Pathways To Parenthood Surrogacy Agency wishes all fathers a wonderful time on their special day. But we are especially excited to be able to wish Happy Father’s Day to our clients Dominik and Dennis. This is a special Father’s Day for first time Dads Dominik & Dennis. Dominik and Dennis welcomed their first-born child earlier this year.
Becoming a first-time Dad is an exciting, life-changing, and somewhat scary life experience! For Dominik and Dennis, their journey to becoming parents through egg donation and surrogacy gave them lots of time to get prepared. The egg donation process and surrogacy process gave them an extended “pre-natal” period of time, which was also filled with excitement, anticipation, and a bit of fear of the unknown!
Dominik and Dennis share their experience on their egg donation process with San Diego Fertility Center and their surrogacy process with Pathways To Parenthood Surrogacy Agency. They also share their thoughts and emotions on meeting their son for the first time and adjusting to their new life.
1.How long did it take to go through the egg donation process and surrogacy process before you became pregnant?
We started selecting an egg donor with San Diego Fertility Center early April 2020. The embryo transfer was in June 2021 as we had to wait for our surrogacy process to complete. Our first embryo transfer was successful, and we received a positive pregnancy in July!
2. Were there any surprises or unexpected events (COVID!!!) or unexpected feelings during the egg donation process and/or the surrogacy process?
What really made the whole process difficult for us, was the Covid pandemic and the travel ban that made it impossible for us to come to the United States from Germany. We always had imagined meeting all parties in person prior to starting the process, but that was not possible. It felt odd to put that much trust into people you haven’t met in person. Yet we were surprised how well everything worked out meeting virtually and how much trust we gained virtually in the people involved. Once pregnancy was confirmed, it felt unreal, that a person across the Atlantic was pregnant with our baby. We were able to meet our surrogate early in pregnancy when she traveled to Europe and then were able to travel to the United states on a National Interest Exception for the 20 week ultrasound. We were also able to meet our contacts at our surrogacy agency, Pathways To Parenthood, and our attorney Joni Franklin.
3. What was the relationship with your surrogate like?
From the moment we were introduced to begin the matching process we were in daily contact getting to know each other. When we first met our surrogate in person, it felt like meeting a good friend. We really enjoyed the time with her when we came to the United States for the birth of our son. We met often for dinner and other fun activities both before and after birth. Our wishes were to have a good relationship during pregnancy (we did!) and also in the years to come. So far it is going well!
4. What was it like/what were your initial feelings seeing your son for the first time?
It was a very emotional moment for all of us, including our surrogate and her support person. We were so overwhelmed during skin-to-skin bonding with our son. We had tears of joy because for the longest time of our lives we thought that as gay men we would never be able to experience this moment. It still amazes us how powerful the bonds and relationships are that were created during this long journey of planning, trust, love and much more.
5. What has been the biggest adjustment in your lives being first time parents?
The biggest adjustment is probably an obvious one: getting up every two to three hours at night to feed the baby :-). Not much sleep! We also learned quickly that even the smallest trip takes a lot of planning. Having to consider whether plans fit into the baby’s feeding, sleeping and diaper schedule is a big adjustment, but a welcome one! Another big adjustment is for our relationship to not be able to find much quiet time to just enjoy a glass of wine or watch a movie. Life is especially busy now, so we need to divide chores to be able to get everything done whereas before the birth of our son, we used to do most of them together.
6. What are your plans for your first Father’s Day?
In Germany Father’s Day is celebrated on Ascension Day in May. On this day it is tradition to go on a hike with many friends and take a handcart that is stocked with beer. However, for our first Father’s Day, we spent the day sleeping in, taking naps, and enjoying time with our son.
7. What advice do you have for men just starting their journey to parenthood through egg donation and surrogacy?
Trust your instincts! Take your time and choose a surrogacy agency that fits your style. It is important to form a strong connection to your surrogate. In our opinion, it is important to be able to tell your kid in the future openly and age-appropriately how they came into the world. Also, we think it is important that they have the chance to meet their surrogate and egg donor if they wish to do so in the future.