going your way, or to be progressing slowly, but it will all be worth it, I promise! There were many times where we followed our doctor’s suggestions and it ended up being the right choice in the end. Be open to different options, and just realize that in the end, what is meant to be will be!
As the Brand Specialist, Emma is the marketing lead for Gay Parents To Be, helping to build awareness of the brand not only as a direct path to parenthood, but also as a general resource for fertility information in the LGBTQ community. She loves the chance to attend conferences on LGBTQ health and family building, and meet prospective patients.