Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It Takes Two

[T-minus two hours 'til our flight to Mumbai.....]

Although Shannon always has the grace and tact to use 'we' when discussing our surrogacy pursuit, the fact is - as with any pregnancy - she has to do all the heavy lifting. Yes, I'm playing my part in the planning process, but only Shannon has to self-inject twice a-day and then wrestle with the hormonal side-effects. (In my weaker moments maybe I'd say we BOTH have to deal with her hormonal side-effects, but this is where I show my own bottomless reserve of tact.) Add to this the almost mystical draw women have to motherhood and I'm quite sure I'm having a much easier go of it.

To date I've been fulfilling the role of supportive husband, key to which is denying how nerve wracking this entire procedure is, how I'm about to go ON A PLANE TO INDIA TO MAKE A FAMILY. It can be absolutely overwhelming if I let it but the denial is crucial because it lets me provide my wife with a safe harbor as she prepares for poking, prodding and baby making in a foreign land with people we've never even met.

As I get older I'm realizing that the old saw about women being tougher than men is probably true. Not in the takes-a-whack-to-the-shin kind of way, I mean the ability to weather adversity and move on. They cry, maybe wallow, talk it through, come to terms and forge ahead. Men deny, bury, stew and then have a heart attack. In a way, my denial might not be the healthiest choice though worth the sacrifice for Shannon. Let me give you a frank example...

I had my first proctological exam a couple months ago (yes, I just went there), a single digit affair that left me scared to drive and possibly scarred for life. If I can even muster the strength to speak of it, I get this far away look in my eye like a war vet reliving the storming of Normandy. Remember, this was one finger for, I'm guessing, two seconds. Shannon, meanwhile, (as mentioned in her last post) had to give way to an angry, foot long probe in her nether region for over 10 minutes - that's a year for guys. She cried a couple tears, sure, but you know what - five minutes later she's talking about more packing ideas and wondering if I'd be ok with her buying a sixth pair of shoes for India. Could I have moved on so well? No, sir.

Shannon wears her heart on her sleeve and cares, sometimes too much, for the welfare of others. She is also one of the toughest women I've ever known. I don't think that combination is a coincidence. On the outside maybe I'm the shoulder she cries on, but getting ourselves to India would never have happened without her.


The tragedy in Haiti brings with it a harsh perspective on our family aspirations. In a land where losing only one parent, sibling or child is a blessing, our struggles to start a family - though sympathetic - tend to pale. We have health, security, means and a future. Hopefully, we can maintain the proper perspective as we move into this new stage of our journey, remaining humble and thankful for what we already have. That said, pray like hell for us! ;-)


  1. May the force be with you both! Can't wait to hear your impressions of Mumbai. Bon voyage!

  2. Happy travels guys. Enjoy the moment and be there for one another. As I know you already are. It is such an exciting time for you two.


  3. Best wishes for a wonderful next step on your journey. Enjoy all the moments that will stay with you long after you come home.

  4. You will be landing soon!! I am so excited for you. All the best for much success.

  5. What a lovely post. So well considered and full of empathy for your dearest one and countless others.

    I wish you both lots of luck and love in Mumbai.

    Baby dust!!!


  6. Prayers and love from the holy land. The love you share will see you through. JJ, Vered and Ido.

  7. It is 7:45am here, the time I normally call Shan every day... currently you are on a plane, STILL, and I couldn't be more hopeful for you. All my best and most positive energy is being showered on you! What an amazing journey... love you :)

  8. I'm so excited for you! I've got everything crossed!

    xo, Tracy

  9. Wishing you the best of wishes on this life changing journey! See you in Mumbai!

  10. Great post Geoff!! Shannon does wear her heart on her sleeve. She is always quick to ask about us and our process before speaking of her own. She has def been my support. You both are in Mumbai now. I am so praying that all goes well. I can't wait to hear your stories when you get back.

    Lots of love to you both!!