Canadian Intended Parent Searching for a Gestational Surrogate
Location: Hamilton, Ontario
Clinic: ONE Fertility (Burlington)
Embryo Status: Two blastocysts (Grade AA, AB)
Occupations: Journalist/Editor and Author/Biographer
My name is Brian. I am a Hamilton-based journalist/editor and author pursuing parenthood with help from a fertility clinic and the surrogacy process. I always wanted to be a father and as time has marched on, I have taken the wheel of fate to make that happen. I am very happy with the life that I have. I met my education, career and home life goals. I achieved one of my biggest dreams. I had some great loves along the way, but they did not pan out long term. I am OK with that. But when it comes to parenthood and considering what is best for my child(ren) and my family, I believe whole-heartedly that now is the time and its best to make it happen in a different way.
I was born to a nurse and steelworker, high school sweethearts who divorced when I was five. My mom raised me on her own very closely in hand with my maternal grandparents until she re-married and we moved from Hamilton to Northern Ontario where my first sister was born when I was 10. I think my relationship with my sister and our age difference was maybe the biggest defining moment in my life. I was an introverted, somewhat emotional and displaced kid living where we were, and then here was this baby and I had a job to do - brotherhood! It was like a purpose. I learned all about babies, supported most aspects and remember every detail. I know her first words, steps and vulnerabilities. I was happiest when Jocelyn was around. She was like my shadow and that lasted through high school! Our maternal grandparents were closely involved and included through to the end of their lives.
Back in Hamilton, my father remarried and they welcomed my second sister a year after Jocelyn was born. I was so excited. But as life often teaches lessons through challenge and heartbreak, it turned out that Alexandra had a significant, sporadic genetic malformation that has left her significantly developmentally and intellectually impaired. That was a lesson to the pre-teen I was about the fragility of life. My father has recently divorced and he lives not far away on Hamilton mountain while my mother has also divorced and returned to the city.
I have loved babies and children to this day. In 2016, one of my best friends welcomed her first son. As she wasn't quite prepared, I became largely involved and of support. That became needed when it was found Leo is blind and has autism (non-verbal). I didn't love him one bit less. In seeing (and supporting) through that challenge, I must admit that I thought to myself I was prepared for the challenges and vulnerability that comes with parenthood.
We have a very large, connected extended family who are in a close orbit with our lives. Holidays and summer weekends often include BBQs and pool parties, family dog walks, cookouts, and creative and community activities. They are a strong support system who are well-informed and supportive of my plans.
The coles notes of my life would tell you I am a college (journalism) and university (political science) graduate, with professional training in business management and human resources. Noting the state of the media industry when I entered the workforce, I pursued a career in management (including Starbucks and Indigo) through my 20s until I hit my 30s and felt I needed to pursue my original dreams and goals no matter what the risk. That worked out, and I now have a stable job as a journalist/editor at the largest daily newspaper in the country. I am also an author of a published biography and am at work on a second book now.
I have two dogs named Ali and Nicky at home who I care for in hand with my mother. We share a multi-unit home independent of each other. It was also part of a life plan so she could be close by in an adjoining unit as a support as I raise a child as a single parent. I love arts and culture, curling, cycling, photography, gardening/landscaping, farmers markets, the library, genealogy, local/social history, day trips, cooking, and time with friends and family.
I began my fertility journey in February 2022, in hand with ONE Fertility in Burlington. Intending to acquire eggs via donor and use my own sperm, I was surprised to find out that I am very close to infertile and acquisition of sperm would come with high risk. That did not detract me. I don't think I felt a drop of grief at that fact, actually (also a surprise). I believe whole-heartedly that I will have the baby/babies I am meant to have so onward I went. I have now acquired eggs and sperm via donors. They are in the care of my fertility clinic and the resulting blastocysts (graded AA and AB) are in their care.
In July 2023, I matched with a surrogate and we developed a great relationship over 3.5 months where we had regular communication and visits (including with my family), some financial support and we were cleared to plan implantation. However, a temporary medical condition meant we had to unmatch. There were many lessons from the experience. Among them, I know I am up for this journey, am flexible and understanding, and can support a surrogate/friend on her terms.
With this life plan as my sole focus, care for a surrogate is my top priority. I have the financial means, time and flexibility to do what is required. I must admit I am humbled that someone would do this for me and my child, and as such, feel a great deal of flexibility to adapt and respect whatever the needs, boundaries and wishes of the surrogate are.
I would love to participate in all aspects of the pregnancy and support the surrogate however she needs, but if the surrogate is needing space, etc I respect that. I am prepared to go through this process together and have very few, if any, deal breakers of my own. I am simply excited to pursue this together and it is my top priority. I believe my mother is also willing and able to be of support and help through pregnancy if needed, though not required.