My experience with IVF (part 2)

I’m sitting writing this on the eve of my egg retrieval. My ‘trigger shot‘ was last night at 11pm. It’s wild to think that after so much time waiting to see what the IVF part of the journey would be like I am finally nearing the end of it. Right now I am filled with a lot of feelings – I’m equal parts nervous, excited, and bloated. Okay… more like 25% nervous, 25% excited, and 50% bloated.

The emotions

While I know the next part is out of our hands, it’s been hard for us not to feel a little anxious about how things will turn out. It’s hard not to internally hope for a certain number of mature eggs during the retrieval. I know that fixating on a number isn’t healthy. So far my follicle count is high (around 30), which suggests we may end up with a large number of eggs, but like everything else in a fertility journey there are no guarantees. It’s also difficult not to compare myself to other IVF journeys I have seen online. I think comparison is a normal thing, but it’s also a great way to set yourself up to be disappointed.

I know we’ve done the best we can and that we have an excellent team at CReATe that is ready to do the rest. Overall I am feeling hopeful, and I know that the nerves I feel now probably won’t go away until we bring our baby home.

Ovarian hyperstimulation risk

I had been informed prior to beginning my IVF cycle that I would be monitored closely for ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, something my doctor felt I might be at an elevated risk of developing. After speaking to my nurse about my excessive bloating, it was suggested that I go onto a high-salt, high-protein, low potassium diet until a few days post-retrieval in order to reduce bloat and make me feel more comfortable. Items on the suggested menu have included cheeseburgers and chips, and as a good patient I have dutifully complied.

Zane suggested that I close out this blog post by offering practical advice about IVF, but I don’t think I’m the right person to do that. There are women (warriors!) who have done multiple rounds of IVF and who know this process inside and out. I’ve been incredibly lucky to draw on the advice of many of these women, some who I know in real life and others who I’ve connected with in patient resource groups online. If you are going into IVF for the first time I strongly suggest searching for a patient group associated with your clinic on Facebook and connecting with other people there. This community is warmer, more welcoming, and more resilient than you could ever imagine.

Baden

My experience with IVF (part 1)

When most people think about conceiving their children, they think of romance with their partner. In a surrogacy situation the process is decidedly more clinical. Enter IVF.

For those who are unfamiliar, IVF stands for in-vitro fertilization: the process of retrieving a woman’s eggs, fertilizing them with sperm, and creating embryos which can be transferred back to her (or a surrogate) at a later date to create a pregnancy. In our case, our embryos will be transferred one-at-a-time to our surrogate Sarah when the time is right.

IVF is a common fertility procedure, with people seeking medical help conceiving for a variety of reasons. Chances are you know someone who’s been through it – I certainly do! Even so, knowing what to expect didn’t make me less nervous to begin.

After matching with our surrogate, I called the my doctor, Dr. Karen Glass at CReATe Fertility Centre in Toronto, to find out next steps. Based on my cycle day, they were able to bring me in immediately to begin a round of IVF.

My trips to the clinic have followed a similar routine each time:

  1. Arriving and complete a COVID-19 screening at the front
  2. Adding my name to the various waiting lists for bloodwork, ultrasound, and a visit with the doctor
  3. Completing bloodwork
  4. Completing my ultrasound
  5. Checking in with the doctor, who interprets the results
  6. Meeting with the nurse to receive medication to last until my next visit

There is a lot of waiting involved – I had been told by friends who have been through IVF to prepare for 1-2 hours at the clinic each morning. Instead, I found I was typically there for at least 3 hours, if not more. CReATe is a busy clinic, so the waiting room and I have become good friends. Occasionally I will run into people who recognize me from our Instagram, so I’ve struck up some fun conversations about surrogacy to pass the time.

Is the ultrasound awkward?

If you’re a naturally shy person, you might find your visits with ‘Wanda’ a little unnerving. (Wanda is the nickname used for a transvaginal ultrasound. Think magic wand-a). You’re stripping from the waist down in front of a stranger, and that can be weird. Don’t worry – they provide a sheet to protect your modesty. Pro tip: you can keep your socks on in case it’s chilly in the room! For the first few days I found that ultrasounds were relatively quick and easy, but as my treatment has progressed and my ovaries have grown I’ve noticed a bit more discomfort.

IVF needles sound painful! Are they?

I wouldn’t say painful, no, but depending on which medication you are given it can sting. I’ve heard many people will ice the area around the injection to numb the skin before doing it, but I didn’t and was fine. I did end up with some bruising after one of the shots, but overall I would say injections weren’t as bad as I anticipated. I have a thing about needles, so Zane and nurses at the clinic have done all of my shots for me. I can’t really offer advice on how to self-administer, but there are plenty of YouTube videos out there if you’re curious!

Was there anything you weren’t expecting?

I was NOT prepared for the discomfort and physical change to my body from IVF bloat. Ariel Taylor (@carried.with.love) shared her experience with IVF bloating on her Instagram a few weeks ago, but save for that I had never really heard or read about it before. While every body reacts differently to IVF, I found that this was the side effect that challenged me the most. I look about five months pregnant, and simple walking causes me discomfort.

As I finish up my round of IVF I will share another ‘part 2’ blog of my experience, which will include details of preparing for the egg retrieval. Stay tuned and wish me luck!

Baden

We found our match!

Team Baby Colt is complete – we’re so ready for this journey!

After months of searching, we have finally found our match! We are so incredibly grateful to have met Sarah, and humbled that she would like to act as a gestational carrier for us. The feeling is overwhelming. We are elated, relieved, and anxious all at the same time. We are eager to begin our next steps and grow our bond together.

How did we meet?

Sarah reached out to us on Instagram! She was interested in surrogacy and Zane and Dodi’s recent reel caught her eye. We started chatting and felt the chemistry right away. We introduced her to our agency, 4U Surrogacy Canada, to begin pre-screening before we had a formal video chat.

What is she like?

Sarah and her family live about two hours away from us. They are kind, sweet, and caring people. We were looking for someone trustworthy and warm who was 100% on board with bringing home Baby Colt. Sarah is all of that and more!

What happens next?

It just so happens that Baden’s cycle is perfectly aligned to begin IVF at CReATe Fertility Centre THIS WEEK! We are starting a pretty standard short protocol, with about 11 days of shots and pills. We will be explaining lots more as we go through this process.

While the eggs are being retrieved and the embryos are created, Sarah and her partner are being screened medically. After that, our embryos will be tested while we start to discuss contracts. Once all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed we could be looking at transferring an embryo before the end of the year. That is really exciting and very scary!!

We’re so excited to share this big milestone with our friends and family. We look forward to keeping everyone up-to-date as we clear each hurdle!

Baden and Zane

Opening up to the world about our journey

Yes, we put it ALL out there.

Despite me being a pretty confident and outgoing person, making the decision to go public with our surrogacy journey was not easy. In fact, it took us several months of strong deliberation before finally decided to start this blog and our Instagram account @notmytummy. Putting our lives on display, particularly something so sensitive as our family planning, was a frightening concept. Actually, it still is.

Writing what feels like a public diary, or going live on an Instagram story, can feel awkward. That said, we were determined to chronicle our experience in a way that wasn’t available to us when we started our research into Canadian surrogacy journeys. Mapping out this experience for other Intended Parents, as well as sharing and normalizing an atypical experience for Canadians at large, felt like an important thing to do. And so we write, we talk, and we share.

I had a few initial concerns about opening up our lives online:

  1. I was worried about the rude messages we might get from strangers on the internet.
  2. I dreaded that our let downs would be public.
  3. I thought that the people we know in real life would think we were being over-sharers.

We did receive a handful of rude messages – but what I didn’t expect was that for the handful of negative comments there would be a groundswell of positivity and love from total strangers. Our let downs have been public – but in return, we have gained a network of people to pick us up when we’re down. Lastly, we probably do share a little too much sometimes – but people from all over the world have reached out saying that our experiences mirrored theirs, and that they feel a little less alone reading what we have gone through. So…I was right, but not how I expected to be.

An added benefit to putting everything online? Rarely do I speak to friends, colleagues, or acquaintances and have to mention my surrogacy journey as a new topic for them. People already know, they have a basic understanding of how it all works, and the questions they do ask are thoughtful and kind. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d live in a world where so many people around me know so much about how surrogacy works – but I love it!

Thank you to our friends and family and readers from around the world for Keeping up with the Colts. Our advice to those looking for a surrogate is simple: don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! You will have far more support than you think.

Baden

Right person, wrong time: our almost perfect match

As Baden mentioned in her recent post, we’re terribly sorry for not keeping our readers up to date on our surrogacy journey throughout the summer. We’ve been busy! We moved into our new home, began renovations, and I recently had a significant job change. Life has been moving pretty fast.

We also met someone special. An incredible woman reached out to us through our Facebook page. She said she’d been fascinated with surrogacy for a while, and we look like the perfect family to help. We were elated!

After chatting with her further, she blew us away. She is smart and funny, kind and warm, and has a loving, sweet family. I posted previously about how we put our family values first, and she checked every box. We could totally see her as an extension of our own family, someone we could look to for mom advice, and most importantly, the kind of person we could bring home to our parents and say, ‘mom, dad, she’s pregnant, and we’re pretty sure it’s ours.’ Needless to say we were smitten.

As it happens, a curveball was thrown our way after a few weeks of chatting quite seriously. Perhaps all three of us fell a bit too hard, too fast. It seems she had loved ones that were uncomfortable with formalizing the match. She did what any good mother, wife, sister, and daughter would do, and agreed to take a step back, in order to put her family first. It was incredibly difficult news to hear, especially after we had begun to create such a strong bond, but we both understood and respected her decision. Surrogacy has to feel rewarding, fulfilling, and right to everyone involved – including a potential surrogate’s entire family.

No agency, Facebook group, counsellor or former IP prepared us for this. Right person, wrong time doesn’t come around often in surrogacy. In fact, the opposite is often the case. Most people who decide to become surrogates typically want to get started right away. I don’t really have advice on how to process it, as we are still coming to terms with things ourselves. I suppose it is just another word of caution in the world of surrogacy: anything can happen.

Last week I was giving some unsolicited dating advice to Baden’s sister, Trinity. Even though the advice was about romantic relationships, I feel the wisdom applies here too. I told her, “People always say relationships are hard. I disagree, when you have found your soul mate, your relationship will take work, but it won’t be a challenge. The hardest part of the relationship, is the courtship.”

Courting isn’t fun. You’re building something deep and special with someone from scratch. You’re learning how to communicate verbally and physically. Everything feels very high-stakes. More and more we are learning that matching in the surrogacy world has been no different. We’re doing our best to be patient and trying to remind ourselves that everything happens for a reason. We have a lot to keep us busy until that right person comes along.

To that special almost-surrogate: we will be here when you’re ready. If it’s meant to be, it will be, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for us together. As for right now, we continue to be positive, optimistic, and eager to find our match. We know she’s right around the corner.

Zane

The waiting game

An Algonquin Park sunset during our recent camping trip

I’ve gotten several messages lately asking variations of the same question: “We haven’t heard an update lately, what’s going on?”.

We haven’t posted much to the blog (or Instagram) lately, so it’s fair to wonder if we’ve been holding a secret close to our chest waiting to share it with the world. While we’ve got a lot on the go in our lives lately, we’ve hit a bit of a lull in the progression of our surrogacy journey. For the past little while I figured that a lack of updates on our end meant there wasn’t really anything to share, but I’m beginning to think I was wrong.

Zane and I are in a common part of fertility journeys that is often neglected in conversation: the waiting period. Is there exciting news we can share? Maybe not. But as I speak to other IPs, each and every one can sympathize with us. It seems that everyone has been there. This oft-forgotten part of infertility has been teaching us the value of patience, and from what my friends who are parents tell me we’ll be needing that learned patience in heaps once we have a child of our own.

Even though I wish we were further along in our journey to parenthood, I know that we can’t pause our lives while we wait. This summer has been filled with so much joy. We’ve gone camping with friends in Algonquin Park, had summer BBQs, weekends at the cottage with our family, and have been turning our new house into a home (renovations and decorating galore!). Zane even began a new job last week – a huge career milestone which I’m so proud of him for. Any Intended Parent knows that infertility can become all-consuming. It’s our job not to let it be.

In the meantime Zane and I are staying the course. Physically, I am working out, taking supplements to support egg quality and general health, and trying to stay in tip-top shape. Mentally, Zane and I are as in-tune with ourselves and each other as can be. We’re both in a place where we’re ready for next steps and our job now is to keep our spirits up.

Baden

P.S. Are you an Intended Mom based in Canada? You don’t have to go at this alone. Myself and a handful of other Intended Moms are building a community of support on Instagram through a private Instagram group chat. Message @notmytummy to request to be added!

Surrogacy journeys and family support

Lately Zane and I have been getting a lot of questions from others considering surrogacy about what our family thinks of this journey we’re on. It’s a fair question – surrogacy is not something people encounter often, and families can find questions surrounding fertility to be intensely emotional and can have strong opinions guided by things like personal experiences, exposure, faith, and more.

We’ve been very fortunate to feel the full support of our families as we begin our journey to parenthood through gestational surrogacy. In fact, my mother was the one who initially suggested surrogacy to me when I came to her crying and defeated from the doctors appointment when I learned that I couldn’t carry. She didn’t miss a beat – motherhood, she told me, has nothing to do with being pregnant and everything to do with what happens once my future baby is in my arms.

Similarly, my MIL made a point of telling me that she was totally supportive of however Zane and I would be giving her grandbabies. Our three father-figures (my dad, Zane’s dad, and Zane’s step-dad) have been equally as wonderful – each has asked many questions, made a point to educate themselves on terminology, and are just eager to be active grandfathers no matter how that happens. Our sisters have plastered their social media with our surrogacy search, as have many of our extended family members.

Now this isn’t to say that everyone understood what surrogacy would entail (or even how it worked!) to begin with. There’s been a huge learning curve, but one that everyone in our circle has been more than happy to dive into. If you’re looking into surrogacy, or if you’ve already decided to pursue surrogacy but haven’t told your family yet, I would recommend this step-by-step approach.

Breaking the news

If possible, I’d recommend doing this in person. I wouldn’t call a family meeting or anything all that formal – it’s a serious conversation, but it’s made much easier if you tackle it in a relaxed setting. Explain your desire to get started on a family, disclose what you feel comfortable with about why it hasn’t happened yet, and let them know you’ve chosen to purse surrogacy. Letting people know that it’s already a decision you made leaves less room for pushback. Offer to explain how surrogacy works and answer questions, and be mindful of your own boundaries. When you begin to talk about anything fertility-related, it can open you up to intensely personal questions. If you’re not comfortable answering them, there’s nothing wrong with saying so.

Provide resources

Find some reputable resources relevant to your situation before heading into the conversation. You can save them on a note in your phone or a draft email and have them ready to share with those who ask. Surrogacy may be a very foreign concept to some of your family and there is a lot of misinformation out there, so it helps to guide them to the correct resources from day one. Good options include experienced surrogates who share their stories publicly, your fertility clinic website, the Assisted Human Reproductive Act, a reputable surrogacy agency, and first-hand experiences from other Intended Parents like us!

Expect to feel emotional

You’re going to have strong emotions as you slowly tell your family members, and that’s normal! You’re being incredibly vulnerable, and you’re mentally coming to terms with ‘giving up’ the concept of carrying your own child. You’re allowed to feel sad (or even defensive). Remember that when the people you love are trying to learn and understand surrogacy, they don’t necessarily know which comments might be intensely hurtful or painful for you. As much as it’s their job to be kind and compassionate, it will save you a lot of heartache to be honest with them if you feel they cross a line or you’re feeling judged.

Don’t offer to be their shoulder to cry on

Some family members may feel emotional or sad about your choice. You have enough on your plate – it’s not your job to make them feel better. If someone expresses a sadness that you won’t be pregnant, or a disappointment that you’re putting your partner through a surrogacy journey, that’s an issue they need to resolve for themselves. The other adults in your family can process their complicated emotions independently, with the help of another family member, or in therapy.  

If you are considering surrogacy, know that despite what your family thinks, you will be welcomed by a wonderful community of compassionate individuals that are here to support you every step of the way—including us!

Baden

Match Game: The ‘dating phase’

Baden and I are currently in the ‘matching’ phase of our surrogacy journey. For those unfamiliar with the term, it means we are currently trying to match with a surrogate but have not yet found ‘the one’. This is an exciting but nerve-wracking part of the surrogacy journey and one that is incredibly important. Having a solid surrogate/IP relationship is the core of ensuring a smooth journey for all.

Many people have told us that matching is a lot like dating. So far, this seems pretty true. Trying to find a match is much more involved than just determining mutual availability and timelines – we’d love to find someone to laugh with, cry with, and make lifelong memories with. Since the last time I began dating someone I knocked it out of the park and met my perfect person, I have decided to reapply the same dating principles in surrogacy matching (with less emphasis on my killer dance moves and even fewer sprays of cologne) as I did back then. Lucky for you, I’m happy to share.

Allow me to introduce you to the concept of IEP Dating and how Baden and I plan to utilize it in our surrogacy journey.

IEP Dating

In IEP dating, we consider three major attributes of a potential partner. These are Intellectual (I), Emotional (E), and Physical (P). Physical attributes are obvious and speak to whether you find your partner physically attractive. Emotional attributes are qualities that evoke a common emotion (i.e. things you have in common). Baden and I both love similar music (Billy Joel), food (juicy burgers), and travel, for instance. We also have a mutual love for Georgian Bay where we both have family cottages.

Intellectual attributes, often the most overlooked, are certainly the most important. These are your core values: What religion do you practice? How do you plan on practicing it when you raise your family? How do you vote? What is your parenting style? What makes a good role model?

People are often afraid to discuss such heavy topics on a first date and I don’t blame them! However, these are important values that are non-negotiables in how you plan to live your life. If they aren’t settled right out of the gate, I can almost guarantee your relationship will end in heartbreak.

A relationship that shares I/E attributes is that of a friend. This is someone you have a lot in common with, but you never really found them attractive.

A relationship that shares E/P attributes, is that of a short-term boyfriend or girlfriend. You may have a lot in common with them and find them attractive, but eventually, your core values will not completely align.

A relationship that shares I/P attributes, however, is that of a friend with benefits. You may be physically attracted, and intellectually stimulated, but eventually, you will run out of things you have in common.

Only a relationship that checks all three I-E-P boxes is a partner for life. I’m pretty confident I’ve found mine in Baden.

IEP Dating and Surrogacy

People often say you should avoid politics and religion on a date. Why? These are areas you’re likely to find conflict because they are core intellectual values. If you’re not in line with these, you’re probably wasting your time. If you aren’t using the IEP approach, it could be easy to avoid such topics until you’re emotionally invested. Only then do you realize that someone you’re crazy about has one of your deal-breakers. In this case, you both get hurt. In surrogacy ‘dating’, these difficult topic areas are things like genetic testing, termination, selective reduction, pumping breastmilk, how to resolve conflict, and expense management.

After some light get-to-know-you chit-chat (family, work, previous pregnancies, hobbies), Baden and I think it’s important to discuss the aforementioned tough topics. While they can be heavy for a ‘first date’, it’s worth being upfront and transparent. As IPs, this protects us from investing time in a relationship that can’t progress due to conflicting feelings on values. For example, many surrogates want a close relationship with the families they are helping that spans longer than the pregnancy. If that’s not what you’re looking for, that’s okay. Don’t betray her trust if that’s not what you want.

If it’s meant to be, it will be and we know our Ms. Right is right around the corner. Our journey has already led us to meet the most incredible couples and surrogates from around the world and we cant wait to have matches like theirs.

While their is no right way to ‘match,’ the IEP dating suggestion has worked for us so far. We would love to hear how you found your match and what you recommend too!

Have a great weekend!

Zane

Seeing the cup as half-full

When I used to picture what planning a family would look like, I can’t say I ever imagined what Baden and I are going through now. Just as she imagined being pregnant, I imagined my role to be different as well: I pictured making late night trips to Dairy Queen to fulfill her ice cream cravings, giving her foot rubs, or practicing driving the route between our home and the hospital. These were predominantly physical action items. While I still get suckered into the occasional foot massage, it’s obviously not because Baden is pregnant. Just as she has had to do a complete mental shift in how her journey to motherhood will look, I’ve been reexamining what it means to be a father-to-be, and where I fit into the surrogacy puzzle.

What I’m learning as an Intended Father through surrogacy is that my role leading up to and during the pregnancy will be providing more emotional support than physical Lately, I’ve found that the best way to support my Baden is through knowledge. I hate when she looks at me despairingly, unsure of a particular answer to a complicated question we’ve uncovered during this process. I’ve made it my mission to support her by doing an immense amount of research so when she has a question, I already know the answer. This not only reassures her, but it gives me a valuable role to play in this journey. Optimism, or ‘seeing the cup as half full’, is not just a fertility pun. It’s a necessity.

Surrogacy so far has taught me that any couple combatting infertility has to be incredibly resilient. A couple experiencing infertility of any kind needs to know each other extremely well, practice patience, and be adept at verbal and non-verbal communication. Aside from giving your partner a kidney, this is the only time in medicine where both you and your partner are considered the patients together. It is imperative that you be there to support each other.

A lot of my focus lately has been on shifting my perspective. Infertility teaches you some powerful lessons (whether you were asking to be taught or not), and I’ve come to realize that each new challenge we face is an opportunity to become a better emotional support. It’s not a bad time to be learning the lesson either – anyone at this life stage (young couples trying to plan their families) regardless of their fertility journey need to undergo this total shift from prioritizing the self to prioritizing the family. When Baden is having a rough day, she’s confident she can turn to me and I will focus on her with the attention and empathy she deserves to receive. In return, I’m watching her learn these same lessons alongside me. When I get overwhelmed (yes, men can get emotionally overwhelmed in fertility journeys too!), she is there for me.

My advice for other men in this situation is simple: remember that your partner’s struggles are also your own. By going through this together, each of you have a role to play in supporting each other. Listen, learn, and be understanding. Find common ground. Show support and compassion while continuing a positive outlook. The point is not whether the cup is half-full or half-empty, being a supportive partner means reminding her that the cup is always refillable.

Zane

About us (because we’re more than just Intended Parents!)

July 2012
Zane had more hair then!

Before Zane and I were ‘Intended Parents’ or ‘that couple behind the Not My Tummy blog’, we were just Zane and Baden (Zaden to certain friends!). In fact, until about a year ago, we were fairly private about our fertility journey. While we’ve always dreamed of having children, there’s a whole lot more to know about us than that. This post is dedicated to us as people who have lives, hobbies, interests and passions that extend far beyond fertility.

Let’s start at the beginning of our story as a couple. We met in Ottawa while studying at Carleton University (Go Ravens!). I was finishing my first year in the Journalism program when I decided to run for a position on the school’s Board of Governors as an undergraduate representative. It was a long shot. I had basically zero connections in student politics, but it felt like the right move – I’ve always been interested in community volunteer work and felt that I may meet some interesting people by throwing my name into the race. Zane, a second-year student studying Public Affairs and Policy Management, had similar ambitions. Unfortunately for me, he was by far the more qualified candidate in the race and I lost. Fortunately for me, he invited me for a friendly coffee afterwards and nine years later here we are.

Outside of his mischievous grin and fantastic culinary abilities, there were a number of things that have always drawn me to Zane. They’re the same reasons why our friends adore him too. While he’ll playfully tease anyone he loves (he’s a big brother to two sisters, which is where it comes from), he will also drop what he’s doing immediately to go support a friend or family member in need. He is reliable and mature, but has a zest for adventure. Scuba diving? Loves it. Skiing? He used it teach it to kids with special needs. CN Tower EdgeWalk? It’s on his bucket list. He needs to find someone to go with him, because I wouldn’t be caught dead at any altitude above a stepstool.

Zane also has a memory like an elephant, often recalling details from conversations years later to weave into thoughtful gestures for others. This memory also serves him well on road trips to our cottage on summer weekends – the lyrics are always correct when he sings along to the radio. He grew up on his parent’s classic rock, but has a soft spot for jazz music, country music and campfire classics. For me, if it isn’t Billy Joel or Paul Simon, you can bet I’m loudly stumbling along through every song.

As for me – Zane often says that I’m the ‘silly one’ of the two of us. I love to laugh, and it doesn’t take a lot to make me smile. Most of our friends refer to me as a ‘golden retriever’, a nickname I’ve earned because I’m an extrovert and am happiest around other people. Like Zane, I enjoy traveling and good food, but my guilty pleasure differs from his – even though I don’t watch reality TV shows, I love keeping up with reality stars in the news.

We’ve recently purchased our first house together, a renovated 1950s bungalow in North York, and are busy deciding on furniture and getting ourselves ready for the move. I’m about 90% excited and 10% stressed, which is pretty typical of how I approach any major changes in life. Zane is looking forward to the move, but is a little overwhelmed by the idea of packing to get ready for it. Dodi, our puppy, doesn’t know how good she’s about to have it – she loves visiting other people’s backyards, so I know she’s going to love running in circles on our new lawn.

Zane’s love for public policy has led him to a career in politics, while my studies in journalism and health communications has lead to a career in health marketing and communications (I now work for an organization focused on children’s mental health). We’ve both been working from home since the onset of the pandemic, but have made the most of it by making our way through Netflix, prioritizing sushi delivery, and taking a healthy amount of walks outside.

From June to September, we are a cottage-on-the-weekend family. We’re eagerly awaiting the warmer weather so we can dip toes in the Georgian Bay water and put burgers on the BBQ. The cottage is an especially joyful place for us because of how overfilled it is – with laughter, people, and too many pairs of flip flops crowding the doors. This summer in particular our weekends will be a welcome distraction from all of the things we have on our plates.

I’m looking forward to sharing more about Zane and I as individuals and as a couple as the months go on. If you want to learn more about us please reach out (the golden retriever in me will be thrilled!). To write about infertility, IVF, and surrogacy without giving the context of who its affecting is only telling half of the story. This is a snap shot of who we are – and we can’t wait to share even more with you.

Baden