When we ran Brian and Alan’s family session a few weeks ago you guys looooooved it (how could you forget those twins and their amazing story?), so I asked the two if they’d be interested in writing up the LONG side of the tale for Offbeat Mama. They were happy to do so, so… enjoy! — Stephanie
Brian and I yearned to have a child of our own for years. We explored our options via surrogacy both nationally and internationally. Here in the United States we were deep into the process of surrogacy. It was extremely costly, time consuming and emotionally taxing. Our attempt at conceiving through different surrogates failed six times. Our funds were dry.
So, we decided to search abroad. Initially, we were skeptical about going through surrogacy in India being that it is still considered a developing nation and we had no connection with the community, the agency there, or the language. We were also unsure of the quality of medicine, so we decided to try an alternative route.
We also looked into adopting a child. Being that we are a gay, Deaf couple, we were faced with minimal opportunties. An adoption lawyer at one meeting informed us that we had little chance of adopting a child here in the United States. We felt discouraged and disheartened. We had little hope and almost gave up.
Six years later the yearning to have a child still remained strong. We decided to do some research again in regards to India. The costs were a third of what they are in the United States so we felt like we needed to pursue this area once more. We located the Rotunda Clinic in Mumbai by stumbling upon some local references with whom we could meet and ask questions. It just so happened that the one reference we contacted was a gay couple living in New Jersey.
After meeting with the couple we felt encouraged again. They helped us tremendously in making the decision to at least give the agency in India a chance. The next thing we know we are on a plane flying to Mumbai and starting the process. We stayed over for a couple of weeks in the summer of 2010. In order to initiate the process, we needed to deal with tons of paperwork and medical procedures, and I also had to donate sperm while we were there. We were feeling nervous, excited and most importantly, hopeful. We chose a native Indian woman to be our egg donor, and another Indian woman was to be our surrogate. The trip was exhausting and once again emotionally draining. After a few weeks, we flew home.
Weeks later we learned the wild and wonderful news — not only was the surrogate was pregnant, she was having triplets! Unfortunately the doctors had to perform a fetal reduction. The reduction was difficult. We questioned everything medically and spiritually at that point. But we just had to go along and grieve in our own way. The fetal reduction was completed successfully yet left some complications related to clotting of the blood. After two months, our surrogate was ordered to stay on strict bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy. I felt as if I were pregnant myself! It was quite a stressful time not knowing if our babies were okay. At 31 weeks the surrogate had an emergency C section due to a vaginal leak. Our beautiful twins were born at a surprising 3.5 pounds each! We all gave birth to a girl name Sela Reza Blais-Roth and a boy Seth Thomas Blais-Roth. The premature babies stayed in the NICU for one month and were released at 5 lbs. Soon enough we were on a plane bringing our gorgeous twins back to NYC.
We were minor celebrities in India due to the fact that we were both a Gay and Deaf Couple having twins through a surrogate in Mumbai. Some of the responses were negative but mostly we had a great deal of support and positive reactions while we were there.
Sela and Seth are now five months old at 15 lbs each. We have two chubby, happy and healthy babies! Our journey of yearning for children has ended but another longer, enriching, lifetime of a journey has only just begun. We are so grateful to all of the people who made this all possible and helped us to get here.
Two daddies. Two babies. We are now a family of four — what a gift.