And so we all returned to Florida to wait out the two-week period before the physician at a local Florida monitoring clinic would do a blood test to confirm pregnancy by measuring the surrogate’s HCG levels. During these two weeks the only thing we could do was wait. But the surrogate had a feeling, a feeling that she was pregnant. So she took about seven different pregnancy tests at home and decided to FaceTime with us casually. A few minutes into the conversation, all her kids entered the picture wearing white shirts with words on them saying, “GET READY YOU ARE GOING TO BE DADDIES!” And then she proceeded to show us all the positive home pregnancy test results she had.
The blood test from the fertility doctor confirmed that the transfer had been a success: At least one of the two transferred blastocysts had “taken!”
The following week another blood test was performed to see if the HCG levels in the surrogate had increased. Typically these levels double every two to three days. And indeed it did. It seemed we were pregnant ! With every pregnancy, you’re told to be careful with who you tell and how public you are until the end of the first trimester as that is the time in which the pregnancy is most vulnerable. Of course its much easier for a heterosexual couple attempting to become pregnant in the privacy of their own home to keep it a secret than for us: We had to fly to Los Angeles!
A few weeks later on the ultrasound we got to see our child for the first time. Just the size of a grain of rice. We were able to see the heart beat as it is the first organ to develop.
From there every few weeks ultrasounds were done to check on the baby and at week 12 (four weeks earlier than normal) we learned we would be having a son!
Artwork documenting Kellan’s full name, date of birth, time of birth, birth weight and length.
After the first trimester the obstetrician said, “You just gotta let him grow” and thats what we did. And while our son grew, so did our relationship with our surrogate. We began to hang out with the surrogate and her kids, go to dinner, her kids’ football games, have sleepovers and even pick the kids up from school. An unexpected bond had formed between everyone involved.
At week 17, due to some minor complications, the obstetrician transferred care of the pregnancy over to All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida where high-risk physicians oversee the pregnancy and deliver the baby. We would be the hospital’s first same-sex male couple delivering with a surrogate in their care.
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Currently we are home with our 7-week-old son Kellan! We were both able to take a few weeks off from work to settle into fatherhood at home. However, being home with our son was not the finale of our surrogacy journey. Because of Florida law, we had to petition the courts to reissue Kellan’s birth Certificate to reflect both of us, Jordan and Robby, as the parents. (Because of this no social security number could be given to Kellan at the hospital.) And so, six weeks later we received the new birth certificate listing us both as parents. We can now obtain Kellan’s social security number. But that means a trip to the SSA office ... comparable to the DMV … not so fun.
Prior to the physical birth, the hospital had all the legal documents stating that Jordan and Robby are the legal parents and shall make all medical decisions for the child the instant he is born via a medical directive agreed to by the surrogate and a pre-birth order from a circuit court judge stating that Jordan and Robby are the intended parents who would go on a reissued birth certificate as “Parent 1” and “Parent 2” regardless of whose embryo took upon transfer. This is due to a Florida surrogacy law that in short states if you are a marred couple and at least one parent is the biological parent, the spouse is also the natural parent.
Throughout our journey our surrogate has been amazing. Not only did she guide them through the process and carried their child (which by itself takes a special kind of person), she had hand-knitted blankets for Kellan; sent videos of her belly when Kellan had his own little soccer matches causing her belly to bounce around; and sent progress pictures weekly on Kellan's size compared to various pieces of fruit. We think of her as one of the most giving, selfless, loving person we have ever encountered. She continues to pump breast milk and freeze it so Kellan can have breast milk for the first few months of his life.
Now we no longer have to wait for the ultrasound appointments to see our son and feel him kick. We get to hold him and love him daily.
Our family, friends and the larger community have been beyond supportive and excited. In fact, for months the local news wanted to do a story on our journey but we always declined as we felt it was too private. That all changed after the Orlando shooting at Pulse Nightclub: I got a call from the news producer who said, “It’s been such a tragic week for the LGBT community, we need an uplifting story; would you and Robby please come on this week?” We agreed to do so and had a 7-minute segment where we discussed our journey to fatherhood. Fittingly, it aired Friday and Saturday before Father’s Day.
With Kellan now in our lives, the 21-month chapter leading to his birth has moved to chapter two (which will be shared here on Gays With Kids!) about life with a newborn, the changes in our lives that we expected as well as those we didn’t, and what advice we can give other people who desire to create a family.