Thursday, April 7, 2011

Checklist Manifestos

Since the arrival of the good news from our surrogate, there has been a fury of internet related activity. It's like google meets surrogacy meets joy/worry beyond measure meets ADHD all at the click of a mouse. In the last 48 hours we have been researching (or re-researching, as these are all topics that have been infinitely researched in preparing for this process) fetal development, hospitals in Delhi, same-sex parenting guides, adoption laws, pregnancy characteristics and--my personal favorite--baby checklists.

Come to find out, there isn't much to do during the first trimester if you are the intended parent (our surrogate, however, has some work to do). Of course, most of these lists aren't targeted at gay men having a baby through surrogacy in India, so some of them aren't very helpful. But even some of these lists get the cerebral juices flowing even if they are only peripherally applicable. For example, here is a sampling from one first trimester list:
  • Time to share the good news with your partner - check... we're both in the know.
  • Find out what to expect from the first trimester - check!
  • Learn what's in store for the first four weeks of pregnancy - check!
  • If you aren't already, begin taking folic acid each day - umm... Our Surromamma is, so, check!
  • Start keeping track of name ideas for Baby in your online Name Basket - Fabian, Fabian, Fabian!!
  • Begin researching hospitals - leaning towards Phoenix, but we'll have to see what some of our colleagues who have had babies in Delhi say.
  • Choose your OB-GYN or midwife - check!
  • Schedule your first prenatal visit - check... or really, NA!
  • Get to know the basics of fetal development - check!
  • Figure out your due date - this will probably wait until the ultrasound next week.
  • Stop smoking, drinking, and cut back on caffeine. Know what's safe and what isn't during pregnancy - giving up caffeine in the land of chai isn't going to happen, but we did both quit smoking this year.
  • Begin a pregnancy journal - does this blog count?
  • Connect with other women who are due the same month you are - Jeni, I think you're it. Everyone else seems either further along or already have had babies.
OK, so we've knocked off most of the first trimester checklist. Can we get started on the second trimester checklist? That one involves shopping and looks more fun!

On a more serious note, most of the early pregnancy information on the interwebs is about what can go wrong. And, while I believe it is helpful to know what the possibilities are, I am recommitting myself every day to remaining positive, and devoting my energies to the pursuit of becoming a more informed, better prepared parent and not to thinking about the endless things that could go wrong in the first trimester. Or, let me rephrase that, I are making it my daily practice to remain positive. This mindset is not the flick of the switch, its the continual movement in a direction of remaining open and optimistic about the possibilities that life holds for us.


  1. That's my kinda guy--a man with a list!!! You should see the endless lists I keep! Thank God for Smartphones. I used to be 10 feet deep in sticky notes and spiral notebooks! :)

    I'm so jealous that you get your ultrasound next week! We have to wait until the 21st, but I suppose you guys did end up transferring before us. I absolutely cannot wait to hear the news...are you getting any vibes on how many you've got in there???

    Loving the fact that you're giving the bird to all of the info on what can go wrong...I do the same thing. We're all aware, but seriously, you could easily create an ulcer worrying about everything! Every time I happen upon a site that seems to be focusing on "Possible Problems in Week 5", *click*, I'm outta there! Seriously, tell me what IS happening with these beautiful babies, not all of the crap that can go wrong!!! You're right, positive thinking does not happen with the flick of a switch, but I think you'll be excited to see that since positivity breeds positivity, it begins to get easier and easier! Your last paragraph is such a good one....might have to borrow it sometime. :)

    Take care guys! Looking forward to next week's ultrasound!

  2. There is so much to research and know...and so much more that can scare the heck out of any sane, reasonable person...try to impose a self-regulated google ban on the bad stuff.

    The reality is that when you do a google search, the negative stuff tends to always float to the top of the list....because who wants to read about boring and normal development?! I can't even count the number of times I didn't follow my own advice and lost entire nights of sleep....and that was when there was nothing to prevent from getting entire nights of sleep!!!

    Anyway, celebrate your pregnancy and keep your focus on the fun parts of the lists....

    P.S. Our girls were all born at Phoenix. Happy to answer any questions you have about our experience.