Canadian Intended Parents Searching for a Gestational Surrogate
Location: Mississauga, Ontario
Embryo Status: Frozen PGS Embryos
Occupations: Optometrist (Mandip) / Deputy Director - Animal Welfare Services (Navdeep)
You’re about to read the story of Nav and Monnie Gill and we are excited to share who we are with you!
The two of us travelled winding roads that eventually led us to each other in our early 30s. Nav was born and raised in Montreal while Monnie was born and raised in Toronto. We are both strong hockey fans and you can only imagine the hockey rivalry that exists in our household!! Although our lives took us to Ottawa, Chicago, Philadelphia and London work school and work, we have always been loyal to our teams!
As fate would have it, in 2009 we were both living in Toronto and attended a networking conference for professionals. At that time, neither of us were specifically looking for a relationship, but we struck up a very short conversation while waiting in line at the buffet. The story could have easily ended there as we didn’t exchange contact information (or even names!). As it happened, Monnie saw Nav’s Facebook profile pop up on a mutual friend’s feed and her status update was so witty that he couldn’t resist responding to it.
The rest…just snowballed from there. We went from exchanging messages, to phone calls to meeting a few weeks later. It was love at second sight. We bonded over our love of hockey, late night desert/coffee, movies, travel, and volunteer work. We talked endlessly from everything about social justice to our personal pasts to science to our dreams for the future and our gratitude for the present.
As two people who believe that the universe collides as it should, we really feel that we are soulmates. Ironically, we don’t believe this means that we are the perfect couple. Instead, it means that we have been able to work through obstacles and differences and remain in love through it all.
(written by Nav) Our personalities are an interesting intersection of shared values and different character traits. Monnie is calm, patient, laid back, willing to look at every side of an issue, very cerebral and an introvert. He calls himself a proud nerd as he loves Star Wars, Superman, Lord of the Rings, and everything in between. He engrosses himself in science and ultimately dedicated himself to by becoming a Doctor of Optometry. He is very family-oriented, likes going to the gym and I call him the ‘baby whisperer’ because I have yet to come across a baby that hasn’t loved him.
(written by Monnie) Nav is the embodiment of the word passion. Anything she does, she does with all of herself. She is also out-going, organized, and creative. Without a doubt, she is one of the most caring individuals I have ever met. Since I first met her, she has had a strong leaning toward social issues, especially those pertaining to social justice. She is fortunate to be doing what she loves for a living as the Deputy Director of Animal Welfare for the government of Ontario. If she isn’t working, she loves to read and listen to music. She loves almost every genre of both, but one her favorite songs is ‘Stand By Me’ and her favorite books are ‘Les Miserables’ and ‘Charlotte’s Web’. On any given day, you might catch her quietly nestled in a corner with a good book, or dancing around the living room to some of her favourite songs.
Both us of gravitated to one another based on these things and a shared value-set of loyalty, family, respect, kindness, tolerance, humanitarianism, travel and nurturing our growth as people through constantly working on ourselves as individuals. Together, we feel we make a great balance as a couple. Together, we feel we’d make great parents.
After having been married for seven years and trying to have a little Nav-Monnie baby for about four years, we are the juncture where we need help.
We were married in 2013 and we’ve spent our time and energy building a stable future ourselves. For the first three years, we also spent a lot of time travelling, socializing with friends, and as they say ‘working hard and playing hard’!
Our families are important to us and also very different from one another. Outside of ourselves, we are fortunate enough to have a wide support network from our respective families.
(Written by Nav) My parents are originally from India and very unconventional and non-traditional. We are proud Canadians and also balance aspects of the Punjabi culture. I have a younger brother living in Toronto who is my rock. My father has provided me the opportunities and freedoms that many first-generation born Canadian women haven’t necessarily had. He pushed me to build for myself and be a strong woman. My mother is my ally and confidante. It wasn’t always that way! As a teenager I butted heads with my mom often. Over time though, I have seen my mom really as a person who is tremendously energetic, compassionate and giving. She is there at the drop of a dime.
(Written by Monnie) I also am a first generation born Canadian to immigrant parents from India. My parents happen to be more on the traditional side of spectrum. I also have two sisters whom I love dearly. My younger sister grew up with developmental disabilities and has amazed me with her resilience. My older sister is married and lives in King City, Ontario. She has four beautiful boys who can definitely be a handful. I have loved being an uncle in their lives from the day each of them was born and we continue to have an amazing relationship with them. My parents are social within the Indian community and love gardening. My father worked incredibly hard his whole life to provide for us and my mother was a home-maker who focused on endless meals, hugs, loads of laundry, discipline, and caring for us when we were sick. Both are always ready to help.
We are both fortunate to still have our parents and hope that we can share the news that we will be parents with them someday soon. While they have never asked about intention around parenting and really respect that space, its something that we both think about.
Just like our relationship, our road to extending our family has had both ups and downs. It has been a difficult path with many tears and disappointments.
(written by Nav) We experienced the joy of finding out we were pregnant in May 2016 while on a trip to the UK only to have the heartbreak of a miscarriage a month later. During the pregnancy I felt amazing. When the miscarriage occurred I was in shock and we really grieved the loss. By December of that year, we were pregnant again. This was a ‘surprise’ and we were really hopeful. Little did we know that this time we would experience something even more tragic. Within 2 months, it became medically advisable to terminate the pregnancy. This has been a gut-wrenching loss that has taken years to come to terms with. There have been times when I felt like a failure, like I was broken and like there would be no hope. If I couldn’t carry my own child, I thought we were out of options.
(written by Monnie) The months and years that followed were extremely difficult for us both mentally and emotionally. We struggled both as a couple and as individuals in trying to recover from the heartache. Since then, in discussions with our doctors, we have come to the conclusion that the impacts and risks associated to pregnancy to Nav’s health are a real concern. Going through it however brought us to where we are now: ready to travel down the road of expanding our family through a Surrogate.
We have been thoughtful in our approach and wanted to become truly comfortable with the idea of going through a Surrogate.
With the advent of COVID-19, we had to hit pause on IVF but started up in mid-2020. We did two rounds of IVF in 2020. At the moment, we have one genetically tested embryo ready to be used. Sharing our family and love with a child is very important to both of us, so we are going through another round of IVF with the hopes of having a second genetically tested embryo. We have done all of our IVF work through the TRIO fertility centre and gone all in with our overall health by including their naturopathic clinic as well.
We are both very caring, empathetic, and inclusive individuals. It goes without saying that we would be thankful to our Surrogate for your invaluable contribution to the progression of our family life. As such, we would be happy and eager to provide support in any way that we could to you and your family throughout the course of this entire journey.
This may mean things like supporting certain tools that make the pregnancy more comfortable, committing to acupuncture/massage therapy or counselling sessions. Or it may mean taking steps together through phone calls and video discussions and if possible, face-to-face time. While for us, this cannot be monetized, the costs associated with this pregnancy would all be fully covered.
A main component of support from our perspective is also collaborating with you as our Surrogate on how you view this process so that we are being mindful of your space and vision.
We hope to have a great relationship with you…our Surrogate. Ultimately, we recognize that you are taking part in a process that fundamentally will change, and enhance, our lives. We also understand that there are impacts for you.
As such, we would see you as being an integral part of our family progression. Your personal preferences would be just as important and we would love to have regular conversations and keep in touch regarding the pregnancy as it evolves.
We would be happy and proud to make sure our child was aware of the love and care that another person showed, just to make sure that our family could become what we have as a current dream. We also would work together with you based on your comfort level on details such as frequency of communication, meeting the child once he/she is born and into the future.
Mandip & Navdeep